From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

August 6, 2010 • GC.080510.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. BulletEx-employee Charges Theft of Student Lunches at GHS

  2. BulletRep. Fattah: Progress, Problems on National Issues

  3. BulletTrolley Car Celebrates 10 Years of Dining, Community Engagement

  4. BulletShould I Take Medication for Depression?

  5. BulletReview: Ferrell’s Improv Style Doesn’t Work in Sloppy ‘The Other Guys’

  6. BulletArts Camp at Woodcrest

  7. BulletObituary: Thelma Winn, 101

  8. BulletFree Meals at St. Michael’s

  9. BulletEntrants Sought for FOW Photo Contest

  10. BulletHGNC Plant Sale / Flea Market

  11. BulletMake Your Own Paper

  12. BulletReach One Fundraiser

  13. BulletEPIC Invites Community

  14. BulletJazz at Johnson House

Ex-employee Charges Theft of Student Lunches at GHS


Editorial Staff Intern

Germantown High School found itself in the spotlight last week through allegations of inappropriate behavior involving Department of Labor (DOL) funds granted to the school.

According to Samenia Mayer, a former employee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, who worked at the school as a program assistant for the Step Up Mentoring Program, lunches purchased for students using Department of Labor funds were eaten by faculty and staff, leaving some students to go hungry.

Further, Mayer alleges that she was fired from her position at the school for raising concerns about the students and misuse of the grant to the principal.

“Staff were taking breakfasts and lunches before students ever got served,” Mayer said. “The kids weren’t even able to get juices.” Mayer said that teachers, administrators and school police were taking the lunches.

The Summer Bridge Program is a transitional program for incoming freshman in which new students are provided with a mentor to show them the ropes. According to Mayer, catered lunches provided by the DOL were also supposed to be a part of that deal. The lunches were given out two days a week “to motivate them and to recognize them for coming.”

Mayer said that she spoke with School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, and then principal Margaret Mullen-Bavwidinsi through e-mail at the behest of Ackerman’s aides. Mullen-Bavwidinsi, according to an e-mail response forwarded to this newspaper by Mayer, told Mayer that the issue did not concern her.  Mullen-Bavwidinsi did not return phone calls by theis newspaper.

Following several more correspondences with the principal, Mayer said, Mullen-Bavwidinsi requested that Mayer attend a meeting on July 19 to discuss her job description, and that she was fired during that meeting.

Fernando Gallard, a spokesperson for the School District, did not deny that Mayer had been removed from her position, but said that Mayer’s dismissal does not amount to being fired, since the Boys and Girls Clubs was her employer. “She was removed from her position at Germantown High School,” he said. “It’s up to the principal’s discretion to say if [the working relationship] is working out or not.”

Jeff Waldron, chief executive of the Boys and Girls Clubs, said that Mayer was a seasonal employee of his organization. He said that her contract was up July 30 and that she would be compensated through that date.

Mayer said she knew she would receive payment for her full contract, but was still planning to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In response to the allegations that catered lunches were paid for by the DOL grant, Gallard said that they were not federally funded, but provided by the school district itself.

Mayer disagreed, saying that Germantown High started paying for the lunches out of the school’s student activities fee only after she made a fuss, and that giving that food to teachers was still wrong. “It’s still student activities and not for staff,” she said.

According to Gallard, there may have been times in which students went without catered lunches, but not because school employees had eaten them. He said the catered lunches were ordered based on the daily average number of students present, and that some days there may have been an above-average number of students. He said the school’s reasoning for this practice was pragmatic. “We tend not to want to…waste food,” he said. For the same reason, Gallard said, if food is left over it is offered to school employees and student volunteers.

Even if there was a shortage of catered lunches, Gallard said that students should never have gone hungry because regular free lunches were still available to students. “They still have access to the free meals,” he said. “[Catered lunches] were just above what we already provide for free.”

Following Mayer’s complaints, Mullen-Bavwidinsi and the district’s Office of Multiple Pathways to Graduation investigated but found no evidence in support of Mayer’s allegations, according to Gallard.

The DOL, which provided $6.5 million in grant money to Germantown High School, had requested records of the school district’s investigation. According to Lenore Uddyback-Fortson, a spokesperson for the department, “The Department of Labor received documentation on Tuesday, August 3, verifying that DOL funds were not used to pay for the lunches. That documentation will be further reviewed during the full fiscal and program review later this month.”

Mayer was not contacted to be a part of the school district’s and DOL investigations. She said students had to sign in to receive the catered lunches, which should simplify any investigation.

Rep. Fattah: Progress, Problems on National Issues



On the first day of the August congressional recess, Second District Congressman Chaka Fattah met with a number of representatives of the print and broadcast media at Temple University to go over what he viewed as significant achievements of the 111th Congress – and also to issue a word of warning.

Rep. Fattah said about the ever-increasing national debt, “As adults we’re having a party we’re not paying for … The real deal is we’re in debt. Either we pay for it now or we leave it to our children.”

But before those words, which came toward the end of the hour-plus session with reporters, Fattah surveyed recently-passed legislation which he authored or played a part in passing, including tuition tax credits which allow families to write off up to $2,500 in tuition expenses; the reauthorization of the Gear Up education program, which he said was evaluated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the most successful education program for African American students in their high school years; an energy efficiency block grant program totaling $3.4 billion (“Energy costs are an amazing cost for governments,” he said); and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, part of which is  the Emergency Homeowners Relief Fund which he authored.

That program, modeled on a similar one introduced in Pennsylvania by Fattah when he was a state legislator,  has proved very successful in Pennsylvania and should work on the national level, he said.

“Usually when people have their homes foreclosed, everybody loses, he said. “The estimated foreclosure cost is $100,000.”

The program offers up to $50,000 dollars of mortgage assistance in the form of loans to be added onto the back end of the mortgage. “With an average of $5,000 worth of assistance over five months, most people can get themselves straightened out,” he said. “It’s a much better approach.”

Fattah also secured funding for the new Equity and Excellence Commission, which he said was designed to look at the question of equitable funding for public schools. “In Philadelphia we spend $140,000 less per classroom than in the suburbs,” he said.

Fattah announced that he was seeking the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful committees in Congress, controlling over 1.2 trillion dollars in spending. He is seeking support now  from other Democratic representatives but the choice will not be made until after the November general election. 

He fielded questions from reporters over a wide range of issues, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fattah defended Obama administration policy in both countries, saying that the movement of combat troops out of Iraq was on schedule and that all should be out of the country by the end of August with some support troops left behind. He voted against going to war in Iraq, “The vote I’m proudest of,” he said.

Regarding Afghanistan, he said, “The country has a national interest in rooting out the remnants of Al-Qaida ... the President deserves some leeway to get this done.”

But, added Fattah, “I do think there’s a limit.  For us to get an American soldier on the ground [in Afghanistan] it costs $1 million a year.”

Fattah is the author of the Debt Free America act, which he has introduced in a number of congressional sessions, so far without success. “But it’s starting to get some currency,” he said. “The basic idea is simple – the richest country in the world doesn’t have to be the largest debtor.”

To reduce that debt - 3.5 trillion dollars when President Obama took office, with another trillion added since then, according to Fattah – his proposal calls for a one percent charge – “one penny in the dollar” - on  all retail and financial transactions. “The point of the proposal is to pay off the debt.” An 18-member commission will examine the idea this fall, he said.

There would have to be some changes in long-term entitlement programs, he said, including Social Security.

For example, “We may have to add a month to the requirements [for younger workers] for retirement.”

When the country went to war in Iraq under President Bush, he said, unlike other wars “there was no war tax, no bonds, no cuts in domestic spending. To keep the populace happy there was no pain.”

But, Fattah warned, “We can’t go on as we’re going.”

Trolley Car Celebrates 10 Years of Dining, Community Engagement



Ten years ago, the lot at 7619 Germantown Avenue was a bare open spot. Before that it had been the site of a long-closed and dilapidated fast food restaurant.

All that began to change on a blustery Saturday afternoon in April, 2000, the day the diner came to Germantown Avenue.

The former Palooka’s Diner was trucked in from the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area and over the next few months was turned into the Trolley Car Diner (now the Trolley Car Diner & Deli). A space that had been an long been considered an eyesore on the Avenue started to become a vibrant economic and social asset to the Northwest.

The project was the brainchild of Bob and Nancy Elfant, and Ken and Judy Weinstein. The Weinsteins are now the sole owners. 

“The diner was an economic development project where we not only wanted to bring a family-friendly restaurant to the area but see some good come out of that site,” says Ken Weinstein. “A diner was something that we had all grown up with – it had a lot of good friendly memories to it.”

It was tough in the beginning, he says. While the community was glad to see it come to Mt. Airy, he says, “It took three to five years to establish itself as commercially viable operation – probably longer than normal. And then it wasn’t long after we established itself that we continued to face difficult times.”

Those “difficult times” were the year and a half of continuous construction along Germantown Avenue during the Mt. Airy portion of PennDOT’s reconstruction of Germantown Avenue.  The stretch of Avenue near and in front of the diner was the first part of the project to get under way and things went more slowly than anticipated in the beginning. “We say that PennDOT learned how to do road construction in an urban area in front of the diner,” says Weinstein. “We survived that only to face a difficult economy in 2009-10 that has caused a lot of other restaurants to go belly-up.

“But the good news is that through the help and support of our customers we are now having our best year ever.

“We wouldn’t be around without incredible support from our customers. A lot of other businesses would not have been able to make it through what we’ve been through but we’ve come out of it with flying colors.”

To thank those customers and celebrate its tenth year in business, on Sunday, August 8, from 3-8 p.m., the Trolley Car will hold an outdoor family event complete with face painting, giveaways, food, festival games, a moon bounce, Trolley Car merchandise, live music by Hylit Radio and DJ personality Sam Lit, and a special “Dunk the Owner” dunk tank to raise money for a local cause.  The event is free to the public.

“The ‘Dunk the Owner’ tank is the only thing that costs money,” smiles Weinstein. “We want to give all proceeds to a local charity.”

The celebration on August 8 is only one of the events in 2010 that are marking the diner’s tenth year. May saw the unveiling of a mural done by the city’s Mural Arts Program on the diner’s wall, it hosted movie nights each Saturday in July, there will be live music every Friday evening in September, and local artwork will be exhibited in November. The events will culminate in a New Year’s Eve party for children on Friday, December 31.

In Weinstein’s view, after ten years the diner is more than a restaurant, it’s a community institution. “We’re very proud of that,” he says. “Originally the Elfants and I never wanted the diner to be just a restaurant and I think we’ve accomplished that.”

The Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe opened six years ago and the deli section opened two years ago.  “By far the most popular part of the deli is our 220-plus beer list, “ says Weinstein, “one of the largest collections of beer by the 6-pack in the Philadelphia area.”

He is particularly proud of the diner’s Helping Hands Program, in which community groups agree to host a Helping Hands week at the diner and encourage their friends neighbors family to attend for break, lunch and dinner. “In exchange we give them back 15 percent of the revenue to their organzation. It’s been by far the most successful community project we’ve hosted. We’ve given over $100,000 to community groups over the last eight years.”

The qualifications are simple for Helping Hands, says Weinstein: “You have to be a non-profit and doing good for the community.” For information about Helping Hands, e-mail Erica Hawthorne at .

Recent awards won by the restaurant include “best breakfast” by MyFoxPhilly, Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philadelphia choice as best kid-friendly restaurant  for the last two years, and the My Block, My Business award for a small business in the Philadelphia area that best serves the community.

And now there’s the new Trolley Car Café at 3269 South Ferry Road, underneath  the twin bridges on Kelly Drive. Says Weinstein, “It opened in early June, so we continued to expand the Trolley Car success into other communities.”

The Therapist Is In

Should I Take Medication for Depression?

This column begins the first of a series of  monthly columns, “The Therapist Is In,” dealing with questions and answers concerning emotional health. Emotionally healthy citizens contribute to the overall health of our community. Northwest resident, author, and columnist Susan Karol Martel, Ed.M., has been a psychotherapist in private practice for more than thirty years. She is currently working on her second book, Navigating The Therapy Maze: 100 Questions and Answers.

The questions and answers she addresses here will be those most frequently asked by her clients. If you have a question you’d like her to answer, please e-mail her at

Q. My family doctor wants me to take medication for depression.  I’m afraid of being labeled if anyone finds out. My family thinks that I should be able to resolve my own emotional problems. What should I do?

A. First, you need to fully understand why your doctor is suggesting anti-depressant medication. If you don’t understand the reasoning, you won’t be able to think through clearly your fear of being labeled.

I also recommend that you ask your doctor to explain how antidepressants work to alleviate your symptoms as well as explore why you might be depressed. In the interim, ask yourself the following: What’s going on in my life right now? Is there something from my past or a loss that is troubling me? Has a difficult situation worn me down? Is there a history of depression in my family?

If your doctor is suggesting medication, it would not be for your everyday version of feeling down or sad over something. This type of blues doesn’t lessen or fade but can leave you feeling hopeless and can interfere with your ability to function.  Depression can affect your eating or sleeping, your weight, energy level, interest in sex, performing day to day activities, caring for your family and your ability to work.  Or, maybe you don’t have a severe depression but rather a constant low level depression that has probably been with you for quite a long time.  Maybe you’ve gotten to the point that you’ve accepted feeling blah as “just the way I am.” 

If the answer to any of the above symptoms is “yes,” you should be pro-active in addressing what’s happening. Taking an antidepressant is one of the things that could help you. There are other things you can do to work toward feeling better, such as learning stress relief techniques, exercising daily, and working with a therapist.  For a moderate to severe depression, medication in combination with therapy may give you the best shot in breaking the cycle. It’s important to know your options.

You and your doctor should discuss which treatments are best for your particular symptoms. Keep in mind that as we age, depression can increase the risk of stroke and other medical conditions. More Americans suffer from depression than heart disease, cancer or HIV/AIDS. In any calendar year one in every five adults will be depressed.

As for the labeling - maybe YOU have learned to label people who take medication for depression and you feel that everyone else will do the same with you. Hopefully, the people around you have more in their life to think about than your medications; and even if they don’t, you need to imagine how much better life could be if you got treatment. By contrast, think about what your life will be like if you don’t deal with your depression and never start to feel like yourself again.  How will your relationships be affected?  Your job?  The quality of your life? If you can’t function using all of your cylinders, I bet you could come up with a few labels that folks might use to describe you.  And I’d bet you wouldn’t like these one bit.

What would you do if your car leaked oil, started erratically, had a dangling muffler, and was prone to overheating? Get it?

Review: Ferrell’s Improv Style Doesn’t Work in Sloppy ‘The Other Guys’


Guest Writer

Screaming non-sequiturs at the top of your lungs will only get you so far in life. If you’re Will Ferrell, it can get you a financially successful but poorly-made one-note comedy like Stepbrothers. The fatal flaw of Stepbrothers was that Ferrell and John C. Reilly spent their time bellowing profanity at each other at the beginning of the film and never stopped. That no one thought it might be funnier to start out quietly and then build to the shouting is unfortunate; it meant that there was no set of ground rules to bounce off of, no straight man to be the juxtaposition to the wacky.

In Adam McKay’s cop-buddy parody The Other Guys Ferrell is his own straight man, as his partner played by Mark Wahlberg seems to have no idea how to roll with the improv punches. Ferrell begins The Other Guys as an introverted nerd and builds his way to, well, a confused nerd, who occasionally shouts at his beleaguered wife.

As is true with other McKay/Ferrell films (Talladega Nights, Anchorman, Stepbrothers), a coherent narrative is way down the list of priorities, it’s more important for Ferrell to throw out his standard non-sequiturs (“lion tastes good, let’s go get some more lion,”), and hope the other comedians can play along. That can work with some of the players in The Other Guys, specifically Rob Riggle, as an arrogant and thoughtless cop who instructs a classroom of small kids that if you want to stay out of trouble, “It’s best not to be black or Hispanic.”

But Riggle has only a few minutes of screen time, most of the non-Ferrell moments involve Wahlberg getting perpetually angry about being belittled by his co-workers for not being a particularly slick police officer. Wahlberg has only one mode as an actor - the petulant teenager - and it’s further exposed by the McKay/Ferrell style of just letting the camera roll until somebody says something funny. No matter what Ferrell or co-stars Michael Keaton or Steve Coogan do, Wahlberg pouts and rants. It’s one of the many reasons that The Other Guys falls off the rails pretty early on.

That there’s not much of a sense of pacing or continuity in The Other Guys doesn’t surprise. That’s going to happen if you show up on the set and throw out nonsense hoping it will stick and not worrying about the consistency of tone from scene to scene. It’s why this expensive movie ($100 million) looks terrible, the color scheme changes from shot to shot, characters disappear for long stretches, and why it feels like hours have been cut out of the movie. As always with a McKay/Ferrell production, there’s no discernible difference between the outtakes and what made it into the finished product.

The only truly funny moments in The Other Guys, at least after the first half-hour, are the closing credits. It’s not that we get the standard credit bloopers, but rather a completely serious financial lecture using animated graphics about how corporate monopolies hurt the economy. Keep that in mind when The Other Guys, a Sony film, comes to Blu-ray, a technology that Sony owns the patent on.

Adam Lippe is a resident of the Northwest. For more of his reviews visit his website,

Arts Camp at Woodcrest

The Woodcrest United Church of Christ at Mt. Pleasant and Thouron avenues will hold its first Art Camp from August 9 to August 20 at the church. The program is for children ages six to 12 and will be held five days a week from 9 a.m. to noon. The students will learn about drawing, painting, sculpture, design, jewelry and textiles. The camp will be under the direction of Elizabeth Johnson who studied art at Temple University and has been teaching art since 1989 at Miquon School and Trinity Lutheran Church in the after school programs.

The fee for the camp is $60 for the first week and $100 for both weeks. To register, call 267-322-0880 before August 6.

Obituary: Thelma Winn, 101

Thelma Thornton Wynn, an outstanding educator, distinguished speech teacher, performing arts enthusiast, devoted first lady, missionary and beloved servant of all mankind, passed on Sunday, August 1.

Mrs. Wynn was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 23, 1909 to Willis and Elizabeth Thornton.  As an exceptional student, she excelled at school, earning a Bachelor of Arts from Emerson College at age twenty.  Later, she held multiple teaching positions: teaching English, speech, and theater arts at schools in Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, and Liberia, West Africa. 

Mrs. Wynn served as the first lady of Pond Street Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island and Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Mrs. Wynn was an avid traveler, visiting over fifty-four countries in her lifetime.  As a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated for over eighty years, she is credited with starting its Calendar Girl Pageant, the prime fundraiser for the Omega Omega Chapter’s scholarship program.

Mrs. Wynn was preceded in death by her late husband, Reverend Walter C. Wynn, but is survived by her two daughters, Ingrid and Margarette; her grandchildren, Lisa, Andrea, Sannah, and Nia; and great grandchildren, Arial, Jaron, and Alicia.

The funeral service will be held on Friday, August 6, 11 a.m., with viewing from 9-10 a.m., at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street.

Free Meals at St. Michael’s

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 6671 Germantown Avenue, has teamed-up with its sister parish, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette Hill, to provide free community meals. 

Members of the community are invited to St. Michaels for a homemade meal every Saturday morning from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. During the summer the church has provided hotdogs, chips, fruit, salad, cookies and cold drinks.  There is also a crafts table and games available for children.

“We feel very blessed to have this opportunity to reach out to our neighbors,” said Pastor Ingram of St. Michael’s. “The community meals are as much about nourishing the body as well as the mind and spirit.  Everyone in the neighborhood is welcome to break bread with us on Saturdays…and worship with us on Sundays.”

“We are thankful for food donations from congregation members and Amoroso’s Baking. We’re still trying to find businesses that will help support us through the fall and winter,” said Ellen Daneke from St. Peter’s.

For information or to make a donation contact the church office at 215-848-0199.


Entrants Sought for FOW Photo Contest

The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) announce the 2010 Wissahickon Photo Contest, sponsored by Valley Green Bank. The entry deadline is October 1, at 5 p.m. A reception for the winners will be held in December at Cedars House in Wissahickon Valley Park and photos will be showcased there and at Valley Green Bank’s Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy branches.

“The Wissahickon has always inspired artists and photographers,” says Jay Goldstein, president and CEO of Valley Green Bank. “The Friends of the Wissahickon capture that spirit of creativity with this photo contest that encourages amateur photographers to participate. Valley Green Bank is pleased to support not only the excellent work of FOW, but also the efforts of friends and neighbors who participate in this contest.”

FOW is looking for striking images taken in Wissahickon Valley Park that capture its natural beauty and wildness. Photographers may submit work in five categories: people; wildlife, landscape; structures; and FOW activities. A $100 prize will be awarded for Best in Show. First Place winners in each category will receive $50. Second place winners in each category will receive a gift certificate. First Place winners in two Junior Competitions (under 12 and ages 13-17) will receive $25 each.

You must be an FOW member in order to participate in the contest. Non-members may join online at or contact FOW’s office. Photographers will retain the rights to their photographs, but FOW retains the right to use all photo contest submissions on their website and in their publications.

Entries should be sent to the FOW office at 8708 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118. For complete submission guidelines, rules, and an official entry form, go online at or visit FOW’s office at 8708 Germantown Avenue.

For more information, contact Heather Davis Jones at or 215-247-0417.

HGNC Plant Sale / Flea Market

On Saturday, August 14, at the Hansberry Garden and Nature Center, 5150 Wayne Avenue, shop for award-winning perennials and annuals while hunting for low prices at the HGNC flea market. Food will be sold. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Vendor space is $15; contact Dorothy Hannibal for more information at 215-438-9190.

Make Your Own Paper

Do you ever wonder how paper is made? Join us on Tuesday, August 10, 4 pm, at the Ogontz Branch Library, 6017 Ogontz Avenue, and try your hand at making some.  Richard Aldorasi, who established the Philadelphia Handmade Paper Company, will give us a chance to get our hands wet (but not dirty) and come away with your own handmade paper.  This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. For more information call Charlotte Hedgebeth at 215-685-3566. 

Reach One Fundraiser

Join Reach One for its first annual fundraiser on August 15,  5 p.m. – 2 a.m., at The Crab House, 5706 Germantown Avenue. Free food, raffle tickets and prizes will be available. Donations are welcome. The event is for adults only.

Reach One is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment that enables youth to embrace their cultural heritage, discover their personal strengths and the importance of family, community and society. Reach One focuses on helping middle and high school students during the time when they are not in school through their mentor program, arts and culture program and service learning program.

For more information about programs and fundraising, please contact Sheila Wilson, executive director of Reach One, at 267-335-3814, or at

EPIC Invites Community

The Northwest EPIC Stakeholders invite the Northwest community to the next EPIC (Equal Partners In Change) community group meeting). Our focus is working to find Solutions in our community.  Please join the stakeholders on Thursday, August 19, 1 p.m., at Martin Luther King High School; 6100 Stenton Avenue. Refreshments are always served.

For more information contact EPIC Coordinator Nan Rhone at 215-549-2686.

Jazz at Johnson House

The Johnson House will host its tenth annual Jazz in the Garden on Saturday, August 7, from 4 – 7 p.m. 

Jazz in the Garden is a summer benefit featuring an afternoon of catered foods, “spirits,” live jazz by Sonny Keaton, Organ Q-Tet and Reel Jazz, vendors, tours and fun on the historic grounds surrounding the Johnson House.

The Johnson House is Philadelphia’s only documented station on the Underground Railroad that is open as a museum for public tours.

Educational and public programs include guided tours that have now reached over 30,000 visitors. The Johnson House focuses on the early history of slavery in America, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and the Fugitive Slave Laws that kept freedom seekers constantly on the run and the collaborative efforts between blacks and whites. 

Admission is  $30 community, $50 corporate, $45 vendors.  Corporate and community sponsorships are welcome.

For more information, to become a corporate or community sponsor, or to purchase tickets contact  D. Turlington at 215-438-1768, e-mail; or D. Birts at 215-605-7102, e-mail

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A Review of the 111th Congress
U.S. Rep. Chakah Fattah (above, center left) met with local reporters on Monday to give an overview of accomplishments during the 111th Congress, and something of a warning about the financial pressure the country is under as well.