Germantown: As promised, PennDOT has reopened the High Street and Coulter Street-Church Lane sections of Germantown Avenue in time for the beginning of the 2009-10 school year. Now the Avenue Reconstruction Project has moved on to the stretch from Coulter Street to Queen Lane.  For information on this week’s schedule for the project see Construction on the Avenue. 




NW Schools on State’s ‘Dangerous Schools’ List


By PATRICK COBBS

Staff Writer


Clergy from the Germantown Clergy Initiative (GCI), including Rev. Leroi Simmons (foreground), joined in prayer outside Germantown High School on September 8, the first day of school. In part, said Rev. Simmons, they were praying that “the school will turn around and that the community will flourish because of the school.” The GCI was formed six years ago in response to a shooting after school nearby on Germantown Avenue.  The group meets every Friday at 10 a.m. at Vernon House in Vernon Park. For more information call Rev. Simmons at 215-849-5800.


The State Board of Education released its Persistently Dangerous Schools (PDS) list late last month and the results involve three Northwest schools. One bit of good news in the  report was that Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane was absent for the first time since the list began in 2003.


“We’ve never been off it till now,” said an excited Principal Kristina Diviny. But Diviny said getting off the list happened as a kind of side effect to all the other improvements she and her staff, and the school’s Educational Management Organization, the non-profit Foundations Inc., have been trying to accomplish over the last two years.


“As much as we were focusing on it,” Diviny said of getting off the list, “my whole goal was really just to make school some place that kids wanted to come and adults wanted to come.”


Central in that task has been the job of downsizing, or compartmentalizing, the entire school. Since she took the job in January of 2007, Diviny has been working to create what she calls Pathway Learning Communities, which amount to six distinct schools within the larger 9-12 school.


All incoming ninth graders are split into two academies. Then, as sophomores, students choose among programs in professional service, technology or creative or performing arts. Teachers provide subject matter instruction within the context of the overall “major,” and that shared focus allows greater coordination across subjects, Diviny said. In fact, she said, this year teacher teams will meet every day to coordinate their lessons.


A positive by-product of the new school structure has been that students’ social and physical worlds within the school tend to be smaller and more intimate, Diviny said. And she thinks this, in combination with students and teachers increased enjoyment of school, has made most of the difference in dangerous incidences.


As with most years, all of the 25 schools on the state PDS list are from the Philadelphia School District. According to Fernando Gallard, the district’s director of media relations, a possible reason for this lopsided representation might lie, at least partially, in the emphasis on accurate incident reporting. And while the PDS list ties to a federal law that allows students to transfer out of such schools, Gallard saw real effort being invested in many of the schools still on the list.


“Sixteen of the schools that were on the list last year saw reductions in the number of incidents,” he said. “Not enough to get them off the list but it’s a reduction. That’s hard work.”


One example was Germantown High School. Like King, Germantown has also been on the list since it began, but for the 2008-2009 school year it reduced the number of dangerous incidents by more than 20 percent over the previous year, according to district data. Still, that number was well above the events at King for the same period.


The State Board of Education determines Persistently Dangerous Schools using a ratio of dangerous incidents that result in police arrests compared to school population. That number is tracked over a three-year span. For schools the size of King and Germantown, both just over 1000, the number is 20 or more. The school district did not make recent arrest data available for this article but for the 2006-2007 school year (the most recent year available through the state) there were 168 arrests at Germantown, according to the state Board of Education.


As dangerous incidents go, Germantown High might be about where King was two years ago. This year Germantown welcomes a new principal, Margaret Mullen, who plans to transform the school from the ground up. And, while her “single school culture” may appear as the polar opposite of Diviny’s six internal school academies, the hope of knocking down the dangerous incidents number by way of school atmosphere is virtually identical.


“We are setting up the environment so that it is a safer and warmer learning environment for students,” Mullen said of her plans. “One vision, one voice. It is going to be the theme of the year… It’s a different school.”


Though Mullen has only been on the job for less than a month she said she and her staff were “running like fire” to institute all the changes. Chief among them were establishing new, proactive safety and discipline policies for the school and reaching out for parent involvement like never before, she said.


The other Northwest school on this year’s list was Roosevelt Middle School at 430 East Washington Lane. Despite seeing a reduction in dangerous incidents of more than 19.5 percent over last school year, Roosevelt still landed on the list for the first time. (It takes at least two years of high incident rates to qualify for the list.)


Roosevelt Principal Stefanie Ressler declined to comment for this article, through a spokesperson.


But for King High, this year there is more to be happy about than getting off the list. It just received state accreditation for the new automotive technology program that Diviny started in 2007. Prior to a district mandated scrapping of technical programs in favor of college preparatory classes, Diviny said, King had several strong technical programs that kept kids interested in school. She was happy to get the automotive program back up and running.


“I had kids who were interested in Auto, so I said, ‘you know what? Let’s give them Auto,’” she said.


And while the school failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards on test scores, Diviny was confident that would be changing soon too.


“It was terrible to receive accreditation [for the auto program] and not receive an AYP banner, but I know that that’s coming,” Diviny said. “Martin Luther King High School has arrived.”



‘Plant Pixie’ Sheila Eddy Brings Blooms to Germantown


By JONEL BECKER SOFIAN

Guest Writer


Has anyone noticed that a new flower garden has sprung up in Germantown in a most unlikely place? There are now colorful flowers on both sides of Rittenhouse Street near the R8 railroad overpass and the Emperion Apartments. Not just hosta and daylilies have been planted, but balloon flowers, baby perennials, soap wort, fern leaf yarrow, rudbecia, St. John’s Wort and more. Their colorful blooms and bright green leaves add a cheerfulness to an area previously littered with trash and waist-high in weeds. How did this come about?


It tums out that this mystery gardener, dubbed the “Plant Pixie,” is Sheila Eddy, a resident of Germantown for 28 years, and a former teacher (for 36 years) at Edison Fareira High School, now retired. While at Edison, Sheila worked tirelessly on her own time to create garden spaces for the school, succeeding in creating four garden areas during her time there, only to see them suffer from lack of water during the summer.


Late last year Sheila participated in the mayor’s Spring Clean Up initiative, which encouraged residents to rid the streets of trash and spruce up their neighborhoods. Not only did Sheila join in to help clear out the weed pile on Rittenhouse Street, but she also contributed her own extra plants to beautify the site. This year she received permission to do the hillside and was given 17 flats of perennials by “Grow’n Sell” in Chalfont, PA. To this donation she added many plants, bought or donated by neighbors. This developing garden will be named “The William Rittenhouse Memorial Garden,” to honor America’s first Menonnite minister.


A parade of people stroll by when Sheila’s working; people walking dogs, pushing babies in strollers, going shopping, or heading to the laundromat. Many walk over to her and tell her the flowers lift their spirits. One aftemoon a young man walked by and asked if she was responsible for the garden. He was a new grad from Philadelphia University. When she answered yes, he shook her hand and promised to come back the next day to help. And he did! Another day an older lady gave her a hug. Even teens have come over to watch her work and thank her.


But being on your knees and digging, and transporting water and flats of plants to a garden are not easy tasks for a retired teacher. Most sites have no water hookup. Sheila carries water in gallon milk bottles so that the flowers won’t die before they get water. Sometimes the gardens are vandalized. The heads of flowers are broken off, plants are dug up and stolen, glass, broken bottles, cans, paper cups and other refuse gets tossed into the area. It can be discouraging. Despite the occasional vandalism, her asthma and bad back, Sheila is dedicated to creating community gardens in Germantown.


“I believe everyone has a moral obligation to do what they can to improve the planet in whatever way their skills direct,” she says, “because we’re using up non-renewable resources. We must all be stewards.”


Sheila is a graduate of Penn State University, where she received a B.A. in English; later she earned her Masters degree in English language history from Indiana Universif. Although she spent her career teaching English, Sheila’s great love was always gardening. She comes by it naturally, since her father, John Granville Eddy, ran a nursery and landscaping business in Paradise, PA, from 1948 to 1977 when he died. Her grandfather had worked for the well-known landscaping architectural firm of Frederick Law Olmstead, and spent nine years in charge of supervising the landscaping of the National Zoo. If you see the Plant Pixie creating a garden in your neighborhood this summer, go up to her and say “thank you.” Someone is planting flowers and green areas for your pleasure and for the planet. Even better, offer to help for a while.


“We can improve on Mother Nature in garden design,” says Sheila. “If you have talent that would make the world a better place, you should use it.” Sheila is now working on a new flower garden on the southwest corner of Wissahickon Avenue and Lincoln Drive.


New Media Reopens Without Complying with SRC Conditions


By PATRICK COBBS

Staff Writer


New Media Technology Charter School opened its doors to students this week without complying with a School Reform Commission directive to fire its Chief Executive Officer and Board President by September 1.  The school operates a high school at 8034 Thouron Avenue in West Oak Lane and a middle school at 340 East Haines Street in Germantown.


The SRC made the charter renewal decision only 13 days before the deadline for replacing the top two positions, and less than three weeks before the first day of school.


Benjamin Rayer, the Chief Charter, Partnership and New Schools officer for the School District of Philadelphia, acknowledged that the SRC decision put some time pressure on the school. But he still thought it should have been doable.


“It certainly is a tight time frame but we expect that if they are ready to work on that we could work on that together and make a successful transition in their operation,” he said. 


The decision to remove the top leadership is part of a larger move in the SRC resolution to eventually replace all of the school heads by October 1.


School District officials have cited concerns over the school’s financial viability under the current leadership, and the District has been investigating the school since June over allegations of fiscal mismanagement. Several of the 25 conditions in the charter renewal decision, which would fund the school through 2014, appear designed to cut all ties between the current board of trustees and CEO.


New Media representatives have been in contact with the District about the missed deadline. But officially the school district has received no indication from New Media that it has taken steps to meet any of the applicable conditions in the charter renewal resolution. Still, Rayer thought it likely some indication of that would be coming soon. And he stressed that any contact school district officials might have with New Media should not be mistaken for negotiation.


“We are not in negotiations with the school at all - the SRC or the school district,” he said. “And we have the expectation that they will make all of the conditions in the resolution.”


Academically, the school seems to be performing relatively well. It met federal Annual Yearly Progress testing standards last year and, according to school officials, all of the 79 graduating seniors last year earned placement in 2 or 4-year colleges or universities.


But if the school continues to stall on the applicable conditions for renewal, Rayer indicated, there could be serious potential consequences.


“The SRC reserves the right to revoke their charter as early as September,” he said.



Launch Event for DePaul House


Come to the Launch Event of Depaul House, the first initiative of Depaul USA, a subsidiary of Depaul International, on September 16 at 3 p.m.


Depaul House, 5725 Sprague Street in Germantown, provides a home for twenty-five men who are experiencing homelessness. Residents receive basic services and supports to increase functioning, initiate financial stability and strengthen their ability to move to appropriate housing of their own.


Depaul is committed to the provision of intensive on-site case management as well as critically important supportive services that assist residents in overcoming barriers to stability and self-sufficiency. Everyone is guided by our belief: “Everyone should have a place to call home and a stake in their community.”

Contact Eileen Smith at 215-438-1955 for more information.


Workshop on Saving at Coleman Library


Become a Philadelphia saver! In a workshop at Coleman Northwest Regional Library, “Build Wealth, Not Debt! Philadelphia Saves at the Library,” you’ll gain the tools, resources and motivation you need to begin saving. You can save for retirement, for college, a down payment on a home or car – you name the goal. No matter how much or how little you earn, the habits and benefits of saving can be a part of your life. The event takes place on Monday, September 23, 6-7 p.m., at Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library, Greene Street and Chelten Avenue. For more information call 215-685-2155.


Cleanup at Happy Hollow


On September 19 Happy Hollow Playground will hold its fifth annual clean-up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be refreshments for all volunteers. To sign up call 215-685-2195 and ask for Ty Gross or Sara Stevenson. The rain date is September 26.  On September 28 Happy Hollow Playground Advisory Council will meet at 6 p.m. in the gym (rear building).

 

Germantown High ’74 Reunion


Germantown High Class of 1974 will hold its 35th reunion on October 10 at the Philadelphia Hilton Hotel – Airport.  For more information call D. Paige at 215-635-0468.


Hansberry Flea Market

A flea market plus lunches, baked goods, and plants will be held Saturday, September 12, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., rain date September 13, at Hansberry Garden and Nature Center, Wayne Avenue and Hansberry Street.  Vendors, call Dorothy at 215-438-9190.



Town Watch Stresses Need for More Anti-Crime Vigilance


By PATRICK COBBS

Staff Writer


About 25 Mt. Airy residents crowded into the High Point Café at the Allen Lane Train Station Thursday Sept. 3, to discuss a recent rash of crime in the area of the Mt. Airy-Nippon-Bryan-Cresheim Town Watch.


The neighborhood has seen a small spate of robberies in recent weeks, including an August 27 robbery at gunpoint on a food delivery driver at 9:45 p.m. in the unit block of West Mt. Pleasant Avenue, and another robbery at gunpoint at the same time on the following day in the 300 block of East Mt. Airy Avenue.


There were also two robberies near the Allen Lane Station on Cresheim Road on September 1 and 2 in mid-morning. The first occurred when a man approached a local resident and said, “give me everything you have if you don’t want to get shot,” according the 14th Police District.


The second occurred outside the High Point, when a man who was in the outdoor seating area ran past a customer’s table and allegedly stole her IPhone. A coffee shop regular and an off duty worker took up chase, according to Brandon Morsberger, a High Point employee.

The chase spilled onto the R8 line and when police joined in, they mistakenly picked up the off-duty High Point worker, according to Morsberger, because the alleged assailant shed his distinguishing hooded sweatshirt and got away.


Temporarily, that is.


“Wait for it. Here’s the funny part,” Morsberger said. “Inside his hooded sweatshirt was his laundry ticket.”


On September 3, police located the alleged assailant, who is a resident of the Cresheim area, through the laundry ticket and tied both Cresheim Road crimes to him, according to 14th Police District Captain Winton Singletary.


Though the Mt. Airy-Nippon-Bryan-Cresheim Town Watch has been around for 21 years, there was a sense at the meeting that local residents needed to tune in better to help make the area less of a target for crime.


“We live in a relatively safe area, but the key word is ‘relatively,’” said Town Watch Coordinator Steve Stroiman.


Longtime Town Watch member and Philadelphia School Police Officer Jeff Best put it more plainly. “West Mt. Airy does not pay attention,” he said. “And we need to be more vigilant about paying attention.”


According to Stroiman, there was a time when Town Watch had no problems filling the streets with active members, but lately, he said,  “it has been very, very difficult to get people to walk.”


This slackening trend may have even crept to people’s homes. There were 17 burglaries in the area between January 1 and May 29, according to the Town Watch. Three were through unlocked doors or windows, six were forced entry and two attempts were turned away by alarms. But there were also two successful burglaries at homes where the alarms were turned off, according to Stroiman.


“This is a no-brainer,” he said. “If you have an alarm, use it.”


In the wake of a recent rape of a woman in Fairmount Park on Bells Mills Road, many came to the September 3 meeting interested in purchasing a personal alarm system. It is an inexpensive box, about the size of a pager, that clips to your belt and when the small pin is removed it creates a racket. Stroiman demonstrated.


“It makes quite a sound,” he said when he replaced the pin.


Stroiman recommended several things that people could do to make themselves and the neighborhood safer. They included carrying the five dollar alarm along with mace or pepper spray, installing exterior lighting on the front and rear of homes, keeping porch lights on all night, trimming bushes for visibility, locking front and back doors and first floor windows, and signing up to walk in the Town Watch.


“The perception is that we have our eyes and ears out in this neighborhood so we have been relatively safe,” Stroiman said. “And we want that perception to continue.”


As for the robberies at gunpoint listed above, police recently arrested the man they think was responsible for the August 27 assault on the pizza driver on Mt. Pleasant Street, 14th Police District Captain Winton Singletary said.


A man under suspicion for the August 28 assault on East Mt. Airy Avenue was recently arrested by Abington Township Police and confessed to several crimes in that area, Singletary said. He is also wanted for other crimes in the 14th.


“We have a warrant for him,” Singletary said. “If they don’t lock him up for their jobs, we’re going to take him for ours.”


The 14th Police District offers free home security assessments (also recommended by Stroiman). An officer will visit your home and make point-by-point safety recommendations. Call 215-685-2148 to make appointments.



WMAN Executive Director Siena Ends Productive 5-Year Term


Staff Writer


It’s been almost five years since she took up the job of Interim Executive Director for West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN) and now, in the organization’s 50th Anniversary year, it’s time for Laura Siena to move on to greener pastures.

Well, organic pastures, really.  


“This is kind of a way to honor my father’s memory,” she said of her next move.


That move will be back home to Lundale Farm, the Chester County dairy farm she grew up on. She will be helping her mother and other family members transform it into an organic fruit, vegetable and dairy farm with an educational mission.


But it’s a career move, not a residential one. She’ll keep living in Mt. Airy forever if she has anything to say about it. And it’s not like the type of work will change all that much either, it comes from the same place her work with WMAN did – the heart place.


“I love, love, love this community,” Siena said, outside the High Point Café on Carpenter Lane last week. “We just have really high quality, wonderful people here.”


But for Siena, who characterizes herself as a person with a passion for building things up, it’s just the right time to make a move.


“I came into the job with really clearly defined goals of what I wanted to do and I’ve done them,” Siena said. “And now I feel like it’s somebody else’s turn with new ideas and new strategies.”


And even though she plans to help the organization find that special new someone, it’s hard to imagine Siena not being at the center of happenings in West Mt. Airy. Passersby called out to her at the outdoor café on that warm morning and Mt. Airy resident Christiane Murray approached Siena full of energy for her planned remodel of the historic Keyser House at 6314 Germantown Avenue.


“What do I have to get you?” she asked of the zoning paperwork.


And the two women broke into “zoning-speak” as easily as they were previously talking about current events in the neighborhood.


Siena seems rarely caught off guard by the business of WMAN. Perhaps that’s the mark of how much she has loved her job, but it also seems indicative of the stability she sought to bring to the organization over her tenure there.


“It’s not me, it’s just been this progression,” she said of achieving that particular goal.


Between her predecessors and the WMAN board leadership, Siena thinks the organization has been so effective that much of what she did as executive director was to carry existing trends forward into fuller form. A major goal that all seemed to share over the last five years was to develop WMAN into the main go-to agency for community concerns, Siena said.


To do that, WMAN has beefed up its newsletter, stayed on top of safety alerts, and developed a functional website, which will be improved again this fall. Internally, Siena has focused on strengthening the organization’s policies and committee procedures so that every time concerns like Murray’s come up, there is a clear process to follow.


In addition, with the new part time Community Relations Specialist, Milt Cohen, the Quality of Life Committee has become very effective at addressing residents’ concerns, according to Siena.


“I kind of feel like all this stuff runs pretty well now,” she said.


But the thing that she was most focused on, the thing that now gives her the most confidence in WMAN’s health going forward, lies in her area of expertise - non-profit financing.


Siena was on the WMAN board for 16 years before she took the executive director’s slot, so she was well aware that the organization needed to strengthen itself financially. One of the first things she did was to start an annual giving campaign, coupled with a popular annual fundraiser called Eat Your Heart Out.


For around $85 a plate, participants in this spring event meet at a West Mt. Airy home for cocktails and then split off into smaller parties among 15 or 20 homes for private dinners. There is a choice of cuisines prepared by a guest chef in each of the homes, and the host household usually donates all the expenses. The event sells out every year, Siena said, giving a hearty boost to yearly fundraising.


Siena also garnered funding through the United Way. She secured several grants and she has led the way in developing the organization’s three-year strategic plan. But even if organizational stability is her strength, working with community members and other community groups have provided some of Siena’s favorite moments.


A few years ago, New Covenant Church of Philadelphia wanted to build a 150-bed homeless shelter on the campus it owns at 7500 Germantown Avenue. According to Siena, that effort sparked a contentious debate between community members and the church, which ended with the abandonment of the idea.


“That was like a big, big deal,” she said.


But the best part was what came afterward. Siena decided it was time to strengthen WMAN’s relationship with the church to hopefully avoid future conflicts. So with the help of Phillip Krey, president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), and the East Mt. Airy Neighbors Association (EMAN), she set up a twice-yearly meeting among the organizations and the block captains for all the blocks that surround the New Covenant campus.


Since then relations have gone so smoothly it made her to realize another important aspect of the job.


“A lot of the time you have to judge your work on what doesn’t happen and not what does happen,” she said. “I feel that there are a lot of problems or possible misunderstandings that never happened because of that relationship.”


Indeed, Siena said, it is the close organizational relationships among WMAN, EMAN, LTSP, Mt. Airy USA (where WMAN has its office), and any number of other local groups that has made much of WMAN’s work so effective.


A perfect example is the Local Nuisance Business Task Force, which was created several years ago through the 8th District Council Office. The task force meets quarterly with groups like WMAN and EMAN. It includes representatives from City Council, the Department of Licenses and Inspections, the State Liquor Control Board, the District Attorney’s Office and the City Managing Director’s Office.


Through the task force WMAN and EMAN have been able to curb the practices of several businesses, including an East Mt. Airy sandwich shop that was suspected of selling drugs, Siena said.


If she’s sad to leave all of this behind, it doesn’t show through just yet. Perhaps it’s because she plans to stay involved, possibly hosting one of the next Eat Your Heart Out dinners. And it might also be because she feels so good about where the organization is.


“I’m really excited when I look back because it’s such a great community and it deserves a strong organization, and I feel like we’ve gotten there,” she said.



“Reasonable Recipes #5: Mussels with White Wine Sauce”


By Daniel Jefferson

and Pat O’Donnell


In these times of fiscal uncertainty, good food can be a most comforting pastime. Many feel they cannot afford to eat out, but it is possible to prepare and serve extraordinary food at home. In this column, Chef Pat O’Donnell of Germantown’s Urban Café provides tasty, nutritious recipes and practical cooking advice so that one can prepare and serve gourmet meals with a pauper’s pocketbook right at home with minimal effort. In addition, Chef Pat will answer any questions submitted about food and cooking.


Hi! I hope that everybody enjoyed their summer, and I’ve been gratified at the response to these recipe articles. As we enter autumn we look forward to the bounty of the harvest, and the many recipes it evokes.


Now it’s time to talk about herbs and alcohol. Most people are very familiar with parsley, basil, and oregano as they are used in so many of our favorite Italian dishes, from pizza to spaghetti and meatballs. These are the herbs we take for granted.  We’ve been eating them without any thought since we were kids.


But when you start to cook for a living, something that separates professional cookery from home cooking is the use of fresh herbs and alcohol.  I remember the first day I started a job, and going into the kitchen and seeing bottles of various alcohols on the counter, and thinking to myself, “How do you know which one to use?”  Five years later, I got a job in a cutting-edge restaurant and the chef told me to go down to the walk-in refrigerator and bring up a case of basil.  I came back to inform him that we were out, but he assured me that we weren’t. The only fresh herb I had ever worked with was parsley, and that was for a garnish.


After he opened a case of fresh basil and showed it to me, it was the “kid at Christmas” feeling.  He pulled down case after case of fresh herbs that I had never seen before.  That was a long time ago and today, we take a lot of things for granted, as most supermarkets carry fresh herbs.


Hopefully, I will sway you to start using herbs and alcohol to enhance your cooking.


The most-used alcohol in the kitchen is wine. We buy it by the jug and for less than $15 you can find something that will produce many a meal.  My favorite is Carlo Rossi Chablis; this is a very mild-flavored wine but sparks a recipe and blends well with most herbs. 


When cooking, the main ingredient should be the star of the plate. You want to slowly add layers of flavor to enhance your dish.  The technique to using these extra ingredients is in adding them last to make your sauce. 


I love cooking with fresh garlic and shallots, as these build the first layer of flavor. I use them in most sautéed dishes.  When doing a pan sauce, you add these two ingredients first to release the flavor, and then your fresh herbs as they only need a second to cook.  This is where the art of cooking comes in: you learn to add a little at a time, because you can always add more but never take something out. When you see the brightness of the herbs, add enough wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan as this will bring all the flavors together.


Today, we have a wealth of ingredients from which to choose, and some of the freshest are available locally.  I hope you’re getting out there and using what’s available to you. In this season in the Northwest, fresh and locally grown herbs are available daily at Weaver’s Way Co-op, at Greene Street and Carpenter Lane; at Wyck at Germantown Avenue and Walnut Lane, on Fridays from 2-6 p.m.; and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grumblethorpe on the 5200 block of Germantown Avenue. Supporting local, sustainable production is important, and a practice of the Urban Café. It takes much effort to grow all these wonderful foodstuffs, and to cook with them is the completion of the equation. Consider this analogy: “Cooking is to gardening as parenting is to birthing.”


Today’s recipe is one of the easiest to practice when learning these techniques: mussels with a white wine sauce.  Most supermarkets stock mussels and the prices are fairly reasonable.  When buying mussels, make sure they are closed tight as this indicates that they are alive and fresh.  Think about visiting some local gardens to see if you can buy fresh garlic, shallots, basil, oregano, and parsley, as ingredients from the garden to the table give you the most flavors.


Like most chefs I don’t follow strict recipes. Cooking is an art and you learn to be guided by taste.  The time of year can change what you’re making, so taste as you go, and learn to season a few times throughout the preparation of the dish.


Mussels with white wine sauce

You will need:

1 bag of mussels (about two dozen)

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 large pinch of parsley, basil, and oregano

1 large pinch of red pepper seed

White wine

Olive oil

Make sure to start with a hot pan coated with just a little olive oil.  You also want to use a pan large enough to hold all the mussels and be able to cover them with a lid.

1.) Pour olive oil into pan to just cover the bottom, and heat.

2.) Remove pan from heat and add rinsed mussels.  (Carefully, as the hot oil and water from the mussels will splatter.  Try tilting the pan away from you as you add the mussels.)

3.) Return to heat and add garlic and shallots and stir.

4.) Add your herbs and stir.

5.) Slowly add the white wine till it is about a half inch high in the bottom of the pan.

6.) Cover the mussels and let cook for a minute then stir.

7.) Mussels are done when they open; this should take less then 2 or 3 minutes.

8.) If you like mussels red, you can use a little less wine, and add your favorite red sauce here and cook another minute.

9.) Serve the mussels in a bowl and top with some more chopped parsley.  Enjoy!


I hope you enjoy the dish, but if you’re not sure and want to try it, feel free to come to the Urban Café. Also, please feel free to write me at The Urban Café, 5815 Wayne Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19144, or e-mail to newspaperrecipes@urbancafe5815.com

Bon Appetit!


This article is part of a regular series that is presented by Chef Pat of the Urban Café, and Dan Jefferson, author of “Dining Out in Desperate Times, a Guide to Affordable Eating.”



‘Night Watch’ at Stagecrafters


Among the cast: Pierlisa Chiodo-Steo of Chestnut Hill and Bob O’Neil of Manayunk. Photo by Sara Stewart.


The 2009-2010 season at The Stagecrafters opens Friday, September 18 as the players take the stage to perform the mystery-thriller Night Watch, by Lucille Fletcher. It’s the story of a woman who, pacing about during one sleepless night, notices from the window of her luxurious Manhattan apartment something decidedly disturbing in a room across the way. As seeming illusion melds with existing reality, she is confronted by family, friends, and the authorities.  The plot inescapably thickens, and the atmosphere of menace and suspense builds to a chilling climax.


Fletcher (1912 - 2000), an accomplished author, playwright, and screenwriter, enjoyed a lifelong writing career, developing a well-earned reputation as mistress of suspense and intrigue. Among her dramatic works, one of the best known is the taut chiller Sorry, Wrong Number (1943), a radio play which Fletcher adapted in 1948 to create the iconic film starring Barbara Stanwyck. Night Watch opened on Broadway in 1972 to rave notices, enjoyed an extended run, and has seen regular revivals throughout the nearly four decades since it was written.


Performance dates are September 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 and October 1, 2, 3 at 8 p.m.; September 20 and 27 at 2 p.m. (There will be no performance on Sunday, October 4).  Tickets are priced at $15. Thursday evening performances are 2 for $20.  Students with valid ID get $2 off general admission.  Groups of 15 or more are offered a reduced rate of $12 a ticket.  Subscriptions are available for the entire season at $65 for all five productions and may be purchased online, by mail using the form in this season’s brochure, or at the box office when attending a show in the current production (includes that show in the package). The box office opens 45 minutes before each performance.  For information call 215-247-8881; for reservations call 215-247-9913.  The theater is located in the heart of Chestnut Hill at 8130 Germantown Avenue.  Visit   www.thestagecrafters.org for details. 


Special note:  A “Meet the Cast and Director” Q & A session will be held following the performance on Friday, September 25.  All attendees that evening are welcome. 



GHS Hosts First Partnership Meeting


Marc Stier (right), state director for Healthcare America Now, presented his views on the healthcare reform bill being debated in Congress.


By PATRICK COBBS

Staff Writer


On Friday, September 4, Germantown High School hosted the first meeting of the Parent, School Community Partnership, a networking group aimed at sharing resources that connect schools and community throughout the city. A topic of particular interest at the meeting was Supplemental Educational Services (SES), a free private tutoring option that income-eligible Germantown High School students can take advantage of this school year.


“It’s supposed to give children who need it academically, whose parents might be struggling financially, extra school support,” explained Thomas Dunn, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) District liaison.


As part of the federal NCLB legislation passed in 2002, SES comes into play when a public school fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards on standardized test scores for three years in a row. Last year was Germantown’s third straight year not making AYP.

SES provides funding to families who receive state Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) assistance but there are some quirks to the program, Dunn said. The first is that the state Board of Education has not released the final determination for AYP results for Philadelphia Schools because the school district has appealed the initial AYP determinations made in the spring, according to Dunn.


Though it may seem unlikely that Germantown’s AYP status will change considering it missed all but three of 17 benchmarks, Dunn stressed that the state would make no official movement on the Germantown SES option until that appeal is settled sometime this fall.

Because of this, tutoring through SES begins in November and runs through March.


Dunn also noted that tutoring was only paid for through state-approved providers, and that Germantown High School parents who receive TANF will be sent a list of those providers as soon as the district’s appeal is resolved. That means they will have about one month to select their top three choices and approach those providers in person to enroll their child.


According to Dunn, students do not need to be struggling academically to take advantage of the tutoring. SES will stay in effect one year after Germantown next makes Adequate Yearly Progress.


Another quirk of the program, according to Dunn, is that parents who want to take advantage of the service should do their homework to make sure the providers know their stuff.


“Even tutoring companies that get their proposals stamped and approved, they don’t always provide what they say they’re going to provide,” Dunn said; part of his job is to check up on them.


Germantown’s “school improvement” status, which was brought on by missing AYP, means parents also have the option of transferring their students to any other comprehensive high school that may be doing better. But there is a quirk to this option too.

“Here’s the problem,” Dunn said. “There are usually only one or two comprehensive high schools not in school improvement. Last year, there were none.”


The second speaker at the meeting was the State Director for Healthcare America Now, Mt. Airy resident Marc Stier. He gave his take on the controversial healthcare reform bill being debated in Congress, and several meeting-goers asked questions about the likely fate of the bill and the overall impact is was likely to have on them personally.


It was just this kind of back-and-fourth forum that Parent, School Community Partnership founder, Germantown resident Alicia Dorsey, envisioned when she started pulling the grassroots organization together one month ago. She wanted to provide some way for community groups in different lines of work to coordinate their efforts and their strategies so there would be less duplicated work.


“I go to a lot of different meetings with a lot of different groups,” Dorsey said. “Some of us are doing the exact same thing as the next group.”


For more information about the Parent, School Community Partnership call 267-650-0306.



Zoning Hearings


The following hearings will be held next week at the Zoning Board of Adjustments, 1515 Arch Street, on the 18th floor. All information is according to the Community Alerting Service of the Housing Association of Delaware Valley.


Wednesday, September 16, 4 p.m.: 8401 Germantown Avenue, three zoning permits for the demolition of a one-story rear portion of an existing three-story structure for the erection of a one-story addition with a roof deck above for the erection of a three-story addition with a roof deck with a roof at the third story for the erection of a second story roof deck and for the erection of a 9-foot-high fence wall, all for use as a two-family dwelling (not interconnected by common corridor), vacant commercial space and for two interior of-street parking spaces. Zoned R-5 residential, C-2 commercial.


Wednesday, September 16, 2 p.m.:  5301 Chew Avenue, one use and one zoning permit for the erection of one double-sided internally illuminated free-standing sign (20 feet high) with one panel sign for grocery store (Fresh Grocer, corner of Church Lane and Chew Avenue) as part of an existing shopping center. Also permit for the erection of five flatwall signs accessory to existing retail grocery store on building “A” as part of an existing shopping center with retail stores as permitted in area shopping center with drive through in building “B,” retail drug store with drive through in building “C,” and bank with drive-through in building “D.” Zoned R-3 residential.


Wednesday, September 16, 4 p.m.: 5211 Wayne Avenue, one use permit for two-family dwelling in an existing structure. Zoned R-5 residential.



Beatlemania at Hideaway Music


The Beatles are back – in a big way!


On Wednesday, September 9, Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music will release the original Beatles catalogue on CD, digitally re-mastered for the very first time. The collection includes all 12 Beatle albums as originally released in the UK in addition to two box sets. That’s the same day the anticipated “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game will be out.  Hideaway Music, 8612 Germantown Avenue, celebrates the event with Beatlemania on Saturday, September 12.


To promote the event, Hideaway Music has teamed up with 102.9 MGK Classic Rock. MGK will highlight Hideaway Music as the place to purchase The Beatles CDs with an in-store appearance by the station’s well-known Beatles expert, Andre Gardner. Andre and the WMGK Classic Rock Squad will make a two-hour appearance from 1 – 3 p.m. Hideaway Music will feature special pricing on all new Beatles releases, new and vintage vinyl Beatle’s LPs, Beatles DVDs and memorabilia.


Featured will be a display of rare Beatles collectibles and memorabilia. Items include: the famous banned “Butcher Cover,” depicting the Beatles covered with pieces of meat and baby dolls’ heads; super-rare Beatles poster promoting Candlestick Park concert, valued at over $15,000; original Beatles “Flip Your Wig” board game; Beatles trading cards; Playboy Magazine’s 1964 interview; Life and Look magazine articles from the Sixties; Mad Magazine cover from the Sixties; original fan magazines and concert tour books from 1964, 1965 and 1966; original Beatles dolls, Beatles lunch boxes, Beatles wigs, buttons, record cases and more. Also on display and sale will be a large collection of unique museum-quality framed and unframed Beatles posters.


For information contact Brian Reisman at 215-248-4434 or hideawaymusic@gmail.com.


BuildaBridge Remembers 9/11


In tribute to the sacrifices made by the heroes of September 11, 2001 and in recognition of the nation’s first official Sept. 11 Day of Service and Remembrance, BuildaBridge International will host youth volunteers from City Year on Friday, September 11, from 2-6 p.m. at the BuildaBridge International House, 205 West Tulpehocken Street.


The effort responds to BuildaBridge’s on-going efforts to provide a safe place for long-term mentoring of children in the community. For the past four years Buildabridge has been working on renovations and a proposal for a children’s art center located at the Buildabridge mansion at 205 West Tulpehocken Street. BuildaBridge and its facilities are part of the community it serves, and BuildaBridge is committed to the rejuvenation of the historic Germantown community.


The 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance project is aimed at contributing to the rejuvenation of the historic Germantown community and towards creation of the children’s art center. City Year volunteers will bring their hands, hearts and tools to landscape, paint and clean the block.

BuildaBridge uses the arts to help people in difficult situations all over the world heal from trauma and find hope for their future. BuildaBridge is proud to honor President Obama’s national call to service by partnering with City Year, a citizen service movement uniting young people of all backgrounds for a year of community service.


For more information visit  www.buildabridge.org and www.Serve.gov.




The Speakers Bureau of the Friends of the Wissahickon offers 12 free presentations to local organizations and retirement communities on such topics as ecology, history, geology, and images of the Wissahickon. Presentations currently available are Postcards from the Wissahickon, presented by David Bower, Volunteer Coordinator for Fairmount Park; A Poem Which Has Long Endured: The Walnut Lane Bridge at 100, presented by David Young, Executive Director of Cliveden of the National Trust; Protecting Land with Conservation Easements, presented by Debra Wolf Goldstein, a member of Philadelphia’s newly-created Commission on Parks and Recreation and is the president of Conservation Matters, LLC; A History of Horses in the Wissahickon, presented by Barbara Sherf, a communications professional and member of the Philadelphia Saddle Club out of Monastery Stable;Birds of the Wissahickon, presented by Steve Lawrence, FOW Board Member and Co-Chair of Wildlife Committee; Art Inspired by the Wissahickon, presented by Dena Sher, founder of the Whitemarsh Art Center and an FOW Board Member; and Stewardship Challenges in the Wissahickon, presented by Sarah West, author of Rediscovering the Wissahickon (1993).


In addition, West offers the “Story in Wissahickon Rocks” and four different “Then and Now” PowerPoint programs of  historic photos of the Wissahickon compared with current views of the same location: The 200 Year Industrial Era; Wissahickon Homesteads; Wissahickon Roads, Paths, and Bridges; and The Wissahickon Road House Era (1840-1916).


Complete descriptions of the presentations offered through the Speakers Bureau can be found on FOW website fow.org/speakersbureau.php. To schedule a speaker contact Audrey Simpson at the FOW office at 215-247-0417 or office@fow.org.




Nine New Teachers Join Greene Street Friends Faculty


New faculty at GSFS include (left to right) Matthew Caliguire, Tai Amri Spann-Wilson, Martin Foley, Lori Sinitzky, Nwaka Fletcher-Perry, Francesca Cerabino, Liz Silbaugh, Jane White and Michelle Cost.


Greene Street Friends School welcomes nine new faculty members for the 2009-2010 year. Five of them are also joining the Greene Street Friends community as parents. Greene Street Friends School is a coeducational Quaker day school for Grades Pre-K through 8 in Germantown.


For more information, visit the GSFS website, greenestreetfriends.org, or call 215-438-7000.


Matthew Caliguire will be a fourth grade teaching assistant. He earned an undergraduate degree from Messiah College in history with an emphasis on environmental history and has completed the requirements for his Pennsylvania Teaching Certification. Matt has spent several summers in Cold Spring, NY working with youth and adult groups as an environmental educator for the Constitution Marsh Center; he also runs programs for urban youth there.


Tai Amri Spann-Wilson will be a first grade teaching assistant. He earned his bachelor’s degree in writing and poetics from Naropa University, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in theology. Most of his work experience has focused on social change for organizations like American Friends Service Committee, Pendle Hill, and church organizations. He is a trained facilitator in the Help Increase the Peace Project.


Martin Foley will be teaching seventh and eighth grade language arts and social studies. He holds a master’s of education degree from Temple University in the psychology of reading, is a Pennsylvania-certified reading specialist in Grades K-12, and earned a bachelor’s in communications from Fordham University. Marty has over 15 years of teaching experience in self-contained classrooms as well as departmentalized middle school classes like social studies, language arts, and study skills.


Lori Sinitzky will be a first grade lead teacher. Her undergraduate degree is from the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia and she is pursuing a master of arts degree in elementary education from Villanova. Lori taught second grade for six years at Friends School of Mullica Hill in New Jersey. She has taught Everyday Math and has extensive training and experience with the Fountas and Pinnell literacy assessment system as well as balanced literacy.


Nwaka Fletcher-Perry will be a third grade lead teacher. She recently completed her master’s degree in elementary education from Chestnut Hill College and has been teaching at Germantown Friends for the past two years in a multi-age classroom for fourth and fifth graders. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in journalism, with a minor in Spanish. She has experience with Everyday Math and balanced literacy, and places a premium on student-teacher relationships.


Francesca Cerabino will be an interim first grade lead teacher. She completed her undergraduate degree in elementary education at Brooklyn College and earned her master’s from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. She is a certified reading specialist and elementary educator. She has seven years of classroom teaching experience in both the first and third grades.


Liz Silbaugh joined Greene Street mid-year last year as the teaching assistant in the 3/4 multi-age class. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and taught high school literature in Denver, Colorado. This year she will be a first grade teaching assistant.


Jane White also joined Greene Street mid-year last year as the fourth grade lead teacher, a position she will continue to hold. She has a master’s degree in elementary education from Arcadia University and an undergraduate degree in communications from Towson State University. She taught for 5 years at the School in Rose Valley.


Michelle Cost will be a Pre-K teaching assistant. Michelle has a master’s degree in elementary education from Arcadia University, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Lincoln University. Michelle worked as a therapeutic support staffer through Chester County Educational Services. A few years ago, she started her own day care program on weekends which she still runs today. Michelle also has experience as a third grade classroom teacher and a social worker.



MALT Cover Photo Contest


Mt. Airy Learning Tree and the Photo Workshop are pleased to present the Cover and 2010 Calendar Photo Contest.


Imagine your photograph on the front cover of MALT’s 2010 catalogues or in the Photo Workshop’s 2010 calendar. If you have a beloved MALT class, local building, garden, person, or scene, get out your camera and start clicking. 


Judging will be done by Nick Kelsch, Nicki Toizer and Ron  Tarver. The closing date for entries is November 16. You may view submissions and vote on your favorites starting in October either in the store at 8011 Germantown Avenue or on line at www.thephotoworkshop.net/MALTcalendar.html.


Reserve your calendars now $14.95 each. Order 25 or more for $9.95 each.


A percentage of each calendar sale will go towards the MALT Building Fund.


Remember to shoot verticals for MALT covers.


Contact MALT at 215-843-6333 if you would like to photograph a class.



High Holiday Gatherings at P’Nai Or


By TOBIE HOFFMAN

Guest Writer


This fall, in Summit Church’s Fellowship Hall, a High Holiday gathering unlike anything you may have ever experienced will unfold again, as P’nai Or – the Mt. Airy Jewish renewal congregation whose name means “Faces of Light” – offers High Holiday services of a different stripe to seekers of all backgrounds.


“The High Holidays at P’nai Or are Jewish renewal at its best,” said Rabbi Marcia Prager who has been co-leading these festive gatherings along with many talented P’nai Or members, for fifteen years. “We blend traditional liturgy with uplifting heart-opening poetic translations so that Hebrew and English prayers flow intertwined with each other. The music is profound – deep, high and sweet in a way that caresses your soul. And of course, everyone is included. There is passionate prayer, quiet meditation, opportunities to reflect and do some pretty deep inner work, and also time to share, to be creative and even make some new friends.”


P’nai Or High Holidays are a great introduction to the themes of this season in the Jewish year, and to different styles and approaches to these themes that can make them even more powerful and personally relevant.


The themes of celebrating life and re-aligning with the Power that promotes goodness are strong currents at these gatherings.  The High Holidays invite us to work together for forgiveness, compassion, and shalom – which means wholeness, fulfillment and perfection, as well as peace. All the songs, all the prayers and all the inner work we do helps us heal our inner hurts and rededicate ourselves to be the best we can be, internally, in our relationships, and in the world.


Would you like to come? We would love to meet you! Because the sustainability of the P’nai Or community is dependent on dues and contributions, there is a suggested donation for attending. However, if this is your first experience with P’nai Or we invite you to make the donation that feels right to you. No one is ever turned away from a P’nai Or gathering for financial reasons. You can find lots of information on our website, www.pnaior-phila.org, or by e-mailing to pnaiorrabbi@aol.com.


 The New Year Gatherings for Rosh HaShana will be held Friday evening, Sept.18, 6-7:30 p.m., in a short, family-friendly gathering, apples and honey too; Saturday, Sept.19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Sunday, September 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. A vegetarian potluck lunch follows each afternoon service.


Yom Kippur gatherings include: evening gathering for Kol Nidre, Sunday, Sept. 27,  6-9 p.m.; our all-day gathering for Yom Kippur day,  Monday, Sept. 28,  10 a.m. – 8 p.m. A vegetarian potluck “break-the-fast” follows.


 Summit Church is at Greene and Westview streets. Services are in Fellowship Hall. Come in through the Greene Street entrance and up the stairs. We look forward to meeting you.



Church Historian at Reformation Lutheran


Rev. Dr. Henry H. Mitchell, renowned professor of religion, widely-read author and eminent historian of the black church, will be the Speaker at the 22nd Annual Men’s Day Celebration at Reformation Lutheran Church, 1215 East Vernon Road, on Sunday, September 13 at 10 a.m.

Dr. Mitchell holds earned degrees from Lincoln University (B.A.), Union Theological Seminary (B.D., M. Div), California State University at Fresno (M.A. Linguistics), and Claremont School of Theology (Th.D., Black Church History and Theology).  Ordained in the American Baptist Church, Dr. Mitchell has had a long and distinguished career and has served congregations in New York and California. With his late wife, Rev. Dr. Ella Pearson Mitchell, he team taught Homiletics at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta from 1988 to 2000.  During that time, they co-mentored 10 years in the D. Min Program at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.


Dr. Mitchell has authored several books including Black Preaching, The Recovery of Preaching, based on his 1974 Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale,  and Celebration and Experience in Preaching, designated by the American Academy of Parish Clergy as one of the top ten clergy books of 1991. He released Black Church Beginnings, a church history text.


Prior to his semi-retirement, Dr. Mitchell served as Academic Dean and Professor of History and Homiletics at Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University (1982-1987).  He went there after serving as Founding Director of the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies in Los Angeles and, briefly, as Professor of Religion and Pan African Students at California State University at Northridge. He was named in 1966 as the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Black Church Studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and later appointed Professor Emeritus there in 1992. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Mitchell lives and writes in Atlanta, Georgia and speaks nationwide and internationally.


The public is cordially invited.  For information, please call Reformation Lutheran Church at (215)548-4332.




The 2009 Fall Revival of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown kicks off with its “Don’t Come Alone – Bring Your Family And Friends“ morning worship service  Sunday, September 13 at 10:30 a.m. This year’s theme is “It’s Time To Pray and Praise.” Speakers include Sunday September 13, 10:30 a.m., Rev. Dr. Robert A. Emberger, Whosoever Gospel Mission; 4  p.m., Rev. James Edlow, Faith Memorial Baptist Church; Monday, September 14, 7 p.m., Rev. Julius Renwick, Mount Ephraim Baptist Church; Tuesday, September 15, 7 p.m., Rev. G. Edward Griffith, Gibson Temple Baptist Church; Wednesday, September 16, 7 p.m.,  Rev. James A. McGruder, Faith Immanuel Baptist Church; Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m.,  Rev. Dr. James S. Allen, Vine Memorial Baptist Church.   For information call 215-844-7614.




Annual Rummage Sale at St. Paul’s


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill is in the final phases of collection, sorting and organizing for its annual rummage sale to be held this year on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. 


The Rummage Sale event features a Friday evening pre-sale party as well as the traditional sale on Saturday.  On Friday, September 11, beginning at 6 p.m., one can peruse and buy the items in all departments.  Selected departments charge a 20 percent mark-up on each sale.  Admission at the door is $10.


On Saturday, September 12, St. Paul’s opens its doors to the community at 9 a.m. There is a nominal admission fee of $2, payable at the entrance to St. Paul’s Parish Hall at 22 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, which allows members of the community access to the following departments:

Art, Antiques and Collectibles; bargain women’s clothing; books, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer games; boutique featuring new-in-box or gently used items; children’s clothing and toys; French Room featuring upscale women’s clothing, shoes and accessories; Holiday Room featuring seasonal decorations for Christmas, Halloween, and holidays in between; jewelry; linens; men’s clothing, shoes and accessories;  housewares, large and small electronics, furniture, and rugs; plants; snack bar; sporting goods; sweaters, hats and bags.


In 2008, St. Paul’s distributed approximately $35,000 in outreach grants from the net proceeds from the sale to non-profit organizations providing services to vulnerable populations such as the hungry and the homeless, children, women, the elderly, and those in need of medical care.  The proceeds from this year’s sale will assist organizations whose missions serve the causes of hunger and housing.


Additionally, St. Paul’s ensures that the sale leftovers are distributed to other organizations which use the goods to further their missions.  Past recipients include the Chestnut Hill Senior Center, Whosoever Gospel Mission, Liberty Thrift Stores, The Career Wardrobe, Teen Challenge International and the Seaman’s Institute.


Parking will be available this year in the lot of Our Mother of Consolation (OMC) located on Norwood Avenue.  For more details, contact the church office at 215-242-2055. 



Choral Scholars Activities at FUMCOG


First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) will hold its annual Hymn-a-thon fundraiser on Saturday, October 17 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the church, 6001 Germantown Avenue. The Hymn-a-thon invites the community to come sing favorite hymns, learn some new ones, and listen to inspired improvisations played by renowned organist Kevin O’Malia on the church’s organ.


Admission is free but pledges will be taken at the door for favorite hymn requests. An inexpensive lunch will be available.


Proceeds from this event will help to sponsor FUMCOG”S concert series and endow a Choral Scholars Program. The program will partner with area high schols to give juniors and seniors an opportunity to apprentice with FUMCOG’s music ministry. Students selected as scholars will have the opportunity to earn up to $1,000 during the church year while singing with the choirs and in the concert series. They will also have the opportunity to be soloists and sing with professionals.


Auditions for two Choral Scholars positions will be held Sunday, September 27 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Interested students can call the church at 215-438-3677 for an audition appointment.



Food-Related Films at Flickering Light


“Weighty Propositions: A Collection of Short Films About Bodies, Fatness and Food,” co-curated with Naima Lowe, will be shown Saturday Sept. 12, 7 p.m., at the Sedgwick Center,  7137 Germantown Avenue. Admission is $5.


This screening will open with a special surprise short performance by Naima Lowe and Alexis McCrimmon that pays dubious homage to ‘80s fitness zealot Richard Simmons.


Films include:

“Tabernacle,” by Tony Gault, 10 minutes.  “Tabernacle” explores the tensions between scientific/religious representations of the body and the simple act of living in and sharing it.


“Foodie,” by Allyson Mitchell and Fiona Smyth, 15 minutes.  “Foodie” is all emotion, all merchandise, all pressure and all pleasure.  Foodie moves through worlds that are  hungry and stuffed  cozy and mean cocooned and exposed.  Watch Foodie try to live forever with too much choice in this wonderous film that combines a variety of animation techniques.


“Prey,” by Kate Ross. 3 minutes. A performative take on eating and indulgence.


“What if the World Loved Cellulite,” by Kelley Spivey. 3 minutes. Stop-motion animation that reveals Barbie’s desires in a world where cellulite was loved.


“Fat Femme Mafia,” by Liz Brockest and Chelsey Lichtman. 10 minutes. Canadian performance troupe and activitists Fat Femme Mafia share a day in the park.


“Cupcake,” by Allyson Mitchell. 3 minutes. Cupcake is girl as chubby eye candy. She takes us on a quest for the perfect dessert. She is proof that eating is sexy. Cupcake talks without shame about desserts that she loves.


“The Fattest Day of Summer,” by Becka Gorelick, Eileen Carlin, and Sarah Jamison. 3 minutes. A “Flesh Mob” takes the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, Rocky style.


“Fat Dinosity,” by Erin Remick. 4 minutes. Join Erin and her friends Sebastian the dinosaur and Pangea the cat as Erin shares a secret.


Info at  flickeringfilms.com.



House Care Workshops at Rittenhousetown


The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is pleased to announce its fall series of free workshops for owners, and aspiring owners of older and historic homes. Historic preservation professionals share their expert knowledge and demonstrate the best ways to restore and maintain older and historic homes, with topics ranging from how to make an old house energy efficient, to repairing windows and porches, to maintaining flat roofs.  


These popular programs are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are required.  For reservations or more information, call Patrick Hauck, director of Neighborhood Preservation Programs, at 215-546-1146 ext. 4 or email to patrick@preservationalliance.com.


“Hands On” demonstration workshops will be held at  Historic Rittenhousetown, 206 Lincoln Drive. They include: Thursday, Sept.10, 6:30 p.m., Historic Porch Repairs; Thursday, Sept.17, 6:30 p.m., Masonry Repairs; Thursday, Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m., Window Restoration; Thursday, Oct.1, 6:30 p.m., Interior Plaster.


The workshops are presented by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, in collaboration with the Historical Society of Tacony, Tacony Civic Association, Tacony Community Development Corporation, Historic Germantown, Historic RittenhouseTown, The Germantown Historical Society, and the The Chestnut Hill Historical Society.



Tour Historic Tulpehocken District


Meet the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s neighbors on Saturday, September 19, 10 a.m. to noon. The Tulpehocken Station Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of America’s first railroad suburbs.  Join architect Sandra Radich for an excursion through the neighborhood.  Participants will be introduced to six lovely Victorian mansions with a secret peek inside one stunning home on Greene Street.  The morning will be capped off by a docent-led tour of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion complete with luscious dessert and lemonade in the Victorian style. 


The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is Philadelphia’s only authentically restored Victorian house museum and garden and is the centerpiece of the Tulpehocken Station Historic District.  The tour begins at the Mansion, 200 West Tulpehocken Street, promptly at 10 a.m., rain or shine.  Wear comfortable shoes for this walking tour of the neighborhood.


The cost is  $20 per person. Children 12 and over are welcome. Reservations are required. Visa and Master Card are accepted. Call Diane at 215-438-1861 for reservations and details.



Enter Now for Morris Scarecrow Contest


Unleash your creativity and enter the Morris Arboretum’s 2nd Annual Scarecrow Design Contest. All entries will be displayed along the Arboretum’s Scarecrow Walk at the Oak Allée from October 3 through October 18.


The ‘People’s Choice’ winning scarecrow designer will win a grand prize of $200, an Arboretum membership, and Arboretum dollars toward one free Continuing Education course (up to $50).


Scarecrows will leave the Morris Arboretum (with their designers) in plenty of time to be displayed at home for Halloween.  Scarecrow frames and hay are provided and available for pick up at the Arboretum September 19 -20. Details and downloadable contest entry forms are available. online at www.morrisarboretum.org or call Marie Mercaldo at 215-247-5777 x181.


The contest is limited to 30 participants so get your registration in early, the spots are going fast. All entries must be received by Friday, September 18. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in Chestnut Hill. 



Mums for Sale in the Park

Once again, Friends of Vernon Park is having a chrysanthemum sale.  It will be held on Friday, October 2 in Center in the Park between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m..  Large plants will be $5 and small ones will be $4.  Plants may also be purchased on line from SueMFinch@aol.com.


For further information please call Sue Finch at 215-843-5007 or Mary Wood at 267-265-6620.


Pomona to Meet

Pomona Cherokee Civic Council (PCCC) will meet at 25 West Johnson Street on  Tuesday, September 15, at 7 p.m. For more information call Mrs. Ethel Forrest at 215-991-6513 or email pomonacherokee@hotmail.com.


Hair Workshop at One Salon

One Salon and Blackbone Gallery will be co-hosting an exciting event featuring Philly’s own hair guru, Nathan Anthony Bleu. Bleu is a Sassoon-trained stylist who specializes in multicultural hair.


He has been featured in major industry publications and is a research developer for product companies such as Toni and Guy, and Paul Mitchell.  Bleu’s goal through this workshop is to inspire multicultural youth to take proper care of their hair at home, understand products and chemicals for specific hair types, and mostly to gain confidence through education.


The event will be held at One Salon, 7119 Germantown Avenue. The $15 event charge includes a fabulous gift bag of hair products. RSVP to One Salon at 215-242-0113 or Blackbone Gallery at 215-242-2299.


Health Fair at Cedar Park Presby

A free community health fair will be held on Saturday, September 19, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Cedar Park Presbyterian Church, Limekiln Pike and Upsal Street. It will feature  blood sugar testing, blood pressure screening, carotid artery testing, breast cancer information, information on health issues for men, women and teens, and much more.


Fox Chase Cancer Center will offer a free prostate screening. For more information call 215-549-9775.



Back to the Germantown Newspapers Home Page

 

NW Schools on State’s ‘Dangerous Schools’ List


‘Plant Pixie’ Sheila Eddy Brings Blooms to Germantown


New Media Reopens Without Complying with SRC Conditions


Launch Event for DePaul House


Workshop on Saving at Coleman Library


Cleanup at Happy Hollow 


Germantown High ’74 Reunion


Hansberry Flea Market


Town Watch Stresses Need for More Anti-Crime Vigilance


WMAN Executive Director Siena Ends Productive 5-Year Term


“Reasonable Recipes #5: Mussels with White Wine Sauce”


‘Night Watch’ at Stagecrafters


GHS Hosts First Partnership Meeting


Zoning Hearings


Beatlemania at Hideaway Music


BuildaBridge Remembers 9/11


The Speakers Bureau of the Friends of the Wissahickon


Nine New Teachers Join Greene Street Friends Faculty


MALT Cover Photo Contest


High Holiday Gatherings at P’Nai Or


Church Historian at Reformation Lutheran


The 2009 Fall Revival of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown


Annual Rummage Sale at St. Paul’s


Choral Scholars Activities at FUMCOG


Food-Related Films at Flickering Light


House Care Workshops at Rittenhousetown


Tour Historic Tulpehocken District



Enter Now for Morris Scarecrow Contest


Mums for Sale in the Park


Pomona to Meet


Hair Workshop at One Salon


Health Fair at Cedar Park Presby

From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

September 10, 2009