From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

October 28, 2010 • GC.102810.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. Residents Get a Voice at Settlement Bankruptcy

  2. Cliveden Seeks Continued Community Dialog

  3. The Therapist Is In: To Combat Worry, Learn How to Breathe

  4. GGBA to Discuss Marketing Strategies

  5. November Police Service Area (PSA) meetings in the 14th District will be as follows:

  6. Lack of Timely Hitting, Thin Relief Corps Doom Phillies

  7. Business Start-Up Workshop

  8. Spooky Stories at Stagecrafters

  9. Mt. Airy Halloween Parade

  10. Anniversary Concerts at Christ Ascension

  11. Halloween at St. Michael’s

  12. 2nd Baptist Bazaar

  13. Departed Remembered at UU

  14. St. Luke’s Begins 200th Anniversary

  15. Obituary: John Graves

  16. Dance, Poetry and Jewelry Events at CHCE

  17. Meet Mural Arts Head

  18. ‘B.Y.O. Bikes’

  19. Fair Trade Event at Chestnut Hill College

  20. Bagged Leaf Collection Only

  21. Greenworks Discussed at Weavers Way Meeting

  22. Learn About City’s Hidden Waterways

  23. Peltier Discussion

  24. ‘Dine for Dignity’

  25. Diversity Workshop

Residents Get a Voice at Settlement Bankruptcy



Guest Writers

Something unusual happened at the federal bankruptcy hearing on Thursday, October 21 for Germantown Settlement, a social services and housing non-profit that has been awarded over $100 million dollars over the past 25 years in grant money. Community members as well as creditors, debtors, and attorneys had a chance to let their voice be heard in court.

Over a dozen residents came to the hearing, where Settlement’s plan of reorganization was supposed to be discussed. However, the plan had been formally withdrawn just a day before. Irv Ackelsberg, a pro bono lawyer for the community, was the first local resident to speak up.

“Many of us can surmise the day we can say Germantown Settlement is over,” he said. “The people and the institutions and businesses of Germantown have suffered.”

Ackelsberg requested that residents be permitted to be heard and the opportunity to question if another plan is presented by the bankrupt non-profit.

“It’s not a high hurdle given the circumstances, I wouldn’t deny them [residents] the opportunity to be heard,” said Chief Judge Stephen Raslavich.

Jim Foster, life long resident and current publisher of this newspaper,  testified about information that had not been brought before the court. He said that when Settlement attorney Thomas Bielli withdrew the plan of reorganization Settlement requested to be able to sell assets including the former YWCA building at 5820 Germantown Avenue and the Burgess Center office building at Wayne and Chelten avenues, to a new buyer they had found. The attorney told the judge the YWCA was a gift to Settlement from the City of Philadelphia.

“That was incorrect, the YWCA was bought with a $1.3 million dollar loan with help from the city, “ said Foster. “It was also 110 percent of the asking price for the building, more money than what it was worth, and Settlement never made a payment on it,” he added.

Also, Settlement attorney Thomas Bielli, did not mention to Judge Raslavich about an arson fire that destroyed two floors of the YWCA just a week before the hearing.

Judge Raslavich decided that the Germantown community should have a representative in the case. Ackelsberg volunteered to act as attorney and Betty turner, Germantown Community Connection president, will be the representative.

Debra Roberts, director of operations at the Wister Neighborhood Council, attended the bankruptcy hearing too. Wister NAC had paid Settlement to do their bookkeeping and when Roberts became a board member in 2006 the NAC took over their own financials again. They were shocked. Their taxes hadn’t been paid, financial statements to the IRS were incomplete, and had to pay about $10,000 in liens.

Roberts doesn’t think that Settlement has the ability to restructure. She said, “Most of their properties have been vacant for 7 or 8 years. Settlement has been giving us this story of restructuring and reorganizing for almost ten years now. I don’t believe they are capable of doing that.”

The Redevelopment Authority (RDA) is one of Settlement’s largest creditors. Overall, including Greater Germantown Housing Development Corporation (GGHDC) a Settlement subsidiary, the non-profit owes more than $38 million to date in loans from federal, state, and local government.

However there was no Redelvopment Authority (RDA) official present at the hearing on Thursday. Afterwards, Ackelsberg said he was disappointed that the RDA was not there.

“Perhaps we’re not seeing that much aggressiveness from the government because the government enabled and funded this disgrace for so long,” he said. “The big question is who’s calling the shots from the city [government].”

Instead, the RDA filed a default notification on Thursday that said it is going to sell the YWCA by December 7. Terry Gillen, Executive Director of the RDA, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the agency decided reclaim the property so it can be restored and put back into use.

In 2006 the RDA loaned Settlement $1.3 million to purchase the Germantown YWCA.

The authors work for Philadelphia Neighborhoods at

Cliveden Seeks Continued Community Dialog


Guest Writers

The conversation never seems to end at Cliveden of the National Trust, 6401 Germantown Avenue.

On October 15, nearly 50 community members gathered in the Carriage House at Cliveden to participate in the final event of “The Cliveden Conversation” four-talk series which began on Sept. 10.

Instigated by the impact of recent research surrounding slavery and the Chew family, the discussion series was created to provide a public forum for community members to discuss race relations in connection with Chew family documents, Cliveden and the Germantown community. Ultimately, Cliveden hopes to get the community’s insight on how Cliveden can better serve the neighborhood.

At the final discussion, Cliveden Executive Director David Young outlined 20th century preservation and public memory efforts in Germantown with respect to racial issues. Young challenged the common knowledge of Germantown history and urged the residents to rewrite their history to include some missing pieces.

“The 15 sites of Germantown tend to tell the Revolutionary, the Colonial and the Victorian history, and what does that leave out? The 20th century,” Young said.

Young said he hopes that the Chew papers could be used to create a “community of memory,” which author Richard Handler has described as “a group of individuals who agree that they share some kind of cultural heritage and they talk about the heritage in ways that celebrate what is good in it, and criticize what is not.”

Cliveden was completed in 1767. It lies behind a gate and is known to quite a few in the community only for its role in the Battle of Germantown. To Young, Cliveden’s physical distance from the main street represents how closed off the Chew family history was from the rest of the community.

“The access points to Cliveden are the farthest removed from Germantown Avenue. The gate is always closed except for two or three days a year,” Young said. “This is a problem for a historical site.”

Young took the time to set the stage for Germantown in the year 2000. A decade ago the population of Germantown stood at about 43,000 people. Of this population 73 percent were African American, 7 percent were Asian, and 24 percent were living below the poverty line. Young said he suspects the number living in poverty has increased in recent years. He then pointed out that within this diverse population 52 community groups, 15 historical sites and 93 churches exist. He said it was important for these groups to develop a voice in the history of the neighborhood.

Young took his listeners on a historical journey of preservation and memory efforts. He highlighted the 1688 protest against slavery. He described Germantown’s role in the abolitionist movement. One of the stops in the Underground Railroad was in Germantown.

Young noted the work of John Fanning Watson, who is generally considered one of the city’s first historians.  He was one of the founders of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Young referred to him as a “citizen historian” and explained how Watson began documenting Germantown’s history early on by conducting surveys and oral history.

“Watson established a sort of standard of the memory infrastructure. In Germantown the memory infrastructure, all the monuments, the museums, the markers have always been about the Colonial [period] until very recently, and that’s because of Watson,” Young explained.

Young identified many other historians and spent time discussing how the African-American community was creating memory and documenting its history. But the Cliveden director also noted that in the 20th century Germantown had 1,200 members of the Ku Klux Klan living in the area. These accounts are yet another piece of Germantown history that is not typically taught within the community, he added.

With new initiatives like the Cliveden discussions and “Germantown Speaks,” which is a project that unites local high school students and longtime Germantown residents, Young said he thinks local history is being rewritten.

As the conversation neared its end, one woman inquired about what happens when the conversation is over. The answer was simple. Members of Cliveden rely on the community members to provide their feedback and express what they would like to see occur in the future, Young said. While the Cliveden staff has ideas, opinions from the residents are highly valued, he added.

For more information about Germantown and other Philadelphia neighborhoods, visit

The Therapist Is In

To Combat Worry, Learn How to Breathe


Guest Writer


“The Therapist Is In” is an occasional column dealing with questions and answers concerning emotional health. Northwest resident, author, and columnist Susan Karol Martel, Ed.M., has been a psychotherapist in private practice for more than thirty years. The questions and answers she addresses are those most frequently asked by her clients. If you have a question you’d like her to answer, please e-mail her at

Q - I am a worrier. I worry about almost everything. My latest worry is over getting cancer since it runs in my family and I’m turning fifty, which is the age one of my parents detected theirs. Can you help?

A - I can relate to your worry. Both of my parents had cancer and two friends lost their battle over it this year. I am presuming that you have had all important check ups and tests, exercise regularly and eat an appropriate diet. What’s likely contributing to your current anxiety is how you think and feel about cancer, not the fact of having cancer. Remind yourself:  feelings are not facts.

Obsessive worry bordering on fear is part of an instinct left over from the part of our primitive, reptilian brain. This part of the brain kept us on constant alert for possible danger, which is a great function especially if you are in the jungle where at any moment a lion, tiger, or bear might leap out and eat you for dinner. In this scenario, it’s your worry, fear, and constant diligent alertness that helps you stay alive.

Most of us no longer need to worry about lions and tigers.  This is where worry/fear can be a wasted emotion, taking up the space in which you could be feeling other feelings that are true now.

Next time you feel anxious or find yourself in frenzied worrying, take note of the tension in your body and the shallowness of your breath.  This state is the opposite of calm which requires letting go of tension and reigning in that part of your primitive brain. You already know that you can’t be tense and relaxed at the same time. What you might not know is that in many cases you can choose to relax.

The brain is less hard-wired and more plastic than we used to believe. The brain’s plasticity makes it easier to rewire parts of it. So, you get to decide who is in charge - an old out of date recording or you!

Each time you say “I’m a worrier,” you add yet another reinforcement into the groove of your worrying brain. What you really want to learn is how to develop the groove that chooses to be calm.

When you are worried or upset you’re likely breathing from your high chest.  What is called shallow breathing doesn’t allow enough oxygen to circulate through your body for it to function effectively.  High chest breathing can reinforce the cycle of anxiety.

If you want to experience a calmer state, try this: Sit comfortably erect in a straight back chair or on a cushion. Take a deep breathe in through your nose so that the air fills your stomach cavity as if you are filling a pitcher with water — the kind of pitcher with a large bottom and a narrower top.

As you fill the bottom of your stomach cavity with air, your stomach expands to accommodate the air. You should be able to feel your stomach rise. Let the air continue to fill you up through your chest up to your throat. When you are full, let the air out slowly through your mouth and keep emptying the air out until you have fully emptied all of the air out of your stomach cavity - just as you would empty the water out of a pitcher, first from the neck and on down through the wider part of the bottom . You’ve just completed one round of diaphragmatic breathing.

There are many exercises designed to achieve calmness and balance without anyone even knowing you’re doing them.  But to achieve the desired results, you must learn to breathe properly.

Want to add to this dose of calmness? Focus on your breathe as the oxygen enters your airwaves, washing down to your diaphragm as if the air is massaging your body. I visualize the ocean tide going out when I inhale and washing up upon the beach as I inhale. You may want to choose some calming words to focus on: Among mine are “Peace” on the exhale and “Shalom, Salam, Shanti” on the inhale all the while breathing from your diaphragm. You are clearing your mind while following your breath. Start by doing this for several minutes and you will begin to feel a shift in your emotions. When a worrying or distracting thought comes into your head and it will, DON’T fight against it.  Acknowledge it and let it pass like a leaf falling from a tree onto a stream that carries it away. Keep following your breath. Increase your practice up to five or maybe ten minutes. This is the basis of meditating.

What you are actually doing is replacing your worrying thoughts - which are just thoughts, remember, by introducing your mind/body to another state of being where your runaway fears and anxiety are not in charge. You are learning to tame your mind.

I don’t want to give worry a totally bad rep.  If you are going to worry, you might as well worry about what’s real, the kind of worry that leads to taking action. In trying times, calling upon your ability to be calm will have great effect on your actions and decisions.

Cognitive behavioral and talk therapy can help you deal with excessive worry and in some cases medication or alternative treatments might be appropriate. But I suggest you start by trying my prescription. In addition, check out some of the books on breathing and meditation. The Internet is a wonderful source for finding guided meditation exercises as well as for free music and relaxing nature soundscapes.

I’d love to hear from readers about what works for you as well as whether these techniques are helping.

Finally, if I ever get a tattoo, it will be on the topside of my right hand and it will simply say “breathe.”

GGBA to Discuss Marketing Strategies

The next Greater Germantown Business Association meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 8:30 – 10 a.m. at Imani Circle Education Charter School, 5612 Greene Street.

Our featured speaker is Jerome Shabazz, entrepreneur, educator, environmental justice advocate and chair of the planning committee for the national Brownfields Conference that will bring 8,000 people from across America to the Philadelphia Convention Center in April, 2011. Shabazz, who is president of the Overbrook Environmental Education Center in West Philadelphia and founder and executive director of JASTECH Development Services, Inc., will be giving a PowerPoint presentation and telling us how our businesses can benefit from the free marketing and networking opportunities available through this national conference.

Please R.S.V.P. to John Churchville at 215- 848-8511 or

November Police Service Area (PSA) meetings in the 14th District will be as follows:

PSA1, with Lt. Raymond Jackson and community facilitator Geneva Green of the Block Captain Association, on November 17, 7-9 p.m., at the West Oak Lane Senior Center, 7201 Ogontz Avenue. PSA 1 covers West Oak Lane, East Germantown between Stenton and Chew avenues, and East Mt. Airy south of Gorgas Lane and Vernon Road.

PSA2, with Lt. Brian Murphy and community facilitator James Igess of Wister Neighborhood Council, on November 23, 7-9 p.m., at Victory Baptist Church, 5131 Germantown Avenue.  PSA 2 covers the area  between Germantown and Chew avenues, from Gorgas Lane to Wister Street.

PSA3, with Lt. Mark Overwise and community facilitator Heather Pierce of Carpenter Woods Town Watch, on November 16, 7-9 p.m., at Germantown Jewish Center, 400 West Ellet Street. PSA 3 covers West Mt. Airy and West Central Germantown.

PSA4, with Lt. Michael Kopecki and community facilitator Dr. Arlene Bennett of Safe Streets, on Nov. 17,  7-9 p.m., at the Lutheran Seminary, 7301 Germantown Avenue.  PSA 4 covers Chestnut Hill and East Mt. Airy between Germantown and Cheltenham avenues, bordered on the south by Gorgas Lane and Vernon Road.

For more information call the 14th Police District at 215-686-3140.

About the Phillies

Lack of Timely Hitting, Thin Relief Corps Doom Phillies



It was the greatest of expectations that ultimately led to the biggest of disappointments, as the Phillies’ season came to a close with a whimper and a 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants last Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

As the the World Series began, Philadelphia and its fans were relegated to watching the fall classic on television as the Giants battle the Texas Rangers for the 2010 title.

The blame? There’s plenty to go around. You can start with the injuries to six of the starting eight players and continue with the seemingly endless offensive slumps this season, the last of which gripped the team during the playoffs.

During the three-game sweep against the Cincinnati Reds in the division series the team did not score many runs. It was the starting pitching that led the way. Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels threw complete games — Halladay a no-hitter and Hamels a shutout.

Roy Oswalt’s Game 2 blip was overcome when the bullpen held the fort and the offense got the timely hits to overcome a 4-0 deficit. But another courageous charge never materialized in the National League Championship Series against San Francisco.

“We had our chances; we just didn’t cash in on them,” said manager Charlie Manuel after Saturday’s loss. “We couldn’t get the big hit.”

That’s pretty much another way of saying the ball didn’t bounce the Phillies’ way during this series — when it was put into play — but that’s part of the beauty of baseball. There was a little luck involved when the team won it all two years ago, but the reverse seemed to be the case this time. The team hit just .216 during the Giants’ series and only .178 with runners in scoring position.

One other point to make is the pitching. When Philadelphia acquired Oswalt for J.A. Happ and two prospects on July 29, a reader called to ask for an opinion on the trade. I replied that the Phillies couldn’t blame the starting pitching for not getting back to the World Series. Oswalt went 7-1 in 12 starts for the Phillies, so I stand vindicated.

As the team prepared for the NLCS against San Francisco, many pundits predicted that this series would come down to the bullpens and that the Giants had the edge.

The only mistake that relief pitcher Ryan Madson made was serving up the game-winning home-run pitch to Juan Uribe that ended Philadelphia’s 2010 World Series dreams. Other than that, Madson was superb, but he was overworked out of necessity.

I still don’t believe that Brad Lidge, despite his late-season success, will ever be the pitcher that he was in 2008, and Chad Durbin’s heavy workload caught up to him during the San Francisco series. J.C. Romero’s future will depend on him avoiding injuries.

No matter how you slice it, even with three top-of-the-rotation pitchers anchoring the Phillies’ starting staff, no team can win it all with just one effective reliever.

That’s my opinion. What do you think?

“About the Phillies” is an occasional column by Bill McFarland, who has been covering the Phillies since 1991. He can be reached at 215-354-3037 or

Business Start-Up Workshop

The Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise (TBC), 7600 Germantown Avenue, invites prospective and existing small business owners who are on a mission to start, sustain or grow a business to their First Friday workshop, Creative and Standard Ways of Financing.

Start up and existing businesses often have few assets to use as collateral which makes it hard to obtain loans.  This one-day workshop, being held on Friday November 5 at Point of Destination Café, provides creative and non-traditional ways to finance your business.  The workshop is from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and is $20 for non-members.

Guest speakers include Christopher Chaplin, CEO of Kasava, Inc. and vice president and a director of Syndication and Strategic Alliances for Hard Beat Communications ( and ), a minority-certified pr and marketing agency that represents Caribbean companies entering the US market. Hard Beat is headquartered in New York City. He has over 18 years experience in corporate banking in the Caribbean and the United States. He also serves as a financial consultant to the Urban League Entrepreneurship Center in Philadelphia, First State Community Loan Fund in Wilmington, Delaware and Partners for Common Good in Washington, DC.

Also on hand to talk about small business opportunities is John Banks, lead business development specialist for the Small Business Administration.

To confirm your attendance to this workshop, call 215-247-2473 x7.

For more upcoming events and ongoing programs at The Business Center visit or call 215-247-2473.

Spooky Stories at Stagecrafters

On Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30, The Stagecrafters theater will present its seventh annual “Halloween Scary Stories”, dramatic readings of hair-raising tales, classic and contemporary, rendered by some of the theater’s most talented actors.  Each performance’s activities will also include a spooky magic show by magician extraordinaire Jeff “The Amazing Dr. Magic” Ragan, and costume contests for children, with prizes.  In keeping with the theatrical theme of this event, all attendees are encouraged to come in costume.

Attendees may choose from three performances:  Friday at 7: p.m. or Saturday at 2 or 7 p.m.  The Saturday matinee is more suited for ages 3-to-6; the two evening shows for ages 6-to-12.  Each will last approximately 90 minutes, a highlight event will be the costume contest, and every kid will receive a bag of Halloween treats.  Admission to each is free to children 12 and under, $5 for an adult.  And please remember, all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Reservations are suggested, but not required.  The Stagecrafters Theater is located at 8130 Germantown Avenue.  For additional information call the theater at 215-247-8881 or visit

Mt. Airy Halloween Parade

The annual Mt. Airy Halloween parade will take place on Halloween, Sunday, October 31. Paraders (children and parents) in costume should gather at the Henry School playground by 6:30 p.m. The parade will proceed up Greene Street to Sedgwick Street, west on the 600 and 700 blocks of Sedgwick, south on the 6900 block of Henley Street, east on the 700 and 600 blocks of Carpenter Lane, then back to the school yard.

The parade will be accompanied by music and a police escort. It lasts about one half-hour. The parade is free, courtesy of West Mt. Airy Neighbors.

For more information call Mike Platton at 215-356-7792.

Anniversary Concerts at Christ Ascension

On December 9, Christ Ascension Lutheran Church, 8300 Germantown Avenue. will begin its 150th year of worship and service.  Perhaps best-known as “that cute little church across from Jenks Playground,” the church continues to live as people of faith, hope and love in Northwest Philadelphia. In anticipation of this joyous occasion, the congregation has planned four concerts for the coming months:

Sunday, Oct. 31, 3 p.m.: “Through the Church the Song Goes On.”  This Reformation Day Concert features Mark Mummert of Houston, TX.

Sunday, November 7, 4 p.m.: “Sing with All the Saints in Glory.”  The church celebrates All Saints Sunday with this concert and hymn-sing led by Dr. Michael Krentz and Matthew O’Rear of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

Sunday, Dec. 5, 3p.m.: “Family Festival: Advent Joys.”  Local musician Meghan Cary leads a fun session of kids music, followed by a craft for children and their families.

Sunday Dec. 12, 4p.m.: Advent Vespers.  A service of lessons and carols, featuring the church choir and musicians.  This day officially kicks off the anniversary year.

The concerts will highlight Christ Ascension’s new pipe organ.  The Reformation Day Concert on October 31 will serve as its inaugural public dedication.  This instrument has an earlier history with Chestnut Hill, as it was custom-built by local resident Joe Chapline in 1976.  Until this spring, the organ belonged to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lindenwold, NJ.  Christ Ascension purchased and installed the organ earlier this year.  All are invited to welcome the instrument home. 

For more information call 215-247-4233.

Halloween at St. Michael’s

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 6671 Germantown Avenue (Germantown Avenue at Phil-Ellena Street) will hold a Halloween Party open to local children, teens and their families, Friday evening, October 29, from 6 - 8 pm. 

Please dress up and join us for fun, food (including candy!) and activities including a costume contest, bobbing for donuts, face painting, Halloween cartoons and a scavenger hunt in the Church’s historic grave yard and sanctuary.

There is no need to register.  Just come to this free event that provides a safe alternative to traditional trick or treating! For information call 215-848-0199.

2nd Baptist Bazaar

Second Baptist Church of Germantown invites you to our Annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, November 6, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Don’t come alone, bring friends and family.

The Bazaar will feature an array of items from toys, books, clothing, gifts and much more.  There will be a Silent Auction and White Elephant sale.  This year will include food, crafts and games for the children.

Don’t know what to give for a gift?  How about “Tempted to Leave the Cross”,  a collection of past inspirational sermons by Reverend Ernest R. Flores, pastor of Second Baptist Church of Germantown, or a picture with Santa? Come shop, eat and fellowship as we welcome in the holiday season.  All proceeds will help fund the children’s activities and programs sponsored by the Board of Christian Education.

All vendors are welcomed. Tables are available for a donation of $15. For more information, call 267-287-8545.

Departed Remembered at UU

The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, 6900 Stenton Avenue, at the corner of Stenton Avenue and Gorgas Lane, invites you to join us on Sunday, October 31at 11 a.m. to “Listen More Often: Dia de Los Muertos and All Soul’s Day.” This service will include our children and roll call of remembrance to honor our recently departed. The service will be led by Eric W. and Annabel G. Visit our website for more information at

St. Luke’s Begins 200th Anniversary

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown, kicked off its 200th anniversary on Oct. 17 at 5421 Germantown Avenue, with mass including a reenactment play of the church’s 200 years of service to the community.

The story of St. Luke’s began on June 28, 1811, when Thomas Armat gathered  families in his home at 5450 Germantown Avenue to found an Episcopal congregation.

A number of Episcopalians residing in and about Germantown attended, having resolved to bring divine worship, performed according to the rules and regulations of the Protestant Episcopal Church, to the area. St. Luke’s was the first Episcopal church in Germantown.

Today, St. Luke’s houses St. Margaret’s House which is now home to the parish’s Choral Scholars program, which provides accommodation to talented young vocalists in exchange for their singing in the parish’s St. Cecilia’s Choir.

The Urban Center at St. Luke’s is the home of the parish’s revitalized, twice-weekly food pantry program; health awareness classes for members of our community; the Senior Luncheon program; yoga and exercise classes; an afterschool tutoring program; and countless parish activities and guilds who use the building for fellowship and outreach.  

Additionally, in 2008, St. Luke’s was designated the National Shrine of St. Nicholas in the United States by the worldwide St. Nicholas Society – a distinction that brings visitors and friends from all over the world.

In the last 200 years, God’s work has been done through the witness of tens of thousands of people who made St. Luke’s or St. Barnabas their church home.

Obituary: John Graves

John P. (Jack) Graves, 91, of New Bedford, MA, formerly of Germantown, passed away on Monday, October 11. John P (Jack)., 91. Widower of Ella R. (Williams) Graves.

He is survived by his son John C Graves of Wareham, MA, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

His memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29, at the Acushnet-Wesley United Methodist Church, 67 Main Street, Acushnet, MA.

Dance, Poetry and Jewelry Events at CHCE

At the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment the Friday afternoon International Folk Dance class is pleased to announce a terrific guest teacher is dropping by on Friday, October 29. Mt. Airy resident Anne Ehrhart is a long-time dance teacher, singer, and percussionist. Experienced dancers will follow her and beginners always learn from her. Dancing (lines and circles, so come with a friend or solo) begins at 1 p.m., and costs just $6 per person.

On Wednesday, November 3, CHCE has the privilege of hosting Irish poet Marie Gahan, an appearance arranged by Peggy and Hugh McNally. Gahan recently published her first compilation of poetry entitled “The Margarine Eaters.”  For the past several summers Peggy McNally has traveled to Ireland just to participate in Gahan’s writing workshops. She believes that many of us will enjoy and be inspired by these poetic tales. Gahan will also be signing copies of “The Margarine Eaters” beginning at 1 p.m. Stay for scones and Irish oatmeal cookies, courtesy of the McNallys. All are welcome, and there is no charge.

The community is invited for an afternoon designing your own jewelry under the watchful eye and steady hand of Yvonne Page-Magnus on Tuesday, November 9 from 1 – 3:30 p.m. Yvonne trained in England; she is experienced in creating one-of-a-kind jewelry, hand-knotting and silk-threading. You will create your own bracelet, earrings or necklace using semi-precious gems and freshwater pearls. $40 (non-CHCE  members $50) includes the lesson, your own beading kit, plus mid-afternoon English tea served with muffins, biscuits and little tea sandwiches.

All programs will take place at Center on the Hill on the ground floor of the Presbyterian Church next door to Chestnut Hill Hospital. For information, call 215-248-0180 or email

Meet Mural Arts Head

Come hear “Fantastic Philadelphian” Jane Golden, executive director of the city’s Mural Arts Program, on Wednesday, November 10. Do you ever wonder about the stories behind the 3,000 beautiful murals that grace our city’s walls? Learn how these works of art began, how they can breathe life into communities, and why the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has become an internationally sought-after model of urban development.

Sponsored by Valley Green Bank, you will have a unique opportunity to meet and greet Golden at a wine and cheese reception at the bank, 7226 Germantown Avenue. For $40, come to the reception at 6 p.m. at the bank and then to the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, Hagan Hall, at 7 p.m. for her talk. Or simply come to the lecture for $19. All proceeds benefit MALT’s Make This Our Home campaign and Ms. Golden is generously donating her time.

For information call MALT at 215-843-6333.

‘B.Y.O. Bikes’

November 1-5, starts  “B.Y.O. Bike,”  a coach-led stationary training for bicyclists to stay in shape off-season, through April 1 at MaMa: Moving Arts of Mt. Airy, 6819 Greene Street. Interval workout is Monday-Friday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Bring your bike (and ‘stationery trainer’ if you have one). Storage is available. There is no registration fee.  Ask about the free intro class. Sessions are $15 each or 10 classes/$120.  Call to reserve your spot at 215-626-8119 or email

Fair Trade Event at Chestnut Hill College

Chestnut Hill College will host a Fair Trade and Alternative Gift Giving event on Wednesday, November 3, from noon-4 p.m. in the Rotunda of St. Joseph’s Hall on the College campus. This event, in its fifth year at Chestnut Hill, enables the public to learn about fair trade, sample food and purchase a variety of fair trade goods from different organizations in the local community.

Fair Trade is a system of exchange that helps producers, consumers, communities and the environment. It aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability while focusing on exporting goods from underdeveloped countries into developed countries. These exports include handicrafts, gourmet coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa and other goods.

There will be tables set up with goods from numerous fair trade organizations, including Infusion, 10,000 Villages, gift items from Grace Gardener Market Day, the Sisters of St. Joseph Earth Center, and other fair trade vendors.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Marie Conn, Ph.D at 215-248-7044 or e-mail

Bagged Leaf Collection Only

The Streets Department’s 2010 Bagged Leaf Drive will begin on Monday, Nov. 8 and will run through Friday, Dec. 17.  “Due to budgetary constraints, the Streets Department’s leaf recycling program will not offer mechanical leaf collection,” said Commissioner Clarena Tolson.

Follow these tips for bagged leaf collection:

Leaves will only be collected in biodegradable paper bags.  These can be processed for recycling along with the leaves. This reduces contamination in the recycling process, and allows crews to work more efficiently and more easily identify your bags as leaves.

Leaves set out in other bags or containers may be collected as rubbish.

Set leaf bags curbside next to trash and recycling on your trash day.

Leaves placed in plastic bags will be collected as trash, not recycling. 

Do not mix trash or other recyclable materials with bagged leaves. This contaminates leaves and makes them unfit for recycling purposes. You may use as many bags as needed, maximum 40 lbs. each.

The Streets Department does not provide biodegradable bags.  Residents may purchase them at their local home improvement stores. No collection will occur on a City holiday.

Bagged leaves may also be taken to any of the three Sanitation Convenience Centers: 3033 S. 63rd Street, Domino Lane and Umbria Street, and State Road and Ashburner Street.

During this six-week program, we will collect and compost leaves to fertilize gardens and nourish trees.

Residents may call the Streets Department’s Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560 or visit

Greenworks Discussed at Weavers Way Meeting

Katherine Gajewski, Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability, will talk about Greenworks Philadelphia at Weavers Way’s Fall General Membership Meeting on Sunday, November 7, at Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene Street.. Released in the spring of 2009, Greenworks Philadelphia is a plan that sets 15 specific targets for improving our city’s environment, reducing our energy use, creating jobs and enhancing our quality of life. Gajewski will highlight the progress made during the first year of this plan and opportunities for us all in the future.

Gajewski’s talk starts at 6:30 p.m., preceded by an Eat and Greet at 5:30 p.m., followed by a Co-op business meeting. All are open to the public.

How has Philadelphia done during the first year of Greenworks? You may have noticed the new bike lanes, the Big Belly solar trash receptacles with attached recycling bins, or the 260 hybrid SEPTA buses that are now on the streets. Director Gajewski is thrilled with the momentum that Greenworks has generated.

“In our first year of implementation, we’ve been recognized at the national level for the progress that we’ve made, receiving an award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for being America’s top sustainable city. Earlier this year Philadelphia was awarded a $25 million grant from the Department of Energy to invest in energy efficiency and conservation—one of only 25 recipients across the country. In the coming year, we will focus on increasing our community outreach and education efforts to make sure that Greenworks brings value to residents and businesses throughout Philadelphia.”

Home-Buying Service

For first-time buyers, making the investment in a new home is as complex as it is exciting. Mt. Airy, USA, a HUD-certified counseling agency, offers services designed to teach the basics and beyond, including purchasing foreclosed homes. Free First-Time Homebuyer workshops will be held at Mt. Airy, USA’s office, 6703 Germantown Avenue, Suite 200, on Oct.28, Nov. 10, Nov. 18, Dec. 8 and Dec. 16 from 5:30-9 p.m.  Mt. Airy, USA has helped more than 4,000 individuals buy their homes and avoid foreclosure.  To register go to For one-on-one advice, Mt. Airy, USA offers individual homebuyer counseling sessions on a sliding scale basis. The sessions are offered at a reduced rate due to subsidies from HUD and the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development. Private credit and budgeting counseling is also available, offering tools and instruction to help individuals manage finances, improve their credit and build their savings.  To sign up for individual counseling email Marianne Holt at or call 215-844-6021 x213.

Learn About City’s Hidden Waterways

The talk “From Creek to Sewer: A History of Topographical Change in Philadelphia” will be held Saturday, October 30, 2 p.m. at Wyck, 6026 Germantown Avenue. The cost is $5 for Wyck members, $7 non-members

As you walk on many Philadelphia sidewalks, beneath your feet is a hidden world of streams that once crisscrossed the city. Historian and archivist Adam Levine has been digging into the history of the city’s sewers and drainage systems and his talk will focus on the systematic obliteration of hundreds of miles of surface streams. Buried deep underground in pipes as large as 20 feet in diameter, these former streams became main drainage arteries in the city’s 3,000 mile sewer system. These massive alterations to the landscape have environmental repercussions still being felt today.

The talk will focus on Wingohocking Creek which once drained all of Germantown and much of Mt. Airy. Between 1879 and 1928 more than 20 miles of the Wingohocking and its tributaries were buried in sewers, some the largest in the city’s system.

Levine is a consulting historian to the Philadelphia Water Department, and has been involved in the creation of many of PWD’s educational programs over the past ten years. He maintains a website that is a treasure trove of watershed, sewer and Philadelphia history at

To register, email Rebekka Schultz at

Peltier Discussion

On Monday, November 1, 7:3-9 p.m., at the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library,  8711 Germantown Avenue,  the Leonard Peltier Support Group of Greater Philadelphia is holding a public meeting to encourage awareness and educate concerning the situation of Leonard Peltier, a Lakota warrior, and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). He is serving two consecutive life sentences, having been convicted of killing two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, in 1975 He is imprisoned in Pennsylvania at Lewisburg Penitentiary.  We are trying to raise awareness and get the public to write letters to their congressional representatives in support of a presidential pardon for Mr. Peltier. He is a diabetic requiring medical treatment that he cannot get in prison.

We believe strongly that he should be immediately pardoned in light of the fact that it has never been proved that he was the one who fired the shots that killed the agents.  

There will be a discussion of the events of the events leading up to his conviction, a question-and-answer session will follow, and printed information will be available. Music will be provided by Charlie Cooper of the Humbleman Band.

For more information you may contact Dr. Donald Zipin at 215-753-9067 after 7 p.m., or e-mail to  


 ‘Dine for Dignity’

Dignity Housing, a Germantown-based non-profit organization that provides affordable housing and social services, has partnered with small business owners in Northwest Philadelphia to host Shop and Dine for Dignity on November 9, from 5-9 pm.

Ten Thousand Villages, Lemons and Limes, and Earth Bread + Brewery will donate 15% of their sales toward Dignity’s programs. When shoppers purchase items at participating businesses, it will have a double impact.  They will put money back into their community, and make a contribution to directly benefit Dignity families and individuals.

Since 1988, Dignity Housing has served over 2,000 homeless adults and children by providing affordable housing, promoting self-sufficiency, and creating educational opportunities.

All consumers who are interested in making a difference in their community can participate by having a drink, dining out, or buying a few gifts to help Dignity Housing and support local businesses. For more information about Dignity Housing, visit

Diversity Workshop

Living in Germantown: All Together presents a free workshop on diversity led by Barry Cross at the Germantown Historical Society, 5501 Germantown Avenue, on Saturday November 6. If you would like to take a first step toward creating racial harmony in Germantown, please attend. We all need to be educated on what diversity is, and how to bring it about. Barry is very experienced, local and committed. This will be a life-changing event.

Call Susan at 215-284-6038, or email, to register; the limit is 25 attendees.

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Fire broke at on the third floor of the former Germanton YWCA building  on Wednesday, October 13, causing damage primarily to the third floor, according to the Philadelphia Fire Department. The blaze was reported at 5:16 p.m. and was declared under control about an hour later. The fire was intentionally set, according to the Fire Department. Two firefighters were injured battling the blaze, neither seriously. A week later the city’s Redevelopment Authority announced its intention to reclaim the property from Germantown Settlement; for more see story below.