From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

December 17, 2009Chronicle.121709.pdf

In This Issue


Germantown, Penn Charter Take Honors in 20th Community Tournament


Returning Soldier Receives ‘A Hero’s Welcome’


Pastorius Students Earn ‘Bucks’ for Good Work


Students Present Ideas on How to Revive Town Hall


Workshop for Small Businesses


See Germantown’s Past at Pilates Studio


Free Tax Rebate Help at Myers’ Office


Volunteers Green NW with Tree Plantings


Volunteer to be Trail Ambassador


Volunteer with Working with People


Northwest Zoning Hearings


Mt. Airy Baseball Offers Winter Clinics


Holiday Music Festival


Kwanzaa Festival


Poinsettia Sale


Sing Along with Oz Characters


$11K in Grants from Mt. Airy Teachers Fund


GHS to Commemorate Victims of Violence


World-Class Players Soccer Clinic


Donations Sought for Food Cupboard


GAME Night at Reformation


‘Rosemary for Remembrance’ at St. Paul’s

Germantown, Penn Charter Take Honors in 20th Community Tournament


(Left to right) Dominique Twiggs and tournament MVP Ramadan Abdullah of Germantown High received spots on the all-tournament team along with Baye Goodman of Bodine. Others named were Anton Popov of Germantown Friends (not pictured) and Roxborough’s Anthony Patterson (not pictured).


(Below, Left to right) Honoree Officer Ernest Pollard of the Paley PAL Center; Cathy Paulmier, Germantown Friends’ Head of Community Service; and Madison Alig, GFS class of 2011 and head of the Community Actions club at the school.


By ZOE FEINGOLD

Guest Writer


The 20th annual Germantown Community Basketball Tournament took place this past weekend at Germantown Friends School (GFS), serving as a fund-raiser and host for friendly Germantown rivalries.  The gyms at Germantown Friends School were packed with fans from each of the five tournament teams - Bodine High School, Penn Charter, GFS, Germantown High School, and Roxborough High - hoping to inspire their teams to victory.


Friday night saw the Penn Charter girls team move on to the tournament championship game with a whopping 28-point win against Bodine. Penn Charter would face the girls of GFS, who fought their way to a decisive victory against Germantown High School on Friday night with a 17-point win. The girls’ consolation match took place on Saturday, when Bodine took the third spot in the girls’ division with a blow-out 61-26 point game against Germantown.


The boys progression was almost opposite; in the first round GFS suffered a home-team loss to eventual champion Germantown in a close, 56-51 game, while Bodine pulled out a win against a competitive Roxborough High School team. Steal after steal kept the fans of the boy’s consolation game on their toes on Saturday, when GFS and Roxborough battled an exciting overtime game, ending in a victory for Roxborough.


A heart-warming presentation of the annual Germantown Community Basketball Community Service Award preceded the championship games on Saturday as Officer Ernest Pollard was honored for his “outstanding service to the community of Germantown.” Since 1993 the tournament has carried the tradition of awarding a dedicated member of the Germantown community with a plaque and acknowledgement for their selfless service to the community. Pollard attended Roman Catholic High School and went on to attend Temple University where he was a star player for the Owls under coach John Cheney. Pollard has been a Philadelphia police officer for 14 years and has served the Police Athletic league for 10 years.


“It is fitting that Officer Pollard should receive this award on this 20th year,” announced Kathy Paulmier, head of Community Involvement at GFS, who presented Pollard with the award. “I am impressed with his leadership and dedication in serving the youth of our community every afternoon.” Pollard has worked at the Paley PAL (Police Athletic League) Center, 5330 Germantown Avenue, for four years, where he supervises an after-school program for kids while they play basketball, do their homework, or participate in various other activities.


“Being a police officer is my job, and I’ve always wanted to give back to the community,” said the humble Pollard when asked about his acknowledgement, “but it felt really good to be recognized for my work at PAL.” Pollard loves basketball, and even though his primary service at PAL is as a police officer, he’s still able to teach the kids a few things on the basketball court. Pollard acts as a big brother figure to the kids as well as their mentor and supervisor.


After receiving the award, Pollard joined the audience for the championship games. The GFS girls faced a tough Penn Charter team. GFS got off to a rocky start in the first half and were never able to catch up, suffering a 40-point loss to Penn Charter, which was led by tournament MVP Brianna Butler.


The girls’ All-Tournament team consisted of GFS Junior Julya Loder, Penn Charter Sophomores Brianna Butler and Dianna Thomas-Palmer, Sharnay Ratchford of Germantown High, and Bodine Senior Chikilra Goodman.


Slam dunks and no-look passes made for an enthusiastic crowd during the match-up between Germantown High and Bodine in the boy’s championship game. Germantown High led by only 3 going into the 3rd quarter, but an outstanding performance by Germantown High Senior and captain Ramadan Abdullah saw to it that Bodine could not cut the lead any shorter. Germantown ended with a 49-38 victory over Bodine.


Dominique Twiggs and tournament MVP Ramadan Abdullah of Germantown High received spots on the all-tournament team, along with Baye Goodman of Bodine, GFS team captain Anton Popov, and Roxborough’s Anthony Patterson.

The excitement, however, was not free of charge. A small fee is required to enter the tournament each year, and the money is set aside for the funding of The Germantown Friends Basketball, Reading and Computer clinic, a five-week summer program hosted at GFS.


The summer program, which doubles as a basketball clinic and summer-school, was started about 40 years ago by former GFS principal David Felsen. Felsen would gather about 100 kids from schools in the Germantown area to attend the camp each summer, where daily basketball games and skill-building drills were held. Felsen would incorporate learning into each day’s agenda by having the kids read basketball-related stories or by asking them to spell and give the definition of a certain word before taking a free-throw, building their vocabulary and free-throw percentage all in one shot. Germantown Friends basketball coach and current co-director of the clinic, Brandon Jones, says that now, though a large part of the day is still devoted to basketball, there is an even greater emphasis on the learning parts of the camp, with the addition of a computer class.


“The camp will not turn anyone away who can’t pay,” says Jones. The funds raised at the Germantown Community Tournament make sure that each summer, hundreds of Germantown’s youth are offered a fun, safe, and low-cost way to spend their summers.


Zoe Feingold is a member of the GFS Class of 2011.



Returning Soldier Receives ‘A Hero’s Welcome’


Among those at the welcoming ceremony at Philadelphia International Airport were (left to right) Rev. Anthony P. Booker, father; Lt. Aaron Paul Booker; Wayne Lutz, founder of Warriors Watch; Sheila D. Booker, mother; Mike Cotter, Warriors Watch member; Margaret Chadrick, grandmother; Helen Antoinette Booker, sister; Madeline Chatman, godmother; Daniel Chadrick, cousin.


By SUE ANN RYBAK

Editorial Staff Intern


“The sound of freedom” is how Wayne Lutz, the founder of Warriors Watch, described the noise on Sunday evening, December 6, at the rally to welcome home Lt. Aaron Booker from Iraq.

Despite the bitter cold that evening, 30 members of the groups Warriors Watch and A Hero’s Welcome gathered at Engine 66 Fire House, located near the Philadelphia International Airport, to escort  Lt. Booker and his family home to Mt. Airy. The groups are both non-profit organizations whose mission is to honor and welcome home solders returning from war. The principal of Warriors Watch is, “They have our backs over there. We have their backs here at home.”


Lt. Booker deployed last year with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor, 172 Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Wasit Province, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded an army commendation for his meritorious service. Booker, 24, was recently named executive officer of his unit. He is a Mt. Airy native who graduated with honors in 2003 from Central High School and a 2007 honors graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science of Hampton University, Hampton.


“I was  surprised,” said Lt. Booker about the welcoming ceremony. He was shocked so many people would be there to welcome him home at midnight.  “Knowing that they [solders] have people back home who love and support them ... it helps. It really does matter,” he said.


He added, “We need a strong military to help and protect this country. As far as I am concerned, anyone who volunteers their time and service deserves respect and honor, not just people wearing an uniform.”


“I knew some people were going to there,” said Rev. Anthony Booker, Aaron’s father.  “It exceeded my greatest expectation. While I personally don’t believe we should be in Iraq, we shouldn’t blame the military personnel.  They are the ones dying and suffering. I hope we learned that lesson back in Vietnam. We should encourage and support our troops.


“I am very proud of my son. He is very tenacious. He never gives up. He stays with something until he reaches his goal. He is a very determined young man. You always see stories about when the whole unit returns. It is rare to see a story about an individual solder returning home.”


“My husband and I were so overwhelmed to have all these people welcoming him home,” Sheila Booker said. “ We were impressed with the men and women of Warriors Watch and A Hero’s Welcome. Their commitment transcends all economical, racial, and political lines. They are all so dedicated to welcoming all service men and women.” 


Sheila Booker said she found out about Warriors Watch from Lutz.  “We used to work together at St. Paul Lutheran Evangelical Church,” she said.


Lutz, a Vietnam veteran, started Warriors Watch in the spring of 2008.  Since its inception, Warriors Watch has grown rapidly with chapters in 38 states. Prior to creating Warriors Watch, he was a member of an organization that honored solders by attending their funerals.


“I recognized a wider need to support returning solders and their families,” Lutz said.  “The best way I believe we can honor the dead is by supporting our men and women in the military.”


“It’s addictive,” said Lutz, describing seeing families welcoming their sons and daughters home from war. Lutz refers to the solders as “Our Heroes.”


Charlie Becker, coordinator of A Hero’s Welcome and also a Vietnam veteran, recalled how in the summer of 1969 a saleswoman refused to wait on him when he tried to buy some t-shirts. His buddy, he said, was returning home wounded in uniform and a young woman began beating on the bus he was on, shouting “baby killer” and screaming “you should be dead!”


“That is why I do this,” Becker said. “Because every returning solder deserves ‘A Hero’s Welcome.’ ”


For more information about A Hero’s Welcome visit www.aheros-welcome.org/about_us. For information about Warriors Watch visit www.warriorswatch.org.



Pastorius Students Earn ‘Bucks’ for Good Work


By PATRICK COBBS

Staff Writer


Joan Hill, owner of Agency Insurance Service at 5637 Chew Avenue, arrived at Pastorius School early in the morning on Friday, November 20 to help reward students for a month of good behavior.


She and Valerie Hawes of the Infinity Insurance Company set up a store where students could spend all the “bucks” they’d earned by doing things like coming to class prepared, doing homework and listening to teachers. It’s the rewards portion of the school’s new Infinity Bucks incentive program.


Fifth graders Mikyra Glenn and Markeese Williams-Kissi came with a handful of “cash” and took their time deliberating among pens, pencils, modeling clay, Frisbees and lots of other items, each with different price tags. They can earn up to 55 “bucks” per month showing positive behavior in school.


“I came almost every day,” Glenn said. “I came prepared. I did my work. I listened to the teacher when she spoke.”


Williams-Kissi was on the same page. “I worked hard in school and did my homework every day,” she said. “It feels great.”


The program came out of a longtime desire on the part of Hill and the Chew/Chelten Business Association to help out the K-8 school. And new School Principal David Bouie was just as excited as Hill was about this year’s possibilities.


The timing is good. Pastorius has been suffering lately. It has never met federal No Child Left Behind Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) testing standards since the standards began several years ago. And because of a history of disconnection between the school, parents, and the surrounding community it has had trouble turning itself around, Bouie acknowledged.  


“Until this coming school year,” he said confidently.


New to Pastorius and Philadelphia, Bouie came on board from New York this fall looking for an incentive program to offer the students that might also help expand community commitment to the school. Infinity Bucks was a perfect match.


“A program like Infinity Bucks gives kids pride and self esteem,” he said. ”And if kids have pride and self esteem that goes to the teachers… It starts small but it builds momentum.”


Bouie plans a parade when the school finally achieves AYP, and he plans on holding it soon. That kind of public showing, he hopes, will also inspire more community investment in the school. It’s about building positive cycles.


“Everybody likes a winner,” he said. “I don’t mind bandwagon fans.”


A Pastorius alumna, Hill has been eager to help the school. Through the business association she and Infinity have been working on other school projects recently including a garden and a backpack giveaway. Now she’s excited to think that they can all be part of making a real difference in the school’s performance.


Once the school meets its AYP goals, “I’m gonna feel over the Moon,” Hill said. “We are going to work really hard to set the bar higher. We want the children excited. We want them reading books, we want them solving math problems. It’s going to turn around, we’re not giving up.”


Several others have been a part of the new Pastorius effort too, including LaSalle University, Imhotep Charter School, Gtown Restoration CDC, the Fresh Grocer and Beneficial Bank. Hill will call on each one to help expand the incentive program even as it rolls out for the first time.


One example is the new Catch a Dream Program, which will begin this year as well. It will award the student who earns the most Infinity Bucks with a chance to spend a day in his or her dream job with a mentor who already works in that field.

“Just so they can get a feel for what their dream is,” Hill explained.


But all dreams start with small steps. And the first step is building on the success Infinity Bucks has already won – that means getting students, parents, teachers and the community to keep buying in to Pastorius’ future.


“You guys have to be ambassadors,” Hill said to the first class as they left their shopping period at the Infinity Bucks Store. “You have to go back to your friends. Tell your teachers what happened today.”


To help with Infinity Bucks contact the Chew/Chelten Business Association at 215-713-0902.



Students Present Ideas on How to Revive Town Hall


By PATRICK COBBS

Staff Writer


As part of its ongoing quest to spur a community-oriented renovation of the shuttered Germantown Town Hall at 5928 Germantown Avenue, the Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation hosted a forum for ideas December 8. It was something Germantown residents have not seen since the building closed in the early 1990s.


According to Nancy-Ellen Churchville, the organization’s president, creating intellectual and emotional investment in the building, which is owned by the City of Philadelphia, is the first step to overcoming skepticism about developing it.

“The temperature is, ‘how you gonna do it? I don’t see how you’re going to do it,’” she said. “More than money, energy - positive energy - is necessary. Money will come.”


To that end, Liberation Fellowship invited a master’s class from the Philadelphia University School of Architecture’s Sustainable Design Program to present their ideas about Town Hall in a poster session at Vernon House, in Vernon Park, last Tuesday, December 8.


“The idea is that the students are doing the work,” said Professor Rob Fryer. “To do all the background work, so that when [developers] go to do this project they will have all this information to build off.”


Students looked at the building’s history, its assets and challenges for green design, possible changes to the site plan surrounding the building, likely uses for the interior space, likely community needs for the space, and code upgrades. They presented their findings in a series of posters, which local residents browsed and commented on.


“My approach was to see what was [already] in Germantown,” said student Nicole Jui. 


She made a map of all the business types in the Germantown and Chelten Avenue area, and considered using the Town Hall as a business incubator aimed at growing a more diversified business base for Germantown. She noticed a high concentration of certain types of business in the area such as beauty-oriented uses, and a relatively low concentration of other businesses such as fresh, healthy foods.


Jui’s architectural rendering depicted storefronts on the ground level of Town Hall facing Haines Street, which has a wide visual sweep from Germantown Avenue. This might be an ideal space for an outdoor café, she suggested, and the large paved area in front of the rotunda could be a farmer’s market.


Bethany Shiner and Jill Guinther took an overall look at the building and the site possibilities. Recognizing that things might have to change dramatically around Town Hall to achieve what the community wants, they took some liberties. They eliminated the now closed building next door at 5932-42 Germantown and built a large green space surrounding Town Hall, which would help with storm water management on the site and promote outdoor events, they said. And to help with parking, they suggested knocking down the vacant and roofless building on the other side of the 14th Police District and installing a new lot there, paved with porous pavement – also to help with storm water.


Shiner and Guinther also noted the need for numerous building code upgrades to Town Hall, such as adding an elevator and fire stairway, possibly in a rear addition to the building.


Leah Brown and Ashley Johnson looked at internal uses for the building based on a wish list provided by Liberation Fellowship CDC. They found that space constraints will force some tough choices.


“When we really started examining the spaces we realized there was no way [the suggestions] all were going to fit,” Johnson said.


So they came up with three floor plans that could be intermixed. All three versions have a combination of public and private uses, like police functions or the offices of elected officials along with private businesses.


“I think that’s how it would be most successful,” Johnson said.


In all three versions Brown and Johnson suggested using the top floor for a “co-working” space. Drawing on the business incubator idea, this would be a space where a number of small start-up businesses could rent office space in non-traditional leases, and share office equipment to save money until they became established enough to move into their own dedicated offices.


As they were researching Town Hall this pair seemed to gain some insight to why Germantowners are so attached to the building. “In this building there’s all these great little opportunities,” Brown said.


One was in the rotunda that dominates the front of the building and houses World War I memorial plaques. No matter how the building is developed, that portion of it must remain open to the community. But Brown and Johnson discovered that, by removing two partitions in the rotunda area that are used to house huge antique radiators, a wide outer ring could be opened up to community use for things like public art displays.


Another opportunity is the huge three-pane transom windows that allow light and air to spill from the offices into the extra-wide central hallway inside the building. This is a green feature of the building because it can increase lighting and cooling efficiency, Brown said.


Community members talked with the students about Town Hall and some left their suggestions on Post-It notes stuck to their displays. “Farmers Market,” “Arts Festival” and “Greenhouse please” were among the suggestions.


“All this stuff makes a whole lot of sense,” said Reverend LeRoi Simmons, director of the Central Germantown Council, as he looked over the posters. “Everybody wants the police station to be in there. We’ve got a state rep and City Council person who could be in there, but nobody wants to spend any money.”


According to Liberation Fellowship CEO John Churchville, that is the next step. In addition to more student architectural presentations, Liberation Fellowship CDC will begin working with business students to develop a financial plan for identifying possible money sources to bring Town Hall back to life.


Workshop for Small Businesses


The Greater Germantown Business Association, Inc.’s January 12 meeting will feature a special presentation by U. Harold Levy, Eastern Regional representative of the PA Department of General Services. This GGBA meeting is specifically designed for small businesses, minority- and women-owned businesses that want to sell products and services to the state. The purpose of the workshop is to not only explain the state certification process, but also to help businesses fill out the appropriate paperwork and complete the other steps necessary for certification. 


Levy will walk business owners through the state’s certification application line-by-line. By the end of the workshop, serious business owners will have completed most of their applications and be well on their way to being certified to do business with the state of Pennsylvania.


The “Certification Made Simple” workshop will be held Tuesday, January 12, 8:30 - 10 a.m. at the   Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge, 6143 Germantown Avenue.


Spaces are limited, so please R.S.V.P. as soon as possible to John Churchville at jchurchville8@gmail.com or leave a message at 215-848-8511. The Department of General Services has received stimulus funds to be used in Pennsylvania. Learn what to do from the source.



See Germantown’s Past at Pilates Studio


Want to find photographic images of Germantown? Try the Germantown Historical Society on Market Square. Youʼll find a library full of them, indexed and categorized. Or, visit Pilates in Germantown at 5904 Greene Street (near Rittenhouse) where you will find over 50 images of historic and street locations in the lounge area of the equipment training studio. The photos are mostly enlarged post cards collected by studio owner, Jeff Smith, over the past 10 years from eBay auctions.


Views include several of the Wissahickon valley including the Robertʼs Mill, Livezy House, Tedyuscung, Valley Green and the Walnut Lane Bridge.


Youʼll find an image of the first fire engine to service Germantown (1730), an ad for the Philadelphia Tobbagan Co. (merry-go-rounds), the springs behind the Johnson House, and the formerly world famous Thomas Meeham and Sons Nusery.


Or, how about the Jewish Orphanage and Asylum, the Duncan Hines approved


restaurant at Alden Park, the Wissahickon Inn (now Chestnut Hill Academy) or Stapley Hall in 1906?


These and many more are on display in the lounge area of the Pilates studio.


Visitors are welcome during hours when classes are not scheduled. “Itʼs my ʻBarnes Galleryʼ of Germantown photos,” Smith remarks.


Pilates in Germantown offers group and individual training on state of the art Balanced Body Reformers. For more information, visit www.PilatesInGermantown.com.



Free Tax Rebate Help at Myers’ Office


State Representative John Myers would like to remind senior citizens and other residents who may be eligible for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program that the December 31 deadline to apply for a rebate on their 2008 property taxes or rent is fast approaching.


This program provides a rebate to income-eligible residents who are 65 or older, 50 or older and widowed, or 18 or older with a permanent disability.


Myers’ office would be glad to help you to determine if you qualify and help you fill out the application form. This can also be done at senior citizen facilities.


Please note: some entities are advertising that they will help you fill out the form for a fee. Don’t fall for that – bring it to Myers’ office where you will be helped  free of charge.


For additional information please contact State Representative Myers office at 215-849-6592.


Forms and assistance are also available by visiting www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com online or calling toll free 1-888-222-9190. You can check the status of a rebate claim after that date by visiting the program Web site or by calling 1-888-PATAXES.


Rep. Myers says, “If I can assist you with this or any other state government matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.”



Volunteers Green NW with Tree Plantings


Members of the WMAN Streetscapes Committee, with the help of local Girls Scouts, participate in a tree planting on November 21.  Seated (left to right): Jill Wolfe, Dave Tukey, Mia Mengucci.  Standing (left to right): Siena Childs, Shalah Ahmad, Hunter Baylor, Lisa Winder, Seane Baylor.  Photo by Mia Mengucci.


Over the past two years, 184 trees have been added to the West Mt. Airy streetscape through the efforts of the WMAN Streetscapes Committee, dedicated volunteers, and the TreeVitalize Program, a collaboration among many groups including the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Fairmount Park Commission, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.


Since its first planting in November 2007, the Streetscapes Committee has organized twice yearly plantings each spring and fall.  In that period, 166 volunteers have donated 880 hours to plants these 184 trees. 


Last month, the Streetscapes Committee organized another successful planting.  Volunteers convened at Allens Lane Art Center and then branched out to various locations within West Mt. Airy.  The Committee was pleased to welcome two local Girl Scout Troops, #978 led by Angela Ahmad and #9445 led by Seane Baylor, who helped with the tree planting efforts.  That day, 32 trees were planted by 39 volunteers who worked a combined 152 hours.


Future activities by the Streetscapes Committee include a series of pruning workshops which will be led by Kevin Stutler and Mia Mengucci at the Allens Lane Art Center on Saturday, January 30 and Saturday, February 6.  Another bare root tree planting will be held in March or April of 2010. 


If you are interested in learning more about how to apply for a tree or the pruning workshops, please contact Doris Kessler at doris.kessler@verizon.net or Dave Tukey at wmatrees@verizon.net.



Volunteer to be Trail Ambassador


The Friends of the Wissahickon are looking for volunteers to work as Trail Ambassadors in Wissahickon Valley Park.


The application deadline is Friday, January 15. Eight training classes will be conducted in February and March of 2010. The application fee is $125, but applications received before January 1 will receive a $25 discount.


Trail Ambassadors are volunteers who assist park users in the Wissahickon by sharing information about flora, fauna, regulations, geography, and history of the Wissahickon, along with directions and first aid assistance. Trail Ambassadors share their knowledge by:

● Interacting with and providing assistance to park users while walking the trails;

● Staffing information tables at FOW volunteer days and events;

● Leading walks in the Wissahickon Valley; and

● Conducting surveys of park users and wildlife.

 Ambassadors must be FOW members or join the organization. The number of open positions is limited. For more information, program requirements, and an application form visit www.fow.org.

Contact FOW Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Groves with questions at groves@fow.org or 215-247-0417 ext 105.



Volunteer with Working with People


“Roll up your sleeve” was the statement that echoed throughout the room as seasonal flu shots were given to 96 adults in the Germantown/Mt Airy/Chestnut Hill community on Saturday Nov. 21.


The event, hosted by Working with People, a community development corporation established in September of this year, was held at the New Covenant Campus, 7500 Germantown Avenue. Working with People and New Covenant Church partnered with the Philadelphia Department of Health to make this service available.


Free vaccinations and information on TrustScripts discount prescription plan, Angel Food Ministries, Wisdom from the Word daily radio program and other service oriented programs offered by Working with People and New Covena nt Church were provided to attendees. Volunteer participation added greatly to the success of the event and greatly eased the anxiety of waiting patients.  Community residents and New Covenant Church members volunteered beside professional volunteers Dr. Akili DeBrady and registered nurses Donna Foster and Claire Herr.


The need and opportunity for community volunteers remains.  If you are interested in learning more about Working with People, volunteer opportunities, or any of the above mentioned programs or services, please contact Elizabeth (Bizz) Douty at 215-247-7500, ext. 141. 



Northwest Zoning Hearings


The following hearings will be held 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, December 23, 2 p.m. – 506 West Springer Street, four use and four zoning variances. Permit for the relocation of lot lines to create four lots from one lot (506 West Springer Street) and for the erection of a three-story semi-detached structure with cellar, maximum height 35 feet, for use as a single-family dwelling unit with an interior garage on each lot.


Wednesday, December 23, 4 p.m.: 7721 Germantown Avenue, three zoning variances. Permit for the relocation of lot lines to create four lots to be as follows (lots A, B, D, E and F) from five lots (existing in four BRT Ac Numbers) 7721 Germantown Avenue retail sale of herbal nutritional supplements, second floor for holistic health center including therapeutic massage, 7723 Germantown Avenue for a beauty shop on first floor, second floor one dwelling unit, 7725 Germantown avenue, retail bakery with food prep for take-out, one dwelling unit on the second/third floors, 7720-22 Winston Rd iron shop with accessory parking of cars, trucks with accessory office.



Mt. Airy Baseball Offers Winter Clinics


Mt. Airy Baseball, beginning its 25th year of providing baseball instruction and play in 2010, announces that its Winter Programs are now open for registration. The programs are open to all children, even if they haven’t played Mt. Airy Baseball in the past.


The Mt. Airy Clinics provide instruction in hitting, pitching and catching to girls and boys 8 thru 16 years of age.  There are 12 sessions, offering 4 ½ hours of instruction over 3 days at the low cost of $25 per session.  No child will be turned away for inability to pay, but pre-registration is suggested. 


The first sessions begin over Christmas weekend (December 26-28) and are a great activity for children on winter break.  Sessions continue through early February.  All clinics are held in the gym at Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church, Germantown and Mt. Pleasant avenues.


Mt. Airy Baseball also offer hitting workouts for players ages 10-13 at the Ambler Sports Academy on Sundays from February through March.  Each one hour session is $20 and players must be pre-registered.


You can download the registration form from the Mt. Airy Baseball website at www.mtairybaseball.org



Pre-Holiday Music Festival

Come join the Mt. Airy-Nippon-Bryan-Cresheim Town Watch for its 8th annual Pre-Holiday Music Fest on Sunday, Dec. 20, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at High Point Café, in the Allen Lane Train Station. There will be fantastic music with John Colgan-Davis and members of the Dukes of Destiny (blues), Steve Hastie (high energy acoustic), Allen Krantz (classical guitar), Rusty Prall (mountain dulcimer), MB Singley (pop) and Helen Wendell (light opera). Scrumptious delights will include homemade pastries,sandwiches, soups, desserts, coffee and espressos. Purchase a food item and get $1 off a beverage.


Kwanzaa Festival

A Kwanzaa Festival and Workshop will be held Saturday Dec. 26, at the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center, 22nd and Lehigh Avenue, from noon to 5 p.m. Activities include a candle lighting ceremony, African cuisine, African dance, poetry, and make’em-take’em workshops. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children under 18, free for children under age 3. For more information call Malika at 215- 849-3184 or Phoenix at 215-739-4646.


Poinsettia Sale

The Friends of Vernon Park Poinsettia Sale will be held Thursday, December 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at Center in the Park, 5818 Germantown Avenue. Buy your poinsettia from Friends of Vernon Park. The proceeds benefit your neighborhood park. Call Sue Finch at 215-843-5007 for further information.



Sing Along with Oz Characters


Video Library, 7141 Germantown Avenue, will host special matinee screenings of The Wizard of Oz  Monday through Wednesday,  December 21-23, at 2 p.m. 70 years after its release, the classic film is now available in a splendid print with sing-a-long words on the bottom of the screen to all the songs you love. And there’s an Oz contest: when you come, tell us your favorite character and you might win a free scoop of ice cream. Tickets (including popcorn) are $6. For more information call 215-247-3020 or visit www.mtairyvideolibrary.com



The Residential Christmas Tree Recycling Program will run from Saturday, January 9 through Saturday, January 16. Citizens who wish to drop off their trees for recycling may take it to the Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers, 3033 S. 63rd Street, Domino Lane and Umbria Street, and State Road and Ashburner Street, during the one-week program. The centers are open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There will be no curbside collection of Christmas trees for recycling purposes. Trees left at the curb will be considered as trash and will be picked up on regularly scheduled trash days. For information call 215-686-5560, visit www.phila.gov/streets, or call 3-1-1.



$11K in Grants from Mt. Airy Teachers Fund


For the second straight year, the Mt. Airy Teacher’s Fund awarded nearly $11,000 in grants to 26 public school teachers in Mt. Airy. A total of 41 teachers at the AB Day, Emlen, Henry, Houston, and Lingelbach schools submitted applications for this year’s Teacher’s Fund grants.  Grants awarded ranged in size from $385 to $500 each and were judged based on educational opportunities provided by the teachers.


A majority of this year’s grant funds were distributed to teachers who incorporated a pro-tolerance/anti-bullying message in their proposed projects.  Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary staged a 2007 concert fundraiser at the home of Judy and Ken Weinstein which raised more than $10,000.  Peter Yarrow’s wishes were to use the funds to help send a message to kids in Northwest Philadelphia that bullying is not acceptable and leads to anger and resentment. 


“The committee wanted to be true to how Peter Yarrow wanted the funds to be used.  That’s why we decided to dedicate the majority of this teacher’s grants towards Peter’s message of anti-bullying,” explained Trolley Car Diner & Deli owner Ken Weinstein, one of the Mt. Airy Teacher’s Fund’s Committee members. 


The grants approved were diverse and ranged from tennis lessons at the Houston School to a “Building Bridges” puppet musical about conflict resolution at the AB Day School to a navigational program that encourages fitness at the Lingelbach School.

“We funded some very exciting projects both in and out of the classroom,” explained Mt. Airy Teacher’s Fund Committee member and West Mt. Airy Neighbors Executive Vice President Leslie Winder.  “I am particularly excited about some of the field trips that will take place because of these grants.”


The Teacher’s Fund grants are available as a result of strong support from Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary, Trolley Car Diner & Deli and other individual donors.  The Mt. Airy Teacher’s Fund Committee will continue to seek additional funding in order to provide another round of grants next fall.  Committee members include Pat Harless, Pauline Henry, Marilyn Lambert, Richard Raisman, Ken Weinstein and Leslie Winder.


Now in its second year of operation, the Mt. Airy Teacher’s Fund was created to help public school teachers in Mt. Airy fund projects that help to educate their students.  Many Mt. Airy teachers were previously forced to pay for educational projects out of their own pockets or decided to not pursue educational opportunities because they could not obtain funding from the Philadelphia School District.


To receive more information about the Mt. Airy Teacher’s Fund, call 215-848-1133 x 208.



GHS to Commemorate Victims of Violence


As the holidays approach, Germantown High School is preparing to embark on a wonderful program in conjunction with Mothers United Through Tragedy, Inc., to benefit students and families that have lost loved ones to violence. The event, “Germantown High School’s Stolen Dreams Remembered,” will be held on Monday, December 21, at 5:30 p.m.


The event will benefit both Germantown High School students and the surrounding community.  We will be collecting new, used and seasonally warm shoes that will be placed on the steps of the school to symbolize those lives lost to acts of violence. Shoes, sneakers, boots, slippers, etc. will be collected through December 18. We will also include names and/or photos of the victims. The shoes will then be donated to a local shelter in the name of Germantown High School and Mothers United Through Tragedy, Inc.


We will be having a program in the auditorium as well as a balloon releasing ceremony at the end of the event to commemorate those lives lost.



World-Class Players Soccer Clinic


Two soccer players, World Cup and Olympic veterans Chris Albright and Ben Olsen, will conduct a clinic for the youth of the Starfinder Foundation on Dec. 19 between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Starfinder’s facility, 4015 Main Street, Manayunk.  Albright and Olsen’s background as top level professionals will allow for high-level training in a fun, energetic atmosphere. Native Eastern Pennsylvania players, Chris and Ben, look to promote the game of soccer in their home state and provide training for those youth who have a passion and desire to play soccer. 


Starfinder’s mission is to enhance the personal growth of underserved youth through soccer and learning experiences that engage, inspire and motivate.   Through participation in these experiences, young people discover the “stars” in themselves and strive to become agents of change in their communities. Participation in this clinic will also motivate these young leaders and soccer players to strive for personal success.


The clinic is also a preview of the AO Pro Soccer Camp which provides top-level training for youth throughout the Eastern Pennsylvania area and is open to anyone who is interested in attending.  The camp is held from December 26-28 or Dec. 29-31 at a rate of $225 per session.  Chris and Ben, along with other MLS players, run every minute of these sessions not only for elite male players, but also for the elite female players in the area.


The camp sessions simulate a game-prep practice week at the professional level and provides training that is pointed, rigorous, challenging and fun.


Information on the camp can be found at www.starfinderfoundation.org.



The Philadelphia Black Alliance for Educational Options is hosting a Parents With Power session on Thursday, December 17, 6:30-8 p.m. at New Media Technology Charter School, 8034 Thouron Avenue – Sedgwick Street entrance.


If you are a high school student or parent of a high school student looking for the money to pay the expensive cost of college tuition, this session is for you. The Pennsylvania Higher Education assistance Authority (PHEAA) will help you plan a financial timeline for college and will help you fill out the Financial aid Application online. Allow BAEO and PHEAA to simplify the process, step by step. It’s never too early to prepare. For information call 215-851-1795.



Donations Sought for Food Cupboard


The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, located at the corner of Lincoln Drive and Carpenter Lane in Mt. Airy, has recently begun a weekly food cupboard for the purpose of serving those in our community who are in need. 

The church has partnered with a national organization called SHARE and are looking to grow as a local neighborhood service.  Since opening the cupboard, we’ve discovered a tremendous demand for food and we are struggling to keep up with the needs of the many people who’ve come by. 


In light of this, the church is looking for local businesses in the food industry who would be interested in partnering with it by helping its supply keep up with the demand.


If your business is interested, please contact Yvonne Lee at 215-301-0069.



GAME Night at Reformation


Make plans to bring your family and friends to the Holiday Celebration and GAME (God And My Entertainment) Night at Reformation Lutheran Church’s Spirit Hall on Saturday, December 19, 5-8 p.m.  The festivities will include a buffet of specially-prepared holiday refreshments, dancing and board games for everyone.

Rev. Lamont Anthony Wells, pastor, Reformation Lutheran Church, cordially welcomes the public to join members and friends of Reformation Lutheran Church for Christmas Eve services on Thursday, December 24.  “We will come together for a Family Worship Service at 7 p.m. featuring contemporary Christmas carols, sacred music and hymns performed by our Reformation Lutheran Church Choir, followed by the Christmas Vigil Service, which begins at 11 p.m., and includes the Service of Holy Communion as well,” says Pastor Wells. 

Reformation Lutheran Church, known as The Welcome Place, is located at 1215 East Vernon Road.  For information on these activities, please call the church at 215-548-4332.  Established in 1942, Reformation Lutheran Church is an affiliate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.


‘Rosemary for Remembrance’ at St. Paul’s


Saint Paul’s Church, 22 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, will offer “Rosemary for Remembrance: A Service When Christmas is a Difficult Time” on Sunday, December 20 at 5 p.m.  Individuals and families who live with painful memories of loss may join in this meditative and soothing service of prayer.  In candlelight, sprigs of rosemary will be given as remembrances of those who are missed at this season of Jesus’ birth.  Prior to worship a workshop on grieving will be held in the parish house from 2 – 5 p.m.  The workshop will include strategies for coping with loss, mindfulness meditation, storytelling, creative response and quiet reflection.  One can attend the worship without going to the workshop, or attend the workshop as a singular event.  All are invited to both.  To register for the workshop, please call 215-242-2055.

The title for worship, “Rosemary for Remembrance” comes from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Act IV, scene V:  “There’s rosemary;  that’s for remembrance./ Pray, love, remember.”  The herb rosemary has, for centuries, held great meaning as the symbol of remembrance.  Legend says that the Virgin Mary, while resting, spread her cloak over a white flowering rosemary bush.  The flowers turned the pale blue of her cloak, and from then on the bush was referred to as the “Rose of Mary.”  The service is intended to help worshipers “pray, love, and remember.”  All are invited to participate.

The staff at Samaritan Counseling at St. Paul’s urges anyone who has experienced a loss this year to pay attention to themselves.  They advise: “Be patient with yourself and take care of yourself.  Be realistic and honest about your limits.  What traditions do you want to continue, or start, and which might be too hard this year?  Finally, accept your feelings.  Everyone grieves differently.  Ask yourself, ‘Where can I find peace?  What brings me joy?’  Finally, if your find yourself overwhelmed, don’t struggle alone.  Talk to a trusted friend, a family member, or a counselor experienced with grief and its effects.”


A Red Cross blood drive will be held Sunday, December 20, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., at the Germantown Jewish Centre, 400 West Ellet Street, sponsored by the Men’s Club. Walk-ins are welcome but advanced registration is preferred. For information on the above programs or to RSVP, e-mail to  program@germantownjewishcentre.org or call 215-844-1507, ext 19.


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Germantown Friends School’s (GFS) Shelby Tucker (left) drives for the basket as Penn Charter's Brianna Butler comes in on defense in last weekend’s Germantown Community Basketball Tournement, where boys’ and girls’ teams from five local high schools squared off on the court at GFS. 

Germantown Hoops Tourney