From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

March 4, 2010 • MAI.pdf

In This Issue

  1. Security Problems Continue at Chestnut Hill Village

  2. Mt. Airy Named ‘Best Old House’ Neighborhood

  3. Germantown WORKS Explores Richardson Legacy

  4. Annual Toad Migration Needs YOU!

  5. History of Lovetts and the Library

  6. ‘Safe Nights at St. Mike’s’

  7. Music at Mt. Zion

  8. Preaching With Power Series at LTSP

  9. Feast at Miraculous Medal Shrine

  10. Johnson House Reschedules Freedom Essay Program

  11. Dine at Trolley Car, Help WCS

  12. More Than 70 Artists to Display Their Work at GFS Craft Show

  13. MALTClasses, Raffle, for Heli-Hiking Trip

  14. Music and Dining With DVOC

  15. Poet Sharon Gaither at Bread & Cup

  16. Job Fair for Weavers Way’s Chestnut Hill Branch

  17. Shop Winners at Flower Show

  18. Sen. Washington Sponsors Tax Seminar

  19. Lecture at Stenton on Peale

  20. Yorkhouse Seminars

  21. Media & Marketing at GGBA

  22. Mothers March

And More ..

Residents: Security Problems Continue at CH Village

Tom Lind (far right) gives residents of Chestnut Hill Village and update on recent discussions with apartment management about improving the safety there following a rash of burglaries over the last several months. The most recent break-in occurred mid-February.


Staff Writer

Three weeks after the Denver, Colorado-based owners of the Chestnut Hill Village apartment complex on Stenton Avenue agreed to a list of property improvements aimed at thwarting a rash of break-ins there, residents say they have failed to keep them safe.

According to Tom Lind, president of Concerned Residents in need of Better Security (CRIBS), that action list included installing new locks on all the exterior doors of the apartment buildings by February 18. But when management failed to meet that deadline, he said, there were two burglaries and one attempt in the unaltered buildings on the very next day.

Victims from two of those break-ins attended the CRIBS meeting February 22 at the clubhouse at the complex.

“Yeah, that was my apartment,” said Krasmira Rozenova, one of the victims.

She and her roommate Rob Kern were aware of the 15 or so burglaries in the complex over the last year, and they were always careful to set the deadbolt – except this one time. There was at least one other attempt in the same building on that day, residents said.

By now, according to Lind, the residents of the complex are quite familiar with the M.O. of the burglars. They come in the daytime, make their way into an apartment building with an old lock (Lind claims there have been no robberies on recently re-keyed buildings) and they use a crow bar or some other heavy tool to force their way into the apartments. Once inside, they know exactly what to look for. Rozenova was impressed with the crooks’ apparent calm.

“Only items of value were taken,” she said. “Only things that can be sold … They really took their time, to open, to close again, to take computers.” She also lost cash, jewelry and small electronics, she said.

Over the last several months residents have thwarted at least one burglary in progress by themselves. The property owners, Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO), sent a letter praising that action and encouraging residents to contact the police if they had any information about the crimes. But Lind and the 40 or so people who crowded into the clubhouse last Monday night thought the largest apartment management firm in the country should be doing something more.

“They are supposed to keep us safe,” Lind said.

Adding insult to injury, Lind and other residents claimed their fliers announcing the two CRIBS meetings held last week were systematically removed by management despite being located in approved posting areas on the huge campus.

“I find it incredibly insulting that we made a commitment with them to work with them to stop the burglaries and we gave them the opportunity to speak at the meeting and they had the audacity to tear [the signs] down,” Lind said.

John Serafin, the community manager at Chestnut Hill Village, told the residents last Monday that he spends a good deal of his day trying to complete the improvements on the action list, which include improved exterior lighting, new parking regulations and re-enforcement of individual apartment doors. He said he respected the residents and that he was committed to working with them to keep the community safe. But when residents asked why the signs were removed, and whether they were, in fact, located in the designated posting areas, Serafin did not have an answer.

“I will definitely find out,” he said. “No answer on that… I wasn’t prepared for Q and A points.” And he quickly left without answering a single question.

But if corporate headquarters was the place he was going for the answers, he might be out of luck.

“That’s definitely something that the on-site team would determine,” said Cindy Duffy, AIMCO’s director of corporate communications, about the signs.

Serafin also declined to answer follow up questions in a separate interview. But Duffy emphasized his openness to the residents and the good progress he was making on the safety action items. She said the new exterior building locks would be done this week, and the latch protectors to the several hundred apartments in Chestnut Hill Village would also be completed this week (that work started Monday), while the lighting upgrades would be done by the end of March.

And she stressed that AIMCO was committed to the safety of its residents.

“It’s in everyone’s best interest, certainly, to do what we can to minimize crime in the community,” she said.

Some residents at the CRIBS meeting said they were already doing what they could do about security, in spite of the policies at the complex. Aaron Palmer, a resident of the Town Homes at Chestnut Hill Village said he has long complained about the low quality of the exterior doors on the units, until he finally got fed up with the lack of response from management and took matters into his own hands.

“The doors, the screen doors are truly crappy,” he said. “I went out and purchased my own door for my safety and they said you had to do it yourself.”

Reinforcing the Town Home doors is also an item on the action list, Lind said.

And Tom Keenan, who supervises a group of college residents at Chestnut Hill Village, went even farther. According to him, more two of the apartments he is in charge of suffered burglaries over the last few months, and still he feels he has to do things for himself.

“I put in a back door, I put in an alarm system, and I have a gun,” he said.

Mt. Airy Named ‘Best Old House’ Neighborhood


Staff Writer

If you’ve ever looked to the New England home repair gurus Tommy (pronounced “tawmy”) and Norm (pronounced “noahm”) of This Old House on PBS for inspiration in fixing up your aging home, then you might take a special interest in the March issue of This Old House Magazine Online. The Yankee craftsmen have named Mt. Airy one of the nation’s Best Old House Neighborhoods.

“There is a lot of small business initiative along Germantown [Avenue]. We like to see that,” said Keith Pandolfi, associate editor of This Old House, about his team’s investigation of our neighborhood. “And of course the houses are amazing. We were just shocked by how beautiful those houses were.”

Every year This Old House names 51 Best Old House Neighborhoods, one for each state and an extra one for Canada, and every year Pennsylvania seems to top the list with the highest number of neighborhood nominations, Pandolfi said. Because of that, he’s heard of Mt. Airy before. He’s even had friends who have lived here over the years and raved about it. But thanks to all the responses he and his reporters got from area real estate agents and community and neighborhood groups, this year The Mount-below-The Hill got the nod.

To come up with the top neighborhoods, This Old House works with Preservation to send out a yearly call for nominations to more than 15,000 organizations and individuals around the country that work in the business of old homes. The nominations process takes two months, and after that Pandolfi and his reporters start investigating the neighborhoods to see if they are all they were cracked up to be. And in the case of Mt. Airy it definitely is.

“In each neighborhood we want to see residents who are gung ho about restoring their old homes,” Pandolfi said.

Beyond that he liked the idea of promoting a place that was perhaps a little “overshadowed” by another prominent neighborhood close bye - Chestnut Hill. “We just like to point out neighborhoods that might be overlooked by a lot of people in the market for older homes.”

And it doesn’t hurt to have a good back story either, or strong neighborhood organizations to hold the community together.

“It’s always been a very progressive neighborhood,” Pandolfi said. “The residents have always been very passionate about fighting for what’s there. I know that in the 70s they really fought against white flight.”

The old house crew also liked Mt. Airy’s many trees (they don’t mention leaf pickup last fall), its proximity to the history of Germantown, the aristocracy of Chestnut Hill, and the easy rail access to Center City. While his site refers to Mt. Airy as very possibly “one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the country,” Pandolfi said it also reminded him of the best parts about doing his job.

“That’s what is so fun about doing this,” he said. “You get to discover all these really great neighborhoods.”

Visit to see the official write up.

Germantown WORKS Explores Richardson Legacy


Staff Writer

On November 17, 1967, an 18-year old Germantown activist named David Richardson organized a city-wide walkout of African American high school students to march on the Philadelphia School Board. The students wanted more black teachers and administrators in schools, the right to wear African clothing, and the official recognition of black student unions.

“Schools from the north came down on Broad Street, and they came up from the south,” recalled Mary Ann Tyler at the Germantown WORKS forum February 18. “I’ll never forget that day.”

Area residents and elected officials joined several Germantown High School (GHS) students as part of an ongoing oral history program that day, “Remembering David Richardson and the Germantown Protest of 1967,” sponsored by numerous area groups. This particular forum hatched from student investigators’ desire to learn more about Richardson and the role of GHS in recent history.

“I’d like to consider Dave Richardson the greatest leader Germantown has ever had,” said event moderator David Young, the executive director of Cliveden of the National Trust.

Six years after the ’67 student march, Richardson ran for the state House of Representatives and beat the white incumbent, Francis Rush, for the 201st legislative district seat in a landslide victory. He went on to win 12 consecutive terms in the House and to become the Democratic Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, the chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and the National Black Caucus of State Legislatures. He sponsored more than four hundred bills in his 22 years in Harrisburg and became known as a champion of social justice, welfare reform and prison reform. When he died of a heart attack at 46, he was the third ranking Democrat and the senior African American in the state House.

But on February 14 speakers focused on Richardson’s personal impact more than anything else.

“I remember him saying ‘to whom power is given much is required,’” said State Senator Leanna Washington (D., 4th). “And his mission was to save black people.”

Along with Washington, State Representative John Myers (Richardson’s successor in the 201st District) and 8th District City Councilwoman Donna Miller all joined the panel as personal friends of Richardson. They spoke of his ability to unite people and inspire them.

Washington credited Richardson with motivating her to get an education and become involved with politics, and Miller and Myers said his leadership skills came out early when he started to broker truces between “the Seven Gs,” the gangs of Germantown.

“Dave’s message wasn’t ‘I don’t like gangs,’ ” Myers said. Rather, it was to understand the gangs and why they existed, and try to use those understandings to help organize the community, Myers said.

The meeting participants encouraged the students to become involved in the community using Richardson as a model. 

The invitation didn’t go unnoticed. Several of the students used the forum to complain about unfairness and harshness in the school’s enforcement of dress code and cell phone policy. And they talked of a school-wide shortage of books for homework assignments.

“I don’t think the [non teaching assistants] or the school police should treat every child like they are delinquent,” said senior Tia-Yana Woods. She and several of the students on the panel were visibly upset by security policies at GHS, and what they characterized as regular harassing of students by security personnel.

But school-related staff encouraged the students to take a hard look at the context of the problems before they organized against it.

“We have a culture in the school that is a problem,” admitted David Hoxter, who runs an after school program at the school. “But as leaders I would ask you, what is your responsibility to enact your vision?” he continued. “Think about what you’re moving on: Are you building up, or are you tearing down?”

Area organizations supporting the Germantown WORKS and Germantown Speaks projects include: The Neighborhood Interfaith Movement, Cliveden of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Germantown Historical Society, Center in the Park, First Presbyterian Church of Germantown, First United Methodist Church of Germantown, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Germantown, Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia, Partners for Sacred Places and Germantown High School.

Annual Toad Migration Needs YOU!



Toads migrating to Roxborough Reservoir may not have the romantic aura of the swallows coming back to San Juan de Capistrano – but the little amphibious creatures are as dear to scores of local volunteers as those swallows are to residents of California.

An effort between several groups – among them the Germantown-based Public Eye: Artists For Animals, the Fairmount Park Commission, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and others – has been working for the past several years to see that thousands of American Toads that spend the winter in the ground near the woods by the Schuylkill Center can make their way across some busy highways without getting squashed on their way to the reservoir.

Why does a toad cross the road? In this case, it’s not only to get to the other side. They’re on their way to the reservoir to mate, because while they live on dry land they need water to lay their eggs in. The toads travel there every year in the early spring in order to lay their eggs and reproduce.

Lisa Levinson is a member of the local branch of  Public Eye: Artists for Animals (, a group of artists who teach compassion for animals through the arts. She’s organizing this year’s effort to help the toads safely cross the roads. Thus, she’s perhaps the only person in America who can claim the title of “Toad Detour Coordinator.”

“We started this project last year,” says Levinson.  “The initial impetus was that every year I noticed the migration of toads from around the Schuylkill Center toward the Roxborough Reservoir, crossing from the woods toward the reservoir.”

Levinson’s being working on the effort for four years. Last year, when the effort really took off, there were almost one hundred volunteers who saved over 700 toads, she says.

There’s one main migration in late winter/early spring when the toads really swarm toward the reservoir, says Levinson, with hundreds crossing the roads at one time.  Last year that took place on April 6 so it’s time to begin coordinating this year’s rescue effort.

Volunteers can assist in the toad-wrangling in several ways. “We’ll have toad spotters and toad counters,” says Levinson. “We’ve had whole families and children to come observe the toads. And we will have people there to guide and educate them.”

The main migration happens around dusk, she says, and during rain, so the little creatures are not easy to spot when you’re driving. That’s why some streets in the neighborhood of the reservoir will be barricaded off to traffic in the evening as the toads make their way to water.

Levinson describes the toads’ trip as “an arduous journey. They have to climb rocks make their way through fences, and cross the roads.” And these days, with all the automobiles they have to contend with, it’s a dangerous one too, with many dying under the wheels of cars. That’s why some volunteers – “toad crossing guards,” Levinson calls them – will help pick up the stragglers who are crossing in the non-barricaded areas and take them across the roads.

Later on in June another effort will be necessary, when the toads’ offspring have gotten large enough to make their way from the reservoir back to the woods. These “toadlets” as Levinson calls them are very small - about the size of a thumbnail – and  some sharp-eyed volunteers will be needed to  make sure they get back safely.

The first meeting to coordinate the toad migration effort will take place Sunday, March 7, 4-5 p.m., in the Dick James Room of the Schylkill Center for Environmental education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Roxborough.  For more information call Levinson at 215-620-2130, or e-mail to

History of Lovetts and the Library

Have you ever wondered why Mt. Airy’s branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia is named the “Lovett Memorial” Library?  To answer that question, and in observance of Lovett’s Founders Month, the Friends of Lovett Memorial Library have invited Friends past president David T. Moore to deliver the 2010 Frank Wister Thomas Memorial Lecture:  “Who Were the Mt. Airy Lovetts?  Stories of a Family and of a Library.” 

The program will take place Wednesday, March 17 at the library, 6945 Germantown Avenue.

Research has revealed that the Lovett family had extraordinary experiences that ranged from the Tower of London prison to the court of the Ottoman Emperor in Constantinople,  from an elegant Broadway hotel in New York City to the developing Michigan frontier of the 1840s and 1850s,  from the Mexican War to the Civil War,  from business with the US Land Office to the Patent Office to the Supreme Court,  from one of the most famous estates in the District of Columbia to one of the most famous houses that formerly stood along Mt. Airy’s “Main Street.” 

Moore, a lifelong Mt. Airyite who chaired Lovett’s centennial in 1985, will present slides illustrative of the Lovett family’s experiences. At the free program on March 17, refreshments will be provided at 6:30 p.m.  Moore, assistant to the partners at the Philadelphia Print Shop in Chestnut Hill, will speak at 7:15 p.m. sharp. 

The library’s telephone number is 215-685-2095.

‘Safe Nights at St. Mike’s’

Safe Nights at St. Mike’s is a program for children of all ages and their families to be held on the First Friday of each month beginning March 5, 6 - 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 6671 Germantown Avenue. 

The program provides an evening of fun and entertainment for youth and families in the community surrounding St. Michael’s. The night is set to coincide with First Fridays in Mt. Airy.  Each evening will include a shared meal, dance, storytelling, and games.

Our kick off event on March 5 will highlight the music of The Groove Daemons from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, playing jazz, 70’s-80’s, R&B, jazz fusion, and a little rock ‘n roll.  There will be food, fun, and games for everyone.  The event is free.  Volunteers are welcome.

Please RSVP to the church office at 215-848-0199 or e-mail Vicar Debbie Stein at  RSVP is helpful for planning but not necessary.  Just come.

You need not be a member of St. Michael’s to attend Safe Nights at St. Mike’s, it is a fun program for the community.  Hope you can join us.

Music at Mt. Zion

On Sunday, March 14 at 4 p.m., the Chancel Choir of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown, 41 W. Rittenhouse Street, will celebrate their annual Day of Music featuring the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale in concert. For more information call the church at 215-844-7614.

Preaching With Power Series at LTSP

For the 28th year, five sermons and one lecture by six distinguished African American preachers and theologians, and a celebration of black sacred music comprise Preaching with Power: A Forum on Black Preaching and Theology, a program of the Urban Theological Institute (UTI)  of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). All are welcome.

The worship offering proceeds go to The Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund, which benefits UTI students.

Dates and preachers/programs are:

Sunday, March 7, 7:30 p.m., UTI Alumni Night, the Rev. Joseph Conner, preaching at LTSP Shaeffer-Ashmead Chapel, 7301 Germantown Avenue.

Monday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., the Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr., preaching at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street.

Tuesday, March 9, 11:30 a.m., Preaching with Power Lecture, the Rev. Dr. Cleophus J. LaRue lecturer, LTSP Brossman Center, 7301 Germantown Avenue.

Tuesday – March 9, 7:30 p.m., Bishop Stephen G. Marsh, preaching at Church of St. John the Evangelist, 1332 South 3rd Street.

Wednesday – March 10, 11:30 a.m., A Celebration of Black Sacred Music, LTSP Shaeffer-Ashmead Chapel.

Wednesday – March 10, 7:30 p.m., Bishop J. W. Macklin, preaching at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Avenue.

Thursday, March 11, 7:30 p.m., the Rev. Kim Anderson, preaching at St. Matthew AME Church, 215 North 57th Street.

The week will conclude with a Prospective Student Day on Saturday, March 13 starting at 8:30 a.m. on the LTSP campus. 

For more information on Preaching with Power, including venue directions and preacher profiles, and to register for Prospective Student Day, go to the seminary Web site at

The Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, celebrating 30 years, is dedicated to providing theological education to church leaders that is relevant and upbuilding for the African American community.

UTI Director The Rev. Dr.  Quintin Robertson can be reached at or call 215-248-7324.

Feast at Miraculous Medal Shrine

The Feast of St. Louise de Marillac is being celebrated at the Miraculous Medal Shrine, 500 West Chelten Avenue, on March 15 all day and in a very special 12:05 p.m. Mass being celebrated by Bishop Timothy C. Senior.

St. Louise de Marillac is famous for her charity and work with St. Vincent de Paul and the poor. She is the co-foundress of the Daughters of Charity, now 23,000 in number, who serve in 150 countries, working to better the lives of the poor daily.

The Miraculous Medal Shrine will be collecting canned goods, food and donations for the poor that the Daughters of Charity and Priests and Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul work with here in Philadelphia.

These donations can be brought to the Shrine during the 3 Day Novenas leading up to the Monday Feast Day in March 15.

Every Monday sees thousands come to the nine Novena Services celebrated at the Miraculous Medal Shrine to pray the Novena prayers to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.

To join them go to, or call 215-848-1010 for more information.

Johnson House Reschedules Freedom Essay Program

Due to the recent heavy regional snowfall the 322nd Annual Freedom Essay Contest at the Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue, originally scheduled to be held on Sunday, February 21, has been cancelled.  The rescheduled date for this event is Sunday, March 14 from 3-5 p.m.

The JHHS Freedom Essay Contest, “Commemorating the 322nd Anniversary of the First Protest Against Slavery,” encourages school students in grade groups 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 to submit essays on three topics: “What is the difference between protest yesterday and protest today?”; “What was the impact of the civil rights movement?”; and “What impact does protest have on society?”  First place and runner up prizes will be awarded for each grade group.  Three students will each win $100, while three runners-up will each win $25.  All winners chosen will present their essays during a public program spotlighting their leadership achievement in front of their parents/guardians, community and the JHHS Board of Directors.   

JHHS will also recognize Mr. Scott K. Bass for his many years of service and dedication to youth.   Mr. Bass, vice president of Operations at the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, lives in Mt.Airy and is the president of the local chapter of Concerned Black Men, an international civic organization which provides educational and life enriching experiences for minority youth.

This is a FREE educational and inspirational event. For more information please call 215-438-1768.

The Johnson House Historic Site, Inc. is a National Historic Landmark and treasure. In addition, the Johnson House is a leading educational site providing experiential learning opportunities for understanding the Underground Railroad and the struggle against slavery. The authenticity of this historic building and surrounding grounds provide rich encounters with history and evidences of the past in a tangible way.

Dine at Trolley Car, Help WCS

Families, staff and friends of Wissahickon Charter School will clean their plates for a very good cause during the week of March 15-21.

From Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 3 – 9 p.m., the Trolley Car Diner, 7619 Germantown Avenue, will donate 15 percent of all meal receipts from diners with WCS Helping Hands coupons.

Wissahickon Charter School, an urban, eco-centered K-8 school located in a former radio factory, emphasizes inquiry-based learning and an integrated approach to studying the human and environmental systems that make up our world. The idea for the seven-year-old school was conceived around a kitchen table by community educators, activists and parents.

Take a night off from cooking and show your support by bringing friends and family to the Trolley Car Diner during the week of March 15-21. You’ll also be helping to support a locally-owned, community-minded small business.

Diners must present a coupon in order for the school to benefit; coupons are available at the Wissahickon Charter School website,

More Than 70 Artists to Display Their Work at GFS Craft Show

Erin Castellan and Robert Siegel are two young, contemporary craft artists creating in their South Philadelphia studios. Both are drawn to rich, intense color, but their means of expression are very different. For Castellan it is knitwear. Siegel’s canvas is porcelain. While on the northern edge of the city, Tristram MacDonnell crafts custom furniture in his Germantown studio. The talents of all three have earned them coveted spots in the upcoming Germantown Friends School Juried Craft Show on March 5, 6, 7.

It was serendipity that brought Castellan and knitting together. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in textile design, she took a single knitting class in her final year. Graduation gave way to a job in a coffee shop where the early morning hours and lack of creativity frustrated her. A friend spotted a knitting machine advertised in the paper and told her to go look at it. “’It might change your life,’ she said, and it really has. “I have been slow in getting the designs up and running due to other work commitments, but now have the inventory necessary for participating in craft shows such as GFS.”

That inventory includes scarves, gloves and hats, all knit of certified organic merino wool, which Castellan promises is super soft, or sustainable fibers such as Tencel and bamboo.

Castellan’s pieces are created on a hand-powered Japanese knitting loom. She uses fine needles and hooks to create multi-dimensional designs, which are then felted, or finished by hand, once the pieces are off the machine. The machine speeds up the basic fabrication process, allowing more time for the creative structural designs. “A good deal of the initial design work is trial and error. You can really do as much as you have the patience to do.” An individual scarf may take anywhere from two to eight or more hours to create. Once the design is established, the artist enjoys sampling colors.

Pursuing ceramics is a passion that started when Robert Siegel was just a kid, in summer camp. The passion was rekindled later, in high school, and Siegel went on to become a studio art major with a concentration in Ceramics at Miami University of Ohio. “I never had the innate ability to draw, but I always enjoyed making art. It was only natural I found myself working in a three dimensional medium,” the South Philadelphia resident explains, “and the tactile nature of the material drew me in.”

His material of choice is porcelain, which he claims is the very best material for a potter to use. “It has no iron, no grit. It’s a beautiful pure white clay body with no impurities. Some people say it’s like making pots with cream cheese.”

After earning his B.F.A., Siegel, who has always been fascinated by Eastern cultures, completed a residency in Jingdezhen, China. “Jingdezhen is the birthplace of Chinese porcelain, the imperial kilns were located there, and the history and traditions of Chinese porcelain making go back over 1500 years.” I figured, ‘Why not go to the source?’”

Now Siegel is a full-time ceramist, spending hours on end at his potter’s wheel creating high-end gift items and dinnerware sets. He considers himself one of the luckiest people in the world. “I am doing what I really love to do.”

Both Castellan and Siegel say they are looking forward to the experience at Germantown Friends School, where they are among three artists in the Emerging Artists category, developed to offer opportunity to participate to Philadelphia-based artists who have never before shown their work in the GFS Show. The third is woodworker Tristram MacDonnell of Germantown.

Despite an economy that is still shaky, the show saw a 10 percent rise in applications for its 2010 show. “We weren’t quite sure what to expect this year,” says Jennifer Celata, Manager of the event. “Last year we saw a tremendous rise in applicants and thought we may have hit our peak. But we were thrilled to receive 330 applications this year, up 10% from last year. I think it’s a real testament to this gem of a show’s national reputation.” The 74 artists are coming to the GFS campus at Germantown Avenue and Coulter Streets from 21 states coast to coast, and represent some of the finest craft artists in the United States. Thirty are exhibiting at the GFS show for the first time.

The show takes place in two gyms on the school’s campus. Three local restaurateurs will serve their signature dishes in the Café des Artistes, open Saturday and Sunday during show hours. A Preview on Friday evening will offer a first look at the artists’ offerings as well as a silent auction of hand-crafted works donated by the exhibitors. Students will entertain and light refreshments will be served by Charles Roman Catering.

Proceeds of the event benefit community scholarship and general scholarship programs at Germantown Friends School. Since 1985, more than $1,050,000 has been raised, and close to $600,000 has been given to the Community Scholars Program, which supports qualified students from the community, and the General Scholarship Fund. A portion of the proceeds is also earmarked for special projects for the school.

The GFS Craft Show is located at Germantown Friends School, 31 West Coulter Street. Hours are: Friday, March 5, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday, March 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, March 7, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 per adult, $3 per student.

Admission for the Preview is $35, good for the entire weekend. Parking is free. Call (215) 301-4711 or visit for information.

MALTClasses, Raffle, for Heli-Hiking Trip

Upcoming classes at Mt. Airy Learning Tree (MALT) include:

WL12, Women’s Next Work Adventure? Join us for an evening of exploration of mountain peaks, river quests, documentary filmmaking, clean-ups on Everest and more. Investigate all possibilities not only for your career but also for your heart and mind. “Can’t” and “No” are just not options. Come hear what women are doing that is not “traditional” work. Share in the joy of pushing yourself to find your own limits and to climb your own Everest. Class meets 7 - 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16, at Summit Presbyterian Church, Greene and Westview streets. The cost is $19. Instructor Kellie Erwin of CMH Heli-Hiking holds a B.A. in Outdoor Education and a master’s degree in Health Education.

Then, on Thursday, March 18, also 7-9 p.m. at Summit Presbyterian, there’s AC34, Photography from Around the World:  Exploring Nature with Your Camera. It’s not just about the technical side of photography; it’s also about what captures you in nature. Come explore the world through the eyes of a mountain/nature photographer. Learn firsthand the tricks and moments of capturing the shot. Share the joy of putting your impressions and view of the outdoors into a photographic story. The cost is $19.

To register call 215-843-6333 or go to Walk-ins are welcome.

Erwin and Lazarski, with CMH Heli-Hiking, are donating fees for the above classes to MALT’s Make This Our home fundraising campaign. Students in these classes are automatically entered in a raffle for a Heli-Hiking Trip for one (approximate value $2495). The drawing will be held at 9 p.m. after Lazarski’s photography class on March 18. You need not be present to win.

Music and Dining With DVOC

The Delaware Valley Opera Company will host “Regards to Broadway,” the company’s popular evening of Broadway favorites, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 at Keenan’s Valley View Inn, Domino Lane, Roxborough. The evening includes dinner and a concert performed by some of DVOC’s finest singers.

Doris Coleman, whose career as a pianist has included TV appearances with such opera stars as Anna Moffo, will act as the evening’s accompanist.

Selections from beloved musicals such as The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie Get your Gun, Company, Naughty Marietta, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera will be performed.

Singers slated to perform include tenor Doug Rowland, soprano Tracy Sturgis, bass Milo Morris, mezzo-soprano Majalisa Fritzhuspen, tenor Jay Anstee, and many more.

Tickets for “Regards to Broadway” are $40 per person, and include the concert, a three-course meal and non-alcoholic beverages. Patrons have a choice of roast beef, capon or a vegetarian option.

RSVP by March 14 to: DVOC, 1731 Chandler Street, Philadelphia, 19111.

Keenan’s Valley View Inn is located at 468 Domino Lane. Parking is free and handicapped accessible. For information call 215-725-4171.

Poet Sharon Gaither at Bread & Cup

Sharone Gaither will be headlining at the Bread and Cup Coffeehouse this Sunday, March 7 at 7 p.m. Ms. Gaither is a prolific poet and performer, as well as a woman committed to the community.  She is on the board of the Whosoever Gospel Mission, and was one of several Bread and Cup performers who spearheaded a fundraiser for the Mission after their 2006 fire.

Bread and Cup is a monthly multicultural and intergenerational coffeehouse that takes place in the Longstreth Auditorium of the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 West Chelten Avenue.  In addition to featuring headline performers, there is an open microphone for others to share their talents.  Admission and refreshments are free, with contributions gratefully received.  For information contact Kevin Porter at 215-843-8811.

Job Fair for Weavers Way’s Chestnut Hill Branch

Weavers Way Co-op will be holding a Job Fair on Monday, March 15, to help staff the co-op’s new location in Chestnut Hill, which is scheduled to open in May. Weavers Way expects to create a minimum of 30 new full- and part-time jobs with the opening of the new store, and will be recruiting for departments including Grocery, Produce, Deli, Prepared Foods, and Cashiers. The Job Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 8400 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, right next door to the new store.

“We are excited about opening in Chestnut Hill for many reasons,” said Weavers Way President Nancy Weinman, “but one big reason is that we will be bringing so many new jobs to Northwest Philadelphia, and at a time when they are sorely needed.”

General Manager Glenn Bergman agrees. “Weavers Way is all about local,” Bergman says. “We are committed to local product — local milk, bread, cheese, and other products, and produce from our own farm right in Northwest Philadelphia. But local also means investing in our community, and we are very happy to be doing just that.”

Weavers Way offers full-time employees earn a living wage and receive a full benefits package, including medical and dental insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation and sick time, and employee discount. Previous grocery experience is a plus but not a requirement. Ideal candidates will be able to work some early evenings and at least one weekend day. For more information about employment at Weavers Way, contact

Shop Winners at Flower Show

A panel of judges selected 18  winners out of 90 shops and attractions across the Philadelphia region that participated in the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show’s 15th Annual Phlower Power Window Decorating Contest to kick off spring.

The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show Passport to the World runs through March 7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Windows in Chestnut Hill, Chinatown, Fabric Row, Fairmount, the Main Line, Manayunk, Midtown Village, Mt. Airy, Northern Liberties, Kensington, Old City, Rittenhouse, South Philadelphia, University City, and Easton, Pa., were festooned with floral and worldly décor beginning on Friday, February 19.

Among this year’s winners were:

Monkey Business, 8624 Germantown Avenue – “Voted Crowd Favorite.”

Ten Thousand Villages, 8331 Germantown Avenue – “Most Well Traveled.”

Artista, 7151 Germantown Avenue – Judges’ Choice.

Sen. Washington Sponsors Tax Seminar

State Sen. LeAnna Washington will be joining with the Financial Freedom Network to present a free Tax Planning Seminar and Tax Preparation Services.

The event will be held on Saturday, March 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Upper Room Baptist Church, 7236 Ogontz Avenue.

“I know that tax preparation can be quite a daunting task,” Washington said.  “That is why I am pleased to offer this information seminar and tax preparation services to help those in need of guidance.”

Thane C. Martin, Certified Public Accountant, will be on hand to teach:

Strategies to Reduce Your Tax Burden

What It Means to Be “Audited by the IRS”

What Deductions You Qualify For

• How Filing for Bankruptcy Affects your Taxes and more

For those who have already filed their 2009 taxes, there will be information on how to save more money on your 2010 taxes.

For participants whose total household income does not exceed $50,000 for the year 2009, there will also be an IRS trained tax preparer on hand to help file their taxes for free.

“This is a wonderful opportunity provided by the Campaign for Working Families,” Washington said.  “These individuals will be able to get the tax credits they have earned while saving themselves from unnecessary fees.  I urge qualified constituents to attend this important seminar.”

There is limited seating for this event. To make a reservation and schedule tax preparation services, constituents are urged to contact Sen. Washington’s office at 215-242-0472.  Refreshments will be served.

Lecture at Stenton on Peale

Stenton Museum announces a lecture and discussion entitled “Charles Willson Peale and his Germantown Neighbors,” a segment in Historic Germantown’s ongoing Lunch and Learn series.

Laura Keim, the curator at Stenton, will discuss Peale’s interactions with his nearby neighbors, focusing on the Logans of Stenton and the Haineses of Wyck. In 1810, Peale “retired” to Belfield Farm in Germantown to pursue his love of gardening and scientific agriculture.  The presentation will consider the ways in which Peale’s relationships with these other prominent families impacted the scientific and artistic culture of the neighborhood.

The event takes place on March 4 at 12:30 p.m. at Stenton, 4601 North 18th Street. It is free and open to the public.  For more information or to RSVP please call 215-329-7312 or e-mail This lecture is in conjunction with the exhibit at La Salle University Art Museum, Charles Willson Peale and His Family at Belfield, which runs from March 1 through April 30.

Stenton, which has been described as “the most authentic of all Philadelphia’s historic houses,” was built by James Logan, William Penn’s secretary, between 1723 and 1730. The house is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday, from 1-4 p.m., April through December, and by appointment throughout the year. For more information or directions, phone 215-329-7312 or visit

Yorkhouse Seminars

The Yorkhouse, a senior apartment community at 5325 Old York Road, has launched a campaign featuring a series of lifestyle workshops geared towards seniors.

“We established these lectures to inform our community with topics ranging from fire prevention and health care to financial empowerment and social security. We invite the public to attend the workshops,” says Bonita Govens, The Yorkhouse community manager. 

A partial list of workshops to be offered in March and April (schedule may be changed due to weather conditions) includes:

Monday, March 8, 10:30 a.m., Fire Prevention; Tuesday, March 16, 2 p.m., Benefits of Spa Treatments; Tuesday, March 23, 1 p.m., Foot Care; Thursday, March 25, 2 p.m., Why Supplemental Health Insurance?; Monday, March 29, 2 p.m., Bravo Supplemental Health Insurance; Wednesday, April 7, 2 p.m., Hair Tips for Seniors; Monday, April 12, 2 p.m., Diabetic Shoes; Wednesday, April 14, 2 p.m., Author of Dining with the Dollar Diva; Friday, April 23, AARP at 11 a.m.,   AARP “Create the Good;” Wednesday, April 28, 2 p.m., Outstanding Women thinking, social and creativity skills. 

For more information about The Yorkhouse Workshop Series, call Tommie Warder at 215-329-3595.  The Yorkhouse apartments are designed for adults 55 and older who are ready to enjoy a full array of services and amenities for carefree living.  Website:

Media & Marketing at GGBA

The Greater Germantown Business Association, Inc.’s March 9 breakfast meeting, “Social Media and Making Money,” will focus on how social media can be used to more effectively market your products and services to a wider audience that will result in more sales and a stronger bottom line.

Member J.C. Lamkin, a computer technology guru and principal at Gypsy Lane Technologies, Inc., will be the featured speaker. She’ll be offering some simplified strategies for our businesses to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin) to market our products and services. There will be updates on Germantown’s “Green Business District” and Maplewood Mall’s Green Initiative. In addition, Saul Pessin, an employment training specialist and job developer with COMHAR Placement Services will share how businesses can benefit from paying reduced taxes by hiring motivated, reliable and productive workers who are recruited, pre-trained, placed, and provided with on-the-job supports at no cost to the employer. 

The meeting is 8:30 - 10 a.m., at    Prescot and Associates, 38 Maplewood Mall, second floor. Space is limited, so RSVP as soon as possible. Contact John at or call and leave a message at 215-848-8511.

Mothers March

On Saturday, March 13, Philadelphia participates in “Mothers March Globally”, marking International Women’s Day and the 11th Global Women’s Strike. Mothers will march and speak out for recognition and support for all the work we contribute to society. Come with your children, relatives and friends. Bring your banners, placards and demands. Men are welcome to join the contingent of fathers and other male carers who support mothers.

Kick off at Arch Street Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St, at noon, march to press conference at Department of Human Services (DHS), continue to Family Court and other sites. Return to Arch Street Methodist Church for a 1 p.m. program including lunch, speak out, and first public screening of the video documentary “DHS Give Us Back Our Children.”

The event is called by Global Women’s Strike and Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, based locally at the Crossroads Women’s Center at 33 Maplewood Mall, where planning meetings take place every Friday at 3 p.m.

This event is wheelchair accessible. Childcare is available. Please call to reserve space for childcare, to co-sponsor or volunteer at 215-848-1120. The program free, donations requested. Information is available at and

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