From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

May 6, 2010 • May 6 Issue of the Mt. Airy Independent.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. Mt. Airy Day

  2. From Germantown to Antarctica, Keystone State Boychoir Makes Music

  3. Keystone State Boychoir Fact Sheet

  4. Three Injured in Confrontation, Many Cars Damaged, Traffic Snarled

  5. Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off At LTSP

  6. Black Diamonds – ‘Rube’ Foster, Pioneering Baseball Star, Organizer

  7. Volunteers Sought for GHS Safe Corridors

  8. Blood Pressure, Cancer Screenings

  9. Police Advisory Commission Seeks Members

  10. Resource Fair for Seniors at Center for Enrichment

  11. Talk on Trees of the Wissahickon Valley

  12. 10K Trail Classic Race

  13. FOW Hike

  14. Shop for Plants, Visit New Horticultural Center

  15. Mt. Airy USA Workshop for First-Time Homebuyers

  16. Festival of Hymns at Janes

  17. Grace Baptist Flea Market

  18. Book Discussions at NIM

  19. Music, Spoken Word Event

  20. May Events at GJC

  21. Things to Know About Census Followup

  22. 14th District PSA Meetings

  23. GGBA Meeting

  24. Anna Crusis

  25. ‘Stash to Cash’

  26. CPR/AED Class

  27. Talk on 19th Century Irish Servants at Maxwell Mansion

  28. Entrants Sought for Art Jam 2010

  29. Healthy Living Expo for Seniors

From Germantown to Antarctica, Keystone State Boychoir Makes Music

(Left) During a break from their Saturday rehearsal, Keystone State Boychoir members (left to right) Nick Kelly, Andrew Shaw and Chris Golson, are shown outside First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, the home of the choir.

At right, choir members are shown during their Saturday morning practice at the church. Shown here are two groups within the choir - the Towne Choir and Graduate Choir - are performing Rudder’s “Magnificat.” The Towne Choir consists of KSB choir’s most experienced “unchanged” voices. The Graduate Choir consists of high school boys whose voices have “survived the change.”


Guest Writer

Germantown’s First Presbyterian Church is abuzz on Saturdays. Boys as young as seven are floating back and forth in the choir loft. Mothers are sewing adjustments on costumes. And the singing voices of 166 boys echo through the church.

On Saturdays First Presby, as it’s known to members and friends, isn’t just a church, it’s the home of the Keystone State Boychoir (KSB).

“We love being a presence in the building,” said Mary Ann Case, membership coordinator for KSB. “In general, it’s busy and we take up a lot of room and we are so grateful they’ve allowed us to stay.”

KSB is an all-boys choir organized under Commonwealth Youthchoirs, a nonprofit organization that aims, according to its mission statement, to offer young men and women choral music education and performance opportunities. The choir has performed all over the world as well as in Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs. It is headquartered at First Presbyterian at 35 West Chelten Avenue and uses the building for its rehearsals three times a week.

On one Saturday afternoon, four of the older choir members gathered together in Case’s office before rehearsal.

Laughing and joking with each other, high school students Christopher Golson, Eli Goldmann, Andrew Shaw and Nicholas Kelly recalled their favorite KSB memories. As they bantered, teased and argued, the boys expressed the enjoyment their membership in the choir has brought them over the years.

Kelly, a senior at Penn Charter, joked that he joined the choir in the sixth grade because “I had nothing better to do.” When the others laughed, he added, “I mean, I wanted to have meaning in my life!”

But he became serious when asked about KSB’s best quality.

“The people,” he immediately answered. “This choir would not be [what it is] if not for the people.”

KSB was founded in 2001 by Joseph Fitzmartin and Steven Fisher. They wanted to start a boy’s choir in which members could still have an outside life and enjoy other childhood activities. Currently, the tuition-based non-profit organization has boys ranging from ages seven to 18 who travel from across southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware for their practices in Germantown. Tuition for the 2009-2010 season was between $675 and $750, and limited scholarship money is made available to members.

The choir features a wide and varied repertoire that includes classical, sacred and secular music, singing nearly everything from world music to musical theater. The younger singers practice once a week for one hour while the elite and older singers rehearse twice a week. Snacks and recreation time are built into rehearsals so the boys have time to socialize with each other.  Music theory is incorporated into rehearsals, so that the boys receive a music education and not just an opportunity to sing, said Case. The choir has performed on all seven continents. (It sang for a Chilean research team in Antarctica this winter.)

“We’re not your average boy choir,” Case said.

While KSB has made its mark around the world, it is a presence in the Germantown community as well. Associate Music Director Steven Fisher, also a cofounder, and Steven Gearhart of the Commonwealth Youthchoirs, the umbrella organization for KSB, sponsor a program called “Find Your Instrument” at John Wister Elementary School in Germantown. Fisher and Gearhart teach music to two third-grade classes. This past March, the organization invited the classes to rehearse with KSB and its sister choir, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, which was founded in the fall of 2004, also under the Commonwealth Youthchoirs. It consists of about 160 girls, ages seven to 17 from five counties southeastern Pennsylvania.

KSB also collaborates with the church choir at First Presbyterian for holiday concerts.

“We love being at First Presbyterian,” said Case. “After six years we really feel like we’re a member of the community.” 

The KSB sponsors a Boys Choir Festival once a year at the church in which music teachers from Philadelphia schools are invited to send five or six of their best students to rehearse for a day. In the evening, members of the KSB come in to perform with the visiting students. As many as 100 boys from across the city, in grades four, five and six, sing with the KSB.

“We really show them a good time,” Case said.

But the perhaps the biggest impression KSB has made recently was in the South American nation of Chile. Last fall, the boys were invited to perform for Jose Goñi, Chile’s ambassador to the U.S., during a reception at the Chilean consulate in Philadelphia.

Goñi was so impressed with the choir that he invited it to his farewell reception in Washington, and arranged for the choir to stay at the naval base at Valparaiso during the choir’s tour in Chile this winter. At the Washington event, a State Department Official told Case that the choir helped improve American relations with Chile.

During the winter tour, 60 choir members performed in Antarctica for a Chilean research team before touring six cities in Chile. Case said she was amazed at the choir’s reception: wherever they went, they attracted enormous crowds and press coverage.

But not long after returning stateside, the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile, affecting five of the six cities the boys had visited. So on March 23, the choir held a benefit concert sponsored by the Chilean American Chamber of Commerce and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce at the Perelman Theater of the Kimmel Center. The concert was broadcast via the Web to Chile. The organization raised approximately $15,000 for Chilean earthquake relief, said Case.

“We received e-mails [from Chileans] saying ‘thank you so much for everything,’” Case said. “It’s been a love fest.”

“The choir’s proved time and time again that people can do amazing things,” said Kelly, who is in his seventh season with KSB.

KSB brings about 60 members every summer for a three-week tour abroad. They often stay with host families or in hostels. But it’s the times with the host families that have made the tours most memorable for the boys.

“Not everyone had so much to give but you felt like a part of the family because of the generosity that people give to the choir,” Kelly said. “If they weren’t hospitable, we’d have horror stories, but because the choir is what it is. It really makes everything much better.”

During the choir’s Chilean tour, Golson, a junior at Germantown Friends School, said that one host family had 10 children and yet still offered up beds to the visiting singers.

“The mother [of my host family] insisted we call them nueva familia [new family],” Goldmann, a junior at Plymouth-Whitemarsh, added. “I still keep in contact with her.”

“People don’t really know what to expect,” Case said of host families. But she credits the boys for their good manners and ability to travel well, and host families warm to them.

Before trips, the organization prepares the boys about the countries they will visit, their cultures and helpful phrases in the local language. For example, before a trip to Japan the boys were taught to take their shoes off at the door.

Case, who has been with KSB since 2004, said that the organization’s belief that music is a universal language is the key to the boys’ ability to connect with so many different kinds of audiences.

But what Case really finds remarkable are the boys themselves.

“Why are our boys so nice?” she asks. “They are community-minded. They love collaborative music-making. They’re really, really terrific. It’s like having 166 favorite nephews.”

For more information about the Keystone State Boychoir call 215-849-1762.

Olivia Biagi is a student in La Salle University’s community journalism class.

Keystone State Boychoir Fact Sheet

Levels within the Keystone State Boychoir include:

Trainers are younger members with limited musical education and background. Trainers rehearse once a week and focus on written and aural theory as well as learning a small repertoire of songs. They perform in the annual holiday and spring concerts and are also given various special performance opportunities throughout the year.

Apprentices fall in between trainers and candidates, rehearsing twice a week working on singer-musicianship skills and preparing to become candidates. They perform several times a year.

Candidates rehearse twice a week and work on learning and memorizing standard KSB repertoire and passing proficiencies in written and aural music theory. Once a candidate passes these requirements, he is officially inducted into KSB and earns the right to wear the green KSB jacket.

Towne Choir consists of younger boys known as trebles (unchanged voices) who sing a more challenging repertoire than the other three groups. The Towne Choir rehearses Saturdays with additional special rehearsals throughout the year.

Chamber Choir is an elite group of singers selected from the Towne Choir. It rehearses twice a week and is invited to several performances throughout the year, including international tours.

Baritones are boys who are going through the vocal “change.” Music directors tailor current KSB repertoire to allow for baritones to still perform. Vocal assessments are done throughout the year to check on their progress, and once the change is complete Baritones may move on to a new voice section. baritones generally do not tour.

Graduate Choir consists of young tenors or basses who have gone through the vocal “change.” In order to join the Graduate Choir, singers must complete candidacy requirements.

Three Injured in Confrontation, Many Cars Damaged, Traffic Snarled



Police removing Larry Boyd from his vehicle that was wedged between a police car and a parked vehicle on Hortter Street between Lincoln Drive and Wayne Avenue. Photo by Kittura Dior.

What started out as a domestic disturbance turned potentially deadly on Thursday morning, April 29 in Mt. Airy, resulted in two injured police officers, damage to many vehicles and a suspect, who suffered minor wounds, under arrest on a long list of charges.

According to police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore, officers received a radio call from a women on the 6600 block of Lincoln Drive reporting vandalism, saying that her husband was on the premises breaking property.

When police came to the house, according to Vanore,  a man, later identified as Larry Boyd, 59, jumped into a black Ford Explorer and began yelling obscenities at the officers. Boyd then drove in reverse, striking a police car and also striking one of the officers in the leg. One of the officers opened fire at that point, grazing Boyd with the shot, Vanore said. Boyd then drove onto the 400 block of West Hortter Street, in the process striking several unattended cars, a fence, and a boulder with the car, and then drove across Lincoln Drive, striking two vehicles with people in them. He then drove onto the 500 block of Hortter, striking more vehicles, a UPS truck, and another police car. The Ford Explorer became wedged between a police car and a parked car at that point, said Vanore. Boyd continued to resist arrest, said Vanore, and was then shot by police with a taser and taken into custody. He was taken to Einstein Medical Center for treatment.

Boyd has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, assault, reckless endangerment and other charges, said Vanore.

The confrontation snarled traffic along Lincoln Drive and neighboring streets for more than an hour.

Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off At LTSP



Three of the four candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor of Pennsylvania in the May 18 primary election attended the “Red, White and You” candidates’ forum held last Wednesday, May 28 at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia’s Brossman Center, and before a crowd of about 100 people they stayed on message and threw some (mostly) good-natured barbs at one another before a crowd of about 100 people.

In attendance were Joe Hoeffell, former congressman and currently vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Cimmisioners; Dan Onorato, former Pittsburgh city councilman and  Allegheny County controller, and currently chief executive of Allegheny County; and Anthony Hardy Williams, state senator representing the 8th Senatorial District in Philadelphia. Invited but not appearing was fellow candidate Jack Wagner, currently auditor general for the state of Pennsylvania.

The three were joined by former Commonwealth Court Judge Doris Smith-Ribner, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, who had that section of the forum to herself. Neither of her opponents for the Democratic nomination – former City Controller Jonathan Saidel and State Rep. Scott Conklin – were in attendance.

The forum was moderated by Elmer Smith, columnist and member of the editorial board of the Philadelphia Daily News, and Sheinelle Jones, of FOX 29’s “Good day Philadelphia” team.

Smith and Jones collected questions from the audience to be asked to the candidates but  each first gave a three-minute presentation on their candidacies, and in the process staked out some turf that they would defend during the balance of the evening.

Williams, who opened, stated that job creation was Pennsylvania’s top priority, saying “We have a whole generation of young people who have not worked.” He said that the state was well-placed for the jobs of the future because of its research base in bio-sciences. “The old types of smokestack jobs aren’t there any more,” he noted.

He also emphasized his support for school choice and vouchers, saying that parents deserved the right to be able to send their children to good schools where they would be safe if that opportunity didn’t exist in their neighborhoods.

Hoeffel gave his credentials as a liberal Democrat, emphasizing in the process that he was pro-choice on reproductive rights, and, citing what he called excessive partisanship and last year’s budget deadlock, said he wanted to “challenge Harrisburg to do a better job.”

“The next governor has to be prepared to make hard choices, “he said. “In Montgomery County  I have shown I know how to beat Republicans and work with them the next day.”

He took aim at Williams’ pro-voucher position, saying “There’s no higher responsibility than state support for public education.”

Onorato’s presentation focused on his executive experience as chief executive of Allegheny County, the second-largest in Pennsylvania and what he referred to as a “microcosm” of the state.  “In 2004 when I took over the county was on the verge of bankruptcy, “he said. He said that the county’s finances had been restored under his leadership, county departments had been reformed, and he had submitted seven balanced budgets in a row.

Mt. Airy resident Smith-Ribner, who served as a judge of the state’s Commonwealth Court for over 20 years, pointed to that background for giving her a wide experience of government issues. In Commonwealth Court, she said. “I hear appeals from governments at all levels, state and local.” The most difficult case she had to deal with, she said, was Philadelphia’s long-running school discrimination case, which she decided.

The candidates began by fielding questions about minority business participation in contracts with government but few real differences between their positions were apparent.

One position they all agreed on when a question about health care was posed was that in their views State Attorney General Tom Corbett, the likely Republican nominee for governor in 2010, was badly mistaken when he became party to a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen other states against the mandates in the just-signed federal Healthcare Bill, claiming it is unconstitutional.

“I think the Attorney General has lost his mind,” said Hoeffel, a position echoed by the others. “While the Healthcare Bill could have been better but I’m glad it passed,” he said.

Onorato noted the rise in Allegheny County government health care costs from $35 million to $65 million during his tenure and said that when the county’s healthcare requirements were put up for bid, all insurers came through with nearly identical bids.  “There is no competition,” Onorato said, adding, “I couldn’t disagree more with him [Corbett],” while Williams noted, “I’m waiting for him [Corbett] to file a similar lawsuit about the recent [immigration] legislation in Arizona.”

Smith-Ribner said, “There are just as many Republicans as Democrats who want health care – this will help defeat Corbett.”

A question on funding education again brought out some differences, with Williams reiterating his support for vouchers for parent to send children to the schools of their choice. “Parents cannot wait for us to right-size the system for their child, “he said.

Hoeffel said, “I respectfully disagree with Senator Williams on vouchers. They would drain money from public schools.”  He said that the state should increase its support level for local education from the current 35 percent to 45 percent, the national average.

Onorato noted that the state must operate within budget constraints but said, “The state has a role – the earlier we get these kids the better off we will be – if we don’t give these kids a chance, well, with the current state corrections budget we could solve education funding ten-fold if we could cut that.”

Other questions ranged from how to end corruption to how to manage drilling for natural gas in the state.

In their closing statements each candidate touched on themes they had given before. Among other points Williams stressed the need to act now to create jobs for the next generation. “The economic crisis is real” he said. “We are currently shipping jobs overseas.”

Hoeffel stressed what he called his “socially-liberal values,” and said “I am proud to have the endorsement of Planned Parenthood.”  “He added, I don’t believe government is a beast. We need a progressive graduated state income tax.”

Onorato again returned to his years as executive of Allegheny County, where , he said, he had passed seven budgets on time without a tax increase. He also mentioned the restoration of “brownfield” tracts of formerly industrial land,  saying that they were valuable tracts that needed to be restored, a move that he said would help stop suburban flight.

The forum was sponsored by a collection of organizations including the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAACP, East Mt. Airy Neighbors, the 5 Guys PAC, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Action PAC, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women,  the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Philadelphia, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,, 2000 African American Women, and the African American Chamber of Commerce. 

At press time, a just released Quinnipiac University poll showed Onorato with 36 percent support with the other gubernatorial candidates each below ten percent. 

Black Diamonds

‘Rube’ Foster, Pioneering Baseball Star, Organizer


Guest Writer

Andrew “Rube” Foster has few equals in importance to the history of baseball.

Born in Calvert, Texas, he began pitching for the barnstorming Waco Yellow Jackets in 1897.  Foster was 6 feet 3 inches and would fill out to well over 200 pounds.  Over the next few years, his reputation grew among both black and white fans and Frank Leland signed him to the Chicago Union Giants.

Foster won 52 games in 1902 against semi-pro and major league teams.  After a “slump” however he was released and joined a white semi-pro team in Otsego, Michigan, Bardeen’s Otsego Independents.  The Independents were a very rare group indeed, being a multi-ethnic and multi-racial team.  Foster pitched 12 times for Otsego compiling an 8 and 4 record.

Foster next joined the Cuban X-Giants and established himself as the premier black pitcher of the day.  He won four games in the 1903 Eastern League championship series against the Philadelphia Giants.  Foster would move the Philadelphia Giants the next season and would lead them to the championship.

In 1907 Foster would return to Chicago’s Leland Giants as a player-manager.  By 1910 Foster had taken control of the team from Frank Leland and he assembled a team that would go 123-6.  Foster was pitching less then the past, but was becoming the game’s best manager.

In 1911 Foster formed a partnership with John Schorling, the son-in-law of Chicago White Sox owner Charlie Comiskey.  Foster’s Giants would play in the Sox’s former park, South Side Park, and the Sox moved into their new home, Comiskey Park.  The Giants would become a dominant team over the next 10 years, winning championships each year with the exception of 1916, when the Indianapolis ABC’s would win a hard fought series with the Giants.

Foster’s greatest achievement was the formation in 1920 of the seven-team Negro National League, which helped give financial stability to the formerly barnstorming team.  Foster was the league President and continued as the owner and manager of the Giants.  Foster took 5 percent of the gate receipts of all games, and would become one of the leading black entrepreneurs of the day.

Interest in the league was high among black and white fans alike.  In 1923 a new league of eastern black teams was formed.  This led to the establishment of the Negro World Series, and an annual championship series that firmly established the elite teams and players of the day in the national consciousness.

Foster’s ultimate goal was for black professionals to eventually be able to play with the white professional teams.  To this end, he enforced a strict code among players and teams in his league both on and off the field.  The professionalism of the players as well as the high level of play would ultimately pave the way for Jackie Robinson and others to re-integrate the game.

Foster died suddenly in 1931 and would never see his dream fulfilled.  He was however honored by Major League Baseball with his induction into the Hall of Fame in 1981 as part of the inaugural class of Negro League legends.

Editor’s note: this is the fourth in a series of articles called “Black Diamonds”  on the history of African American baseball,  commemorating the 25th anniversary of Mt. Airy Baseball. Mt Airy Baseball honors this great tradition by calling its senior and tournament teams the “Stars,” paying tribute to the former Philadelphia Stars team of the Negro Leagues.

Volunteers Sought for GHS Safe Corridors

The Safe Corridors Program for Germantown High School has been in operation since 2004. When at peak operation the program is a highly-successful model supporting student and community safety, promotes positive interaction, and is a visible method supporting area youth as they travel to and from school.

The Germantown High School administration is seeking volunteers to be stationed in the area of Germantown and Chelten avenues daily between the hours of 2:55-3:55 p.m., Monday through Friday each week until Friday, June 18, the close of the school year.

Please consider giving an hour of your time in support of this initiative. To volunteer to participate in the Safe Corridors program, please contact Germantown High School office and ask for Ms. Hershman or Ms. Lewis at 215-951-4004.  Training will be conducted by Reggie Hall of Town Watch.

Help us make a difference. Our children and community need your support.

Blood Pressure, Cancer Screenings

In recognition of National Women’s Checkup Day, Covenant House, Inc. also known as Covenant House Health Services, will offer free screenings for high blood pressure and breast cancer to females over 17 years of age on Monday, May 10, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

We welcome the Germantown and Mt. Airy communities to participate in this event.  High blood pressure is causally-related to the development of heart disease and stroke while breast cancer is one of the most common of cancers affecting women over 50 years of age.  Yet, through early detection, both high blood pressure and breast cancer in many instances can be successfully treated.

This health promotion event will take place at our east Germantown site, 251 East Bringhurst Street.  For information call 215-844-1020.

Police Advisory Commission Seeks Members

During a press conference on April 20, where Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced his appointment of eight new members and two alternative members to the Mayor’s Police Advisory Commission, Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller urged citizens to get involved in the process.

“The purpose of Police Advisory Commission is to bridge the gap between the community and the Police Department. I applaud the selection process because it allows for diversity. Diversity fosters understanding and tolerance. This is crucial in good police work. With that, I want to urge citizens to participate in this process,” said Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller who is also Chairperson of City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

Nominees must submit an application by Thursday, May 20, to be considered. Council’s Committee on Public Safety will hold a public hearing at which all applicants will have a chance to speak before Council submits its nominees to Mayor Nutter.

Citizens have three options to obtain an application: they can visit to download a copy of the application; they may visit any Philadelphia public library; or they may go to City Council’s Chief Clerk’s Office (Room 402) in City Hall to pick up a copy.

Completed applications can be emailed, faxed, hand-delivered or mailed.

Resource Fair for Seniors at Center for Enrichment

If you are a person “50 or better” living anywhere in Northwest Philadelphia and the neighborhoods of eastern Montgomery County; if you have a friend, neighbor or relative who is “of a certain age”, plan to spend an hour or so with the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment on Saturday, May 8 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Center is sponsoring its second Information and Resource Fair.

Want to learn about senior living or activity programs? Products to make life easier? In-home help or transportation? Volunteer and employment opportunities? The Center has invited dozens of organizations and businesses with services and products of special interest to older adults. They will have give you information and answer your questions.

Look for this special event in the former Magarity Ford showroom at 8200 Germantown Avenue. Door prizes will be awarded every hour. The Resource Fair is free and open to anyone who is an older adult, and those who know-care for-are related to an older adult.

If you have questions about the May 8 fair or other programs of the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment, contact Sue Davis or Mary Zell (215-248-0180;

Talk on Trees of the Wissahickon Valley

The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) will present Trees of the Wissahickon Forest, a lecture by Ken LeRoy, at Valley Green Inn on Wednesday, May 26, 6 p.m. 

Ken LeRoy of Green Earth Enterprises in Lafayette Hill is a graduate of Temple University and a Horticulturist Emeritus of the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. In this PowerPoint program, he will identify and discuss the trees found in the Wissahickon forest and elaborate on the changing dynamics of our urban forests and review management strategies. LeRoy’s interest in urban forestry issues is expressed through teaching, speaking, and business. He is a former board member of FOW and remains active on its committees.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Valley Green Inn is located on Forbidden Drive in Wissahickon Valley Park. Register online at or by calling 215-247-0417 ext. 104. Spaces are limited.

Founded in 1924, the Friends of the Wissahickon is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining Wissahickon Valley Park as a partner with Fairmount Park. FOW restores historical structures throughout the park, eliminates invasive plant species, partners with multiple local organizations to monitor watershed management issues, and is working on a multi-year plan to restore trails throughout the park system. For more information, visit or call 215-247-0417.

Presentation on Shofar

Jewish Renewal Congregation P’nai Or presents Michael Chusid, author of “Hearing Shofar: The Still Small Voice of the Ram’s Horn,” on Tuesday, May 11, 7 p.m., at Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene Street. Chusid will teach both the “how-to” and the deep contemplative meanings of shofar.

The event is free of charge, but a free-will offering is appreciated.

10K Trail

Classic Race

On June 5, hundreds of runners will line up at the race line, their hearts pounding, waiting for the annual 10K Wissahickon Trail Classic to begin.

The Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers (WRV), a nonprofit organization devoted to restoring the natural lands of the 1,800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia, and the Wissahickon Wanderers, a local running club, are organizing the fifth annual Wissahickon Trail Classic.  Proceeds from the event will directly benefit natural restoration in the Wissahickon Valley Park.

The race is on June 5 at 9 a.m. in the Wissahickon Valley Park and all participants receive a free t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded to the top female and male finishers.

For more information on how to sign up for the race or the Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers, call Amanda Hymansmith at 215-951-0330, ext. 2101 or visit

FOW Hike

The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) are sponsoring a Spring Hike on Saturday, May 8 at 10:30 a.m, led by FOW Trail Ambassador Peter Lapham. Learn a little about the natural and man-made history of the Wissahickon while strolling up Forbidden Drive to the Rex Ave. bridge and back along the east side. The walk is about three miles on even ground and will take 1½ to 2 hours. Meet at Forbidden Drive near Northwestern Stables. The hike is free. 

Shop for Plants, Visit New Horticultural Center

On Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8, the Morris Arboretum will host its annual Plant Sale at the site of the Arboretum’s brand new Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm, across the street from the Arboretum’s public garden. Visitors to this year’s Plant Sale will be the first to have a look around at the newly-completed complex which is a model of sustainable design.

The 2010 Plant Sale will showcase an unusual and hard-to-find selection of plants this year. Once again, in annuals, the colorful favorites and tasty selections of vegetables and herbs will be offered, plus an exciting selection of succulent plants with textures and shades that are sure to delight. Look for Aeoniums, Crasssulas, Echeverias and Senecious, as well as the more familiar Sedums and Sempervivums. Both sun-loving and shade plants will be available.

The perennials offered will feature some lovely and interesting plants that are not widely available at most local retailers. Morris Arboretum’s perennials are grown by local nurseries familiar with our climate and soils so their selections are well suited to thrive in this area. The variety of low maintenance roses available continues to expand and improve. 

The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society returns to the Morris Arboretum Plant Sale again this year. A large selection of outstanding rhododendrons, all hardy in the Delaware Valley, will be offered, many of which are not available elsewhere. Each was selected for the beauty of its flowers and foliage and the appeal they add to the garden.

For Morris Arboretum members, the 2010 free Dividend Plants are very special: Chionanthus virginicus – commonly known as a Fringe Tree, Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky Panicle Hydrangea, Osmunda regalis – Royal Fern, and the favorite Columnar Basil.

Friday May 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. is Members-only day.  All Arboretum members are invited and will receive 10% on their entire Plant Sale purchase, and receive a free dividend plant. Anyone who joins before, or at the Plant Sale is eligible to receive the member benefits.

Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is open to the public.

Arboretum members receive a 10 percent discount on purchases. The 2010 Cut-Flower Competition will be on display showcasing perfect examples of classic varieties and eye-popping rarities.

For more information call 215-247-5777 or visit the Morris Arboretum online at

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in Chestnut Hill.

Mt. Airy USA Workshop for First-Time Homebuyers

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 May 12, May 27 and June 9 from 5:30-9 p.m.  They’ve been offered for 15 years and Mt. Airy, USA has helped more than 4,000 individuals buy their homes and avoid foreclosure.  To register go to

For more personal, 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.

Festival of Hymns at Janes

Janes Memorial United Methodist Church and its Worship Ministry once again presents the Festival of Hymns Choir in a service of worship, “Praising Him in the Sanctuary,” on Sunday, May 16 at 4 p.m. at the church, 47 East Haines Street. This ecumenical choir composed of 80-plus voices, representing forty six churches, with instrumental ensemble, is conducted by Dr. Harrilese DuRant Miles.  The Choir this year celebrates its 19th anniversary and has made seven professional CD recordings.

Come and worship with us. All are welcome.  There will be a free-will offering. For more information call 215-844-9564.

Grace Baptist Flea Market

On May 15, a Flea Market will be held at Second Baptist Church of Germantown, 6459 Germantown Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come and shop for all the things you need and for treasures too.

Opportunities for vendors still are available: $20 - one space, $35 - two spaces. For details call Linda at 215-205-5810, or Genester at 215-884-6413. The rain date is May 22.

Book Discussions at NIM

A group discussion of the book “Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About it” by Krista Tippett, creator and moderator of the National Public Radio Program of the same name, will take place at Neighborhood Interfaith Movement, 7047 Germantown Avenue. The discussion will take place Wednesday evenings from 7-9 p.m., beginning May 12 and continuing through June 2.

Ms. Tippett, speaking here in April, wowed her audience at the Kimmel Center, tracing the intersection of human experience with the religious ideas of all faiths.

Please note: the cost of the course listed in the Mt. Airy Learning Tree catalog is incorrect. The correct cost for the entire series is only $29 for all four weeks, and scholarships are available.

Register at MALT, For more information, call Cynthia Bradley at 215-242-5214 or email

Music, Spoken Word Event

An unforgettable evening of music and spoken word featuring Tamara Anderson will be held Friday, May 7, 6-7:30 p.m., at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 6671 Germantown Avenue, as part of the church’s Safe Nites at St. Mike’s Program.

Ms. Anderson will perform classics in jazz, blues, and rock with a mixture of original spoken word.  Ms. Anderson is a singer, author, director, and stage and film actress with credits in Chicago and Philadelphia.

Safe Nights at St. Mikes is held on the first Friday of each month and provides an evening of fun and entertainment for youth and families in the community. Each evening includes a shared meal and featured activity. The program is free.  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.

May Events at GJC

Upcoming events at Germantown Jewish Centre, 400 West Ellet Street, include: 

Sunday, May 16, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Celebrate Shavuot with a goat. Pat the goat! Milk the goat! Make and taste fresh cheese!  Stop by the Germantown Jewish Centre parking lot any time between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This event is weather permitting, and sponsored by the Women’s Club of GJC.  

Tuesday, May 18, 9 p.m., Finding God in the Parking Lot – Tikkun Leyl Shavuot. Join us for an evening of learning inspired by the Coen brother’s film, “A Serious Man.”  The text study and discussion will be led by Dr. Elsie Stern, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Rabbis Leonard Gordon and Adam Zeff.  

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Israeli Dancing. The Germantown Jewish Centre Israeli dance group meets virtually ever Sunday morning from September to mid June.  Our repertoire consists mainly of intermediate dances, though we always begin with easier, older dances.  There is an emphasis on instruction and review in the earlier part of the session.  We are an informal, friendly group, and always welcome new dancers.  $5 per session. 

For more information on these programs e-mail to or call 215-844-1507, ext 19. 

Things to Know About Census Followup

On Saturday, May 1, Census Enumerators (takers) began non-response follow-up, one of the final operations conducted by the Census Bureau to account for every person. Census takers will knock on doors where there has been no response. Please open your door for Enumerators. At this stage, the worker will ask 10 simple questions, which takes less than 10 minutes. The goal is to ensure all individuals in our communities count in 2010.

Currently 63 percent of residents have responded to the mail in census forms, up from the prior decade 2000 count at 61 percent (after the enumeration process was complete).

Philadelphia needs your help throughout this phase of the process until approximately July 2010.  With a goal to ensure full counting and citizen safety, please be aware of the following:

1) Census Takers must always wear proper identification, a badge around the neck. Note: If worker identity is in question, please ask for a current valid photo identification that matches the badge name. If you have further questions or need to confirm the Census taker is a legitimate employee of the Federal Census Bureau, you may also call the local Census Office at 215-717-1020.

2)   A toll free number is available (1-866-872-6868) that allows individuals to complete their  confidential census information over the phone until July 30. Please note this may not eliminate a worker knocking on your door, if phoned in after the May 1 deadline.

All Census Takers are trained not to enter a home, but to stand outside each residence to obtain requested information.

The Census Bureau never asks for personal information such as social security numbers, passwords, bank or other financial account numbers. Census takers never ask for money, donations, or make requests on behalf of a political party. Questions pertain only to resident name, address, birth date, ethnicity and race, names of persons living at the residence (including children) at the time of Census Enumerator  visit. 

The Census Bureau does not conduct any activity over the Internet or email. Forward the email or web site to the Census Bureau at Do not open any attachments, then delete.

To obtain further information, please visit

14th District PSA Meetings

May Police Service Area meetings in the 14th District are as follows:

PSA1, with Lt. Raymond Jackson and community facilitators Geneva Green of the Block Captain Association and Isabella Fitzgerald of NCCY, on May 13, 7-9 p.m., at H & H Community Center, Haines Street and Limekiln Pike. 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 facilitators James Igess of Wister Neighborhood Council and Peter Commons of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District, on May 20, 7-9 p.m. at Tabor Child Care Center, 57 East Armat Street. PSA 2 covers the area  between Germantown and Chew avenues, from Gorgas Lane to Wister Street.

PSA3, with Lt. Mark Overwise and community facilitators Lizabeth Macoretta of West Mt. Airy Neighbors and Heather Pierce of Carpenter Woods Town Watch, on May 19, 7-9 p.m., at 14th District headquarters, 43 West Haines St. PSA 3 covers West Mt. Airy and west central Germantown.

PSA4, with Lt. Michael Kopecki and community facilitators Dr. Arleen Bennett of Safe Streets and Derek Green of East Mt. Airy Neighbors, on May 26, 7-9 p.m., at Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 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.

GGBA Meeting

Attention all GGBA and MABA members: our next Greater Germantown Business Association meeting that focuses on “Big Bang Business Banking” will be held on Tuesday morning, May 11  8:30 - 10 a.m. at Imani Education Circle Charter School, 5612 Greene Street.

Staff and associates of our member, PNC Bank Chestnut Hill branch, will be sharing everything we need to know about what we should be looking for in establishing a business banking partner. Banking questions we have from varieties of business checking accounts, merchant services accounts, and lines of credit to business acquisition and capital improvement loans will be discussed and answered. Learn what to look for in a business banking partner. R.S.V.P. to John at by not later than Friday, May 7.

Anna Crusis

The Anna Crusis Women’s Choir celebrates its 35th anniversary in concert with two performances of “The World Stopped to Listen.” The concerts will be held Saturday, June 12, at 8 p.m., at Arch Street United Methodist Church, the corner of Broad and Arch streets, and on Sunday, June 13, at 4 p.m., at the Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Drive. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door; $15 per person for groups of 10 or more. Students with valid ID $15; children under 12 free. Tickets may be purchased online at and at The Dovetail Artisans in Glenside. For information visit or call 215-864-5991.

‘Stash to Cash’

Need an incentive to get busy with spring cleaning? Turn your trash into cash!

St. Francis of Assisi Church, at the corner of Greene and Logan streets in southwest Germantown, is sponsoring a flea market on Saturday, May 15, (rain date May 29) from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Vendor spaces are available for $15. Vendors must provide their own table/chairs. Parking is available in the DePaul Catholic School lot.

The parish is conducting a bake sale and a hot dog stand in conjunction with the flea market.

To reserve your space please contact the church office at 215-842-1287, Mondays through Thursdays between the hours of 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.


A CPR/AED training class hosted by the Daniel E. Rumph Foundation will be held Saturday, May 8, at Daniel E. Rumph II Rec Center, 100 East Johnson Street, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is free, and offers AHA Certification. Fish and chicken sandwiches and cake will be sold from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Talk on 19th Century Irish Servants at Maxwell Mansion

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion will host Margaret Lynch-Brennan, Ph.D, author of The Irish Bridget: Immigrant Women Domestic Servants in the U.S., 1840-1930.  Lynch-Brennan will present an illustrated lecture on the lives of Irish domestic servants in America.  Drawing on personal correspondence and other primary sources, Lynch-Brennan gives voice to these young Irish women and celebrates their untold contribution to the ethnic history of the United States.  The Maxwell family employed three Irish maids who lived on the third floor of the Mansion; this lecture will tell the story of the lives of  domestic servants during the Victorian era.  

This program is part of Historic Germantown’s Germantown Works, a project supported by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program.  Germantown Works programs focus on different perspectives of work and industry throughout Germantown’s history. 

The lecture is on Saturday, May 8, 2-4 p.m.  Admission is free; however, reservations are required.  Wine and light refreshments will be served.  Call Diane at 215-438-1861 for details and reservations.

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is located at 200 West Tulpehocken Street; for more information visit  The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is a proud member of Historic Germantown. 

Entrants Sought for Art Jam 2010

Long ago in Mt. Airy there was Art Jam, a festival of arts, music and all things Mt. Airy.  This year, thanks to the Mt. Airy Business Association, the Mt. Airy Art Jam is back, and the plans are to make it an annual springtime event that will bring people from Greater Philadelphia and beyond to sample our local talent, have a taste of our local food and experience all that makes Mt. Airy an enviable place to live work and play.

Mt. Airy Art Jam 2010 will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 5 on Germantown Avenue between Allens Lane and Mt. Pleasant Avenue. In addition to the many artists and craftspeople displaying their work, there will be live music on the grounds of Lutheran Seminary. There will also be plenty of fun for the kids, at the Mt. Airy Presbyterian Churchyard. Food will be provided by Restaurants on The Avenue, including Earth Bread + Brewery, The Wine Thief, Golden Crust, McMenamin’s, Mi Puebla, Chef Ken’s and more.

We encourage you to walk or take public transportation.  Parking will be available in the back of the Sedgwick Theater, off Chew Avenue, ACME parking lot, behind Valley Green Bank and the WaWa and other lots, just follow the signs.

All crafters and artists are welcome, but priority (and discounts) will be given to locals. Entrants will be juried, to ensure that only the best of the best are showcased. Please visit or call 215- 843-4462 for an application.  Anyone interested in volunteering at the event, please contact Kim Miller at   

Healthy Living Expo for Seniors

Older Philadelphians are invited to attend state Sen. Shirley Kitchen’s upcoming 6th annual Senior Healthy Living Expo.

The free event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 8 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 West Lehigh Avenue. You do not have to pre-register to attend.

The theme of this year’s expo is “Staying Power Through Changing Times.”

“Many seniors today are conscious about staying healthy in mind, body and spirit, and I applaud them for being proactive about staying well as they age,” Kitchen said. “This expo will help teach participants about nutrition, physical fitness, mental well being, how to choose the right health care plan and more. I encourage older Philadelphians to participate in this informative and fun-filled expo, and I look forward to seeing everyone there.”

Seniors can participate in numerous demonstrations and seminars, including Choosing the Right Health Plan, Dealing with Stress, Avoiding Strokes, Nutrition and Dental Health for Seniors. A Philadelphia Fire Department fire prevention program geared towards seniors, line dance and tai chi demonstrations round out the expo.

Seniors can also relax in the Pamper Me section of the expo, featuring mini manicures, hand massages, mini facials, makeup applications and barber cuts for men.

There will also be exhibitors, door prizes, giveaways, lunch and celebrity appearances by Dr. Lucille W. Ijoy, author, WURD radio host and certified marriage and family therapist, as well as the lovable Al “George Burns” Long.

For more information, call the senator’s office at 215-227-6161 or visit 

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Mt. Airy Day Celebrated

Last year Mt. Airy Day dawned overcast, rainy, and cool, while this year’s celebration was just the reverse – clear, bright and hot – nearly 90 degrees. But the results were the same in both cases, plenty of fellowship and enjoyment along Germantown Avenue on the first weekend in May.

Cliveden and Upsala were thronged on a hot Saturday, May 1, with crowds of residents and visitors who strolled the grounds and visited the more than 100 displays. (The Airbrush Tattoo tent at right was  a particular favorite of the younger set, who lined up there for temporary tattoos).

Perhaps most importantly it was a chance for many residents to get caught up and chat with neighbors they hadn’t seen for a while, at the oldest neighborhood festival in the Northwest.

Don Shields’ 1933 7-place Packard was one of the highlights of the classic car exhibition but while the perfectly-restored auto (one of only three of the model known to exist) is a delight to look at, behind the wheel is another story. “It drives like a big old truck,” said Shields. “The steering is hard, the braking is hard.”

Meanwhile, on the two-wheeled side of the Avenue, folks who rode their bikes to Mt. Airy Day got special attention with valet bike parking from the Mt. Airy  Bike Collective and  Philly Electric Wheels. Pictured here is Meenal Raval of Philly Electric Wheels.  

The youngest fairgoers may have had the best time of all on the grounds of Upsala, with card-making for Mt. Airy Day’s 40th birthday celebration, a moon bounce and inflatable slide (left), and of course the ever-popular pony rides.

No one had to go hungry – an assortment of foods, from vegetarian kebabs to burgers and fried to Italian water ice and more saw to that.

After loading up at the food carts many went to the main stage at Upsala to listen to the entertainers, such as Steve Coefield and Sunset, here seen giving a soulful rendition of Marvin Gaye’s classic “What’s Goin’ On.”