From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

May 13, 2010 • May 13 Issue of the Mt. Airy Independent.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. BulletRegister Now for Senior Games

  2. BulletMore Than Trees at Awbury Arboretum

  3. BulletGFS ‘Day of Silence’ Recognizes LGBT Issues

  4. BulletCCP Honors Six Northwest Residents for Community Work

  5. BulletCall for NW Artists for 2010 Art Jam

  6. BulletFarmers Market Coming to LTSP Plaza

  7. BulletCrutches Slow But Can’t Stop CIP’s Brannon Johnson

  8. BulletLearn How to Prevent Fire and Burns in the Home

  9. BulletUpper & Lower Burying Grounds Open for Tours

  10. BulletBeekeepers to Meet

  11. Bullet10K Wissahickon Trail Classic

  12. BulletHomeowners Seminar

  13. BulletPSA Meetings in 14th District

  14. BulletNew Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Marks Anniversary

  15. BulletPrograms at Chabad

  16. BulletAscension Day at LTSP

  17. BulletConcert at Janes

  18. BulletFlea Market

  19. BulletHaiti Relief

  20. BulletReality Seminar at Cedar Park

  21. BulletPastoral Anniversary

  22. BulletMeds Option Review at CHCE

  23. BulletCo-op Recycling Bin Giveaway

  24. BulletSilent Auction/Fundraiser to Support Mt. Airy Arts Garage

  25. BulletGermantown Resident in ‘The Next Reunion’

  26. BulletAnna Crusis 25th Anniversary

Register Now for Senior Games


Guest Writer

People born before June 8, 1960, can do it.

Even those with by-pass surgery and pace makers do it. And you, too, can do it. Do what?

Participate in the 25th annual Philadelphia Senior Games, June 7-11, sponsored by the Philadelphia Department of Recreation at LaSalle University and other sites throughout the city.

“All persons, 50 and over, are eligible to participate and have the time of their lives,” stated Lynn Spiro, director of the games.

The games have come a long way since their inception back in 1986, adding many new events through the years. But no matter what one participates in - whether it’s shuffleboard or the 100 meter dash - everyone has a wonderful time.

Spiro  said she has received many letters from participants over the years with comments like “It’s such a good feeling. I forget I’m 71.”  Or, “I love it. I guess you can say I’m hooked.” And, “I had such a great time. I can’t wait until next year.”

In case you are wondering how the seniors compete against one another given their various ages,  competition is within one’s own age group - 50-54, 55-59, and so on, men versus men and women versus women.

Here’s the schedule.

June 7, Monday at 9 a.m. LaSalle University, Hayman Center, 20th  Street and Olney Avenue. Activities include darts, shuffle board, stationary bike, table tennis, horse shoes, tennis, foul shooting, yoga stretch, tai chi, health info display and much, much more.

June 8, Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. John Byme golf  course, 9500 Leon Street, putting followed by golf; 1 p.m. - Bocce, South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, 1430 East Passyunk Avenue;  swimming. 1 p.m., Roxboroough Y, Domino Lane and Ridge Avenue.

June 9, Wednesday, at 10 a.m. Bowling at Boulevard Lanes, 8011 Roosevelt Boulevard.

June  10, Thursday,  10 a.m. Track and field, LaSalle’s McCarthy Stadium, 20th Street and Olney Avenue; 10 a.m. – Softball and football throws, plus pitch, hit and run; 1 p.m. -  Miniature golf, Burholme Park, 401 West Cottman Avenue.

June 11, Friday at 10 a.m.—Table games at Center in the Park, 5818 Germantown Av. and Northeast Older Adult Center. Checkers, pinochle, chess, scrabble and more.

“Anyone watching a 75-year-old sprinting down the track or a 70-year-old  gliding through the water, will quickly be dispelled of the idea that seniors are over the hill athletically once they are on social security,” said Ron Karolski, 54, a former senior games volunteer, and now a participant, himself.

For more information, call 215-685-2736. You have nothing to lose but a whale of a good time.

More Than Trees at Awbury Arboretum


Guest Writers

Few think of a 55-acre setting as a giant school. But that is what happens at Awbury Arboretum.

This green space, straddling Germantown and Mt. Airy at One Awbury Road off Chew Avenue, is a setting that offers educational and community activities for children and adults. The arboretum is the home of many different educational and nature programs that enrich the lives of its visitors and volunteers, said Karen Anderson, Awbury’s executive director.

Awbury occupies land that was first set-aside in 1917 when it was given to the Philadelphia Parks Association by a local wealthy family. It hosts several agricultural programs on land off of Washington Lane, referred to as the Agricultural Village.

Anderson said that besides the Community Gardens, which have been in use for over 40 years, there is a Family Farm Garden and two and one-half acres of land cultivated by Weavers Way cooperative. The Weavers Way agricultural farm grows produce for the co-op and for sale at farmers’ markets.

It is also the site of Awbury Arboretum’s one-third acre children’s garden. Clay Lloyd, the outreach coordinator of the Education Department, said the children’s garden produces vegetables, and some are given to the Reformation Lutheran Church, which supplies food to area food pantries and soup kitchens.

The Farm Garden is expanding, according to Lloyd. There is a circular pizza garden producing the ingredients for sauce, tomatoes, peppers, oregano, and basil. Several additional gardens have been added, such as the salsa garden, the dyers garden with natural plants used to dye clothes, and the new rainbow carrots garden. “[It has] carrots that are purple, black, red, white, orange and yellow…all edible,” said Lloyd.

In hands-on lessons the children learn the basics of gardening. The children are taught are the stages of growing food, “How to dig, how to plant, how to water, the cycle of food,” said Lloyd.

Another farm series lesson teaches children to be aware of where their food comes from. “You get this apple juice, and apples come from Oregon, Washington, or they could come from China, where a lot of them come from to get the concentrate,” explains Lloyd. “It’s really measuring how that effects … global warming and all these environmental issues.”

Anderson said the Family Farm Garden began in 2007 as a result of growing interest in food education. The program was designed as part of an integrated curriculum with local schools that do not have land to do a garden of their own. “It really became a teaching garden and an area where kids could get their hands dirty and really experience firsthand what it was like to have a garden,” said Anderson.

Tasting and cooking what the students have grown are parts of the garden’s lesson plans. “Because they have seen it in the ground and often they’ve helped harvest it, they’ll be a little more adventurous when it comes to food,” said Anderson.

The arboretum also provides a Field Studies program offering environmental educational lessons. According to the Awbury’s Annual Report for 2008-2009, the program served 1,143 students and 440 teachers and chaperones during the 2008-2009 school year.  Twenty-nine schools from the local area participated in the environmental education lessons.

The summer months of July and August are exciting times at Awbury. Children from summer day camps and day care centers visit the arboretum as part of the Summer Nature Program. In 2009, more than 1000 children and 206 chaperones enjoyed learning lessons about topics such as recycling and papermaking, and how plants are used for dyes. Similar to the other youth educational programs, the visitors had the experience of working in the vegetable gardens.

Another educational program, the Apprentice Program has undergone several major changes since it began in 1998. Anderson said it was originally a program for homeless men and for women who were transitioning from welfare to work. The participants learned landscaping skills in preparation for paid employment with contractors. In 2005, the program changed and enrolled young adults, ages 18 to 25. They learned similar landscaping skills and about caring for plants.

The Apprentice Program ended in 2009 because of funding problems, but the arboretum is planning to work with other organizations running similar programs such as the Scattergood Foundation and its job-training program.

“We will still get the experience of working with young individuals starting out in landscaping and gardening,” said Anderson. “We just won’t be running the program ourselves.

“Most of the activities that take place over at the farm garden are funded by foundations,” said Anderson, referring to the financial need to support the arboretum’s infrastructure. “We have a number of foundations, mostly located in Philadelphia and Camden, because it takes irrigation, and it takes soil amendments, and it takes seeds and seedlings in addition to the labor that is required to run it.

The arboretum relies on the help provided by volunteers. Since 2008, motivated youth from area schools who are interested in agriculture are able to work at Awbury Arboretum as part of service learning projects. In 2009, a total of 375 students and 66 adults from area schools and City Year, part of AmeriCorps, participated in service learning at the arboretum. The arboretum hopes to expand the service-learning program for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year.

GFS ‘Day of Silence’ Recognizes LGBT Issues

Among the Germantown Friends School students who participated in the Day of Silence campaign April 16 on campus were (left to right) Jason (sophomore), Sarah Horowitz (senior) and  Reem RosenHaj (sophomore).


Guest Writer

At first it seemed like a typical day at Germantown Friends School. Students are milling around, navigating the halls or congregating in the cafeterias.  But something was up.

Many students were wearing small cloth ribbons — some plaid, some navy blue.  By the bookstore, a girl wearing a blue ribbon was making hand gestures to her friend wearing a plaid ribbon. They struggled to understand each other, but without speaking.

In one of the cafeterias, a small group of friends included three wearing blue ribbons, one wearing a plaid ribbon, and one wearing neither.  The girl with the plaid ribbon and the boy without a ribbon talked a bit, but the three girls with blue ribbons were silent. Across the room, a boy in a plaid ribbon played chess against a silent boy wearing a blue ribbon. 

It was Friday, April 16, and the National Day of Silence was being honored by the students at Germantown Friends, to bring awareness to the silence lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) students are sometimes forced to take about their sexuality in order to fit in with their peers.  The blue ribbons denoted those who have gone completely silent that day in support of the campaign; the plaid ribbons were worn by those who support the campaign, but for one reason or another chose not to go silent that day.

The National Day of Silence began at the University in Virginia in 1996 as a way to bring attention to issues affecting the LGBT community.  Since then, it has expanded to over 8,000 schools, from elementary schools to colleges and universities, nationwide and has become one of the largest student-led events in the country.

“It’s a day to recognize the silencing of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered youth,” said Cheryl Bruttomesso, the advisor for Germantown Friends’ Gay-Straight Alliance, called SAGA (Straight and Gay Alliance).  “It shows solidarity and support for the silenced voice.”

In this case, the silenced voice represents the closeted, including students, who for whatever reason must remain closeted and cannot be open about their sexuality.

“The day of silence allows people to think about how someone has to keep a portion of their life silent,” said junior Sabrina Ruchelli, one of the student leaders for SAGA.  “It’s interesting and eye-opening if you haven’t thought about it before.”

She also likes it for another aspect.

“It’s so public,” said Ruchelli. “We live in a world where everyone’s talking. Then when people aren’t talking, it’s visible.”

Bruttomesso agrees.

“For the students who choose to go silent for the day, it’s really powerful,” she said. “For a youth it’s hard to stay silent.”

Jason, a 15-year-old sophomore, was one of the students who went silent.

“I participated in the Day of Silence because the message of the day means a lot to me,” said Jason. “I fit the ‘T’ in LGBT; I‘m transgender. I’ve recently been realizing how fortunate I am to live in the area that I do, one that is so accepting of people like me.”

Jason realized he was transsexual at age 3, but did not come out until he was 14.

“Even though I was in a safe community then, the thought of coming out was still terrifying to me, as it is to almost any LGBT person,” he said.  “I know what it’s like to feel the need to be silent. It took me 10 years.”

And he knows that even though he’s been able to come out, there are others like him who cannot.

“There are so many people in the world who aren’t as lucky as I am and feel that they’re not safe speaking up about who they are. They’re isolated,” said Jason.  “[But] for one day, they are not so alone. They know that there are people who support them.”

Approximately 75 of the 350 high school students at Germantown Friends went completely silent, and half of the remaining students showed their support, according to Bruttomesso. Some of the middle school students also participated.

“I’ve seen what some of my friends have gone through and I wanted to support them,” said freshman Lydia Wood, who wore a plaid ribbon in support.

Her friend, freshman Elliott Baron, agreed.

“I have family friends and teachers who are homosexual and I don’t think they should be treated any differently,” he said.

Somewhat unique to Germantown Friends is what occurs on campus leading up to the Day of Silence: the “Week of Noise.” In the days leading up to the Day of Silence, SAGA holds several discussions during the students lunch period to talk about various issues facing the LGBT community. The school originally got the idea from The Masterman School, which puts on a Day of Noise the day before the Day of Silence.

“[The Week of Noise] is an idea where we want more than a Day of Silence,” said Bruttomesso. “We want to talk about it.  We’re an open school, and the way to increase the openness is to talk about the hard topics.”

The week kicked off with a Monday morning assembly, when students heard about the history of the Day of Silence. At lunch that day, a discussion addressed media portrayals of gay community. On Tuesday, students spoke about athletes and why more gay athletes don’t come out.  On Wednesday, they discussed ways GFS could be more accepting, and on Thursday they discussed how the gay community was viewed by different religious organizations. This was the second year the school featured a Week of Noise.

Kimberly Faulk is a student in La Salle University’s community journalism class.

CCP Honors Six Northwest Residents for Community Work

Honorees included: (front row, left to right): Thomas Haley, student, Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School; Barbara A. Bloom, creator, Mt. Airy Learning Tree; and Shirley Gregory, district director for U.S. Rep. Robert A. Brady. Standing in rear, (left to right), Dr. Stephen M. Curtis, president, Community College of Philadelphia; Bob J. Elfant, president, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors; the Rev. Alfred W. Jones Jr., director, Mary L. King Food Ministry of Holsey Temple CME Church; Derek S. Green Esq, special counsel to Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco; and George E. Davis, chairman of the Board of Trustees, Community College of Philadelphia.

Community College of Philadelphia’s three Regional Centers gave distinguished leadership awards to 18 community, political, student, education, faith and business luminaries last week. The awards were given to individuals who have demonstrated achievement and outstanding commitment to the College and their community.

The Northwest Regional Center held its award ceremony on Wednesday, May 5, at 1300 West Godfrey Avenue. Among those honored there were:

Business – Bob J. Elfant, president, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, has been a member of the Northwest Philadelphia business community since the early 1970s, when he joined his father’s real estate business. Elfant subsequently split the company into two separate businesses—Martin Elfant, Inc., which specializes in property management, and Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, which today has four locations, 70 office and sales staff members and sales of more than $140 million dollars. Additionally, Elfant is president of Direct Mortgage Loan Company, one of the founders and significant stockholders of Valley Green Bank and a member of its board of directors and loan committee, and part owner of the Trolley Car Diner. He also serves on the board of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District as treasurer and is a member of the organization’s Clean and Safe Committee.

Education – Barbara Bloom, creator of the Mt. Airy Learning Tree School, has been educating individuals of all ages for more than 40 years. For the past 10 years, Bloom has led a group of adult volunteers at Henry H. Houston elementary school in Mt. Airy, which offers one-on-one tutoring to young students one day a week. In 1981, she founded the Mt. Airy Learning Tree, serving as its director until 1990. The center started with 17 classes, which attracted 125 registrants. Now, Mt. Airy Learning Tree offers 275 classes in everything from yoga and acupuncture to wine tasting and conversational French. The program has more than 1,500 students and more than 200 faculty members.

Elected Official – Shirley Gregory is district director for U.S. Rep. Robert A. Brady and the 49th Ward Leader .Before joining Brady’s staff in 1998, Gregory served as special assistant to the late U.S. Rep. Thomas Foglietta and participated in the political campaigns of the late state Sen. Hardy Williams, former Mayor Wilson Goode, state Rep. Dwight Evans and Philadelphia Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco. Gregory has been a committeeperson of the 49th Ward, 7th division, since 1974 and has been the 49th Ward leader since 1984. Over the years, she has been a member of dozens of organizations, including a board member of the National Political Congress of Black Women, Philadelphia Neighborhood Housing Service, Germantown Community Council, Franklin Learning Center and the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Red Cross.

Faith-Based – The Rev. Alfred W. Jones, director, Mary L. King Food Ministry, Holsey Temple C.M.E. Church, has served parishioners in Harrisburg, Camden and Northwest Philadelphia for more than 25 years. The Mary L. King Food Ministry provides food and clothing to those in need, partners with Philabundance for its senior citizen food commodity program and helps citizens with housing issues. As a former director of the church’s board of directors, he is the author of two handbooks to help guide other church trustees and leads training courses in New York, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. Previously, he worked at the IRS for 33 years, earning two congressional citations for his years of service.

Community Service – Derek S. Green is special counsel to Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco. Green has held leadership positions in many civic and professional organizations, including as president of East Mount Airy Neighbors, Inc., co-vice chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Legal Services to the Public Committee, board director of the Urban League of Philadelphia, board director of West Oak Lane Charter School and board manager of the YMCA of Germantown.

Youth – Thomas Haley, a senior at Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School, has been an honor roll student since first grade. Haley participated in several scholars programs in school to sharpen his academic skills. His extracurricular and volunteer activities include playing in a basketball summer league, participating in the Feed the Homeless for Thanksgiving program at Saint Joseph’s Prep and being a member of school’s Black and Latino Culture Club. He is certified in CPR and First Aid. Haley also works at Kumon Learning Center, where he tutors children in math and reading.

Call for NW Artists for 2010 Art Jam

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. Visit or call 215- 843-4462 for an application.  Anyone interested in volunteering at the event, please contact Kim Miller at   

Farmers Market Coming to LTSP Plaza

Starting May 25 with native strawberries, Farm to City will be operating an outstanding Farmers’ Market every Tuesday from 3-7 p.m. on the William Allen Plaza at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in the 7200 block of Germantown Avenue.

This Farmers’ Market in Mt. Airy is sponsored by Valley Green Bank and the Lutheran Theological Seminary with community support from Weavers Way Co-op, East Mt Airy Neighbors, Mt Airy Business Association, the Mt Airy Learning Tree, Mt Airy USA, and West Mt Airy Neighbors. 

“Valley Green Bank is pleased to co-sponsor this Farmers’ Market. It provides a unique opportunity for our neighbors to buy and provide healthy, fresh local food for their families,” said Jay Goldstein, President and CEO of Valley Green Bank. Glenn Bergman, General Manager of Weavers Way Co-op added, “From our experience at Weavers Way, this community has an enormous capacity to appreciate and purchase locally produced food. We are particularly pleased that the Weavers Way Farm will be selling its produce at this Farmers Market.” Lutheran Theological Seminary President Dr. Philip Krey is delighted to host the Farmers Market. “We have a lovely plaza and have envisioned this plaza to be a public space; a meeting and gathering place for the community. The Farmers Market is a great way to serve this purpose,” he said.

For the last several years, Farm to City has been operating a Farmers’ Market, the Growers Market, at the bottom of Chestnut Hill at Germantown Avenue and Mermaid Lane. This market opened Saturday, May 1, and will continue to be open every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. until mid-fall.

Crutches Slow But Can’t Stop CIP’s Brannon Johnson

Left: Brannon Johnson at Center in the Park.

Right: Johnson in a more characteristic pose – in motion – last fall,  leading CIP members in Michael Jackson-style moonwalking.



Guest Writers

It’s a Thursday afternoon at Center in the Park, the senior center that borders Germantown’s Vernon Park, and Brannon Johnson is briskly moving from room to room.

She travels from the lobby to her office, constantly answering an unforgiving phone, to the nearest classroom just in time to catch an elderly member after a fainting spell, then to the auditorium to help set up for a birthday celebration and finally back to her office to plan for the upcoming months.

All the while, she is hobbling around on a pair of crutches – at least when she feels like using them.

“I told her not to come in,” says Lynn Fields Harris, Center in the Park’s director. “She broke her ankle, had to get emergency surgery, and was still texting me work-related ideas at 1 a.m. last night. I said, ‘Brannon, stay home!’” 

Johnson, 27, the self-proclaimed “girl without a filter” who says what’s on her mind, is Center in the Park’s energetic, 5-foot-11 programming director.  And while she may tower over many of the members and staff, her down-to-earth, gregarious nature helps keep members engaged and challenged.

Members and staff at Center in the Park agree that Johnson’s dedication to the organization is part of her charm. Since accepting her position in September 2008, she has formed lasting relationships with staff and members as well.

“I love the staff at the program office, I love my girls,” says Johnson. “They allow me to creatively do anything.

“And I love our members. They’re all like my grandparents, telling me things like ‘Those high heels are gonna give you arthritis’ or ‘Why don’t you have a man?’ and they’re always trying to set me up on dates,” she says, laughing.

 A native of West Philadelphia, Johnson earned a rowing scholarship to the University of Texas, where she earned degrees in ethnic studies and in dance. Neither of her parents went to college, but they instilled a core set of values in their children, which “was difficult when you live in the inner city,” said Linda Johnson, Brannon’s mother. And lessons learned from her grandparents have helped in her work with seniors at Center in the Park.

“I interact well with people, and I was always taught to respect my elders because I was always around both my grandmothers,” says Johnson.

When she arrived at Center in the Park, the members wanted to see that she belonged and Johnson saw that one of her biggest challenges would be to win them over.

“Her ambition to excel is admirable, [she’s] willing to go above and beyond, she is first to put herself into a situation,” says co-worker Stephanie Collins. “But she is also crazy, and that helps her balance things too.”

Johnson says she wants to create new, more exciting ways for the members to get involved, but she is mindful of their ideas for programming. One of the first things that she did after taking her position was to set up a focus group of members and co-workers to meet once a month or so, to discuss new events and classes. She’s constantly learning from the members.

“The members here help me slow down,” she admits. “Since working here I’ve gained an appreciation for life. I’ve made life decisions based on conversations I’ve had in the hallways here”.

What many fail to see under Johnson’s engaging personality is a fierce competitive streak.  Growing up with four siblings and three cousins around all the time, she learned to be competitive early on.

“I have been dancing most of my life, and rowing since high school, and that has driven me to be who I am,” she says.

Even after she fell awkwardly in early April and broke her ankle in three places, requiring emergency surgery to set a titanium plate and screws in her foot, it’s been hard to get her to slow down.

“The thought of not being able to dance or row brings me to tears,” she says. “They’re trippin’ if they think they’re going to stop me.”  (She is now rehabbing her ankle after recently shedding her plastic boot.)

That indefatigable spirit is bound to serve Johnson well at Center in the Park, and wherever else life leads her.

“Brannon will make a tremendous contribution to our future, and our world is better with people like her in it,” says Linda Johnson.

For more information about Center in the Park, call 215-848-7722.

Taylor Reber and James Harding are students in La Salle University’s community journalism class.

Learn How to Prevent Fire and Burns in the Home

Every year, an estimated 1100 older adults die in home fires, an additional 3000 suffer injuries.   On Thursday, May 20, from 1-2 p.m. at the Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center, 8501 Provident Street, Philadelphia, the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement’s Resources for Older Adult Living and the Mature Adults group present a workshop entitled, “Fire and Burn Prevention for Older Adults.”  A representative from the Burn Foundation will talk about major risks for burn injury and shares fire prevention tips that will help keep you from becoming a fire statistic.

U. S. Fire Administration statistics show that compared to other age groups, older adults in particular are at much higher risk for fire.   The reasons for this may include that many older adults often live alone, lack help, have physical or sensory limitations (slower response times, more limited flexibility, diminished vision and hearing ability, balance and mobility), and take medications that affect response times, both physically and mentally. 

Most fires can be prevented.  Often, they happen as a result of cooking, careless smoking, faulty wiring, flammable clothing, heating, and holiday or seasonal fires. Many of these fires could be prevented if certain precautions were taken.

Come and learn how you can make your home and yourself safe from a fire.

Upper & Lower Burying Grounds Open for Tours

The Trustees of the Hood Cemetery of Germantown (Lower Burying Ground), 4901 Germantown Avenue, and the Trustees of the Concord School House and Upper Burying Ground, 6309 Germantown Avenue, are pleased to announce scheduled public openings on the second Sunday of the month from 2-4 p.m. for the spring, summer, and fall of 2010. The public is welcome to visit these tranquil spaces, urban oases in Germantown, and to learn more about their rich histories. Tours will be available at each site. Dates are May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, and October 10.

The Upper and Lower Burying Grounds were established in 1693 by the founders of Germantown and used into the twentieth century. The Lower Burying Ground was renamed for Germantown resident William Hood in the nineteenth century. The Concord School House, occupying a corner of the Upper Burying Ground, was constructed in 1775 and operated through the nineteenth century.

For more information, write to info@hoodcemetery.orgor

Beekeepers to Meet

The Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild (PBG) May meeting will be held Thursday, May 20, 7-8:30 p.m. at Wyck, 6026 Germantown Avenue. The regular monthly meeting will feature Vincent Aloyo, a long-time beekeeper who has recently been named one of Pennsylvania’s Apiary Inspectors.  The Apiary Inspector program is designed to aid beekeepers and to keep the hives in Pennsylvania free of disease.  All beekeepers are required to register their hives with the PA Dept. of Agriculture every two years.  The cost is a $10 flat fee regardless of the number of hives you manage.  Come prepared with questions about your bees and beekeeping techniques and expect tips from fellow attendees. Anyone who has any honey they would like to bring for tasting, should do so.                        

Attendance is free and there is no registration required. However if you are not on the regular distribution list for PBG news and information, please contact

10K Wissahickon Trail Classic

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 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 will receive a free t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded to the top female and male finishers.

For information, call Amanda Hymansmith at 215-951-0330, ext. 2101 or visit

Judge Midge Rendell plants a tree at Morris Arboretum in honor of Arbor Day and National Public Gardens Day.  Morris Arboretum is the official local partner of National Public Gardens Day, May 7. (Left to right): Judge Midge Rendell, Morris Arboretum Director of Horticulture Tony Aiello, and Elizabeth Aiello. Photo by Paul Meyer.

Homeowners Seminar

Every second and third Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Northwest Education and Development Corporation (NWEDC) will host a homeownership seminar at 5538C Wayne Avenue. It will provide information on home financing, savings, home inspections, settlement costs, the dangers of predatory lending, after settlement, grants and bonds for closing, credit, and much more. These seminars are funded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

If you are interested in attending this informative event please call NWEDC at 215-849-3104. Limited seating is available.

PSA Meetings in 14th District

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.

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. 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.

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.

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

New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Marks Anniversary

New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of Germantown celebrated its 59th church anniversary on April 25.

The church was built in 1927 by the late  Rev. John Alexander, his congregation, and the Presbytery that founded the original church in 1910.  It  was known as the Faith Presbyterian Church.  When the church members relocated to Greene and Tulpehocken streets the name was changed to Germantown Community Presbyterian Church. The church was  then purchased by the late Rev. Raymond L. Stewart on April 15, 1951. The history of the church was shared by great-grandson Barry LeLand of the late Rev. Alexander.

On Sunday, May 16, Rev. Nathan L. Hasty, Sr. will celebrate his 13th pastoral anniversary.  Rev. Hasty  was the youth pastor from 1987-1997 and is the 5th pastor. He was installed as pastor in 1997 and is married to first lady Trina Hasty. They are the proud parents of two sons and three beautiful daughters.

All are invited to celebrate and worship with us on this glory day Sunday, May 16, at 3:30 p.m., at the New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of Germantown, 5335 Pulaski Avenue.  For more information, call the Carol Gaut Hairston at the church office at 215-843-1077.

Programs at Chabad

Chabad-Lubavitch of Northwest Philadelphia will be hosting Tea and Torah, a women’s-only Torah study group in honor of Rosh Chodesh.  Rosh Chodesh, literally translated as head of the month, marks the beginning of each new month in the Jewish calendar.  Rosh Chodesh is traditionally observed as a special holiday for women. A class to celebrate Rosh Chodesh Sivan will be held on Thursday, May 14, at a private home in Mt. Airy from 7:30- 8:45 pm. There is no charge. To RSVP or for more information call Pessy Gurevitz at 215-438-5327 or e-mail

Also, Chabad is hosting an event on Wednesday, May 19, from 6-7:15 p.m., to mark the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, the day that celebrates receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, 3,322 years ago.

The program, for adults and children of all ages, will include a reading of the Ten Commandments from a Torah scroll, as well as dairy desserts and ice cream. Shavuot is traditionally celebrated by eating dairy foods, because the Torah is described as “honey and milk under your tongue.” Non-dairy ice cream will also be available.  There will also be a special program for children. There is no charge.  It will take place at 7334 Rural Lane in Mt. Airy.  RSVP appreciated to 215-438-5327 or at

Chabad will host an all-night learning session, focusing on the legacy of the founder of Chassidism, the Baal-Shem-Tov, starting Tuesday, May 18, at 10:30 p.m. Morning services will also be held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Yizkor on Thursday will be at 11:30 a.m.

Ascension Day at LTSP

On Thursday, May 13, at 6 pm, there will be a celebration of Ascension Day at the chapel of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301Germantown Avenue. Pastors Martin Lohrmann and Andrena Ingram will lead the worship service. Dr. Katie Day, a seminary professor who studies faith communities along Germantown Avenue, will be the preacher. Worship will be 45 minutes of singing, scripture, prayer and thanksgiving.

Ascension Day is always 40 days after Easter. This particular service also celebrates the partnership of the Germantown Avenue Lutheran Parish between Trinity, St. Michael’s, and Christ Ascension Lutheran Churches, LTSP, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania synod office.

All are welcome to join in this spirited celebration. A light reception will follow.

Concert 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 is composed of 80-plus voices, representing forty six churches. For more information call 215-844-9564.

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.

Haiti Relief

Church of God by Faith, and Pastor Joyce Ladson will be gathering and shipping items to Haiti for its mission there on Saturday at 5 p.m. The church is located at 6500 Wister Street. For information call 267-808-6269. 

Reality Seminar at Cedar Park

Parents, have you been looking for positive mentoring for your children? And have you longed to have them bond with other upwardly mobile and principled youth who could likely influence them towards sound and worthy activity ?

Then look no further.  Register your child for the “Reality Seminar,” an exciting day-long series of workshops presented by Cedar Park Presbyterian Church.

This engaging event will be held on Saturday, June 5 at the church, 7740 Limekiln Pike (at Upsal Street) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Several informative workshops will be offered that will appeal to youth, “tweens” and older teens.  The shy and reserved will feel comfortable in the warm and welcoming workshops that will be led and moderated by peers and caring leaders in a casual and laid-back atmosphere.  Questions and concerns relating to peer pressures, gainful living, personal purpose and the worth and reality of faith will be shared and explored and will be crafted for age-specific groups.  Lunch will be provided and there is no charge for this insightful event and fellowship.  Interested participants are encouraged to bring a friend. 

Advance registration is requested and a quick phone call to the church office at 215-549-9775 will suffice. 

Pastoral Anniversary

The members of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street, are celebrating 28 years of service and invite the community in the salute of Reverend Dr. G. Daniel Jones on Sunday May 16, 10:55 a.m. You are most welcomed to come and share this special time. The guest preacher is Dr. Joseph L. Fuller, pastor of New Joy Baptist Church of Philadelphia. You can reach the church by phone during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m, -5 p.m., at 215-438-3215. 

Meds Option Review at CHCE

On Tuesday, May 18 Chestnut Hill’s Center for Enrichment is hosting  “Medication Review Plus” sponsored by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

The subject is pain relievers. Learn the most current information about those pills and potions being marketed to soothe your aches and pains; what they can and cannot do; interactions with other medicines or dietary supplements; side effects; and whether there are “natural” alternatives. A simple, tasty lunch ($5 per person)  will be served at 12:30 p.m.; the nurse’s presentation, plus a question-and-answer period will run from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

The Center for Enrichment also invites you to come and enjoy great music and great company while learning authentic folk dances from other countries on Friday, May 21, 1-3 p.m. Our folk dance “playshop” will be especially for beginners. We will learn some low impact dances—no partner required—in circles and lines, to live music. Have you ever done a dance from Romania? How about a Jewish wedding dance from Transylvania? You say you are not a hotshot dancer? If you can walk, you can folk dance. We’ll start each dance by demonstrating and explaining every step, letting you walk through it until you are comfortable, and then—put on the music! Bill Wadlinger, a long-time area folk dance teacher and founder of Beaver Folk Dancing, will walk you through, and John Matulis, noted accordionist, will provide the music. Admission  is $5 per person. If enough people ask for it, Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment will add Folk Dance to its regular monthly calendar.

Both events will be held at Center on the Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue (in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, right next door to the Hospital). For information about these and all Center activities, and to RSVP for Tuesday’s lunch (so we can make sure to set a place for you), call the CHCE office at 215-248-0180, email, or drop in at 8431 Germantown Avenue, side entrance, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Co-op Recycling Bin Giveaway

On Saturday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Weavers Way Co-op will be giving away over 200 free recycling bins at our Weavers Way Ogontz store, 2129 72nd Avenue (corner of Walnut Lane and Ogontz Avenue) in West Oak Lane. The two previous Recycling Bin Giveaways were very popular, and with the bins being distributed first-come-first-serve (one per person), those interested are urged to arrive early.

We hope neighbors and members of the community will join us and pick up their free recycling bins—valued at $10 each—and use them to support the city’s efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling. According to, in 2007 recycling saved the energy equivalent of 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline, and prevented the release of carbon dioxide equivalent to what would have been produced 35 million cars. In the age of a warming planet and a cooling economy, our communities need to be serious about recycling and cutting waste. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to be green. So stop by Weavers Way Ogontz on May 22 and pick up a free recycling bin.

Weavers Way’s Environment Committee has long been actively involved in recycling. For more than a decade, until the city’s expanded curbside recycling program made that program unnecessary, Weavers Way sponsored a monthly recycling program that diverted thousands of tons of waste from landfills. Weavers Way currently sponsors a plastic recycling program that accepts #5 plastics not collected by the city. This Recycling Bin Giveaway is sponsored and organized by Weaver Way Co-op’s Environment Committee.

Weavers Way offers a friendly shopping environment and quality products that are locally grown, sustainable, and nutritious: fresh fruit and produce; fresh fish; naturally raised chicken and meats; fresh baked goods; an excellent deli; a full dairy section; whole foods; bulk grains and spices; nuts and dried fruit; and a vast selection of both mainstream and hard-to-find grocery items.

Membership in the Co-op is open to everyone, and all are encouraged to become members and owners.

For more information e-mail For more information about Weavers Way Ogontz, call 215-276-0706.

Silent Auction/Fundraiser to Support Mt. Airy Arts Garage

The Mt. Airy Art Garage will be hosting a silent auction/fundraiser at the Governor’s Mansion in Germantown, 254 West Walnut Lane, on Saturday May 15, 7-10 p.m.

Join the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) for a fun-filled evening filled with live entertainment and “light fare” while artists and art lovers bid for original fine art and handcrafts. Did we mention we are also raffling off fabulous gifts from area businesses?

Here is just a taste of what to expect:

Art Lover? We will have an array of fine art and handcrafts donated by our MAAG artists and businesses. Each piece is unique—created by printmakers, photographers, painters, master leathercrafters and more! We’ll also have some outstanding art supplies donated by Blick Art Materials, Utrecht, and others.

Architectural Buff? From 1915 to 1919 the Governor of Pennsylvania, Martin Brumbaugh owned and lived in this beautiful home. While in office, Brumbaugh saw the adoption of progressive legislation including the Workmen’s Compensation Act, the Child Labor Law and continuing education for children leaving school to go to work. This architect’s dream is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dance To The Music! Saint Mad is Philadelphia’s only trumpet-euphonium-guitar-keyboard band. Their acoustic pop draws from many genres, but in all their songs, Saint Mad’s unique vocal and instrumental style comes through. Their originals, parodies, and unique arrangements of pop classics are always upbeat, often funny, and are built upon themes that run through all of our lives. Slippery Slope is an acoustic ensemble of four multi-instrumentalists. They play traditional music from a variety of European and North American cultures. They find tunes they love and fuse them together in unexpected ways.

Mouth Watering Yet? Our area businesses from Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill have stepped up to the plate donating wine, microbrew and plates of their own scrumptious specialties. Come taste what’s being served. Find out who are some of our culinary kings and queens, bid on wonderful art work, and enjoy your evening—all for a good cause.

Member Yet? Well it’s time. You’ll get discounts at area businesses who partner with us. You’ll also save on jurying fees if you’re an artists applying for our Art Markets. You’ll receive your own MAAG button. And, most important, you’ll support us and our goals. For more information visit

Tickets (check payable to the Mt. Airy Art Garage) are $25 Individual, $50 Family (2 adults and kids), $250 Sponsor, $500 Friend, $1,000 Benefactor.

Please mail checks to Mt. Airy Art Garage, P.O. Box 18838, Phila., PA 19119. Tickets will be held, in your name at the door. Or for more information, call 215-242-5074. Remember, Mt. Airy Art Garage is a nonprofit and all donations are tax-deductible.

Germantown Resident in ‘The Next Reunion’

Germantown’s own Nadiya Phillips (pictured) will play the role of Annie in the world premiere of the hilarious comedy The Next Reunion at the Society Hill Playhouse in South Philadelphia.

The show tells the story of two guys who return to their 10th high school reunion only to find that no one remembers them.  They join forces with another outcast who used to be a “goth girl” in high school. The three misfits then ditch their own reunion and crash to other ones in the same hotel.

Nadiya is best recognized from her Beneficial Bank commercial, her role in the movie Drumline and being part of “I Theater,” a comical improv group created by Tiffany Bacon.  Some of her other credits include 7 Guitars, Lady in the Water, Astonishing, Whatdoyoudo?, and Moving Day. The Clark Atlanta University graduate is delighted to make her hometown theater debut in this comedy that starts a six-week run on May 13. Performances are on Wednesdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. 

Call the theater at 215-923-0210 for tickets. 

Visit the webpage at

Anna Crusis 25th Anniversary

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.

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He walk, he talks … well actually, he doesn’t walk. But he does talk. Pictured are members of the inaugural class of the NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing with Betsy Gemmill, chairperson of NewCourtland’s Board of Directors, Executive Director of NewCourtland Education Center Anna Marshalick and NewCourtland Staff Educator Beverly McDaniel. They are surrounding “Sim Man,” a simultated patient whom students can practice their skills on and event tell them how “he” feels. The state-of-the-art facility at 6945 Germantown Avenue was presented to the public on April 29. The inaugural class is composed of 24 students.