From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

July 1, 2010 • MAI.July 1.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. BulletThefts of Millions Suspected at LaSalle

  2. BulletResidents Alarmed Over Awbury Park Violence

  3. BulletTelling Lies for Fun and Profit: Writers Share Their Expertise

  4. BulletCelebrate a Historic Fourth at Northwest Sites

  5. BulletState’s Oldest Black Marine Honored at St. Luke’s

  6. BulletFood Vouchers Accepted at Farmers’ Market

  7. BulletCliveden Park Festival

  8. BulletCovington Named City Special Olympics Head

  9. BulletLearn How to Select Deer-Resistant Plants

  10. BulletFOW Elects New Board Members

  11. BulletRegister Now for PMBC Block Cleanups

  12. BulletSwap Old Plants for New Ones

  13. BulletArchitectural Tours of Center City

  14. BulletHoliday Closings

  15. BulletArtists Sought for Fall for the Arts

  16. BulletVocal Arts Institute at St. Luke’s

  17. BulletNehemiah Tabernacle Begins Building Program

  18. BulletUU Book Sale

  19. BulletRegister Now for Tire Roundup

  20. BulletMorris Director is 2010 Wyck-Strickland Honoree

  21. BulletPaper Arts Happy Hour

  22. BulletPoetry Slam at Infusion

Smiling faces were everywhere at the Community Paint Day in Mt. Airy on June 29 as neighborhood residents helped to construct a mural to be placed on the building that houses Herb Scott Catering at Sharpnack Street and Germantown Avenue. The Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services, the Philadelphia Mural Arts program, and Mt. Airy USA sponsored the event. Volunteers painted parachute cloth to be fixed to the wall when painting is completed. The mural is set to be dedicated July 13. 

Thefts of Millions Suspected at LaSalle



On Tuesday, June 28, it was announced that Steven Grebs of Blue Bell PA, employed by La Salle University since 1984, has been fired by the school after the University determined that several million dollars over a long period of time were missing as a result of an apparent fraud scheme.

Published reports identified Grebs’ job as overseeing food services and catering, and said that the alleged scheme involved setting up a fake food company to which he authorized payments by La Salle.

In a statement issued to this newspaper, Edward Turzanski, La Salle’s director of Government Affairs, said, ”Several weeks ago, the University discovered a significant breach of trust from a long-term employee. The office of the District Attorney has been made aware of all issues and they are pursuing all local remedies and legal options. The amount involved is several million dollars and this was determined as a result of new accounting controls recently put in place to increase efficiency ….

from all that can be determined it was an abuse of a position of trust that led to the situation.” No charges had been filed as of press time.

Residents Alarmed Over Awbury Park Violence


Editorial Staff Intern

About 20 members of the Chew and Belfield Neighborhood Club, Inc. attended a meeting held at the Immaculate Conception Parish Center on Monday, June 28, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. to discuss  dangerous and disruptive activities that have been taking place in Awbury Park, Ardleigh and Haines streets. Captain Joseph Bartorilla of the 14th Police District and Commissioner Michael DiBernardinis of Parks and Recreation were present to help the community solve ongoing problems.

A major concerned raised by residents was an incident that happened on May 22 in the park that resulted in three people being shot, and two hit and injured by cars. Some residents who live near the park discovered bullet holes in their cars following the incident. According to neighborhood residents, the Department of Parks and Recreation issued permits for two events that day that far exceeded the logical capacity of the park. 

“We’re concerned that your department permitted an event of that size,” said Doris Eason of the 1000 block of Haines Street. “How is it that you’re permitting such large gatherings?” Eason said that police were not even made aware that such a large event was taking place and therefore had no presence at the park during that time.

DiBernardinis said that he was not aware of all the details of the incident that occurred on May 22, but defended his department. “Many times people put in for a permit, then do things that are not on the permit,” he said.  “I’m not minimizing what happened, [and] I’m not disagreeing with what happened,” he added.

Bartorilla also defended the Recreation Department. “It’s not the Department of Recreation’s fault,” he said. “They can’t control what the kids do.”

After the incident occurred, he had an opportunity to look over the permits issued that day. He said that two had been issued for family picnics. One was for a hundred people and one was for 75 people between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The incident occurred after 8 p.m. and included a much larger crowd that was likely comprised of people who did not have a permit to operate in the park.

Since May 22, Bartorilla has stationed two bicycle officers in the park, and hopes to station more in the future. “We’re trying very hard,” he said. “We’re getting pulled in a thousand different directions.” A shortage of officers is a problem the 14th was suffering from, he said.

Bartorilla said that police were successful in stopping several other unpermitted gatherings following the May 22 incident. He credited monitoring social networking sites such as FaceBook and alerts from residents with keeping him aware of possible trouble brewing.

However, Bartorilla emphasized that the trouble at the park never will completely go away. “We want to keep [problems] to a minimum,” he said. “We can’t keep them to zero.”

Residents also raised concerns about teenagers and young adults who drink and smoke marijuana on the recreation center’s property in the evening, when young children are still playing.

DiBernardinis expressed a willingness to help, but said that the Department of Recreation had few methods by which stop to such illicit activities. Park rangers can issue citations but have no arresting authority, and recreation center leaders can only ask people to leave the premises. “After we do these things, we’re out of gas,” DiBernardinis said. “We need to coordinate with the police and other city departments … and you.”

Mark Sellers, who lives in Awbury Arboretum, raised a concern shared by several other residents about amplified sound coming from the park. He said that young adults hold illegal dance shows and concerts in the park. “There is an extraordinary noise issue,” he said. Sellers commended Parks and Recreation for setting up barricades to prevent cars from entering the park, but said that more has to be done.

“I have a great deal of sensitivity to that,” DiBernardinis said, but emphasized that there was little more his department could do without the help of law enforcement.

Some residents suggested that increasing the amount of signs detailing acceptable behavior in the park, or creating stiffer penalties for those who violate the wording of a permit, might be viable options. However, DiBernardinis and Bartorilla maintained that most of the people engaging in illegal activities would ignore signs and permits.

In response to questions about the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, Bartorilla said that he had already planned for the worst. “We already know this weekend is a big weekend,” he said. “We’ll have a very, very strong presence out there.” Bartorilla said that anyone in the park after 6 p.m. will be dispersed, and that after 9 p.m. officers will make sweeps through the park.

Residents emphasized that Awbury Park needs to be put to proper use. “People have a right to use the park,” said Cynthia Jones of the 1100 block of Haines Street. “We just need to monitor what is going on.”

DiBernardinis could make very few promises except to look into the issues brought to light and to work with the 14th District to solve problems. “I don’t have any answers for you tonight,” DiBernardinis said. “But understanding is the first step.”

Bartorilla promised to work with DiBernardinis and then some. “It’s a never-ending battle with these kids,” Bartorilla said. “[But] you will get your officers.”

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit: Writers Share Their Expertise

Members of The Liars Club, a group of local authors wishing to help aspiring writers become published, gathered at an independent bookstore.

From left to right: Jon McGoran (also known as D. H. Dublin), Marie Lamba, Jonathan Maberry, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons (rear), Merry Jones, Dennis Tafoya and Greg Frost. Not pictured: L.A. Banks, Solomon Jones, Sara Shepherd and Ed Pettit.


Editorial Staff Intern

On Tuesday evening, June 22, the Oak Lane Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia at 12th Street and Oak Lane had a basement full of liars - professional and aspiring.

The workshop, held by a group of published writers, named the Liars Club because of its members’ penchant for writing fiction, was the final workshop of three held by the club that were geared toward advising would-be writers on the ins-and-outs of the writing business.

Members of the club in attendance included Solomon Jones, Jonathan Maberry, Merry Jones, Keith Strunk, Jon McGoran and Kelly Simmons. Each addressed a topic relevant to the amateur writer, including plot, research, character, dialogue, setting and publishing, respectively. Presentations were followed by a question and answer sesseion from the 40-or-so aspiring “liars” in attendance.

The Liars Club began a little over two years ago when a group of writers decided that sharing their knowledge with one another was the best means of advancement for all.

“There really isn’t that much out there for you,” Jon McGoran, a member of the club, said in an interview after the workshop. McGoran has had three forensic crime thrillers published under the pseudonym D. H. Dublin. “There isn’t any kind of support structure out there.”

In the Beginning

Only four members were present at the first meeting: McGoran, Leslie Esdaile Banks, Jonathan Maberry and Gregory Frost.

The club’s goal was for members to share information that would help in getting published. According to McGoran, the writing industry is constantly changing, and it can be difficult for writers to initially and continually make their work attractive to publishers.

“[The idea was that] I could share what I learned and they could share what they learned,” McGoran said. “You could be a lot more successful with support from like-minded people.”

For the most part, the club wanted members that could bring something to the table. “We wanted people who were kind of upbeat and positive in their attitudes,” McGoran said. “It’s easy to get down about [the industry] sometimes.”

He has found the membership experience worthwhile. Besides his writing, McGoran works a day job at Weavers Way as communications director so he is not always able to promote his work in every way he wants to. “You learn a lot about things that are worth doing and are not worth doing,” he said. “There are a lot of demands on your time.”

The first meetings were informal and usually took place over lunch, McGoran said. Eventually, though, word spread about the club, and it began to grow in size and scope. 

Most members are published fiction authors, but some are not. Don Lafferty works in social media marketing and has been published in magazines such as Home Business, and Edward Pettit is a book critic and professor of English at La Salle University.

After reaching 13 active and several associate members, the club realized that it was not possible to manage anything larger due mainly to scheduling limitations, and halted memberships. Even though it seemed to be against the club’s principles, it was a decision that was necessary, McGoran said.

After some time, the club began to realize what it could accomplish. “Then we started to…try to turn it into a platform,” McGoran said. “We just realized that we had something special and we wanted to do more with it.”

Supporting bookstores, libraries

The club’s first order of business was supporting independent bookstores. The club visited about a dozen bookstores ranging from Delaware to New York, including Doylestown Bookshop and Chester County Books and Music. It held parties and book signings at each in the hopes of garnering attention for the authors and for the stores.

“[We did this] basically to thank them and give them a little boost,” McGoran said. “They’re important to the success of many authors.” Independent bookstores are often overlooked because of chain stores, McGoran said.

According to McGoran, up-and-coming authors owe a lot to independent bookstores. “[Every writer] is going to have a story about a bookstore [supporting their book],” McGoran said. “They’re committed to it.”

The club also had a presence at the Chestnut Hill Book Festival last year and will return this year at the event on July 9-11.

This year the Liars Club turned its focus to supporting libraries that are often forgotten, McGoran said. The first two workshops took place at Lucien E. Blackwell Regional Library in West Philadelphia, and the Charles Santore Branch in South Philadelphia.

The workshop at Oak Lane Library differed from those previously because it allowed the writers more time to discuss topics, among other things. “It’s a newer structure and a direction we want to move in,” said McGoran.

At Oak Lane, writers had fifteen minutes to discuss their subject, (McGoran discussed setting.)  Refreshments were provided by Weavers Way Ogontz.

Researching Zombies

Jonathon Maberry, author of horror stories such as Ghost Road Blues and Dead Man’s Song, talked about research. He emphasized the importance of research to every writer, and the sense of reality it can bring to a fiction story, even if the story’s topic is far from realistic.

“You’re giving the reader something they do not have access to,” Maberry said during the workshop. He referred to several of his books about zombies, for which he went so far as to interview police and military personnel to gauge how they would react to a zombie outbreak.

Maberry also emphasized the ease with which writers can find information. “I have yet to be turned down when asking an expert for direction,” he said.

Kelly Simmons, author of Standing Still and Skylight, discussed publishing. She emphasized the need for writers to actively research agents, just as agents would do for writers. She said that writers should have a completed manuscript ready when searching for an agent, as well as stay active on social media websites in order to self-promote.

Helpful advice

According to Larry Withers, a director for On Air Videos, who attended the workshop on June 22, the writers’ advice has helped him to move past obstacles in a screenplay he is writing. Working in the horror genre, he had trouble completing a plot and keeping the material original. “It’s hard to be new and innovative,” Withers said in an interview after the workshop.  “On every single topic they addressed … it really sounded like each of them had a great knowledge.”

Ruth Shaw, the Downtown Manager of Cheltenham Township, also found the workshop to be enlightening. She has recently finished a manuscript that she has been writing for about three years that examines the psychological effects of the Holocaust on its victims, as well as the victim’s children and grandchildren. Since its completion she has begun work on a novel. She attended the workshop in the hopes of getting advice on publishing and writing.

“I want to be them,” Shaw said of the Liar’s Club in an interview after the workshop. “Although these people lie for a living, I take them very seriously.”

McGoran was confident yet cautious about the workshop’s results. “We got a lot of nice feedback,” McGoran said. “I think we did have some impact, but I wouldn’t presume to say too much.”

According to McGoran, there are few concrete plans for the club’s future but ideas are always being brought to the table. Members Solomon Jones and Dennis Tafoya have stories published in the upcoming “Philadelphia Noir.” Gregory Frost, Jonathan Maberry and Jon McGoran have stories in the recently released “The Stories Between.”

There have been discussions of publishing an anthology of members’ work, as well as options for expanding the club. “There’s been talk about possibly forming other chapters,” McGoran said.

Whichever direction the Liars Club takes from this point on, it seems as though they will have an audience when they get there. “I would like to try to track them and see what they’re doing,” Withers said.

For more information about the Liars Club, visit

Celebrate a Historic Fourth at Northwest Sites

Previous Historic Germantown Fourth of July commemorations included those at the Concord School House (left) and at the Johnson House (right), where Frederick Douglass IV, a direct descendent of the famous abolitionist, addressed the gathering.

Come celebrate this year’s Fourth of July in Historic Germantown, Freedom’s Backyard, America’s most historic neighborhood.  Join five sites that were here in 1776 for a day of activities in celebration and remembrance of our nation’s independence from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Activities begin at Stenton, 4601 North 18th Street, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Bring a picnic lunch and meet Deborah Norris Logan, mistress of Stenton from 1784-1839, and listen to her experience of hearing the Declaration of Independence read for the first time. Other activities include making your own ice cream and a flag fan craft.  

At 2 p.m., the Concord School and Upper Burying Ground will host their 6th annual Bell Ringing Ceremony. The tradition of ringing the bell once for each year since 1776 began in the 18th century and was revived in 2005. 

The Concord School and Upper Burying Ground is located at 6309 Germantown Ave. and will be open for tours from noon - 4 p.m.

Immediately following the Bell Ringing, the Johnson House Historic Site will host noted history teller and musician Joe Becton, who will share tales and songs of Buffalo Soldiers and the 19th century Struggle for Freedom, accompanied by music.  The Johnson House will also be open for tours from 12-4 p.m. and is located at 6306 Germantown Avenue.

Continue your celebration with a visit to Philadelphia’s only Revolutionary War battle site, Cliveden of the National Trust, located at 6401 Germantown Avenue. Cliveden will be offering special Revolutionary War themed tours from noon – 4 p.m. 

Conclude the day’s activities with a tour of historic Hood Cemetery, founded in 1692 and resting place of 41 Revolutionary War soldiers. The cemetery, located at 4901 Germantown Avenue, is open for tours from 2-4 p.m.  

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 215-844-1683 or visit

Historic Germantown is a consortium of fifteen cultural and historic sites located in Northwest Philadelphia. Our members range from historic houses to an art museum and arboretum. The mission of Historic Germantown is to foster an appreciation of the diverse character and meaning of our cultural heritage in order to preserve and revitalize our community.  To this end, we cooperate in providing knowledge and resources to help preserve Germantown’s historic sites, interpret them to the public, and incorporate them into the life of the local community.  For more information about Historic Germantown visit

State’s Oldest Black Marine Honored at St. Luke’s

On Sunday, June 27, following services at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Germantown, Shirley Gregory (left), staffer to U.S. Representative Bob Brady, presented an American flag that had flown over the United States Capitol building to veteran Richard Washington, who served in the United States Marine Corps in World War II.



A week before the Fourth of July, St Luke’s Episcopal Church at 5421 Germantown Avenue, honored member Richard Washington on the occasion of his 100th birthday. But the century mark was not the only recognition that Washington received:  he was also honored for his service to his country in World War II. Richard Washington is the oldest surviving African American member of the United States Marine Corps  in the state of Pennsylvania.

Washington served as a Military Policeman (MP) during in the war and as senior non-commissioned officer in the Bureau of Military Records at Camp Lejeune, the main Marine training base on the East Coast.  

The saying goes that “Once a Marine, Always a Marine,” but in Washington’s case his admiration for the USMC began well before he ever served and long before the United States entered World War II – fifteen years previous, in fact. It all dated to a heavyweight championship prizefight.

Washington said, “In 1926 I got the biggest thrill of my life when Gene Tunney beat Jack Dempsey.  Dempsey would have nothing to do with fighting black fighters, called them sub-human.”

Tunney was a Marine in World War I and was often referred to as “the fighting Marine.” When he beat Dempsey in two fights, said Washington, “I was the happiest 16-year-old in the world. I said that one of these days, I’m going to be a Marine.”

When President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order opening the armed services to all, regardless of race, Washington said, “I rushed right down to 2nd and Chestnut Street to enlist.” Before that time, he said, no African American or American Indian would have been permitted to enlist in the Marines.

He encountered some confusion when he tried to sign up – nobody at the recruitment center had gotten the word that African Americans were being accepted into the Marines, he said – but got things straightened out and received his call-up notice in 1943. 

He had had a good education and record - he is a graduate of Central High School and  had two years at Temple University -  and after basic training was sent to non-commissioned officer school. He was promoted to private first class and then to corporal and was assigned to the Bureau of Military Records, where his trained photographic skills – until recently, he was still the photographer for his church – were useful.

As an MP, he traveled up and down the East Coast collecting Marines who were absent without leave. “Never had a problem with anyone,” he said. He was mustered out at the end of September, 1945.

The Marine Corps that Washington served in was still a largely segregated outfit. For example, the base he trained at was at Montford Point, which was for African Americans only. But a few years later, said Washington, he found that things had changed considerably.

He and five other former black Marines were invited to the base at Quantico, VA, “where officers are made,” he said. They spent the weekend there and visited several specialist training schools on the base. “We spent a whole day being escorted from one school to another, we’d talk to recruits – then we were taken to Parris Island. We sat at the same table in chow hall. We were anxious to know what things were like in the Corps.

“I met the head of the school. He was blacker than I am. I was never so proud. In that short space of time they were now the heads of their schools, they were teaching in their classrooms."

“As someone once said, ‘The greatest revenge is massive success.’ “

Food Vouchers Accepted at Farmers’ Market

The Chestnut Hill Growers’ Market and the Mt Airy Farmers’ Market, operated by Farm to City, are pleased to announce that farmers at these markets are eligible to accept vouchers from customers who qualify for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). In previous years recipients were given $20 in the form of paper checks. This year recipients can spend up to $80.

The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provide WIC recipients and eligible seniors with resources in the form of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from approved farmers at farmers’ markets in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the FMNP and SFMNP is for low income seniors and WIC recipients to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and to expand the awareness of farmer’s markets.

The PA Department of Agriculture is responsible for authorizing individual farmers.  Only farmers authorized by the State agency may accept and redeem FMNP and SFMNP voucher checks. The farmers at both the Chestnut Hill and Mt Airy markets who grow fresh fruits and vegetables all qualify and can accept these vouchers.

People in the WIC program are eligible to receive this benefit.

Seniors must be 60 or older by December 31st of the program year and meet the income eligibility guidelines.  Income eligibility is based on 185% of the federal poverty income guidelines.  The guidelines are published each year by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Eligible WIC recipients receive the FMNP vouchers during their quarterly WIC visit during the months of May - September.  Eligible Senior recipients receive the SFMNP vouchers by going to a distribution site in their county. Distribution site information is available by calling the county aging office for the county in which the senior resides.  These vouchers can only be redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

For more information, call the PA Corporation on Aging Helpline at 215-765-9040.

Cliveden Park Festival

The Friends of Cliveden Park invite everyone to join us on Saturday, July 24, for our annual Friends and Family Day Community Festival in Cliveden Park, 415 Musgrave Street, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.There’s line dancing live entertainment, vocalist Ms. Barbara Sheree and a special demonstration by the students of Uechi-Ryu-Karate Do Academy.

Spend the day with friends and family enjoying the games, music and great food and fun. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, kick back and enjoy.

For information e-mail

Covington Named City Special Olympics Head

Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) has announced that Mt. Airy resident Tony L. Covington has joined its team as director of its Philadelphia program. In this role, Covington will be responsible for leading all day-to-day activities for SOPA in Philadelphia, implementing a business plan calling for growth in both school and community-based programs, managing the program’s annual budget including fundraising, and stewarding both new and existing relationships. SOPA - Philadelphia has an aggressive goal to reach 2,500 athletes in the city by the end of 2012. This significant growth will be driven by an increase in corporate and volunteer support from all of the diverse communities that make up Philadelphia.  

“We are proud to welcome Tony to our team,” said Matthew Aaron, President and CEO of Special Olympics Pennsylvania. “We are confident that with his expertise and leadership, our Philadelphia program will provide more and better services to athletes, volunteers, and coaches across the city and forge stronger partnerships with the Philadelphia community.”

Joining Special Olympics Pennsylvania from CureSearch for Children’s Cancer in Maryland, Covington is a senior-level director with more than 15 years of experience in business development, fundraising, corporate relations, and sales and marketing in the not-for-profit, corporate and sports industries. He is a former professional athlete with the National Football League, affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Prior to working for CureSearch, Covington served as the Director of Development and Corporate Relations for the American College of Radiology. There he developed a comprehensive stewardship program, and created and implemented a strategic plan for charitable giving for a relatively dormant foundation, resulting in the procurement of $7.2 million in corporate and donor pledges. Covington also managed fundraising initiatives as the former executive director of Train to End Stroke at the American Heart Association, where he generated $3 million in donations during his tenure. 

Special Olympics Pennsylvania provides year-round training and competition in 22 Olympic-type sports to more than 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities. For more information about how you can “Be a fan” of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, visit

Learn How to Select Deer-Resistant Plants

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, at the Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Avenue, Advocates for the Deer, with support from the Pennsylvania chapter of Friends of Animals, will host guest speaker Christina Kobland, a native-landscaping biodiversity and wildlife expert who founded Native Return.

Attendees will learn to select deer-resistant and native plants, and how to use fencing to allow woody plants to survive yet permit the movement of indigenous animals.

Kobland will also address the importance of unifying a community to respect habitat — its loss is the main cause of the global biodiversity crisis — explaining the role of wildlife (“green”) corridors.

When people learn why, Kobland explains, they can prepare to challenge development or intrusive, expensive animal-control “solutions” while basing their views on the sound principles and practical know-how. Thus, a community can preserve its precious ecology and share the wisdom needed to co-exist with all life forms in our midst.

The meeting will be free and open to the public.

Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer (PAD) was recently formed to cultivate respect for deer in Fairmount Park and throughout greater Philadelphia. For more information visit Friends of Animals, founded in 1957, advocates for the right of animals to live free on their own terms.

FOW Elects New Board Members

The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to working in and advocating for Wissahickon Valley Park, has elected five new members to its Board of Directors. Chestnut Hill resident Stephanie Craighead has been director for Planning, Preservation, Development, and Facilities Management for Fairmount Park since 1994. Previously, she worked for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and the Montgomery County Planning Commission.

Mt. Airy resident Cynthia Heckscher, a returning board member, served on FOW’s Development and Governance Committees from 2003 to 2009 and is on the board of the Academy of Natural Sciences. She is a managing director with Diversified Search, where she focuses on recruiting senior level executives for large non-profit health systems nationwide.

Chestnut Hill resident Louise Johnston is also returning to the board, where she served for 12 years.

She is a sales associate with Prudential Fox and Roach and serves on the board of The Hill at Whitemarsh and is a member of the FOW/Chestnut Hill Historical Society Easement Committee.

Chestnut Hill resident Courtney Kapp, a principal at Kapp Architecture, was formerly an Associate at Krieger Architects and also serves on the Easement Committee for the Chestnut Hill Historical Society and the Advisory Board for Expedition Inspiration in Idaho.

Mt. Airy resident Charles Lee, co-founder and principal of Seagis Property Group, LP, was formerly a senior vice president of Keystone Property Trust and held various positions in the predecessor companies to Keystone Property Trust.

Register Now for PMBC Block Cleanups

On Saturday, July 24, the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC), part of the Streets Department’s Sanitation Division, will continue its 2010 volunteer cleaning season with the second of three clean-ups scheduled for the 5th, 14th, 35th, and 39th Police Districts.  Block Captains and Community Group Leaders in the area who wish to schedule their block(s) for the second clean-up are urged to call their PMBC Clean Block Officer three weeks in advance of the cleaning date. The following Clean Block Officers should be called for the corresponding Police District: Sara Jones, 39th Police District, 215-685-3976; Santa Conix, 14th Police District, 215-685-3982.

PMBC reminds citizens of the following tips when participating in Clean Block Events: all debris should be bagged and placed at either end of the block to facilitate collection; no bulk or household trash will be collected during the Saturday Clean-Up Program; do not sweep trash or dirt into inlets; streets should not be blocked off with parked cars during cleaning.

Blocks who wish to organize and elect a Block Captain, and blocks that wish to revitalize an inactive block club, should contact the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee at 215- 685-3981. Upon request, the Clean Block Officer for your area will come out to help organize the block.

Swap Old Plants for New Ones

The NorthWest Garden Association presents its Annual Plant Swap. Bring your extra plants and swap them for plants you don’t have.

You get a ticket for each plant you bring. You use those tickets to swap for plants you want. You even get a chance to talk to the owner about the care of the plant.

Please bring rooted plants in pots. Plants should be established plants. Plants brought in six packs are considered one plant. Bring bulbs and rhizomes in paper bags. Label all pots and bags with plant name and your name. Plants will only be counted after reaching registration table — don’t swap before registration. Other garden items may be considered for swap. No amaranthus or purple perilla, please.  

The events will take place Saturday, July 24, rain or shine, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center, 8500 Provident Street.

This a free event but you must RSVP.  For more information and to RSVP call 215-224-5872 by July 20. Please leave your name and number on the answering machine.

There will also be special raffles and other events. Refreshments will be served. 

Architectural Tours of Center City

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia continues its award-winning Architectural Walking Tour season with fascinating guided tours led by a lively group of experienced and enthusiastic volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds who share a passion for architecture, urban design and social history. The tours run, rain or shine, Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. through October. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students with ID. Children 10 and under are free if accompanied by an adult. Reservations are not required.

Tours next week include:

July 7, 6 p.m.: Art Deco. Meet at Liberty Place entrance, 17th and Chestnut streets. This popular early 20th century style, synonymous with the Jazz Age, has been described as having one foot in the past and one foot in the future. Among Philadelphia’s outstanding examples featured on this walk is the flamboyant WCAU Building on the 1600 block of Chestnut Street, now home to the Art Institute of Philadelphia.

July 10, 10 a.m., Classical Philadelphia. Meet at Pennsylvania Hospital Gate, Pine Street between 8th and 9th streets. Discover the Philadelphia known as “The Athens of America” in the early 19th century. Hear about some of this country’s greatest neo-classical architects and learn why they turned to ancient Greece for inspiration. Significant highlights include the Second Bank of the US and the Merchant’s Exchange, both designed by architect William Strickland.

For information about the Preservation Alliance, visit

Holiday Closings

All City of Philadelphia offices will be open and City services will be operating on Friday, July 2.

Independence Day will be observed on Monday, July 5. City offices will be closed and City services curtailed. Trash and recyclables will not be collected.

Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson urges residents whose normal collection is on Monday, July 5 to set their rubbish and recyclables out for collection on Tuesday, July 6. Trash and recycling collections will be one day behind for the remainder of the week.

All City District Health Centers are closed on Monday, July 5, as are all branch offices of the Department of Licenses and Inspections; the North and Northeast Municipal Service Centers; the Marriage License Bureau; all Department of Recreation facilities; the Free Library of Philadelphia and all of its branches and the executive offices of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, as well as its Violations branch, at 9th and Filbert streets.

Municipal Court’s Arraignment Court at the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St., will be open. Emergency housing problems can be reported at 215-686-1776.

Artists Sought for Fall for the Arts

The Chestnut Hill Business Association is seeking fine artists and craftsmen for its 26th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival scheduled for Sunday, October 10.  This juried show features works in six different categories, including Oil/Acrylics, Watercolors and Other Works on Paper; Drawings and Illustrations; Art Photography; Sculpture; and Fine Crafts.  Cash prizes are awarded in each category. 

The festival is staged along Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill.  The festival attracts over 25,000 people who come for the art, ambiance and other fun activities, including live music on two stages; amusement rides for children; food courts and al-fresco dining.

For information call 215-247-6696 or visit to download an application form.

Vocal Arts Institute at St. Luke’s

The Urban Center at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 5421 Germantown Avenue, proudly opens the doors of the Germantown Institute for the Vocal Arts, on Monday, July 5. The Germantown Institute (GIVA), was founded last summer by baritone and conductor Cailin Manson to nurture aspiring classical singers of any age, and foster stronger community support for classical music by offering education to the public.

The two-week program involves daily classes, voice lessons, and workshops for singers, accepted by a selective audition process. The artists range from 15 to 67 years of age. More importantly, anyone from the community is welcome to audit the program, free of charge, and fully participate in the courses, though space is limited for intimate class size. All GIVA requires is the daily attendance commitment. The daily masterclasses are free and open to the general public as well, and occur every evening of the program, Monday thruugh Friday, at 6 p.m. in St. Barnabas Hall at St. Luke’s Church.

The faculty is comprised of active area performing artists: Eleanor Macchia, soprano; Corbin Abernathy, tenor; Jason Seta, tenor; and Milo Morris, bass-baritone. Harpist Jordan Thomas is the Institute Registrar, and the Institute Accompanist is Elizabeth Manus, known for her work with the Bucks County Choral Society and on the faculties of the Baldwin School and Muhlenberg College.

Both the faculty and the artists are presented in concerts which are the culmination of the Institute’s summer activities. The faculty is presented in recital on Saturday, July 10 at 7 p.m. The artists perform on Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m. Both concerts are also in St. Barnabas Hall at St. Luke’s Church.

Admission for the concerts is free, and a free will offering will be taken during both. All donations aid the continuance of the GIVA programs and support the concert series at St. Luke’s Church.

There are a few remaining auditing slots for the Institute programs.

For more information call St. Luke’s Church at 215-844-8544 or the Germantown Institute for the Vocal Arts at 215-844-9410. Also, visit the church website or the GIVA website, or, respectively. If interested in auditing, contact the director directly by e-mail at

Nehemiah Tabernacle Begins Building Program

Nehemiah Tabernacle, Inc. is an independent affirming congregation that welcomes all denominations. Our precepts are based on Apostolic-Pentecostal church doctrine. This congregation presently serves the Germantown community through a Food Bank Ministry and HIV Counseling Services.

The church is a charitable nonprofit organization with tax exemption under 501 (c) (3). We are requesting for donations in monetary form in any amount towards our $4 million dollar building project. Please write checks or money orders to Nehemiah Tabernacle, Inc. Mail all contributions to: Nehemiah Tabernacle, Inc. 4551 Morris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144. All funds are due by Monday, August 2.

This facility will serve the Germantown community by assisting in the following programs: Food Bank, HIV Counseling Services, Job Services, Clothing Ministry, Community Dinners, Dental Education, Health Fairs, Summer Day Camp, and Day Care Center. For information call the church office at 215-844-8389 or visit

UU Book Sale

On Saturday, July 3, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration at the corner of Stenton Avenue and Gorgas Lane will hold its annual community Big Book Sale in its air-conditioned Fellowship Hall.  Stock up on your summer reading, listening and viewing from a very large selection of hardcover and paperback books, audio and video tapes, and CDs and DVDs.  All will be for sale at very reasonable prices.  Everyone is invited to come to browse and buy.

Then, to mark the July 4th holiday, we investigate a method of personal and planetary healing called Immunics. This system involves positive interventions on one’s own immune system, calms brain chatter and negative self-talk, and encourages those who commit to the practice to live more on the realm of inner peace and compassion. This empowering work attracts more peacefulness to the local community and the world. The discussion will be led by UUCR member Annabel Grote, M.A.

Visit our website for more information at or call 215-572-5247.

Register Now for Tire Roundup

On Saturday, July 24, the Streets Department will continue its 2010 Tire Round-Up Program. Registered participants may drop off their illegally discarded tires at the temporary tire drop off locations at 18th Street and Windrim Avenue, and 21st Street and Godfrey Avenue.

The hours of operations will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Only registered Block Captains, organized community/civic organizations, Town Watch organizations, and Partnership Recycling Groups who have registered for the Tire Round-Up Program and have received an ID number are eligible for participation.

The Tire Round-Up Program was developed by the Sanitation Division of the Streets Department to address the serious problem of illegally discarded tires in Philadelphia. Since the inception of the program in 1995, registered participants have collected approximately 209,826 tires.

Additionally, the program serves as an opportunity for block clubs and community groups to earn money for their treasury to help with cleaning and beautification projects.  Registered participants are offered a “tire bounty” of $.50 for each illegally discarded tire they collect and drop off at one of the designated sites around the city. The tire drop-off limit is 1,000 tires per group.  Reimbursement is limited to up to $500 per registered participant.

Participants are urged to use their proceeds from the Tire Round-Up Program for worthwhile community projects. The first ten registered participants to drop off tires at each site will receive a Tire Round-Up t-shirt.

Tires from auto repair shops, mechanic shops, car dealers and private storage lots are required to be disposed of by the merchant, for a fee. These tires will not be accepted at the drop-off sites.  For more information regarding the Tire Round-Up Program or any other Streets Department-related issue, please contact the Streets Department’s Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560.  For all City services, please call 3-1-1.

Morris Director is 2010 Wyck-Strickland Honoree

The 23nd Annual Wyck-Strickland Award Dinner will honor Paul W. Meyer, the F. Otto Haas Director of the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, on Thursday, October 21 at the Down Town Club, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, beginning at 6 p.m.  The award will be presented by Award Chair Ann Reed, Advisory Board Chair of the Morris Arboretum, followed by Meyer’s presentation. Dinner Co-chairs are Diane Newbury and Susan Peck.

The Wyck-Strickland Award is inspired by the balance of tradition and innovation created when the Philadelphia architect William Strickland remodeled the Wyck House in Germantown in1824. It acknowledges progress and modernity with a sensitive understanding of the past, and honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the cultural life of Philadelphia.

Meyer has played a pivotal role, supported by committed and talented Arboretum staff and volunteers, in stewarding the Morris Arboretum’s 30 year Master Plan, transforming it from a garden in disrepair to a world-class institution that is the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Arboretum’s Master Plan included the development of basic infrastructure for a public garden, such as a path system for visitors and the installation of parking lots that exemplify best practices in environmental design. Through careful planning and stewardship, key areas of the garden were restored and embellished. Under Meyer’s direction, the Rose Garden was transformed section by section, from a garden exclusively displaying roses to one that intertwines the best of Victorian and Italianate influences to include more contemporary planting design, thereby providing a richer, varied spectacle. 

The past year has been a transformative year for the Morris Arboretum. Last summer it opened the Arboretum-wide Tree Adventure exhibit featuring the iconic Out on a Limb canopy walk, a  fully ADA accessible exhibit that takes visitors 50 feet up into the treetops. The central theme of the Tree Adventure exhibit is to teach visitors about the importance of trees in our environment and in our communities. And judging from the 45 percent increase in visitor attendance, 25 percent increase in member households, prestigious national awards, and surplus of publicity, it appears that Tree Adventure is providing a successful platform for the Arboretum to disseminate its environmental message.

The culmination of the 30-year Master Plan is a long held dream of Meyer’s which was to build a new Horticulture Center. Completed in May 2010, the new Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm marks the first new building to be built on the Arboretum’s property since the Morrises’ time.

According to Meyer, the Horticulture Center signifies the first time the Morris Arboretum has had a professional level facility to match the professionalism of its dedicated and talented staff. 

“As we celebrate the buildings’ practical attributes, it is also important to think of the whole building complex as an exhibit in architectural sustainability.  Through this building complex, the Morris Arboretum has created an exciting, functioning exhibit on the best sustainable practices in both architecture and landscape architecture.  As an environmental institution, it is important that we not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk!” says Meyer.

The completion of the new Horticulture Center signifies a time of great excitement and achievement for the Morris Arboretum. The complex utilizes modern sustainable energy and water management technologies, reflecting the stewardship and teaching intentions of its Quaker founders, John and Lydia Morris. Designed and built to achieve LEED® Platinum standards, the highest rating of the US Green Building Council, the Horticulture Center is a demonstration of best land use practices of our time. 

Beyond the Morris Arboretum, Paul Meyer has been a key advocate for open space. He has served on the Montgomery County Open Space Board and was part of a varied team of individuals and organizations committed to preserving open space at Erdenheim Farm. Their tireless, multi-year efforts came to fruition in June of 2009 when Erdenheim Farm was purchased by Peter and Bonnie McCausland, who will become the Arboretum’s new neighbors. 

He has received recognition for his leadership and accomplishments at both the Morris Arboretum and in the public garden community.  These awards include a Special Citation from the Garden Club of America in 1997, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Distinguished Achievement Medal in 1999, a Professional Citation from the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 2001, the American Horticultural Society’s Great American Gardeners Professional Award in 2002, and an a honorary membership from the Garden Club of America in 2007.

Wyck, a National Historic Landmark house and garden located at 6026 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, was the home to nine generations of the same Quaker family, the Wistars and the Haines. Programs at Wyck draw on this family’s passion for education, its Quaker simplicity, and its love of natural history and horticulture.  Its 2.5-acre site preserves 300 years of history as well as offers much-needed greenspace for its urban community. Its programming includes an Outdoor Education Program targeting underserved Germantown students; Wyck’s Home Farm, an integral part of its outdoor classroom and a source of locally grown food for neighbors; Wyck’s series of workshops and lectures on topics such as traditional horticulture techniques, urban agriculture, and environmental sustainability; architectural and decorative arts history and preservation; and symposia on historic roses and urban agriculture/food security.

Paper Arts Happy Hour

Schedule your own Paper Arts Happy Hour at historic RittenhouseTown. Choose Turkish marbling or basic papermaking. Available select Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring your favorite drinks and treats. Private instruction with experienced teachers. Great for birthdays, reunions or corporate parties. $35 per person with a ten-guest minimum. Advanced reservations required. Located at 206 Lincoln Drive in historic RittenhouseTown. For more information, contact Ariel Wilson at, or call 215-438-5711.

Poetry Slam at Infusion

The FUZE at InFusion hosts a showcase poetry slam of local and regional favorites on Friday, July 9, 8-11 p.m. There is a $5 cover, $3 students. InFusion is located at 7133 Germantown Avenue. For information call 215-248-1718 or visit

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