From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

July 22, 2010 • MAI.072210.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. BulletMural Arts Program Celebrates New Work

  2. BulletYouth and Money Summer Camp

  3. BulletCliveden Seeks NW’s Input on Chew Family Story

  4. BulletArmed Robberies Alarm Neighbors

  5. BulletSomebody Will Clean NWRL Lot – But Who?

  6. BulletMeeting on Proposed Zoning Code Changes

  7. BulletFarmers Market Food Vouchers for Seniors

  8. BulletReduce Your Endless Mouse-Clicking

  9. BulletMaxwell Mansion to be Featured in Victorian Homes Magazine

  10. BulletBoy Scouts Jamboree

  11. BulletPeoples Festival Returning

  12. BulletFamily and Friends Day

  13. BulletFOW Awarded Grant

  14. BulletJimenez Stepping Down at Mt. Airy USA

  15. BulletHealth Fair

  16. BulletAnnual Convocation at True Grace

  17. BulletAugust Events at Germantown Jewish Centre

  18. BulletPerspectives on Death and Dying

  19. BulletHelp United Way ‘Stuff the Bus’

  20. BulletStudents Green Awbury

  21. BulletBredenbeck’s, Night Kitchen Featured on TLC

  22. BulletJazz in the Garden at Johnson House

Mural Arts Program Celebrates New Work

Jane Golden, head of the Mural Arts Program, was literally beaming with joy at the dedication ceremony for the “It’s All About Community!” mural on Tuesday, July 13 at the corner of Germantown Avenue and Sharpnack Street. She is flanked (from left to right) by Kathy Sykes, director of Philadelphia Mental Retardation Services; Arthur C. Evans, Jr. PhD., director of Developmental and Behavioral Health/Mental Retardation Services; Farah Jimenez, executive director of Mt. Airy USA; Judy Kresloff, facilitator of the MRS Pubic Awareness Committee; and Elizabeth Moselle (facing away), director of Commercial Corridor Revitalization at Mt. Airy USA.

Cliveden Seeks NW’s Input on Chew Family Story



(Left, at rear of table) Consultant Barbara Daniel Cox and Phillip Seitz, curator of history at Cliveden, hear attendees’ input at last Thursday morning’s meeting.

David Young, executive director of Cliveden of the National Trust, welcomed a dozen or so attendees to a meeting at the site at 6401 Germantown Avenue, last week with the words, “Thank you for taking the time to share your input and thoughts on this very interesting project.” The project he was referring to was one on a topic that the historic site has begun to explore after years of neglect: “Slavery and the Chew Family in Philadelphia, the Forgotten Chapter of Cliveden’s History.”

The meeting last Thursday, July 15, was the second in a series of six that Cliveden is holding to get input from neighborhood residents on how best to tell the story of the enslaved African Americans who labored for several generations of the Chew family,  in Philadelphia  at Cliveden and the Chews’ house downtown and at the family’s plantations in Delaware. 

“We recently got information that the Chew family was one of the largest slave-owning families in Philadelphia,” said Young. “We want to get people’s input to tell the story right as we move from being a house museum to a historic site, and the sooner the better.”

Barbara Daniel Cox is serving as a community engagement consultant for the project, the background for which was presented by Phillip Seitz, Cliveden’s curator of history.

Seven generations of the Chew family lived at Cliveden, originally the family’s summer home, from 1768 to 1970. Apparently they kept every scrap of paperwork they ever had, because Seitz said that more than 200,000 documents had come to light at the site. “They fill 848 boxes at the Pennsylvania Historical Society,” he said.

Another cache of documents had recently been unearthed, he said, pertaining to once-famous industrialist David S. Brown, whose daughter married one of the Chews in the 1800s. Those documents fill 200 feet of shelf space, he said.

Among the Chew documents are records of more than 400 individual enslaved African Americans. “Most of these people we can name,” said Seitz.

One of those he mentioned was a man named Will, who as a personal servant held a relatively privileged position in the household. Will  escaped to the British, who promised freedom to those who joined them, during the American Revolution. “This was a dicey offer,” said Seitz. “You didn’t know who was going to win. For Will, it’s obvious that a chance of freedom was better than what he had.”

The Chew owned some of the biggest plantations in Delaware and while the workers were enslaved, said Seitz, “They stuck together. Slaves established rules about life that the overseer couldn’t tamper with.”

He cited the beating that two men gave their overseer  in 1795 – “They beat the crap out of him,” said Seitz – and while they were whipped they were unrepentant. “To the last moment he’s in your face,” said Seitz about what family documents showed about one of the men whose name was Java.

Cliveden had received advice from scholars, including Henry Louis Gates, said Seitz, about how to tell the story of the Chews and those who worked for them. Now it was seeking input from the neighborhood as well.

The idea for the project had languished for years, said Seitz. “We couldn’t get the time of day about this for years,“ he said. “Then in 2002 what happened was that the President’s House story blew up,” referring to the controversy of how to tell the story of George Washington’s stay in Philadelphia – together with his enslaved servants - as President.

Attendees remarked about the perception of Cliveden in the neighborhood over the years.  One said, “ I’ve been riding up and down the Avenue on the 23 bus for years, never been in here … it seemed shut off.”

Another said, “Slowly but surely there’s been more and better interaction with the community over the last 15 years.”

Yet another said, “This kind of information needs to be told …   we know that our parents and grandparents told us these kinds of stories and we know that they were true.”  

Remaining community input meetings are scheduled for Thursday, July 22 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Wednesday, July 28 at 3 p.m. Call Cliveden at 215-848-1777 for more information.  

Armed Robberies Alarm Neighbors



More than thirty people turned out for a hastily-called community meeting on Sunday morning, July 18, at Allens Lane Art Center, Allens Lane and McCallum Street. The size of the turnout at that time and day of the week was indicative of the importance placed on the subject matter by both West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN), whose executive director Liz Macoretta chaired the meeting, and neighborhood residents: a rash of robberies that all took place in a small geographical area in the first days of this month. 

All were at night between the hours of 10:50 p.m. and 2 a.m.; most were gunpoint robberies, They included: July 3, on the 500 block of Wellesley Road; July 7, Carpenter Lane and Greene Street; July 7, unit block of Nippon Street; July 9, two separate incidents at Allen Lane Station only minutes apart; and July 12, 400 block of West Mt. Pleasant Avenue. Groups of three or four young males were reported to police as the assailants in all cases.

“Our biggest concern is that handguns are involved,” said Macoretta. “Our goal here is to share information with as many people as possible.

Those in attendance were notified via e-mail by a safety alert issued by WMAN. “We hold the safety alerts for things that threatened person harm,” said Macoretta, “not broken taillights.”

When WMAN began looking into the rash of robberies, she said, “We began getting anecdotal information about things not reported.” Then she stressed, “The only way to get more police patrols is to have statistics backing it up, so report everything.”  

The meeting served another purpose than spreading the information already available to WMAN. Macoretta described the new Police Service Area concept, which assigns a police lieutenant and other officers to separate geographical areas inside  the 14th Police District. The sprawling 14th District is divided into 4 PSAs, with almost all of West Mt. Airy in PSA 3. She urged attendees to take part in the process, particularly in view of the fact that the next PSA 3 meeting was coming up shortly on Wednesday, July 21, 7 p.m., at the Germantown Jewish Center, 400 West Ellet Street.

She was also seeking input for a formal letter which she was to hand-deliver the next day at 14th District headquarters, detailing WMAN’s and residents’ concerns and asking for details on the department’s response to the rash of robberies.

The letter was addressed to Captain Johnson [in temporary command of the 14th District while Captain Joseph Bartorilla is out of town getting training with the FBI] and Lt. Mark Overwise, responsible for PSA 3. Among the questions raised therein were whether detectives had been assigned to the robberies; if so, could those detectives come to the July 21 PSA meeting; whether there were detailed descriptions of the robbers; and whether undercover officers had been assigned to the affected area and patrols increased. The full text of the letter can be found at

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, himself a resident of the area, was also invited to attend the meeting.

Some in attendance expressed frustration with the Police Department’s efforts in the area, with one resident described a PSA meeting she had attended as little more than a “dog and pony show.”

In Macoretta’s view, however, “This is a golden opportunity to prove that the PSA system can work.”

Another resident told of being the victim of a burglary just the previous night. “I called 911 four times and they never came,” he said.  

Other topics raised at the meeting included  Macoretta’s stressing of the city’s curfew hours for youth. The city’s curfew is 10:30 p.m. for minors between the ages of 13-17 on week nights, midnight on the weekends. If residents note a group of youth congregating late at night, she suggested, “Call the police and say ‘we’ve got six kids on this corner, it’s after curfew, could you send a car?’ ”

Bob Feder of  Carpenter Woods Town watch briefly described his organization’s activities, saying that its function was to serve as “eyes and ears” and calling it “strictly non-confrontational.” For more information, visit

In a later interview, Macoretta said that she had been in contact with Lt. Overwise through e-mail and had hand-delivered the letter to the 14th. She also said that while Police Commissioner Ramsey was currently in Washington DC, she had been in contact with him and he would attend the PSA 3 meeting if his schedule permitted.

Somebody Will Clean NWRL Lot – But Who?


Editorial Staff Intern

Progress is being made at Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library, 68 West Chelten Avenue,  in regard to the unsightly state of the facility’s parking lot although some confusion still seems prevalent about who’s responsible for what, and who will be doing something about it.

In a conversation that took place after deadline for last week’s issue of this newspaper, Keisha McCarty-Skelton, public relations supervisor of planning and public affairs of the Streets Department said, “Lots on city property are generally maintained by the city’s Public Property Department or possibly by CLIP [Community Life Improvement Project] unity.” She said that calls were being made to both offices to see who is responsible for maintaining the lot.

However, in a later interview, McCarty-Skelton said that the Streets Department would in fact be taking responsibility for the lot. “The Streets Department will now be working with the library to collect the trash,” she said. She said that her department would be coordinating with the library to clean up the litter sometime in the next three weeks.

Despite its intentions to clean up the mess this time, McCarty-Skelton maintained that parking lots are not typically under the Streets Department’s jurisdiction. “The Streets Department usually doesn’t clean lots,” she said. “The Public Property Department has asked for our assistance.”

However, Steven Clark, head of security at Northwest Regional Library, said that the lot’s technical name is Campbell Place, and that it is actually considered a street, making it the Streets Department’s responsibility.

McCarty-Skelton also acknowledged the fact that abandoned tires are considered illegal dumping substances, something that the Streets Department is supposed to handle according to its website.

June Cantor, a Streets Department spokesperson said that the department’s Sanitation Department would be in contact with the library.

Despite McCarty-Skelton’s assertion that her department will take responsibility for the clean-up, as of press time Clark and librarian Audrey Roll said that they had not heard anything from the department. Clark has made plans with Enon Tabernacle Church to have a volunteer group help clean up on Wednesday and Thursday, July 21 and 22, respectively. “We have no problem with doing it,” Clark said. The group will work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both days to complete the maintenance.

McCarty-Skelton said that the Streets Department would do its best to prevent illegal dumping in the lot in the future. “We can enforce [the law only] if we find some kind of identification.” She asked that patrons of the library and the parking lot contact the Streets Department if any illegal dumping is witnessed.

Sidewalk Construction Begins

Construction activities on Germantown Avenue between Mt. Pleasant Avenue and Nippon Street have begun for the streetscape improvement project.  The project contractors and the PennDOT project manager have made some field changes to the construction methods this week that should be beneficial for area businesses.  The new method will allow the crew to maintain an area of sidewalk up to six feet for pedestrian access for an increased period of time.

Operations will include:

1.)    Saw-cutting operations between Mt. Pleasant Avenue and Nippon Street began on Wednesday and will continue through the middle of this week.  The operation is expected to be finished by the end of the day on Tuesday, July 20.

2.)    Beginning on July 21, crews will begin excavation of the curbs and the area of the sidewalk within four feet of the curb line, beginning at Mt. Pleasant and working on two blocks at a time heading North towards Nippon Street.  This new method will allow the crew to maintain a pedestrian walk-way between the building lines and the excavated area while the following activities take place: installation of new lighting conduit behind the curb-line;  installation of light pole foundations; installation of new curbs. This activity will require the closure of the parking lane and a shift of the traffic lane on one side at a time.

 3.)    After the excavation, lighting conduit and foundations installation, and curb installation is complete, the crews will return to remove the remaining 6 feet of sidewalk and pour the new concrete sidewalks.

 4.)    Light pole foundation installations are complete on the west side of the Avenue between Mt. Pleasant Avenue and Upsal Street, and are continuing on the East side through this week.

 If you have questions or concerns, contact:  Mehrdad Vahedi, PennDOT Inspector in Charge, at  or Elizabeth Moselle, Mt. Airy USA, at

Meeting on Proposed Zoning Code Changes

The Zoning Code Commission is holding meetings in July in neighborhood locations to brief residents and seek their input on proposed new regulations for items including open space, landscaping, tree planting and preservation, and parking. 

Participants will learn about the proposed new rules and participate in small group discussions to identify priority issues and provide feedback on those issues. Citizens will be able to help shape a new zoning code that will guide development throughout the city and in their neighborhood for decades. 

The Zoning Code Commission is a 31-member body established in 2007 through a referendum that received 80 percent support from Philadelphia voters.  The Zoning Code Commission is charged with creating a new zoning code that is easy to understand, encourages positive development, preserves the character of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and enhances the city’s development approval process.

Meetings will begin promptly at 6 pm and conclude by 8 pm. No RSVPs are required.

In the Northwest, the meeting will be held Tuesday, July 27, at First United Methodist Church of Germantown, 6001 Germantown Avenue.

For more information call Eva Gladstein at 215-683-4677, e-mail, or visit,

Farmers Market Food Vouchers for Seniors

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) has begun distribution of Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program produce vouchers as part of an annual program to encourage seniors to include fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet. Eligible seniors who live in Philadelphia can receive the $20 worth of vouchers for use at certified Farmers’ Markets throughout Philadelphia. The program also increases awareness of sources of fresh produce in local communities.

Philadelphia seniors age 60 and over by Dec. 31 and who are income-eligible may receive the vouchers at PCA’s main office at 642 North Broad Street (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays) and at other designated sites. Proof of age and residency are required. 

No word had been received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on any changes to income eligibility levels. According to Helen Cooke, PCA assistant director for health and nutrition services, PCA will follow the guidelines issued last year, which are based on total 2008 household income, pending notice of any change:

1 person: $20,036; 2 people: $26,955; 3 people: $33,874; 4 people: $40,793. These figures are subject to change.

Information on voucher distribution sites are  available from the PCA Helpline, 215-765-9040.

The vouchers, made available through funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and must be used before Nov. 30. 

The Computer Lady

Reduce Your Endless Mouse-Clicking


Computer Time-Savers

Computers are supposed to help us work more efficient by reducing the drudgery, but how much time do you spend endlessly mouse-clicking? Overusing a mouse can lead to wrist and forearm strain, something I’ve never experienced. If you compute as much as I do, you will want to use these healthier and time-saving keyboard shortcuts. You will spend much less time shifting from task to mouse and back again.

To take advantage of these shortcuts, you need to familiarize yourself with the 6 Special keys and the Windows key.

Fig. 1:  A US keyboard layout

Fig. 2:  The Special Keys are the Ctrl, Alt, Shift,

The Windows key comes in two flavors, the flag (Fig. 1) or a flag with trails (Fig. 2). On some keyboards, there are two Windows keys, left and right, on others only one.

From the Desktop: to enable a shortcut, hold down the Special or Windows key, and tab the second key in the combination.

To open the Start Menu – Press just the Windows key to open the Start menu and press again to close it.

To switch apps – ALT+Tab in Windows, or Command-Tab in Mac OS, lets you navigate through your current open applications from the keyboard, without using a mouse or constantly glancing at the Task Bar. To practice, open two applications, and use ALT-Tab to switch between the two applications. 

To cycle through taskbar buttons – Windows + TAB

Minimize all open applications – Press Windows+M on Windows or F11 on a Mac, to see the desktop. To undo that action, press SHIFT+Windows+M

To display the Desktop –Windows+D, to undo, press Windows+D again.

To open Explorer, to display your folders and files – press Windows+E. I love this shortcut, and use it constantly.

Get Help instantly – Windows+F1 opens your computer Help and Support, pressing just the F1 key in any open application opens its Help. So if you need help with the computer, use Windows+F1, anytime, but if you’re in Word and need help with Word, press F1 only.

Find folders or files – Windows+F opens a search box.

Need to see your computer’s System information – Windows+BREAK key open this dialog box. The Break key is usually above the Numeric keypad, on the right-side.

Want a super secret tip? Find the Application key on the right-side between the Windows and CTRL keys. It looks like a document, but it’s actually the icon for menu. Press it to open the same shortcut menu that right-clicking the mouse would. Pressing the ESC (or Escape) key, upper right-side of the keyboard closes menus.

The best way to avoid wrist strain? Learn to touch type! Ten minutes a day is all you need to practice. You will be touch-typing 30-40 words a minute with few errors in a couple of weeks. Once learned, never forgotten, another benefit.

Visit this link to use an online QWERTY typing tutor for free visit http://www.powertyping. com/.

Susan Guggenheim delivers technical support, training and data services to NW Philadelphia. Visit her website, or email her for information.

Maxwell Mansion to be Featured in Victorian Homes Magazine

This photo of the parlor exemplifies the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the domestic interior; machine-made furniture in matching sets; roller-printed wallpaper; machine loomed wall-to-wall carpet.

This painted and stained glass window, one of two, may have been installed at the time of the major redecoration of the house in the late 1870s.  Note the Anglo-Japanese influence in design; the Japanese exhibit at the Centennial was one of the most popular. Photos by Kathy Liepe-Levinson. 

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 West Tulpehocken Street, Philadelphia’s only authentically restored Victorian house museum and garden, will be featured in the August 2010 issue of Victorian Homes magazine with a fourteen page article. Victorian Homes magazine, with a circulation of over 60,000, is published six times per year. 

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in the Tulpehocken Station Historic District, one of America’s first railroad suburbs.  Community efforts in the 1950s and 60s preserved this Gothic and Second Empire style house, one of the earliest recognized for its Victorian period architecture. 

The Mansion was fortunate to procure Kathy Liepe-Levinson, professional photographer from New York City, to photograph the Mansion’s interior rooms.  The photos along with a proposal letter were submitted to the magazine by Diane Richardson, Executive Director.  The Mansion is of particular interest to the readers of Victorian Homes because the downstairs is interpreted to the 1860 time period whereas the upstairs represents the 1880s after the Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia. 

The Mansion’s interior has been painstakingly restored to represent the life and times of a rising middle-class Victorian family.  The unique combination of period furnishings with recreated 19th century style carpets, wall coverings, window treatments and textiles has resulted in interior spaces which look as though the Maxwell family just stepped out for a moment.  Visitors step back in time to discover a living record of the comforts and tastes of the rising middle class in an era when central heat, indoor plumbing and running water were wondrous luxuries, and when gas lighting, grained woodwork and stenciled ceilings were emblems of social standing.

The magazine can be purchased at local booksellers or from the gift shop of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.

For more information about the Mansion call 215-438-1861 or visit

Boy Scouts Jamboree

The Boy Scouts of Jamboree Troop 143 (above), which includes Scouts from all over the area, including Troop 221 in Chestnut Hill, will celebrate the centennial year of the Boy Scouts of America at the National Jamboree July 26 through August 4 in Virginia. For more information visit

Peoples Festival Returning

The community is invited to join in for the 32nd Annual Peoples’ Festival on Saturday, August 14. Enjoy an event full of Entertainment, Education and Empowerment from noon to 8 p.m. in historic Vernon Park, Germantown and Chelten avenues.

This year we will honor Mother Earth by sharing information about our responsibility to do our part for the preservation and improvement of our local and global community. We encourage organizations sharing the message of living a greener lifestyle to inquire about our Green Vendor and Sponsor incentives.

Get your message out to the masses by advertising in the 32nd Annual Peoples’ Festival Souvenir booklet. We have extended our submission deadline to July 23, 2010. Visit our website for more details at

Family and Friends Day

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, 6415 Musgrave Street, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

We’ll have line dancing with Tina Walls, live entertainment by Tap Team Two and Co., Dime Street Joker, Vanida Gail and LXG (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and vocalist Ms. Barbara Sheree with 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

FOW Awarded Grant

The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) have been awarded a grant of $10,000 from the PECO Green Region Program, the company’s municipal open space grant program, in partnership with the Natural Lands Trust. The grant will be used to improve wayfinding in Wissahickon Valley Park.

“We are grateful to PECO and the Natural Lands Trust for supporting this project,” says FOW Executive Director, Maura McCarthy. “It shows their desire to both preserve open space and to make it accessible and safe.” The project will help finalize trail signage content, which will include important safety messages and information on environmental issues. “In the future, we hope to link trail blazes to the City’s 911 database. This will help the City locate park users needing assistance.”

For more information about the Friends of the Wissahickon visit

Jimenez Stepping Down at Mt. Airy USA

After 13 years at the helm of Mt. Airy, USA, Executive Director Farah Jimenez will move on to become the new President and CEO of the People’s Emergency Center (PEC), one of the city’s largest nonprofit social services organizations. Mt. Airy, USA’s Board of Directors has created a search committee and interim transition committee and is moving swiftly to identify a candidate to lead the organization in its future endeavors.

“We are poised to take on a new chapter and look forward to the process of hiring an executive director who will continue to strengthen the Mt. Airy community,” said Ted Reed, a founder and board member of Mt. Airy, USA. “We are extremely proud of Farah and wish her the very best on the next leg of her professional journey serving as President and CEO of the People’s Emergency Center,” said Reed, speaking on behalf of the board.

Jimenez arrived at Mt. Airy, USA in 1997 and set out on a mission to revitalize Germantown Avenue into a vibrant restaurant and retail corridor. Today, The Avenue is home to some of the region’s finest eateries and stores – a Mt. Airy renaissance that has captured local, regional and even national attention.

She has led the organization in developing more than 50,000 square feet of office and retail space along Germantown Avenue and obtaining nearly $4 million in federal, state and local funding for storefront and streetscape improvements. At the same time, Mt. Airy, USA launched an affordable housing strategy supporting nearly 5,000 first-time homebuyers and struggling homeowners through housing counseling services; and developed 20 units of affordable for-sale housing.

Jimenez played a major role in the development of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District. In addition, she formed a community engagement program that includes a neighborhood advisory board and annual programs that support the community through housing repair, beautification and neighborhood organization. To increase earned revenue and share the organization’s expertise on a national level, Mt. Airy, USA initiated a successful consulting practice to guide nonprofits through the process of neighborhood revitalization and strategic planning.

“It’s been a distinct pleasure to work in such a vibrant and engaged community. I’ve been honored by the commitment and leadership of the board, the talent of the dedicated staff and have enjoyed partnerships with many of Mt. Airy’s most venerable nonprofit institutions. It is the strength of this trinity of community, board and staff that has enabled Mt. Airy, USA to achieve so much, and it will no doubt be the strength of this trinity that will ensure its success going forward,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, a co founder of the Endowed Scholarship of the Association of Latino Alumni and has served on several boards at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she was appointed by President Bush to a five-year term on the Community Development Advisory Board of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund; serves on the board of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and is a former Fairmount Park Commissioner.

Mt. Airy, USA is a nonprofit community development corporation, founded in 1980, for the purpose of revitalizing Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy. For more information, visit

Health Fair

Faith Community United for a Healthier Germantown is sponsoring a health fair on Saturday, July 24, raindate July 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Vernon Park, 5800 Germantown Avenue. Over 50 healthcare agencies have been invited.

The Health Fair is free and open to the public. Entertainment for children includes an appearance by Elmo of Sesame Street at noon. There will be health screenings, and a representative from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services addressing the Healthcare Reform Bill. The 2010 honoree will be the Honorable Donna Reed Miller. Honorary chairman for the event is the Mayor Michael Nutter, and honored guests State Senator Shirley Kitchen and State Representative John Myers.

For further information, call 215-520-2466.

Annual Convocation at True Grace

True Grace Memorial House of Prayer, 132 West Rittenhouse Street, will be celebrating its annual Holy Convocation from Monday, July 26, through Sunday, Aug.1. Services will be held nightly Monday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. The final service will be 3 p.m. on Sunday with guest ministers and a musical program. For information, call 215-844-8964.

August Events at Germantown Jewish Centre

August “Summer Sampler” events at Germantown Jewish Centre (GJC), 400 West Ellet Street, include:

Wednesday, August 4 at 7 p.m., an evening of movement, food, study and dessert.  Get a taste of the year to come at GJC. Current, new, and prospective members welcome!  For more information e-mail or call 215-844-1507, ext 19.

Entering the High Holiday Season Through Text and Writing is a four-session adult education class beginning Tuesday, August 10, at 7:30 p.m. Join Germantown Jewish Centre for this “Living Room Learning” class taught by Rabbis Melissa Klein and Tamara Cohen. Elul is a month of reflection, return and renewal.  Class includes text study of these themes and creative writing inspired by study together.  The exact location will be given upon registration.  Bring a journal and your favorite pen. The cost is $54 for GJC members/$72 for Non-Members.  For more information and to register e-mail or call 215-844-1507, ext 10.

Hazak Opera Under the Stars will take place Wednesday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m., rain date August 18. Join Germantown Jewish Centre’s Hazak (55+ Group) for discussion, listening and viewing clips of the opera comedy “La Fille du Regiment” (“Daughter of the Regiment”) with our own “maestro” Sam Feinberg.

Wine and cheese will be served.  Bring your own lawn chairs, blankets and wine.  For more information e-mail or call 215-844-1507, ext. 19.

Parshat HaShavua B’Ivrit will take place Saturday, August 14 at 11 a.m. It is a monthly one-hour program at Germantown Jewish Centre. Discuss, in Hebrew, the weekly parsha, led by a different volunteer each time.  For more information and to RSVP e-mail or call 215-844-1507, ext. 19.

Perspectives on Death and Dying

At the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, 6900 Stenton Avenue (corner of Stenton Avenue and Gorgas Lane), join us in our Fellowship Hall at 11 a.m. on Sunday July 25. Stephanie Garrett will present “In the Valley of the Shadow”, based in part on the book “Love and Death” by the late UU minister Forrest Church. She will share her own thoughts and experiences on death and dying from a UU perspective.

Visit our website for more information at

Help United Way ‘Stuff the Bus’

The number of children that are homeless or living in shelters continues to rise in the Thousands of young people go to sleep every night at a shelter in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. As housing costs continue to outpace wages, more families are at risk of becoming homeless. The hardest hit are often the children.

Although 29 percent of adults in homeless families are working, many families today do not earn enough to meet their basic needs. The impact of stress is profound – 74 percent of homeless children worry about not having a place to live and 87 percent worry that something bad will happen to their family. 42 percent of children in homeless families are under age six.

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Stuff the Bus Campaign is part of its efforts to help children enter school ready to learn. What better way to prepare children living in shelters for their first day of school than to provide them backpacks filled with supplies?

Stuff the Bus also helps reduce the financial burden for homeless families, supporting United Way’s commitment to strengthening the region’s safety net and helping people in crisis.

Through donations and the help of volunteers in the community, Stuff the Bus raises money and collects items such as three-ring binders, loose leaf-paper, spiral notebooks, pencils, pens, and erasers. Prior to the first day of school, UWSEPA volunteers stuff the backpacks and deliver them to more than 56 homeless shelters in the area served by United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  The goal this year is to prepare 5,000 backpacks by August 27.

An average backpack with supplies costs approximately $25. Two different types of backpacks are prepared – for grades K-8 and grades 9-12 – which appropriately vary in style, size and content.

Now in its fourth year, Stuff the Bus continues to grow. In 2009, UWSEPA delivered 3,500 stuffed backpacks, which was up 130 percent from the 1,300 backpacks in 2008.

For information visit

Students Green Awbury

Seven parks and recreation sites across Philadelphia will get a little greener this summer, thanks to more than 50 high-school students employed in a green job program that will landscape and beautify their neighborhoods.

Now in its fifth year, the Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) program, a partnership of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, will include groups of eight students working at sites around the city, including Awbury Park and Recreation Center, 6101 Ardkeigh Street.

The YES program runs July 6 through August 13. Environmental site work includes cleanup and removal of weeds and invasive plants; planting annuals and perennials; trail maintenance; use of shovels, pruners, rakes and other tools; and watering plants.  Many of the students will be working in their own neighborhoods. Participants work 20 hours per week and earn $7.25 per hour

The six-week training also includes team building exercises with Urban Blazers, Outward Bound, and Go Vertical Rock Climbing; a hike in Wissahickon Park; a family, friends and community night; and yoga. A special tree education and care day will be held at Hunting Park.

Funding for YES is made possible by Bank of America, The Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation, The ERM Group Foundation, the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy.

The YES Program is one several PHS “Gen Green” programs, including Green City Teachers, year-round work on Kids Grow Expo, and a growing partnership with local girl scouts. To watch a video about the YES program, visit com/watch?v=cTIK_28NeoQ&feature=channel_page

The environmental work of Philadelphia Green produces more than 120 seasonal green jobs each year, including landscape management positions through the Community Land Care and commercial corridor clean-up programs, which revive vacant lots and business districts. 

PHS has been responsible for restoring hundreds of neighborhood parks, community gardens, and revitalizing acres of derelict vacant land. For more information, please visit


Bredenbeck’s, Night Kitchen Featured on TLC

Two Chestnut Hill bakeries recently wrapped up filming Fabulous Cakes, a TLC show featuring the country’s top bakeries. The bakers and cake designers at Bredenbeck’s Bakery, 8126 Germantown Avenue, and Night Kitchen Bakery, located at 7725 Germantown Avenue, will take viewers on the journey of cake design concepts to show-stopping final products. The show is slated to air on Monday, July 26 at 10 p.m. Cakes featured on the show will include Bredenbeck’s intricate Tattoo Art and Bowling Ball cakes, created by sugar artist Diana Anello for customers’ celebrations. Viewers will also watch the creation of Night Kitchen’s five-tiered Earth Day cake inspired by Mother Nature. The cake was created by Pastry Chef Jennifer Low for Philly’s Sustainable Business Network’s SustainaBall.

“We’re the queens of confections!” laughs Bredenbeck’s owner Karen Boyd Rohde, of herself and Amy Beth Edelman, Night Kitchen’s chef/owner. “In what often seems like a male-dominated industry, we are thrilled that our show will feature two successful female baker/owners, who also just happen to be neighbors.”  

And what about that neighborly competition? Situated just a quarter mile away from one another, you would think that two bakeries who compete for business on the same street may not be so friendly.

“We’re in good company,” says Edelman. “Yes, our customers are from the same neighborhood. But if you’re good at what you do, people will love your products. There’s always room for talent.” 

Jazz in the Garden at Johnson House

The Johnson House will host its tenth annual Jazz in the Garden on Saturday, August 7, from 4 – 7 p.m. 

Jazz in the Garden is a summer benefit featuring an afternoon of catered foods, “spirits,” live jazz by Sonny Keaton, Organ Q-Tet and Reel Jazz, vendors, tours and fun on the historic grounds surrounding the Johnson House.

The Johnson House is Philadelphia’s only documented station on the Underground Railroad that is open as a museum for public tours. A 240+year-old farmhouse whose history of anti-slavery activity puts it at the center of the struggle for freedom in America, Johnson House is a National Historic Landmark in the heart of Germantown. Educational and public programs include guided tours that have now reached over 30,000 visitors. The Johnson House focuses on the early history of slavery in America, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and the Fugitive Slave Laws that kept freedom seekers constantly on the run and the collaborative efforts between blacks and whites. 

According to Cornelia Swinson, Executive Director, “This event will help to ensure that this vital heritage continues to inspire the next generation as the museum seeks to continue to restore its historic buildings and grounds and provide educational services by working closely with our diverse community.”

Admission is  $30 community, $50 corporate, $45 vendors.  Corporate and community sponsorships are welcome.  For more information, to become a corporate or community sponsor, or to purchase tickets contact  D. Turlington at 215-438-1768, e-mail; or D. Birts at 215-605-7102, e-mail

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