From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

September 9, 2010 • MAI.090910.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. City to Run BB League at Mt. Airy Playground

  2. After Two Years, Germantown ‘Y’ Reopens Saturday

  3. Racism Forum

  4. Should I Get Counseling by Myself?

  5. Mt. Airy Village Fair Sept. 25

  6. Urban Beekeeping

  7. Cliveden Forums

  8. NIM to Dedicate Community Resource Center

  9. Art Garage Finds Permanent Home

  10. Old Academy Players

  11. Mt. Airy BID Annual Meeting

  12. Peace Event on September 19

  13. Northwest Winners in City Garden Contest

  14. Scarecrow Contest at Morris

  15. JEVS Home Improvement

  16. Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club Reunion Barbecue

  17. New Minister at Unitarian Universalist Church

  18. ‘World Changers’ on Sharpnack

  19. Canaan Family Life Celebrates

  20. Rummage Sale at St. Paul’s

  21. ‘Start Smart’ at Janes

  22. Mt. Tabor Community Day

  23. Fall Revival at Mt. Zion

  24. Folkshul Open House

  25. Auditions for IBE Performance of ‘Nutcracker’

  26. Wellness Open House

  27. EPIC Meeting on Northwest Crime

  28. All Alumni Week at GHS

InFusion Coffee and Tea co-owner Jason Huber, PennDOT Inspector Mehrdad Vahedi, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA) “Rock the Blocks” director Elizabeth Moselle, outgoing MAUSA Executive Director Farah Jimenez, and Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller lifted cups of coffee in front of the shop on the 710 block of Germantown Avenue on August 25. They were toasting the progress of the “Rock the Blocks” streetscape improvements and also giving a salute to Jimenez, whom Rep. Fattah called a “strong caption of the Mt. Airy USA ship.” After a dozen years at MAUSA Jimenez is moving to head up the People’s Emergency Center (PEC), a long-standing social services agency helping homeless families in West Philadelphia.

City to Run BB League at Mt. Airy Playground


Editorial Staff Intern

A years-long disagreement returned to Mt. Airy Playground once again this year, but it appears that it won’t be back in 2011.

The use of amplified sound during the Mt. Airy Youth Athletic Association basketball league’s games for announcements and music has been a point of contention for some time because of the inconvenience the noise causes neighbors living close by, say nearby residents. Now it seems as though the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) plans on closing the matter for good.

Neighbors have been complaining of the noise issuing from basketball games at the playground almost as long as the league has been using amplified sound systems. “This has been an ongoing problem for at least seven years,” Samuel Blackman, a resident of the 100 block of Sedgwick Street, said.

According to Blackman, the sound reached ridiculous volumes at times. “The noise was pervasive. It was extremely loud, it was five or six nights a week and sometimes as late as nine o’clock at night.”

The issue came to a climax last year on the basketball court, located at the intersection of Sedgwick Street and Germantown Avenue, at the opening of the season. A standoff took place between league associates and parents and DPR officials because the league was using an amplified sound system despite the fact that their permit prohibited it.

An hours-long stalemate in which a league board member criticized DPR officials over the sound system finally ended in a temporary compromise. The agreement allowed for announcements to continue at a lower volume and prohibited music between games.

This past season saw the noise prohibitions reinstated once again. “We finally had a meeting and we told them that they couldn’t use the amplified sound this year,” said Leo Dignam, DPR deputy commissioner. “We gave them another chance to do what they were supposed to do.”

The basketball league finally seemed to get the message, too. Dignam said that he received no noise complaints until sometime during August, a goodly ways into the basketball season.

“It seems that toward the end of the season they didn’t follow the rules,” Dignam said. “It wasn’t until the end. We had it under control until the second week of August.”

“We keep thinking it’s finished and then it’s not finished,” said Elayne Bender, executive director of East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN). According to Dwayne Wharton, a representative of EMAN, the organization has been involved in trying to facilitate a “peaceful resolution” to the issue as well.

Dignam said that at least six residents of the area surrounding the playground have complained to him several times during this basketball season, and that even customers shopping in the Acme across the streets have complained about the noise.

As a result of the breach of agreement, the DPR is disbanding the basketball association that has existed there for so long, and is going to start its own. “It was a condition of the permit that if they didn’t follow the rules they couldn’t run the league next year,” Dignam said.

“Operationally, administratively, we are going to be responsible for what happens on the basketball court [from now on],” said Susan Slawson, DPR commissioner.

Dignam and Wharton both said that attempts to contact the basketball league have been unsuccessful. “I’ve reached out to the basketball program but they haven’t responded,” Wharton said.

Attempts by this newspaper to reach the league were also been unsuccessful.

Although Dignam emphasized the fact that the DPR is running its own league and not taking over the previously existing one, there will be many similarities. “I don’t think any of the parents or kids playing in the league will notice a difference,” he said. “We know how to run a basketball league and we’ll do it well next year.”

Blackman emphasized a point that many other residents are in agreement with: it’s not the basketball league that is the issue. It’s the noise.

“The kids are great,” Blackman said. “It’s a treat to have them there and to watch those games.”

“[The neighbors] recognize the need for a quality … organized sport,” Wharton said. “Having kids play basketball there is not the issue.”

Bender said, “Everybody involved thinks the kids should have a sports program there…but we think it should be in cooperation with the neighbors.”

After Two Years, Germantown ‘Y’ Reopens Saturday



More than two years after it closed because of catastrophic sprinkler system flooding within the building, the Germantown Y (formerly the Germantown YMCA), will formally reopen September 11 with a free open house featuring music, games, and food. Residents, former and new members alike, will be able to register as members during the festivities, which will last from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The path to reopening has been a long and difficult one for the Germantown Y in the wake of the flood which forced the closing of the building and its programs in July 2008. Roadblocks included difficulties in obtaining a satisfactory settlement with the Y’s insurance company, disagreements between new and former board members – at one point there were two separate boards claiming jurisdiction over the organization – the loss of accreditation with the national YMCA organization which is why the organization is now known as the Germantown Y instead of the Germantown YMCA, and the sheer scale of the damage to the building. 

But much progress has been made, and while the repairs aren’t complete the Y is ready to open its doors again, said Assistant Executive Maurice Walls, who rejoined the Y in April of this year. He had been board president in 2003 and had also served as chief financial officer and facilities director.

In April, said Walls, “We were about 50 percent of where we’re trying to get to.”  Now, he said, “The Fitness Center is ready. We’ve got six multi-purpose rooms in shape, and the gym. The pool is undergoing a drain replacement and should be ready in a week.”

He added, “There’s still a ways to go.” Areas still closed include the racketball courts, the free weights room, and the Health Center, which includes the steam room, sauna, and whirlpool.

Walls credited the current board, which was reconstituted last year with members from both boards that had been claiming jurisdiction over the Y, with the progress that has been made so far. “I’ve been affiliated with the Y since 2003, he said, ”and this is by far the best board we’ve had … without this group of people I doubt that the Y would have reopened.”

He also emphasized the volunteer efforts of community members and companies. Attorneys Thomas Muze, Walter Timby and Jay Levin contributed pro bono work that helped the Y sort out its legal and insurance tangles, many community members donated labor in helping to restore the building, and, Walls said, “We’ve had the help of old relationships with local contractors who are all reducing their fees.

He also gave thanks to local politicians for their support and help, among them State Senator Shirley Kitchen,  State Rep. Rosita Youngblood, and City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, who helped find funds for the repair of the heating system in the building’s residential component.

The residential program has 148 single rooms, said Walls, and a “98 percent occupancy rate.” Residential fees come from two sources, he said: Section 8 and PennFree, which is funded by the Office of Supportive Housing.

Still not up and running is the after-school program, which was a community favorite among parents and children, but Walls forecast a January, 2011, reopening for it. “We’re also bringing back all the physical fitness classes and trying to bring back as many as possible of the former staff.” The current staff of 18 will probably be expanded to about 35, he said.

All involved with the Y are hoping for a big turnout on September 11. Before its closure the Y claimed over 4,000 members, and Walls said that the organization is trying to support itself with “little or no outside funding.”  Membership will open on September 11, with discounts offered for early enrollment.

The open house festivities will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 3 p.m.

There will be activities for children and adults and all are welcome.

For more information call 215-848-9601.

Racism Forum

On Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Real Estate Auction Center, 5547 Germantown Avenue, the Black Writers Museum is sponsoring a public forum and panel discussion entitled “Racism in America: Why is America Afraid of Black Progress?” Doors open at 6 p.m. and the Forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. sharp with a comprehensive discussion of historical, institutional and modern racism and how it has impacted and stagnated the growth of black America in particular, and the U.S.A. in general.

The panel of academic and cultural icons includes Molefi Asante, PhD; Maisha Sullivan-Ongoza, M.ED, MSW; Michael Coard, Esq.; Akosua Sabree, RN, MHS, D. D., and Thaddeus Mathis, PhD.  An open discussion will follow.

Topics to be addressed include Accountability, Stereotypes, Images, Lies, and Social Responsibility. What impact has the election of a black president had on the discussion of racism?  Has black America become reactionary to a small segment of neo-conservatives and racists who have hi-jacked the dialogue of racism?

For more information call 267-297-3078.

The Therapist Is In

Should I Get Counseling by Myself?


Guest Writer


“The Therapist Is In” is a monthly column dealing with questions and answers concerning emotional health. Northwest resident, author, and columnist Susan Karol Martel, Ed.M., has been a psychotherapist in private practice for more than thirty years. The questions and answers she addresses are those most frequently asked by her clients. If you have a question you’d like her to answer, please e-mail her at

Question: After many years together my partner and I are having problems. I want us to go for counseling, but he refuses. He says I’m the one who should go and that I’m the one with the problem. I think he’s too intimidated by the whole thing, but one thing for sure, I know I’m not the only one who needs help. What should I do?


Aanswer: Though I usually hear this complaint from women, it most surely can be the other way around. So, if you have a similar problem with your male or female spouse, sweetheart, significant other or same sex partner, this info is for you.

There may be many reasons your other half does not want to go to marriage counseling and would rather send you instead; but when your partner refuses to go, he or she may actually be doing the next best thing  - sending the one most capable of making tracks. Fear is often the culprit behind their refusal.  But, as you can see, speculating is SO seductive and it gets you nowhere.

I say, by all means, go yourself!  In no way does this mean that you agree with your partner’s “diagnosis” that you’re the one with the problems.  First and foremost, therapy is for the one who desires help and wants to see things turn around for the better. That’s who should show up.  And if you are “that one,” it does NOT mean that you will end up bearing the burden of change by yourself.

“It’s really not fair to have to go alone,” I hear some of you saying.  “Since when is life fair?” I say in response.  And, if you are able to take the first steps toward preserving, strengthening and even just clarifying your relationship, I say, forget the question of who should make the effort first.  Maybe you’ll end up getting what you need and want.

Rather than taking on the lion’s share of the work, going to see a therapist alone simply means deciding to be proactive.  You already know that whatever you’re both doing that’s keeping your relationship in a rut won’t change by itself.  Most likely, you both need a new approach.

Most of us acknowledge that it takes two to tango; so, one learning to swing dance may have the potential to change the contract. Your dancing partner then decides if he or she wants to try out some new steps — or be a wall flower.  In order to keep up with you, learning a new dance other than the tango will be necessary, and, who knows? Maybe you’ll both decide to move on to hip-hop!

When you begin to change for the better, there is the possibility that for a time, you’ll be dancing alone. It’s also possible that your partner may just want to go fishing. But if you are consistent in your dance steps, there is at least the chance that your partner will become less afraid and appreciate the opportunity to fill up your dance card. There is also the chance that she or he is only capable of doing the tango.  If this is the case, you’ll have some other decisions to make.

By working on yourself, you will be better equipped to look at your life and all its possibilities. Your therapist can guide you in your decision making so that you’ll be able to dance in a style better suited to your mental and physical self, providing you the opportunity to be the best dancer you can be.

Don’t underestimate the possibility that your partner may decide to introduce some fancy new steps of his or her own. Ideally you may both get to the point that the dance will begin to feel like second nature: no leader, no follower, just two dancers improvising depending upon the beat of the music.

To close, some important words of caution. If you want to move on to hip-hop, DO NOT try it do it at home before taking some lessons - with a pro.

Mt. Airy Village Fair Sept. 25

How fast can you nibble?  How slow can you lick?  Be the fastest to finish a famous High Pointe pie or the slowest to eat a cone of Mt. Airy’s own Chilly Philly ice cream and you’ll be a winner! 

The fourth annual Mt. Airy Village Fair takes place on Sunday, September 26 from noon to 4 p.m.  at Carpenter Lane and Greene Street.  It’s a block party organized and sponsored entirely by local businesses to celebrate the culture and community that makes our corner of the village buzz.

“We love this place and the committee had a barrel of fun creating what will truly be a fantastic fun-filled afternoon,” said Glenn Bergman, of Weaver’s Way Co-op.

Local organizations, businesses and community members will provide games and activities on two blocks of Carpenter Lane at Greene Street.  “We are over-the-moon excited about the line-up of more than 30 enchanting, entertaining and educational experiences we have in store for you!” said Meg Hagele, of High Point Café.

There’s something for everyone.  Along with the 30 exhibitors, we’ll have two stages of continuous local live acoustic music.  And, of course, the pet parade, a dunk tank and carnival games galore! 

Let the Mt. Airy Village Fair tickle your fancy!  We look forward to celebrating the vibrancy of our beloved community.  For more details, check the website at

Urban Beekeeping

Buzz over to Wyck at 6026 Germantown Avenue on Saturday, September 11, from noon to 4 p.m. and immerse yourself in bee culture. Urban beekeeping is all the rage across the country – learn why it’s important and how you can participate in this exciting hobby.

Join us for honey extraction demonstrations, hive talks all day, and great speakers including:

Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine, will discuss the joys of urban beekeeping; Elizabeth Capaldi Evans, professor of Biology at Bucknell University and author of the book  Why do Bees Buzz? Fascinating Answers to Questions about Bees will discuss her work on bee behavior; Dean Stiglitz, co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping, will  speak on the advantages and disadvantages of treatment-free bees; Laurie Herboldscheimer, co-author The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping, will discuss the relationship between honeybees and microbes; and historian Matt Redman will speak about Lorenzo Langstroth, Philadelphian and inventor of the modern beehive.

Other bee-related activities will be taking place at venues throughout the city on September 10, 11 and 12. For information visit

For more information about the Honey Festival at Wyck please call 215-848-1690 or visit

Cliveden Forums

Join Cliveden of the National Trust, 6401 Germantown Avenue, on Friday evenings  for public forums about enslavement, race, and memory in Philadelphia.  Scholars from across the region will present lively discussions in Cliveden’s historic Carriage House to be followed by a community conversation about the issues raised.

Each facilitated discussion will last from 7:30-9 p.m. Remaining discussions include:

Friday, Sept. 24 - Dr. Erica Armstrong-Dunbar, Associate Professor at the University of Delaware, will continue the discussion by providing general overview of what life was like for enslaved individuals in the Mid-Atlantic region during the late 18th century.

Friday, October 8 - Ari Merretazon, the Northeast Regional Representative for the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), who will look at how sites like Cliveden can use the narratives of African Americans to promote racial understanding and equality. 

Friday, Oct. 15 - David Young, Ph.D., Cliveden’s executive director, will close the series by addressing how 20th century preservation and public memory efforts in Germantown have dealt with race relations. 

This event is open to the public.  Tickets are $5 at the door.  Attendees can reserve tickets for all evenings in advance.  RSVPs can be made by calling Cliveden at 215-848-1777 or by emailing Education Director Richard Fink at

NIM to Dedicate Community Resource Center

Streetscape construction isn’t the only exciting thing happening these days at the corner of Germantown and Mt. Pleasant Avenues in Mt. Airy.  At 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 15, the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement will host a grand opening of its new “Community Resource Center” on that corner, located next door to its main office.

The new Resource Center is home to two of NIM’s services – the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC), a lending library of materials for early childhood development; and Resources for Older Adult Living (ROAL), an information and referral services for seniors living at home.  NIM also hopes the Center will become a hub for information about community events, as well as a clearinghouse for information from local elected officials that may help residents.

“Opening this Community Resource Center has been a dream of NIM’s since we moved to Germantown Avenue four years ago,” said Eric Wilden, NIM’s assistant director.  “The accessibility and visibility of the location will allow us to serve even more child care providers, parents and older adults.  We are already hosting playgroups for preschoolers in the space, as well.”

The opening of the new Center is part of NIM’s transformation into a citywide agency that happened early this year as the organization took on the early childhood work of two now-defunct training and technical assistance providers.  NIM has also opened a West Philadelphia branch of the Early Learning Resource Center at 4117 Lancaster Avenue, with plans to expand that Center to include resources for older adults and the broader community, too. 

Wendy Catrona, ELRC coordinator, says she is excited by the activity both Centers have seen in the last couple months.  “It’s great to have a space where providers and parents can just drop in to learn more about what we have to offer,” she said.  “As membership expands, the quality of early childhood education improves for the entire community.”

NIM invites everyone to attend the celebration. Coffee, bagels and other light refreshments will be served before the dedication. 

Art Garage Finds Permanent Home

The Mt. Airy Art Garage has found a permanent home on Mt. Airy Avenue in the heart of the Mt. Airy business district.

We couldn’t be more excited. After months of scouting locations throughout the Northwest, none of them were just what we wanted; none of them felt like home. From the moment we saw our new location our imaginations ran wild with possibilities. We are located right in the heart of the Mt. Airy business district (9-11 West Mt. Airy Avenue, to be precise), accessible and open to connect with other businesses, artists and passers-by.

The best part is that we can do everything under one roof. We have a 5,000 square foot garage with heat, air conditioning, water, and a beautiful high ceiling (pictured), but it’s up to us to build it out.

We’ll have studio rentals for member artists which will also give our community the unique opportunity to see artists during their creative process. There is ample space for our ongoing Fine Art and Handcraft  Market as well as a permanent gallery space for members to display and sell their artwork and give workshops.  With the size and structure of this magnificent space the possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned for next steps, which will include community and artist meetings to introduce you to our new home and vision. Being a non-profit, we need your help. Here’s how:

Become a member of the Mt. Airy Art Garage.

Donate to our Building Fund.

Show your community support. We need builders, electricians, plumbers, architects, and more.

Volunteer! Each of you brings a unique skill to the table.

Our main goal is to bridge community and art – what better way than to contribute to the renaissance of your Mt. Airy Art Garage. The Mt. Airy Art Garage, on Mt. Airy Avenue, in the heart of the Mt. Airy business district. Fate brought it all together, now we need you to make it a reality.

To get involved, visit the group’s web site at or contact them by e-mail at

Old Academy Players

The Old Academy Players, who perform in the historic theater at 3544 Indian Queen Lane, have been performing continuously for 87 years.  During that time, they have presented plays by the likes of Shaw, Ibsen, O’Neil, Wilde, and Miller, but they have never performed a work by the most pre-eminent playwright of all time, William Shakespeare.  All that will change this September, when the Players present the Bard’s enchanting comedy of love and fantasy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

“The course of true love never did run smooth,” is one of the most famous lines of this magical play.   It certainly describes Shakespeare’s world of star-crossed (and criss-crossed) lovers, quarrelling fairies, magical flower juice, and performing workmen. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is directed by Carla Childs (of Mt. Airy).   She is pictured here (far right) at rehearsal with, from left to right, Alice McBee (producer, of Mt. Airy), Kyle Paul Dandridge (of Chestnut Hill), Robert Toczek (of Mt. Airy),  Jennifer Smith (of Mt. Airy), and Dale Mezzacappa (producer, of Mt. Airy).  The large cast also includes Mt. Airy residents Grace Rosengarten, Mira Rosengarten, and Ruby Rosengarten. 

The play runs from September 10 through September 26.  Tickets are $12.  Discount rates are available for groups of 15 or more.  Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m.; Sunday performances (September 19 and September 26 only) are at 2 p.m.   There will be no performance on Friday, September 17, because of the holiday of Yom Kippur.  Instead, there will be a special performance on Thursday, September 16.  Parking is free.  For information and reservations, call (215) 843-1109, or visit Shari Lewis, Public Relations Director, (215) 893-9324.

Mt. Airy BID Annual Meeting

The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID) will hold its fourth annual meeting on Wednesday, September 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Amphitheater in Hagan Center, Lutheran Theological Seminary, 7301 Germantown Avenue.

The main order of business will be election for the Board of Directors. Only members of the Corporation (with the exception of the one institutional representative required by the bylaws) may serve as voting members of the board; however, business owners, commercial tenants, representatives of the neighborhood organizations, business associations, institutions and the like may serve on the board as non-voting members. 

Please plan to attend this important meeting.  Should you have any questions prior to the meeting, please do not hesitate to contact Hollie Malamud-Price, BID executive director, at

Peace Event on September 19

On September 19, 1796, President George Washington’s farewell address was published. He advised the nation to “observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

Twentysix peace groups will hold a Washington’s Farewell Peace Event on Sunday, September 19, from 2-4 p.m. near Senator Arlen Specter’s home on West Schoolhouse Lane (at Vaux Street).

The demonstrators will ask Specter (who remains our Senator until January 2011) to endorse a bill which will cut off Pentagon funding in Afghanistan and Iraq except what is needed for the safe return of all U.S. troops. They also want the closure of all Pentagon bases there.

For more information, please contact and 215-843-4256.

Northwest Winners in City Garden Contest

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is honoring the contributions of hundreds of city gardeners for their efforts in transforming their own back yards, neighborhoods and communities across Philadelphia.

This year, close to 300 individuals and groups entered the 36th annual City Gardens Contest. Categories included school gardens, community parks, flower and vegetable gardens, children’s gardens, container gardens, garden blocks and - new this year - urban farms. More than 200 volunteer judges visited each site over the summer and 140 winners in 35 different categories were chosen. A full list of winners is available at

“PHS is proud of each entrant for his and her efforts to improve their own spaces and the city through greening,” said PHS President Drew Becher. “Winners’ gardens included everything from a transformed Mt. Airy pocket park, a Roxborough resident’s ingenious vegetable roof garden and a Northeast business’ ‘cubicle farmer’s market’.” 

Becher will honor the winners and present several special awards, including the annual Eugene E. Smith Memorial Award, at a luncheon at the PHS Fall Garden Festival on September 11 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Northwest winners include:  

Community Children’s Garden.

First, Morris E. Leeds Middle School, 1100 East Mt. Pleasant Avenue.           

Community Combination Garden (Flower and Vegetable), Third, Mid-Size, Pulaski-Zeralda Community Garden, 4537-39 Pulaski Avenue. 

Third, Very Large, Awbury Arboretum Community Garden, 6300 Ardleigh Street.

Community Park

Second, Large, Cloverly Park, Wissahickon Avenue and Schoolhouse Lane.

Third, Large, Cliveden Park, 6415 Musgrave Street. 

First, Small, Ned Wolf Park, McCallum and West Ellet streets.

Community Vegetable

First, Mid-Size, Tippy and Tula Community Garden, 132 West Apsley Street.

Individual Combination Gardens (Flower and Vegetable)

Second, Large, Jill P. Murray, Mt. Airy.                                   

Honorable Mention, Large, Mindy  Silver, Mt. Airy. 

First, Mid-Size, Earl Eberwein, Chestnut Hill.                         

Individual Flower Garden

First, Large, Charlie Heiser, Chestnut Hill.            

Honorable Mention, Large, Caroline Meline, Germantown.                       

First, Mini, Brian Ames, Mt. Airy

Second, Mini, Gabrielle Moore, Germantown.          

First, Small, Julia O’Connell, Chestnut Hill.

Honorable Mention, Small, Carol Weisl, Mt. Airy     

Urban Farm

First, Penn Street Garden, Germantown.            

Scarecrow Contest at Morris

Morris Arboretum is “calling all scarecrows” for their annual Scarecrow Design Contest. Participants are invited to unleash their creativity and register their own designer scarecrow.  Scarecrows - more than 30! - will be on display at the Arboretum for three weeks along Scarecrow Walk at the Oak Alleé from Saturday, October 2 through Sunday October 17. 

Now in its third year and more popular than ever, Scarecrow Walk is a must see for the fall season. Visitors of all ages vote for their favorite scarecrow and determine which will be the prizewinners.  A grand prize Arboretum pack will be awarded to the 1st place winner that includes a cash prize of $200. Scarecrow frames and hay are provided and details and downloadable contest entry forms are available online at

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

JEVS Home Improvement

JEVS Supports for Independence is offering free home assessments and modifications to help qualified area seniors, who are low-income, remain safe and secure in their own homes.

This free grant program, funded by the Green Tree Community Health Foundation (formerly the Chestnut Hill Health Care Foundation) is designated for low-income seniors who are residents of Mt. Airy and Germantown as well as some surrounding areas in Northwest Philadelphia in the following zip codes: 19118; 19119; 19128; 19138; 19144 and 19150.

Simple changes such as installing shower grab bars and the removal of tripping hazards can help eliminate the risk of injury and provide a more secure environment.

 To see if you qualify, please call JEVS Supports for Independence at  (267) 298-1300.

For more information on JEVS Human Services visit

Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club Reunion Barbecue

The 33rd annual Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club Alumni Reunion Barbeque will be held Saturday, September 11, noon – 7 p.m. at Clark’s Park, Wissahickon Avenue and School House Lane.

All are welcome. Come out and see old friends and meet new members of the club, and meet new neighbors of Pulaski Town.

New Minister at Unitarian Universalist Church

It’s a new church year, and with it, the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, 6900 Stenton Avenue, welcomes a new minister, Kathryn Ellis, at our 11 a.m. service.

Sunday Services return to the sanctuary on September 12.  Kathy Ellis’ first service will be “Coming Home.” As members and friends come together for the start of the church year, we’ll consider what makes a congregation a religious home. How can a congregation be a community of kindness?

How do we welcome those who are “coming home” to UUCR for the first time? This service will include the water ceremony.

Please bring water that has religious or spiritual meaning for you. 

Following the service, we’ll celebrate the new church year with an Ingathering Potluck during our social hour. For further information or other activities visit our web site at

‘World Changers’ on Sharpnack

The World Changers have made their mark on Mt. Airy once again, this time on the 200 block of East Sharpnack Street.  World Changers is a youth mission project sponsored by the Georgia-based North American Mission Board.  The World Changers Organization seeks to provide Christian youth and adults with opportunities to meet the physical and spiritual needs of others through practical learning experiences. The project, coordinated locally by the Salvation Army of Philadelphia, has sent volunteers to Mt. Airy in the past to help make a variety of repairs to homes, focusing on one block at a time.

In July, 15 students from the South (some came from as far as Texas) spent a week working on four massive brick and stucco homes on East Sharpnack—doing everything from painting to plastering to power-washing mold and mildew off the houses. The students also rebuilt a set of basement stairs in one house. During their stay they were guests of the New Covenant Campus.

The week ended with a barbecue sponsored by Mt. Airy USA. “The World Changers are young people who really enjoy what they do and their dedication shows,” said MAUSA Community Organizer Cynthia Bradley. “It was our third year participating in this project. We’re extremely happy to have them and look forward to working with them again.”

Canaan Family Life Celebrates

The Canaan Family Life Center invites you to join us as we celebrate our First Year Anniversary and Germantown Community Day on Saturday, September 18, at Canaan Baptist Church, 5430 Pulaski Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A number of community partners will be on hand to serve you and your family. There will be free blood pressure testing, free giveaways, and refreshments. For information call 215-848-2290.

Rummage Sale at St. Paul’s

“Bigger and better than ever!” That’s the description of this year’s Annual Rummage Sale to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 11, in the Parish Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill.

A nominal admission of $2, payable at the entrance at 22 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, will give canny shoppers access to a wide selection of choice bargains. Offerings include: art, antiques and collectibles; gently used clothing for men, women and children – including the “French Room” with upscale women’s clothing, shoes and accessories; books, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer games; jewelry, linens, housewares, electronics, furniture, rugs and sporting goods. A snack bar will be open to provide energy for continuous shopping.      On Friday, September 10, a preview party is planned from 6 – 9 pm. Admission at the door is $10. For this event only, selected departments will charge a 20% mark-up on each sale.

Net proceeds from the Rummage Sale are distributed to non-profit groups that provide services to the hungry and homeless.

For information call the church office at 215-242-2055.

‘Start Smart’ at Janes

For the fifth straight year, Janes Memorial United Methodist Church will provide new backpacks and school supplies to children in grades K thru 12 during Start Smart Program on Saturday, September 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 47 East Haines Street. Children and parents from the Germantown area are invited to attend the event which boasts performances by recognized poets, activities for children and youth, workshops for parents, a career roundtable for middle/high school students, free lunch, and schoolbags filled with supplies.  Children must be present to receive a backpack.

On Saturday, September 18, at 3 p.m.,  Janes will host a fellowship hour.  The Inspirational Hour Ministries from the Associated Service for the Blind featuring the Nevalier Choir, the Inspirational Hour Ministry Choir, and poetry by nationally recognized Anwar Jabri Johnson will perform.  It is a freewill offering for all.  The Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster III is senior pastor.  For more information contact the church at 215-844-9564.

Mt. Tabor Community Day

Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, 110 West Rittenhouse Street, is having its annual Community Day on Saturday, September 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  There will be information and presentations on many health issues such as heart disease, lupus, and aging concerns as well as food, games for the children and yard activities.   Vendors are welcome.   Call the church for more information at 215-844-2756.

Fall Revival at Mt. Zion

Baptist Church will hold its fall revival on the theme  “Release, Renew, and Restore” beginning Sunday, September 12,  at 4 p.m. with the  Rev. Elvis Turner, New Jerusalem Baptist Church, as revivalist. It will continue Monday, September 13, 7:00 p.m., with Rev. Dr. Cathy Hall Johnson, Triumph Baptist Church; Tuesday, September 13, 7 p.m. , with Rev. Claude Ashe, Faith Tabernacle Much More  Baptist Church; Wednesday, September 15, 7 p.m.,  Rev. Patrick Cheston, New Bethlehem Baptist Church; and Thursday, September 16, 7 p.m.,  Rev. Charles W. Quann, Bethlehem Baptist Church, as the revivalists.

For information call the church at 215-844-7614.

Folkshul Open House

Jewish Children’s Folkshul Fall Classes and Walk-In Registration for the 2010-2011 school year is slated for Sunday, September 19,  at 9:30 a.m.

Folkshul meets Sunday mornings in Chestnut Hill on Springside School’s campus, 8000 Cherokee Street.

Interested students and parents are invited to an Information Session, Sunday, September 12, 2 p.m. at Springside School to learn more about the school’s educational and Bar/Bat Mitzvah programs and community holiday events. Children are welcome; refreshments will be served.

Jewish Children’s Folkshul is a cultural Jewish school for children in grades pre-k through ninth, providing a secular, humanist approach to the exploration of Jewish cultural identity, holidays and history. For over 80 years, Folkshul has served communities in the greater Philadelphia area including families from Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware Counties.  Folkshul also offers a wide variety of adult education classes including book discussions, Hebrew, Yiddish, history, philosophy, and political discussions.

Classes, workshops, presentations and discussions are held Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Springside School.

For more information call 215-248-1550 or visit

Auditions for IBE Performance of ‘Nutcracker’

International Ballet Exchange (IBE) announces open auditions for their annual production of The Nutcracker with the Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine.  IBE, the non-profit arm of Wissahickon Dance Academy (WDA), offers this unique opportunity to area ballet students.  The Donetsk Ballet is an internationally renowned ballet company that has toured the world including France, Moscow, Finland, Norway, China, Japan, Spain as well as the USA and Canada.  Their principal dancers have won several international ballet competitions and they continue to entertain audiences with their dazzling pyrotechnics and artistry.  Through IBE, area dancers have the opportunity to perform with this exciting company of twenty professionals, no matter which dance studio they attend.

The audition will take place on Sunday, September 19, 5 p.m., for children ages 5-9 and 6 – 7:30 p.m. for students ages 10 and up at Wissahickon Dance Academy, 38 East School House Lane. Children should be dressed in ballet attire and must arrive promptly. The audition fee is $15.

Rehearsals for the production will take place on Sunday evenings beginning September 25.  The performances will be held December 16-19 at Penn Charter’s beautiful new theater.   There will a school show for the Philadelphia School District and two community performances.

For information, contact Nancy Malmed at WDA at 215-849-7950 or visit

Wellness Open House

Ten years ago the federal government mandated that states lower the percentage of obese individuals to 15 percent. Ten years later, not a single state has met that goal. And in nine states, more than 33 percent are obese. Nationally, 25 percent of men and women are obese.

Be honest with yourself for a moment— just how well do you measure up to a “wellness” standard? What are you willing to do about it?

Pilates in Germantown will offer a wellness open house on Saturday September 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in order to help you determine what shape you are in. It will have some take-away information explaining “body mass index,” nutrition and consumption of liquids including water and coffee among other things. In addition there will be information and demonstration about Pilates training on the Reformer as part of a low-impact but highly efficient exercise program.

The event is free and light (healthy) refreshments will be served.

The studio is located at 5904 Greene Street. Off-street parking is available. For more information call 215-848-3275.

EPIC Meeting on Northwest Crime

The Northwest EPIC Stakeholders invite the NW community to the EPIC (Equal Partner In Change) community group.  Our focus is on working to find solutions in our community. Please join the stakeholders on Thursday, September 16, at 1 p.m. at Martin Luther King High School, 6100 Stenton Avenue. Our topic this month is “Drugs and Gangs in the Northwest  Community” featuring the 35th Police District Narcotics Unit.   Refreshments are always served. For more information contact EPIC Coordinator Nan Rhone at 215-549-2686.

All Alumni Week at GHS

Final preparations are under way for All Alumni Week celebrations at Germantown high school. Hosted by the Germantown High School Alumni Association (GHSAA), the week-long event is an opportunity for alumni, friends, and the community to reach out to the current students and help guide them towards a successful and productive future.

On Monday, Sept. 20, registration for All Alumni Week will be held in the main  lobby of GHS. On Tuesday, Green and White Spirit Day begins, followed on Wednesday by Wall of Pride, Who’s Who at GHS, with a special presentation to honor alumna Lauretha Vaird, Philadelphia’s first female police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

On Thursday, Career Day, successful alumni will return to share their life’s experiences with the students, and on Friday evening, Sept. 24, alumni from all classes return for an evening of fun, fellowship and social activities during the All GHS Alumni Class Reunion.

On Saturday, GHD students and alumni will participate in the GHS Sickle cell Walk-A-Thon. That evening, the Golden bear Formal gala will take place at the renaissance Philadelphia Airport Hotel. The week’s activities will close with a Sunday morning inspirational service at the hotel.

GHSAA President Vera Primus says the Association is looking forward to this year’s celebrations.

“Philadelphia high schools that have an active alumni association attract community support and provide impetus for more parental involvement in the affairs of the schools their children attend. These same schools remain at the top of the best high schools in the city. Our two fundraising activities during all alumni Week allow us to provide scholarships and to assist in programs and projects that otherwise would not be available to the students at our alma mater. Foremost among these projects is one in which the Association continues to raise funds to improve the content and physical condition of the library.”

Primus adds, “The Alumni Association has sponsorships still available for the week’s activities, as well as advertising space in the Gala Journal. Both outlets help the Association do its work, and the students and community benefit from the success of our children, For additional information, call 215-224-1404, extension 4, or online at”

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