Germantown Newspapers Inc.

Incorporating the Germantown Chronicle and The Northwest Independent

6661 Germantown Ave • Philadelphia, PA 19119 • 215-438-4000 •

The only paper in Northwest Philadelphia delivered door-to-door to over 35,000 households. 

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Aug. 8, 2014 Independent Voice.pdf

July 24 Independent Voice.pdf  July 10 Independent Voice.pdf   June 19 Independent Voice.pdf    June 5 Independent Voice.pdf

Next Issue: August 22, 2014


Previously Featured Stories

Legal Notice

Notice:  Germantown Special Services District Board of Directors will meet as outlined below.  All meetings will be held at The Flying Horse, 5534 Pulaski Ave, Philadelphia unless otherwise indicated.  The public is invited to attend. 

Tuesday, July 8, 9AM

Friday, August 15, 9AM

Tuesday, September 16, 9AM

Friday, October 17, 9AM

Tuesday, November 11

Annual Meeting, 6PM

Friday, December 12, 9AM

Tuesday, January 13, 9AM

Friday, February 13, 9AM

Tuesday, March 10, 9AM

Friday, April 10, 9AM

Tuesday, May 12, 9AM

Friday, June 12, 9AM

Meeting Notice

The 2014-2015 Board of Directors Meetings of the Imani Education Circle

Charter School will be held in 2014: Sep 18, Oct 16, Nov 20, Dec. 18. In

2015: Jan 15, Feb, 19, Mar 19, Apr 16, May 21 and June 18 at 4:00 PM at

5612 Greene St, Phila, PA.

Legal Notice


NOTICE is hereby given to all persons interested or who may be affected that IMANI FOUNDATION, INC. a Pennsylvania Corporation, having a registered

address at 5612 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144 is about to file

Articles of Dissolution with the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and that its Board of Directors is now engaged in winding up and settling the affairs of the corporation so that its corporate existence shall be ended by the issuance of a Certificate of Dissolution under the Pennsylvania Business Corporation Law of 1988.


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August 11


The story of Philadelphia and its place in the structure of these United States is sadly a tragedy in several acts.  From playing the most instrumental role as the center of a national government in unifying the colonial states, to the point of development for much of what became the spark of the industrial revolution, it somehow survived some of the worst challenges of runaway growth, disease, corporate and political power plays to become a destination city for many who wanted permanent employment and decent living conditions all the way from the founding to the end of the 1960s.

Read more ...

August 8

Germantown Residents Send Letter to L&I About Weinstein Development

by Scott Phillips

Staff Reporter

A group of Germantown residents recently sent a letter to the Department of Licenses and Inspections regarding the commercial and residential development at 5301 Germantown Avenue.

Ken Weinstein of Philly Office Retail is developing 5301 Germantown Avenue, a 6-story building standing within the historic commercial corridor in Germantown, into “a 1,600 sq. ft. cafe on the ground floor and eleven market rate apartments available to the public.”

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New Directions for Women Facility Shut Down Through Court Action

Information brought to us just before press time was verified by a credible source regarding the Germantown facility known as New Directions for Women.   Established in 1987 to facilitate return to society for women who had been incarcerated in the Philadelphia prison system, it had operated at 4807 Germantown Avenue in a former Catholic Church facility, at one time owned by an arm of Germantown Settlement.

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Federal Charges for Philadelphia Police Narcotics Officers

After two years of investigation following multiple complaints and charges by civil rights groups, federal charges were filed against 6 officers in the narcotics squad of the Philadelphia Police Department.

For the record it is no secret that The Independent Voice newspaper and it’s WURD radio program have taken the position over the last several years that Philadelphia is the most pervasively corrupt government of any major city in the country.

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Leave 30th Street Station Name Alone

I have to assume that all is well in America, since this week the members of the House of Representatives sent the Senate legislation renaming Pennsylvania Station, 30th Street, Philadelphia after a former member of the house; the late Bill Gray. I would further assume we don't have a problem on our southern border, and that there are no issues in the Ukraine, or in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, or Central America that would command the attention of the representatives we send to Washington. And of course, our nation is now economically robust and we are, once again, experiencing full employment. Therefore the House can well afford to vote on a "naming rights" bill and send it to your august body for ratification and transmittal to our President for his signature, while pretending there is no need to address issues which might have a real impact on "the land of the free and the home of the brave".

Read more ...

August 5

The Independent Voice on WURD 900 AM

August 3, 2014 Show

Narrative by Jim Foster

We would like to take the first segment of this program and focus on an issue that made front page news for the last few days in Philadelphia.  That would be federal charges filed against 6 city police officers that have been part of a series of charges and investigation into the narcotics squad that has a long trail back to 2002.  What should be finally surfacing is a series of financial settlements with citizens by the city without admitting wrongdoing and a significant number of cases that were in effect cleared by internal investigations and quietly died.

Read more

July 28

Commercial/Residential Development at 5301 Germantown Avenue

Germantown Residents Question Proposed Use of 5301 Germantown Ave. Letter sent to L&I on the issue.

Read more ...

July 24

Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Us

by Victoria A. Brownworth

If you use euphemisms for dead children, like “collateral damage,” you won’t want to read this. But if you think the current carnage in the Middle East is not just senseless, but horrific, read on.

That said, this isn’t an Israel-bashing column. Nor is it a Gaza-bashing column. This is about dead children and which ones matter to the global media. And this is about something we never speak about in America: anti-Semitism and Islamophobia..

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Israel and the Revisionist History

As the American troops reached the death camps in Europe in 1945, General Eisenhower ordered his commanders to make a visual film and photographic record of all they found and then had them force local civilians near the camps to help bury the huge piles of skeleton-like corpses they found.  It has been said that if these atrocities were not documented in this way, denial that it happened was guaranteed.

Read more ...

PICA Sidesteps Pensions ...

The scheduled meeting of the State mandated PICA Oversight Board met this past Monday, July 21 to review and vote on the City of Philadelphia budget and five year projection of revenue and expenses.

Created in 1992 as a result of a city in need of emergency funds to pay essential bills and head off bankruptcy, the Board is supposed to focus a critical eye on the financial strength of the city and review all of its contracts and commitments, plus any plans to sell assets and meet obligations in the foreseeable future.

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When Party Bosses Chose Wisely

by John P. Rossi

Seventy years ago this month, a handful of party bosses made a decision that changed the nation’s history.

In July 1944, the Democratic Party met in Chicago to nominate Franklin Delano Roosevelt for an unprecedented fourth term as president. There was little doubt that he would win.

The tide of the Second World War had turned in the Allies’ favor. They had successfully invaded Europe a month earlier and in the Pacific, U.S. forces had broken the Japanese defensive barrier. There was no clear Republican candidate, and historically the nation had been reluctant to “change horses in midstream” during wartime.

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Truman Spoke, Labor Blinked

The most singularly significant incident in the relationship between organized labor and the U.S. Government took place on May 24, 1946, but it has almost been lost to history. Certainly overshadowed by the often-recalled Air Controllers Strike when Ronald Reagan used presidential authority to end the strike that impacted the traveling public and commerce, Truman’s reactive steps were even farther reaching and a marked reversal, particularly for a Democratic president generally sympathetic to labor.

Read more ...

Democratic Committeeperson Lives for His Community

by Scott Alloway

Associate Editor

Jeff Templeton is a life long resident of Germantown, proud of his community and working hard to make life better for youth, seniors, low-income people, everyone who lives there.

“I just felt like we needed a change,” Templeton said.  “Germantown has been going in the same direction for as long as I lived in community and I never saw anything come out.”

Read more ...

July 11

Philadelphia's Ministry of Truth and Fact

Germantown Newspapers, trading as The Independent Voice, has been blacklisted by the City of Philadelphia through its Office of Information Technology, a name which might be easily exchanged for one from the novels 1984 or Brave New World.

First surfacing in the comments of a staffer of one City Council office two weeks ago, but confirmed in more recent documentation from that city department obtained through a different City Council office staffer, we have learned that the city claims it screens out all email from the Verizon server as it “contains too much spam.”

Read more ...

July 10

On the School System: Different Views of the Problem

Dear Mr. Foster,

I often read and always appreciate the articles that you write in The Independent Voice.  I was surprised by your editorial on the Philadelphia School District which revealed an outdated understanding of what happens in our schools.  I acknowledge that the school district, like most organizations, is imperfect.  

Read more ...

How Safe Are We?

by Victoria A. Brownworth

I’m sitting in the dark as I write this, wondering how long my laptop battery will last, the flashlight on to light my keyboard. The power is out all over my lower-Germantown neighborhood on the second-hottest day of the year. A transformer blew during the terrible storm that came through about an hour ago.

Read more ...

State and City Face Troubled Financial Future

The day-to-day news stories are never short on outrage from any number of special interests and some very concerned citizens. But when are we going to stop following the circular path of fighting over who is going to take money from whom and how soon, in order to pay for some short term crises and then walk away feeling a problem has been solved.  In actuality, the most that might have happened is that a problem has been postponed - - once again.

Read more ...

Summer Night of Poetry and Lemonade

by Jen Hemenway

Back in April the Mt. Airy Art Garage hosted its first poetry slam. The event went so well, we were ready to keep it going. We liked watching it grow in poet participation, with both published and emerging artists turning out their work. The audience members? They come, perhaps stuck in a writer’s block, and become inspired. Or they come to find the eclectic hub of Northwest artists— where networking and socializing thrive under one roof.

Read more ...

Men Who Care Scholarships Awarded

Men Who Care, a charitable group located in Germantown, recently held a scholarship dinner at Treasures Restaurant. Braheem Passe, front left, and Pametra Geer, front right, each received $500 scholarships from the group.Men Who Care is self-described as a Community Organization doing positive things in the upper Germantown area of Philadelphia.

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Different, Personal, Intimate—The Sweetness Of MAAGs Summer Salon

By Linda Slodki

On July 18, the Mt. Airy Art Garage will host its newest Summer Salon exhibition showcasing a body of work by eight local Northwest MAAG artists. Artists, ranging from emerging newcomers to award-winning professionals, display a wide variety of mediums and color, all of which are deeply personal. From abstract paintings bursting with color, to landscape photography on handmade paper, to serenely beautiful drawings of the human body, to collage that is both historical and spiritual, to geometric mandalas, there is something to delight everyone. The variety and quality of work is exemplary and continues to show that creativity abounds in Northwest Philadelphia.

Read more ...

July 1

The Deal Deal Is: Got Verizon? No Admission, No Service

The following is an exchange between Germantown Newspapers and representatives of the City of Philadelphia. It was brought about because of repeated non-delivery  of emails to various city and council employees. After trying to determine if the problem was on our end, we contacted the city IT people to ask if the trouble was at their end.

The answer will surprise you Verizon-using citizens.

Read more ...

June 30

Boston College Belfast Project.., Doomed from the Start

by Sabina Clarke

The  Boston College Belfast Project’s ill-fated attempt to capture the stories of former Irish Republican Army, IRA, members and former Loyalist paramilitary members during the period in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles has been fraught  with problems ever since its inception in 2006.

Lack of diligence, sloppy record keeping,  secrecy within the Irish Studies Department, lack of communication and lack of oversight and the  failure to  get the iron-clad guarantee of confidentiality which was the centerpiece of the  agreement between the College and  the interviewees vetted by the University’s  attorneys are just some of the  missteps by Boston College.

Read more ...

June 19

On the State of the PICA Board:

A Letter from the Publisher

June 17, 2014

Mr. Harvey Rice

Executive Director

PICA Board

1500 Walnut Street

Philadelphia Pa.

Dear Harvey,

I attended the scheduled PICA Board Meeting yesterday afternoon as a member of the press and a concerned citizen.  I had attended most of those meetings last year in the run-up to approval of the budget and the five year plan.   As you may recall, there were several PICA postponements and challenges to that budget, and both PICA’s staff and the City Controller’s Office (with you as spokesman) recommended against approval.  Some board members last year were trying to rush approval through, and others resisted, but all concerns seemed to collapse as the postponements had pushed the deadline.  Approval was granted, but not without challenges from both inside and outside the organization you now are a part of.  It should be noted that comments and questions from individuals in attendance had been forthcoming throughout the process, and Chairman Katz always asked for public comment before adjourning the meetings.

Read more ...

Our Report from Last September on the PICA Board

PICA Derelict In Its Duty

Political board rubber stamps flawed budget

Left, Sam Katz

There was a nearly an overflow crowd of reporters and interested parties at the thrice-postponed meeting of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Board meeting on Sept 17th as the board was about to continue review and debate on the city budget and five year projection required by state law. The PICA Board was created in 1991 when Philadelphia had been crippled by government mismanagement from the top and in critical fiscal free fall. It was a requirement that accompanied the rescue funds provided from Harrisburg to make sure that reckless misuse of city money and budgets without reasonable forecasts would never reoccur.

Read more ...

School System Issue a Part of a Much Larger Problem

The battle rages on between the Mayor/City Council, the State of Pennsylvania, and any number of individual agendas including teachers, parents, communities and other interested parties.

This is a familiar scenario, but the larger problem is that the “interested parties” have not been together on the same page for so long that reality of what is going on here has been lost a long time ago.

Read more ...

City Presents ‘Enron” Budget?

PICA makes light of fiscal free-fall

By way of introduction, let me state the following:

The financial condition of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are in near collapse.

State tax revenues are forecasted to be $1.5 billion below expectations, so money from the state for anything is unlikely.

The City’s Operating Budget just released should be suspect from some very critical eyes for possible “Enron” accounting.

State control mandated by law through the Pennsylvania  Intergovermental Cooperation Authority (PICA) board is now understaffed and dodging its responsibility.  Bear in mind, its Chairman Sam Katz resigned recently “Effective Immediately”, and the board has no chairperson.

Read more ...

June 8

Learning from the Mayfair Civic Association

A recent visit to Mayfair opened an interesting door to civic action. Just recently I made a trip to the scheduled meeting of the Mayfair Civic Association in the Northeast, not a regular stop for someone who mostly attends meetings in my home territories of Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.

Sometimes it’s good to get a fresh perspective, especially when it results in coming away from a community meeting with a positive view of everything that just happened, as was the case that night in Mayfair. (I can’t remember the last time that happened in troubled Germantown or Run in the Dark Mt. Airy).

Read more ...

It’s Groundhog Day at Weaver’s Way

The report in the Weaver’s Way Shuttle newspaper for June 2014 reflected on a member’s meeting held May 18th.  For the members it must have seemed like the famous flash back to days past as amplified in the long-recognized film “Groundhog Day.”

The members get a second chance to deal with internal financial fraud, but from an even higher level, within an entity that miraculously weathered a prior situation in 2002, when multiple charges were filed against a bookkeeper that included (but not limited to) Theft by Deception, Unlawful Taking, and Fraudulent Business Practices.

Read more ...

Weaver’s Way Suffers Second Financial Crisis in 12 years

by Scott Phillips

Staff Reporter

Weaver’s Way General Manager Glenn Bergman announced that Chief Financial Officer Michael McGreary had resigned amid findings of credit card fraud during the Spring General Meeting on May 18th.

During a review of a credit-card statement, it was discovered that McGreary had fraudulently charged $2,000. After auditors took a full review of Weaver’s Way statements going back two and a half years, they discovered that the real amount of money McGreary fraudulently charged was $30,000.

Read more ...

Germantown Neighbors Decry Social Service Entities Expansion

A scheduled meeting with area developer Ken Weinstein took place June 5th at one of his current projects in the former church at 4811 Germantown Avenue. Well attended with Germantown residents from various community groups, long-recognized activists, and representatives of the offices of Rep. Rosita Youngblood and Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Mr. Weinstein took questions on that specific project and others he has in the works.

Read more ...

June 5

Those Uncollected Taxes

Well, well, well. All of sudden this city realizes that maybe it just can’t cry poor to the state and feds when it has left half a billion in uncollected real estate taxes just sitting there for many, many years. I just tackled this on WURD Sunday night and reminded the listeners that between the unpaid taxes at $550 million and uncollected L & I fees at $450 million (very little billing done there either) we have a clear billion dollars missing from the budget that then has to be borrowed or taken from other taxpayers. 


Summer Solstice Jam at Grumblethorpe

Summer Solstice Jam

Saturday, June 21 4:00 - 9:00 pm 

Read more ...

Chaput Must Answer to Philly Catholics

by Victoria A. Brownworth

Like many Philadelphia Catholics, I heard the news right after Mass.

Like many Philadelphia Catholics, I was angry–and not a little hurt.

Archbishop Charles Chaput, head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese announced the closing and/or merging of churches in Philadelphia and Montgomery and Delaware counties at Sunday Mass. A total of 46 churches are involved. After the mergers become effective, there will be 219 parishes left.

Read more ...

May 15

The Palace on the Parkway

Politics role in school management nothing new

The history of the Philadelphia School System is rife with varying perspectives on how it would be managed and funded.  From the late 19th Century all through the Depression and up to the early 50s, there were conflicting views on who should have oversight and outside funding sources were regularly called on to participate in building to meet the needs of an ever expanding population through mass immigration, and of course the birth rate.  Unionization of the teachers was part of the process and that process had its own challenges, moving to the PFT in the 1940s.  Birth rate post 1946 was enormous, but the school system had a sweetheart deal in this city that few others had.

Read more ...

Union Pickets Descend on Trolley Car Diner

Since most of the folks in the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill area drive Germantown Avenue on a regular basis, you no doubt have seen the signs and the pickets. A union action from individuals who identify themselves as part of IBEW 98, the Electrical Workers Union, have set up signs all along the perimeter of the Trolley Car Diner that is located at the boundary where Mt Airy morphs into Chestnut Hill.

Generally two individuals, with printed material in hand, are on duty five days a week on what has been reported as three shifts stopping cars entering the parking lot and potential patrons, passing out literature that is specifically focused on area developer Ken Weinstein, who was a developer of the Trolley Car diner and a part owner.

Read more ...

Democrat in a Red Suit

If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and swims like a duck you call it what it is. What about when it acts like a democrat, spends like a democrat, and votes like a democrat, yet tries to portray it as a republican?  That is exactly what is happening in Philadelphia City Council these days. Republican City Councilman At-Large David Oh has done everything from host a fund raiser for a democratic candidate for State Representative, to introduce a bill clearly in favor of those in charge of a one party controlled system.

Read more ...

Spend Second Saturdays in Historic Germantown

Historic Germantown has started its 'Second Saturdays' season again this year, an initiative by the sixteen member sites to have joint open hours once a month. On the second Saturday of the month, May through October, the sites will be open for tours from 12 -4 PM, allowing visitors an opportunity to visit several of our fantastic attractions in one afternoon.

Read more ...

Opinion: Questions for the Next Governor

Let’s put aside for a moment the superficial commentary that Governor Corbett will be replaced by anyone that survives the Democratic primary, that big money automatically wins, and try and focus on the fact that there is more to Pennsylvania than the critical needs of a fiscally failing Philadelphia and focus on what major issues the next governor will have to face across the state.

Read more ...


Noteworthy Reads

To VisitPhilly: Recognize Germantown as a Neighborhood

If you go to this site..... You will see that Germantown is NOT an option as a neighborhood in Philadelphia. Yet, when you click on Mt. Airy here.... You'll see that most of the attractions they cite are actually in Germantown....Grumblethorpe, Awbury Arboretum, the Johnson House, Maxwell Mansion, Wyck, Cliveden..... That's a travesty!!! Please take a moment and let the visitphilly people (which used to be called the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Cultural something and is THE official tourism site for Philadelphia) know that Germantown needs to be recognized as the steward of all these sites.... Sign our petition. That's why I signed a petition to Will you sign this petition?

Go to Thanks!

Independent Voice radio show

You may want to listen to this one minute preview of the one hour talk show Jim Foster moderates. Radio station WURD 900 AM broadcasts the show on Sunday evening from 7 to 8 p.m. It can be heard on line and through your phone as well; WURD 900 AM. Jim takes calls and interviews guests on his program.

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