‘Nothing is Easy’ in WSSD Budget Cuts

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board
By Katie Crawford

“Easy cost reductions have happened,” stated Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board member Dr. Robert Reiger.

“Nothing is easy at this point or we would have already taken it,” echoed business administrator Martha Kew.

District Superintendent Dr. Lisa Palmer again encouraged all to “reimagine the status quo,” noting that given the current economic situation, “Every time there is a retirement, we don’t look to replace with a cheaper teacher, we look not to replace.” Board member Allison Karpyn stressed to taxpayers that the proposed real estate tax increase is only allowing the district to maintain the status quo, not to fund new projects or to purchase new supplies or equipment.

While the board approved the proposed final General Fund budget for 2017-2018, with Dr. Reiger abstaining, the continuing unknown factors and persistent structural deficit looms large. As yet, there is no proposal for pension reform in Harrisburg; mandatory payment to the pension fund by our district is responsible for a significant portion of the proposed tax increase. The outcome of proposed property tax elimination legislation is still unknown. The dearth of commercial property in our district eliminates the hope for increased revenue.

Dr. Palmer acknowledged the “spirited” administrative discussions that have taken place and will continue to take place as the need to make tough decisions continues. The final budget proposal will be presented on May 22.

The board also unanimously approved a contract with Effective School Solutions to provide specialized clinical/therapeutic services from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. While the contract costs the district $235,000, it ultimately should save the district money, since the goal is to bring back students who are currently attending schools outside the district because their needs could not be adequately met within the district. The hope is that the presence of the ESS staff and subsequent services will also prevent students in the future from leaving the district.

The district currently pays tuition for district students attending non-district schools, with costs that have ranged from $25,000 to $75,000 a year. In addition, by offering more ingrained support to students, the district is hoping to eliminate the need for some individual students’ Personal Care Assistants, which would provide another source of savings.

WSSD to Be First in Pa. to Use ESS

The Wallingford-Swarthmore School District will be the first school in Pennsylvania to use ESS. Currently schools in New Jersey and Connecticut employ and speak highly of the program. The New Jersey school found that the program had a net zero cost in year one and provided $30,000 in savings to their district in year two. Megan McCullough, director of Secondary Special Education, believed adoption of this program will respond to the district students’ enhanced mental health needs and increase support for students and families. The staff of ESS will include two full time clinicians, one half-time supervisor, and one full-time coordinator.

The staff will be housed within the Strath Haven High School building and work closely with a select group of high school staff including weekly meetings with one of the assistant principals and a monthly meeting with Dr. Yannacone. ESS will also provide professional development for all high school teachers\and be available for drop-in consultations.

Weekly individual and group counseling for students will be available, as well as voluntary family counseling in the evenings. Ms. McCullough was particularly impressed by the anecdotal data from the school she visited in New Jersey where the majority of families took part in the voluntary evening therapy sessions.

Artists Honored

Jennifer Rodgers, K-12 Art Department chair, was joined by accomplished district artists Connor McGaffin, Adwaita Patil, Gracein Hoyle, and Marcelo Moreno. Rodgers has worked in the district for 19 years and has watched the visual arts program grow and thrive, thanking the board and Dr. Yannacone for their ongoing support. She noted the increasing reliance of our culture on visual images and how the study of visual arts is continuously proven to boost overall academic performance. Patil, Hoyle, and Moreno all have their work hanging in Harrisburg as part of Youth Art Month. McGaffin, who will be attending Carnegie Mellon School of Design in the fall, will have his work displayed in Paoli as part of the 8th Annual Wharton Esherick Museum Imprint Competition and Exhibition. His piece was selected out of 66 entries.

On Saturday April 29, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Students and faculty will fight back against cancer by participating in the annual Relay for Life held at King Field. The community is encouraged to attend.

Five for Four in Borough Council Primary, Part II

For the first time in many years, Swarthmore has more Democratic Party candidates for Borough Council than there are open seats.

Four candidates are endorsed by the Swarthmore Democratic Party: incumbents Michael Carey and Lauren McKinney and first-timers Sarah Graden and Betsy Larsen. Melissa “Mel” Jurist did not seek the party’s endorsement, preferring to run a campaign “outside the traditional Dems.”

There are no candidates registered in the Republican primary for Council. The Swarthmorean speaks now with the second group of candidates for Borough Council and presents their (abridged) responses.

Lauren McKinney

What do you bring to Borough Council?
I believe I bring an independent voice and a collegial style to Council. You would really have to ask my other colleagues on Council who have taught me so much in my first term.

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You chair the Environment Committee and serve on the Planning and Zoning and Public Works, Parks and Recreation. Do you have new or continuing committee preferences?
I have been the liaison to the Environmental Advisory Council, and I’ve worked with them on the bamboo ordinance and several environmental resolutions, including 2016’s Mariner East II Resolution of Concern. I am happy to continue but it really depends on what energies and skills the new members bring.

What do you see as priorities for Swarthmore in the coming few years?
In many ways, we are a high-functioning borough, thanks to our experienced and dedicated manager and employees. In terms of our immediate challenges, it’s a perpetual struggle to keep the ‘Ville filled with thriving businesses. A less visible but slowly looming issue is the economic viability of having our own fire department and emergency services. This needs to be addressed on a regional level. A third issue, long-term, is the future of open space such as Henderson Field and the CADES fields and woods, all owned by the school district. Someday, and this may be many years away, I would like to see Swarthmore Borough purchase those properties.

How would you characterize the Borough’s current relationship with Swarthmore College?
We have a good relationship with the College. We have a sound zoning policy for the College perimeters. Their various expansion plans are being realized now, which is exciting. It’s great that the campus is blending more with the downtown by way of the Inn, new dorms, and the College’s purchase of 101 S. Chester Road.

Any thoughts on the Swarthmore21 liquor license referendum?
I trust the wisdom of the Swarthmore electorate.

Tell us about your background and your family.
I have lived in Swarthmore for 14 years, with my husband John Swartzentruber and two sons, Will, age 15 and Jack, age 17. I have a Ph.D. in English from Temple, and taught English literature and composition for several years. Now I occasionally freelance. I am an elder at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, serve on the Co-op Education Committee, and just became a Swarthmore Arboretum assistant.

Melissa ‘Mel’ Jurist

What does it mean to say that you are “running outside the traditional Dems?”
Although I am running outside of the Democrats, I do have the ability to look at the vision for Swarthmore. Everyone says “this job is about running the town,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a lot of vision. To me it seems that an uncontested race doesn’t provide the choice that we should have in democracy. Having your candidates chosen for you … almost makes voting seem ancillary. There should be more choice, within the Democrats, and maybe even outside the Democrats.

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What do you stand for?
This is about representation. There are other voices that need to be heard besides the candidates chosen from within their group. On every issue we’ve had, we’ve seen different groups pop up, with different interests. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work within different frameworks in the community. I also bring a lot of stuff with me that’s unique. I worked in county government as the coordinator for state and federal aid in Essex County, N.J., and had a very strong track record with grants and grant management for parks and recreation. I found ways to creatively leverage incoming grant money against new funding sources, so that there were fewer expenditures, more efficiency, and better overall management, all fitting within a vision.

What committees and functions do you see yourself serving on Borough Council?
I really like the Environmental and Planning and Zoning. I do think we need to do some disaster planning as a universal accommodation, making sure our services are coordinated. I am studying things like vulnerability maps, showing where in the community someone might need extra assistance in an emergency. I’ve spoken about this with Police Chief [Brian] Craig, who is working on a database, and I want to make sure that happens.

I also think sustainable planning should decrease our impacts on the environment as well as facilitating achievement of our Aging-in-Place goals … making sure that all our assets are accessible to everyone. It isn’t enough to bring people to a parade, we have to see how we can include everyone.

What are some pending issues facing the borough, and Borough Council?
Borough Council has done many things well … [but] I think we have a little room for improvement … I’ve seen the Aging-in-Place document, there have been many meetings, now let’s do it! I would like to make sure we push a little harder to put the recommended programs into place. Also, I understand that being a councilperson is tough, and there’s a lot on the agenda, but I do think we need to be handling things more civilly with people who come to talk to meetings. These people voted for you.

You have worked with Swarthmore21 to draft the referendum. Are you in favor of granting liquor licenses in the borough?
I do, and I’m not hesitant to talk about it. I don’t see us becoming a town with a biker bar. It doesn’t make financial sense for someone to do that. I think that if [a business gets] a liquor license, it’s going to be something that fits the community. These are expensive documents! Of course, this is only one of the ways we need to consider to reduce the number of empty storefronts in town.

Tell us about your family and your background.
I have two daughters, both of whom went through this school system and are now in college. Imogen is my oldest; she lives with a disability, which is how I came to be an advocate. We moved here when Imogen was in 8th grade, and this town saved her life. My middle child is Teddy — Theodora — and she is at UCLA. Owen is my youngest; he is at Strath Haven Middle School, and plays almost any sport you can imagine. And my spouse is David Rosenbluth, who is possibly the most patient and tolerant man in the world. I am an academic program manager at the College of Engineering of the University of Delaware, where I also co-chair the Disability Caucus. I have a B.A. in Psychology from NYU, and have done further coursework at the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania.

Betsy Larsen

What do you represent?
I am a lifelong Democrat who had never really been politically involved [until 2016, when] I worked as a poll watcher. Right after the election, I met with a group of women to debrief and try to process what happened. It was such a powerful sense of community. I became involved with Swarthmore Dems and Moving the Needle… For me, there’s a real sense of reason and progressiveness that exists in our little borough. And I want to keep that intact, to keep our local government doing the best for our community, but also to leak out a little bit… I feel that our government, on a state and national level, is so broken, that any movement that can start to get it operational again, is worth exploring. I believe that Swarthmore needs to play a role in county and statewide issues.

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What committee work are you interested in doing on Borough Council?
To some extent it will come down to the openings. I would like to serve on the Finance Committee, which hopefully Michael Carey will be heading; we need him to be reelected! My interests on council center on my desire to maintain the unique character of our community while allowing it to adapt to the political and cultural challenges of our time. My training as a psychologist, experience with fiscal management, and dedication to environmental stewardship can contribute to Borough government.

What are some pending issues facing the borough, and Borough Council?
I live on the south end of town, and am pleased the borough has already committed to take action on Yale Avenue safety with traffic slowing measures and with a crossing guard … we have some great organizations in town, like SRA, but there has to be some way that the borough can cooperate with other groups to make improvements and get access to better athletic fields. I have little issues with Swarthmore, but it is really well-run. I don’t have a big platform. I want to make myself available to hear what people think, and their priorities, and represent them on Council.

What do you think about the Swarthmore21 ballot initiative?
I don’t think a lot about it. I didn’t sign the petition. It seems as though a lot of business owners are behind it, but as a scientist, I like data, and I wonder how much impact it would have. If you have to put in 30 seats, after a quarter-million dollars to get the license … I don’t know why Swarthmore should be dry, but I don’t think that liquor licenses are going to save our town center either.

Do you see any aspects of the relationship between the borough and Swarthmore College that you would wish to change, or develop further?
We’re really lucky to have the college … It pulls us forward in important ways. The things I worry about — and I don’t know enough about it to speak on a municipal level — but as a citizen, I worry about the amount of construction going on. When I see fields being turned into parking lots and dorms … I think there is some need to have checks and sensibility about how that affects the community.

Tell us about your background and your family.
Along with my husband Randy and my two sons (Evan, 10, and Carter, 14), I have been a resident of Swarthmore for more than 12 years. I graduated from Cornell University and earned my M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Penn State. Although licensed as a clinical psychologist, I most recently worked for six years as the finance coordinator at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church. I am treasurer and membership coordinator for the Delaware County chapter of the National Organization for Women. I also served on the advisory committee of the Swarthmore Presbyterian Nursery Day School and on the Swarthmore Swim Club board of directors, where I spent two years as membership director.

A Month for Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. The Swarthmorean is grateful for the chance to share the work of our talented readers each week during this season of budding joy.


Some of us are cued to temperature,
some to light, and some respond
to the same old pull of the tides. (Even
if we have moved far inland.)

I think my call must be light: I stand
first thing in the morning
at the window facing west,
drinking in and dazzled by the sun
reflected off the houses across—
one’s ivory, one is pale grey,
but for that first hour of the morning
they speak of gold to me
and the upsides of constant rotation.

Making me wonder, as I step away: at sunset
do the people who live over there stand
facing east, watching out their window
as the sun touches my yellow house
and puts it through all the colors of fire?

— Sibelan Forrester

Sibelan Forrester has lived in or near Swarthmore for over 20 years. She is a specialist in Russian Modernist poetry and teaches at Swarthmore College. She has translated fiction, poetry, and scholarly prose from Croatian, Russian and Serbian, and has published scholarly articles and edited collections of articles and translations. Her book of original poems, Second Hand Fate, was published in 2016.

Tiger Swallowtail

Pale yellow, tiger striped,
the swallowtail
unfurls in May sun
sipping lilac nectar.
A blue jay passes swiftly by,
recalling the
sour taste of black and yellow.

— Elizabeth Fletcher


Six am. Red comet races the pale
orange sunrise –
Rimmed with January frost,
streaks across green suburban lawns
trailing sparks of sunlight.
Twenty degrees.
Claws gripping ice, crampons digging in,
gaining traction, whiskers quiver.
The fox, blown in by a Canadian Clipper
scents hot blood.
With all the mercy of the Polar Vortex,
the winter comet blasts icy hot across the barricades
into the heart of the mail-order chicken coop where
Rhode Island Reds crowd source for warmth.

— Elizabeth Fletcher

Elizabeth Fletcher has lived in Swarthmore for about 30 years with my husband Fred, raising sons Evan and Alex. Her career has been in medical editing, technical writing and program management, primarily for the National Board of Medical Examiners in Philadelphia. She has always enjoyed writing fiction and poetry; several of her poems appear in the anthology Lost Orchard.

Woodland Beauty

My violet friend
Has offered up her tender blossom
On this day
From the rocky verge
She gazes out upon the wood
Past grey naked trees
To the blue sky far, far away.

She has waited all year
To make her debut as
“The Beauty of the Forest Glade”
(Along with others on parade)
She nods her head in the soft breeze
Or with the landing of many bees
That she courts with violet ease.

In a month she nods no more
Her seeds lie strewn
Upon the woodland floor
Dreaming of the days to come
When, as Beauties, they will see me pass
Beneath the next spring sun.

— Christopher Ray

Christopher Ray has spent more than 40 springs in Swarthmore, where he lives with his wife Carol. A sculptor, ceramicist, restorer of old telescopes,and craftsman, he is owner of Ray Museum Studios, which designs and creates exhibits for museum. He recently built a scale reconstruction model of the ancient Phrygian city of Gordion for the Midas exhibit at the University Museum in Philadelphia.

Antiques of Summer

The age of summer is past and in the cooling world
The bronze antiques are left.
How like an echo are the snapping twigs
That tell us of their pliant youth —
How much shadow of its former self — the sun —
Whose dying heat once baked the dark-paved road —
How reminiscent of a glowing youth its age —
And yet, how beautiful is age itself.
Antiques — barren, simple — and those of lustrous eloquence
All hold and awesome mystery.

The all-pervading summer green — and in between —
The graying hairs of autumn.
Mellow rusts — as aged as the creaking garden gate —
Shabby coppers — like teapots needing the wrinkled hands
To polish them to former brilliance.
Mud-browns — like earthenware vessels —
Or beaten floors of pioneer homes —
Dulled crimsons — like rough bricked hearths.

The dainty pattern of a silver maple
Still stirred to life by puffs of wind —
The crackling of an oak leaf under foot —
the “mittened” contours of the Sassafras —
The spoken word that lingers on in frosted smoke —
Burning smells — decaying wood —
Silhouetted limbs against pale sky —
All these and more — Antiques of summer lie

— Irene Dodd Davis

This is the first published poem by Irene Dodd Davis, 91, who lives in Riddle Village with her husband of 67 years, Bill. They raised their two daughters in Wallingford. Irene worked in social services and taught for many years, and dedicated much of her life to volunteer work with in her church, with hospital patients, refugees and the poor. Irene wrote poems for everyday life experiences as well as very special occasions: they became treasured gifts for brides, new mothers, the sick and infirm, the grieving, and the champions. 

What to do? What to know!

Young Musicians: Auditions Coming in May

Intermediate and advanced student musicians are encouraged to sign up now and start honing their chops for the upcoming auditions to be held May 11 and 13 at Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr. Both the Delaware County Youth Orchestra (for advance players) and the Young Musicians’ Orchestra will audition students on each day.

Advance signup is required at dcyo.org, where you will find further information on the ensembles and advice for prospective members. Direct questions to personnel director Lenora Hume (lhume@dcyo.org) or website administrator David Demcher (ddemcher@dcyo.org).

The YMO will perform on Sunday, April 30, 7 p.m., at Neumann University in Aston; the DCYO will be in concert at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. Info: dcyo.org.

‘Unnecessary Risks’ at SPL

Rose Valley Mayor Tim Plummer will read from his recently published “memoir of adventure” Unnecessary Risks on Wednesday, April 26, at the Swarthmore Public Library.

Plummer’s book is full of ripping yarns about his service abroad on behalf of the U.S. Army, and on his own account. The talk and reading begin at 7 p.m.; admission is free; register at (610) 543-0436 or Swarthmore@delcolibraries.org.

‘Newtown’ in Wallingford

The documentary Newtown, director Kim Snyder’s exploration of loss and recovery from gun violence, will be screened at Congregation Ohev Shalom next Sunday, April 30, at 2:30 p.m.

Admission is free and open to all, but you should RSVP to office@ohev.net or (610) 874-1465.

Crum Woods Extravaganza Saturday

Swarthmore College’s Ecosphere Earth Day weekend culminates in the Crum Woods Extravaganza on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Begin at Crumhenge (in the meadow near the railroad viaduct) to learn from a bird walk, tour the flora of Crum Woods and the diverse fauna of Crum Creek, and release your creativity in an art workshop. Free T-shirts will be available to all, and all in the community are welcome.

‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ at The Spotlight Theatre

Next Friday night, April 28, Spotlight Theatre opens its production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone on its stage at Swarthmore United Methodist Church, 129 Park Avenue.

Directed for Spotlight by Leigh Jacobs, Sarah Ruhl’s 2007 play brings absurdity, humor, and shock of recognition to the audience as we reckon with morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically absorbed society. This popular work by a major American dramatist explores of how we memorialize the dead, and how remembering changes us.

Spotlight’s production runs from April 28 through May 13, with shows at 8 p.m. each Friday and Saturday night, and a Thursday, May 11, show, also at 8. Tickets ($15) and more information on the show and the company are available at spotlighttheatrepa.org.

Jazz in Bloom as April Turns to May

Philadelphia is a great jazz city, and its aura shines well into the surrounding area, to our delight. Three events in the next week or so present jazz from three distinct eras in varied concert and club settings.

The festival begins Wednesday, April 26, at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with the fourth in a series of concerts celebrating the publication of the first Philadelphia Real Book, comprised of compositions by local jazz and blues muscians.

The concert features contemporary jazz and soul-infused guitarist Monnette Sudler in a quintet format, followed by bassist Christian McBride leading his Tip City Trio.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception. Sudler’s band plays a set at 7:30 p.m. in Caplan Recital Hall, with the eclectic McBride trio on stage after a Jazz Talk segment on the city’s jazz scene, past and present, presented by Columbia University professor and founder of the Center for Jazz Studies Robert O’Meally, Penn professors Guthrie Ramsey and Herman Beavers, and jazz broadcaster and producer Greg Thomas. Event tickets ($25) and information are available at jazzbridge.org. University of the Arts is at 211 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia.

John Vanore and Abstract Truth

John Vanore and Abstract Truth

In Wallingford, the Community Arts Center hosts outstanding ensembles on Friday April 28, and Sunday afternoon, April 30. Friday Night Live pairs artists Jessica Eldredge and Erica Harney with music from John Vanore and Abstract Truth.

In homage to jazz giant Oliver Nelson, Vanore named his big band after Nelson’s milestone post-bop album Blues and the Abstract Truth, and the ensemble will perform Vanore’s arrangements of many of that record’s songs, among others from Nelson’s canon.

The painters will create work in the moment, to be auctioned during the evening of food, drink, and arts. Tickets are available at the door, 414 Plush Mill Road, beginning at 7 p.m.; more information is at communityartscenter.org.

The jazz set concludes on Sunday, April 30, with the hot sounds of Jerry Rife’s Rhythm Kings at the Tri-State Jazz Society’s monthly session at CAC. This sextet of seasoned players is committed to the hot jazz sound of “revival Dixieland” from New Orleans post-World War II.

For this show, which begins at 2 p.m., the Tri-State Jazz Society welcomes members as well as first-timers with $10 half-price tickets; full-time students and kids are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door; info is at tristatejazz.org.

Music at Lang this Weekend

Swarthmore College senior Desta Pulley will sing works by Mozart, Bellini, Fauré and Bolcom tonight, April 21, at 8 p.m. at Lang Concert Hall. Pulley will be accompanied by Debra Scurto-Davis and James Wallace-Lee in her senior recital.

The Swarthmore College Orchestra will perform at Lang Concert Hall on Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m. The orchestra, directed by Andrew Hauze, will play Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Still’s Symphony #5 (“Western Hemisphere”), and the first two movements of the Shostakovich Piano Concerto #2, featuring College senior Elliott Nguyen, winner of the 2017 Concerto Competition.

Swarthmore College students from the Elizabeth Pollard Fetter Chamber Music program will share their talents with the community in three concerts in the coming week, beginning Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Lang Concert Hall. The students will reprise the concert Sunday night at 7:30 pm., and again on Friday, April 28, at 8 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public.

Update on Sheltered Workshops and Waivers

In Delaware County, more than 800 adults with intellectual disabilities participate in day programs and “sheltered workshops” like Elwyn, Divine Providence, Handi-crafters and Melmark. These programs which provide meaningful interactions in a safe environment are imperiled by new regulations which affect waiver funding and threaten their existence.

Families and advocates of participants are invited to a meeting on Wednesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. to catch up on the latest developments in employment law in Pennsylvania which affects these program and their clients.

The meeting will be held at St. Anastasia Church, 3301 West Chester Pike, in Newtown Square. Speakers will include attorney/advocates Ted Schwartz and Dennis McAndrews. The program is free and open to all; submit questions and RSVP to familiesforworkshopchoice@gmail.com.

CADES Annual Dinner Set for May 10

Supporters and fans of CADES should set aside Wednesday evening, May 10, for the annual dinner fundraiser and awards presentation to recognize some of the people who help CADES “build hope and transform lives.”

The Building Hope Award will be presented to Steve Allman, who has long been a volunteer at CADES as well as a staff member; the Transforming Lives Award will recognize four siblings in the Collins family — Mary Theresa, Vincent, Tom, and Dan, who have devoted more than four decades of energy and caring to CADES and its clients.

The dinner will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Springfield Country Club, 400 N. Sproul Road. Dinner tickets ($80) and sponsorship information is available through CADES.org and at (610) 328-5955. All proceeds go to benefit the Mobility Fund.

Arbor Day Open House at Scott Arboretum

Next Saturday The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College invites families to take part in a scavenger hunt, claim a sapling, share refreshments, and ask garden and tree questions of arboretum staff members, who will be on hand during Scott’s Arbor Day celebration, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 29. The event is free; details are at scottarboretum.org.

Sign Up for Free Medicare Counseling Session

Medicare enrollment presents some intimidating and potentially complex choices. Volunteer Medicare counselors with APPRISE are dedicated to helping seniors make those important decisions. APPRISE counseling sessions of 30 to 60 minutes are available next Wednesday, April 26, at the Springfield Township Building, 50 Powell Road.

The session, sponsored by Senior Community Services, is free and open to anyone, but please call ahead to schedule a session or to ask general questions about the program. Ellen Haupt at (484) 496-2137 is there to help.

Leiper House Opens for Year

The 1785 Thomas Leiper House at 521 Avondale Road in Wallingford is opening this weekend for the rest of the year.

Tours of the house and outbuildings, and information about Mr. Leiper’s life, both in Philadelphia and out here, will be given on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but a donation of $1 per person is appreciated.

The house is filled with antiques and has lots of interesting information about Mr. Leiper and his family on display. Information: (610) 566-6365.

Street Food from the Cobblestone Era

Nether Providence Historical Society invites the public to learn about history through its delicious artifacts at the April 27 program entitled “Brief History of Popular Street Foods: 18th Century to the Present.”

Delaware County historian Nancy Webster presents this entertaining look back at the foods and delivery methods of old (think pepper pot soup from colonial food trucks), which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Helen Kate Furness Free Library, 100 N. Providence Road in Wallingford.

Join the feast and enjoy samples of old-school street fare with Ms, Webster, who is founder of the Historical Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley. The program is free and open to all.

Shred with Leanne on Saturday

State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky is holding a free shredding event for her constituents on Saturday, April 22, at Strath Haven High School.

Bring unwanted documents for confidential destruction onsite, and ultimately, recycling. There is a limit of 5 boxes or bags per visitor; paper clips must be removed, though staples are OK. Use the Brookhaven Road entrance. More info is at (610) 534-6880.

Piano Recital at TGP

The piano will get a workout, and guests will get a treat at the noon meeting of The Gathering Place next Wednesday, April 26, when the piano students of Swarthmorean Donna Kay Jones perform a recital.

Bring a lunch, or enjoy soup and a roll from Occasionally Yours (small donation); dessert and beverages will be served. Following lunch, the music will begin around 12:30 p.m.

‘Faith and Life’ Screens Film
‘An Act of Love’ at SUMC

Swarthmore United Methodist Church will screen the An Act of Love in two parts during consecutive sessions of its weekly Faith and Life class, Sundays April 23 and 30.

The film tells the true story of the Reverend Frank Schaefer of Lancaster County, who officiated at the same sex marriage of his son, and was subjected to a trial by the United Methodist Church.

Class begins each week at 11:15 a.m., following worship, and each part will be followed by a discussion. All are welcome; SUMC is at 129 Park Avenue in Swarthmore.

Artists: Last Call for Entries

May 1 is the deadline for entry into the 21st Annual Celebrate Swarthmore Artists Exhibition, which will be held in Swarthmore Borough Hall May 10 to June 26.

Swarthmore Friends of the Arts sponsors the show and presents an artists’ reception on Friday, May 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition is open to all adult residents of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, working in any medium except photography (the subject of a separate show later this year.) One or two pieces may be submitted by each artist, with a contribution of $5 per piece requested.

Entry forms are available at Borough Hall or online at swarthmorearts.org. Martha Perkins has more information; call her at (484) 574-3158.

Get the Real Take on Fake News at Furness

What is fake news, and why is it such a big deal? Dr. James Caccamo, chair of the department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. Joseph’s University, explores the moral and societal implications of the media practices we have come to know as fake news, in the next edition of the Making Sense of Current Events series at the Helen Kate Furness Free Library, next Monday, April 24, at 7:15 p.m.

The talk is free and open to all, but advance registration is recommended, either by calling (610) 566-9331 or at the front desk at the library, 100 N. Providence Road in Wallingford.

Art Gallery to Pop Up May 2 to Benefit CRC

Tiny artworks (including river rocks painted by young members of the Swarthmore Community Center play group) will be up for sale at a pop up art gallery at SCC on Tuesday, May 2, at 8 p.m.

All proceeds go to preservation of trees in the Chester-Ridley-Crum watershed. Admission is $10; adults only, please. Info: delcoartsandactivism@gmail.com.

Meditation Master Rinpoche
at Friends Meetinghouse

Next Friday, April 28, will present a rare opportunity for those curious about meditation and Tibetan Buddhism. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, one of the foremost scholars and meditation masters of his generation in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Buddhism, will talk and teach at the Swarthmore Friends Meetinghouse on Whittier Place.

The talk, at 7:30 p.m., is free and open to all, however, donations are suggested in the amounts of $5 (students) to $20 (others).

Smythe – DeMarco Wedding

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Maggie Smythe and Patrick DeMarco

Robert and Susan Smythe of Swarthmore are delighted to announce the marriage of their daughter, Maggie, to Patrick DeMarco on Thursday, April 13, at the Algiers Courthouse in New Orleans.

Maggie, a graduate of Strath Haven High School and Carleton College, is starting her third year of medical school at Tulane University.

Patrick, a graduate of Bishop Eustace Prep in Pennsauken, N.J., and St. Joseph’s University, is currently the manager of the Music Industry Studies program at Loyola University.

The delightful ceremony was attended by immediate family.

Briefly Noted…

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The 9th annual Marietta Avenue Easter Egg Hunt was held last Saturday, April 15. The kids are bigger, but not too big for candy-filled eggs. Photo by Megan Slootmaker

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The entire class of 2018 looked on as a sobering tableau played out at Strath Haven High School this Tuesday, during the mock crash staged annually in the week before the junior prom. In the all-too-real scenario, two fatalities, an arrest, multiple injuries, and two carloads of grief ensued from a head-on collision between teen drivers, one intoxicated and one texting. The school is deeply invested in the production and its message of prevention, SHHS Principal MaryJo Yannacone said: “Our seniors involved in the theater program play the roles of the student drivers and victims. Our makeup crew works with Media Theater to provide the realistic makeup, our student volunteers at the local firehouses participate as emergency responders, and our student emergency team members provide support to the observers.” The cast included Nether Providence police units and fire and ambulance teams from Brookhaven, Garden City, Media, Morton-Rutledge, Parkside, and South Media. The mock crash was produced at Strath Haven and nine other area high schools by State Farm Insurance, Main Line Health including Riddle Hospital and Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation, Media Theater, and DJ Sound.

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Wallingford-based acoustic band The Wiretappers will be among the bands playing live at Vinyl Revival in Lansdowne as part of the festivities for Record Store Day, this Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Wiretappers are a trio forged at Strath Haven High School, where guitarist Jacob Brewer and vocalist Sarah Scarborough are seniors, and mandolinist Graham Brewer is a recent graduate. Graham says: “Our sound takes influence from bluegrass and country to jazz and blues. Our aim is for a diverse musical palette spanning genres while sticking to the simplistic roots of acoustic sound.”

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Yuwen Michelson

Yuwen Michelson, daughter of Dean Michelson and Ginny Lang of Swarthmore, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Following her expected graduation this spring from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., Yuwen will spend the next year teaching at a school in Laos, as she did as a volunteer during summer 2014. She is a 2013 graduate of Strath Haven High School, and is a Sociology major at Hamilton.

Two local residents were inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi: David Spencer of Swarthmore was initiated at Penn State University and Laura Conway of Wallingford was initiated at Arcadia University.

The United States Sports Academy is pleased to announce the graduation of Dr. Peter Joseph Vanni of Swarthmore, with a Doctor of Education degree in sports health and fitness with a sports leadership emphasis, with honors.

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Last weekend, the Nether U12 2005 Girls soccer team won the Bob Urban Nether Tournament in Downingtown. The team consists of 5th and 6th graders from Wallingford, Swarthmore, Springfield and other nearby towns.

For the first time in a year, Swarthmore poet Bob Small will read his poetry live, this Sunday, April 23, at the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center at 419 Green Lane in Philadelphia. The reading begins at 3 p.m. and also features Nicole Marie Mancuso and Charles Carr.

Dr. Patricia Robinson-Linder of Wallingford is directing a new production of an old play – Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew – for Exclamation Theater in Maple Shade, N.J. The play opens on Sunday, April 23, with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and runs through May 7. The production features actor Jessica Fields of Swarthmore. Information is at facebook.com/exclamationtheaterinc.

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UP With Down Syndrome: The 27th annual Walk for Our Kids will be held next Saturday, April 29, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Springfield Mall. The event is the major fundraiser for the Delaware County Down Syndrome Interest Group, which supports families of children born with Down syndrome, social events for children and adults with Down syndrome, educational programs, and other services. To participate in the Walk for Our Kids, call in advance to (610) 544-4025, donate $20 or more and get a T-shirt, or come a bit early and register on the morning of the walk. Above: Members of the Maguire family who joined the 2016 Down Syndrome Interest Group walk are, from left, Tina, Michael, Jason and Sarah Maguire, Kylie Stuhltrager, Amy, Aaron, Chrissy and Kevin Maguire.

Donate Now to SPL’s May Book Sale

Eliza and Annie Homberger are excited about the upcoming Swarthmore Library book sale this May.

Eliza and Annie Homberger are excited about the upcoming Swarthmore Library book sale this May.

Spring cleaning? It’s a good time to thin out your collection of books and electronic media in advance of the Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library’s Spring Book and Bake Sale, coming the first weekend in May.

When you donate your books, audio books and music CDs, and DVDs to the Spring Book and Bake Sale, you’ll be supporting the Library. And you’ll also be clearing space on your shelves for the new treasures you’ll find at the sale.

Books and media donations will be accepted at the library only through next Saturday, April 29. Other crucial donations are needed for the sale at the library May 4-6, starting at 9 a.m.; boxes, bags, baked goods and volunteers.

To sign up or to get more information on donating, call Jeannine Anckaitis at (310) 505-5355 or visit bit.ly/2nKbmgm.

Earth Day at Little Crum Creek Park

By Sue Kelly

Looking for something to do on Earth Day? Come and celebrate with us tomorrow, Saturday, April 22, at Little Crum Creek Park. We’ll have two special activities, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

Volunteers are needed from 9 until 11:30 a.m. to help clean the streams and weed and mulch trees. If you have shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows to share, please bring them. We’ll furnish gloves and bags.

This event is sponsored by the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association and the Swarthmore Environmental Advisory Council. Meet at the gazebo in the park, along Cresson Avenue.

At 3 p.m. on the Cresson Avenue side of the park, Agora Dance will present a program called “3 Minutes Max,” a selection of interpretive dances accompanied by a variety of musical selections, performed by a group of professional dancers who dance in this area and in Washington, D.C.

This event is free and open to the public and appropriate for all ages. The project is made possible by funding from Project Stream, a grant initiative of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, regionally administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Additional support for Project Stream is provided by PECO.

Come and share the joy of professional dance in a beautiful natural setting.

Letter to the Editor

Sexist profiles?

To the Editor:

The first installment of The Swarthmorean’s profiles of the Borough Council candidates left me with a burning question: How “does” Michael Carey do it? He owns an investment company, serves on the council, “and” has three children? Who helps the kids with their homework while he goes to all those meetings?

Alas, we may never know, because the reporter for The Swarthmorean apparently reserved the “how do you balance it all” question for the female candidate for Borough Council, Sarah Graden, but did not think such a question was relevant to Carey (whom many of us know to be an especially devoted and involved parent).

Rather than her extensive political background, we learn about her babysitting network. Women are running for office at the local, state, and national levels across the Untied States — and, we can proudly say, here in Swarthmore — because they care about the issues, possess the skills and knowledge to govern effectively, and are ready to lead.

It’s time to do away with the time-worn sexism of asking women (but not men) with children how they intend to balance their public and private obligations.

Rebecca Davis

Eugene M. Lang, Swarthmore College Icon, Dies at 98

Gene Lang met with participants in a poster session for an early program of Project Pericles held at the Lang Center for Performing Arts.

Gene Lang met with participants in a poster session for an early program of Project Pericles held at the Lang Center for Performing Arts. Photo provided by Swarthmore College.

Eugene M. Lang, major benefactor of Swarthmore College and namesake of scholarships, professorships, and at least ten facilities on campus, died last week in New York City at age 98.

Gene Lang’s name is all over Swarthmore, but his impact on the college community and in American education goes much deeper, said college President Dr. Virginia Smith: “Gene was a giant in the world of education, a champion of the liberal arts, and an acknowledged force in promoting civic and social responsibility among students, faculty members, and educational institutions.”

Lang, a member of the Class of 1938, was emeritus chair of the college’s Board of Managers, a frequent visitor to scholars and faculty at the school, and a mentor to alumni. His passion for Swarthmore’s educational mission was most recently born out in his gift of $50 million towards the Biology, Engineering and Psychology project soon to begin construction.

Among the initiatives he and his wife of 62 years funded at Swarthmore are the Eugene and Theresa Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC), the Lang Music Building, Lang Opportunity Scholars, and the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility. In the former, Lang literally built upon his belief that integrated arts education was crucial to development of well-rounded students, saying in a 2011 interview: “I felt the arts were appreciated here but not necessarily part of the educational flow,” Gene once said. “I wanted to do something about that.”

In the latter, he created apparatus that engages students as citizens in the lives of their communities and the wider world. “Gene believed in inspiring in young people a spirit of civic engagement and social responsibility,” said Dr. Virginia Smith. “The Lang Center continues that work by connecting the College’s curriculum, campus, and community through engaged scholarship and collaborative action.” Lang also founded Project Pericles, which supports nearly 30 colleges’ programs in participatory citizenship and social responsibility.

Ben Berger, director of the Lang Center and Swarthmore associate professor of Political Science, recalls Lang as a Renaissance man. “In addition to all of his worldly success and philanthropic influence, Gene thought and wrote with incredible erudition (Google his article “Distinctively American: the liberal arts college”). He could be a fearsome interlocutor, but that drew out the best in those around him. He advocated for and actually lived a brilliant combination of liberal arts learning and responsible citizenship. He will be missed.”

Precocious and Entrepreneurial

A precocious student who finished high school at age 15, Lang enrolled at City College of New York before being persuaded by an alumnus to apply to Swarthmore. He received a scholarship along with admission, majored in economics, and went on to get a business Masters from Columbia. His intelligence and entrepreneurial genius soon made him a rich man; his early experiences with urban life and education shaped his commitment to use his wealth to advance others of lesser means.

Through Lang’s “entrepreneurial philanthropy,” he invested hundreds of millions of dollars in individual students as well as educational institutions. He became nationally prominent with the establishment of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, which since its beginnings in a speech he gave at his Harlem P.S. 121 alma mater in 1981, has helped fund college education for 16,000 students, and inspired direct aid and altruism worldwide.

Surely one of Swarthmore’s youngest graduates, Lang completed his studies at age 19, in 1938. In this photo of Albert Einstein and College President Frank Aydelotte outside Parrish Hall during Einstein’s visit as commencement speaker that year, apocrypha has it that the young man visible in the background wearing the mortarboard is Gene Lang. Whether or not it was Gene, the august visitor evidently inspired the graduates, none more than Lang, who would become one of the college’s most successful alumni, as measured in terms of wealth and influence on the lives of students at the college and elsewhere.

Surely one of Swarthmore’s youngest graduates, Lang completed his studies at age 19, in 1938. In this photo of Albert Einstein and College President Frank Aydelotte outside Parrish Hall during Einstein’s visit as commencement speaker that year, apocrypha has it that the young man visible in the background wearing the mortarboard is Gene Lang. Whether or not it was Gene, the august visitor evidently inspired the graduates, none more than Lang, who would become one of the college’s most successful alumni, as measured in terms of wealth and influence on the lives of students at the college and elsewhere.

Maurice Eldridge, former Vice President of Swarthmore College, knew Gene Lang for nearly 30 years and recalled him as “One of the most remarkable, admirable and lovable human beings I have ever met and become friends with. His life speaks for itself, but I can tell you he was a genuine model of one who found happiness and satisfaction by putting his money to work through others with plans and visions to make this a better and more just world. His gift for entrepreneurial philanthropy is a model that reflects his personal genius and the depth of his heart. He will be missed, but the agency he has given so many will continue to benefit us all.”

A funeral service was held at Congregation Emanu-El, 65th St. at Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y., on April 12. A memorial service is planned for Swarthmore at a later date.