This week’s issue . . .


Past, Present, and Future
of the ‘Swarthmorean’

“Last minute” gift shopping pitches began about a month ago, it seems. This holiday season is so long it feels as if Christmas has come, gone, and is coming again.

Diane and I already got one gift this season: a speaking engagement at The Gathering Place, the weekly luncheon series convened by the Swarthmore Senior Citizens’ Association (nonmembers are welcome, senior or not). Diane entertained the group with looks at the newspaper and her research on its publishers going back to 1893. I talked about some of the week’s news, and how we go about gathering information and putting it into type on newsprint 50 times a year. We talked – and more important, we heard – about some of the changes, additions, and innovations we want to explore in the future.

And we delivered the cold truth: The Swarthmorean loses money; has for years. We can’t keep doing that.

Since our talk, some of our supporters have come to us with wonderful, imaginative ways to help the Swarthmorean, both the weekly product and the business. We are deeply grateful for this meaningful support – gifts we didn’t ask for, in forms we wouldn’t expect.

If you are reading this, you are showing that you value the newspaper. We thank you for choosing to spend some of your week with the Swarthmorean. We will keep trying to earn the deep devotion that our readers have for their hometown paper.

It’s hard to ask for a gift (although I don’t remember having that problem when I was a kid). What we are asking is not so much contributions – though we will happily accept your (non-deductible) donations – as your support in other ways.

If you are involved in a business, tell our readers about your products or services here. These are faithful Swarthmorean readers, week in and week out, and they have money to spend and an eye for quality. If you have a favorite restaurant, a family dentist, a tradesman in the area you think we can help with advertising, drop us a line.

If you are a subscriber, consider sharing the warmth and personality of the paper with friends and family through a gift subscription. For each you give, we’ll extend your own subscription by two (2) months. We will send the recipient a card announcing your gift.

We’ll take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and see you again with the January 5 issue. Till then, we wish you joy, peace, and gratitude for our community.

— Chris Reynolds

Notice to Readers and Advertisers

The Swarthmorean offices will be closed from Friday, December 22, until Tuesday, January 2. There will be no issue on Friday, December 29.

Recently-elected Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board members (left to right) Kelly Wachtman, Kelly Huff, Damon Orsetti, and Dr. David Grande stood for a team picture, then sat for their first meeting on Monday night. Photo by Katie Crawford.

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board:
Some WES Parents Mystified, Frustrated by Principal’s Ouster
By Katie Crawford

A new president — Dr. Marylin Huff — and three new members — Dr. David Grande, Damon Orsetti, and Kelly Wachtman — joined the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board at the December 11 meeting. Their arrival came during a time of unexpected turmoil, as Joshua Peterkin, principal of Wallingford Elementary School for the past five years, resigned last Tuesday, following what Superintendent Dr. Lisa Palmer characterized as “inappropriate action.”

Specifics regarding Mr. Peterkin’s departure have been in short supply, and both Superintendent Dr. Palmer and Board President Dr. Huff acknowledged the frustration that the district community must feel in having so little knowledge of the circumstances leading to this decision. The audience at the meeting was unusually large due to a sizable number of WES parents in attendance.

In her report, Dr. Palmer spoke of the “difficult” past week. She praised Joseph Buecheler, former assistant principal at Strath Haven Middle School who is now acting principal at WES, for his work during this sudden transition and for the “great rapport” he shows with both students and parents. Dr. Palmer stressed the district’s commitment to protecting the privacy of its personnel. While acknowledging that parents feel frustrated when …

Swarthmoreans side by side with Mayor Tim Kearney at his PA Senate campaign launch included (left to right) Mary Walk, Borough Council member and Register of Wills-elect, PA State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky, and Claudia Cueto, business partner and wife of the candidate.

Mayor Tim Kearney Raises Funds,
Hopes at Senate Campaign Launch

Tim Kearney is listening to his grandmother. “My grandmother used to say: ‘You’ve got to be willing to work for the things that you want,’” Kearney said last Saturday at the kickoff event for his campaign for Pennsylvania Senate, representing the 26th District. He then outlined for about 100 supporters at Swarthmore Borough Hall the work he plans to do in Harrisburg.

Kearney expressed the frustration he shares with prospective constituents over ineffective representation of citizens, and subjugation of their concerns to corporate and ideological interests. Issues he mentioned in remarks to attendees on Saturday included …

The Year of the Pageant

Isaiah and the Acolytes

Rehearsals are underway, and production plans are proceeding for this year’s 41st biennial presentation of the Pageant of the Nativity. This will be the 17th performance given at Lang Music Hall, with its picturesque wooded setting.

If you are new to the area, come join us in this Christmas tradition. Five tableaux, representing The Prophecy, The Annunciation, The Shepherds, The Nativity and The Fulfillment will be accompanied by beautiful musical arrangements for the choir.

Some of the Pageant music is well known, and other pieces are almost unique to the Pageant. Approximately 150 of our residents participate in this wonderful gift to the community, with many traveling home from college or back to Swarthmore for the performance.

The show lasts about one hour and will be performed at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 23. The event is free and open to the public. Ample parking is available on the College campus.

Nick’s House welcomed supporters at Monday’s celebration.

In Nick’s House, Colleluori Family
and Friends Built a Home

By Claire Wolters

On Monday, December 11, the Headstrong Foundation’s “Nick’s House” opened its doors at 200 S. Chester Road in Swarthmore. You can’t miss it: all those doors are painted in the lime green used in the branding and identity of the Headstrong Foundation, and associated with the battle against lymphoma. “That’s the disease that took our son from us,” said Pasquale Colleluori, father of the Headstrong foundation founder Nick, who died in 2006.

Headstrong Foundation President Cheryl Colleluori at Nick’s House in Swarthmore.

At the opening reception Monday, more than 100 supporters heard of the exhilaration, the gratitude, and the continuing sense of loss of the Colleluori family as they dedicated to Nick this guest house for families far from home. Beginning early next year, the house will provide free housing for seven patients — adults and children — and their caregivers as they undergo advanced cancer treatment at Philadelphia hospitals. Nick’s House will serve as many as 125 families during 2018.

“It’s a historic moment for our organization,” said Cheryl Colleluori, president of Headstrong and mother of Nick. She hopes the house will serve not only as an alternative to hotels for patients, but as a place they can call “home,” as well. The home has …

Teens Aged 14-18 Answer the Call
for Swarthmore Fire Co.

By Rich Cresson

The Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association currently has seven teenage members who are trained in firefighting activities. While restricted by state laws governing their activities, these junior members respond to alarms, are involved in fire hydrant hook-ups, fire ground lighting, laddering the building and other support functions.

The Association offers its junior member program for teens aged 14 through 18 — male and female — who want to become firefighters. All those interested can visit the Swarthmore firehouse any Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. to explore opportunities to protect and serve our community. Interested parties do not need any experience …

Report from the Fire Company

From November 27 to December 10, the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association responded to the following alarms:

EMS: The ambulance responded to 23 calls for medical assistance. These were to Swarthmore, Rutledge, Morton, Springfield, Media, Ridley Township, and Nether Providence Township. The calls were for a variety of emergencies, including accident with injury, sick person, seizures, fall with trauma, cardiac emergency, head injury, …

Christmas Tree Pickup Schedule*

Jan. 9, 2018: North of railroad tracks to Baltimore Pike
Jan. 10, 2018: South of railroad tracks to Yale Avenue
Jan. 11, 2018: South of Yale Avenue to Michigan Avenue
Jan. 16, 2018: North of railroad tracks to Baltimore Pike
Jan. 17, 2018: South of railroad tracks to Yale Avenue
Jan. 18, 2018: South of Yale Avenue to Michigan Avenue

Tree’s must be out by 7 a.m. on collection day. No lights, ornaments or bags should be attached to the tree.
*Weather permitting.

Delco Reassessment Begins this Month

The countywide reassessment of all properties, a work of several years’ duration, will begin this month.

According to county spokesperson Adrienne Marofsky, County Council has contracted with Tyler Technologies of Texas. Tyler’s fleet of clearly identified white vans will roam county streets, carrying crews and cameras to take photos of properties (but not residents). Tyler’s staff will not enter private property in the project.Properties will be evaluated through review of photographs as well as other property data. The county points out that digital images can also help correct address discrepancies, and provide data for emergency management recovery reports. Reassessment work will be completed in time for the 2021 tax year.

So that explains the white vans. Now what about those black helicopters?

Newcomers and Neighbors Welcome You
to December 20 Luncheon

By Barbara Partridge

If you are interested in forming new friendships in 2018, come join Newcomers and Neighbors of Delaware County. We will be having our Christmas Luncheon on December 20 at Overbrook Country Club, 799 Godfrey Road in Villanova. Hospitality starts at 11:30 a.m., followed by a brief meeting, and then luncheon. For reservations, contact Janet Strogala at 610-459-1334, ASAP. Cost of the luncheon is $26; you can pay at the …

Carrying a tradition into its 12th year, 2nd graders in Sue Gaur’s class recently set up their Milk and Cookie Stand at Wallingford Elementary School. Between November 14 and November 17, the class sold homemade chocolate chip cookies made by the families of WES students, and milk donated by the WES teaching staff to hungry students and faculty members at daily snack time. This 12th annual Milk and Cookie Stand raised $2,057, which will be sent to Puerto Rico to aid in hurricane relief efforts. Hats off to Mrs. Gaur, her class, and 2nd grade instructional assistant Mrs. Mulhern for their hard work to help U.S. citizens far from home. Pictured below from left to right are: (top row) Mrs. Gaur, Jayden D., Skylar H., Zach A., Christian K., Cameron D., Amalia N., Luka N., Ryan S., Issac H., Bianca B., Eli V., and Mrs. Mulhern; (middle row) Livy T., Shira J., Elizabeth W., Margaret H., Ellis W., and Lena G., (bottom row) Maureen A., Holly C., Cooper M., Luca D., and Jonah L.

Celebrate the Winter Solstice On Sunday

Transition Town Media invites all readers to celebrate the winter solstice with high-spirited neighbors this Sunday evening, December 17. The celebration takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County, 145 W. Rose Tree Road, Media, from 7 to 9 p.m. The event has as its theme Ubuntu — the African belief that “I am because we are.” …

Holiday Reading for Nature’s Narratives Members

Get a start on the next book for Nature’s Narratives, the book club of Scott Arboretum. In Mountain of the Heart, naturalist Scott Weidensaul chronicles the natural history of the Appalachian Mountains, which rank high among America’s most beautiful landscapes and complex ecosystems. Read the book first, then register attend the discussion …

Dancers take a break from rehearsals for the Nutcracker at the Academy of International Ballet. Among the 85 performers who will dance in Saturday’s performance at Strath Haven Middle School are local students (left to right, front row) Sophia Gao and Milena Verdi of Swarthmore, Calvin Poulson of Media, Eva Sacks of Media; (middle row) Abigail Grunseich of Wallingford, Sylvia Hoffman of Media, Isabella Lothrop of Wallingford; (back row) Marlena Umland of Media, and Chloe Muller of Swarthmore. Photo by Denis Gronostayskiy.

AIB Ballet Students Dance the ‘Nutcracker’ on SHMS Stage

More than 85 students at the Academy of International Ballet will don 130 handmade costumes this Saturday, December 16, to dance the full length Nutcracker ballet at Strath Haven Middle School’s auditorium in performances at noon and 4 p.m.

For a number of local dancers at the school, performing is the reward for years of training. Eleven-year-old Abigail Grunseich of Wallingford is in her eighth annual Nutcracker. Dancing is so important to her that sports and other activities are on the back burner. “I don’t have time for anything else!” Strath Haven Middle School student Isabella Lothrop is a veteran who danced the role of Clara last year, and this year takes part in five of the dances to Tchaikovsky’s score. Swarthmore-Rutledge School 3rd grader Milena Verdi…

Come Run, Come All to SRA New Year’s Day 5K and Kids Races
By Brandon Lausch

Kick off 2018 in one of the best ways possible: by joining the Swarthmore Recreation Association for its annual New Year’s Day 5K and Kids Races on Monday, January 1.

Race-day registration starts at 9 a.m. at the college’s Lamb-Miller Field House. The 5K starts at 10:30 a.m. and winds through Swarthmore on a flat and fast course that ends with a lap at the college track. Kids’ races, also on the track, start at 11:30 a.m. for children ages 2 through 13.

Registration is $25 in advance and $30 on race day, with 5K registrants receiving long-sleeve tech T-shirts. Post-race refreshments will be served, and unique medals of etched wood are awarded to the top two finishers in each age category.

Kids’ races are FREE, and ribbons will be awarded to youth participants. To register, visit

TGP Welcomes Silvertones on December 20

The Gathering Place hosts Strath Haven High School’s choral group, The Silvertones, who will sing a program of holiday music.

There will be a surprise presentation after the concert; beforehand, lunch will be served for a modest $2 contribution, Or bring your own – beverages and dessert are provided. A program of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens’ Association, The Gathering Place is open to all.

Swarthmore Borough Council Meeting Agenda

Monday, December 18, 7:30 p.m.

• Consideration of 2018 Council Meeting Schedule
• Consideration of 2018 Holiday Schedule
• Consideration of Resolutions:
• Setting Fees, Charges and Fines for 2018
• Setting Salaries and Benefits for 2018
• Consideration of Resolution opposing HB 1620
• Consideration of 2018 Budget
• Consideration of 2018 Tax and Fee Ordinance
• Consideration of Resolutions:
• Authorization to collect the Sanitary Sewer Fee
• Non-Uniformed and Police Contributions to the Pension Funds
• Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Borough Pensioners
• Appointment of the Independent Auditor
• Consideration of Ordinance 1071 regulating soliciting and canvassing in the Borough
• Financial Report
• Manager’s Report

If you are a person with a disability and wish to attend this meeting of Borough Council and require an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the proceedings, please contact Borough Manager Jane Billings at 610-543-4599 to discuss how the Borough may best accommodate your needs.

Letters to the Editor

Christmas is better in ‘Pageant years’

To the Editor:

Each year as Christmas approaches many of us celebrate the arrival of a great Light, the birth of Jesus Christ. In this darkest time in the calendar with its too-short days, we exuberantly light up the night — twinkly white lights and spectrums of color, a bright star glowing at the top of a tree, tidy modern LEDs and bulbous old-time incandescents, each one separately screwed into socket after socket.

The lights are fun and joyful, often playful and sometimes inspiring. They declare that Christmas is coming and that we’re unabashedly happy about it. But for me, Christmas is a different and more profound celebration of that Light in “Pageant years” – the odd-numbered years when the Swarthmore Pageant of the Nativity is held.

The Pageant is a gift to our community. It has been presented anonymously by local citizens every two years since 1937, except for a brief break during World War II. Why are “Pageant years” different for me? Because the Pageant is a contemplative representation of everything that matters to me: faith, hope, love, morality, honor, family and community.

On Pageant day, we set aside time to share a physical space with fellow community members where the room darkens and we all fall silent. Then together we let the Pageant wash over us, delivered with the same music, scripture, costumes and set each year since the 1930s. It is wonderfully constructed to convey meaning and inspire thoughts through words, music and light. Scripture readings speak to the intellect. Music speaks to the soul. And the illuminated tableaux speak to the heart which craves a simple, timeless story of inspiration.

I think Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right when he observed in his essay on Intellect that “God enters by a private door into every individual.” Once every two years, I come away feeling that the Pageant offers a unique opportunity to prop that door open for an hour, just to see what may come in.

This year, the Pageant will be held on Saturday, December 23, with performances at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The venue is Lang Hall on the college campus, which Swarthmore College graciously makes available to the community for this event. Ample free parking is nearby.

Each performance lasts about an hour, and includes five tableaux from the Old and New Testaments, along with scripture narrative and music from a volunteer choir. There is no admission charge. All who come in a spirit of reverence are welcome, although from long-ago personal experience I can say that it is best enjoyed by adults and children over the age of six. It is an hour well spent and perhaps you’ll find, as I do, that Christmas is better in these “Pageant years.”

Christopher Stief

Home for the Holidays. Photo by Andy Shelter

A team effort; a magical day

To the Editor:

The Swarthmore Home for the Holidays celebration took place on Saturday, December 2, all around the ‘Ville of Swarthmore. Hundreds of residents and visitors participated in various activities including a 5K Santa run, the last Farmers Market of the season, carriage rides, games and crafts, scavenger hunts, book signings and goodwill activities, which were hosted by our local merchants. The participants also enjoyed live music, local food and drink and a special performance by Jeannine Osayande & Dunya Performing Arts at the Inn at Swarthmore. Plus, Santa came to town via SEPTA train and then a fire truck and the Dunya drummers led a parade through town. The Swarthmore United Methodist Church conducted a tree lighting and community sing along. Hot chocolate ended the day at the Swarthmore Fire House.

The day was action packed and a good time was had by all. We were able to host more activities than in years past, and we could not have done that without our wonderful volunteers, who traveled from near and far to spend the day with our town, making each activity and event run smoothly, and be truly enjoyable.

On behalf of the Swarthmore Town Center Board, I would like to sincerely thank all our committee members and volunteers for giving their time, energy and talent to make Home for the Holidays a success. Whether you signed up to help on the day of, or worked on details for the last few months, your help was invaluable and greatly appreciated.

For those who would like to get involved in the future, we welcome you with open arms. After I left the corporate world this past winter, what I missed was being on a team. Volunteering for Swarthmore Town Center and the Swarthmore Farmers Market has certainly filled any void I had regarding my desire to be part of a team. Volunteerism connects us with others and provides meaning and purpose in our lives. The people I have met and worked with this year in Swarthmore are some of the most creative, kind, hardworking, and dedicated people I have crossed paths with in my career. I encourage anyone interested in continuing to help make our small town great to get involved in any way you can.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller

Shannon Elliott
Swarthmore Town Center Board Member

Swarthmore CO-OP Equity Campaign lifts off

To the Editor:

By now, you must have noticed the colorful balloons taped to the CO-OP’s windows. Each balloon represents an owner who chose to invest in the CO-OP by raising their equity stake. The large banner at the entrance tracks the total owner investments, currently at about $35,000, against the campaign goal of $150,000.

The $150,000 campaign goal is not arbitrary or a “would be nice”; it is mission-critical funding for the CO-OP’s continuing operations in 2018 while the plan for profitability is being implemented. Our current GM has brought the CO-OP a long way in the 11 months that he’s been on the job, largely by reorganizing and cost cutting. But when the large oven that is used by the prepared foods, catering and deli departments broke, as happened a few weeks ago, it represents a major setback. This was only one on a long list of unanticipated expenses; this is why the CO-OP needs working capital and a cash reserve.

Make no mistake: raising your equity stake in the CO-OP is not a donation or gift – it is an investment in the CO-OP’s future. If you raise your equity by $1,000, you receive an additional 200 shares. There also is no one else to appeal to – no corporate deep pocket, no endowment, no governmental largesse. Like the Swarthmorean you are reading, the CO-OP enriches the community and makes living here such a unique experience. The CO-OP is of the community and for the community, and therefore it is up to us to support it.

Lest we forget the role the CO-OP plays in our lives, here is a fun fact: total online orders for local, farm-fresh Howe Farm turkeys this Thanksgiving exceeded four tons! 8,300 pounds of turkey to be exact. And Mike and his staff stand ready again to accept and prepare your online holiday orders – whether prime beef, oysters, lobster tails or caviar – with care and a smile.

Before the year ends, please take a moment to join if you are not an owner, or to “up your equity” if you are. The process is simple: ask one of the cashiers in the store, make your commitment, and your balloon will be added to the window. Or, email at any time with your support commitment.

Without your support, there won’t be a CO-OP. So, thank you for adding your balloon!

Michael Markowicz
Member, Board of Directors of the Swarthmore CO-OP

The Turkey Trotters photographed by Angus Shieh.

Thanks, Turkey Trotters

To the Editor:

On a beautiful Thanksgiving morning, over 360 Turkey Trotters gathered for the Inaugural Delco Turkey Trot. We would like to thank all of the participants, volunteers and sponsors for making this event such a success.

The money raised will go to the Nether Providence Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, which helps to provide additional funds and programs to the school.

Thank you again, WSSD community, for your support. We look forward to seeing you next Thanksgiving!

The Delco Turkey Trot Organizers

In this week’s issue . . .

WES Principal
Peterkin’s Out

On Tuesday, December 5, Wallingford Elementary School families received word that WES Principal Joshua Peterkin had resigned. This followed “an inappropriate action on his part that in no way endangered or involved children,” Dr. Lisa Palmer, Superintendent of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, wrote. Per the district’s employee privacy policy, no further details were made available.

Strath Haven Middle School Assistant Principal Joseph Buecheler became acting principal beginning Wednesday. He has been with the district for 20 years, and in his current post for the last 5 years. His current duties will be covered temporarily by the other middle school administrators.

Mr. Buecheler’s assistant principal position will be filled in the near future, likely through a rearrangement of staff already at the middle school, said Dr. Palmer, suggesting it will be done in a matter of days rather than months.

The search for a permanent replacement principal at WES will take longer. “The game plan is to have the position filled by July 1,” when the new business year begins, Dr. Palmer said on Wednesday. WES staff and parents will participate with WSSD administrators in the process of reviewing candidates.

“While the news may be unsettling, the school district is confident that the school can move forward in a very positive manner.” Dr. Palmer wrote to WES families.

Swarthmore Borough Council:
A Good Problem to Have
By Katie Crawford

The 2018 budget for Swarthmore Borough was the main focus of the borough council’s discussion at their December 4 meeting. As a result of the revenue generated by the building permits required for the Biology, Engineering, and Psychology building currently under construction on Swarthmore College’s campus, the borough’s fund balance will go from $510,000 to $1,073,000. Even given the anticipated expenses to the borough associated with the inspections necessary for the building, this revenue increase will raise the fund balance to 20% of the borough’s annual expense budget as opposed to the best practices recommendation of 5-10% for a borough of its type.

This is, of course, a good problem to have. Council member Michael Carey suggested that the Finance Committee (which he heads) meet to decide how best to use the sudden, onetime windfall of revenue and then report to council with their ideas. One possibility could be paying down existing debt. In more good news, borough residents …

This December, Marvel
at the Pageant of the Nativity

The Swarthmore Nativity Pageant Committee has already begun preparations for the 41st biennial Pageant of the Nativity.

The Pageant has been a Christmas tradition in Swarthmore since 1938 and has been given almost every other year. It consists of five scenes from the Old and New Testaments, with narration of the Scripture and choral accompaniment by a volunteer choir.

Community is key when discussing the Nativity Pageant. Approximately 150 cast members of the Wallingford-Swarthmore community are involved in its production. Many of the cast members have participated in numerous performances, and in some cases, three generations of a family have played a role.

The Swarthmore Nativity Pageant will again be given at the Lang Music Hall on the Swarthmore College campus on Saturday, December 23, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and is most enjoyed with children over the age of five. Ample parking is available on the College campus. Seating is limited.


Gifts of Music

Chris Knob of Wallingford (right) met up this year with Bob Waters, head of the South New Jersey Chapter of Guitars for Vets, to present these three guitars, which are among a dozen Knob has crafted for G4V.

Chris Knob of Wallingford is a gifted — and giving — guitar artist. His musical gifts began to emerge in childhood, and as a classical guitar student he developed considerable proficiency. But it was later in life, and as a different sort of interpreter of the instrument, that he has made an enduring impression through the guitar.

The Guitars for Vets logo adorns the headstock of one of Chris Knob’s custom creations.

“When I was young and my folks were attempting to introduce me to a musical education, I took lessons at the old Swarthmore Music with a music major from the college named Jim Kelly. After several years of diligent playing and practicing, I realized I was not a musician … I was an excellent technician, but I didn’t hear the music the way an artist would. Playing guitar remained part of my life after that, but I didn’t pursue it with a passion.”

Knob is a biologist at Cooper University Hospital, where he runs the research lab for the division of infectious disease, mentors resident fellows, and writes about antimicrobial resistance. He and his wife Tasha live in Wallingford, and Chris has lived in the area for most of his life. A longtime woodworker, Chris built period reproductions and custom furniture before a back injury curtailed his ability to lug lumber. After his workshop lay dormant for a couple of frustrating years, inspiration struck. “I bought a book …

Out, Out, Damned Spot!
By Katie Crawford

Just when you thought your list of worries couldn’t get any longer, it seems a new pest has come to Pennsylvania. While causing no real harm to humans, the Spotted Lanternfly, or Lycorma delicatula, poses a significant threat to agricultural industries in the state and to the outdoor quality of life for private property owners. One Pennsylvania resident with an infestation on her property was quoted as saying, “I can’t enjoy my outdoor life anymore. I can’t go sit on my deck because of these swarming flies!”

A new environmental scourge is coming: the Spotted Lanternfly.

The Spotted Lanternfly was first identified in eastern Berks County in September of 2014. The initial report detailed an “unknown” insect damaging an Ailanthus altissima tree (commonly known as “Tree of Heaven”) on private property. The immediate reaction was hopeful: the Tree of Heaven is an invasive species, and it was thought that this pest could potentially be helpful in its elimination. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture quickly came to realize the damage that could also be caused to the state’s combined $18 billion grape, tree fruit, hardwood, nursery, and landscaping industries.

While the pest’s main feeding source is the Tree of Heaven, it also has been found to feed directly on grapes, stone fruit, and hops. The sugary waste it expels onto plants allows for a sooty mold to grow which damages fruit and leaves. In 2017 there was also damage reported on basil, blueberries, cucumbers, and horseradish. 2017 was also the first year that significant damage was seen from heavy feeding on walnut, red oak, maple and hickory trees. On Friday, December 1, John Baker, coordinator of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Spotted Lanternfly Eradication Program, presented …

Friday Film: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’

This Friday, December 8, at 7 p.m., the Green Party of Delaware County hosts a screening of An Inconvenient Sequel at Swarthmore Borough Hall’s Council Room. Released this year, nearly a decade after An Inconvenient Truth, the film explores the progress …

Swarthmore College Talent on Display

This weekend, Swarthmore College undergraduates showcase their considerable and various talents in four performances, all of which are free and open to the public.

On Friday, December 8, at 8 p.m., senior Andrew Kim conducts a chamber orchestra comprised of fellow students in a lively and diverse program at Lang Concert Hall. In the same location on Saturday, December 9, at 3 p.m., the Swarthmore Chorus undertakes a choral program with its complement of 70 students, faculty and community members. …

‘Casablanca’ on Screen at SPL

Here’s looking at you, kid. And come Tuesday, December 12, here’s looking at Casablanca, one of the most beloved films of all time, in the 75th anniversary year of its release. Bogart and Bergman defined wartime romance in a story that softened …

Widener Chorale’s Holiday Concert Is Sunday

The Widener Chorale will hold a concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, December 10, at 4 p.m. The repertoire will include Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse and Josquin’s Ave Verum Corpus, as well as holiday favorites. The event is free and open …

Holiday Spirit Lives in Arts at SUMC

Swarthmore United Methodist Church invites the community to join two holiday programs focusing on the arts for the church’s Faith and Life class.

On Sunday, December 10, members Christine Hutchinson and Sheila Bell will invite participants to study and enjoy works of art that portray the Annunciation and Mother and Child. (Think Botticelli, Picasso, Cassatt.)

And if you would like to sing holiday music that you won’t hear at the mall, join other singers to sing traditional carols and modern holiday songs on Sunday, December 17 …

Colonial Christmas at the Leiper House
By Angela Hewitt

The historic 1785 Thomas Leiper House in Wallingford will host its annual colonial Christmas open house on Sunday, December 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. This event, free and open to the public, features six rooms, each decorated by a different garden club. Participating this year are the Swarthmore Garden Club, Twilight Thyme, Providence Garden Club, Country Gardeners, Springfield Garden Club, and the Rose Tree Gardeners …

The Walking School Bus
By Jeannine Anckaitis

SRS Principal Dr. Angela Tuck and Swarthmore Police Chief Brian Craig lead students through the Princeton Avenue tunnel.

Parents of school-aged children: Does this scenario ring a bell? There’s struggle to get out of bed and sleepily but quickly into weather-appropriate, clean clothing, followed by a scramble to eat breakfast, compile lunch and snack, gather homework and signed permission slips, remember library books and musical instruments, slip into shoes and maybe even a jacket before rushing out the door. School mornings are not exactly quality time – unless all that is followed by a walk to school.

SRS is about a 15-minute stroll from our house, and for the past few years, both my husband and I are fortunate to have had the time to fit a walk into most of our mornings. It truly may be the best 15 minutes of quality time with our kids on any given day. We’ve heard about their nighttime dreams, their expectations for the day, their memories from the previous day. We’ve made up jokes about our neighborhood, we’ve seen zillions of birds simultaneously fly from one tree to the next, we’ve laughed as our son has found a coin on the sidewalk more often than not. Some days we’ve been so early that we wonder where everyone is, while on other days we have arrived just in time to hear the bell and meet their friends on their procession into the building. Our kids originally loved to take the bus. …

‘Believe:’ Valley Forge Chorus at the Players Club

The Valley Forge Chorus comes to Swarthmore for one performance of Believe: A Magical Holiday Adventure, Saturday, December 16, at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage at the Players Club of Swarthmore. The a capella harmonies of this ensemble bring extraordinary beauty to holiday song. The group features PCS favorite Donna Dougherty in its latest visit …

Masterpieces in Green from Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners preparing items for the Greens & Gifts sale include (l. to r.) Nancy Pasquier, Linda Barry, Gerri Eunson, Julia King, and Diana Breen.

This Saturday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Delaware County Master Gardeners will make local homes greener and more festive with their annual Greens & Gifts sale of handcrafted, fresh-cut evergreen wreaths and holiday floral creations at Smedley Park in Springfield. Shoppers can choose among scores of gorgeous moss wreaths with assorted evergreens and berries; hanging baskets of greens, beautiful mailbox decorations and bouquets of freshly-cut greens to use in your own floral designs and centerpieces. Also available are table arrangements with and without candles, outdoor …

Chester Children’s Chorus holiday concerts are next Friday and Saturday at Lang Concert Hall.

Children’s’ Chorus Concerts Coming

Advent is the season of anticipation, and local fans of the Chester Children’s Chorus are eagerly awaiting the group’s 2017 holiday concerts at Lang Concert Hall on the Swarthmore College campus.

Now the performances are just around the corner, next Friday and Saturday, December 15 and 16, at 7:30 p.m. Adding excitement to the event, these performances in the acoustically-friendly hall will be recording sessions for the Chorus’s next album.

CCC is made up of more than 130 young singers who live within the Chester-Upland School District. Their holiday program will include selections form Mozart’s Requiem, the Carol of the Bells and the Chorus’s unique arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High and Joy to the World. In addition to these and other seasonal and secular favorites, Chorus director and founder John Alston promises “lots of great brass playing.”

The concerts are free and open to all from the Swarthmore community and beyond. Doors open at 6:45, and because seating is limited, it is advisable to arrive well before showtime at 7:30 p.m. Donations to support chorus programs are welcomed at the event. Information is at and 610-328-8180.

Listen Out Loud at SPL

A new series warms your weeknights during the burgeoning holiday season at Swarthmore Public Library. Listen Out Loud puts classic holiday stories in the hands and voices of familiar Swarthmore voices, beginning Wednesday, December 13, at 7 p.m. with a reading by Jeannine Osayande of Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace. On Thursday, December 14, at 2 pm., Julian Yates will read The Mistletoe Murder by P.D. James. The following Tuesday, December 19, at 2 p.m., Rob Borgstrom will read Truman Capote’s classic A Christmas Memory. And each reading will feature a cameo by a librarian! Light refreshments will be served at these free public programs. Please register for one or all at (610) 543-0436 or email

Bring Holiday Memories to TGP

Join your neighbors at The Gathering Place on Wednesday, December 13, at noon to share holiday memories. Come to Swarthmore United Methodist Church at 129 Park Avenue and bring an object, or a smell, or a taste of something that reminds you of your holidays as a child. Bring your lunch or make a small donation and have a cup of hot soup and some bread from Occasionally Yours. Beverages and dessert are provided for all. The program of sharing begins at 12:30 p.m.

‘Parlez’ at SPL

Join other proficient French speakers in conversations about art and culture; politics and current events; history and literature and whatever is on your mind during this friendly salon, which meets Friday, December 15, at 2 p.m. Lucy Saxon facilitates the discussion at the Swarthmore Public Library, 121 Park Avenue, on the 15th and every third Friday.

Writing from the Wound:
Postwar Central American Literature

How have Central American writers made extraordinary literature of a heritage of violence, trauma, and chaos? Nancy Buiza, assistant professor of Spanish at Swarthmore College, speaks to the subject on Tuesday, December 12, 4:15 p.m. at the college’s McCabe Library Atrium. Buiza will pay particular attention to the most recent generation of …

Briefly Noted . . .

Home for the Holidays – Bigger and Better

The first Swarthmore Santa 5K Run/Walk drew 121 runners and walkers to a festive ramble through town to start off Saturday’s Home for the Holidays. The fastest male was Greg Thomas at 17 minutes, 12 seconds. Fastest female finisher was Morgan McErlean in 21:54.

Michelle Radabaugh of Blond Sugar & Honey, her brother, “co-best dressed” Running Elf Kevin Radabaugh and Patrick Francher, Swarthmore Town Center board member. Kevin finished the race second overall in 20:36.

Warming up with Sharon Graham (left) and Mary Gay Scanlon (center), Jodi Dawes (right) ran as a Christmas Tree, sharing “best dressed” honors. Photos by Shannon Dietzmann Elliott.

Proudly displaying their national re-accreditation certificates are Executive Director Cindy Murray and Site Coordinators, Pat DeHaven, Beth Camagna and Linda Healy.

Following an extensive review of best practice standards, TCDN Swarthmore After School Club and Wallingford After School Club programs received national reaccreditation through the Council on Accreditation. The accreditation process consisted of a self-evaluation, feedback from hosts, advisory Board members, families, staff and children, and a three-day site visit from a national Endorser. The Endorser determined that the programs overwhelmingly met national standards in administrative, human resource and programming quality practices. Said Director Murray, “We are very proud of this accreditation, as it indicates a long-term commitment to quality and a genuine dedication to the children and families we serve.” TCDN provides out-of-school time programming in four locations throughout the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, serving approximately 250-275 Kindergarten through 6th grade school age children, daily.

Jack Brake has been selected as one of 142 Schwarzman Scholars who will study at Tsinghua University in Beijing during the 2018-19 academic year, immersing himself in lectures, travel, and Chinese culture in pursuit of a master’s degree in Global Affairs.

Schwarzmann Scholars are chosen from the U.S., China and elsewhere for their “exemplary leadership qualities and their potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences,” according to the foundation.

Brake, who will join the third class of Schwarzmann scholars, is a 2014 Strath Haven alumnus who has studied at the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar, completing UVa’s Politics Honors program earlier this year, Phi Beta Kappa and with High Honors. Jack is the son of Susan and Ben Brake of Swarthmore.


Kearney to Launch Campaign: Swarthmore Mayor Tim Kearney welcomes constituents and neighbors to a reception this Saturday, December 9, 4 to 6 p.m. at Swarthmore Borough Hall. The event is a fundraising launch of Kearney’s campaign for Pennsylvania State Senate from the 26th District.


Potters Guild member Bonnie Ann Burnett is one of more than 60 artists participating in Community Arts Center and The Potters Guild Holiday Sale through December 9 at 414 Plush Mill Road in Wallingford. Bonnie creates uniquely local plates using old wood ash from Community Arts Center’s historic fireplace chimney, using a special process to apply it to plates before firing, producing an array of colors and textures.


Letters to the Editor

Parsing the Biddle riddle

To the Editor:

I wish it were so that beer and wine were not defined as spirituous liquors. But by Mr. Addison’s statutory interpretation (Swarthmorean, Nov. 17, 2017: “Distilling the truth”), so, too, would the Second Amendment restrict gun ownership to a musket or a blunderbuss. Constitutional interpretation (Commonwealth and federal) does change with time, and now ownership of a semi-automatic weapon is protected by an 18th century document. So is the 19th century Biddle Riddle. See you at the Broad Table to discuss over grog?

Pat Flanigan

Fall foliage

To the Editor:

Hola! Swarthmore rakers … You need not cope with flaccid plastic tines, or with metal tines which damage your grass as they scratch your thatch. Charlie’s hardware has bamboo rakes. These give you that extra snap which propels leaves toward your compost pile in a most satisfactory manner. (“Blowers” take note.)

John Brodsky

Who’s there?

To the Editor:

Franz Kafka once commented that he could detect the diabolical powers and forces of the future knocking at the door. Can you hear the knocking?

Allan Irving

Condemn hateful tweets

To the Editor:

President Trump has tweeted videos from a U.K. hate group which Prime Minister Theresa May has denounced as “hateful material” full of distortions and lies, stoking tensions and hatred of Muslims. She also denounced release of the videos by her putative ally, President Trump, as “wrong.” The President’s actions are similar to his circulation without verification of a discredited story asserting that American Muslims celebrated the tragedy of 9-11. The circulation of these hateful videos will likely result in more of the attacks against Muslims and bombings of mosques which I believe are due to the irresponsible behavior of our President and the failure of political and religious leaders to condemn it. I am not a clinician and do not diagnose mental health patients. However, I have conducted mental health research programs for more than 20 years and am quite familiar with diagnostic criteria for mental disorders. They are detailed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the “Bible” for clinical diagnosis. In my opinion President Trump suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance; preoccupation with fantasies of success, power, and brilliance; requires excessive admiration; and unwillingness to recognize or identify with the feelings of others, in this case Muslims. Perhaps the President’s mental illness mitigates his responsibility. But it does not mitigate that of America’s faith communities. Each must now decide whether to remain silent or speak out in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors, who are now even more vulnerable to attack. Martin Luther King said that there comes a time when silence is betrayal. I believe that time has come. This is a moral issue, it is not a partisan political issue. We must never forget the lesson history teaches regarding the consequences of silence as a response to attacks upon a religious group by agents of a government. I feel that the religious leaders of churches and synagogues that claim faithfulness to Christ or Torah must publicly stand with the Muslim community or forfeit any claim to moral authority.

Grant Grissom

This week’s issue . . .

Brian (left) and Kevin Mongon organized the Walk on the Bright Side in honor of their mom, Kathleen Mongon, who died earlier this year. The effort has raised nearly $6,000 so far for Strath Haven High School and the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association.

Walking on the Bright Side

October 12 was Kathleen Mongon’s birthday. For her sons Zachary and Brian, and her husband Bill, it would be the first they’d celebrate since her death in June this year. With other family members and friends, they managed to create a commemorative event that captured her spirit and honored her memory, and involved a Swarthmore community she loved deeply.

“Kathleen’s Walk on the Bright Side” captured Kathy in both activity and attitude. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle was “her mantra,” said friend Donna Cresson. “This was truly how she lived her life … even when life was ‘jolly rotten,’” she said, quoting from the song. The walk on a lovely Saturday, October 14, united about 100 walkers for a ramble on one of Kathleen’s favorite routes through Swarthmore. Walkers and other supporters donated nearly $6,000 to three organizations near and dear to the family: Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association (where Brian is a Junior firefighter), the Strath Haven High School Wrestling team (of which Zach is a member), and Strath Haven’s Sunshine Fund, dedicated to funding student enrichment like the activities Kathleen supported at SHHS. Bill Mongon said, “Kathy focused her energy on the children and always supported their activities at the schools and elsewhere. She chose to live a …

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board:
Board Tucks into Breakfasts, Lunches,
and Just Desserts

By Katie Crawford

“Graduating” members of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board who received plaques recognizing their service include (left to right): Dr. Allison Karpyn of Wallingford, Sally Morbeck of Rutledge, Vippy Yee of Rose Valley, and Jerry Ballas of Swarthmore.

The November 27 meeting of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board was a time to say goodbye to four board members: Dr. Allison Karpyn, Sally Morbeck, Vippy Yee, and Jerry Ballas. Superintendent Dr. Lisa Palmer presented plaques in recognition of their “outstanding service to the WSSD community.” Board president Dr. Robert Sonntag thanked the departing board members for their work, noting that they were, “all here for the same goal,” and charged with finding ways to meet those goals. Board member Paul Schregel noted that it had been, “a very productive year — a credit to you folks.”

Three additional board members, vice president Marylin Huff, Sally Morbeck, and Dr. Robert Reiger were recognized by the Pennsylvania School Board Association for having achieved Honor Roll status by reaching an eight year milestone of service on the board. (Fun fact: Founded in 1895, Pennsylvania’s was the first school board association established in the United States.) Innovations in Food Service Clare DiSabatino, director of Aramark Educational Services, was on hand to present the Food Service update to …

ZHB OKs B & B, But Not above the Garage

Swarthmore’s Zoning Hearing Board delivered a mixed decision to Riverview Road homeowner Aurora Winslade on Tuesday evening, November 28.

At a September 26 hearing before the board, Winslade had made her case for continuing and/or expanding use of her property at 207 Riverview for rental to lodgers or guests. She sought a ruling that an apartment above her garage be permitted to accommodate up to two boarders or lodgers, either by rights, as a nonconforming use, or through other zoning relief. She also sought a zoning exception to allow establishment of a bed & breakfast in the house, and extension of the exception to include the garage apartment.

The Board returned a split decision on the B & B, approving the use of the main home as a bed and breakfast under a special exception to sections 1264.15 and 1264.17 of the Swarthmore Zoning Code, but denying the use of the garage apartment as part of the B & B facility.

However, the Board declined to render a decision on permitting continued use of the apartment as lodgings for up to two persons, either under Section 1240.04 (43)(b) or as a nonconforming use. Tom Kelly, Esq., solicitor for the ZHB, later explained that owners will usually ask the municipal zoning officer about intended uses of a property, and their permissibility. In this case, Kelly said, “Applicant said she was not told the use would be in violation,” nor has she received a citation for a zoning violation, nor a cease and desist order. Absent those notices of violation, Tom Kelly said, “There is no justiciable issue to be decided” by the board. “And there was no way the board was going to give an advisory opinion.”

Unless and until Swarthmore zoning officer Jane Billings notifies her otherwise, Kelly said, Winslade can continue to rent the garage for short or longer term. Billings did not comment on plans for such action, or on the decisions.

Property owner Winslade commented by email: “I care deeply about the Swarthmore community, I am committed to being a good neighbor, and I welcome dialogue with anyone interested.”


SPC Opens
Alternative Christmas Shop


The Alternative Christmas Shop at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church will be open Sunday, December 3, 10 and 17, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Fellowship Hall at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, 727 Harvard Avenue.

In the season of getting and giving, it can be difficult to keep the focus on true generosity. The spirit of charity is at the heart of the Alternative Christmas Shop, which is open for the holiday season at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church on Sundays through December 17.

The whole Swarthmore community is invited to browse at the shop, where givers can choose gifts especially selected to help 23 nonprofit organizations and missions near and far, as they make contributions in the name of friends and family members.

The shop, now in its 12th year, will be open December 3, 10, and 17 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Fellowship Hall at the church, 727 Harvard Avenue. Shopping is relaxed, with cookies, coffee and holiday music creating a festive atmosphere. In person and online, shoppers can support charitable …

Living the Liberal Arts; Celebrating Eugene Lang

On Friday, December 1, Swarthmore College opens its heart to the liberal arts and celebrates their great exponent, the late Eugene Lang of Swarthmore’s class of 1938.

From 1:30 to 4 in the afternoon, other eminent alumni will offer their observations and ideas in a series of “TED-like” talks at Lang Performing Arts Center. Then student and faculty poster sessions from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at LPAC, and a Fetter Chamber Music …

Timi Dread Benefit at waR3house3 Saturday

Owner Rob Borgstrom has a special night planned at Swarthmore’s waR3house3 this Saturday, December 2, with Adam “Flymo” Birch and the Vershones playing a showcase. A portion of proceeds will benefit Philadelphia reggae giant Timi Dread, who recently suffered a stroke.

English trumpeter Birch is a veteran of the original 1980s ska movement and a longtime member of the Specials. Tickets are $20 at the door, which opens at 7, with light fare served and BYOB invited. See the waR3house3 Facebook page for details.

Musical Weekend Ahead at Lang Concert Hall

The Fetter Chamber Music Series continues at Swarthmore College’s Lang Concert Hall next Friday, December 1, opening a musical weekend and a musical month at the College. At 8 p.m. Friday, Eugene Lang’s legacy will be celebrated in the music building that bears his name, as the Fetter series hosts a concert that features the Jasper String …

Zombie Talk at Swarthmore Discussion Group

What’s with the current cultural fascination with zombies? How does the upward-trending use of the word “apocalypse” connect to rising anxieties over our political and existential outlook?

Words and evolving language may offer insight into our varied and collective visions of the future, says Jamie Thomas, assistant professor of Linguistics at Swarthmore College. A sociocultural linguist and author of Zombies Speak Swahili, Thomas will address …

Scott Arboretum Holiday Sale Is Saturday

Spend some of this Saturday afternoon at Scott Arboretum’s seasonal extravaganza, featuring free festivities and shopping amidst lovely horticultural offerings and knowledgeable sales advisors. Families come together to enjoy kids nature crafts, nature storytime, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows at Scott’s Wister Center on the grounds of Swarthmore College. The sale’s holiday selections include long-lasting …

Holiday Events Warm Up The Season At Tyler

Tyler Arboretum hosts a pair of Saturday events designed to get nature into your home this holiday season. On December 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Country Gardeners of Lima present their annual greens sale at Tyler, offering a wide selection of holiday arrangements and trimmings, handmade wreaths and fresh greens, and so …

‘Beauty and The Beast’ Opens in Media

Beauty and The Beast on stage at the Media Theatre now through January 14.

Media Theatre’s big production of Beauty and The Beast opened recently and will continue through January 14. Disney’s musical version of the classic fairy tale makes the transition from animation to live action at Media Theater, with a full cast of professional actors and a live pit orchestra. A combination of matinees and evening performances takes place every day except Mondays and Tuesdays at …

Dancing and Planning in Schoolhouse Programs

On Thursday, December 14, at 12:30 p.m., Schoolhouse Center in Folsom showcase the American heritage of music and partner dancing in a performance by Bob Butryn and Eva Brothers, who put a new spin on Christmas by dancing to familiar seasonal songs. Their styles including tap and partner dances popular through the 20th century. The dance …

Must Reading: Mad Poets at CAC Wednesday

Esteemed local poets Laynie Browne and Joseph Dorazio will read their work in December’s edition of the First Wednesday series, presented by The Mad Poets Society at Community Arts Center in Wallingford. Laynie Browne is author of thirteen collections …

Writers Guild Sets December Agenda

The burgeoning Writers Guild of Delaware County presents two speakers at its last meeting of the year on Saturday, December 9, 11 a.m.. at Swarthmore Borough Hall’s Council Room. First, JP Sweeny speaks to “Meeting Deadlines,” so crucial to writers’ success in working with editors, publications, and …

Friday Night Lights at Rose Tree Park

When the sun goes down at this time of the year, the holiday lights brighten up the night at Rose Tree Park, with 100,000 lights strung on 75 decorated trees. The 2017 Festival of Lights begins this Friday, December 1, with a ceremony at 7 p.m. featuring holiday music, the official tree lighting, handpainted toy soldiers and snowmen, and an early visit …

Food For Thought Meets Thursday at SPL

Swarthmore Public Library’s Food for Thought cookbook club will meet Thursday, December 7, at 4 in the afternoon to discuss Trattoria – Healthy, Simple, Robust Fare inspired by the Small Family Restaurants of Italy by Patricia Wells and sample the …

Donald Teskey Closing Reception
and Holiday Gathering at List

Have you seen Landscapes, the Donald Teskey painting exhibition at List Gallery? Do! Last call is Thursday, December 7, with a gallery talk by curator and gallery director Andrea Packard from 4:30 p.m., then a closing reception and holiday gathering from 5 to 6:30 p.m. When the party’s over, so is the show. The event is free and open to the public, …

Join the Chorus for WPC’s ‘Messiah’

Tune up your voices for a festive community choral sing of Handel’s Messiah on Sunday evening, December 10, at Wallingford Presbyterian Church. The church’s chancel choir and guest singers will perform the entire Christmas section of the oratorio, and all in attendance are invited to join in the choruses. Scores will be available. Following …

Get It On, Bang a Gong With Semara Santi

Gamelan Semara Santi bangs the gongs, along with xylophones, drums, and more Indonesian instruments in the classical percussion orchestra’s semiannual performance at Lang Concert Hall on Sunday, December 3, beginning at 7 p.m. The orchestra, comprising students, professors, and members of the Swarthmore and college community, …

Mariner East 2 Documentary Screens Sunday

America Subverted, a documentary on the controversial Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline, will be shown on Sunday, December 3, at 12:45 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County in Media. Producer Hugh Brownstone will talk about the video and the issues and actions surrounding the hazardous liquids pipeline which is being built …

Nature’s Narratives to Meet December 13

Scott Arboretum’s book club will meet on Wednesday, December 13, to discuss Leslie Buck’s contemporary memoir Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto. The author made a bold decision at age 35 to change her life entirely, leaving security and success in America to learn pruning from master gardeners at an esteemed Japanese …

First Monday Lecture: Early Quakers
and the Lenape Indians

Delaware County historian and 14th generation Quaker Nancy Webster brings considerable expertise and animation to the theme of “A Holy Experiment, Incomplete” this Monday, December 4, in the Barn at Pendle Hill. Ms. Webster will explore the early relationships between Quaker settlers in the Delaware Valley and …

Experience the Calm of Advent Evensong At Trinity Church
By Rebecca Clemmer

The choir of Trinity Episcopal Church in Swarthmore will sing a service of choral Evening Prayer for the season of Advent on Sunday, December 10, at 5 p.m.

This service of hymns, psalm readings and prayers is the traditional Anglican form of worship for evening and has inspired some of the world’s greatest composers. Sung by candlelight, the service provides a moment of quiet prayer and meditation amidst the tumultuous bustle of the season.

This year’s service will feature works of the Renaissance masters Palestrina and Victoria, as well as Thomas Weelkes’ setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis from his Sixth Service. Guest organist for the service is Andrew Hauze.

We invite the whole community to join us at Trinity Church for this Advent service. The service is free, as are child care and a reception to follow. The church is at Chester Road and College Avenue in Swarthmore. For more information call the parish office at 610-544-2297.

Talking Writing, Editing and Publishing,
Tuesday at Swarthmore College

On Tuesday, December 5, English majors, writers, fiction lovers and other bookworms are expected at two events on the Swarthmore College campus. At 4:15 p.m. in the Atrium of McCabe Library, Young Adult (YA) literature author Rhoda Belleza will read and discuss her 2017 novel Empress of a Thousand Skies. English Professor Peter Schmidt says, “If …

College’s Senior Company Stages ‘HIR’

This weekend, Swarthmore College’s Senior Company puts on four performances of HIR, a hilarious and bizarre comical take on the classic American living room drama, written by Macarthur Award recipient Taylor Mac. An Off-Broadway sensation in 2015, HIR has only gained in relevance and power with increased attention to gender fluidity, …

Holy Myrrh-Bearers Collect for the Needy

In a season of conspicuous consumption, many in our community still lack the basic comforts and necessities of live. If you are moved to help those less fortunate, an opportunity exists to drop off food, clothing and toiletries at Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church, now through Sunday, December 10. Nonperishable boxed or …

Briefly Noted . . .

The 420 members of Strath Haven High School’s Marching Band and Band Front wowed the crowd at Lincoln Financial Field with their halftime show during last Sunday’s Eagles win over the Bears. Photo by Maria Garcia

Judith Trustone of Swarthmore, co-director of the Global Kindness Revolution, which grew out of her creative writing classes in prisons, will address the human, spiritual and financial costs of mass incarceration at a rally in support of ending mass incarceration and Life Without Parole on December 7 at the Rotunda in Harrisburg. Judith will discuss the “Kindness Behind Bars Project” being developed by prisoners at several institutions which she describes in her new book, The Global Kindness Revolution: How Together We Can Heal Violence, Racism and Meanness. She will lead a “Kindness at Noon” meditation for attendees. For information: or to reserve a seat on a bus for $15 go to

Christine Polito of Swarthmore is pleased with the Thanksgiving centerpiece she created at a recent workshop led by members of the Swarthmore Garden Club. The event was held at the Swarthmore Public Library as part of the Aging-in-Place initiative in Swarthmore Borough. Photo by Kay Rinko

Letter to the Editor

Recycling: a numbers game

To the Editor:

In the November 17 issue of The Swarthmorean, there is an ode to the newspaper, “If it’s fit to read, it’s fit to print.” This is followed by the necessity of recycling.

One of the items mentioned the author puts in the recycling bin is “large, hinged containers once filled with Caesar salad from 320 Market.” I don’t know where the author resides, but mention is made of “our neck of the Wallingford woods.”

It should be noted that in Swarthmore, one may NOT recycle the clear plastic containers that the 320 Market Caesar salad comes in since it is a no. 6 PS plastic, clearly excluded from the list on the borough’s website, along with no. 3 plastic, too.

Last year I even asked the borough office about this just to make sure, and they replied that our recycler cannot handle clear no. 6 PS plastic. However, it seems it can be recycled in other local jurisdictions.

A friend of mine lives in Moylan-Rose Valley, and he says they are allowed to recycle no. 6 there, so I save mine and give it to him for recycling whenever we see each other.

Alas, the Co-op uses a lot of clamshell containers made from no. 6 plastic for their sandwiches and salads. I spoke with the manager a couple of years ago about this problem, saying we couldn’t recycle this here, and he said he’d look into trying to find containers with plastics that we can recycle here, but so far there has been no change. The Co-op, however, does use other plastics for other different sized containers.

I look forward to the day when we, too, in Swarthmore are allowed to recycle no. 6 PS clear plastic so I don’t have to save it all to hand over to my Moylan-Rose Valley friend.

George Huber

Report from the Fire Department

By Rich Cresson

From November 6 through November 26, the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association responded to the following alarms:

EMS: The ambulance responded to 58 calls for medical assistance. These were to Swarthmore, Rutledge, Morton, Springfield, and Nether Providence Township, The calls were for a variety of emergencies including accident with injury, sick person, seizures, fall with trauma, cardiac emergency, head injury, syncopal episode, change in mental status, back pain, hypertension, semi-conscious person, unconscious person, respiratory difficulty, nature unknown, hemorrhaging, cerebro-vascular event, reaction to medication, extremity pain, diabetic emergency, abdominal pain, injured person, catheter blocked, assault, laceration, psychiatric emergency, pediatric emergency, and animal bite.

Automatic Fire Alarm (7): Three alarms to Nether Providence Twp. — 1000 block of Beech St., 800 block of Pleasant Hill Rd., & 200 block of Canterbury Dr. Two alarms in Swarthmore — 200 block of Elm Ave., & the Dartmouth House Apartments. Two alarms in Morton — Delaware County Intermediate Unit & the 200 block of Main St.

Automobile Accidents (3): Two accidents with injuries on Kedron Ave. in Morton, one accident on Woodland Ave. involving two vehicles, with one overturned.

Building (4): Two in Swarthmore — Oberlin Ave for smoke in the house, Bryn Mawr Ave. for an overheated whole house fan motor. One alarm in Springfield Twp. at the Target store for a popcorn maker. One alarm in Morton at the Spring View Apt. for smoke coming from building A.

Hazmat (5): Three in Swarthmore — One alarm on Bryn Mawr Ave. for a carbon monoxide alarm, one alarm for the smell of natural gas at College & Princeton Ave., one alarm at the running track at Swarthmore College for natural gas (which turned out to be unfounded).

Two alarms in Morton: One at Baltimore & Leamy Ave. for a fuel spill after an auto accident. One incident on Broad St. for the smell of natural gas inside a dwelling.

Mutual aid calls to Morton Rutledge Fire Dept.: 6

Mutual aid calls to Nether Providence Twp.: 3

Mutual aid calls to Springfield Twp.: 1