This week in the news…

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board:

In the above picture (l. to r.), WSSD Superintendent Dr. Lisa Palmer and board member Dr. Marylin Huff accepted a $50,000 check from Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore Schools Treasurer Deb Sherman and Foundation board member/golf tournament chair Janet D’Amico. Photo by Katie Crawford

Financial Good News: Refunding, Revenue Bump, and Foundation Gift
By Katie Crawford

Brad Remig, managing director of PFM Financial Advisors, addressed the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board on Monday night, detailing the proposed refunding actions regarding the district’s debt obligations, which could potentially save close to a million dollars. Three of the district’s bonds can be refunded at a lower rate in 2018. In addition, Remig recommended that a loan from 2014 with a variable interest rate be refinanced this year at a set rate, given the potential of rising interest rates in the future. The board unanimously approved Remig’s suggestions.

Mr. Remig’s presentation was followed by Carl Hogan’s summary of the 2016-2017 District audit. Mr. Hogan, a principal in …

Blue Monday: Break-Ins, Chase, Arrest for Swarthmore Burglary Suspect

Following a chase involving multiple police departments, K-9 units, and a foot pursuit, a Swarthmore resident was arrested Monday, October 23, and charged with crimes relating to a burglary and an attempted burglary in the borough that afternoon.

Swarthmore Police Chief Brian Craig said that a resident of the 200 block of Kenyon Avenue called in just after 3 p.m. Monday, reporting a man attempting to open a locked door of her home. A half-hour later, Sgt. Ray Stufflet, driving near Park and Harvard avenues, saw a man matching the reported description of the would-be burglar. When he stopped, the man fled through a Harvard yard, towards Park. Officer Stufflet called for backup; a perimeter was established and a K-9 unit set to tracking the suspect.

The suspect from the 400 block of Dartmouth Avenue, continued his run westward via Harvard Ave., past the Swarthmore College soccer stadium, through Crum Woods, across Crum Creek, through the Swarthmore leaf composting station, and onto the Leiper-Smedley trail. He was pursued by another K-9 Unit from Ridley PD as well as Swarthmore police and other police departments. Finally, the suspect was arrested by Springfield police Sgt. Vaughan and Delaware County CID Lieutenant Hackett, who, in searching for him, found several items including a gift certificate and a change purse containing old coins.

These items were later identified by residents of a home in the 200 block of Harvard, which had also been broken into that day. Chief Craig said that the investigation continues into other crimes which may have been committed by the suspect in these incidents, who already faces eight charges including burglary, criminal trespass, and receiving stolen property.

ZHB Defers B & B Decision

Swarthmore Borough and Riverview Road resident Aurora Winslade agreed to allow deferment of a decision by the Borough’s Zoning Hearing Board on Winslade’s appeals that would facilitate lodging of guests at her home and/or in an accessory building.

Mike Peters, chair of the board, said that while the board “had done a lot of the heavy lifting,” the group and counsel Tom Kelly felt that more time is required from proper consideration of the matter. The decision will be announced at the board’s November 28 meeting.

Swarthmore’s Co-op: On Getting to the Next Level

Who says no one writes letters any more?

When the Swarthmore Co-op board sent a letter to member-owners in September, describing its financial health and existential challenges, it got people talking. With the mailing of another letter to 157 neighbors who live in the “Biddle tract” in October, the volume went up. The two messages were interrelated, with the second letter concerning the 125-year-old restrictive covenant governing properties in the Biddle tract…

Swarthmore Library Sale Offers Treats
for Mind Body

By Carol Kennedy

These youngsters, along with the furry friends, invite you to the Swarthmore Public Library’s Book and Bake Sale starting on Thursday, November 2.

The Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library is excited to present its fall Book & Bake Sale, next week from Thursday, November 2 through Saturday, November 4, 2017. The sale will open at 9 a.m. each day, at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Avenue in the heart of Swarthmore. Thursday and Friday hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday hours (extended this year) are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We offer a wonderful, diverse selection of books for all ages, including hard covers, paperbacks, trade books, nonfiction, foreign language, picture …

Fire Company Report

Swarthmore firefighters shown in the photo are (l. to r.): Johnathan Cresson, Stephen Yavor and Brian Mongon. Photo by Rich Cresson

Swarthmore firefighters responded to a mutual aid call for a working building fire on Providence Road in Rose Tree Fire Department’s local at approximately 4:15 p.m. on October 17. The dispatch was for a working building fire in the basement. Two career firefighters responded immediately with the aerial ladder followed several minutes later by a pumper and five additional firefighters. Due to the time of day and the lack of firefighters, the alarm expanded to include numerous fire departments …

Swarthmore Friends Jumble Sale

Treasures await your discovery, and bargains abound at the annual Swarthmore Friends Jumble Sale, this Saturday, October 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In the spirit of reusing and recycling, items both well-loved and barely touched are available at modest …

Bowl Over Hunger with Sunday Lunch at CAC

The Community Arts Center and the Potters Guild host the annual Empty Bowls luncheon fundraiser, a nationwide project dedicated to the aid of hunger fighting organizations, on Sunday, October 29, from noon to 2 p.m. at CAC, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford. For a minimum donation of $10 per bowl, attendees are …


Human Development: Not Just Biology

For generations since Darwin, we have been inclined to view human development as an extension of an evolution-driven struggle for primacy and survival. New critical approaches and research suggests that a more cooperative social model may be more appropriate.

Dr. Scott Gilbert, biology professor emeritus at Swarthmore College and a Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Helsinki, has been exploring the nature of human development from conception onward. He will be joined by .O, a minister to the transformative power of love, for a discussion of “Lessons and Love Stories from the Womb” at Pendle Hill on Monday, November 6, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. …

Reporting on A Community’s Investment

The Appalachian Service Project took a crew from Swarthmore United Methodist Church to Knox County, Kentucky, this summer for a week of home repair, fellowship, and development of bonds and understanding across cultures. Their travel was paid for by the fundraising efforts of the young participants, who included SUMC members and others. This Sunday, October 29, many of the 15 youth who made the trip with seven adults will present …

Rose Valley Chorus Mounts ‘The Mikado’

The Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra opens its 111th season with its production of the sumptuous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Mikado, in six fully staged performances with full orchestra beginning next Saturday, November 4, at the Strath Haven Middle School auditorium. Show times are 8 p.m. on Saturdays, November 4 and 11 …

Foundation Finding Its Footing

(From left): Frances Sheehan of Swarthmore, president of the Crozer-Keystone Community Foundation, and Joanne Craig, CKCF vice president for programs, accepted a proclamation from the City of Chester presented by Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams and Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland last month during a week-long series of events celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Women’s & Children’s Health Services in Delaware County. Photo by Jack Zigon

A generation of mothers and children in Chester and elsewhere in Delaware County have lived healthier, happier lives as a result of programs of the county’s Women’s and Children’s Health Services. For the past year, those programs have been under the auspices of the new Crozer-Keystone Community Foundation. Last month, the 25th anniversary was observed with events spotlighting its marquee programs in prenatal, perinatal, and early childhood development. These programs — including Healthy Start, the Nurse-Family Partnership, Cribs for Kids, and the Center for Hispanic Resources — represent the cornerstone of a growing structure of services CKCF administers to improve life for Delaware County residents.

The Swarthmorean recently spoke with Frances Sheehan of Swarthmore, the first president of the foundation, a position …

Spotlight Will Be Haunted by Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is never far from our minds in Halloween season, and this year the ghostly apparition of Poe himself will be present at Spotlight Theater’s current production. Tales From Poe adapted by Media journalist and playwright Margie Royal from five Edgar Allan Poe stories and …

Dr. Bass Speaks on the Reformation at 500

This weekend marks the 500th anniversary of the Christian Reformation, which underlies Protestant faiths. In the spirit of celebration and deeper understanding, two local congregations are sponsoring the visit of eminent American theologian Dr. Diana Butler Bass to speak at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 28, at 7:30 p.m., and will lead the Sunday adult education class beginning at 9 a.m. SPC hosts Dr. Bass along …


Table Arrangement Workshop at Scott

The ever popular Thanksgiving Table Arrangement workshop will be presented by Scott Arboretum gardener Adam Glas on Tuesday, November 21. Weeks away, yes, but act now, because this perennially popular class in Scott’s Gillespie Room is limited to 18 students, and always fills up fast. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. and …

Mad Poets Society Reads November 1

If it’s the first Wednesday of the month, it must be time for poetry at the Community Arts Center. November 1 is the date for the next reading, featuring Swarthmore College English Professor Peter Schmidt, who in addition to his work as a teacher of literature and cultural history is a poet and the convener of the college poetry project “A Very Large Array.” Also reading on November 1 will be Dave Worrell, a prolific poet and collaborator with musicians and other artists, and a professor of business law at Drexel University. Poets are invited …

Take a Walk Through the Gallery

On Wednesday, November 1, at 4:30 p.m., Swarthmore astronomy professor David Cohen leads a gallery walk through the fascination exhibition Trouvelot and the Art of Astronomy at the McCabe Library. He will provide …

Looking for Alternates

The Borough of Swarthmore is looking for Borough residents to serve as alternates on the Civil Service Commission. When needed to achieve a quorum, alternate commissioners have the same powers and fulfill the same duties as regular members of the Civil Service Commission. Interested persons should contact Borough Manager Jane Billings by e-mail at

Get Out to HKF for Get Out and Vote!

On Monday, October 30, Nancy Philippi of the League of Women Voters walks you through the details and the importance of the voting process in place for the municipal, county and state elections coming on Tuesday, November 7. The free program …

Smart Phone Course at Schoolhouse

Your Smart phone probably has a camera sufficient for all your photography needs. Unlock its potential in a two session course at Schoolhouse Center in Folsom, taught by professional photographer Tony Wood on …

Tech Courses at Schoolhouse

On Monday, November 6, experts at the Schoolhouse Center in Folsom will present several courses to help you get the most out of your computer. From 10 to 11 a.m., learn how to organize your computer files, so you can create folders, move and delete items with confidence. At 11 a.m., the subject turns …

Letters to the Editor

Unwavering on the waiver

To the Editor:

I am offering commentary on Pat Flanigan’s letter that outlined concerns over the Co-op seeking a waiver of the covenant geographically restricting alcohol sales. These are my thoughts as both a 20+ year Co-op member and as the co-founder of the Swarthmore 21 effort that successfully ended our borough’s “dry” status last May.

In a recent letter to the Co-op’s owner-members, it was clearly announced they are indeed pursuing the ability to sell alcohol. I view their current actions as due diligence through retaining an attorney with appropriate expertise. As an owner-member, I appreciate that level of planning and analysis.

Concerning any potential future license transfer, obtaining an alcohol license is through an application. As documented and explained in the months prior to Referendum, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) employs a number of review levels and opportunity for feedback prior to license issuance. The PLCB’s responsibility is to protect communities from undesirable businesses being established. That monitoring continues through biennial renewals.

Lastly, the call for public hearings is specious. The public has already spoken through the referendum vote in a 4:1 approval of alcohol sales (1,300 for; 300 against). You may also recall that many of the current Borough Council members, as well as candidates running for council, refused to take a stand on the referendum, wanting our citizens to decide. Clearly, Swarthmore emphatically made its decision known last May.

As we all know, the Co-op is a cornerstone of this community. It’s time that we take action to support the Co-op rather than creating obstacles for it.

I’m backing the Co-op. Are you?

Patrick Francher

Why not three parties in Delco?

To the Editor:

While Heather Saunders makes her case that we should consider electing a second party, i. e. Democrats, to Delaware County Council, she neglected to mention yet another party that is on the local ballot and their candidates. Edward Clifton is a Libertarian running for Delco County Council. Another Libertarian on the ballot is Matthew Wallace, running for Sheriff. For further information see

Jules Mermelstein is a Green Party Candidate running for Judge of the Pa. Superior Court. For further information see For information about the local Green Party, see

Heather mentions that we deserve a county government that “represents all the people in Delaware County” and that we should “end one party rule.” Shouldn’t this also apply to the Borough of Swarthmore, where we have also had one party rule?

Just asking.

Robert Small

Luminaria time!

To the Editor:

LUMINARIA 2018! Once again, it is time to place your order for the Luminaria fundraiser, beautifully lighting up our streets on the evening of New Year’s Day, 2018.

Order window is now open! This fundraising event has supported ABC Strath Haven’s operating budget for more than 15 years and will continue the tradition in the future. And now, through expansion into the rest of the WSSD community, the event will support more scholars in the school district.

The order window for the 2018 Luminaria fundraising event is November 1 through November 30. You can order online at or by placing a paper order with your Block Captain. (If your BC has not already delivered paper order forms to your door he/she will be doing that very soon.)

Thank you as always for your generosity and here’s to a great holiday season and a 2018 in which we all encounter many reminders of how lucky we are to live in this community.

The Luminaria Committee
Anne Clauss, Chris Darrell, Oonie Lynch, Anne Papa,
Georgie Perullo, Jean Steinke and Julie Vrooman

Kindness at noon

To the Editor:

By pausing for less than five minutes each day, aligning our minds at noon, we can create a wave of kindness – Alternative Social Change – that neutralizes the plague of planetary violence, hatred and meanness. No matter your beliefs, your “tribe”, where you live, or whom you love or hate, all you need is a desire for kindness and the improved health and decreased stress that comes with it. There are no fees, training or memberships – you don’t even need to get out of bed!

1. Set your phone or computer on alert right before noon.
2. Pause whatever you’re doing.
3. Take a deep, slow breath, relaxing your head and neck.
4. Another breath into your armpits, letting your shoulders relax.
5. Now a breath into your belly, softening your back.
6. Then breathe slowly as you let your bottom relax.
7. A breath into your knees, releasing tension out through your feet.
8. Finally, just think a kind thought, joining billions of others seeking planetary peace.

Repeat this daily, at noon or whenever and wherever kindness is needed.

Judith Trustone

In the News This Week…

Welcome Home:
Chester Children’s Chorus Opens
Its House on October 27

The dramatic staircase at 112 Park Avenue now leads to the offices of CCC and (front to back) Executive Director Kirsten Halker-Kratz, Administrative Assistant Elisa DeNofio, and Director of Development Cynthia Staniszewski.

After two decades of “music in a box,” the Chester Children’s Chorus moved early this year into a new home at 112 Park Avenue in Swarthmore. The Chorus invites all its supporters and neighbors to visit and celebrate during its open house next Friday, October 27, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Once a single-family home, the building has …

Rose Valley Museum, 116 Years in the Making, Opens Next Weekend at Thunderbird Lodge

Morris chairs and a double-backed bench from the Rose Valley Shops are a handsome complement to the distinctive hearth in the first floor studio of Thunderbird Lodge, where the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society holds grand opening events next week. Photo by J. Scott Laughlin.

More than a century after its founding, Rose Valley has finally found a home for the unique collection of artwork and objects wrought during its formative period as an Arts & Crafts colony. The Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge will open its doors at 41 Rose Valley Road to the public during an opening weekend next Friday through Sunday, October 27-29. The weekend will include a members only preview reception, a ribbon-cutting and blessing of the building, a costume party, docent tours of the museum, guided Rose Valley tours in a Ford Model T pickup truck, a community-wide picnic on the grounds, and a lecture by Thomas A. Guiler, Ph.D. of Winterthur, comparing Rose Valley to the concurrent arts and crafts communities of Byrdcliffe and Roycroft. Rose Valley appears the way it does today because …

Crum Creek Deer Hunt Is On

For the 8th consecutive year, Swarthmore College is conducting a public archery hunt of the deer population in the college’s Crum Woods, on the west side of the creek. The hunt is on during the college’s fall break (October 13-21), between October 30 and November 10, and over Thanksgiving break (November 22-25). Signs will be clearly posted in the woods to indicate dates and locations.

Hunters will be active mainly in the early morning, late afternoon, and evening hours, only in preapproved areas, and must abide by all rules and regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its Game Commission.

If you encounter any problems, please call Swarthmore Public Safety. More information about the College’s deer population management is available at

Trunk or Treat at WPC

A Halloween bonanza awaits trick or treaters on Sunday afternoon, October 29, at Wallingford Presbyterian Church, 110 E. Brookhaven Road. The church’s annual Trunk or Treat invites neighbors to decorate their car trunks …


Clearing the Way to Interfaith Understanding,
Eboo Patel Builds Bridges

Eboo Patel

Faith is a powerful force in the lives of most Americans, whether Jewish or Islamic, Protestant or Catholic, Hindu or Buddhist or atheist. It’s a force that animates thoughtful people to commit themselves to compassionate causes. But as in the rest of America, we and our neighbors navigate treacherous divisions along social, cultural, and religious lines. On November 1, Swarthmore will welcome a man heralded for his ideas and abilities …

Scott Lecture Shine Light on Sunny Borders

Karl Gercens of Longwood Gardens will share insights from his deep experience of ornamental horticulture with attendees of his lecture on “Sunny Borders in a Changing Climate,” coming up …

Artists Equity Opens Juried Show at CAC Sunday

Philadelphia/Tri-State Artists Equity opens its 2017 juried show at the Community Arts Center with a reception on Sunday, October 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibition contains members’ works selected for display by juror Jan Baltzell, herself a renowned artist …

Donald Teskey, In Studio and ‘en Plein Air’

Donald Teskey, Ballyglass, 2015, oil on canvas, 39 x 47 inches

Donald Teskey, the subject of an upcoming show at Swarthmore College’s List Gallery, will host an open studio session at the college’s Beardsley Hall on Thursday, October 26, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, October 28, the Irish painter will lead a plein air painting workshop in the Crum Woods meadow from 1 to 4 p.m. (Rain date is Sunday, October 29.) Teskey is in a residency at Swarthmore which will continue through December 12, encompassing not only the exhibition hanging November 2 – December 10, but also talks by the artist on …

Travel to ‘Other Desert Cities’ at PCS

It’s Christmas Eve in Palm Springs, and the drinks aren’t all that are on the rocks for the Wyeth family holidays. In Other Desert Cities, author Brooke seeks the blessing of her parents to publish a tell-all memoir, and the family’s reactions are as explosive as the revelations she would share. The 2011 play by Jon Robin Baitz, already an American classic, is a mordantly funny and caustic look behind …

Halloween Paraders Will Take New Route

Swarthmore Town Center has joined with the Swarthmore Lions Club, and the traditional town Halloween parade route has been changed and improved, with more treats and no tricks along the way. All children are welcome to don costumes next Saturday, October 28, and register beginning at 11 a.m. in front of the Campus & Community Store, 10 S. Chester Road in Swarthmore. The parade will go off at 11:30 a.m., proceeding along Park Avenue and finishing at the Swarthmore Farmers Market in Central Park. There will be treats for all children. Contact James Verdi at (267) 992-8785 for information.

Pasta Aplenty at Trinity

Trinity Episcopal Church invites the entire Swarthmore community to attend its annual Pasta Supper on Sunday, October 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event benefits Trinity’s Youth Group Mission Trip …

Scott’s Autumn Highlight Tour, Twice

Scott Arboretum guides take visitors through the various garden collections on the Swarthmore College campus. At noon on Tuesday, October 24, and again …

Moral Dimensions of Trauma

Traumatic experiences can have consequences beyond physical and psychological injury. Trauma can also disrupt our perceptions of morality and meaning in life. In a talk on Tuesday, October 31, at 5 p.m., Dr. Zachary Moon …

Read and Discuss Haunting Stories at TGP

With Halloween approaching, it’s time to curl up with a haunting short story or two. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery will be the main subject of discussion at The Gathering Place on Wednesday, October 25. A disturbing, even dystopian story …

Industrial Design for Modern Life
at Furness Library

Author Danielle Shapiro will visit the Helen Kate Furness Free Library in Wallingford on Sunday, October 22, to discuss the influential designer John Vassos, the subject of her book John Vassos: Industrial Design for Modern Life. Vassos conceived …

Art Speaks Again at Media Fellowship House

Media Fellowship House continues its “Art Speaks” series of forums next Wednesday, October 25, at the house at 302 S. Jackson Street. The forum discussion jumps off from a discussion of a painting by Delaware County Artist George Rothacker …

‘Thanks & Giving’ Concert
Fundraiser Saturday

Allison De Salvo and her Musical Train.

Allison DeSalvo’s World of Song band will perform a benefit concert in Swarthmore on Saturday, October 21, to raise funds for the American Red Cross and the millions of Americans affected by the recent hurricanes. Allison will sing her joyful music, accompanied by guitarist Derek Chafin and percussionist Joanna Justice, in a show geared to …

Schoolhouse Center Offers Tuesday Classes

Free weekly classes for adults abound at the Schoolhouse Center at 600 Swarthmore Avenue in Folsom. Three of them are now under way on Tuesdays. At 11 a.m., a volunteer group gets together to craft projects to be sold to benefit individuals and groups in need. Bring your skills and good intentions …

Rachel Lancaster and Alexander Savoth


Alexander Savoth of Swarthmore and Rachel Lancaster of New Hope, Pa., were married on Friday, September 22, 2017 at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, N.J.

Brothers Nate Savoth and Evan Savoth served as Best Men. Other groomsmen included Alex’s fellow Strath Haven High School Class of 2005 members Michael Murray and Trevor Adams.

Rachel’s sister, Moriah Lancaster, held the duties of Maid of Honor, and Wei-Wei Weintraub, Emily Mastropietro, and Jennifer Bachar were bridesmaids.

The eclectic outdoor ceremony began with a performance by an aerialist to the music of a string trio. Gusten Rudolph, SHHS Class of 2009, played drums with a jazz trio during the cocktail hour.

The bride, now Rachel Savoth, is an aerials instructor at Philadelphia School of Circus Arts and a professional aerialist and circus arts performer. With an early background in classical ballet, Rachel graduated from The University of the Arts with a degree in Theater. She performs as an aerialist at festivals, conventions, concerts, and art shows in many localities, including Philadelphia, Boston, and Denver. Her parents, Kim and Sara Lancaster reside in Littleton, Col.

A graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Film Art, Alex is an instructional technology specialist at Haverford College. He is a songwriter and lead singer of the band Stereo League. Alex is the son of John and Nancy Savoth of Swarthmore.

The couple is planning a honeymoon in Thailand. They reside in West Philadelphia.

Letters to the Editor

Ramifications of covenant waiver

To the Editor:

The Swarthmore Co-op agrees that its property is subject to the Biddle tract covenant prohibiting the selling or distributing of alcoholic beverages. Recently the Co-op mailed a letter to more than 150 separate property owners subject to this same restrictive covenant, including Swarthmore College and borough-owned properties. The Co-op board has not voted to sell alcohol, yet the Co-op board has hired a lawyer and mailed an agreement for release of deed restrictions (“waiver”) to all the property owners within the 33+ acres restricted by Biddle’s covenant.

The waiver is not only for the benefit of the Co-op, but will benefit all future owners of the Co-op property. If these waivers are signed by the Biddle tract owners, then the Co-op will be allowed to sell alcohol and even to sell the property with this value-added benefit for future (unknown) owners on that tract.

Since the borough is owner of some of these Biddle tracts, perhaps there should be public meetings (with notice) before the borough signs the waivers. Should the borough sign, favoring one property owner in the business district, yet excluding other Biddle tract business owners? What consequences will there be when the Co-op business eventually closes and sells the land?

Meanwhile, the Co-op seeks this waiver, but its board has not yet voted on whether they want to sell alcohol.

Pat Flanigan

One party or two in Delco council?

To the Editor:

On November 7, we have the opportunity to vote for two of five County Council seats and a number of other important county positions. Now’s the time to reflect on what we want from our county government and make a plan to vote.

There has not been a single Democrat on Delaware County Council in over 40 years. Republican politicians have used county posts as stepping stones to state and federal office. The GOP faithful point to the fine character of individual elected officials and praise the efficiency of the one-party state that is Delco.

But is it really efficient? We’re taxed at a higher rate than our neighbors in Montgomery and Chester Counties, yet we have fewer county services to show for it (no health department, for example).

So where is all the money going? It’s not easy to find out. County Council meetings I’ve attended have consisted of one unanimous vote after another, with no discussion. Agendas, minutes and even video of County Council meetings are available with a click on the Montgomery and Chester County websites. In Delco, you must file a written Open Documents Request and wait more than a month for a response. Are our elected officials hiding something? The Democratic candidates for County Council, Brian Zidek and Kevin Madden, have built a convincing case that a GOP pay-to-play system funnels our tax money to contractors who, in turn, donate to Republican candidates’ campaigns. Rather than open the books to prove it isn’t true, the GOP has responded with personal attacks on the challengers and testimonials to the saintly character of their own incumbent.

The single most important fact about our county government is that it does not accurately and fairly represent the citizens who live here. This was demonstrated a year ago, when the local GOP threw its considerable weight behind the Republican presidential candidate. While he won Pennsylvania, Donald Trump lost Delaware County by a wide margin. (Hillary Clinton got more votes in Delco in 2016 than Barack Obama did in 2012.) That’s because Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the county, but also because many Delco Republicans broke with their leadership and voted against Trump. We deserve a county government that represents all the people of Delaware County — one that is transparent, efficient, responsive and accountable.

This Election Day, we can take a major step in that direction and end one-party rule here in Delco. Vote on November 7!

Heather Saunders

Ship ahoy!

To the Editor:

Since it was founded in 1843, the Seamen’s Church Institute has served the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of some 65,000 visiting seafarers on some 1,900 ships docking at terminals along the Delaware River.

Trinity Episcopal Church makes financial donations, but there is a simple way for you, as a community, to help!

The SCI prepares “ditty bags” for seafarers arriving from distant ports. These folks bring you bananas, cars, oil, clothes, pineapple, appliances, etc., from faraway places, yet often can’t leave the ship to shop for basic necessities. This is where ditty bags come in.

Ditty bags contain basic toiletries, small articles of clothing, etc., and are given to the seafarers on Christmas morning. Often, this may be the only gift they receive.

Just drop off donations in the bin in back of the church, on the corner of Chester Road and College Avenue during the month of October. Suggested items include: hat & scarf, work gloves and socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and comb, deodorant, mini sewing kit, pen and stationery.

SCI prefers that toiletries be full sized, not the smaller travel-sized ones. All items will be taken to SCI on November 2.

In December, SCI chaplains and volunteers will distribute the ditty bags to the merchant mariners who are at sea during the Christmas holidays. Share God’s love by sharing with these men and women!

If you would like more information about the Seamen’s Church Institute, please visit SCI’s website at

Heather Koelle
Trinity Episcopal Church, Swarthmore

Mitten Tree Time

To the Editor:

Once again, The Swarthmore Public Library will be having its mitten tree.

Please bring new hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, baby blankets and clothing to the library before December 15.

If you prefer, monetary donations may also be taken to the library. These funds will be used to purchase more warm clothing for children and adults, and then brought to CityTeam Ministries in Chester as well.

Thank you for your kindness in helping to continue this wonderful tradition.

Questions? Please e-mail Jane at Thank you for your generosity. Sincerely,

Jane C. Sottile

Heat, Smoke and Light. And Headstrong.

Swarthmore Borough Council
By Chris Reynolds

During the public comment period at the start of the October 10 meeting, Tony Denninger of the 500 block of Riverview Road noted the coming anniversary of the removal of trees from the mandated buffer zone between his residentially-zoned Swarthmore neighborhood and the adjoining commercial property, Springfield Square in Springfield Township. He urged Council to be vigilant, suggesting that Springfield Square owner National Realty Corporation may be laying the groundwork for legal action to seek commercial zoning for residential properties it owns at the north end of Riverview. Denninger suggested that Council designate a member as liaison to the Riverview residents for continuing communication.

Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association President Rick Lee noted that this is National Fire Prevention Week, during which homeowners are urged to ensure that smoke detectors are in good order. If a detector does not have a date code, it probably is more than 10 years old, and thus obsolete, even if the batteries are new, Lee said. Replacements should use lithium ion batteries, which will last for a decade.

Council unanimously approved a motion to support the Swarthmore Co-op in its request that the Zoning Hearing Board permit it to lower its marquee sign from its current position to just above the front door lintel. The Board will rule at its meeting on October 24.

Borough Manager Jane Billings anticipates that by year-end, 100 of the borough’s street lamps will be 25-watt LEDs, which are both more energy-efficient and more durable than mercury vapor lamps. This represents about 20% of the borough’s total.

Finally, Borough Solicitor Robert Scott confirmed that neighbors of the Headstrong House at 200 S. Chester Road have appealed the recent ruling of a Delaware County Common Pleas Court judge. The appeal will be considered by Commonwealth Court.

Full STEM Ahead at WES

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board
By Katie Crawford

Wallingford Elementary School was in the spotlight for the October 9 meeting of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board. Principal Josh Peterkin and Gifted Education teacher Larry Miller outlined the path WES is taking in order to create opportunities for all students, not just those students with Gifted Individualized Education Plans (GIEP’s), to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

Leading with the quote, “Smart is not something you are. Smart is something you become,” Mr. Peterkin spoke of how — in the past — opportunities for STEM education were mostly reserved for gifted students. The WSSD advisory council, comprised of all levels of WSSD teachers and staff, seeks to foster a STEM mindset across the district. The council is in its second year. Peterkin described this mindset as a “hands on/minds on approach with the opportunity to solve real world problems.”

Mr. Miller, who became a Gifted teacher last year (after spending twenty-plus years as a 5th grade teacher at WES) highlighted the goals for 2017-2018. Based on the success of last year’s design challenge, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students are again going to participate in a design study.

Last year, 3rd grade students developed air powered cars. Fourth grade students created transport devices to protect eggs when they were dropped; if transporters were successful inside the building, Mr Peterkin and Mr. Miller climbed to the roof of WES to conduct the next phase of testing. Fifth grade students designed chairs for specific users whose needs were gleaned from the Simpson series characters from Grampa Simpson to baby Maggie.

WES is also looking into ways to extend STEM activities into the 1st and 2nd grades, possibly with the maker space kits already in use at SRS. Other goals include bringing in outside speakers who work in STEM fields, developing a set of “tools” teachers can borrow for use in their own classrooms, and expanding how STEM topics can be explored in library and art. Miller is also exploring a “Shark Tank”-like idea based on creating effective methods of water filtration.

Identifying Students at Risk

Strath Haven High School is highlighting efforts to fight at risk youth behaviors including drug and alcohol use this month. Students in 10th and 12th grade completed the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, which seeks to “allow students in grades 10 and 12 to anonymously share information about their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use to help communities address root causes of anti-social behavior.” In addition to sharing the survey results, a graduate of SHHS also spoke to parents about his own battle with addiction.

This weekend is Homecoming at the high school, kicking off with the Wall of Honor Ceremony on Friday morning. This year’s honorees — Tasha Coleman, Ryan O’Neill, and Zinzi Clemmons — will speak about their experiences to the senior class. On Friday night, Strath Haven’s football team squares off against Upper Darby. The weekend culminates with Saturday night’s Homecoming dance. All students will be breathalyzed upon entering and exiting the dance, whose theme is “Undersea Adventure.”

Exuberant Gardens Win Recognition

Amid mountain mint, Muhly grass, echinacea, coreopsis and dozens more native plants, Jacqlyn Diamond encourages wildlife to visit her Swarthmore garden, and clients to experience nature daily.

The Delaware County Master Gardeners recently presented awards to winners in the 27th annual Delaware County Garden Contest. Entries in seven categories were judged in June and July during peak garden season; harvest time brought the awards to several local fine garden proprietors.

Jacqlyn Diamond of Harvard Avenue in Swarthmore was first place winner in the Ornamental Native Wildlife Gardens category. A psychologist and therapist by profession and a gardener by nature, Jacqlyn finds serenity in working amidst her lush native plant collections, among the pollinators and birds they attract, and with the chickens that fertilize her garden. She noted recently that her clients, too, find therapeutic benefits by getting outside.

“I advise clients to incorporate nature into their treatment — to spend 10 minutes outside every day, and as they progress, to take their shoes off, to plant and care for something,” Diamond said. “People come into therapy because they feel disconnected from their contemporaries, from their families, from themselves … and connecting to the world they live in helps restore these connections.”

Camille Morrison of Rose Valley has expanded her hobby farm to cover a carefully planned and intensively productive garden including vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Her Wetherill House Farm tied for second place in the Residential Vegetable Garden category. “It was a great year for the garden, especially beans,” Camille said this week. “I just picked the last of the Italian pole beans. The cannellini did well, but I have to grow more of them next year … and only two zucchini plants!”

The site was shared by previous owner and former Rose Valley Borough Council President Mary McLaughlin as a Victory Garden during World War II. In that spirit, Camille and husband Kevin Morrison open up their garden for the gardening efforts of neighbors, who share the patch with a flock of chickens (common theme)!

Among other winners, Eiki Koyama of Wallingford tied for third place in the Ornamental Pollinator Gardens category. The awards were presented September 30 at the Master Gardeners Fall Fest in Smedley Park.

Lindsay Charlton Page and Martin Murray


Joy Charlton and David Page of Swarthmore are very pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Lindsay Arizona Charlton Page to Martin Elliot Murray on July 2, 2017, in a lovely and lively outdoor ceremony at Tyler Arboretum, in Media, Pennsylvania. Lindsay’s cousin, Judge Durke Thompson, officiated, and Charlotte Page, sister of the bride, served as attendant and flute soloist.

Lindsay graduated from Strath Haven High School, class of 2007, and the University of Virginia, class of 2012, where she earned a B.A. in English Literature and a Masters of Teaching degree.

Martin, the son of Allan and Sheila Murray of Sheffield, England, is a graduate of The Eckington School and the University of Manchester. He has played semi-professional soccer, and has been a coach and a teacher at multiple levels.

The couple honeymooned on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes, and reside in Budapest, Hungary. They both teach at the American International School of Budapest, where they met.

Julia Gelman-Sheehan and Marcus Barr


Dating since they were 16 years old, Julia Gelman-Sheehan and Marcus Andrew Barr were married in a self-uniting ceremony at Bartram’s Garden on September 23, 2017.

Attendants included fellow Strath Haven High School Class of 2007 members Amber Magee, Nina Regojo, Katie Swinburn, Liz Wasserman, Jason Devor, Michael Lerario, Rich MacCleary, Karl Reddick, John Paul Waraksa, and Michael Barr, Jr., of SHHS Class of 2003.

The bride, now Julia Gelman Barr, is the senior associate director of Annual Programs in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. She is the daughter of Frances Sheehan, president of the new Crozer-Keystone Community Foundation in Media, and Ricardo Gelman, an emergency medicine physician at Penn Medicine-Chester County Hospital in West Chester.

Marcus Barr is a web designer at Hartford Funds in Chesterbrook. He is the son of Michael Barr Sr., a former teacher in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, and currently the technical director of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, as well as an educational instructor for United States Soccer, and Barbara Barr, who is retired as a clinical scientist from the Crozer-Keystone Health System.

The couple reside in South Philadelphia.