This week’s issue . . .

Swarthmore Farmers Market
Wants Volunteers

By Patrick Francher

The Swarthmore Farmers Market has become a cornerstone of the community. Every Saturday from early May until early December, hundreds of people gather to shop, socialize, and enjoy the entire market experience. Sponsored by Swarthmore Town Center, in collaboration with Philadelphia’s Farm to City, our market has become a model for markets in other towns. In 2016, the market was voted Best in Pennsylvania, and the 8th best in the USA. (Another contest is being held this year; more to come on that.)

Perching at the Swarthmore Farmers Market, where volunteers do everything from setting up tents to helping with children’s activities.

Here are some interesting (well, interesting to me) facts about the Swarthmore Farmers Market:
• Average attendance was more than 500 people per week in 2017.
• There are 30 market Saturdays throughout the year.
• There is no paid staff, so the market can’t run without volunteers.
• By volunteering at the market, students can earn community service credit to meet the requirements of their schools or the National Honor Society. And college students are more than welcome to participate!
• More volunteers are needed to ensure that the market continues to run smoothly.

Market volunteers have lots of options. You can sign up for: Early morning set up duty from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.; Early afternoon break down slot from 1:15 to 2 p.m.; Helping out with the kids’ activity, from about 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Or if you’d like to experience the entire day, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can sign up as an assistant manager. Starting …

Dedicated volunteers dug in last year to clean up our creeks.

That’s a Lot of Trash!
By Trisha Dougherty Lambert, CRC Watersheds Association

Three hundred twenty tons of trash removed from the Chester, Ridley, and Crum Creeks in Delaware and Chester Counties since 1997 — that’s a lot of trash!

Synchronized with Earth Day, CRC Watersheds Association’s volunteers come together for one main purpose — to remove trash from our streams — but along the way, so much more happens! It’s a gathering of residents from 5 to 95 years old. It’s our neighbors, local students, civic and community groups, municipalities, and a wide range of business entities that care deeply about our drinking water, our environment and the natural resources that surround us.

Join CRC this year on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., rain or shine, to become part of this extraordinary event, where you may meet new people with similar environmental interests, or chat with old stream cleanup friends. After an informative greeting from a CRC site coordinator, everyone descends into the creek or along the bank, searching for everything that doesn’t belong. In addition to removing the typical items …

Listen to the Poets in Our Midst this April

It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter, as George Harrison sang — and that’s just the last month. But if grey March drags on to the last day, it will mercifully give way to the green and gold of April. Here comes the sun!

April is National Poetry Month, and we’re borrowing a week of March to introduce it. For the four Fridays of April, we’ll publish poetry from our readers and neighbors. Swarthmore College professor and poet Sibelan Forrester jump starts Poetry Month for us with two recent works below, reflecting the hopes and observations of the season just passed.

Will you be one of the Swarthmorean’s poets this year, again or for the first time? We’ll consider works of any length or form (short of an epic), and multiple submissions are OK.

Please email your poems, as soon as now, to We’ll get back to you with comments and a publication date. The deadline is April 23, but the earlier you send us your work, the better it works for us. May the muse abide with you!

Seeking Colors Everywhere

As the train approaches
the sky has begun to lighten—
not to what they call Midnight Blue,
which must have received its name
at some very northern (or southern?) latitude.
Because the sky is fully clouded
and dumping stinging snow,
the first color of morning
is a deep and tender lavender.

I’ve been lucky in my daily life:
mostly I’m inside in early morning,
knocking on the bathroom door
to let my daughter know it’s time
to deescalate her shower,
and juggling my routine of tea,
stretching, breakfast. I can watch,
if I take a minute, out of several
windows (all four directions, though—
as in any old house—fewer look to the north)
the way the sky grows lighter, and in time
the sun begins to graze the tops of things.

But not today: the forecast is for
ongoing snow and storm. Once on the train
I unwind my melting scarves, gently
apply warm fingers to my ears, and look
out the tinted window, through which
sky and snow have now both become
the same grey medium blue.

—Sibelan Forrester

Wellness Fair Went Well

Linton Stables introduced keynote speakers Mary and Ken Gergen.

The first annual Senior Wellness Fair, presented by the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association, took place at the Inn at Swarthmore last Saturday. Entitled “Enhancing Senior Well-Being,” the event was, by all accounts, an unqualified success.

Linton Stables, SSCA President, and Bill Davis, chair of the SSCA Aging-in-Place Committee, introduced the program, which included presentations on rethinking personal beliefs about aging, some physical, emotional, and financial issues that are especially pertinent for senior well-being, and architectural considerations that are particularly important when deciding to age-in-place. Exhibitors provided information about a variety of senior resources throughout the day.

More than 150 people attended the Fair, which was ably staffed by SSCA volunteers. Next year’s Wellness Fair is already scheduled — save March 30, 2019.

Plug Into Crum Meadow Greening Next Friday

Sedge Carex canescens will be one of the native species selected for planting in Crum Meadow.

Nature and Swarthmore College have a plan for Crum Woods, and you can be part of it. Next Friday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the new-ish Crum Woods Stewardship Committee’s will put on the first event under the new Crum Woods Restoration and Stewardship Plan.

You and other volunteers from the college community and beyond will plant 2,900 plugs of mixed wildflowers and grasses in the Crum Meadow of Swarthmore College. The Crum Meadow flood plain is a vital ecosystem to maintaining the biodiversity of many plants and animals in the Crum Woods. The current meadow is full of invasive grasses that have taken over the ecosystem. A restoration to the native state will help the macro and micro-environments of the Crum thrive.

To help you thrive during the workday, there will be pizza at 12:30 p.m. But your participation will be welcome any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. — help for as little or as long as you can! Meet the group at Crumhenge — at the center of the meadow, south of the …

Trail Run at Tyler April 7

Saturday, April 7, brings the 25th running of the Tyler Arboretum’s 10K, Delaware County’s premier trail run. See spring’s revelations up at the historic and beautiful Arboretum in Media, close up, on a lovely race course that is challenging for the fastest runners, yet suited to novice trail racers. The race is presented by the Delaware County Road Runners and is a USATF Midatlantic Offroad Grand Prix event. The start is at 9 a.m. and the party continues till around 1 p.m. Known for its great course, food, and cool gifts (this year, a belt buckle), the race is limited to 400 runners, and is expected to sell out in advance. To enter and see more information, visit

Library Holiday Hours

Both the Swarthmore Public Library and the Helen Kate Furness Free Library will be closed on Sunday, April 1.

Leaf Compost

Orders are now being taken for that fabulous Borough leaf compost. Delivery will start March 29th. One (1) cubic yard for $45; two (2) cubic yards for $70; and four (4) cubic yards for $115.00. Contact Borough Hall by emailing, calling 610- 543-4599 or placing an order through our website at Payment is due before delivery.

Join LWV for 6ABC Studio Tour

If you are a news geek, have a favorite local newscaster, or are ready to grab the microphone, plan to join the League of Women Voters of Central Delaware County on Friday, April 27, for a one-hour tour of the broadcast studios of 6ABC Action News in Philadelphia. Tours will begin at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; upon registration, you will be assigned to one of the two tours. The tour will be led by WPVI-TV 6ABC Station Page Matteo Ladonisi, a Rowan University student and freelance producer. Ladonisi will provide …

The Legend of Brigid of Kildare Comes Alive
in ‘Kiva Speaks’

Storyteller and former WSSD English teacher Mary Reindorp of Swarthmore brings an ancient legend to life in two performances this week of her new work entitled Kiva Speaks, a one-act play based on the story of Brigid of Kildare. The 25-minute, one-woman play will take place Wednesday, April 4, and Friday, April 6, at 3:30 p.m. each day in the upstairs Community Room of Swarthmore Borough Hall.

Reindorp says her work touches on the themes themes which came clear to her in a “pilgrimage” last summer to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. “The Ghost Ranch experience integrates body, spirit and soul,” Reindorp said last week, and encouraged creativity. She went there for a weeklong workshop, studyng “Celtic Consciousness” wth John Philip Newell, and was inspirted to write a one-act play based on his lecture about St. Brigid of Kildare, and early Christian nun. Kiva Speaks: A Play about the Legend of Brigid of Kildare touches on the themes of earth-based spirituality, the feminine divine, practicing peace, and the honoring of indigenous religious traditions as well as …

April Treat: Swarthmore Book and Bake Sale

Don’t put down your book, but please do make a mental note that the Swarthmore Book & Bake Sale is just around the corner on April 26 through 28. One of Delaware County’s biggest and best book sales offers hardcover and paperback treats for all ages, fairly priced. And when you do put down the book, think about all the books you may have no further use for. Wouldn’t they make a great donation to the sale, which is sponsored by The Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library? The Friends will be accepting book donations through April 15 at the library, 121 Park Avenue. Those with a culinary orientation can also support the sale with donations of baked treats on April 25. Save the last weekend in April for a book and baked goods festival in the heart of Swarthmore. Please contact the Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library President Carol Kennedy at 610-328-7398 or at with questions, or to get involved as a volunteer.

‘Art of Nature’ at Borough Hall

This work of art depicting a dragonfly by Rinal Parikh is on display in Swarthmore Borough Hall.

Now April Is Rinal Parikh Month in Swarthmore Borough Hall. The Swarthmore visual artist just opened a solo show of her work there, entitled “Art of Nature.” She will welcome guests to an opening reception next Friday, April 6, as part of First Friday, with refreshments and conversation added to the color-drenched, energetic paintings in this show organized by Swarthmore Friends of the Arts. As if that weren’t enough, Parikh will present an artist’s talk on Wednesday, April 11, 10 a.m., also at Borough Hall. For more information on the artist and a look …


Quizzo Night Next Friday

Get your trivia team together and sharpen your mental pencil for the monthly Quizzo Night at the Swarthmore Co-Op, Friday April 6, at 8:30 p.m.$5 per person gets you light snacks and big fun. BYOB if you’re 21+. Reserve a table at

Daniel Ellsberg to Speak April 3

Daniel Ellsberg, a crucial figure in the history of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, the demise of Richard Nixon’s Presidency, and the development of a tradition of righteous whistleblowing, will visit Swarthmore next Tuesday, April 3, for a talk in the Scheuer Room of the college’s Kohlberg Hall. His talk is entitled “Secrets, Lies, and the Risks of Nuclear War,” and is part of the college series on The Nature of Truth and Evidence. It begins at 7 p.m., and is open to the public, though seating is limited.

As a defense analyst at the RAND Corporation and the Department of Defense, he addressed classified data and secrets of Presidential decision-making on possibly initiating nuclear war, the dangers of which are revealed in his latest book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Later, as an official in the Defense and State Departments he participated in the study of U.S. decision-making of Vietnam known as the Pentagon …

Women In Science at Furness Library

There’s a double-header on the schedule for the first week of April at Helen Kate Furness Library, but it’s got nothing to do with baseball season. In partnership with Longwood Gardens’ Community Reads, Furness will continue its focus on Women in Science.

Tuesday, April 3, brings Jane Goodall (virtually) into the Furness children’s library for a 4:15 p.m. session on the legendary primatologist and the observational skills she brought to her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees. Young learners will be inspired.

On Thursday, April 5, Furness children’s librarian Lori Friedgen-Veitch will shine a spotlight on Kate Sessions, the subject of Joseph Hoskins’s The Tree Lady, who transformed San Diego’s Balboa Park. Preschoolers through 5th graders can sign up for either a 1:30 p.m. art project or a 4:15 p.m. tree planting session. Parents, do so at the library or by phone (610-566-9331, X4) by April 3.

Focusing on the Kids at Wallingford Presbyterian

On Saturday, April 7, Wallingford Presbyterian Church will host its monthly Saturday morning playgroup for kids program beginning at 10 a.m. This month will feature a special art activity. Local artist and art teacher, Ashley Coenen, will lead the children (with parent involvement) in a special art project. Ashley teaches art at the Bala House Montessori School and operates Art in the Afternoon at Nether Providence Elementary School. There is no cost for this program. Wallingford Presbyterian Church is located at 110 E Brookhaven Road.

Recycling: More than a Good Idea
By Jane Billings

Jane Billings, recycling even on weekends, corralled a stray poster at last Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

Did you know that recycling in Swarthmore Borough isn’t just a good idea, it’s mandatory for all residents, whether living in single family homes or multi-unit buildings? Recycling is also required for all businesses, institutions, and at community events. Acceptable items include all types of paper, glass, aluminum and bi-metal cans, plastics (all numbers except #3 and #6), and yard waste.

The best source of current information can be found on the Borough website ( Just click on the “Recycling and Trash” icon on the front page and you’ll find the following:

• A to Z Recycling and Disposal Guide.
• Guide to Single-Stream Recycling (Do’s and Don’ts).
• List of upcoming Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Electronics (E-Waste) Recycling Events.
• Monthly recycling collection schedules, including yard waste, Christmas trees, and loose leaves.
• Information on how to purchase Borough mulch.

Don’t forget, too, that in addition to the weekly pickups on Monday (blue cans) and Thursday (yellow cans), almost all material collected curbside can also be taken to the Borough’s Recycling Center at 121 Dartmouth Avenue. The center is open to anyone, not just Swarthmore residents. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The dumpster is especially useful for recycling large cardboard boxes (please flatten first) as well as shredded paper, which is not accepted in curbside recycling bins.

Mad Poets Welcome Ehrhart and Delia April 4

Steve Delia

Local poets Steve Delia and W.D. Ehrhart will visit Wallingford on Wednesday, April 4, as the featured guests of the Mad Poets Society at its monthly reading.

Steve Delia is a poet of more than 40 years’ standing who has read and performed in many venues in the Philadelphia area. He and Mike Cohen have performed as Dueling Poets, and the two conduct interviews with poets for YouTube. Delia is the author of six chapbooks, one of which may be printed just in time for the April 4 meeting.

W.D. Ehrhart

W.D. Ehrhart is author of the recent poetry collection Praying at the Altar and the interview collection W.D. Ehrhart in Conversation. He is a History and English teacher at the Haverford School, and a Vietnam war veteran who has been active in antiwar and antiviolence efforts.

Finally, the Mad Poets’ ill-starred March meeting was postponed twice due to winter weather. That should not be a problem on May 2, when Minna Duchovnay and Ed Krizek should finally make their appearance originally scheduled for March 7. The First Wednesday readings are held year-round in the Duke Gallery of the Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road. The event is free and open to all, whether poets, fans, or both.

Report from the Fire Company
By Rich Cresson

From March 12 through 25, the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association responded to the following alarms:
EMS: The ambulance responded to 34 calls for medical assistance. These were to Swarthmore, Rutledge, Morton, Springfield, Ridley Township and Nether Providence Township. The calls were for a variety of emergencies including: unconscious person, semi-conscious person, medical alarm, tachycardia, head injury, diabetic emergency, pediatric emergency, sick person, seizures, fracture, hemorrhaging, hypotension, fall, accident with injury, back pain, cerebro-vascular event and respiratory difficulty.
Automatic Fire Alarm (two alarms): Swarthmore, 100 block of Wellesley Ave.; and Nether Providence Twp., 214 Sykes Lane for smoke in the municipal building.
Automobile (one alarm): vehicle accident at Cornell & Yale avenues.
Building (four alarms): Morton, Broad and School streets for a house fire as reported in last week’s Swarthmorean; Ridley Twp., 500 block of Highland Ave. for a shed fire; Springfield Twp. (two alarms), one at 900 block of W. Sproul Lane for fire alarm sounding and smell of smoke; the second at Sbarro restaurant for a smoking ceiling tile.
Wires (one alarm): Harvard Ave. between Cornell Ave. and Rutgers Ave. for a smoking transformer.
Mutual aid calls: one each to Nether Providence Twp., Morton/Rutledge, and Ridley; two to Springfield.

Kim Weitkamp at Story House

Kim Weitkamp, a true star of the storytelling world, will delight listeners on Saturday, April 7, at the Rose Valley Storytelling House, 3 Rose Valley Road. Weitkamp brings irreverence, musicality, and a wonderful sense of humor to her sharp and poignant observations. She performs all over the U.S., and probably other places too, but for next Saturday, she’s all ours in the intimate Rose Valley setting. Story House host Megan Hicks will also tell an ever-evolving Breton fairy tale. Suggested donation is $15 per person, which supports the artists and includes food and drink. Come around 7 p.m.; the program begins at 7:30 or so. You’ll know the place by the “Story” sign at the end of the driveway. Call 540-371-6775 or email the host at with any questions.

Get Your Mystery Fix On Mondays at SPL

Swarthmore Public Library hosts a new club for fans of British and international TV mystery series. Here’s the story: it’s free, open to all detective watchers and wannabes, and it meets every Monday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Council Room of Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Avenue. No code word required.

Food for Thought Meets Thursday

Intrepid readers and cooks look forward to the first Thursday of the month at Swarthmore Public Library. At 4 in the afternoon each month, they convene to feast on recipes they’ve chosen from the month’s featured cookbook, and cooked at home to share with other Food For Thought chefs. Browse the cookbook for April at the library and bring your chosen dish for the feast at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.

Jane Billings at The Gathering Place

April is “Around the Ville Month” at the Gathering Place, beginning on Wednesday, April 4, as Swarthmore Borough Manager Jane Billings gives her perspective on what is happening around town.

In particular, Billings will discuss the effect of state and federal regulations on Borough affairs and your taxes.

The Gathering Place meets at Swarthmore United Methodist Church at 129 Park Avenue; everyone is welcome.

Come at noon to enjoy a light lunch provided by Occasionally Yours, as well as dessert and beverages. Jane will start speaking at 12:30 p.m.

Technology Recycling Next Saturday

Spring cleaning isn’t as easy as it used to be. For instance, how do you get rid of your outmoded and unwanted TVs, appliances, computers, and peripherals? Here’s how: take them to CyberCrunch next Saturday, April 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The outfit charges modest and varying fees for acceptance of air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, tube and projection TVs, and monitors. Avert identity theft by watching as your old cell phones and hard drives are destroyed. The collection site at 1 Judy Way in Aston will also be open during the same hours on May 5. Information is at and 866-925-2354.

Briefly Noted . . .


Firefighters were called to the 200 block of Lafayette Avenue on Monday, March 26, for a “garage fire, active fire, smoke showing.” Apparatus from Swarthmore, Springfield and Morton were dispatched in accordance with a daytime mutual aid response protocol. Upon arrival, firefighters from Swarthmore found a single vehicle garage with fire emanating from trash piled in front of the garage door. The fire was quickly extinguished with a booster hose (red hose coiled on a reel on top of fire engine) requiring less than 150 gallons of water, and the response was quickly reduced to Swarthmore FD only. Luckily, due to the spring vacation from school, three of the junior firefighters were able to respond and assist in the extinguishment of the blaze. The investigation is continuing, but the indication is that the fire was caused by wood particles and wood dust from a floor refinisher and related products contained in plastic trash bags waiting for disposal. Residents are reminded that potentially flammable waste products should be stored outside and away from structures and automobiles, lest they ignite. This photo by Rich Cresson features Captains Conlen Booth and Mike Bailey investigating the cause of the fire.

Local bands The Barrel Monkeys and the Minor Adjustments will perform at the Book It! 5K Walk/Run festivities in Swarthmore’s Central Park on Saturday, April 7, starting at 9:45 a.m. Come out and enjoy the Barrel Monkeys’ original music with a classic rock feel, and the acoustic bluegrass sound of the Minor Adjustments. The BookIt! point to point course starts at Wallingford train station (a short walk from Helen Kate Furness library) at 9:30 a.m., and ends at Swarthmore Public Library in the town center of Swarthmore. The first 125 people to register are guaranteed a t-shirt! All pre-registered runners and walkers will be entered in a raffle to win an overnight stay at The Inn at Swarthmore and breakfast for two at the Broad Table Tavern. And don’t forget there’s an additional prize this year for best crazy hat. Sign up to run, walk, or volunteer at (search Book It), and look for the Swarthmorean staff at the finish line of race day.

Swarthmore Mayor Tim Kearney (center) marched against gun violence at Rose Tree Park last Saturday with Swarthmoreans Brandon and Abby Lausch and their daughters McKenna (left) and Cora.This Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m., Alan Soffer of Wallingford will take part in an artists’ talk at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, in conjunction with the “Point Counterpoint” exhibition featuring his work along with pieces by Moe Brooker and Brian Dickerson. Museum admission is free on Sundays.

This Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m., Alan Soffer of Wallingford will take part in an artists’ talk at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, in conjunction with the “Point Counterpoint” exhibition featuring his work along with pieces by Moe Brooker and Brian Dickerson. Museum admission is free on Sundays.

Daniel Banko of Washington and his mother Claudia Ferran of Swarthmore met up in D.C. for the March for Our Lives last Saturday. Daniel is a 2017 Swarthmore College graduate who grew up in Swarthmore with Claudia and her husband James Banko. James sent this photo.

Sister Maria McCoy, S.S.J.

Sister Maria McCoy, S.S.J. has joined St. John Chrysostom Parish in Wallingford in the newly-created position of Parish Spiritual Director. The Aldan native holds an undergraduate degree from Chestnut Hill College, a Masters from Creighton University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Lin Leach has returned to the Swarthmore Barbershop on Dartmouth Avenue, where she brings her sharp skills to shape up heads of the Ville. She works on Wednesdays through Saturdays every week.

March 23 began a busy weekend for candidate Mary Gay Scanlon of Swarthmore, who last Friday night opened her campaign office at 117 S. Chester Road in Swarthmore. One of 15 Democrats vying for the party’s nomination for the new Fifth Congressional District of Pa., Scanlon was joined at the event by mayors Tim Kearney of Swarthmore and Kevin Cunningham of Rutledge, as well as Delaware County Register of Wills Mary Walk, Sheriff Jerry Sanders, and other friends and supporters.

The next morning, Scanlon (right) took off for Washington and the March for Our Lives, where she met up with other veterans of the Million Mom March in 2000, an event which catalyzed her activism in the effort to pass sensible gun policy reforms. Her platform calls for stronger, universal background checks, closure of the gun show loophole, reinstatement of an assault weapons ban, disarming domestic abusers, and funding research into gun violence.




Letters to the Editor

A Tiny Taste of Terror

To the Editor:

Wires came down last Friday at Pantry One in Wallingford. Photo by Carol McGowan.

Driving down Providence Road from Media toward Chester around dinner time last Friday, I came upon yet another road block in front of the Wallingford post office. The lane was blocked by a familiar Comcast truck with a few guys standing around looking down at a thick, downed wire housing lots of cables that crossed the parking lot and seemed to snake around the building past the dry cleaners. Cars in front of me went around the repair truck but the light changed and I was stuck. Traffic in the other lane was also stopped and I was boxed in.

Suddenly there was a loud blast and an explosion from the thick cable with flames shooting 50 ft. in the air. Shocked with alarm and disbelief, I jumped in my seat, heart pounding, and wondered if the descending fire would envelop my car.

Despite my attempts to resist the fear-mongering that has become part of the national conversation, I was surprised when I found myself wondering if this was a terrorist attack. On the Wallingford post office?

Then there was a second explosion, once again rocking my little Honda Fit. Is this what it’s like to live in Kabul? I felt terrified, and had to get out of there.

With cars behind me finally backing up to turn around and leave as quickly as possible, and the other lane starting to move, inch by inch I maneuvered my car around until I too could finally make my escape.

As I turned, heading over Wallingford Avenue for another way home, I saw a woman lying on the ground of the parking lot of the apartment complex behind the post office. Was she hurt by the explosion or was this another problem? Should I stop? There were people around her and a police car was just arriving on the scene so, relieved, I sped toward home.

Surprised at how shaken I was, disappointed in myself for thinking so quickly of terrorism, it was a relief to get under the covers, to be still and quiet.

Pondering how vulnerable we are to violence, I thought about what it must be like to live in places like Kabul, where bombs are part of daily living. Yet living with fear of violence every waking moment, children and their parents living in our violence-ravaged cities face this trauma daily, which seems to be of little concern to most of our politicians.

The next day, millions march in the streets of America, led by the children, to protest against the gun culture and the violence and mass murders that dominate our political culture, inspiring hope and showing us the courage to demand changes. No, we haven’t yet regressed to living in fear of roadside bombs at the Wallingford post office. Not yet…

Judith Trustone, Co-Director
Global Kindness Revolution

March for Our Lives in Philadelphia

To the Editor:

Photo by Vivian Corbin

They were as mad as hell and they weren’t going to take it anymore. “They” were the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where just a month and a half ago, 17 of their friends and fellow students were slaughtered by a very troubled former student armed with an AR-15. “They” created the spark that ignited a nation to stand up against the National Rifle Association, gun manufacturers, and the politicians who take their money and do their bidding.

I was in awe at the thousands of ordinary citizens – students, teachers, mothers and fathers, grandparents, veterans, doctors and lawyers, who turned out last Saturday to march in Philadelphia in support of common sense gun laws. The protesters against gun violence assembled at 5th and Market, and at 10 a.m., marched toward Lombard Circle near the Seaport Museum, carrying homemade signs like  “Books Not Bullets”, “Gun Control Now”, “They Will be Known as Generation Columbine”, and chanting slogans like “Hey Ho, NRA has got to go” .

At a rally following the march, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey spoke passionately for the need for legislation to strengthen background checks, and to ban high capacity magazines and military style assault weapons. He added, “If you’re too dangerous to get on an airplane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun.” Sen. Casey called out Sen. Mitch McConnell for refusing to bring these issues up for a vote. The crowd applauded wildly and chanted, “Where’s Senator Toomey?” Senator Casey praised the young student activists, “Because of your generation, because of your work, because of your determination, we’re going to win this fight.”

A student from a New Jersey high school told the crowd, “The majority of Americans do not own a gun. The majority of Americans want more restrictions on guns. So why are we being ignored? ” Answering his own question, he urged the marchers, “We need to get out, and we need to make our voices heard. We need to vote.”

A father whose son narrowly escaped the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas when the killer stopped to reload, told the hushed crowd, “I am an owner of an AR-15.” But after the shooting, he said, he got rid of his AR-15. “The AR-15 is not made for hunting, it’s made for killing….We need to rid the country of the killing machine known as the AR-15.”

Rebecca Salus, a 1996 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and a regional leader of the school’s Philadelphia Alumni Association, noted that when she was a student at MSD, students practiced fire drills. Today’s drills include a “Code Red” warning for an active shooter. Rebecca returned to Parkland after the shooting to visit family. Sadly, she noted that her former school was now a crime scene with memorial flowers and teddy bears. Urging the attendees to fight for gun reform, she quoted the woman for whom the school was named. Douglas, an advocate for women’s suffrage, exhorted: “Be a nuisance when it counts,” and even though you may fail and become discouraged, “Never give up.”

Vivian Corbin

Worship Notices

Happy Easter!

Happy Passover!

Congregation Beth Israel of Media, 542 S. Middletown Rd., Media
Saturday, March 31: 6 pm Second Night Passover Seder. Seder led by Rabbi Linda, $5 supplies fee, dairy/vegetarian/passover potluck for dinner.

Congregation Ohev Shalom, 2 Chester Road, Wallingford
Saturday, March 31: 5:30 pm Communal Passover Seder. Adults $50/Children 5-12 $25/Children 4 and under free.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 927 S. Providence Road, Wallingford
Good Friday: 12 pm Worship and Contemplative Prayer ;7:30 pm Worship.
Easter Sunday: 9 am Pancake Breakfast; 9:45 am Easter Egg Hunt; 10:30 am Festive Worship.

St. John Chrysostom Church, 617 S. Providence Rd., Wallingford
Good Friday: 8 am-4 pm Operation Growl (6th-12th graders); 3 pm Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord; 7 pm Stations of the Cross. The church will remain open until 8 pm.
Holy Saturday: 1 pm Blessing of Easter Food; 2 pm-3 pm Sensory Friendly Easter Egg Hunt; 7 pm Easter Vigil Mass (Service of Light).
Easter Sunday: Masses: 8, 9:30 and 11:30 am (ASL).

Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, 727 Harvard Avenue, Swarthmore
Easter Sunday: 7 am Easter Sunrise Worship in the Memorial Garden; 9 am & 11 am Easter Worship in the Sanctuary.

Trinity Episcopal Church, Chester Road & College Avenue, Swarthmore
Good Friday: 7:30 pm Proper Liturgy of the day w/choir.
Easter Day: 6 am Easter Vigil; 9:15 am & 11 am Festival Eucharist; Easter Egg Hunt will follow the 9:15 service.

Wallingford Presbyterian Church, 110 E. Brookhaven Road, Wallingford
Good Friday: 9 am-9 pm Church open for guided or individual prayer.
Holy Saturday: 10 am-noon Eggs-travaganza: breakfast, then an egg hunt for kids.
Easter Sunday: 6:30 am Sunrise worship service; 7:30 am Easter brunch; 8:30 am Worship; 10 am Worship and Sunday School; 11 am Fellowship Time.

The Parish of Our Lady of Peace, 200 Milmont Avenue, Milmont Park
Notre Dame de Lourdes Church, 1000 Fairview Road
Good Friday: 9 am Morning Prayer; Noon Outdoor Stations; 2 pm Last Seven Words; 3 pm Liturgy of the Passion (all services at OLP).
Holy Saturday: 10 am Blessing of Food; 7 pm Easter Vigil (all services at OLP).
Easter Sunday: Masses: 7:30 am (OLP); 10 am (ND & OLP); 11:30 am (OLP).

Holy Myrrh-Bearer’s Ukrainian Church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore
Good Friday: 5 pm Vespers.
Holy Saturday: 5 pm Vigil Liturgy
Easter Sunday: 8 am Easter Service

Swarthmore United Methodist Church, 129 Park Avenue, Swarthmore
Easter Sunday: 10 am Worship and Communion. 10:15 am Sunday School for children (child care provided).

This week’s issue . . .

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board:
District’s Cybersecurity Solid,
but Technicians Elusive

By Katie Crawford

Pennsylvania 2018 indoor champions in the 4 x 800 meter relay: Strath Haven’s Maggie Forbes, Abby Loiselle, Grace Forbes, and Taylor Barkdoll.

On the eve of the first day of spring and yet another snow storm, the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board held its regular meeting on Monday. The focus topic of the evening was technology. Mark Finlayson, technology director for the district, highlighted for the board the district’s efforts to improve network security as well as the district’s use of Google Apps for Education (GAFE).

In terms of cyber security, Finlayson stated, “I would put WSSD up against anyone — even districts that have more money than us.” Despite the current budget restrictions in the district, the technology department has creatively used the resources available to continue to improve network security. A firewall upgrade is scheduled for July 2018. According to Finlayson, one area of frustration continues to be the high turnover of technicians. The district continues to pay near the bottom, generally attracting candidates who are either just starting out and lacking experience, or individuals in the midst of a job transition. Finlayson explained that, given that WSSD tends to lose a technician every six months, they are constantly training.

GAFE Is Here.

Deal With It. Google Apps for Education has taken the district by storm. Despite initial misgivings in earlier years about the potential impact of allowing Google into the classroom, Finlayson stated that he is as comfortable now as he is going to be. The board heard via video from Mathew Wood, chair of the English Department at SHHS, who …

Close to Home

Daughter Alli Beckas and mother Michele Gigliotti on the long commute from Penn. Photos courtesy of Michele Gigliotti.

Soon Alli Beckas and her mother Michele Gigliotti will be back home in Moon Township. But for now, for the next two weeks, they are at home here in Swarthmore.

While Alli receives cutting-edge proton beam therapy for a malignant brain tumor at University of Pennsylvania Hospital, she and her mother are staying at Nick’s House, recently opened by the Headstrong Foundation as a refuge and residence for cancer patients and their caregivers.

“We are so blessed to have this house,” Michele said earlier this week. “Six weeks is a long time to be away from home, and the shock of my daughter’s diagnosis has put us in something like the five stages of grieving. I quit my job [as a nurse] and my husband has to hold the fort back home. I looked into the cost of hotels, which added more stress. It was such a burden off my back financially for Headstrong to make this house available to us.”

Michele and Alli spend four or five hours each weekday at Penn, commuting by SEPTA train. It can be grueling, and the other morning, Michele said, “Alli was feeling lousy and a volunteer offered to drive us in. I couldn’t say yes fast enough!”

Alli Beckas on the porch swing of Nick’s House at 200 S. Chester Road.

Headstrong executive director Cheryl Colleluori says that neighbors and other volunteers have been trained to help out in the house daily, making sure creature comforts are optimized. “We want the stay to be the easy part of these families’ journeys.”

For Michele Gigliotti and Alli, it’s working. “It’s a very comfortable, beautiful house, and Cheryl made sure we have everything we need, down to detergent, paper towels, Keurig coffee pods … We catch ourselves calling it home.”

The time will come when Alli’s treatment at Penn concludes, and it’s time to really go home, but connections will remain. Another family spent three weeks at Nick’s House during their stay, Michele says, “The woman was the caregiver; she and I would get up early and share coffee and talk together. The last morning she was here a song came on Pandora — “Lean on Me.” We just embraced each other and swayed to that song. This is a couple that I plan on keeping up with forever.”

(Egg) Hunting Season Opens

NOTICE: THE LIONS CLUB EGG HUNT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL SATURDAY, MARCH 31. This Saturday, March 24, the Lions Club sets up its annual Spring Egg Hunt in Little Crum Creek Park, with hunting season opening at 10 a.m. sharp. The Lions invite all children aged 0 through 9 to join in the fun. Bring a basket, and park on the Cresson Lane side of the park. Hope for good spring weather, but if it rains or snows, the hunt will be rescheduled for Saturday, March 31.

In Rutledge, the Easter Bunny will make an appearance on Saturday, March 31 (no rain date). The egg hunt goes off at 1 p.m. sharp at the Triangle Park, Rutledge Avenue and Waverly Terrace. The hunt is presented by Rutledge Borough’s Activity Committee, who remind you to bring a camera for the classic Easter Bunny shots.

Rutledge Girls Club president and softball coach Margie Corcoran (back left) shared good news and good times with her players and neighbors at the Monday night meeting of Rutledge Borough Council. Holding a scale model of the scoreboard planned for the Triangle Park ballfield are players from the town of the 2017 Del-Val Youth Division Champions, including (left to right) Celest, Annie, Eleanor, Kaycee, Catie, and Maisie. Joining them are coach Greg Kozub and Borough Council President Heidi Sentivan.

Rutledge Borough Council Approves Scoreboard

At its Monday night work session, Rutledge Borough Council members were joined by a bevy of town softball players and supporters of the effort to install a new electronic scoreboard at the ballfield in the town’s Triangle Park.

The meeting followed Saturday’s beef & beer fundraiser which garnered nearly $7,000 in donations, a sum which is expected to easily cover the cost of the scoreboard manufacture and installation. A local electrician also reportedly will donate his services for the project.

Following review of a revised scoreboard design and comments from Planning Commission member Jen Mickle and several other residents, Borough Council member Marie Govannicci moved for a vote, and by a 5-1 vote, council approved the installation of the scoreboard at no cost to taxpayers. “You can order it now, Margie,” said …

Wellness Fair is Tomorrow

A reminder: The first annual Senior Wellness Fair takes place Saturday, March 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Inn at Swarthmore.

The Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association has assembled a blue-ribbon roster of speakers and programs, including Mary and Ken Gergen exploring positive aging, Claudia Cueto, AIA on making Swarthmore homes more age-friendly, and a panel discussion moderated by Joy Charlton on “Enhancing Senior Well-Being Physically, Emotionally, and Financially.”

Admission to the Senior Wellness Fair is free of charge with on-site registration. A complimentary buffet luncheon will be available to the first 100 registrants.

Blackbird Society Orchestra Flies
into waR3house3

The Blackbird Society Orchestra

Here’s something new for waR3house3, Swarthmore’s performance space/night club/gallery: something old. The Blackbird Society Orchestra faithfully renders the sound of 1920s hot jazz in a sophisticated large band setting.

Will they all fit onto the stage at the waR3house3? Will the spirit of Jelly Roll Morton be summoned forth? Come find out this Saturday night, March 24, at the venue at 100 Park Avenue, Suite WH-3 in Swarthmore. Admission is $15 if your buy tickets in advance and $20 at the door. Light snacks will be served, and you are welcome to BYOB. Information is at

You, Too, Can Learn to Play Blues Harmonica,

By Joan Gallagher

James Day

Want to play “Fly Eagles Fly” on the harmonica? It’s not exactly the blues, but entertainer and musician James Day promises he can teach you how. Day, whose band “James Day and the Fish Fry” delivers rollicking New Orleans and southern blues music with an original twist up and down the east coast, will once again offer adult learners the chance to make their own magic on one of the world’s oldest — and smallest — instruments, the blues harmonica.

The Gulf Coast native and Wallingford resident begins a five-week series of classes on Thursday evening, April 5, at Strath Haven High School, part of the continuing education program offered by Wallingford Swarthmore Community Classes. Those interested can find detailed information and register online at

Having already taught the course once, Day says he’s motivated to get more and more people to experience the joy of making music on the instrument he describes as taking “five minutes to learn, five years to master.” “The goal,” says the bandleader, “is to prepare students to improvise and play.” Whether that means alone on the front porch, in …

Cheese CSA Blooms at Co-Op

Sign up now for one of the more delicious clubs you’ll ever join. The Swarthmore Co-Op starts up its Spring Cheese CSA next Friday, March 30.

Spring is cheesin’ season, apparently, and the 30th of each spring month will be the joyous day for pickup of four cheeses chosen each month by Co-Op cheesemonger Nick George from among the top local and regional creameries, including some that are not usually available at the Co-Op. Four different cheeses will enrich your table during …

Homegrown Artworks Wanted

The Swarthmore Friends of the Arts (SFoA) issued its first call for entries for its 2018 Celebrate Swarthmore Artists Exhibit, which will be hung at Borough Hall from May 2 to June 3. All artists over 18 who live in the Wallingford Swarthmore School District are invited to participate by submitting an entry form by Monday, April 23. Entry forms are available at Borough Hall and at

Artists can enter one or two original pieces in any medium except photography (which will be the subject of another exhibition) and works which have already been shown at Borough Hall. A contribution of $5 per piece is requested, which will go towards funding of the show and the opening reception on Friday, May 4. Works in the show may be sold only through SFoA.

For information on deadlines and other requirements, contact exhibition committee chair Martha Perkins at or 484-574-3158.

‘Medicare 101’ at SPL

Marty Spiegel

Swarthmorean Marty Spiegel is a trained and experienced Medicare adviser who can help you make sense of the complexities and options within the wonderful world of Medicare. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, Spiegel will present “Medicare 101,” a session designed to explain the basics of the Medicare system and help “rising seniors” get off to a good start in the system. All are welcome to this free seminar at the Swarthmore Public Library, but you are asked to register in advance at or 610-543-0436.

Lost Music of Poland to Be Found at Lang Tonight

In a collaboration between scholars and performers, a concert on Friday, March 23, will tell the story of the “forbidden songs” of Roman Palester, a Polish composer whose work was suppressed by the country’s Communist regime. Palester’s work spans the middle years of the 20th century from a neoclassical orientation on the 1930s through European avant garde influences in the 1960s and 1970s. Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday in Lang Concert Hall, Palester’s music will be interpreted by performers Xak Bjerken, Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, Susan Waterbury, and David Colwell. Admission is free without need of tickets.

What’s the Story With Haitian Women?

Stephane Martelly

Stephane Martelly knows. A writer, painter and scholar, Martelly will discuss her work with members of the Haitian diaspora in a talk on April 4 entitled, “This Thing We Are Doing Here: Listening and Writing with Haitian Women in the Montreal Life Stories Project.” The lecture, sponsored by the Swarthmore College Modern Languages and Literatures, will be held in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall at Swarthmore College, and is open to the community at no charge.

Martelly, who was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, now lives in Montreal, where she is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department at the University of Concordia in Montreal. She is the main coordinator for the Centre of Oral History and Digital Storytelling, continuing her interest in the possibility and …

Best Plants Revealed!

Get the inside scoop on which garden plants are best in their class, straight from a gardener who has conducted comparative trials of scads of genera over the past 30 years. Richard Hawke is the man with the dirt on hundreds of great and not so great cultivars of popular plants for your garden. He is plant evaluation manager and associate scientist for the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

With a clear and witty style of instruction, Hawke will be conducting a workshop at Scott Arboretum’s Wister Center on Friday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Space is limited to the first 40 to preregister at 610-328-8025. The cost is $48 for Scott members; $58 for others.

SPL Hosts Poet Joseph Dorazio

Poetry Month is April, and it begins in Swarthmore with a reading on Thursday, April 5, by Joseph Dorazio, a prize-winning poet who lives in Wayne, Pa. Dorazio will read from his work at the Swarthmore Public Library in a program presented by SPL and the Mad Poets Society. The reading is free and open to all, but you should register at 610-543-0436 or

RVCO Revives ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’

The Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra reaches into the contemporary Broadway canon for its next production, The Drowsy Chaperone, which will be presented in five shows from April 12 through April 15 at the auditorium of the Strath Haven Middle School.

The Drowsy Chaperone is a phenomenally successful musical comedy which since it opened on Broadway in 1998 has been produced in hundreds of professional and amateur settings. In its original run it won five Tony awards. Spoofing and revering many of the tropes and traditions of the Jazz Age musical, as a play within a play features cliché characters of the early days of the American musical theatre.

The RVCO production promises to live up to the high standard set by the Rose Valley group over its 111 seasons. Larry Jansen is the stage director and Justin Adams …

Wellness on the Menu at TGP

The Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association invites you to a nourishing session with nutritionist Stefanie Williams on Wednesday, March 28, at Swarthmore United Methodist Church. At the weekly meeting of the Gathering Place, Williams will aim to “help people make nutrition simple so they can improve their health, enjoy food, and feel well.” The presentation begins about 12:30 p.m., following TGP’s regular lunch — brown bag it or buy soup and a roll from Occasionally Yours for a modest sum. Dessert and beverages are provided. SUMC is at 129 Park Avenue.

Hicks Hall and Nason Garden (2008) on the Swarthmore College Campus.

The Last Go-Round
for 98 Year-Old Hicks Hall

Evolutionary forces at work on the campus of Swarthmore College will entail the demolition of Hicks Hall next summer, as the Biology, Engineering, and Psychology center construction reaches its southernmost extent.

Hicks is a 3-story stone building which stands with Beardsley Hall adjacent to the turnaround at the end of Whittier Place. It was designed in Collegiate Gothic style, with tall banks of windows “for efficient lighting,” by the architectural firm Karcher & Smith of Philadelphia, and it was constructed beginning in August, 1919 by Barclay White & Company. Hicks was completed rapidly (in 1920), providing relief for the fast-growing engineering program which was outgrowing Science Hall. Ever since its opening, the building has been a locus of the College’s Engineering Department.

Karcher & Smith designed a number of buildings on Swarthmore’s campus, including Clothier Memorial Hall, Martin Hall, and many of the fraternity lodges. Barclay White took his A.B. in Engineering at Swarthmore in 1906, founded the construction company which still bears his name, and from 1931 was a member of the College’s Board of Managers. When Hicks Hall opened, the first floor was the mechanical laboratory, the second …

Leaf Compost Orders

Orders are now being taken for that fabulous Borough leaf compost. Delivery will start March 29th. One (1) cubic yard for $45; two (2) cubic yards for $70; and four (4) cubic yards for $115.00. Contact Borough Hall by emailing, calling 610- 543-4599 or placing an order through our website at Payment is due before delivery.

Spanish Language Poetry Reading

Swarthmore College Professor Braulio Munoz celebrates the publication of his new book by hosting a poetry reading and reception next Thursday, March 29, at McCabe Library. Munoz and fellow poet Roger Santivanez will read from their work in Spanish at 5:45 p.m., with a reception to follow at about 7:15 p.m.

Senior Recital Saturday

Swarthmore College senior Natasha Nogueira presents her senior voice recital on Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. in Lang Concert Hall. Nogueira will perform German lieder, Italian arias and art songs, an English cantata, and a French duet with Shelby Billups. Free.

Who Wins in Tax Reform?

At its upcoming April 6 Hot Topics luncheon, The League of Women Voters of Central Delaware County presents Dr. Anthony Curatola, professor of accounting at Drexel University, taking on a hot topic indeed. Professor Curatola applies his considerable expertise to a discussion of the repercussions of the recently passed changes to the federal tax code. Following lunch at 11:45 a.m., he will opine on who will be the winners and the losers as a result of this tax “reform” bill.

Reservations — $18 per person — are required for the Hot Topics luncheon, which is held at the Community Room of Media Borough Hall, at 3rd and Jackson Streets in Media. To get your place at the table, contact Hank Thorne at 610-566-5474 or You may also mail a check to LWV-CDC, Box 131, Wallingford, PA 19086.

Grief Support Group at Schoolhouse

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, you may find solace and support in a group that meets on April 6 and the first Friday of each month at Schoolhouse Center, 600 Swarthmore Avenue in Folsom. The Grief Support Group welcomes new members to its free sessions, moderated by Becky Wallace from Taylor Hospice, from noon to 2:15 p.m. For more information, call Kim McDaniel at Schoolhouse, 610-237-8100.

Jeannette Ross Lecturer Focuses on Local Environment

The League of Women Voters of Central Delaware County presents its annual Jeannette Ross Lecture on Wednesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. Jessica D. Hunt, assistant counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, will discuss environmental issues that have an effect on our health and our immediate area. The lecture is free and open to all, and will be held at the Media Borough Hall Parlor at 301 Jackson Street in Media. Light refreshments will be served.

Gerrymandering Lawsuit Warriors Featured at Reception April 4

Gerrymandering may not be knocked out, but in Pennsylvania, it’s on the ropes, to the cheers of many local supporters of legislative district fairness. On April 4 at the Inn at Swarthmore, they will join with members of the leadership and legal team at the Public Interest Law Center to mingle over cocktails and discuss the tactics and turning points in the successful challenge to the electoral map drawn for Pennsylvania in 2011.

With gerrymandering still very much in the news following a federal court’s rejection of a challenge to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recently redrawn electoral map, this will be a lively, relevant, and forward-looking event. Tickets cost $50 apiece or $75 for a pair. Student admission is $20. Tickets and more information are online at

Lecture on the State of American Democracy

Dr. Didi Kuo, program manager of the Stanford University Program on American Democracy in Comparative Perspective, will present a lecture on “Polarization and Parties: The State of American Democracy” on Sunday, March 25, in the DuPont Center, Rm. 101 (Chang Hou Lecture Hall) on the Swarthmore College campus.

Following a brief gathering at 12:30 p.m., Dr. Kuo will speak at 1 p.m., followed by a discussion with expert panelists, Rick Valelly of Swarthmore College and John Pollock of the College of New Jersey. The discussion continues at an adjacent reception from 3 to 4 p.m. Dr. Kuo will address the following paradox at the heart of American politics: while polarization has been on the rise for decades, trust in parties has declined. Citizens with party attachments are unwilling to compromise across party lines, yet more and more voters refuse to identify with either party. This talk will examine how parties lost the faith of voters while also creating a polarized political climate, as well as the consequences of these trends, including policy gridlock and an untenable “us-versus-them” rhetoric in politics.

Sponsored by Stanford University and Swarthmore College alumni clubs, this event is free of charge, but preregistration is required. Register by phoning or texting Gerry Elman, 610-909-2468.


Briefly Noted

Firefighters were called to Broad & School streets in Morton on March 14 at 9:30 p.m. for a “building fire with entrapment.” The second dispatch elaborated further with a “House fully involved, unknown if anyone inside. Numerous calls. Now entrapment. Police request FD expedite.” Apparatus from Morton, Swarthmore, Springfield, Holmes and Prospect Park were dispatched. Upon arrival firefighters found a house fully involved — all rooms ablaze — with fire emanating from the rear roof and windows of the structure extending 25 feet into the night sky. Swarthmore dispatched the aerial ladder and a pumper to combat the blaze. The crew of the pumper laid 600’ of water supply hose while Swarthmore firefighters from the aerial ladder attacked the fire with hose lines stretched by other fire departments, laddered the roof and cut ventilation holes. It was shortly discovered that no residents were inside the house. Approximately 12 firefighters from Swarthmore responded to the alarm. Firefighters remained on the scene until they were released at 12:30 a.m. In the above photo, Asst. Chief Rick Lee directs other Swarthmore firefighters at the scene prior to beginning roof operations. Photo by Rich Cresson.

Swarthmore Library Director Amber Osborne (left) and Helen Kate Furness Library Director Jen Stock (right) give the Book It! 5K Walk/Run the thumbs up. Crazy hats are optional fun for participants in the event on Saturday, April 7. Sign up to run, walk, or volunteer at (search Book It), and check for updates at

Matt Robak of Wallingford and Ryan Doherty of Swarthmore recently represented St. John Chrysostom Parish’s 7th and 8th grade CYO team quite well in the Region 30 all-star game.

Letter to the Editor

SSCA’s First Wellness Fair

To the Editor:

Thanks to the Swarthmorean for providing such a prominent placement to Louise Coffin’s recent article on Swarthmore’s First Wellness Fair. The day-long event is truly a first, for local seniors, for the Senior Citizens Association, and for the Borough’s commitment to aging-in-place. It represents the beginning of many more such offerings sponsored by SSCA, designed to further increase everyone’s connection to our community and the well-being of our seniors.

Please plan on attending the Fair on Saturday, March 24, to meet neighbors, listen to thoughtful, valuable presentations, and learn about available senior resources. It’s sure to be an enjoyable, satisfying experience!

Bill Davis, Chair
Aging-in-Place Committee

Marion Leventhal Bell Obituary

One of Philadelphia’s finest, Marion Bell (born Anne Marion Leventhal) passed away on March 11, 2018 in Walnut Creek, California. She was 88.

Marion was born to Hyman and Fanny Rosen Leventhal and two older brothers, Paul and Joe, whom she loved and survived. The depression was tough but they made do. That’s what families did. Marion met her true love, Jerome Bell, while still in high school at West Philadelphia High. After Jerry returned from the war and completed dental school they reunited and married. Jerry, who passed in 2000, still believed throughout their 47 years of a deeply happy marriage, that his running into Marion that day at the diner was a chance encounter. They were blessed with two beloved daughters, Nancy and Susan. Nancy’s tragic loss in 1981 was a hard blow. In her last ten years, Marion had the pleasure of the care and support in California of her daughter Susan, and getting to know her grandson Alex.

Marion had a sharp mind and was never far from academia. She received her B.S. in Education from Temple University and initially worked as a social studies and reading development teacher in the Philadelphia School District. When her kids were little, at the encouragement of Jerry, she went back to school for an advanced degree, receiving her Ph.D. in American History from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974. Her interest was primarily in the social history of … Philadelphia, of course.

In 1977 she published her book Crusade in the City: Revivalism in Nineteenth Century Philadelphia. After teaching positions at several colleges, and serving as a general administrator for the National Institute on the Holocaust, Marion returned to the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, where she served as an associate director of the College of General Studies until her retirement in 1996. Marion and Jerry also gave back to their community through their support of Israel, generously opening their home to Labor Zionist events.

Marion always had a soft spot for Philadelphia and Swarthmore, both of which she missed dearly after moving to California. She and Jerry made their homes in Springfield, Wallingford, and later in Swarthmore (Delaware County), living at the Strath Haven Condominiums, where she served on the landscape committee. Her impeccable taste was reflected in the wonderful homes and gardens she created.

She loved fine art and antiques and found creative ways to bring new and old together in the refurbishing of older homes, at one point undertaking an historical preservation of a house in Queen Village, Philadelphia. She decorated her apartments in California with the pottery she had enjoyed creating in her later years at the Wallingford Art Center, and with other keepsakes from her Philadelphia homes. Marion’s strong sense of style also found home in how she dressed. Many will remember Marion’s signature pixie cut and round tortoise shell glasses, and the English tweeds that she wore regardless of the current trends.

Marion and Jerry enjoyed traveling, reading, classical music and gardening. They enjoyed trips to Africa, Alaska and Europe, summers in New England, and many winter holidays in St. Croix. Until the end of her life, photographs of elephants from their visit to Kenya decades ago hung on the wall next to her bookcase with the biographies she had enjoyed reading. Marion lived a rich and meaningful life, turning challenges into steps forward on new paths. She will be remembered and loved by all who knew her.

Contributions to Marion’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California,

In this week’s issue . . .

To Your Health:
SSCA’s First Wellness Fair Is March 24

By Louise Coffin

Mary M. Gergen and Kenneth J. Gergen

The Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association is sponsoring the first annual Senior Wellness Fair on Saturday, March 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at The Inn at Swarthmore, as part of the fulfillment of the Borough’s 2015 Aging-in-Place task force.

The mission of the task force was to improve the quality of life and reduce barriers faced by residents of Swarthmore who desire to remain in the Borough throughout their lives. The Wellness Fair, “Enhancing Senior Well-Being,” will include a number of speakers and panelists sharing their knowledge about the issues of growing older in Swarthmore, and focusing on the variety of resources available in our community.

The fair begins with a thought-provoking Keynote Presentation by Mary and Ken Gergen. “Positive Aging: Biases, Blessings and Blossomings” examines the concept of Positive Aging, to suggest how rethinking and reframing aging, and the aging process, can benefit both physical and emotional health. Mary Gergen, PhD, a social psychologist, and Professor Emerita at Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine, is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles on feminist theory and practice, and social construction. Ken Gergen, PhD, a Senior Research Professor and former Chair of the Psychology Department at Swarthmore College, is an internationally renowned scholar, whose research interests include the relational nature of constructed realities, and …

A select group of 40 singers from the Chester Children’s Chorus is among the performers presenting Mozart’s Requiem this Sunday at Lang Concert Hall. Photo by J. Hodgson.

Mozart’s ‘Requiem’:
A Community Mosaic

By Kirsten Halker-Kratz

Forty members of the Chester Children’s Chorus will be joined by singers of the Delaware Valley community and a full orchestra in performing Mozart’s Requiem at Lang Concert Hall, Swarthmore College on Sunday, March 18, beginning at 3 p.m. While seating is not assigned, reservations must be made at, or by calling the office at 610-328-8180.

Conducted by Dr. John Alston, the Chorus’s founder and artistic director, the concert is a culmination of a year of dedicated practice. Dr. Alston said: “With the support of accomplished and caring adults, our Chester children will sing one of the greatest works of Western culture with confidence, accuracy, and understanding.”

The Chester Children’s Chorus includes 130 boys and girls, age 8 to 18 years old, from the Chester Upland School District. The Chorus was founded in 1994 and is a division of Swarthmore College. More information on the Chester Children’s Chorus can be found at A free-will donation will be taken to support the program.

Stay in the Loop With Alerts

Did you feel stranded with too little information during the recent storm? Take a minute to sign up for the Swarthmore Borough and Delaware County free alert notification systems. Both will send messages by e-mail and/or text, with information ranging from road closures and Amber Alerts to changes to the recycling schedule. You can pick which information you’d like to receive.

To sign up for the Borough’s alert system, follow the prompts under the “Notify Me” button on the home page Borough website ( To sign up for County alerts, follow the prompts under “Delaware County Emergency Notification System” at the bottom of the home page of the County website (

Hedgerow Celebrates its 95th, and Toasts its Belle

Penelope Reed

On Friday evening, March 23, Hedgerow Theatre will celebrate its 95th anniversary with a Ball to honor its own Belle: Director Emeritus Penelope Reed, who was recently awarded a Barrymore Lifetime Achievement Award. Cocktail attire is the dress code for the event. Many of Penelope’s dearest friends and admirers from the worlds of Philadelphia philanthropy and theater will greet and celebrate her during the soiree on the 23rd at the Old Mill in Rose Valley.

Penelope has worked with thousands of theater professionals during a decades-long stage career. She has also worked with hundreds of Hedgerow resident fellows and thousands of students in Hedgerow’s acting classes and summer children’s camp. She is passionate about bringing theater and performance into the lives of younger students. As an active member of Media Rotary and, more recently, the Rotary Club of Swarthmore, …

John Crawford (facing)

Haven Wrestlers Break New Ground at States

Lee Holbert (right)

For the first time ever, Strath Haven High School sent two wrestlers to the PIAA class 3A state championships, which were held last weekend at Hershey. The two Haven wrestlers were among just four from Delaware County at the tournament.

John Crawford of Swarthmore and Lee Holbert of Rose Valley went to states based on their performance at district and regional championships, and claimed the first wins and first pins ever by Strath Haven wrestlers at the state level. Both wrestlers went 1-2 in the weekend’s matches, and coach Tony Gilliano said, “Both John and Lee were phenomenal. This is a testament to the hard work they put in, training almost all year round.” Wrestling at 285 pounds, Holbert had a record of 31-7, while Crawford was 31-10 in the 160 pound class.

Gilliano said Strath Haven “kind of flew under the radar,” even though the program has grown in his three years there, with 34 boys on the team during 2017-18 season. “We’re just beginning to create a tradition at Strath Haven.”

Library Closed

The Helen Kate Furness Free Library will be closed on Thursday, March 22.

Science is Truth, Right? Right??

At the March 21 meeting of the Swarthmore Discussion Group, Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Information Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will discuss the challenges of communicating scientific truth to the media and the public.

Dr. Offit, a prolific and commended author of such books as Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, is also a professor of Vaccinology and of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania …

What Is Islam in Russia?

Russia today is home to 20 million native Muslims and up to 4 million immigrant laborers from mainly Muslim Central Asia. Thus Islam has become an important component of Russia’s political and cultural landscape, with vast ideological diversity among Russian Muslims themselves.

On Monday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m., Dominic Rubin, professor of Religion and Philosophy at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow will address these complexities in a talk “Between ISIS and Kadyrov: What Is Islam in Russia?” in the Scheuer Room of …

Report from the Fire Company
By Rich Cresson

From February 26 through March 11, the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association responded to the following alarms:

EMS: The ambulance responded to 32 calls for medical assistance. These were to Swarthmore, Rutledge, Morton, Springfield, Ridley Township, and Nether Providence Township. The calls were for a variety of emergencies including: unconscious person, medical alarm, syncopal episode, cardiac emergency, tachycardia, head injury, diabetic emergency, pediatric emergency, subject down, sick person, seizures, change in mental status, burn victim, choking, fracture, allergic reaction, laceration and respiratory difficulty.

Automatic Fire Alarms: One in Swarthmore on the 300 block of S. Chester Rd.; two in Nether Providence Twp. on the 100 block of Brookside Rd. and the 200 block of Hidden Acres Ln.

Building (Four alarms): One in Swarthmore on the 200 block of Haverford Ave. for a tree into the house as reported last week in the Swarthmorean; two in Nether Providence …

Wooster Chorus from The College of Wooster

Two Great Choruses in Concert This Week

Morehouse College Glee Club

Two highly acclaimed choral groups come to Swarthmore next week, performing on consecutive nights. On Wednesday, March 21, at 7 p.m., Swarthmore College hosts the Morehouse College Glee Club at Pearson Hall Theater of the Lang Performing Arts Center.

Under the direction of Morehouse Professor David Morrow, the 107 year-old Glee Club is the official choral group of Morehouse College, a men’s college that is part of the Atlanta University Center in Georgia. Their repertoire is wide-ranging, including Classical European vocal music, American Spirituals, and traditional folk songs from Africa. The Glee Club …

On Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m., the acclaimed Wooster Chorus, an ensemble of 70 student musicians from the College of Wooster in Ohio, will perform at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church in the final concert of the group’s 54th annual spring tour. Directed by Lisa Wong, the Wooster Chorus will present “Let My Love Be Heard,” an eclectic program of choral music that examines love through a personal and communal lens. Featuring …

Passover Seder at Ohev Shalom

Congregation Ohev Shalom invites the Wallingford-Swarthmore community to share in its annual Second Night Passover Seder on Saturday, March 31. The traditional communal celebration of Passover begins at 5:30 p.m.

Customarily a two-night observance, the Seder provides attendees with a shared meal, traditional prayers, songs, and stories, providing a greater understanding of how ancient traditions and history inform contemporary life and our shared struggles. The Ohev Seder is open to all …

First Day of Spring Tour at Scott

Celebrate the first day of spring on Tuesday, March 20, with a noontime tour of the Scott Arboretum Grounds at Swarthmore College, led by Scott staff. Meet at noon at the Arboretum’s offices on College Avenue, wear good walking shoes, and plan to see an hour’s worth of spring blooms. Inclement weather will cancel the fun.

A variety of media including drawings, paintings and ceramics from WSSD students in grades kindergarten through 12th will be on display as part of the WSSD Select Exhibition opening at the Community Arts Center. A work by student Chrissie Fackenthall is pictured above.

CAC Opens WSSD Select Exhibition

On Sunday, March 18, the Community Arts Center hosts a reception from 2 to 4 mark the opening of the biennial select show of art from students in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. The show will hang in the Duke Gallery at CAC through April 28.

The show comprises drawings, paintings, ceramics and sculpture from WSSD students, chosen by Strath Haven High School art teacher Jennifer Rodgers and other art faculty in the District. Students in SHHS Honors Art program work with CAC’s exhibition committee to hand the works. Admission to the exhibition and the reception are free and open to all. CAC is at 414 Plush Mill Road in Wallingford.

Register by April 16 to Vote in Primary Election

The last day to register to vote in the May 15 primary election is Monday, April 16. Delaware County residents who will be 18 or older on election day have several options:

• Visit the Voter Registration department page at
• Register in person at the Voter Registration Commission, in the lobby of the Delaware County Government Center, adjacent to the Delaware County Courthouse in Media. Regular office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
• Obtain, complete, and return a voter registration form, available at all municipal buildings, libraries and Wine and Spirits Stores throughout the county.

Not sure you’re registered? Find out at

Further questions? Contact the Voter Registration Commission at 610-891-4659 or the TDD line at 610-891-4306. Absentee voting information and applications are at The deadline for absentee ballot applications is 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, and a voted absentee ballot must be returned by 5 p.m. Friday, May 11. Note that these deadlines are not based on postmarks. The item must be delivered by the above date and time.

Scholarships Beckon to SHHS Seniors

Two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to Strath Haven High School seniors who will be attending college this fall. The scholarships are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Swarthmore and funds from the former Swarthmore Women’s Club. Interested students should visit the SHHS Guidance Department ASAP for an application. The deadline is April 1.

Applicants are must submit a one-page essay on the following topic: “Rotary’s primary goal is service to the community, whether local or global. Please describe how you have served the community while in high school and how you hope to serve the community in the future.”

Ballard Spahr Galactica Takes off at waR3house3

Swarthmorean Mary Gay Scanlon, candidate for the U.S. House from the new PA 5th District, will be among friends and supporters on Friday night, March 16, at waR3house3 in Swarthmore. They will include, the members of Ballard Spahr Galactica, the headlining band comprised of Scanlon’s colleagues at the law firm Ballard Spahr. These lawyers rock, including Ballard partner /Delaware County Controller/vocalist Joanne Phillips and associate/alt-rock band Blind Melon founder/guitarist Rogers Stevens of Swarthmore.

Get tickets on the mothership early with advance purchase through the Scanlon for Congress Facebook page, or make a contribution of $25 or more at the door. Showtime is 7 p.m. Light fare will be provided, and you may BYOB. The following night on the waR3house stage Cajun/zydeco masters Lost Northern Tribe brings the party to Swarthmore for St. Patrick’s Day. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door; BYOB, etc. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Charlie Gracie Rocks On at CAC

Charlie Gracie

Community Arts Center welcomes a legendary figure next Friday, March 23, when Charlie Gracie plays at Friday Night Live.

In a 60 year career that started with a 1957 chart topper in “Butterfly,” Charlie has never not been cool. One of the few living members of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, he remains an energetic singer, a stylish guitar player, a warm, personable entertainer, and an influence on some of the great performers of the past 6 decades.

His music will inspire visual artists Rinal Parikh and Georgi Gretzenberg as they paint at Friday Night Live. The work they create will be sold by silent auction during the evening. Light refreshments will be offered, and adults 21 and over can BYOB. Admission is $15 at the door ($10 for CAC members) for those 17 and up; no younger persons please.

Mad Poets Try Again

The Mad Poets Society’s monthly reading has been rescheduled to March 21 (due to snow on March 7). Minna Duchovnay and Ed Krizek are featured readers in the session beginning at 7 p.m., followed by an open mic session. The free reading is at Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, in Wallingford.

SFoA Reception Reboot

The opening for the current Swarthmore Friends of the Arts exhibit in Borough Hall, “All Mixed Up,” has been rescheduled for Friday, March 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The original March 2 opening was canceled due to inclement weather. The show presents the work of the Mixed Media Studio of the Community Arts Center in Wallingford. Both the show and reception are free and open to the public.

Lecture on Charles Stephens
at Rose Valley Museum

“Charles Stephens, Earth Woman, and Wounded Face” — it’s not a band name, it’s the subject of a lecture by William Weirzbowski on Sunday, March 25, at Thunderbird Lodge in Rose Valley.

Stephens, an artist who with his wife Alice Barber was an early resident of the Lodge following its Arts & Crafts conversion by William Price, was fascinated with American Indian cultures, and amassed a large collection of artifacts. These include artworks and objects which tell the tales of the Mandan tribal families of Wounded Face and Earth Woman.

The lecture, presented by the Rose Valley Museum & Historical Society, begins at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a reception with refreshments. Thunderbird Lodge is at 41 Rose Valley Road, with adjacent parking at the School in Rose Valley on School Lane. Tickets are $20 ($15 for RVMHS members) and are available online at and in limited number at the door. For more information, call 484-444-2961.

Got Eggs?

Easter is almost upon us – what better time to learn the art of Ukrainian egg decoration next Saturday, March 24 1 to 5 p.m. at the Holy Myrrh Bearers Church, 900 Fairview Avenue inn Swarthmorewood. The cost is $25 and includes all materials. Reserve a seat by calling 610-544-1215.

Chip In at Chipotle

Dine at Chipotle (801 Baltimore Pike in Springfield) on Sunday, March 18, and you’ll support the BookIt! 5k to benefit the Helen Kate Furness and Swarthmore Public Libraries. When you pick up food between 4 and 8 p.m. on Sunday, tell the cashier you support the cause, and BookIt will receive 50% of the proceeds.

Computer Basics and More at Schoolhouse

Do computers scare you? Adults of all ages are welcome to get help in two classes at Schoolhouse Center, 600 Swarthmore Avenue in Folsom. Make friends with technology in a basic computer class, which meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20 and 21, at the Schoolhouse Center. Learn how to use the mouse, play games, search the internet, and more. The two classes are $25 for Schoolhouse members and $30 for others, If you wish to go a bit deeper, learn how to make files, move items, create documents, and other useful information. This class costs $15 for members/$20 for guests. To register or get further information, call 610-237-8100.

Briefly Noted . . .

Swarthmore Presbyterian Nursery Day School held its first “SPNDS Night Out” at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford on Saturday night, March 10. Pictured are members of the fundraising committee and school parents (left to right): Jim Irey, Mary Kadlec, Tim Smith, Colleen Burkhart-Smith, Chris Wilson, Beth Rendin, Rinal Pirakh, Ruba Ahmed, Tayler Moots, Peggy Warren (chair), Angie Tseng, and Kerri Phipps. Not pictured: Alana Johnson and Jennifer Garfall. Rock band Love Seed Trio provided the dance music, featuring drummer (and SPNDS teacher) Paul Voshell.

Swarthmore Presbyterian Nursery School has been reaccredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The school has met the rigorous standards since 1996, and is pleased to have done so once again. SPNDS is now enrolling for its preschool and kindergarten complement programs.”

Last Saturday, 22 members of Cub Scout Pack 112 led by Cubmaster Andy Rennick visited the firehouse as the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association hosted a series of sessions on emergency preparedness. The fire department, police department and EMS team gave presentations to the boys on subjects ranging from fire safety to stranger awareness to calling 911. Dr. Kathryn Jones and the fire company’s Rich Cresson were instrumental in organizing and planning the event, which was fun and educational. Above (left to right,) SP&FD members Johnathan Cresson, Stephen Yavor, and Ray Devine talk with spellbound Cubs.