Briefly Noted . . .

Michael Chenoweth of Morton received a Master of Science in Nursingfrom Wilkes University during Spring commencement ceremonies on May 19, 2018.

Anna Martin of Media and Quinn Wirth of Wallingford graduated from Gettysburg College on May 20, 2018.

Julia Gyourko of Swarthmore was awarded the Scott Prize in Arabic, which recognizes excellence in modern languages from Wesleyan University. Julia formerly attended Strath Haven High School.

Alana Waldt of Swarthmore was named to the dean’s list at Ashland University for the Spring 2018 semester. Alana is majoring in nursing and is a graduate of Strath Haven High School.

Gabriel W. Cole of Wallingford has been inducted into St. Lawrence University’s Irving Bacheller Society, the Department of English’s honorary society. Gabriel is a member of the Class of 2018 and is majoring in English. He attended Strath Haven High School.

Alex Prugh of Swarthmore graduated from Colgate University with degrees in economics and computer science, and achieved Summa Cum Laude status. Alex will be working in the Washington, D.C., area in the fall.

Jamie Bartholomew , SHHS class of ‘03, competed in “American Ninja Warrior,” which was filmed in Philadelphia last week. Jamie, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was cheered on by Pam and Art Bartholomew of Swarthmore, classmates Ben Tropp and Jack Giammattei, and his most ardent fan, Walker Lewis of Swarthmore. Tune in to ANW on June 25 at 8 p.m. to see how Jamie did. (This photo is from an earlier competition.)

Pictured from left to right are Wallingford Elementary School Librarian Martha Lambertsen, Rebecca Stead, Wendy Mass, and 4th grade students Sophia Aranda, Lily Newport, and Liliana Fletcher. Early in May, Mass – author of the bestselling Candymakers series and Stead – Newberry Medal winner for When You Reach Me – visited WES to talk with students about their work and their new collaboration entitled Bob. This mystery/fairytale tells of a story of a non-zombie named Bob who with the help of ten year old Livy, searches to try and find his way back home. Mass and Stead each shared samples of their writing from elementary school. Neither of them really enjoyed writing, but they both had a passion and zest for reading which originated at a very young age. It wasn’t until after they tried other careers that they both discovered the joy of writing. An interview of the authors, conducted by WES 5th graders, will be available on the WES library author interview site soon. The author visit was the latest arranged by WES Librarian Martha Lambertsen and Children’s Book World.  Photo courtesy of Kristin Snyder.

Natalie Marra (left) and Amy Caruso (right), both of Wallingford, represented the Board of the Strath Haven Middle School Home & School Association (SHMS HSA) in joyfully presenting a check for $1,600 to the Jack Hontz Endowment Fund on Monday, May 21. Henry Pearlberg (center), chair of the WSSD Music Department, received the gift during an 8th grade assembly on Monday. Thanks to the community’s generosity during the annual spring musical Mary Poppins raffle and the Harlem Wizards vs. Haven Hoopsters event, funds raised will go towards funding music and arts camps for students this summer. Photo by Deirdre Abrahamsson.

Letters to the Editor

To My Fellow Swarthmoreans

Do you have plans for Memorial Day morning this Monday? Swarthmore has a single, brief, but meaningful ceremony uptown at 10 a.m. to commemorate those in the military who made the ultimate sacrifice:  death. Our freedoms, which we can easily take for granted, were hard won by those who served, especially those who have incurred injuries, disabilities or death.

The stirring music of the Silver Dollar Band and the speaker, the blessing, the placement of flags in Monument Park (corner of Dartmouth and Park Avenue) help set the tone for the holiday.

You are also welcome to follow veterans and Boy Scouts to a ceremony at Eastlawn Cemetery (down Park Avenue and across Michigan Avenue) where the scouts will place flags on the graves of veterans.

On the preceding night of Sunday, May 27, there is an excellent patriotic program on PBS (channel 12) from 8 to 9:30 p.m. (and repeated from 9:30 to 11 p.m). It captures the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall, which has been held in Washington, D.C., for a number of years, with a different military focus each year. Patriotic music is woven through a story line of a military person’s sacrifice in their tour of duty. The program is usually hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna. This inspirational program sets the tone for Memorial Day.

Please care, please come, please ponder why you are lucky to have your freedoms.

Joan Watson

Freshly repainted, the gazebo offers a serene shelter in Little Crum Creek Park. Photo by Susan Kelly.

Thank you, Tom Pinto!

To the Editor:

Have you been to Little Crum Creek Park lately? If so, you’ve probably noticed the new “face” of the gazebo.

Several months ago, the roof was replaced by the borough but, similar to any improvement project, once you improve one thing, something else needs a new look. In this case, the metal supporting structure and benches looked pretty scruffy.  

When I approached Tom Pinto, owner of Thomas Aquinas Painting, asking him for an estimate to paint the metal frame of the gazebo, he volunteered that he would have a crew sand and paint the metal frame and sand and stain the benches, free of charge. Tom’s crew performed a miracle by adding the finishing touches to the gazebo, and to the park.

We’re extremely fortunate to have people like Tom in our borough, so when you see Tom around the borough, please don’t hesitate to thank him for his generous donation of time and resources to the park.

Susan Kelly
Swarthmore Environmental
Advisory Council

Re. the Biddle Tract: Intent is at issue

To the Editor:

Facts matter and the co-founders of Swarthmore 21 are misinformed and wrong. It is intent, not motive, at issue. 

At the November 2017 public council meeting my written and videotaped remarks to borough council proposed that either Council should not sign any waivers, or in the alternative, Council should sign waivers for all the properties under the restrictive covenant that are appropriately zoned. Further, my intent has been consistent when speaking with other business owners, elected officials, and other interested persons. Easily holding more than one thought, my position is consistent with the intention of the original signers of the deed: that Swarthmore College intended that no alcohol be sold within the Clement Biddle land purchase. Since 1892, the college has not changed their intention. It is not really a Biddle prohibition, rather a contractual clause running with the land enforceable still by the college!

My intention has been consistent for nearly 20 years from the initial RFP circulated by borough council on behalf of Swarthmore College and alcohol sales, favoring open meetings and a broader community involvement. Further, at no time did I oppose alcohol sales per se, and if it happens in the borough no single institution or business should be favored. If change does happen, then naturally my self-interest seeks the alleged benefit that others would enjoy. 

But if the founders of Swarthmore 21 do suspect motives, then why do they look away from the actors? The Co-Op has no business plan and yet submitted a bid to purchase a liquor license even before obtaining a legal determination on the restrictive covenant. Co-Op drafted but did not circulate a ballot to shareholders. The Co-Op refuses to disclose this information to a shareholder, so where is their transparency? As a shareholder, my requests were denied.

Swarthmore College imposed the contractual covenant upon Mr. Biddle, yet that institution in recent decades has (i) justified an exception for alcohol sales on their institutionally zoned campus, (ii) refused to enforce their covenant upon the borough, which violates the covenant by allowing vendors to sell alcohol at the Farmers Market, and (iii) readily signed a waiver and release for the Co-Op, while not releasing all other commercial properties burdened by their restriction. The college could keep the issue out of the courts by unburdening and releasing ALL the Biddle owners, instead of playing favorites. 

My intention is the engagement with all the Biddle property owners and the Co-Op shareholders, but the Co-Op’s actions are destined for a judicial decision if the college does not release all. The risk for the Co-Op is that the court will review the college’s intent as of the 1892 deed, not the 2018 motives of any other party, nor the single waiver bestowed upon the Co-Op. 

Pat Flanigan

Jim Ryan of the Lions Club of Swarthmore gives out trophies to the winners of the 17th Annual Swarthmore Charity Fun-Fair 5K Run and Walk.

Running with the Lions (and Rotary)

To the Editor: 

Kudos to all of the runners and walkers who participated in last Sunday’s 17th Annual Swarthmore Charity Fun-Fair 5K Run and Walk, sponsored by the Swarthmore Lions Club and the Swarthmore Rotary Club. The rain held off for the race and then drenched us afterwards. The winning time for the women’s division was the fastest in several years and fourth fastest overall. The men’s field was also fast and very competitive.

The women’s overall winners were 1.) Lisa Victorius (21:40), 2.) Corinne Weidner (24:59), and 3.) Sophie Bergstrom (27:06). The men’s overall winners were 1.) Bradley Ernst (20:51), 2.) Steven Melly (21:03), and 3.) Blanton Dunn (21:28).

Female age group winners were 1.) Riley Armstrong and 2,) Charlotte Davis (10 and under); 1.) Keira Bolin and 2.) Charlotte Caywood (11-13); 1.) Breanna Raysor, 2.) Alicia Valente, and 3.) Naomi Dicky (14-19); 1.) Maura McCarthy (20-29); 1.) Kristen McKenna, 2.) Julianne Barclay and 3.) Anna Filipczak (30-39); 1.) Heidi Arnold and 2.) Libby Elliott (40-49); and 1.) Kate Dicky (50-59).

The male age group winners were 1.) John Stephanson (10 and under); 1.) Sawyer Bock (11-13); 1.) Alex Melly and 2.) Ben Ent (14-19); 1.) Chris Houpt and 2.) Michael Bolin (30-39); 1.) Scott Greuser,  2.) Doug Milana, and Chris Armstrong (40-49); 1.) Mike Keeports 2.) Paul Maillet, and 3.) Michael Stack (50-59); and 1.) Michael Palazzo, 2.) Terry Britt, and 3.) Jack Fields (60+).  If you did not receive your medal, please send an email to Full race results are now posted on

I would like to recognize Swarthmore Rotarians and the Fun-Fair Director Joe Lesniak for their generous support of the race. Special thanks to Gina Sheehan, Faculty Advisor of the Ridley High School Leos Club, and the Leo volunteers. who marshaled and served refreshments at the finish line. Many thanks to Swarthmore Police Chief Brian Craig and Sergeant Bill Thomas for keeping the streets safe. Rich Allen and the Run the Day team did a great job with the race timing and results. We also thank Michael Hill and Swarthmore College for allowing us to run through the campus.  

Finally, thanks to fellow Lions and friends (James Verdi; Jeff Bergstrom, the Dickey family, Rob Borgstrom, and the Milbourne family) for their help with the race. We look forward to seeing you at the Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K on Tuesday, July 3. 

Jim Ryan
Swarthmore Lions Club

Co-Op Up for Best of Philly!

To the Editor:

This is a personal plea from myself and my team at the Co-op to help us out with something fun, without a financial ask. We just need your votes.

We have been nominated to compete in the Philadelphia Magazine 2018 Best of Philly Edition for Best Sandwich. We are competing against three other local businesses for this prestigious title.

How you can help? We need folks to vote online on a daily basis, on multiple devices if possible.

Simply use your search engine by typing in “real philly deli,” or visit

We would love it if you could also pass this along to your family/friends/co-workers, wherever they live. Every vote counts, no matter where in the world it is cast. The winner will be determined simply by number of online votes. This competition runs thru June 3.

If we win, the Co-Op will be featured in a 2-page spread in the Best of Philly edition of Philadelphia this summer. 

Thanks for your time, and remember to vote daily and vote often!

Mike Litka, General Manager
Swarthmore Co-Op

Sunday Night Softball returns

To the Editor:

Sunday Night Softball is beginning this Sunday evening, May 27, at 5:15 Swarthmore time, on the college field next to the track and the Community Center (behind the Presbyterian Church on Harvard Avenue).

This is a pick-up game. Anyone who’s a teenager or older is welcome to play or hang out and watch. 

Hope to see you all out there!

Al Federico

Why give away goldfish?

To the Editor:

I attended the Swarthmore Charity Fun Fair this past weekend with my daughter. Our family looks forward to this day every year. We are proud to highlight our community’s benevolence and support such great causes.

I was, however, dismayed that once again goldfish were being given away as a prize at one of the carnival booths. What message does this send to our children about the value of a life? Animal ownership is a responsibility that needs to be planned and well thought out. It should not be a spur of the moment thing that happens simply because someone has won a prize. Games offering a living creature as prizes do not take this into consideration. Handing out an animal as a toy perhaps sends the wrong message to children, whom we wish to teach compassion for all living things, regardless of their likeness to us. Even greater is the fear that we teach children that living things less capable than us exist solely for our amusement. Treating even the lowest animal as disposable fails to instill in children the compassion we must have towards those who cannot defend themselves or those that rely on us for assistance. 

Goldfish are easily stressed. They may suffer from shock and oxygen starvation, or even die from changes in water temperature. These “carnival” fish often die before their new owners can get them home, or soon afterwards. Animal welfare as a field has made considerable progress over the past two decades. Until recently, fish were thought to be unable to perceive pain, and have little to no memory. As such, fish have tended to fall through the welfare net. There is, however, growing scientific evidence that fish are far from dim-witted and that they share many of the same general pain processes and stress physiology as other vertebrates. Current interest in the welfare of fish has resulted in scientific publications indicating that there should be concern over potential pain, distress, and suffering that humans may cause in interactions with fish.  

While at this time it is impossible to answer the question whether fish can suffer, considering the current literature on the subject, it is argued that they should certainly be given the benefit of the doubt. I have no qualms with rearing animals for food, humanely disposing of pests causing humans manifest harm, riding ponies, or owning dogs. I just wish to point out that a goldfish’s low cognition and relative defenselessness does not mean that it cannot suffer. I am sure that no harm was intended by offering this prize. Rotary International’s dedication to improving lives and creating a better world by promoting peace is laudable. However, I believe that treating animals compassionately breeds compassion towards people weaving more empathy, respect, and dignity into human interactions. A compassionate relationship with animals is integral to a more compassionate world.

Ines Rodriguez, MS, VMD
Board Eligible in the American College of Animal Welfare

Briefly Noted . . .

The Delaware County Youth Orchestra, featuring several students from Strath Haven among its 96 musicians, will perform its annual Spring Concert for the 2017-2018 season on Sunday, May 20, at 3 p.m., at Conestoga High School, 200 Irish Road, Berwyn, Pa. Admission is free, and the venue has disability access. Under the direction of Maestro Andrew Hauze of Swarthmore, the orchestra will present Bernstein, “Overture” to West Side Story;” Berlioz, “Three Dances from The Damnation of Faust;” Delius, “The Walk to the Paradise Garden;” and Sibelius, “Finlandia.” For directions, please visit our website at

Strath Haven Middle School students, Lauren Karpyn and Luke DiBonaventura, both had big wins last weekend at the National History Day State Contest in Carlisle, Pa. Lauren (8th grade) placed third in the Junior Individual Documentary category with her film, “Success to the Triphena! A Toast to Conflict or Compromise?” Luke Di Bonaventura (7th grade) won first place in the Junior Individual Exhibit category with his project, “Super Patriots: Antisemitism, Comic Books and World War II.” Luke advances to the National History Day National Contest at the University of Maryland next month.

Yes, Virginia, there is free parking in Swarthmore, at the push of a button. No more fretting when you park with no change for the meter on a short errand in the Ville. All 30-minute meters in Swarthmore are now equipped with buttons (see arrows) that load the meter with 10 minutes of free parking. You can add coins if you need a bit longer. The meters are installed near the post office, the Co-Op, and other shops.

Nathan D’Ignazio

Nathan D’Ignazio of Swarthmore received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., on Sunday, May 13. Nathan is the son of Connie Gilday and Joe D’Ignazio.

Kira Venturini, a rising Senior at Emerson College, made the Spring dean’s list with distinction, was named to the NEWMAC All Conference Academic Soccer team and will be a captain of Emerson’s soccer team her senior year. Kira is the daughter of Glenn and Marian Venturini of Wallingford.

Eleanor Stief of Swarthmore has been named to St. Lawrence University’s dean’s list for the Fall 2017 semester. Eleanor is a member of the Class of 2019 and is majoring in performance and communication arts. She attended Strath Haven High School.

Samantha Ward of Swarthmore was recently inducted in The East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) chapter of Sigma Phi Omega, the national honor society in gerontology.

Letters to the Editor

Defending Tanner Rouse

To the Editor:

I write in response to last week’s letter denouncing Tanner Rouse’s service as a prosecutor in Philadelphia.

In an effort to discredit Rouse and promote Mayor Kearney, both then senate candidates, Jon Feinberg asserted that the prosecutors of that office “in word and deed favored winning convictions over the fair administration of justice.” As a former Philadelphia prosecutor, I found his description of the people who worked within its walls unrecognizable.

I worked as an Assistant District Attorney for five years in Philadelphia prosecuting everything from misdemeanors to horrific felonies involving sexual assault and gun violence. The claim that all of the prosecutors in that office strive to win at any cost is false and repugnant. I felt just as accomplished on the day I convicted a man who riddled his neighbor with bullets as I did on the day I withdrew charges against an innocent man who was accused of shooting off another man’s jaw. I made countless decisions to withdraw criminal charges during my time as a prosecutor with the support of my supervisors who regularly made it clear to me that I should always act to exonerate the innocent even if it meant so-called “losing.”

My role as a prosecutor was never about winning or satisfying my ego and it was certainly never about the money. It was always about being a voice for the most powerless members of the community. I was honored to be offered the position of Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia as one of just 33 people chosen from thousands of applicants. I withstood a rigorous interview process which included a challenge to correct a hypothetical injustice at the expense of a court room victory. When those hypotheticals became reality after I was hired, I acted in keeping with my oath, my moral character and always with the support of my office’s leadership. I never let politics or pride impede a just result.

Mayor Kearney is a successful and compassionate person who has been responsive to me as his constituent. In addition, he and his wife, Claudia, have been friends to my family in some of the darkest times life has to offer. Tanner Rouse is an accomplished and motivated attorney who has a reputation for being honest and fearless. It is worth noting that his wife Ursula, who is also a former Philadelpha prosecutor, shares the same reputation. I feel fortunate that both men selflessly offered to represent my interests in the senate.

By the time this goes to print, the primary candidate will have been chosen. Votes will have been cast and decisions will have been made but these divisive accusations about an entire generation of prosecutors will linger. In our town, which purports to tout kindness, understanding and empathy towards all people, we do a disservice to ourselves, our children and to each other when we project our biases onto others with little thought to the far-reaching effects of our actions.

Jennifer Lentz

‘Veiled personal attack’

To the Editor:

I was disappointed to see that a veiled personal attack was printed in last week’s Letters to the Editor. Not only do I object to election related op-ed submissions being printed without providing an opportunity for a response by the group or individual who was the subject of the letter, but I think letters that disparage individuals should not be considered for publication. 

When I open my Swarthmorean, I hope to only see letters promoting civil debate and I expect purported facts to be verified. 

Thank you to all of the candidates willing to serve our great state. 

Madeleine Delson

Jack Baldwin ‘aged in place’

To the Editor:

Jack Baldwin. Photo by Linda Heffernan

For the last several years, Jack Baldwin was a regular fixture in town. Tall and elegant, he could often be found sitting on the Co-Op patio, either by himself or with friends. Almost every day he would take the short walk from his small apartment on Myers Ave. to the library to read the paper and just spend some time with people.

A few months ago he had a fall, not his first, but this one injured his knee and forced him into a rehab facility that led to his eventual move to a nursing home. A few weeks ago Jack died at age 94 as result of illness and pneumonia.

Jack exemplified “aging in place” and Swarthmore was perfect place for him. Living in Swarthmore allowed him to stay independent despite being slowed down by age. Thanks to all who made his life here so full. He will be missed.

Marty Spiegel


Thanks for the hospitality

To the Editor:

For the last 7½ weeks we have had the privilege of being part of the Swarthmore community. 

We have lived at Nick’s House, a home for patients and their caregivers receiving cancer treatment in the greater Philadelphia area. Headstrong Foundation, an organization that provides financial and emotional support to families affected by cancer, established Nick’s House.

While staying at the house, we have truly appreciated the attractive town of Swarthmore. We shopped and ate in town, buying from unique stores and restaurants, and taking advantage of community events, such as the library book and bake sale. Every day we enjoyed our routine of walking to and from the train station as we headed to the city for treatment. And the Swarthmore campus offered us a relaxing and beautiful stroll in the evening.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to more easily navigate a difficult journey by being a part of your lovely community.

Judy Rifkin and Debbie Barlieb
Lehigh Valley

Maria Teresa Eldridge Fisher Obituary

Maria Teresa Eldridge Fisher left this life on May 11, 2018. She lived in Newtown Square.

Maria was born in Pittsfield, Mass., on August 30, 1970, the first child of Joan Alice Tibbs Eldridge and Maurice G. Eldridge. Maria was a woman filled with love and joy, grace and beauty that she shared with an open heart with her family and her friends. From Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and beyond, she bonded with a network of friendship that blessed us all. She was a wonderful child, a wondrous parent, a giver and a warrior (think Wonder Woman) against fear and adversity.

Her first child, Francessca Maria Wallace, with her first husband Frank Wallace, is a delightful, creative and insightful 14-year-old who misses her and is filled with her spirit. Her second child, born of her second marriage to Robert Fisher, Natalia Maria Fisher, is a bundle of 4-year-old energy, who delights in her discoveries of this world, will miss her mother though she, too, is imbued with her spirit and energy.

Maria was educated in wonderful schools: Berkshire Country Day School in the Berkshires, Sidwell Friends School and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in D.C. She earned her B.A. at Smith College in Theater and Dance. While there she, like her Grandmother Alice and Aunt Daisy, became a proud life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. 

After Smith she would then go on to earn her MFA in Acting at Brandeis University. She taught a semester there, offering a class in Movement for Theatre. She briefly pursued a career in acting in New York City performing off-Broadway before moving on to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals where she worked for five years and became a Human Resources and Clinical Data Operations Executive Assistant to the Vice President. 

When she returned to Swarthmore, where her parents Maurice and Joan lived, she fell in love with early childhood education as she worked for several years at The School in Rose Valley and Trinity Cooperative Day Nursery. Working in those schools she blessed the lives of many young children and their families with love and energy and her belief in the power of the arts in the lives of all children. While she would also later serve at Trinity on the Board of Directors first as Vice President and then later as President, she largely focused on taking on the fulfilling roles of wife and mother. She suffused the lives of her children with her sterling model of the practice of giving nurture, direction, encouragement, inspiration and wisdom to her children, her family and her friends.

She left us too soon, but left us with the bounty of her beautiful self to sustain us in perpetuating her vision of a better, more just, loving and humane world.

Maria leaves to cherish her memory, her husband Robert and her two lovely daughters, Francessca, and Natalia; her father Maurice and his wife Patricia; her brother Jonathan, his wife Alicia and their children Jonathan II, Andrew and Michael; her Aunt Janice and her three children; her godmother Elaine and her god-sister, Elaine’s daughter Dawn; and many cousins, other family members, and friends from all of the walks of her life.

A Memorial Service for Maria will be held at Christ Church, 20 N. American Street (2nd and Market) Philadelphia, PA 19106 at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 19, followed by a Reception in the North Garden there (if raining, the Great Hall in the church’s Neighborhood House across the street).

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider supporting Maria’s Daughters’ Education Fund at