Briefly Noted . . .

Cindi Clark has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer at CADES. Cindi has a degree in Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University and began working at CADES 30 years ago as an occupational therapist. For the last 14 years, she has been the director of Early Intervention at CADES. Cindi, a mother of eight children, lives in Kennett Square.

As of Monday afternoon, the winners of Swarthmore Swim Club’s neon green aka safety yellow (with black lettering) 2018 1,000-Lap Shirt are: 9.) Tom Gates, 10.) Galina Chititsyna, 11.) Matthew Schroeder, 12.) Sheila Linderman, 13.) Martha Hodes, 14.) Gigi Simone and 15.) Linda Hauck.

Swarthmorean Bill Menke (right), his daughter Anna Pritt, and her son Calvin wait for ice cream at Fenton’s in Oakland, Calif., on Bill’s recent westward jaunt. Anna’s twin daughters Gwendolyn and Matilda stayed home to prepare for their second birthday. Bill’s daughter Kris Ives took the picture.


Molly Hannah Andersen of Swarthmore graduated last week from Drexel University Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods.

She made the dean’s list for every term attended.

Molly is headed to Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Ill., this Summer for a one year dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian.

Molly was a 2013 graduate of Strath Haven High School.

YuWen Michelson successfully completed her year as a Fulbright scholar in Laos. She will continue her service abroad in the coming year representing the U.S. in the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching Program).

JET is a professional international exchange program throughout Japan. Those selected are invited to Japan as representatives of their home countries and play a key role in promoting understanding between nations.

YuWen is a graduate of Strath Haven High School and Hamilton College. She is the daughter of Ginny Lang and Dean Michelson of Cape May, N.J. (formerly of Swarthmore).

Widener University conferred degrees to more than 600 graduate students in a ceremony Friday, May 18. Commencement was held on Memorial Field at the university.
Tronya Boylan of Wallingford earned a Doctor of Education in School Administration from Widener’s School of Human Service Professions.
Letitia Carney of Rutledge earned a Master of Business Administration in Management from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Olivia Debiase of Morton earned a Master of Social Work in Social Work from Widener’s School of Human Service Professions.
Charmaine Kemp of Swarthmore earned a Master of Social Work in Social Work from Widener’s School of Human Service Professions.
Susan Raab of Swarthmore earned a Master of Education in Higher Education from Widener’s School of Human Service Professions.
Gwen Soffer of Swarthmore earned a Master of Social Work in Social Work from Widener’s School of Human Service Professions.
Deborah Tancredi of Wallingford earned a Master of Science in Nursing in Family Nurse Practitioner (Individual/Lifespan) from Widener’s School of Nursing.
Arto Woodley of Swarthmore earned a Doctor of Education in Higher Education from Widener’s School of Human Service Professions.

Widener University conferred degrees to more than 800 undergraduates in a ceremony Saturday, May 19. Commencement was held on Memorial Field at the university.
Avery Bass of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media Informatics from Widener’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Bridget Bieda of Swarthmore earned a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health in Allied Health from Widener’s Center for Extended Learning.
Maxfield Dankanich of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Bali Du Aime of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Widener’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Joshua Gallone of Morton earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Sara Gladstone of Morton earned a Bachelor of Hospitality Management in Hospitality Management from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Tyler Hoinkis of Morton earned a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering in Chemical Engineering from Widener’s School of Engineering.
Paul Keenan of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Widener’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Marissa Lanholm of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Widener’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Yang Lu of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Vincent Marra of Morton earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Thomas Platt of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Widener’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Mary Reuther of Morton earned a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health in Allied Health from Widener’s Center for Extended Learning.
Paul Rice of Morton earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Kyle Schreiber of Morton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Widener’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Andrew Sokol of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Widener’s School of Business Administration.
Timothy Watts of Wallingford earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Widener’s School of Business Administration.

The following tudents have been named to the University of Delaware dean’s list for the Spring 2018 semester: Anthony Campanella, Daniel Morreale and Margaret Orr, all of Swarthmore; Brianna Hadley of Rose Valley; Renee Yavor of Rutledge; Tanisha Hira and Joy McCusker, both of Morton; and Jordan Hodges, Claire Hollyer, Julia Kane, Thomas White and Henry Wolgast, all of Wallingford.

Tufts University recently announced the dean’s list for the Spring 2018 semester. Among students earning dean’s list honors are: Rachel Carp, Anna Morreale and Matthew Stewart, all of Swarthmore; Brian Felter of Morton; and Julia Olszewski and Ryan Sheehan of Wallingford.

Caleb Baukman and Grace DeMarro of Wallingford; Brian Burke of Swarthmore; Grace DeMarro of Wallingford and Dominic Toriello of Morton were named to the dean’s list at Kutztown University for the spring 2018 semester.


Letters to the Editor

Thanks from SPNDS alumnae

Dear Mom,

A subtle and earned recognition for your service to Swarthmore Presbyterian Nursery Day School. SPNDS gave us both a place to learn and grow…check it out….we did both.

We loved our years at SPNDS and naturally graduated on to bigger places. The teachers and community proved to be unforgettable. But, even after we graduated, you stayed. You had work to do.

During and after our time at SPNDS, altogether, you spent years volunteering alongside and leading the school’s Board, and more recently, organizing the Search Committee to help recruit and welcome the new Head of School. 

The SPNDS community is strong and will continue to provide our littlest of students a home-away-from-home to grow, learn and never forget how special SPNDS is….even now that you have graduated.

Big high five, Mom. NBL. 

Olivia and Ellie Stransky

Hear this: 100% renewable energy is the future

To the Editor:

On Tuesday June 12, I joined hundreds of Pennsylvanians in Harrisburg for 100% Renewable Energy Advocacy Day, hosted by PennEnvironment. Our goal was to show legislators that clean energy is the future of Pennsylvania and it is the future that the people want.

Personally, I believe that 100% renewable energy is necessary because we have a responsibility to future generations to protect and treat the Earth with kindness. No longer can we view the Earth as an entity that can be extracted from, used or destroyed.

All the constituents who came to Harrisburg on June 12th had their own reasons and stories about why Pennsylvania needs to move towards 100% renewable energy and their voices were heard throughout the Capitol.

I had productive meetings with my legislators, and I would like to thank Senator Tom McGarrigle for listening to his constituents and agreeing to sign on and co-sponsor this 100% Renewable Energy bill. A lot of work remains to be done, but it is clear that Pennsylvanians want 100% renewable energy, and their legislators are willing to listen to their voices.

Rachel Vresilovic

Deliciously ecological

To the Editor:

Continuing the reduce-reuse-recycle thoughts (from the June 15 Swarthmorean) for summer: Order an ice cream cone and skip the cup and spoon. Saving our environment doesn’t have to be hard — each baby step adds up!

Linda Doyle
Rose Valley

James R. Calkins Obituary

James Roy Calkins passed away peacefully at his home at White Horse Village in Newtown Square on June 13, 2018. He was 89.

Born on January 3, 1929 in Cohoes, N.Y., he was the son of Harry A. Calkins and Beatrice Roy Calkins. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1950 with a B.S. in chemical engineering in 1950 and earned his master’s degree, also from MIT in 1951.

At MIT, he raced sailboats on the Charles River and sang in the glee club. After graduation, he moved to Pennsylvania for a job with Sun Oil Company, where he worked for 41 years, first as a chemical engineer at the refinery in Marcus Hook and then transitioning into software development in Philadelphia in the early days of computers. He retired from Sun Oil in 1992.

Jim and his wife Barbara (Lukens) were married at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church in 1957 and lived in Wallingford, Pa., for 45 years, where they raised their three children. They moved to White Horse Village in 2003. Some of Jim’s favorite activities at White Horse were singing in the Village Singers and helping other residents with their computer problems.

Jim was an Eagle Scout, and when he moved to Swarthmore after college served as Assistant Scoutmaster and merit badge counselor for many years. He carried the values he learned in scouts, particularly integrity, honesty, and service to others, throughout his life.

A member of the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church since the 1950s, Jim served as a deacon and ushered at services for more than 40 years. In his later years, he enjoyed gardening at the church with H.O.E., or Holy Order of Environmentalists, and also volunteered at the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College.

Jim loved outdoor sports, particularly downhill and cross-country skiing, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, and sailing, and passed that love onto his children and grandchildren. As a young man, he competed in whitewater canoeing races. He was a life member of the Buck Ridge Ski Club, serving as reservations chair for the Buck Ridge Lodge in West Dover, Vt., for decades, and spent many wonderful vacations there skiing with family and friends. He continued skiing into his seventies.

After his retirement in 1992, Jim and Barbara enjoyed spending summers at their cabin on Lake Willoughby in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He was a member of the Westmore Association, where he was active for many years on the trail committee, maintaining the hiking trails on the five mountains surrounding the lake.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Barbara (Lukens); his three children, Robin C. Hipple (James) of Oakford, Pa., Thomas R. Calkins (Suzanne) of Goffstown, N.H., and Charles H. Calkins (Hyun-Young Park) of East Longmeadow, Mass.; five grandchildren: Benjamin R. Hipple, Christopher J. Hipple (Ida Li), Samuel J. Calkins, Olivia Park Calkins, and Anna Park Calkins; and a niece and nephew James and Debra Egloff. He was predeceased by his brother, Donald L. Calkins.

Jim will be remembered for his quiet strength and patience, his ability to come up with a clever comment at just the right time, and the kindness and respect he showed to all.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 23, at 11 a.m. at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, 727 Harvard Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081. Interment will be at the Memorial Garden at the Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Swarthmore Presbyterian Church at the above address.

Arrangements: Rigby Harting & Hagan Funeral Home,

Leighton C. Whitaker, Jr. Ph.D., ABPP Obituary

Leighton C. Whitaker, Jr., of Media, Pa., passed away on May 10, 2018, in Newtown Square, Pa.

After his undergraduate studies at Swarthmore College (’54), Lee, as he was known, went on to become a well-published clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. from Wayne State University and was a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. 

He served as associate professor and director of Adult Psychology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; professor and director of Mental Health Services, University of Massachusetts (Amherst); director of Swarthmore College Psychological Services; and consultant to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps. Lee was also a Fellow of the Society for Personality Assessment and of the American College Health Association. He served as chair of the Association’s mental health section and was a member of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis.

His ninety professional publications address clinical and social subjects, including college-student suicide, schizophrenia (he developed the WIST, Whitaker Index of Schizophrenic Thinking), and understanding and preventing violence. A highly respected editor, including for The Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, which he founded in 1986, and co-editor of Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Lee continued his private practice and editorship into his 80s.

Born in Chester, Pa., in February 1932 to Helen and Leighton Whitaker, Sr., and predeceased by his parents and sister, Doris Whitaker Schaffer, he is survived by his wife, fellow Swarthmore graduate Suzanne Bevier Whitaker (’54); their three children, Corinne, Priscilla, and Benjamin; a grandson; nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews; and a formidable biographical book collection.

A lover of Shostakovich, The Ink Spots, sports, and barking out car windows at dogs, he will be profoundly missed by his family (several of whom also attended Swarthmore), a lifetime of patients and colleagues, countless readers, and a world in search of emotional healing.

A private family burial will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages a gift to a charity of your choice, support for a dog-rescue or therapy-dog organization, or a gesture to reduce violence in the world. 

Online condolences:

Briefly Noted . . .

Medics and Ambulance 14 were dispatched from Swarthmore (Station 14) at 11:34 a.m. Friday, June 8, to Swarthmore College, where a contractor had fallen through an opening in the upper floor of a building under construction. Tower 14 was used to remove the man from the Biology, Engineering, and Psychology (BEP) site, and lower him to the ground. The patient was transferred to the Trauma Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. Paramedics from Crozer-Keystone and EMTs from Swarthmore assisted the crew from Ambulance 14 of the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association.

During Commencement ceremonies on May 21, 2018, at Lehigh University, Daniel Gibbs of Wallingford received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree with High Honors.

Elisabeth Alfieri of Morton and Theresa Callahan of Swarthmore were named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Jamie Kenney of Wallingford graduated from Bucknell University on May 20, 2018.

Ryan Cooney of Wallingford was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with high distinction on Saturday, May 12, on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute campus quadrangle.

The following local residents named to the dean’s list for academic excellence for the spring 2018 semester at Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Rosanna Heidt of Swarthmore and Zachary Newlon of Wallingford.

Michael Chenoweth of Morton received a Master of Science in Nursing from Wilkes University at Commencement ceremonies on May 19.

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.

Quinn Wirth of Wallingford graduated from Gettysburg College on May 20, 2018.

Nicole McNeely of Wallingford has been named to the Siena College dean’s list for the spring 2018 semester.

Eve Atkins of Swarthmore gradutated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Studio Art from Muhlenberg College.

Nicole McNeely of Wallingford has been named to the Siena College dean’s list for the spring 2018 semester.

“The Sapovitz Park basketball courts are in almost constant use, but there was no place for anybody to sit,” said South Media Initiative for Kids team member and former Wallingford Elementary School principal Ellen Milgrim. That changed on Monday, June 11, with the dedication and unveiling of the 10th community art project undertaken by WES students and faculty and community volunteers. Those volunteers included Darrell Blair (center), one of the planners of the program which started more than five years ago, and a volunteer since. She and husband Chet Blair (right) are two community members who were chosen by WES students like Maia Williams (left) as neighbors deserving to be honored with portraits on the benches. “Ms. Blair thought of this project,” wrote Jaelen Knox, while Daija Bradwell described Viet Nam vet and school crossing guard “Mr. Chet” as “kind, loyal, and generous.” The students worked on the project this spring with teaching artist Emily McDonald, Nether Providence Township, the Community Arts Center, and dozens of volunteers including WES and Swarthmore-Rutledge School staff, WES alumni and parents. The celebration began with ice cream at the South Media Fire Company, which hosted for the 5th consecutive year.

Swarthmore Mayor Tim Kearney was a featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Energy Cooperative Association (the Energy Co-Op), which was held last Saturday at the Inn at Swarthmore. Mayor Kearney delivered opening greetings to the members of the nonprofit.

Todd Kitchin, owner of the Allstate Insurance Agency in Swarthmore, was among nine Allstate agents who cooperated to raise $9,000 for the Providence Animal Center in Media. During May, Kitchin and his colleagues collected supplies, toys, and food for the animal rescue facility, earning the grant from the Allstate Foundation, which will go toward construction of new kennels at the former DelCo SPCA on Sandy Bank Road.

As of Monday afternoon, the first winners of Swarthmore Swim Club’s neon green aka safety yellow (with black lettering) 2018 1,000-Lap Shirt are: 4.) Clark Linderman, 5.) Fred Dickinson, 6.) Zong Luo, 7.) John McKinstry, and 8.) Anne Papa.

Letters to the Editor

Drastic plastic

To the Editor:

We all want to be good stewards of the environment, so it makes sense that we have a robust recycling program here in Swarthmore. However, I can’t help but feel that the act of recycling has given us the illusion that what we consume doesn’t impact the environment as long as it’s recyclable. I would like to challenge that notion. 

Here are some facts about plastic consumption, according to Plastics Ocean Foundation:

• Annually, around 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide.

• More than one million bags are used every minute.

• A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.

• Over the last 10 years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.

• Beverage containers account for 14% of all litter. When caps and labels are considered, the number is higher.

“Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans, and that figure could increase by ten- fold over the next 10 years if actions are not taken according to a study published in the journal Science.” Time magazine, February 12, 2015

Previously, the US had been exporting plastic recycling to China for processing. As of January 1, 2018, however, China has banned the import of foreign waste. As a result, recycling costs to the borough of Swarthmore will increase from $1,667.02 to nearly $30,000 in 2019. 

I believe that this is an opportunity to reflect upon and reevaluate our relationship to plastics. And I’d like to challenge you to join me in making a serious commitment to reducing our use of plastics. 

Bring reusable bags to the grocery store and farmers market — I keep one in my purse, and a few in my car at all times, just in case. When possible, avoid pre-packaged produce. Buy in bulk, using cotton bags with their weight already printed. Say no to plastic water bottles, and start carrying a refillable one around with you. Our own Swarthmore Co-Op has taken a leadership role by eliminating the use of plastic bags at the checkout and offering loose produce and bulk items.

It takes time and effort to change our routines, but our planet and our children and their children are worth it. We need sensible plastic legislation, but we don’t have to wait for it to begin to make a difference. Please, for the sake of our planet, won’t you join me?

If you would like more information with regards to recycling bags, or want to discuss further how we can encourage people to use less plastic, please contact me at

Claudia Cueto

Powerless over nature

To the Editor:

People are fond of commenting on President Trump’s neglect of scientific information and the warning that knowledge provides, but we should recognize that the President represents the primary characteristic of our species — our imagination. This imagination has altered our local environments and allowed us to establish ourselves where it is too cold, too hot, too wet, or too dry. In addition to this, without feathers or fins we can fly around the world and swim across the seas. This ability has given many of us — including the President — a false confidence about our power over Mother Nature. At the end of this human journey our descendants will discover who the Master will be.

John Brodsky

Briefly Noted . . .



Mary Dennis has opened a massage studio at 110 Park Avenue in Swarthmore. Her business BC Health and Fitness was formerly at 631 S. Chester Road; she now will share space with Indigo Healing Arts Collective. Mary offers massage therapy in a variety of styles — including Swedish, deep tissue, and pregnancy massage — at 110 Park, and also makes home visits. Contact her at 484-431-1332 and

As of Monday afternoon, the first winners of Swarthmore Swim Club’s neon green aka safety yellow (with black lettering) 2018 1,000-Lap Shirt are: 1.) Dick Nenno, 2.) Lori Sonntag, and 3.) Nancy Crickman.

Daniel Morreale of Swarthmore was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Daniel was initiated at University of Delaware.

Gabriel W. Cole of Wallingford was awarded a bachelor degree from St. Lawrence University during Commencement ceremonies held on May 20 in Canton, N.Y.

Gabriel majored in English and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude. He attended Strath Haven High School.

Christina Semeraro of Wallingford has been named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Melissa Leggett of Wallingford, a Health & Occupation major at Elizabethtown College, has been named to the dean’s list.

Andrew Connell of Swarthmore has been named to the Champlain College dean’s list for the spring 2018 semester.

Allison Cardow and Samantha Ward, both from Swarthmore, were among those named to to East Stroudsburg University’s spring 2018 dean’s list.

Swarthmoreans David Pollack, M.D. and Amy Pollack were among nearly 200 supporters of the Federation Early Learning Services in attendance at the FELS Love Our Kids Celebration, which raised $227,000 last month. Dr. Pollack, a pediatrician, is board chairman of FELS.

Letters to the Editor

Swarthmore’s progress

To the Editor:

At a recent Borough meeting, I was struck by an under-appreciation of how much Swarthmore has changed recently. I suspect many of our residents appreciate the changes, but a few questions and comments made at the meeting suggested some in our community are less aware. 

While Swarthmore has been a “special place,” there’s now a vibrancy like never before, coupled to an industrious spirit. That spirit is the fruit of collective efforts of many who believe in that special place, but still are creatively and collaboratively working to forge a forward-looking town ambience. The town center has its anchor businesses, and, luckily for us, some of those are hanging on. 

To a person they are run by folks with knowhow, community spirit and generosity – just what is great about our town. But, the recent changes matter, too. The Co-Op supports local farmers, and has become a magnet for community activity, gathering in members in educational, fun ways, whether though Quizzo, grilling, or local tastings.

Saturday mornings are a veritable hub of activity, with a food truck to boot and live music; it’s a town happening. And, music! There are now several places to hear bands, spanning genres (I know: some of that on plinky ukuleles, but, hey …). 

The amphitheater (and Central Park) exceeds anyone’s vision of a forward-looking, community-centered town. If you haven’t experienced Thursday Night Music, then you don’t know what a lovely magnet space this is for young and old alike.

And, the Inn, predicted by some, years ago, to be the downfall of our town, only generating marauding Swarthmore College students, instead is another hub of activity (some of that at its bar), with no marauding students. This (now disproven) concern was invoked again at that recent meeting. Those who worry about this do not know the college student body.

I was surprised also that some community members said they do not go to the College. Why not? It is a significant contributor to the vibrancy of town. If you have never been, come with me over this next year, and I’ll show you the creativity, incredible talent and energy of these College students: recitals, dance, music, performance art (all free, and open to us). Or, talk to those of us who interact with these generous, socially-minded students who volunteer in hospitals, community centers, etc.

I don’t know zoning regulations, and I don’t live near the address at issue in the zoning meeting I attended. I’m content to have less say than those directly involved. But, one thing I urge: let’s not turn back to some faded “idea” of a town long ago. One key role for a zoning board is surely to assess how closely rules are followed. But, another key role for any committee is also to look creatively to the future and continue to support industrious entrepreneurs, to keep our town vibrant so that it will thrive in the future.

Steve DiNardo

Paving the way

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association, I would like to thank the Borough of Swarthmore for its work to make the sidewalks of the Borough more accessible for everyone. We refer, of course, to the program of marking non-compliant pavement with white paint and the delivery of notices to property owners to bring those sidewalks up to code.

Perhaps more importantly, we would like to thank the property owners who have been inconvenienced and have incurred expenses repairing and replacing the sidewalks on their property to meet the standards of the Borough. Your efforts and your expenses have not gone unnoticed! Not only does this make walking easier for seniors, but it helps many others in our community: parents and grandparents with strollers, toddlers on tricycles, pedestrians carrying groceries and not able to watch every foot of pavement before them, runners and joggers, people who use wheelchairs and other devices, and everyone who goes out for a stroll in our town.

A little more than three years ago the Borough signaled its commitment to making Swarthmore a place where seniors can feel comfortable and safe. This program goes a long way toward that goal. Thank you Borough Council members, Mayor, Borough Manager and staff, and citizens/property owners for your work!

Linton Stables, President
Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association

Historic project on track

Hello Friends and Residents of Swarthmore,

My name is Nate Linderman, a Boy Scout in Troop 112. I am currently working on my Eagle Scout project, which is to put up approximately 15 historical markers around the Borough to commemorate our Borough’s history. 

Last fall I reached out to many of you with a request to help fund my project. My fundraising campaign was successful, meeting my original goal, thanks to the generous support of many of our citizens. I am in the midst of working with the Borough, Swarthmore Historical Society, Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library, and Swarthmore Centennial Foundation to finalize the markers’ copy, design, and placement. My timeline has been slightly extended from my original estimate, and I currently plan to have the project completed by early summer 2019.

I just want to take a brief moment to thank all of those who have helped to support the project thus far either financially or via their guidance and expertise, and I look forward to finalizing the project over the next year.

If you have any questions regarding the project, please feel free to email me at


Nate Linderman

Exposing the elephant

To the Editor:

I hope that area churches and synagogues will join their national denominations and the Jewish peace organizations that have denounced the recent Israeli massacres in Gaza. Although the Israeli government has done everything possible to obfuscate the circumstances, I know of no independent voices that deny that it authorized the murder of 100 unarmed Gazan Palestinians and the wounding of thousands more in recent weeks, crippling many of them for life. I add my voice to those of the 15 national Christian denominations including my own Presbyterian Church (USA) that have condemned this historic atrocity.  

History has taught us where the failure to confront brutal regimes leads. Our own hearts tell us that the murder (“killing” does not adequately describe what happened) of unarmed protesters is wrong, especially when the situation could easily have been controlled by one of the world’s most powerful militaries without lethal force.

Faith communities must not keep silent in deference to members who feel that “politics has no place in church.” The irony is that the decision to remain silent when even the most basic moral imperatives are violated – all the world’s enduring religions condemn murder – is itself a political decision. In the Christian context, it privileges concerns for institutional quietude over faithfulness to the Word of God. This is the elephant in many sanctuaries. It is time to expose it. I urge the leaders of our local faith communities to end this politicization of their churches, synagogues and mosques.

A second irony is that silence ensures the outcome it seeks to avoid. Christians know that it is rare to find a teaching of Jesus reported in all four Gospels. An exception is “Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” I submit that this teaching applies not just to individuals but also to faith communities that hope to “save their lives” by sacrificing faithfulness to preserve quietude. As Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out, failure to proclaim its beliefs will cause the church to lose the loyalty of millions. Failure to stand up publicly for the basic tenets of the faith will not scotch but accelerate the now decades-long decline in membership of faith communities. “Silence” marks the entry to the death spiral. 

I write as a friend of Israel, which I fear is at risk of receiving the judgment pronounced by its prophet Amos (Amos 2: 6, 13-16). I accept that some will disagree with me. I welcome an opportunity to participate in a public forum where the views of both defenders and critics of Israeli policies can receive a respectful hearing. But I reject the charge of anti-Semitism. Among the methods used by the Israeli government to prevent honest discussion of its policies by faithful Christians and Jews is the ad hominem labeling of those who speak out as “anti-Semites” or “self-hating Jews.” That is abhorrent. 

Grant Grissom

Memorial Service for Kate Dwojeski

The family of Kate Dwojeski extends an invitation to join them in a celebration of Kate’s life on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

The memorial celebration will be held in Fellowship Hall of the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church (727 Harvard Avenue) from 6:30 to 8:30pm, with eulogies at 7:30.

Kate, a long-time resident of Swarthmore, most recently of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, passed away from ovarian cancer on February 21, 2018.

Laurel A. Benn Otte Obituary

Laurel Otte, a resident of Dickinson Avenue since 1975, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 2, 2018. She will be so greatly missed.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1939, to Phyllis Wolven Benn and Clarence Benn, Laurel attended Dearborn High School. In the summer of 1956, she won a choir scholarship to Interlochen Music Camp. Later, she was thrilled to discover at the University of Michigan that she could apply to work at the camp in summer. Working in the dining hall there, she met Daniel Otte, who invited her to go on an outing with three other staffers at Lake Michigan. 

They went back to work at Interlochen every summer until 1963, when they were married. Laurel finished her M.A. and that September became a University of Michigan librarian, while Daniel worked his way through graduate school as a teaching fellow. Their twins, Jennifer and Jessica, were born in April, 1967. In June, 1968, Daniel finished his Ph.D., and the Ottes moved for a year to Australia.

Returning from Australia, they lived outside of Austin, Texas, for six years. Daniel’s work at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia brought them to Swarthmore in the summer of 1975. Laurel joined Merrie Lou Cohen as a Swarthmore Elementary School librarian, a joyful friendship which endured the rest of her life; they lived a block apart and travelled regularly to London together for many years. Laurel also worked at Marple Public Library, and until a few years ago, volunteered at the Swarthmore Public Library.

Laurel Otte was wonderful singer, a member of the University of Michigan’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society, who sang show tunes and opera around the house. Her daughters know one particularly tragic aria only by its common Otte household name, “The Vacuum Cleaner Song.”

She was a talented quilter and seamstress; vacations and field trips were accompanied by small bags of patchwork pieces — she was a perfect travel companion for Daniel and would sit anywhere, any time, and sew, sing, and read while he collected specimens in all kinds of places, day and night. She loved PBS, especially “MYSTERY!,” and mystery novels, Fred Astaire, antique markets, flea markets, art, museums, books, a really good chocolate milkshake — ‘really chocolate-y’ — and travel with lifelong friends and family. She was a talented and inventive cook, and kept a comfortable, beautiful house. 

Beyond all else, Laurel Otte was, without fail, gracious. She was kind, and thoughtful, gentle and polite. Her family treasured her and will miss her terribly. 

Laurel is survived by her cherished husband of 55 years, Daniel; daughters Jessica Otte (Amy Boyle) of Phoenixville, Pa.; Jennifer Otte Vanim of Swarthmore; sister Linda Fox (Talbert Fox) of Kailua, Hawaii; 13 nieces and nephews; and 11 great-nieces and great-nephews. 

Visitation is at 2:30 p.m., Saturday June 9, with funeral services at 3:30 p.m. at Carr Funeral Home, 935 S. Providence Road, Wallingford, PA 19081.