This week’s issue . . .

Book It! on Saturday. Race day registration is open at 8 a.m. for the event, which begins at 9:30 at the Wallingford SEPTA station. Prizes, treats, live music and more await you at Swarthmore’s Central Park at the finish line at Swarthmore Public Library. Information is at and on Facebook — search Book It!

Swarthmore Borough Council:
Council Demurs on Further Action re
207 Riverview,
 But Considers Tightening
Zoning Code’s Definitions

By Chris Reynolds

At its Monday work session, Swarthmore Borough Council heard from three neighbors of the house at 207 Riverview Road, which has been the subject of hearings, discussion and Council action concerning permissibility of its partial use as a rental property for lodgers and guests.

Linda Hauck of 215 Riverview Road addressed Council during the public comment time at the outset of the meeting, reflecting on accounts of a previous Council meeting concerning 207, and looking to correct what she said was a “misunderstanding about the historical use of the property” at 207, particularly the living space above its garage. She said that far from the cited “near-continuous” occupancy of the accessory building, the space has only been rented for a few of the 11 years she has lived at 215. 

Hauck also noted that while 207 owner Aurora Winslade describes the garage as an extension of her home, it is in fact separate from the home occupied by her family. The property is zoned for a single family. There is this “suggestion that these lodgers are part of Winslade’s extended family. Yes, a family can include lodgers in Swarthmore, but the definition includes that they need to occupy the dwelling… these people are not occupying the dwelling.”

Her concern is that “If the borough doesn’t enforce the zoning code here, it will send a very clear message to anyone [with] an accessory building, that it’s perfectly fine to rent out that accessory building to at least two lodgers. That’s very different from what the policy has been, and I don’t think the borough should do that without a full discussion, and probably a revision to the zoning code. I would just like to urge you to enforce the zoning code, and to issue a cease and desist letter to the owner of 207 Riverview to stop her from renting out that property.”

She was joined by neighbors Judy Galgon of 327 Riverview Road and Sharon McGee at 209 Riverview, who voiced similar and …

Senior Association Hires Administrator
By Linton Stables

Stephanie McDonough, new Administrator for the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association, with SSCA President Linton Stables. Photo by Gudmund Iversen.

The Board of Directors of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association is pleased to announce that Stephanie McDonough will be providing Administrator services to the organization over the next year. She brings to the task many years of experience with community organizations and with development work in higher education.

Her duties for SSCA will include finances and communication for the Association and coordination of events and programs for several Aging-in-Place projects the group has undertaken. McDonough, who lives in Wallingford, will be very involved in the implementation of the Nether-Swarthmore TimeBank, an effort to involve the community in volunteering and giving of time and talent to others.

“I am very impressed by the work of the SSCA, and I am looking forward to supporting the group and its leaders as they continue to implement their goals and enhance our community,” McDonough said. She started her work on April 2 and is looking forward to meeting all in the community with a stake in the welfare of seniors, including the leaders of other organizations.

What is ‘Third Time’s the Charm,’ Alex?

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek with Swarthmore College contestant Rebecca Rosenthal.

Swarthmore College sophomore Rebecca Rosenthal realized a dream last month, and we get to watch it happen next week. The Ridgewood, N.J., native will be a contestant on the upcoming College Championship on the nightly quiz show Jeopardy! The quarterfinals begin next week.

We phrased an email in the form of questions, and Rebecca buzzed in with her responses:

• “I tried out for the show in November (my third time auditioning) and we taped over the college’s spring break in March.

• “My show will be airing April 12. I’m playing Harry Kioko of UChicago and Carsen Smith of Vanderbilt.

• “It was a blast to be on set and literally a dream come true. I’ve been playing quizbowl since middle school and been an avid Jeopardy! watcher my whole life, so being able to be on the show was one of my lifelong hopes.

• “I am an Ancient History/Art History major at Swarthmore. I also am a student costume designer and the president of the quizbowl team here.”

Per show policy, she cannot say how she will do. To get that answer, you’ll have to tune in at 7 p.m. Thursday to 6ABC/WPVI –TV.

Say It Ain’t Snow

Rutledge Borough presents its Snow Jam, Spring Edition, on Sunday, April 15, — too late for snow, we hope and believe. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., neighbors will get together to hear live music, catch up after a long winter, and share whatever refreshments they care to bring.

The Snow Jam features local performers including Rutledge mayor Kevin Cunningham, and maybe other musical mayors. The Jam is happening upstairs at Rutledge Borough …

Senior Breakfast in Rutledge Next Friday

State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky hosts a breakfast and conversation next Friday, April 13, at Rutledge Borough Hall. Breakfast is served at 9:30 a.m., downstairs at the Borough Hall building at 212 Unity Terrace.

NPT Summer Camp Sign-Up Opens Monday

Registration begins next Monday, April 9, for the popular summer camp program of Nether Providence Township, which runs for five weeks from June 25 through July 26, 2018 at Nether Providence Elementary School. The camp is open to all children who will enter kindergarten through 5th grade; however, enrollment priority is given to residents of Nether Providence Township. Out of towners will be placed on a waiting list in order of application, and will be enrolled beginning May 7 …

Omar Offendum, If You Can

Syrian-American rapper and poet Omar Offendum shares his blend of hip-hop and Arabic poetry, and tells how his work has inspired diverse audiences and help raise funds for humanitarian relief. He takes the mic on Friday, April 6, at 7 p.m. at Chang Hou Hall (Science Center 101) …

Leiper House Opens for the Year
By Angela Hewitt

The 1785 Thomas Leiper House opens April 14 for public tours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, from 1 to 4 p.m. The house will be open most weekends through mid-December. No appointment is necessary.

A tour guide will tell you about Mr. Leiper and his family, show you around the house, and let you look inside the “bank building” and the “8-holer” outhouse. This 18th century estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places …

Crum Woods Tour Thursday

Will spring ever arrive? With any luck, it will do so by next Thursday, April 12, for the noontime tour of the Scott Arboretum, guided by Scott staff and leaving from the Scott Amphitheater stage at noon. Bad weather cancels the tour, which is free and open to all walkers.

Treading the (Story) Boards

Beginning this weekend at Hedgerow Theatre, a classic tale of enduring charm and resonance receives an innovative treatment as the latest installment of Hedgerow’s Storyboard Series.

Storyboard: Hobbit is a tale bigger than the stage, brought to life through the imaginings of local artist, Phoebe Titus, whose artworks accompany a staged reading of The Hobbit, adapted by Hedgerow resident company member Matthew Windham. Windham directs, and will join resident company members Lisa VillaMil, Owen Corey, and Susan Wefel in performance. 

“The reason for the Storyboard series is that some stories contain essential elements that would be lost in a conventional theatrical production,” said Hedgerow production manager Ari Baker, pointing to earlier Storyboard collaborations like Treasure Island, Hound of the Baskervilles, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “Space travel is difficult to realize …

Calling on the Chief

On Wednesday, April 11, The Gathering Place continues its “Around the Ville” series, a month of programs about our town, by welcoming Police Chief Brian Craig. He will speak about security issues for seniors and other residents of the Borough and will introduce the new Emergency Information Form. Bring a bag lunch at noon or enjoy a cup of soup and a roll from Occasionally Yours for a small donation. Dessert and beverages, as always, are provided. Location: Swarthmore United Methodist Church at 129 Park Avenue.

Last Call for Voter Registration

To vote in the May 15 primary election, you must be registered by Monday, April 16. You can register in person from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Delaware County Government Center in Media, or online at “Voter Registration” page at

Artist and Historian Visits SUMC

Robyn Young

Robyn Young, a women’s historian, artist, and author, will talk to the Faith and Life class at Swarthmore United Methodist Church this Sunday, April 8, at 11:15 a.m.

Young is the author of Women in Penn’s Woods: A History of Women in Pennsylvania, where she introduces the reader to the 1852 Women’s Rights Convention and to 175 women who made a difference in Pennsylvania’s history through the 20th century.

Young’s efforts have gained approval for 21 historical roadside markers for women and local history sites from the PA Historical and Museum Commission. Her most recent marker to be approved recognizes the …

Learn to Mine County Records

Bring your lunch and $10; get lots of genealogical and historical research insights from Daniel Lippard, a veteran Media attorney and researcher. Meet on Wednesday, April 18, at noon at the Delaware County Bar Association building, Front and Lemon streets. Lippard will spend a couple of hours reviewing the types of information that can be gleaned from the records (going back to 1792!) of the Delaware County Register of Wills and …

Poet Polina Barskova to Read Thursday

“Once a human being is done by his historical situation, what can poetry do, if anything?” So asks Russian poet and cultural historian Polina Barskova, specifically in response to the Siege of Leningrad, whose history and poetry she has edited and anthologized. Her question permeates her work as one of the leading thinkers and writers of her generation.  In her talk and reading next Thursday, April 12, at McCabe Library atrium, Barskova will address the themes of history, war, trauma, and the mind’s response to these forces. …

Bible Insights from Classics Scholar

Sarah Ruden

Classics scholar and translator Sarah Ruden sheds a fresh new light on the Bible in three lectures next week at Pendle Hill, all in the Barn at 7:30 p.m. Raised a Methodist, Ruden  is now a convinced Quaker, and has devoted much of her recent career to translations of and writings on biblical literature.

On Thursday, April 12, Ruden will talk on “A Quaker Translator and the Blessed Bugbear of Biblical Authority”; on Friday, April 13, “Sitting in Meeting with Ancient Voices: Isaiah, Jesus, Paul”; and on Saturday, April 14, “For Quaker Consideration (Seriously): The Bible in the Confessions of Augustine.” 

All lectures are free and open to everyone, but registration is requested by phone to …

Rites of Springtime
By Pete Prown

A little mud doesn’t slow these young Tyler explorers. Photo by Pete Prown.

After the bruising winter we’ve just experienced, it’s well past time to get outside and enjoy the sun — particularly kids who’ve been cooped up for months. We visited Tyler Arboretum in Media to get the springtime scoop, and saw families already exploring the trails and letting their little ones run scot-free on the grass. Let’s dig in and find out what’s blooming.

Right now at Tyler, the star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) trees are coming into bloom, heralding the seasonal show to come. Native to Japan, each specimen sports hundreds of white blossoms that are among the earliest trees to bloom, along with another early favorite, the yellow-flowered Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas). The witch hazels and snowdrops are finishing up, but keep an eye out for winter hazels (Corylopsis glabrescens) that are still in show. Soon, the cherry trees will be exploding with color, too.

For younger ones who aren’t interested in trees and large shrubs, show them the many types of terrestrial plants sprouting forth from the earth. There are hellebores in bloom, revealing hues of purple, white, and the palest greens imaginable. Many should be able to identify daffodils by three or four years old, but also point out the rich blue masses of Iris reticulata and Scilla sp. sitting under larger shrubs. These are diminutive treasures that little folks will be able to appreciate.

If wee ones tire of looking down, get them to look up and observe the birds flitting from tree to tree in constant motion. As we stood under a sugar maple (Acer saccharum), two enormous pileated woodpeckers flew by, one of them alighting on the tree for our viewing pleasure. If you see one and have a smartphone, show the kids a picture of …

Emerald Ash Borer Information Session
Now Set for April 11

By Ginny Scott

Arborist John Studdy handles your EAB Q&A.

Last month’s storms are in the rear view mirror, but tree owners still have serious issues to face. The arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in our area threatens our community’s many ash trees with extinction, and time is running out for tree owners to take action.

To help tree owners understand their risks and options, the Swarthmore Horticultural Society has rescheduled its free, public info session on the EAB to Wednesday, April 11. This is the talk previously scheduled for last month, but cancelled because of the weather.

The information session will begin at 7 p.m., at Swarthmore Borough Hall. It will feature a talk and a question-and-answer segment by ISA-certified Arborist John Studdy, of Bartlett Tree Experts. …

Come Together at Prime Time Luncheon
for ‘Things Fall Apart’

Bob Kenworthy

Wallingford Presbyterian Church will host its monthly Prime Time brown bag luncheon and lecture on Tuesday, April 10, at noon. April’s speaker will be Bob Kenworthy from the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) in Philadelphia. The title of Bob’s talk is “Things Fall Apart,” which is also the theme of a recent exhibit at SHI. Everything falls apart: compounds break down, solids crumble, surfaces rust. 

During the Prime Time Brown Bag Luncheon, Bob will talk about the science behind decay and preservation. Using materials from the Institute exhibit, he will discuss how objects from the Philadelphia area break down over time and the often painstaking processes involved in preservation and restoration.

Bring a lunch and a friend. Beverages and dessert will be provided. Wallingford Presbyterian Church is located at 110 E Brookhaven Rd in Wallingford.. There is no charge for this event, but a good will offering will be accepted. Questions? Call Mary Payne at 610-357-1192.

Free Trade Vs. Economic Nationalism

Economic arguments don’t get much more immediate than this: Are we better off when trade is free of government intervention, or do we need to regulate international commerce so as to protect domestic economic interests? Two heavyweight economic thinkers debate the issue this Tuesday, April 10, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Science Center 101/Chang Hou Hall. Clyde Prestowitz, Swarthmore class of 1961, is founder and president of the Economic Strategy Institute, a longtime adviser to U.S. and other governments …

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