Heat, Smoke and Light. And Headstrong.

Swarthmore Borough Council
By Chris Reynolds

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

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

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

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

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

Full STEM Ahead at WES

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board
By Katie Crawford

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

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

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

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

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

Identifying Students at Risk

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

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

Exuberant Gardens Win Recognition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lindsay Charlton Page and Martin Murray


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

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

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

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

Julia Gelman-Sheehan and Marcus Barr


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

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

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

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

The couple reside in South Philadelphia.

What’s happening?

Art in the Making at CAC Friday Night Live

The Brett Jolly Experience provides the heartbeat with a blend of R&B, jazz and funk and rock, and ceramicist Justin Benn puts his talented hands to work in artmaking during the Community Arts Center’s Friday Night Live, beginning at 7 p.m. on October 20.

Six-string bassman and bandleader Brett Jolly plays CAC’s Friday Night Live October 20.

CAC’s monthly happening is a fascinating celebration of creativity, open to members ($10 admission) and others ($15) throughout the Center’s space at 414 Plush Mill Road in Wallingford. Snacks are provided, and guests are free to bring their own food and drink.

Local artist Justin Benn is a CAC teacher who specializes in mailing ceramic masks, which will be available for purchase throughout the evening. A touring music industry pro who makes his home in Philadelphia, Brett Jolly has worked with R&B and pop giants from Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin and Janet Jackson to Bon Jovi and Jill Scott.

Tickets are sold at the door and via the website at communityartscenter.org.

History in the Making in Rose Valley

Plan next weekend (October 27-29) around the events celebrating the long-awaited opening of the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society at Thunderbird Lodge in central Rose Valley.

Friday, 7-9 p.m.: Members preview cocktail party; no charge for RVMHS members; RSVP ASAP. Saturday, 11 a.m.-noon: Opening ceremonies (free), followed during the afternoon. by docent-led tours of the museum and grounds (free for members; $10 for others.)

Saturday, 6-10 p.m.: Costume party: A Pageant of Illustration. Dinner, drinks, music and dancing, costume prizes. $75 per person; RSVP ASAP.

Sunday, 4-6 p.m.: Lecture on the Utopian Movement in American Arts & Crafts by Tom Guller of Winterthur Museum. Tickets: $20 ($15 for members.) RSVP.

The Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society is at 41 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA 19063. RSVPs, tickets and more information on the Museum and programs is at rosevalleymuseum.org.

Spaghetti and Magic at SPC

Swarthmore Presbyterian Church invites neighbors young and older to its “Third Friday” intergenerational program and dinner next Friday evening, October 20.

The feature attraction is the Amazing Spaghetti, Magician and Entertainer. Pasta dinner (of course!) will be served at 6:30 p.m., preceding the show, all at the church’s Fellowship Hall at 727 Harvard Avenue. A $5 per person donation is requested ($15 per family; all are welcome. RSVP to spcchildren@swarthmorepres.org.

Ben Berger Addresses
the Swarthmore Discussion Group

Ben Berger, associate professor of Political Science and executive director of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility will speak on “What Makes Democracy Work?” at the Swarthmore Discussion Group’s monthy meeting.

The talk will take place on Wednesday, October 18, with happy hour beginning at 5:15 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m. ; and the talk and Q&A starting at 7 p.m. at the Inn at Swarthmore, 10 S. Chester Road.

Idealistic theories of democracy call for informed, attentive citizens. What if most citizens don’t fit that model? Worse, what if even informed, attentive citizens fit the facts to match their preexisting loyalties and social identities?

In their writings, political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels pose worrisome answers. This talk will examine the debates, evidence, and arguments surrounding their groundbreaking book, Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government, and will explore the implications for democracy.

Berger’s book, Attention Deficit Democracy: The Paradox of Civic Engagement, won the North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award in 2011. Tickets for the event are $45. If you would like more information on the event or a series membership, visit swatdiscussiongroup.wordpress.com.

Celebrate Fall at Scott Arboretum Event

Now that the days grow short and the season is slowing down, local gardeners have a chance to take off the gloves and contemplate the issues that animate horticultural theory and ecological practices.

The Scott Arboretum Fall Celebration provides a forum for consideration of these issues, for one: are “alien plants” inherently bad? Entomology professor Doug Tallamy of the University of Delaware says that the answer is not as obvious as you’d think. Tallamy and Rick Darke are authors of Bringing Nature Home and The Living Landscape.

Swarthmore College’s Scott Arboretum invites you to join with your neighbors and meet other gardeners at its annual Fall Celebration next Sunday, October 22, at 4 p.m. This free event takes place at Lang Concert Hall; the talk will be followed by a reception with refreshments.

Pinot and Petals

The finer things in life can be yours next Tuesday evening at “Pinot & Petals,” a special night out with good friends and talented visitors, hosted by the Rose Tree Garden Club at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley.

Enjoy wine and cheese beginning at 7 p.m., segueing into a demonstration of creative floral designing presented by award-winning designers Anthony Giunta and David Adsitt, which runs from 7:30 through 9:30 p.m. Door prizes and raffles will be offered to lucky winners.

Tickets for the evening are available from any Rose Tree Garden Club member, including Becky Erdmann at (610) 874-2588 and Kelly Caulfield at (610) 566-6852. The Hedgerow Theatre is at 64 Rose Valley Road.

Author Talk at CADES on
Parenting a Child with Autism

Media resident Cheryl Borrelli, author of Dear Nicky, Love Mommy, will be greeting, reading, and signing copies of her book in a free event on Tuesday, October 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the lower gym at CADES, 401 Rutgers Avenue in Swarthmore.

The book (on sale there for $20) is an exploration in journal and letter form of her trying, fulfilling, and inspiring experiences, raising her son Nicky, who has autism.

Call Lori Hepford, Parent Teacher Organization president CADES’s George Crothers Memorial School, with any questions at (484) 226-4912.

Red Cross Blood Drive
and Spaghetti Dinner at WPC

Wallingford Presbyterian Church invites the public to give and to receive on consecutive days this month.

On Wednesday afternoon, October 25, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., the church’s deacons will host a Red Cross Blood Drive at the church, 110 East Brookhaven Road in Wallingford. Walk-ins are welcome, but please try to register first at redcrossblood.org, or with the church office at (610) 566-1644, ext. 2.

On the following evening, October 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Boy Scout Troop 277, sponsored by Wallingford Presbyterian Church, will serve a spaghetti dinner open to all hungry people. Adults who preregister (phone number above) eat for $8; it’s $10 at the door, Children under 10 years old eat for $5, and Cub Scout in uniform at free. Family tickets are $30.

Who Is Driving the Ship of State?

Stephen Walt

Where is U. S. foreign policy headed? In the Trump era, the question is baffling. Stephen Walt, Belfer Professor Of international affairs at Harvard University, will put forth some possible answers in the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture at Swarthmore College on Thursday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m.

The talk at Science Center 101 takes off from Walt’s thesis that President Trump was elected in part because of growing dissatisfaction at the failures of U.S. foreign policy. However, he suggests, early indications are that our international ineptitude continues. The talk is free and open to all.

Birders, Flock to Hawk Mountain Day Trip

Spectacular views of the annual fall hawk migration are in the air for those who sign up for the Tuesday, October 24 (rain date Tuesday, October 31), day trip offered by Wallingford Swarthmore Community Classes.

Experienced birder Laura Matika will serve as the group’s guide, while volunteers posted at lookouts will spot and identify birds of prey. Participants will carpool or travel on their own to the area, which is north of Reading for this daylong jaunt. Bring binoculars. The trail features some strenuous hiking and one handicap-accessible lookout.

The cost is $32 per person, plus a $7 trail fee; register at www.wscclasses.org. For more information, call (610) 566-5786 or e-mail wscclasses@gmail.com.

Undercover Quilters Show: Sew Many Memories

Next Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 20-22), some of the top quilters in Delaware County and beyond will show more than 125 handmade quilts in the Undercover Quilters’ 2017 Quilt Show.

The show, entitled “Sew Many Memories,” will be held at the Brookhaven Municipal Building, 2 Cambridge Road. Demonstrations, vendors, raffles, door prizes, food and drink are all on offer —you may never want to leave.

Tickets: $8 for adults; open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Information is at undercoverquilters.com.

Tech Fest at Springfield Mall

The Delaware County Intermediate Unit invites families with students of all ages to explore career and technical education opportunities at Tech Fest, which will take place on Saturday, October 21, noon to 3 p.m. at Springfield Mall.

There will be abundant information and experts on hand to take questions about the 19 programs offered at the three Delaware County Technical High School campuses in Aston, Folcroft, and Marple Township. Information is at DCIU.org/CTE.

Briefly Noted. . .

The Nobel Buzz. She didn’t get a call from Sweden, but for Kathy Siwicki of Rose Valley, the announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine came with a recognition of work she did nearly 30 years ago as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of 2017 Nobelist Jeffrey Hall.

Siwicki is a chaired Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, where she has taught and researched for most of her career since her work in Hall’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Her 1988 article presenting research on circadian rhythms in fruit flies was cited as a key publication in the Nobel selection of Hall, Michael Rosbach, and Michael Young. Siwicki’s research has paved the way to greater understanding of biological rhythms in other species, including humans. “I thought it was pretty important at the time, but had no idea it would lead to anything this big,” she said recently.

Now as in 1988, her research focuses on Drosophila, the tiny fruit flies at the heart of much genetic research for several human (and who knows how many insect) generations. The Siwicki lab now concentrates on “the learned aspects of sexual behavior in Drosophila — specifically the responses of male fruit flies to unreceptive females.”


As pleased as she is to be associated with the Nobel-winning research, Siwicki said the enthusiastic affirmation from former students is most gratifying, “I am getting excited e-mails from alumni who are now in their own careers as scientists. They know what it takes to publish anything, let alone something with this resonance.”

On Saturday, September 23, Luminaria Club co-Presidents Sophia Foglio and George Steinke (pictured with club members and factory manager extraordinare, Anne Clauss below) rallied 200 SHHS Students and their families to make over 18,000 luminaria in five short hours! Many hands make light work for Fun. Food. Sand. Music. The ordering window for the January 1st event begins November 1!

Dr. Virginia Brabender, a Swarthmore resident and professor in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University, recently co-wrote The Impact of Parenthood on the Therapeutic Relationship: Awaiting the Therapist’s Baby, a resource dedicated to exploring a range of reactions patients and clients have to the circumstance of a child entering the therapist’s family.

Released last August, the book demonstrates how these varying reactions can be used to advance therapeutic development and how to achieve well-being in the workplace while waiting for the arrival of a baby.

“This book gives therapists the tools to use these personal life events to strengthen the therapist-patient bond and enhance the treatment,” Brabender said.

The text was published by Routledge and is available on Amazon.com.

Kathie Jessup Harvey cuts the 80th birthday cake for her classmates and their spouses.

Members of the Swarthmore High School Class of 1955, along with spouses, convened at the Inn at Swarthmore last Tuesday evening, October 3, to celebrate their 62nd annual class reunion, and also their mutual 80th birthday, complete with cake. Strath Haven High School Principal MaryJo Yannacone spoke with the alums about what’s up at SHS’s successor school, born in 1983 with the creation of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, and she passed around a copy of the class’s yearbook. The gathering of this vibrant group was organized by Gordon Smith of Moorestown, N.J., who attended with his wife Nancy Smith (Class of ‘56), Karen Miller of Malvern, Mary Lou Hodgins of Seattle, Wash., Kathie Jessup Harvey of Greenville, N.C., Marguerite Hurd of Norfolk, VA, Terry and Judy Kerr of Vass, NC, Virginia Banian of Foxboro, MA, Richard Wright of Wilmington, Del., Martha Wintner of Haverford, S. Damon Kletzien of West Chester, Dorothy Rawley of Media, Roger Zensen of Graniteville, S.C., Carol Lincoln Myers of York (‘56), and Stuart and Bonnie Bowie of Wallingford.

The 21st Celebrate Photography Exhibit is currently being held in Borough Hall through October 31. Twenty-one local photographers have their work on exhibition. A wine-and-cheese opening reception, held on Friday evening, October 6, was well-attended. Jessica Graae provided live music. The exhibit is sponsored by Swarthmore Friends of the Arts, the community group responsible for the rotating art exhibits at Swarthmore Borough Hall. The exhibit is free and open to the public during the Hall’s normal hours of operation. For information about Swarthmore Friends of the Arts visit www.swarthmorearts.org. Photo by Gabi Weisfeld

ARC of Delco to Show Democracy in Action. Members of the Arc of Delco are energetic self-advocates, with opinions and vital interests in issues like threats to Medicaid funding and employment opportunities. This group — including (left to right) Emily Yoder of Thornbury, Tina Curtis of Upper Darby, Amanda Rothstein of Concord, and Jake Spencer of Middletown, shown preparing invitations — have invited Delaware County legislators to join them for a breakfast meeting next Friday, October 20, at the Lazaretto Ballroom in Essington. If you are interested in participating in this democratic undertaking, please call ARC of Delco Executive Director Eileen MacDonald at (610) 544-6600.

Thanks to donations of time and supplies from both the Swarthmore Public Library storytime community and the families of Swarthmore-Rutledge School, approximately 200 breakfast bags were compiled for homebound seniors on October 4. Each bag was topped off with a cheery homemade card. The bags will be delivered by Aid for Friends, a local organization whose mission is to alleviate the hunger and loneliness of isolated homebound individuals.

Fritz Dietel’s Mature Works

Lumen V by Fritz Dietel

This is the last week for you to take in one of the year’s most fulfilling exhibitions: Fritz Dietel: 25 Years, now through October 22 at Swarthmore College’s List Gallery. The 20 pieces on are meticulously made, organic seeming forms which surprise with their scale and materials — wood substitutes for flower stems and feathers, bronze for a seed casing, paper for bark and gossamer webs — representing deeply observed natural forms, reimagined out of context. Dietel, Swarthmore’s 2017 Donald J. Gordon Visiting Artist, discussed his work in a lecture at LPAC on September 19, and later in an e-mail exchange with the Swarthmorean.

TS: Much of your work evokes nature. What in your life has influenced your interest in natural forms?
FD: Shells, flowers, seed pods, tree bark, mushrooms, minerals, crystals, pollen, coral, sponges. I have done a lot of snorkeling, scuba diving and extended hiking in Wyoming, Kenya and Maine.

TS: How do you keep up your connection to the natural world, living as you do in the city?
FD: Walks in city parks, visiting my parents farm in Va., summer vacations in the Adirondacks, north woods of Maine, and the Chesapeake Bay.

TS: How have your aesthetic and your process evolved since you began working as a sculptor?
FD: The processes keep evolving as I experience new materials and tools. My aesthetic has changed, but I continue to come back to exploring vessel and spiral formations. My sculptures frequently evolve from one another, and change because I push, stretch or compress the forms.

TS: Are there technologies or materials that you are looking forward to exploring in the coming years?
FD: LED lighting, fabric, and at some point, a return to welding steel, bronze and aluminum.

TS: Do you choose materials based on the forms you envision, or does your process with the materials inspire the vision behind a piece?
FD: The process of working with the materials dictates the form. I also have a very good idea what kind of material works best when starting a piece. This comes from years of experience. Frequently I will run tests before I commit to a project to make sure I am going down the right path.

TS: Who has — artists or others — inspired your work?
FD: I don’t look to other artists for inspiration but I do admire Richard Serra, Richard Deacon, Martin Puryear, and Kiki Smith. Since I have a keen interest in how things are made I do on occasion look at American Craft, Wooden Boat and Fine Woodworking magazines.

Report from the Fire Company

By Rich Cresson

For the period September 28 through October 8, the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association responded to the following alarms:

EMS: The ambulance responded to 37 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 respiratory difficulty, accident with injury, sick person, medical alarm, seizures, overdose, diabetic emergency, fall with trauma, cardiac emergency, head injury, abdominal pain, syncopal episode, tachycardia, change in mental status, injured person, back pain, injures person, nature unknown and tremors to the head and neck.

Automatic Fire Alarm: One smoke detector activation on Amosland Rd. in Morton Borough.

Automobile Accidents: One accident with injuries at Chester Rd. & Canterbury Rd. Nether Providence Twp. and one incident at Baltimore Pike & Waverly Rd.

Building (three calls): one incident in Media Borough for a smoking dryer, one incident on Niblick Ln. for smoke in the basement and one incident for a burning smell on Sykes Ln., both in Nether Providence Twp.

Hazmat: One carbon monoxide alarm on Lafayette Ave.

Trash/Dumpster/Brush: One incident to the Borough of Morton.

Wires: One alarm for wires on the 600 block of Yale Ave.

Assist to Morton (three): one incident for an automobile accident, one automatic fire alarm and one for brush on fire.

Assist to Nether Providence Twp.: Three: one incident for an automobile accident; two incidents for building fires.

Assist to Media: One alarm for a building.

Council Talks Barriers and Budgets

Swarthmore’s Borough Manager Jane Billings proudly displays two recent awards that the borough has received.

Swarthmore Borough Council
By Katie Crawford

The October 1 meeting of Swarthmore Borough Council began with Council President David Grove requesting a moment of silence to “hold in the light” the victims of the senseless massacre in Las Vegas as well as those affected by the nation’s recent natural disasters, tragedies whose enormity in scope remain difficult to fathom.

The council meeting proceeded with members of Riverview Road seeking updates on the progress by the Springfield Development Corporation on restoring the barrier along Baltimore Pike. Marie Koethe of Riverview Road stressed that the residents have worked hard to present a united voice in hopes that everyone on the block is taken care of. She highlighted the outstanding problems, including a huge hole remaining in the fence that members of council could walk through as one and an unlocked gate along the barrier fencing.

Koethe also expressed concern that the berm that was removed will not be restored so that the height of the barrier — even when replanted — will be diminished. The landscape architect for Swarthmore Borough and the landscaper for the developer have met and agreed on a planting plan. Council member Mary Walk stressed that council is seeking an endpoint and a positive resolution of this conflict.

Rick Lee, president of the Swarthmore Fire Company, and Rob Ranson, chief of the Swarthmore Fire Company, addressed council regarding the $287,268 awarded to the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association as a result of their successful application for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) grant. The grant is awarded through FEMA which is under the department of Homeland Security. The grant provides 75% of employment costs of employees for the first two years. The third year the grant provides 35% of costs. After the third year, the borough would be obligated to pay the full cost of employment.

Mr. Lee stressed that in fire and emergency services “time affects life,” and that this grant would support the hiring of two more full time employees in addition to the current two full time employees. Council member David Creagan, head of the Public Safety Committee, broke down the numbers for council. If the borough were to use the SAFER grant to hire two more additional fire department members, when the grant ran out in 2020 the borough would be responsible for an additional $155,271 in funding on top of what the borough currently budgets for the fire department. Using funds from the SAFER grant would commit the borough to retain the two additional employees, with a sizable impact on the borough budget.

However, Creagan stressed that fire companies all over the nation are also struggling with the fact that the all-volunteer fire departments of the past are disappearing. While many taxpayers believe their taxes are funding these services, without adequate volunteers, these revenue sources fall short of providing the necessary manpower.

The Budget Writ Large

The discussion regarding the fire department was part of a larger discussion stemming from the introduction of the budget for 2018. Michael Carey, head of the Finance and Budget Committee, called this introduction the “preliminary preliminary” budget, with many factors still undetermined, such as the result of the ongoing negotiations regarding a new collective bargaining agreement with the police department.

Mayor Tim Kearney called attention to the Co-op’s 80th birthday celebration on Saturday, October 7, as well as the many e-mails that have been circulating encouraging borough residents to shop more at the Co-op so as to increase revenue.

Solicitor Bob Scott informed council that 160 property owners as well as council have received a letter from the Co-op seeking to have a deed restriction prohibiting the sale of liquor lifted. Despite the referendum allowing the sale of liquor in the borough, the Co-op has discovered this additional hurdle to overcome. The sale of liquor at the store is seen as having the potential to make the store financially solvent.

Borough manager Jane Billings shared with council two recent awards the borough has received. The Delaware Valley Workers’ Compensation Trust presented the borough with a Certificate of Recognition for their work in minimizing workplace injuries. Billings stressed the difficulty of keeping down accidents and praised the Police and Public Works departments for their workplace vigilance. The William H. Bates Memorial award was presented to the borough, “in recognition of outstanding design and land planning associated with Central Park.” Indeed, Central Park has seen much use this year — Ross Schmucki reported that the Farmers Market hit a new record with 804 recorded visitors in one recent market day.