Ramifications of covenant waiver
To the Editor:
The Swarthmore Co-op agrees that its property is subject to the Biddle tract covenant prohibiting the selling or distributing of alcoholic beverages. Recently the Co-op mailed a letter to more than 150 separate property owners subject to this same restrictive covenant, including Swarthmore College and borough-owned properties. The Co-op board has not voted to sell alcohol, yet the Co-op board has hired a lawyer and mailed an agreement for release of deed restrictions (“waiver”) to all the property owners within the 33+ acres restricted by Biddle’s covenant.
The waiver is not only for the benefit of the Co-op, but will benefit all future owners of the Co-op property. If these waivers are signed by the Biddle tract owners, then the Co-op will be allowed to sell alcohol and even to sell the property with this value-added benefit for future (unknown) owners on that tract.
Since the borough is owner of some of these Biddle tracts, perhaps there should be public meetings (with notice) before the borough signs the waivers. Should the borough sign, favoring one property owner in the business district, yet excluding other Biddle tract business owners? What consequences will there be when the Co-op business eventually closes and sells the land?
Meanwhile, the Co-op seeks this waiver, but its board has not yet voted on whether they want to sell alcohol.
One party or two in Delco council?
To the Editor:
On November 7, we have the opportunity to vote for two of five County Council seats and a number of other important county positions. Now’s the time to reflect on what we want from our county government and make a plan to vote.
There has not been a single Democrat on Delaware County Council in over 40 years. Republican politicians have used county posts as stepping stones to state and federal office. The GOP faithful point to the fine character of individual elected officials and praise the efficiency of the one-party state that is Delco.
But is it really efficient? We’re taxed at a higher rate than our neighbors in Montgomery and Chester Counties, yet we have fewer county services to show for it (no health department, for example).
So where is all the money going? It’s not easy to find out. County Council meetings I’ve attended have consisted of one unanimous vote after another, with no discussion. Agendas, minutes and even video of County Council meetings are available with a click on the Montgomery and Chester County websites. In Delco, you must file a written Open Documents Request and wait more than a month for a response. Are our elected officials hiding something? The Democratic candidates for County Council, Brian Zidek and Kevin Madden, have built a convincing case that a GOP pay-to-play system funnels our tax money to contractors who, in turn, donate to Republican candidates’ campaigns. Rather than open the books to prove it isn’t true, the GOP has responded with personal attacks on the challengers and testimonials to the saintly character of their own incumbent.
The single most important fact about our county government is that it does not accurately and fairly represent the citizens who live here. This was demonstrated a year ago, when the local GOP threw its considerable weight behind the Republican presidential candidate. While he won Pennsylvania, Donald Trump lost Delaware County by a wide margin. (Hillary Clinton got more votes in Delco in 2016 than Barack Obama did in 2012.) That’s because Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the county, but also because many Delco Republicans broke with their leadership and voted against Trump. We deserve a county government that represents all the people of Delaware County — one that is transparent, efficient, responsive and accountable.
This Election Day, we can take a major step in that direction and end one-party rule here in Delco. Vote on November 7!
To the Editor:
Since it was founded in 1843, the Seamen’s Church Institute has served the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of some 65,000 visiting seafarers on some 1,900 ships docking at terminals along the Delaware River.
Trinity Episcopal Church makes financial donations, but there is a simple way for you, as a community, to help!
The SCI prepares “ditty bags” for seafarers arriving from distant ports. These folks bring you bananas, cars, oil, clothes, pineapple, appliances, etc., from faraway places, yet often can’t leave the ship to shop for basic necessities. This is where ditty bags come in.
Ditty bags contain basic toiletries, small articles of clothing, etc., and are given to the seafarers on Christmas morning. Often, this may be the only gift they receive.
Just drop off donations in the bin in back of the church, on the corner of Chester Road and College Avenue during the month of October. Suggested items include: hat & scarf, work gloves and socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and comb, deodorant, mini sewing kit, pen and stationery.
SCI prefers that toiletries be full sized, not the smaller travel-sized ones. All items will be taken to SCI on November 2.
In December, SCI chaplains and volunteers will distribute the ditty bags to the merchant mariners who are at sea during the Christmas holidays. Share God’s love by sharing with these men and women!
If you would like more information about the Seamen’s Church Institute, please visit SCI’s website at sciphiladelphia.org.
Trinity Episcopal Church, Swarthmore
Mitten Tree Time
To the Editor:
Once again, The Swarthmore Public Library will be having its mitten tree.
Please bring new hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, baby blankets and clothing to the library before December 15.
If you prefer, monetary donations may also be taken to the library. These funds will be used to purchase more warm clothing for children and adults, and then brought to CityTeam Ministries in Chester as well.
Thank you for your kindness in helping to continue this wonderful tradition.
Questions? Please e-mail Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generosity. Sincerely,
Jane C. Sottile