Letter to the Editor

Memo-rable meal

To the Editor:

Dinner w Comy. Asked if he wanted tea. What kind, he asked. Loy Al tea, I told him, I expect Loy Al tea. He asked if we had Honess tea. Mix ‘em, I suggested. He responded “Honess – Loy Al tea.” He said he would like flan for dessert, if the WH had some. I told him, “Hope you can let that flan thing go.” We had ice crem 4 desert, one for showboat Comy, two scoops 4 me. Mussed tell him he’s a nut job for still wanting his job. May put in memo.

Bill Menke
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Sing or swim at SSC

To the Editor:

This summer, the Swarthmore Swim Club (SSC) and the Chester Children’s Chorus (CCC) are excited to partner for two Friday afternoon Free Swims on June 30 and July 14.

Members of the Chester Children’s Chorus at SSC.

Members of the Chester Children’s Chorus at SSC.

Many in our community already know and support CCC by enjoying concerts or volunteering as a reading buddy or swim instructor. Now, if you’re at the Swarthmore Swim Club during the Free Swims, which are part of CCC’s 5-week Summer Program, you can welcome the children, who range in age from 9– 8.

Kevin Haney, SSC manager, says, “This partnership presents the perfect opportunity for members of the CCC to continue developing safe pool/swimming practices. We are certain that the children will have a positive experience, and we are excited at the possibility of continuing to foster this partnership for many seasons to come.”

Learning to swim is a public safety issue. Since pools are few in Chester, many of the children in the Chorus haven’t had as many opportunities to learn how to swim. Seeing the possibility to teach this life skill four years ago, CCC volunteer Charlotte Brake developed a learn-to-swim initiative, and CCC executive director, Kirsten Halker-Katz, enthusiastically added it to the Summer Program.

Swarthmore College provides Ware Pool, and now swim lessons are an integral part of the weekly schedule and one of the children’s favorite parts of the camp day. In 2017, over 60 children will be learning to swim on Mondays and Wednesdays at Ware. Many returning campers, now in their third summer, are swimming a full lap of the pool! The Free Swims at SSC will provide an opportunity for children to practice their swim skills and enjoy cooling off in the pool. During the Free Swims, more lifeguards will be on duty and additional CCC volunteers will help make the time fun and safe.

Over the past three years, dozens of volunteer swim instructors have helped make CCC’s Swim Program a success. Thank you to SSC instructors Rachel and Max Carp, Hunter Clements, DJ Shelton, Eleni Pappas, Spencer Seaman, Sophia Foglio, Frances Resweber, Virginia and Peter Foggo, Annika and Elisa Kruse, Mary McTernan and Susan Brake.

Thank you to Wallingford instructors Jack Thomas, Cole Wirth, Zack Irons, Kate Lyons, Megan Quon, Ben and Claire Wolters; And, thanks to Rose Valley instructors Jenny and Chris Rowan and Creekside instructor Carly Glassford.

If you’re interested in teaching lessons, and have your lifeguard certification, contact Volunteer Coordinator Charlotte Brake at (610) 883-2661. Camp begins June 26 so it’s not too late! Finally, CCC thanks SSC for the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful pool during its 2017 Friday Free Swims.

Susan Brake
Swarthmore

Class of ‘82; reunion in June

To the Editor:

Attention Swarthmore High School Class of 1982: Can you believe it’s been nearly 35 years since the pomp and circumstance of our graduation? Come join the class this summer; see how 35 years have changed everyone but you.

The festivities will get under way on Friday, June 30, with hoagies and cocktails beginning at 5 p. m. and ending at 11 p. m. at the home of Dan and Diane Shaffer (308 Rutgers Avenue).

On Saturday, anyone that can, will meet at 1 p. m. at the Swarthmore Community Center to spruce it up a bit. The Dinner/Dance will commence thereat 6 p. m.

Finally, on Sunday, at 12 noon, we will dedicate a bench at our old high school for classmates we have lost, and then head over to the Swarthmore Swim Club, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., for a pizza party in the picnic grove.

For those interested, but haven’t been contacted yet, you can reach me at dshaf48@gmail.com or call me at (610) 283-9267.

Parents of the class of 1982 are welcome to stop by and catch up. Any SHS teacher of our classes are also welcome on Friday. Sincerely,

Dan Shaffer
SHS Class of ‘82 Reunion Committee
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Another bar exists in Swarthmore

To the Editor:

Recently the liquor referendum passed by popular vote, but the pro-alcohol supporters do not get the final word. Nor does Borough Council have the final say in this issue. Both may yet be thwarted by Mr. Clement M. Biddle (1838-1902).

In 1891 Swarthmore College sold a tract of land to Mr. Biddle, who was on the Board of Managers. He soon sold the tract to Rev. John A. Cass, who was owner of The Swarthmorean [The Swarthmore, 1893] newspaper and secretary/treasurer of the College Tract Residence Company. Mr. Cass subdivided the tract and created what are now the separate parcels in the core of the business district. Mr. Biddle’s deed had numerous restrictive covenants including prohibition of making, selling, or distributing alcohol, except when prescribed as “medicine.” Any breach of the covenant provides for “forfeiting the title” to “Mr. Biddle his heirs and assigns.”

Restrictive covenants run with the land and are legally enforceable, so ultimately it will be for a judge to decide whether alcohol can be sold on the Biddle land parcels even if all property owners are in agreement. Covenants in the non-Biddle commercial zones, if any, are concerns for those deed holders. But the sobering reality is that the community and borough council may only sit in the rear of a courtroom, while the Biddle property owners negotiate among themselves and wait for a judicial decision. Only when the first action is taken to remove the Biddle covenant will the debate be renewed, but for now there exists a prohibition of making, selling, or distributing alcohol on the Biddle tract and the Biddle property owner does risk forfeiture of title, at worst, and the cost of a legal challenge at a minimum.

The public debate has ended, but a legal bar still exists on the Biddle properties to be settled in court. But before expending large sums of money on a liquor license and legal fees, perhaps the 10-15 Biddle property owners should just walk across the street and discuss the matter over a drink (or not) in the Broad Table Tavern?

Patrick Flanigan
Swarthmore

‘W.H. Auden Would Be Proud’
Swarthmore Liquor Referendum Four to One Vote

From 1942 to 1945 W. H. Auden lived in Swarthmore
Leaving his native England during the Second World War
He arrived in the village of Swarthmore
A Professor teaching poetry to the Swat students
His classes were very popular
Writing a poem every three weeks
His favorite place to eat and write was the corner pharmacy and luncheonette on the corner of Park Avenue and Myers Avenue
As he ate and wrote daily his poems the juke box kept playing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”
Driving him crazy during the holiday season
The college of 500 students loved his class
His great disappointment living in the village was lack of a movie theatre and liquor store
Frustrated, Auden would take his suitcase to Philadelphia on a frequent liquor run
An English tradition of Happy hour had to be honored
Gin and tonic with a slice of lime
Accepting a poetry class to the young ladies of Bryn Mawr College
This weekly class helped maintain his liquor supply from that town
Why did it take so long for a public vote on liquor?
Now four to one vote in favor, seventy-two years too late!
Anyway! W.H. Auden would be proud!
Now a referendum on a new movie theatre would be nice!
“Cheers”

 Kenneth E. Gelzhiser, Pastor
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
Broomall

Bob Holm (top left), Millard Robinson (top right), and Hannah Mathews (bottom right) were an integral part of Swarthmore High School’s “Golden Age” in the second half of the 20th century.

Bob Holm (top left), Millard Robinson (top right), and Hannah Mathews (bottom right) were an integral part of Swarthmore High School’s “Golden Age” in the second half of the 20th century.

Bob Holm, the Pied Piper of Swarthmore

To the Editor:

Today, whenever I listen to music, which is often, I can tell what instruments are playing, when they are playing, and why they are featured at that moment. In my mind’s eye, I can picture each of them. At one time I held some of them in my hands. It is immensely satisfying to have this insight. Music feeds my soul and enriches my life.

From 1945 to 1974, Bob Holm, Swarthmore High School’s legendary music director brought the joy of music to the students of Swarthmore schools. He was unflagging in his efforts to get us involved in his comprehensive music program. For those of us who were members of his high school band and orchestra, it was an opportunity to experience music as it is performed, under the direction of one of the best.

Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1945, Bob was hired as the band and orchestra director for the Swarthmore School District. He would remain there as director of music until his retirement in 1979. Before he left, he would have the virtually all of Delaware County, playing (on their instruments), listening, marching, or dancing to his music. Bob Holm was part of the triumvirate of some of SHS’s greatest educators, who together ushered in what was to become the golden age of the Swarthmore school system. Millard Robinson, Phys. Ed director, and Hannah Mathews, chair of the English Department, were the other two. Each one of them infused their students with a love of learning and the importance of hard work and thorough preparation.

Upon his arrival, Holm started recruiting music students in Swarthmore’s two elementary schools, establishing orchestras in each school, which although a little hard on the ears, were wildly popular with parents. In high school, his band and orchestra concerts featured classical and popular composers, filling the stage with musicians and the auditorium with parents.

Some of his football halftime shows were legendary. On Saturdays, Bob wore another hat and led the Swarthmore College band onto the field at college games. On Friday and Saturday evenings, his dance band “A Family Affair” including his son, Bob Jr., and his wife Ruth, played at weddings, concerts, and galas throughout the entire tristate area, from Wilmington, Del., to Egg Harbor, N.J. Bob played melody on his sweet sounding trumpet. Even after his retirement from Swarthmore, Bob kept the music going as director of the Chester City Band.

In 1998, at the age of 86, his dance band gave its last performance at an Abington retirement home. Two months later, he died suddenly at his home in Marple Township.

He was beloved by his students and was my mentor and friend. We would have followed him anywhere.

Barry Gwinn
Goodland, FL

Barry graduated from SHS in 1956. He was captain of the SHS marching band in 1955-56.

Think music, think Swarthmore

To the Editor:

While we try to find ways to increase attendance and businesses at our Town Center, maybe we need to look at what we already have and build on it. The May 28 concert at war3house3, featuring Bohemian Mule and Mostly Kosher (LA), was packed. Every show at WH3 I’ve been to has been well-attended and word of mouth suggests this is usually the case. Both bands knew how to rock, though each vibe was totally different.

Bohemian Mule was founded in Philly in 2012 and describes its music as “timeless psychedelic rock.” As someone who lived through the original Psychedelic era, there was enough in their music to provide flashbacks of groups experienced at the original Electric Factory, etc., while also hearing their new original tunes. For more information, see their Facebook page.

Mostly Kosher is an LA-based klezmer band making their first East Coast tour. The war3house3 gig was their only suburban gig. Their music includes a wealth of influences and goes from rock to “My Yiddische Mama.” The seven members allowed for various instrumentation including accordion (when was the last time you heard rock accordion. When was the first time?), with one of the standouts being their female violinist, Janice Martner Markham. This group reminded me of, among others, Blackthorn, in that you couldn’t not move to the music, even if you weren’t Irish. Same deal here. For further information, see www.mostlykosher.com.

Some suggestions to build interest:
• There could have been some cards or flyers from Town Center (I know printed stuff is old school but it still works) and, possibly, the latest Swarthmorean for visitors to pick up.
• There could have been a mention of any other events coming up in the Ville, especially the excellent upcoming Thursday Night Music Series (is this the Parking Lot Music Series?).
• There could also be a rebranding, something along the line of “Think Music, Think Swarthmore.”

We know Hobbs also presents music from time to time, along with the Farmers Market music series, and music sponsored by the library. We do have a unique brand of music and venues here and one thought is we should build on this. Possibly there could be a website and/or Facebook page devoted to music in the Ville as one suggestion.

Bob Small
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

CCC brings more than music

To the Editor:

I went to the Chester Children’s Chorus concert at Swarthmore College in search of a miracle. I have never felt so discouraged about my country, never more despairing about the world my grandchildren would inherit. I badly needed some reason to feel hope.

Having attended many CCC concerts I had reason to believe I had come to the right place. Within an hour I heard Bach, and was reminded of the timeless sacred. I heard “Precious Lord” and remembered MLK, one of America’s saviors from one of America’s darkest hours. I heard the CCC perform a spoken piece that, without singing a single note, made me marvel at the consummate vocal skill of these young singers. I heard opera. And Duke Ellington. And a South African Folk Song. And a medley of Disney favorites. And an exquisite acapella performance of a difficult piece by Ola Gjielo, a composer unknown to me. And my personal favorite, “I’m not Done” by John Alston, which reminded me that like John, I can work to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.

I have sung with a dozen choruses and attended performances by some of the world’s most respected choral groups. I don’t believe any of them are capable of better performing that range of music with the musicianship and infectious spirit of the CCC.

But it was more than music that brought the audience to its feet shouting their approval after the concert. For me it was witnessing love and community – as the youngest singers performed their pierces the applause from the older singers at times threatened to overcome the applause from the audience. For me it was the feeling of joy and astonishment at what kids from Chester, and I think all kids, can accomplish when we believe in them and give them the opportunity to blossom.

After the concert I spoke with one of the singers. I thought to myself how different we were – I am male, much older, a product of a good public school system on an alien planet called White Privilege. She reached across that divide to tell me of her years in the CCC, and mentioned that she would attend Penn State in the fall. I wished her well and told her that I am a Penn State graduate. She said “We are,” inviting my “Penn State.” Then she repeated loudly, “We are” and I surprised myself with an equally loud “Penn State.” She felt I could do better, so repeated with a much louder “We are.” We were both surprised that my “Penn State” matched her “We are.” She smiled approval and put up her hand, offering me my first “high-five” in 50 years or so.

This young woman helped me to remember something that I had forgotten was in me. John Alston, Sean Tripline and their supporters help Chester children to discover what they don’t know is in them, and our polarized community to remember our better selves. I am grateful to them. I encourage you to hear and support this community treasure.

Grant Grissom
Media

Outing builds the Foundation

To the Editor:

Golfers Alexandra Detweiler (left) and Hally Stief of Swarthmore paired up for the Foundation tournament.

Golfers Alexandra Detweiler (left) and Hally Stief of Swarthmore paired up for the Foundation tournament.

The Foundation for Wallingford Swarthmore Schools held an Inaugural Golf Outing on Monday, May 15, at the Springhaven Club. The event was sold out with 108 golfers, and there was also a putting contest and luncheon that attracted an additional 35 people. Dr. Lisa Palmer, WSSD Superintendent, and Frannie Reilly, a founder of the Foundation, spoke at the luncheon which followed the tournament.

The Golf Outing was very successful, earning just over $30,000 which will be used to fund a variety of grants to programs and initiatives at our schools. Many local businesses and families supported the event. The Foundation wishes to thank all the many sponsors and donors of our event. Our Gold and Silver level sponsors ($3,000 and $1,000 respectively) are listed below.

Gold Sponsors: Quotations; Detweiler Family; and Wendt Family.

Silver Sponsors: The Sheff Family; The Spangler Family; Joseph Anthony; 1919 Investment Counsel; Radio Communications Service, Inc.; and Kelly Smith/Stella and Dot.

We really appreciate the support of all our sponsors and players.

Janet D’Amico
Golf Outing Committee Chair
Wallingford

Liquor referendum — what’s next?

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the citizens of Swarthmore! You made a definitive statement on the referendum with 80% of voters approving expanded sales of beer, wine and spirits by businesses in our town. You told us you supported it, and you showed it on May 16!

While members of Swarthmore21 are pleased with the result, we also understand there’s still a lot to do to facilitate progress in our town center. Our effort was about removing one obstacle to investment in our town.

Some have asked what’s next with this initiative. In short, it’s now up to the existing businesses and/or new entrepreneurs to determine the feasibility of modifying their operations and/or starting a new venture involving the sale of beer, wine or spirits. This includes, but is not limited to, purchasing a liquor license, and it will probably take some time for anything to change or happen otherwise. Nonetheless, Swarthmoreans made such a consideration genuinely possible.

We’d like to thank everyone who made it happen, including the merchants, financial donors, media, and those who provided marketing and other operational support for the campaign. We especially want to thank the 21 individuals who joined this effort in November and worked tirelessly for 6+ months to help commence what many hope will be an exciting new journey forward for our town. We appreciate your commitment to and passion for Swarthmore and congratulate you on a job very well done.

Here’s to a warm, sunny, and restful summer for all Swarthmoreans and to a bright future for our town center!

Patrick Francher and Vince Barrett
Swarthmore21

Join in remembering

Fellow citizens:

Many of us have relatives across generations who have joined the military. Some may have sacrificed their lives in doing so. You would have wanted someone besides the family to also remember them, to honor their service and sacrifice. This Memorial Day is a chance to partake in honoring them. This is an invitation (although you really shouldn’t need one) to attend Swarthmore’s simple remembrance service on Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m.

Our gathering at Monument Park (corner of Park and Dartmouth avenues) features patriotic music by the Silver Dollar Band, a simple blessing, placement of flags at the memorial by the attending veterans, tolling of the Swarthmore fire company bell, a guest speaker, and culminates with “Taps.” If you are able, you can march or drive, following the fire engines, down Park Avenue to Eastlawn Cemetery, where graves will be decorated with flags by the Boy Scouts.

Also on Monday evening, Channel 12 (PBS) broadcasts the concert on the mall in Washington, D. C. Patriotic music is woven through a storyline of some military person’s sacrifice in their tour of duty. The program airs at 8 p.m. and is repeated at 9:30 p.m. It is hosted by Gerry Sinise and Joe Mantegna.

We all have something to be thankful for as Americans. Make time to honor those who cared enough to make it possible. Please care. Please come. Please plan to attend a ceremony somewhere.

Joan Watson
Swarthmore

Books + Cookies = Success

To the Editor:

The Spring Book and Bake Sale held by the Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library on May 4 through May 6 was a resounding success. Approximately $6,200 was raised from the sale of books, CDs, and DVDs, while nearly $800 was raised at the bake sale, which featured home-made treats from our resident bakers.

A lot of work went into making the sale a success, and we wish to thank all the people who donated items for sale, who baked, who worked the cash registers, who helped organize the books and other items, and who helped in numerous other ways.

There are too many to name, but I would like to single out Bern Rehberg, Bill Lotz, Amber Osborne and her staff (particularly Carol Mackin), Walt Omlor and the Community Service workers, Claudia Carlsson and her four student interns, Jane Billings and her staff, Will Randall from Hobbs, the Swarthmore Fire Department, the Swarthmore United Methodist Church, Chris Reynolds and the Swarthmorean newspaper, Don Kennedy, David Calloway, Lisa Wallace, and the wonderful executive committee of the Friends — Jeannine Anckaitis, Anne Papa and Betty Wallace. Due to the efforts of all these generous and hard-working members of the community, we were able to support our wonderful library in a significant way!

Carol L. Kennedy, President
Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library

The Swarthmore Gentleman’s Club #2

Some of us were worried
hearing that Swarthmore would have its first
Gentleman’s Club
with Liquor and dancing and other activities
very unSwarthmorelike

Soon however, other businesses arose
SWAT TAT (Tattoos), Toys for Older Boyz,
a Cigar Palace, places for various activities
the connotations and denotations of which
need not all be listed

Soon we became the go to go go place
the ecstasy destination
who needs coffee shops, groceries, pharmacies
when we became the place for dreams
that we now knew well
how to sell

— Bob Small
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Thank you, neighbors

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Rotary Club of Swarthmore and our more than 50 charities, we would like to thank you for your continued support of the Swarthmore Charity Fun-Fair. We appreciate all those who braved the weather to make this year’s Fair another huge success. Also, thank you to all our sponsors who make the Fair possible, especially the Inn at Swarthmore, The Chefs’ Warehouse, the Swarthmorean, A Better Chance Strath Haven, Anita Barrett and Swarthmore Town Center, The Lions Club of Swarthmore, and Occasionally Yours.

Rotarians love to host this Fair for the community; this was our 16th year, and my first as chair. I must say that most of the components run themselves and have become tradition. Of course, we did forgo one tradition this year: the parade. Many people mentioned its absence, and it will be back in some form next year.

Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you all at the Fair in 2018! Sincerely, Joseph Lesniak
Fun-Fair Chairman
Rotary Club of Swarthmore

Swarthmore Borough Hall hosted the Swarthmore Horticulture Society’s “Blooms or Bust” plant sale last Saturday. Photo by Melissa Husted-Sherman

Swarthmore Borough Hall hosted the Swarthmore Horticulture Society’s “Blooms or Bust” plant sale last Saturday. Photo by Melissa Husted-Sherman

Best ‘indoor’ sale ever!

To the Editor:

Last Saturday’s weather was a bust, but the plant selling was booming and blooming at Swarthmore Horticultural Society’s INDOOR “Blooms or Bust” Plant Sale. This was our biggest sale ever in terms of plants (1,200 plants), and we really had to scramble when the forecast predicted heavy rains and winds.

But our community really came through. Borough administration, the Library staff, and the police department all made our move indoors to Borough Hall possible in the most accommodating way. The Swarthmorean and Town Center readily posted last-minute information about the relocation. And the plant-loving community came out on Saturday in impressive numbers and supported our sale with their purchases.

We have so many to thank for our success, but would be remiss if we didn’t give specific (and deep) thanks to Jane Billings and the entire Borough Hall staff, to the Swarthmore Public Works staff, to the Swarthmore Public Library staff and administration, to the Swarthmore Police Department, to Anita Barrett of Swarthmore Town Center, to the Swarthmorean, to Lora Pietrangelo of HOM (for loaning us tables), and to everyone who braved the rain to support us so enthusiastically.

We haven’t yet calculated the exact profit from our sale. We do know that we did cover our costs (whew!), and more importantly, provided many local gardens with beautiful plants that will bring smiles and pleasure throughout this summer!
​
Again, to all, many thanks from the SHS!

Ginny Scott
SHS Publicity Chair

Letters to the Editor

Referendum provides opportunity

To the Editor:

During the municipal primary election next Tuesday, May 16, the question “Do you favor the granting of liquor licenses for the sale of liquor in the Borough of Swarthmore?” will be presented to voters as a referendum on the ballot.

Since early February, the citizen group Swarthmore21 has endeavored to objectively and factually present the social and economic benefits anticipated from a “Yes” vote. We’ve openly discussed the issue with thousands of Swarthmoreans and shared research, statistics, and facts surrounding this matter in all available formats and venues. In short, we did the homework necessary to help educate the public on this opportunity.

Now the registered voters of our town must decide. It’s time for current Swarthmoreans to help shape the future of their town. This could mean change, which may seem scary to some. Nevertheless, change is inevitable if we are to remain the great town that we all love. Times change and Swarthmore must keep up. If not, the repercussions of resisting change may be worse than the change itself.

For those still on the fence, or not yet fully informed about the issue, we strongly encourage you to visit the “Facts” section of the Swarthmore21.com site. If there are still questions or concerns, please find and speak to Swarthmore21 volunteers in their bright orange hats at this weekend’s Makers Market and the pre-election BBQ at Hobbs on Monday night. We also ask that everyone encourage their friends and neighbors to understand the facts and to vote on Tuesday.

We’ve done our job. As concerned Swarthmoreans, we’ve delivered an opportunity for fellow citizens to have a direct impact on our town’s future. These chances don’t come along often. If you are a registered voter in Swarthmore, we encourage you take advantage of this opportunity and vote what you believe to be right.

We vote “Yes” for the future of Swarthmore.

Patrick Francher and Vince Barrett on behalf of Swarthmore21

It’s fine to dive in

To the Editor:

I first arrived in Swarthmore as a College freshman in September 1967. Since then, I have studied and/or worked and/or lived here continuously except for, I think, seven breaks totaling about 39 months. As neighbor Brodsky has noted, a lot has changed over the years. Indeed, I remember the building at Rutgers and Chester (yes, I still think of it as the Gulf+Western building) being only three stories tall, not four (look closely!).

But other fundamental things have not changed. Our tree canopy for one. You don’t have to go far to see the alternative. For another, the passion of our citizens have for Swarthmore and their engagement with it. Shortly after we bought a home here, the 18-month saga of “The Question of the Fence at the Tot Lot” began; passion and engagement indeed. And finally, I will mention community. Why did I say “neighbor” Brodsky? Because everyone in Swarthmore is my neighbor. Because if you ask a random Swarthmorean for directions to a random address, they will be able to tell you, and probably know someone who lives on that block (or did, 30 years before). A stellar example of this “community” was Sandy Sparrow’s memorial this past Sunday. A full Meetinghouse; so much joy; so much respect for someone who gave so much to Swarthmore. As befits Sandy, a memorial service like no other I had ever seen anywhere. As was said then, we have something special going on here.

These fundamental things, which make Swarthmore what it is, have not changed over the years. Nor have they in the year since 11a.m. on that fine May day a year ago, when I went to the Broad Table Tavern when it finally opened for business and bought the first for-profit beer sold in Swarthmore. I have been there enough that the bartenders know my name and my drink; and I have never heard as much as a single discouraging word. It’s still the same Swarthmore, even though you can now get a glass of wine with your dinner.

Sixteen years ago, we had a referendum which asked us if we’d like to dip a toe into the alcohol waters; we, as a community, agreed that yes, we’ll stay dry but allow for this one place to have a license, and we’ll see how it goes. Six years ago, we had a referendum which asked us if we were ready to go all the way; we then, as a community, said no, it’s too early, we haven’t seen how our toes will react to the waters yet, so let’s stay as we are, dry with the one exception.

Now, it is time. We have seen that neither the sky nor the earth has opened. So many bad things have not happened; none of the dire predictions have come true.

I will be voting YES! I hope you will, too.

Bill Ryan
Swarthmore

Thanks, Earth People

To the Editor:

Despite a rather overcast Earth Day, about 30 energetic volunteers participated in the annual Chester-Ridley-Crum (CRC) Watersheds Association streams cleanup at Little Crum Creek Park. In less than three hours, we cleaned streams of trash and debris, and weeded and mulched trees.

Thanks to two members of the Swarthmore College Biology Department and a Swarthmore college student for setting up microscopes and showing volunteers little creatures that live in the streams and told them about the importance of maintaining clean streams. Many thanks to our faithful Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) members and their families, the local 4-H group, residents of our extended communities, and to our Public Works Department, who deliver mulch and pick up our trash. We are especially grateful to have Phil Coleman back with us this year — Phil makes these work days fun for everyone, and no one enjoys them more than Phil!

We will continue to coordinate with various community groups to schedule regular work days in the park. If you are interested in participating with the EAC on a regular (or irregular) basis, please get in touch with Susan Kelly at susankelly339@gmail.com.

Susan Kelly
Swarthmore Environmental Advisory Council

Killing the Clean Air Act, and us

To the Editor:

Ozone and particle pollution can cause developmental harm in children and reproductive harm in older individuals. In humans these two pollutants can also cause premature death, asthma attacks, wheezing and coughing, shortness of breath, heart disease, susceptibility to infections and lung tissue redness and swelling, and lung cancer. Yet bills under consideration in Washington would weaken or end the Clean Air Act, more than likely helping kill many of those with serious health or respiratory problems, and causing healthy individuals to develop the illnesses cited above. For the 40 percent of Americans who still live where the air is unhealthy to breathe, preserving the law of the land is a life and death matter.

Since most of the health-damaging pollutants come from fossil fuel sources, more monitoring is needed near roadways to measure air pollution from traffic, in communities that have gas or coal fired power plants and in places with expanded oil and gas extraction operations such as in the counties of and near the Marcellus Shale region here in Pennsylvania.

Less than one-third of all U.S. counties have ozone or particle pollution monitors to adequately detect and track the levels of these forms of air pollution. This has real consequences. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection, which is obligated to protect people from dangerous air pollution under the Clean Air Act, has been prevented from doing so because of inadequate resources and staff. Thirty-one of 67 counties have no monitors collecting data on ozone levels, and 42 out of 67 counties either have had no monitors collecting data on particle pollution or the data, or the data has been incomplete for the last three years.

I urge people to read the American Lung Association’s report titled “State of the Air 2017” to understand the improvements to health and quality of life we’ve made under the Clean Air Act, how much more we need to improve, and how that progress will be more difficult in the future (even if the Clean Air Act is not undermined) due to the consequences of climate change.

Our communities need more than ever before the daily passion and commitment of regular citizens to protect public health, public safety and the environment. We must collectively and individually be thorns in the sides of our elected local, state, and federal officials to ensure that our government effectively and quickly prevents new environmental problems and cleans up our air, water, and public lands to scientifically proven healthy standards.

Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick
Chester

No fan of Whelan

To the Editor:

A few years ago, intruders entered my home while my family, including my three young children, was asleep upstairs. Our kids woke up the next morning to a ransacked home, while my husband and I discovered one by one, that our computers, cars, and phones were gone. Perhaps even more important than our kids’ irreplaceable baby photos and Christmas morning videos was the permanent theft of our sense of safety and security within the walls of our own home. After many subsequent sleepless nights, my kids still have a sign that hangs on their bedroom door warning any future robbers not to enter their room.

After months of searching and outstanding work, the Upper Darby police found the intruders and appropriately charged them. The evidence pointing to the burglars was strong and included my husband’s work ID found inside their house. The thieves were charged with several burglaries in Drexel Hill and another burglary in Swarthmore. They were actually caught in the act of breaking and entering homes in Drexel Hill.

Criminal justice would now be served, or so we thought. But that expectation vanished when the District Attorney’s office (under the charge of District Attorney Jack Whelan) did not seek to appropriately punish these criminals. The D.A.’s office offered the offenders a light and inappropriate plea deal without consulting my family or sizing up the evidence. The D.A.’s office knew the offenders were responsible for a string of burglaries across Delaware County and that one of the offenders had prior violent crime convictions. Instead of appropriately prosecuting these serial offenders, the D.A.’s office let them go with a plea deal that amounted to no more than a slap on the wrist. Even later, when one of the criminals violated his parole, they looked the other way. We e-mailed District Attorney Whelan about our concerns. He never even responded. When I personally spoke with the Assistant District Attorney on the phone, I asked him if this was the same punishment he would seek if it had been his home and his young children that had been violated. He couldn’t answer me.

District Attorney Jack Whelan is running for judge in Delaware County. He cross-filed to be listed as a candidate on the Democratic and Republican primary. When I think about electing a judge, I want someone who is strong and not afraid to take the harder path. I want someone who will uphold our current laws to keep our homes and citizens safe. In my experience, he failed to do exactly that.

This is my personal story. It has nothing to do with politics. It is about integrity and doing the right thing. I am voting AGAINST Jack Whelan during this election and I encourage you to do the same.

Melissa Burkhart Zeserson
Swarthmore

Interfaith Council praises City of Chester
for recognizing Muslim holidays

To the Editor:

We, the members of the Interfaith Council of Southern Delaware County (formerly the Swarthmore Wallingford Interfaith Ministerium, SWIM), dedicated to cultivating relationships of trust and solidarity among religious leaders, congregations, and faith communities, commend the City of Chester, Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, and the City Council for issuing a proclamation recognizing the two major Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The proclamation was issued at a City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, and was accepted by Imam Shakur Abdul-Ali on behalf of the city’s Muslim community.

As a coalition of leaders and community members across many faith traditions, we want to lift up and draw attention to all positive and affirming acts of inclusion that honor our various faith and cultural traditions. We commend the City Council for making this official proclamation, thereby sending out a message of unity with our Muslim neighbors and recognizing the rich diversity of our Delaware County community. As sisters and brothers in faith, who share this region that we all call home, we celebrate both that which is common among us and that which makes us unique.

As members of ICSDC, we are committed to supporting one another, and opening ourselves to learning about our diverse faith traditions. We offer our heartfelt thanks to Mayor Kirkland and the City Council for their proclamation. We congratulate our Muslim brothers and sisters for this milestone achievement and reaffirm that our unity is rooted in the holy work of loving our neighbors, thereby strengthening our shared community.

Rev. Sukja Bang, Swarthmore United Methodist Church
Rev. Marcie Brozyna, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Clergy
Rev. Jennifer Casey, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Mary E. Chollet, St. John Chrysostom Catholic Church
The Rev. Peter Friedrichs, Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware Co.
The Rev. Alina S. Gayeuski, Reformation Lutheran Church
Rabbi Jeremy Gerber, Congregation Ohev Shalom
Rev. William L. B. Gray, Sr., Wesley A.M.E. Church
Rev. Edward J. Hallinan, Saint John Chrysostom Church
Jennifer Karsten, Pendle Hill Quaker Center
Rev. François Lacroix, Wallingford Presbyterian Church
The Rev. Wayne Matthias-Long, Reformation Lutheran Church
Venerable Amy Miller, Buddhist Nun and Teacher
Jeanne A. Musewicz, St. John Chrysostom Catholic Church
Mary Lou Parker, Religious Society of Friends, Swarthmore Meeting
Rabbi Linda Potemken, Congregation Beth Israel of Media
Rev. Sarah Cooper Searight, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church
Rev. Joyce Shin, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church
Rev. Joyce U. Tompkins, Trinity Episcopal Church; Swarthmore College

A great race

To the Editor:

Kudos and thanks to all of the runners and walkers who participated in last Sunday’s 16th Annual Swarthmore Charity Fun-Fair 5K Run and Walk sponsored by the Swarthmore Lions Club and the Swarthmore Rotary Club. Although it was a little cooler than expected, the rain held off and a good time was had by all. It was great to see a number of kids running their first 5K and families running together. Here are the race results.

The women’s overall winners were 1.) Morgan McErlean (23:08), 2.) Keira Bolin (24:44), and 3.) Rebecca Maneen (25:00).

The men’s overall winners were 1.) Thomas Morton (21:15), 2.) Duane Christy (21:30), and 3.) Ben Ent (23:06).

The female age group winners were 1.) Hailey Murray, 2.) Katie Stack, and 3.) Charlotte Davis (1-10-year-old group); 1.) Taylor Brody, 2.) Lilly Huffman, and 3.) Kristen McKenna (30-39); 1.) Samantha Simonsen 2.) Sarah Sidiqi, and 3.) Jennifer Rothman (40-49); and 1.) Noreen O’Connor-Abel and 2.) Patti Gregory (50-59).

The male age group winners were 1.) Sawyer Bock and 2.) Will Slootmaker (11-13); 1.) Stoney Gingrich and 2.) Tyrone Hurston (20-29); 1.) Joel Brody, 2.) Mike Bolin, and 3.) Robert Page (30-39); 1.) Patrick Poliski (40-49); 1.) Michael Stack, 2.) Doug Schauerman, and 3.) Rick Sultzer (50-59); and 1.) Terry Britt, 2.) Frank Kelly, and 3.) Don Casey (60+).

If you did not receive your medal, please send an e-mail to jdryan17@gmail.com. Full race results are now posted on runtheday.com.

I would like to recognize Swarthmore Rotarians and the Fun-Fair director Joe Lesniak for their generous support of the race. Special thanks to Gina Sheehan, faculty advisor of the Ridley High School Leos Club, and the Leo volunteers (Mike Quinn, Christian Mendoza, Gina Borcky, Haley Pattinson, Emily Coghlin, Margaret Trautz, Maria Russo, and Lexi Burns), who marshaled and served refreshments at the finish line. Many thanks to Chief Brian Craig, Sgt. Ray Stufflet, Officer Joe McGinnis, and Officer Anthony Aloi for keeping the streets safe. Beth Brady and the Run the Day team did a great job with the race timing and the race results. We also thank Michael Hill and Swarthmore College for allowing us to run through the campus.

Finally, thanks to fellow Lions and friends (Carol Gallo, Tom Dillon; James Verdi, Jeff Bergstrom, and Jim Donahue) for their help with the race. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Fun-Fair 5K.

Jim Ryan
Swarthmore Lions Club

Letters to the Editor

25 for 21: Vote ‘Yes’ on May 16

To the Editor:

On behalf of the 25 Swarthmore businesses that explicitly support the Swarthmore21 initiative, we’d like to urge the Swarthmore community to vote “Yes” on the referendum on May 16.

To begin, it’s important to know that many, if not most, of Swarthmore’s business owners live elsewhere. Therefore, many of us cannot vote in this election. Nonetheless, we have all taken risks as entrepreneurs to open a business here and obviously want the town center and our ventures to succeed.

As we’ve all witnessed, the internet and big box retailers continue to disrupt traditional brick and mortar businesses and main streets, and our town center is no exception. Just look at the empty storefronts and consider the many businesses that have left in recent years. Given so many other low cost, high convenience options for consumers, town centers like ours depend critically on service businesses—especially restaurants—to attract shoppers. In turn, restaurants depend on the sale of beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks for the margins and cash flow necessary for a profitable and sustainable retail business. BYOs are good for consumers, but the entrepreneur often struggles to make money in that model. Therefore, it’s important that we allow additional businesses to offer beer, wine and spirits to attract restaurant investors and entrepreneurs to town.

Passing the referendum is an important step towards greater vibrancy and sustainability in our town center. Clearly, the Co-op could benefit directly by selling beer and wine as its competitors do today. The other businesses, including existing restaurants, can benefit from the additional foot traffic that would result from more people coming to town to visit cafes or bistros or to buy their beer or wine at the Co-op. We also believe that the empty storefronts can scare patrons away, so anything we can do to fill those spaces can help bring more shoppers to town. In short, passing the Referendum could help create a virtuous cycle in town.

To be clear, none of us believe the referendum will be a ‘silver bullet’ for the town center’s challenges, and it will take time for things to improve. Nonetheless, it’s one of many steps that must be taken to reverse the district’s seemingly downward trend. It’s time to take action, starting with this referendum.

We appreciate the support of our businesses by Swarthmoreans and hope you’ll continue to support us by voting “yes” on May 16 to allow additional businesses to sell beer, wine, and spirits here in Swarthmore.

Lora Pietrangelo, H.O.M.
Paul Feldmayer, Vicky’s Place
Michael Matotek & Joe Coyle, Open Sky Energy
Joyce Walker-Bruce, Swarthmore Flower & Gift Shop
Jeanna Vanni, The Pilates Connexion
James Verdi, Houseplant Hospital
Azim Naderpoor, Aria Mediterranean Cuisine
Billy Hodges, Digital Filaments
Bill Ryba, Paulson & Company
Emily Scott, Compendium
Todd Kitchin, The Kitchin Allstate Agency
Rob Borgstrom, waR3house3
John Scott, Executive Cleaners
Patricia Ukropec, Swarthmore Hair Studio
Will Randall, Hobbs
Chris & Cathy Darrell, Purcell Darrell House

On the ballot…

To the Editor:

Normally, only Dems and Repubs can vote in a primary election. However, since there is a ballot question this May, alternative party (Constitution, Green, Libertarian, etc.) and independent voters can vote in the May 16th primary, on the ballot question only.

This ballot question is asking Swarthmoreans to decide: “Do you favor the granting of liquor licenses for the sale of liquor in the Borough of Swarthmore?”

Bob Small
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

Batter up!

To the Editor:

For many years, we have enjoyed Sunday evenings in a great small-town American way by getting together with a great group of people for a couple hours of casual, recreational softball, and frequently, sitting around in the summer evening afterwards for talk and friendship. This has been a Swarthmore tradition since at least the 1930s, and we hope you’ll be part of it this summer. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, when we open the season, is only a few weeks away, and so we’d like to invite all Swarthmorean readers and their friends and family of teenage years or older to come out and play.

We play every Sunday evening from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, beginning about 5:15 p.m. or so, on the college fields behind the Presbyterian Church on Harvard Avenue. We end about 8 p.m. or when it’s too dark to see. It’s easy and casual: you can come when you want to and leave any time, and you don’t have to own a glove; borrowing a glove from a player on the batting team occurs regularly.

We hope to see you out there on May 28th!

Al Federico, Fran Donnelly, J. W. Clements and Matt Ainslie

Yes, to the referendum

To the Editor:

We are planning to vote “yes” on the Swarthmore21 referendum which will be on the ballot on May 16. The referendum would allow two eating establishments in town to serve beer. (And if they are willing to pay more for the license, wine. And if they are willing to pay a lot more, liquor.)

We are excited about the possibility of being able to pick up a six pack or a bottle of wine at the Co-op. And we love the idea of walking into town to grab a burger and a beer. But beyond the selfish reasons for voting “yes,” we believe having a few more fun restaurants in town will be good for Swarthmore’s future.

We love Swarthmore. We have lived here 22 years and raised our four kids here. We often brag to our out-of-town friends about what a uniquely wonderful community it is. But the happy little downtown we experienced when we arrived 22 years ago is changed. Michael’s, Swarthmore Music, T. Bumbles, the Jumping Cow, Finlandia, and the Book Source are gone, leaving many empty storefronts in their place.

Passing the May 16 referendum might be the beginning of a bit of revitalization of the downtown. Other towns that have passed similar measures have seen a marked increase in the time people spend shopping downtown. And in the evening, more people are out and about with “eyes on the street” keeping the area safe.

When we took our oldest son, Ben, went to Oberlin College, we were immediately struck by the vibrancy of the little town. It is similar in many ways to Swarthmore. Students and locals of all ages mingle in the small downtown. The new Oberlin Inn is beautiful. It is safe to walk the streets at all hours of the day and night. And the annual Big Parade includes kids on tricycles and a senior-citizen brigade doing a lawn-chair routine.

But in some ways, Oberlin is very different from Swarthmore. There are no empty storefronts (that we could see), and there are a number of lively restaurants where you can order a beer or a glass of wine with your meal. The Feve was our favorite lunch spot with great salads and burgers. In the evening, it became more of a gathering place, with locals and college-types watching games at the bar and eating the Feve’s famous tater-tots by the dozen. On the weekends, the upstairs hosted local bands.

Before having kids, we spent a couple years in Hanover, N.H., where quirky consignment shops and a bakery thrived alongside places like Five Olde, our favorite hangout serving burgers and pizza in a cozy basement pub. The town was alive, and we always knew we could walk home if necessary.

In our experience, small college towns — with eating establishments that serve beer and wine — are great places to live. We would love to see Swarthmore take advantage of this opportunity to become a more vibrant town. Let’s pass the referendum on May 16!

Beth and Steve Murray
Swarthmore

If EPA matters, say so!

To the Editor:

On March 1, President Trump issued Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” The EO requires federal agencies to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification. As part of this effort, agencies are required to receive input from the public.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting comments via an established docket from any member of the public about its regulations. EPA’s national program offices have also established national meetings and teleconferences in which the public may participate. The website at www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform provides specific information about how to submit recommendations. The direct link to the docket is at: www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190.

This effort to reform EPA’s regulations is moving fast. The deadline for all comments is May 15, 2017. Take action now to let EPA know that its regulations are in place to protect our environment and public health! Sincerely,

Virginia Thompson
Swarthmore

Invitation to a Refugee

To the Editor:

I have no credentials as a poet, but was inspired to write this for Poetry Month.

There is room for you in my country,
Room for you in my city, town, village,
Room in my neighborhood,
Room in my home;
There is room for you in my heart.

Stuart Hibben
Swarthmore

Ageism at Swarthmore Swim Club

To the Editor:

This year the Swarthmore Swim Club is raising its membership fee for seniors by more than 100%. Many seniors I have talked with are upset and hurt, as am I, by what feels like an arbitrary and thoughtless decision. Such a dramatic increase is prohibitive for many and will be a deterrent to membership. I have asked both the membership secretary and the board person in charge of communications and publicity for an explanation.

The membership person simply does not respond and the communications person responds, in my opinion, in a patronizing and dismissive manner. I also asked whether other categories of membership have increased by the same amount — over 100% — and for a copy of the club’s budget and financial statement. My request for this information has been abruptly refused. I consider this lack of respect to be a form of elder abuse.

The club’s Mission Statement refers to an inclusive experience for members of all ages ( i.e., multi and intergenerational), and states that the club, established in 1955, was “to be inclusive, and to promote neighbors getting to know and interact with one another and building new relationships.”

The borough’s excellent Aging-In-Place Task Force issued its 119-page report in December 2015. It’s full of suggestions for seniors to be encouraged to interact with others to help alleviate problems such as isolation and loneliness. Swim Club board members need to read this report — in its entirety.

Again the swim club’s Mission Statement says that it provides a place for all ages to socialize — something crucial for the psychological health and well-being of seniors — and a green space for any seniors living in apartments, or anyone “who enjoys a quiet wooded setting.”

The swim club board needs to apologize to Swarthmore’s senior community and to rescind the 100% increase in fees. How can we consider Swarthmore a caring and inclusive community with recent actions by the Swim club board?

Allan Irving
Swarthmore

Forward, into the past?

To the Editor:

During the past 40 years I have seen the business district of Swarthmore change. Starting from the intersection of Rutgers Avenue and Chester Road and proceeding in a northerly direction, I have seen a music store disappear because of online music and electronic instruments, “The Cracker Barrel” disappear, replaced by doughnuts, a used book store gone due to Internet book search engines, (the hardware store remains), a store featuring antique paintings sacrificed to a technology which will “paint you a Rembrandt,” a toy store which cannot compete with video games, a drug store replaced by CVS, its magazine and news rack replaced by Internet news, its phone booth replaced by cell phones, and its soda fountain struck down by “Nifty Fifties.”

Around the corner, a tiny pen and ink store replaced by e-mail, a photography shop replaced by digital imagery, its hobby section gone because children no longer make things. Next, a gift shop whose owner retired, a new book store, downed as surely as Borders and an antique store, failed because of current Philistine taste in home furnishing.

Across the street, a houseplant and florist, now a college watering hole, a basement psychoanalytic research office vanished, and a gas station replaced by a second Swarthmore bank. This has not been progress; it feels more like regress. Not a pretty sight.

Today, a neighbor interested in revitalization of our town center suggested that we invite a comic book store to town, but I replied that “Comic Universe” on MacDade has that market well served and that to make our town unique and to attract interesting people, there is no sense in replacing failed business. For starters, we could open an aquarium store which features cloned reef life, a rare wood veneer store, a houseplant source for Nepenthes and other carnivorous plants, a calligraphy equipment supply which offers instructional workshops in manuscript illumination and botanical illustration, and a bookbinding supply shop offering leathers, gilding equipment for titles and marbleizing supplies for end papers.

Other ideas from fellow Swarthmoreans are welcome.

John Brodsky
Swarthmore

Letter to the Editor

Sexist profiles?

To the Editor:

The first installment of The Swarthmorean’s profiles of the Borough Council candidates left me with a burning question: How “does” Michael Carey do it? He owns an investment company, serves on the council, “and” has three children? Who helps the kids with their homework while he goes to all those meetings?

Alas, we may never know, because the reporter for The Swarthmorean apparently reserved the “how do you balance it all” question for the female candidate for Borough Council, Sarah Graden, but did not think such a question was relevant to Carey (whom many of us know to be an especially devoted and involved parent).

Rather than her extensive political background, we learn about her babysitting network. Women are running for office at the local, state, and national levels across the Untied States — and, we can proudly say, here in Swarthmore — because they care about the issues, possess the skills and knowledge to govern effectively, and are ready to lead.

It’s time to do away with the time-worn sexism of asking women (but not men) with children how they intend to balance their public and private obligations.

Rebecca Davis
Swarthmore

Letters to the Editor

The Garland children enjoy their very own Nyssa sylvatica.

The Garland children enjoy their very own Nyssa sylvatica.

The Swamp

To the Editor:

Deep in the mountain folds of Vernon, Vermont, there lies a mysterious and ancient looking place, wet and swampy, but glistening emerald green from end to end with sphagnum moss. Reaching it requires a bit of a hike up a ridge, and then, in an unexpected bowl of the geology, rain and snow melt collect and a swampy depression awaits. It is here that we encounter an unusual tree; if trees could be dinosaurs, this would be it. This is the stand of an ancient grove of black gum, trees that can live to be well over 500 years. The plate-like ridges of their bark protrude outwards bigger than my palm, reminding me of the protruding plates of the stegosaurus!

When I was last there, the sun was out, the wind was nil, and the temperature just right for messing about. It was kind of eerie; not many birds singing, for, you know, just around the corner lay a dinosaur!

My naturalist friend told me that the place had never been logged for the horses and cables of the day just weren’t up to the task of extracting gigantic logs from a swamp. So today, when you tiptoe into the Vernon Black Gum Swamp, you are tiptoeing back in time.

From Vernon, if you tiptoe south a few hundreds of miles, you may find yourself on the corner of Harvard and Cornell avenues in Swarthmore, Pa., where you can see your very own black gum tree of sizable proportion! Look for the large tree on the corner that has a brick and mortar magic hobbit door at its base and touch the rugged plates of this tree. Being a much younger specimen it probably won’t bring back calls from the Jurassic, but you might gain an appreciation for this unique species. The wood is tough; interlocking fibers make splitting difficult. Its habitats are often wet, but as you see, not always. Its fruits are small, sour, and blackish and are a great magnet for many types of fruit-eating birds. Bees love the flowers for honey production and obviously, it can attain an impressive size. The black tupelo, as it is also called, has a name apparently coined by Native Americans, something to do with swamp (not draining it, but celebrating it).

This year, the Swarthmore Tree Committee is awarding diplomas to two impressive black gum trees (and their respective owners). The Distinguished Trees of Swarthmore is a program that strives to acknowledge and map the impressive tree specimens in our town. The 2016 awards go to Nyssa sylvatica and their adopted children, Janna and Greg Garland of 511 Harvard Avenue, and Murray and Vera Wilson of 604 N. Chester Road.

Sincerely,

Elliot Burch
Swarthmore Tree Committee Swarthmore

Book It!… for next year!

To the Editor:

As the library directors of the Helen Kate Furness Free Library and the Swarthmore Public Library, we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the inaugural Book It! Furness and Swarthmore Libraries 5k Walk/Run on Saturday, April 1, such a tremendous success!

With more than 190 participants, 50 volunteers and close to 60 sponsors, the Book It! 5k raised more money than we had imagined — at least $6,000 for each library, and watching our communities come together was priceless.

Book It! could not have happened without the vision of Furness Library Board Member Liz Corson, the enthusiasm of Swarthmore Library Trustee Karen Robinson, the drive of Friends of Swarthmore Public Library President Carol Kennedy, and the cooperation of Nether Providence Township, Swarthmore Borough, and the Nether Providence and Swarthmore Police Departments. Thank you all so very much.

We could take up the rest of your paper by thanking all the other people who made the day possible, but instead we will say that it is a privilege to be a part of this dedicated library community. We look forward to 2018 and our second annual Book It!

See you at the library,

Amber Osborne, Director Swarthmore Public Library
Jennifer Stock, Director Helen Kate Furness Free Library

1000 Point Club members unite to show their support as Haven honors Rob Payne by hanging his jersey in the gymnasium.

1000 Point Club members unite to show their support as Haven honors Rob Payne by hanging his jersey in the gymnasium.

Thank you from ONE HAVEN

To the Editor:

ONE HAVEN would like to thank the members of our community that came out to the inaugural ONE HAVEN 3v3 Basketball tournament held on March 18, in memory of Rob Payne.

People of all ages and different walks of life came together on this special day, with roughly 300 people in attendance, from alumni members of the Strath Haven basketball 1000 Point Club, current middle school and high school students, to special guest speaker, Haven alum Steve Johnson Jr. (class of 2006).

Thanks to everyone’s efforts and participation, ONE HAVEN was able to raise $4,695 which will fund the ONE HAVEN Scholarship, to be annually awarded to a deserving Strath Haven senior.

ONE HAVEN would like to invite you to our next event in partnership with SoulCycle. We will have a charity spinning class at their Ardmore studio on May 7, at 2 p.m. Please visit our website for more information and to sign up www.onehavenunite.com.

Kind regards,

ONE HAVEN Board of Directors
Michi Ellers, Caitlyn Locke Jen Wenrich, Durell Moore

Concerns re liquor licenses

To the Editor:

I would like to expand some on David Bloom’s letter of March 3, which raised some concerns he had about turning Swarthmore into a “wet” town. To begin with, the borough has absolutely no control over the granting of the first two licenses, and each license would have the restriction ending sales and entertainment at 2 a.m. I feel quite sure that Borough Council would not have the authority to overrule state law and restrict the hours of operation any further.

As for the potential for new restaurants in town, I agree with David that there are many successful BYOBs in the area. In fact, an Internet search of nearby Lansdowne, which is a dry town, would appear to have at least two such restaurants currently in operation. I do not think that the lack of liquor license would stop the opening of new restaurants, if the owners felt there was demand for one in Swarthmore.

To me, the main argument in favor of approving the referendum is if it will help the Co-op. The Co-op is an essential part of our town center. While I may disagree with the board’s decision, I have great respect for them and I am sure they know far more about the store’s operation than I do. What concerns me is the Co-op’s need to raise the necessary capital to update the store’s facilities and to purchase a $200,000 liquor license. I would hope that the Board will review with the public their capital needs and plans on how the money is to be raised.

Bob Dawes, Sr.
(Please don’t blame my son for this letter)
Swarthmore

Gerrymandering – How elections are rigged

To the Editor:

Gerrymandering is often mentioned but not always well understood. It is a deliberate action taken in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, to draw voting districts to “guarantee” a seat for one party or the other. The politicians who vote for these gerrymandered districts are often quite open that it was a deliberate effort to lessen the impact of certain voters.

The 2020 census, which coincides with the next presidential race, will mandate the redistricting of all states based on the new census figures. It is important to pass laws that make gerrymandering illegal before the new lines are drawn.

The League of Women Voters is joining the ACLU and Common Cause in their efforts to take the redistricting in all states out of the hands of the politicians. This is a complicated issue and will take time, effort and money to accomplish. The time to start is now to apply the pressures necessary to make the changes needed before the census takes place. Your vote for a candidate who opposes gerrymandering is a step in the right direction to make the needed changes.

The gerrymandering, some of which has been overturned by the courts, has affected the outcomes of elections more surely than any meddling by outside players. As we seek to find ways to keep outside forces from playing a key role in our internal affairs, we must seek also to clean up our own act by passing suitable legislation to remove our gerrymandered districts.

If you have any doubts that Pennsylvania is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, just check the maps online which show the various districts all over the Internet. It is almost funny to see the ridiculous ways some ingenious politicians have redrawn districts in order to “save a seat.”

But that humor is lost when, even if every person in a district votes, well-done gerrymandering means there is little or no chance of a seat changing from Red to Blue or vice versa. Millions of dollars are spent on this tactic by those who would like to “have their politician” in a given office.

It is not fraud by the voting public that has, over the years, changed how our elections have been impacted, but the meddling with the census figures and the gerrymandering that has been fraudulent.

You can help remedy this travesty by getting involved with the League of Women Voters, Common Cause the ACLU, or Fair Districts PA, and supporting this much needed legislation.

Joanna Nealon, President
Central Delaware County League of Women Voters