Letters to the Editor

Shades of Gray

To the Editor:

Two weeks ago, I learned for the first time about a movement to secure additional liquor licenses for our community. As with most things in life, I don’t see this as a black or white decision. Hopefully as this plan develops, we are able to debate these different shades and what effect such a decision will have on the future of Swarthmore.

First at hand is the work needed to secure 1,000 signatures in order to place this referendum on the ballot in May. Sit back and relax because the leaders of this movement feel very confident that the necessary signatures can be secured from the registered student voters on campus. With the referendum destined for the ballot in May, we must decide if its passage is best for our future.

To date, my view is one of dark gray. Many years ago I was a very vocal proponent for the measure to secure a license for the Inn. I felt that it was a win for the College and our community. We were told that the spread of additional licenses would never happen. What has changed? Additional restaurants and saving the Co-op are the themes I am hearing. As the owner of property that might be a candidate for a new burger and craft beer establishment (and increased value in my property), I am not convinced this is good for our community. I’ve been told the Co-op needs to sell beer and wine to compete. Is Trader Joe’s getting a license also? With a new general manager at the helm, it is my hope that he can increase Co-op sales and get a handle on cost and loss controls.

I am very open to have anyone convince me of the positives and transform my view to off-white.

Scott Richardson Owner,
Occasionally Yours
Swarthmore

Thank you for coming out and supporting CADES!

To the Editor:

Last Sunday, more than 500 folks of all ages played mini golf and helped CADES raise over $10,000 for communication devices for physically and intellectually challenged students who attend CADES.

We want to thank our hole makers who took the 18-hole course to new levels of creativity: Linn Architects of Media, who took first place with their spinning peppermint hole, the Bock, Deppen, Gold, Bonett, Alvarez-Burock, Cooney, Kempf and Bennett families; the Swarthmore Rotary, Merz Group, Strath Haven Middle School, Garnet Valley High School Interact Club, Springfield High School Life Skills Class as well as their Community Service Club, Adnan Khalil for Ridley High School and students from Sun Valley High School’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Club.

Major sponsors include W.S. Cumby, Inc., Law Offices of Joseph Lesniak, Perri Evanson, Digital Filaments, Open Sky Energy, Mrs. Stephen A. Durham, McCabe & Son Roofing, Forwood & Christie Orthodontics, Swarthmore Recreation Association, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, Norman Carpets, Karl Thomas, and Mary Jane and Robert Woods.

Our hole sponsors were Taylor GeoServices, TechGuides, Gerry and Janelle Cooney, Kathy and Eck Gerner, Ridley School District, Ridley Education Association, Bill Benson, Radio Communications Service, Karl Thomas, Cook & Gutsche Orthodontics, Cynthia Dembofsky, Kelli and John Young, Betsy and Joe Conboy, Nonprofit-CPA.com, and State Farm Insurance Companies, George C. Whitfield, Jr. Agent.

The event organizers were Lynne Alvarez, Chris Burk, Kelli Young, Donna Cresson, Jo Dean DeSilva and Anne Campanella.

Many thanks to the 80 student and adult volunteers (THANK YOU SO MUCH!); as well as Cathy & Lauren St. Clair, Dan Shaffer, Jen Vincent, Erin Hazley, Harmony Dickey, Putt Putt Fun Center, and CADES faculty, staff, and families for being such a big part of the day, including Michele Raymond, Jen Lisberger, Julie Alleman and the amazing CADES building crew: Jim Lowe, Bob Calderoni and Andy Lopchinsky.

We are also so grateful for the outpouring of donations for the raffles, with a special shout out to Paulson’s, HOM, Swarthmore Flower Shop, Renato’s, HOBBS, Head Nut, Aria, Kandy Kids, Dunkin’ Donuts, Broad Table Tavern, and author Judy Schachner, and more than 75 other raffle donors from all over the area (Zitner’s, Zac’s Hamburgers, Dave & Busters, Rita’s, Double Decker Pizza, Pinnochio’s, Bevan’s, etc.).

The theme for next year’s Putt Putt Palooza (to be held the last Sunday of January) is ANIMALS.

Hope to see you there. If you are interested in helping out, please let us know.

Anne Merz
Putt Putt Palooza Coordinator
Anneb88@comcast.net
Swarthmore

Stay unique

To the Editor:

I agree with Putty Willett’s letter about the inadvisability of allowing liquor into Swarthmore.

Is it too inconvenient to drive a few blocks out of the borough to get booze? It seems the members of Swarthmore21 think so. Yet, even they are unsure that being able to buy a drink or six pack will do much to fill existing store vacancies.

As everyone knows, on a personal level, liquor has caused many problems, but never solved any. I would ask, please do more research before having a referendum. But, if Swarthmore wants to be like all the surrounding communities where you can buy liquor, have at it. Just forget about being “unique.”

Larry Drew
Hobe Sound, FL

Marching, across borders

To the Editor:

Hola from Mexico, where we have spent many winters among warm and friendly people from both sides of the U.S. border. This year, the tenor is different, as President Trump’s tweets and pronouncements on trade, immigration and the border wall have a great effect upon Mexico and its people. In the two weeks following our arrival, currency valuation went from 19 pesos to one dollar; today it is 24 pesos to the dollar. That 20% devaluation makes a huge difference to the average hardworking Mexican in our rural community south of Zihautanejo, where the average pay per day is 250 pesos spread among a family of four or more. Gas for these truck drivers, small pasajeras and taxis, fishermen, and farmers is about 85 pesos per liter.

Jim, Pancho and Susan post- march.

Jim, Pancho and Susan post- march.

Most of our native friends have been a bit leery as to how the Americans, Canadians and other expats among them stand politically. On Saturday, January 21, it became clearer. The dawn crept in on with shades of pink, blue skies and puffy white clouds gathering over the pristine 17 kilometer Playa Blanca Beach just south of Zihautanejo (which is surrounded by the rural communities of Los Achotes, Los Llanitos and the Barra de Potosi). The word had sifted through the community that a march of sorts would begin at 8 a.m. Expat “year-rounders” and part time residents from the U.S. and Canada joined some German, French and British tourists. A few of the villagers came with their children to join in making signs and marching up the beach. Swimmers doing their morning ocean laps popped up and cheered us on, the dogs ran by our side, and more people joined in to march or to watch.

We stopped and were asked to gather in a circle and join hands. All were invited to speak out about what they stood for on this day when we all could be “fierce warriors.” The calls ranged from the rights of women with male participants voicing the importance of women in their lives and society, to basic human rights from gender issues to health protections, and on to many other issues and worries in these contentious times.

We closed the ceremony and marched back down the beach through the enramadas on the beach, where Pancho and Francisco met us with outstretched arms, and pure delight that they now knew where we stood and that our hopes were the same. We continued down the streets of the barra where Mexicans at first peeked out of their windows and doors, and then began to join us with their children. In the end we veered off the main streets and walked through the ‘swamp side,’ where people stopped working and cheered us on. Though our march was not great in size, it was huge in shared spirit and reconciliation with our beloved hosts in Mexico, who for the past 14 years have made this such a wonderful place to live simply and honestly. Abrazos,

Susan and Jim Audley
Rose Valley

Speaking out

To the Editor:

As it was Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017 when our new president signed the executive order resulting in chaos at airports all over the country, I immediately had to think about this poem by the Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoeller. We have a choice to make. All of us. The vast majority of Americans were not directly affected by Trump’s order, so you might ask: Why should it concern me? Why should it concern Swarthmoreans of all walks of life?

First They Came
Pastor Martin Niemoller *
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

Principiis obsta. Because if you don’t, there will be nobody left to speak out when they come for you.

Helge Hartung
Swarthmore

* Martin Niemöller (1892 –1984) was a German theologian and Lutheran pastor. As a political conservative, he opposed the nazification of Protestant churches and was therefore imprisoned in the concentration camps of Sachsenhausen and dachau from 1937 to 1945. He survived the war and became an initiator of the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt, issued by the Council of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD), in which it confessed guilt for its inadequacies in opposition to the Nazis and the Third Reich.

One thought on “Letters to the Editor

  1. Scott;

    Thanks for your thoughtful letter.
    Hopefully, this starts a reasoned discussion of this issue,
    so we can weigh both the advantages and disadvantages.

    Bob Small

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