Letters to the Editor

Work and Fun at Little Crum Creek Park

Dear Neighbors,

Swarthmore-Rutledge School and Swarthmore’s Environmental Advisory Council have locked in three dates for local community service combined with family fun.

On upcoming Fridays, March 31, April 28 and May 19, from 4:30 p.m. to 7p.m., everyone is invited to Little Crum Creek Park (at the intersection of Cresson and Amherst) for environmental activities followed by a fireside community picnic and music. Activities may include stream and park clean-up, planting, mulching and invasive weed removal. A handicapped accessible portapotty will be on site.

Please dress for a messy job (waterproof boots recommended) and wear/bring layers. For the picnic, please be as environmentally friendly as possible. (We are looking into getting food trucks or other service providers, but that isn’t finalized yet.)

Feel free to contact me at jfanckaitis@gmail.com with questions and other information. Hope to see you there!

Jeannine Anckaitis

Remember: Play for the As

To the Editor:

Did you know that every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s Disease? Since 2000, deaths from heart disease have decreased by 14%, while deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease have increased by 89% making it the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and one of the more costly diseases to suffer with.

On April 1, the Strath Haven boys lacrosse team will host the 4th annual Play for the As lacrosse tournament on King Field.

Over the past three years we have raised more than $25,000 to help defeat this horrible disease. This year we are proud to partner with the Taylor Community Foundation so that our fundraising efforts will locally support those who share in caring for loved ones affected by this dreaded disease. Our goal this year is $20,000, and we are approximately halfway to our goal!

For those in our community who would like to aid in fundraising efforts, there are several ways to do so: a.) charitable gifts can be made in support of our cause by clicking on the restricted donation link at www.tcfhelps.org/donate.html and typing “Play for the As” in the “fund” line at the top of the page; b.) becoming a sponsor for the day, by advertising in our program (contact dnymny@aol.com, subject: playforas, for more information); and c.) join us on April 1 at King Field for Play for the As as we work together to defeat Alzheimer’s!


Joe Healy
’17 SHHS Boys Lacrosse Team

No quick fix for Ville

To the Editor:

If only there was a simple, one ingredient recipe for improving the social and commercial climate of the Swarthmore Town Center Business District, I think Borough Council, The Town Center Inc. or one of our energetic community boosters would have whipped up that dish long ago.

The suggestion of repealing the Town Center Zoning regulation limiting first floor rentals to retail establishments is misguided and shortsighted. Indeed, the idea behind regulating new first floor rentals in the Town Center is to encourage a critical mass of diverse retail establishments such that shoppers will be drawn to Swarthmore as a destination.

Repealing this very recently adopted regulation might benefit commercial property owners in the short term, but it is unlikely to be a simple fix to high vacancy rates. Vacancies were a problem recognized by the Swarthmore Town Center Revitalization Strategy back in 1999. I doubt that since the regulation passed there has been a crush of professional service firms clamoring for first floor rental space in Swarthmore.

Furthermore, it’s a red herring to suggest that undesirable retail establishments such as “tattoo parlor, a gun store, or a pawn shop” are likely to find Swarthmore a good geographic fit. Swarthmore’s dominant demographic is characterized as “Affluent Estates and Upscale Avenues” by ESRI Tapestry Lifemodes, hardly a strong customer base for guns and pawn shops, yet it might be a winning location for a dessert and cocktail establishment (yes, I’m thinking Max Brenner’s here).

On a personal level, I empathize with commercial property owners that find regulation costly. We recently installed a fence on our property and the permitting process added to the cost and constrained our fencing choices. I had to remind myself that the very same costly and limiting regulation of our fence installation is but one of many local initiatives that make Swarthmore a beautiful and desirable community to live in.

My hope is that with time, the successful passage of the Swarthmore21 referendum permitting alcohol sales, as well as many other initiatives such as the first floor zoning regulation, the great work the Swarthmore Horticultural Society does, the recently completed Central Park spearheaded by the Swarthmore Centennial Foundation and many other individual initiatives, the Swarthmore Town Center will fulfill its potential as a vibrant commercial and civic space.


Linda Hauck

Beautiful music in Borough Hall

To the Editor:

Swarthmore Borough Hall is not usually known for beautiful music, but Friday night, March 10, proved to be an exception. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Swarthmore Public Library presented Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse in concert. The room was packed with some overflow.

Lynn began by giving a brief history of Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738), a blind Irish composer, harper, and singer said to be Ireland’s national composer. Donal O’Sullivan identified all 214 of his tunes in his 1958 edition of Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper. O’Carolan was depicted on the Irish 50 pound note.

Besides her brief history of harping, Lynn included music by O’Carolan, starting with his “Separation of Soul and Body.” The magic continued with other baroque composers, along with Venezualan music and music from the films Barry Lyndon and Once. She also noted that in baroque harping music that harpers would create ornamentation on the melody, similiar to jazz. She finished her set with an incredible version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Lynn Saoirse has various CDs available on CD Baby and iTunes, with The Seas are Deep being the one that was quickly sold out after the concert. She lives in Connemara, Ireland. We would agree with the comments of Derek Bell of The Chieftains about her musicianship, “There is an exquisite delicacy all through her playing.”

This free concert was sponsored by the Swarthmore Public Library. For other programs and for ways you can support this 87-year-old Swarthmore treasure, please see swarthmorepubliclibrary.org. You are also invited to stop in during regular library hours.

Bob Small

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