Letters to the Editor

Rowan (left) and Harrison Brown are two of the youngest helpers, who volunteered to help cleanup Little Crum Creek Park on Earth Day.

Little Crum Creek Park Cleanup Day

To the Editor:

To celebrate Earth Day, about 50 people of all ages gathered on Saturday, April 21, to clean up the park and streams for the busy season ahead.

The trees throughout the park were weeded and mulched; the streams running through the park were searched for treasures while trash was being removed; the woodchip path was restored to prepare for the heavy use it gets throughout the year; and mulch was placed around all of the posts that hold the pages for the storybook walk (a nice addition to the park).

Many thanks to all volunteers — from Swarthmore, neighboring communities, and Maryland. Thanks also to the Swarthmore Public Works Department for providing mulch and woodchips, and returning early on Monday morning to pick up the debris and trash collected by the volunteers; to the Swarthmore Public Library for their ongoing promotion for us; and to the CRC Watersheds Association for providing gloves and bags for this annual event.

It’s always gratifying to see the diverse age groups we attract, and hearing the shared stories on how and why people use the park, making it a better place while making new friends. If you missed us this time, we’ll be having more opportunities to help in the months to come. Stay tuned!

Susan Kelly
Matt McCabe
Swarthmore Environmental Advisory Council

A turning point in gun violence?

To the Editor:

The gun deaths of 17 students and teachers at a suburban high school in Florida in February dominated the headlines across the U.S. and beyond for weeks and led to marches and a political movement that still resonates in the news media and has politicians running for cover.

In contrast, 43 gun-related homicides in Delaware County during 2017, 29 of them in Chester, made hardly a blip on the screen. One major difference: In this case they came, not in a single massacre, but in a steady drip drip drip – one this week, another a couple weeks later, etc. But the loss of promising young lives and the heartache for family and friends that will never go away are just as real. And folks in Swarthmore and Wallingford can no longer say: “Somebody else’s problem.”

Not long ago a young woman, aged 19, an innocent bystander, was shot and killed in Chester. In response, more than a hundred people turned out for a march and rally at the site, demanding that something be done to stop the loss of young lives. It included Chester officials, people from the suburbs, and clergy from as far away as Wilmington.

A few years ago, a 14-year-old boy was shot down at that very same site. No marches; no rallies. Brief mention in the news, and then it was as if it had never happened.

So we’ve reached some kind of turning point. The test will be whether we are still demanding that our elected officials at every level of government start standing up to the NRA when the midterm elections come round in November.

At patriotic gatherings we like to say of those who died in battle, “They shall not have died in vain.” Fitting words for remembering those young victims of gun violence here at home.

If anyone is interested in getting involved in the movement for sensible gun policies, I can be reached at willrichan@comcast.net (subject heading: guns)

Will Richan

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