Restoring Trails in Rose Valley

Last month, a team of neighbors and other nature lovers got together to make the wonders and surprises of the outdoors more accessible. In a weeklong project led by Jim Audley, more than 1,200 feet of chronically muddy segments of trail in the Saul Wildlife Sanctuary were converted from unpleasant to exemplary, thanks to the efforts and commitment of volunteers who worked about 250 hours.

I have a new pet peeve, and it’s not trivial — in fact it could be life or death. It concerns the relatively new pedestrian crosswalk lights installed at key, busy Swarthmore intersections. They are not working as intended, and the answer is simple.

‘Is’ to ‘Was’

Like others, I woke Tuesday morning to the news that author Toni Morrison had died. Stumbling upon it online, I must have caught sight of the headline just as the story was breaking. In an effort to be a responsible consumer of the news, I searched the internet for other sources reporting the same thing and came upon Morrison’s Wikipedia page, which began with the opening description, “Toni Morrison is an American novelist, essayist, editor...” “Is.” The present tense was reassuring: maybe this was yet another example of falsely reporting the death of a celebrity. I checked back to Morrison’s Wikipedia page within the hour and, sure enough, “is” had been changed to “was.” I had an odd feeling, as though I had just witnessed her death in real time. News and information are rapidly available in the internet age, including death.

Freezer Fundraising Warming Up

Thanks to all who came out to last Friday’s Co-op Movie Night. For our first time running this event, it was very successful. From admission donations and sales of food from our grill, we raised more than $600 to go towards essential freezer repairs. Everything was run by Co-op owners who volunteered their time to make sure all profits went directly to the freezer fund.

Thank you, Mayor

In the July 26 Swarthmorean, Marty Spiegel reminded us how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful small town, thanks to both public and private efforts. We would like to add some more specific thanks: after the severe July 22nd storm, when a huge downed tree blocked Chester Road and the lights were out at the busy College Avenue intersection, we came upon Mayor Spiegel himself in a yellow safety vest, expertly directing rush hour traffic.

The Swarthmore community and beyond came together on Saturday, July 27, to raise money to help the children at the southern border of the United States. The Children of the Wind fundraiser, sponsored by Young People’s Theatre Workshop, was able to raise $6,400 for the children through music, financial donations, and the generosity of spirit of all involved.

Lunch and learning

At last Thursday’s Swarthmore Rotary Club luncheon meeting at the Inn at Swarthmore, I was fascinated by the presentation by Greg Brown, V.P. for Finance and Administration at Swarthmore College. Greg discussed the present and upcoming construction projects at the College. 

With good reason and understandable indignation, Rob Dreyfus reminds us that 20-plus Democratic candidates only “tinker” with our problems (Swarthmorean, July 12). With understandable indignation and some reasoning, Jim Riviello tells us that career politicians are con men and snake oil salesmen (Swarthmorean, June 21). Joshua Kalla and Ethan Porter tell us that highly detailed public opinion surveys suggest that “An overwhelming majority of legislators [are] uninterested in learning about their constituents’ views” (New York Times, July 12).

The fabric of our society in the United States is being tested as it has not been, arguably, since the Civil War. We are not facing the prospect of states seceding or of an armed conflict (yet), but we are facing a real threat and challenge to our way of life and to the successful functioning of our democratic republic.