All in To The Editor

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.

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.

Elma Jones: a Real Friend

This past week a multitude of people from all over the Philadelphia area joined together to say goodbye to a real and beloved friend; one who was always there when a friend was hurting. Even with a large family, for whom she was the rock, and the glue that held them together, she always made time to help her hundreds of friends. Her name was Elma Jones.

July 4 was a blast

It was another wonderful (okay, a little hot) Independence Day in Swarthmore!  While the day’s events may seem to flow effortlessly, there is a lot of behind the scenes planning. There are many people to thank, so please forgive me if I have missed you...

Another successful run

It was another hot and steamy Independence Eve 8K last Wednesday, but this time without thunder and lightning in the distance that we had last year. Special thanks to all of the neighbors living along the race route who provided relief to the runners with spray hoses, sprinklers, and plenty of water. Proceeds from the 8K will support Lions charities including the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Chester, Camp Kirby, Beacon Lodge, and the Lions Holiday Food Basket program.

Welcome to the hockey stick world! Most sentient beings are aware of Al Gore’s 2006 movie which graphically displayed the accelerating pace of climate change as a graph that increases upward slowly for decades and then suddenly shoots up alarmingly – like a hockey stick. His “wake-up” predictions have come to pass with droughts, floods, and unprecedented severe and bizarre weather patterns. It is not going to return to normal, and reducing your driving and air travel isn’t going to arrest a very difficult future that is shaping up for our children.