All in To The Editor

Heartfelt thanks

We in Swarthmore are privileged to live in a community rich in history and heritage. For this reason, combined with my personal passion for history, I chose to preserve our past as part of my Eagle Scout project. This project, as many of you may know, was to install historical markers around the borough. Now that the markers have been installed and the project has finally come to a close, I would like to thank everyone who made it possible.

Mitten Tree time

The Swarthmore Public Library will soon be having its annual Mitten Tree. Donations of new mittens, gloves, blankets, scarves and hats, or money to buy similar items will be gratefully accepted at the library from October 15 through December 11.

It pays to BBQ

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Co-op this past Saturday at the BBQ Fundraiser. Your food purchases and donations added up to $3,206.02 that will be used to renovate the existing café space in the Co-op.

‘Let’s get going’

Last week’s Swarthmorean reported on the most recent Borough Council meeting, including the news that our Council unanimously passed a resolution called “Ready for 100.” It calls for our entire borough — municipal, institutional, business, and residential — to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy by the year 2050, with an intermediate goal of all electricity to be renewable by 2035. What will this mean for Swarthmore residents?

Larry loved us

Last Saturday, I attended the memorial service for the late Larry Luder, who faithfully served the Borough of Swarthmore as a member of the Swarthmore Fire Company for almost 50 years, and as President of the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association for 38 years.

I recognize the challenge to my “inner NIMBY” and my compassion fatigue, and I want to honor my connection to the human family. I want to honor it with action, however small and limited, in the face of the enormous challenges that are facing us as we peruse our morning papers over our coffees.

On Saturday, President Trump abruptly canceled secret peace talks scheduled at Camp David with Afghan leaders and Taliban insurgents. Assuming these talks were even a “real” thing and not simply another presidential fabrication, Trump acted swiftly, trying to show strength. But, what is the president’s strategy? Or is this simply one more example of how truly transactional this President is?

The real costs of food

Recently, a social media post asked why the corn at the Co-op costs more than the corn at Trader Joe’s. It’s a common question. I’d like to flip it around and instead ask: why is the corn at TJ’s so cheap? “Cheap food” makes me wonder: who in the supply chain was exploited? Because certainly, someone was.

Wrong way parking enforcement

My family and I are extremely disappointed that Swarthmore council voted to enforce the new street parking policy, in which all cars must face the same direction. While we understand that it’s a state law due to safety concerns, we also know that not every town has to enforce it.

A brief history of 311 Cedar Lane

311 Cedar Lane is my family’s house, owned by my uncle Robert Keighton. The address of the adjacent property is 409 College Avenue, which backs away from Cedar Lane. 409 was originally owned by my ancestors as a single dwelling around the 1870s, and 311 was built onto it as an addition in 1899. My great-grandfather Charles Paxson, an amateur architect, designed 311.

Swarthmore may seem insular in its boundaries and insulated by its grand tree cover, but within our borders, diversity reigns. Nothing indicates this more to the casual visitor than the fact that almost no two houses in Swarthmore are alike. This suggests that no two people in Swarthmore are alike. Almost all Swarthmore people and their houses are, if not “grand,” still alive and well, and diverse.

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.