Page 1

Vol. 1, No. 8

December 2018

eastfallsnow.com • FREE

Advice from a voter who’s 100: ‘Get out and vote!’ by John T. Gillespie


arian, or “Bobbi” LeLand, turned 100 years old in April and votes at the Mifflin School. She has some simple advice for young people: “Get out and vote,” she says. “It is one of the most important things you can do in life.” Whether by osmosis or the power of suggestion, young people seem to have gotten her message. They turned out in droves to vote this past Nov. 6. Students from Jefferson University’s Philadelphia campus helped drive the 60 percent plus turnout in the 23rd Division of East Falls’ 21st Ward -Jeanette Brugger, of the Philadelphia Streets Department (center), points to Bobbi’s precinct. plans for the proposed roundabout in discussion with some of the more than 40 Bobbi voted in her first elecEast Falls residents who turned out for the Department’s presentation for the tion for Franklin D. Roosevelt project at Fox St. and Queen Ln. in 1940. She was 22, and she told EF NOW she hasn’t missed an election since. Born in Erie, PA, she spent much of her young life in Oil City, 120 miles south of Pittsburgh. Her father died when she was two. Her mother section. raised her and two older sisby John T. Gillespie Ed McGinn, who lives on ters, now all deceased. Penn St. half a block from the Still erect and alert, Bobbi orking in groups of intersection, was impressed. says she learned the imporeight to 10 residents, “I was 50-50 when I walked tance of voting from her mothEast Fallsers listened in. I came away 80 percent in er. She came to know on Nov. 1 as City Streets favor of moving ahead,” he Philadelphia from grandparDepartment officials laid out said. ents who lived in Germanplans for a proposed traffic Not all were so certain. roundabout at Fox St. and “The presentation was clear, Queen Ln., scheduled for con- but pedestrian safety remains struction sometime in 2019. a concern,” said Phil Hineline, Sponsored by the Traffic a resident of Midvale Ave. Committee of the East Falls An informal show of hands Community Council, the showed a majority in favor of meeting had been requested the concept. by the Streets Department. It A couple from Wissahickon took place at the East Falls Av., on the other hand, said Presbyterian Church. More they were “very against” the by Bill Epstein than 40 people attended. plan because of pedestrian With charts and audio-visu- safety. Drivers, they said, he Philadelphia Gas al aids, official explained how would fail to yield at pedestriWorks has warned that the roundabout would work to an crossways or pedestrians residents should not replace the current four-way stop signs at the busy inter(Continued on page 14) allow utility workers into their home unless they confirm that they are legitimate employees -- in the aftermath of an incident in which criminals posed as employees and broke into a Wissinoming The next general membership meeting of the EFCC will home, robbing its owners on be at 7 pm Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 at the EF Presbyterian Nov. 17. Church, Midvale Ave. and Vaux St. PGW said in a statement that even if a homeowner has The agenda will include: to call 911 to make certain • Presentation of proposed Hebrew that a person is a legitimate Public Charter School. employee, PGW does not con• Update by NewCourtland Senior Services on plans for sider it an inconvenience. its Henry Ave. property. The police have a “direct line” But before that, there’s the EFCC’s Holiday Reception to the utility and will contact at 6 pm Tuesday, Dec. 4 at the Old Academy Playhouse. PGW to verify that a legitiJoin us for dinner and beverages; RSVP mate employee is visiting a at info@eastfallscommunity.org. property.

town, where she later lived on Winona Ave. After a career as a secretary with Jerrold Electronics, the early cable TV company founded by Pennsylvania’s former Gov. Milton Shapp, she worked for the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations in charge of the secretar-

ial pool. Later, she worked for the United Auto Workers as executive secretary to the local district manager. For the past 17 years Bobbi has lived at the Valley Green Apartments on Wissahickon Ave. (Continued on page 11)

City presents plans for ‘mini’ roundabout at Fox & Queen


Bobbi LeLand votes at the Mifflin School.

PGW advice: Call 911 to stop criminals from posing as employees


EFCC General Membership Meeting

The incident is just the latest episode of a scam that has plagued utility agencies across the country for years. “It is a sad fact that dishonest people will turn the very trust people have in their utility providers into a tool for their criminal activities,” PGW said in a statement. “It has happened before, and…it happened again in a high-pro-


file robbery where criminals posing as PGW employees lied to gain access to a person’s home. “Unfortunately, not everyone is who they claim to be, and these recent incidents are a reminder that we all need to remain vigilant against imposters. (Continued on page 4)


ere it comes -- Monday, Dec. 3 – your one-time chance to have someone else pick up your leaves! The City is scheduled to sweep loose leaves from the

streets in East Falls. No bagging! No piles necessary! Just rake loose leaves into the street between now and the morning of Dec. 3, and the Streets Department will do the rest.

News: editor@eastfallsnow.com • To advertise: ads@eastfallsnow.com • Opinion: letters@eastfallsnow.com • Questions: info@eastfallsnow.com


December 2018

East Falls NOW

Your December 2018 East Falls NOW Calendar Falls of the Schuylkill Library Hours: Mon. & Wed., 12 to 8 pm; Tues. & Thurs., 10 am to 6 pm; Fri., 10 am to 5 pm; Sat. 10 am to 5; delayed opening (2 pm) on Dec. 13, early closure (3 PM) Dec. 24, and closed Sundays and Christmas Day.

LEAP, the Free Library’s drop-in after school program, offers homework assistance, computer literacy and library skills for students in grades K–12, along with daily literacy enrichment activities for elementary school students. This program takes place every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5:30 pm.

1 Saturday

9:30 am: EFSA co-ed basketball registration, McDevitt Rec. Center 10 am to 4 pm: EF Farmers Market Indoor Market, 2nd Fl., Vault & Vine, 3507 Midvale Ave.

2 Sunday

10 am to 4 pm: Day two, EF Farmers Market Indoor Market, 2nd Fl., Vault & Vine, 3507 Midvale Ave. First night of Hanukah; happy holidays to EF NOW’s Jewish readers

3 Monday

5:45 pm: Advanced Bridge Group for experienced players, Library. (Story Pg. 11) 4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy Dog at the Falls Library. School age kids are invited to read with Wally or Orchid, certified therapy dogs. Come share a new book or an old favorite in a judgementfree space. (Story Pg. 11) 6 pm: 39th District Police PSA 1 meeting, 2200 Hunting park Ave.

4 Tuesday

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time at the Falls Library. Babies and toddlers will enjoy a parent-led music and dance story time. Children will play maracas, shake pompoms, dance and listen to music and dance-themed books. Come tire out your little ones and meet local parents. Groups and daycares should call the library to set up special visits. (Story Pg. 11) 6 pm: EFCC Holiday Reception, Old Academy Playhouse; RSVP: www.eastfallscommunity.org.

11 Tuesday

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time for babies and toddlers at the Library (See Dec. 4.)

4 to 6 pm: EF Village Art Show and Party, Library (Story Pg 13)

8 Saturday

11 am: 39th Police District food giveaway, 22nd St. and Hunting Park Ave.

10 Monday

4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy Dog (See Dec. 3.)

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time for babies and toddlers at the Library (See Dec. 4.)

12 Wednesday 19 Wednesday 1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge Group for new players, Library. (Story Pg. 11)

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge Group for new players, Library. (Story Pg. 11)

6:30 pm: Book talk on Queen: Complete Works, Library (Story Pg. 11)

6:30 pm: PJ Storytime at the Library. For ages seven and under. (Story Pg. 11)

7 pm: Holiday Caroling and dessert reception, EF Presbyterian Church

5 Wednesday 13 Thursday 1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge Group for

new players, Library. (Story Pg. 11)

18 Tuesday

7:30 pm: EF Town Watch meeting, 3540 Indian Queen Ln.

20 Thursday 6:30 pm: PJ Storytime at the Library. For ages seven and under. (Story Pg. 11)

25 Tuesday

Merry Christmas to all of our East Falls NOW readers!

15 Saturday 26 Wednesday 10 am t0 2 pm: Flea Market for

toys for needy families, Metro Church, 4200 Ridge Ave.

17 Monday

5:45 pm: Advanced Bridge Group for experienced players, Library. (Story Pg. 11) 4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy Dog (See Dec. 3.)

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge Group for new players, Library. (Story Pg. 11)

27 Thursday 6:30 pm: PJ Storytime at the Library. For ages seven and under. (Story Pg. 11)

31 Monday

11:30 am: The Library’s NY’s Eve countdown, ages two to eight. (Story Pg. 11) New Year’s Eve – A happy, safe and healthy 2019 to all of our East Falls NOW readers!

Join Up, Show Up, Speak Up Take part in the EFCC’s monthly general membership meetings – 7 pm every second Monday, East Falls Presbyterian Church, Midvale and Vaux Join an EFCC committee: Zoning, Events, Traffic, ByLaws. Contact info@eastfallscommunity.org Do you have news for East Falls NOW? Contact editor@eastfallsnow.com If you’re not getting East Falls NOW, contact info@eastfallsnow.com

Happening in East Falls... Trolley Car Café sets dinner theatre The Trolley Car Café has scheduled a dinner theatre for Wed., Dec. 12 – $25 per person in advance, $30 at the

door. The tickets include buffet dinner and two holidaythemed short plays. The plays and dinner will take place in the café’s new dining room at 3269 S. Ferry Rd., under the Twin Bridges between

Kelley Dr. and Ridge Av. Doors will open at 6 pm; the plays will be performed at 6:30 pm; and dinner will be at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available on Facebook, at trolleycarcafe.com

and at the Café. While not serving dinner nightly, the Café is available for birthday parties, weddings and all celebrations. Dinners for special events are provided by the Café, and beverages are provided by East Falls Beer Garden. 4th St. Cookies opens for retail The Famous 4th Street Cookies, at 4177 Ridge Ave. across from the Sunoco AMPM station, has opened for retail sales. Owner Brian Phillips has installed coffee. Stop in or place orders at 215625-9870.

Metro Church Toy Drive The members of Metro Church on Midvale Ave. between Ridge Ave. and Kelly Dr. (4200 Ridge Ave.) are collecting toys for needy children and are accepting new or gently used toys at the Church from 10 am to 1 pm on Sunday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 9. The toys will be sold to needy families at a flea market at the Church on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 10 am to 2 pm. For more information: outreach@metropres.org

Moving Sale Sat., Dec. 1 and Sat., Dec 8 9 am to 6 pm Furniture, microwave, exercise bike, Ikea beds, linens, antiques and collectables, art, jewelry, bicycles, office chairs with wheels, heavy duty shredder, file cabinets

Questions? Call Roberta, 267-974-0561

East Falls NOW


December 2018

Milo – Vegetarian eatery makes big arrival in East Falls


ast Falls finally has its vegetarian restaurant – and as far as this nonvegetarian East Falls NOW scribe is concerned, it was well worth the wait. The newest addition to our growing selection of restaurants is Milo – a seven-day-aweek BYOB hatched on Conrad St. by owner and chef Craig Wilson. After several months of delay due to construction and permitting issues, Wilson tore down the brown paper sheets covering his widows and opened Milo in late October. He’s in the middle of the 3400 block of Conrad St. between Sunnyside

A message from the

EFCC President

by Bill Epstein

Ave. and Bowman St. Wilson says he’s off to a fast start – capturing 19 five-star ratings on Yelp in his first two weeks. He’s experiencing repeat diners and rave reviews from EF NOW readers who have sampled his vegetarian and organic menu, and he says he especially enjoys the repeat visits from neighbors in East Falls NOW land and plans to serve here for a long time. My own favorites are Milo’s mushroom mac ‘n cheese, the tinga mushroom taco and the Savannah Burger. But I’m still working my way through the menu. Weeks before he opened, Wilson suggested that when I tasted his creation of smokey bella, cremini, shitake, onion, tomato chipotle sauce, avocado, vegan sour cream and papitas on a roll I would think it was a hamburger. He was right. It was big-

Milo’s Kayla Howe (right) prepares to sample something new at EF’s newest restaurant as owner/chef Craig Wilson and Libby Stark look on behind the vegetarian eatery’s dessert display

time tasty. So were the cookies stored under Milo’s glass dessert display case. Wilson has created a warm, informal environment, completely remodeling a space that formerly housed a small food market. He arrived in East Falls after 25 years as a chef in Thailand and Europe, and as a chef/owner in Manayunk. He says that becoming a father prompted him to become more aware of the need to get healthy – specifically to lose weight – and he became a vegetarian. He says he is doing a strong eat-in and take out business since opening. Delivery service also is available by GrubHub. On Sunday Milo serves

breakfast and lunch from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm; on Monday it’s open for coffee and light fare from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm; and from Tuesday through Saturday the place is rocking with breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8:30 am to 9 pm. Wilson and his staff made a hot introduction on Conrad St. on Friday, Nov. 9 shortly after opening when they looked directly across the street and saw smoke billowing out of the front door of the Conrad Laundromat and Dry Cleaning Shop. Wilson and one of his chefs, Anthony “Rock” Owens, grabbed two fire extinguish-

For news, contact: editor@eastfallsnow.com For advertising, contact ads@eastfallsnow.com For letters, contact letters@easfallsnow.com Everything else, contact info@eastfallsnow.com

Your East Falls Community Council: William Epstein, President Todd Baylson, Vice President and Zoning Chair Mary Alice Duff, Vice President and Events Chair Joseph Leube, Treasurer Christina Spolsky, Communications Director and Corresponding Secretary Mary Jean Cunningham, Recording Secretary and Membership Chair Christopher Caporellie, Member, Executive Committee at Large John Gillespie, Member, Executive Committee at Large and Transportation Chair Thomas Flynn, Member, Executive Committee at Large Alex Keating, Member, Executive Committee at Large Emily Nichols, Member, Executive Committee at Large Robert Rabinowitz, Member, Executive Committee at Large Christopher Rooney, Member, Executive Committee at Large and By-Laws Chair Barnaby Wittels, Immediate Past President

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ers and rushed into the smoke and saw flames at the rear of the first floor. Realizing that their small extinguishers wouldn’t put out the blaze, they ran back into Milo for another set, and put out the flames just as firemen were arriving. I’m no fire investigator, but it seems as though their quick action saved this block of Conrad St. from serious damage. Holiday reception Talking about food (and beverages), please know that all East Fall NOW readers are welcome to the EF Community Council’s annual Holi-

day Reception -- at 6 pm Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the Old Academy Players’ Club Room. It’s a young dinner and party tradition started four years ago by Barney Wittels when he was President, and we’ve grown it each year. We gather to celebrate our successes as a community council, to admit our less-than-successes – we’ve had a few -- our hopes for 2019, and most importantly our bond as neighbors working together to improve our community. Please join us. I ask only that you email www.eastfallscommunity.org to let us know how many folks we can expect.

Gun safety: Unfinished business in Harrisburg


Published monthly and on-line by the East Falls Community Council PO Box 12672, Philadelphia, PA 19129 www.eastfallsnow.com • www.eastfallscommunity.org

Firefighters tackle a blaze at Conrad Laundromat.

o call gun safety a sensitive topic that evokes strong emotions is an understatement. The loss of life early last month in Thousand Oaks, CA and the tragic hate crime shootings in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh have elicited, yet again, an outcry from citizens to elected officials on the state and federal level to do something about firearm safety. In April of this year the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee held special public safety hearings on gun laws and gun violence for six days. These hearings were without precedent, and many of us were encouraged because they happened. Only members of the PA House were permitted to testify, and I did so on behalf of my constituents. I chose to have my remarks reflect the thoughts of my constituents. I had received input calling for universal background checks, banning assault weapons, and addressing mental health concerns. Constituents also inquired about ways to enforce the use of gun locks to keep firearms out of the hands of children. Another constituent was concerned that only State Representatives could testify at

Committee this session. In fact, these incidents of gun violence that have resulted in mass killings have yielded no new gun safety legislation at the state or federal level. The outcry of citizens made the difference that led to these unprecedented hearings being held in April. I am convinced that citizens can make the difference in ensuring that gun safety legislation moves through the PA legislature when the new session begins in January. Thank you for letting me know your thoughts on the matter of gun safety by contacting me at 215-482-8726 or at RepDeLissio@pahouse.net. by St. Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio I also will advise you who to contact on the PA House Judiciary Committee after the measures before them and to new majority and minority keep in mind that Nov. 30 chairs are appointed in was the end of the two-year December. session. I reminded them My commitment to you is to that this was an election year work toward the enactment of for all members of the PA some very basic gun safety House, and because lame legislation, such as universal duck sessions are frowned upon our goal should be to act background checks, while preon legislation in a timely fash- serving constituents’ rights under the 2nd amendment, ion so that gun safety bills and to work towards keeping were on the Governor’s desk citizens safe. Personally, I do by the end of October. not believe these are mutually I regret to report that no gun safety legislation made it exclusive goals. out of the PA House Judiciary these hearings and not stakeholders active on this topic. My testimony also reflected my understanding of the challenges facing the legislature in moving any gun safety legislation forward. Nonetheless, my closing remarks implored committee members to take definitive action on at least some of

Pam’s Viewpoint


December 2018

East Falls NOW

Timmons House on Oak Road wins historical recognition

The Colonial Revival Timmons House, aka the Henry W. Brown House and the Tommons home, 3850 The Oak Road.

by Steven J. Peitzman


he Timmons House at 3850 The Oak Road, also known as the Henry W. Brown House, was placed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places by a unanimous vote of the Philadelphia Historical Commission at its meeting on Nov. 9. East Falls Historical Society submitted the nomination, written by EFHS board members David Breiner and Steven J. Peitzman. The owner of the house, William Penn Charter School, supported the nomination, initially with the request that part of the lawn be

excluded from the designation to allow for expanded parking. This request was denied, though the school might obtain a review if it later applies for a permit. The house qualified for the Register, which protects it from demolition, because of its noteworthy architectural style and its association with the history and culture of a specific community. The architect was Clinton Gardner Harris, a graduate of Germantown Friends School and the University of Pennsylvania. Important features of the building include the central classical bay, the contrast of red brick and white stucco,

and two Palladian windows. Henry W. Brown acquired about 12 acres along School House Ln. in 1906 to build a stately “country house” and to develop a small residential enclave that would become The Oak Road. The street was laid out with a small island to preserve a legacy oak tree. Brown was a leading figure in the Philadelphia commercial insurance business and a skilled cricketer. By 1926, The Oak Road streetscape comprised a group of handsome single houses mostly in the Colonial Revival style; “Ivy Cottage,” a surviving Gothic revival house from the mid-nineteenth century;

and the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd. Later owners included brewer and banker John J. Hohenadel, and John Spence Timmons, an inventor of an early radio loud speaker, the “Timmons Talker.” Timmons gave the house to Penn Charter, which uses it to house administrative functions and for special events. The full nomination is available by contacting me at peitzmansj@gmail.com. The next EFHS public meeting (Nov. 28, 6:30 pm, at the Falls of Schuylkill Library) will offer a selection of rarely seen historic photographs, mostly of structures and streetscapes

from the collections of early Falls historians A.C. Chadwick and C. K. Mills, as well as from current residents.

Call 911 to stop criminals from posing as employee (Continued from page 1)

“Be sure before you open the door. Before letting anyone claiming to be a utility worker into your home or business, always ask for identification. Do not allow any person you don't know into your home or provide personal information – such as your phone number or account number -- without verifying that they are who they claim to be. “All PGW employees have ID badges and official PGW vehicles with clearly visible PGW logo. Most also have municipal license plates. “If you’re even the slightest bit unsure about a person’s claim to be from PGW, call 911. The Philadelphia Police Department has a direct line to PGW and can verify someone’s claim that they are at your property on legitimate PGW business. The worst that can happen is that a PGW employee has to wait a few minutes while you ensure your safety and security. It is not an inconvenience for us.” PGW has posted a brochure on this subject at https://www.pgworks.com/files/ assets/Imposters_brochure_Fin al.pdf

East Falls NOW

Use caution to foil the Grinch at holiday time

December 2018


If it’s Christmas, it’s time for ‘Bird Census’


inter means it’s time for cozying up on the couch with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa. But for many birders, it’s also the season for Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs). From Dec. 14 through Jan. 5, as CBCs are held around the country, volunteer birders go out to count birds. They

Navin on Nature by Navin Sasikumar

by Pat Adams, for EF Town Watch


on't let the Grinch steal; your holiday! The Holiday Season is here and that means shopping, family gatherings, lights, music, feasting, and hopefully a visit from Santa himself. With so much merriment it‘s easy to let our guard down and forget about safety. Here are a few tips to make sure yours is a happy time of year. The criminals have their own shopping list, and it may include your car or its contents, your home or even you. When shopping, you may want to buy out the store but try not to carry too much cash. Keep your wallet or purse close. When carrying all those packages back to your sleigh be sure you are not followed. Of course, never place those goodies in plain view in the front or back seat. After you put them in the trunk, move your car to a different parking space before going back into the mall for more, just in case someone naughty is watching. Once you get those purchases home and wrapped, make sure they are not placed where they can be seen through your front window. If you have packages delivered, foil the package pirates by having them delivered to a safe locker such as the ones at the minimart and super markets, not your front step! If you are going to be away, all the old rules apply: lights on timers, and ask neighbors to check in and picking up those pizza menus from the front step. Finally, after all the gifts have been unwrapped and the last drop of egg nog is gone, be sure to properly recycle all the wrapping paper. But do not put the carton from that gigantic screen TV at the curb. Instead, cut it into small pieces and place them at the bottom of your recycle bin under the wine bottles and newspapers, where the Grinch can’t see what you just got for watching the Big Game. This is a wonderful time of the year and all of us at East Falls Town Watch wish you a joyous Holiday Season and a Safe New Year.

brave the elements -- rain, wind, snow or ice -- to keep the tradition going and to aid in conservation. Many years ago, the tradition of going out on hunts on Christmas day and counting the number of birds the hunters had killed morphed into just counting live birds with the rise of the conserva-

Counted in the 2017 mid-winter Bird Census in East Falls, East Falls NOW scribe Navin Sasikumar reports that this

(Continued on page 15) Baltimore Oriole was the only one seen in Philadelphia that winter.


December 2018

East Falls NOW

For the Love of Gardens: On Long Island, my first packet of seeds by Deborah Kaplan Mouhib


remember buying my first packet of seeds at the local hardware store -- Yellow Alyssum. I wanted to see how seeds turned into flowers. After starting them indoors in small trays, I moved them carefully to a built-in planter on our patio. It was the early 60's and I was 12 years old. Every spring they turned into a blazing display -- healthy and happy -- to my mother's delight. I guess that's when my relationship to gardens began. We lived at the edge of the woods and the trees in the woods had always been mine. The paths I'd created from our Long Island house to the Nissaquague River rambled because they crossed paths with the best climbing trees. From up there I could see through the shrub to the river and the tree-topped sky. Everything about being there fed me, protected and held me.

Help make our community great. Join the East Falls Community Council by visiting “Become a Member” at www.eastfallscommunity.org

I anticipated and knew the look and smell of each season -wet bark and windflowers. The woods were my protector and playmate, and my experience of it runs deep. My memory is magical. Much time has passed but the same experience -- the same aura overcomes me when I'm in my garden of 30 years on Queen Ln., though the relationship is more interactive. My garden depends on me. It's an art form that I've had a hand in creating. Each plant has landed in its natural spot by intuition. Each has its needs and character and it's the same intimate experience I fall into when I'm on my knees, digging a hole and smelling the earth that engages my whole being. My stories and your stories about this intimacy and personal experience of gardens is the context and heart of this column in all its expressions. This column extends an invitation to all East Falls NOW readers to write a story about gardens. We look forward to reading all your inspired or witty, magical or earthy submissions. We hope it will act as an interactive, community exchange of ideas, questions and contemplations. Patty Redenbaugh, owner of CITY PLANTS and a magnificent garden, will serve as our source for your questions. We’ll call it “Ask the Expert.” Please email your garden questions and ideas for columns and story submissions to me at dkaplan8@verizon.net.

Scene from Deborah Kaplan Mouhib’s garden on Queen Ln.

East Falls NOW


December 2018

Trolley Car makes grants to Mifflin School

Meeting to discuss proposals submitted by teachers at the Thomas Mifflin School to the Trolley Car Foundation were members of the Trolley Car Café Teachers Fund advisory committee, from left, Bill Epstein, President of the East Falls Community Council; Adam Eyring, consultant to the Fund; Cynthia Kishinchand, President of East Falls Tree Tenders; and Ken Weinstein, owner of the Trolley Car Café under the Twin Bridges in East Falls and the Trolley Car Diner on Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy.


foundation created by Trolley Car Café owners Judy and Ken Weinstein has granted awards totaling more than $3,700 for eight proposals submitted by

teachers at East Falls’ Thomas Mifflin School. The grants will fund programs for classes throughout the K to 8 school, including trips to the Academy of Nat-

ural Sciences and children’s theatre performances, participation in Outward Bound and the purchase of learning equipment. Bill Epstein, President of

the East Falls Community Council and a member of the advisory committee that works with the Weinsteins to determine the grants, said the EFCC “very much appreciates

the commitment that Judy and Ken Weinstein have made to the community and their generosity in funding these grants for the students at Mifflin.”

215-717-9667 • DrLeaksPhilly.com • info@DrLeaksPhilly.com


December 2018

East Falls NOW

Bach to Beatles: EF Performers take center stage


rom Bach to the Beatles, the East Falls Performers staged their 32nd annual evening musicale at the Falls of Schuylkill Library Oct. 29 before a standing room-only crowd of 150 enthusiasts. This year’s local talent and repertoire were as eclectic as in years past, including Cole Porter, Irish folk songs, Franz Liszt, Russian Gypsy Music and Broadway’s All That Jazz. Shairah Kibler, 14-year-old violinist from the Settlement Music School, wowed the audience with Concerto in B Minor by O. Rieding. For novelty it was hard to beat Theodore M. Cheek Jr. on a renaissance lute, also known as a theorbo, playing Prelude and Allemande by 16th century composer Silvyus Weiss. Cheek’s parents, Patty and Ted Cheek, joined tenor Phil Hineline and baritone Matt

Murphy in chorals Breathe Soft, Ye Winds by J. Baptiste Calkin and The Goslings by J. Frederick Bridge. A highlight, as in past years, was Frank Kaderabek, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s retired lead trumpet, with Wendy Moody and Caroline Davidson on piano in Londonderry Air, an Irish folk song, and Two Guitars, a Russian gypsy song. New to this year’s program were vocalist and acoustic guitarist Daniel Cullen and acoustic guitarist Elliot Lehtonen, with their Paul McCartney/John Lennon hits Michelle and And I Love Her. Completing the program were John Kormanski, with his piano arrangement of Liszt’ Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2; baritone Matt Murphy; tenor Randy Shupp with Bob Munnich at the piano; and the Falls Clarinet Quartet with

Kornanski, Marcus Kurz, Anthony DiToro and Mike Galan. Margaret Sadler, taking over as President of the Friends of the Falls Library from Nina Coffin, thanked the audience for making the evening a success, observing: “There was not an empty seat in the house! The dessert table was festive and colorful; the musicians all fine to the ear.” Wendy Moody, long time organizer and impresario, said “The goal is to bring the neighborhood together in a positive way. Music is a commonality. People connect when neighbors share their special gifts as performers. Our community loves to volunteer, support the library, and be reminded of what a unique place East Falls is.” Theodore M. Cheek on the lute.

Violinist Shairah Kibler and pianist Caroline Davidson. (Photos by John Gillespie and Bill Epstein.)

Join Up, Show Up, Speak Up Take part in the EFCC’s monthly general membership meetings – 7 pm every second Monday, East Falls Presbyterian Church, Midvale and Vaux Join an EFCC committee: Zoning, Events, Traffic, By-Laws. Contact info@eastfallscommunity.org Do you have news for East Falls NOW? Contact editor@eastfallsnow.com If you’re not getting East Falls NOW, contact info@eastfallsnow.com

East Falls NOW

December 2018


McMichael Park bench honors Doris Steinberg


oris B. Steinberg, longtime East Falls resident, left her mark in many ways in the community before passing away at the age of 87 in December 2017. More than 70 of her friends and family gathered on Nov. 17 to dedicate a new bench honoring her memory in McMichael Park. Mary Flournoy, long-time activist with Doris in the East Falls Community Council and East Falls Village, recalled how Doris’ “persistence and persuasiveness were essential to the founding and success of the East Falls Village.” Flournoy described how Doris read in the New York Times about the success of an organization in Boston aimed at helping senior residents remain in their homes comfortably – Beacon Hill Village -- and proposed that such an organization could be established and succeed in East Falls. Winston Moody, retired Head Librarian at the Falls of Schuylkill Library, told the gathering that Doris established and nurtured the East Falls Shakespeare Group. Doris and her husband, Phil -- a former President of the EFCC -- lived on Netherfield Rd., where they raised their daughters, Susan Steinberg and Mimi Steinberg Satterthwaite. Doris and Phil later moved to Cathedral Village, where Phil remains.

At McMichael Park bench dedication honoring the late Doris Steinberg were family members (rear, from left) Doug Slemmer, nephew; Nick Slemmer, grandson; Mary Slemmer, granddaughter, and Jeff Satterthwaite, son-in-law; seated, from left, Randy Slemmer, nephew; husband Phil Steinberg and daughter Mimi Steinberg Satterthwaite.

Discovering, Preserving and Appreciating the History of East Falls: An opportunity to Get Involved


Our activities include: public programs such as lectures and walking tours; researching inquiries; creating oral histories; advocating for the historic preservation of landmarks.


For membership information, contact katy.hineline@gmail.com. For other inquiries please contact pcheek2002@yahoo.com. And, visit us on Facebook!


December 2018

East Falls NOW

Kitchen Corner

Tips on baking the best cookies

aerate it by turning it over a few times with a large spoon. Lightly spoon flour into a his time of year is synmeasuring cup until overflowonymous with homeing then level with a swipe made treats and it is across the top using the fair to say, the most popular straight-edge of a knife. Siftkind is cookies. Whether you ed flour means sift before are a first time baker or a vet- measuring; flour sifted means eran, a review of basic baking sift after measuring. tips can ensure success. • Do not skip a recipe’s • Heat oven before baking. instruction to chill dough. Oven thermostats vary; use Chilling prevents cookies from an oven thermometer to check over-spreading. that the temperature is accu• For rolled cookies, use a rate. rolling pin stocking and pas• Read the recipe and follow try cloth. Rub flour into both. all its instructions. Set up a Instead flouring a pastry clean work area in advance. cloth, use a half and half mix • Assemble all necessary of flour and confectioners sugbowls, tools and utensils. ar. It will give cookies a Don’t forget the cooling racks. slight glaze. Spread a tea towel or paper • For rolled cookies, gather towels underneath them to scraps, chill and reroll just catch crumbs. once. • Gather ingredients. Note: • Instead of greasing, line if fruits or nuts need chopcookie sheets with parchment ping, do that ahead of time. paper. • Dairy products and eggs • Bake cookies one sheet at should be at room temperaa time on the oven’s middle ture. rack. • Do not soften butter in • Use a timer to avoid the microwave. Instead, burnt cookies. arrange butter pats inside the • A metal offset spatula mixing bowl to hasten soften- eases removal of hot cookies ing. to a cooling rack. Kitchen • Measure accurately. Use Corner recommends a long measuring cups for dry ingre- metal offset icing spatula. dients and liquid measuring • Cool baking sheets comcups for liquids. pletely before reuse. • Before measuring flour, • Have fun!

by Anne Farnese


Library book sale sets record


ast Fallsers Britney and Kaleb Aronsen make their selections at the Friends of the Falls Free Library Fall Book Sale. The Nov. 17th fundraiser drew the largest

crowds in the years of fall and spring book sales at the Library, collecting a record $4,047 for the Friends treasury to benefit the Library.

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East Falls NOW


December 2018

The Falls of Schuylkill Library ries and songs to end the day and get ready for bedtime. At 11 am Thurs., Dec. 20 and 27, youngsters age two to six and their siblings accompanied by an adult are invited for Storytime and Block Play. Stories and songs will be followed by playtime with the Library’s wooden blocks. Again, groups should call Children’s Librarian McGovern to schedule separate appointments. The Library’s children’s program will welcome the New Year with an 11:30 am early New Year’s Eve countdown. Children age two to eight and their caregivers are invited to read a story, share some snacks and dance into the New Year together.


he Falls of Schuylkill Library is prepared to wrap up 2018 with a busy December of adult and children’s programs under the direction of Head Librarian Drew Birden and Children’s Librarian Meredith McGovern. Throughout the month, the Free Library’s after-school drop-in program, LEAP, will offer homework assistance, computer literacy and library skills for students in grades K to 12. This includes daily literacy enrichment activities for elementary school students. The program runs Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5:30 pm, and from 1 to 5 pm on Saturdays. Dec. 5 Art Party A special feature for December will be the inaugural EF Village Holiday Art Party from 4 to 6 pm. In the Library’s Meeting Room. The Village is organizing the work of East Fallsers in art, photography, needlework, pottery, painting, ceramics and drawing.

Adult Schedule On the adult front, Beginner’s Bridge will take place at Some of the items will be 1 pm every Wednesday with for sale, and all will be comFriends of the Library membined with music and light ber and bridge instructor refreshments. All East Falls John Victor Lewis. NOW readers are invited. Lewis returns for Advanced Bridge at 6 pm Monday, Dec. Children’s Programs Mondays at 4:15 pm on Dec. 3 and 17. The Library will mark the 3, 10 and 17 will see the pop45 anniversary of Queen’s ular Read Therapy with a Dog, featuring certified thera- debut album with a book talk. At 6:30 pm Wed., Dec. 12. py dogs Wally or Orchid. The program will include the Here’s a great chance for school-age kids to share a new film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with George Purvis, author of book or an old favorite in a Queen: Complete Works, leadjudgement-free space. On Tuesdays, Dec. 4, 11 and ing a discussion of Queen’s meteoric rise from humble 18 at 10:15 am babies and art/glam band to musical toddlers will enjoy a parentled music and dance at Music world popularity, and his experience writing a book and Movement Time. Children will play maracas, shake about his favorite band. The Falls Book Group will pom-poms, dance and listen to take a break in December as music and dance-themed members read The Count of books. Groups and daycares Monte Cristo and meet next should call the library a 215on Mon., Jan. 28. For infor686-2093 to set up their own mation regarding the book times to visit. PJ Storytime will have only group or any of the adult proone appearance in December, grams, contact Head Librarian Birden. at 6:30 pm on the Wed. the 19th. This is best for ages seven and under and their caregivers. Come with your stuffed animals to enjoy sto-

LeLand and her daughter, Rea Carole LeLand.

Advice from a voter who’s 100: ‘Get out and vote!’ “I still remember the black and white tiled floors and the grand auditorium,” she told Bobbi likes to recite poetry EF NOW. from memory. Known as a The name LeLand is French. “performing poet,” she recordIt might have come from ed a CD, Bobbi and Friends, French Creole ancestry in the with selections from Africanfamily background. Bobbi jokAmericans Paul Laurence ingly pronounced her name in Dunbar and James Weldon French style, with the accent Johnson. One of her favorite on the second syllable, as in selections, she says, is CrossLe·Land´. When asked if her ing the Bar, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, which she read at a mother spoke French, daughrecent memorial for the wife of ter Rea replied, “Un peu.” Told this EF NOW writer a deceased friend, who, coinciand his wife were on their way dently, turns 100 this spring to New Orleans for a long and also votes at Mifflin. weekend, Bobbi waxed ecstatic For Bobbi, Mifflin School is more than a place to vote. It’s about the city’s charms. “It’s Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras all her 82-year-old daughter’s the time, no matter what the alma mater. Daughter Rea calendar says!” Carole LeLand, 82, lives with Little surprise that at 100 her mother and escorted her to years old, she was right. vote on Nov. 6. She graduated from Mifflin in 1949. (Continued from page 1)


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December 2018

Tree Tenders

Holiday greens, Advent open season at EF Presbyterian


he hanging of holiday greens on Dec. 1 and services on the first Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2, will kick off a busy and festive month at East Falls Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Midvale Ave. and Vaux St. The Church’s Advent theme will incorporate "Silent Night, Holy Night," a Christmas favorite first heard on Christmas Eve 200 years ago in the village of Obendorff, Austria. The poem had been written several years earlier by a parish priest, Joseph Mohr, but set to music only a few hours earlier that night by Franz Gruber, the church's choir director and organist. EF Presbyterian will incorporate this beloved hymn as congregants prepare for the coming of Christ through Scripture, readings, activities and music. Advent begins Sunday, Dec. 2 and runs through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. The annual Chancel Choir Christmas Concert will take place at 4:30 pm the night of Dec. 16 in the Sanctuary, followed by a light supper in Fellowship Hall. Christmas Eve will be celebrated by two services: a Family Service at 4:30 pm will include the Children's pageant, and a Candlelight service at 11 pm will have mediations and hymns. Both services will end with the traditional singing of "Silent Night" by candlelight. East Falls Presbyterian Church once again will host the Community Carol Sing’s cookies, cakes and Cider in Fellowship Hall courtesy of the Friends of the Falls Library following the singing at 7 pm Wed., Dec. 12 in McMichael Park.

East Falls NOW

The full schedule: December 1 Hanging of the Green, EFPC Sanctuary, 10 am to noon. December 2 First Sunday in Advent, EFPC Sanctuary followed by Coffee Hour, Fellowship Hall, 10:30 am. December 9 Second Sunday in Advent, EFPC Sanctuary followed by Coffee Hour, Fellowship Hall, 10:30 am. December 12 Community Carol Sing, Sanctuary, followed by cookies, cakes and cider, Fellowship Hall, 7 pm. December 16 Third Sunday in Advent, EFPC Sanctuary, followed by Coffee Hour, Fellowship Hall, 10:30 am. December 16 Chancel Choir Christmas Concert, EFPC Church sanctuary, followed by light supper, Fellowship Hall, 4:30 pm. December 23 Fourth Sunday in Advent, EFPC Sanctuary, followed by Coffee Hour, Fellowship Hall, 10:30 am. December 24 Christmas Eve Family Service with Children's Christmas Pageant, EFPC Sanctuary, 4:30 pm. December 24 Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, EFPC Sanctuary, 11 pm. From left, Ann Marselus, student at the Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High Schoo,l, joins Mary Lemerise (center) and Peggy Gertz in preparing the ground for a new tree along the 3100 block of W. Coulter St.


Join Us! The EFCC’s Annual Holiday Reception

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Be our guests for dinner and beverages. Please RSVP to tell us how many people are joining you info@eastfallscommunity.org If you can’t join us, the EFCC and East Falls NOW wish you happy holidays and a healthy and happy New Year!

he members of East Falls Tree Tenders outdid themselves on Nov. 17 as they added 34 new trees along the streets of our neighborhood. Cynthia Kishinchand, President of EF Tree Tenders, said that local residents and students from Jefferson Univer-

sity joined students from the Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School and the George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science – both Philadelphia public schools – to dig holes, plant and water the newest green additions to East Falls NOWland.

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East Falls NOW


December 2018

Village sets debut Art Party for Dec. 5 by Mary Flournoy


n Wed., Dec. 5, everyone is invited to the first-ever Art Party presented by East Falls Village. It will take place in the Meeting Room of the Falls Library from 4 to 6 pm and will include music -- Caroline Davidson and Wendy Moody on the piano -- and light refreshments. Among the arts represented will be painting, drawing, photography, furniture, pottery, quilting, needlepoint, ceramics and hand-crafted hats. The purpose of the Art Party is to showcase work, not to be a serious exhibition or an art sale, although some pieces may be for sale by the artisans. Bring your checkbook if you might be interested! A number of East Falls Village members have shared their musical talents for Village programs, and Frankie Jueds, chair of the Village Social-Cultural Team, felt it was “time for Village members to share their artistic talents as well.” The officers of EF Village urge EF NOW readers to join the Village’s celebration of the arts and the holidays. Give a Gift of Village Membership! A great holiday gift for a friend, neighbor or family member is a membership in East Falls Village. You can even be a “Secret Santa.” The best way is to print out the membership form on the homepage at www.eastfallsvillage.org and send it in along with your check. We will then contact the person and meet with them to explain the Village’s member benefits. They include a variety of programs and special events, including lunches, socials, and

museum tours, rides to medical appointments, technology help, and the Village’s service provider list. For more information, visit the website. It has a Calendar of Events, photos from past events, and handouts from useful programs, including ones on decluttering, techniques to improve your balance, and cybersecurity. East Falls Village, a pro-

gram of the East Falls Community Council, was established in 2011 to enhance the lives of residents as they grow older in the East Falls neighborhood. The Village is not a physical space, but a volunteer-driven organization. For more information on the Village, call 267-444-4507. Happy holidays to all from the East Falls Village!

Your Heart Out!

Look for this quilt by Rita Hughes and this little doggie portrait by Frankie Jueds at the EF Village’s Art Party on Dec. 5.

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PIZZA 6 7 19 Join the EFCC, the Friends of the Falls Free Library and the East Falls Presbyterian Church for our annual holiday caroling and desert.

7 pm Wednesday, Dec. 12 Start in McMichael Park for this always fun candlelight event for children and adults of all ages. After music and singing we’ll convene at the East Falls Presbyterian Church



for deserts like you’ve never seen, courtesy of the Friends of the Falls Free Library

If you can’t join us, the EFCC and East Falls NOW wish you happy holidays and a healthy and happy New Year!

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December 2018

East Falls NOW

City presents plans for ‘mini’ roundabout at Fox & Queen

Sketch of basic elements of the design.

(Continued from page 1)

would try to shortcut their way across the roundabout itself amid circling traffic. Street Department officials, however, said that pedestrians will cross Fox or Queen at four designated crosswalks.

Concrete barriers or “splitter islands” will separate incoming and outgoing traffic so that pedestrians will need to cross only one direction of traffic at a time. A so-called pedestrian “refuge” will separate opposing lanes of traffic. Officials said they also



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would consider lining the approaches with low-elevation speed cushions to slow traffic. Such cushions already exist on Queen Ln. between Henry Ave. and Fox St. This was a full-court press by the Streets Department. Gus Scheerbaum, Director of Special Initiatives for Streets, led a team that included Steve Lorenz, chief highway engineer, Jeanette Brugger, pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, and Casey Ross, transportation planner. The four rotated among the five working groups of residents answering questions and acting as facilitators. Scheerbaum described the roundabout as “compact,” or ”mini,” only 65 feet in diameter with entry and exit lanes


Help make our community great. Join the East Falls Community Council by visiting “Become a Member” at www.eastfallscommunity.org

can reduce the efficiency and stall traffic in the same way that a crowded stop sign and signalized intersections do. City traffic planners estimate that the proposed roundabout will lessen the time by a matter of seconds it takes to travel Fox St. and Queen Ln. They call this “level of service.” They believe it will reduce collisions and injury-causing crashes by up to 90 percent. Scheerbaum said the streets department would take account of residents’ observations and concerns as planning moves forward. He said residents would have a chance to weigh in each step of the way.


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11 to 12 feet in width. The compact size means that the city will not have to claim eminent domain to take private property at the corners. It also means that construction and installation can be completed in about two months. Scheerbaum estimates the cost at under $300,000, not including design by Philadelphia traffic engineers McCormick Taylor. According to Streets, traffic on Queen Ln. averages 7,259 vehicles a day; and on Fox, which to the east intersects with Roosevelt Blvd. and the Bakers Square shopping center, 12,247 vehicles a day. That is within the capacity of the proposed roundabout to handle. They pointed out that too many cars and trucks

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East Falls NOW


December 2018

EFSA Closes Soccer Season

The annual Kids vs. Parents games proved to be the highlights as the East Falls Sports Association closed its soccer season on Nov. 17. Below, in the 11 and Under game players form a defensive wall watching an oncoming indirect kick, with coach and parent Andrew Cronin in front.

If it’s Christmas, it’s time for ‘Bird Census’ (Continued from page 5)

tion movement in the last century. The first Christmas Bird Count was held in 1900 when Frank M. Chapman came up with the idea, starting a new tradition now in its 119th year. In the methodology of a modern CBC. each count takes place in a ‘circle’ -- a 15mile diameter. Birders in each circle do their count on a specific day in the CBC window, and each circle has a count compiler. The compiler assigns volunteers to sections within the circle. They count the birds in their section. This helps track population changes in various species over the years. Three CBC circles cover parts of Philadelphia. The Pennypack Valley circle is the only one centered in Philadelphia, and it covers the Northeast. The Glenolden circle includes parts of the south-

Help make our community great. Join the East Falls Community Council by visiting “Become a Member” at www.eastfallscommunity.org

west area of the City. The Wyncote circle covers some the northern parts of the city and includes a portion of East Falls. Unfortunately, this means that major portions of the City are left out from this valuable data collection effort. To address this issue, Keith Russell decided to conduct a similar census, but one that focuses on the entire city of Philadelphia rather than a 15-mile circle. The process is

similar. Russell assigns volunteers specific regions in the city and they go out and tally the number of birds per species on the designated day. Known as the mid-winter bird census, this event has been held in the city annually on the first or second weekend in January since 1987, providing detailed information on avian life within city limits. The East Falls section of the city has been covered by

Wendy and Winston Moody, along with Philip Hineline, for many years now. They cover the neighborhood searching for birds, focusing on houses that have feeders and bird baths -- since they attract birds in higher concentrations. If you have feeders, you can count the birds that show up and let Wendy, Winston or Phil know your count. If you are not comfortable identifying the birds, you can

have them come over and tally the birds for you. I hope to include the results of the 2019 mid-winter census in a future article. Until then, happy holidays and happy censusing! If you have any questions about the censuses or wildlife in general, feel free to email me at navinsasikumar@gmail.com or Wendy and Winston at wmoodyw@aol.com.

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December 2018

East Falls NOW

Profile for The Chestnut Hill Local

East Falls Now December 2018  

East Falls Now December 2018