Page 1

Vol. 1, No. 10

February 2019

eastfallsnow.com • FREE

Mifflin students honor Dr. King’s legacy

East Falls applies for ‘Slow Zone’ around Mifflin by John T. Gillespie


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

kindergarten and first grades were hard at work on King Day, breaking tiles, preparing drawing boards and starting new mosaics to tudents at the help reassert art’s role as a Thomas Mifflin School catalyst for community diacelebrated the legacy logue. At left, first grader of Martin Luther King, Jr. Quill Keating and kinderin several ways. Some vol- gartener Anna King conunteered at Cosacosa Art tribute to the piece for At Large on Main St. to cre- Dunbar. Above, first ate new public art for graders in Ms. Michelle North Philadelphia's DunShaw-Carpenter’s class (left bar School; others comto right) Kinorah Green, posed their own “I have a Khawla Alsultan and dream…” speeches. Savannah Newton display The students from Pre-K, their compositions.


he East Falls Community Council has applied to the City for a traffic “Slow Zone” covering the community around the Mifflin School below Henry Ave. and extending from Midvale Ave. to Indian Queen Ln. If selected, the neighborhood would experience changes in the way traffic moves through narrow residential streets. Speed would be reduced to 20 miles per hour from 25 mph and 20-foot corner clearances installed to ease pedestrian crossings and driver turns at blind corners. The latter is controversial among some residents who fear loss of scarce parking space. The law already requires 20-foot corner clearances but it is often ignored and rarely enforced. The proposal to apply for a Slow Zone was presented at the EFCC’s monthly general membership meeting on Jan. 14th. Further meetings will be held if the application is accepted by the city, and details would be subject to agreement from residents. Charlotte Castle, head of Vision Zero, the City’s plan to eliminate traffic fatalities, acknowledged concerns but defended the strategy. “We are looking for neighbors living inside of proposed slow zones to be open to the program’s traffic calming tools, including corner clearances. We want neighbors to be open to (Continued on page 9)

Feb. 11 meeting to discuss 3680 Indian Queen Ln.


he 7 pm Feb. 11 East Falls Community Council general membership meeting will include a discussion of a zoning matter for 3680 Indian Queen Ln. and a presentation from the City on the Earned income Tax Credit. The meeting will take place at the EF Presbyterian Church, Vaux St. and Midvale Ave. It will be a joint general membership and EFCC Zoning Committee meeting. The owner of 3680 Indian Queen Ln., just above Ridge Ave next to East Falls Eye Associates and across from Le Bus Restaurant, seeks a variance to enable him to build three residential units in total, including one on the ground floor. Construction has started under a building permit granted by the City requiring commercial on the ground floor with residential on the second and third floors. The site’s current zoning is commercial mixed use. The Zoning Committee

meeting is required because the City issued a refusal for the owner’s plans to build three residential units. The city stated that: • The property is zoned CMX-2.5, requiring the owner to use the ground floor for uses other than residential, such as commercial; and, • The owner’s plans do not provide the required amount of square feet of lot area per unit for three units. The meeting will give residents, particular near neighbors, an opportunity to voice their opinion on the development before the case moves to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The refusal and additional details will be posted at: eastfallscommunity.org/zoning Todd Baylson, Chair of the EFCC Zoning Committee, said that as soon as the EFCC receives more information, such as a rendering or site (Continued on page 8)

Too old to practice medicine? by John T. Gillespie


Dr. Bill Sharrar and patient.

INSIDE Community seeks action on dangerous Henry Ave. crashes – p. 2

ell longtime Fallser Bill Sharrar he’s too old to practice medicine, and he’ll tell you he loves what he does. The retired chairman of pediatrics at Cooper University Health Care-Camden has been treating children since he graduated and took his residency at Penn Medicine in 1966. Following a stint in the Peace Corps, he joined Philadelphia’s Childrens Hospital, and later Cooper. After 53 years in practice, he still sees patients five days a week and has no plans to quit. “I’m 77 years old, so I could retire, but I don’t want to because I really love what I do.” He calls pediatrics “funfilled” and every child a “joy.” Doctors might be a breed apart in the depth of attachment to their calling, pediatricians especially so. Medicine, after all, is a vocation, akin to (Continued on page 10)

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February 2019

East Falls NOW

Your February 2019 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; closed Sundays. Delayed opening Thurs., Feb. 14 (2 pm) for staff development; Closed Mon., Feb. 18 for Presidents’ 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 Mon. through Thurs. from 3 to 5:30 pm and Sat. from 1 to 5 pm.

4 Monday

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. 4) 6 pm: Advanced Bridge (Story Pg. 4) 6:20 pm: Mediation Workshop, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 4)

5 Tuesday

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time at the Falls Library. Babies and toddlers will enjoy a parentled music and dance story time. Children will play maracas, shake pom-poms, 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. 4)

6 Wednesday

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 4)

7 Thursday

11 am: Storytime and Block Play at the Falls Library for kids ages two to six accompanied by adults; siblings welcome. Stories and songs followed by playtime with

wooden blocks. Groups please call to schedule separate appointments. (Story, Pg. 4) 7:30 pm: EF Town Watch meeting, 3540 Indian Queen Ln. (Story Pg. 3)

11 Monday

4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy Dog, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4) 6 pm: Program on the stoicism philosophy, Falls Library (Story, Pg. 4) 7 pm: EFCC General Membership Meeting, where? (Story Pg. 1)

12 Tuesday

3:30 pm: Mindful Breathing for Kids at the Falls Library for school-agers. Learn tools to navigate and process emotions and stresses. (Story Pg. 4) 10:15 am: Music and Movement Time, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4) 13 Wednesday 1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 4)

16 Saturday

2 pm: Indoor exercise for schoolage kids at the Falls Library (Story Pg. 4)

10:23 am: EF SEPTA train: EF Village Explore Historic Phila. Tour (Story Pg. 8) 2 pm: Leap into Slime! For school-age kids, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4)

17 Sunday

3 to 5 pm: EF Village Winter Gathering, Tuttleman Center, Jefferson U. (Story Pg. 2)

19 Tuesday

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4) 3:30 pm: Mindful Breathing for Kids, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4)

20 Wednesday

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 4)

6:30 pm: EF Historical Society program, “200 Years of East Falls Architecture,” Falls Library (Story Pg. 10)

14 Thursday 21 Thursday

Happy Valentine’s Days to all of our East Falls NOW readers!

7:15 pm: EF Town watch meeting (Story Pg. 3)

Postponed Village gathering now Feb. 17


ets can be picked up at the school, Midvale Ave. and Conrad St., or by visiting www.philasd.org.

Pre-K and K sign-ups now for Mifflin Registration is open for PreK and Kindergarten at the Thomas Mifflin School. Pack-

Spring market set for Vault and Vine An East Falls Spring Market to benefit the East Falls Farmers’ Market has been scheduled for 10 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, at Vault and Vine, 3507 Midvale Ave. It follows on the successful holiday market held in early December. For vending information, visit https://bit.ly/2sttxa4

ostponed by bad weather on Jan. 20, the EF Village Winter Gathering has been rescheduled for 3-5 pm Sun., Feb. 17 at Jefferson University’s Tuttleman Center, School House Ln. and Vaux St. To register for this program and wine and cheese social hour, visit info@eastfallsvillage.org or call 267444-4507.

15 Friday

with 39th Police District PSA 1, 2201 W Hunting Park Ave. Call 215-686-3394 to confirm.

11 am: Storytime and block play, Falls Library, ages two to six. (Story Pg. 4)

23 Saturday

7:30 pm: 2019 Winter Interlude -a smashing party at the Falls Library (Story Pg. 9)

25 Monday

4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy Dog, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4) 6 pm: EF Town Watch meets with 39th Police District Officers, 2201 W. Hunting Park Ave. Call 215-686-3394 to confirm. 6 pm: Falls Book Group meets, Story Room of the Falls Library (Story, Pg. 4) 6:30 pm: Book Talk with Marquis Bey, author of Them Goon Rules: Essays on Radical Black Feminism, Meeting Room of the Falls Library (Story Pg. 4)

26 Tuesday

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4) 3:30 pm: Mindful Breathing for Kids, Falls Library (Story Pg. 4)

27 Wednesday

10:23 am EF SEPTA train: EF Village Tour of Wanamaker’s (Story Pg. 8) 1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 4)

28 Thursday

11 am: Storytime and block play, Falls Library, ages two to six. (Story Pg. 4) And these dates are beyond February, but worth noting in your calendar: 6:30 pm Mon., March. 4: EF Historical Society program on the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter’s career, at the Arlen Specter Center, School House Ln. (Story Pg. 10) 6:30 pm Wed., March 20: Author event at the Falls Library. Kenneth Finkel will discuss his book Insight Philadelphia: Historical Essays Illustrated (Story, Pg. 4) May 4 and 5, 10 am to 4 pm: East Falls Spring Market to benefit the EF Famers’ Market, Vault & Vine. (Story pg. 2) Stay informed. If you don’t receive the EFCC’s weekly emails, send your email address to info@eastfallscommunity.org.

6 pm: EF Town Watch meets

Henry Ave.: EFCC, elected officials seek action

Jan. 27 crash destroyed the steps at 3925 Henry Ave.


ollowing the latest crash on the 3900 block of Henry Ave. – one that proved fatal to a 25-year-old man in the early hours of Jan. 27 -the East Falls Community Council, Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. and State Rep. Pam DeLissio are working together to secure City action to improve safety on this curved stretch of road. Henry Ave. is a state road. But John Gillespie, Chair of EFCC’s Traffic Committee, said the Councilman and

DeLissio believe the repetitive number of crashes on this block make it a high-risk zone – one in which the City’s Department of Streets can take steps while the State continues its work on a comprehensive plan to address safety on Henry Ave. between Allegheny Ave. and Hermit Ln. Gillespie said DeLissio has spoken with Deputy Streets Commissioner Richard Montanez on potential remedial steps to reduce speed on the 3900 block of Henry Ave.

These could include flashing warning signs, reflective curbs and skid-resistant surfaces. The EFCC Traffic Committee will schedule a public meeting with Jones and DeLissio and Streets Department officials to discuss the options. The Jan. 27 one-car crash destroyed the steps and wall at 3925 Henry Ave., and knocked over a telephone pole. Police did not immediately identify the victim, but said that he was pronounced dead at the early morning scene.

East Falls NOW


February 2019

Mifflin and the new charter school


he Friends of Mifflin have every right to be concerned about the proposed new charter school planned for the Falls Center at 3300 Henry Ave. – the Hebrew Public Charter School. The school, they believe, will compete with Thomas Mifflin Elementary at Midvale Ave. and Conrad St. when it opens in the Fall. Whether they are correct remains to be seen. But one thing is certain. There’s something wrong with a system that allows a charter school to be granted to a company that hasn’t met with the public in the neighborhood into which it wants to settle. The charter was granted last year by the former School Reform Commission just before it went out of business and turned over its operations to the new Board of Education.

that the number isn’t growing -- turned out last month to voice concerns to Hebrew Public School CEO Jonathan Rosenberg. He told the parents that the school will not recruit students from East Falls. He maintained that the school and his New York City-based company so far are attracting applicants from around the city. Whether Rosenberg is right A message from the or not, Mifflin’s main chalEFCC lenge isn’t a new charter It’s the challenge of President school. getting prospective parents to understand that the problems of the Philadelphia School by Bill Epstein District are not the problems of Mifflin. We have a great principal until we read in The Inquirer in Leslie Mason. We have that the School Reform Comsome great faculty members. mission had granted their We have great parents, a solid charter. A number of parents of Mif- building and a rapidly becoming more effective Friends of flin students and parents of prospective Mifflin students -- Mifflin. And we have some really big news for the school and don’t think for a second

Yes, officials of the New York City company behind the school did visit leaders of the EFCC and other local organizations when they were putting together their plans, before they went before the School Reform Commission. We asked them to stay in touch. We heard nothing

coming soon. I’ve said it at meetings before, and I will say it again. Not tomorrow, and not next week or next month, but soon enough we will hear people say that they bought their house in East Falls because they want their kids to go to Mifflin. It’s happening already. But I’m talking about it happening in big ways. Not long after my wife and I bought our home on W. Penn St. four years ago, we came out on a Saturday morning and said hello to a young father who was coming down the street with his four-yearold. We knew that the father and son had come out of a house with a “For Sale” sign on the lawn. We chatted briefly and I asked the father why he and his wife were selling their home. He pointed to his son

and said just two words: “Lower Merion.” That was a full speech. We knew exactly what he meant. It’s not a script for success for the City of Philadelphia, East Falls or any other neighborhood. That’s why we have to convince the political leaders in Harrisburg to face up to their state constitutional responsibility to provide a quality education to every kid in the state. They shouldn’t do it because it’s good and important for our kids. They should do it because it’s good and important for every Pennsylvanian. That could take some time. While we’re waiting for them to act, the EFCC is going to work with the Friends of Mifflin and others in the community to ensure that no new charter school will stop Mifflin from succeeding. Watch these pages for coming news.

It’s time long past to elect judges by merit selection of Common Pleas and Municipal Court. Elections of appellate jusay 21 is Primary Elec- tices and judges are based on tion Day. Election what seats are open in the Day occurs two times year of the election. These a year, although you would categories also apply to judinot know it by the historical cial retention. The appellate turnout in non-Presidential courts include the PA election years. Supreme Court, Superior This past November’s General Election, however, demonstrated that citizens are paying attention differently, as evidenced by an almost 50 percent turnout nationally and numbers equally strong locally. On the 21st, we will select party nominees for the follow- by St. Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio ing offices: Mayor, City Council district and at-large Court and Commonwealth members; City CommissionCourt. ers, Register of Wills and This month I want to highSheriff. In addition, we will light the use of the merit vote on Judges for the Court selection of judges.

By State Rep. Pam DeLissio


Pam’s Viewpoint

What is merit selection? It is a system by which a commission chooses applicants on the basis of their qualifications and experience and not based on their social or political connections or how much money they can raise to run for a judgeship. Currently, judges at all levels need to campaign for their positions. In order to campaign, money must be raised, and some of the largest contributors to judicial races are attorneys, who subsequently might appear before the successful judicial candidates in court. Some make the argument that we operate under a form of government that gives citizens choice, and the choice of judge is no different than electing someone to Congress or the State Senate or State

House. The reality is, rarely do citizens have the time or background to evaluate judicial candidates and to evaluate their credentials sufficiently to make that choice. Personally, I utilize the Philadelphia Bar Association’s list of recommended candidates. I often am surprised how many judicial candidates are endorsed by a political party who are “not recommended” by the bar. The Committee of Seventy website (www.seventy.org) also is a great resource to consult before voting. Judges make life and death decisions that affect citizens, and they interpret laws. Citizens should want the most qualified candidates to sit on the bench at all levels of the judiciary.

I will co-sponsor legislation for merit selection of judges for the appellate level courts. Last session this bill was voted out of committee but was not called up for a floor vote. Two thirds of our states select some or all of their judges under such a system. I hope that during this period of heightened citizen involvement we will see a groundswell to pass this legislation in Pennsylvania. In the interim, we have an election in May and it is imperative that all citizens vote and make the most knowledgeable decisions possible when casting their ballots. See you at the polls! Contact Rep. DeLissio at 215-482-8726.

Town Watch – already organized and available! Published monthly and on-line by the East Falls Community Council PO Box 12672, Philadelphia, PA 19129 www.eastfallsnow.com • www.eastfallscommunity.org 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

Printed by our partner in community news, The Chestnut Hill Local, and delivered to homes and businesses in East Falls

by Mary Jane Fullam, President, EF Town Watch


ere’s a variation on the wisdom of the early 20th Century activist, Emma Goldman, whose advice was, “Don’t mourn; organize!” Neighbors, we don’t have to mourn and we don’t have to moan. We have an organization -- East Falls Town Watch -- that meets regularly, patrols as often as membership allows, leads and supports litter clean-ups and keeps in touch with officers in our 39th Police District. While we look to be proactive in preventing crime and blight, we report infractions as we see and hear about them, and we roll up our sleeves and deal with it the best we can as soon as we can. Frankly, we could do more with your help! So, the next time you see graffiti or trash or an illegally parked car, take advantage of the fact

that you don’t have to mourn, you don’t have to moan, and you don’t have to organize – because we’re organized already! Just call EF Town Watch at 215-833-3033 and help us eliminate whatever problem you see.

The numbers show how busy 2018 was for EF Town Watch. We compiled 246 personhours of patrols, travelling 725 miles throughout the community; removed 575 bandit signs; reported dozens of light outages to the city; and

collected and delivered 702 abandoned tires to the Streets Department’s Philadelphia More Beautiful Campaign. At the same time, we raised funds to install surveillance cameras at the EF SEPTA train station. With those cameras we caught vandals destroying property and painting graffiti at the station. Arrests were made and vandalism at the station has nose-dived. In addition to continuing with all of these activities, the EF Town Watch goals for the new year include periodic street action to slow traffic at dismissal time at the Thomas Mifflin School; and ridding Fox St. and Abbotsford Rd. of illegal truck parking. If you can lend a hand, we encourage you to attend our February 14, 7:30 p.m. meeting at our office, 3540 Indian Queen Ln. We hope to see you there! Questions can be directed to www.eastfallstownwatch@gmail.com or 215-838-2033.


February 2019

East Falls NOW

February: A full house at the Library


t’s not easy to decide which side of the Falls Library’s February schedule to describe first – the children’s programs or the adult programs. Both are filled with fully engaging activities throughout the month. So East Falls NOW will punt and return to them after starting with a plug for a great event that supports the Library – the Feb. 23 Winter Interlude -- a dessert/wine/music/silent auction party that takes place every other year. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more fun for $15 a person. The evening draws a great crowd, so reserve your tickets early by dropping off or mailing a check to the Library (3501 Midvale Ave.) payable to Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library. For more information, contact Connie Gillespie at 215-805-0695. Now, for the serious business. The Library will open late at 2 pm on Thurs., Feb. 14 due to staff development activities. It will be closed on Presidents’ Day, Mon., Feb. 18. On the Children’s side The Library’s drop-in after The Japanese Garden in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. school program (LEAP) continues to offer daily homework assistance, computer literacy, and library skills for students in grades K–12 and literacy enrichment activities for elementary school students -every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5:30 pm and every Saturday from 1 to 5pm. Stop in the branch for the dren cultivate their powers of LEAP monthly calendar to see by Jane Papp observation by drawing their the full agenda. attention to environments rangFeb. 4, 11, and 25 ow do you encourage ing from the modest front-door @ 4:15 pm: children to develop a gardens lining their streets to Read with a Therapy Dog: love of the natural the variety of experiences proSchool age kids are invited to world? More specifically, how vided in landscaped public come read with Wally or do you plant the seeds for a life- spaces? Orchid, certified therapy dogs, long responsiveness to the pleaMy insights emerge from my and share a new book or an old sures of gardens and favorite in a judgment free (Continued on page 7) gardening? Can you help chilspace. Feb. 5, 12, 19, and 26 @ 10:15 am:

For the Love of Gardens: Planting seeds for lifelong pleasures


Music and Movement Time: Babies and toddlers will enjoy a parent-led music and dance story time. Children 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 their own special visits. Feb. 7, 21, and 28 @ 11 am: Storytime and Block Play: Stories and songs followed by playtime with the Library’s wooden blocks. Recommended for ages two to six, accompanied by an adult; siblings are always welcome. Imagine, build, and create! Groups should call the children's librarian to schedule separate visits. Feb. 12, 19, and 26 @ 3:30 pm: Mindful Breathing for Kids: Breathe in, and then out. Learn tools to navigate and process the emotions and stresses you might feel throughout your day. We'll practice mindful breathing techniques together. For school-age kids. Feb.16 @ 2 pm: Leap into Slime!: Let's make some slime together using different household ingredients. For school-age kids. Feb. 23 @ 2 pm: Indoor Exercises: Join your neighbors for a spin on classic games you know and love -balloon volleyball, snake tag, basket-head basketball, and more. For school age kids who want to play.

Feb. 6, 11, 20 and 27 @ 1 pm : Beginner’s Bridge for new players. Feb. 11 @6 pm Philadelphia Stoics : Interested in stoicism philosophy? Join the Library’s monthly meeting and learn about Stoic Philosophy as a way of life to people interested in living a happier and more fulfilling existence. Feb. 25 @ 6 pm Falls Book Group: The Falls Book Group will meet in the Story room. The book selection for February is the One Book, One Philadelphia selection, Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Books are selected in advance. For questions please call the branch manager at 215-685-2092. Feb. 25 @ 6:30 pm Book Talk with Marquis Bey: In the Meeting Room, Marquis Bay will discuss his new book Them Goon Rules: Essays on Radical Black Feminism (due out this month), which reads like a critical memoir and queries the function and implications of politicizing blackness, black feminism, and queerness. Them Goon Rules binds together his personal experiences with social justice work at the New York-based Audre Lorde project, growing up in Philly, and rigorous explorations of the iconoclasm of theorists of black studies and black feminism. Mr. Bey is a PhD candidate at Cornell University and a Ford Foundation Fellow. His work in black feminist theorizing, transgender studies, and 21st century African American literature conOn the adult side cerns race, gender, the political Feb. 4 @ 6 pm: Advanced locus of subjectivity and radical Bridge. Join Friends of the re-readings of contemporary litFalls Library Victor Lewis as erature. He has published mulhe hosts a bridge card game for tiple scholarly works. advanced and experienced Upcoming next month: players. Wed., March 20 @ 6:30 pm: Feb. 4 @ 6:30 pm Author Event Meditation Workshop: Kenneth Finkel will discuss This simple workshop will pro- his latest work, Insight vide a foundation for gaining Philadelphia: Historical Essays mindfulness through meditaIllustrated. Finkel is a profestion. The meditations will uti- sor of history at Temple Unilize calming and energizing versity, and the author of nine techniques to introduce ways to books on Philadelphia. He is a gain self-awareness and a former curator of prints and peaceful state of mind. Join photographs at the Library this session courtesy of the Company of Philadelphia, proKIND Institute and the Urban gram officer at the William Affairs Coalition partnership Penn Foundation and executive with the School District of director of arts and culture serPhiladelphia. All ages are wel- vice at WHYY. come.

Berkshire Hathaway to acquire Petrone Real Estate


ast Falls NOW has learned that conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway is buying Joseph D. Petrone Real Estate, Inc. on Conrad St. The long-time real estate company, founded 49 years ago by the late Joseph D. Petrone, built a niche in the community, buying, selling and renting, principally in the row house blocks throughout

East Falls. State officials must approve the sale before it becomes final. Berkshire Hathaway entered the residential real estate market in 1998. It operates in 28 states with 22,000 agents. If the sale is approved, the Petrone office at 3519 Conrad St. will become a branch office of Berkshire Hathaway.

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, Education. 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


February 2019

It’s winter, but plan now to garden with natives


this -- many of have the word “weed” in their names. Milkweed, Joe-pye weed, Sneezeweed and Ironweed are beautiful plants with unfortunate names. You can even make formal gardens with just natives, but I prefer a more English cottage garden or meadow look. So why should we plant natives? Lots of insects are herbivores. But plants don’t want to be eaten and have toxins in their leaves to help protect them. Native insects have evolved over millions of years to produce enzymes that help by Navin Sasikumar them overcome the plant’s toxins. garden you want. Do you Different plants have differwant a garden that looks ent toxic compounds and most pretty but hardly plays a role insects cannot overcome the in the ecosystem? Or do you defenses of every plant, so want a garden that is teeming they specialize in just a few with life, providing not only species. Native insects are nectar but food and shelter for usually not adapted to feed on butterflies, bees and birds non-native plants. For examwhile looking pretty at the ple, Monarch caterpillars can same time? eat only milkweed leaves. No There is a misconception milkweed means no monthat native plants are weeds, archs. only fit to be pulled up and Most gardeners consider thrown into the trash. Their insects to be the bane of their common names can attest to existence. Birds are beautiou might wonder why I’m writing a column about gardening in the dead of winter. But if you missed the fall planting window, this is a good time to start planning your garden. Spring will be here before you know it, and now is the time to decide what kind of

Navin on Nature

Swamp Milkweed -- a host plant for Monarch butterflies.

ful, but the leaf-eating caterpillars are a problem. So why do we want to attract them? Without caterpillars, there are no butterflies -- that’s a given, but that’s not all. Without caterpillars there are no birds, either. More than 90 percent of our bird species rely almost exclusively on caterpillars to raise their

young. They are a rich source of protein. and according to Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, a Carolina Chickadee pair needs to find 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to raise just one brood of young. Now a quick word about non-natives and invasives. Often they don’t have insect

predators, and without that pressure they can quickly grow out of control, escaping into the wild, crowding out natives and barely contributing to the ecosystem. Plants such as Japanese knotweed take over riparian habitats and vines such as English Ivy can grow up trees and bring them down. To many wildlife enthusiasts, the sign of a good garden is not pristine leaves, but rather leaves that have been chewed on by insects. Such a garden is one that is helping sustain our insects and in turn our birds. So rip out that English Ivy and replace it with Green and gold, Allegheny spurge (not the Japanese spurge, though) or even Violets. Plant more milkweeds, bergamots and mountain mints for a nature friendly garden. For more on native plants, check out Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home. As always, if you have any questions about nature and wildlife in the area, feel free to email me at navinsasikumar@gmail.com.

NewCourtland to host dog park, garden


he East Falls Community Council’s long search for a site for a dog park might become a reality as early as late 2019 or early 2020. That was the takeaway from a meeting hosted by NewCourtland Senior Services on Jan. 24 with representatives of the East Falls Community Council, East Falls Forward, the Ridge/Hunting Park/Allegheny Civic Association and the Abbottsford Homes. The meeting was the first for all of the area groups to discuss the design and operation of the facility, which

NewCourtland has offered to build on its property at 3300 Henry Ave. The agency currently is reconstructing and doing new construction on the former state-owned Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institution, with the first of its new apartments for senior citizens scheduled to open this year. NewCourtland officials presented their plans for a 50foot by 205-foot dog park at the front of the agency’s property along Henry Ave. They heard feedback from the community organizations on such questions as whether the park

should be divided for small and large dogs, and what type of surface should be used – grass or artificial turf designed for dog parks. The plans presented by NewCourtland included a paved, double-gated entrance, lighting, benches, a clean-up bag station and water fountains for pets and their owners. Representatives from the community organizations suggested that the facility be open from 6 am to 9 pm daily.

NewCourtland officials said that they will consider the option of dividing the park into two sections for small and large dogs and the question of surface and will meet with the groups when they have further proposals. Representing the EFCC at the meeting were Paul Elia and Sharon Erwin, both having been active in the yearslong search for an East Falls dog park, and Bill Epstein, EFCC President. At the same time, work to

create a community garden on New Courtland’s property could begin as early as April this year. The EFCC asked New Courtland officials to consider including both facilities in their plans two years ago. “We’re grateful that NewCourtland executives have been so generous in agreeing to accommodate a dog park and community garden, and in contributing their construction to the community,” Epstein said.

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February 2019

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Kitchen Corner by Anne Farnese


he decadently rich chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella is such a worldwide sensation that it has a holiday in its honor. Surprisingly, a designated A White-Breasted Nuthatch spotted during the EF Mid-Winter Bird Census – comday to celebrate the creamy monly seen in East Falls, this in the Gypsy Ln. area. (Photo by Gwen Stokes.) concoction was not an advertizing stunt dreamed up by Ferrero – owner of Nutella. Instead, World Nutella Day was conceived by American blogger Sara Russo, who developed a passion for the ited the Schuylkill River, had silken spread when she lived by Winston Moody special access to the Queen in Italy. Thanks to social Lane Reservoir, local campus- media, fans of Nutella hrough the efforts of es and parks, and scanned embraced her idea and the dozens of East Falls res- rooftops, wires, local streets, first celebration occurred in idents who helped us and the sky. 2007. (Winston Moody, Wendy Here are a few of our speFerrero was displeased. Moody, and Phil Hineline, cial sightings: In a misguided effort to procensus takers), our Mid-WinA bufflehead on the tect its trademark, the Italian ter Bird Census on Jan. 12th Schuylkill, a hermit thrush on company ordered Ms. Russo was highly successful. Our Coulter St., a brown creeper to cease and desist. Angry census was part of a city-wide on Foxx Ln., two red-tailed Nutella fans expressed their initiative. hawks over Jefferson U.’s view on social media. Ferrero Good weather conditions -campus, and a Cooper's hawk and Ms. Russo reached an a cold but clear and windless on the corner of Penn St. and agreement and oversight of day -- aided the survey. Birds Henry Ave. We spotted this World Nutella Day transtended to be out in the open. hawk in the same location ferred to Ferrero in 2015. In all, we identified 29 two weeks ago, eyeing the Pietro Ferraro established species and counted well over same bush of huddled house his company in Alba, a cobble1,000 birds sparrows. Huge flocks of stoned city in Italy’s PiedThis is by no means a total Starlings, House Sparrows, mont region which has a count of birds in our neighbor- and House Finches swelled centuries-long history of prohood, but an indication of the numbers. Three kinds of ducing sweet treats, among trends of the numbers and woodpeckers were sighted. them amaretti cookies, torkinds of birds. Copies of the checklist of rone nougat and maron glacé. About 30 residents invited what we saw are available by The first jar of Nutella sold us to their yards to observe emailing wmoodyw@aol.com in 1964 but its concept their feeders. Others called Thanks to all who participatdescends from a product crein to report their sightings ed. Keep your feeders filled, ated in Napoleonic times. In that day. Beyond this, we vis- and happy sightings! 1807, Napoleon established a

Mid-winter bird census – a neighborhood collaboration


blockade that prevented Piedmontese confectioners from obtaining chocolate. The innovative Italians stretched their meager supply with locally grown hazelnuts and created a paste called gianduitto. This paste led to the development of the ingotshaped candy, gianduitto, in 1865. Tossed to carnevali revelers during the pre-Lenten parade, it was the world’s first wrapped-chocolate. Chocolate was in short supply during World War II and baker Pietro Ferrero stretched his with hazelnuts, too. He developed a product called pasta gianduia, which over time he tweaked and created into a crème product that would eventually be transformed into Nutella. It is estimated one jar of Ferrero’s Nutella sells every 2.5 seconds, enough to circle the globe 1.8 times. World Nutella Day is February 5th. Rustic Chocolate Raspberry Tart Crust 5 ounces cream cheese, softened 6 tablespoons butter, softened 1½ cups all-purpose flour Filling 2 cups fresh raspberries 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1/3 cup Nutella Powdered sugar

Process cream cheese and butter in a food processor until blended. Add flour; process just until a dough forms. Shape into a disc; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate one hour or overnight. Heat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, toss raspberries, sugar and cornstarch with a fork; slightly mash some of the berries. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14x8 in. rectangle. Transfer to a parchmentlined baking sheet. Spread Nutella to within one inch of edges. Top with raspberry mixture. Fold pastry edge toward center of tart, pleating and pinching as needed. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40-50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Yield: 8 servings Recipe from Taste of Home

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East Falls NOW


February 2019

Father Phil Fackler joins Good Shepherd Diocese of North Carolina. In Philadelphia, Fr. Phillip filled in at numerous churchhe Memorial Church of es, led Christian Education the Good Shepherd, programs, and sometimes East Falls’ Episcopal wrote for publications such as church on The Oak Road, is d365.org, a daily devotional growing its youth ministry for youth and college stuand programming by adding dents. In North Carolina, he the Rev. Phillip Fackler as an served as the interim campus assistant part-time minister. minister at North Carolina Fr. Phillip returned to State University before directPhiladelphia from North Caring the Writing Center and olina last fall and is working teaching courses in Religious at the University of PennsylStudies at Saint Augustine’s vania as a Lecturer in Critical University. Writing. A position as a lecturer in “The Memorial Church of the Critical Writing Program the Good Shepherd is blessed at the University of Pennsylto be able to bring onto its vania brought Fr. Phillip back staff in Phillip Frackler a to Philadelphia along with his young priest who is accompatwo children. This move led to nied by his two children,” said an opportunity to serve as a the Reverend Isaac Miller, priest at Good Shepherd EpisFr. Phillip Fackler with sons Linus and Elliott. Good Shepherd’s interim reccopal Church, focused in partor. “There is something ticular on ministry with have a second pair of hands on The Oak Road, between dent ministries at the Univer- children and families. about the energy, the antics and another perspective from Midvale Ave. and School sity of Chicago and Northand the smiles of children At Good Shepherd, Fr. House Ln. The congregation western University. that simply lifts the spirit for the pulpit, Rev. Miller said. Phillip has revived a chil“Phillip is a gifted preacher, is welcoming and reflects the Seminary took Fr. Phillip to dren’s program during serall.” diverse demographics of East the West Coast to the Church vices on the first and third Fr. Phillip will expand Good so come visit to hear him preach,” Fr. Miller invited, Falls and Germantown. Divinity School of the Pacific Shepherd’s children’s proSundays of the month where adding, “and on the first and Fr. Phillip hails from the and Graduate Theological grams, including Sunday there are opportunities for third Sunday of the month, Midwest, spending most of his Union, where he obtained a School, as well as assist in children to pray, sing, hear bring your children and formative years in a small Master of Divinity degree and Bible stories, and talk about developing adult programs. grands to take part in the town in southern Illinois, the a Master of Arts in History Rev. Miller noted that these Christian faith in age-approlearning and sharing that lay youngest of eight kids, all and worked with youth and are crucial times for many priate ways. He says he is the foundation upon which we boys. After graduating with a Christian Education programs excited to work with Good churches and denominations all grow as people of faith.” degree in Chemistry from the at several churches. in programs for adults and Shepherd and East Falls comGood Shepherd’s Sunday University of Illinois, he spent After seminary, he began a older youth. “Long gone are munity members to find ways School meets the first and a year teaching in Malawi PhD program at the Universi- that Good Shepherd can the days when churches of third Sunday each month dur- with the Young Adult Service ty of Pennsylvania, where he any denomination grew simbecome a resource and spiriing the regular service, start- Corps before returning to the studied Christianity and ply by virtue of opening the tual community for families ing at 10:30 am. Currently States and following a call to Judaism in the Roman doors. We are all called to and others in East Falls and the children range in age from ordained ministry in the Epis- Empire, completing his PhD think through how we live the surrounding neighborsix to 11, but younger and copal Church. While discern- in 2017. While working on his hoods. and express the faith in the older children are anticipated ing a call, he worked PhD, he served in both the community.” and welcome. The church is extensively with college stuDiocese of Pennsylvania and Sunday worship will now

by VJ Pappas


For the Love of Gardens: Planting seeds for lifelong pleasures (Continued from page 4)

rooms, while it was drier and thinner in the desert plant Brooklyn childhood, growing up area. I observed that as a in an apartment that provided harbinger of spring, the star no outdoor opportunities for magnolia trees were the first gardening. My mother’s hortito flower, soon to be followed cultural activities were confined by the saucer and yulan magto propagating philodendrons nolias. by rooting them in water and I remember discovering the growing cactus gardens in clay newly opened Fragrance Garpots placed on sunny window den. Added in 1955 when I ledges. However, even in was eight years old, it was Brooklyn’s heavily urbanized designed for people with visuenvironment, I spent many outal and other impairments and door hours, mostly in the for multi-sensory learners like Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a children. In this garden I short subway ride from our learned that smell, touch and apartment. hearing were powerful tools What do I remember about for exploration. I sniffed at my frequent visits to the Garlemon-scented thyme and den? The Cherry Orchard, an spicy oregano, rubbed my finextensive field of flowering gers against velvety lamb’s trees, the petals of which driftears, gingerly touched spiky ed over the lawn turning it into globe thistles and listened for a pink carpet; the lilac bushes the buzzing of bees in the with exquisitely fragrant flowbeds of herbs and flowers. ers that ranged from the deepWhat have I concluded from est purple to the palest white; my own childhood experiand the Japanese Garden, a ences? I believe children landscape of wooden bridges, thrive in outdoor spaces that weeping trees and a grotto from stimulate imaginative play, which I expected a brown bear adventurousness and an (I thought it could tunnel under immersion in nature. I hope Flatbush Avenue from the that today’s children, who Prospect Park Zoo) to appear spend so much time in virtual at any moment. environments, get to explore a In the Brooklyn Botanic reality that you can feel, Garden I learned to be an touch, smell and have advenobserver. I noticed that the tures in the reality of nature. atmosphere in the GreenFor ideas, questions and subhouse varied from room to missions to For the Love of Garroom: the air felt heavy and dens, contact Deborah Kaplan humid in the tropical plant at dkaplan8@verizon.net.

SS United States at Pier 82 in Philadelphia.

SS United States at Pier 82 in Philadelphia Gibbs. The SS United States, which lies rusting in the Review by Herb Henze Delaware River, was for a brief time queen of its class, East Fallser Herb Henze noted for its safety, speed and sailed on the SS United States luxury. Launched in 1951, its in 1955 as an 18-year-old on a reign was cut short by the family trip to Europe. advent of jet travel. Now author Steve Ujifusa has he ship was tied up at made sure the legacy of AmerPier 86 on the Hudson ica’s flagship will live on even River, its great black as the 67-year-old vessel suchull looming above the West cumbs to age and neglect Side Highway. From their while its final fate is deterberths in Cabin Class, Henze mined. and his 15-year-old brother The protagonist in this tale explored the ship, swam in of engineering ingenuity and the pool, watched movies and daring is the great naval tried to sneak into forbidden architect and marine engiFirst Class. After four memo- neer, Philadelphia-born rable food-filled days, they William Francis Gibbs. The arrived at Le Havre, disemboy Gibbs was absorbed by barked and boarded the “Boat journals, engineering articles Train” to Paris. It was an and books about maritime unforgettable experience for a construction. He and his pair of teenagers. Below is younger brother, Frederick, Henze’s review of A Man and spent their youth sketching, His Ship by Steven Ujifusa, a designing and modeling imagtale of the design and buildinary ocean liners, and evening of the SS United States by tually established a small the great Philadelphia naval naval architectural office architect William Francis

by Steve Ujifusa


along with Daniel Cox, a successful yacht designer. Eventually the firm, Gibbs and Cox, secured contracts to design navy vessels of superior speed and power during World War II. Gibbs was an advocate of high temperature and highpressure steam to increase power and efficiency in ship propulsion, as well as of water-tight compartments and fire-proof construction. Gibbs and Cox was chosen by the United States Lines to design the SS United States. Construction began in 1950 at Newport News Ship Building Co. The ship departed New York on its maiden voyage on July 3, 1952. It was the fastest, most beautiful, safest ocean liner ever built. I t crossed the Atlantic in 3 days and 12 hours, taking the speed record held by the Mauretania for 20 years. Reprinted with permission of Village Voices, East Falls Village.


February 2019

East Falls NOW

February in the Village – interesting people, interesting places This will be followed by the store’s regular noon-time organ concert. Registration is required; call 267-444-4507. The tour costs $12 per person (payable at Macy’s.) We will take the 10:23 train from the East Falls SEPTA train station and the 11 am tour will begin at the Macy’s Visitor Center Desk on the Market St. side of the store.

by Mary Flournoy


eeting “interesting people in interesting places” has been many members’ favorite part of East Falls Village. Since our founding in 2011, we have visited Philadelphia and area places from A (Art Museum) to Z (Zoo) – often courtesy of Village members who are docents. February is no exception. While some of our tours are for members only, we invite all Fallsers to join us for one or both of this month’s tours. In case we need to cancel due to inclement weather, please register with us in advance – call 267-444-4507 or go to our Calendar of Events on www.eastfallsvillage.org. Also, our rescheduled Winter Gathering (postponed from Jan. 20 due to bad weather) will take place from 3 to 5 pm on Sun., Feb. 17 at Jefferson University’s Tuttleman Center, School House Ln. and Vaux St. Join us for a program and wine and cheese social hour. Register at info@eastfallsvillage.org or 267-444-4507. Explore Historic Phila. Fred Vincent, Village mem-

Membership in East Falls

Village Other benefits of membership include rides to appointments, technology help, and the service provider list. To join EFV, visit eastfallsvillage.org and click on Member Signup to join online with a credit card. You also can print out the membership application and send in a check. Or, pick up a brochure at the Falls Library or call 267-444-4507.

Looking skyward at the renovated Bourse Bldg., on the EF Village Feb. 15 tour.

ber and Philadelphia tour guide for Road Scholar, is starting a Friday tour – Explore Historic Philadelphia. On Fri., Feb. 15, explore two newly renovated sites: the Independence Visitor Center with new exhibits and films, and the 123-year-old Bourse with its $50 million restoration and expanded food hall with 30 vendors, diverse menus, new concepts and chefs. At the same time, we’ll also visit the gigantic new Wawa with more than 11,000 square feet in the Public Ledger Building! Fred’s enthusiasm for Philadelphia and his knowledge of the city make his tours interesting and lots of fun. We’ll meet at the East

Falls SEPTA Train Station for the 10:23 am train. Call 267-444-4507 to register. Tour the Old Wanamaker Bldg. On Wed., Feb. 27, EF Village will take a guided tour of the Old Wanamaker Building, a National Historical Landmark and now a Macy’s department store. We’ll learn about John Wanamaker, the history, architecture, and décor of this historic building, and see spaces generally offlimits to the public -- the Tiffany Prayer Glass, the Greek Hall with the 1929 Wurlitzer theater organ, and the Grand Court organ, the largest playing organ in the world (worth $80 million.)

Feb. 11 meeting to discuss 3680 Indian Queen Ln. (Continued from page 1)

plan, the information will be posted there as well. The meeting also will include brief updates on other zoning issues such as Penn Charter’s facilities management plan. Also on the agenda is a presentation by Sandy Davis, representing the City’s Revenue Department, on the city’s Earned Income Tax Credit. January meeting In addition to a discussion

on the Council’s application to be selected for a traffic Slow Zone (Story, Page 1), the EFCC’s January general membership meeting featured a presentation by Jonathan Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Hebrew Public Charter Schools. His firm last year won a charter from the former School Reform Commission to open a charter school at 3300 Henry Ave. The New York City-based firm plans to open with kindergarten and first grade in September, adding one grade a year. Members of the Friends of Mifflin and others at the meeting questioned why the firm received the charter without a public meeting with parents in East Falls. They also expressed concern that the charter school would compete for students with the Thomas Mifflin School. Rosenberg stated that the company is seeking applications from families city-wide, and will not attempt to recruit students from East Falls. Mifflin parents and prospective Mifflin parents were not convinced, however. Rosenberg said that he and other representatives from the company were willing to meet further with members of the Friends of Mifflin. NewCourtland The meeting also heard from representatives of NewCourtland Senior Services, owner of 3232 Henry Ave., where major construction is underway. NewCourtland executives Bob Theil and Max Kent said that the agency is accepting applications for senior citizens to live in the first 49 residential units that will open on the site. Construction is nearing completion. Seniors or their families who are interested can call 1-888-5304913. Theil and Kent said that an additional 42 housing units and a Life Center – a medical and health/adult day care center to be operated by Innovage LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) – also are under construction. Additional plans call for residential units to be created in the 10-story tower on the site. The property also will include space for a dog park and a community garden, at the request of the East Falls Community Council.

East Falls NOW


February 2019

Friends of Falls Library sets Winter Interlude for Feb. 23 Auction items Barbara Browne. The silent auction will include an array of interesting and unique items --eeling a bit cooped up as everything from lessons and winter drags on? Look- services, tickets to events and ing for a way to break cultural attractions, gift certhe cold weather monotony? tificates, hotel stays, vacation Join your friends and neigh- home stays and more. All bors for a relaxed and friendly have been donated in support evening of lively conversation, of the Library. wine, music, dessert and a “This will be an exciting silent auction in the elegant evening. Everyone is invited setting of the historic Falls of and we hope everyone will Schuylkill Library. come,” Gertz said. The event is the 2019 WinTickets are $15 if purchased ter Interlude, sponsored by by Feb. 21 and $20 at the the Friends of the Falls of door. Checks made payable to Schuylkill Library. It will the Friends of the Falls of take place Sat., Feb. 23, from Schuylkill Library can be 7:30 to 9:30 PM at the dropped off or mailed to the Library, Midvale Ave. and Library, 3501 Midvale Ave., Warden Dr. Proceeds from Philadelphia PA 19129. For the event, which is held every more information, contact other year, go to support Connie Gillespie at 215-805Library programs. 0695. “This is a wonderful comBesides Hagele and Gertz, munity event bringing people Interlude committee members together to socialize and at include Wendy Moody, Jenna the same time support a good Musket, Beth Hymel, Mary cause,” said Anne Hagele, co- Jean Cunningham, Marie Filchair of the evening with Peg- ipponi, Faith McDowell, Congy Gertz. nie Gillespie, Victor Lewis, The wine bar will include Tyler Noreika, Ken Kolodziej, champagne and sparkling Susan Smith and Karen wines. Desserts promise to be DuBrul. Margaret Sadler is an irresistible display of home president of the Friends and baked treats donated by area Drew Birden is Library residents. Music will be probranch head. vided by well-known pianist

and baked good needed

by Connie Gillespie



Committee members for the Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library Winter Interlude meet to plan the Feb. 23 festivities. From left are Victor Lewis, Tyler Noreika, Mary Jean Cunningham, Faith McDowell, Karen DuBrul, Marie Filipponi, Beth Hymel,Anne Hagele, Peggy Gertz, Margaret Sadler, Ken Kolodziej, Susan Smith, Wendy Moody and Jenna Musket. Also present was Connie Gillespie, who took the photo.

f you have a talent, skill, tickets or gift certificate, or use of a time share or other interesting item that you would be willing donate, or if you’re willing to prepare a favorite dessert and offer it as a donation, here’s your chance to help the Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library. The Friends are seeking items for a silent auction and baked goods for the dessert buffet for the upcoming Winter Interlude on Sat., Feb. 23. “Perhaps you can give a lesson in sports, music, cooking, or a craft. Or make a gift basket. Or donate extra tickets to a museum or cultural event,“ said Wendy Moody who is coordinating the silent auction. “Every donation is welcome.” Mary Jean Cunningham and Marie Filipponi are coordinating the dessert buffet and are hoping area residents will offer to whip up their favorite creations. If you have an auction item to donate, contact Moody at wmoodyw@aol.com. For items for the dessert buffet contact Cunningham at mary.jean.cunningham@gmail.com or Filipponi at mariefil@verizon.net.

East Falls applies for ‘Slow Zone’ (Continued from page 1)

this throughout the Slow Zone, including in places that may cause some individuals minor inconvenience. A key tenet of Vision Zero is that safety takes priority over convenience.” The Streets Department has only enough money in Vision Zero to finance two Slow Zones in the city this year. More than 20 Philadelphia neighborhoods have applied. Four semifinalists will be chosen March 1 and two finalists April 1. Choice of finalists will depend on the depth of residential and institutional support within the proposed zone. “If selected, communities will be required to support the city with outreach and evaluation efforts,” states the application. Collaboration will involve neighborhood walkthroughs with city officials and street-by-street planning. Nothing will happen without neighborhood consensus, according to Castle. Once installed, traffic calming tools, such as speed cushions, must remain for at least five years. The principal of Mifflin, Leslie Mason, endorsed the zone as “especially needed in a neighborhood hosting hundreds of school-age children and students.” In its own letter of endorsement, the EFCC said it “welcomed the opportunity to participate in a rational and collaborative approach to improving traffic conditions in an urban residential neighborhood.” William Epstein, EFCC President, said traffic calming “is especially important in a neighborhood such as ours where we have many hundreds of students and fac-

ulty pedestrians.” The proposed zone, named East Falls/Mifflin School Neighborhood Slow Zone, is bound by Midvale Ave. on the north, Indian Queen Ln. on the south, Henry Ave. on the east and Ridge Ave. on the west. The zone is approximately a third of mile square, traversed by narrow residential streets such as Queen Ln., Ainslie St., Bowman St., Sunnyside Ave., Crawford St., Indian Queen Ln. and others, bisected by commercially-ori-

Guests at the 2017 Winter Interlude enjoy deserts and auction to benefit the Friends of the Free Libtrary.



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February 2019

East Falls NOW

White Corners hosted the ‘High Society’ by Ellen Sheehan, Co-President, EFHS


hey all slept in East Falls at White Corners — Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Wait – are you thinking that Grace, Bing and Frank were in high society before they were in the Academy Award-winning film “High Society?” Probably so, as the East Falls property at Henry Ave. and School House Ln. owned by Leon Levy entertained many of the popular talents of stage, screen and radio. According to a series of oral history interviews in 2013 by the East Falls Historical Society with Bob Levy, Leon’s son, White Corners played host to a great number of celebrities. The history of the property makes for an interesting story, considering that Levy was a dentist. When that profession wasn’t lucrative enough, he purchased WCAU radio, the beginning of a broadcast company that later included WCAU-TV.

Leon and John B. Kelly, Sr. became partners in the Atlantic City Race Track and their families spent time together. They lived just a block apart. Grace often stayed with the Levys when her parents went to Ocean City. Bob Levy told the EFHS, “One night I had a friend over and Grace came in with a date. We didn’t like him much, sort of a jerk, so we wouldn’t give them time alone – just hung around until he gave up and left. Grace was very pretty and nice. She was friends with my East Falls’ famous White Corners at older sister, Lynne, from Henry Ave. and School House Ln. Stevens School. Lynne married Chuck Barris, emcee of A distinctive white fence still “The Gong Show” and moved to encircles the property around NY.” School House Ln. and Henry There was great excitement Ave. from Cedar Ln. to the in East Falls about the Frank backyard cabana. In 1931, Sinatra/Ava Gardner wedding Leon Levy and his wife Blanche that took place at White CorPaley Levy purchased White ners on November 7, 1951. Corners. Blanche’s brother, “Sinatra stayed at our house all William S. Paley, founded CBS. the time,” Bob Levy said. “The Their mother, Goldie, lived in reporters and photographers the house across Henry Ave. were hanging around, so the that later became the Design wedding was moved to Manie Center at Philadelphia Univer- Sacks’* house on Walnut Ln. in sity, now Jefferson U. Germantown. My friend and I

coaxed the maid and butler to wear sunglasses and disguises and ride in the back of the limo. I drove while my friend ran alongside yelling “there they are” so the reporters would follow. We drove to our house and kept the reporters busy all day looking in the windows.” Sacks was a Vice President of RCA Records. Bob Levy gave the Goldie Paley house to Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science and White Corners to Penn Charter School, which later sold it to Philadelphia University. He was driving by one day and stopped to see the renovations. He was pleased, calling it “a first-class job!” He died in November 2018 at the age of 87. He was a great benefactor to Institutions in Philadelphia and genuine friend to all he knew. EFHS conducts oral history interviews with long-time residents, representatives of organizations, institutions and businesses. For further information, contact the librarians at the Falls of Schuylkill Library.

EFHS sets two programs The East Falls Historical Society has scheduled two programs free and open to the public: Wed., Feb. 20, 7:30 pm: Ken Hinde, an East Falls resident and one of Philadelphia’s premiere tour guides, will speak on “200 Years of East Falls Architecture” at the Falls of Schuylkill Library. Mon., March 4, 6:30 pm: Evan Laine, Director of the Law and Society Program at Jefferson University’s East Falls Campus, will discuss the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter’s career at the Arlen Specter Center on School House Ln. For further information, contact eastfallshistory@gmail.com.

East Falls Tree Tenders – 24 years of planting Too old to practice medicine? by Cynthia Kishinchand


hen Sallie H. Maser (now deceased) and Lloyd Russow founded East Falls Tree Tenders in 1995, did they anticipate EFTT volunteers would have coordinated the planting of nearly 1,000 trees in our community? Satisfy your curiosity as to where the trees were planted by perusing this list of 47 streets and some sites to see if your street has had the good fortune to be part of the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society TreeVitalize Plant One Million program.

In alphabetical order, the streets are Ainslie St., Barclay St., Bowman St., Calumet St., Conrad St., Crawford St., Cresson St., Cresswell St., Deacon St., Division St., Eveline St., Fisk St., Fox St., Gypsy Ln., Henry Ave., Hilton St., Indian Queen Ln., Kelly Dr., Krail St., McMichael St., Midvale Ave., Netherfield Rd., New Queen St., Ridge Ave., Scotts Ln., Shedwick St., Skiddoo St., Spangler St., Stanton St., The Oak Rd., Tilden St., Vaux St., W. Allegheny Ave., W. Clearfield St., W. Coulter St., W. Penn St., W. Queen Ln., Warden Dr., Weightman St.,

Westmoreland St., Wiehle St., Winona St., Wissahickon Ave., N. 33rd St., N. 34th St., and N. 35th St. Other venues include the Falls of Schuylkill Library, Inn Yard Park, Laurel Hill Cemetery, McDevitt Recreation Center, McMichael Park and Thomas Mifflin, William Penn Charter, St. Bridget, St. James and Wissahickon Charter schools. To learn more about East Falls Tree Tenders and how to apply for a tree for November 2019, contact Cynthia Kishinchand at (215) 8492474 or email crk3114@msn.com.

(Continued from page 1)

the ministry in Roman Catholic lore. Bill grew up Lutheran, one of nine, in Altoona, PA. A twin brother, Robert, followed the call and practices internal medicine. Now, like jilted lovers, older doctors – those in their 70’s – are being asked to justify their continued practice and relevance with tests to assess their physical and mental skills. Failure means loss of privileges. According to the American Medical Association, nearly a fourth of physicians in America are 65 or older, and 40 percent are actively engaged in

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patient care. The AMA has suggested they be screened for signs of dementia and cognitive decline. It should be no surprise that not all are happy with the new protocols, finding them demeaning and discriminatory. “Who are they to tell me I can’t practice medicine,” asked Cooper pediatrician Robert Brown, 73, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Brown eventually resigned rather than take the three-hour test. Sharrar took the test in June, 2017, and passed. “I wasn’t afraid,” said this fan of cryptographic crosswords. But he wonders about the relevance: “Not a single question dealt with medical knowledge or skills. Tell me how that correlates with what we do.” A sample question: How are a hand and flag alike? Answer: They both wave. Proponents of the tests, such as Dr. Ann Weinacker, 67, former chief of staff of Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, told the Wall Street Journal that the new policies are “not for the faint of heart…” “None of us is immune to the effects of aging, and, as we age, lots of us function less well, including in some of us the ability to think critically and solve complex problems.” Like many doctors, Sharrar must recertify his skills and knowledge with tests every seven years. For many, that is adequate guarantee of continued competency. For others, it ignores the signs of aging that peer reviews and cognitive tests can reveal. Sharrar and his wife, Cathy, are members of East Falls Village. Reprinted with permission of Village Voices, published by East Falls Village.

East Falls NOW


February 2019

Whole lotta’ love in McMichael Park


A Lovelight shines for:

he annual Lovelights tribute during the week of Valentine’s Day by the Friends of McMichael Park will be

bigger and better than ever this year. Here’s the shining list as of EF NOW press time. For a final list, see the

EFCC’s weekly email. And if you don’t get that, send your email address to info@eastfallscommunity.org.

Our Leading Lady With Love from: Nancy & Don

Maryanne Leauby With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

Liz Donaghy and Jamie Mullen With Love from: Nancy & Don

Mary Claire Wilkinson With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

For our East Falls Friends With Love from: Vic & Mimi Mather

My Three Wise Men, John-David, Zachary & Sam With Love from:Alexis

In honor of lifelong family friend, Mary Lee Horne With Love from: Allison

In honor of the 90th birthday of Dr. Leigh A. Marsh Allison O’Callaghan In memory of Delores Buzniak With Love from: Joe Terry

In memory of Vince Mancini With Love from: Geoff & Charlene Brock

Paul Furlong With Love from: East Fall Historical Society members

Pippa With Love from: Ellen Kennedy

In loving memory of Kumar & Cynthia Kishinchand With Love from: Peter Kishinchand

Dolores and Jim Mullen With Love from: Nancy & Don

Remembering John & Josephine With Love from: The Franklin Family

Friends of McMichael Park With Love from: Frances and Bill

Sarah & Ed Bryns With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

For Fiona & the grand dogs With Love from: Anonymous

In memory of dear neighbors, Sedric & Vicki Melidosian With Love from: Allison O’Callaghan

In memory of Joan Newhall With Love from: Joe Terry

James Conmy With Love from: Kathy Cowden

Judi and Bill Morrow With Love from:Nancy & Don

Nevaeh, Savannah & Violah With Love from: Grammie & Grandpa

In memory of our dear Allyn With Love from: Glennis & Jay

Jim & Betty Wilkinson With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

Donna Boling With Love from:Robert

Two lights for Cathy, because one is not enough. With Love from: Peter Logan

Gayl and Herb Henze With Love from: Nancy & Don

For Brian, Love you more. With Love from: Christina

To honor our lovely moms With Love from: Glennis & Jay

Mable Ellen Kennedy With Love from: Ellen Kennedy

East Falls Pack Walk. Thanks for the treats! With Love from: Daisy

To celebrate our fabulous Granddaughter Claire With Love from: Nonna Glennis & Grandpa Jay

Marie Anne Spedding Gibbs With Love from: Her adoring hus band, Steve, with all his admiration, appreciation & love

Dot and Sir Donaghy With Love from: Nancy and Don Friends of McMichael Park Thanks for all you do. With Love from: The Kelly House Memory of Dave Ludlum With Love from: Geoff & Charlene Brock The Turtle and his Friends With Love from: Kumar & Cynthia Kishinchand Robert, our husband & father With Love from: Sandy & Nicky Love the Turtle With Love from: All his Friends Ann & Bill Rodenberger With Love from: Nancy & Don Donaghy

In memory of best parents, Ralph & Lorraine Hirst With Love from: Allison O’Callaghan

Manuela and Gerd Kulage With Love from: Nancy & Don

Patrick Quinn With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

Stephanie Epstein With Love from: Bill, Matt & Amanda

Gabrielle Berry With Love from: Robert Rabinowitz

Joe Terry With Love from: East Falls Historical Society members

East Falls Tree Tenders With Love from:Kumar & Cynthia Kishinchand Betty Miller, Speedy recovery! With Love from: The Friends of McMichael Park

Doris With Love from: Marie & Ellen

Mike & Mary Wilkinson With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

Friends of McMichael Park With Love from: Joan

Emma, Eleanor & Elizabeth With Love from: Grammie & Grandpa

Dan and Kristin Donaghy With Love from: Nancy & Don Betty Miller, speedy recovery With Love from: Friends of McMichael Park In memory of Connie Snyder With Love from: Geoff & Charlene Brock Brigid, Fionn, Tug, Rory & Molly Donaghy With Love from: Nancy & Don

In honor of dear neighbors, Hal & Kitty Commons With Love from: Allison O’Callaghan

Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. & Josh Cohen With Love from: Anonymous Mary Ann Gallagher With Love from:Ellen In memory of lifelong friend, Tom Horne With Love from: Allison O’Callaghan Megan & Patrick With Love from: Grammie & Grandpa

John With Love from: Connie Ed & Lucille Bryns With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

Joe Taylor at Penn State With Love from: Grammie & Pop

Still loving and missing Bill O’Callaghan With Love from: Allison O’Callaghan

St. Bridget’s Choir, Keep on singing. With Love from: The Kistler’s

For Wally and David With Love from: Daisy, Brian & Christina In memory of our dear Susan With Love from: Glennis & Jay Kathryn Conmy With Love from: Kathy Cowden

To honor our amazing kiddos, Greer & Scott With Love from: Mom and Dad Darling granddaughter, Leona With Love from: Naani & Zappi Bednar Kira, Ryan & Kara With Love from: Mom & Dad Bednar Our lovely East Falls neighbors & friends With Love from: Carla & Ron Bednar Chrissy & Greg Curci With Love from: Mom & dad

In memory of Alice Cary With Love from: Joe Terry

Joe Curci With Love from: Grandmom and Grandpop

Bruce Cowden With Love from: Kathy Cowden

Veronica Curci With Love from: Grandmom & Grandpop

Remembering Stormy, 1/14/2019 With Love from: Robert & Donna

Erin Curci With Love from: Grandmom & Grandpop

In memory of our dear dads, Harry & John With Love from: Glennis & Jay

Philip Hughes lll With Love from: Mom and Dad

In memory of Doris & Tony Bartuska With Love from: The Bartuska Girls

Kim Dickstein With Love from: Phil and Rita My true love, Thomas Horne With Love from: Mary Lee Horne

In memory of Tim Johnsen With Love from: Betsy Wilkinson

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


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February 2019

East Falls NOW

Profile for The Chestnut Hill Local

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East Falls Now Feb