East Falls Now June 2019

Page 1

East Falls wins ‘indefinite delay’ on charter school • Page 3

Vol. 2, No. 2

June 2019

eastfallsnow.com • FREE

Study envisions fewer Catholic parishes; Potential impact on St. Bridget unknown by John T. Gillespie


study by an organization dedicated to producing leaders and analyzing the needs of the Catholic Church envisions the possibility of a significantly smaller Philadelphia archdiocese in the years ahead. The study by the Waynebased Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) was commissioned by the archdiocese as part of its strategic planning. Natalie Ramsey enjoys a face painting from ace face painter Kelsie Lilly, of iface- In the study’s most dramatic paint.com, at Love Your McMichael Park Day. Story, Page10. projection, the five-county Philadelphia archdiocese would shrink to 65 parishes from the current 217. In another scenario, the number of parishes would fall to 165. The different scenarios take into account declining congregations, the priest shortage, formed by the Young@Heart by Mary Flournoy financial realities, and the Chorus, whose members changing nature of parish life. average 81. An award-winast Falls Village will The study does not commit ning documentary about the hold its Summer Gath- chorus will be shown at 2 pm the Philadelphia church to an ering at Jefferson Uni- Wed., June 5, followed by a explicit course or set a versity’s Tuttleman Center, timetable for change. It does, discussion. All are welcome School House Ln. and Vaux however, speak to the possito attend this free film showSt., at 3 pm. The program bility of a system-wide reorgaing at the Falls Library. will begin with a lively perThe 2007 film chronicles formance of oldies and folk seven weeks of rehearsals in music by the Village Ramthe chorus’ home town of blers, and end with a social Northampton, MA. The chohour. Anyone interested in rus was formed in 1982, and the Village can attend. Reg- is still rocking! The chorus he East Falls Community ister by calling 267-444-4507 was formed to present a posiCouncil has asked Leslie or emailing info@eastfallsvil- tive view of aging through Richards, Secretary of the lage.org. music and to prove that it’s Pennsylvania Department of possible to grow old without Transportation, to support the Young@Heart growing boring. installation of speed cameras “I Feel Good,” by James on Henry Ave. Brown, is one of the rock, (Continued on page 13) John Gillespie, Chair of the punk, and R & B classics perEFFC’s Traffic Committee, said that he raised the issue with the Secretary when she was in the neighborhood on May 10 for the dedication of the Henry Ave. Bridge in the memory of Brigadier Gen. Anna Mae Hays. Gillespie said that he disMifflin student cussed speeding problems on Henry Ave. with Richards and Andre Ward followed up with a letter to her decided that he on May 22. liked his artwork “We have been working so much that closely with Bruce Masi in PennDOT District Six on plans he bought it to make the road safer and are for himself! hopeful that PennDOT’s proposed changes in the Highway Safety Improvement Plan will Story, Page14 do just that,” Gillespie said. “Despite PennDOT’s best efforts, we believe that speeding will continue to remain a problem and are asking your office to support speed cameras

EF Village sets summer meeting for June 2


nization that would have been unheard of not long ago. Ken Gavin, Chief Communications Officer for the archdiocese, emphasized the preliminary nature of the study. “The information presented by CLI represents potential models and scenarios for future planning consideration and nothing more,” Gavin said. “Any move by the archdiocese to engage in further strategic and pastoral planning would have to be vetted and go through a multi-layered consultation process before approval by the Archbishop. None of that has taken place. In addition, any move would be broadly communicated to all parishes, parishioners, and the media.” A shrinking archdiocese is not new. Churches and schools have been closing or merging for years. Just last week, the archdiocese announced it was merging three parishes in lower Northeast Philadelphia -- Saint Adalbert, Saint George, and Mother of Divine Grace -with Nativity B.V.M. Parish,

effective July 1, 2019. The churches will remain open “for the time being” for weddings, funerals, feast days, and special occasions. (Continued on page 5)

EFCC Meeting June 10


he final East Falls Community Council meeting before the summer is set for 7 pm Monday, June 10 at the EF Presbyterian Church, Midvale Ave. and Vaux St. The agenda includes the election of officers, voting on the grants proposed at the May meeting, and a presentation on signage plans by Meredith Johnson, Executive Director of the East Falls Development Corp. For the latest news from the EFCC Zoning Committee, visit www.east-

EFCC seeks speed cameras on Henry Ave.


on Henry Ave.” pilot program to install camGillespie said that a legislaeras between Hunting Park tive proposal to install the cam- Ave. and Port Royal Road in eras was introduced last year (Continued on page 5) by St. Rep. Pam DeLissio -- a

(L) Gen. Anna Mae Hayes; (R) new sign marking the dedication of the former Henry Ave. Bridge in honor of Gen. Hayes.

Henry Ave. Bridge dedicated to first woman general


hat Fallsers have known as the Henry Ave. Bridge, spanning Wissahickon Creek and Lincoln Dr., is now the Brigadier General Anna Mae Violet McCabe Hays Memori-

al Bridge. Anna Mae Hays was an American military officer who served as the 13th chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corp. She (Continued on page 15)

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June 2019

East Falls NOW

Your June 2019 East Falls NOW Calendar Falls of the Schuylkill Library June hours: Monday and Wednesday, 12 noon to 8 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm; and Friday, 10 am to 5 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Saturday hours will resume in the fall.

1 Saturday

8 am to 3 pm: East Falls Flea Market and Festival, McMichael Park 10 am to 2 pm: EF Farmers Market (Story Pg. 8) 2 pm: LEAP into Slime! Make some slime using different household ingredients at the Falls Library. For school-age kids. (Story Pg. 14)

2 Sunday

3 to 5 pm: EF Village Summer Gathering at Tuttleman Building. (Story Pg. 1)

3 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. 14) 5:45 pm: Advanced Bridge at the Falls Library (Story Pg. 14) 6:30 pm: Meditation Workshop, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

4 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 please call the library to set up special visits. (Story Pg. 14) 1 to 3 pm: STEM Tuesday at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

The library won’t open until 2 pm on Thurs., June 13, due to staff development. The Summer of Wonder Reading Program will begin Monday, June 3rd. Stop in at the library to find out more about the program. The librarians at the Falls Library are Drew Birden and Meredith McGovern. For questions, call 215-685-2093.

5 Wednesday 11 Tuesday

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

2 to 4 pm: Wonder Kit Wednesday at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

1 pm: Summer of Wonder Author Event at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

2 to 4:15 pm: Young at Heart film and discussion, EF Village at Falls Library (Story Pg. 1)

6 Thursday

9:30 am: EF Village neighborhood walk. (Story Pg. 1) 11 am: Drag Queen Storytime at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

7 Friday

2 to 4 pm: Game Time Friday at the Falls Library for all ages. (Story Pg. 14)

8 Saturday

10:30 am to 12 noon: Advocacy Café at the Falls Free Library. (Story Pg. 14)

10 Monday

4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy Dog, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14) 6:30 pm: Story Time in McMichael Park. Meet at the Turtle for a spring evening story time, recommended for ages two to six; siblings always welcome. Snacks provided by Friends of McMichael Park. Rain date: June 17. (Story Pg. 10) 7 pm: EF Community Council June general membership meeting (Story Pg. 1) 6:30 pm: Meditation Workshop, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

12 Wednesday

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14) 2 to 4 pm: Wonder Kit Wednesday at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

1 to 3 pm: STEM Tuesday at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

19 Wednesday

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14) 2 to 4 pm: Wonder Kit Wednesday at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14) 4 pm: EF Village Yoga Dance, Church of the Good Shepherd.(Story Pg. 1) 6 pm: EF Town Watch meets with 39th Police District PSA 1 officers. (Story Pg. 9)

13 Thursday 20 Thursday 9:30 am: EF Village neighborhood 9:30 am: EF Village special

walk. (Story Pg. 1)

7:30 pm: EF Town Watch meeting, 3540 Indian Queen Ln. (Story Pg. 9)

14 Friday

2 to 4 pm: Game Time Friday at the Falls Library for all ages. (Story Pg. 14)

15 Saturday 10 am to 2 pm: EF Farmers Market (Story Pg. 8)

10:30 am to 12 noon: Advocacy Café at the Falls Free Library. (Story Pg. 14)

17 Monday

4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy Dog, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14) 5:45 pm: Advanced Bridge at the Falls Library (Story Pg. 14)

18 Tuesday

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

neighborhood walk at Woodlands Cemetery. (Story Pg. 1)

11 am: Storytime and Block Party and the Falls Library, ages two to six. Story Pg. 14)

21 Friday 2 to 4 pm: Game Time Friday at the Falls Library for all ages. (Story Pg. 14)

22 Saturday 10 am to 2 pm: EF Farmers

Market (Story Pg. 8)

9 to 11 am: East Falls Litter Crew Ahead clean up, 4868 Ridge Ave. (Story Pg. 9)

24 Monday 4:15 pm: Read with a Therapy

25 Tuesday

10:15 am: Music and Movement Time, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14) 1 to 3 pm: STEM Tuesday at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

26 Wednesday

1 pm: Beginner’s Bridge, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14) 2 to 4 pm: Wonder Kit Wednesday at the Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

27 Thursday

9:30 am: EF Village neighborhood walk. (Story Pg. 1) 11 am: Storytime and Block Party and the Falls Library, ages two to six. Story Pg. 14)

28 Friday

2 to 4 pm: Game Time Friday at the Falls Library for all ages. (Story Pg. 14)

29 Saturday

10 am to 2 pm: EF Farmers Market (Story Pg. 8)

10:30 am to 12 noon: Advocacy Café at the Falls Free Library. (Story Pg. 14)

30 Sunday

10 am to 4 pm: Philadelphia Canoe Club open house, 4900 Ridge Ave. (Story, Pg. 3)

Dog, Falls Library. (Story Pg. X) 6 pm: EF Town Watch meets with 39th Police District officials. (Story Pg. 9)

These dates are beyond June and worth noting in your calendar: July 11: Shakespeare in McMichael Park, Measure for Measure

6:30 pm: Program on the stoicism philosophy, Falls Library. (Story Pg. 14)

Aug. 21-25: Parks on Tap Beer Garden, McMichael Park.

East Falls NOW

Happening in or near East Falls: Garden Railway return to Morris Arboretum The Morris Arboretum’s Summer Garden Railway has returned with new tracks and a new Big Boy locomotive modeled after the Union Pacific’s Big Boy engine. Included with garden admission, the railway includes 15 rail lines, two cable cars, and nine bridges on more than a quarter of a mile of tracks in the Arboretum’s garden. It is an annual favorite of kids and adults of all ages. It is open every day through September, from 10 am to 4 pm weekdays and 8 am to 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Wednesday nights through August the trains run until 8 pm. From June 29 through July 7 the railway will feature Circus Week, and on July 13 and 14 it will feature Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. For information contact 215247-5777 or info@morrisarbore tum.org. Open house at Canoe Club The Philadelphia Canoe Club will hold an open house at its Schuylkill River clubhouse, 4900 Ridge Rd., from 10 am to 4 pm Sun., June 30. The public is invited to enjoy food, music, demonstrations, boat rides, a display of antique canoes and a used gear sale -and to learn about the club’s canoeing, kayaking and flat water and whitewater paddling programs. VNA celebration of life on June 8 The Ninth Annual Butterfly Release and Community Celebration of Life at the Visiting Nurses Association of Philadelphia (VNA) is set for 11 am to 1 pm Sat., June 8 at the VNA’s office, 3300 Henry Ave. The butterfly release is meant as a remembrance and celebration of the lives of VNA’s hospice patients. For information, tickets and sponsorship information, visit www.vnaphilly.org.


June 2019

A big ‘But…’ leads to a big win over charter school


itting at the Board of Education meeting on April 25, we expected the worst. After hours of testimony and discussion on every matter that could confront any Board of Education anywhere in the world, it was time for our issue: The question of whether the Board would approve the move of 1,000 Laboratory Charter School students to 3300 Henry Ave. in East Falls. Dr. Robert Rabinowitz, chair of the EF Community Council’s Education Committee, and I -along with many of our neighbors – had sat through hours of other peoples’ problems. Now we were at bat. Mary Alice Duff and Carla Lewandowski made statements. Mary Alice is Vice President of the EFCC, and her daughter attends the Thomas Mifflin School. Carla, who with Mary Alice is active in the Friends of Mifflin, has two children at Mifflin. To say that Mary Alice and Carla made great statements doesn’t do them justice. They told how the Friends of Mifflin organized a communitybased campaign on short notice when Laboratory Charter’s intent became known just three weeks earlier. They secured more than 700 signatures on a petition and focused attention on the charter school’s failure to do any meaningful engagement with the East Falls and Abbottsford Homes communities. Prior to the meeting the EFCC had informed the board that its Executive Committee voted unanimously to urge a delay in the vote. The Executive Committee pointed to the school’s non-existent community engagement, and its plan to use SEPTA buses on narrow Scotts Ln. to transport students to and from the rear of 3300 Henry Ave. – the former Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. The EFCC also pointed to the school’s seriously questionable financial and academic history. Laboratory Charter was formed by a merger of three charter schools formerly operated by Dorothy June Brown. She was indicted in 2012 for fraud

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

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and embezzlement of $6 million. A federal jury deadlocked on the charges in 2014. In 2015, the judge in the case ruled that Brown could not be retried because she was suffering from dementia. Duff and Lewandowski said Charter Laboratory’s plan to relocate to East Falls was an unfair burden to the community when one charter school – Eastern Bible Academy – operates there and another charter school

alleged large-scale pilfering by former executives. As President Wilkerson reviewed the Charter School Office’s findings, I nudged Dr. Rabinowitz and suggested that we were sitting through a rationalization of why the Board would approve the Laboratory Charter move. He agreed. Then came Wilkerson’s “But…” It was apparent, Wilkerson said, that Laboratory Charter’s community engagement was a big nothing burger. Therefore, she explained, she was asking her eight colleagues on the A message from the Board to defer the vote to EFCC approve the move. Asked by Board member how long the President one vote would be delayed, Wilkerson suggested “indefinitely.” We didn’t know it at the time, by Bill Epstein but Laboratory Charter officials had left the Board of Education meeting as the discussion began. They must have known – Hebrew Public – will open on what was coming. As of East the site in September. At the same time, Mifflin has been suc- Falls NOW press time, they have not contacted the EFCC, cessful in attracting new students and is providing a quality, and have offered no indication of what their next steps might be. multi-faceted education proWith the threat of an gram. It remains underenrolled by nearly 300 students, imposed, immediate and nonnegotiated action lifted, Dr. and Duff and Lewandowski properly questioned the wisdom Rabinowitz is prepared to lead of unnecessarily adding another the EFCC in assisting the Board of Education and the school in school to the neighborhood. Then it was Joyce Wilkerson’s engaging in meaningful commuturn. She has the thankless job nity dialogue -- if it is requested. In the meantime, many of being President of the Board thanks to the members of of Education. She is an experienced and skilled person in poli- Friends of Mifflin who put together a great effort and made tics and community relations. Coincidently, she’s an East Falls a real difference for our community. And many thanks to resident. School Board President Joyce Wilkerson began her comments by saying how the School Wilkerson for a timely and terribly meaningful “But…” District’s Charter School Office had recommended that the *** Board approve the move of LabHere’s a shout-out to Jefferson oratory Charter to East Falls. It University and its Arlen Specter would help stabilize the school’s Center for its recent program on weak financial picture, the office the book “Nurses on the Inside; suggested. Ms. Wilkerson was a Memoir of the AIDS epidemic polite enough not to mention in NYC.” The program was a that the school’s sad financial moving and inciteful discussion standing was due to years of

of the book by two NYC nurses, Ellen Matzer and Valery Hughes, who came to East Falls to describe how they were on the frontline of the earliest days of the AIDS outbreak in NYC. Those early days saw a growing number of young men entering NYC intensive care units with a never-before-seen immune deficiency before anyone understood what was happening. The compassion and empathy of these two nurses had special meaning to me because John Gillespie, my editorial partner here at East Falls NOW, and I had a colleague at the Philadelphia Bulletin early in our careers. His name was Bob Rafsky, and he grew up in East Falls. His father was civil servant William Rafsky and his mother was Selma Chafets Rafsky. The Harvard-educated Rafsky left the Bulletin in the early 1970’s for a successful public relations career in NYC. He married Barbara Krolik and they had one daughter, Sara. In 1985 Bob came out as gay. Two years later he was diagnosed with AIDS. He became known as a devoted father, writer and nationally prominent AIDs activist. He publicly and loudly confronted then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992 in front of network cameras at an NYC campaign fundraiser to ask him why he wasn’t doing more to address the AIDS crisis. Bob died of AIDS complications in February, 1993. He was 48 years old. *** If you happen to see this copy of East Falls NOW before Sat., June 1, please join your neighbors at the annual EF Flea Market and Festival at McMichael Park. We’ll be there from 8 am to 3 pm, with a great array of vendors and food.

To your health – A PA Health Care Plan


or the third time, I will introduce the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan. This legislation, if signed into law, would give citizens a Medicare for all-style singlepayer plan. One of our guaranteed rights is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe the best way to guarantee those rights is to treat healthcare as a right, not a privilege. It is important to understand that this bill, to be reintroduced in the next few months, is NOT governmentrun health care. Health care providers and health care facilities would remain in the private sector. State government would be responsible for establishing a system in which a single, public or quasi-public agency organizes the health care financing to support health care access. Cost controls, including administrative costs, pharmaceutical costs, etc. and citizens having sufficient “skin in the game” are critical components of this plan. Some 32 countries on the list of industrialized nations currently have universal health coverage (UHC). As defined by the World Health Organization, UHC means that all people and communities can access the

ate many of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and would like to see many of those aspects continue under any revision or new plan, including covering pre-existing conditions, the ability for a dependent to stay on a parent’s plan until 26 years of age, and no lifetime caps. Other coverage that constituents want includes dental, vision and hearing coverage, as well as strong wellness and preventive care. It is vitally important that we be a healthy society. A single-payer system can accomplish that goal efficiently and cost-effectively. by St. Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio During the remainder of this session, I look forward to In the U.S. Congress, simiworking with advocates and lar legislation has been intro- my colleagues to ensure that duced in every session since this legislation benefits all 2003. In Pennsylvania, simi- Pennsylvanians and is finanlar legislation has been intro- cially viable. Again, 32 other duced in almost every session countries have successfully since 2005. Throughout the implemented this type of covUnited States, single-payer erage. It was President type of legislation has been Theodore Roosevelt’s vision to introduced in 20 states. implement such coverage in Last July I held a town hall the United States. on this legislation. Discussion Hopefully the time is now, included questions such as: beginning right here in PennWhat do citizens want for sylvania. We need to ensure health care? What are citithat all Pennsylvania citizens zens willing to pay for? How are healthy and free to pursue should it be structured? life, liberty and happiness. It was clear from the discussion that constituents apprecipromotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need. It means the services are of sufficient quality to be effective, and that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship. UHC is the goal of this legislation and single payer is the mechanism to accomplish UHC in Pennsylvania.

Pam’s Viewpoint


June 2019

East Falls NOW

Listen for the young robins’ begging calls


s cooler spring days transition into warmer summer ones, many of our migratory birds have moved further north to their breeding grounds, while our resident birds are busy feeding young ones. Over the course of the summer these birds will raise sometimes two or three broods. Watch for the hungry fledgling American Robin that appears bigger than its parents because of the fluffy down feathers it hasn’t completely lost yet. You can hear the young robins’ incessant begging calls as their parents work overtime to put food in their mouths. On your walk around the neighborhood look for the cardinal that is just learning how to fly, awkward and not sure enough on its wings. Though the excitement of spring is behind us, there’s still lots going on. The butterflies, moths, bees, dragonflies and numerous other insects are back, as well, feeding on the many plants that grow in our yards.

Some of these also will be raising young, but, unlike birds, most will just lay their eggs in an appropriate place and hope for the best. If you have parsley, dill or anything in that family, you can expect to have some Black

Navin on Nature by Navin Sasikumar

Swallowtail visitors. The adult female will lay her eggs on these plants and before you know it you’ll have caterpillars munching away on your parsley leaves. I would advocate getting a sacrificial plant if you can, or at least finding someone to take care of these hungry little caterpillars. Feel free to reach out to me if you don’t want to raise them or if you want tips on

raising them yourself. You also can find predatory insects lurking in your plants. Look for the lady beetles that feed on aphids or the praying mantis that hides, waiting to strike an unsuspecting insect visitor. While both these are beneficial, beware of nonnative ladybugs and mantises that are sold in garden centers as ecological pest control. They often displace our native species and in the case of Chinese mantises they even devour other beneficial insects indiscriminately. Spiders also play an important role in keeping the ecosystem balanced in your yard. See if you can find the webs of beautiful orchard orbweavers or catch the antics of a Bold Jumping spider as it looks for prey. Most spiders in our area are completely harmless and play an important role in a wellfunctioning yard. Finally, I’ll circle back to something I wrote about in April. Philadelphia competed for the first time in the City Nature Challenge, a four-day

An Eight-spotted Forester Moth found during last month’s four-day City Nature Challenge.

competition between more than 150 cities around the world to see which could record the most wildlife. Thanks to the help of many dedicated participants and partner organizations, the Philadelphia area finished 23rd in observations (13,693), 25th in number of species observed (1,584), and 16th in participants (565)! As an organizer, I can tell you that this was better than we hoped to do. For a city participating for the first time and compet-

ing with other cities in tropical and coastal areas, we put on an impressive show. I hope only that iNaturalist.org use continues to grow in Philadelphia and we can break into the top 15 when we compete again next year. A big thank you to everyone who participated and helped make this event a success. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future articles, please email me at navinsasikumar@gmail.com.

Solarize Philly is Back – and Better – by Sept. 30 by Meg Greenfield


he Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) has reopened the City's Solar homeowner installation program – Solarize Philly, a program introduced to East Falls by the East Falls Community Council. The program uses a tiered group buy to reduce prices. The more property owners who buy, the lower the price is for everyone. Households of all income levels are encouraged to sign up. PEA offers financing options.

KISS Electric is the default installer for East Falls. KISS offers individualized installs to accommodate small roofs, work arounds for houses with dormers, and slate roof solutions. Three other installers are available in the program if residents want another option. PEA's program offers a free evaluation and proposal. Whether residents are motivated by the financial benefit or the environmental benefit, or both, it’s worth a look. This is the last year for the 30 percent federal tax credit for installation costs. The credit starts shrinking next year.

A solar energy installation in East Falls.


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The credit applies dollar-fordollar to your tax obligation. If a homeowner’s taxes are withheld, the taxpayer can receive a refund. In addition, the program includes the sale of renewable energy credits for every 1,000 kwh generated. Prices for those Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are rising since Pennsylvania closed its SREC market to out-of-state generators. PEA has contracted with a 3rd party for quality assurance testing and warranties. Solarize Philly uses a standardized, easy to understand contract between consumers and installers, provides sup-

port for registering and selling SRECs, guidance on availability of tax credits and instructions for system monitoring. The program offers a standard installation option with upgrades available. Check out Solarize Philly at www.solarizephilly.org or call 215-686-4483 for more information. Property owners must sign up for a free evaluation by Sept. 30 to participate. To speak with an East Falls neighbor who has installed solar through this program, send contact information in an email to the East Falls Community Council at info@eastfallscommmunity.org.

East Falls NOW


June 2019

Study envisions fewer Catholic parishes; Potential impact on St. Bridget unknown

St Bridget during a recent Sunday morning Mass.

their parish church, affirming the meaning of “parochial.” What is new is the extent of With dispersal of urban populations, sweeping cultural possible future downsizing as changes and revolution in suggested by CLI. The study communications, the model of identifies no parishes for closthe blocks-size neighborhood ing or merger in a contracted archdiocese. Some might see a parish originally meant to serve an immigrant population threat to St. Bridget, which no longer makes sense financlosed its school in 2013. Othcially or philosophically. ers say St. Bridget has assets “It’s seen as inhibiting the to protect it, including a signifmission of the Church by disicant cash reserve from the persing its message through sale of the school. The CLI suggestions point to too many parish churches with too many empty pews,” says a fundamental rethinking in Fr. Stephen DeLacy, resident the nature of parish organizapriest at St. Bridget and direction, long the foundation of church governance. The Insti- tor of recruitment for St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, tute seeks to prepare leaders which the archdiocese just sold and laity for the prospect of fewer but geographically larg- for an undisclosed price to Main Line Health. er and more diverse parishes Since 2011, the year Archless closely tied to a single bishop Charles J. Chaput was urban neighborhood, ethnic group, or individual churchgo- installed, the archdiocese has closed or merged 50 parishes, er. Historically, Philadelphia Catholics have identified with according to the annual Philadelphia Catholic Directory. In the same period parish elementary schools fell from 180 to 122 and diocesan high (Continued from page 1)

Speed cameras on Henry Ave. (Continued from page 1)

Andorra. The proposal was in a House amendment to a bill authorizing cameras on the Roosevelt Blvd. “The amendment that Pam DeLissio introduced, to include Henry Ave. in the Roosevelt Blvd. pilot project, was removed in the Senate without notice or explanation. Speed cameras are now up and running on Roosevelt Boulevard,” Gillespie said in his letter to Richards. He stated: “The four-lane Henry Ave. has experienced a growing number of serious crashes, including a fatality Jan. 27 in the tightly curved 3900 block of East Falls. Speed was a principal cause. PennDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Plan will mitigate some of the dangers of the road but we also believe that more must be done to control speed. We believe that speed cameras placed at appropriate intervals with driver forewarning will offer a way to achieve what law enforcement has been unable to control.”

schools from 20 to 17. St. Bridget School closed in 2013. The CLI study was discussed at a meeting with priests and pastors and Archbishop Chaput the week of April 29. In remarks to worshippers at the 4 pm Mass on Sat., May 4, the Rev. Robert T. Feeney, pastor of St. Bridget Church., summarized some of the suggested models. About 200 people were in attendance. Fr. Feeney painted a sobering picture of a church confronting financial pressures at a time it faces costly repairs to its roof and physical plant. He called this year’s Easter collection of $15,190 the “lowest” in St. Bridget history and predicted that in a severely contracted archdiocese -specifically, the 65-parish model projected by the Leadership Institute -- St. Bridget was unlikely to survive. “People may think things are fine, but they’re not,” he said, mentioning impending repairs to the roof. Philip E. Hughes, a member

of the parish finance council, said the financial outlook is not as bleak as some think and that the parish is holding its own. It has been seven years since the church closed its money-draining school and sold the property to developers for more than $1 million. It used the proceeds to pay off its debt to the archdiocese, make repairs, and deposit more than $500,000 in the bank. Fr. DeLacy says that St. Bridget “has assets” but that the trend lines in attendance and collections “are not encouraging.” The Institute does not identify parishes it thinks should close or merge in a diminished archdiocese. But it is logical to assume that financially shaky parishes would be most at risk. The study also sets no timetable.

In his meeting with priests and pastors of the archdiocese, Chaput, 74, said the task of reorganization would fall to his successor. He has said he intends to submit his resignation as required to the Pope when he reaches 75 in September. Depending on when the Pope accepts, it could be a year or two or longer before a successor is named. The Catholic Leadership Institute was founded in 1991 by Philadelphia businessman Tim Flanagan to help identify and develop leaders for the church. It consults with the National Catholic Conference of Bishops and has done studies for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the dioceses of Houma –Thibodaux, Kansas City-St. Joseph, GalvestonHouston, and Falls River, MA.


June 2019

East Falls NOW

‘Ah-ha’ moments leads to lifelong love of gardens op and direct the new Bachelors of Landscape Architecture program at what was ’m sure that all of us have then Philadelphia University. experienced “ah-ha” or We purchased a twin that had “Eureka!” moments in our lawns in the front and back lives. I’ve had several regard- with several plantings along ing my lifelong love of garthe side. Within a few years, dens. there was no lawn area. My The first was when I was focus was on perennials and contemplating going back to other foundation trees and college in my mid-30s. Leafshrubs -- primarily native ing through the University of species to attract wildlife. Florida brochure I saw a Now the front yard is semimajor titled, “Landscape formal with Japanese influArchitecture.” I had no clue ences. The backyard is a what this profession entailed, classic cottage garden. but I immediately decided After retiring in 2014, I had that was the field I would complications after surgery spend my foreseeable future due to osteoarthritis and pursuing. That led to teaching could no longer “dig” in my and directing two landscape garden -- which was very disarchitecture programs and heartening. What was I going pursuing masters and PhD to do with the rest of my life? degrees. I decided to take a pottery My next “ah-ha” moment class so as to be occupied was realizing that “gardens” while I figured things out. occur at any scale -- from a Guess what? I discovered I backyard vegetable or flower have a real passion and talent garden to a watershed or bio- for pottery! me of all floral types imaginI call myself a clay artist able. While I was a master’s more than a functional potter. student I was given a teachMy clay art is strongly influing assistantship. I quesenced by plants and nature -tioned the wisdom of this as I sometimes by impressing was very shy, but the Chair of leaves in the clay or working the landscape architecture abstractly through naturalisprogram was so right! I loved tic forms. For several years I another “ah-ha” moment. I could create sculptural pieces teaching! kept wondering how I could for the garden! In 2004 we moved to more closely tie my two proI’ve made several large “garPhiladelphia so I could devel- fessions together. And then,

by Claudia Goetz Phillips


Left, a Raku fired garden wall plaque by Claudia Goetz Phillips with red bud leaves impressed in clay, and, above, “Lady,” a vase by Phillips.

den pillows” that were Raku (Japanese technique) or wood fired. One adorns my daughter’s garden in Ardmore. I’ve experimented with totems made of large colorful beads set among perennials in my cottage garden. Last year I sculpted four giant flowers that are placed within a six-inch tall native grass bed. My current

pieces include flower pots with rustic surface textures and individually designed, handsculpted flowers. This column is dedicated to your stories about your garden experiences and relationship to gardens. Contact Deborah Kaplan at dkaplan8@verizon.net.

Aikikai martial art opens in East Falls


he Aikikai of Philadelphia, teaching Japanese martial art, has opened its East Falls dojo, or training center, in Suite 14 in Sherman Mills, 3502 Scotts Lane. The dojo offers an opportunity for adults and children as young as four years to study the martial art of peace. Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by the late

Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei). Aikido is often translated as "the way of unifying (with) life energy," according to Sensei Roderick Johnson, chief instructor. Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Aikido comes from the same

martial lineage as judo and jujitsu. It emphasizes blending with attacks rather than countering force with force, and utilizes throws, joint locks, and pins. Although many techniques include softening strikes (atemi), the goal of aikido is to neutralize aggression swiftly without undue harm to the attacker. Aikido training builds core

strength and fitness. Its techniques can be adapted for students of all abilities. “We’re not just learning a martial art; we’re learning how to be better people,” Johnson told East Falls NOW. The centerpiece of the new dojo is a 1,200-square-foot mat area, outfitted with racks for weapons training. The space has men’s and women’s changing areas, a water fountain, a reference library and a viewing area for parents and guests during testing and seminars. The location offers free parking and is convenient to SEPTA’s Norristown regional rail line and bus routes1, 60, 61 and R. Founded in 1991 by the late Henry Smith Sensei, the Aikikai of Philadelphia is a member dojo of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) under the direction of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei

and is allied with the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, the Aikikai Foundation Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. The dojo is moving to East Falls after 27 years in the Center City West neighborhood. The instructors at Aikikai of Philadelphia have more than a century’s worth of experience combined. They are Johnson, who holds a 4th Degree Black Belt and is a social worker; John Holt, a 4th Degree Black Belt who specializes in youth instruction and is a supply chain engineer; Dr. John Porter, a 5th Degree Black Belt and Chief Trauma Surgeon at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ; Ed Shockley, a 4th Degree Black Belt and a playwrite who specializes in weapons training; and Carlton Harris, a 3rd Degree Black Belt, business owner and East Falls native.

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East Falls NOW

June 2019



June 2019

Library’s spring sale brings out a crowd

East Falls NOW

Using music to train entrepreneurs by John T. Gillespie


The Friends of the Library’s annual spring books and garden sale brought out its usual heavy crowd to enjoy a wide collection of books, plants and food. Among those perusing the selection were, from left, Nancy Holmes, Paige Sutton and Josiah Rineer. According to Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library, the sale raised $4,000.

ust as Chopin captivated 19th Century Paris salons with his virtuosity on the piano, so the young musicians of Project 440 captured the hearts and minds of Henry and Kathy Donner’s guests with Beethoven’s oboe trio. But Beethoven, inspiring and critically performed as he was, was not the focus of a Sunday afternoon in April in the Donners’ living room on Apologen Rd. Music, the discipline with the power to inspire and train men and women for productive lives, was. Project 440 stands for 440 Hz, or middle A on the musical scale, the note musicians use to tune their instruments. In this case it could also stand for music’s importance in life. Joseph Conyers, bass for the Philadelphia Orchestra and founder and executive director of Project 440, says the program treats music as a means, not an end, to a successful life. “Project 440,” he says, “fosters musicians’ passion and helps them build skills to amplify their future success. “ With students drawn from the city’s leading public high schools -- Masterman, Central, Girard, Northeast High, the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Benjamin Rush and the AllCity Orchestra -- the project has a ready pool of potential

Making Music: Joseph Conyers, right, head of Project 440, introduces Beethoven ensemble.

members. The project offers two afterschool options. Doing Good teaches young people the ins and outs of social entrepreneurship, leaderships, and community service. Instruments for Success focuses on college and career preparedness -- all through the lens of music. Claire, a Project 440 student, said that “Participating in Project 440’s Doing Good allows me to do just that: good. “Being part of this organization also has allowed me to learn new entrepreneurship skills and meet new people with a similar goal. The things I was able to learn in this class will stick with me throughout my future endeavors.” The Donners have become cultural mavens in the neighborhood. They hosted a recent musicale at German-

town Friends School and invited City Councilman and realtor Allan Domb to their home for a political tutorial on taxes and city government. Henry Donner is a member of the board of Project 440 and a fervent admirer of the organization and its founder. “Anyone who has met the Orchestra’s Joseph Conyers recognizes he is a force of nature -- bright, articulate, thoughtful, engaging, an accomplished classical musician with impactful social purpose realized in a non-forprofit organization he created. “Project 440, through its two flagship programs, Doing Good and Instruments for Success, teaches high school students from across Philadelphia about social entrepreneurship, community service and college and career preparedness --all through the lens of music.

Kitchen Corner

EF Farmers Market – A place for conscientious shoppers by Anne Farnese


onscientious consumers seek food produced from methods that protect the environment and livestock. Kitchen Corner met some vendors at the East Falls Farmers Market for whom these methods are important. Emily and Nathan Brophy, owners of Spring Hollow Farm in Benton, PA, traveled to East Falls to showcase and sell meats from their animals. Their livestock is humanely raised without antibiotics or

growth hormones. Pork products come from pigs born in open farrowing pens, which allow sows full movement. Piglets stay with their mothers 56 days before weaning, as opposed to factory farms that wean piglets at 20 days. The couple raises White-Belted Galloway cattle named after the Galloway region of Scotland, where the breed was first fully developed in the 17th century. Their white-mid-section variety, nicknamed Oreo Cookie Cows, Spring Hollow Farm meats was established as a separate are sold in cryovac packaging. breed in 1921. Its meat is valThis helps maintain the produed for its marbling and taste. uct’s integrity. On opening day

of the market, hams, pork chops and breakfast sausages were available for purchase. Another vendor, Piggyback Treats Company, sells pet treats. Former East Falls resident Jennifer Kirby, a professionally trained chef, established her innovative business in 2012 in Chestnut Hill, where she now lives. Her healthy goodies for pets are created from food waste that would easily end up in a landfill. The “rescued” ingredients include salmon skin, chicken and duck feet and leftover pumpkins from Halloween

patches. Spent grains from beer making at Love City Brewery in nearby Callowhill find new purpose in Piggyback’s bier bones and banana bier bones. The East Falls Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from now through November from 10 am to 2 pm. It is located under the Twin Bridges at 4100 Ridge Ave. Honey-Mustard Glazed Ham Heat oven to 325°. Place ham cut-side down in a small roasting pan. Add ½ cup of water to bottom of pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through. Remove from oven and carefully drain most of the water. Increase oven temperature to 375°. Combine the following ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves: ½ cup honey 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard ½ cup brown sugar Brush about half the amount of glaze over ham. Return it uncovered to oven for five minutes. Brush with remaining glaze and bake for another 8-10 minutes until ham is well-browned. Be careful not to let glaze burn. Enjoy!

East Falls NOW


June 2019

Town Watch cameras capture car break-in


reaking into cars to steal whatever is inside – or to steal the vehicle – continues as a problem in East Falls and other nearby neighborhoods. Residents report car windows being smashed, and thieves opening unlocked doors to go through glove compartments and consuls. We’ve also had reports of residents finding keys jammed into ignitions – evidence of attempted car theft. The good news is that in the early hours of May 5 the cameras installed by EF Town Watch at the EF SEPTA station captured a group of youths walking down Cresson St. and inviting themselves into parked cars. The video has been turned over to 39th Police District officials and SEPTA detectives. Lt. Sean Bascom, who heads the Police Service Area 1 (PSA1) of the 39th – which includes East Falls -- has told EFTW that his officers are examining the video as part of an effort to find the perpetrators. EFTW is conducting late night and early morning patrols to assist the police. Fallsers interested in any of Town Watch’s safety and beautification efforts can call 215-848-2033 or email eastfallstownwatch@gmail.com. “In the meantime, East Falls residents who want to be part of the change they want to see are invited to attend our monthly Town Watch meetings,” said Mary Jane Fullam, President of EF Town Watch. This month’s

Video captured by the East Falls Town Watch cameras at the EF SEPTA station on May 5 show perpetrators breaking into cars on Cresson St. near the EF SEPTA station. To view the video, visit www.eastfallscommunity.org.

Clean-up set for June 22

Ahead team will continue its monthly neighborhood cleanups, starting at the Gustine Lake Recreation Center, 4868 Ridge Ave. Safety vests, gloves and trash bags will be provided. At 6 pm Mon., June 24, residents from throughout the 39th District meet with police at the 39th District headquarters,

he East Falls “Litter Crew Ahead” monthly beautification campaign continues in June from 9 to 11 am Sat., June 22 starting at the Gustine Recreation Center, 4868 Ridge Ave. The work will focus on four blocks of Ridge Ave., from 4600 to 4900. Safety vests, gloves and trash bags will be provided. Neighbors are invited to join the effort on June 22.


meeting will be at 7:30 pm Thurs., June 13 at 3540 Indian Queen Ln., in the Carfax Bldg. next door to the Old Academy Playhouse. This is a chance for neighbors to work together, share information and plan a course of action on matters of concern.”

Other important dates to which the public is invited: At 6 pm Wed., June 19, the 39th District’s PSA 1 commander, Lt. Bascom, meets with citizens at the Canaan Baptist Church, 5430 Pulaski Ave. From 9 to 11 am Sat., June 22, the East Falls Litter Crew

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June 2019

East Falls NOW

FOMP dedicates tree to Eddie Norris

Celebrating the planting of a flowering cherry tree in honor of the late Eddie Norris are, from left, his daughter, Donna Norris; his wife, Linda Norris; State Rep. Pam DeLissio; and Friends of McMichael Park members Jim Hood, Alexis Franklin and Beth Gross-Eskin.


Charlene Brock helps with the clean-up that took place throughout McMichael Park.

The Love Your McMichael Park festivities featured three animal rescue operations, Philadelphia Animal Care & Control Team (PACCT), Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR) and Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), all with gorgeous animals. Here the PACCT’s Meredith Wolfe and face painter Kelsie Lilly admire one of the dogs up for adoption. PACCT can be reached at www.acctphilly.org or 267-385-3800; STAR can be reached at www.streettails.org or 267-761-9434; and PAWS can be reached at www.phillypaws.org or 215-545-9600.

fter allowing for one postponement due to rain, the Friends of McMichael Park (FOMP) succeeded in hosting their Moana Movie Night on Sunday, May 19. More than 100 people set up chairs and blankets to enjoy the Disney Film on a large inflatable screen under a remarkably bright and colorful full moon. The event was sponsored by Elfant Wissahickon Realtors. Earlier in the month, on Sat., May 11 before the rain came, FOMP conducted its spring “Love Your Park” clean-up and flower and tree planting. Volunteers bagged leaves, trimmed shrubbery and planted a tree in the memory of the late Eddie Norris, husband of community activist and Mifflin aide Linda Norris.

Tennis, anyone?


s a result of an agreement between Legacy Tennis and the EFCC, anyone with identification showing residency in Philadelphia can play free on three outdoor courts in these summer hours: Monday – Friday: 5 to 8pm Sat. and Sun.: 9 am to 5 pm

Sign in at the front desk. The hours will change in September. Watch East Falls NOW for details.

East Falls NOW


June 2019

Loving your Inn Yard Park

Farmers Market rolls on Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm


he East Falls Farmers Market is up and running every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm on the parking lot under the Twin Bridges, between Kelly Dr. and Ridge Ave. Every week in June the market will feature fresh fruits and vegetables from McCanns Farm and humanely raised meat from Brophy Spring Hollow Farm. The June line-up includes, with additions and changes always possible:

Christian Neumersky transported dirt in a properly sized vehicle. He came all the way from Erial, NJ to show his love for Inn Yard Park and help his grandparents, Sue and Jim Park, of Calumet St., with the day’s activities.

Dayvon Bright (left) and his nephew, Jayvon Bright, stopped by the park to visit the playground. They ended up helping with the clean-up and offered to help with future Love Your Inn Yard Park days.

Some of 16 neighbors who lent their talents and time to the Inn Yard Park spring cleaning, from left, Sue Park, Kevin Coraell, Jonathan Vasquez, Nico Sales and German Vasquez


ove Your Inn Yard Park Day saw a hard-working band of volunteers raking, planting and cleaning up the grounds at this East Falls jewel on Ridge Ave. Neighbors pulled weeds, composted flower beds, created borders for the beds, planted annuals and picked up debris and fallen branches throughout the park and playground areas.

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

Louis Heck spent nearly an hour picking up trash and recyclables with his brother, Nathan, and their mother, Alison. Notice how careful they were to properly dispose of the recyclables in a cardboard box, not a plastic bag.

June 1: CleanChoice Energy, George Althouse Designs; Naturally Nirvana Botanicals LLC; Piggyback Treats; Toasted; Vessna Scheff; IDEATE; The Jewelry Drop; Amira’s Delites Vegan baked goods; Brophy Spring Hollow Farm humanely raised meat; McCanns Farm; and Apple Juice Jones music from 11 am to 1 pm. June 8: CleanChoice Energy; George Althouse Designs; Piggyback Treats; Pluma Avis Domus; SCB Naturals; Simply Hecgardo; Amira’s Delites Vegan baked goods; Brophy Spring Hollow Farm humanely raised meat; McCanns Farm; Rowhouse Spirits; and Yoga Brain, time TBD. June 15: CleanChoice Energy; Amazing Essence; IDEATE; Piggyback Treats; Toasted; Amira’s Delites Vegan baked goods; Brophy Spring Hollow Farm humanely raised meat; McCanns Farm; and Vituperio Artisan Breads & Studio. June 22: CleanChoice Energy; Piggyback Treats; SCB Naturals; Amira’s Delites Vegan baked goods; Brophy Spring Hollow Farm humanely raised meat; Mac'n! By Mari macarons; McCanns Farm; and Rowhouse Spirits. June 29: CleanChoice Energy; Nana Catherine's Apothecary; Piggyback Treats; Toasted; Amira’s Delites Vegan baked goods; Brophy Spring Hollow Farm humanely raised meat; and McCanns Farm.


June 2019

East Falls NOW

It’s 1951 – Recognize anyone?

Hero of the Community award winners Alexis Franklin and Office Joe Lukaitis.

Franklin, Lukaitis recognized for work in Community


lexis Franklin, Coordinator of the Friends of McMichael Park (FOMP) has been recognized as a “Hero of the Community� by the Northwest Division Police Chaplains. In an April 3 ceremony at the Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, the chaplains of the Northwest Division (5th, 14th, 35th and 39th police districts) presented the award. They created the award to encourage and celebrate individuals who are devoted to civic engagement. In the past 30 years, Franklin has taken on the leadership of the FOMP to rejuvenate the park and transform it to the beautiful space it was intended to be by the founder and former Philadelphia Mayor Morton McMichael.

She leads a group of volunteers who care for the park and provide public programming throughout the year. In addition to landscaping, tree care and park maintenance, she inspires and encourages public theater, beautification programs, educates volunteers and sustains the green space. The 39th District’s Officer Joe Lukaitis also received an award from the chaplains in recognition his role in improving relations between the police and the community. The chaplains cited the personal time he donates to the community and “his being ever ready to provide assistance.� Lukaitis has organized food drives and programs to help 39th District children.

St. Bridget’s first TV: It’s 1951 and St. Bridget School children take a break from lunch to pose and celebrate the arrival of the school’s first television -- and the successful fundraiser that made it possible. East Falls NOW thanks Fallser Tony DiStefano for this vintage photograph. Tony is fourth from right in front row. See who else you recognize.

Old Academy Players


ld Academy Players will present the comedy Ripcord by David Lindsay�Abaire, opening Fri., June 14 and running through Sun., June 30. The show will be directed by Terri Bateman and produced by Michelle Moscicki and Michael Roberts, with shows on June 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 28, 20 and 30. Ripcord portrays how Abby and Marilyn try to outdo one another to gain the coveted window spot in their assisted living facility. All gloves come off and bets are made. Theatre goers watch the two seniors “duke it out� as family members and staff choose sides and contribute to the chaos to see



who will win this cunning battle of wits. Lindsay-Abaire is a prolific American playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole, which also earned several Tony Award nominations. His 0ther award-winning plays are A Devil Inside, Fuddy Meers, Snow Angel, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, High Fidelity, Shrek the Musical, and Good People. In 2016, Lindsay-Abaire was named codirector of Juilliard's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. The cast includes Pat Pelletreau as Abby, Chris

Cutrufello as Marilyn, Jim Golden as Derek, Michele Scutti as Colleen, Norm Burnosky as Benjamin and Chris Wunder as Scotty. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Parking for all performances is free at the theater, 3544 Indian Queen Ln. Ticket price is $20 per person; $10 per student with valid ID. Buy tickets online at www.OldAcademyPlayers.org/. Old Academy welcomes groups at $17 per person for 15 or more seats. Call 215-843-1109 for more information and tickets.

East Falls NOW


June 2019

Tree Tenders making EF streets greener by Cynthia Kishinchand


he newest green neighbors along local streets arrived April 17 when East Falls Tree Tenders (EFTT) volunteers picked up their shovels and went to work. Special thanks go to the Philadelphia Water Department for picking up the trees at the Navy Yard and delivering them throughout the community. EFTT was one of 30 groups participating in this biannual event, part of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Plant One Million program, which marked the planting of 400 plus trees citywide. The April 17 effort resulted in 10 new trees planted along East Falls sidewalks. Joining the EFTT team were new members Alex Kuzio and Katie Ramin, who took time from their work and graduate school responsibilities to take the January Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) winter Tree Tender Basic Training Course. Fallsers for the past four years, they stated: “We really believe that promoting nature in our urban environments is important for the community’s health and well-being. That’s why we decided to join East Falls Tree

The second-grade students of Mifflin teacher Bob Monahan marked the rained-out Arbor Day festivities by staying indoors to recite The Story of a Tree, author unknown, with great enthusiasm. Monahan (rear at center) taught the children the poem for what would have been the Arbor Day celebration at Inn Yard Park. Under his tutelage the youngsters, aka future tree tenders, are learning about the natural world.

Tenders.� The next planting will take place Nov. 16. Although it is too late to apply for a tree for November, feel free to notify EFTT you are would like to be notified of the application period for the spring 2020 planting. Contact Cynthia Kishinchand at (215) 8492474 or crk3114@msn.com. The less fortunate news was the cancellation of EFTT’s 24th Arbor Day celebration at Inn Yard Park. Despite our pleas, Mother Nature kept sending lots of rain for the

scheduled day, and then the rescheduled day. Since the second grade classes at Miffln School had memorized their poems, Sue Park and I had the great pleasure of watching each class recite a poem. We also delivered a tray of cookies to each of the two classes plus one tray to the members of the Mifflin staff in appreciation of their hard work and dedication throughout the school year. In spite of the rain, life has its sweet moments when you are a tree tender.

New East Falls Tree Tenders’ volunteers Alex Kozia (left) and Katie Ramin (center) with Tree Tenders veteran Sue Harrison during the April 17 planting.

EF Village sets summer meeting for June 2 (Continued from page 1)

Thursday Walks Each Thursday morning at 9:30, a small group meets at the Garden of the Falls Library to walk through the neighborhood and then stop for a coffee break. All are welcome to stop by the library and join the walk for some exercise, good company, and a bite to eat! Woodlands Cemetery On Thurs., June 20, the Village will stage a special Thursday Walk as we visit The Woodlands Cemetery in University City. The Woodlands is the former country home of William Hamilton. The original villa dates from 1770, but was enlarged with a grand neoclassical addition from 1786 to 1789. In 1840, the estate was transformed into a rural cemetery. Thomas Eakins and Rembrandt Peale are two of the many notable people buried here. We will have maps and printed guides to aid our selfguided stroll through this beautiful site. All are welcome to join the Village walkers, who will meet at the Library at 9:30 am to carpool to The Woodlands. Please register by calling 267-444-4507 so we know how many will be coming. Yoga Dance By popular demand, East Falls Village yoga instructor Lillian Rozin will lead a sample session of Yoga Dance on Wed., June 19 at 4 pm at the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd, 3820 The Oak Rd. The cost is $5, payable to the instructor. Registration is recommended. Call 267-444-4507. Yoga Dance is fun and joyful,

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June 14-30, 2019 Fri & Sat - 8pm Sun - 2pm

Young at Heart performs on June 5 at the Falls Library, and on June 20 the EF Village visits Woodlands Cemetery in University City.

moving to music (starting with soft quiet music), and a good workout. You can rest at any time. No experience is needed in dance or yoga – and you can do almost any movement you wish. A yoga mat will be helpful for resting, but is not required.

For more information see Eastfallsvillage.org or call 267-444-4507. To join, pick up a membership brochure at the front desk of the Falls Library or go to Member Signup on our website. One can also print out the membership application from the website, www.eastfallsvillage.org.

by David Lindsay-Abaire Directed by Terri Bateman Buy Tickets online: www.OldAcademyPlayers.org +.ĆŤ ((Ä?ĆŤÄ‚Ä Ä†ÄĄÄ‰Ä…ÄƒÄĄÄ Ä Ä€ÄŠĆŤÄ‘ĆŹ ĆŤ .'%*# 3540-44 Indian Queen Lane Philadelphia, PA 19129

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June 2019

East Falls NOW

Mifflin student art sale

Joe Lewandowski, who will be entering Mifflin’s kindergarten in the fall.

The ‘Welcome’ sign greeting visitors to the Mifflin Spring Art Show.


he hallways of the Thomas Mifflin School were filled in May with parents, their students, and most important of all a collection of artwork produced by the school’s students. The occasion was the annual Mifflin Spring Art Show, an event produced by teachers, administrators and student to raise money for the school’s student activity fund. The art work will remain on display until the school year ends for Fallers to purchase at $5 per piece.

Mifflin’s hallways were packed and sales were steady for the art show.

Library’s new hours; Summer of Wonder for kids starts


ummer hours have started for the Falls of Schuylkill Library – including an end to Saturday hours until the fall. The new hours are Monday and Wednesday, 12 noon to 8 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm; and Friday, 10 am to 5 pm. Drew Birden, Branch Manager, told East Falls NOW that a resumption date for Saturday hours has not been determined. The library won’t open until 2 pm on Thurs., June 13, due to staff development. Kids schedule The Falls of Schuylkill’s Summer of Wonder program of reading and activities for children from birth to age 12 begins on Mon., June 3. Parents and students can stop in

to sign up and grab the Summer of Wonder calendar to see what’s going on. On every Monday in June at 4:15 pm, the popular program Read with a Therapy Dog will take place. School age kids are invited to come read with Wally or Orchid, certified therapy dogs, and share a new book or an old favorite in a judgment-free space. On every Tuesday of this month, at 10:15 am, it’s time for Music and Movement Time. Babies and toddlers will enjoy a parent-led music and dance storytime. Children will play maracas, shake pom poms, dance, and listen to music and dance-themed books. This is an opportunity to tire out the little ones and meet local parents. Groups and daycares should call the library to set up


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their own special visits. On Tuesdays June 4, 18 and 25, from 1 to 3 pm, the library will host different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities. And every Wednesday on the month is Wonder Kit Wednesday from 2 to 4 pm, when children can explore the library’s Wonder Kits and heir crafts, games and activities.

with games and puzzles for all ages and a chance to play a favorite game or discover a new one.

Special Programs June also will see a series of special programs for children: At 2 pm Sat., June 1, it will be time to Leap into Slime! School-age children will be able to make some slime together using different houseStorytime and Block Play hold ingredients. will take place at 11 am on At 11 am Thurs., June 6, the Thurs., June 20 and 27. Stolibrary will host Drag Queen ries and songs will be followed Storytime, as Brittany Lynn by playtime with wooden provides stories for all ages blocks. This is recommended and celebrates Pride at the for ages two to six to 6 accomlibrary! Part of 2019 Free panied by an adult; siblings Library of Pride. are welcome to imagine, build From 10:30 am to 12 noon on and create. Groups please call Sat., June 8 join your neighthe children's librarian to bors in the downstairs meeting schedule separate appointroom for an Advocacy Café to ments. write letters, make signs and Every Friday from 2 to 4 pm buttons and make calls to supwill be Game Time Friday, port the #FundOurLibraries


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campaign. This will be for families and all age children, and refreshments will be provided. Story Time in McMichael Park will take place at 6:30 pm Mon., June 10, recommended for ages two to six. Meet at the Turtle for a spring evening storytime. Siblings always welcome. Snacks will be provided by the Friends of McMichael Park. The rain date will be Mon., June 17. A special Summer of Wonder Author Event is set for 1 pm Tuesday, June 11. Local author and illustrator Rachel Dougherty will read Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge. She will lead a special STEM activity for all ages, sponsored by the Friends of Falls of Schuylkill Library. Adult schedule Workshops for training in meditation will take place at 6:30 pm on two Mondays in June, the 3rd and the 10th. These Meditation Workshops will provide a foundation for gaining mindfulness through meditation. The meditations will utilize calming and energizing techniques to introduce ways to gain self-awareness, and a peaceful state of mind. Eric Biseca of Umana Philadelphia will guide participants Bridge for Beginners will welcome all new players at 1 pm every Wednesday in June, while Advanced Bridge hosted by Friends of the Library member Victor Lewis will take place at 5:45 pm on two Mondays in June, the 3rd and the 17th. Fallsers interested in the stoicism philosophy can attend the monthly session ti leanr about the Philadelphia Stoics at 6:30 pm Mon., June 24.

East Falls NOW


June 2019

EF Sports Association wraps baseball on June 8


he East Falls Sports Association (EFSA) will wrap up its baseball season with final games from 9 to 11 am Sat., June 8, at McDevitt Recreation Center. The day’s festivities will

include the traditional seasonending family barbeque. Registration for the fall soccer season will begin in August at the EFSA’ website, www.efsasports.com

Left, Chase Clark prepares his helmet as the on-deck hitter during EFSA baseball competition. Right, coach Neil Wilson offers some slugging tips to Taylor Harrington.

FOW seeks volunteers with June 1 service day


he Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) will celebrate 95 years as stewards of Wissahickon Valley Park on Sat., June 1, with a Super Mega Volunteer Service Day taking place simultaneously at 10 different park entrances. Teaming with local community partners, businesses, and residents, FOW seeks to recruit 500 volunteers – 50 at each location – to help beautify the park by removing trash and recycling and clearing invasive plants. Taking care

of litter before it reaches Wissahickon Creek is an important preventive measure – the creek being the source of drinking water for one third of all Philadelphians. No experience is necessary. FOW will provide gloves, tools, and directions. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the following park locations: • Ten Box and Historic Rittenhouse Town: meet at the Upper Lot at Historic Rittenhouse Town; • Ridge Ave. Trailhead:

meet at the Ridge Ave. Kiosk; • Blue Bell Hill; meet at the Blue Bell Picnic Pavilion; • Saylor's Grove: meet at Wissahickon Ave. and W. Rittenhouse St.; • Wigard Ave. Trailhead: meet at Wigard Ave. off Henry Ave.; • Mt. Airy Ave. Trailhead: meet at West Mt. Airy and Mt. Airy Terraces; • Lavender Trail and Covered Bridge: meet at the Crefeld St. Trailhead; • Wissahickon Environmental Center: meet at the upper

Henry Ave. Bridge dedicated to first woman general (Continued from page 1)

was the first woman in the U.S Armed forces to be promoted to a general officer rank. General Hays spent her youth in Philadelphia and attended William Allen High School in Allentown, PA. Following her death in January 2018 at 97, the Wolf Administration made plans to honor her. State Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards presided at the dedication on May 10, following passage of a bill honoring Hays sponsored by St. Rep. Pam DeLissio. A plaque honoring General Hays joins the original plaque from 1932 when the bridge opened, dedicated to the people of Philadelphia’s northwest neighborhoods who served in World War I. “Gen. Hays led groundbreaking reforms in personnel policies, including to eliminate automatic discharges for married officers who became pregnant and to ensure that appointments to the Army Nurse Corps Reserve were not based on the age of the

nurse's dependents,” DeLissio said. “It is fitting that we now recognize the contributions of this remarkable woman.” Hays joined the Army Nurse Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor and was deployed to India. After World War II she served in the Korean War, graduated from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and Catholic University of America, and guided Army nurses through the Vietnam War in her role as the 13th chief of the Army Nurse Corps. President Nixon chose her for promotion to the rank of

brigadier general in May, 1970. According to a report, Colonel Hays learned about her nomination “from a news man after she had left her office for the day.” She seemed skeptical, saying, “I’ll have to call somebody and find out.” General Hays retired in 1971. She was philosophical about serving her country. Quoting Einstein, she said: “I must remind myself a hundred times each day that what I am I owe to the lives of other men…and that I must exert myself in order that I may give in the same manner that I receive.”

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parking lot on Northwestern Ave. (Roxborough side); community partner is Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association; • Bells Mill (East and West): meet at Bell's Mill Rd. and Forbidden Dr.; and, • Houston Meadow: meet at Courtesy Stables. Following the service day, volunteers and partners are invited to join a celebratory picnic from 12:30 to 2:30 pm at Historic Rittenhouse Town. FOW was founded in 1924 when a group of concerned citizens came together in response to a damaging winter storm and raised thousands of dollars over the next decade to plant native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in the park. Nearly a century later, this legacy of civic responsibility and environmental activism continues to conserve Wissahickon Valley for generations to come. “We are incredibly proud to celebrate 95 years of caring for Wissahickon Valley Park,

one of Philadelphia’s greatest resources,” said Maura McCarthy, FOW’s executive director. “During this special year, we hope many neighbors join our efforts to conserve the watershed, habitat, history, and sheer beauty of our beloved urban forest oasis.” The once small group of individuals from 1924 has evolved into a vibrant, engaged community of members and friends more than 3,000 strong and growing. These individuals, including 1,100 volunteers and corporate and community partners, are the foundation of FOW’s many accomplishments since its founding. FOW partner organizations or businesses interested in supporting the Super Mega Volunteer Service Day can contact Sarah Marley at marley@fow.org. For more information about individual volunteer locations and to register, visit fow.org/supermega.

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


Programs, Archives, Research, Oral History, Preservation Advocacy Mark your calendar: our first fall program, a presentation on the life of William Penn, will be on the evening of September 18 at the Library. For membership information: katy.hineline@gmail.com. For other inquiries: eastfallshistory@gmail.com. www.eastfallshistoricalsociety.org Or, visit us on Facebook!


June 2019

East Falls NOW

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