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Vol. 1, No. 1

May, 2018 • FREE

Say ‘hello’ to East Falls NOW


elcome to the first issue of East Falls Now – a new monthly and on-line journal of the East Falls Community Council. The big news is that 8,000 copies of East Falls NOW will be delivered every month to every household in the community. It will be updated daily as necessary at When our dear friend Julie Camburn closed the doors on The Fallser after more than

20 years of faithfully serving the community, East Falls lacked a printed, hand-delivered journal to report the news of our neighborhood. It’s taken us a while to plan to do this right, but we believe we now have the advertising and volunteer support to make the leap. East Falls NOW will cover the news and activities of the organizations and institutions in East Falls. It will be hon-

Springtime in EF means Flea Market & Festival

est and will be respectful of all of our neighbors and volunteers who work hard to make East Falls as good as it can be. We’ll count on you, our readers, to tell us when we’re doing things right, and when we can do better. We’ll also count on you for suggestions for articles and potential advertisers. For news: To advertise:

Prince Albert to speak at Jeff’s commencement


rince Albert II of Monaco, son of East Falls-born Princess Grace Kelly and grandson of leading Philadelphia business and community leader John B. Kelly, will speak at this month’s graduation ceremonies for Jefferson University. University officials have confirmed to East Falls NOW Prince Albert of Monaco that the Prince will take part Center City Philadelphia. in the program on WednesThe ceremonies will begin at day, May 10 at the Pennsyl10 am. vania Convention Center in

The Prince was in Philadelphia in Oct. 2016 to review the extensive renovation work on the property in which his mother was raised, at Henry Av. and W. Coulter St. Monaco purchased the property in 2016 with the goal of refurbishing the home and grounds as a location for the Princess Grace Foundation and an exchange program with the Princess Grace Irish Library It took a while, but Spring is here. That means the EF Flea Market & Festival isn’t in Monaco. far behind – Saturday, June 9. To reserve space, visit


he regular monthly general membership meeting of the East Falls Community Council on April 9 saw Council members vote to support a children’s play space in McMichael Park. The vote, 32-12, followed raised $830 toward a $2,369 the defeat of a motion backed goal and we have purchased by members opposed to the two printers, thanks to generMcMichael PlaySpace. They ous donors. had asked the EFCC ExecuThe students are thrilled to tive Committee to reconsider have a knowledgeable mentor its support for the PlaySpace. in school volunteer Jan The votes reaffirmed comDeruiter who has guided them munity support for the project through hands-on lessons in but left opponents claiming design and 3D printing. Digital that the vote to support the Literacy teacher Emily PlaySpace came without adeAdeshigbin and School Counquate discussion. selor Maxine Coker are sponBill Epstein, EFCC Presisors of the club as they learn dent, said that the Executive along with the group of a dozen Committee of EFCC “fully eager students. Keychain fobs, respects those who toiled to cell phone stands and mini make the park far better than mansions are just a few of the what it was years ago.” He projects that have been created. added:

New Adventure at Mifflin School by Leslie Mason, Principal


homas Mifflin Elementary School has embarked on a new adventure -- a first for the school. We launched our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Team and introduced computer aided design and 3D printing to the Mifflin community. Students were invited to join the club in an effort to learn how to use technology to create works and to print them. A GoFund-me campaign also was initiated to raise money to purchase 3D printers for the school. To date, the fund has

Kelly Dr. closures

EFCC votes to support McMichael PlaySpace


Reservoir fence


“But that doesn’t mean that today, in 2018, the park can’t change for the better. It doesn’t mean that a play space will be a detriment to the park or our neighborhood. Planning for McMichael PlaySpace will continue to have opportunities for everyone to be involved.” Epstein said that EFCC had not planned to vote on the playground, leaving the decision to residents who had expressed support for the plan following meetings with city parks and recreation officials and the unveiling of plans for the PlaySpace at a large gathering last summer. The Council’s hand was forced, however, when opponents of the playground and representatives of Friends of McMichael Park showed up at the monthly meeting and called for a vote. The result

Love Your Parks


was solid backing for the plan by the members attending. Afterwards, critics of the PlaySpace questioned the standing of those who voted. Epstein said the vote was entirely in accordance with the Council’s bylaws. Following regular business, EFCC’s Primary Election Candidate’s Night featured U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, candidate for PA’s 3rd district. He spoke on behalf of himself, Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. Evans’ opponent in the May 15th primary election, Kevin Johnson, President of Opportunities Industrialization Centers, also spoke. Next EFCC Meeting: 7 pm Monday, May 14 East Falls Presbyterian Church

Arboretum Sports

8 11

News: • To advertise: • Opinion: • Questions:

East Falls NOW


May, 2018

Historical Society Sets May 7 Program by Ellen Sheehan


he East Falls Historical Society’s next program will take place at 6 pm Monday, May 7 at Drexel University’s Queen Lane Campus, 2900 W. Queen Ln. Titled “A Preservation Primer for Fallsers,” the program will discuss: identifying structures according to architecture, dating a structure, what are the implications of historic designation and what structures in EF already are on the historic register and on-line resources. The Society offers free programs of historic interest and charges a small fee for our twice-yearly walking tours. It was founded in 2004 by Katy Hineline, Wendy Moody and Ellen Sheehan. For many years the trio and their colleagues have been involved in collecting, maintaining and indexing the history of East Falls. As the then Head Librarian of the Falls Of Schuylkill Branch, Moody frequently was being asked to accept bits and pieces of East Falls’ precious history, because these was no other option for saving it except the Library. Hineline, focused on indexing the Chadwick Papers. These papers were news clippings going back many years. They had been collected in a scrapbook by A.J. Chadwick, Editor of the Suburban Press, a local newspaper during the 1930’s. Sheenan, meanwhile, was the Chair of the Historic Photos Collection of the Friends of the Library. Notecards with historic images were produced and sold to raise money for the Friends. After much research and interviews with nearby Historical Societies, by-laws were written, committees were formed and a small section of the Library basement was designated for the Society. In return, members assumed responsibility for answering questions about East Falls history to relieve the librarians of this time-consuming task. Later the Society shared space with the East Falls Development Corporation at 3728 Midvale Avenue, but maintained our library space to meet with interested parties to answer questions by appointment. The Society welcomes volunteers. Its committees are: Acquisitions - the solicitation, selection and accession of historic materials; Archiving - preserving and digitizing of primary source materials; Catalogue - organize, label and file historic documents; Funding - locate and develop sources of funding, such as grants and fundraisers; Historic Photos – Maintaining the collection and accepting donations of photos.; Historic Sites - identify, investigate and advocate for historic sites; Membership - recruit members and welcome them to the Society; Oral Histories – interviewing EF residents and transcribing their words; Program – Plan talks, walks, and field trips around events of historic interest; Reference – respond to queries on houses, people and institutions; and, Research – write original material based on the history of EF. Please contact Patty Cheek ( or Ellen Sheehan (215-848-8396), Co-Presidents, for more information.

Household Hazmat drop-off events


he City of Philadelphia operates monthly household Hazmat drop-off events. Residents can drop off their household hazardous materials for safe and proper disposal. Here is a list of what is accepted. For more information visit the Philadelphia Streets Department website, events ACCEPTED WASTE:

-Antifreeze -Moth balls -rodentcide -herbicide -fungicide -pesticide -insecticide -kerosene -oil base paints -spray paints

-solvents -gasoline -motor oil -fuel -acids -glue -pool & photo chemicals -degreasers -lead products -lithium & NiCad batteries -brake fluid -stain removers -auto & lead acid batteries -tile & oven cleaners -roofing tar -auto body repair products -chemical fertilizer - solder -drain & septic tank cleaners

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Vendors, Beer Garden, food and kids’ activities! Flea Market & Festival Set for June 9


oin your neighbors on Saturday, June 9, for a day of shopping, eating, drinking and dancing at the East Falls Flea Market and Festival at McMichael Park! More than 100 unique vendors will be in attendance with everything from furniture and home goods, to jewelry, accessories, clothing, handbags and children's items.

In addition to shopping, the EFCC will have a number of fun activities for both adults and children. The East Falls Beer Garden will set up shop to offer a variety of adult beverages, and a number of food vendors will be on hand to satisfy any appetite. Children's activities will also be set up to keep the little ones occupied. And best of

all, we'll be raising funds to support the Friends of Mifflin! Interested in vending? Send an email to Make sure to follow our Facebook event page to keep up to date as we add vendors and activities! events/214161535847702/

Solar – A Second Chance! the installer assigned to East Falls in Phase 1, give it another chance. The installers serving East Falls in Phase 2 can handle slate roofs and even eaves if the eaves are large enough to support at least one panel. Furthermore, they won't be discouraging those who have space only for a small system. All homeowners in Philadelphia can sign up for Solarize Philly. One of the preapproved solar installers will complete a free solar assessment of your home, and you will have access to pricing discounts. PEA is offering a special financing option to 45 East Falls residents have a second opportunity if they are interested in the group low- and moderate-income households during this phase solar energy program organized by the EFCC and the City of Philadelphia. to advance equitable access to clean energy. See if you qualf you were thinking about Solarize Philly -- a group-buy- ify at solar energy for your home ing program to make the Solarize Philly also suplast fall when the EFCC process of installing solar as ports job training programs launched Solarize East Falls, easy and affordable as possifor high school students who but were not able to get it ble. At least a dozen of our want to start careers in the done, you have a second East Falls neighbors particigreen economy. In 2017, pated in Phase 1 and are now nearly 200 Philadelphia chance. reaping the benefits. The Philadelphia Energy homeowners installed solar If you were discouraged by Authority (PEA) has reopened with Solarize Philly and PEA trained 18 students in solar installation. PEA and KISS Electric, one of the Solarize Philly installers, will present at the next EFCC meeting on May 14 at 7 P.M. KISS Electric officials will be available to talk about their approach and answer questions. Bring your PECO bill to fast-track your application. You can learn more and sign up now at Solarize Philly is led by the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA), an independent municipal authority working to advance energy affordability and sustainability for the city. PEA runs the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion initiative to advance Call today for an appointment clean energy and energy efficiency to create 10,000 jobs. 215-844-5159


East Falls original Barbershop located at 3471 Ainslie Street

East Falls NOW

A message from the

EFCC President

Starbucks and Sunoco by Bill Epstein



May, 2018

atching Mayor Kenney, the police, Starbucks and community leaders deal with the overreaction arrest of two African-American men waiting to meet someone in the company’s Rittenhouse Square store came at an interesting time for some of us in East Falls. The troubling incident happened almost at the same time as the young people hustling for tips and contributions at our local Sunoco at Ridge and Midvale Avs. made a predictable warm-weather reappearance at the gas station. Last year we worked with Sunoco officials and the police to address the situation. The youngsters were aggressively panhandling and scaring off potential customers. That wasn’t the worst of it. Some of them clearly were engaged in illegal behavior – scribbling graffiti, breaking into nearby homes, throwing objects at a Sunoco investigator and using stolen credit cards. This was first discovered when one customer agreed to let a youngster pump her gas for a tip, only to discover after she drove off that the panhandler had not hung up the gas pump but instead had filled up a friend’s car on her credit card. The EFCC and EF Town Watch worked for weeks with Sunoco and the police to discourage this behavior. We had mixed success. Every time the police would disperse the young people they would return as soon as the police departed. As school started and the weather turned cold, the students stopped hanging out in East Falls. But we suspected

that with warm weather, they would return. And they did, almost to the day when we heard the news of the Starbucks incident. I relate the two situations because I can’t help thinking of the absurdity that a platoon of Philadelphia policemen arrived to arrest two men who were waiting to meet someone, while we have aggressive panhandling and actual criminal activity and we can’t seem to put an end to it. Yes, we need more city-wide programs to give these kids something to do. We need schools where they learn better ways to spend their time. But while we’re waiting for those things to happen, we need to deal with our problem in East Falls – without the kind of ghastly incident we saw at Starbucks. So I’ll repeat my plea to the folks at Sunoco, recently taken over by 7-11. Please hire guards or off-duty policemen to deal with real trespassers – not the Starbucks kind. If not, we’re heading for another summer of customers going elsewhere as they did last year, of kids running around on the gas station property at the risk of getting hit by a car, and a situation that is no good for the company or East Falls * * * Please allow me a quick revisit of the April 9th vote that put the EFCC in support of the proposed McMichael Park PlaySpace. Would the persons sending despicable anonymous letters claiming that the PlaySpace will come at a cost to the Mifflin School please have the courage to put their names on their letters? Nothing could be (Continued on page 9)

Published monthly and on-line by the East Falls Community Council PO Box 12672, Philadelphia, PA 19129 • For news, contact: For advertising, contact For letters, contact Everything else, contact

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 Christopher Rooney, Member, Executive Committee at Large and By-Laws Chair Barney Whittels, Immediate Past President

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


The best library anywhere!

ere’s the latest news from your Falls of the Schuylkill Library, 3501 Midvale Av.,

The Library’s hours are: Monday and Wednesday 12 to 8 pm; Tuesday and Thursday,10 am to 6 pm; Friday, 10 am to 5 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday. All Programs offered by the library are free. For more information, call (215) 6852093: For Children:

lowed by playtime with our wooden blocks. Recommended for ages two to six, accompanied by an adult; siblings are always welcome. Imagine, build, and create! Groups must call the children's librarian to schedule separate appointments. For Adults May 10 - Delayed opening at 2 pm - Staff Development May 28 - Closed Memorial Day

May 7 and 21, 5:45 pm May 7, 14, and 21, 4:15 pm Bridge Club for the Read with a Therapy Dog: Experienced School age kids are invited to Join us on the 1st and 3rd come read with Wally or Orchid, certified therapy dogs, Mondays of the month to play and to share a new book or an Bridge at a more advanced level. All are welcome. old favorite in a judgmentfree space. May 2, 9, 16, and 23, 1 pm Bridge Club for May 16, 6:30 pm Beginners - Weekly bridge PJ Storytime: Put on your group for all who are interestpajamas and join us for PJ Storytime at the library! Best ed in learning more about the Bridge card game. All are welfor ages 7 and under and come. their caregivers. Stuffed animals welcome too! Stories and May 14, 6:30 pm songs to end your busy day Finding the Hidden City and get ready for bedtime. Celebrate Philadelphia's hidden architectural treasures May 17, 24, & 31, 11 am as Peter Woodall, co-author of Storytime and Block Play: Stories and songs fol- Philadelphia: Finding the

Hidden City, explores "secret places in familiar locations" that have almost disappeared around Philadelphia, from the Metropolitan Opera House on North Broad St. to the Holmesburg Prison to the Divine Lorraine Hotel. Please use the Midvale Av. Entrance and feel free to bring a friend. May 21, 6:30 pm - Falls Book Club This month the Falls Book Group will be reading Into Thin Air, by Jon Krackauer. May 23, 6:30 pm Can you hear me now? Join Dr. Gail Brenner, a nationally known audiologist, and her associate, Dr. Sarah Kelly, as they discuss different aspects of hearing loss and what to do about it. Some assistive listening devices will be on display.

Spring Book Sale Sat., May 5, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm Books: $10 per bag Plants, baked goods, light refreshments Funds raised go to purchase new materials and make building improvements

From the Zoning Chair

Zoning: Protecting People and Property altered or developed, which is something to which neighbors can and should pay attention. Zoning, of course, can be misello from the EFCC’s used or abused. Lastly, reaZoning World. sonable people can and do disagree about neighborhood I’ll start with a brief backzoning issues. ground on zoning in PhiladelEFCC is what is known as a phia. Zoning is a tool to Registered Community Orgamanage the built environment nization (RCO.) This means in a way that is orderly and we have been designated by protects people and property. the City to be part of the It is a body of rules that sugCity’s development and zongests and guides what people ing process. The City always can do with their property in has had a role for civic organiterms of use, building height, zations, because elected offidensity and bulk cials and City departments (massing/shape.) It also recognize it is a good idea to establishes processes for seek input from neighbors approvals and community and property owners. input and ways to appeal In 2012 the City tried to decisions. improve the zoning code and How dense a neighborhood formalized the role for civic should be (single family vs organizations by offering apartments,) what types of them the opportunity to commercial uses are appropri- become RCOs. East Falls has ate (food retail, auto-oriented two RCOs. Point Breeze has retail, businesses that sell at least five! In some parts of alcohol, etc.), and how much the City, political organizaparking is required are typitions such as Wards also are cal zoning considerations. RCOs. Regulating RCOs is In concept and as applied, difficult because the tradition it’s a valuable tool to help to has been that citizens have a make great neighborhoods, strong role in neighborhood towns, cities and maintain development issues, so City places the way their property Council tried to find a happy owners want them. Clearly, medium when it created though, zoning can be a RCOs. source of controversy and conIn Philadelphia some develcern because it functions as a opment is approved by the gatekeeper. Specifically, zon- City when it is first proposed. ing impacts property values, This is called “by right” develso people rely on zoning to opment, and there is no offiexert influence on what is cial role for RCOs. However, developed around them and the majority of development is its impact on their property rejected when it is first provalues (e.g. I don’t want a posed (for various reasons) manure-refining facility next and the person proposing can to my house.) apply for what is called a Zoning also governs how a variance. Variances trigger a given property (land or build- public input process that ings or both) can be used, involve RCOs, such as EFCC, by Todd Baylson Chair, EFCC Zoning Committee


with rules on how to let neighbors know about a proposed variance and the timeline, etc. We attempt to report back to the City on where the neighborhood stands on a given variance and whether we support, reject or take no position. The City, in the form of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, does not always agree with what the RCOs say, but they often defer to the RCOs. I’ll try to add more flavor about zoning and good resources to learn more in coming months. But for now, a quick visit to WHYY’s will give you a great head start on zoning in Philadelphia. A short rundown on recent zoning matters as well as more background is available on our website: If we have matters to discuss we typically meet the third Wednesday of each month at 7 pm at Downs Hall on the Jefferson U’s campus. The EFCC email newsletter as well as our website will have info on upcoming meetings. If you don’t get our newsletter, drop us a line at Finally, we’re are always looking for Fallsers who want to get involved on the EFCC Zoning Committee. We specifically seek an appropriate geographic and gender balance and have a need for East Fallsers with legal and architectural expertise. Email us anytime to discuss zoning or to express your interest at

East Falls NOW


May, 2018

An East Falls NOW Special Report on:

Coming Soon: Changes to Lincoln Dr., Henry Av. by John Gillespie, Chair, EFCC Traffic Committee


oad and safety improvements are coming to Lincoln Dr. and Henry Av., two roads known for their driving challenges and high number of traffic accidents. The year-long Lincoln Dr. project between Ridge and Wayne Ave. is scheduled to begin this spring. The $7.6 million job will include resurfacing and skid resistant treatments; new signals and pedestrian connections; drainage improvements; raising the median barrier from 30” to 34”; replacing guide rails; new sidewalks; and rebuilding the Rittenhouse retaining wall. Work is scheduled at night from 9 pm to 6 am and will include lane closures – one at a time – in both directions. The full report on the project and the planned detours can be accessed at: lincoln-drive-project . Plans for Henry Av., approved by the EF Community Council general membership in April 2017 and refined by PennDOT, involve upgrading intersections and installing safety enhancements on a 1.4mile section of Henry Av.

between Allegheny Av. and Hermit St. in East Falls. The plans call for new grass and concrete planter bumpouts; electronic “your speed” signs; “must turn” left and right signs and lanes at key intersections; calibrated signal lights; clearly marked “shared use lanes” for cars and bikers; “Welcome to East Falls” signs; extended high friction surface treatments where the road curves; raised pavement markings; elongated pavement speed warnings where the “suggested” speed drops to 25 mph in the 3900 block; an enlarged, reshaped porkchop island at the entrance to Warden Dr. off Henry Av. to cut entry speed; and new grass and concrete medians. Construction bids on Henry Av. are planned to be opened in winter 2020. The improvements follow Philadelphia Vision Zero, the City’s name for a loosely affiliated set of policies and plans aimed at treating traffic deaths as preventable rather than inevitable, with the ultimate goal of eliminating them completely. Vision Zero strategies have been adopted in U.S. cities from Seattle and Fort Lauderdale to Boston, New York, and San Diego. For more information, visit

The Henry Av. curves – site of more than their share of accidents.

Community Garden

Finally, It’s Garden Time!

Kelly Drive Closings

by Andrea Sunderland


nce the first seed catalog arrives in February, it’s all about the garden! Hopefully, Mother Nature got the memo that it’s SPRING and planting can begin! April 14 was East Falls Community Garden’s 2018 season kickoff workday. Gardeners met to weed, mulch, move rocks, pick up trash and build new planting beds. The garden is located at the corner of Ridge Av. and Scotts Ln. Once a blighted corner, it’s now a beautiful, vibrant growing space for 20 gardeners.

We have common tomato, squash and herb plots for the gardeners to share as well as two community plots next to the arbor where anyone walking by can help themselves. The garden also is a collection spot for Christmas trees in January. Collecting and mulching the trees is a winwin for the community. The garden gets to use the mulch and lots of trees are kept out of the landfill. We’d like to expand our efforts and collect many more trees next year, so stayed tuned. The gardeners really like the out-of-the-way location of the garden. Unfortunately,

we have had some theft to deal with. First, from our extended family of groundhogs that have made the garden their home. We’ve tried different deterrents, none of which worked, so most of us added fencing around our plots and co-exist nicely. Second, not such an easy fix, our chained and padlocked lawn equipment gets stolen every year. Ugh! We currently are without a lawn mower. Anyone in the community want to help us out with an occasional grass cutting? Please stop down and stroll through the garden, sit at the picnic table and enjoy the scenery. Everyone is welcome. If you’d like to be added to our garden waiting list or want to help in any other way, email us at

East Falls NOW

May, 2018


Works starts on reservoir fence

City Commissioner Al Schmidt (left) presents award to the EF Town Watch from City Councilman Curtis Jones. Receiving the award (from left) are Marie Filipponi, Town Watch board member, Mary Jane Fullam, President of EF Town Watch, Bill Epstein, Vice President, and 39th Police District Community Relations Officer Joe Lukaitis.

Town Watch Scores Graffiti Removal by Mary Jane Fullam, President


n its continuing drive to eliminate graffiti and bandit signs from East Falls, Town Watch is pleased to report a recent success: At our request, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation painted over graffiti that had been degrading the ramps and bridges that connect Kelly Dr., Ridge Av., Lincoln Dr. and City Av. Yet to be done is a huge desecration on the outbound side of the Schuylkill Expresssway, highly visible from our side of the Schuylkill River. Many thanks to PADOT for its action. We look forward to a non-graffiti view across the river from our side. East Falls Town Watch meets twice monthly with the Philadelphia Police. Always, they urge us to urge you: Don’t leave ANYTHING in your car! And LOCK your car! Car break-ins are the bane of East Falls -- the most prevalent, consistent crime reported. As often as we repeat this advice, we get continued reports of people who return to their cars to find the camera or laptop or even the jacket they left in the back seat gone! With a broken window, no less. The most important services we render as EF Town Watch volunteers are pro-active. We conduct safety patrols, both day and night, as the schedules of our members permit. We document and report our findings to 9-1-1, the 39th Police District and the City’ 3-1-1 system. We roll up our sleeves as needed to clean-up the neighborhood and rid our streets of litter, graffiti and bandit signs. The camaraderie and the satisfaction of deeds well-done are deeply rewarding. And we were deeply gratified to receive City Council’s citation on April 14 extending “the sincere respect and admiration of this legislative body,” signed by Curtis Jones, Jr., Councilman 4th District, and Council President Darrell L. Clarke. There are many ways to get involved -- to help take ownership for a safe neighborhood. The most important thing you can do if you see something wrong: CALL 9-1-1 Call whenever you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right. We have been told by the Police time and again: “Don’t hesitate to call us! No call is too trivial.” Moreover, 9-1-1 calls drive police assignments. So Call 9-1-1. It’s a small trouble but it’s a BIG HELP. Another way to become involved is to join a patrol with us. See for yourself what we do. We meet the second Thursday of the month, 7:30 p.m., at 3540 Indian Queen Ln. We can be reached at 215-848-2033, or at

Good Hands Within arm’s reach. ®

I’m proud to protect East Falls because I know East Falls. As your local Allstate agent, I know the ins and outs of all your insurance needs. Call, email or stop by my office any time so I can provide protection for the things you love.

BRIAN BEARD SR 215-989-4778 4223 Ridge Avenue Philadelphia, PA

Proud to offer our community Good Hands® protection and service.


Bulldozers after first day of work to build a new fence along Queen Ln. at the Philadelphia Water Department’s reservoir. Bill Epstein, EFCC President, said that efforts to assure that the fence conforms with agreements reached years ago between the community and the city will be headed by Paul Elia, architect and member of the EFCC Zoning Committee. The provisions include lighting, fence style and location.

East Falls NOW


May, 2018

An East Falls NOW Special Report on:

Love Your Park Day: Saturday, May 12 by Alexis Franklin


2017. It will run from Noon until 2 pm. Tables will be set up by various pet rescues. It’s time to adopt a fur friend or a sibling for a pet you may already have. Invitees: ACCT, Street Tails, Brandywine Valley SPCA, Morris Animal Refuge, J & Co, Noah's Ark, and (new this year!) a rabbit rescue. Don't see your favorite rescue on our list? Let us know and we will be happy to include. Please contact Mike Andrews at

ou’ll want to mark your calendars for the annual "Love Your Park/McMichael Park" celebration – May 12 – with environmental activities, music, dance, food trucks and furry fourlegged friends available for adoption. Our day begins at 9 am with a clean-up in McMichael Park, including tree plantings, mulching, weeding and planting of garden beds. Bring a rake, shovel, wheel barrow and small hand trowel. Gloves, Music with Gina bags, flowers, and trees will be provided Starting at 12:30 pm, Gina and her by the Friends of McMichael Park. band will be on hand to entertain young and old with her enthusiastic, interactive Stewardship Showcase 10 am music. Free event. Bring a blanket. All At 10 am, the co-cordinator of the ages are welcome. Friends of McMichael Park, Alexis This year we’re are happy to announce Franklin, will provide a behind the that we will have Food Trucks at scenes peek at what it takes to manage LYP/McMichael Park Day! Trucks will McMichael Park’s stunning and verdant arrive at 10 am on Midvale Av. There landscape. She’ll explain the historical will be a selection of lunch dishes, and ecological significance of the six-acre including vegetarian and a sweet treat park, share “tricks of the trade” gleaned truck. from managing this unique property for All events are funded by the Friends of the past 25 years, and highlight the McMichael Park Friends of McMichael Park’s habitat restoration projects. Benches Painted! Many thanks to our bench-painting volStory hour begins 11 am unteers on Saturday, April 14th, includPlease gather at the Turtle with guest ing first timers Nicki Q and the Lipovac reader Beth Gross-Eskin -- resident and family. early childhood educator for LYP storyOur 14 volunteers gave 22 benches a time. Stories, finger play and songs will much-needed coat of fresh green paint – be shared around the theme of gardening and we couldn’t help but think that they and springtime. A "special sapling" will be look like "Eagle Green”! Thanks, also, to planted. The "Amalanchier" has been our community partner, Stanley's Harddonated by East Falls resident Alison ware in Roxborough, for continued supChapman for some hands-on kids experiport of the Friends and McMichael Park. ence. Summer aquatics: "watering" to As we were painting away we were sign up for, too. Keeping our trees hydrat- surrounded by Jefferson students studyed and healthy – that’s our top priority. ing for their immunology exam, plus picnickers, t-ball practicers and lovebirds Pet Adoption 12 noon to 2 pm strolling through the park. This is our second year for the pet adoption since it was so successful in

A new tree goes in at last year’s Love Your Park Day.

Story hour at Love York Park Day 2017.

215-717-9667 • •

East Falls NOW

May, 2018


Next Inn Yard Park Event: May 19 as an extension of their yard. Seeing the need for help with their work, Alice Reiff founded Friends of Inn Yard Park reetings to East Falls (FIYP) in 1988. Alice turned NOW’s first readers over the reins of FIYP to Jen from the Friends of Inn Arnoldi in 2015. Sadly, on Yard Park. this past New Year’s Jack The next “Love You Park” passed on, but Alice is still event for Inn Yard will be on active with event planning Saturday, May 19 from noon and grant writing for chilto 3 pm. Please contact Jen dren’s activities in the park. Arnoldi at or The mission statement of Sue Park at suemhp@ FIYP is, “Work with the to volunteer. Our munity and Philadelphia partners include Fairmont Parks and Recreation (PP&R) Park Conservancy, Parks to maintain and improve Inn Alliance, Pennsylvania Horti- Yard Park” and the Friends cultural Society, Penn Charhave successfully carried out ter Service Day, and that mission. Biannual Love Jefferson/Philadelphia UniYour Park clean up activities versity Plunge. draw volunteers from far and For those not familiar with wide who weed flower beds Inn Yard Park, here’s a brief and tree pits, plant bulbs, history. In 1845, a famous paint benches and sweep sideinn with a long list of colorful walks and pick up trash to names, including Robert keep our little gem of a park Evans Hotel, Bobby Evans’ attractive. House, House of Louis Tissot, A wide variety of activities The Fountain Park Inn, The are held at Inn Yard Park, Park Fountain Hotel, Vasey’s most of which are geared Inn, Hotel Turf Villa, and towards children. Inn Yard Cafe La Riviere was built Park has hosted East Falls along the river on the current Tree Tenders’ Arbor Day Celsite of the park. In 1931, ebration since 1996 and it is Fairmount Park bought the the longest running Arbor property and demolished the Day Celebration in Philadelinn. Neighbors referred to phia. A free outdoor movie the empty space as the Inn has been a summer highlight Yard. Inn Yard Park, located since 2014. A lighted double on the 4200 block of Ridge basketball court attracts Ave. was officially named by ballers from all over the city. Fairmount Park in 1998. The children’s playground Alice and Jack Reiff moved was dedicated in 2011 after next door to the park in 1950 years of planning by a hardy and became faithful stewards group of neighborhood parof the 1.5-acre park. They ents. worked tirelessly in the park

by Sue Park


Volunteers for the 2017 Inn Yard Love Your Park Day, and children enjoying the playground at Inn Yard Park.

East Falls NOW


May, 2018

East Falls’ Virtual Village

May 2018 - East Falls NOW Calendar

by Phil Hineline and Mary Flournoy


s you go out and about in East Falls you might notice a small group of persons gathered outside the Falls Library. That could be the Thursday Morning Walkers. Or it could be a group carpooling for a trip to a museum or an ethnic restaurant in a distinctive Philadelphia neighborhood. Or you might notice an “East Falls Village” sign near a home that could mean a musical program or even a Happy Hour is in progress. If you find a local restaurant is unusually full at noon, that could be the Village’s “lunch of the month.” All these are evidence of a fun-loving group of some 200 people that is woven into the life of our community. The primary purpose of East Falls Village is to enable residents of East Falls to stay in their own homes as they grow older. While centered in zip code 19129, it claims no real estate and its “office” is a cell phone and web site. Thus, a “virtual village.” Volunteers drive members to medical appointments or on basic shopping trips. Tech team volunteers help members with computers and cell phones. Others help members with basic household chores, such as changing smoke alarm batteries or hard-to-reach light bulbs. The Village offers informational programs, often in the Falls Library, on topics ranging from container gardening and de-cluttering your house to political gerrymandering and Medicare. The Village sponsors a yoga group, a group of bridge enthusiasts, and unusual experiences such as visiting the Coast Guard station and the PECO Green Roof. Village activities provide fun, information, and are preventive medicine against what one member aptly termed “couch potatoitis.” Some activities are just for Village members; others, especially those at the Falls Library, are open to the public. To see upcoming Village activities, check out the Calendar of Events on One free program is Can You Hear Me Now?, set for 6:30 pm Wednesday, May 23 at the Falls Library. It will address the problem that over time, everyone’s hearing becomes damaged by daily noise as well as by the aging process, with ultimate difficulty in conversing, especially in “normally noisy” environments. Audiologist Dr. Gail Brenner will cover the causes of hearing loss, the importance of regular hearing tests, how improving your hearing can change your life, new hearing aid technology assistive devices, and tinnitus. Some assistive listening devices will be on display, including the Caption Call phone. Join us! Pick up a membership brochure/application at the Falls Library or call 267-444-4507 to have one mailed. You also can join through the website – scroll down and print the application or join, safely and securely, with your credit card on the Member Signup tab.


Falls of the Schuylkill Library Hours: Mon. & Wed. 12-8 pm; Tue. & Thurs., 10 am-6 pm; Fri. 10 am-5 pm; Closed Sat. & Sun.

3 Thursday

9:30 am, EF Village, neighborhood walk, meet at library garden

4 Friday

8 pm, Old Academy Players: Putnum County Spelling Bee

5 Saturday 6


Happy Cinco de Mayo! 9:30-2:30 pm, EF Library Spring Sale 8 pm, Old Academy Players, Putnum County Spelling Bee 2 pm, Old Academy Players, Putnum County Spelling Bee 2:30-5 pm, EF Village: Isolation: The Wolf at The Door, 6001 Germantown Av.

10 Thursday

9:30 am, EF Village: neighborhood walk, meet at Library garden

12 Saturday

9 am, Love Your Park clean-up event, McMichael Park

13 Sunday

Happy Mothers Day!

14 Monday

7 pm, EF Community Council Meeting, East Falls Presbyterian Church

16 Wednesday

7 pm, EFCC Zoning Committee Meeting at Penn Charter School.

17 Thursday 19 Saturday 23 Wednesday

9:30 am, EF Village: neighborhood walk, meet at library garden 7 pm, St. Rep. Pam DeLissio’s 73rd Town Hall Meeting; Call 215-482-8726 for location.

12 noon-3pm, Love Your Park event, Inn Yard Park 6:30 pm, EF Village: Can You Hear Me Now? Presentation on hearing loss over time, Falls Library

24 Thursday

9:30 am, EF Village, neighborhood walk, meet at Library garden

28 Monday

Memorial Day – East Falls NOW wishes all of its neighbors a safe and happy holiday!

31 Thursday

9:30 am, EF Village, neighborhood walk, meet at Library garden

Volunteering in East Falls

ave some extra time on your hands? Interested in giving back to the East Falls Community? Here are some organizations that would welcome your help!

East Falls Historical Society Keeping the history of East Falls alive

East Falls Zoning Committee Stewardship of East Falls Zoning issues

East Falls Sports Association Help East Falls children participate in sports

Friends of the Falls of the Schuylkill Library Promotes the needs and the knowledge of the library:

East Falls Town Watch Serving our community, 215-848-2033

Friends of Inn Yard Park Help maintain Inn Yard Park.

East Falls Tree Tenders Help planting trees in East Falls.

Friends of McMichael Park Help maintain McMichael Park

East Falls Village Helps Fallsers stay in their homes as they grow older, 267-444-4507

Friends of Mifflin Helping school children with their school work Saturday Morning Sandwich Making Making sandwiches for the hungry for more than 25 years: Fran Chicchi, 215-848-5199

11th Annual East Falls Arboretum Clean-up by Chris Caporellie


ith the weather finally giving us a break, members of the East Falls community came together on April 14 to clean up what many consider to be a focal point of our community – the EF Arboretum. We pulled weeds; we tossed tree limbs; and we planted new pachysandras. This annual rite of spring, organized in coordination with the city-wide Philly Spring Cleanup, gives neighbors a chance to come out and put some elbow grease into a great

cause. The East Falls Arboretum, also known as the East Falls Rock Garden, is located on Midvale Ave between the Thomas Mifflin School and the Cresson St. overpass. It was created by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Back in the day, the Rock Garden provided a great place for folks from East Falls to play and have picnics. Over time, it became overgrown with branches and cluttered with leaves and trash. Neighbor George Grigonis launched the idea of having the community come together to clean out the arboretum and bring it back to its former glory. Eleven years ago he attacked the hill with what was virtually an army of neighbors. They were able to take out many truck loads of debris that year. Since then, the East Falls Arboretum Committee has gone back and worked hard at maintaining the area. In addition to cleaning out rubbish, the committee has focused on planting different kinds of ground covering plants to help keep the weeds at bay. On the hill next to the steps from Midvale to Cresson Street is where you will see junipers and pachysandra planted through the years. Many people made the 2018 Arboretum clean-up a reality, and we would not have been able to do it without them. (Continued on page 10)

East Falls NOW


May, 2018

Kitchen Corner

How About Some Cookies? 1 teaspoon baking soda

by Anne Farnese


hat a winter! It tried the souls, muscles and patience of Fallsers as each nor’easter deposited heavy, sodden snow. The storms toppled trees, damaged houses and cars, and caused widespread power outages. Yikes! After this winter of discontent, it’s time to be contented. A way to achieve that state is to eat a cookie -- not just any cookie, but a rich, gooey, caramel-filled chocolate one. Its deliciousness will make one smile in contentment.

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/8 teaspoon salt Set-aside 15 soft caramels

Beat softened butter with sugars on medium speed for two minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Scrape bowl as needed. With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients until combined, then add milk. Mix in chocolate chip. Dough will be stiff. Cover and refrigerate dough for one hour.Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. For each cookie, form a ball using two heaping tablespoons of dough. Separate dough-ball in half; place caramel on one half and place the other half on top. Roll two halves together to secure caramel. Place cookies two inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes until set. Cookies will appear soft. Cool on baking sheet for five minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Yields approximately 15 cookies.

“Spelling Bee” at Old Academy Players.


Tons of Fun at Old Academy Players

ld Academy Players proudly presents the delightful award-winCaramel-stuffed Chocolate ning musical comedy The 25th Cookies Annual Putnam County Read recipe carefully and Spelling Bee. Remaining show assemble ingredients, equipdates are May 4, 5, and 6, Friment and tools beforehand. days and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm. Ingredients Internationally produced, Soften ½ cup butter this musical is the hilarious ½ cup granulated sugar and compelling tale of socially In a bowl combine, awkward youngsters who find ½ cup brown sugar, packed joy, heartache and purpose 1 cup all-purpose flour while competing at a regional 1 large egg spelling bee. With all the ¾ cup cocoa excitement, desperation, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract weirdness and fun one can ¼ cup dark cocoa expect from a spelling compe2 tablespoons milk tition, these six young spellers have dreams of their heart’s desires coming true as they compete for a chance to be (Continued from page 3) New property taxes to high- “the one” to participate in the light May 14 EFFC meeting: National Spelling Bee. less true. Along with our partThe agenda for the Mon., May The stellar cast of zany ners in the Friends of Mifflin 14 EFCC general membership characters includes: Meg and the East Falls Developmeeting will include a discusMurphy as Rona Lisa Peretti, ment Corporation, the EFCC sion of the City’s property tax Norm Burnosky as Vice Prinwill work hard to help launch reevaluations. The meeting will cipal Douglas Panch, Durell and complete the fundraising take place at 7 pm at the EF Griffin as Mitch Mahoney, for the Mifflin exterior. ReadPresbyterian Church, Vaux and Amanda Ross as Olive Ostroers can contact me at Midvale Avs. Planning for the vsky, Pat Sutton as William if meeting is underway. See Morris Barfée, Ed Young as they want to help. for Charlito “Chip” Tolentino, Some individuals feel they developing details. Christian Conklin as Leaf have not been heard, or that Coneybear, Gina Schwoerer they were “railroaded,” as one EFCC Officers: as Marcy Park, and Maya person told me. But just If you are interested in because someone doesn’t agree standing for election as an with you, it doesn’t mean you EFCC officer – President, Vice haven’t been heard. President for Zoning, Vice I assure readers of this first President for Events, Treasurissue of East Falls Now that er, Corresponding Secretary, the planning for the McMichael Recording Secretary or ExecuPark PlaySpace will continue tive Committee Member-atto have opportunities for every- large – please see the one to be involved, and the nominating information at result will be a big win for our community. EFCC grants: The process of applying for the annual EFCC Grants has opened. For applications, visit

Starbucks and Sunoco

Chester-Ziv as Logainne "Schwarzy" SchwartzandGrubenierre. One aspect of the show is that three audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six young characters. Another amusing aspect is that the official pronouncer, usually an improv comedian, provides ridiculous usage-ina-sentence examples when asked to use words in a sentence. At some shows, adultonly audiences (over age 16) will invited for "ParentTeacher Conferences," also known as "Adult Night at the Bee." These performances are peppered with sexual references and profanity inspired by R-rated ad-libs made during rehearsals. Matinée per-

formances will be familyfriendly, but evening shows are not recommended for children. The show is directed by Annie Hnatko and produced by Steve Hnatko. Kristin Hegel is choreographer and Terri Bateman is production assistant. Old Academy Players, located at 3544 Indian Queen Ln., has provided continuous community theater since 1923, and featured the acting debuts of both Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky. Tickets for this wonderful musical are $25 each. Parking for all performances is free. Purchase tickets online at www.old, or call 215-843-1109 for reservations.




4265 Kelly Drive Philadelphia, PA 19129 Tel. 215-438-8400 Fax 215-438-9630




Welcomes East Falls Now

And Wishes it Every Success The Friends are an all-volunteer organization of community members supporting and promoting the values and needs of the Falls Library while raising funds and encouraging gifts for support. The Friends welcomes new members and volunteers for events and ongoing leadership needs. Follow us on Facebook or visit

Annual Calendar: October Annual Meeting November Book Sale December Greens Sale (with Vault&Vine) February Winter Interlude and Silent Auction (every other year) May Spring Sale For more information about the Friends and the Spring Sale call the Library at 215 685 2093

East Falls NOW


May, 2018

11th Annual East Falls Arboretum Clean-up

Pam’s Viewpoint by St. Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, 194th District

Why All Elections are Important


his is my inaugural piece for East Falls NOW, and I am pleased to be in touch with constituents via the East Fall Community Council’s new vehicle. I am always in wonder as to how many citizens do not fulfill their civic responsibility to vote twice a year, every year. The 2018 Primary Election is May 15. Voter turnout, historically, is not as strong as it could be. Part of the problem is that we frame non-Presidential years as “off year” elections, and that phrase alone connotes less importance. But all elections are important -- whether for Mayor, City Council, District Attorney or judges. In May’s primary we will decide the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, the PA state House and Senate. All of these offices decide critical policy that impacts our lives. Who wouldn’t want a say in who should hold them? Pennsylvania does not make it easy to vote. Election Day is a 13-hour window on one specific day. If something happens and you do not get to the polls, you are not able to vote. We can and should do better. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person during a designated period prior to Election Day. This is referred to as “early voting.” The average starting time for early voting across all 33 states is 22 days before an election. Fully 27 states and the Dis-

trict of Columbia permit any qualified voter to vote absentee without offering an excuse. Some states offer a permanent absentee ballot list; once a voter asks to be added to the list, s/he will automatically receive an absentee ballot for all future elections. In Pennsylvania, we permit an absentee ballot only for certain reasons -- generally illness and being out of town on Election Day. In PA absentee ballots must be requested for each election and well in advance of Election Day. Three states actually vote exclusively using the U.S. Postal Service mail. I am committed to advocating for the voting changes needed that hopefully will make it easier for more citizens to engage in the electoral process. Many bills to improve and update our voting system have languished for years in the House State Government Committee. My belief is that in addition to some legislators pushing for these bills, we need a citizen’s movement to advocate for the legislature to bring these bills up for hearings and votes. Until then, please circle May 15, 2018 on your calendar and plan to vote in the Primary Election. You can, of course, complete an absentee ballot. The deadline to apply for a ballot is May 8, and it must be received by your election officials by May 11. For more information, call my office at 215-482-8726.

Arboretum clean-up volunteers Megan Keel, Chair-elect of the effort, and Alex Keating, member of the EF Community Council Board of Directors, hoist one of many loads of debris onto the City’s collection truck.

Thanks to everyone who made this a reality. It was a Vault & Vine donated the really great mix of neighbors of pachysandra again each year. all ages. The number of famiShopRite of Fox St. donated lies that were able to make it lunch for our hardy crew. The out this year was astounding. City of Philadelphia’s recycling The Arboretum Clean-up center donated mulch for us to Committee has officially spread around. Roger Marsh switched from being a part of joined me in co-chairing the event, and Megan Keel assisted the East Falls Community Council to being a part of the as Chair-Elect.

(Continued from page 8)

Celebrate Arbor Day, May 11, With EF Tree Tenders and 170 Local Students


hen Alice Reiff, an East Falls Tree Tenders (EFTT) volunteer since 1995, launched the first Arbor Day celebration in Inn Yard Park, little did she anticipate it would set a record as the longest, continuous Arbor Day event in Philadelphia. Friday, May 11, starting at 10 am, students from Thomas Mifflin, William Penn Charter and Wissahickon Charter Schools will continue the tradition as they delight one and all with their songs and poems about trees. Under Sue Park’s leadership the youngsters will enjoy a range of activities as they frolic in this green oasis and greet the new tree at this

23rd annual gathering. Special thanks go to past supporters DNB First Bank, East Falls Ridge Avenue Partners LLC, Famous 4th Street Cookies, the Philadelphia Fire, Police and Water departments, and sponsor Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and to the volunteers who make this Mother’s Day weekend so memorable. Final thanks go to Julius Sterling Morton who initiated Arbor Day on April 10, 1872 which, in 1972, became a federal holiday under President Richard Nixon to be marked the last Friday of April. EFTT delays its celebration to May to make sure warm weather prevails. Thanks to Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Plant One Million, last

Your East Falls Community Council: Bill Epstein, President Todd Baylson, Vice President and Zoning Chair

Mary Alice Duff, Vice President and Events Chair

Registration for 2018-19 Kindergarten is taking place until May 31, 2018 FOR INFORMATION: KINDERGARTEN OPEN HOUSE WEEK: May 7th-11th

CONTACT: Thomas Mifflin School 3624 Conrad Street ¥ 215-400-3830

Friends of Mifflin. The turnout of students, parents, and teachers from the Thomas Mifflin School was incredible. We are looking forward to many more years of the East Falls neighbors coming together to provide the tender loving care that this centerpiece of our neighborhood deserves.

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

Christopher Rooney, Member, Executive Committee at Large and By-Laws Chair

Barney Whittels, Immediate Past President

For meeting and membership information, visit Or email

month volunteers throughout the city planted a total of 785 trees. Under the leadership of Ray Lucci, ably assisted by Ed Ruback, on April 21st volunteers from near and far, including five students from George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science, planted 26 trees trees on local streets. In East Falls the project was possible thanks to hard work and collaboration. East Falls Presbyterian Church, where the tools are stored, was our meeting site while the Philadelphia Water Department collected the trees from the Navy Yard and delivered them to their planting sites. Led by seasoned tree planters Alex Black, Brice Dorwart, Peggy Gertz, Cynthia Kishinchand, Ray Lucci, Sue Park, Ed Ruback, Judith Ruback and Andrea Sunderland, volunteers dug holes, mulched the trees properly, following the 3-3-3 rule -- three inches away from the trunk, three inches deep, and a diameter of three feet. Back at the church, Kumar Kishinchand set out pizza and cold drinks for the volunteers. So take a stroll and greet the new leafy neighbors who remove carbon dioxide from the air, mitigate storm water runoff, and provide shade on hot, humid days. To learn about PHS’s Tree Tender Training Program and the May 9, 16, and 23 classes, visit or call program manager Mindy Maslin at (215) 9888800. To learn more about EFTT visit or email or contact Cynthia Kishinchand at or (215) 849-2474. As Lucy Riley (18241892) noted, “He who plants a tree, plants a hope.”

East Falls NOW


May, 2018

Opening Day for EF Sports Association

EFSA Continues Baseball Tradition at McDevitt


EFSA baseball players line up for a cold opening day.

ore than 100 EF youngsters showed that Saturday mornings in the spring mean baseball as they opened the 2018 East Falls Sports Association baseball season at McDevitt Rec on April 14. More than 100 youngsters, ages three to nine, continued the 40-plus year tradition, playing in three age divisions. Founded when the baseball and football associations merged, EFSA is a non-profit community organization dedicated to creating neighborhood sports opportunities for local youths. Programs include fall and spring soccer, basketball and baseball. All sports are played at McDevitt, 3501 Scotts Ln. This year more than 20 volunteer coaches will teach the physical and mental aspects of the game, according to Andrew Cronin, Baseball Commissioner, who also coaches the Roy-

als. The divisions are Teeball (ages 3-4), Rookie (ages 5-6), and Minor League (ages 7-9.) The league philosophy centers on education, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Each level focuses on skill building with age-appropriate elements of friendly competition to keep things interesting and teach lessons that extend beyond the baseball diamond, says Cronin. “EFSA is a great league because there is an emphasis on everyone having fun while learning the game,” says Cronin. “Speaking as a coach, it is extremely rewarding to watch each spring as individual players come together and learn how to rely on each other as teammates.” And what’s baseball without food? The snack shop, also staffed by volunteers, is legendary in its offerings. If you’d like to experience this 19129 tradition, teeball teams

play from 9:30 to10:30 am; rookies play from 9 to 10:30 am; and minors play from 11 am to12:30 pm on Saturdays. By the end of the season, which runs through June 16 with a tournament and annual picnic, there is obvious improvement in batting and fielding, Cronin adds. Spring soccer is a relatively new program, growing out of the popular fall season. Held twice a week on Tuesdays and Sundays, each session includes practices and games for ages five to 10. Registration for the fall league will open in August. Soccer camp, taught by the Jefferson University soccer team, will be held again this year from July 30 to Aug. 10, from 5:30 to 8 pm. For more information visit the EFSA website, or come out and watch a game on a Saturday morning.

Councilman Curtis Jones makes a new friend as he prepares to throw out the opening pitch.

EF Girls Reach State Gymnastics Championships

Albert Ross, on the Orioles in the Minor League, waits to run to second base.

East Falls natives (from left) Renée Caporellie and Anna and Lauren Arnoldi take a break from their gymnastics workout at the Kendrick Rec Center on Ridge Av. in Roxborough. Renée, Anna and Lauren reached the Pennsylvania State Championships held in April. The Kendrick Rec Center is one of the few city recreation centers to offer a full gymnastics program. It is Philadelphia’s first non-profit USAG-sanctioned gymnastics team. Interested in getting your child involved in gymnastics? Visit

East Falls Historical Society welcomes

East Falls NOW Today s News Becomes Tomorrow s History

cucina italiana

3572 Indian Queen Lane, East Falls, Pa 19129 Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30 to 2:30 Dinner: Monday-Saturday 15 to 9:30 | Sunday 4 to 9

more info at

Preserving the Past for the Benefit of Future Generations

East Falls NOW

May, 2018


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