Page 1

Vol. 1, No. 4

August 2018

Work is underway on Jefferson U.’s new building along Henry Av.

Mifflin Meetings: Aug. 9, 25


he Friends of Thomas Mifflin School have scheduled an informal summer family meet-up for all grades from 5:30 to 7 pm Thurs., Aug. 9 at McDevitt Recreation Center, 3531 Scotts Ln. All community members are welcome. Current and future Mifflin families will be in attendance to answer questions about the positive programs and great staff available at our neighborhood school. .Check Mifflin out on Facebook at Friends of the Mifflin School,


onstruction on the Kay and Harold ’51 Ronson Health and Applied Science Center has started on the East Falls campus of Thomas Jefferson University. The four-story, 60,000 square-foot building will face

East Falls. Mifflin has scheduled an open house for the parents and guardians of incoming kindergarten students from 10 am to 12 noon on Sat., Aug. 25. This will be an opportunity for questions and answers at the school. This will be followed by an by Mary Flournoy and Phil informal meet and greet for kindergarten children at McDe- Hineline vitt. All are welcome. Bring your child’s bathing suit for the ast November, when splash pool. This is a chance for East Falls Village memyour children to meet their ber Bill O’Callaghan future classmates. died suddenly at a community meeting, his wife, Allison, requested that donations in Bill’s name be given to East Falls Village. Because a numt East Falls NOW, we’re • 7 to 11 pm, the adults take ber of EFV members not trying to rush over with a Taste of East Falls, expressed interest in learning through the summer. a beer garden, music and danc- CPR, it seemed fitting that EFV use the memorial fund But you must checkout ing. for CPR training sessions and www.fallserfest.com for the More details to come in the to purchase an Automatic fun-filled day of Saturday, EFCC’s weekly emails (send a Sept. 29 under the Twin note to info@eastfallscommuni- External Defibrillator (AED) for the Falls of Schuylkill Bridges– Fallser Fest 2018: ty.org if you don’t get them) Library. • 11 am to 2 pm, family and in the September issue of The first two sessions of events. East Falls NOW. hands-only training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and an introduction to the AED will be held at the Falls Library at 3501 Midvale ed., Aug. 15, 7 pm -- Zoning Committee meeting: Av. on Wed., Aug. 15 at 6:30 developer David Grasso will present his revised plans for apartments on the former Revage Ballroom pm and on Thurs., Aug. 23 at 2 pm. The training is free, property, Kelly Dr. and Calumet St. Room 002, DEC Buildbut please register at ing, Jefferson University.

eastfallsnow.com • FREE

Henry Av. just northwest of School House Ln. on a former parking lot in front of Hayward Hall. It will connect to Hayward, and will include a gross anatomy laboratory, health technology and health information labs, and innova-

tive, collaborative learning spaces. Jefferson officials say the building is being built to at least LEED silver standards. It is expected to open in late 2019.

EF Village to offer CPR training


Big Day: Fallser Fest Sept. 29


At the EFCC: Zoning Aug. 15


Singing teacher wins award


Mifflin Rocks


Plaque honoring Bill O’Callaghan on the cabinet of the external defibrillator at the Falls of Schuylkill Library reads: Presented by the Bill O'Callaghan Memorial Fund, Administered by East Falls Village, Bill O'Callaghan 1959-2017, Forever a Fallser. At left is Mary Horne, long-time East Falls resident and friend of Allison O’Callaghan (right) and her late husband, Bill.

info@eastfallsvillage.org with your name and the date you would like to attend. The training is open to anyone 14 and older. It does not offer the CPR certification that might be required for certain jobs. These hour-long sessions

Fourth Fest returns


will include the difference between a sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack, videos and demonstrations on using CPR and an AED, plus instruction in and practice in performing CPR on mannequins. Note: if one cannot (Continued on page 5)

Author frames racism


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August 2018

East Falls NOW

August 2018 • East Falls NOW Calendar 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.

1 Wednesday

2 pm, Wonder Kit Wednesdays: Explore the Library’s Wonder Kits and their crafts, games, and activities. We’ll be displaying a different one every week. Groups, please call the children’s librarian for separate appointments (215-685-2093.)

2 Thursday

11 am, Story time and block play: Stories and songs at the Library for ages 2 to 6 accompanied by an adult; siblings always welcome, followed by playtime with wooden blocks. Imagine, build, and create! Groups, please call the children's librarian to schedule separate appointments. 3 pm, Summer Reading and Sip Party at the Library: Wrap up the Summer of Wonder with a paint and sip class, for artists 7 to 12 years old. Space is limited; contact Miss Meredith at the library to save your space.

3 Friday

1 pm, Movie Matinee Friday at the Library: a family-friendly movie on the big screen; groups, please call ahead to confirm, 215-685-2093.

6 Monday

5:45 pm, Bridge Club for the experienced at the Library: Join us on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month to play Bridge at a more advanced level. 4:15 pm, Read with a Therapy Dog: School-age kids are invited to come to the Falls of Schuylkill Library to read with Wally or Orchid, certified therapy dogs, and share a new book or an old favorite in a judgment-free space. 6:15 pm, Storytime in McMichael Park. Meet at the Turtle for a summer evening story time. Ages 2 to 6; siblings always welcome. Snacks provided by the Friends of McMichael Park. Rain date: Aug. 13.

7 Tuesday

10:15 am, Music and Movement Time at the Library: Babies and toddlers will enjoy a parent-led music and dance story time. Children will play maracas, shake pom-poms, dance and listen to music and dance-themed books. Come tire out your little ones and meet local parents. Groups and daycares should call the Library to set up their own special visits. 5 to 8 pm, EF Town Watch marks National Night Out with water ice and soft pretzels; kids get to climb on a real fire truck from 6 to 7 pm!

8 Wednesday

10 am, EF Village’s Cuppa Joe at Founded Coffee & Pizza, 3300 Henry Ave.; join this good conversation and learn about the EF Village.

9 Thursday

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

13 Monday

4:15 pm, Read with a Therapy Dog at the Library(See Aug. 6.)

16 Thursday

11 am, Storytime and Block Party at the Library (See Aug. 2) 1 pm, Join EF Town Watch and Jefferson University incoming students for a neighborhood clean-up; meet at 3540 Indian Queen Ln. 2 pm, Make a suncatcher leaf at the Library; explore the function of leaves.

20 Monday

4:15 pm, Read with a Therapy Dog at the Library(See Aug. 6)

1 pm, Movie Matinee Fridays at the Library: screening of a different familyfriendly movie on the big screen each week! Groups, please call ahead to confirm (215685-2093.)

1 pm, Bridge Club for Beginners at the Library (See Aug. 6)

14 Tuesday

10:15 am, Music and Movement Time at the Library (See Aug. 7)

10:15 am, Music and Movement Time at the Library (See Aug. 7) 12 noon, EF Village Lunch of the Month, Shan Chuan, 4211 Ridge Ave.; register at 267-444-4507.

15 Wednesday

6:30 pm, PJ story time at the Library, ages 7 and under and their caregivers; stuffed animals welcome for stories and songs. 6:30 pm, Free CPR training at the Library; register at info@eastfallsvillage.org

21 Tuesday

23 Thursday

11 am, Storytime and Block Party at the Library (See Aug. 2) 2 pm, Free CPR training at the Library; register at info@eastfallsvillage.org

27 Monday

4:15 pm, Read with a Therapy Dog at the Library (See Aug. 6)

30 Thursday

11 am, Storytime and Block Party at the Library (See Aug. 2)

And, while these dates are beyond August, they’re important to save. Details coming soon: Friday, Sept. 14 – Old Academy Players opens its 2018-19 season with A Raisin in the Sun. Visit www.oldacademyplayers.org for details. Saturday, Sept. 29 – Fallser Fest 2018: Under the Twin Bridges – See Page 1 Sunday, Oct. 28 – EFCC House Tour

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10% off orders of $15 or more when you mention this ad Take part in the EFCC’s monthly general membership meetings – 7 pm every second Monday, East Falls Presbyterian Church, Midvale and Vaux

Democratic Jewish Outreach PA (DJOP) was founded in 2008 to support President Obama’s first campaign. It has grown to be a significant asset to progressive Democratic ideals and candidates. As a Federally registered PAC we support candidates from Pennsylvania for the US Congress, Senate and the Presidency. We have run ads in support of such candidates in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Exponent and in regional newspapers. We have, as well, made contributions to numerous candidates and held fundraising events on their behalf. We send out an e- newsletter and have conducted several well-attended educational programs. We anticipate being extremely active in the months leading up to the November election. It is unquestionably the most significant in our lifetimes. The continuation of the outrageous behavior and policies of Trump and the cowardly acquiescence of the Republican Party will have profound consequences for decades to come. If nothing else, we owe our children and our grandchildren a return to sanity, compassion and decency in government. We again will run ads in the Jewish Exponent and the Philadelphia Inquirer in support of PA Federal Democratic candidates. Please go to our web page to learn more about our good work and to support us: www.djop.org and check us out on Facebook at Democratic Jewish Outreach PA.

Join an EFCC committee: Zoning, Events, Traffic, By-Laws. Contact info@eastfallscommunity.org

Do you have news for East Falls NOW? Contact editor@eastfallsnow.com If you’re not getting East Falls NOW, contact info@eastfallsnow.com

East Falls NOW


August 2018

7-Eleven/Sunoco must act to end panhandling


t didn’t take many warm days for the young men to return to panhandling at the Sunoco station at Ridge and Midvale Aves. And it didn’t take long for them to become an unwanted presence for many customers. I believe most of our neighbors don’t mind young people hustling for an honest buck. And I hope our city government can come up with programs that provide more productive and educational way for kids to stay busy in the summer. But in the meantime, it was only a matter of a few days until these kids were physically grappling with customers for the gas pumps. Just like last year, it’s become a not-so-pretty picture for the 7-Eleven company. It recently acquired more than 1,000 Sunoco stores – some of which, such as the one in East Falls, it operates under a Sunoco banner. I’m hearing from former customers who are going else-

leave or they will be arrested for trespassing if they harass customers. It will cost the company a few bucks. But 7Eleven is losing more by not addressing the issue. The company should act to control its property. A message from the EF Town Watch will continEFCC ue to advise neighbors to call 911 immediately if they see President anyone harassing customers at Sunoco. And the EFCC and TW will continue to by Bill Epstein address this issue until we resolve it. have been in regular contact On a more positive note, with company officials and here’s a great event for kids of police. The company says it’s all ages: wrestling with this problem at Everyone is invited to join many of its gas stations in the EF Town Watch for its annual city. The police are doing National Night Out from 5 to what they can, but this isn’t the crime of the century. The police can’t maintain a 24/7 presence at our Sunoco station. I have suggested to the company that they address inker, tailor, soldier, this problem by hiring offsailor; rich man, poor duty police or guards for a few man, beggar man, thief; hours a day to tell the kids to doctor, lawyer, indian chief; in addition to butcher, baker and candlestick maker. Many citizens would be surprised that all of these folks are eligible to run for office in the United States from the highest office in the land -Recreation Center, 5901 from the President to local Columbia Av. in Overbrook. school board, township comThis year we will have not missioner, city council memonly wonderful information ber or district magistrate. from city departments and The true benefit of our type non- profit agencies, but great of government is that when it entertainment as well. There comes to elected office, theowill be basketball tournaretically the playing field is ments, amateur boxing level. matches, games for the kids, There are residency requirefood trucks and headlining ments for some offices and musical acts to close out the age minimums for other night. offices. For example, to run This is a free, fun and safe for PA State Representative way to spend a summer after- you must live in the district noon. No need to RSVP. Just for one year before running show up and bring the family for election, live in Pennsylvafor a fun-filled day in the 4th nia for four years, and be at District! least 21 years of age. State Senators need to be a minimum of 25 years of age and reside in their districts for one year before running for election. To run for U. S. Senate, candidates must be at least 30 years old, be a citizen of the U. S. for at least the past where to buy gas. They just don’t want to hassle with the young people. The East Falls Community Council and EF Town Watch



Corner by Curtis J. Jones, Jr, Councilman

This year's party will be on Sat., Aug. 18 from 12 pm to 8 pm. I am inviting all Fallsers to join us for this annual celebration at Tustin

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

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EFCC will join with the East Falls Development Corporation and East Falls Forward in a two-part day: • From 11 am to 2 pm we’ll have family events, much as we have in past years with Autumn Fest; and, • From 7 to 11 pm the adults will take over, with a Taste of East Falls, a beer garden, and music. The website for Fallser Fest 2018 is under construction at www.fallsfest.com. Watch that and our weekly emails for details. If you’re not receiving them, let us know at info@eastfallscommunity.org and we’ll add you to our list.

Qualifying to run for office


Everyone’s invited: A fun day on Aug. 18 lease join me for our annual 4th District Day celebration.

8 pm Tues., Aug. 7 at the TW office next to Old Academy Playhouse, 3540 Indian Queen Ln. What young kid doesn’t want to climb on a real fire engine, from 6 to 7 pm, courtesy of our local EF fire fighters? And what big kid doesn’t want to enjoy water ice and soft pretzels, courtesy of TW? Stop by as we meet our neighbors, elected officials, police and fire fighters for an event that’s always a lot of fun. And talking about fun, mark your calendars for Sat., Sept. 29 as we prepare for the all-day Fallser Fest 2018. It will take place on the parking lot under the Twin Bridges.

nine years and live in the state they seek to represent at the time of their election. For U.S. Congress, candidates must be at least 25 years of age, be a citizen of the U.S. for at least seven years, and a

Pam’s Viewpoint by St. Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio

resident of the state that sends them to Congress. Please note that they do not need to live in the congressional district that they represent. The states can set additional requirements for election to Congress, but the Constitution gives each state house the power to determine the qualifications of its members. Pennsylvania sets no additional requirements. To become President, a candidate must be a natural born citizen, must be at least 35 years of age, and must have been a resident in the U.S. for at least 14 years. There are no educational

requirements for any of these elected offices. It is incumbent upon the voters to do their homework to determine the credentials, experience and qualifications of the candidates running for office and decide which of that information they deem valuable. It is also incumbent upon the voters to know what the responsibilities are of any particular elected office. When I first ran for PA State Representative in 2010 I was asked a variety of questions about the position. This included: Is this a volunteer position? will I have to move to Washington and is the position full time or part time? We must educate our citizenry about how government works at all levels. In this way we can ensure that this wonderful experiment that has been going on for 242 years will continue for at least that many years more. And one last “fun” fact that should leave us all wondering about the future: There are no official qualifications or requirements for becoming a U. S. Supreme Court Justice.

EF Singing teacher Marvin Keenze wins national award


ast Fall’s Marvin Keenze, Professor Emeritus of Voice and Pedagogy at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) in recognition of his years of activities on behalf of the organization. Since 1990 Keenze has been International Coordinator for NATS and Chair of the International Congress of Voice Teachers. He has encouraged the formation of member associations and continuing educational opportunities for singing teachers, singers, choral conductors and voice specialists. As a singer, choral conductor, teacher, pianist and adjudicator, he has visited 54 countries.

Marvin Keenze

At Westminster, where he taught for 35 years, Keenze founded and directed the Voice Resource Center and Laboratory, leading to his receiving the Voice Foundation/NATS Van Lawrence Award for voice pedagogy and research. He also has taught at the University of Delaware, Swarthmore College, and for

Boston University’s Young Artists Program at Tanglewood. He belongs to the American Academy of Teachers of Singing and holds honorary memberships in the NY Singing Teachers Association, the Choral Conductors Association of Croatia, and other associations, including ones in Brazil, Australia, Iceland, Slovenia and France. Keenze has judged voice competitions for opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Australian Opera and companies in Canada, Slovenia and New Zealand. He maintains a private voice studio in Philadelphia and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of NATS.


August 2018

East Falls NOW

The rocks of Mifflin School’s Arboretum by Ellen Sheehan Co-President, EF Historical Society


n June I received the following email: “I am a resident of EF and recently became motivated to clear the rock wall in the rock garden on Midvale Av. so that people can see it. To me, it is one of the most amazing works around. EF is lucky to have it. I am hoping to find out more about it. Where did the stones come from? Why were they brought to EF? Who paid to bring them there?�

We know that the Arboretum was a Public Works Administration project completed in 1939 on the Mifflin School property. The East Falls Community Council has long been involved in volunteer efforts to remove overgrowth on Spring Clean-Up Day each year, led by Alice Ballard, Roger Marsh and Chris Caporellie. The EFHS has an oral history in our archives (viewable on our web site) of Ruth Emmert of Queen Ln., describing how her son Gar, a student, led her on a tour of the garden. She relates it as a magical

Rocks uncovered at the Arboretum on the campus of the Thomas Mifflin School.

experience with its beautiful plants, steps and boulders. I recalled a correspondence years ago with a woman about a letter from her uncle to her father. The letter said the rocks on her grandparents’ farm at the present site of the W.B. Saul High School were to be sold to accommodate a rock garden at the Mifflin School. Looking through our reference file, I found an entry dated August 2006 from a Mrs. Kathy Molloy, then living in NJ. She now lives in California, and I was able to contact her. Mrs. Molloy writes, “I hadn’t thought about the Mifflin School and the rocks for

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some time. My father, Tom, who died in 1950, was brought up on the Domino Ln. farm in Roxborough, along with his many siblings.� Mrs. Molloy sent along a copy of the letter dated September 20, 1938, indicating 250 boulders were sold to the School District of Philadelphia for $100. “Tom, as executor of the estate, Included in the letter a chronicle of my family’s early life on the farm, taken from Uncle Frank’s memoirs,� Mrs. Molloy wrote. According to the memoirs, the family (by the name of Byrns) owned a dairy farm purchased by her grandfather. They sold milk

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to residents of Falls of Schuylkill, making the trek by horse and wagon. Milk was transferred by ladle into customers’ pint and quart containers. After 1905, the Board of Health demanded sanitary conditions and oversight. This put many dairy farmers out of business, but her family decided to modernize and began the sterilization of bottles, enabling the business to continue. Joe Terry, long-time EFHS board member and Reference Committee member, researched the following information about W.B. Saul. “Walter Biddle Saul was a partner in the law firm of Saul, Remick and Saul, long time president of the Philadelphia Board of Education, and a staunch supporter of the Philadelphia School of Agriculture. In 1966, the Board of Education changed the name of the school in his honor.� Saul, who died later in 1966, remains the only living person to have a Philadelphia public high school named after him. Volunteers are welcome to join the effort to restore the Arboretum from 10 to noon on Sunday mornings at the site on the 3600 block of Midvale Av., opposite the Rite Aid. If you have information or for more information, text Alice Ballard at 215-840-0536 or call me at 267-539-5620. Visit our website at www.eastfallshistoricalsociety.com

East Falls NOW

August 2018


Large crowd enjoys ‘Complete History’

Another large crowd joined the Friends of McMichael Park’s night of summer theatre as the Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company presented The Complete History of America — Updated and Abridged. Cast member (from left) Robert Cutler, Carlo Campbell and Maggie O’Connor presented the comedy

East Falls Village to offer CPR training (Continued from page 1)

get on the floor for the CPR practice, the dummy can be placed on a table. The sessions will be presented by the University of Pennsylvania Medicine’s Mobile CPR Project. Learning this hands-only CPR could help keep you and your family safe. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly and without warning. Each year, more than 1,000 people suffer cardiac arrest in the Philadelphia area. More than 80 percent of people who suffer CA do not survive. Most people do not know how to perform CPR. The Mobile CPR Project seeks to reverse these statistics by providing CPR training throughout the region. “Perrier talks about life after death” was the title of a recent Inquirer article in which Georges Perrier, famed Philadelphia restaurateur and chef, credits a neighbor with saving his life. He had collapsed outside his apartment building on March 5. A neighbor who is a doctor found him unresponsive, with no pulse. She administered CPR and his heart started beating again as the medics arrived. East Falls Village will be scheduling additional CPR training sessions. Look for announcements here in East Falls NOW and on the EFCC Community Calendar.


August 2018

East Falls NOW

July 4th tradition returns A

lapsed East Falls tradition made a successful return to McMichael Park on July 4th as neighbors decorated themselves and their kids, bikes, wagons, strollers and dogs in the colors of the day, parading around the park to mark the holiday. Organized by the Friends of McMichael Park and chaired by Friends members Christina Kistler and Carla Lewandowski, nearly 100

Paraders step off for the July 4th festivities in McMichael Park.

red, white and blue-clad Fallsers took to the sidewalks to celebrate. Some marched 40 years ago, remembering the parades of cars, bands and drumbangers who every year would wind through the neighborhood on July 4th in years past. Some were much younger, attending their very first parade. All appreciated the role in history that McMichael Park played. Especially after it was explained that this is where the Marquis

de LaFayette, newly arrived from France to the colonies, met his troops who camped here in September of 1777. Judges Barbara Berman of Little White Dog, Dr. Caroline Patten of Liberty Vets and Jeannine Days from SplashLab Arts served as judges for the parade. Winners for the most patriotic outfits were Olivia Lewandowski and Beth Gross-Eskin and her grandson, Eli.

Connie Akuamoah and mom prepare to ride in the parade.



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

East Falls NOW

August 2018


to McMichael Park

Patrick Burke was red, white and blue from head to toes to wheels of his hot rod.

USA, all the way: Most patriotic dressed winner was Olivia Lewandowski.


August 2018

East Falls NOW

Town Watch tips for a safe summer by Marie Filipponi


EFDC lot to get new signage


he parking lot under the Twin Bridges between Kelly Dr. and Ridge Av. operated by the East Falls Development Corporation is about to get new signage.

Kathleen Hogan, EFDC Executive Director, said the new signs will replace current postings that have been damaged by weather.

ummertime and “the livin’ is easy.” But please don’t make it easy for vandals to wreak havoc on your home or property, especially with many neighbors planning vacations away from home. Some tips to keep your home safe: • Make sure all windows and doors are locked; • Suspend mail and newspaper deliveries; • Make use of outdoor security lights; • Consider installing a home security system; • Don’t leave spare keys hidden outdoors; • If gone for an extended period of time, arrange to have your lawn mowed; • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check your home periodically (they also could hold your mail and newspapers); • Use timers in the house set at different times in different rooms to give the appearance of your being home; and, • Don’t advertise your absence from home on social media. Post your pictures when you return. We at EF Town Watch want all our neighbors to have a pleasant and safe vacation. Please join us as we celebrate National Night Out on Aug. 7 from 5 to 8pm at our headquarters, 3540 Indian Queen Ln. It’s a great time to meet neighbors, enjoy some water ice, and have the kids hop aboard a real fire engine. Our East Falls fire fighters plan on having their engine

EF Town Watch board members Mary Jean Cunningham and Marie Filipponi turn in more than 500 bandit signs removed by EFTW volunteers as part of the City of Philadelphia’s pilot program to rid neighborhoods of the blight created by illegal signs.

parked at TW headquarters from 6 to 7pm. If anyone finds themselves in the possession of unwanted tires, the Philadelphia Streets Department’s Sanitation Division will hold its annual Tire Round Up. If you call our office at 215-848-2033 we can arrange for pick up. The Round Up runs for six Saturdays this summer and ends on August 25. Jefferson University will again partner with EF Town Watch in its annual PLUNGE

event at 1 pm Aug. 17. Incoming students will join various Philadelphia community organizations for a few hours of service with the goal of becoming civically engaged and to familiarize themselves with the city. Join us at EF Town Watch headquarters. Town Watch meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm at our office at 3540 Indian Queen Lane (the Carfax Building.) All are welcome to attend.

Examining toxic mix of racism and class by John Gillespie




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s if America isn’t sufficiently polarized, a young East Falls writer, David Jackson Ambrose, has jumped into the fray with a provocative take on race and class in his first novel, State of the Nation. The Temple and University of Pennsylvania-educated Ambrose, 29, examines whether race or class is the greater cause of our divisions. He chooses class, or, more broadly, the gap between rich and poor, saying that white animosity towards blacks is manifest in envy and resentment of black success. The reigning symbol of black success is Barak Obama, whom Ambrose calls the “reason for Trump.” “Obama was a dream that all white Americans dreamed of for themselves,” he said in an interview with EF NOW. “However, once he stood in office, looking so beautiful with his beautiful wife and children, it brought selfhatred as racism has always done.“ State of the Nation follows the day–to-day experiences of three black teenagers. They struggle with acceptance and identity in an alien society. Like film noire, their story is

East Falls writer David Jackson's bold new book, State of the Nation, takes on race and class distinctions in America. A signing event is planned for September 28.

filled with fatalism and a certain menace. The three youths fight their way through a world conditioned by the Tuskegee syphilis experiments of the 1940s and the AIDS crisis, which the author hints may have been a “creation of science ….or a virus that is eradicating undesirable segments of the population.” Conspiracy theories weave their way through the book. So does the inevitability of class and economic injustice.

‘It’s in our genes,” says the author. “It’s the legacy of capitalism. Racism had to exist in order to justify slavery, which had to exist in order to create what has become the most powerful, most wealthy country ever. America was built on the backs of slave labor.” Ambrose describes himself as an optimist, but he has a decidedly pessimistic view of America’s ability to overcome racism and poverty. ”The gentrified and wealthy classes see that they can continue to keep their wealth by fomenting opposition and rivalry in the working classes,” he says. “Poor and working class white Americans are as much victims of the system as African Americans.” Ambrose grew up in Montgomery County and studied at Temple, Penn and St. Joe’s. He moved to Dobson Mills on Ridge Avenue 10 months ago. He works in behavioral health and is working on a second novel, a western. State of the Nation is published under private label and available in book stores. Barnes and Noble, 36th and Walnut Sts. on the Penn campus will host a book signing with the author on Sept. 28, 2018. Details to come in the Sept. EF NOW calendar.

East Falls NOW


August 2018

Where did all the fireflies go? by Navin Sasikumar


any of us fondly remember the summer evenings of our youth spent chasing fireflies and watching their magical lighting display. Sadly, we are seeing fewer and fewer of these wondrous creatures, and future generations might have only our tales to live by. So what’s happening to “lightning bugs,” and can we save them? What’s a Firefly? Firefly, or lightning bug, is the common name we use to refer to a family of beetles. Most use bioluminescence to attract mates. More than 2,000 species of fireflies exist worldwide, with about 200 found in North America. Fireflies, as do all beetles, have a four-stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The adult fireflies we see glowing or flashing during twilight and after dark are using their light to attract a mate. Once mated, the female will lay her eggs in or near the soil, usually preferring moist soils and often under mulch and leaf litter. After about three weeks, the larva emerges. This stage lasts through the winter, sometimes up to two years. The larva feeds on slugs, snails, insects and other creatures in the soil. Many species will pupate in the soil for another three weeks or so before emerging as an adult

in the summer to continue the decline of fireflies, just as we saved the Bald Eagle and cycle. Ospreys from almost certain extinction. Here are a few So why are they disapsteps to follow: pearing? 1. Reduce light pollution. A few reasons for their Cut down on unnecessary light decline come to mind. First, in our yards and switch to light pollution. With the amount of night light humans motion-activated lights. 2. Reduce the amount of emit -- street lights, porch pavement and lawn if possible lights, string lights and flood and leave leaf litter on the lights on our streets and ground through the winter, at yards -- the mating cycle of least until the fireflies start emerging. 3. Don’t use pesticides, especially those targeting beetles and their primary food source - snails and slugs. Hopefully with these steps, we will see the return of fireflies to our yards and parks. The firefly is the state insect by Navin Sasikumar of Pennsylvania.

Navin on Nature

the fireflies gets interrupted. If they can’t find a mate, they cannot lay the eggs to produce the next generation of these fascinating beetles. Next is the loss of habitat for the larva and eggs. Lack of natural soil and vegetation due to increased construction drastically reduces breeding areas. Even with what’s left, our insistence on clean yards and lawns results in the destruction of the eggs and the leaf litter that the larva need to survive. The pesticides we use, especially those targeting other beetles, also kills them and their food sources. What can we do to help? I’m optimistic that we can reverse the trend in the

What else is around now? Butterfly season is in full swing. Monarchs should be laying eggs on your milkweed. Swallowtails and skippers are nectaring on the coneflowers and Joe-pye weeds. The bergamots will have a whole host of bees visiting. Many birds are still raising their young, perhaps even their third broods. Towards the end of the month, some of the earliest migrant songbirds will start arriving before they peak in September with the return of cooler temperatures. As always, if you see anything interesting in your garden or on you walks around East Falls, or if you have any questions, feel free to email me at navinsasikumar@gmail.com.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Common Eastern Firefly

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


August 2018

East Falls NOW

Old Academy Players presents its 2018-19 season


ast Falls’ historic Old Academy Players, where Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky made their stage debuts, will celebrate its 96th season with a mix of inspiring and thought-provoking dramas and comedies. The season opens with the American classic A Raisin in the Sun, from Sept. 14 to 30. Directed by Carla Childs, the play is set in 1950’s Chicago’s South Side. It revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of a poor, black family striving to maintain dignity, love and trust in a harsh and changing world. Written by Lorraine Hansberry, who received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, it is one of the most important and inspiring works in American drama. Next, from Nov. 2 to 18, will be the dramatic comedy Eurydice. The play is a meditation on love and grief, told with American playwright Sarah Ruhl’s distinctive quirkiness and heart. Directed by Jane Jennings, the play runs from Nov. 2 – 18. The OAP season continues with the comedy Calendar Girls, directed by Loretta Lucy Miller, Jan. 11 to 27, 2019. The play is by British

playwright and screen writer Tim Firth, based on a true story of eleven Yorkshire women who posed nude and produced a calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research under the auspices of the Women's Institutes. The play has become the fastest selling show in British history. Rob Rosiello will direct Lips Together, Teeth Apart, March 8 to 24. This award-winning 1991 drama by by American playwright Terrence McNally focuses on two couples who retreat to Fire Island for an explosive July 4th weekend, fueled by unspoken fears, festering resentments and forbidden longings. The regular season will conclude with Ordinary Days, an off-Broadway musical by Adam Gwon, from April 26 to May12; and Ripcord, a comedy by American playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, June 14 to 30. For two weekends in July 2019 Old Academy will present its special one-act festival -- the annual Summer On e-Act Bonanza. It will feature comedy, new works, new directors and plenty of laughs! This production is not included in the regular season ticket package. Subscribe to Old Academy

Old Academy Players at 3544 Indian Queen Lane premieres its 96th season September 14 with A Raisin in the Sun, the first of six plays throughout the season.

Players’ Season and see six great shows for one low price of $85 – a savings of $40! Individual ticket prices are $20 for plays and $25 for musicals.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Old Academy welcomes groups, with discounts for 15 or more in your party. Parking for all perfor-

mances is free. For information and tickets, call 215-8431109 or visit the theatre’s website to reserve your tickets on line at www.oldacademyplayers.org.

Kitchen Corner

Raise a glass to root beer – born in Philly! by Anne Farnese


n August 19th, root beer fans should raise a glass to celebrate the birth of Charles Hires, the Philadelphia pharmacist who tweaked sassafras root with a variety of other roots, bark and herbs into a new extract. In 1893, Hires realized that bottling a beverage made from the extract was a better idea, and soon

Hires Root Beer enjoyed nationwide distribution. Marketed as a health drink and an alternative to alcohol during the Temperance Movement, the sweet, frothy concoction was hugely successful. Some 125 years later, the recipe for root beer still is tweaked in a variety of ways by artisanal manufacturers. These small companies use cane sugar and/or honey as sweeteners to their craft root beer, which aligns with the current

health movement that opposes the use of high fructose corn syrup. Drink it, or try this recipe. Kitchen Corner recommends using a craft root beer such as Philadelphia’s Hank’s Gourmet Root Beer. Root Beer Baked Beans: •2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces • 1 cup chopped Vidalia onion • 1 cup root beer • 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar • 2 tbs. tomato paste • 1 tbs. brown mustard • ¼ cup dark brown sugar (packed) • ½ teaspoon salt • Heat oven to 400º. • Cook bacon over medium heat in a large skillet until it begins to crisp. • Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel and set aside. • Add onions to bacon drippings and cook until soft and translucent. • Add beans, root beer, vinegar, tomato paste, mustard and combine these with a rubber spatula. • Stir in salt and brown sugar. Add bacon and bring to a boil. • Transfer mixture to a one-quart casserole dish. • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until liquid thickens.

East Falls NOW


August 2018

EFSA: Soccer, soccer and soccer!


Kelly Drive closings

efore setting out for Center City, check the East Falls NOW list of scheduled closures for Kelly Dr. Full closure means that the entire length of the Drive -- Eakins Oval to Lincoln Dr. -- is closed. Partial and Partial Lower closure means that only a section of the Drive is closed – usually from Fountain Green Dr. to Strawberry Mansion Dr.

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, www.philadelphiastreets.gov/events

September 15: 3rd District Highway Yard, 22nd Street & York St. October 20: Streets Department Facility 3033 S 63rd St. November 3: Streets Department Northeast Facility, 3901 Delaware Av.


Anna Arnoldi took the field in EFSA action. This year's EFSA's soccer season begins September 8th at McDevitt Rec on Scotts Lane.


he East Fall Sports Association continues its partnership with Jefferson University’s Men’s Soccer team by hosting soccer clinics at McDevitt Recreation for two weeks again this summer, the weeks of July 30 and Aug. 6. Registration is open for children ages 4 to 14. If interested, stop by McDevitt at 5:30 pm either Mon-

day. The fall recreational soccer season begins on Sept. 8 at McDevitt. Registration will open on the website in August for children ages 3 to 10. All age divisions play on Saturday mornings at McDevitt. Community members and/or parents interested in volunteering to coach soccer should contact Jen Arnoldi at

jmartell@att.net; an information meeting and coaching clinic will be held at the start of the season. EFSA also is excited to unveil its improved website, still found at: www.efsasports.com. Please excuse any technical glitches during our transition.

-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

Co-ed Soccer in East Falls for boys and girls ages 3-10

Practices and games on Saturday mornings at McDevitt Recreation Center September 8th thru November 17th. Schedule, registration and more information at: www.efsasports.com

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



August 2018

East Falls NOW

Profile for The Chestnut Hill Local

East Falls Now 8 2018  

East Falls Now 8 2018