Koey Rivinus’ life was extraordinary

Congrats to Len Lear on his story on what would have been the 100th birthday of the late Koey Rivinus (“Legendary Hill historian would have been 100 this year,” Sept. 10).

Koey led an extraordinary life and devoted much of it to preserving the Wissahickon Park. He was tireless and passionate. My favorite memory was Koey carrying around his pail of magic cleanser that he used to scrub off graffiti from walls and bridges.

Today the Wissahickon is enjoyed by millions of people – and it remains our community’s most precious asset. Len reminded us that it was Koey who decades ago saw its beauty and did so much to preserve it.

It’s actually hard to find reverential local journalism like this in print. Hit with declining print ad revenue and resources, many newspapers have cut back drastically their local coverage or resorted to filling space with bland press release material. Not the Local.

I think my all-time favorite example of how good the Local is was Jeremy Jones’s fascinating history last spring of the giant 122-year-old Ailanthus tree living adjacent to the Community Center. We pass by it every day, but who would have known it had such a tale to tell? Not many newspapers would bother with such a story, but the Local’s dedicated, talented staff does, and we should all be grateful they do.

Art Howe


Tony D’Lauro was ‘the nicest client’

Thanks for your fascinating article on Tony D’Lauro (“Remembering Hill’s corporate exec-turned restaurateur,” Sept. 17). I worked with him just about every day when he was with Rollins in the 1970s. (Gray & Rogers had Rollins as an account, and I was part of the satellite office they established in the Rollins Building.)

Tony was one of the nicest corporate/client types I ever dealt with – and I dealt with a boatload. In all that time (three years) – I never learned that Tony lived in Chestnut Hill and did the same grim commute every day that I did. I think I knew about DiNardo’s (seafood restaurant, which Tony owned) at some point, but I’m old enough now to have forgotten more stuff than I ever learned. Anyhow, thanks for the memories.

Dick Lee


Phila. U. paving over paradise?

A growing coalition of formal opposition is forming in response to the Philadelphia University garage development plan to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot” in the watershed. Discussions on how to proceed have been ongoing for several years between the university, community and local civic leaders and elected officials.

Local civic leaders, (stakeholders and taxpayers), were pleased and relieved today after learning new information from a formal evaluation of the park topography in question, with hydrology expert, Dr. Timothy Bechtel, Ph.D., P.G., of Enviroscan Inc.

According to the report, preliminary conclusions can be drawn that the Wissahickon will remain safe because of the watershed protection regulations in the Wissahickon Watershed Ordinance. The purpose of the Wissahickon Watershed Ordinance is that “the jewel of the Philadelphia public park system,” the Wissahickon Valley Park, remain undisturbed. Comparisons of map overlays indicate that the proposed site for a transportation center lies within the Wissahickon Watershed Overlay District.

Paragraph 5 of the Wissahickon Watershed Ordinance states: “There shall be no new impervious ground cover constructed or erected within 200 feet of the bank of a surface water body or within 50 feet of the center line of a swale within the WWO overlay.”

The stakeholders, civic leaders, environmental advocacy groups and city taxpayers agree that Philadelphia University, an institution which prides itself in teaching sustainability and has received a national award for such in 2013, must consider sustainable design planning of its campus in any further revisions.

Kris Soffa and Patty Cheek

East Falls

Welsh was right: ‘too much power’

I take issue with Sam Gugino’s letter this week (Sept. 17), which was highly critical of Greg Welsh’s article (“Chestnut Hill restaurateur strikes back at reviewers,” Sept. 10). As a former restaurant critic, it seems that Gugino is quite thin-skinned. Some newspaper critics are good at dishing it out but apparently cannot take it.

Yes, as Welsh conceded, Craig LaBan of the Inquirer is a brilliant writer, and some people I know who are “foodies” regard his words as coming from Mount Sinai, and they would never go to a restaurant that gets a bad review from LaBan.

But as Greg Welsh rightly said, LaBan’s views are opinions, not facts, and those opinions are not necessarily any more valid than the opinions of any other diner like me or you. When it comes to movies or TV shows or books or music, we all have opinions, and we all like certain things and dislike certain things.

That is as it should be, but when one person has the power to hurt people’s businesses, or even put them out of business because of his opinions – not facts – that is way too much power for one newspaper reporter who is not a trained chef and has never owned or run a restaurant himself.

One bad review of a movie or TV show is not going to kill that movie or TV show, but one bad review from LaBan can – and has – caused businesses to close and employees to lose their jobs and families to lose their means of support, not because they were serving bad food but because one person decided to trash them in print. That is way too much power for one reporter, and Welsh was right to point it out.

Casey Fraley


Thanks to Chestnut Hill

Thank you to Chestnut Hill for my recognition at Fashion and Food at the Fareway last Friday night for my seamstress work. I have the best customers in the world.

Maria Chiodo

Chestnut Hill

Hardly the ones to lecture others

Secretary of State John Kerry recently went to Cuba to reopen the U. S. Embassy there and said, “The time has come for us to move forward in a more promising direction.”

That’s good. But then he lectured the Cubans on human rights and elections. Really?

We bomb and invade countless countries around the world whenever it suits us – Libya, Iraq. We fly our killer drones anywhere in the world killing thousands of innocents, and chalking it up to “collateral damage.” We support (in military aid) three of the most oppressive regimes in the world: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the latest member of the club, Egypt, because as the hypocrite Kerry says, “It’s in our national interests to do so.”

Have you ever noticed when the government has nothing better to say, it’s always in our “national Interests.” Well, it’s not in mine, Mr. President.

What he – read Obama – doesn’t say is that it’s not in our national interests to lecture anyone, anywhere, about human rights, and particularly the Cubans, when we occupy the sovereign territory of Cuba (Guantanamo]) and harbor one of the most heinous terrorists in the world, Luis Posado, down in Miami, for his responsibility in blowing up a Cuban airliner, killing 73 Cubans.

Because of the hypocrisy of the United States, people around the world have their own views of our country, and it doesn’t always coincide with “Land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Lawrence H. Geller


  • cara lopez

    Ah, “soverign”.
    You can always tell a leftist diatribe by the inclusion of the word “soverign”.
    In this case, it’s an EXTREME leftist diatribe, but the test still works.

    Larry, “soverign” doesn’t mean “sacred” (like you’d think anything is ever “sacred” – ha, ha, ha), and attacking one’s enemies offshore is a tried & true tactic.

    You really seem to be unhappy with the United States (past, present, and future); have you thought about moving to a better country?

    Maybe a kickstarter or gunfundme campaign to find you a more suitable home is called for.
    You get the ball rolling, and I’ll be good for ten bucks!