Solaris, TLA and what’s next?

Why would any retail/restau rant/service establishment choose to leave our beautiful “countrie townie?”

“Exorbitant rent, high utilities,” he [John Anderson of Solaris] said. “The sales just couldn’t sustain the overhead.”

In truth, it could have been high prices, the uneven quality of food [per posted patron opinions] or the owner’s admitted loss of key personnel, but let’s take the chef/owner’s own statement that the “exorbitant rent” in the end, was too much.

I’ll leave it to you to look up the owner of the Solaris property on the BRT website. In fact, I suggest all residents of 19118 look up the identities of those that own newly vacated properties. Note also that stores vacate after 5, 10 or 15 years; is it coincidental that coincides with typical lease terms?

So, whose fault is it? Do landlords charge too much rent or are the operators inept? Should we expect stores to vacate after they have fulfilled their obligations? Hint: Borders, Banana Republic, Laura Ashley and yes, WAWA followed that model. And when they vacated, none of their landlords had a backup plan, except maybe for a bank.

Thank your deity that some of the longlasting stores are operator owned. Maybe that’s the only way that a mom and pop store can survive here. If so, that bodes badly for the growth of new businesses in Chestnut Hill, as few new business plans begin with “we buy a building.”

Shopping malls have the luxury of subsidizing rents to some while charging others more. There, Solaris could be recognized as a destination – a store that helps those around it – and a necessity for all. Here there is no such synergy. It’s each landowner for him (or her) self, with no regard for others or a coherent vision. The store/restaurant operators suffer and so do the residents, while the owners remain clueless.

Ed Budnick
Chestnut Hill

Keep dogs on leash in the Wissahickon

The Wissahickon is a major attraction in Philadelphia, drawing users from a wide area that includes not only Philadelphia but also suburban communities, New Jersey, Delaware and even more distant states.

All of us who use the Wissahickon are important stewards of this priceless resource. The thoughtful cooperation of hikers, bikers, horseback riders, fishermen and dog owners is essential not only for protecting the park, but each other and our pets.

For dog owners, it is important to use leashes and carry out dog waste to protect the Wissahickon, the public and their pets. The city leash law applies to the entire park, and this includes Forbidden Drive, the Andorra Natural Area, Carpenter’s Woods and all hiking and biking trails. Dog owners may be fined or held responsible for damage or injury caused by their dogs.

Free-roaming dogs that are off-leash are exposed to the deer tick that carries Lyme disease. Lyme disease causes premature arthritis and other symptoms of premature aging in dogs. Free- roaming dogs eat almost everything, including the feces of other animals. Dogs that startle horses may be kicked and injured, but with a leash, an owner can remove their pet from a dangerous situation. In addition, bikers may not be able to avoid hitting a free-roaming dog that runs across their path, and a freely-running dog may be aggressive toward other dogs.

Sarah West
Trail Ambassador
Friends of Wissahickon

Remembering Suzanne Latham

I wanted to publicly thank Local Life Editor Len Lear for the prominent placement of Suzanne Latham’s life and death story on the front page of the Local Life section last week. It was amazing to me how many individuals came forward with their own stories about Suzanne.

We were to have a Celebration of Life service at the Spring Mill Café in Conshohocken this past weekend. However, when the numbers dramatically increased, we turned first to Marlene of the M Bar Lounge in West Conshohocken, who offered her private room at no charge.

In exploring our options further, we decided it would be best to hold the event at the adjoining Theresa’s BYOB. Theresa Vendetti Jonas, and her business partner Bedrose Kayserlian, opened their restaurant (and their hearts) on a Sunday morning and served a spectacular buffet. They asked for no deposit or signed contract. How refreshing.

We then walked through a corridor to the M Bar to watch a DVD of Suzanne’s childhood that she had put together for family for Christmas. It was a lovely legacy to leave, complete with her soft, sultry voice and fabulous laugh.

Suzanne’s sudden death caused me to do a few things. The first, and the hardest thing I’ve ever written, was to put my obituary in writing.

Then I made arrangements in my will for the location of my memorial service (Morris Arboretum) along with plans for a fabulous meal following the service. I have also made it clear that money for both, along with any travel expenses family and friends might incur, come from my estate.

Finally, I have put together a detailed list of family members and friends who are to go through my personal effects and select something to remember me by.

Again, my thanks go out to the Local for bringing Suzanne’s passion for life to the attention of your readers. I think she would have enjoyed the publicity and her party.

Barbara L. Sherf
Flourtown, PA

May justice be swift

No, this was not a “C.S.I.” or “Law and Order” TV show. In those TV shows the ones who appear in them know the script before hand, from beginning to end.

No … this was real life. They knew what, but nothing more. Only through the help of modern science and diligent police work were the crimes solved.

Thank you, all of you, for a great job, for the apprehension of the serial killer known as the “Kensington strangler.”

And now … may his justice be swift and his justice be one that is befitting his cruel crimes.

Tom Woodruff