Hill residents are Green Woods parents, too

As parents of Green Woods Charter School and as Chestnut Hill residents and community members, we hope that the Chestnut Hill community will support and welcome Green Woods Charter School to Greylock Manor.

We value this neighborhood, and since Green Woods enjoys a nationwide reputation as a cutting-edge school focused on the environment and sustainable communities, we cannot help but think that this school will fit in very nicely in our own special corner of the world.

We would like to take this opportunity to reach out to our Chestnut Hill neighbors. We want to share with this great community what we know and have experienced as members of the Green Woods school community. Founded nine years ago, Green Woods has as part of its mission that its students will use their special talents and knowledge to constantly improve themselves, their learning, their school, and the environment.

The school has enjoyed many years at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. There, the trails and beautiful natural setting have served as the classroom where our children have learned what it really means to be stewards of the earth.

We view Green Woods not as being intrusive but rather as complementing Chestnut Hill’s national reputation as one of America’s best urban neighborhoods. Excellent public education is of paramount concern in a community such as ours that values education and requires public options.

Green Woods embraces its educational mission and consistently exceeds academic standards. This academic strength combined with the environmental focus makes Green Woods stand out from other schools.

The children are encouraged to respect our natural world, which includes bringing no-waste lunches, composting, and recycling, ideas that have carried over into our own homes and families.

The teachers are innovative and enthusiastic, and we have watched our children learn and grow in ways that have far exceeded our expectations.

Green Woods would be an excellent addition to our community’s high-quality educational institutions. As we have watched far too many local businesses close and witnessed so many gaps along the Avenue, we feel that Green Woods could only be a vibrant addition to this community.

Meg Flores
Karen and Peter Aves
Amy Norwitz and Ben Swartz
Martin and Carrie Lohrmann
Ben and Tracy Phillips
Ken Flaxman and Samantha Erickson
Craig and Kristine Hosay
Sarah James

Where are the sacrifices by elected officials?

Since “budget cuts” is the new Washington buzzword, I sent a letter, shown below, to eight of our very visible lawmakers. As yet no answer. Here is what I wrote:

$61 billion in budget cuts — and not one dollar affecting any elected official!! I am listing below what I feel would be helpful budget cuts in trying to reduce the deficit.

1. Reduce Congressional pay by 50%. After all, they are only in session 50% of the time.

2. Eliminate automatic pay raises. Let it be handled by collective bargaining.

3. Eliminate government pension plans since you want government out of our lives!

4. Eliminate government involvement in your health care plan since you want government out of our lives!

5. Institute 12-year term limits so that public service becomes public service as originally intended by our founding fathers. There should be no such thing as a permanent political career.

Where was the Tea Party when a covert operative got outed? When the Patriot Act got passed? When we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us?

When the government was illegally wiretapping Americans? When we all found out we were torturing people? When Bush borrowed more money from foreign countries than the previous 42 presidents combined? When in the past years we have spent over $800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war?

When we gave people who already had more money than they could spend over a trillion dollars in tax breaks? When a lack of oversight and regulation during the Bush Administration caused U.S, citizens to lose $12 trillion in investments?

But the Tea Party got its act together when a black man was elected president, and he decided that people in America deserved to see a doctor if they are sick.

Bill Platt

MALT thanks its neighbors!

I could have written 75 or more letters for all the remarkable things that have been donated to the Mt Airy Learning Tree for our auction on March 19. So many amazing gifts from a stunning apartment near Lincoln Center in Manhattan, to sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, to beautiful designer pillows from Doug at Host! Each donation is precious in its own right.

But I am writing about one gift in particular. The Lone Star with Flying Geese quilt was built for us with love by Sarah Bond at Fabrics on the Hill. Go see for yourself this breathtaking piece of art in the Bowman Properties window next to Starbucks, as well as a few of our other unique auction items!

When I think of the hours and hours spent creating this work of art, and that Sarah is not only willing but thrilled to be giving it to MALT… it makes me cry happy tears. What a gift. Sarah has been teaching quilting for MALT since 2001 and has had 263 students! She shares her talent and her passion with many of you and we all benefit from her generous and loving spirit!

And she is not alone! Just in this story you can see that Katherine and Paul at Fabrics on the Hill have supported her mission in the last few years with a great space to hold our MALT quilting classes. Many others have supported our 30 years of community building by sharing of interests, skills and passions through educational endeavors.

Come help us celebrate Sarah and MALT’s unique role in our community on March 19 at the Oaks Cloister (about a block off Lincoln drive)! See a gorgeous home, bid on some fabulous items and be sure to hug Sarah!

Jonna Naylor
MALT Executive Director

Rap music, bad; Lady Gaga, good

I have to say that Jim Harris’ article on rap music was so funny, it really made me laugh, as his articles usually do. The rap gangsters deserve to be skewered, as Harris did so cleverly, but I would take issue with him when he also pokes fun at Lady Gaga. I know it’s easy to make fun of her because of her deliberately outrageous outfits, but there is a good reason why Lady Gaga has so many devoted young fans.

First of all, her music is really good, and unlike the rap thugs, she is actually a talented musician. But more importantly, she has a very positive message, unlike the rappers with their hate-filled lyrics. She has said in numerous interviews that she was a very plain-looking teenager and was often depressed because she was never accepted in the “in”crowd and was often made fun of and bullied because she was so different.

So she really does identify with and empathize with the teens who are not cool or hip or pretty or great athletes, and she has a great message for those kids: respect yourself, love yourself, be kind to others and don’t lose faith in yourself. She is empowering those kids to believe in themselves.

She is certainly not encouraging anyone to engage in violence, as the rappers often do. On the contrary, she encourages them to stay in school, work hard, follow their passion and their dreams and don’t let others tear you down, even if you dress different or look different.

I think kids today need more role models like her instead of the Lindsay Lohans, Charlie Sheens and Kim Kardashians we see way too much of.

Carla Logan