Suggestions for the Magarity site development

First, I am disappointed but not surprised with the self-important attitude of the Land Use Planning Committee that its meetings are a “value added process,” but it is “not their job to make money” for Mr. Snowden.

No wonder the executive director of the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission had an “eye-rolling” reaction.

Second, the Land Use Planning Committee has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to Mr. Snowden’s project. Instead of telling him that he should build an underground parking structure so there is more civic or green space, it should ask him to build the one thing the community longs for most: a movie theater.

He can do it underground, just like the Ritz at the Bourse downtown. If he’s going to build a basement anyway, why not expand on it a little?

And why not offer to help Mr. Snowden with the incremental costs involved. Just look at Ambler. The theater there is reviving the town and it is community funded.

I can’t believe that Chestnut Hill residents wouldn’t want to help make this possible. One thousand dollars per person, one thousand people. Wouldn’t that be enough? Sign me up.

As for five stories, don’t you think it would be the perfect bookend for the Chestnut Hill Hotel which is taller than that when viewed from the Magarity site? And don’t you think it would re-center the gravity of Germantown Avenue?

How are these bad things?

If the Chestnut Hill Community Association wants to beat up on Mr. Snowden, it should  require one thing before approving his development: rent the damn Under the Blue Moon restaurant site. Richard, show us you can do a deal … go out and get somebody … like an Indian restaurant … say Tiffin, no better yet … say Palace of Asia in Fort Washington or best  …  say Bindi. Just make it happen.

Don’t you think that a restaurant there will be “value added” for the Magarity site?

Tom Tarantino
Chestnut Hill

What about traffic switch for Hartwell Lane?

I have been reading and following with interest the issue about the Bowman development on Germantown Avenue and Hartwell Lane.

Never mind that this is being built by someone who was once the nemesis of Chestnut Hill but who now controls it; never mind that it is going up in a shopping district that has an abundance of empty stores; and never mind that the architecture is way, way, way out of scale for the neighboring buildings (and Chestnut Hill in general). And never mind the zoning issues or poor aesthetics of the design.

What I can’t believe is that no one has mentioned the most ridiculous aspect of the entire proposal: that if West Hartwell Lane becomes one-way, eastbound, there will be absolutely no available west-bound streets stretching all the way from Highland Avenue down to Willow Grove Avenue. How absurd! The traffic at both Willow Grove and Highland Avenues is already badly congested; try making a left onto Germantown Avenue while driving east on Highland on a Saturday, when Kilian’s is busy. Try making a left onto Germantown while driving west on Willow Grove during any evening rush hour.

Well, one good thing may come out of it: I guess that the residents on the west side of the Avenue will welcome the relative peace and quiet.

Marty Snyder
Former Chestnut Hill Resident Germantown 

Another Verizon customer on hold

I empathize with Lila Bricklin (“The Elusive Dial Tone,” Aug. 11 issue), who was frustrated by Verizon, because I have been without Internet service for close to a month.

The techies in India, Mexico and the Philippines have failed to solve what might be a line problem — somewhere. One man blamed the modem and sent a new one, but that wasn’t the answer.

My last exchange was with a billing person in Manila, then to a techie who would arrange for someone to come to my house, but after a 10-minute wait, I was disconnected. I stopped a Verizon truck in the area and asked for a local number, but the driver uses their only number, 1-800-VERIZON, and has to wait, along with the customers.

If you want to use this as a letter, fine with me. I can even hum the Verizon put-on-hold tune. I have to pick up my email now at the Blue Bell Library.

Marilyn Steeg
Fort Washington


McMeekin ‘nasty and humorless’

It was with great “shock and awe” that I read the letter to the editor titled “How does Harris fit the Hill, Local?” in the Aug. 4 issue of your fine weekly.

The author, a Jack McMeekin from right here in Chestnut Hill, couldn’t even use his given (I would suppose) first name so as to fool the reader.

Mr. McMeekin referred to Jim Harris’ article as humorless and nasty.  Why, if you were to ask me, Jack’s (John’s) letter was not only humorless and nasty, it was nasty and lacked humor as well.

Jim Harris, who I understand comes from a long tribe of Harrises, is an excellent writer and band member.

So what if his blog name is Jimbo? That is not a reason for him to give up his day job. As a matter of fact, his weekly responsibility to the fine folks of the hamlet, village, etc. of Chestnut Hill is a good read if you have a sense of humor.

I wish I did. Sometimes it takes a while for Jim’s humors to sink in, but when it does I chuckle.

So, keep up the good work, Mr. Jim, who, incidentally, uses somewhat of his real first name.

John (no Jack here) Hayes
Lafayette Hill