Progress made by Children of America

 On March 29, the Chestnut Hill Local issued an Open Letter to Children of America, publicly asking it to respond to our request for answers to community concerns regarding traffic, signage, and the Volunteer Memorial Garden. As the newspaper was on press, I received a call from the Children of America CEO Thad Pryor. He wanted to talk and offered to fly to Philadelphia to meet in person.

Regrettably, we were unable to stop the press, but happily, the meeting took place, with very positive outcome. While COA feels, based on experience at other centers, that traffic will not be a problem, Pryor immediately offered to install a Right-Turn Only sign at its Germantown Avenue exit. He also promised to address traffic issues as, and if, they evolve.

Secondly, Pryor discussed the company’s willingness to change corporate branding altering its signage colors to a muted blue rather than bright pink and blue. Such decisions are not made lightly, and this was an impressive acknowledgement of community values. The exterior paint colors it has selected for the building will also be sensitive to Germantown Avenue Guidelines.

As to the Volunteer Memorial Garden, Pryor offered to help as little or as much as we wish. (This triangular plot in front of the building at the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike was created in memory of former CHCA President Maurice McCarthy and all the volunteers who have supported the community over the years.) Pryor offered that COA could pay for the plantings, tend the garden, or to leave it all in the hands of the committee that cares for it, as they choose.

Concerns about COA employee parking were alleviated by learning that its landlord, Acadia Realty, pays for several spaces in SEPTA lots.

This meeting, held with representatives of the CHCA, CHBA, CHHS, ended with a very optimistic feeling. We welcome Children of America’s community-minded approach and wish it well. The facility is expected to open in early summer.

Celeste Hardester
Chestnut Hill Community
Association Community Manager

Headline ‘offensive’

I don’t know who personally chose the headline above the very interesting summary of the life of Michele Haines (April 26), but I find it offensive in so many ways. I believe you owe your readers a printing of my comments, particularly as we are approaching Memorial Day.

I find it revolting to hear from the “hate America crowd” so often these days in a world where half the world’s population still lives and destroys life using 5th century values, but the headline on the story in Local Life of a French-born woman that her father was “Killed by American bombs” takes the Local to a new low if that can be interpreted as the most noteworthy of her life experiences that it headlines her biography.

Let me remind the readers in this era of revisionist history that we sent 12 million of our citizens to sort out the barbarism of Europe and Asia from 1941-1945 for the second time in 20 years. 450,000 of them did not return and many remain there along with the cannon fodder of the First World War. These wars were begun by the so-called “civilized” world that our founders ran from, frequently for these very reasons.

Let me be very specific about the “American bombs” that were dropped over Europe in an attempt to thwart the onslaught of Hitler’s National Socialist Military Forces (Nazis).

Our Army Air Forces made a command decision early in the war to do our bombing of enemy emplacements in the daylight hours despite the fact that our bombers had to fly beyond the reach of the fighter escort planes that gave them cover from enemy fighters, for whom they were sitting ducks.

The reason was clear; we determined it was more humanitarian to do so as we could do our best to choose targets that would spare civilians. The British and other allies did their bombing at night to spare their own men, and it was indiscriminate.

The result: The losses were so great that it was a near-mathematical impossibility for an airman to make the required number of missions to return home, so our 8th Air Force lost more men as a percentage of their units in daylight bombing than the Marines did in hand- to-hand combat taking the Japanese islands.

I wonder what fate might have befallen the families described in this article if the U.S. decided that “once was enough” in whether to save Europe from itself – again – and let the Germans exterminate, maim and experiment with those “lesser” ethnic strains in Europe as they had been doing all along since the mid-1930s?

How quick we forget.

Jim Foster
Mt. Airy

Capitalism’ article sparks discussions

First of all, I want to thank Lou Mancinelli for such a well-written article published last week. (“Wyndmoor illustrator updates ‘Bible of capitalism,’” April 26).

I received many calls from friends who were positively surprised to find the article.

I noticed this week a letter to the editor titled “Shocked by cartoon version of Adam Smith” by a Ph.D teaching professor of Sociology at Drexel.

I could not expect a better result from the article!

It is precisely the intention of my book to bring these subjects to light and to discussion. His last paragraph says: “Who will tell the young reader of the Bible of capitalism to read also Polanyi’s work on the genesis and development of the disembedded system of material conditions of existence we in the West have given the name of capitalism?”

What a great idea he just gave me! Isn’t it wonderful to have these kinds of discussions in our local paper? Thank you

Sueli Melo Vieira

A big ‘Thank you!’

On behalf of the Board and Staff of Chestnut Hill Meals On Wheels, thank you to all who helped make the CHMOW Tailgate Party fundraiser on April 26 a huge win for area homebound seniors who depend on the nutritious food deliveries and companionship provided by the organization and its volunteer drivers.

Through the generosity of the event’s sponsors, area businesses and individuals who donated items for raffle prizes and a silent auction, and a few hundred area residents who attended the event, more than $25,000 was raised to support CHMOW’s cost of providing meals for our clients.

Special thanks go Nicole Martz, chair of the organizing committee, and those on her committee who contributed hundreds of hours and a lot of energy and heart: Laura Bauder, Brenda Bott, Daniella Cavenagh, Barbara Anne Davey, Nancy Dearden, Caragh Gaffney, Molly Harrington, Jim Kohler, Lisa Lyons, Doug MacBride, Bridget Michener, Marilyn Paucker, Sue Pericelli, Jen Pilling, Dayna Regan, Nancy Ryan, Laurene Topping and Jennifer Zabierek.

Jim Kohler
Chestnut Hill