Monkey Business closing – a loss

Since I moved to Chestnut Hill fifteen years ago, I’ve gone to Monkey Business often, not so much to find bargains as to go on an archeological dig of the community closet.  Raucous Christmas sweaters, Talbot suits that have sat through a hundred board meetings and filmy peignoirs that went on honeymoons and Prozac.

Monkey Business’ location, hidden away on a parking lot, invisible to the throngs on the Avenue, added to its allure   as did the witty window displays featuring a menagerie of toy monkeys – never for sale. Hearing that they were closing, I went to say goodbye to the volunteers who have run the shop for decades. These gracious ladies always welcomed me warmly whether I was “just looking” or asking their candid opinion about a sequined bolero jacket.

I added my name and comments to a book of well-wishers and made a final victory lap of the store. I didn’t need anything but wanted to make one last purchase to express my sympathy. A form-fitting dress that was all wrong for my figure but totally right for my inner teenager, screamed, “Take me home. Please.”   As I paid for it at the counter, the cashier called my attention to a basket of the shop’s famous stuffed monkeys.

“They’re only a dollar,” she said. I picked one up, then put it down. The sadness in its glass eyes was heart-wrenching. Even the monkeys seemed to know. The thrift shop’s closing is a great loss for Chestnut Hill.

Stacia Freidman
Chestnut Hill

Losing to the dogs

While taking a walk with my brother across Pastorius Park this morning I was tackled by two galloping dogs.  After picking myself up, I suggested to the ladies who apparently owned the dogs that they might keep them under control.  One owner responded that this park was for dogs.

Several years ago my wife had a similar experience as she was walking with a young grandchild across Pastorius Park.  When she pointed out to the leaping and licking dog’s owner that this was threatening to her grandchild, he answered that his dog was just a young child too.

The score so far is Dog Owners: 2, the Brown family: 0.

William R. Brown
Chestnut Hill

Suggestions other than raising taxes

One apparent option to fund the school budget deficit is to tax those that pay their taxes, like most 19118 residents. Frankly, I hate writing checks, but I know that my wife will indeed do so – still it’s painful.

It’s doubtful that we will even consider a taxpayer’s revolt, so maybe they chose the right patsy. We are to swallow a theoretical valuation somehow based upon advertised prices? I’d rather take a buyout, but they won’t be offering any of that. Face it folks we don’t have the option of selling at a reasonable price and moving.

There are two other viable options that admittedly will likely not see the light of day:

One: The school system should be forced to live within available means. They have already made the case to close schools as there no longer is the student population to fill them. Also, it has been repeatedly shown that the administrators do very little in delivering education. Somehow they could find the $94 million without firing teachers in the needed schools if that was their only option.

Two: Collect the $514 million owed from back taxes. I frankly don’t care how they do it. If they don’t have the stomach for it, then sell the receivables. You need less than 25 cents on the dollar to make the budget. Again it would work, if that was their only option.

The Inquirer tried to make a case to protect the “genuinely destitute property owners,” so I Googled ”destitute” and found “without subsidence, lacking…shelter.”  Well it appears even some of the “genuinely destitute” have some form of shelter, and should therefore pay taxes on it. If you can do so, make a case for the exceptions, but don’t use it as a model for over a hundred thousand scofflaws.

Ed Budnick
Chestnut Hill

Jenks fundraiser a big success

The Friends of J.S. Jenks would like to thank all of the volunteers and supporters who made our inaugural “Let There Be Music” Fundraiser a success. It took the work of over 30 parent and community volunteers to make the event happen, along with support from many businesses and community organizations from Northwest Philadelphia and beyond.

A special thanks to the Church of St. Martin’s in-the-Fields for hosting our event. Please see our ad in this week’s Chestnut Hill Local  and our website  for a complete list of the many businesses and organizations that contributed goods and services or provided discounts to us for the event  as well as a list of our many volunteers and supporters who helped us establish our organization and make the event happen. All startup and event expenses were donated, so that the money raised at the event will benefit our students to the fullest.

Thank you to all the families, community members, businesses and organizations who attended our event and/or donated to our fund. We are continuing to solicit donations towards our arts and music fundraising goal, so if you are interested in donating, you can find more information, including a donation form, at our website, or e-mail us at

We are now looking forward to the next phase – translating our fundraising efforts into helping our art and music programs at Jenks!!


Haviva Goldman
Tony Sorrentino
Vanessa Yingling
Renee Warnick

Parking Authority means business

I met a friend for an hour at the Coffee Company. We both parked in the lot behind Cosimo’s.

I saw the Parking Kiosk and debated it, but remembered hearing that the system was ironing out its kinks yet. They were not writing tickets yet.

The attendant was not in his booth at that time, so there was no one to ask for sure.

I did not pay.

When we came out we both had tickets for $26.

Our fault. To make matters worse I told a woman I saw at the kiosk that they were not enforcing the parking yet. To her, if she reads this, I offer my apologies.

I am not trying to provoke controversy. The Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation worked long and hard deciding what to do. I’d rather pay a little fee of 50 cents an hour and have well-maintained, well-lit parking lots than have the lots decay and become unsafe.

I am merely telling the public that the Parking Authority is now ticketing in the lots.

I hope no one else has to pay an extra $26 for his cup of coffee.

Hugh Gilmore
Chestnut Hill