Not a fan of parking kiosks

It is hard to believe I haven’t seen any letters of complaint in the Chestnut Hill Local about the parking lot kiosks. Almost everyone I have spoken to has complained about what an inconvenience they are, especially to older/handicapped shoppers.

They have to get out of the car, if they are lucky enough to not have a long line of impatient drivers behind them, insert the money, and hope that a ticket comes out, then try to find a place to park on the lot!

How do they get their money back if there is no place? If they look for a place to park first, they then have to walk back to and go through the kiosk rigamarole, and then return to put the ticket on the car dashboard before they even start shopping.

If that sounds exhausting to you, just think how older/handicapped folks feel. They have even been to kiosks that do not accept quarters and had to insert a dollar bill for a ten minute errand. We could refer to those kiosks as off-street bandits rather than one-armed ones.

Then there is the merchant revenue loss. We no longer shop at Kilian’s nor at Metropolitan Bakery, which also means no more browsing along the Avenue at the other shops, resulting in more loss of merchant income. There are many lovely shops where I have found delightful, unique gift items, such as Hill Hardware, Quelque Chose, and El Quetzal.

Well, we now go to the hardware shop on Willow Grove Avenue in Wyndmoor and the other artisan bakery in lower Chestnut Hill. Who thought this kiosk system through or, better yet, who did not give it enough thought and the ensuing repercussions?

One last item. FYI, folks now hail each other and pass on their stubs with unused minutes to drivers just entering the lots. At least these kiosks have led to more camaraderie among parkers.


Mary Hathaway
Mt. Airy


Everyone deserves a voice

I want to complement you. I think the fact that you published the letter from Erdenheim’s Joseph A. Ferry [“ID-less is likely clueless”] shows your dedication to journalistic principles of allowing all sides to be heard and of your understanding of the constitutional principles that everyone deserves to have his side told, even an ostrich who doesn’t understand that many of the “clueless” have no opportunity to drive, have not been born in hospitals that help their parents obtain a birth certificate or they are naturalized citizens who are poor, yes, without funds to trace their family roots and are too busy trying to survive to obtain a photo ID.

But they do have a right to cast their votes, even if they are clueless according to Joseph A. Ferry. But, good for you – you published the letter anyway.

Diane M.Fiske
Chestnut Hill


Voter ID laws an affront to democracy 

A U.S. Citizen cannot allow the letter “ID-less is likely to be clueless” go unanswered for so many reasons. I chose to argue from the point of history rather than resort to party rhetoric.

Our democracy began with the idea that those affected by government had a right to chose that government by vote.

In the beginning that vote belonged only to white landowning men. Over our 225-Year history we have decided, sometimes with great difficulty, that others are also affected by our leadership and should have that same right to vote.

Slowly African-Americans, women, and immigrant citizens have gained this right. Most recently, in the Vietnam era, young people from 18-21 years of age were added to those with the right to vote (if they could serve in the military, they should be able to vote). Each step of this process was designed to be more inclusive.

There are also times in our history, especially where I was raised in the South, when there have been forces that would limit that right to vote. The poll taxes, which required payment to vote, and the literacy tests, which devolved into “How many jelly beans are in the jar?” are not the finest hours in American history.

Now Mr. Ferry would suggest that getting an ID to vote in Pennsylvania is an intelligence test, and that people who are not “smart enough” to get ID are not “smart enough” to vote. I would suggest, rather, that all who are affected by those we elect, have the duty to participate in that election unencumbered by any requirements other than registration to vote.

Even as a white male, history has shown me the difficulty of the struggle to make the vote a possibility for all. This is not the time to find ways to exclude groups from the polls. This is the time for all to vote.


James E. Simpson, Jr.
Lafayette Hill


Who is clueless?

My mother is 91, and I guess you’d say physically disabled, but she is amazingly alert and bright. She watches Fox news and MSNBC and reads the paper every day.

She hasn’t driven in 10 years, never had the luxury of traveling outside of the country nor of being a college student, though she is proud that she, with the help of my dad (and might I add the government), has been able to provide this for all of her children and so she doesn’t have a photo ID.

A trip to the DMV would be a major setback for her, though with the help of two people she could go the short trip to her lifelong polling place where they know her well and would accommodate her disability.

My mother would be horrified that she might be judged “surpassingly stupid” by anyone. My guess is that so would anyone else who is disabled, can’t miss work because they are paid by the hour, are overwhelmed with caring for an elderly or disabled parent and child, or are dealing with any other of life’s burdens they never asked for.

If this punitive law is not overturned, my mother will be banned from voting, something she has done religiously for many, many decades.

Surpassingly stupid? Who set the standards for this category?


Marie Lachat
Chestnut Hill


ID-less is not clueless

I feel compelled to respond to the letter from Mr. Ferry, stating that those who are or may be unable to obtain a photo identification card are “surpassingly stupid” and thus unable to understand the issues involved in this year’s presidential election. For those living on the edge financially, for the elderly or physically disabled, the steps needed to get a photo I.D. can be challenging. Not only may there be cost involved, there is also the challenge of getting to the Department of Transportation without a car.

I am not aware of any research that equates poverty, physical disability or age with “stupidity.” There is so much vitriol being thrown about this election period, I would hope that we can learn to talk to each other without adding more fuel to the fire.

Deborah Cooper
Mt. Airy


Don’t like campaign lies 

I really don’t like it when someone lies to my face! I’m willing to assume that the woman who came to my door Saturday morning from the Obama campaign didn’t know that she was telling a lie about Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts. She told me that when Gov. Romney left office as Governor, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation. The ranking of 47th was for his whole term of office, not for his last year. When he took over as Governor Mass. was 50th, dead last. Every year of his term the ranking improved until in his last year Mass. was 30th. Not great but a big improvement while he was governor.

I got my figures from the web site politifact run by the Tampa Bay Times.

Bob Rossman
Chestnut Hill


Thanks for garden clean up

Congratulations to whoever is responsible for getting the clean-up of the garden at the Chestnut Hill West train station. The area between the steps and the ramp to Germantown Avenue was very handsomely rebuilt last spring (thanks to the much-maligned stimulus program) and the plantings looked terrific in June.

Unfortunately, weeds took over and made what had been an asset into a mess.

Now it is looking wonderful again. Thank you to whoever made it happen.

Meredith Sonderskov
Chestnut Hill


A well-earned “retirement”

Saw the picture in the Local about Peggy Hendrie’s retirement. Although we have lived in Oreland for the past 28 years, we keep up with what is going on in the “Hill.” Many of our best memories are when we lived in “The Hill.” As you probably know all our kids went to Our Mother of Constellation. (We’re great grandmom and pops now.) Our oldest, Gail, is a grandmom.

I can picture Peggy now, crossing all the thousands of kids going to O.M.C. over the years, she was the best at her occupation, bar none!

Enjoy your years of retirement Peggy, for you certainly have earned them.

Tom Woodruff