Thanks for Leaming story

Thank you for the great article on Frank Leaming, his new role as Deacon, and the Leaming family. I always refer, affectionately, to his mother, Pat, as “The First Lady of Our Mother of Consolation.” She has reached out to all of us with a keen eye, a warm heart and helping hands. Her kindnesses are legendary, and Frank is a good example of the old adage: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Congratulations, Frank.

Kathy Winter

Chestnut Hill


School supplies needed at Jenks

At J.S. Jenks, our local public school in Chestnut Hill, the Home and School Association is currently collecting supplies to help out teachers. So many budget cuts mean even simple things are not easy to come by, especially as the year draws to a close. Many items are inexpensive, or might be lying around the house that you don’t even need, but would be greatly appreciated by our students.

If you would like to help out, please check out the link below and maybe sign up to give something at You can bring items into the Jenks office during school hours. If you have any questions, contact HSA board member Rebecca Dhondt at It takes a village!

Rebecca Dhondt

Mt. Airy


15 years of inhumanity

Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer is saddened to announce that the annual killing of deer in Fairmount Park which began in January, 2012 resulted in the deaths of 238 deer : 86 from the Wissahickon Valley, 50 from West Fairmount Park, 19 from Cobb Creek Park and 83 from Pennypack Park. Nineteen years ago, an aerial count initiated by Friends of the Wissahickon, because of damages to gardens in area homes, showed 159 deer in the Wissahickon Valley Park. It is evident from the above statistics that the number of deer in the Wissahickon Park has increased not decreased substantially from the original aerial count of 159 deer.

A recent article in The Roxborough Review (4-3-13) stated that the curfew has been lifted and “the amount of deer removed represents a significant step toward reversing the impact of deer overpopulation.”

This is blatantly untrue since the scientific evidence of the perpetual rebound theory states that when large populations of deer are killed, the remaining deer benefit from enhanced food supply and begin to produce more deer. According to Bridget Irons, PAD co-founder, “Killing deer is a perpetual treadmill.” The rebound theory is one that has been discussed with the Department of Parks and Recreation since the first deer kill, and it is evident that the number of deer in the Wissahickon Park has increased substantially from the original 159 deer. So what is the rationale for the annual killings of the deer?

Philadelphia residents were told that the first killing, that occurred 19 years ago, would be just a one-time kill. Fifteen years later, 2,671 deer have been killed, with no data on the effectiveness of what we believe to be an inhumane way to alter the number of white-tailed deer in the park and no long-term plan to develop less inhumane strategies for controlling the number of deer that visit our Wissahickon Valley Park.

In addition, it has been researched by wildlife disease specialist Dr. Anne Ballman that many more deer may have been killed by eating corn used as bait in the park, since deer are unable to digest corn in the winter and die due to corn toxicity.

PAD (Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer) still has a mission to end the killing of deer in Fairmount Park, to preserve the ecological health of the park and to ensure that white-tailed deer have the freedom to live on their own terms. PAD has compiled alternatives to killing the deer that deal with the issues of Lyme disease, auto collisions and protecting vegetation.

Let’s work together to stop the deer kill of 2014. Contact your local City Council members and Mayor Nutter to register your outrage about this long-standing war against the deer.

Mary Ann Baron



Chestnut Hill Resident

  • Tracy

    238 Is an interesting and sad stat for deer being killed in the hunting for population control. Another few stats… In 2011 Pa was number one in the country — again — in motorists hitting a deer. Motorists hit 115,571 deer on commonwealth roadways between July 1, 2011, and June 30 2012. Your odds as a driver in PA hitting a deer in your car is about 1 in 75 — if you lived in WV it is 1 out of 40. That figure, based on the numbers of licensed drivers in the state and the number of deer struck — reported deer struck, the number could be much worse of course. Since it is not good for the deer to be sprawled dead along highways, also with human casualties mounting up, making it not so great for people either — I can’t say I support your passion here about the deer. I love all animals, deer included, but responsible population control is as necessary and prudent as your posit that “white-tailed deer have the freedom to live on their own terms” is fanciful and unwise. Since “living on their own terms” – such as it is even philosophically possible as a construct – has them getting hit by cars up and down the highways in a population number that exceeds two times the number of people in Lancaster, PA — it is best for us and the deer to be responsible here…

  • PF

    Tracy I am unsure if you are agreeing or disagreeing Ms. Baron. Her premise is that the killing of the deer is not decreasing the population of deer but seems to be increasing it.