Take responsibility for dogs

Last week, on a very cold day following a heavy snowfall, I set out for some cross-country skiing in Pastorius Park. There I found dogs frolicking with each other while their owners chatted and a father cleared the pond for his young children to play ice hockey.

On my last revolution around the park, a young man entered the park with four dogs. The dogs ran up to me, barking, and the large black one sunk his teeth into my thigh. I screamed to the owner that his dog had bitten me. He called the dogs off and strolled away. Too afraid of the dogs, I did not pursue him.

Pastorius is a unique place where people and dogs share the space. Dog owners take responsibility for their dogs running without leashes, and meticulously clean up after them. Dog owners like this young man jeopardize the relaxed use of this space for other dog owners, not to mention for non-dog people enjoying the park.

It is my hope that owners who recognize the description of this dog owner, will approach him and talk with him about the responsibility he has while walking his dogs in a public park or perhaps identify him so that I can make a report.

Rebecca Choitz

Chestnut Hill


A good man

Glad to see your editorial about Pete Seeger last week. Hail Pete Seeger…a genuine American hero…one of the most courageous Americans ever, and one who defended the world from the wolves of Wall Street and their elected congressmen.

He faced death threats from the right and the left, and imprisonment, all his adult life. Can you imagine, with the politicians we’ve known in our lifetimes, that someone would be charged with “contempt of congress”?

The folk music movement would have arrived and grown without him…it was a movement a long time a comin’, but his politic questions were uniquely incisive and bravely stated. A good man.

Hugh Gilmore

Chestnut Hill


Thanks for story on Birck Cox

Thanks for the article by Lou Mancinelli on Birck Cox. He has done a lot of illustrations for me, and it is always a joy to work with him. Mr. Mancinelli’s last paragraph says it all, “Anything new that comes out in medicine – and anything at all that happens in medicine – needs to be illustrated.

“If it only exists as an idea or theory,” Cox said, “one of the ways people can solidify it is with a medical illustration.”” He has done that and thousands of people all around the world have benefitted as a result of his work.

George Spaeth

Chestnut Hill


Thanks for cleanup efforts on Mermaid

Thank you to Penelope Rhoads, Erika Solis and Sally Megargee for collecting 5 large bags of trash from east Mermaid Lane in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. In doing so they honored themselves and their community as well.

This is exactly what Dr. King wanted for, and from, each of us. I remember the horror of the day he was killed, but take joy in knowing his love continues through acts of kindness, no matter how small, from our children and grandchildren.

Sandra Day

Chestnut Hill

Correcting the take-away

In last week’s article covering the Jan. 23 DRC meeting, it was stated that the petitioner was not present at the meeting to discuss the status of her request for a variance to allow her to keep a six-foot high fence at 401 E. Willow Grove Avenue. The article ended by stating that, without additional input from the petitioner, there was little the DRC could do, and so took no action.

What the article did not mention was that the petitioner was asked not to attend the meeting at the recommendation of Joyce Lenhardt, vice president for the CHCA Physical Division, and myself. This recommendation had been made based upon new input from Philadelphia Licenses & Inspections. Earlier in the month, we and the petitioner had a different understanding of the process she was to go through in order to address the situation, and so we had initiated discussion with her.

It was only upon learning that she needed to apply for a permit that we determined it was premature for her to attend the DRC meeting.

Any impression left by the article that the petitioner did not cooperate with our process was incorrect.

Celeste Hardester

CHCA Community Manager


We must do better

We must do better than these mistakes about boathouses in Fairmount Park: The Recreation Department rejected advice to build a boathouse for public school students and residents to row on the river when they replaced Plaisted Hall with a basketball court on Boathouse Row.

They jammed two thumbs in the eyes of the public school students by squandering riverfront access for city rowing by building Lloyd Hall instead of a boathouse.

St. Joseph’s built their boathouse in a congested space too close to the racing lanes in a spot where no boathouse should ever have been built, especially when six boathouses could have been built on Boathouse Row where Lloyd Hall and a parking lot are now.

The plan for boathouses on the west side of the river made sense, but bizarre politics quashed that opportunity, too, for our public school students, for Temple, Drexel, disabled rowing and facilities for more athletes to row there.

The public schools, still without a boathouse, refuse to row where the river is longer, safer, scenic and less crowded on the tidal Schuylkill. There are very few rowers from city schools partly because all the community rowing efforts recruited non athletes for the last forty years for a tough highly competitive sport; they should have recruited tall, lanky, strong minority athletes to retain them in the sport, to succeed and to win the Stotesbury Regatta.

Temple was evicted from the Strawberry Canoe House by L & I, which said, six years ago, the building was in “immediate danger of collapse” yet L & I allowed our Maritime Police to stay inside the same “dangerous” building while Temple crews were relegated to tents. Immediate collapse? The masonry building is structurally solid but in need of renovations. Its low ceiling and narrow spaces cannot be converted to the fourteen foot ceilings and 22 foot wide boat bays needed to store boats nor should the historic building altered nor added to. Penn, shoehorned in its historic boathouse, needs even more space than Temple, suggesting that Temple’s recent design was right for them; they just selected the totally wrong place for a new boathouse.

The land use guidelines, reflecting a misunderstanding of wiser Fairmount Park management, were written after the horse of the last corrupt city administration had left the barn.

In the thirty years prior to the aberrations caused by John Street and prior to the guidelines, Fairmount Park had increased by 2,000 acres from bequests, land swaps, gifts and by decisions of the Fairmount Park Commissioners. These guidelines are a needless roadblock now to the protection, preservation and growth of the Park. So…

The Recreation Department shot itself in the head with Lloyd Hall; St. Joe’s is in the wrong place; Temple tried to build in the wrong place; L & I cannot tell if a building is collapsing or not; Public Schools prevent their students from rowing; the land use guidelines muddy the waters and the President and AD of Temple are piling on with more bad decisions by terminating their college’s impressive crew programs. Goodness me!

We must do much better and we certainly can.

Gardner A. Cadwalader

Former Fairmount Park Commissioner,

Olympic Rower and Architect

  • gnu_republic

    Rebecca, please contact your doctor regarding a rabies shot.
    You’re probably fine, but one should not mess around with a bite from a strange, off-the-leash dog.

    I’m a hard-core dog-lover, and this is infuriating – I encounter people like this whilst riding Forbidden Drive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve either been chased, or had to lock up my brakes to avoid someone’s off-the-leash dog.
    Here’s my trump card, though – If I’m hurt, I will sue the living crap out of the owner.