Solidarity with Local employees

(Sent to Local Life editor, Len Lear) Tonight’s posting on was the first I read or knew that this terrible crime involved a staffer of the Chestnut Hill Local. I send my thoughts in condolence and in solidarity with those who feel her loss.

I remember sitting chair-back to chair-back with you at the Philadelphia Journal so many decades ago. I never forgot what you said and what you stood for: the People Page of the Journal existed because “the only time your name is in the paper shouldn’t be your obituary.”

That said, I feel terrible for you and your staff. Best always.

Liz Matt

Center City

A remarkable woman

Thank you for your sensitive story on Regina, her service to the Local and her incredibly cruel death. My connection with her goes back to the days when she was at the Center in the Park, working with its dynamic executive director, Rennie Cohen.

At that time I wrote numerous stories for the Local about it – even served on its board for a while – as it was the senior center for this area, before Chestnut Hill’s senior center, now the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment. When she came to work for the Local she and I renewed our acquaintance.

Over the years, whenever I came into the Local to work on a special section, we always touched base and shared photos about our lives and grandchildren. She was a remarkable woman and I am sure you will all miss her and her quiet ways and careful work for the Local.

Ruth Russell

Chestnut Hill

Former Local Life Editor and current Special Section Editor

Missing Helen Darrow

Last week when I read of Helen Darrow’s passing I felt great sorrow. Helen was a dear friend who regaled me with saucy stories of her life. I would sit on the step of Bone Appetite (when she worked there) and beg her to share her stories. And I would laugh and laugh until my sides hurt.

Helen was the first person to teach me that little dogs need sweaters in the winter time. I always thought that was a frou-frou thing to do, but then when I got my own tiny dog she was shaking all the time!

That’s how I met Helen, through my miniature dachshund, Miss Sweetie, who much to my surprise was pictured with her in the paper this week. Helen and Sweetie loved each other and I adopted Helen as my female role model. When she was sick years ago I brought her meals and another time when she was in the hospital, I brought her red roses and chocolate.

Why? Because she was a woman with grand style! I knew no one else like her – a combination of old-style class and feisty tell-it-like-it-is boldness. I loved all of that.

She was of the high heels and cigarettes generation, and she even used to cook that way in her restaurant.

I loved Helen for her humor and her feistiness. One time when she was in the hospital she was even giving the doctors a hard time! That made me laugh too. I used to say, “Helen, I want to be like you.” And she’d say, “Oh no Annie!”

I am sad to see her go but happy to see her laughing face with little Miss Sweetie. We will both miss her greatly!

Annie Hart

Chestnut Hill

More support for speed cushions

To Bob Previdi. Thanks for your letter to the Local (“Speed Cushions are a necessary device,” June 25).

While I was out of town when the town meeting happened, I did want to write in support of the new speed cushions. I already see a difference in the traffic coming through the neighborhood.

My only complaint is that they don’t continue up Winston Road at least another block to the intersection with Ardleigh. I continue to witness blatant disregard for the stop signs at Winston and Ardleigh.

I believe that I may have signed the original petition for the speed cushions and I remain in support of them. While better communication about their installation might have been nice, I rarely take issue with something that the city does in the neighborhood that I feel is an improvement.

Thank you, once again, for advocating for a better, safer neighborhood for us all.

Erika Wallace

Chestnut Hill