$40 parking for pope ‘shameful’

I think charging $40 for “Papal Parking” was shameful, and I am glad to see that these signs disappeared by Sunday morning.

It would have been far more appropriate to have had free parking for people with tickets to one of the events. I’m embarrassed to be a Chestnut Hiller. I can only hope that this is not the main memory that visitors will associate with Chestnut Hill.

Todd Breslow

Chestnut Hill

Latin for ‘shame’?

I wonder what Pope Francis, who recently said in a speech that an unfettered pursuit of money is “the dung of the devil,” would think of the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation charging $40 for “Papal Parking” spots this past weekend? Does anyone know the Latin for “shame on you”?

Michael Chomentowski

Chestnut Hill

Papal gouging In Chestnut Hill

The Papal visit presented Chestnut Hill with a rare opportunity to generate business in local shops and farmers markets and to welcome new patrons into our array of dining establishments. Astonishingly, the Chestnut Hill Business Association has opted to pull the welcome mat out from under the feet of not just tourists but locals.

Overnight, our community parking lots have been turned into get-rich-quick schemes, charging $40. At first, I thought, well, $40 for three to four days of parking, including overnight, isn’t so bad. Then, I looked again. The sign said “No overnight parking!”

I called the 14th Police District and was told that they had nothing to do with the No Parking signs on either side of Germantown Avenue this weekend. If the CHBA put up the signs to force Papal commuters into the $40 parking lots, that’s really a disgrace. OK, so where were visitors and locals supposed to park? There was no parking on Germantown Avenue on Saturday or Sunday. Which raises the question, why didn’t the Town Fathers simply post a sign, “Closed for the Weekend?”

I find it ironic that an event which celebrated the most compassionate, humane Pope in history motivated the CHBA to treat visitors with disregard and contempt. Jesus turned over the tables of the money lenders at the Temple. I’m sure he’d do a fine redecorating job on the offices of the CHBA.

Stacia Friedman

Mt. Airy

Editor’s note: We spoke with Parking Foundation president John Ingersoll this week who explained that the high prices for the spaces were not intended to gouge parkers but to preserve parking spaces for Hill shoppers. In other words the high rates were designed to discourage use. Ingersoll said that lot usage by those looking to see the pope was much lower than anticipated with no more than 15 people parking in foundation lots each day.

Emergency preparedness takes a community

The Papal visit passed through Philadelphia without significant incident. The city’s heightened state of preparedness had an impact on the safe visit of thousands of pilgrims.

Like the center city hospitals, Chestnut Hill Hospital took extra precaution to ensure the safe, delivery of quality care to our patients and be ready for the potential influx of patients if disaster struck. Our weeks of planning included an emergency team of physicians, employees and community organizations and businesses that joined our efforts.

Knowing that when disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed, Chestnut Hill Hospital wanted to be ready for the worst scenario. More than 100 employees including physicians, nurses, tech, food service, security and housekeeping, bunked at the hospital all the weekend. We called on our neighbors to help make the stay more enjoyable.

Even before we knew the roads would be passable, Primos’ Mike Pieciuk agreed to deliver hoagies on Saturday afternoon to 200 staff. Enzo Mandarano at Cosimos brought over pizzas for hungry staff to enjoy for dinner on Saturday and then again for a late night snack at 11:30 p.m. Norwood Fontbonne Academy permitted Hospital employees to use it’s field all weekend to stretch their legs. A crew from Whitemarsh Ambulance was stationed at the Hospital all weekend to provide emergency transportation if necessary. And The Crefeld School was available as back up for emergency services.

We appreciate the cooperation of everyone on our Emergency Preparedness Team this past weekend. Thanks to everyone who ensured that Chestnut Hill Hospital would continue to care for our community.

John Cacciamani, MD, CEO,

Chestnut Hill Hospital

Moved by article about lawyer

I was very moved by the article about Julie Chovanes (“Transgendered Hill lawyer has a message for the Pope,” Sept. 24). I must admit I never knew anything about this issue until I saw the TV interview with Caitlyn Jenner.

I am shocked that there are so many people who have a body that is one sex and a brain that is another sex. It is outrageous that Julie, a devout Catholic and a very courageous person, should have been thrown out of the church by Archbishop Chaput because she is so “different.” After all, Archbishop Chaput does not exactly have what you would call a “normal” sex life.

Pope Francis has been a breath of fresh air with his humility and compassion and inclusiveness, but this message obviously has not filtered down to Philadelphia, where the Archbishop is still stuck in the Middle Ages.

If Pope Francis’ message of inclusiveness is to be more than just words, he needs to see to it that bigots like Chaput are replaced with truly loving and compassionate people like himself. Otherwise, open-minded parishoners will continue to leave the church, as they have been doing for decades.

Sharon H. Newbern

Chestnut Hill

  • robert the bruce

    They could donate the Papal parking revenue to the CHCA to help with legal fees fighting that competing space recently created on E Evergreen.