Kudos to dog walkers who clean park

Kudos go out to the regular morning “Crefeld Gate” Wissahickon dog walkers.

One morning last week I passed a gentleman with his chocolate Labrador Retriever Maggie, carrying a large bag of trash along the trail.  He informed me that a little further along the trail there were several bags neatly lined up in front of a tree, with a sign on the tree asking people to lend a hand carrying them out of the park.

He was just doing his part.  It turns out that a woman walking her dog Striper in the woods off the trails had happened upon a  “dumping ground” behind the houses at 9004-9006 Crefeld;  at least eight large bags of trash had been left there for quite some time.  The bags had broken open and there was garbage strewn downhill, tangled in bushes and covering a large area.  She came back with new, substantial bags of her own.  She collected and rebagged the trash, hauled it up to a trail where she left a sign asking people to take a bag out as they go by.

Just like that the mess was cleaned up!  Thank you all for helping to keep our beautiful treasure of the Wissahickon great for all to enjoy!

Melissa Goodman
Chestnut Hill


Wissahickon is a treasure for everyone

We Philadelphians are blessed to have available to us all the truly magnificent Fairmount Park.

I take long walks in the Park almost daily and have for the 50+ years we have been living in Chestnut Hill.  My New York City friends are jealous that our park has ten times the space as their lovely Central Park!

We are fortunate to have room to accommodate the many people who are refreshed, renewed and expanded as a result of the wisdom and effort of those who established and  those who maintain the Park.

I like to walk up into the Andorra or Houston meadows; soon the luminescent tree-swallows will be nesting there. The solitude of walks on the upper trails is welcome, as is the opportunity to interact with other park-lovers and dog-lovers along Forbidden Drive. Some are still unaware of this northwestern arm of the park with the deep gorge the Wissahickon River has created. It is a a treasure.

Philadelphia’s varied population enjoys the park in varied ways.  Perhaps both Penn and Franklin would see it as a continuation of their vision for the still evolving city.

George L. Spaeth
Chestnut Hill


Why ask for age?

I was perplexed by the April 5 story about the new director of the East Falls Development Corporation, Kathleen Hogan.  One of the first points made is that Hogan “declined to disclose her age.”

I cannot see how this reflects anything other than sexism at the Local.  Why would Ms. Hogan’s age be relevant?

Why was she even asked that question?   And, when she apparently told the reporter that her age had no bearing on her job, why would the reporter – and editor – conclude that readers should be told, in the second paragraph, no less, that Ms. Hogan declined to disclose her age?

Out of curiosity, I looked at a couple of other recent feature stories in the Local.  In the April 5 story about a Chestnut Hill gardener, the author notes that florist Jennie Love is “30-something” and again feels compelled to state that “she declined to disclose her exact age.” Why is this relevant?

And if it is relevant for women being interviewed, why is it not a question posed to men who are featured?   An April 10 story about Rich Wagner, a Pennsylvania Brewery Historian, makes no mention of his age.  Also – tellingly – it does not state that he “declined to disclose” his age.   What is the reason for treating Mr. Wagner differently from Ms. Hogan and Ms. Love, other than his gender?

I’m disappointed to see this type of gender bias in the Local.  I hope that in the future, you are able to train your reporters not to ask irrelevant questions.  And if they slip up, I would hope that the editorial process would at least edit out the inappropriate digs at the subjects of your stories.

Nancy Rue
Chestnut Hill

Editor’s note: Age is an appropriate question to ask subjects in an interview, not because it could or should be a comment on someone’s ability to hold a job, but as a detail that helps readers better understand those subjects.