Disheartened by market lawsuit

The lawsuit pertaining to the Market at the Fareway and the Chestnut Hill Brewing Company is so disheartening and ultimately foolish – if one has the best interests of Chestnut Hill, from both a residential and business perspective, at heart.

As a resident living on Gravers Lane, the outdoor dining space created there has become such a special destination for my son and me since its opening last year. We can easily walk there to enjoy a meal in such a beautiful setting and on a night when the weather is good. I am almost certain to see neighbors we know there.

The character of the crowd I have encountered there has been uniformly family-friendly, respectful, low key and has absolutely never been a noisy or boisterous one, in all the times I have ever visited. My only complaint with the Brewing Company is that they don’t stay open late enough! And with the Market is that it is closed more often than open.

As a business owner on the Avenue, I have also been grateful for the good press the Market and Brewing Company have received citywide, (including “Best of Philly”), which has brought a discernible influx of so many new visitors to the Hill who definitely spend their money throughout the village at more than just the Fareway.

I don’t know what Chestnut Hill was like in 1981 (40 years ago!!), but considering how much it has changed in just the past 15 years, with so many younger families moving in and a much more diverse demographic of residents, I would venture to guess that any “covenant” made way back then might be legal, but is likely to be wholly outdated.

I can say, from direct experience with countless new residents, that people are moving to Chestnut Hill for the charming, friendly, walkable, dog-loving and very social lifestyle that exists here, and that the beautiful garden dining space, created so tastefully for the brewing company by the Petes, is certainly the best new addition we’ve had to our restaurant options recently, as well as to that overall feeling of charm and welcoming we offer to residents and visitors alike.

If a place as quiet as the Market is too much activity for someone currently living so close to Germantown Avenue, I think that perhaps the Main Line, without any retail shops or restaurants nearby, might be a better option for the plaintiffs than trying to take away something that everyone else I’ve heard from in Chestnut Hill seems to absolutely love.

My hope is that a resolution can be reached that is amenable to the Ardleigh residents, but also takes into account how the Hill has changed over the past four decades and how that change is manifesting a village that is constantly growing more beautiful and unique.

Hillary O’Carroll
Chestnut Hill


Very upset over ‘misinformation’

As a group of engaged local citizens, the #PersistentPostcarders, we are bothered by the recent Democratic primary election for the 200th Legislative District. The incumbent, Rep. Chris Rabb, was opposed by a well-funded opponent. The candidates’ policy positions were indistinguishable from each other; presumably there were interpersonal, undisclosed internal reasons for running against the incumbent.

Misinformation about Rabb was part of the campaign, including inappropriate characterizations of him as an outsider. The opposing campaign flooded our neighborhood with expensive signs and literature and crowded voting precincts. At a time when there are so many pressing issues, we are disturbed by this conspicuous display of divisiveness.

We hope that future local elections will proceed with more transparency and a wise use of our community resources.

Rabbi Dayle Friedman, Sue Heckrotte, Dr. Ruth Loew, Ann Mintz, Dr. Adina Newberg, Paula Spivack and Betsy Teutsch
Mt. Airy


Deer cull not supported by science

Deer eating habits have both positive and negative effects on forest ecosystems. Tragically, once again, the overly dramatized negatives have been highlighted to the exclusion of the very many positive examples of how deer benefit their habitat. The Animal Welfare Institute reported that impacts attributed to ‘’overabundant’’ wildlife are often perceived as adverse when, in fact, they may be consistent with natural ecosystem processes and there may be positive effects that outweigh the adverse.

The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commission’s alarmist tactics continue to perpetuate the blame game to this day [“After 20 years, once controversial deer cull is now routine,” Local, May 17].

Research carried out in Ohio has challenged the science that suggests that deer ravage forest ecosystems, as has been claimed here. The study concluded by saying that park officials need to understand the forest ecosystem before making decisions about wildlife management.

Getting up to speed on this matter is long overdue. The mass killing of deer year after year with the goal of maintaining a small residual population of deer may be incongruent with goals to maintain ecosystem health. Killing deer is biologically and ecologically unsound.

A respected ecology professor shared with me a statement made by a Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist. He said: ‘’We have even eradicated the deer in some areas and the forest still isn’t coming back.’’ Said the ecologist: ’It is clear to me that deer numbers have little to do with long-term forest regeneration.’’ As far as reports of vegetation recovery in the park, anecdotal evidence and hearsay just don’t cut it. Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer (PAD) insists that Parks and Recreation be challenged and asked to provide valid evidence that the so-called deer culls are effective or not.

Prejudice is fueling this ongoing assault on deer, while sound ecological science takes a back seat. The absence of ‘’fundamental hallmarks of science’’ in Philadelphia’s deer ‘’management’’ program has been troubling from day one. We’re seeing a dangerous trend where science is devalued by people of power and influence, leading to a shift in public opinion about science which in turn has given rise to harmful policy changes.

Author Rory Putman in his “Natural History of Deer” calls these kills a ‘’perpetual treadmill.’’ Urban ‘’culls’’ are not ‘’one and done.’’ They’re nothing more than a political quick fix and a violent and financially wasteful endeavor.

Bridget Irons
Chestnut Hill


Library book sale decision ‘idiotic’

I’m wondering if you’ve heard that the new management of the Free Library of Philadelphia is considering doing away with the Friends book sale at the Chestnut Hill Library. I was at the sale today and talked with a few Friends staff members who are understandably upset, as am I.

So, I’m writing to ask if the Local could get involved in dissuading library management from doing something idiotic. It’s bewildering on so many levels, but this is what they’re worried about at the Chestnut Hill branch? The front steps are again in disrepair and an eyesore, but they’re worried about getting rid of a staple of the Chestnut Hill community and alienating a lot of people? Besides, the book sale generates money for the Chestnut Hill branch!

Leslye L. Friedberg, Asst. Professor
Community College of Philadelphia