Thanks for inclusion to architectural hall of fame

The George Woodward Company and the Woodward family thank the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and everyone who voted to include the Ice House, the Abraham Rex Store (Woodward offices) and the Half Moon Houses in the Architectural Hall of Fame. We appreciate the recognition for the contribution our properties make to the overall appeal of Chestnut Hill and are very happy that the Woodward offices and the Half Moon Houses will join such a celebrated group of extraordinary properties.

Barbara J. Baumbach
George Woodward Co.


Life is wonderful

Seeing no letters in response to the story “Controversial ‘Shout Your Abortion’ author in Mt. Airy” of Nov. 29, here are some hopeful life-affirming points to consider.

Women have chosen life more as the numbers of abortions in America have plunged from roughly 1.5 million in the 1980s to less than one million per year according to the CDC. Now, women can go to a website like Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to learn how their little ‘offspring” is fully formed with all organ systems, hands and even toes within the first trimester. Amazingly, the heart beats within a month at a rate near 65 beats per minute according to the Cleveland Clinic site.

he same issue of the Local reported the help provided by Today is a Good Day and Top of the Hill Market and Cafe in “Thanksgiving dinner provided for parents of preemies and sick babies.” Similarly, multitudes of women have worked in pregnancy centers to provide care to the whole person year round, whether it be housing, job search, supplies and counseling even in grief. Women can find centers like Alphacare, A Baby’s Breath and many more “alternatives” listed on the “pregnancy lifeline” of the Pro- Life Union of Greater Philadelphia website. (

With all of this awareness and help, more women are choosing not to “shout,” but instead to sing a lullaby.

David Bryant Morgan


Abortion is like cannibalism?

Len Lear’s fawning plaudit of the “Shout Your Abortion” author (Local, Nov. 29) was not reportage but advocacy. Maybe next week Mr. Lear will celebrate cannibalism? I’m starting a new lifestyle movement called “Eat Liberals” and I hope Mr. Lear will give me ample column space to promote it, in lieu of providing the meal himself — that is, of himself.

Caryl Johnston


Article in Local sparks reunion

I received an email a few weeks ago from an old co-worker of mine at Safeguard Scientifics in Radnor, John Sheehan, who resides in Wayne now. John saw your article in the Local (“Hill native running huge dining/entertainment complex,” Nov. 1).

John called Pete Musser, an old friend, and told him about it. I then got a call from Pete, who invited me over for lunch at his office. John came along, and we shared “war stories” today over lunch.

The amazing thing is that I had not seen Pete in 19 years. Can you believe it? Your article in the Local brought us back together. And Pete may (I suspect) be interested in helping me grow my business. Pete is a business legend in the Reading area.

This makes me appreciate how great life is.

William “Chip” White


Israel blockade of Gaza ‘disgusting’

The Chairman of Temple University’s Board, Patrick O’Connor, wrongly characterized Professor Lamont Hill’s remarks in the press recently about discrimination against Palestinians as “lamentable” and “disgusting.”

What is “lamentable” and “disgusting” is the colonization of Palestinian lands and what a recent UN report revealed. It found that Gaza could become unfit for human life by 2020 if the illegal and unconscionable blockade continues. Only 10 percent of Palestinians in Gaza have access to adequate drinking water. The blockade has affected agricultural productivity by 40 percent, and most Gazans only have access to electricity a couple of hours each day.

O’Connor didn’t even make an attempt to understand what Hill meant when he said “sea to shining sea.” I am happy that Jenice Armstrong, in her Inquirer column, said she talked with Hill, and he explained that it meant all human beings deserve to live in peace with dignity and with the same rights. This includes the Palestinians.

I sense fear in Patrick O’Connor’s pronouncement, as well as in CNN’s firing of professor Hill. Fear that his ideas might catch on. That he might have ideas worth considering. That donors will threaten to not contribute.

Those who want to take away his right to free speech are afraid of losing control over the discussion of Israel/Palestine. I hope Temple will allow Lamont to continue to teach and permit his perspective to be heard and discussed.

Judy Rubin
West Mt. Airy


Fairmount Park Deer “Cull”

Wildlife Services’ (WS) gun-wielding “technicians” have been targeting deer for death in Fairmount Park for the last 18 years. In addition to the tragic loss of life of 3,793 deer reported killed park wide to date, the cost has been staggering. After 20 years, just over $507, 000 has been paid out to the contractors. This amount does not include processing the deer meat at $75 per deer on average. Add another $284,475 for processing. Finally, according to Philadelphia’s Law Department, there is no public record to account for the cost of providing city employees to assist before and during the “culls” as well as equipment and support materials.

Enough is enough. Decision makers and the rest of us should embark on a new tack by examining and rewriting our relationship with deer.

Again this year, Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) invited people to register for the All Trails Challenge which raises money for the Wissahickon. Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer (PAD) proposes another worthy challenge – that of peaceful co-existence with deer in all areas of Fairmount Park.

There’s a new workable approach that has taken root and shows great promise: The Greater Philadelphia Coyote Co-existence Initiative. Coyotes have long been called nature’s animal control officers. Since 1991, they’ve increased ten fold in southeastern Pennsylvania. According to Penn State, they are a significant source of deer mortality, and most often on fawns. A recent study out of South Carolina had similar findings. Locally, the Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve has evidence of predation on deer. Let these essential carnivores control the deer the natural way of achieving balanced ecosystems.

What’s more, the presence of predators keeps prey moving, thereby reducing the effects on browse vegetation (“An Ecology of Fear.”) Moving deer don’t overgraze. The risk of predation may have profound effects on the structure of ecosystems, and is an important constituent of native biodiversity (Ripple & Beschta). Of particular concern is the fact that hunters and trappers licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission kill more than 40,000 coyotes per year in our state. We need them for the health of our varied habitats.

Regarding coyote-human coexistence, Denver, Colorado has been called a “trend-setter.” There are other cities that have beneficial co-existence projects as well. It’s time for Philadelphia to get on board. Forced human control of predator and prey species has to change.

Bridgit Irons
Chestnut Hill