by Stan Cutler

The Harpers are house hunting, looking for a Delaware Valley neighborhood where they can “set down roots” and raise a family. Our neighborhood ought to be on their list, don’t you think?

We are a baseball-friendly community with Little League games at the Water Tower and a youth league. In case you’ve somehow escaped the media hype, this young man, Bryce Harper, just agreed to receive $330 million dollars to play for the Phillies until the year 2031 – the most money ever promised to a baseball player. As the icing on the cake, because we’re inside the city limits, the Harpers can save $5 million in wage taxes as Philly residents over the life of the contract.

As it happens, the Chestnut Hill Library’s Spring Speaker Series begins with a baseball talk by local data scientist Lindsey Murdah. Lindsey has been poring over baseball statistics for 60 years and has come to some fascinating conclusions. Harper will be in Clearwater that day, but his wife, Kayla, could come, meet some of the neighbors and check out the neighborhood. Mrs. Harper, this is your invitation.

We received so many offers to speak in our series that we had to divide the season in two. There will be a Tuesday afternoon series of five presentations, every other week at 1:30 p.m. in the community room at the back of the library, 8711 Germantown Ave. There will also be two discussion events at other times. Here’s the Spring Calendar:

THE SPEAKER SERIES (Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m.)

• March 12 BASEBALL: THE NUMBERS GAME with Lindsey Murdah, former statistics professor reveals the truth of the numbers and implications for the Phillies’ 2019 prospects

• March 26: TRUTH VS. FAKE NEWS IN THE TRUMP ERA with Peter Lewis, former New York Times editor and Stanford journalism professor, discusses the risks and challenges facing American citizens in the unstable media environment of the moment

• April 9: MEDICAL MARIJUANA with Wanda Beilenson, pharmacist in Pennsylvania marijuana dispensary

• April 23: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LENAPE? with Claude Epstein, former Stockton University Professor, expert on impacts of European development on Delaware Valley’s native people and natural resources

• May 7: MUSIC AND MEMORY with Marja Kaisla, concert pianist and educator, reveals latest findings on the remarkable power of music to inhibit the symptoms of dementia

THE DISCUSSION SERIES

• March 20: Wednesday, 6 p.m., EARLY LITERACY with Christine Heimer, primary teacher with 40 years of experience explains ways to turn children into avid readers

• April 11, Thursday, 1:30 pm., THE NOVELS OF ELENA FERRANTE: SECRETS OF THEIR POWER with Karen Bojar reveals hidden dimensions of the sensationally popular “Neapolitan Quartet.” Bojar is a former Community College of Philadelphia literature and women’s studies professor, NOW executive and City Committeewoman

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