Top stories

Postal delays a problem across Northwest Philadelphia

As of press time on Monday, the U.S. post office still had not delivered the Sept. 9 issue of this newspaper to our Chestnut Hill subscribers. Businesses all over Philadelphia that rely on the mail service to ship their goods report similar problems.

Former executive at the National Audubon Society is new director at Northwestern Stables

Jean Bochnowski has joined Northwestern Stables as Executive Director.

Springfield Township Board of Commissioners Business Meeting - September 15

The Springfield Township Board of Commissioners acknowledged three individuals for their service to the Springfield Township at Wednesday’s monthly business meeting. Springfield Township Community Day celebration will take place on Sunday, Oct. 3, preceded by the Erdenheim Civic Association 5k Race and Fun run at 9 a.m.

LUPZ approves Shawnee townhouses, with conditions

The Chestnut Hill Community Association Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on September 9 was devoted to reviewing plans for a development of eight townhouses at 8201 Shawnee …

Philadelphia Bans the Bag!

Philadelphia’s single-use plastic bag ban goes into effect for retail establishments across the city on October 1st, and the Chestnut Hill Community Association is celebrating that fact with a Reusable Tote Bag Decorating Contest open to young people 14 years old and under.

Penn Charter’s Charlotte Hodgson named to USA Select U18 lacrosse team

Charlotte Hodgson of Penn Charter School has been named to the 2021 USA Select U18 team, chosen as one of 22 of the nation’s top high school girls’ lacrosse players.

The art, the music, the neighbors

The Mt. Airy Art Garage’s MAAG Rocks Art last weekend lucked out on perfect weather for their Fall event.

More News
East Mt. Airy is booming with development, but much is the kind locals don’t want. The kind that makes long time residents feel pushed out.
UPDATE: We have reports the September 16 issue is being delivered on schedule. Home delivery of the September 9th editions of the Chestnut Hill Local and the Mt. Airy Local has been delayed by a yet undetermined problem in the bulk mail processing center in Philadelphia, though it has been delivered with the 9/16 issue in some areas.
The Chestnut Hill Hospital is currently treating 15 patients for COVID-19. Friday morning, September 12, three of those patients were in the Intensive Care Unit.
After an almost two-month search, the Chestnut Hill Local has named Carla Robinson as its new editor.  Robinson replaces Pete Mazzaccaro who resigned in June after 15 years in the …
This week marks the opening of  “booked” at 8511 Germantown Avenue, the fulfillment of a long-held dream by its owner, Debbie Gress Jansen.

Crime Report September 13-20, 2021

The following crime report is for crimes reported in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy for the two-week period between September 13 and 20, 2021.

Chill Local
Arts more

Nick Gillette’s “Yurodivy” will be performed September 23, 24 and 25.

From late June through August of 1969, the Harlem Cultural Festival was graced by over 30 performances from music legends like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, B.B. King, Gladys Knight and The Pips and more.
This fall, as life in our area gets back to a new normal, one of the surest signs is the return of the Fall for the Arts Festival coming September 26.
If ever there was a timely novel, it is Nancy Allen's “Grace.”

Geeky, cheeky, sneaky, and freaky, “Paul” (2011) is a gigglefest for sci-fi-romaniacs.

Food for Thought

So this is one of those food column stories that comes along once in a blue moon and I jumped at the chance to cover it. It’s a story involving someone on my all-time top five list of people I must meet before I die, and it’s a story that could only happen here in Philly.

Worth Reading
One of the pleasures of doing this column comes when readers send book suggestions.
Citizen Canine

Saturday, July 24, started out as just another day in the park for Chestnut Hill resident Anthony Stover. As he did every Saturday at 8 a.m., he brought Biscuit, his 7-month-old mini–Australian Shepherd, to Pastorius Park. Biscuit was playing with about six other dogs when he suddenly started to squeal.

Homes & Home

Chestnut Hill Garden District Fund’s annual spring planting has Germantown Avenue ablaze with color

For the 18th consecutive year, Germantown Avenue is exploding with the color of flowering annuals planted by dozens of dedicated volunteers.

How to grow flowering orchid cacti on your enclosed porch

My wife, Valerie, is particularly fond of the flowers that bloom on our front porch for a month starting in mid-April. The orchid cacti (two specimens are in bloom in the picture) have survived another winter on our climate-controlled, enclosed front porch.


Designing a Twin/Duplex

The owners of shared buildings often cite many conveniences in having a neighbor close -by.
By Design

With the right vision, a rancher could be a good choice

I grew up in a “Rancher”.  In fact, my father built it himself, in 1959, and it remained our family home for the next 50 years. 
Each century, each year, each political, social or industrial movement can create its own design direction or philosophy. There is no movement for which that is more true than the period known as the Arts and Crafts movement.
When looking back at interior styles following the popular Arts and Crafts movement, two styles that are often referenced together but could not be more different are Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
Real estate
Prospective buyers looking to relocate to Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill are especially challenged, say local realtors. 

Mount cross country appears formidable in early meets

In their Athletic Association of Catholic Academies opener last Wednesday, the Magic of Mount St. Joseph Academy captured the first four places and also positioned two other runners in the top nine to easily over come a pair of league rivals.

PC and SCH harriers engage in Inter-Ac opener

In contrast to September 2020, the cross country season got off to a relatively normal start last Tuesday for the boys of Penn Charter and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, who met the squad from Episcopal Academy for an Inter-Ac League tri-meet at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park.

PC field hockey overcoming Friends school foes

In the first few weeks of September, Penn Charter's field hockey team has been dominating the Friends Schools League. While a Quaker school, PC actually belongs to the Inter-Ac League, but in non-league matches prior to the start of league play, the Quakers have defeated three FSL teams in a row.

The varsity roster recently announced by Coach Castano actually list more seniors than last year's, 11 in all.

If you didn't glance at the scoreboard and simply watched the ebb and flow of action in last Saturday's soccer game at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, you might have been a little surprised at the 3-0 final score.
After several early soccer scrimmages for each side, the boys of Germantown Academy and visiting Hun School met for their first official game of 2021 last Friday in GA's Carey Stadium. The host …
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy didn't lose a game during the abbreviated 2020 season, and in their last full campaign in 2019 the Devils achieved the rare feat of winning the Inter-Ac League championship with a 12-0 record.

Teens in the PA Youth Vote summer ensemble performed their debut forum theatre show on the steps of the School District of Philadelphia.

Barber teachers from the Germantown-based Pennsylvania Barber School provided free haircuts to prepare students for the new school year at the Unity in the Northwest Community Celebration on Saturday, August 28.

In March of 1987, I was a 22-year-old Peace Corps trainee, recently arrived in Thiès, Senegal. West Africa, where I planned to spend the next two years. Over the next two decades, Oumar and I always managed to see each other every few years. I

At a meeting of the Philadelphia School Board on Tuesday afternoon, the board unanimously approved a mandate for all school staff to be vaccinated.

The driver shortage began before the pandemic, and accelerated last year. There is still a gap to be filled by the beginning of the school year.

Sarah Stevens Heckscher
Long-time Chestnut Hill resident Sarah Stevens Heckscher, who died of metastatic breast cancer July 17 in Greenbrae, Marin County, Calif. at 85, was truly a renaissance woman.
Marianne “Nancy” Shipley Rhoads
Marianne “Nancy” Shipley Rhoads, wife of the late Donald Vail Rhoads and daughter of Walter Penn Shipley Jr. and Mary Dawson Strawbridge, died on August 3, 2021. From her parents she …
Mt. Airy polymath descended from Philadelphia giants
Christopher Rittenhouse Bentley, 59, passed away on Aug. 6 after a five-month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Walter J. Fox Jr., writer and journalist
In retirement, he worked for several years as articles editor at the Chestnut Hill Local.
Ellen Van Pelt Wells, first editor of the Local
Ellen Van Pelt Wells, newspaper editor, political activist and naturalist, died peacefully on August 14th at age 93 in Philadelphia. 
Opinion & letters
Enemies of reading

What others called waste, I played with on Saturdays: How getting down to nuts and bolts helped me lose my mindset Part one.

Finnegan's Furniture Store in Darby, PA, seemed hardly the place for mind expansion when I went to work there at 18. In fact, there was little room for expansion of any kind. Every piece of space was …


Community newspapers lost in the mail, an ongoing issue

On September 14th, I sent an email to the U.S. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy.  Because I couldn’t trust the USPS to deliver a letter to him.

Fall for the Arts

Chestnut Hill Arts in the Fall.

Our mission, your input, my promise

Last week, I began my new role as editor of this storied newspaper. And I consider myself fortunate indeed. I have always loved journalism, and being able to do it amid so much history and such a deep bench of fascinating people is an opportunity few could pass up.
We need to decrease the crime, violence, and Police issues in our City of Philadelphia and Tri-State area. Two Nonprofit Organizations have been working towards helping the issues. Urban …
I think the Local is right on target in forbidding entry to anyone who is not vaccinated. I wish that every business, including supermarkets, schools and theaters, would enforce this.
This letter is in response to your obituary of Chris Bentley (“Mt. Airy polymath descended from Philadelphia giants,” Aug. 26). Chris was our neighbor since 2001. In the many accidental …
About Chestnut Hill
Save Your Photos Month
September is Save Your Photos Month. During this month, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy encourages everyone to preserve our photographs, so that future generations may learn from them.
Discovering Chestnut Hill: Nurses Week
Did you know that May 6 is both National Nurses Day and the first day of National Nurses Week? This “Week” ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Covid collecting for the Chestnut Hill Conservancy
Scenes that typified Chestnut Hill during the early days of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 are already fading from our daily experience: next-to-no cars on Germantown Avenue, closed stores, Xs …
Discovering Chestnut Hill: The Wissahickon Garden Club
Normally, the first week of March brings us a reminder that spring is just around the corner, with the arrival of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania …
Together with our community champions: Looking back at 2020 for the Chestnut Hill Conservancy
Because of your support, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy has been able to sustain our stewardship of the history, architecture, and open space we treasure.