Top stories

Car jackings in Northwest Philadelphia ‘outliers’ in rising car theft count

Two notable car jackings in Northwest Philadelphia have put residents on edge, but police say the two incidents are “outliers” and don’t represent a new crime pattern. Police said cars stolen when the owner has left it running and an increase in thefts of catalytic converters represent the real threat.

Springfield Commissioners issue statement on Capitol violence

At the outset of the monthly Business meeting, Board of Commissioners President Baird Standish read a statement on behalf of the Board concerning the violence at the Capitol that occurred on January 6. 
Community

Mt. Airy bowmaker continues to set standards despite pandemic

Elizabeth Vander Veer Shaak took a roundabout route to making bows for violins, violas and cellos.

New round of Business Relief Funds announced by Mt. Airy CDC

The Mt. Airy Community Development Corporation (CDC) will open applications for a fourth round of business relief funds on Friday, January 15.

Local singing minister involved in many humane causes

It's hard to imagine how just one person can do it all. 

More News
Currently in Phase 1A, the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination, the city announced which residents will be eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1B and Phase 1C.   In Phase 1B, frontline …
Indoor dining resumed in Philadelphia, Saturday January 16, as the city lifts a portion of the Safer at Home restrictions. Theaters can also reopen with a maximum occupancy of 10%.
Business
The pandemic had a devastating effect on almost every independently owned business in the Chestnut Hill area, but imagine if you have a business that depends on weddings, store openings and other celebratory events.
Crime

Crime Report: 7 catalytic converters taken in Mt. Airy

The following crime report is for crimes reported in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy from Jan 11 through Jan. 17 Mt. Airy --  Seven catalytic converters taken in Mt. Airy neighborhood. Seven Mt. …

Chill Local
Food for Thought

This is typically the time of year I start to count the days until spring. Just when I think it can’t get any colder, a polar vortex is here, with plans to stick around for weeks.

The year 2021 may just be the perfect storm for a restaurant revolution, an experimental food frenzy unlike any we‘ve ever seen.
Flix

Each week, veteran film critic Bill Wine will look back at an important film that is worth watching, either for the first time or again. Ah, seven-minute Saturday Night Live TV sketches adapted …

Arts

Piffaro, Philadelphia Renaissance Band, continued its “virtual” 2020-21 season of entertaining historic concerts Jan. 5-12 with “Music for Twelfth Night.”

Chestnut Hill's multi-talented French-Canadian chanteuse Lucie Daigle, a virtual local legend, is the only local musician I have interviewed since last March who has actually been performing live semi-regularly during the pandemic.
Last week my wife and I were sitting in the waiting room of Mt. Airy Family Practice when I could not help but notice a series of beautiful paintings of birds on the wall that were for sale.
Worth Reading
I happened on John Kaag's "American Philosophy: A Love Story" back in 2016 and immediately became a fan of this young philosophy professor.
BOOKS

'From Schlub to Stud' author at Mt. Airy Zoom event

How many nerdy young men have felt insecure looking in a mirror, envying the handsome, muscular star athletes who seem to effortlessly wind up with the beautiful, popular and most desirable cheerleaders, prom queens, etc.? The answer: Millions!

Liner Notes

White Stripes hits collection a worthy re-introduction to the garage rockers

 Anyone who grew up in the 80s or 90s likely had one or both of the following greatest hits collections: Steve Miller Band’s “Greatest Hits 1974-1978” and “Legend: …

Homes & Home
Gardening

Pandemic poses a threat to orchids

Philadelphians who like seeing orchids in bloom year-round mimic a subtropical climate six-months of the year, using artificial lighting, heating and city water.

Gardening: The exacting demands of orchid care

Plants have a need to flower. While a plant may not feel desire in the same way an animal does, it is compelled to reproduce. Horticulturists are voyeurs who are happy to assist. My wife, Valerie, is …

Features

Stepping into the new year with new colors and accessories

Happy New Year! 2021 has arrived, and I think I think I must have read more than 20 articles on how things are going to be different going forward.

Looking forward to a return to comfort next year

The holidays will be different this year. From what I am hearing, many are going "all out" in their holiday decorating, trying to make thigs as normal as possible. While others are planning a very …
Real estate
An architect’s rendering shows what the entryway to 7111 Germantown Avenue, a new condo development, will look like once complete. By Pete Mazzaccaro Local developer Ken Weinstein has made a …
Alex Aberle and Violette Levy stand in front of their 16-room, 6,724-square-foot structure with 12-foot-high ceilings, revitalizing one of Mt. Airy’s most historic homes into an airy modern …
Mimi represents this property at 28 West Abington, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, brick twin that was the home of one family for over 50 years. Asking price is $349,900. By Stacia Friedman Magnolia, …
Sports

Mount splits with Gwynedd, Nazareth in first week of hoops

The basketball season finally got underway for Mount St. Joseph Academy last week after three scheduled games before Christmas were postponed due to the State of Pennsylvania's response to a surge in …
by Tom Utescher

SCH goalie commits after late recruiting rush

In the middle of November, the early signing period for the National Letter of Intent came and went, and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy goalie Julia Wilbekaitis wasn't even sure if she was going to …

Mount hoopsters ready to go when PA lets season proceed

Along with its fellow members in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies, Mount St. Joseph Academy started basketball team practice last Monday. Later in the week, Governor Wolf's latest order …

On December 10, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a new round of statewide restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in the statement was the stipulation that "All sports at K-12 …

For high school athletes in the area, it was a normal November in at least one sense; top performers officially committed to the colleges of their choice by signing a National Letter of Intent during …
Earlier in the brief 2020 field hockey season, Germantown Academy and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy had each beaten the Penn Charter squad by one goal. That led many people to expect a very close …
Schools

Shannon Palus, a member of the Germantown Friends School Class of 2008 and a science writer and editor at Slate, Zoomed in to discuss her career, ethical issues in reporting and her writing process.

Mia Costonis, Alysa Akins and Meena Padhye are Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) students who have learned a lot more at school than English, history, math and science. They have learned how to change the lives of women in Cambodia.

Following in the footsteps of many successful Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) students, three Springside Chestnut Hill Academy teams recently placed at the top of the Global Youth …

Obituaries
Ruth R. Russell, journalist, longtime Local editor
Ruth R. Russell, a longtime Local editor and Chestnut Hill resident, died on Jan 2. She was 87. Russell was a life-long Philadelphian. She was born in Olney to William and Doris Rummler. William …
Carole Delmore Sivin, artist, educator
Carole Sivin, a long-time Hill resident, artist and professor died on Dec. 30 at the age of 84.
Nancy Lang Boyer, artist and winner of Penn State Show
 Nancy Lang Boyer, oil and pastel painter, passed peacefully at the age of 94 on December 17 at home in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, where she lived during the past four years, across the street …
George von Scheven, architect
George von Scheven, 83, a former Chestnut Hill resident, died December 4, in San Francisco, CA.  His family was at his side. Mr. von Scheven was born in 1937, in Frankfurt am Mein, Hessen, …
Bernice Krauss Bricklin, attorney, political activist
Bernice Bricklin, a political activist and attorney, died at Cathedral Village in Roxborough on Dec. 19 from complications of COVID-19. She was 93. Bricklin was born on August 4, 1927 in …
Opinion & letters
Enemies of reading

A noted writer takes readers on a tour of apocalypse preparedness

Every site described in Mark O'Connell's "Personal Journey" can be seen on YouTube. So, why write a book? What does a book offer that an assemblage of pixels does not?

Finding your creative self in the New Year

Is there some way in which you're hoping to live a more creative life this year? Are you hoping to express yourself? Begin wood sculpting, or quilting, or writing a novel or memoir? Writing songs?

Opinion

West Highland Ave property an example of the ordinary worth saving

It's time to recognize the ordinary in Chestnut Hill. Yes, this community is an architectural museum of extraordinary houses, a green landscape of trees and gardens, a community devoted to the arts; but it's also a place that is rich in the history of the everyday, of work, industry, school, and of things we barely notice.

Planning for the next 25 years of Jenks Children’s Park

As a young family, we were lucky to have chosen Chestnut Hill to begin our lives together. It also had a wonderful playground at the center of town that became our destination more times than I can count and continues to be now that our children attend Jenks Academy. 

Violent crime must remain an ‘outlier’

The talk of Northwest Philadelphia for the past week have been two car jackings. The first took place on the 8000 block of Winston Road. The second one took place less than a week later on East …

Springfield Township Rotary Club kept busy during 2020

We kept our masks on and gloves when needed and hit the ground running, the virus was not stopping us from helping others.
Letters
I am a long-time Weavers Way Coop working member. Learning that coop workers many soon lose their Covid-19 hazard pay, I write in reference to their overall compensation.
One puzzling aspect of the attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 is that many of the rioters claim to be Christians.
It has been tough but Bohemian Pink survived the year! With a very heavy heart I have decided to close the brick and mortar store at the end of January.
What an incredible article about Yvonne Haskins and a great photograph, too (“Mt. Airy community activist, ex-cop, has unique history,” Dec. 31)!
I write with gratitude for the role Evan Turner played in building credibility for the new Chestnut Hill Historical Society (now the Chestnut Hill Conservancy) during our earliest years in the late sixties.
About Chestnut Hill
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.
Discovering Chestnut Hill: Women’s Equality Day observed
This photograph from the Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s Archives appears to show women heading to the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession held in Washington, D.C., in protest of the lack of voting rights …
Discover Chestnut Hill: remembrances of Chestnut Hill Past… (Part 1 Of 2)
This April 1940 photograph shows Alessandra Cartelli’s mother and sister, Rose and Louise Cartelli, before boarding the ship to Philadelphia to join Pietro Cartelli. By Molly Murphy Anyone who …
In celebration of International Rock Day
This circa 1924 photograph shows a large outcrop of Wissahickon Schist being quarried in the 7500 block of Germantown Avenue, later the site of the Trolley Car Diner. Vito Benvenuto of Benezet …
Discover Chestnut Hill: Documenting our history and the pandemic
SEPTA’s “Lifeline” map of Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy is shown here, with lines in operation highlighted, as well as the locations of “life-sustaining” businesses. By Alex …