Letters June 28, 2012

Posted 6/26/12

We need to help police

On Thursday, June 21, just before 2:30 p.m. a tall, well dressed, older gentleman entered our store on Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill. After paying for a $20 item with a …

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Letters June 28, 2012


We need to help police

On Thursday, June 21, just before 2:30 p.m. a tall, well dressed, older gentleman entered our store on Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill. After paying for a $20 item with a one hundred dollar bill, my employee gave him $80 in change.  This individual said he was given the wrong change and wanted his $100 bill back.

My employee refused and showed him the receipt where he was given the correct change.  At that point the individual pushed my employee away from the cash register, stole the $100 bill, and exited the store. Shortly thereafter he proceeded to at least one other store in Mt. Airy where he tried (unsuccessfully) with the same ruse.

This individual has been undertaking this particular crime for over ten years.  He has done it in Chestnut Hill, Mt Airy, South Street, and possibly other areas of the city.  In the past I have only known him to confuse cashiers and get the $100 bill by deception. He is now turning to violence as many are aware of his actions and don't fall for his fast talk.

Because his crimes are against businesses and are relatively low dollar, it seems he has been under the radar for too long.  I am asking any businesses or individuals with knowledge of this particular type of crime to contact me.  I am assembling a dossier of his actions to try to have more resources allocated to apprehend this criminal before his violent actions escalate further.

After attending the crime summit meeting last week I have confidence that the officers in our district can stop this person, but they need our help to make that happen.

Thanks for any information you can provide.

Andrew Celwyn

Owner Herbiary

If you're as angry as we are about being shocked awake at 3 a.m. several mornings last week by a PennDOT work crew sandblasting the Belgian Blocks on Germantown Avenue, we thought you'd like to know whom to thank for that bit of neighborly thoughtlessness.

According to Nicholas A. Martino, assistant district executive of maintenance, PennDOT, Alliance for Philadelphia and the Chestnut Hill Historical Society met with PennDOT officials requesting early morning hours on the Avenue to “accommodate the safety of pedestrians and avoid inconvenience for the businesses.” Not for the first time, this demonstrates a complete lack of concern or respect for the people who live near Germantown Avenue, support the business every day (not just on the occasional visit) and need their sleep.

In the June 21 issue of the Local, Patricia Cove (coincidentally, vice president of preservation for the Chestnut Hill Historical Society) waxed eloquent on “the magic of Chestnut Hill.” We agree that the Hill can, indeed, be magical. Somehow, though, when you're operating on four hours' sleep, it  seems considerably less so.

Jim Dunn and Kate Cassidy

Chestnut Hill

Thank you, Patricia Cove, for the reminder to all of us, both newcomers and long-timers, of the history of “The Avenue”, our most public space. I’d like to add a fact or two that you probably modestly left out.

While LLoyd Wells got the ball rolling, scads of volunteers have kept it apace over the years and much of the heavy lifting has been done by the Aesthetics Committee of which Patricia has been a most productive member. For years, along with Myrna Pope, she has worked with merchants freely giving her professional services in order to help our businesses add to the Avenue ambiance mindful of their need to make a living.

A good example: It is thanks to the Aesthetic Committee especially Myrna and Patricia that we have a McDonald’s that doesn’t look like the highway model. Joanne Dhody, Dottie Sheffield and Susan Pizzano did likewise as did so many others  of all the Physical Division Committees.

Aesthetics volunteers have a really tough job. They are asking businesses to cooperate in the appearance of a place that is our claim to fame and is admired by many far and wide. They bear the brunt of criticism and even scorn by those who don’t understand or maybe even care about this dynamic that draws people here yet reap the benefits. Without the reputation of the uniqueness of the Avenue we’d be just any old neighborhood.

Most merchants know this and also work hard and generously to be a part of this special community. It is this spirit and hard work that has over many years and volunteer hours created an atmosphere that draws many to visit and spend and support our community. It’s what makes working on the Aesthetics and other Avenue related committees challenging but so very rewarding.

So I think a big thank you is owed to those like Patricia and Myrna and Joanne and all who have contributed their time and talent to keep us so distinct and good luck to those who will be new members of these committees.

Marie Lachat

Chestnut Hill

Animals in Hot Vehicles

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States.  Its victims include our cherished animal companions that are left unattended in vehicles by their “owners” who don’t realize the dangerous consequences involved.

It was reported that on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 2 dogs died in Massachusetts when left in a vehicle with fresh water and the windows open.  Last summer I spotted a small dog left alone in a mall parking lot; the vehicle’s engine and air conditioner were running.  A couple lost 2 of their 3 dogs after their vehicle’s compressor kicked off when the engine got too hot.  A police officer described the vehicle as a solar-powered oven.

The sun’s shortwave radiation heats solid objects such as the dashboard, steering wheel and seats.  These objects can reach 180 to 200 degrees on a very hot day.  They heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection, giving off longwave radiation which warms the air inside the vehicle.  It doesn’t matter if the windows are cracked.   Even in the shade on an average summer day, danger lurks.  That “quick” errand could spell disaster.

Studies from the Louisiana State Medical Society, San Francisco State University, Stanford University and the Animal Protection Institute have come up with some startling facts concerning the thermal welfare of animals during times of excessive heat.  Get the facts and then exercise due caution.

One municipality has recently been flooded with calls from the public reporting dogs left alone in vehicles. Fourteen states have laws against putting an animal’s life in danger while alone in a parked vehicle.  Pennsylvania is not among them, although local ordinances may be applicable.  I know someone who paid a fine for leaving his dog alone in his vehicle parked on a street in Roxborough during the winter.  Be advised.

Veterinarians warn that there’s no safe way to ever leave an animal in a vehicle during warm weather.  Dave Barry once said, “Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car…”  Not always my trusting friend.

Bridget Irons

Chestnut Hill

Thanks to William Brennan

I was in William Brennan's first class at OMC, and as they say "the proof is in the pudding". [“After 40 years, an OMC institution retires,” June 21] That gentle man should know that when he was a little thinner and a little less gray, he helped inspire individuals who are now, from that first class, a lawyer, an ER doctor, a couple of Ph.D.s, teachers, a couple of financiers, and at least one former book publishing executive in NYC (me).  Thank you for believing that teaching was worth your professional life!

Adriana della Porta

Chestnut Hill

Holiday House Tour Interior and Garden Design Opportunity

A very special Holiday House Tour is planned for 2012, offering a wonderful and unusual opportunity for interior- and garden-designers. An annual Chestnut Hill tradition, put on by the Chestnut Hill Community Association; 600-800 visitors, from northwest Philadelphia, the Main Line, and other surrounding communities, attend this tour of Chestnut Hill homes.

We are looking for designers for the homes, inside and out. Decorating for the Holiday House Tour is an excellent marketing tool for designers, giving exposure to touring guests and homeowners alike. Five homes are included in the tour; each ground-floor room and porch/entrance area is assigned to a different designer, providing openings for 25-30 designers.

The Holiday House Tour will be on December 1st, 2012.  Set up will be November 29th and 30th.  If you are interested in becoming a designer for HHT, please contact us at hht@chestnuthilll.org or call 215-248-8811

Celeste Hardester