Archive: December, 2011
Elyssa Clauson tasted salsa for the first time with a group of people surrounding her a few weeks ago. Describing herself as somewhat unadventurous, the sophomore at Lower Merion High School said a fear of trying new foods has plagued her since age two.
But going to Haiti this May could change all that. Along with 17 of her LMHS classmates, Clauson will be forced to eat rice, beans and other local foods in order to keep energized. As a part of the LMHS Trek chapter of buildOn, a national organization that facilitates youth volunteerism, the students will travel to Haiti to construct a school in a rural area of the country in two weeks while living in homestays.
“Especially for seniors and the upperclassmen, we’re finishing out our four years here, and we realized how much we take for granted the education we have at Lower Merion,” LMHS buildOn President Anna O’Neill said. “Lower Merion is so different even compared to what we have in the United States.”
“It’s buildOn’s mantra to use education to break the cycle of poverty,” O’Neill, a senior, added. “We’re taking that abroad to Haiti.”
Thirty percent of Haitian children make it to sixth grade, and while the school district renovates the LMHS campus and administrative facilities, coconut and banana leaves hold up some schoolhouses in Haiti. After seeing images of devastation on news channels and through documentaries, junior Josh Metzman said actually seeing the landscape will help him understand how the project will impact Haiti, and more importantly, how Haiti will impact his classmates.
The culmination of a four-year process ended at the Wed., Dec. 14 Lower Merion Board of Commissioners special meeting, after the board passed the controversial City Avenue rezoning ordinance, which created two zoning districts along the City Avenue corridor of Bala Cynywd.
Township Building and Planning Director Bob Duncan presented the ordinance before the commissioners and public deliberated over lingering concerns and amendments before ultimately passing the ordinance, along with an effective date of April 30, 2012.
A handful of the more than 50-member audience shared a myriad of pro-and anti-ordinance views and concerns.
The congressional effects of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s Monday, Dec. 12 vote on final redistricting plans has been widely reported online, but the decision affects more than national politics.
The commission’s decision has had local ripples for the Main Line, specifically in terms of the House of Representative legislative districts Lower Merion and Haverford townships.
According to the 2011 final plan, the 166th legislative district, which belongs to Rep. Greg Vitali (D), no longer encompasses all of Haverford Township. Despite protests from residents, the Haverford board of commissioners and Vitali himself over the splitting of Haverford, the township’s Wards 1 and 9 has been given to Rep. Nicholas Micozzie’s (R) 163rd district.
The rezoning ordinance, which has been in discussions since 2007, seeks to redevelop the corridor of City Avenue in Bala Cynywyd and Philadelphia into two zoning districts to make it more pedestrian friendly, create mixed-use residential and business space, and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities.
The ordinance has caused an uproar among township residents, who’ve expressed concerns ranging from redevelopment’s impact of traffic, to the lack of a master plan to deal with future redevelopment, as well as a fear that the ordinance would transform the suburban community of that corridor to a more urban look.
The mother of three, PTO organizers Dana Ott and Meghan Johnson, as well as other PTO members helped set up tables throughout the house at 804 Maple Glen Lane in Wayne, also offering everyone coffee as vendors laid out their elaborate items for the elementary school’s first-ever Holiday Shopping Extravaganza.
Back in October, the residents of S. Wyoming Avenue faced the Board of Commissioners and asked for help. Hardy Houder Real Estate Group proposed plans to the board to construct a cluster of 10 townhouses and four semi-detached homes in place of three pre-existing homes on the neighborhood block just off Lancaster Avenue at 9, 11, 13 and 19 S. Wyoming Ave.
Despite acknowledging the concerns of the residents, the Board of Commissioners granted approved Hardy Houder Real Estate Group’s tentative sketch plan on Oct. 19. Now, the development company is taking the next logical step: applying for a preliminary land development plan to demolish the three homes it will need to build 14 more.
We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the application, which will be reviewed by the Planning Commission on Feb. 6.
When he lived in Iraq, 25-year-old Hamza Albahadily worked for the United States in the Green Zone in Baghdad, dealing with laundry and occasionally alternating to drive trucks in a convoy.
Before emigrating to the U.S., Albahadily and his wife, Nathera and Alshemry faced a series of horrific incidents. While driving in a convoy, Albahadily was injured by shrapnel during an attack. Alshemry dealt with the death of her father, who died of a heart attack, and her brother, killed in an insurgent attack.
The final straw for the family occurred when Albahadily’s life was threatened after he and his wife discovered an envelope shoved under the door that contained a bullet and a message instructing Albahadily to leave his home.
Albahadily and his family now reside in Bryn Mawr, where they’ve lived for the last two years. A slight language barrier aside, the family’s hurdles such as employment and other necessary resources have been resolved with the help of fellow Bryn Mawr residents, who recently nominated Albahdily and his family for the “Surprise Pit Crew” contest of mobile tire installation business, TireVan.
After two public hearings in Harrisburg, the culmination of the state legislative and congressional redistricting plans for Pennsylvania occurs today, Dec. 12 at the 3 p.m. public administrative hearing, where the Legislative Reapportionment Committee votes on final plans.
If the committee approves a plan that makes little adjustments based on testimonies from concerned representatives of Haverford and Lower Merion townships, Vitali’s 166 legislative district, which encompasses all of Haverford Township, will lose its Wards 1 and 9 to State Rep. Nicholas Micozzie’s 163rd district.
Lower Merion Police issued two alerts Monday, Dec. 12 regarding incidents in Merion and Wynnewood and Bala Cynwyd.
In the first alert, Lower Merion Police state that thefts from unlocked automobiles occurred in the 500 block of Rock Avon Road, the 200 block of Avon Road, the 500 block of Merwyn Road, Merion and the 400 block of Chichester Lane, Wynnewood, where residents reported missing small electronic items and money.
Police said the thefts occurred in the overnight hours between Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11.
The owner of an 86-year-old Main Line mansion has plans to raze it and build a new home in its place.
But as he waits, the 12,000 square-foot-structure at 117 Raynham Rd., in Merion will begin to lose its insides.
From stripping the library’s cherry wood to doors with stained glass panels to removing flagstone, and intricate railings, the company Pre-demolition Sales will help sell off the contents of the home and its pool houses starting Sunday.