Gateway The President’s Message The Neighborhood Club of

Fall 2012
Newsletter of The Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd
P.O. Box 717, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004 •
The Oldest of the Main Line Civic Associations – 1906
John C. Grugan, President — 610.668.2536
President’s Message
Neighbors and friends,
I write to wish you the best and to thank
you for your support of The Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd for the past
two years. We have seen remarkable
developments in our community since
January 2011 and these developments
illustrate the positive influence neighbors
can have when united by the common
purpose of maintaining and enhancing
the local community. Perhaps the best
example of this positive influence is the
exceptional work of the Friends of the
Cynwyd Trail. Among our many assets
in Bala Cynwyd, the Trail, the result of
hundreds of hours of volunteer service, is
a community jewel.
A number of significant issues affecting
the community will be considered over
the next two years, including the possible
rezoning of the Bala Avenue District.
During this time, The Neighborhood
Club will be guided by Amara Briggs.
Amara is smart, practical, and dynamic.
She will be a wonderful Neighborhood
Club President. Please give her and the
Club your support.
Again, thank you for these past two years.
I look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood or along the Trail.
With best regards,
John Grugan
To be included on our email list and
to receive our electronic newsletter,
notify us of your interest by emailing
[email protected]
Casey O’Bannon, Editor — 610.668.0734
The Neighborhood Club of
Bala Cynwyd’s Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
7:00 p.m., refreshments • 7:30 p.m., start of business meeting
Union Fire Station
Montgomery Avenue and Tregaron Road
(Please note change of location for this meeting)
Please join us for refreshments prior to the meeting followed by Elections
of Directors and Officers. After our elections we will conduct a full slate
of business including presentations and discussion about current
neighborhood issues. All neighbors are welcome.
Candidate Slate for
The Neighborhood Club Annual Elections
Following are the candidate slates for The Neighborhood Club elections.
Candidates were interviewed by The Neighborhood Club’s nominating committee. Per our bylaws all members (dues paid for 2012) are eligible to vote.
For Officers to serve one year (terms expiring December 31, 2013)
Amara Briggs, President
Jerry Skillings, Vice President
Meredith Toole, Secretary
Casey O’Bannon, Treasurer
Bob Zimmerman, Solicitor
John Grugan, Past President
Directors nominated to fill vacancies with terms ending December 31, 2013
Joe Farah, Mike Utkus, Shifra Vega
For Director beginning new terms January 1, 2013
through December 31, 2014
Eric Foster, Anne M. Greenhalgh, Roger Moog, Alison Munoz,
Dan Russoniello, Sarah Pevaroff Schuh, Merle Zucker
Any Neighborhood Club member wishing to nominate a candidate for officer
or director other than those selected by our Nominating Committee should consult The Neighborhood Club’s bylaws at for details.
Crime Prevention Is a Community Responsibility
By Commissioner Brian McGuire, Ward 13
[email protected]; 484-270-8505
If your home is broken into:
The recent uptick in burglaries, thefts and robberies in and around
Bala Cynwyd has many residents on edge and asking questions.
The Lower Merion Police Department has
responded by adjusting coverage plans and
utilizing both marked and unmarked patrols
to look for suspicious people or vehicles.
For its part, the Board of Commissioners
has continued to fill police positions as they
become open, replace and update equipment
as needed, and serve as a sounding board for
residents’ concerns. Importantly, residents
are also taking on critical roles in helping prevent crime in our
•Use a cell phone or neighbor’s phone to call the police
by dialing 9-1-1.
•Do not enter — The perpetrator may still be inside.
•Do not touch anything or clean up until the police
have inspected for evidence.
•Write down the license plate number of any
suspicious vehicles.
• Note the description of any suspicious persons.
Besides routinely keeping an eye out for suspicious activity,
Lower Merion Community Watch provides another opportunity for residents to serve as “extra eyes and ears” of the LMPD’s
ongoing crime prevention efforts. Trained members, supplied
with two-way handheld radios, patrol the Township from their
vehicles, reporting suspicious or unusual activity. Before each
patrol, members are briefed by a police officer on recent crime
activity to assist in their patrol. While it is completely up to
each individual, generally members patrol at least four times a
year. For additional information, call the LMPD Crime Prevention Unit at 610-645-6240 or visit the Community Watch web
A great majority of the residents I speak with express confidence
and pride in our professional police department. It is — far and
away — the most robust force in Montgomery County, with over
130 sworn officers and the latest in equipment and training. Residents also understand that our public safety comes at a significant cost — more than 1/3 of our municipal budget — and are
very willing to pay for it.
While we can rely on the LMPD to patrol our streets and respond
to calls, officers will tell you that the most effective means of
protecting your home, property and safety involve taking common-sense precautions:
Having up-to-date information on local crime is also an important aspect of prevention. I encourage all residents to sign up
for LMT Crime Alerts, part of the township’s E-Notifier system, at Police officers who patrol our
area also attend each monthly meeting of The Neighborhood
Club of Bala Cynwyd, where they listen to residents’ concerns
and advise them on criminal activity in the area. Additionally,
the Main Line Times and Bala Cynwyd Patch report crimes and
offer updates through email, Facebook and Twitter. The LMPD
is currently investigating using social media as a way of communicating relevant information to the public. Look for updates
as this develops. •Always lock all your doors and windows. Most burglars are
opportunists who gain entry by “cruising” the neighborhood
looking for unlocked residences and vehicles.
•Install and activate an alarm system. Make several inquiries
to different companies for the best security system available to
you and your budget. •Don’t give a burglar a place to hide. Shrubbery should
never block the view of your exterior doors and windows, allowing a burglar to attempt to gain entrance while shielded
from passing neighbors and police patrols.
Please talk with your neighbors about crime prevention, and let
your commissioner know of any particular concerns you might
have. Together, we can help protect our property and keep our
families and neighbors safe.
•Light up the outside. Inexpensive electric timers or motion
sensors will automatically turn lights on and off.
•Suspend mail delivery and newspaper subscriptions when
away. Otherwise, you might as well have a sign in your lawn
saying, “I’m out of town.”
Interested in Becoming a Director
of The Neighborhood Club?
•Don’t leave valuable items in plain sight. This applies to
items outside your home and those inside that are visible
through windows and doors.
Please send a resumé or letter of interest to:
The NCBC | Attn: Nominations
P.O. Box 717 | Bala Cynwyd PA 19004
•Let your neighbors and the police department know when
you will be out of town. Call the LMPD at 610-649-1000,
and they will help keep an eye on your home.
•Immediately report all suspicious persons to the police.
Call 9-1-1 for any reason that may require a patrol officer
Independence Day Celebration 2012
The NCBC again celebrated our country’s independence with a fantastic parade and morning of games, rides and
community togetherness. We offer a thank you to all who participated, the judges, the volunteers, the sponsors,
the Independence Day Committee and our residents for making it a highlight of the year. We would like to rectify
one omission and say thank you to The Bala Cynwyd School for Young Children for their support of our event.
Changing of the Guard
M District Update
With the election of officers and directors for 2013, it is time to
recognize and appreciate the efforts of those leaving our ranks.
Ellen Wertheimer and Patricia Smith have departed The Club for
new opportunities.
The recent court ruling by Montgomery County Common Pleas
Court Judge Kelly Wall overturning Lower Merion’s approval of
developer Brian O’Neill’s proposed apartment development in
the M district has brought renewed focus to that parcel of Bala
Ellen is moving from Bala Cynwyd requiring she vacate her
seat. She has worked actively for The NCBC monitoring major
zoning developments on Rock Hill Road, the M District where
O’Neill Properties and Sean McCloskey have proposed development, along with the long process of the City Avenue rezoning.
Ellen spent hundreds of hours at Commissioner meetings and
Zoning workshops to make sure Bala Cynwyd was informed and
represented on these complex issues. She will be missed.
The Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd will continue addressing the potential impact of development at the foot of Righters
Ferry Road and is working with township staff, commissioners
and the developers to address the concerns we neighbors have
regarding this potential complex.
2013 will surely be a year where this will be discussed at our
meetings. We encourage neighbors to come out and express their
thoughts as this and other changes progress.
Patty has taken on new professional obligations and resigned
from the Board to attend to her new work. Patty will continue to
be an active member and resident. Best wishes!
Sidewalk Garden Award Winners
The Beautification Committee of The Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd selected its annual winners of the Sidewalk Garden awards
this summer. Honorees will be recognized at our annual meeting on November 13 at the Union Fire Association. It is always a highlight. Please turn out to recognize these fine winners!
Business winner
Alan Feldman and Maureen Pelta • 435 Bryn Mawr Avenue
Repeat winner with breath-taking new plantings in purple
and white!
Elpida Kohler • 37 Derwen Road
West Laurel Hill Cemetery • 215 Belmont Avenue
The entrance and office are surrounded by established trees and
delightful gardens featuring manicured annuals and perennials.
Delightful walkway surrounded by a wonderful combination of
shrubs and perennials.
A new feature worth a visit is the Chapel of Peace Reflection
Garden, which is always open to the public.
Barrett and Jennifer Dunigan • 12 East Lodges Lane
This white and green garden of massed plantings is truly unique!
37 Derwen Road
12 East Lodges Lane
Newsletter of The Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd
P.O. Box 717, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004
Presorted Std
U.S. Postage
Permit No. 50
Upper Darby, PA
Thanks to the following
neighbors and friends
who contributed to
this issue of The Gateway:
Fred Fischer
Anne M. Greenhalgh
Linda Labowitz
Please Visit Our Website!
The NCBC website is a resource for:
✓ The monthly agenda
✓ Minutes of previous meetings
✓ Past copies of The Gateway!
✓Contact information for
Board members
✓ Community Links
✓ PAYPAL — to pay dues
Please visit
Thanks to our hard-working
off-Board Committee Chairs
Betsy Meyers
Phillip Rodbell
Fred Fischer
The Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd Membership Form
Your dues help to:
• Alert you to neighborhood discussions of critical topics
• Preserve the residential character of Bala Cynwyd
• Support appropriate commercial development
• Monitor zoning, traffic and safety on our streets
• Provide community-building events like the 4th of July Celebration
Please send your annual dues to: The NCBC
P.O. Box 717, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Household: ® Benefactor $100 ® Patron $50 ® Friend $35
Business: ® Gold $250
® Silver $100
Email Address______________________________________________