At a meeting punctuated by riotous applause, cheers, jeers and out-of-order outbursts from angry parents, the T/E School Board unanimously approved a mask mandate for all students this week.
It wasn’t pretty.
Both sides – for and against the mask requirement – attended in roughly equal numbers but those opposed were decidedly more vocal, at times verging on disruptive.
Board President Michele Burger issued so many stern warnings, we lost count. Follow the rules, wear your mask properly and speak respectfully when it’s your turn, she all but begged parents. If you don’t, the school board will do what Great Valley’s did a few weeks ago and walk out, she warned.
“Don’t be the person who shuts this down,” she cautioned a man who kept yelling out of turn, sometimes profanely, his mask repeatedly slipped below his nose or off his face altogether. Here’s part of one his outbursts:
Interestingly, the same man, Andrew McLellan, spoke against mask mandates at the Great Valley School Board’s August meeting.
Another incensed parent, Alicia Geerlings, took off her mask in disgust at the end of the public comment period, before storming out.
“When you put me in this position, it makes me feel like a child!” she called out.
“You are a child,” an audience member countered.
Yes, it was that ugly.
The Board had been bracing for a long night.
Their inboxes had been flooded with letters and a school board source tells us they were “overwhelmingly in favor of universal masking.”
Both sides had sent in petitions: more than 600 signatures on a petition started by local parents in support of universal masking, more than 300 on an anti-mask mandate petition posted by the group, Pennsylvania Parents Protecting Children. In addition to helping parents across the state with anti-mask petitions, PPPC posts articles like “How to Challenge Your School Board in 3 to 5 Minutes,” offering talking points and ideas for picket signs. (Another issue in PPPC’s toolbox: helping parents fight Critical Race Theory, the latest culture-wars issue that dominated T/E’s testy school board meeting in June.)
The board was also well aware that an “Unmask T/E” protest would take place outside the meeting.
And you can bet every member of the board had viewed the video of Great Valley’s meeting when a group of parents, many of whom refused to wear masks, held their own public comment forum after the school board walked out of the meeting. (Radnor and Lower Merion have also revised their health and safety plans to include universal masking but haven’t received this kind of pushback. The Archdiocese just announced it’s requiring masks at all area Catholic schools.)
Not knowing exactly what to expect Monday night but fearing the worst, the T/E school board took no chances.
They asked Tredyffrin police to stand sentry in case things got physical. (They didn’t.) Chief Beatty tells us several parents made a point of thanking officers for being there. If the meeting had been adjourned and people lingered for more than five minutes – perhaps to hold their own rogue meeting, police were prepared to issue trespassing citations, according to a board source.
The school board also made sure everyone knew – almost ad nauseam – the ground rules for the meeting: masks on at all times and speak at the appointed time or the board would recess the meeting and resume it virtually and accept only written comments. The rules were diligently posted online, around the auditorium, in handouts, and read aloud by President Burger at the start of the meeting.
The school board even stationed a spotter in back of the auditorium to point out people violating the mask rule to the board president.
When the public comment period began, the line of eager speakers stretched almost to the back of the auditorium, with more speaking against the mask mandate than for it. (Worth noting: No one uttered a peep about the district’s plan to make teachers and staff show proof of vaccination or take weekly Covid tests.)
Among the arguments lodged by those opposed (paraphrasing):
- In America, parents should be free to choose what’s best for their kids. Masks should be optional.
- Masks don’t work. They don’t prevent the spread of infection; they impede breathing, can cause illness and hinder learning.
- I’m more worried about my children’s mental health and academic slide than I am about them catching Covid.
- The risk to children is overblown by the media, politicians and health authorities. One speaker gave copies of articles about studies in England, the EU, and Sweden to board members, urging TESD to “follow the science.” she’d unearthed.
- The virus isn’t going away and mostly causes minor illness in kids. We need to live with it.
Those in favor of universal masking spoke about, among other topics:
- Studies showing the efficacy of masks in preventing the spread of disease.
- The notion of shared responsibility to keep one another safe. The local surge and high transmissibility and virulence of the Delta variant and scientists and physicians’ groups urging universal masking in schools.
- The need to protect students and family members who are immune-compromised and/or unvaccinated. 60% of TESD students are too young to get vaccinated, school board member Sue Tiede offered, citing enrollment statistics.
- The need to use every mitigation tool available, including universal masking, distancing, ventilation, testing, etc., to keep schools open as long as possible.
Excited to return to in-person learning after staying home for the last year and a half, one Conestoga student spoke about the need to protect her immune-compromised brother and others like him. She bemoaned the “selfishness” and “culture of ignorance” in the community.
During a night rife with discord, there was only one thing upon which everyone in the room could agree: Kids desperately need to return to full-time, in-person school and for as long as possible. Their academic, social and emotional health depend on it.
Oh for the days when the hot topics at school board meetings were tax hikes, redistricting and bus stops.
Almost a done deal: Somewhat smaller Berwyn Square poised for final approval
The wrangling over Berwyn Square is all but over.
The proposed apartment project, which would replace Handel’s Ice Cream and the dated buildings around it, received a huge green light last month.
In a 3-to-2 vote, Easttown supervisors gave developers’ latest site plan their blessing and are all but certain to approve the final, fully-engineered plan submitted two weeks ago.
For those opposed to the project, the wild card/swing vote was Supervisor Betsy Fadem, who’d voted against an earlier plan, urging developers back to the drawing board yet again. Satisfied that the new plan met township code, had passed muster with the DEP and Easttown Planning Commission and was revised in response to community concerns, Fadem cast her vote in favor this time.
She felt developers had heard neighbors’ arguments – strenuously voiced at township meetings, in a petition and a court appeal – and adjusted the project accordingly.
What’s in the final plan?
For starters, a less imposing building. It’ll be three floors instead of four. No height variance needed.
And fewer people will live there. The new plan has 107 apartments, instead of the 126 in the first plan and 116 in a later plan, a slight reduction in density. (In the past few years, developers submitted a handful of sketch plans.)
And with a changed roofline, the building won’t look quite so boxy. Many felt the original design was out of step with the traditional look of Berwyn Village.
The developers – Todd Pohlig/Cornerstone Tracy – also brought back popular parts of the plan that had been omitted from the one supervisors nixed last winter: a small public plaza and 4,000 sq. ft. of first-floor retail, space for maybe two or three shops/cafes.
What they can’t bring back is Handel’s.
The Village’s insanely popular ice cream shop had hoped to relocate inside Berwyn Square. But when approvals snarled, owner Buck Buchanan decided to move to across the street. He’s currently working with his new landlord, Eadeh, to outfit the old Chic & Simple/Aneu/Yang’s space and upgrade the parking lot.
The coup de grâce for those fighting the plan came on August 3, when a Chester County judge denied neighbors’ appeal of the height waiver granted by the township.
Not that it matters much now. The developers have shelved that plan – and all other prior plans – pending final approval of their three-story design.
Although they ultimately lost the war, neighbors did win significant battles.
They got a less obtrusive building.
They pushed the township to reinstate density limits in Berwyn Village. Maybe not the number they’d hoped for but they did get a number.
And they forced folks to pay closer attention to the wide-ranging impacts larger-scale residential developments can have on those living, working or running businesses nearby.
A closer look at the mammoth Piazza project: a radical facelift for Ardmore
By Lisa Kazanjian
Get ready, Ardmore. Your town is going to look mighty different in the not-too-distant future.
Lower Merion commissioners unanimously approved the preliminary plan for the massive Piazza project last month, all but clearing the way for the bulldozers.
Targeted for demolition: two sprawling Piazza car dealerships, the IHOP, and the forlorn lot at the corner of Ardmore and Lancaster Avenues.
Set to rise in their place (after final review and permitting): a giant, five-story complex with ground-level shopping and dining, 279 apartments above, and below-grade parking for more than 600 cars.
Toll Bros. will be building the apartments, ranging in size from 750 to 1,200 square feet.
The retail space below them will be huge – 68,000 square feet. (By contrast, the final Berwyn Square plan has just 4,000 square feet of retail.)
An unnamed supermarket will occupy nearly half of the square footage, along with a high-profile restaurant.
The area will be heavily planted – with 51 deciduous trees instead of the current 11, 580 shrubs, and thousands of plants.
The site will be somewhat green environmentally, too. Think charging stations for electric cars, LED lights and bike racks.
Instead of setting aside land for recreation, the developers will give the township $837,000 ($3,000 per unit) to be used for nearby park/recreational space for residents, details TBD.
The plans also call for the extension of W. Athens Ave. behind the site, connecting it to Greenfield Ave.
Of course, the township’s blessing comes with strings attached – more than 60 conditions need to be met.
Developers have been asked to replace the contemporary metal and cement-like exteriors with brick or stone typically found in Ardmore’s commercial district.
They were told to explore more complementary windows and other aesthetic features.
They’ll be working with PennDot to determine the best and safest configuration for the driveway.
They’ll consult SEPTA about adding bus stop shelters along Lancaster Ave.
At a series of community meetings, neighbors voiced concerns about traffic snarls, pedestrian safety and the project’s impacts on schools and services. More than a few bemoaned the dearth of affordable housing in Ardmore and several were upset at the loss of a reasonably priced restaurant like IHOP:
Developers countered that the project wouldn’t bring a flood of cars, that it encouraged biking, the use of nearby mass transit and would have multiple crosswalks. They explained that the relatively small size of the apartments will draw singles, couples and empty-nesters, not families.
At the end of the day, the Piazza project is more than a supersized Main Line development. It signifies something even bigger: the evolution of Ardmore from a folksy shopping district for mostly car-driving suburbanites to a bustling, transit-oriented “suburban-urban” center, filled with multi-level apartment and condo buildings, trendy shops and eclectic restaurants.
Some love the idea. Others, well, not so much.
Restaurant Interrupted: Affordable Asian BYOB finally opens in Paoli
The former Redhound Grill – longtime locals still remember the place as Luigi’s – has been reinvented as Poseidon, an Asian-fusion BYOB and sushi bar.
Like so many things during COVID, it took a while.
The building’s new owner, Gary Chi, bought the place two years ago but the pandemic forced him to halt renovations for a full year. (Redhound Grill’s liquor license was sold separately.) While Chi’s wife runs the show at his other Asian outpost, Asuka in West Chester, Chi and business partner Kevin Wang (shown below) attend to guests in Paoli.
On the menu: reasonably priced Chinese favorites, noodle and fried rice dishes, plus Poke bowls, Japanese salads and teriyakis, a huge assortment of sushi, maki and sashimi.
The outside looks the about the same – still a tad tired. The owners expanded patio seating with twin side-by-side umbrella’d spaces that can seat up to 80.
Inside, though, has been totally transformed with a bevy of booths and alcoves and a giant sushi bar.
So far, about 80 to 90 percent of business has been dine-in, Gary tells us. Naturally, the surging Delta virus may change that in the coming weeks.
Poseidon Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar, 128 Paoli Pike, Paoli, 610-812-3333, 610-860-6888, is open daily for lunch, dinner and takeout. Online ordering at www.poseidonpa.com.
Up to Eleven, a hip bike-and-brew hybrid opens in Ardmore
How’s this for a cool combo: seriously good coffee and trendy e-bikes? They’re the twin draws at Up to Eleven, open since Saturday in Ardmore’s newest lux apartment complex, Cricket Flats.
Proprietor Laura Fay hopes locals will drop in for Philly faves Reanimator Coffee and Kismet Bagels and stay to check out the cool wheels – Specialized Turbo electric bicycles.
“I wanted to create a new concept,” says Fay who chose Ardmore because it was “red hot” with cool new restaurants and shops. While Ardmore has bakeries and breakfast joints, Up to Eleven is the only “true coffee shop downtown where you can get top-quality barista-made coffee drinks with great wi-fi, casual vibes and comfortable seating,” she says.
A casual bike rider, Fay also wanted to create a curated, non-intimidating bike shop experience for casual riders and commuters thinking about investing in an e-bike.
Fun fact: The name, Up to Eleven, comes from a scene in the movie, Spinal Tap, when the guitarist famously shows off an amp with a volume knob that went to 11 instead of the usual 10. The phrase loosely means pushing beyond your limits, amping up – on caffeine or a new bike, perhaps.
Up to Eleven, 65 Cricket Ave. Ardmore, 474-416-3086, is open daily 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bike shop is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Main Line gals have a new place to get their glow on
OVME (“of me”), a medspa chain out of Atlanta, just opened its first PA location in Bryn Mawr Village. Makes sense: the upscale lifestyle center has found its groove serving the style, wellness and social needs of well-heeled local women.
OVME offers an array of skincare services under one chicly designed roof. Instead of hopping from a dermatologist to a plastic surgeon to a day spa, you can get it all done here: your Botox and filler injections, laser skin resurfacing and hair removal and trendy treatments like hydrafacials, microneedling, B12 shots and IV drips.
“We want to create a more personal, fun environment than a doctor’s office,” says OVME’s Bryn Mawr manager, Kim Douros.
“It’s all about the client,” adds OVME Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager Emily Plushnick. “We want to help people be the best versions of themselves,” noting the studio’s top-shelf equipment and experienced injectors and aestheticians.
To keep costs down for regulars, OVME offers “access” and “elite” memberships. For $50/month, you get a free weekly B12 shot, discounts and same-day Botox appointments. Shell out $99/month and you’ll get all that, plus a free monthly chemical peel.
Bryn Mawr is the OVME’s 10th location in just four years. The brand was created by Atlanta-based entrepreneur/physician to elevate and ease the medical aesthetic experience. Or in OVME-speak, create a place that lets you discover “The Fountain Ov You.”
OVME, Bryn Mawr Village, 925 Lancaster Ave. #140, 484-470-6863, is open Mon. and Wed. 9 to 6, Tues. and Thurs. 9 to 7, Fridays, 9 to 5 and Sat. 9 to 3.
Clark’s Manor: Mind, body and soul wellness for people with chronic mental illness
Behind the black shutters and fieldstone walls, something very special – groundbreaking, in fact – is happening at this stately Media home.
People with chronic mental illness live here. One is Conestoga alum Clark Widger, 38, and the property bears his name: Clark’s Manor.
But Clark and his housemates aren’t under lock and key.
Far from it.
They play sports, music and video games; they run errands, take classes, go to concerts and ball games, and each night cook and enjoy dinner together in the gourmet kitchen.
But they live with exceptional supports in place: behavioral health professionals from Elwyn who hold master’s degrees at a minimum.
Therapy is woven into their daily routines but it’s subtle, respectful and encouraging. Clinicians don’t live on site but one or two are always on the property to offer guidance and support.
Clark’s Manor is the first program of its kind in the tri-state area, modeled after an innovative “milieu-style” program, Wild Acre, in Boston. After cycling through other facilities, Clark Widger had thrived at Wild Acre but wanted to move closer to his family in Berwyn. His parents couldn’t find a place like Wild Acre here, so they created one. They bought a 10,000 sq. ft. farmhouse on four acres off Providence Rd. and tapped nearby Elwyn for its therapeutic expertise.
When it’s fully occupied, eight men and women, stable and committed to their treatment, will live at Clark’s Manor. For some it will be a forever home, for others, a stepping stone to independent living.
Open for a year, the property is continually evolving to accommodate residents’ interests.
A huge music fan, Clark loves jamming on guitar in the new sound-proof music studio in the converted garage.
An adjacent art studio – where the new art therapist helps residents express themselves through drawing, painting and other fine arts – is rounding into form. And a brand new fitness center is taking shape on the lower level, replacing the indoor pool.
“People with chronic mental health issues really benefit from movement,” says Art Fastman, director of operations at Clark’s Manor. “It’s great for mental health, physical health, sleep, mood, digestion – you name it.”
Next to the gym, a media room with a big screen and comfy seats is coming this fall. Residents will be able to screen and discuss movies, play computer games (including cognitive remediation exercises) and just hang out.
Staff is always willing to experiment with new activities. A recent conversation about Bruce Lee movies led to regular Tai Chi classes in the living room.
“We give them a safe space to try things they might have been afraid to try before,” Fastman says. “It builds confidence.”
Safe, homey, expertly staffed, exceptionally well-equipped and attentive to individual needs, Clark’s Manor has it all.
Families interested in learning more about Clark’s Manor are invited to contact Art Fastman, Director of Operations, at [email protected] or call him at 610-675-7669.
Navy vet ‘restoring movement’ in Wayne
Can’t move the way you used to? Finished with rehab but not quite ready to hit the gym, links or court on your own?
New to downtown Wayne this summer, Restore Movement bridges the gap between PT/chiropractic sessions and independent exercise. “I see myself as a complement to those services. You might ‘graduate’ from PT but you know you’re not done,” says proprietor/trainer Jenni Noll, a Navy veteran who leads one-on-one, customized corrective and functional workouts. Her goal? Help clients get back in the game and teach them how to prevent future injury.
Noll can also assess posture and mobility issues and uses “recovery toys” like a Hypervolt massage gun, Normatec compression boots, and guided stretching to reduce pain and stimulate healing. Restore Movement’s tagline: “A body in balance supports a body in motion.”
Noll is seeing people for all kinds of issues. The most common: sciatica, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, lower back pain, IT band syndrome and tight hips/hip flexors.
Noll holds master’s degrees in exercise science and health promotion with an emphasis in rehabilitative science and lives around the corner from her new studio.
We asked her for her top tips for staying injury free: give yourself rest days so muscles can rebuild and change up your workouts. If you don’t cross train and challenge your body in different ways, you’ll get diminishing returns and risk overuse injuries, she says.
Restore Movement, 121 N. Wayne Ave., Suite 101, Wayne, 484-372-3633.
A who’s who of Berwyn on new mural
Hottest game in Berwyn Village this summer: naming the people on the town’s new star-spangled mural.
Eadeh Enterprises, a major landlord in town, funded the new design to replace the Victorian-era mural that was 15 years old and showing its years.
It took artist Carrie Kingsbury from Promiseland Murals a few days to paint each person on parachute fabric and another three weeks to paint the flag.
So which locals made the cut? Among others, Frank Chiavaroli (Frankie’s Fellini Café), Vern Burling (La Cabra Brewing), Kim Cuthbert (Sweet Jazmine’s), Molly Ryan and Meg Robertson (Kramer Drive), Chrissy Piombino Bennett (StudioFlora) and Eamon Brazunis and kids (Berwyn Fire Co.).
Note to Berwynites: Don’t take offense if you didn’t make the wall of fame. “We’d need a huge wall to include everyone who deserves to be recognized” says Eadeh’s ever-diplomatic president Stacey Ballard. “This is just a sampling.”
No vaccine, no service inside Cornerstone Bistro. And now, a COVID pause…
The owners of Wayne’s Cornerstone Bistro dropped a bomb shortly before they left for their annual August vacation: guests would have to show proof of vaccination to dine inside, the first Main Line restaurant to do so.
In a social media post, Christine and Nick Kondra explained this was the best way to keep the restaurant open and staff and customers safe during a challenging time.
An avalanche of comments followed. People called them Nazis, told them to change their name to Kim Jong Charcuterie, and more.The Kondras were so shook up, they consulted Radnor’s police chief.
On the flip side, hundreds of customers offered support, many said they’d give the place a try, and some even bought huge gift certificates.
At the very least, Cornerstone, a tiny, well-regarded restaurant/artisanal market/bottle shop received oodles of media attention. Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Bryn Mawr Day just cancelled but these events are still a go
Check out this fun lineup of returning – and new – outdoor events. Fingers crossed Delta doesn’t get in the way. Lord knows we’ll be stuck inside soon enough.
- Ladies Night Out, Ellis Preserve, Newtown Square, Sept. 8, 6 to 9 p.m.
Ticketed night of pampering, shopping, pop-up expert sessions, music and indulgences, hosted by Main Line Today.
- Back to Main Line School Night, Creutzburg Center Porch, Thursday, Sept. 9, 4:30 to 7.
Free, welcome-back community open house with wine and lite bites, class samplings, and a chance to meet teachers and staff, sign up for classes and volunteer jobs, and more.
- Come Together for T & E Care, Wilson Farm Park, Tredyffrin, Friday, Sept.10, 6 to 8:30 (Rain date: Sept. 17)
Bring your family, friends and a blanket to a free concert by Magical Mystery Doors, a Beatles/Doors/Led Zeppelin tribute band. Food trucks from Deke’s BBQ, Plum Pit and Handel’s, 50/50 raffle and concert t-shirts. The concert is a thank you to the T/E community for supporting T & E Care’s work helping local families in need for 16 years. (PS SAVVY Main Line is a proud sponsor.)
- Devon Fall Classic, Devon Horse Show Grounds, Sept. 15 – 19.
The next best thing to the spring show, the Classic gets bigger and better each year. Enjoy world-class show jumping, Grand Prix night, dog show, full carnival midway with Ferris wheel, live bands, distillery tastings, Vendor’s Village and Devon souvenir shopping, kids activities, a Girl’s Night Out and more.
- AbbeyFest, Daylesford Abbey grounds, S. Valley Rd. Paoli, Saturday, Sept. 18. Doors open at noon.
All ages Catholic/Christian contemporary music, faith and family festival. This year’s musical acts include 9-time Grammy nominee Matt Maher, Paoli-based Firehill Worship and We Are the Messengers. food trucks, merch tents, kid-friendly activities, inspirational talks, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession and candlelit Mass celebrated by Archbishop Nelson Perez – an AbbeyFest first-timer. Tickets from $25.
- Radnor Fall Festival, North Wayne Ave. Saturday, Sept. 19 (rain or shine), noon to 4.
After a year off, Radnor’s biggest fall block party returns with live music and dance performances, Top Dog contest, community vendors, oodles of food and kiddie surprises.
And returning on its traditional day, the first Saturday in October:
- St. David’s Country Fair, Oct. 2, on the grounds of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Wayne
Now in its 170th year (!), this outdoor fun fest features kiddie activities (games, prizes and rides on the St. David’s train); Flea Market Finds (home accents); Second Hand Rose and House of David (clothes, jewelry and accessories); booths selling books, toys & sports equipment; artisanal wares from St. David’s Gift Shop; Auction Sales Tent (antiques, art, rugs, quality pre-owned furniture), Goodies to Go (take-home treats) and more.
This and That
A hit in downtown West Chester, Levante Brewing is heading east to downtown Ardmore. “We’re in the process of demolition and architectural planning for an Ardmore location,” Levante co-owner James Adams tells SAVVY. No firm word yet on where they’re going. Adams wouldn’t confirm rumors that it’s the Viva Video space on Lancaster Ave.
The Main Line’s first board-game café is heading to One Ardmore on Cricket Ave. Board and Bistro will have gastropub fare, a library of table and board games and a liquor license. Owner Matt Hendricks also operates Thirsty Dice, a similar concept in Philly.
Main Line Restaurant Week runs through Sept. 5 so make those reservations pronto. Some 35 area restaurants are offering either three-course prix fixe dinners for $37 or three-course lunch menus for $25 or both. Tax, tip and beverages are extra.
Those labor shortages you hear about are no joke. Never mind the pandemic, business owners tell us staffing is the bigger challenge. New spots have had to delay openings and some have struggled to keep the doors open, especially with student workers leaving in droves to return to school. McDonald’s in Conshohocken was closed the other day. Aneu in Paoli couldn’t open for a day a few weeks ago. Neither could BellaDonna Gifts, which just relocated to downtown Wayne. It’s bad at the shore, too. SAVVY Sales Director Kathy Stevens had reserved a table at Salt Water in Margate last Saturday night. “We showed up at 7:30 and there was a sign on the door, ‘Closed Today.’ No phone call or anything.”
Best keep that vaccination card handy. You’ll need it for some Ardmore Music Hall shows (depends on the artists), at all Kimmel Center shows, at Made in America on the Parkway, and to exercise in some gyms – although many businesses, along with Main Line School Night, require vaccines on an honor system. At Surrey Services in Devon, members now have to show proof of vaccination to exercise, take classes and enjoy on-site programs.
“It wasn’t an easy decision but it was the right one,” Surrey CEO Jill Whitcomb tells SAVVY. “The response was overwhelmingly positive and attendance went up almost immediately in our in-person classes and café.” With Delta numbers rising, Surrey just closed its café again but still offers grab-and-go lunches. “Our community understands we need to keep one another safe and is willing to mask up … to be with their friends in person,” Whitcomb says.
Have some time on your hands this fall? Surrey Services in Devon is looking for volunteers to help members navigate tablet computers and participate in Zoom programs.
The last video store standing on the Main Line will stand no more. Ardmore’s Viva Video, aka “the last picture store,” sold off its 20,000-film library, held celebratory screenings this month, and turns in its keys at month’s end.
Meanwhile, Viva Video’s next-door neighbor, Parlour Ice Cream’s three-year lease ends this week. Taking its place, a 1-900 ICE CREAM Scoop Shop. Philly’s answer to Ben & Jerry’s, 1-900 ICE CREAM sells – and often sells out of – its handcrafted pints with assorted swirls and crunchy mix-ins.
Talented chanteuse Laura Mann is resurrecting her intimate music venue, The Living Room, in a new location: The Masonic Hall on Ardmore Ave. You go, girl.
More bragging rights for Merion Golf Club members. The Main Line’s most storied course is getting four more U.S. Opens – two for the guys – in 2030 and 2050 – and two for the girls – in 2034 and 2046. Merion finished major renovations of its East Course in 2019, making the club even more attractive to the USGA.
Paoli’s Hong Garden is gone for good. The family-owned Chinese restaurant in Chestnut Village Shoppes never managed to reopen after fire gutted the place in August 2020. This summer the family announced it had made the “difficult decision” to stay permanently closed due to Chef Joseph’s health issues.
Local fans of Nest Home Décor soon won’t have to drive to Oaks to pick up table lanterns, pillows, holiday doodads and such. A second Nest is being feathered in the old Pa. liquor sore space in Wayne and should open in a few weeks.
The healthy fast-casual boom continues. Sweetgreen is getting ready to open at the old Le Pain Quotidien in Wayne and Honeygrow will be joining Target at the Wynnewood Square Shopping Center.
Chickie & Pete’s plans to bring off-track betting to The Grove in Malvern. The sports bar is slated to open in the new lifestyle center off Rte. 29 by year’s end.
Books are back at the King of Prussia Mall. On the upper level next to Dick’s, Bookish sells current releases, signed books, exclusive editions, gifts and greeting cards for writers and bookworms. Owner Scott and Becky Minor previously operated a pop-up store, The Book Den, on the other side of the mall.
And finally, words to the wise. With kids going back to school and the virus on the uptick, we asked a local physician, wellness guru and mother of three how she tries to boost immunity in her own kids, ages 12, 10 and 6. Here’s what Seema Bonney, MD, founder of the Bryn Mawr-based Anti-Aging and Longevity Center of Philadelphia told us:
- Food is preventive medicine. We make a point to eat real (not processed) food and lots of fruits and veggies. The phytonutrients in plants increase the production of white blood cells and antibodies. My kids help me choose new veggies and fruits and we research their health benefits together. Consider a multivitamin that includes Vitamins C, D, A and E and zinc.
- Let them play – a lot! Physical activity improves lung function and boosts the body’s ability to fight infection and ward off inflammatory diseases.
- Remind them to hydrate – but with water, not soda or sugary juices. Well-hydrated immune systems function more efficiently. My kids take refillable water bottles to school.
- Help them manage stress, which dampens immune response. Things to try: yoga, “happy place” visualization sessions and simple breathing exercises before bed.
- Make sure they get plenty of sleep – it optimizes immunity and overall health functioning. School-age kids need 10 to 12 hours a night. We have a routine for winding down with a bath/shower and putting away phones/screens. Kids may complain at first but they’ll learn to love the peace and quiet.
- Remind them about hygiene but you might not need to. Kids have become experts on handwashing, sneezing into their elbows and not touching their eyes, mouths and noses.
Above all, try to model healthy behaviors yourself, Dr. Bonney advises. Our kids are watching.
LOL. Another proud T/E school district and Conestoga moment. So entitled.
Surprised that Dr. Seema Bonney, MD didn’t mention anything about a vaccine when “boosting immunity”, especially with a 12yo likely eligible for the vaccine and the expectation that younger ages will be approved for emergency use authorization in some months. I guess the issue is so radioactive that she doesn’t want to make a more public stand.
This type of carefulness is what allows the VERY vocal (but present) minority to have that much more of an impact. That T/E school board meeting was filled with a good # of anti-maskers, whereas the school board advised they had received a vast # of emails in support of mask mandates by people who think the board will do what’s right and decide not to show up at the mtg because its obvious to them what should be done.
I’m all for listening to the other side, but am growing more impatient that the vocal minority seems to make more noise leading people to think their opinion is right on the basis of megaphone-influence.
The “silent majority” needs to speak up more.
Caroline O'Halloran says
Interesting thoughts. I appreciate your sharing them.
Don Matthews says
Great job, Caroline. Say hello to your husband, Rich for me. Don Matthews
Caroline O'Halloran says
I will! Hope all’s well in your world, Don…
Marc Heppe says
Caroline, thank you for your unbiased, fair reporting.
Caroline O'Halloran says
You’re welcome. I do believe passions have never run higher in our community – I’m just trying to explain what people on both sides of issues are feeling and thinking – and how they’re expressing those thoughts. It’s a bit of a tightrope…
Julie West says
I will enthusiastically support Cornerstone and any other business that requires proof of vaccine or a negative same day COVID test. Public health is a public responsibility.
Heidi Taylor says
Andrew McLellan should be ashamed of himself, acting that way in public (but I doubt he does). Does he even live in TESD?
I don’t understand parents who don’t want their kids to be as protected as possible. Children ARE getting sick and dying. I’m not willing to sacrifice my child, or our teachers. Our kids wouldn’t think mask-wearing was a big deal if we as parents set a good example and didn’t make it a big deal!
While I agree with you regarding Mr Mcllelan’s abhorrent behavior, for you to say children are “getting sick and dying”shows a degree of ignorance on your part. There have been zero deaths of children <19 in Pennsylvania from COVID -19. There have been zero deaths in TESD from COVID-19 infections and also zero hospitalizations due to complications solely from COVID -19 in the TESD student body. Please view the data provided by Gov Wolf and the Chester county health department. In fact over the last 30 days there have been Zero deaths due to COVID -19 across all of Chester county regardless of case increases. The anti-mask group could learn a thing or two about etiquette but they are certainly not wrong when they say the impact COVID-19 has on children is way over blown. If you have data to the contrary please provide it as it relates to the TESD and Chester county area. If you understand the number 0 , then you should feel comfortable that your children are in fact “safe” by way of their superior immune system relative to that of a senior citizen. Odds are your child already fought off a COVID 19 infection and you didn’t even know about it.
There have been 17 deaths of children ages 10-19 in Pennsylvania from COVID-19. And there have been 140 cases of Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in the state.
Neither of those numbers is zero.
Thank you for responding. I needed an actual pro-masker to post the real numbers otherwise what I am about to write next would be considered “misinformation”. Get ready! 1.) So there are 2.94 million 0>19 in PA. Thus 0.001% of the Cohort died from a Covid-19 Infection, or easier to understand, the population ODDs of death are 1 in 173,203 for those aged 0>19. You can use google to educate yourself on how ridiculous it would be to act risk averse given odds that are 1 in 173,203 for any type of behavior. This is equivalent to “0” risk for a rational thinker. 2.) To make you feel better using “cases” the odds jump to 1 in 8784. This is determined by 348,577 cases with the same 17 deaths. Now one would argue this is as LOW as those odds could go for the age cohort due to the likelihood that at least 30% of the population had already been infected with COVID-19 in DEC 2020, thus true cases would be astronomically higher while the mortality rate stays the same. Assuming normal distribution of cases across age groups ( which the data shows).
This was widely known in the “silent scientific community” ( the other 95% of the scientific community that does not get paid to speak on TV, aka the ones you would need to got to pubmed.com to find). Regardless, even if you feel every case was accounted for ( it wasn’t) and your “child” got a case there is a 1 in 8784 chance of death. Only a fool or useful idiot does not understand how to properly interpret those results. Stopping transmission of the virus in the youth population is absolutely pointless for health and safety as they kick the infection immediately and are not shown to spread the infection easily outside of their age cohort. Does your data disagree?
3.) As expected you failed to confirm the 0 deaths in the TESD.
4.) Around 5% of the Population did not win the birth lottery and whether immunocompromised or afflicted with a genetic disorder one would expect the complications number to be MUCH higher. 140 complications out of 2.94million is a blessing and considered benign.The real question is should we not identify and do a better job protecting those vulnerable children as opposed to assuming everyone is sick at all times and everyone is going to die? That would make to much sense and would not provide as much power grab for your masters. For kicks why not visit Vaers and present to me how the vaccine numbers compare?
5.) Pro-masker rarely want to engage in discussion with data and would rather resort to ad hominin attacks and deflection. This can be summed up with the following example
Anti-Mask: Why should my child wear a mask?
Pro-Mask: Because my 83 yr old grandmother died…
Anti-Mask: Does grandma go to school or did she die in a nursing home?
Pro-Mask: You are Selfish! Trust “my” Science!
Since you are forced to agree with the numbers you provided me and I have placed proper context around them there is hope you and others can limit your desire to mask children for 7 hrs a day when they clearly are not at risk. Stop playing GOD.
Lastly, my original post was defending the supposition that the “health & safety risks” to children are WILDLY overblown by the media and the echo chamber many are currently living in. Do you disagree?? Many thanks and God Bless.
Joan M Thomas says
Thanks so much for such a compelling argument. Your statistics and your reasoning are spot on. You consistently report the news, you inform your readers, like a good old -fashioned journalist. Please continue to inform us, and never be intimidated by those who are so emotional and are unable to reason and think clearly.
Joan Kenny Thomas
As the TESD School Board is responsible for TESD, it should come as no surprise any data relevant to the TESD geographic region is of more importance than statewide data. This is why I stated;
“If you have data to the contrary please provide it as it relates to the TESD and Chester county area.”
I know it’s hard finding data to support the narrative of fear which is why you rebutted with statewide data.
Ill help you out though. Read this. See any deaths in the last 30 days across any age groups in chester county?
Heidi Taylor says
My child didn’t already fight off a covid infection because she spent the majority of the past 18 months in the house. She only socialized with a select group of “safe” friends, always outside. She’s a lot smarter than many adults I know. There’s 0% chance my child was exposed to covid because I was also cautious. This thing persists and mutates because people refuse to wear masks and get vaccinated.
1 out of 8784 odds . Can’t ignore it. Your child has a better shot at being tested high IQ (130>) and placed in the gifted program in TESD than she does from dying from a case of covid-19. Is your child in the gifted program?
Did you not read or not comprehend my prior post.
Heidi: “There’s 0% chance my child was exposed to covid because I was also cautious.”
When did you start being “cautious”? When the TV told you to be? So your telling me you had already committed your daughter to prison life back in November of 2019?
Heidi: This “thing” persists and mutates because people refuse to wear masks and get vaccinated.”
Let me know when you find evidence to support the above claim. Start here. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Please post the literature link once you feel you have settled in on it and we can review it together.
Jason M. says
Bruce – you lost all credibility with respect to numbers when you said
“For kicks why not visit Vaers and present to me how the vaccine numbers compare?”
Try harder, be better.
Elisa Damato says
Funny! Someone here says those against masks are more vocal. Not in these comments or my experience.
Given that I’m the “someone” you are referring to, I made it very clear the vocal behavior of anti-maskers was at the meeting.
I also find the premise that “certain groups” always love to pivot to the line “in my experience” as the OBVIOUS and TRUE statement of affairs given their “extremely expansive worldview”.
Best example of this behavior “I dont think there is racism, because I don’t see it”….skipping over the fact that many who say this live in white-suburbia, work in a lightly or non-integrated work environment and whose entire cultural awareness extends to Taco Bell and Chinese takeout.
Joan M. Ellis says
Thanks, Caroline O’Halloran, for your well-written and non-partisan (IMO) articles in this publication. You provided an informative perspective on several major issues. I am grateful for your efforts and appreciate this contribution to our community.
— Joan M. Ellis
Caroline O'Halloran says
After a very long day, your comment just made my night, Joan. Thank you. I’m simply doing the best I can to keep the community informed – that is my only agenda.
Kelli Byrne says
Masks are the issue of the day here on the comment board (omg just wear them, stop being such babies, I say). But I want to go back to the sad, tired, and uninspired renderings I saw for Piazza Ardmore and Berwyn. Like, oh, we don’t like the boxy industrial look they stuff down everyone’s throat at the expense of public atmosphere? Here’s a few more trees and a couple gabled roofs slapped on the front of the same tired, anti pedestrian, crowded design. Todd Pohlig/Cornerstone Tracy and Toll should be ashamed of themselves, stripping all the art out of architecture. I maintain Ardmore and Berwyn deserves better than this bottom line, bottom feeder community planning. I guess the reality could be better than the renderings, but from what I’ve seen I’m not holding my breath. The worst is the $837k donation as an excuse for giving up recreational space. The one time cost being way better deal than the daily rate they can charge per square foot in perpetuity. Man, we should demand better.
I remember Target was supposed to be the original retail portion of the Piazza. They instead kicked out the ACME down the road and are setting up shop there. Now that a grocery store is included in the plans, I’m wondering if ACME is trading places with them.
Caroline O'Halloran says
That is certainly possible and food for thought. The supermarket won’t say anything on the record until a lease is signed and that could take a while…
Matt Regan says
No, no, no. This is not how you do journalism. Stating the two sides of a debate as if both sides have the same merit regardless of actual, you know, facts is simply both-siderism. It is lazy and misleading. Giving credence to statements like “masks don’t work’, and ‘parents should be free to choose what’s best for their kids (presumably even if they put other’s in harm’s way) isn’t helping anyone to get a better understanding of the issue.
You are promulgating the agenda of people who are either sincerely misinformed or who have been radicalized to the point where they are indistinguishable from a madman raving on a street corner. You may as well let stand a statement that the moon is made of cheese or that there is evidence of widespread voter fraud in our electoral process. To allow these statements to stand without describing them as provably false is an equivocation that ultimately harms all of us.
Please do better.
Caroline O'Halloran says
Thanks for your comment. I assume you are referring to the bullet points at the end where we listed what each side said during the public comment section. SAVVY is aa community newsmagazine (mostly a one-woman band) and not a major news outlet with unlimited resources and a research/legal team behind us. I did not feel comfortable or in a position to analyze the veracity of the parents’ arguments. I decided my proper role was to report only what I saw and heard as a service to those who could not be there themselves. I am always interested in hearing both sides of an argument. I like to know what people are thinking – whether I agree with them or not – and thought SAVVY readers would, too. I also figured readers could dispute some parents’ arguments by posting comments. And some have already chosen to do so.
Thank you for your neutral reporting and for not giving into shaming and demonizing of either side.
Natalie Zipkin says
Caroline, thank you for presenting this to our community as eloquently as you did. Regardless of the odds, here’s the bottom line….what if one of those kids was YOURS! Enough said!
re: Levante. I logged into the ‘Toast’ ordering app today and the first business that popped up was Levante at 14 W. Lancaster. This is next door to Viva – WillPower Strength & Conditioning.
Caroline O'Halloran says
My guess is they’re taking both spaces. For PR reasons they’re not confirming now. They prefer to make a bigger splash with a full news release in early fall.
concerned parent in TE says
The side that is against masks, they believe that having kids walk around like zombies unable to see each other’s faces, or whether or not a teacher or fellow student is smiling, mad, in a bad mood…this is messing up very important years in a child’s social development. In addition, it is causing hundreds of cases of anxiety, depression, and even worse thoughts. It is a very reasonable assumption, and if true, is a fair counterargument to the other side, assuming you believe that there is nothing more important in the world that our children. But I would think this doesn’t need to be speculative. Is there someone who can say what the numbers of kids that required mental help has been the past couple of years in our schools, and if there is a huge uptick? From what I’ve heard, there has been. So perhaps the “stop being a baby and wear a mask” people may realize that they are being very insensitive to many many kids who are not handling this situation well.
Personally I feel that masks are reasonable for the moment, but that that the schools should consider removing this mask mandate soon, else there will always be some new strain of something on the news and a bunch of people demanding masks forever.
Mark ward says
I think it is interesting that they are saying berwyn Square is three stories tall. I count a brick story with some vents or windows , then three stories above that. When I went to school without the new math that appears to be four stories from the sidewalk not three.
This may be like when residents have to pay money to the township instead of putting in a sidewalk. I said this was selling sidewalks the Township says not selling sidewalks they’re just paying us in lue of sidewalks. To me it is six of one half a dozen of the other.
How will they explain it is four stories high from the sidewalk.
So has anyone heard what happened to Mr. McClellans or Ms. Geerlings children when they refused to wear their masks at school? Just curious.