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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Fall 2003

Jump to: 2003 Mayor Helms Award Goes to Fred Egner, News From the Lansdowne Library, Meet Lansdowne’s first Poet Laureate, New Feature “Ask the Code Enforcement Officer”, News From the Lansdowne Police Department, Lansdowne Landings , Fall Leaf Pick Up, Commercial Vacancies In Lansdowne, Upcoming Lansdowne Cultural Events, The Limits of Western Medicine, Recycling and Trash Update, Borough Information Meeting Dates 2003

2003 Mayor Helms Award Goes to Fred Egner

Fred Egner is the 2003 recipient of the Helms Award. The Helms Award is named for the late Mayor William Helms and is given to a Lansdowne resident who offers service to the borough beyond recompense. It is the borough’s most prestigious award and is awarded annually by the current Mayor. Fred is a lifelong resident of the borough. He has been active in many groups, such as the Greater Lansdowne Civic Association, the Lansdowne Boys Club, The Lansdowne Cultural Alliance, and the Lansdowne Sym-phony Orchestra (to name a few). To quote his wife Helen, “In short, Fred is a lifelong resident who has been willing to commit himself to this community of Lansdowne and help make it a special place in which to live”. Mayor Jayne Young points out the Helms Award plaque to Fred at the June meeting. Former winners (from left) are Nancy Runk, Elise DeLaCova, Betty Marlino and Bertha Phillips.

Mr. and Mrs. George Pavlovitch were responsible for saving the home of Arthur and Dione Mitchell on W. Essex Ave. Hearing the smoke alarm, Carol Pavlovitch insisted that George investigate. He saw smoke, grabbed his fire extin-guisher, and went through his neighbor’s window. He extinguished the fire there, saving both homes from damage. The borough code requires homeowners to have a hardwired smoke detector in the basement, battery smoke detectors in every bedroom and one on every level and, a 5lb A.B.C. fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Mr. and Mrs. Pavlovitc were honored at the July Borough Council meeting. Both families attended with their children and grandchildren.

“Meet Lansdowne’s first Poet Laureate”

By Jayne Young

Lansdowne Borough has just named as its first poet laure-ate
Molly Connors. Ms. Connors has her degree in English from Penn State Univer-sity. She has been published several times and has been active in the Philadelphia poetry scene, reading at Doc Watson’s and Borders Book-store. Molly has lived in the borough since 1995 with her husband Tom and a cat Cleatus, and two dogs Al and Henry. I spoke with her the other night and would like to share what I learned about Molly and what it means to her to be a poet.

Jayne: First, you should know how amazing all the poetry
was, and how hard it was to choose just one poet.
Molly: Thanks, I am honored to have been chosen.
Jayne: Have you always written poetry?
Molly: I have been writing poetry since I could first read
and write. I won a poetry contest in high school in
East Berlin, Pa. It was sponsored by the Harrisburg
Patriot and I was thrilled to see my work published
in the paper.
Jayne: What is the most prestigious award you ever won?
Molly: I won the “Katey Lehman Writing Award for Poetry”
as an undergraduate in 1988
Jayne: Is that a big deal?
Molly: It was to me then, the prize was
$400.00, and that meant I could eat for the rest of
the semester.
Jayne: Are you always writing or do you schedule time to write?
Molly: I would love to schedule time to write but usually I
make notes on post its and keep track of them in a notebook.
Then I do what I call binge writing using the post its.
I look at things in poetic terms and write them down as the thoughts come
to me. It can best be described as looking at everyday
things through a poetic filter.
Jayne: I love that explanation. It makes sense even to a non-writer.
Who are your poetic influences?
Molly: Of the contemporary poets I read Bruce Weigel and Sharon
Olds. My other favorite is T.S. Elliot.
Jayne: Are you influenced by the work of other poets? How do
you stay original?
Molly:You can’t write in a vacuum but you have to find
your own voice. I write about my own experiences and
elaborate poetically, but it’s not a bad thing
to be influenced by others.
Jayne: Because we may ask you to write for specific occasions,
is it possible to write on demand?
Molly: It is certainly more of a challenge to do so, but I
am looking forward to trying.
Jayne: Do you have a favorite word?
Molly: I use the word “fine” a lot and I like the
word “promise”. I like words that have more
than one meaning.
Jayne: Well, I am so glad you accepted the job I know you will
represent Lansdowne well poetically.
Molly: Well, I am thrilled to have been selected.

The Limits of Western Medicine
By Molly Connors

The Acupuncturist tries to
relieve my migraines with
little pricks at the base
of my skull, the mosquito flesh
at the back of my knees
he perforates his way down my spine
as if preparing to tear me
in equal halves
but at the firm meat
of my ear lobe, the needle
encounters some resistance
I feel a sharp pop
a hiss and squeal like air from
the stretched neck of a balloon
as my soul escapes
leaking out into the cool
conditioned air hovering
high in a corner, enveloped
in the comforting hum
of the fluorescent lights
Nothing we do
can coax it back
it has been treated badly
is pissed-off and mean
as had enough and had been
searching for a way out
for some time, tired
of having to drag
inconstant carcass around, tired
of being manacled to a madwoman
finally, I have to leave
the acupuncturist charges
by the hour and
my time was up
I go to an insurance-approved MD
a specialist in internal medicine
a radiologist; they refer me to
a psychiatrist— all of them say
they can find nothing missing
or out of place, but I know
they’re wrong, I saw
a dark and curious cavern on the x-rays
a magnetic disturbance
in the MRIs and CTs where
the excited electrons align and point
to the space where my soul should be
Transplant is not an option
donors are scarce
the waiting list is long
there are no appropriate
diagnostic codes and apparently
my HMO doesn’t cover
soul-replacement therapy
Most people don’t seem to notice
but babies cry when I hold them
dogs bark when I pass
my shadow is much less substantial
blooms fade when I look at them
ice doesn’t melt in my glass
laughter dies when I enter a room
mother looks at me strangely
and my lover won’t touch me anymore
Perhaps we will be reunited
someday, my soul and I
it may find its way home
like a hungry dog
that didn’t know how good he had it
if it returns
I will allow it back in
I will take out a pin
and puncture the tip of my pinky toe
so that it will take a while
for my soul to work its way
back up to the escape hatch
or if it comes begging
I may carve a hole in my gut
so it can nestle in the cavity
behind my diaphragm and
rock in the sea of my breathing
or perhaps it would like to reside
in the unused tomb of my womb
and I could tether it
to the internal knob of my belly button
But if not, I will manage just fine
I never had much use for you anyway
soul, you were always
all about limits and should-haves
who needs you anyhow
soul, I’ve got 30 good years
in me yet anyway
you’re better off
soul, I pushed you to the limit
one too many times
I hope you’re happy
soul, cause one of us should be

News From The Lansdowne Library

Amy Gillespie

In all the hustle and bustle of back-to-school preparations this fall, don’t forget to add a library card to your list. A library card can be one of the greatest tools you and your child can have. That’s why September has been named Library Card Sign Up Month.

With your library card, you have access to all of the resources available at libraries throughout Penn sylvania. If you can’t find what you need in the Lansdowne Library, library staff members can search the state catalog to find what you need and have it sent here.

Now you can take advantage of the wealth of in-formation available through POWER Library.

POWER Library (which stands for Pennsylvania On-Line World of Electronic Resources) is a collection of databases available to all Pennsylvania residents who own a library card. You can access the information from your home computer or come to the library and use one of ours. No more trying to find a physical copy of Newsweek from October of 1999. Just search the magazine and journal database called EBSCO host. If pictures and ages are what you need, you can log onto the AP Photo Library, containing news photos from the Associated Press. For the younger kids, Searchasaurus is a kid-friendly graphic search engine. Have you gone through all of John Sanford’s books and want to find something similar, NoveList can recommend

other books and authors you might like. The staff at the Lansdowne Library can help you get started with all of these resources and more. So stop in, get a library card, and see what great things are waiting to be discovered. Also stop in to find out about our upcoming special programs, such as our Mystery Discussion Series, Mother Goose training, and Family Fun Fest ’03. And best of all, it’s all free!

News From the Police Department

Chief Daniel J. Kortan

The Lansdowne Police Department welcomes the first ever female officer to our ranks. Crescent Brown took the oath of office June 2 nd , 2003. Offi-cer Brown was formerly a part-time officer with the Yeadon Police Depart-ment. You can learn more about Crescent, all the Lansdowne police officers, get information aboutparking permits, curfew, and other items of interest on our official web site: Log-on and check it out.

Another of Lansdowne’s finest, Sgt. James McCaughan, traveled to Barcelona, Spain at the end of July to compete in the Interna-tional Police and Fireman’s Olympics. He competed against police and firefighters from around the world.
Sgt. McCaughan entered the mountain biking and boxing events, and did well in both. He had a 16 th place finish in mountain biking (out of 150 entrants) and he took the Silver Medal in boxing. He won 2 fights before finish-ing 2 nd in the 190lb medal round. Everyone in the police department is extremely proud of Sgt. McCaughan. He represented Lansdowne with pride and sportsmanship. Jim first entered the Olympics in 2001 when the games were in Indianapolis and he is looking forward to competing again in 2005 when the games come to Quebec, Canada. He is also considering entering the Tough Man competition at the Police Games in Las Vegas in 2004.

By now you have probably observed our Speed Monitoring Radar Trailer around town. This device is used to advise motorists of their speed and make them aware of the posted speed limit. A word of caution, it is usually followed up with a speed enforcement detail in the same location, after the trailer is moved. All overnight parking permits expire at the end of the year. You can renew your permit beginning in November. The annual cost for an overnight parking permit is $40. Permits can be renewed at the police station between 8am and 10pm Monday–Friday.

Please remember schools will be back in session the first week of September. Please obey all speed limits in town, particularly in our school zones. Students should be made aware that if they are observed walking around town during school hours, they may be stopped and required to provide information about why they are not in school. Police will notify the school district of all students who are found off school property during the school day. Residents are encouraged to join with police and take an active part in protecting our community. If you see or hear anything of a suspicious nature, report it immediately by dialing 9-1-1. Together, we can keep Lansdowne one of the finest communities in the county.

Lansdowne Landings

First in a series of articles featuring new residents to our town
By Fran Wayne

…..In fact, sometimes you must. Coming home to Lansdowne is nothing new for Jean Hughes. She’s done it three times but expects this will be the last. While some may find this difficult to fathom, even the beautiful mountains,sunsets and perfect weather found on her last foray to Albuquerque couldn’t keep her from returning to the hometown she loves. Jean’s parents, the late Mary and Bill Schel horn, met in Lansdowne in 1938. They raised Jean and her twin sister, Anne on Willowbrook Avenue, and the girls were educated at Lansdowne’s public schools. They enjoyed themselves and were involved in some legendary high school pranks (don’t ask). Jean first left Lansdowne but didn’t go far, when she married and moved to Narberth in 1966. She later divorced and re-turned to live on Baltimore Avenue across from Wildman Arms, which she remembers as an open, sheep-filled field when she was a child. Her job with the Penn Central Railroad– later known as Amtrak- took Jean away for more than eleven years in D.C. till she was transferred to Philadelphia and re-turned to buy a Victorian home on Owen Avenue. More than ten years later, Jean’s job once more took her away and she moved to New Mexico. Albuquerque was a picturesque setting where she enjoyed the southwestern cuisine, Native American jewelry and breathtaking vistas all around her. Still, during periodic visits home to Lansdowne, Jean realized how much she missed her life here. Last year, while volunteer-ing at the Christmas tea and attending the house tour with friends, she felt very homesick. With retirement fast approach-ing, she wasted no time and went out the very next morning to purchase her house on Bryn Mawr Avenue, which she now calls, “Pansy Cottage.” Finally, Jean and her faithful compan-ion, Charlie, a lovable silky terrier, have made Lansdowne their permanent home. I asked Jean, “Why Lansdowne? Why retire here?” Her answers were many and varied. She loves museums and the convenience of being twenty minutes from downtown Phila-delphia and just a couple of hours from New York or D.C. “There is no place else with trees like this. We have the most beautiful trees,” she told me, “And the houses…where else can you find such interesting and unique buildings in one small town?” Most of all, Jean loves the people of Lansdowne – their wit, their candor, and their generosity. She sometimes wonders where she found the time to work, she is now so busy personalizing her house, enjoying time with friends and family, and her hobbies, needlepoint, antiqu-ing, volunteering and sewing. She still loves to travel and of-ten longs for the flea markets of Paris, but Jean Hughes says that Lansdowne is and will always be, home.

Fall Leaf Pick-up

Leaf collection begins on Monday, October 20th and runs through Friday December 12th. The schedule is weather and leaf volume dependent. The pick-up routes are the same as the recycling routes. Your pick-up day is the same as your recycling day but will be the following week. For example, if yours is recycling route “One” with a pick-up every other Tuesday, then your leaves will be collected on the alternate Tuesday.

Residents are requested to rake leaves only into the street next to the curb. Please do not park on leaf piles as the highway department employees will need access to them. Feel free to bag your leaves if you prefer and place them curbside for pick-up. Don’t forget, leaves only! The vacuum machine does not like rocks or sticks. We appreciate residents’ patience and cooperation with leaf pick-up.

Ask the Code Enforcement Officer

Dear CEO,
What are ya doing taking me to court over my classic car collection in my backyard? Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do on my property.
Ima Payne

Dear Ima,
I’m glad you asked. I’m taking you to court because you didn’t respond to the citation issued to you. What you do with and on you property doesn’t concern us until you violate a code, ordinance, or state statute. Your collection has to be on an impervious surface, not grass, gravel or mud. State statute says it has to be inspected and registered if it’s on a public street. If your beauties are in a state of disrepair or restoration, then you need to have the vehicles in a garage or under approved car cover. Neighbors may view it as an eye sore rather than the work progress you’re nurturing. Come to Borough hall, Ima, and I’ll help you resolve this situation. It’s doable.

Commercial Vacancies in Lansdowne

By Norman Council

Lansdowne is a vibrant and vital community. That extends to and includes our business community. However, there is ongoing concern on the part of the Borough Council about the amount of vacant commercial property in the central business district.

There are two basic types of vacant commer-cial properties in the borough: large and small. The small sites include the various storefronts in the business district and range in size from about 800 to 5000 square feet. They are the spaces occupied by small retail and service businesses. These spaces become vacant periodically due, for the most part, to the ebb and flow of customer needs and the economy.

Small business is a rough world. The United States Chamber of Commerce estimates that 50% of all entrepreneurial small businesses fail. They fail for a variety of reasons: poor planning , tough economies, and the fickle-ness of the retail buyer. The bottom line is that starting a business and making it suc-cessful is a hard thing to do, and many ini-tial efforts are not successful. Fortunately for us, the small business person is a tough minded individual who usually keeps trying until he or she succeeds. For Lansdowne, the result is that we see, and will continue to see small businesses come and go in our various business districts.

Because of its layout and history, Lansdowne is dependent on the small business person to keep the business district vital, and the Bor-ough does a variety of things to support them, from trying to make code enforcement Of far greater concern is the number of large commercial properties that are vacant in the borough. These are properties in excess of 25,000 square feet and include the Lans-downe Theater, the Bank building, the Bell building, 10 West Baltimore, and 50 East Baltimore Avenue. These properties are prob-lematic for several reasons. First and most importantly, they are spaces which should contain moderate to large populations of employees and/or customers who would be potential patrons of local small businesses. Secondly, many of these properties are blighted and their dark fronts and run down appearance make the business district less attractive to others who might want to bring their businesses to Lansdowne. Finally, of importance to the community at large, these vacant commercial properties are not generat-ing tax revenue.

The Borough Council and the Economic Development Committee has worked hard over the last few years to get these buildings occupied Members of the committee and other mem-bers of Council have met on numerous occa-sions with potential buyers to offer coopera-tion and assistance obtaining funding for improvements, and arrangements to help meet parking needs. The borough, in partnership with the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation, has provided information on demographics, market dynamics, and traffic patterns. Members of Council have set up meetings with developers and investors and invited special interest groups – such as one interested in historic theaters – to tour the buildings and the borough and to discuss opportunities for business growth. To date
these efforts have not been successful.

Borough Manager David Forrest has obtained a grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to define the boundaries of a Redevelopment Area in Lansdowne, and has also begun the process of developing special tax advantages for development in that district. These tools will make these properties more attractive to developers.

In addition, to these short term steps, the borough is in the process of updating the Comprehensive Plan for Lansdowne (in a joint effort with East Lansdowne), and is working with the County Planning Department and the County’s Renaissance Plan to bring much needed attention and funding for Lansdowne’s Economic Development needs.

The Borough Council has a vision of Lansdowne’s business districts as fully occupied commercial areas and is working with partners on the county, state, regional and federal levels to bring that vision into focus.

Recycling and Trash Update

Betsy Riffert

First, I’d like to thank every resident and business for your conscientious effort to recycle. Every piece of paper, glass and metal you place curbside on your recycling day is one less piece that goes into a landfill. Last year, the Borough recycled 492.78 tons of papers, 40.12 tons of metal, and 37.17 tons of glass. So far this year, we’ve collected 186.32 tons of paper, 12.82 tons of metal, and 14.24 tons of glass. Keep up the good work and remember to recycle! If you need a recycling magnet, you can call and I’ll mail one out to you. Visit the Borough’s website,, and you can print one out,. Or stop by the Borough Hall weekdays between 8:30am and 5:00pm and pick one up.

We pick up the paper, metal and clear glass at curbside. Each should be placed in a separate container. You don’t especially need a recycling bin, as a paper bag would do just fine for your paper recycling. In addition, if you have an old plastic kitchen trash can that would be great for your glass or metal recycling.

Paper:….……Items such as newspapers, telephone books, magazines, cereal boxes. These items are to be placed in paper bags or bound with string.
Metal:……… Items such as aluminum cans, soup cans, cat food cans, coffee cans.
Clear Glass:…Items such as soda bottles, jars, or other food containers. Colored glass
can be taken to “igloos” in the southwest corner of the Highland Avenue parking
lot. We encourage each of you to take that extra step and use them.

Generally, if you live east of Lansdowne Avenue your trash is picked up on Mondays and Thursdays. On the west
side of Lansdowne Avenue your trash is picked up on Tuesdays and Fridays. If a Borough holiday falls on a regular trash pick up day, follow the schedule below:

Holiday Trash Pick Up Schedule
Holidays are noted on your recycling magnet

If your regular pick up days are: Monday/Thursday Tuesday/Friday

And a holiday falls on a:
Your pick up days will be:

Trash pick up is for household trash only. We will not pick up construction materials or contractors’ debris (including, but not limited to) rocks, cement, gravel, bricks, concrete, or bulk items such as dressers, mattresses, car parts and tires as part of the Bor-ough’s regular pick up. If you are using a contractor, talk to him/her about removal. We will, however, pick up miscellaneous lumber if it is broken up and bundled in sections no longer than 3’ and 18” in diameter.

Lawn Clean Up.

Please place lawn clippings and twigs curbside on your trash day as this will help the sanitationworkers remove these items in a cleaner and quicker fashion. Please don’t overload the bags so that they become too heavy. In addition, twig bundles cannot exceed 3’ in length and 18” in diameter. This not only makes it easier for you to carry to the curb, it also fits better in the trash truck. Finally, if your trash is not picked up on your trash day, give me a call. You may have something in there that we don’t pick up (as mentioned above), or we just may have missed you by accident. Give me a call at Borough Hall (610-623-7300 x211) and let me know . This way, we can work together to better serve you.

Hazardous Waste

Items such as motor oil, car batteries, antifreeze, turpentine, paint thinners and such ARE hazardous and will NOT be accepted with your trash. However, D, C, A, AA and AAA batteries can be thrown away with your regular trash as they are not a hazardous item and cannot be recycled. To find a location near you where hazardous items are accepted, give the PA Department of Environmental Protection a call at 1-800-346-4242 or visit their website at

Borough Information Meeting Dates 2003
Wednesday, September 3, 2003 – Borough Council Business Meeting – 7:30 PM
September 17 2003 –
Borough Council General Meeting – 7:30 PM

Wednesday, October 1, 2003 – Borough Council Business Meeting – 7:30 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2003 – Borough Council General Meeting – 7:30 PM

Wednesday, November 5, 2003 – Borough Council Business Meeting – 7:30 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 – Borough Council General Meeting – 7:30 PM

Wednesday, December 3, 2003 –
Borough Council Business Meeting – 7:30 PM
Wednesday, December 17, 2003 – Borough Council General Meeting – 7:30 PM

Important Phone Numbers

Emergency 911
Borough Office– 610-623-7300
(Fax): 610-623-5533
Police Department– 610-623-0700
Overnight Parking– 610-623-7677

Tax Collector– 610-623-2357

Congratulations to the class of ‘63 from Lansdowne-Aldan High School.

They are having their 40th class reunion this September.

Go Lords!!!

5th Annual Lansdowne Borough Halloween Party

Please join friends and neighbors
for fun and games.
Lansdowne residents
12 and under welcome!
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Must come in costume.
Date: Sunday 11/2/03
Place: Twentieth Century Club
Time: 2:00– 3:30 PM

Lansdowne Arts Festival
September 19-21,2003
Trash pick up is for hoThe Lansdowne Arts Festival celebrates the visual and performing arts of Lansdowne’s artistic community. The festival will be held at the borough’s key cultural and historical venues. The festival includes a sale and exhibition, music, poetry, and performances.

-Come, join us, and experience Lansdowne arts.-
For more information and complete schedule of events
call 610-623-7300 or go to the web

Lansdowne Organizations
You can find information about the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, The Lansdowne Folk Club and the Celebration Theater of Lansdowne as well as other community and civic organizations by visiting us on the web at

Celebration Theater Presents

Lansdowne’s own semi-professional live theater company begins its fourth season with a highly unique production: "The Ghost Train". A classic hit from the 1930’s, it is rarely performed in this country. It is both a chilling and funny play about a group of railroad passengers stranded at a lonely sta-tion, late at night, who are warned by the stationmaster about a Ghost Train which sweeps past leaving insanity and death in it’s path. A great play to get you in the Halloween mood!
Celebration Theater is thrilled that this particular production will take place IN the historic Lansdowne Railroad Station, courtesy of SEPTA! This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, sure to bring lots of positive PR to Lansdowne and we expect every performance to be a sell-out. Because the seating capacity is only 50 seats in the station, Celebration is presenting 15 performances between October 10 and November 2. Make sure to buy your ticket early! Seats are $20 and $18 for senior citizens. Contact Celebration Theater at 610-259-1800 or at

Celebration’s second show will open December 5, and will take place at the Theater’s home at the beautifully deco-rated Twentieth Century Club (in Lansdowne.) "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" is a delightful and inspiring comedy and will be sure to please all audiences. There will be 10 performances through December 21.PLEASE NOTE: AUDITIONS for this holiday classic will be on Sunday, September 7 at 2:00 at the Twentieth Century Club. Call 610-259-1800 for more info. We need a big cast of both adults and kids of various ages (8-14) – stage experience not necessary. Lots of your friends and neighbors have participated in Celebration Theater productions and had the experience of a lifetime, how about you? Our final production will run from March 19 – April 3 – this show to be announced shortly, so stay tuned! Make sure you’re on our mailing list by filling out the link on our website:, or by calling 610-259-1800, ext. 2. usehold trash only. We will not pick up construction materials or contractors’ debris (including, but not limited to) rocks, cement, gravel, bricks, concrete, or bulk items such as dressers, mattresses, car parts and tires as part of the Bor-ough’s regular pick up. If you are using a contractor, talk to him/her about removal. We will, however, pick up miscellaneous lumber if it is broken up and bundled in sections no longer than 3’ and 18” in diameter.

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