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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Winter 2003

Jump to: Introducing Joe Heath, “Snowflake” Gatherings, LEDC Activities, No Borough Tax Increase 2003, Christmas Tree Pickup, Siren – Necessity or Nuisance, From the Tree Advisory Board, Library Welcomes New Director , Library Family Room Schedule January to March 2003, Calling all Lansdowne Artists, Council Legislation 2002, Meeting Dates 2003, Winter Update

Introducing Joe Heath

By Jayne Young
Joe Heath

If you attend meetings or watch them on TV you may already know Joe Heath and if not let me introduce you. Joe has lived in the same house on Greenwood Avenue since he was 6 months old. Now, at the ripe young age of 87 that makes him a bit of a fixture. At one time, he shared space with 4 generations.

Last month he came to my office to tell me stories about growing up in Lansdowne, and to share his thoughts on current affairs. So charmed was I by his visit that I felt compelled to share our discussion.

What was Lansdowne like when you were a boy?

My goodness, it looked differently. There was Ivy’s cornfield and Griffith’s Lake. At the lake, you could hang from a cable that carried you to the middle, and then dropped you off into the water. My best friend was Jack Wallace. We hung out at the Maple Diner and Daly’s Cigar Store. The best spot was Englehart Ice Cream. Sometimes the kids got invited over to lick the barrels.

Were you a bit of a hellion? You look like you could have been.

(twinkle in his eye, chuckling) Maybe we took advantage of mischief night. There were only two policemen when I was a boy and no police cars so it was easy to get away. We used to pick on “Crazy Stewart” a borough eccentric. Well maybe I won’t and should not elaborate.

What did the town center look like?

Mostly there were private homes until you got right to the center of town. Once there was a Piggly Wiggly and Anton’s Restaurant (closed for lack of parking). The Post Office has been all over town. I count four locations besides the railroad. The south side of town was where the rich lived. All the mansions were there. Hughes Carriage was down on Baltimore Avenue. I remember the traffic was so light through the main intersection at Lansdowne and Baltimore Avenues, that Officer Bill Bradley manually operated the light.

How about a favorite childhood memory?

Opening day of the Lansdowne Movie Theater. 1926 Edmee Malm, Miss Somebody I don’t remember, dropped flowers from an airplane onto the theater roof.

So Joe, what brings you to council meetings and how long have you been coming?

I started coming about two years ago. I have some concerns about quality of life issues and I thought I should come to council instead of just complaining.

What kinds of concerns? What are your issues?

Bicyclists should follow the same laws as cars. Walkers should use sidewalks. Dumpsters should sport reflective tape. Drivers should stop their cars at stop signs. It’s the little things that count.

You’re right It is the little things, like knowing your neighbors and attending meetings to learn what is going on.

I used to know everybody in town and every corner of the Borough. It’s busier now, but I still like it here. Won’t move.

Well Joe, I hope that when our residents see you around town they make a point of saying hello.

Drumming and dancing were the order of the day on November 8th 2002 when Lansdowne residents were entertained by the West

African Drumming Group at the first ever "Snowflake" Gathering: a part of the No Place For Hate Program. Sponsored by Lansdowne
Borough Council and the ADL.

LEDC Activities

The Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation will be accepting the final draft of a market study from Susan Huffman Associates by year end. The report will be instrumental in developing strategies to support existing and attracting new businesses in the borough. Members of the LEDC board conducted consumer and business owner surveys and developed an inventory of commercial property in the Borough in support of the market study. The final draft of the market study will be available to the public in January 2003.

On May 13th, 2003 the LEDC, the Greater Lansdowne Civic Association and other community partners will be sponsoring an "Open House Tour of Historic Lansdowne in conjunction with Friends of Independence Historic National Park. The plans call for a tour of the Henry Albertson Subdivision and Lansdowne Park Historic Districts, tours of a few Lansdowne houses, refreshments at the 20th Century Club and a display of John Elliot’s wood carvings.

No Borough Tax Increase 2003

The vote was unanimous when the Finance and Administration Committee presented a budget for 2003 with no tax increase. The Committee led by Councilman James Klingler did a wonderful job. He is joined on the committee by Councilmen Norman Council and William Smith. The bottom line for residents? No increase in taxes, no decrease in services. Kudos to all involved

Christmas Tree Pickup

The Highway Department will be shredding Christmas trees at Hoffman Park again this year. Residents are asked to place their Christmas trees at the curb between Wednesday January 8th and Friday January 10th. Please remove tree from the stand and any plastic wrappings, tinsel and ornaments. Free mulch will be available to residents at the Hoffman Park parking area adjacent to the Pavilion beginning Friday, January 10th.

Siren— Necessity or Nuisance

It has been brought to the attention of the Lansdowne Fire Company that the Borough is considering turning off the fire siren. As Deputy Chief, and upcoming Fire Chief beginning in 2003, I am concerned about this situation. The Fire Siren serves many Purposes. Not only for the members of the Volunteer fire company, but also for the residents and community members.

Upon its institution, the siren served to alert the many volunteers that their service was needed for a fire or medical emergency response. It was and still is the “call to duty”. As technology has improved, many volunteers are equipped with pagers to alert of the impending emergency. However, these pagers are not always reliable. Many times there are “dead areas” which do not allow for pager activation. Other times members are carrying out activities such as taking a shower, lawn mowing or swimming. In these cases it is the siren that alerts the volunteers their help is needed.

The sounding of the siren also serves as an important safety warning for the members of the community. It notifies traffic and pedestrians that volunteers are responding and emergency vehicles will soon be responding. The siren informs the occupants of St. Philomenia’s School that emergency vehicles are passing through the school zone. At times the siren is the first notification for the Lansdowne Police department that the fire company has been called. The siren lets the person who dialed 911 know that help is on the way.

Several years ago when the Borough Hall was undergoing renovations the siren was turned off. A review of yearly responses conducted by the Fire Company indicated that during the time the siren was not operating, response to emergency dispatches decreased 1-2 people per call for fire and medical emergency.

The Lansdowne Fire Company operates with many dedicated volunteers who answer the “call to duty” at all hours of the day and night. We volunteers are proud to serve the community. We hope you will consider our need for the siren in relation to your need for emergency services.

So That Others May Live, Thomas Young Chief Lansdowne Fire Company.

The siren, located on the roof of our Borough Hall was the topic of discussion at the October Public Safety Committee meeting. A group of residents came to express their hope that the Lansdowne Fire Company would discontinue use of the siren. Several of those attending the meeting are business owners whose business is negatively affected by the siren. Others were residents who also feel that it is time to find a better way to call volunteers to respond.

A lot of business is done by telephone these days and when you have to stop in the middle of a sales call to wait for the siren to complete its cycle, you will lose the sale. Frequently, the person on the other end of the line becomes genuinely concerned that the building you are calling from is on fire or some disaster is underway and you need to evacuate the building. Explaining this can be quaint or cute for a while, but after years of daily siren pauses, business owners in the downtown area have a legitimate complaint about the disruption of their work.

They also expressed alarm about the volume of the siren. Incident after incident was cited of toddlers screaming in pain and covering their ears as they sat in their strollers at the corner of Lansdowne and Baltimore , and adults stopping in their tracks to cover their ears as the siren began to wail. The volume of the siren was described as “blowing people off of our streets” and “bringing pedestrians to their knees.”

It isn’t the siren that saves lives. It is the volunteers that make a difference. Everyone at the meeting, and I’m sure everyone in Lansdowne, appreciates and values these volunteers who risk their lives to help us. In fact, I think that we are all a bit in awe of the daily sacrifices. The number of hours spent away from their families is quite simply amazing.

No one wants to deprive these volunteers of all the recognition they deserve. The discussion that took place at that October meeting and again in November was informative and lively. I’m proud to live in a borough where people can disagree on an issue and still speak to each other in a civil manner.

Laura Fryer
Chair of Public Safety
Lansdowne Borough Council

From the Tree Advisory Board

20 New trees were purchased by the Tree Advisory Board and planted in Hayes Park on Nyack Avenue. Board members were aided by neighborhood residents with planting, watering and mulching. Here is Mary Lou Jennings being helped by Daniel Lites and Qwayshon Harper students at Ardmore Avenue Elementary.

Calling all Lansdowne Artists

Are you an artist, musician. Poet, writer or performer? If so here is an opportunity to show off your talent. In September of 2003 the Borough of Lansdowne, the LEDC and other community partners will be sponsoring the "Lansdowne Fine Arts Festival. This will be a weekend long event during which Lansdowne is talented citizens will have the opportunity to display, promote and sell their work. If you are interested in participating in or helping to develop the festival, please call Norman Council at 610-622-7169 right away

Library Welcomes New Director

The library’s new director, Amy Gillespie, was officially welcomed at a reception in her honor December 1st in the library’s Bany Room. The Board of Directors, Friends of the Library and the library staff hosted this opportunity for patrons to meet the newest member of the library family. Ms. Gillespie is a graduate of the University of Scranton and Drexel University. She comes to the library from Notre Dame Academy in Villanova where she served as Library Media Specialist . Before applying for the director’s position, Amy was a frequent patron of the library and was impressed by its welcoming open atmosphere and its sense of community, an environment she will work to foster and maintain. Also high on her list of priorities is the recruitment of volunteers and patrons. She looks forward to working with the staff, the Board and the Friends of the Library to continue to meet the needs of the library patrons and community.

Amy is a lifelong resident of Delaware County and currently resides in Aldan with her husband, Joe, and their cat, Skitty Cat. She looks forward to meeting all of the library’s patrons . So stop in and say hello.

Library Family Room Schedule
January to March 2003

Mondays and Thursdays —10:30 AM—
Preschool Story time for ages 3-6 years,
followed by a brief activity or craft.
Tuesdays —10:30 AM—Lap time Stories
for infants to age 3.
Tuesday —3:30 PM— Bookateers— Kids
age 7+ talk books, puppets and more.
Monday, March 3rd, 2003 —6:30 PM—
Read Across America Celebrates Dr.
Seuss’ Birthday—Guest readers, refreshments— Space is limited, registrationrequired.
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 6:30PM— World of Beatrix Potter Tea Party—Traditional
Tea Party for ages 4 to 9. Space
is limited, registration is required.

Call 610-623-0239 ext. 5 for registrationor additional information.

The Lansdowne Library is located at 55 South Lansdowne Avenue. Phone 610-623-0239, e-mail Library hours are Monday – Thursday 9 am – 9 pm, Friday 9 am – 6 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm.

Council Legislation 2002

ORDINANCE NO. 1176 — An ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne amending ordinance no. 1168

ORDINANCE NO. 1177 — An ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne approving collection procedures and adopting schedule of attorney fees to be added to the amount collected as part of municipal claims for delinquent accounts

ORDINANCE NO. 1178 — An ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne revising provisions of the code of the borough of Lansdowne relating to towing services and towing rates

ORDINANCE NO. 1179 — An ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne regarding parking on the west side of Union Avenue

ORDINANCE NO. 1180 — An ordinance in the Borough of Lansdowne amendingOrdinance No.

ORDINANCE NO. 1181 — An ordinance in the Borough of Lansdowne regardinginstallation and/or use of grates, gates, grilles, and shutters in or on commercialproperties

ORDINANCE NO. 1182 — An ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne relative tothe establishment and maintenance of Borough employees pension, annuity, insurance and benefit fund or funds, to amend certain provisions of the pension plan or program applicable to the police of said borough and to restate in its entirety such pension plan or program.

ORDINANCE NO. 1183 — An ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne fixing the tax rate for the year 2003

ORDINANCE NO. 1184 — An ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne to estimate the number of gallons of water which will be consumed by persons whose properties are connected to the public sewers of the borough for the year 2003, and to fix the amount of sewer rental or charge to be made to each property connected to the sewers.

Meeting Dates 2003


Monday January 6, 2003
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM


Wednesday, February 5, 2003
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM


Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Borough Council Business Meeting
7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 16, 2003
Borough Council General Meeting
7:30 PM

Winter Update

Please remember that snow and ice must be removed from the full width of the sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall. Snow covered or icy sidewalks present a serious hazard to pedestrians. Non-compliance with snow and ice removal regulations can result in a citation being issued.

Classic Towns
No Place for Hate
Storm Water
Borough Pics