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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Borough Newsletter – Spring 2004

Jump to: Mayors Column, Plans Under Way For The Second Lansdowne Arts Festival, State Street Orchestra Makes 20th Century Club its Home, Celebration Theater Plans Exciting 2004-2005 Season, Ladies Auxiliary of the Lansdowne Fire Company Is Looking For New Members, Important Phone Numbers

Mayors Column By Jayne Young

Libraries, state funding and the Patriot Act have all been in the news recently. I called Amy Gillespie, our Librarian, to discuss these issues. After fifteen months on the job, she has a lot to share about how libraries work in today’s fiscal and world climate.

Jayne: What is the library used for?
Amy: In 2003 we circulated over 105,000 items. That included books, movies, magazines, anything that could be checked out. Our computer use has increased tremendously. We have over 150 patrons a day using them.
Jayne: Are all your patrons Lansdowne residents?
Amy: One half of our patrons are from Lansdowne, and the rest come from all over PA. We get state money through a program called “Access PA”. This provides compensation to us for allowing circulation outside of the borough.
Jayne: So how does funding work? What does it cost to maintain a library and why is the Delaware County System so important?
Amy: There is no federal money for libraries. The state’s funding has been cut from $52,000.00 in 2003 to $30,000.00 in 2004. The county provides us $8,000.00 per year. The bulk of our $300,00.00 budget comes directly from the Borough. That’s why developing the Delaware County System has been so important. It creates a very impressive inventory of materials available to our patrons without the accompanying costs. This enables us to serve our school community as well as our regular patrons. We try to have materials that are needed for current school projects. Libraries today are used by neighborhood children as a safe place to go after school. We can provide internet access and the resources for homework help. Many of the local teachers call to give us a heads up concerning what they will be assigning so we are sure to have appropriate materials on hand.
Jayne: How about book donations?
Amy: We sell donated books in the Baney Room and at our annual book sale. We take everything except text books, Readers Digest publications, encyclopedias and magazines.
Jayne: Given that there is no Federal funding for libraries, how do you feel about Federal dictates like the Patriot Act? How does this affect local libraries?
Amy: The act states that law enforcement agencies can get immediate search warrants for library records. In the past, there was a process that allowed law enforcement to gain access to our records through the subpoena process. Under the Patriot Act, library staff cannot share the interest law enforcement has in a library patron with that patron. Under the subpoena process we could. Library use has always been considered protected under confidentiality statutes. Pa. law is one of the strongest in the country. We aren’t even allowed to leave titles of book requests on a message machine or with a third party. If someone chooses to self-censor for fear of their reading habits being exposed, that person’s freedom to read is being constrained.
Jayne: On a lighter note, what book have you read lately? Do you have a favorite author? A favorite book?
Amy: I just finished “The Curious Incident With the Dog in the Night”. I read any Joyce Carol Oates , and my favorite book is “Jane Eyre”
Jayne: Wow, that’s my favorite too! So what goes on here besides book borrowing?
Amy: We have a number of book clubs that meet here, plus children’s activities and discussion groups. You can access the internet , or borrow tapes and videos. It’s a great place to come to.

Plans Under Way For The Second Lansdowne Arts Festival

By Mollie Repetto

It’s a sunny, breezy fall day. You sleep in on a Saturday. When you wake up, you pull on a pair of old worn jeans and comfortable shoes, and walk into town for a cup of hot coffee. Coffee in hand, you stroll through the collection of local artists’ wares, maybe picking up a picture for the house. You see paintings, photography, ceramics and jewelry. In the evening, you meet some old friends, perhaps some new ones, as you sit back and enjoy an eclectic poetry reading. Or, maybe you feel like dancing to live music.

The time is this September, the place is Lansdowne. Welcome to the Lansdowne Arts Festival, taking place once again this fall on September 17th, 18th & 19th, 2004. Showcasing an abundance of local talent, the Lansdowne Arts Festival will display artists with specialties such as painting, ceramics, and jewelry. See works in oils and watercolors. View realists of startling intensity, jewelry in rich mediums, collages and quilts. Hear poetry and stories and essays. Tap your feet in time to the beat, sway to folk and jam to rock and roll. Watch performers act out fantasies and farce.

To be part of the Arts Festival this fall, contact the Lansdowne Arts Festival committee with your area of interest. Check out in the coming months for scheduled events and more information. Participants, event volunteers and businesses looking for sponsorship opportunities are welcomed. See you in September!

Please contact the person corresponding to your area of interest:
Event Volunteers– Bev Uram
ArtistsMeg Halsey
Ceramics, jewelry, craftsMaryKay Bowden
Spoken WordAmy Gillespie
MusicPatricia Haddad
Jim Klingler
GeneralAnd sponsorship information
Mollie Repetto

State Street Orchestra Makes 20th Century Club its Home

What do you call five saxes, three trombones, four trumpets, one piano, bass and drums?. It’s the 15-piece swing dance band the State Street Orchestra. They specialize in music from the 1940’s and they are making the Twentieth Century Club in Lansdowne their home. This music has enjoyed a terrific resurgence in the last few years as new swing dancers discover the enjoyment of jitterbugging and two stepping to these wonderful old tunes. Scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of the month, March 23rd begins a six dance series.

When this group starts playing you can’t sit still – you really want to get up and dance!

What?, You don’t know how to Swing Dance? Don’t worry. Dance instruction to recorded music will start at 7:00 pm and run until approximately 8:20 pm. The live music will start at 8:30 pm and run until 11:30 pm. Admission is $15 per person with a $3 discount for a current Student ID or if you bring a significant baked good for the snack table.

The State Street Orchestra gets its name from the street that it rehearses on in Media. It’s led by Archie Lane, who plays tenor sax in the group. Lansdowne’s own residents, Bob Tokinitz on Trombone, and Paul Del Rossi, on trumpet are members. You may recognize Paul from the Mansfield Brass Group that played at the Lansdowne Arts Festival and under the lights at Gladstone Manor last Christmas. All of it’s musicians are seasoned performers who have played around Delaware County for years in a variety of groups. The current incarnation of the Orchestra has been together for over a year.

So, if you like to hear and dance to the old swing dance tunes like “In The Mood”, “Stardust”. “Sugar Blues”, and “Pennsylvania 6-5000” you don’t want to miss these dances. Mark you calendar with the dates.

For more information about the dances or the Orchestra please call Paul at 610-284-2980. Come one, come all!

Celebration Theater Plans Exciting 2004-2005 Season

Celebration Theater’s fall production, The Ghost Train brought sellout crowds for 15 performances to the Lansdowne Railroad Station. The story of six passengers stranded overnight in a haunted railroad station made Lansdowne’s 1902 Frank Furness-designed station the perfect setting for this 1930s play.

One of the most enjoyable challenges was creating special effects for this production. John Staiber’s set construction provided real rain to accompany the sound and lighting effects. Audiences were treated to thunderstorms, crashing trains and explosions.

In December, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever brought Celebration Theater back to its home at the Twentieth Century Club building. Based on Barbara Robinson’s book of the same name, the play tells the story of a hilarious, yet touching, Christmas pageant that brings a family and community together.

While the curtain is not rising on a spring 2004 production, Celebration Theater has been hard at work backstage planning a season of exciting performances. In October 2004, The Canterville Ghost will attract families with a story that thrills and warms the heart. Those enchanted with the Frank Capra film classic It’s A Wonderful Life will be pleased to see this timeless story brought to the stage in December 2004. Nostalgia buffs will delight in Celebration Theater’s March 2005 musical production, Route 66.

Celebration Theater wishes to thank its dedicated board of directors, tireless volunteers, the Mayor, Borough of Lansdowne and its residents for their continued support of the theater. To find out the theater’s latest activities or to join the many Lansdowne residents who have become theater volunteers, please call 610-259-1800 or visit our website at

Ladies Auxiliary of the Lansdowne Fire Company Is Looking For New Members

According to Betty Haggerty, current President of the Lansdowne Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, the original pledge made by anyone joining the auxiliary calls them "be of help to the Fire Company in every way possible – to work for it’s preservation and to keep the Auxiliary an instrument to promote mutual understanding between the Fire Company and the community in which we live and serve."

The Ladies Auxiliary was incorporated in May 5,1952. Their job at the time was fire support. Fighting fires is hard work and even with today’s new technologies a fire call can require hours of attention. A call can come through in any weather, day or night. Because of this, there is often a need for personal support services; water, coffee, towels, and food. For years this support was offered by the Ladies Auxiliary. In recent times, the Ladies Auxiliary has changed their focus and become more of a fund raising organization. Every year at the Fireman’s Banquets they have presented a check in excess of $1,000.00 to the Department. These funds have been used to purchase items such as the life saving infrared camera and other supplies and equipment as their need is identified by the Lansdowne Fire Department. But here is where things get exciting, the current organization would like to re-institute the fire support aspect of their mission.

When the alarm goes off, right behind the ‘first in’ engine, (first on the scene) will be the Auxiliary bringing support and supplies. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Lansdowne Fire Department is looking for new members. For a mere $3.00 annual dues you can become a member of the Lansdowne Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. You don’t have to be a member or be related to a member. you don’t have to learn how to fight fires (unless you want to). What you have to be is willing to help.

The most important thing to know about our Fire Department is that it is an all volunteer department. The men and women members give hours of time to fire and emergency response. It is necessary for the whole community to support their efforts. Fund raising activities are scheduled throughout the year. The Lansdowne Fire Company toy bears are available for purchase every Thursday evening at the firehouse from 7:30 until 8:30 pm. While you are there, pick up tickets for a "Basket of Cheer" (a May drawing is scheduled). You can always purchase a WaWa hoagie coupon at the firehouse and the Mother’s Day flower sale is an annual event not to be missed. This year’s sale is Sunday, May 9th, from 8 am till 1 pm.

Officers of the Ladies Auxiliary Lansdowne Fire Company from left to right:
Administering Oath: J Young,
Treasury: Kim Morris,
Vice President: Sharon Goodspeed,
President: Betty Haggerty,
Rec. Secretary: Kathy Wentzel,
Corresponding Secretary: Irene Rovane.

Important Phone Numbers

Emergency 911

Police Dept. – 610-623-0700
Borough Office – 610-623-7300
(Fax): 610-623-5533
Overnight Parking – 610-623-7677
Tax Collector – 610-623-2357

Start saving your sale items now.
The Third Annual Garage Sale Day will be held in May 2004

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