School year starts for us after labor day

Seems like lots of parents from other parts of the Commonwealth and beyond are posting back-to-school pics. Not Townies! The Haverford School District begins after Labor Day. According to this 2013 article, our district is one of 57 out of about 500 in PA that begins after the holiday. We all seem to be OK with this. For now, anyway... because the Atlantic Ocean is still cold in the early part of June and an overwhelming amount of us seem to head down the shore for one last hurrah over the Labor Day weekend. It's like when the kids in the Poconos have off the first day of hunting season: may as well give 'em the day because they won't show up to school anyway. We here at HavertowniesHQ think the logic is the same. We like our late summer days down da shore! Plus, we need the extra days to get everything on the supply list. What do you say? Would you want the school year to start earlier? … [Read more...]

If you want open space, BUY IT

There's a ridiculous letter from Phil Heron making the rounds. Mr. Heron is the Editor of the Daily Times. He is echoing the woes of locals who protest development over open space. He talks about the wide open views in Kansas. What the hell? In Kansas all that open space is PRIVATELY OWNED and used to make profit. We don't do much farming around here, the very close suburbs of a major metropolitan and World Heritage city. Our privately owned spaces will also be used to make profit, just like Kansas. Development is the only way that open space makes profit around here. If the townsfolk with their pitchforks and loud voices want some space to stay "open," let them pool their gold pieces and buy it. Or be downright evil and abuse eminent domain by condemning the property, THEN buy it. Whatever. The owners of that land don't have to be charitable just because you want them to be. This crap is ridiculous. Here's the article, making rounds on Facebook yesterday:   _______________________________________ Letter From the Editor: Open-space dilemma hits home hard in Delco PHIL HERON Residents protesting the development of Beaver Valley let their sentiments be known at a recent meeting at Garnet Valley Middle School in Concord. DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA FILE PHOTO Every time I hear another hue and cry about how we are losing open space, I think about I-70 in Kansas. Have you ever driven across Kansas? I have, several times. I will never look at our diminishing open space the same way again. Let me ask you this: If we got into the car right now, how many states do you think we could get to in an hour or so? Three, maybe four? Driving from one end of Kansas to the other is one day. When they say it’s flat, they are not joking. You can almost look out at the horizon and see where you are going to be tomorrow. Almost 40 years later, one scene still stands out in my mind. I was headed back east on a blazing hot summer day, when I found myself … [Read more...]

Bee the Soda…

Saw this on Haverford today, in front of Ardmore Beverage:   Would this be soda for bees? Or soda made out of bees? Or, more of philosophical command, a la Caddyshack: Let it happen. Beeee the Sodaaa.   … [Read more...]

Spiriting: Why your street’s trees are TP’ed

It may seem like mischief night has come early to H-Town, but what's really happening is some good ol' fashioned school spirit, in the form of bathroom tissue. Any trees on your street look like this lately?   Haverford High School's Fords (Yes, they are named after the original car. Go figure) are a fun group. The night before a big game, sports participants, sometimes including band members, cheerleaders, heck, anyone involved (but mostly athletes) are shown some love with a donation of unused, unspooled toilet paper hung gently and carefully on their property's trees or shrubbery. We can tell who on the street has teenagers. Also, we here at Havertownies have noticed a correlation between houses that are "spirited" and those containing pretty (because they are all young, they are all pretty!) teen girls... Anyway, now you know. Go get 'em FORDS!!! … [Read more...]

Cars hitting houses

 CURB APPEAL Over on his blog Abominations, local author and college prof Marc Schuster tells of an SUV knocking the hell out of his rock retaining wall. It is the second of such incidents that we've heard about this Spring. Go on over to Marc's blog to read between the lines and hear the angst that came after the BOOM. Then wander around his blog to see what one of our more literary residents gets up to these days. … [Read more...]

Cheltenham parents asking for later school start

This may come as a shock to most of you, but some of us Townies didn't grow up here. While my family has long historical roots in Haverford Township, I didn't move here until 14 years ago. One thing I loved about HT is the walkability of it ( gives the 19083 an outstanding score of 71 out of 100). I grew up in the Poconos where we had to catch a school bus around 6:30 am to get to school by 8:15. That's a very long commute and a brutal rise time, not just for high school but for all 12 years because we attended the catholic school. When I see kids walking to school in the morning, I get flashbacks of seeing re-runs of Happy Days and the Brady Bunch. As far as I knew, only Hollywood had kids that walked to school! But even without those very lengthy bus rides to school, the HT school day still begins earlier than most of us are leaving for work in the morning. I never saw the logic in this. If anything, we could consider at least flipping the start times. The young kids could start at 7:35, as they naturally rise earlier, and the older ones could start at 8:35 or later. After-school activities can become before-school activities for those who are interested. These flipped times correspond better with decades of adolescent psychology and neurology research. Greater Philadelphia area Cheltenham school district is being challenged over the early starts. From CBSnewslocal: CHELTENHAM, Pa. (CBS) - The conversation is still in the very earliest stages, but some parents in a Montgomery County school district are considering asking administrators to change the start time for their high school. Rhonda Feder’s daughter is in 10th grade at Cheltenham High School. Class starts at 7:30. She can’t help but wonder whether her school work is affected because she and other teens may be sleep deprived. Feder started a Facebook page to get input from other parents and says the research is out there that shows a later start date would be beneficial to … [Read more...]

What ‘State of Emergency’ means in H-Town

With today's icy conditions causing massive power outages (10,000 Township residents was the last updated number via Commissioner Dan Siegal), the Township has officially declared a "State of Emergency." That's nice and all, but... what the heck does that mean exactly? Well, we dug around the ridiculously dull terribly interesting township codes and found a bunch of stuff. Here is the relevant part: Chapter 175: VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC § 175-59, Article XI Schedules – §175-98 Schedule XXIII Emergency No Parking Areas: Ardmore Avenue Both Between County Line Road and Darby Road Burmont Road Both Entire length College Avenue Both Entire length Colonial Road Both Entire length Coopertown Road Both Entire length Darby Road Both Entire length Drexel Avenue Both Entire length Eagle Road Both Entire length Earlington Road Both Entire length Glendale Road Both Entire length Haverford Road Both Entire length Landover Road South Entire length Lawrence Road Both Between Eagle Road and West Chester Pike Manoa Road Both Entire length Marple Road Both Entire length Mill Road Both Between Earlington Road and Darby Road Township Line Road North Entire length West Chester Pike Both Entire length Wynnewood Road Both Entire length That means, if your car is parked on any of these specific lengths of roadway, you are asked to remove them so the township services can clear the area of snow and debris. Also, all non-essential travel is suspended. Now, from what we can gather from various sources, there are states of emergency and then there are STATES OF EMERGENCY. Governmental bodies can apply for state aid to help "weather the storm" of clean-up costs when they declare states of emergency. So, declaring one isn't all THAT special. Today's ice and power outages certainly warranted it. Why struggle to get it all paid for ourselves when … [Read more...]

Haverteen Beat: Young Instagram Star Dies

You may have seen a few upset teen and preteen girls in the township. Here at Havertownies, we want to keep you updated in all the township's happenings, even within the secret society known as "Haverteendom." Here's what might be causing some sadness in your house, if you have any girls aged about 7-16 (especially if your kids have Internet access): Beloved online star, 13-year-old Talia Joy Castellano, has finally succumbed to the neuroblastoma and other cancers that she'd been fighting since she was a tiny tot of 4. (Neuroblastoma is the same cancer that killed the now-famous Alexandra "Alex" Scott of Wynnewood, PA, who started a humble lemonade stand that grew into an international movement.) Talia Joy, a sweet kid who turned her baldness over to a love of cosmetics instead of wigs, was known around the Web as TaliaJoy18. She enjoyed more of a cult following than most Hollywood celebrities. TaliaJoy18 had: 2.7 million followers on Instagram 1 million+ on YouTube (with one clip of her hundreds of entries garnering 8 million views alone) 562,000 Likes on Facebook (along with over 862,000 pieces of activity there, which is no small feat, especially since tweens and teens have largely abandoned the service) 222k+ followers on Twitter Talia also had her own website that had a US Alexa ranking (a website that rates global and national web traffic for sites) of 38, 323. That may not sound very good, but let us assure you, it is quite excellent to be anywhere in the 6-digit mark, let alone 5 digits. It's outstanding. The site's global rank was even in the 6-digits at 306,466. Major ad agencies with unlimited budgets can't achieve that and Talia did her work herself, all while battling an aggressive cancer. Talia obviously touched the hearts of many people, including celebrities like Ellen Degeneres. The makeup brand Covergirl presented Talia with a cover photo of herself, honorary Covergirl status, and a check for $20,000. Talia seemed incredibly … [Read more...]

Google Glass in Havertown?

Seen any cyborgs lately? I'm looking everywhere, eagerly/anxiously awaiting the advent of Google Glass in HT. If you've been under a rock lately and don't know (or more likely don't give a f***) about Google Glass, here's a rundown: Google Glass is a $1500 pair of frames with no lenses (that users had to apply to buy) with an operating system that connects to the Internet, can record video and pictures, and overlays a screen on the world only the wearer can see. I have yet to see a pair in real life. This is odd for me, because I generally hang around early adopter types. The summer has kept me close to home, though, so I'm not out and about as much lately. Privacy problems arise, obviously, because the dude (and let's be real, it'll be a white dude) sitting next to you in Kettle, Edgewood Cafe – or that new place on Eagle –may be recording your every bite without your knowledge. Think on this. If someone whipped out their iPhone and kept it pointed it at you, that'd be über rude, right? Fisticuffs might ensue. Well, with Google Glass, you just don't know if Mr. About To Be Punched is recording. Think how CREEEEPY-ass this would be at, say, Freedom Playground. *shudder* Perhaps we need some sort of pre-conceived, endorsed Havertownies script to say to these cyborgs, especially if they are at a park or watching us chew. Or maybe we get the board of commissioners to ban Google Glass altogether (LOL!). Any ideas? Maybe naked girl Moira has something to say 'bout it. Anyone know her?   … [Read more...]

Lunch Accounts in Haverford School District Part II

In Part I of this post, we discussed the viral FB post about school lunches and introduced the subject of the Haverford School District lunch system. Please see Part I before continuing on. Sending in lunch money with kids can be problematic. The Director emphasized using would help the confusion that comes with sending in cash with your kids. The implementation of the online account system at is meant to reduce the need for the child to handle cash and for the families to be able to contribute to the account remotely. This supposedly cuts down on confusion, bullying, kids' and parents' stress of keeping track of money, etc. I'm all for making things automated and convenient, but I have to say so far isn't as good as I'd like. Here are a few of the many complaints (and following explanations) I've had or I've heard about myschoolaccount: It is nearly impossible to track and/or fix inaccurate billing The processing fees are high and a waste of money There's no convenient way to retrieve money placed in the account Password problems. The site doesn't seem to ever want to set a cookie in my browser, so I'm forced to reset my password often Children spending too much per meal No receipts given to the children Not enough detail on the record (what meals eaten, what snacks, etc.) No private or automated way to ban snacks or certain meals. 1. Here's the basic reason why any HSD cafeteria billing inaccuracies are darn near impossible to fix: Everyone assumes children lie (or aren't capable of remembering things correctly). Here's the common scenario: Child is billed for two meals in one day. No receipt is handed to the child immediately. Parent notices the lunch money has dwindled too quickly. She tries to suss through ambiguous billing terms on like "platter" or "snack." Child insists he did nothing wrong, says it was a mistake on the part of the cashier. Parent … [Read more...]

Lunch Accounts in Haverford School District Part I

A few years ago when I was on the board of the Chatham Park PTO, I had a lengthy conversation with the food director of Haverford School District (HSD). I'll get to why I had the need to chat with the Director in a second. First let's think about what happened in a Texas town and on Facebook over school lunches: Bus driver Johnny Cook went onto Facebook, voiced his frustration over one of his students being denied lunch for lack of funds, and was promptly fired for doing so. Here's Mr. Cook's post: A middle schooler got on my bus this evening and said mr johnny im hungry. I said why are you hungry buddy? Didn't you eat lunch ? He said no sir I didn't have any money on my account. I said they would let you charge it? No sir. Huh! What! This child is already on reduced lunch and we can't let him eat. Are you kidding me? I'm certain there was leftover food thrown away today. But kids were turned away because they didn't have .40 on there account . As a tax payer, I would much rather feed a child than throw it away. I would rather feed a child than to give food stamps to a crack head. My number is (…) the next time we can't feed a kid for forty cent, please call me . We will scrape up the money. This is what the world has come to. Mr. Cook is looking for another job while the country looks to him as a seemingly lone voice over what is being called "school hunger:" when students are denied lunch at school because their parents/guardians owe lunch money. Social media and employment issues aside, the bus driver's firing off about his district's lunch system and his subsequent firing from his job hit a nerve across the US. School hunger happens all over the country, and frustrating cafeteria woes seem par for the course in any public school system. Each school has its own way of dealing with school hunger and lunch money processing. In an overwhelming majority of districts, children are given a supplementary meal even if they cannot pay. There are also federal … [Read more...]

Swish: TopFree Stir in HT

So this one time –– ––(at bandcamp! you're not a GenXer if you don't automatically say that)–– –– my husband Gary and I were outside on a hot day shooting some baskets. We were in our 20's, no kids, just outside and hot. So Gary proceeds to take off his shirt. The conversation went as follows: ME: "Why do you get to take off your shirt?" HIM: "I just do." ME: "I don't get to take off my shirt." HIM: (shrugs his now-naked and visibly much cooler shoulders) ME: "That's not fair." HIM: (takes basketball, aims, shoots.) "That's just the way the world works." swish Now whenever we encounter some obvious advantage awarded to a person based on tradition and/or prejudice, we say, "That's just the way the world works" and make a little swishing noise to emphasize the point. Apparently HT/NYC resident Moira who occasionally *does* take off her shirt on a hot day has her own version of swish. Moira likes to walk around without a shirt on a hot day. She's made the rounds on Facebook already. And the Philly papers. This is really old news. But I gotta hand it to her, she's got guts. I admire her conviction to bring unequal treatment to light. If I did this in my town in the Poconos where I grew up, no-one would notice. Firstly, there aren't enough people around. I'd be shocking a bunch of trees. Secondly, there wouldn't be enough boob around to even shock the trees. I just want to ask this question: if Moira is going swish-commando and sees old friends on the street, does she give them a hug?   Havertown photo by Alan Kin on Flickr … [Read more...]