Endorsed Democrat for Cheltenham Township Commissioner Ward 4

Ann4Cheltenham 37 years of commitment Neighbor- Volunteer- Parent Educator- Writer Listening Analyzing Questioning Advocating Researching Innovating

22 May 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Thank You for the Primary Win

annrHeartfelt thanks to all my supporters for the solid win in the primary election.  I appreciate your confidence in me – my willingness to listen, question and act wisely to solve  problems.  I value the hard work of my campaign team and friends who recognize that my approach reaches outside the narrow boxes of ideology and business-as-usual.  I’ll continue to embrace the voices of those who feel they’re not being heard and continue to invite them to work with me.  I look forward to the work ahead, not just the general election, but the content of tackling, together, the challenges of our community.


24 April 2013 ~ 0 Comments

New Tree for Cheltenham

Earth Day with Sweetbay Magnolia

Thanks to a donation by Primex Garden Center, a group of us honored Earth Day by planting in Cheltenham a new native Sweetbay Magnolia.  In addition to spring flowers and fall berries for the birds, this tree will offer our community purer air and storm water management assistance.  It will fight erosion and help cool us in the summer (estimates by the US Dept of Agriculture put a young tree’s equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners running 20 hours per day).

Thanks also to Cheltenham’s Dept of Parks and Recreation and to families from Glenside United Church of Christ for collaborating with me in carrying out this project.

(Photo credit: Rebecca Kelley)

16 April 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Thanks to supporters hosting my signs!

31 March 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Technical glitch with email

Apologies to those who have tried to reach me via email on my contact page.  I am not receiving those emails.  Please email me directly at ann4cheltenham@gmail.com or call me at 215-884-4155.



20 March 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Ann’s Public Comments/Questions on Cheltenham’s Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan

Here (below) is a copy of Ann’s written public comments/questions about the Township’s Sewer Plan.  The public comment period on this Act 537 Plan runs through the end of March.  Responses will be made after that period.



To:       Brian Havir, Cheltenham Township Manager

From:   Ann L. Rappoport, Ph.D.

114 E. Waverly Road, Wyncote, 19095 (215-884-4155; annrappoport@comcast.net)

Re:       Public Comments on Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan



I have some questions about the Act 537 Sewage Plan, which I’d like to be included in the records of public comments and for which I’d also appreciate responses, please.


  1. The Plan recommends construction and remedies geared for a future flow of 29 cfs instead of an alternative of 36 cfs.  Although I understand that the choice is a less costly option and that it supposedly accounts for improvements in the I/I situation, I missed finding evidence that 29 cfs is fully adequate to incorporate potential growth, both in Cheltenham and in feeder communities. (The chart on page 28 doesn’t really clarify this.) I’d like more detailed explanation of how 29 cfs accommodates future effluent from currently vacant as well as undeveloped properties in Cheltenham (and also in contributing regions).  Furthermore, what downsides beyond cost would be associated with providing the more generous and flexible capacity?


  1. The Plan recommends construction of a pump station and routing of a force at Rices Mill Road to near South Avenue.  Yet explanations were vague about certain aspects of this portion of the plan.


(a) What exactly about this site differs from other sites along Interceptor A that makes this the only place where replacement of the Interceptor is not chosen?

(b) Cost estimates for this approach exceed all others except one with which it is approximately the same.  What cost estimates would accompany a different approach?  (Such as replacing the Interceptor?)

(c) I couldn’t find any information describing the sort of structure to expect for a recommended pumping station.  Although, of course, details would come at a future point, it would be useful to understand the parameters and expectations of such an alternative.  Are there current examples to provide?

(d)  Disadvantages of various alternatives are provided in the Plan. However, I missed seeing the disadvantages spelled out about pumping stations.  What are they?

(e)  Could you please explain the advantages of using a force main to bypass the lined section of Interceptor, over the approaches used in all the other Phases of the Plan?

(f)  The Plan is quite vague about where down the line the pumped sewage re-enters the primary Interceptor.  Please clarify where – or at least the expected parameters of where and how and why –  the force main “reintroduce[s] it further downstream in the interceptor.”

(g)  Are there sites in, for example Abington, before the sewage enters Cheltenham interceptors, that may be suited for pump stations which might have positive impact on reducing flow within Cheltenham’s systems?


  • Please clarify who pays to replace laterals that are determined to need replacement.


  • Assuming Cheltenham enacts/implements stringent ordinances about roof drains, FOG, laterals, etc., are there any inter-municipal agreements that feeder municipalities are doing the same with their residential and commercial properties?  This seems to be an example of where regional planning might work best, both in terms of storm/water quality/sewage management and in terms of competitive dis/advantage.  Is this addressed in the Plans of these other municipalities or in some regional plan?


Although additional questions may arise*, this is it for now.  Thank you very much for officially receiving these and for getting back to me with responses.


Best wishes,


 * On March 19, this additional question/comment was sent:  

  • Are there any particular issues about/impact for the Perley Bird Sanctuary area and its creek in terms of flood water management and Act 537 plans?  (I had asked about the pump, but there weren’t enough details to understand the impact on this part of the creek).


12 March 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Living in Cheltenham

What a great letter-to-the-editor from a Cheltenham resident  in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer!   Cheltenham is always a work in progress, but what a great place to pursue the progress!  (below)
 POSTED: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 3:01 AM
Cheltenham is worth every penny

As a child raised in East Oak Lane by two Philadelphia schoolteachers, I wanted strong public schools for my children, so my husband and I chose Cheltenham. Twenty years and three children later, my community continues to delight me through its activism and honest dialogue, but most of all because of the people who choose to live here – artists, writers, teachers, professors, scientists – people who are changing the world for the better (“It’s ‘wonderful,’ but taxing,” March 3).Yes, we do have high taxes, but my home would cost double across the river on the Main Line. And our schools are grappling with developing strong citizens within the constraints of No Child Left Behind and in a world filled with gratuitous violence, inequity, and poverty.

I spent a recent weekend enmeshed in community: Saturday evening at a local dance to support High School Park, where thirtysomethings danced alongside senior citizens; and Sunday morning over tea and scones at our new co-op, where I find I must factor in an extra hour to chat with neighbors and friends. Cheltenham is a place you live by choice, and I find myself thankful each day that it is our home.

Rachel Ezekiel-Fishbein, Elkins Park

04 March 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Sustainable Local Business: Food for Thought on the Menu


The story of Linda Jean’s Grille in Wyncote is a story with larger ramifications for all our communities.  The situation cries out about the precarious financial status of small neighborhood businesses and their seemingly relative impotence against acts of nature and by bureaucracies.  However, the good news is that residents and consumers have more power than we sometimes think to rescue such endangered assets.


This is not a rant about PennDOT, SEPTA or the Greenwood Avenue Bridge reconstruction delays that put Linda Jean’s and other neighborhood merchants at risk across our region.  Such obstacles have parallels in the past and will probably continue in the future.  [Remember the Township Line (Elkins Park) and Glenside Avenue bridge closings several years ago?]  The politics are a different article.


Instead, this is a call to mobilize consumer and civic will in ways that will put our dollars where our mouths, hearts and wallets are.  I propose that we rally around our favorite merchants by pursuing some mix of the following initiatives to suit our personal purses and styles:


  • Consider partaking in “A Meal a Month” campaign, in which you (your colleagues, family and/or friends) make a concerted, scheduled effort to patronage a local restaurant for at least one meal each month.


  • Form a “local restaurant club” with your neighbors and friends.  Just as you might meet with a book club or a discussion group, focus on dining at these local establishments to keep them hopping and freshen your repertoire.


  • When your own place of business, school, sports, civic or religious organization needs nibbles or catering, think local first.


Reasons for such initiatives go beyond sentimentality in rescuing businesses at risk.  They’re a smart investment in simultaneously strengthening (1) sustainable communities and (2) viable local economies.  When we walk or rideshare a short mile or two to Linda Jean’s, for example, we minimize our carbon footprint over many alternative scenarios and support livable neighborhoods with diverse character instead of more homogeneous chains.  We also support a welcome form of commerce that builds our tax base.


Such a win-win outcome can be further facilitated by a couple of additional ideas.


(1)    First, interested citizens could develop a directory of local eateries and make this easily accessible online (perhaps on the township website) and at local libraries, through real estate welcome packets and youth organizations.  It would serve as an updateable resource for residents and make our community more attractive to small proprietorships.


(2)   Second, when our community shows this sort of commitment to its small entrepreneurs, we may have more appeal (and perhaps leverage) when marketing vacant properties to appropriate developers.


Meanwhile, this food for thought could be one of the specials on the menu at Linda Jean’s.


#  end  #

23 February 2013 ~ 0 Comments

STATE REBATES AVAILABLE: news from State Representative Steve McCarter

State rebates are available for electric and hybrid vehicles

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, have you considered a greener option?

The state’s Department of Environmental Protection has extended their rebate program for alternative fuel vehicles.

You may be entitled to a rebate of up to $3,500 for the purchase of a new electric or hybrid vehicle. The current funding can provide rebates for approximately 500 new vehicles.

To qualify, you must purchase, not lease the vehicle.

Other rebate amounts may be available for propane, natural gas and hydrogen-fueled vehicles and smaller electric vehicles, such as scooters.

If you are considering, or have purchased a qualifying vehicle within the last six months, you can download the rebate form here.

As always, if you require additional information regarding this matter or assistance with any other matter related to state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office located at 215 S. Easton Road in Glenside, PA 19038, or call my office directly at (215) 572-5210 or email me at repmccarter@pahouse.net.


Steve McCarter
Pennsylvania State Representative
Serving Cheltenham Township, Springfield Township, Jenkintown Borough and Philadelphia