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Mennonite Benefit Festival to be held at Calvary Center

By J. Fred Kauffman Community Contributor


ocal supporters of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) are organizing a Benefit Festival for MCC on Saturday, October 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. West Phila- delphia Mennonite Fellowship is hosting the Festival at the Calvary Center, 48th

and Baltimore.

MCC is a 90-year-old worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches which “shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice.” For more information see: The Benefit Festival is designed to be a fun family event with the purpose of raising funds

for, and awareness of, the global work of MCC. There will be a live auction, children’s activities, brief reports on MCC international and Philly programs, a sale of Ten Thousand Villages global hand crafts, and live music. For the auction, MCC supporters are donating hand made quilts and crafts as well as collectibles, tickets to cultural events and restaurant meals. Food stands will feature inter- national fare prepared by Mennonites and Brethren in Christ from 20 Philadelphia congre- gations of diverse ethnic groups. See pictures of two quilts on Facebook at “Philadelphia MCC Benefit Festival.” Proceeds from the festival will be shared 50/50 between MCC Philadelphia and MCC’s international work. Philadelphia programs include prison ministry, mobilizing volunteer groups to rehab buildings, youth leadership development, gun violence prevention, pro- viding grocery bags for food pantries and peace building efforts. Forty-three of these festivals, often called “Relief Sales,” in the U.S. and Canada raised nearly $5 million for MCC in 2010. The Pennsylvania Relief Sale, whose April sale in Har- risburg is one of the largest, is a registered 501(c)3 organization and is actively cooperating with MCC supporters in Philly to organize the Festival. If you have something to donate for the auction or would like more information, con- tact Melissa Stoner at or call the MCC East Coast office in Philadelphia at 215-535-3624.

Azalea Garden Project presented to SHCA Zoning Committee

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“It would be too expensive for most people to rent so they’d park on the street,” said Krigman in reference to the fact that the proposed project wouldn’t affect park- ing.

Long-standing home owner Mary Nixon echoed Krigman’s concerns regard- ing how the density created by apartment’s 124 units would have harmful affects on the surrounding neigh- borhood. Landlord Guy Laren

reminded the Spruce Hill Zoning Committee that 40th and Pine Streets is used and designated as residential area. According to Laren, the real issue doesn’t lie in the building’s historic designation but the burden the project, with its high oc- cupancy, would have on the neighborhood.

Developer Dan Deritus also made the point that if someone like him bought a property that he couldn’t make a profit from, the city would not allow it to fall to ruin and then request a zoning change so he could do something else with the land.

Chris O’Donnell of O’Donnell Real Estate, Inc.,

said the SHCA should be following its own stated policies of encouraging single family dwellings and owner occupancy and should oppose this project purely on that basis. We’re still in discussions with the develop and the university,” explained Barry Grossbach the SHCA’s Zon- ing Chair in an over the phone interview for why it hasn’t issued a denial or recommendation for the project. “We need clarifica- tion on a few matters,” said Grossbach adding, “We’re still trying to digest all of the information.” Marty Cabry, the Director of Zoning for Janie Black- well, said in an over the phone interview that the

Councilwoman’s office has not taken an official stance on the project. “Were still trying to negotiate with both sides,” said Cabry. Jon Weiss could not be

reached by press time for his reaction to last week’s meeting.

5 UCREVIEW News Hour-WPEB 88.1 FM


heri Honkala, who is running on the Green Party’s ticket for Sheriff in this November’s election joined co-hosts Bob Chris- tian and Nicole Contosta for last week’s UC Review News hour on WPEB, 88.1 FM. According to Honkala, “Every 7 seconds in this country, a family is go- ing into foreclosure. The banks received billions of dollars in taxpayer bailout money and yet they refuse to help out struggling ho- meowners and continue to increase blight and home- lessness in our communi- ties. Well, I’m here to act as the people’s bailout. When I’m elected Sheriff, I will refuse to throw anyone out of his or her home. “ Hear more about how

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