LOVE Park trumps hate

Members and allies of the trans community gathered at Love Park on Oct. 23 for a rally to protest the proposal made by the Trump Administration, suggesting that gender is assigned at birth.

Photos by Dean Galiffa

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Protestors gather at Love Park to rally against the proposal made by the Trump Administration.
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A protestor holds a sign reading “Gritty Hates Bigots” in protest of anti-trans rhetoric of the Trump Administration.
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Protestors hold cardboard fists reading various pro-trans exclamations while at the rally.
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Rally-goers hand out signs featuring the names and faces of trans martyrs.
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A rally-goer holds a sign protesting the proposal made by the Trump Administration.

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A pro-trans rights sign.
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Two signs promoting trans equality are held high above the crowd at Love Park.

I was at the Springfield Mall shooting

By Caroline Sweeney

While typing in the rewards information for a young woman I was ringing up at Aerie in Springfield Mall, I was suddenly interrupted by my frantic manager, who demanded her store keys resting in the draw under my keyboard. I tossed her the keychain and continued ringing up the customer.

Handing her the large Aerie bag, I smiled before bidding her goodbye and moving on to the next customer.

Once again, I started to type in the rewards information of my new customer when she asked me, “Why are the doors on the store closing?”

I quickly looked up and watched as the gate of Aerie closed; then I looked through the archway connecting Aerie and American Eagle and also saw their glass doors being slammed shut.

I slowly shook my head no at the new customer before a young mom rushed at me. She had an iron grip on her young son’s hand and had an exacerbated look on her face. “Can I take my son and hide out in your fitting room?”

Unsure of what was going on, I nodded at her; she then turned to the line of people in front of me and said that there was a shooter at the mall.

Shootings have become something people hear about fairly regularly, and even though events like this happen all over the world, people don’t think about what they would do if it happened to them.

Now I found myself in that position.

I live in a middle-class suburban area of Delaware County called Ridley Park, about 15 minutes from the Springfield Mall. Events like this are something that I only hear about on the news, and never imagined it would happen so close to home.

I have worked at the mall in Aerie for about two and a half year and never considered that a shooting is something I would need to worry about. It is something that doesn’t happen in my neighborhood.

I was terrified.

The mother quickly turned around, making her way to the fitting room. I had no idea what was happening or what to do. I was hoping that someone would have said something over the headset all the employees wear, but it was silent.

Out of reflex, I continued ringing through the line that had accumulated. I also kept looking around to see if other store had closed their doors and gates as well, but people did not seem to be panicking.

Finally, my manager informed the employees that we would being going into lockdown. She ran to me, saying, “Finish everything you’re doing, grab everyone in your store and get over to the American Eagle side.”

At this point I was shaking a little. I rushed back to the mother and took her to the other side of the store. I could tell she was extremely upset and scared, so I tried to keep my emotions under control, so I wouldn’t upset her further.

In fact, my coworkers and I all had to hide our emotions as we rushed to move people to the back of the store and check out all the remaining customers in line. There were about 30 customers in the store and 10 employees. Once everyone was in the back of the store, we just had to wait.

I watched as my three managers rushed around making phone calls and explaining the circumstances to annoyed and confused customers. My coworker Kelli, who had just returned from her break, came up behind me. “What is happening?” she asked. “Someone said there is a shooter? This is insane!”

At this point, I had a better idea of what was happening in the mall. I knew that there was someone with a gun, but they he was outside of the mall. The knowledge of that seemed to have spread through the store and added a small sense of security for everyone.

After answering several questions from customers and replying to concerned text messages from friends and family, a police officer violently knocked on the front doors.

The officer began escorting us out of the store and through the empty mall. Armed police lined the sides of the corridors, creating a walkway for us.

When everyone was finally outside, our customers rushed to their cars while the rest of my coworkers and I waited for our managers in the cool October air. The parking lot was littered with police officers from several townships, onlookers watching the chaos, and news reporters with their camera crews.

Despite the intense circumstances, we were able to relax. Our manager eventually came out carrying all of our personal items that we were not allowed to grab when we were evacuated.

Eventually, management announced that the mall would be closed for the rest of the day and reopen the next morning. We were informed that no one was injured, but the idea of “What if…” kept creeping into my thoughts.

Once I was finally home, I found out that a result of a fight between two groups of people. The exchange began in the mall before moving to the parking lot, where multiple shots were first fired.

Several cars were hit by bullets; those involved in the shooting fled the mall, and no arrests have been made.

But my heightened adrenaline did not subside until the next day. I found myself more anxious and stressed than usual. I never thought I would have this experience until I did.

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

McGarrigle and Kearney vie for the next Senate seat

By Valerie Battaglia

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Pennsylvania State Sen. Tom McGarrigle’s seat at the open-forum debate at the Springfield Township Building. Photo by Valerie Battaglia
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State Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-26) smiles for a photo in his office space. Photo by Taylor Applegate
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Citizen Mayor of Swarthmore Democrat Tim Kearney greets voters and their children after the debate at the Springfield Township Building. Photo by Valerie Battaglia
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Citizen Mayor of Swarthmore Tim Kearney’s seat at the open-forum debate at the Springfield Township Building. Photo by Valerie Battaglia

Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-26) and Democratic Citizen Mayor Swarthmore Tim Kearney, held an open-forum debate on Oct. 24 at the Springfield Township building to tackle issues relevant to Pennsylvania’s 26th District.

The debate was moderated by Mary Jo Gilsdorf and sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the NAACP and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

Kearney and McGarrigle discussed topics, such as the legalization of recreational marijuana, gang violence, healthcare reform, and equitable education.

There was about a 20 minute delay due to a third-party videographer refusing to adhere to the no-recording policy. Along with the room cheering to kick the individual out, locals could be overheard muttering their annoyances.

“I’m giving it five more minutes and then I’m leaving,” said one husband to his wife, who agreed that the debate didn’t seem worth the wait.

Towards the end of the debate, the candidates were asked for their opinion on smear campaigning.

“Some of my opponent’s ads about me are almost funny, they’re so outrageous.” Kearney said, “If anything, they’re helping me get my name out there.”

McGarrigle responded by noting that most of the individuals in the room were ignorant of Kearney’s online presence.

“Most of you aren’t aware of his Twitter,” McGarrigle said, “He calls me a racist, a country club Republican, and ‘millionaire McGarrigle’ on social media. Probably because he doesn’t have any campaign money to say it in the mail.”

McGarrigle went on to say his opponent’s liberal views did not reflect the values of either party in the 26th District.

“[Kearney] has very liberal views that I really don’t believe are the views of all the residents, Republican or Democrat, in the 26th District,” he said, to which a member of the audience interjected, “Yes, they are.”

When McGarrigle continued to comment on Kearney being in favor of the legalization of recreational marijuana use, the audience gasped before lapsing into whispers and laughter.

“It is a gateway drug,” McGarrigle said. “To make another drug accessible, when we’re losing thousands and thousands of young people to the greatest opioid crisis in America, would be horrible to the residents [of Pennsylvania].”

One of the first topics the candidates responded to was healthcare.

Kearney said he believes healthcare is a basic right and supports the expansion of Medicaid, which covered an additional 700,000 Pennsylvanians after the Affordable Care Act was implemented. McGarrigle said he is determined to fight for more affordable prescriptions and opposes government provided health insurance.

“The last thing you want is government in your healthcare,” McGarrigle said. “This is what we did to the veterans of America, and the medical treatment they got at [Veteran Affairs] hospitals is terrible.”

Afterwards, McGarrigle said that he is working on a new funding formula for schools in the 26th district, but did not elaborate on the possible bill. Kearney agrees that this formula would be a step in the right direction.

“Harrisburg is funding the 26th District seventeen cents on the dollar, while other school districts are getting seventy-eight cents on the dollar,” McGarrigle said, “42 percent of school taxes come from our counties. We’re paying our fair share.”

Later, the candidates were asked for their opinion on the legalization of recreational marijuana use.

“We are just in the infancy of medical marijuana,” Kearney said. “So we should go slowly and start heading in that direction.”

McGarrigle said that he supported the use of medical marijuana, but not recreational.

When prompted on the effectiveness of smear campaigning, Kearney said he does not believe it works. McGarrigle noted that most of the individuals in the room were unaware of Kearney’s online presence.

Shortly thereafter, McGarrigle said Kearney’s liberal views do not reflect the values of either party in the 26th District, to which a member of the audience begged to disagree. McGarrigle responded by bringing up Kearney’s stance on the legalization of recreational marijuana use, which prompted an audible response from the audience.

One of the last questions presented pertained to Chester gang violence spilling into Springfield, considering the shooting that occured at the Springfield Mall on Oct. 20.

Kearney believes the general issue of gang violence begs a bigger question altogether.

“The recent shooting could have happened anywhere,” McGarrigle said. “I say we charge him with attempted murder for every bullet he fired and lock him away forever.”

McGarrigle left immediately after the open forum ended. Kearney stayed to take pictures with voters and their children.

“This isn’t about running against my opponent,” Kearney said. “It is about Republicans in general and bringing more liberal Democratic views into this district.”

At the time this newspaper goes to press, the 26th District of the Pennsylvania senatorial general election is too close to call.

Contact Valerie Battaglia at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Exploring Tyler Arboretum

Photos by Dean Galiffa

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The inside of a giant guitar built around a fallen scarlet oak tree.
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The entrance to the barn that holds wedding receptions and events at the arboretum.
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The Cape May Birdhouse, a human-scale birdhouse with architecture resemblant of the Victorian beach houses in Cape May, N
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A hungry, hungry caterpillar outside of the Butterfly house.
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The entrance to the Visitor Center of the arboretum, which doubles as a gift shop.
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The Storybook Houses, “three small cottages built on an 8-foottall raised deck nestled among the giant hemlock trunks,” according to the website
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A small hut and benches sit in the forest of the arboretum.
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A look from the upper deck of the barn being prepared for an event held at the arboretum.

Tyler arboretum offers bugs, butterflies and beyond

By David Delloso

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The Butterfly House exhibit at the Tyler Arboretum. Photo by Dean Galiffa
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The Tulip Treehouse at the Tyler Arboretum. Constructed in 2014, the treehouse was inspired by the Tulip Poplar Tree. Photo by Dean Galiffa

Tyler Arboretum, a nonprofit public garden located in Marple Township, hosts professional tours, educational seminars and exhibits. Offering 17 miles of hiking trails across 650 acres, the arboretum attracts up to 70,000 visitors per year.

Established in 1944, the arboretum has become a place for indulging in horticulture, events, and outdoor scenery. The public sanctuary is a host to both families and students, offering internships to local schools and summer camps for children.

Tyler is currently focused on growing community interests and publicizing activities. Amy Mawby, director of public programs, gave details on the latest event.

“We just hosted our ‘Bugs and Butterflies’ event Aug. 26,” Mawby explained. The butterfly house is an attraction for all ages at Tyler. Families come to learn about plants that attract butterflies and how to manage a garden with them.

Tyler also is home to a tree house exhibit that is open year round, weather permitting. The exhibit attracts a variety of age groups. Children tend to explore the tree houses while adults admire the unique architecture.

There are several activities catering to the older crowd. Events like “Blues and Brews” promote local businesses, such as the Sterling Pig Brewery and Media’s Pinocchio’s Pizzeria, and feature an array of beer and hors d’oeuvres.

Mawby explained that the events, tours and exhibits are made possible by volunteers. Tyler has several hundred volunteers, both seasonal and nonseasonal.

Currently, the edible garden is under construction, which will also provide a building where interested persons can learn new gardening methods.

Mawby said that she is excited for the anticpated interest in these new programs.

“The ability to show people they can make connections with nature is vital,” Mawby said. “If a child can come here, explore the grounds and see nature as an inviting place, they can share that with their friends, parents and future generations.”

With families in mind, upcoming events at Tyler are suitable for all ages.

Oct. 20 and 21, Tyler is hosting Pumpkin Days, where guests can take hayrides and create their own scarecrows.

The event is open to the public. Admission cost is available at tylerarboretum.org.

If interested in visiting, volunteering or interning, a full event calendar is featured on their website. Tyler is open seven days a week and is located at 515 Painter Road, Media, Pa.

Contact David Delloso at communitarian@dccc.edu