barn love/historic preservation/area preservation

barn 2009So in the fall of 2009, before I lived in Chester County, I got lost on a country road as a passenger in a car and snapped a photo.  I just recently found out I actually know the people who live there now. I thought that was pretty cool and love the way the folks who live there now described living there as being the happy new stewards of the property, not just an owner.

This my friends, is living historic preservation. And it is very, very cool and we need more of it in Chester County, PA and elsewhere. A developer building new plastic Lego developments and calling them “carriage house homes” and other cutesy names doesn’t make them other than plastic Lego boxes.

This barn? The real deal. And rapidly disappearing from our landscape out here.


here we go again in tredyffrin


I haven’t written about Tredyffrin in eons. But the news out of Tredyffrin is disturbing if true.

In July of 2012, then Township Manager Mimi Gleason resigned.  In 2014, Tredyffrin relieved then Public Works Director Scott Cannon of duties. In more blunt terms, Tredyffrin fired him.

Tredyffrin Township released a statement at that time (TT Press Release 2014 02 10 ) which said in part:

In his capacity as Director of Public Works, Mr. Cannon engaged in conduct, himself, and directed vendors and subordinates to engage in such conduct, involving two instances of the improper disposal of materials on Township property in a manner prohibited by Pennsylvania’s environmental laws. Since the areas affected are not easily accessible to the public and, as addressed in more detail below, since no immediate danger was identified by DEP, we cannot disclose the locations until that agency’s investigation is complete.


Well apparently Mr. Cannon was arrested and is facing criminal charges on chemical dumping (MDJReport Tredyffrin Cannon ).

Tredyffrin issued a statement over the past few days (Tredyffrin Press Release Nov 2015 ) which states in part:

Former Public Works Director, Scott Cannon turned himself over to the Tredyffrin Township Police Department for processing on Friday, November 20, 2015.

The charges brought by the State Attorney General’s office arise from facts that were disclosed publicly in February 2014 during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors following the Township’s own internal investigation. The Township is unaware of any allegations of violations other than those disclosed in February 2014.


Walt Hunter at CBS3 was the first media to cover this story. Walt quotes Cannon’s lawyer on the charges:

In response to a CBS 3 inquiry, Cannon’s attorney, A.J.Chotkowski, emailed a statement that reads in part:

“Mr. Cannon was surprised and disappointed to learn that charges were filed against him today… the charges occurred less than a year after Mr. Cannon initiated a civil action against Tredyffrin Township stemming from his termination as the Director of Public Works… Mr. Cannon denies that he, or any other employee under his supervision, violated any law or caused any environmental harm. The substance alleged to have been released is magnesium chloride, which is merely a common salt product used to treat roads.”


Ok but according to the state, aren’t chemicals like this supposed to be disposed of properly?  As in not just dumped on Tredyffrin Township owned property and allowed to spill into the Valley Creek?

Yes, the Valley Creek. You know where Tredyffrin had raw sewage issues? Remember groups filed suit against Tredyffrin this time last year over violations of the federal Clean Water Act? 

To quote Penn Environmental at the time :

penn enviro 2014

Last December 2014, Tredyffrin agreed to a costly clean up settlement in the raw sewage case .

And now this. The Philadelphia Business Journal says in their article:

Scott Canon, 56, of Glen Mills, is facing four counts of unlawful conduct and a count of prohibition against other pollutions for opening a large tank containing magnesium chloride, and releasing 1,000 gallons of the chemical into the township’s public works facility, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

Main Line Media News has a story today on this as well and the comments are as interesting as the actual article.

MLMN article

Political chess anyone? Mimi Gleason (so much for that pretty quote of “a job is not a life”, eh?) went to West Whiteland and Bill Martin came out of the polluted Bashore era in Radnor Township via problematic Bridgeport, correct? Is there culpability when it comes to Tredyffrin’s former Public Works guy and the current and former Township Managers of Tredyffrin when it comes to this case? Has anyone contacted Mimi Gleason in West Whiteland for her thoughts? Did she hire this Scott Cannon?

I can’t help but wonder what else will surface in the always politically charged muck and mire of Tredyffrin Township. Because can it said nothing there is ever simple?

But at the end of the day what disturbs me the most are Tredyffrin’s pollution problems. It’s bad enough when it’s a specific company in a certain municipality and all of this has been well, municipally caused has it not? First raw sewage, now this?

And how have these issues affected Tredyffrin residents as well as their municipal neighbors?

To all the sewage add a 1000 gallons of Magnesium Chloride.

What the heck, Tredyffrin Township? Well only time will tell where this case will go , especially given all the problems in the attorney general’s office in Pennsylvania.

Sign me glad not to live in Tredyffrin but I sure wish they would clean up their act (and pollution problems).




gotta have a wawa? ok but why so many east whiteland?


Someone I met with yesterday who lives farther out in a more rural and straight farming community in Chester County said to me when we met up in Malvern Borough “I don’t like to come this way much any longer. It’s too congested and is getting over-developed.”

Yup. That is exactly how I felt about the Main Line when I left and I still do.

When I was little I remember distinctly the separation of city into green that one felt when traveling from Philadelphia to the suburbs known as the Main Line.  In the heat of the summer, the temperature would drop quite a bit once you got back to suburbia because of the trees and the green. The farther west you headed the cooler it got. Until you go to say Lancaster County. Lancaster was always hot and humid. Too far from water I suppose.

But as I grew up that temperature differential dropped as development occurred.  I remember the first development as a kid that I saw as a death knell to a way of life was what they call Oak Hill in Penn Valley.  I remember when there was farm there and lots of open space. When you drove by one corner you could see the remains of a silo and a spring house down in a little valley.

I love Chester County but I fear for Chester County because the planning is all pro-developer from municipality to municipality.  It’s not about us, the residents. It’s not about open space and protecting our farming and agricultural traditions and our history. It’s about the ratables and the lore that business taxes will cure all woes. Will they? When our school districts get full to busting at the seams and no plans were made for them, will that be curing all woes? Or will that just make those taxes go up as the school districts scramble to catch up in the ever-growing land of plastic houses?

Great Valley is one school district I wonder about in the land of disconnect.  And that is because of East Whiteland.

East Whiteland recently released a list of development in the works, and I do not believe that is all of it (read East Whiteland Development List Township Release Fall 2015 ). I find this list terrifying because well, I want to live in Chester County, not the next King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, or Conshohocken.  The development is all designed and planned so that developers can cram in as much per square foot as possible. It’s about calling all lemmings, your Tyvec wrapped monstrosities are ready.

And a lot of this is apartments. Apartments. When did the country become about apartments? And hey, is what is built already really filling to capacity?

oneill heaven

That is O’Neill’s building on the other side of Worthington. The Royal Worthington which I find well, royally unattractive. Sorry.  It has as much appeal as a Lego Tower only not as colorful. Lego towers are fun to build as kids, but do you want to live in one? With a “royal” view of highways? Imagine going out on their lovely Juliette balconies and hearing the whir of 202 and other major highways? Yeah, that’s Chester County living alrighty.

And then skip over to the Borough of Malvern. Eastside Flats. I love Chirstophers and the little boutiques, Kimberton Whole Foods and Malvern Creamery. But the buildings? The design? It says nothing about where they are placed, they are just a monument of in-your-face development left by the developer who sold the project and moved on. I know little of the new Eastside Flats owners other than trucks going there and equipment are always blocking King Road. And the apartments at night do not appear to have full occupancy.

Only Patch seems to be noticing all the development from media land, and what they post is only peripheral given I doubt the Malvern  Patch editor actually comes to the Malvern area which is more than a borough. One article talks about brining “thousands” to the area.


King of Prussia and worse here we come if people don’t wake up.

I drove by Linden Hall the other day. The land has been raped and scraped and pillaged in advance of those townhouses that are coming. I keep hearing about all the “restoration” that is supposed to occur to Linden Hall, which is quite historically significant, but I see nothing. Except broken windows on the side when I drive by. If the house is left open to the elements and construction much longer, how will that affect the actual ability to save Linden Hall? There is after all, nothing that guarantees that building’s preservation.

Let’s talk about historic preservation. East Whiteland has a historical commission pretty much in name only because you never hear about what they do, what they have saved, what they are planning to save. They don’t post their meeting agendas, they don’t post their meeting minutes.  The last minutes and only minutes one can find posted are from 2009, and it isn’t much. Here is a screen shot from just now:

East Whiteland Hist

So now let us go to the impetus for this post: WaWa. WaWa is like the new RiteAid wanting to gobble up as many commercial spaces as possible. East Whiteland has three in close proximity. Two in the Route 29 area (Swedesford off 29 and near route 30 on 29), and one on Planebrook and 30 (first photo in this post). Now there are plans for another WaWa in East Whiteland.  Umm there already is a WaWa, PA,  East Whiteland.

According to Patch this next WaWa is going in at the Haven at Atwater – another ridiculously pretentious name for a land of plastic which even Patch describes as “massive”. If that one gets built will it also be a pick up spot for day jobbers?

Response is mixed. I believe a lot of people don’t want another WaWa but some are of the mind set  more is good and how WaWa will keep taxes down and let municipal services grow. I do not quite get that logic because if municipal services have to grow, all taxpayers have to pay. And what about people on fixed incomes?

I know the jingle of “Gotta have a WaWa” but  there is no accounting for taste and one would *hope* people would want better for East Whiteland than gobs of plastic townhouses, limited historic preservation in a very historic area, and oh yes plastic chain stores to serve the plastic townhouse set?  Given the Wegmans and Target and existing WaWas and other things, I would say the 29 corridor is pretty well served already.

Time will tell.  Personally, I like my own coffee better.

Thanks for stopping by.




paris, oh paris


There is that moment when….. one of your dearest and closest friends texts you a photo….from PARIS.

As in the city which has just been a victim of terrorist attacks…The city of lights….Paris.

My exact text back to her was “For the love of Christ don’t tell me you are in Paris now??”

And she messaged back “Yes…can you freaking believe it?!!!”

These are the little things you don’t think of – you know a friend is going away on vacation but you forget where.

I have friends who call France home, so when the news broke of those attacks last week I really felt my heart in my throat.

Then I had a conversation with another dear friend this morning who said she might be taking a break from social media because people pounced all over her because she commented on Paris but neglected to mention Lebanon and Africa and wherever else there had been terrorist attacks also last week.

OK really???? That how you’re going to judge a person’s worthiness because they forget to remember other horrific events which occurred across the globe last week on Facebook???

And as far as the tourism goes in Paris, I am really sick of these attacks no matter where they occur. It is so awful that people are committing these acts in the name of one religion and culture against people who are other religions and cultures.  Why are we fighting medieval religious wars in the modern era?


This is the other photo my friend sent this morning.  It was a moment of silence at noon today Paris time and all French came outside. 

My friend said is all the French want to talk about it. They will say things to Americans like “this is how you must’ve felt after 9/11”. She also remarked how remarkably gracious the Parisians are two visitors in their city even at a time like this.

My friend says the sites are shut down in Paris but restaurants and cafés are open. She said wherever you go your bag is checked and they actually feel quite safe.

What a crazy world we live in. I can’t wait for my friend to get home…. Not that this craziness can’t happen anywhere and I think that’s part of the problem. But as my friend points out with her photo, we need to keep on living.

To my “American(s) in Paris” , safe travels and see you soon.

Paris, je t’aime.

how many accidents will have to occur on route 100 through exton before something is done?

100 accident 2

See that car? It was behind a good friend on Route 100 yesterday. They were in a horrific accident on 100 waiting at a red light I think at the Ship Road intersection.  They were not in the turning lane, but in a through lane.

Route 100. I hate it and avoid it when I can – not the part that scoots into West Chester at the end but the constantly under construction Exton and so on part.

I almost lost a friend last night. She is a mom to four small kids, too. This is what she says in part:

“Had a scary moment earlier tonight. Was driving back from ….Exton …..Was stopped at a red light on Route 100. I had a line of cars ahead of me and one car behind me. We were all waiting for the light to change. In my mirror I saw headlights moving toward us at a high rate of speed. They were high —it was an 18-wheeler truck. I have no idea why it didn’t brake.


It slammed into the car behind me- completely totalled that car. That car went into my car- and I went into the car ahead of me. In all, 4 cars were damaged- and one big truck.


The scariest part was seeing it coming and not having enough time to do anything except grab the wheel, brace for impact, and scream. Happily, we all walked away. I went to the ER just because I was nervous about the neck pain & headache, but it’s just a strain and I get to go home to my bed and my family, unlike some other folks who were in the ER for other ailments.  Life is precious.”


Damn it when are they going to deal with what happens on that road? PennDOT? State Representative Duane Milne? State Senator Andy Dinniman? Chester County Commissioners? Anyone?


I am guessing the perpetual almost Brooklyn Bridge-like state of constant (chronic?)  construction doesn’t help, but it shouldn’t be an excuse.

Route 100 is deadly. And it almost took someone I know last night and I am NOT o.k. with that.

Thanks for stopping by and yes these are accident photos from last night I was given to use.

100 3 100 4 100 5 100 6 100 7 100 8 100 9 100 10 100 11 100 accident

carpe diem west vincent residents

Keep-Calm-and-Vote-Full-sizeWest Vincent residents your township is at a crucial juncture. No other way to put it.

Do I live in West Vincent? No. Would I have considered living in West Vincent ever? The answer is yes, until the failed eminent domain for private gain attempt against the horse show. West Vincent has a lot of beauty to it, but some of the residents provide a lot of ugliness which is indeed a shame.

No municipality is perfect and neither are politicians. But there is a big difference in basic human frailties, and politicians who inspire people to do harm to others. A candidate who so inspires is not whom anyone should want even for trash collector or dog catcher.

Ken Miller has had decades plural as a supervisor. Maybe when he started out he had the township best interests at heart but year after year, that path has muddied to the dead end of …..Ken Miller is for Ken Miller.

He inspires individuals to hurt others. You never hear from HIM, you only hear from THEM.   They go out on their mission and attack anyone and everyone who gets in his and their way.  I know as they have tried it with me (and still are). Unfortunately for them I see them for what they are: mean, petty, angry gossips, and somewhat silly.

Astoundingly it has been reported that a few of them apparently made a trip to the Daily Local to try to place an article about how their candidate is being maligned? Seriously? While they harass people inside West Vincent and outside of  West Vincent, vandalize private property, steal lawn signs like 12 year olds, and try to put people out of business for having the unbelievable (to them) gall of wanting better government representation?

Ken Miller’s minions have spent thousands and thousands of dollars to try to keep him in office. Who has what on whom? We may never know, but they definitely have a stake in the game, wouldn’t you say?

Like attracts like, and people who are mean as spit with slavish devotion to a local politician? Come on now, how much more obvious can you get?

Ken Miller is a great example of why there should be term limits in local government. Fresh faces and reasonable ideals are not a bad thing. West Vincent desperately needs more of that.  If he had only been in office one term, well hey, a second term is reasonable. But now it is more like Tammany Hall than a township, and that is not good.

Then there is the undisputable fact that Mr. Miller is not well, shall we say, fiscally responsible? So much about his finances are on the public record and that isn’t made up is it? And West Vincent pays his benefits, a retirement plan, and a roadmaster’s salary as well, correct?  Wouldn’t you like a supervisor who is just a supervisor and not looking to make a buck constantly off the hardworking backs of the taxpayer?

And no matter what political persuasion you are, don’t you want someone more fiscally responsible? And wouldn’t you like better roads?

Your township gets carved up by development more every year. Maybe, if developers weren’t so comfortable with a long entrenched supervisor, you might stand a chance for a little more balance?


His supporters like to tell you he’s fabulous for the environment and well can it be said  that the only organic thing about him might be the manure his cows produce? They talk about the Sierra Club, but as everyone knows, the Sierra Club endorsements are not so hard to get, are they? Wink wink here’s a donation, endorse my buddy, right? Environmental  non-profits that don’t endorse are the ones who actually do great things for communities.

And that Sierra Club endorsement labels him a Republican candidate seeking re-election. He is in fact the Democratic candidate because he was written in. That was the only way he could stay on the ballot after the spring primary.

I believe in political balance, but registered Democrats in West Vincent? Hello? You aren’t going to get a real Democrat in office who shares your ideals and values if you vote for him. He hasn’t changed his political party affiliation, so basically Miller is simply practicing the politics of opportunism. That doesn’t work so well in Washington, D.C. so why would you want in locally?

vote_3On Election Day I hope all of you will vote for Mike Schneider. He will serve you well if you do.

Change is hard. I get that. And people have gotten beaten down over the years by this current regime. But look at it this way, if our forefathers could cross a great ocean to start a new country and escape political and religious tyranny, you can retire Ken Miller on Election Day.

It’s that simple.

Stop the anger. Stop the tyranny. Stop the politics of opportunism and favoritism. Stop the mean people. Retire Ken Miller.

Carpe diem and God speed.