hump day havoc: patch does mass layoffs

patchfiredCan you still call it AOL Patch?  I am not sure because they mostly sold out to an entity called Hale Global recently as per the Wall Street Journal.

USA Today said on January 15th:

AOL Inc. effectively abandoned its ambitious strategy of reinventing hyper-local news when it agreed Wednesday to sell a majority stake in the Patch website network to technology investment firm Hale Global.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The companies anticipate closing the deal in the first quarter.

The deal is touted as a joint venture between AOL and Hale Global, which says it specializes in turning around underperforming businesses…..

Hale Global and AOL say Patch will be relaunched as a place for contributors and businesses to create “locally-themed news and content.” ….”We are committed to bringing users, local businesses, writers and advertisers together into a Patch experience full of innovation and growth,” said Charles Hale, CEO of Hale Global, in a statement.

Well corporate raiders, acquirers, whatever you want to call them never seem to follow through on the warm and fuzzy moments do they?  With them and underperforming assets it is all about business. And the bottom line.

Well as of today all of our local Patch sites are kind of over.   The web pages are up but this morning AOL Patch did mass layoffs.  It is all over social media and the news is slowly trickling to traditional media.  It is “off with their heads” Wednesday.

Romenesko has covered it the best thus far.  He has a recording of “Hello You are Fired”

Part of what was said (courtesy of Romanesko):

Hi everyone, it’s  Leigh Zarelli Lewis. Patch is being restructured in connection with the creation of the joint venture with Hale Global…..Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated and you will no longer have a role at Patch and today will be your last day of employment with the company

Romanesko writes:

I’m told that hundreds — two tipsters claim two-thirds of the editorial staff — have been laid off by Patch’s new owner, Hale Global…

“The patch years were years of being aol’s tool and plaything. Killed myself, almost literally. Left with literally nothing. Better off dead.”

“I was a local editor for Patch for 3.5 years, up until about an hour ago. ….We knew it was coming, but the silence from New York over the few months was deafening. They left us in a state of suspended animation. For those of us who killed ourselves working for this company, it was a real slap in the face.”

I have many friends who worked with Patch since it’s inception.  Some were traditional journalists and writers by trade. People like Tom Walsh, who is now the Public Information Officer of Lower Merion Township. Or  former Managing Editor of Main Line Media News, Tom Murray and Sam Strike from the now defunct Suburban and Wayne Times, Tom Sunnergren, Anthony Leone. And more.

Heck, when Patch was in its embryo stage I was a freelancer for photos and occasional articles for mostly Ardmore Patch.

I have been critical of Patch in the past couple of years.  It had gone from being this wonderful hub of hyper-local news to a mish mosh of spelling and grammatical errors with very little emphasis on what was happening in the communities it was covering.  But yet, there were Patch sites that continued to stand out – locally Malvern Patch until Pete Kennedy left, Phoenixville Patch, Tredyffrin-Easttown PatchEast Hampton Patch and Radnor Patch.

If I had to pick my favorite it would have been Radnor Patch, where Sam Strike was editor.  She is a friend and I have always loved her writing and photography skills.

If I had to pick a golden time for a lot of the local Patch sites, it would have been when Tom Murray was a Regional Editor.  A real newspaper guy, he really taught me how to write when I used to contribute to then Main Line Life Newspaper.

But this morning for my remaining friends at Patch like Sam Strike it was “hello, you must be going, you are fired.”

Sam Strike wasn’t the only fine Patch person who got the axe today.  Bob Byrne of Tredyffrin Patch and it looks like West Chester Patch and Malvern Patch and the list goes on. Basically if you go to Patch, click on the editor’s hyper link. It goes to an “oops there is nothing here” page. That is how I am counting up who is gone from our region.

I have been in touch with some of the Patch people I knew today.  Tom Sunnergren who now writes  for places like ESPN.com and hibu (you know those Malvern Life and similar “Life” magazines we get in the mail now once in a while?) and I spoke this afternoon for a few minutes.

Tom said he left Patch  in August 2013 for a new position and when he thought he saw the final handwriting start to appear on the wall. He told me he believes all the Patch editors in our region is gone. He said enjoyed his experience at Patch, they gave it the “college try”.  He remarked towards the end of his tenure there was a period of mixed directives that was hard on editors.

We spoke about Patch being almost a social experiment after a fashion.  He remarked it would serve as a cautionary tale to the next group that tried this hyper-local formula.

Not to armchair quarterback but at first Patch had too many sites and tons of people working for them.  Then they kept cutting people but not consolidating Patch areas to keep up with the layoffs.  First they were right there with your hyper-local news reporting on local issues from local meetings.  Then they were not covering the news but telling you  that you could blog on Patch “for free”.

The Patch sites around here operated under a mushy soft news umbrella after Tom Murray left  the Regional Editor spot for another job.

Sam Strike now former editor of Radnor Patch sent a note out to her e-mail list this afternoon:

Date: Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Subject: It’s been a pleasure

Hi all,

I wanted to let you know that it has been a pleasure working with you all over the years (some many, some few). Today Patch laid off the majority of its staff, myself included.

I’ve been doing local news in Radnor for a decade. And I’ve enjoyed it. But I think it’s time for a new challenge.

I have been and will continue to be pursuing work in the public relations/communications sector. I would appreciate any leads that you may encounter.

My Patch email will be shut down at 5 p.m. today

I was also in touch with Anthony Leone today.  He used to be a Patch editor I worked with at the Haverford-Havertown Patch. Anthony always had an uphill battle while at that Patch and so did every subsequent editor because it wasn’t just the Havertown/Haverford Township Patch. They also tossed in the town I used to live in when I lived in Lower Merion: Haverford.

Haverford, Lower Merion Township should have been attached to Bryn Mawr or Ardmore Patch but only the local editors ever got that.  Anyway, I asked Anthony what he thought and this is what he shared with me:

While it is a shame that this happened to so many of my former Patch colleagues, some of whom I have worked with personally, it is not a surprise. I do wish them the best of luck. One of the wonderful things that I have discovered since I left Patch in July 2012 is the fact that so many former Patchers are still in contact with one another and offer support.

Since I left Patch, I’ve written a lot about it on my blog What Burns My Bacon, but I thought in the beginning that they were filling a true community need, something that the readers really wanted. But over time decisions were made and it started to have a negative impact on Patch and its readers. I just hope someone can take the best parts of Patch, fix the things that were wrong with it and make something that will employ journalists and give readers what they truly desire: Original, local news.

So now what?  What is the future of journalism? Regionally and locally our newspapers have had to keep cutting back while beefing up on things like new technology and an online presence.

Years ago I had the good fortune to become aware of a blogger named Karl Martino who was one of the folks who thought up this amazing blog, a blog community really, called PhillyFuture.org which is now defunct.  One of his topics there was the future of journalism.  I wish I still had those posts he and others wrote. (he still blogs at paradox1x.)

Journalism was so different when many of us were little kids.  Real newspaper people and hard-core editors chasing the story.

Then came the failures.

I remember the first time The Philadelphia Bulletin closed. 1982.  Then the name was bought and it was resurrected for a second life. Then it died again in June 2009. It became deficit omne quod nasciture or everything that is born passes away.

Patch was launched in our area on or about September 10, 2010.  One of their editors wrote at the time:

“Want the facts without bias? A team of trained journalists covering every government meeting, every school board hearing and keeping the community abreast of local events? A brand new online newspaper launching Sept. 10, 2010 in Ardmore.  Patch.com is owned and funded by AOL, supports community journalism on a “hyperlocal” level.  Patch will cover all of the goings on in its three namesake communities, and will be updated multiple times every day with breaking news and information. “

The initial Patch sites in the greater Philadelphia area went “live” at 10:55 a.m. on September 10, 2010.   The Patch editors were ironically all fired by that time today.

Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote an interesting article about the future of journalism on Attytood this past October 16th.

He said in the article titled Like it or not, this is the future of American journalism  :

I think we’re seeing that since actual civic-minded good-for-you news and investigative reporting  — propped up for more than a century by department store ads, classifieds and crossword puzzles — has zero economic value in the digital free market, there’s only one thing that will keep it alive. And it’s not really what those hundreds of journalism reform articles I read over all those years were about — things like reader engagement and crowdsourcing and using social media (although those things matter).

It’s really just about very rich people.

And not just any very rich people, but very rich people with an agenda.

Given the state of politics and craziness that has defined the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise again of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News I am almost surprised he was able to articulate much of this particular piece.

But is he wrong? Sadly, I think not.

Who will be our voices in Chester County now?   We get some coverage on TV if too many people in Philadelphia aren’t being murdered or politicians aren’t causing scandal.  But as far as local news, we don’t have much coverage by the Philadelphia Inquirer (they jettisoned their Chester County bureau a few years ago), and the Daily Local and Main Line Media News are stretched thin.

Will we be our own voices? We have all but run out of our traditional real-time story tellers A/K/A reporters and editors.

Not surprisingly most major media outlets like the New York Times are now starting to report on the Patch editorial massacre today.  They all are saying that neither AOL Patch nor new owner Hale Global would comment on the layoffs.

Interestingly enough according to Fox News a Patch that survived with editor intact apparently is Greenwich Patch.  As in Greenwich, CT. Why? Because Tim Armstrong (AOL) lives there basically. Fox reports that AOL still owns 40% of Patch.

To now former Radnor Patch Editor Sam Strike and Tredyffrin-Easttown and lately Phoenixville Patch Editor Bob Byrne I wanted to say thank you. They were among the last editors standing until today that I really respected.  They are true journalists and are people of integrity.

My friend and former editor  (as well as Patch Regional Editor) Tom Murray said to me today “Very sad day when journalist and friends lose their jobs.”

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

What is the future of media? Journalism?

phoenixville school district bans halloween

In Phoenixville, Scrooge has a new name: Phoenixville Area School District Superintendent Alan Fegley.  You see, Superintendent Alan Fegley is banning Halloween in Phoenixville schools, citing among other things  “controversy surrounding the religious connotations of Halloween.”

Bull twaddle. What a dope. Guess Santa Claus is next, huh? Oh wait, that is why so many schools across the country celebrate Halloween because it saves them from attacks by the political correctness police who whitewash everything into Happy Holidays Hell, right?

Seriously, somewhere Charlie Brown is screaming as another attempt is made to dumb down a childhood and American tradition.  We all are still Americans, right? Or has that become politically incorrect overnight too in Phoenixville?

Halloween is a universal kid loved time no matter the gender, ethnicity, religion.  As a matter of fact Halloween is so religion neutral across the country it is partially why it gets so much attention.

The History of Halloween is actually interesting:

History of Halloween

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31.  The word Halloween is a shortening of All  Hallows Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.
Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture.

We are as a country, and certainly as an area, an ethnic melting pot.  So many cultures celebrate Halloween that I do not see what the big deal is?  Now from the costumey end of it, it is a holiday in major metropolitan areas like New York City that is very attractive to those of alternative lifestyles, so I have to ask, is Phoenixville Area School District riding the discrimination bus on this?

Kids love Halloween, and these  teachers and this school district needed to get creative, not kill the holiday.

Thrift stores this time of year are LOADED to the gills with gently used costumes, so why couldn’t the Phoenixville Area School District put out a plea to ask people to donate gently used costumes?  And the kids would dress up IN school instead of coming to school in costume? That is one way to deal in a sensitive manner with the kids who can’t afford costumes.  School districts all over the country do this for prom (as in they have little events with gently used prom dresses, so those who might not be able to afford to go CAN, so why not Halloween?

Another thing they could have done was make the costumes that were acceptable kid created only and put a price on say whomever could design the best costume for under $10 dollars.  Again, the school district could have put it out there that they were accepting clean and gently used donations towards Halloween costumes.

Or they could limit the costumes to “best mask”, and they could make the masks in class.  A parade of masks and  pumpkin decorating (and again, they could put it out there to local farms and businesses to donate pumpkins and gourds to donate.)

Halloween is not only a fun childhood tradition, it is a way for children to express themselves artistically and creatively.  Often the reality of life is difficult enough for small children, so who does it hurt to let them escape reality for a few hours and just be kids dressing up?

Phoenixville is all wet  and wrong on this one.

If I had kids in this school district I would dress up and protest in front of the school district administration building on a public sidewalk and protest this decision.  Or in front of the post office (or any place that is a public sidewalk where they can’t arrest you for demonstrating.)

If I was a farmer or business owner in the area I would be delivering mounds of pumpkins to the steps of the Phoenixville Area School District building and to the front steps of the home of Superintendent Alan Fegley.

The Phoenixville Area School District Building is located at 386 City Line Avenue, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Phone number: 484-927-5000. Dr. Alan Fegley, 484-927-5010, fegleya@pasd.k12.pa.us

Is Fegley worth the $205,000 per year another blogger reports he earns? Maybe if the school district paid more realistic salaries considering the econony, it might have a couple bucks to give elementary school kids Halloween back?

And Fegley?  Dressing up for Halloween doesn’t cause sexting (you know that other issue you dealt so well with?)

Seriously, Phoenixville?  You need Operation Pumpkin Drop.  Prove this school district wrong and give the kids Halloween back.  Kids deserve to just be kids once in a while.

 

By Frank Otto fotto@journalregister.com 10/23/12

PHOENIXVILLE — Elementary school students in the Phoenixville Area School District will be celebrating a fall theme day as opposed to Halloween-centric events this year and Superintendent Alan Fegley explained why at Thursday night’s school board meeting.

Fegley said the announcement was made in the elementary school student “package” from the district in August, but he explained the district’s decision to move away from Halloween fully at the meeting.

According to Fegley, a number of the elementary schools’ principals came to him with their concerns regarding Halloween celebrations for Oct. 31.

“I approved the change for a fall-themed activity for a number of reasons,” Fegley said…“There was unhealthy competition for the costumes and treats that were being provided,” Fegley said. “I’m a competitive person, don’t get me wrong. But when it’s sitting there and making other students not feel good because they can’t afford the costume or can’t have it made, that’s something that’s just something the district just thought was not worth having to go through.”

Additionally, with the costumes and despite warnings from the school, children continued to bring in costume weapons in violation of the school’s weapons policy.

Finally, the district wanted to “honor the diverse background” of its students and open up the celebration to fall-themed events rather than Halloween because of the “controversy surrounding the religious connotations of Halloween.”

was it extreme heat or malfunction today at limerick nuclear plant?

UPDATE – my friends at PECO connected me to the Limerick Generating Station  because apparently since deregulation PECO has not owned generating facilities – including Limerick.  The facilities are owned and operated by Exelon
Nuclear.  Here is the press release from their media person:

This morning I learned via Phoenixville Patch (they really do try to keep abreast of news and having dealt with interim editor Tom Sunnergren I know he has a nose for news) that Limerick Patch was reporting a shut down at the nuclear plant in Limerick. (and yes that is my photo from a friend’s deck outside Pottstown.) The cause, as per Patch and other Philadelphia media like 6 ABC is an electrical fault.

The very ODD thing is that the Morning Call via Reuters  seemed as if they were implying the shut down was part of a multi state shut down at other nuclear plants due to heat.

Seriously check it out:

Limerick among four nuclear power reactors shut down Wednesday

By Scott DiSavino, Reuters11:35 a.m. EDT, July 18, 2012

Several nuclear plants on the U.S. East Coast, including Exelon’s Limerick nuclear plant, were shut down early Wednesday and New York’s Consolidated Edison power company reduced the voltage in parts of Manhattan as the obsessive heat wave stressed the region’s power system.

Despite the shutdown of four giant nuclear reactors in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Carolina, the power systems delivered the juice needed by the regions’ homes and businesses to keep air conditioners humming on the projected last day of a brutal heat wave.

Temperatures in New York City — the biggest metropolitan region in the United States — hit 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius) on Monday, 96 F on Tuesday, and were expected to reach 96 F again on Wednesday before thunderstorms Wednesday night were likely to drive temperatures back to near-normal levels in the 80s F on Thursday, according to AccuWeather.com.

In New York, Wednesday’s voltage reduction was the second for Con Edison during this week’s heat wave, aimed at easing the load on the grid to allow workers to fix heat-stressed equipment in the affected neighborhoods….

REACTORS DOWN

A unit at Exelon’s Limerick nuclear plant in Pennsylvania shut early Wednesday, according to power traders. Officials at the company and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission could not confirm the Limerick shutdown.

Constellation Nuclear Energy Group’s 630-megawatt Nine Mile Point 1 nuclear reactor in New York automatically shut on Tuesday due to high neutron flux — meaning neutrons are not equally spread around the reactor core. Power traders guessed it could have been a faulty sensor and the unit could be back soon.

Constellation Nuclear is a venture between French power company Electricite de France SA (EDF) and Chicago power company Exelon Corp.

Constellation Nuclear 855-MW took the Unit 1 at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Maryland offline by early Wednesday due to a small leak in an instrument line. The company said it had already fixed the plant and was ramping up the unit.

North Carolina-based Duke Energy‘s 846-MW Unit 1 at the Oconee nuclear plant in South Carolina also shut by early Wednesday. Details about the Oconee shutdown were not immediately available to comment

So which is it? Or is it both?

Here is Limerick Patch, and unfortunately if you live in PA, you hear about this and no matter what the reason, you think about Three Mile Island.  I was in high school when Three Mile Island news broke.  As a matter of fact I was outside of PA in  Washington, DC visiting friends and researching a term paper at The Library of Congress (it was an obscure topic and as good excuse as any to explore The Library of Congress which is really, REALLY cool! )  I remember when the news cut in and they flashed up shots of the reactors at Three Mile Island and reported the accident at first – it was very scary to hear about at the time.

Government, Business

Unscheduled Shutdown at Limerick Nuclear Plant

NRC: Electrical fault in transformer was impetus for manual shutdown.

By David Powell Email the author 10:37 am

The Unit 1 nuclear reactor at Exelon’s Limerick Generating Station was shut down at 8:15 Wednesday morning following an electrical fault in a transformer, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a statement sent to area media outlets.

The reactor was manually shut down from the power station’s control room following the fault, according to the NRC.

“The NRC is closely monitoring the shutdown, with our Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant gathering information from the control room and sharing it with NRC staff. There do not appear to be any complications at this point. We will want to know more about Exelon’s root cause evaluation ….” NRC spokesperson Neil Sheehan said.

….Exelon company spokespersons did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday morning.

Hmmm, I have a couple PECO contacts, so I wonder what is going on?  Maybe in the end it is nothing, but being perceived as secretive or furtive is not the card to play I think.

trails are for illegal dumping ?

Biker Finds Hidden Garbage Dump in Mont Clare; Its contents include chemical waste.

ByTom Sunnergren  Email the author

On a mountain biking trek last week, a Phoenixville Patch reader discovered a large garbage dump off a trail near 330 Lovers Lane in Mont Clare.

The trash pile is in an oblong ditch—roughly 35 feet deep and 50 feet across—and contains, based on one incomplete inventory, tires of various sizes, oil and anti-freeze containers, a toilet, a television, couch cushions, sheet wood, 2X4s, Gatorade and soda bottles, the seat of a car, and countless other discarded chemicals and plastics.

A narrow trail leads away from the ditch and to a small concrete parking space where a backhoe with a shattered windshield sits. The trail appears to be wide enough for the backhoe to drive up and down it, though the trail doesn’t appear to have been driven on recently.

The reader reported the dump to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection via an online form after he discovered it, but is yet to hear any word from the agency.

Yes, Phoenixville Patch is reporting that a biker on a trail in Mont Clare, which is Montgomery County/Upper Providence Township, found a mini toxic waste dump.  This is on the opposite bank of the Schuylkill.

A commenter on the site is urging everyone to report this so it gets cleaned up.  As in complain to the DEP and Upper Providence.   I say report this to TV stations and ask for coverage to ensure it is not only cleaned up, but cleaned up correctly and completely.

So I looked online to see if any other media was covering this and other than something in the Pottstown-Mercury about kids from North Coventry looking for crawfish in the Schuykill and swimming who found guns instead. That was in the area of the Keim Street Bridge.   Ok also bad, and were they decontaminated after being in the river? And who the heck lets their kids swim in the river?

Back to the dumping.  This is serious business. Good job to Tom Sunnergren of Patch for covering it.  Of course I had no idea the other Patch editor for Phoenixville had left.

 A fun fact about Mont Clare according to Wikipedia is it is the birthplace of the outlaw Sundance Kid.

 

 

is phoenixville the wild, wild west?

Someone I know told me a story about Phoenixville the other day.  It involved a police officer shooting a dog believed to be a pit bull mix.  I am going to preface this entire post with a couple of things:

  1.  I wasn’t there
  2. This was recounted to me
  3. Anyone who knows me knows that pit bulls are so not my breed and we will leave it at that.
  4. Being a police officer or any type of first responder is a very hard job with often the need for difficult decisions to be made.

However, that all being said, drawn guns in neighborhoods when there are people and even children around gives me pause.

So I was told that this dog got out of her owner’s yard.  As unpleasant as that can be, it happens.  The dog apparently was in an empty lot?

I am one of those people who does not like roaming dogs. At all.  But I also know not to confront them.

When I was first out here in Chester County part-time, I actually called the police about two dogs on the lam.  The police came out, and were completely calm and got the dogs into the police car and returned them to their owners.  No muss, no fuss.  And these were big dogs.  Not pit bulls, or even  pit mixes, but big dogs – and any dog has the potential of reacting negatively in loud, chaotic situations.  Especially if the humans around are all tense and upset.

So as it was told to me, the owner of the dog, who by newspaper accounts was a Spanish-speaking  woman was trying to get the dog to come to her so she could get her inside, and begging the officer not to shoot her dog?  And that some on the scene have said the dog was upset but had not charged?  Is it possible in the chaos that this officer made a mistake?

Again, I am  not condoning loose dogs AT ALL, but I was also told that this dog was not male, but female and also had dropped a litter of puppies a few weeks ago?  Is that true?  Because if that is true and the dog was shot close to her home, that could have some bearing on her barking and attitude?  Mother dogs will protect their young and their humans if they perceive a threat, won’t they?

It seems for an incident like this that there is a lot out there right away in the media.  If the dog was a danger, then the police acted correctly albeit tragically.  But, what if this dog was shot needlessly?  What if that action was a bit precipitous?  What if part of the stress of the situation was a language barrier between responding officer and the Spanish-speaking woman?

I for one would like to know.   It kind of freaks me out when people shoot dogs.

Phoenixville seems to have issues.  And it seems they might need to address their issues versus building a platinum coated municipal building, doesn’t it?

Sign me torn on this issue. Can anyone tell me if Phoenixville has an animal control person or a relationship with say the Chester County SPCA or anyone else who could assist in these situations?

I respect the difficult jobs police officers and first responders have.  I want no misunderstanding there.  But I also know how dogs react  when threatened.  And if this dog was just scared and was a female who had a litter of puppies close by?

Or if loose dogs are such an issue in Phoenixville then maybe the officials should spend a little more time educating the public on how bad that can be?

Again, sign me torn with many questions.  I know many people with what qualify as breeds of dogs that are larger and working.  And when I read things like this, it scares me that something like that could happen to their dogs if they accidentally got out.

Here’s the press on this:

Police & Fire

Phoenixville Police Shoot, Kill Threatening Dog

The animal was shot near Barkley Elementary School on Monday.

ByTom Sunnergren

Email the author

A dog that appeared to be part pit bull was shot and killed by Phoenixville Police on Monday after it went on a rampage, The Mercury is reporting. The animal was shot once before later dying at the vet.

The department initially received a call about a brown dog—Chief William Mossman said the animal looked like a large pit bull—barking at people near Valley Forge Self Storage at around 2:50 p.m., but it was gone by the time officers responded. A little over an hour later, officers received another call about the dog, now near Barkley Elementary School.

“It was biting tires on cars, barking,” Mossman told The Mercury. “One lady was too frightened to leave her car. Another guy was in a building. Everybody was basically trapped where they were.”

Mossman said officers located the dog, but it took an aggressive posture and stood its ground….At this point, the dog emerged from behind a hedge formation on the owners’ property. It charged one of the officers, before backing off when he pulled out his gun. With the owner screaming orders at the animal, alternately in English and Spanish….the officer—a former marine—fired a single shot into the animal when it charged a second time.

PHOENIXVILLE — A dog acting aggressively, trapping residents in their cars and homes, forced police to shoot and kill it Monday afternoon.
Police Chief William Mossman said the dog, described as being brown with “some pit bull in him but bigger than a pit bull,” charged officers multiple times while growling and barking….A woman driving by in a car told the officers she knew who owned the dog….One of the officers went to the owner’s house nearby. A woman reportedly confirmed she owned the dog but did not know it had gotten out or where it was…..“(The officer) wanted to give the dog every opportunity,” he said. “It’s our responsibility, we have to protect the public. The officer was protecting himself and the crowd.”….Mossman emphasized that there was little to no danger for the public related to the actual firing of the officer’s gun. The officer involved is about six feet tall and was shooting on a down angle so the bullet wouldn’t have gone anywhere if he missed, Mossman said….  Additionally, Mossman said the officer involved is highly trained, a former marine that is also a part of the Northern Chester County Emergency Response Team. “That guy spends more time shooting and qualifying more than anyone,” he said. “We don’t like to shoot our guns in the borough if we can avoid it.”

why does phoenixville need a main line expensive borough hall?

Phoenixville is a lovely place.  Phoenixville is also cash strapped.  I have heard that Phoenixville has plans for an $8 million dollar township building/borough hall? Is it true this building will be purportedly be built in a location that floods regularly when the water comes up?  Is it also true they are supposed to have flood mitigation plans — the first level will be a garage which will NOT take care of the flood issues, and the lack of proper flood planning when building in a flood plain will equal potential law suits won’t it?

Of course why a community with little to no money needs a Main Line expensive muni building escapes me, doesn’t it escape you?   I am told that at a recent  public meeting residents asked about this and were basically shooed off and brushed off with their questions?

Wow, really, Phoenixville?   Everyone gets you don’t want to end up like a hybrid cross between Pottstown and Norristown, but building a borough hall that is Main Line expensive with many questions with regard to flooding issues isn’t a smart way to spend taxpayer money, is it?

Phoenixville would be better serving  residents if they behaved more sensibly.  Phoenixville needs to take care of her residents and the businesses that have taken a chance on this town.  Building a giant flood prone municipal building in a box won’t accomplish that.

Below is some background from Phoenixville Patch and I hope lots of local media takes a goooood long long at how the officials in Phoenixville want to spend $8 million dollars in a piss poor economy.

Seems to me that Phoenixville has $8 million reasons to proceeed with caution, doesn’t it?

Council Gets a Look at New Borough Hall During Hearing

A conditional use hearing was held for a new borough hall on Bridge Street.

By Lynn Jusinski  Email the author  March 16, 2012

Plans for Phoenixville’s new borough hall were shown at Tuesday’s borough council meeting.

Representatives from Spiezle Architecture Group, along with the civil engineer working on the project, were on hand to discuss the new building, which will be located adjacent to the current district justice building at 347 Bridge St. The three-story building will be 45-feet high and plans include 123 parking spaces.

The police department will be housed on the first floor, with a gated, covered police parking area around the back. The second floor will feature administrative offices and windows where residents speak to borough staff. The third floor has the public meeting space, which can be divided into a smaller conference room area. A caucus room, archive storage, the public works office, a break room for employees and the server room will also be on the third floor.

Existing elevators and stairwells will be used, and one new stairwell will be added from the second floor to the third floor in the new building. Council President Richard Kirkner said the district justice building was built in anticipation of the addition.

“The lobby was built with another building to the west of the existing building in mind,” Kirkner said.

As a conditional use hearing, the focus was on the footprint, general layout, parking and circulation on the site, rather than the overall design. More input on that can be given during the subdivision and land development phase, according to Solicitor Andrew Rau.

Kirkner said he had some concerns with the design but understood that it was not really the forum for that at the conditional use hearing.

“It just looks awfully boxy for a municipal building,” he said.

The council president also expressed some concerns about stormwater on the site, which is near the French Creek. He asked what would happen if a storm like Hurricane Agnes came through.

“The parking lot will be under water,” said Mike Thomas, civil engineer at Hunt Engineering Company.

Police officers would still have access to their garage from the east but not the west in a bad storm situation, Thomas said. The stormwater management system will be buried under the parking lot, which would be covered in water in the event of a flood.

Conditional Use Hearing for New Borough Hall Planned

The hearing will take place at council’s March meeting.

ByLynn Jusinski  Email the author  February 21, 2012

 

Phoenixville Council Moves Forward on Borough Hall, Infrastructure Bond

Council voted 7-1 to pursue a bond for $7.5 to $10.5 million.

By Lynn Jusinski  Email the author  July 13, 2011

 

 

being discussed in chester county: pennsylvania and politics of the uterus

I am going to wade into uncomfortable waters in conservative Chester County.  I found a post on the Phoenixville Patch that is worth discussing.  It is by a woman name Lisa Longo.  Apparently Politics of the Uterus is the key to 2012 politics in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Here is an excerpt:

Blog: What is the GOP Thinking? And Why Are They in My Uterus?

I have to say, I never expected the GOP to so totally torpedo itself.

How could they have mishandled everything to this extent? First they unleash their extreme caucus, also known as the “tea” “party,” which leads to the birth of the Occupy Movement. Then they decide to take the party right off the cliff by picking a fight with women, and not just any one woman, they made ALL of us angry over the non-issue (to women) on their issue of contraception in health care.

And now some State Legislators are attempting to pass heinous, invasive and unconstitutional bills that will insist a woman be given a mandatory ultrasound prior to abortion. It is beyond offensive….

Which brings me to another interesting movement born recently, the call for a nationwide day of protest in state capitals. Karen Teegarden had an idea, to bring women together and raise our voices and let legislators know we have had enough. What started as the We are Women march has now become the United Against the War on Women March, and it is going to be one amazing day of nationwide protests. More info at: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/UniteWomen?sk=wall

This day of national protest will be our message to the GOP: stop assaulting my rights! And to tell you the truth, I feel constantly assaulted by the GOP. Starting with my arrest at the first Tar Sands, and the constant fight to get the FRAC Act passed, the repeated fight to stop the Keystone XL, the cuts to education, health and welfare, and now this, the final insult, they want to take away my right to control my own body…..The bill in PA is scheduled for a March 12 vote. Between now and then we need a fast, and furious, campaign, to make sure the GOP is put on notice: vote yes on this bill and we will do everything we can to make sure you are not re-elected. It is time to explain to legislators in no uncertain terms that the GOP has no business in my uterus.

What a woman chooses to do with her own body is a personal matter and neither legislators, or men in clerical (methinks the Catholic Church needs to deal with it’s out of control and pedophile priests before they open their mouths further) or judicial robes should decide what is best for her.  My choices as a woman are not necessarily the ones another woman would take, and while among female friends we might discuss what we do, that is not to say we presume to tell other women what to do with their bodies.

And yes, I am Catholic and I am a registered Republican.  My views are my business, but I do not feel any of us have the right to tell other women what to do unless they are abusing a privilege.

Perhaps I would not have a feeling on this if I were not a breast cancer survivor. But I am.  And as a survivor of not yet a year I can tell you sometimes it bugs me when non-medical professionals who are not of my inner circle or family presume too far in telling me what to do.  It’s a walk a mile in my bra kind of thing. Don’t play politics of the uterus – which incidentally did not work so well for monster charity Susan G. Komen recently, did it?

As a woman, it is hard to get the medical treatment you want at times, even with health insurance.  I think that politically driven legislation like HB 1077 in the PA House is dangerous to women’s health initiatives overall.  Already there is enough we can’t get coverage for on a regular basis as a woman.

Not all women are meant to be mothers.  Not all women can afford to be mothers.  Life and medical issues precluded me from being able to bear children.  Yet I do not feel as a woman I have the right to judge other women in this area.  Unless of course they treat their kids like litters of stray kittens dumped in a box on the side of the road.  Then I might have something to say just because as someone unable to have their own children I am astounded when women do not recognize how lucky they were to be able to choose to become a parent.

Anyway, the furor over HB 1077 grows.  Bills like this reduce all women to being mindless brood mares.  It is also because of legislation like this that yes, movements like Unite Against The War on Women and We Are Women March- PA (and other states) are growing.  Much like the protests of the 1960s and 1970s, I feel these protests are going to be monsters.  And are they all wrong?

Any discussion, here?  I am irked that as someone who needs routine ultrasounds of all kinds that I have to jump through AMAZING hoops for approvals  and proper codes with health insurance, yet a politically driven bill like this means that women who might not CHOOSE to have an ultrasound will get one whether they want one or not!

The primary sponsor of this bill is ironically a woman.  Kathy L. Rapp.

Here are the rest of the sponsors:

INTRODUCED BY RAPP, KULA, TURZAI, STERN, DENLINGER, CUTLER,

ADOLPH, AUMENT, BAKER, BARBIN, BARRAR, BEAR, BENNINGHOFF,

BLOOM, BOBACK, BOYD, BROOKS, R. BROWN, CALTAGIRONE, CAUSER,

CHRISTIANA, CLYMER, COX, CREIGHTON, DAY, DiGIROLAMO, DUNBAR,

ELLIS, EMRICK, EVANKOVICH, J. EVANS, EVERETT, FLECK, GABLER,

GEIST, GIBBONS, GILLEN, GILLESPIE, GINGRICH, GODSHALL, GRELL,

GROVE, HACKETT, HAHN, HARHART, HARKINS, HARRIS, HEFFLEY,

HELM, HENNESSEY, HESS, HICKERNELL, HORNAMAN, HUTCHINSON,

KAUFFMAN, KAVULICH, F. KELLER, KILLION, KNOWLES, KOTIK,

KRIEGER, LAWRENCE, LONGIETTI, MAHONEY, MAJOR, MALONEY,

MARSHALL, MARSICO, MASSER, METCALFE, METZGAR, MICCARELLI,

MICOZZIE, MILLARD, MOUL, MURT, MUSTIO, OBERLANDER, PAYNE,

PEIFER, PERRY, PICKETT, PYLE, QUIGLEY, READSHAW, REED, REESE,

REICHLEY, ROAE, ROCK, SACCONE, SANTONI, SAYLOR, SCAVELLO,

CULVER, SCHRODER, SIMMONS, K. SMITH, S. H. SMITH, SONNEY,

STEVENSON, SWANGER, TALLMAN, TAYLOR, THOMAS, TOBASH, TOEPEL,

TOOHIL, TRUITT, VEREB, VULAKOVICH AND WATSON

Adolph is Delaware County and serves part of Radnor Township.  Truitt is Chester County. Lawrence is Chester County.  Schroder is Chester County. Hennessy is Chester County.  Barrar is Chester County. Kllion is Chester County.

Dan Truitt has two websites I found.  One for campaign and one for “state-related” matters.  John Lawrences also has two websites.  The campaign website where he tells you how he will fight for affordable healthcare and his state spot. Check out the rest of the Chesco kids on this helpful page called Chester County PA Legislators.

I found a website called Chester County Politics which may have some politician info on it – haven’t delved into it, did not know it existed until today.