so sunoco isn’t sleazy and sunoco isn’t sunoco?

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We just celebrated the 4th of July which celebrates our freedoms in this country and apparently Sunoco officials don’t care for free speech and freedom of opinion? And maybe they don’t like that eminent domain word but what did they expect when they went to the Public Utility Commission to try to get around local zoning? Seriously?

There is this new article in the Inquirer about SuNOco, and apparently SuNOco isn’t SuNOco and isn’t sleazy? So is this pipeline is a mirage then? Are we imagining all the road disruptions and closures and all the public meetings are really the meeting of the quilting society or something?

I am very confused.

A rose by any other name and all that?
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Apparently SuNOco’s public image is taking a beating? Does that mean their retail business is feeling a pipeline pinch?

It is up to personal choice if Chester County and other Pennsylvania residents choose to patronize other gas stations, right? We don’t live in a communist or otherwise single state run country where we have no choice as to where we buy gas, do we? Did they ever consider in addition to image issues that a good percentage of the time their gas is also just more expensive than other gas retailers?

So now will SuNOco that isn’t really SuNOco be buzzing around changing the corporate branding on their pipeline property sites like the sign seen every day at a crossroads in Upper Uwchlan? And what of the Sunoco Logistics website with the teeny tiny Sunoco logo we all know so well?

And while they are answering questions, what is it precisely they do with endangered wildlife when they find it (or more appropriately it is pointed out to them) ? Someone told me they were told the wildlife (like bog turtles and such) is moved someplace and then brought back to the habitat in which they were discovered? Is this true and how do they know which wildlife goes where down to the individual creature?

This Philadelphia Inquirer article today gives many the vision of a corporate shell game doesn’t it? And is the talking head of the split personality oil company the same guy who used to be an amazing reporter for the paper now making him the news?

So who is SuNOco? And if they want a better corporate image maybe they shouldn’t be trying to force feed Pennsylvania residents a pipeline? Could it be a lot of this petroleum posturing is that this just isn’t residents saying no? Could it be SuNOco is a little nervous that politicians from all over on both sides of the political aisle are starting to speak out too? Could they be nervous that the residents objecting are growing daily in numbers and esteemed environmentalists are taking their side?

Sorry SuNOco, sorry SuNOco PR team, people are unified about not wanting you in Chester County no matter what you call yourselves aren’t they? Welcome to a public relations hell of your own creation and seriously what did you think was going to happen? That everyone was just going to be o.k. with your taking people’s land and adding flare stacks in densely populated areas? Did you think a county that has a large percentage of residents on wells wouldn’t be concerned about pipelines and so on? Maybe you have a friend in Governor Corbett but not everyone else is feeling so chummy?

Great article Philadelphia Inquirer!

Philadelphia Inquirer: Sunoco fights connection to pipeline firm
By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: July 06, 2014

Sunoco’s good corporate name is taking a beating these days, as community activists and bloggers post snarky statements under headlines like “Sleazy Sunoco,” linking the company to fracking and eminent domain …..in the hands of careless journalists and picket-sign painters, the companies all just become “Sunoco.”

According to brand consultants and public-image experts, Sunoco the fuel retailer faces a big challenge disassociating itself from the actions of its corporate doppelgänger…..Sunoco Pipeline, a Sunoco Logistics subsidiary, has asked the PUC to declare it a public utility to bypass local zoning restrictions. ….”Sunoco, Sunoco Logistics, Sunoco Pipeline?” said Tom Casey, a leader of the community opposition. “There’s a lot of confusion about who’s doing this. Who are these people?”

Casey had heard company officials explain that Sunoco Inc. and Sunoco Logistics are two separate companies, with different missions. Then a public-affairs officer handed him a business card that identified him as a Sunoco Logistics employee. The other side of the card identified him with Sunoco Inc.

“He has the same job with both companies at two different addresses,” Casey said. “That’s confusing.”……..If this bothers Sunoco, its spokesman, Jeff Shields, is not letting on too much.

Nor is the spokesman for Sunoco Logistics, the selfsame Jeff Shields, who said in an e-mail that the pipeline company “is proud of its roots with a company and a name that has represented good corporate citizenship and American prosperity for more than a century.”…Sunoco Logistics, which was spun off as a separate company, is still contractually obligated to support Sunoco’s retail operations. But its new ventures, such as the Mariner East project, are unrelated to its former parent company.

Both are now units of Energy Transfer Partners L.P., a Dallas company that bought Sunoco Inc. in 2012 and acquired the controlling interest in Sunoco Logistics……Sunoco Logistics could rename itself something else – say, SXL – to provide some cover for Sunoco. But image experts say crusader activists would see right through such a strategy.

“That would backfire on the company double time, because now the public’s suspicion of evil would be confirmed by the company’s efforts at deception,” said Rob Frankel, a Los Angeles branding expert…..Sunoco Inc. already has a long history of oil extraction, and so an association with a pipeline transporting hydraulically fractured Marcellus Shale gas liquids is not an image-altering event, said Oscar Yuan, a partner at New York brand consultant Millward Brown Vermeer.

20140707-110547-39947204.jpgSelect photos in this collage are courtesy of public photos of Just The Facts Please on Facebook of which this blog is not a spokesperson or representative, just a fan.

EMINENT DOMAIN ALERT CHESTER COUNTY: SUNOCO

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UPDATEyou can check out all the Sunoco filings with the Public Utility Commission by going to the PUC website and plunking in the case number which is P-2014-2411966

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I said I wasn’t going to write any longer about Sunoco and their insidious infiltration of Chester County due to certain personalities behaving counter-intuitively, but screw it, this is important.

I might be a relative newcomer to Chester County, but I am not a stranger to fighting eminent domain. I fought eminent domain all the way to Washington DC . I was one of many people who joined the Institute for Justice and their Castle Coalition arm and fought eminent domain a few years ago. This was all when a lovely woman named Suzette Kelo was fighting to save her little pink house. Suzette Kelo took her case all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

The case was Kelo vs. New London. This case captured the attention of the nation and took nasty eminent domain out of the shadows and into the full glare of public scrutiny.

Yesterday two articles came out and I thought about my original hypothesis. First an article came out I saw that said Sunoco was withdrawing their zoning thing in West Goshen.. Then an article appears about how Sunoco was just going to appeal to the Public Utility Commission.

So I sat there last night and read the articles and came back full circle to my original thought: EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PRIVATE GAIN cloaked as EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PUBLIC PURPOSE.

You see, if Sunoco can get public utility status from the Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) they can ride over the heads of any homeowner and municipality can’t they? With their public utility status comes the power of eminent domain, doesn’t it? They say power corrupts, and can we agree in this case it will indeed?

And then there is that other interesting Sunoco bit of news: a makeover in progress for the Marcus Hook refinery.

As per The Philadelphia Inquirer:

It is out with the old and in with the new at the 500-acre waterfront facility formerly known as the Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery, now the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.

Workers last week ripped down aging petroleum-processing equipment, part of a labyrinth of machinery that has produced gasoline, diesel, and kerosene for more than a century. Other crews built cryogenic storage tanks more than 130 feet tall with three-foot-thick walls that will hold the future: new fuels from the prolific Marcellus Shale region.

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., a pipeline company that bought the property for $60 million last year from its sister company, Sunoco Inc., is converting the site into a major center for processing and shipping natural gas liquids.
It In August, Sunoco Logistics won PUC approval setting the stage to convert its cross-state pipeline for ethane. PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson endorsed the move.

“Mariner East not only links producers with new markets, but it also represents a link between the commonwealth’s citizens, well-paying jobs, and a more independent domestic energy future,” he said.

Now Powelson may be asked to play a role in a key vote on whether Sunoco’s plans can move forward. in a key vote on whether Sunoco’s plans can move forward.

So Sunoco was previously just shipping this stuff out of Pennsylvania, right? So if they start peddling the product to residents of Pennsylvania instead of just sucking it out of people’s back yards and corn fields and forests it looks better before the the PUC, right?

Even Moveon.org has gotten involved this is getting so bad. If you live in Chester County or in Pennsylvania, have you signed their petition ? (HINT: you can find it at the bottom of this post.)

The Inquirer has also published an article speaking about environmental groups intervening in Sunoco pipeline case. (And see this thing Sunoco filed the other day.)

As per the Inquirer environmental groups responding thus far are the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the Clean Air Council, the Pipeline Safety Coalition and the Mountain Watershed Association.

Now if I were Sunoco, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network alone would make me nervous. Which brings me to something I heard. Is it true that Sunoco has retained the former Philadelphia head of the D.E.P or something like that? Some guy named Michael Krancer now with Blank Rome?

A man I know and respect, the former head of the Lower Merion Conservancy Mike Weilbacher wrote about this guy last year in Main Line Media News:

Mike Weilbacher: Michael Krancer’s life after DEP Published: Wednesday, July 03, 2013
By Mike Weilbacher
Columnist

For two years, Bryn Mawr’s Michael Krancer sat on arguably the hottest seat in Harrisburg during one of its hottest times. Until April 15, he was secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, charged with, among other things, pushing forward with Governor Corbett’s election promise of full-speed-ahead fracking.

And he has been unabashedly pro-fracking, writing in a November op-ed piece that the “Marcellus shale formation is the global superstar of natural gas formations and… a key driver in true American energy independence.”

The fifth high-level Corbett official to leave office at the time—another, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources chief Richard Allan was asked to leave only two weeks ago—Krancer often clashed with the state’s environmental interests, the word “controversial” attached to his name in many headlines over the last two years.

I caught up with the former secretary, looking decidedly relaxed, last week in Saxby’s, hoping to probe the last two years with him—after all, it’s not too often a neighbor gets appointed to DEP chief. My goal was to let him tell his story in his words — not argue the merits of his policies, not debate fracking, not ask him the same questions he’s been asked by thousands of other reporters, but instead to find out his current and future plans, including a possible run for Pennsylvania Governor in 2016….On fracking, the core of the controversy, I observed that few Lower Merion residents likely support the practice, Southeastern Pennsylvania being a hotbed of anti-fracking fervor. “Once people go out and see it (fracking),” he replied, “it becomes de-mystified. The drilling rig is only there temporarily, and before, during and after the process you don’t even see the rig. And when it’s done, all that’s left is a piping mechanism.

“I maintain now,” he continued, that it can and has been done safely and carefully—that’s what regulation is about. We have to be careful. Like any operation, the environmental impact has to be managed—and people who do it spend a lot of time managing the environmental impact.”

This is a big article and I found it fascinating. And if this is Sunoco’s new white knight, how does that happen? Or is the DEP not so environmentally sensitive any longer? In just 2008 the PA DEP was filing suit against Sunoco and now this to contemplate? And do you remember what that suit was about? Wasn’t it a crazy 12000-gallon gasoline spill from a ruptured pipeline in Westmoreland County, PA?

So I have to ask was Michael Krancer ever really one of the good guys? And sadly what I heard is indeed true and has been verified by the Philadelphia Inquirer which said in an article today April 30:

Sunoco also filed notice Monday with the PUC that it had retained the Blank Rome L.L.P. law firm to represent it before the PUC. The Blank Rome team is headed by Michael L. Krancer, Gov. Corbett’s former secretary of environmental protection.

(So in case you wanted another reason why no one should vote for Tom Corbett ever again, here is yet another reason, right?)

Everyone should indeed sign the MoveOn.org petition linked below. But people in general need to raise hell with Harrisburg. Our state government is a cesspool of toxic waste water and no matter what our political beliefs, we need to act now. Remember all the horrors we have heard over the years about strip mining? Can it be contemplated that will be a walk in the park if Sunoco gets their way with the PUC? After all if they are changing up lawyers and changing strategy they are hunkering down to fight by any means possible aren’t they?

Eminent domain for private gain is heinous. And eminent domain for private gain cloaked in fake public purpose is even more evil.

Sunoco is digging in Chester County. Time to bring it.

Check out websites like The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, the Institute for Justice (and they have a form you can fill out about eminent domain abuse), and locally the hot eastbootroad website, and Just The Facts Please on Facebook.

And if you want to contact the PUC they have this convoluted website, but here is the equivalent of the “office directory“:

Chairman & Commissioners

Chairman Robert F. Powelson Phone: 717-787-4301
Fax: 717-783-8698
Vice Chairman John F. Coleman Phone: 717-772-0692
Fax: 717-787-5620
Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer Phone: 717-783-1763
Fax: 717-783-7986
Commissioner Gladys M. Brown Phone: 717-787-1031
Fax: 717-783-0698
Commissioner James H. Cawley Phone: 717-783-1197
Fax: 717-783-9845

The Executive Offices

Jan H. Freeman, Executive Director Phone: 717-787-1035
Director of Regulatory Affairs Phone: 717-783-8156
Lou Ann Hess, Administrative Officer Phone: 717-783-8156
Fax: 717-787-3417

Office of Communications

Bureau Director’s Office

Tom Charles, Director Phone: 717-787-9504
Lori Shumberger, Executive Secretary Phone: 717-783-9998
Jennifer Kocher, Press Secretary Phone: 717-787-5722
Community Relations Phone: 717-787-5722
Fax: 717-787-4193

Office of Administrative Law Judge

Bureau Director’s Office

Charles E. Rainey Jr., Chief Administrative Law Judge Phone: 717-787-1191
Pokim Park, Executive Secretary Phone: 717-783-9959
Fax: 717-787-0481
Legal Division

Kim Hafner, Legal Division Supervisor Phone: 717-705-3822
Herbert R. Nurick, Mediation Coordinator Phone: 717-783-5428
Cindy Lehman, ADR Mediator Phone: 717-783-5413
Susan Hoffner, Case Control Officer Phone: 717-787-4497

I would also say people like Duane Milne, Dan Truitt, and Andy Dinniman need to be contacted. And if no one calls you back from their offices, contact them again. Elected officials work for us, not the other way around. And again, sign the MoveOn Petition.

If you have media contacts or contacts with any other property rights or environmental groups, contact them. Use social media. Don’t be shy. This affects all of us in Pennsylvania if Sunoco has their way with the PUC, not just Chester County.

CLICK HERE for MoveOn.org Sunoco Petition 

 

sleazy sunoco

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So the photo above comes from a website called Protecting our Waters. It was taken after a Philadelphia protest in December, 2013. The protest was against Sunoco and the Mariner East pipeline, so I thought it was apropos.

Of course it makes me think if the pro-military and pro- peace folks can protest all the time unmolested in front of what I assume is the old courthouse in downtown West Chester, I don’t see why these folks rising up in East and West Goshen can’t do the same thing some day soon and invite the media.

Good old fashioned peaceful protests can accomplish a lot of attention grabbing.

My recent post on Sunoco and their little project has gotten me a lot of e-mail and even comments from folks fighting this in Dauphin County.

I have learned from Chester County residents who already have the older version of the pipeline a couple of interesting things: I thought (mistakenly and incorrectly) that if Sunoco used someone’s property that they paid rent annually to the property owner. I am told they don’t. I also wondered what happened when real estate changed hands. Apparently Sunoco doesn’t pay homeowners who inherit them in their backyards anything.

So basically, letting Sunoco in is like allowing cockroaches?

I wasn’t going to do anymore posting on this until I realized where some of the pipelines are actually supposedly going: right through the back yards of people in Marydell Farms in East Goshen who have properties that run to Boot Road. Those people don’t have backyards that are THAT deep.

Which brings me to something I didn’t want to point out: shame on East Goshen Township. All the environmental and safety issues aside, how can East Goshen officials just sit on their rear ends while residents have their property rights violated and property values potentially affected?

I go back to the thing about living out here and NOT being able to have natural gas lines for residential use leaving us with other energy choices like propane, pellet stoves, coal, oil, electric heat, but we can’t have natural gas to heat or cook with YET Sunoco can crisscross our county with pipelines that only THEY profit from? Residents HERE assume the risks to health, safety, and welfare. Residents here worry about environmental effects like will what Sunoco is doing affect those on wells and could it ever affect even public water supply? How does what they are doing affect our natural waterways like streams, creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes? How does what they do affect our wildlife?

And why is it Sunoco or other big oil companies doesn’t even seem to pay taxes on natural gas production in Pennsylvania? (Think of all the roads and schools that could get fixed as well as other things in Pennsylvania if stupid Harrisburg actually made these companies pay their way, right?)

Sunoco Pipeline plan draws political resistance Philadelphia Inquirer By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer April 5, 2014

An elaborate plan by Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. to transport Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids by pipeline across Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook is running into resistance.

The company’s subsidiary, Sunoco Pipeline L.P., last month filed an application with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to sidestep local zoning restrictions to build pump and valve control stations in 31 municipalities crossed by the pipeline.

Sunoco Pipeline argues that it is a “public utility corporation,” and that the PUC can exempt the construction of the above-ground structure from local zoning if it determines the buildings are “reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public.”….Two suburban Philadelphia state senators on Wednesday wrote to the PUC, contending that the exemptions would conflict with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in December upholding local zoning rights over oil and gas activity….Sunoco has asked the PUC for an expedited decision. Formal protests and petitions to intervene are due by April 21…..The Mariner project involves converting an existing eight-inch pipeline that carried fuel from Philadelphia refineries to Western Pennsylvania. The project requires about 45 miles of new pipeline in Western Pennsylvania. Sunoco’s efforts to acquire rights of way by eminent domain have run into resistance.

And the thing is this: this issue is way bigger than East Goshen, West Goshen, or just Chester County. This pipeline is coming from where? Ohio through to Marcus Hook? And what about the huge issue of those flare towers? Like the one they want to build in a residential neighborhood in West Goshen on Mary Jane Lane???

And then there are all those eminent domain whispers. Ugly, truly ugly.

I never thought I would say I am glad I no longer live in East Goshen, but given all the people who might be affected by this there (including friends) and in West Goshen, I am glad I no longer live in East Goshen.

The reality is those of us NOT in those municipalities are watching this, because this affects all of us potentially. And what do residents around here get as a benefit or upside? I am beginning to think not much.

I guess at the end of the day I am thinking Sunoco is just be sleazy at the expense of Chester County residents and residents all across Pennsylvania.

People should be able to say no.

West Goshen crowd boos Sunoco plan By Kendal Gapinski Daily Local Posted 4/04/2014

WEST GOSHEN – Sunoco Logistics Partners L.L.C. was granted a continuance Thursday night of its zoning hearing regarding a pump station it wants to put in at the corner of Boot Road and Route 202, much to the objection of hundreds of residents.

According to zoning board solicitor Mark Thompson, Sunoco originally appeared before the zoning hearing board three weeks ago and asked for the hearing to be continued to Thursday night. Between the last zoning hearing and Thursday, Sunoco submitted a request for continuance of the hearing. Thompson said he believed the reason for the request was to allow Sunoco time to find out answers to questions raised during the last hearing.

The project in the township, part of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline, includes the development of a pump enclosure, piping, valves and a vapor combustion system to be 34-feet high, according to the zoners….The pipelines would be repurposed to deliver natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale areas in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and New Castle County, Delaware….Resident Chris Pielli spoke out after the decision was made, saying the board should have rejected Sunoco’s request for a continuance, forcing Sunoco to start the zoning special exception process all over again.

“Let them reapply,” Pielli said.

The board granted Sunoco’s request for continuance, and the hearing will be continued on May 1 at 7 p.m. at the township building. The board said that Sunoco will be there to provide additional testimony and witnesses for the record, as well as give others who have been made party to the hearing a chance to present their case for the record.

Residents fighting this you need to write every elected official (and I would include all the gubernatorial candidates as there is a primary coming up) you can think of and also contact multiple media outlets. Give this issue the high profile it deserves. Check out the Castle Coalition.

Chester County deserves better than this, doesn’t it?

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will it be eminent domain and pipelines, sunoco?

20140331-190842.jpgSimple Shots Photos photo

A group in West Goshen is fighting mad and battling Sunoco Logistics and its plan for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

W. Goshen residents upset with gas pump station proposal By Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News POSTED: 03/30/14, 7:47 PM EDT |

WEST GOSHEN — Township residents are organizing against the construction of a proposed natural gas pump station, voicing outrage over possible health and safety issues from the facility.

“This doesn’t just affect West Goshen, but every community from here to Marcus Hook,” resident Tom Casey said.

Sunoco is requesting a variance from West Goshen at an April 3, 2014 zoning meeting to build a pipeline pump station with 34 foot ‘flare stack’ in a neighborhood at Boot Road and Route 202. Sunoco has similar requests in 31 municipalities across Pa as it transitions a cross-state petroleum pipeline to ethane, butane, propane liquid gas use.

Apparently one of the big fat sticking points per my sources is the flare stack proposal. I learned about the Just The Facts Please group from my friend Tim at Panewz:

Panewz.com: Gas pipeline wants fast track on expansion, pump station, flare stack approval in Pa

….Many pipelines across Pa were established with easements to carry petroleum when much of the Pa landscape was farmland. Today these pipelines pass through suburbanized communities.

Additionally, many residents are concerned about the conversion of the former petroleum pipelines to highly pressurized liquid gas and its combustibility. In some cases, residents aren’t aware that a pipeline, installed many years ago, runs through their neighborhood….One concern for residents is the pump or compressor stations that must be built along the gas pipelines to push the gas through. Some of these stations can be quite large, depending upon terrain and distance from the next station… Sunoco Pipeline is also applying for status as a Public Utility in Pennsylvania. See the application and a list of all Pa Townships involved in the Mariner East 2 pipeline expansion by clicking here.

If approved, the pump and valve control station buildings, above, that Sunoco says it would install on the sites, would be ‘exempt from any local zoning, subdivision and land development regulations’.

The company is also requesting that the applications be expedited because ‘full potential of Pennsylvania shale gas remains hampered by limited pipeline infrastructure’. The company has requested approval of this legal designation prior to the Public Utility Commission’s meeting of June 19, 2014.

The company’s application says the buildings and expedited service are needed for the ‘convenience and welfare of the public’. It also does not want one township’s denial of construction to hold up the entire pipeline.

A judge has already ruled in York County on Sunoco’s Motion for Survey Rights and efforts to condemn property in Eminent Domain. Read about it by clicking here.

Pa eminent domain blogger and Harrisburg attorney Michael Faherty has written ten reasons why, he believes, Sunoco will not succeed with the PUC in gaining Public Utility status and the power of eminent domain.

Alrighty then. The other meat of it? Sunoco apparently has a request before the PUC to be classified as a ‘Public Utility’ so the company can bypass all local zoning regulations and use eminent domain to take additional lands along the existing pipeline route? Apparently they are not a public utility when it comes to gas or something? So does that mean then they want carte blanche eminent domain powers? Sounds like it right?

The Facebook Page, Just The Facts Please, is trying to get more people to the meeting.

I think that eminent domain for private gain shrouded in a cloak of eminent domain for public purpose is what will occur if eminent domain for properties is attempted. I was told but have no proof that some are already are having to deal with whispers of eminent domain and to them I say FIGHT. I am somewhat astounded to hear how reluctant property owners are being bullied and isn’t that awful?

Look, our homes are our castles and our personal American dreams and personally I wouldn’t want big oil or the government to have a piece of my dream. (And I hope homeowners facing eminent domain know about groups like the Institute for Justice
in Washington, DC. They are a tremendous resource and much more.)

I used to be somewhat ambivalent towards this whole pipeline issue. But now, because of what I have heard happening in West Goshen and my former community of East Goshen I’m not so sure. And if big oil came knocking on my door I don’t think I could say yes. I am not going to judge anyone who has said yes, and I know some who have in the past, but I don’t think this is for me either.

Do we as Chester County residents get benefits of allowing drilling as we live in a state whose governor doesn’t have a tax (or much of a tax?) on the big oil companies having to do with what they drill? Ironically most of us don’t even have access to natural gas for heating because there aren’t a heck of a lot of those kinds of gas lines, yet they have been running an insane amount of pipelines. We are also on wells out here, so what happens to our drinking supply if they screw up?

I know you can’t take on everything but this is something at the very minimum worth going to a meeting to learn. After all a good portion of municipal meetings in Chester County are not televised.

I guess where I am on this is I hate government bullying. I hate eminent domain. I hate businesses attempting what Sunoco is attempting. I think I might even buy gasoline for my car elsewhere now. Wawa has better prices anyway. And most of all I hate that residents can’t just say “no thank you” if they don’t want a pipeline in their yard.

So if you have concerns, please don’t wait, go to this meeting this week. April 3, 7 pm, West Goshen Township Building. 1025 Paoli Pike, West Chester.

Judge Rules that Sunoco Pipeline Does Not Have Eminent Domain Power by Michael Faherty on February 28, 2014 in Pipeline Construction

The Top Ten Reasons Sunoco Pipeline Does Not Have the Power of Eminent Domain by Michael Faherty on January 22, 2014 in Pipeline Construction

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feds raid a horse rescue and dog tales too

cowsSomeone told me months ago they heard the feds (as in law enforcement) were looking at horse rescues in PA.  Can’t for the life of me remember who said this, it was too long ago.

Well lo and behold, that has happened. No it isn’t Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue or that Turning for Home out of Parx Racing run by that Barbara Luna and why on earth would you think that feds might be interested in little old them anyway? They are angels are they not? Do you sense sarcasm? Good.

I am sick of horse rescue. I love horses. I rode many moons ago, and don’t ride now and have never owned horses.  Some say that means I have no business saying boo about horse rescue, but I am sorry, horse rescue is the new puppy mill in Pennsylvania.  It is not really regulated and those who are supposed to keep track of horse rescues like that LAPs (Large Animal Protection Society) just seem to be asleep at the tractor or something.

And yup, sorry I am allowed an opinion on this.  And my opinion is there is a lot of money being made by different folks only it is hard to keep track of the horses, their paperwork, who is caring for them, who is responsible for them and all that.

Every time we turn around a new “rescue” pops up.  Some of them are retreads and contacts of already suspect rescues and some are new. I love the ones that say they are a business but also a rescue. Call me confused but are they businesses selling horse or a non-profit rescue? It is all very confusing and we’ve been over it a dozen times at least.

I would say the issues with horse rescues in Pennyslvania are legitimate given all the comments.  And to those who leave comments with problems with horse rescues please go to the authorities.  If the authorities won’t listen you need to stand up somewhere under your own steam as many others are doing and be counted.  I do not know what else to say.

Below is the tawdry tale of the FBI busting  Another Chance 4 Horses on Station Road in North Heidelberg Township.

FBI raids Another Chance 4 Horses in Berks County

69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published: Apr 30 2013 11:51:14 AM EDT                                 Updated On: May 01 2013 04:40:48 PM EDT

NORTH HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. -

Federal investigators raided a horse rescue operation in Berks County on Tuesday.

The FBI, acting on a federal search warrant, conducted the raid at Another Chance 4 Horses on Station Road in North Heidelberg Township.

Agents seized computers, cell phones, financial records, veterinary records and boxes of other items and documents related to the nonprofit operation and its sale and purchase of horses, according to an inventory list compiled by the agents.

 

For those dog lovers out there, yes there was a horrible case of animal cruelty again the other day in Chester County. It was in West Goshen and the kook claimed God told him to do it. Can you say schizoid?

Onto Justice for Argus and Fiona.  The trial of Gabe Pilotti is coming up unless it does a dance, and here is an update from Mary Bock:

Talked to the D.A.’s office today, it’s been we’ll over 2 months since Mr. Pilotti shot Argus and Fiona and he still has the shot gun in his possession. As each court date comes and goes I am starting to lose faith in our justice system.  How can this be that Tom Hogan was so passionate in his press conference announcing the charges they were going to file against Mr. Pilotti and now the D.A.’s office cant even seem to have the shot gun removed from his possession.  I’ve been given excuse after excuse as to why they are not in the drivers seat.  It is completely discouraging!   Our justice system at its finest.  I’ve been quiet, I’ve held back but now my patience is no more and I feel like my family and all of the people who have supported us have been taken advantage of and made to look like fools.  :(  We have new dogs that we love very much, but we haven’t forgotten our old loves who were brutally shot by a sick man who then bragged about his conquest.  Hoping and praying that our justice system will do what it is meant to do.
I just pulled up the docket and wow I get also why she is frustrated. When is the trial? Is it still May 15th or will they say yes to the defense motion to move it to 6/17/13? Why is there a bail hearing on 5/7/13? Why hasn’t the gun he used to shoot the dogs been confiscated? Does the District Attorney of Chester County care about this case? Animal cruelty cases?
When it comes to Justice for Argus and Fiona what in the hell is going on? It’s a little hard to tell so if you can find out from the District Attorney please let everyone know….
The wheels of justice are VERY confusing.

stealing from the dead

I caught this report from NBC10’s Rosemary Connors the other day: Someone Steals From Veterans’ Graves: Police seek the public’s help to locate missing bronze flag holders

 

….West Goshen Township Police want to know who stole dozens of bronze flag holders from about 60 graves at Saint Agnes Cemetery on Pottstown Pike.

The flag holders, which often mention the war that the veteran served in, were possibly stolen so that the bronze could be scrapped.

Authorities were first alerted to the thefts on Monday after  several military families noticed that the flag holders were missing and the flags were simply placed into the ground next to their loved one’s grave, police said Thursday.

Police tell NBC10’s Rosemary Connors that the markers are worth about $3,000.

 

Graveyards and these markers are all too common easy pickings for thieves looking to trade in scrap metal or even graveyard memorabilia for lack of a better term.

This happens all too often and it is not only a desecration of someone’s final resting place, I just find it despicable to steal from the dead, let alone those who served our country through various conflicts and wars.

I know people who volunteer their time to not only see that these graveyards all over are tidied up, but I know a couple of remarkable women who have even had lost graves marked and recognized.

Please note the photos accompanying this post are not from West Goshen.  They are from other at risk cemeteries in South Eastern PA.

It goes without saying that if you know who is pilfering from St. Agnes Cemetery on Pottstown Pike you should contact authorities, or encourage them to turn themselves in.   But the other reality is many of these markers are now gone, and if you can help the cemetery replace them, that would be really awesome.

Also note that all over Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties there are abandoned graveyards.  Churches closing, development, and life have caused this.  It behooves a community to save and preserve these final resting places.  People always portray churchyards and cemeteries as macabre places.  They are in fact, more often than not, places of great history and worthy of respect and care.

Here is the Daily Local on the thefts:

WEST GOSHEN — About 60 bronze memorial flag holders were stolen from grave sites at an area cemetery earlier this week, according to the West Goshen Police Department.
Police said the flag holders, typically placed at the graves of military veterans, were stolen from the St. Agnes Cemetery in the 1000 block of Pottstown Pike.

“This is very disturbing,” said Peter J. Buono, commander of the American Legion Post 134 in West Chester. “These people should pay. Every extent of the law should come down on them.”

 

Buono described the thefts as shameful, adding that the flag memorials at the grave sites of veterans are the last honor given to American service members and should be treated with respect….. Cemetery employees told police that family members began to report the missing items on June 25 when some noticed that the bronze holders were removed and the flags were placed in the ground……  Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to call the West Goshen Police Department at 610-696-7400.

 

does penndot CARE about all the accidents on route 202 near boot road?

A couple of days ago, on June 16th a woman was killed on Route 202 near Boot Road.:

Crash kills woman, closes Rt 202 for 9 hours

June 16, 2012|Breaking News Desk

An overnight crash involving a box truck and a car has left a 25-year-old woman dead and closed the southbound lanes of Route 202 near the 30 Bypass in Chester County for nine hours today, reopening only after the morning rush hour ended.

 

The crash occurred about 1 a.m. on the highway near Boot Road in West Whiteland Township.

A 25-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene of that accident.

Today, the accident involved a pregnant woman in a hit and run, trapped in her car.

Pregnant Woman Victim in Rt. 202 Hit-and-Run

Police want to talk to the driver of the SUV that fled the scene and to any witnesses

By   Karen Araiza NBC10
|  Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012  |  Updated 9:34 PM EDT

A pregnant woman is the victim in Tuesday’s hit-and-run accident on Route 202 in West Goshen Township, Chester County, Pa.

The accident happened at noon on the Northbound side of the highway near Boot Road.

The victim’s SUV rolled over after hitting a guide rail and she had to be extricated from her car. She was taken to Paoli Hospital. Police told NBC10 the woman is 7-months pregnant.

I first saw this accident news on the Daily Local’s website and felt nauseous when I read:

Police said emergency crews arrived at the scene to find the pregnant driver of a 2004 Honda CR-V trapped in her vehicle, which had rolled following a collision with a guard rail.

 

Members of the Goshen Fire Company cut the roof off the vehicle to free the driver…Police said witnesses saw a white SUV entering the CR-V’s lane just prior to the crash, causing the driver to swerve suddenly to avoid a collision. The driver of the white SUV briefly pulled off the shoulder after the CR-V crashed, but then left the scene.

 

Police did not provide the name of the victim.

 

The Westtown-East Goshen Police Department is attempting to locate the driver of the white SUV, who can contact police at 610-692-5100. Any witnesses who saw the accident are also asked to contact police.

 

A pregnant woman could have lost her baby today.

I don’t like Route 202.  I don’t like how games are played with highway repairs on Route 202.  I don’t like the GIANT digital billboard along 202 in Westtown.

But what I don’t like even more are the stretches of 202 that are constant and chronic accident zones.  And the one I hate the most is the cattle chute that runs by Boot Road.

There are too many accidents.

Since I became a Chester County resident, I feel like all I hear about are accidents on this stretch of Route 202. In fair weather and foul.  During the day and at night.

So why are there all these accidents?  Is it just there are THAT many awful drivers? Or should the design and design flaws of a PennDOT responsible road be considered?

One of the things I love about PennDOT is if you have ever driven up to Harrisburg, you should check out their glowing edifices to themselves.  PennDOT seems to spare no expense for their offices and buildings up around the state capital.  Yet, they never seem to make many of our roads quite as safe as they should be.

I think this stretch of Route 202 is one of those stretches of road, PennDOT needs to look at.  Our highway system is multifaceted and multi-flawed.  Many roads have outlived their original engineering design because there are just that many more cars on the road – the best example around here for that would be Schyulkill Expressway.

Incidentally, I just discovered the name of the woman killed on 202 near Boot on June 16th.  Her name was Meghan McGuire of Berwyn.

It’s time to make PennDOT look at this section of road.   There are just too many accidents in this one particular stretch.

And please, if you were on 202 today and saw this accident and have any information on the driver who hit and ran, please call the police.  That mama to be and her baby deserve better than they got today.  Who is the State Senator around here?  Is it Andrew Dinniman?

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

what’s up with coach touchy feely in the west chester school district?

In January, West Chester Area School District ballyhooed the maintaining of their bond rating.  But as I have said before, if you are an issuer of debt and rated by issuer paid ratings agencies, in a sense you get what you pay for.  Wonder what today’s news will do to their rating/reputation?

Yes, I make no bones about being skeptical and somewhat jaded about public school systems in PA, and yes I am a pure product of private school.  But truthfully, that occured because at the time my parents worried about what we would learn and not learn in Lower Merion School District, and I am forever grateful they sacrificed so we could go to private school. Not that private schools don’t have coach issues – Shipley had one a year ago when a squash coach found himself in the hot seat for having an affair with a student.  I lost track of the case in September, so I am not sure what happened to the guy James Civello (the former Shipley coach)  in the end.  If I am reading the court docket correctly, he has not yet had his trial.

I am indeed critical of public school systems, but heck, all you have to do is follow a non-profit action organization called LMVUE and other grass-roots groups that fight for public school education and you will get an education of your own.

When I was first introduced to the West Chester Area School District I was appalled by what they called education in the elementary and middle schools.   Let’s start with how much bullying is tolerated in the elementary and middle schools, how they don’t really want gifted student programs, and many other issues.  What happened to the language programs in at least the elementary schools? What’s up with in essence, science in a box?  I saw first hand via a friend, what qualified as “homework” in basics like social studies.

I said it before and I will repeat myself, all I see out of West Chester Area School District is a dumbing down of students and paper pushing.   I remember spring a year ago  something coming out about rankings - I don’t remember West Chester being so hot when it came to stacking up side by side against other school districts.  According to the Philadelphia Business Journal the top ten included Tredyffrin-Easttown, Radnor, Lower Merion, Unionville-Chadds Ford, Central Bucks and others.  But not West Chester. West Chester according to the statistics was 41 in this ranking of PSSA scores.

But now we flash forward to the giant high schools, and today’s news brings the news of a touchy feely coach.  A swim coach at Bayard Rustin High School named Kenneth Fuller, who judging from NBC10’s 11 a.m. news report lives in West Goshen has been accused of doing some non-swimming stroking with an underage girl he was coaching.

O.k. …ICK.  Just ick.  I do not and never will get older guys who have this Lolita fixation.  And it is not the first teacher I have heard of doing this, as these things are unfortunately in the news far too often.  And then of course there are the incidents which never make it to the news or get reported beyond family.

For example, way back when I was in high school I used to do an occasional appearance as a catering extra hand with a friend from high school – it paid better than baby-sitting.  This one summer she and I were extra servers at a very Main Line wedding.   I was either 16 or 17 and one of the guests, a man at that time I believe close to 30 if not a little older came onto me.  It was very creepy.

What was even more creepy is when he called me up at my parents’ house a few days after the wedding like he was some teenage boy asking for a date.  Unfortunately for him, he was one of those obnoxious touchy feely men who was a known quantity on the teen girl circuit, and he had actually approached another girl I knew at the time.  I made it simple for him, I told him if he ever called me or bothered me again I would tell all my friends, my father, and all my parents’ friends.  That worked like a charm.  I never outed the guy, and see no point now since in essence my friends and I rendered him a failure to launch at the time and scared the crap out of him, but when I would occasionally see him as an adult at things with his wife and family I was hard pressed not to vomit.

So, this whole West Chester incident, while disgusting if true, is not surprising.  You just never know what lurks behind a seemingly nice package.  Human nature is a funny thing.

However, I did find what the West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon said this morning on the 11 a.m. NBC10 news cast somewhat disturbing.  When he was speaking about the incident he said that this Kenneth Fuller was not a teacher, just a coach.  News flash: IT DOESN’T MATTER.  What matters is that the school district hired him and if the allegations are proven true, they had this guy around students.  And besides, isn’t coaching in a sense, teaching?  Instead of teaching academics, coaches instruct/teach with regard to various sports?

Schools always protest when one of these relationships is outed that they did background checks, criminal checks, etc.  So I have to ask, is there something else they should be doing, or perhaps paying for more thorough background and criminal checks? (there are different levels of checks – I know because I used to perform them as part of my previous job.)

This distinction made by West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon that Fuller “was not employed as a classroom teacher.  Like all employees, Mr. Fuller had state and federal criminal history clearances and child abuse clearances before he was hired” just doesn’t sit right.  To me it is like there is a subliminal message or the school district preparing to do a Pontius Pilate.

Parents need to start asking this school district some tough questions.  And if they don’t get the answers they need, they should work to get a new school board and administration.  Yes, these incidents happen.  But the true test is in how the school district handles this issue, not just how a purported criminal act is investigated and disposed of through the judicial system.  The school district needs to be accountable for their staff….no matter who they are.

As for this coach, shame on him.  The trust of students and young people in general is a very big deal.  Not only do you have a part in shaping the adults they will become, you are the adult in the equation.  If this is true, this coach deserves what he gets.

Here’s the media on this:

VIDEO

NBC10: Swimming Coach Has Sex With H.S. Student: Cops

A swimming coach in the West Chester Area School District is accused of posing as a student’s father to get her excused from class so he could have sex with her.

By  Jackie Gailey
|  Thursday, May 17, 2012  |  Updated 8:22 AM EDT

A swimming coach at Bayard Rustin High School in Chester County was arrested Wednesday, he’s accused of having sex with an underaged student.

Kenneth Fuller, 47, is charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of a minor and related charges.

He was arraigned late Wednesday night and only NBC10 was there as he was escorted to Chester County Prison after failing to make his $250,000 bail.

Fuller met the female victim away from the school on three occasions between April 27, 2012 and May 2, 2012 and had sex with her, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan…… pretended to be the victim’s father and had the victim excused from school for a fake doctor’s appointment so that they could have sex, according to Hogan…..NBC10 has obtained a letter sent home to parents by West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon. It reads in part:

“Mr. Fuller had been employed in the West Chester Area School District since the 2009-10 season as the coach for the boys and girls swimming team.  He was not employed as a classroom teacher.

Here is the press release from West Chester Area School District:

Rustin HS Boys and Girls Swimming Coach Arrested

May 16, 2012

Dear Parents,

I am very sorry to inform you that Rustin High School Boys and Girls Swimming Coach Ken Fuller was arrested this afternoon for allegations of committing Institutional Sexual Assault, Corruption of a Minor and related charges according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Fuller had been employed in the West Chester Area School District since the 2009-10 season as the coach for the boys and girls swimming team. He was not employed as a classroom teacher. Like all employees, Mr. Fuller passed state and federal criminal history checks and child abuse history clearances Mr. Fuller had no reports of any improper conduct during his employment with the district.

We take student safety very seriously and are cooperating with the District Attorney and police. Mr. Fuller has been notified that he is not permitted on school property, nor permitted access to any of our students.

We are in no means trying to be inflammatory by releasing this information to parents.   We are trying to be as sensitive as possible to the students involved and impacted by this, however we would rather you hear this news from the school district first, before reading about it in the newspaper or social media. We respectfully ask for your sensitivity to this school community and privacy to the students impacted

The school district is very concerned about these charges and very much regrets any concerns they have caused students, parents, staff and our school community.

Parents who want more information about the investigation should contact Ms. Elizabeth Pitts in the Chester County District Attorney’s office at 610-344-6801. Parents may also contact my office at 484- 266-1018. We will provide counseling to students and staff.

Thank you for your support during this troubling experience.

Dr. Jim Scanlon

Superintendent of Schools

Posted: Thu, May. 17, 2012, 3:00 AM

By Sam Wood

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A West Chester high school swim coach was arrested Wednesday on charges that he posed as a swimmer’s father, plied her with beer, and had sex with her.

Kenneth William Fuller, 47, head coach of the Bayard Rustin High School swim team, was charged with felony sex assault and corruption of a minor.

“This was a despicable violation of trust,” said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

A member of the team, a teenage girl, told police that Fuller took her to a Kennett Square hotel April 27 and gave her “multiple” beers, court documents state. They had sex twice at the hotel, the documents allege.

On May 2, officials at Rustin received a phone call from a man who identified himself as the girl’s father, telling them the girl had a doctor’s appointment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, according to court papers. After leaving school early, the girl met Fuller at the same Kennett Square hotel for sex, the papers state.

 

By MICHAEL N. PRICE mprice@dailylocal.com

Posted: 05/16/12 07:08 pm Updated: 05/16/12 10:36 pm

A 47-year-old West Chester Rustin High School swim coach was arrested for allegedly having sex with an underage student-athlete, the Chester County District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.