spotlight: the oscar winning movie the catholic church probably wishes you would NOT see…but you should

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Spotlight was the movie we had all heard of sort of, but not really. It wasn’t featuring Marvel superheroes, didn’t have R2D2 and Hans Solo skipping across galaxies far far away, it wasn’t embroiled in Hollywood’s color war. It is a movie so incredibly freaking profound that if you DON’T see it now, you are missing something extraordinary, significant, moving and very, very real.

Spotlight is the story of the Boston Globe Spotlight reporters who did the unthinkable: they took on the Catholic Church in Boston in 2001-2002 over pedophile priests.  This dogged team of reporters and an editor who assigned them the story did the unthinkable at the time. They actually took down Boston’s powerful Cardinal Bernard Law.

Cardinal Bernard Law, now retired, much like has happened with these pedophile priests was essentially sent away and not to a life of reflection and penance, just read here:

Where Is Cardinal Bernard Law Now?

WBUR Boston

 Updated September 22, 2015,

…when critics call for more transparency and accountability, it’s Cardinal Bernard Law they often point to.

Law was forced to resign as bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston after a series of stories by a team of investigative reporters at The Boston Globe found victims and uncovered documents showing that church authorities had protected pedophile priests from prosecution — a story that will be revisited by the release next month of a new movie called “Spotlight.”

But despite the disgrace that befell Cardinal Law in Boston, he found a comfortable and influential second career at the Vatican….

The Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative reporters had revealed that Law and other bishops before him had covered up the priests’ crimes against children, then moved the priests to new parishes and, as it turned out, new victims.

But during that press conference, the cardinal insisted not once, but three times that it was all in the past. Not a pedophile priest was still in service.

“When he made those statements, we knew they were false,” says Globe editor Walter Robinson, who was on the team that uncovered the abuse….Like Nixon, Law said he wouldn’t go. But eventually he had to — a grand jury was afoot and both priests and parishioners were demanding he step down….

A poster boy for the sexual abuse scandal in one country, Law came to another, the Vatican, in May 2004, where protected and assisted by friends and allies he actually became more influential than he had ever been in Boston.

Pope John Paul II named Law archpriest of one of Rome’s four papal basilicas, and its most magnificent: Santa Maria Maggiore, the first church dedicated to Mary….Law, who had only given up his position as archbishop of Boston, was allowed to keep his seat in the College of Cardinals….

Law is about to turn 84 — he’s grown old in Rome, listening to Italian church bells.

Now retired, he can no longer cast a vote to elect a new pope or to recommend the appointment of new bishops. But he still wears a red hat and, by all accounts, lives comfortably in the earliest Renaissance palace in Rome — the Palazzo della Cancelleria, or the Papal Chancellery.

This article, which was a news story September 2015 is long and well worth everyone reading either before or after seeing Spotlight, the movie. And thanks to The Boston Globe, you can now read once again  the story behind the ‘Spotlight’ movie.

This movie Spotlight moved me like no other in years, truly. It wasn’t cute or sweet or a date night movie. It was raw and real and while you don’t want kids to see it they almost should.

And I so got this movie.

Why?

Because for years, I lived in a neighborhood in Lower Merion Township loaded with small children and a slightly creepy priest who is now convicted and jailed pedophile priest (now inmate number KL8296 look him up)

After the Boston Globe and their groundbreaking series of articles other major cities in the US with major Catholic Church strongholds started investigating and publishing.  It happened with the Philadelphia Inquirer. I believe 2003 was the start.  You can’t seem to find that far back on the the Inquirer’s website, but Bishop Accountability has articles dating back from the paper to December 2003.

And it was a Sunday in 2005 that I remember a front page story of all of these priests in the Philadelphia Inquirer and all their photos. That was when a slew of information was released in a grand jury report.

There was the priest from my neighborhood. He had been placed on administrative leave in 2003. Eventually he was de-frocked. But no one watched this guy, he wasn’t on Megan’s List, he roamed our neighborhood. And when both his mother and brother passed he inherited a very valuable apartment building property in our neighborhood and lived there.

He drove a Lexus with vanity plates even while a priest. He was even seem driving through our neighborhood in warmer weather in what we swore was an older gold Rolls Royce convertible in a panama hat.

If you flash forward to 2012, you can find on Bishop Accountability an entire file on this guy written by Ralph Cipriano for the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog:

“Father Ed” … liked to hang out at Smokey Joe’s and drink beer with college kids. He was into sleepovers with altar boys. He also preferred to spin records as a DJ rather than say Mass….The priest, a defendant in the archdiocese sex abuse case, pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, and involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old, and faces a prison sentence of 2 1/2 to 5 years. But that guilty plea didn’t end Father Ed’s role in the ongoing archdiocese sex abuse case.

…A psychological examination of the priest concluded that Father Ed had a bi-polar disorder, and a history of alcohol abuse. A psychologist wrote to tell Msgr. Lynn that Father Ed was also “dealing with shame.” It happened after the victim confronted Father Ed at St. John Vianney. After treating the priest, the psychologist wrote Msgr. Lynn that he had “concern about other victims.”

(here is a PDF of a cache of the original referring blog: _The Avery Files_ _ Big Trial _ Philadelphia Trial Blog )

Yup this guy was not only roaming free until he went to prison (which I wrote about on this blog in 2012) but when he went for “treatment” it was to that St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown. I was told this is a quasi-open campus? And is it near schools?

So anyway there is a scene in Spotlight where one of the reporters realizes a “treatment center” for problem priests was around the corner from his home.  It made me think of all of this.

I wrote in my 2012 post :

In late October 2009 while at a political event for a potential local candidate from my old neighborhood, he approached me.  Why me I will never know, because we weren’t buddies.  He was always filed as be polite and keep on moving whenever I saw him.   He sat there with a beer in his hand and told me how he was being targeted blah, blah, blah.  There I sat with camera in hand not knowing what to do.  It was horribly uncomfortable to listen to someone you did not believe for one hot moment with empathy.  I remember saying to him his choice of venue to discuss his current events with neighbors and locals was inappropriate at best, and if he was innocent, the truth would will out.  Ick.

What I did not write about at the time was later speaking to the person running for office and people volunteering for him asking them if they ever read the newspaper because at that point in time, that guy had already been on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer and in a slew of other articles. Would you have wanted this guy at a political fundraiser where kids were actually in attendance? (Again he eventually pled guilty to abuse charges in 2012.)

(Here is a giant docket on the PA Courts website about these pedophile priests in the Lynn trial.)

Flash forward a couple of years and  it  also brings to mind a conversation I had with a then very pompous and sour Monsignor at St. Catherine of Siena in Wayne a few years back during of all things a viewing before a funeral.  At the time, I was planning a move to Wayne and that would have been my new parish had I chosen one.  This man was all up in my face about getting married in “The Church.” In March 2011, that parish had a priest removed on suspected abuse charges. And it was the one who had given me a “talking to” as it were.

Once again it made me think about the irony of the Catholic Church being worried about my immortal soul, yet for how long in the greater Philadelphia area did they move pedophile priests around like some sort of twisted shell game or chess pieces on a board?

And when I moved to Chester County I was reminded of even more pedophile priests removed from Chester County parishes. They were written up in an article in Main Line Media News in 2011.  They were from St. Isaac Jogues, Our Lady of the Assumption (rectory), and St. Patrick’s parish right in the Borough of Malvern. At the time NBC10 Philadelphia did a great report on this (CLICK HERE).

I will freely admit as a Catholic that I still can’t reconcile what my church and the Archdiocess of Philadelphia did over the years. I can remember when I was in my early twenties when a guy who was dating a friend of mine at the time recounted a story of a abusive priest when he was growing up. The obvious pain when he spoke about it at the time was palpable. Can’t remember the guy’s name – it was too long ago. But I can still remember the pain on his face as he spoke of it and the experience of basically no one much believing him.

These abuse stories have grown and multiplied over the years locally, internationally, and nationwide. They aren’t going away, yet the Catholic Church here in the US really doesn’t want you dwelling on them.

The Catholic Church is by it’s very history a very powerful machine. Politically, socially, religiously. If you speak out about the Catholic church even in a local setting, you are absolutely guaranteed to make someone uncomfortable.  In 2014 when a monsignor involved in the Philadelphia cover-up was released from jail, reporter Karen Heller summed it up beautifully she wrote the Philadelphia Archdiocese was prolonging it’s own suffering.

The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015 once again placed the sexual abuse spotlight back on Philadelphia (as well as placed an interesting spotlight on the very ambitious and often seemingly cold fish Archbishop Charles Chaput.) The Pope’s comments in Washington DC on the topic were criticized and I am sure Philadelphia’s Chaput wasn’t thrilled the Holy Father met with abuse victims.

This month, a couple of weeks ago another pedophile priest (this time from SS Simon and Jude in Westtown) was sentenced to 20 years in prison. (See February 19, 2016  Philadelphia Inquirer article by Jeremy Roebuck.)

And after watching Spotlight, I think everyone should say “thank you” to both the real reporters from Boston who broke this wide open in 2002 but to the actors and filmmakers who told their story so incredibly well. No wonder these reporters won a Pulitzer in 2003.

This also should make us respect and want to keep our print newspapers across the country alive. So many newspapers are essentially on life support.  They tell our stories, they risk their own careers and lives to tell a lot of these stories.

Here is what CNN said this morning about the Oscars for Spotlight:

(CNN)“Spotlight” is basking in the golden glow of Oscar….when the last award of the evening was read, it was the little film about Boston Globe investigative reporters digging into a sex abuse scandal involving Catholic priests that was left standing.

“This film gave a voice to survivors,” producer Michael Sugar said. “And this film amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.”

It was one of just two awards “Spotlight” took home. The film also won for Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s original screenplay.

I will freely and fully admit that it was the Oscar buzz and subsequent win that made me sit and watch the movie “Spotlight”.

I urge everyone to watch this movie regardless of their faith, but especially if they were raised Catholic.

When you are raised Catholic unless you experienced the horror of clergy sexual abuse you have a hard time wrapping your head around the topic. At first. Then you realize some of the accused are a little too close to where you call home. Then you wonder why your Church expects the fealty and obedience of the devout and faithful is so hypocritical. It’s quite a dilemma.

I myself am Catholic. I was raised Catholic. I am still Catholic but have I been to Catholic church in a few years? Except for funerals, no.  Do I consider myself lapsed? No, even if some would disagree.  I am still a Catholic but I have somewhat lost faith in my church.  How have they protected the children with their ongoing cover their ass? How are those actions God speaking through them?

I can’t answer that. Maybe someday I will. Until then, I know where God is and that anyone can speak to him, you just have to believe.

I am sure this post will be a bit heavy for some, and I am sorry for that.  But seriously? Spotlight really mad me think about this whole thing again. Go see it and if you live in Chester County support non-profits like Justice4PAKids.

Thanks for stopping by

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hey east whiteland, linden hall is dying over there, do you care?

linden hall dec 2015Linden Hall is dying by the day.

When you drive past it westbound in the curbside lane on Lancaster Pike you can see all the now broken windows (see photo from December 2015 I posted when I first saw them breaking) and the rain and winds which raged outside the other day have me mindful of the fact the building envelope is kind of pierced to the elements in parts.

I have this fear (right or wrong) that this developer will eventually come before East Whiteland hat in hand about some sorry story of “how they tried ” and then I fear Linden Hall will be no more.

East Whiteland like Tredyffrin has like no real historic preservation ordinance or HARB or anything do they? They have an outdated list of what is supposed to be historic.

The historic commission claims on the township website to save things but what recently? Within last decade? Five years? Last year? They post no meeting minutes or records that I can find on East Whiteland’s website which is rather disappointing and it is what lends to their reputation deserved or not that they are hands off or invisible, right?

I bring this up because look what is happening with Old Covered Wagon Inn located on Lancaster Pike in Strafford in Tredyffrin. They have no historic preservation ordinances or HARB either, do they?  And they have active preservation efforts and support of the supervisors to save a 250 year old plus gem of a building.

I don’t want to be negative but East Whiteland has a lot of really cool history. In addition to Linden Hall, two other places come to mind: Loch Aerie and what is left of Ebenezer A.M.E. graveyard (church is a ruin).

If they are going to allow so much development how about balancing it with a little historic preservation?

So….back to Linden Hall. I have been scouring what limited information is available online on East Whiteland’s website and apparently, Linden Hall’s East Whiteland approvals were supposedly based on restoring the historic structure known as Linden Hall? I have been told those approvals are *supposedly* legally binding (my jaded self always believes in loopholes since the township has nothing much in the way of historic protections). Maybe people should ask for copies of approvals? And in East Whiteland does every development has to post a bond or collateral to make sure the developer honors their agreement to the township?

The developer got the approvals then sold the Linden Hall project to another developer, and East Whiteland needs to make sure that the builder honors everything agreed to, right?  And thus far all I hear is the sound of the wind whistling through Linden Hall’s  broken windows.   Anything I have found publicly available online refers to the development and traffic signals and walking trails but not the preservation of actual Linden Hall the historic structure.
9 10 14 supervisors minutes (refers to Linden Hall )
sdrummond@eastwhiteland.org
rorlow@eastwhiteland.org
bholmes@eastwhiteland.org
Anyway, I don’t know WHAT East Whiteland can do to ensure whichever developer is responsible for the actual Linden Hall in the Linden Hall project preserves the old inn structure  since part of the development was sold after those approvals were obtained.
But given the weather we have had and the fact the building was in poor shape BEFORE the windows started getting broken, I figured I would put it out there again.

Thanks for stopping by.

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should municipalities be allowed to sell off parts of public parks?

12472521_1288480304498962_6317939821284350831_nWorth mentioning – there is an email circulating in Radnor Township in Delaware County concerning an old house and a Township Park owned by the taxpayers of Radnor. The property is called the Willows.

In this email the sender addresses a neighboring development and the residents looking for their support – the development is called Inveraray.

Inveraray is a bit pretentious, check out their website. They scream landed gentry but are they really? It’s quite the stucco land of Stepford actually:

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Inv 2

Anyway this person says that they want to buy the house and a couple acres around it, actually close to three and move there. I am not naming this person by name, their name is somewhat immaterial. The important thing is not the WHO but the WHY. They claim they are looking for a larger house in Radnor Township:

For the last several months I have looked for an opportunity to move into a larger residence with my family…. where I could again reinvest in an older property and turn it around to current premium standards we all love and admire.

 

This past week I submitted two proposals to purchase or lease for long term the Willows residence plus 2.25 + or- acres surrounding the residence for my family.

 

My plan proposes to reinvest in the manor house well more than $1.0 million dollars to modern livable standards.

 

It is my hope that this would be a win-win solution that would not cost the tax payers nor would it cost your beautiful neighborhood.

 

After all we, long term Radnor Residents paid for the 47 acres to stop development but certainly did not purchase the estate because a family lived in the main house.

I have had some astounding emails shifted my direction over the years but this one takes the cake. It’s like “Hi fellow rich people I want to move into your sandbox, won’t you kindly help me and I will have you over for tea?”

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The house is part of a public park. How could Radnor Township legally sell something that belongs to the taxpayers the could affect the rest of the park usage?

If this person wants to live like nouveau landed gentry, that’s terrific. Let them go buy a building lot over at Ardrossan. There are lovely lots for sale, correct?

And when you research how the Willows was acquired by Radnor (see Willows Ordinance ) you see it was done via condemnation, or eminent domain. In this case it was public purpose. They paid what? Like a million dollars for the land and house in 1973?  Was that even worth that back then? And it was all for a PUBLIC PARK.  So if that is how the land and house were acquired and flash forward to 2016 and they sell off the house and acreage around it, in the visual middle of the park to a private person can’t it be contemplated that Radnor Township is turning eminent domain for public purpose to eminent domain for private gain?

How can that even be considered as a solution???

10366001_1288480357832290_6348205829566592359_nThe Willows has been a problem for Radnor Township probably mostly due to past mismanagement of the property, and a lack of consistent maintenance, correct?  They refer to the house as a “mansion” and it was never a mansion it was just a house. And it is NOT a huge house with landmark status or special historic preservation status – it’s not as if it is on the NTHP list.

I actually know quite a bit about the house because a friend of mine went to high school with a grandson of the last owners of the house and I know a woman who is the granddaughter of the architect. The granddaughter of the architect (Charles Barton Keen) suggested at the beginning of 2016 that the house be razed and turned into a folly. (Read this letter.)

This isn’t happening in Chester County, no, but I am somewhat astounded at the premise.10402709_1288480391165620_9078402028615408367_n

A park that is a public park should remain a public park. And if a tenant can’t be found in the can afford to do the necessary upgrades to the house which I think would probably include updating the electrical wiring to more than knob and tube and making sure there was no lead paint or asbestos on site and Radnor Township can’t afford it why keep the house standing? Mind you I never say that about old houses but this is one of those situations where I just shake my head.

Yes it’s an old house but it’s not even spectacular when compared to other old houses in the area that are still standing. It has no real historical worthiness. It is not one of the important works of Charles Barton Keen. It’s just a house.  And I have always been curious as to the financial circumstances surrounding Radnor Township purchasing this in the first place. I don’t think anyone has ever seen a report of that.

If this house was at the edge of the park, the public park, I probably wouldn’t write this post. But this house is in the middle of a very large park and that sets a dangerous precedence for public parks anywhere.

Of course the issues with the house at the Willows also points to a larger problem and inconsistencies in historic preservation at local levels in municipalities through out Pennsylvania.

I love old houses. I like but not love the Willows as far as the house goes. But I love the park in which it sits and other things like the Skunk Hollow Community Garden. Turning The Willows into a giant donut by carving out the center so a private party owns it and then could even flip the property is not a solution, it’s a big problem waiting to happen on so many levels.  Putting a nursery school in the Willows is also a problem. And why is that nursery school really leaving St.David’s Church after all these years and who else were they speaking with who may have said no thank you?

The perfect solution was when a caterer wanted to rent the Willows and use it as a dedicated destination site. That was perfect because well, weddings were held there for years. But that fell through because of funding issues, didn’t it?  And that brings this full circle to the fact the Willows in past administrations of Radnor Township was not truly maintained. I mean who knew until recently about the electrical wiring still being so old? That is a fire hazard, correct? And what about the other issues? Is their lead paint and are their lead lined pipes for example? Has anyone ever heard about that definitively?

12742356_1288480367832289_375092838788559525_nThis isn’t an 18th or 19th century mansion. It’s a house. It was a house built in the early 20th century in the California style by a father for his daughter when she married. The Main Line has lots of those wedding gift houses and another one that actually was even more lovely and left to rot before it was razed was the former Clothier house on Buck Lane in Haverford across from the Haverford School Football field.  The land was empty for a long time but  new construction planned for it. Not sure if anything ever got built.

The Willows house has been a long time folly for Radnor Township, so maybe now is the time to actually consider it becoming one? Because if Radnor commissioners fall down the slippery slope of selling off land and a house taken for the public in 1973 as public propose to a private party that is a slippery slope to a great deal of unpleasantness. And my greater concern is it sets a dangerous precedence in Pennsylvania.

At the end of the day, sign me very glad I can’t see this hot mess from my window.

Here is the Main Line Media News Article:

Resident offers to buy mansion at The Willows for private home

Leslie Morgan of Wayne, a commercial real estate developer, has offered to buy the house plus two surrounding acres or lease it and make it her family residence. Morgan did not disclose the amounts she offered the township but said she would make her financial information available to the township solicitor or finance director.

“I would say to the taxpayers and residents of Radnor that it would be a shame for the Willows to be torn down or for the park to be overtaken by over 160 non- school age children due to a lease termination of their private business (the nursery school).”

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hanging out with nbc10

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I admit it…I have a news station I watch more than others because well…because I have friends who work there.

Today I got to hang with my pal Deanna Durante for a while as she stopped over briefly while out covering Chester County in the rain and fog.

And I got to see StormForce10. And yes, much like a little kid old I loved seeing the truck! And the cameraman was very patient with me too !

Watch where Deanna stopped between 4 and 6 pm tonight on NBC10 Philadelphia!

going, going, gone

 

Malvern Meeting House 2016I have taken quite a few photos of the old Malvern Meeting House over the past few years. It is no more. Thank you East Whiteland for getting the eyesore demolished. It was a horror show and over the past few years reports of homeless living there and in 2012 it was the subject of a local news story on illegal dumping.  The Malvern Meeting House as seen in the past few years will not be missed.

Malvern Meeting HouseIt is kind of sad because in the 1980s it was the subject of a rave as far as the food in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Wherever It Is, The Malvern Meeting House Is Splendid

POSTED: April 20, 1986

With good home cooking and modest prices, the Malvern Meeting House Restaurant is a splendid restaurant. But it’s not in Malvern.

The restaurant, which has been in existence for 22 years, is three miles west of Malvern, in Frazer. Regardless of its location, it is worth a visit. But reservations are essential, for the restaurant is immensely popular and even on weekdays lines extend halfway around the building.

The secret of the restaurant’s success is not hard to discern: good food, friendly service, an informal atmosphere and low prices.

Homemade snapper soup ($1.10 despite the menu’s 90-cent list price) was among the best around. Offered as a daily special on my visit, it was a full- bodied soup thick with turtle meat, carrots and crunchy pieces of celery, so rich in flavor there was no need for the accompanying bottle of sherry.

Fried calamari ($3.50), a tasty appetizer, was a small plastic basket heaped with delicate pieces of lightly fried, breaded squid served with a spicy-hot cocktail sauce for dipping….

The restaurant is relatively small, sharing a room with an active bar that accommodated in a loud, smoky atmosphere some of the weekend crowd waiting for tables. The dining room has one brick wall and one of rough-hewn planks festooned with a variety of old farm implements, including a pitchfork and a baling hook.

Another potluck collection hangs from exposed ceiling beams – a dinner bell, a wine barrel, a cowbell, an old pulley, a long-handle dipping ladle, moonshine jugs and ice tongs, to name just a few. Bright red tablecloths and white paper napkins provide a welcome splash of color.

Service was prompt, even speedy, but no wonder, considering the number of people waiting for a table.

MALVERN MEETING HOUSE

RESTAURANT

536 Lancaster Pike, Frazer, 644-0220

Open: Lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; dinner 5-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., until 11 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 1-10 p.m. Sun.

 

Malvern Meeting House before Sign fell

From once good food and a fun place to meet up to a pile of rubble. Sad.

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the outsourcing of america hits chester county: qvc shipping jobs to poland

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QVC is or was Chester County grown.  They proved along with HSN that you could push a lot of product onto the American public via television. I have known people who worked for QVC and people who have made money off of QVC.

They aren’t my kind of retail conglomerate so I have not ever been a true QVC shopper.  I have hit the outlet store on Lancaster Pike in Malvern/Frazer in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center maybe three or four times. And every time I have I have regretted it because the stuff falls apart. I have, however, seen tour buses pull up to this outlet store. QVC is like a religion, much like HSN. I don’t get it.

Today the news hit the media that QVC is sending 220 jobs or better to Poland.

How ironic that I have three Polish friends with graduate school level education who left everything behind to seek the American dream and an American conglomerate is now taking the American dream away from a couple hundred employees and sending the jobs to Poland.

QVC Laying Off 220, Shipping Jobs to Poland

Some had been with the company since the 1980s, a source said.

QVC is laying off 220 people as it ships parts of its HR, IT, finance and legal departments to Krakow, Poland. Approximately 100 people at the company’s West Chester, Pa. campus are expected to lose their jobs. There are also 40 layoffs in the U.K., 70 in Germany and 10 in Italy.

QVC CFO Ted Jastrzebski broke the news to Pennsylvania workers on Wednesday, leading some long-time employees to get emotional, according to a source familiar with the situation. Some of the terminated employees had been with the company since its very first years in the late 1980s, the source said.

The layoffs are expected to begin no earlier than January 2017 and will be a gradual process.

A QVC representative said in a statement that the company is “always evaluating the structure and scale” of the organization and now plans to establish a “global business services organization” in Poland. 

 

Horse twaddle. That is corporate speak for “it’s cheaper over there.”

People who have been employees for not just years but decades being given the boot.

QVC is a large employer in Chester County and I can’t help but wonder if they will eventually just leave the area altogether? After all they laid off close enough to the same amount of people this past fall, correct?


QVC announces layoffs at county distribution center

By Brian McCullough, Daily Local News 9/9/15

WEST GOSHEN >> Electronic retailer QVC Inc. recently filed notice with the state that it plans to lay off 147 people from its distribution operation in Chester County.

Company spokeswoman Diane Zappas said employees in the affected operation were informed of the layoff plans in March. The reductions, which are ongoing now, are scheduled to be completed by Nov. 9, according to the filing on the state’s Department of Labor & Industry website.

Zappas said the affected employees work in a “very small” distribution center that is no longer efficient to operate.

Where will West Goshen Township and Chester County be if QVC continues to ship jobs out of our area?  Remember 2008?

QVC layoffs begin, most in W. Chester

POSTED: November 13, 2008

Television retailer QVC began a series of layoffs yesterday that would result in the elimination of about 900 jobs – most of them in West Chester – over the next 14 months.

The announcement came after a rough quarter. QVC’s third-quarter revenue, ended Sept. 30, decreased 3 percent to $1.64 billion. …..The cuts at QVC, combined with other reductions, will save the company $30 million to $40 million a year when completed, said Michael George, QVC’s president and chief executive officer. He said the company remained “highly profitable.”

QVC told 160 employees today that their jobs were being eliminated immediately. About 110 were at the company’s corporate headquarters and studio in West Chester and its operations center about two miles away.

QVC will lay off 500 additional people at its distribution center in West Chester over roughly a year, starting after the holidays. Its West Chester call center will close around March 27, leaving 250 additional people out of work. Employees in that building who perform administrative functions will keep their jobs.

In 2008 and in September 2015, the layoffs went to Florence South Carolina, correct?

Now they are going off shore. They are putting loyal long term employees out in the street in a still crappy economy. Why bless their hearts, right?

I think there should be a special place in hell for US companies that ship jobs overseas and to other continents.

One of the first companies I became aware of doing it was American Express. India I believe at the time. It was maddening. Limited grasp of the English language and a script they would not deviate from.

Every time I call Aetna my health insurer I have to make sure I am not in the Philippines call center.  Same thing, limited grasp of American English and an unhelpful script they won’t deviate from.   If you have McAfee for computer protection, a good portion of them are off shore too. The list goes on. Pick a company a big company and call. Comcast has them too. I remember that is what finally made a family member dump Comcast.

All these companies that are born and bred in the USA which want us to help their profit margins ship jobs away from the United States.

Here is a list from CNN of US companies that outsource

CNN List of US Companies That Outsource

And how many of these companies that take US jobs off shore and outsource get state and federal monies every year?

This is a great article to read:

The Outsourcing of American Jobs Hurts the Economy on Every Level

 

Also interesting reading? This new Forbes article:

Feb 19, 2016 @ 09:33 Why Candidates Prefer Bashing Trade To Kissing Babies

Dan Ikenson Contributor

 

And while this is happening ironically the Fashion Institute of Technology will be honoring QVC in the spring. And the QVC spin doctors have also had Canadian Media Placement about how QVC is readying it’s Ontario distribution center.

But for all the success of QVC what does that matter for these additional employees some of whom could be friends and neighbors whom they are kicking to the curb for greener overseas pastures?

There is even a Boycott QVC page on Facebook. Maybe they are onto something?

How can we support a company that is outsourcing their jobs to another country?

Just saying.

 

I leave you with Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs from his days on QVC:

adaptive reuse and historic preservation becoming a reality in west chester

Farmers_and_Mechanics_BuildingSaw this article in the Daily Local today:

Work to begin on latest West Chester hotel project

By Brian McCullough, Daily Local News

WEST CHESTER >> A developer who fell in love with the Farmers and Mechanics building while he was still in high school is about to begin renovating the historic structure at Market and High streets in the borough’s central business district.

A. Thomas Myles IV and three partners in the Myles Development Co. plan to turn the building into a boutique hotel with 40 rooms, a restaurant on the first floor and a rooftop bar.

Myles bought the building in November 2013 for $3.2 million, and he expects to spend $8 million to $8.5 million on the renovations….Work, which will include extensive interior renovations to turn former offices into hotel rooms and restaurant space as well as pointing and cleaning the outside facade, will begin next week. It is expected to be completed in the spring of 2017, Myles said Monday.

Couldn’t you just jump for joy if you are preservation minded?  (Check out these cool photos from Thomas Myles website HERE.)

Thomas Myles is home grown – a 1990 graduate of Bishop Shanahan and according to the Daily Local his love affair with this building started in high school. (Thank goodness people like him still live in Pennsylvania.)

370-Farmers-Mechanics-Then-Now

This is the best thing I have read in the paper when it comes to development in forever.  Usually we hear about how developers want to tear things down – cue structures like the Old Covered Wagon Inn located in Tredyffrin in Strafford.  (The Old Covered Wagon Inn was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer the other day too!)

If Mr. Myles has the time, we have lots of buildings that need saving – cue in addition, Loch Aerie and Linden Hall in East Whiteland, for example.

I am so happy to read this in the paper as I recall what could have been the fate of this glorious building. (read this old article penned by my pal historian, artist and author Catherine Quillman.) In 1997 one of the times the building was sold, the prognosis was somewhat grim for Farmers and Mechanics (see article from Philadelphia Inquirer archives.) We had a little hope in 2014 when the idea of converting this building to a hotel appeared in the Daily Local. But then I lost track of the issue of this great building and was so pleasantly surprised to read today’s article.

Farmers and Mechanic West Chester PA Post Card Circa 1907 (from eBay)

Farmers and Mechanic West Chester PA Post Card Circa 1907 (from eBay)

The Farmers and Mechanics Building is West Chester Borough’s  historic “skyscraper” . Completed in 1908  in 1908 it is described everywhere as a  “six-story skyscraper building, with a basement and penthouse in the Classical Revival style.”

The top floor of the Farmers and Mechanic Building once even featured a roof top garden. The exterior is faced in Indiana limestone and yellow hard face brick, with terra cotta decorative details.  A fun fact is that in  1918 when the Boy Scouts were founded in Chester County, the Farmers and Mechanics Building apparently became their headquarters.

During World War II, the building was used to watch for German planes. (Seriously)  I have seen Chester County Historical Society photos of people up in what looks like a cupola in the roof watching for planes during World War II.

It has been on the National Register of Historic Places  since the 1980s. See the old application here:  Farmers and Mechanic Building Historic Register Application.

This is just so cool. And actual adaptive reuse. A historic building preserved. YIPPPEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!Farmers and Mechanic post card

Can we have a little more of that please in Chester County? And hey other developers? See? You don’t have to be so stuck on crappy new construction development. there is life other than Tyvec and slap dash construction. You can actually try adaptive reuse. Imagine that, right?

Bravo Mr. Myles, bravo.