Today just got seriously more interesting….a Dear DEP letter…..and a random act of DEP legal notices too?
Letter also uploaded HERE: DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK LETTER TO DEP
Someone asked me about half an hour ago which meeting in East Whiteland was featuring Bishop Tube this week. I said I thought only the Planning Commission and they asked me WHERE it was on East Whiteland’s Planning Commission agenda.
So I looked and lo and behold there is an AMENDED agenda…and Bishop Tube is postponed until the April 26th meeting.
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe it is just me, but could it be the shiny spotlight of public attention and outcry caused this?????? Or is it just a scheduling thing?
Recently we had Maya K. van Rossum opine in her professional capacity as the esteemed Delaware Riverkeeper. She has been a powerful and unexpected blessing to the concerned residents of General Warren Village. She showed up at East Whiteland Zoning a couple of weeks ago and then last week. (Other post found here “calling erin brocovitch”)
Over the weekend Maya contacted residents to encourage them to write Dinniman and Milne’s offices ASAP (see instructions here.)
So as residents are busy writing letters and calling the PA DEP and so on, East Whiteland Planning Commission pulls Bishop Tube from the agenda? (Bishop Tube was discussed at recent Supervisors’ meeting – CLICK HERE.)
We may never know but keep writing those letters and making those calls, right?
I have to be honest that while I have issues with the density of the development plan (even if it wasn’t being built on a toxic waste dump of a land parcel), where the issues never abate and concerns continue to grow is with the Pennsylvania DEP. They are the constant from day 1 with Bishop Tube, and I think they concern me most of all (they are being so Limerick here aren’t they?)
So that being said, residents need to keep on going to meetings and call the DEP (717) 783-2300 is the main number in Harrisburg. (484) 250-5900 is the number to the Southeast regional office in Norristown. And keep calling State Senator Dinniman’s and State Rep Duane Milne’s offices too.
Bishop Tube is a site that could be redeveloped, but in my personal opinion with much less density AND after MORE remediation than is currently being discussed because of those buried vats or whatever that the former employees talk about and who can argue with that???
I am guessing it is stay tuned on Bishop Tube, yes? But apparently Wednesday, residents get the evening off. For any questions of why they are no longer on agenda please call East Whiteland Township.
Final questions to leave everyone with: what does the EPA think of this site ? You would think they knew all about it, right? And what role or roles does politics play here and not merely local, but shall we say a larger scale?
Read this old Washington Post article about what TCE and other contaminants did to a town years ago:
Here we go again, I thought.
Our son is a junior in high school and in addition to the expected inundation of college literature via US Mail that makes election season junk mail look like nothing, even though we requested no college cold calls, we are getting them anyway. And then there are the hundreds of email solicitations.
So yes, back to what I am not comfortable with: these colleges and universities are cold calling minors.
They come in at odd times, like just now. Like other types of cold calls they are not particularly welcome and this latest invasion is enough for us to check out https://www.nomorobo.com/ as suggested by friends.
Lately we have had India generated robo-calls from McAfee, predatory credit card companies calling about who knows what services (they ask for people that don’t live here and never have- they must have a script that tells them to ask for random first names), bogus breast cancer charities, bogus veterans’ charities and my new favorite to tell me I am pre-approved for a “MedAlert” or medical alert device. The MedAlert people have called so often I filed a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission.)
But colleges and universities cold calling is a brave, new, and somewhat unwelcome telemarketing world for me. Most schools have current students who call. Take Temple University for example. They called a couple of weeks ago. The student sounded bored out of his tree, could NOT pronounce even our son’s first name, and mumbled to the point he was unitellagable. So much for good first impressions, right?
But today, Marquette University in Wisconsin took it to a whole new level I take issue with. They are paying for a professional telemarketing firm (they called themselves a professional research firm but it is the same thing) to cold call prospective students.
Yes, that’s right, a telemarketing firm calling on behalf of Marquette University wanting to speak to our child. We as parents have not given them permission to call, the child they are calling doesn’t want to talk to them. And I am sorry, even if Marquette was on any list they wouldn’t be now because of this.
And as a marketing idea, come on do these schools even know teenagers today? They communicate primarily via text and social media, so are they trying to call kids via Snap Chat as well? Kids today barely speak on the phone with family members, so why on earth do these schools think they are going to speak to their cold-callers?
I might get these calls occurring after a kid takes a campus tour, but as a preemptive strike? Not so much.
As a trend this is bothersome and borderline creepy. Every once in a while I ask these callers for their home phone numbers so I can return the favor and bother them.
Sign me tired of all unwanted solicitation calls.
Hot off the presses from The Delaware Riverkeeper! The Delaware Riverkeeper is urging residents to act now, and send letters as per below instructions to state officials – elected and appointed.
Dinniman’s West Chester office is 610-692-2112 and his fax is 610-436-1721
Dinniman’s Harrisburg office is 717-787-5709 and his fax is 717-787-4384
Milne’s Malvern office is 610-251-1070 and his fax is 610-251-1074
Milne’s Harrisburg office is 717-787-8579 and his fax is 717-787-1295
HERE IS A SAMPLE LETTER YOU CAN PERSONALIZE AND SEND TO DINNIMAN OR MILNE WHICH ANOTHER RESIDENT HAS GRACIOUSLY SHARED:
East Whiteland has a meeting this week where Bishop Tube will be discussed- Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM. It is the Planning Commission. Same meeting room as the Zoning and Board of Supervisors. 209 Conestoga Road, Frazer, PA 19355.
Residents need to pack the boardroom again. I know, I know it’s like a part time job but it is important that every board hear residents with their own ears, and you have a finite amount of time to be heard.
Today I learned I was the darling new topic of conversation of a talk radio host, and I thought well if they are going to talk about this blog, maybe they can talk about this blog wanting folks to help our farmers at Thornbury Farm, right? Maybe they can ask their listeners in Chester County and elsewhere to help Thornbury Farm or one can only hope, right? The media could really help these folks right now by talking this up, right?
Thornbury Farm is located on Route 926 and S. New Street on Thornbury Rd in West Chester. (you know a stone’s throw from where Toll Brothers wants to destroy Crebilly Farm?)
After the recent snow/ice/wind event, Thornbury Farm experienced some awful damage from the weather. Their greenhouse/hoophouse collapsed because of the snow. I have friends who own a very large nursery concern in Massachusetts and I am familiar with what they have to do during the winter to keep snow from collapsing their greenhouses. Sometimes the timing is off and you do not get to things in time. The result is the photo you see above and this is really expensive to rectify.
Friends of Thornbury Farm and the Spackman family have put up a GoFundMe page to help our neighbor farmers at Thornbury defray the costs, the seriously steep costs of correcting what Mother Nature has done here.
Please, they are an over 300 year old still working farm. They are super nice people who do a lot for the community. The weight of the snow was too much for the poor greenhouse. The snow has caused about $8,000 in damages and they have crops to be planted in the next three weeks, their heirloom tomatoes. This is literally live or die time.
Some folks have rolled up on Thornbury Farm’s Facebook Page and been downright mean to these people about the greenhouse. It is a high tunnel greenhouse made by Farm Tek designed for this area’s snow load. This was an unusually heavy snow load. These are structures actually used in Alaska. It just did not hold. The weight was too great.
So all of you people out there near and far who love organic produce and locally produced produce? Please help these farmers save their farm and get a replacement greenhouse in time to get their crops started at the right time. They depend on these crops to keep the farm going.
In Chester County our farmers support us every day with their goods and services. Please help these farmers with a small donation – every little bit helps. Please pay it forward.
If you prefer to call them and/or send a check or money order:
Thornbury Farm was founded in 1709 with a stone house. The “main house” is the first quarried home in Pennsylvania and was built using the property’s own quarry. On this location, there stood a log cabin that was built in the 1600’s. The original owner was a blacksmith who used the abundant limestone to make flux in an old lime kilm.
The house was added to approximately every 80 years. The serpentine adition with its main stair case was used as the first public library in Chester County. In the mid 1800’s, a kitchen was added with a beehive oven. The oven doors still exist and this room eventually became a dining room. Finally, a modern kitchen was added in the 1940’s.
Over the years, other buildings were added including a large stone spring house, a bank barn in 1740 and another farm house in 1812. The 1812 house and the main house were later used as stops on the Underground Railroad.
The Farm is the site of the final troop engagement of the Battle of Brandywine, the largest land battle of the American Revolution. It was during this battle that our flag was displayed and fired upon by the British for the first time. All of the generals were visible to each other and each side suffered heavy losses and casualties.
During the battle, soldiers from the Continental Army had run up the farm’s stream to avoid a crushing pincer movement by the German Hessian soldiers. Instead, the Americans became trapped between the Hessians on South New Street and the English on the other side of the stream. So many Americans were shot and bayonneted, it was said the blood flowed over two miles to the Brandywine.
It must be a slow news day if a radio talk show host can go from trying to connect with an almost 80 year old woman over her opinion on Villanova’s bridge and crosses to trying to hunt me as her friend and blogger….over something that she and I both talked about March 1st?
A recap: my friend is a senior citizen and a grandmother. She gives more to her community in a year via her generosity of doing than most people give in a lifetime. Her comment about the bridge was that perhaps a more ecumenical approach to the bridge was better in today’s world. She also had the thought of why couldn’t the crosses be more subtle, carved into the stone piers (bas relief) instead of challenging everyone over a public road.
Because my friend was interviewed by some media and expressed her opinion publicly, albeit very gently and politely, she has been demonized and vilified. Publicly, including in the media. So I decided to express my First Amendment Rights – I wrote about how I felt on Ash Wednesday.
Simply put, I agreed with my elderly friend. To me it seemed to be a common sense solution. I expressed my opinion about two weeks ago and today, much to my surprise and endless amusement here I was enjoying a cup of coffee this morning and my phone starts to explode—- “they are talking about your blog on the radio.”
At first I asked “Michael Smerconish is talking about my blog?” Except for listening to a talk radio guy I thought was really cool somewhere in the Lehigh Valley on the topic of eminent domain for private gain years ago, I don’t listen to talk radio, with the exception of Michael Smerconish once in a while, and even that has not been in the realm of recent.
So two friends who do listen to talk radio called after that – “1210 AM. Dom Giordano is talking about your blog.”
Ok my first response was puzzlement and “why????” Then I laughed.…Well…dayyyumn. You know your blog is widely read when they start talking about it on a talk radio show…and you also know it is a slow news cycle if they are talking about your blog on talk radio.
So I have heard of this guy Dom. But I don’t listen to him. Rush Limbaugh and Limbaugh lite aren’t my cup of tea.
But this morning, I am a topic of conversation. With all the news regionally and in this country, I am a topic of conversation? This subject is a continued topic of conversation? I tuned in out of curiosity and amusement part of the way through. Because that post expressing my opinion on a regional news story that is now old news a couple of weeks later. (I did not think anyone was still talking about it, truthfully.)
Then I swear I hear this radio host say how he was trying to connect with me to discuss my perspective? Does he have a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge to sell me too LOL? And he’s not interested in my opinion in the least. Let’s be real, I am just a daily dose of cannon fodder, so why would that be something of interest to me? I don’t need to be on the radio. The radio to me is for music on WXPN. Or KYW1060 for traffic reports when you are stuck in traffic somewhere. Or NPR or WHYY because they are intelligent and have diverse programming.
Also, no one reached out to me. He did reach out to my almost 80 year old friend a couple of weeks ago, and well, she did not respond. So because an almost 80 year old woman didn’t want to be his talk show victim, why not try with her friend who shares a similar opinion and is a blogger?
To clarify one of his comments I think was directed towards me, I do not live on the Main Line. I live in Chester County. And people who do live on the Main Line who have opinions that differ from his or anyone else’s on this topic are not bad people. They just have a different opinion.
Sorry, but no. I expressed my opinion March 1st, 2017. But thank you so much for promoting my blog! That was so super kind of you! I love my blog too!
As a talk show host, he has his audience he caters to, I get that. But does it make him feel better as a man to try to belittle women who share a different opinion on a topic? The honorable opposition I can respect but this? It’s kind of sad…but again thank you SO much for promoting my blog! If you like to cook and garden I write about that a lot!
Hugs and kisses Dom! Thanks for the free publicity!
In advance of the East Whiteland Zoning Hearing Board hearing continuation which will occur on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 7:15 PM at East Whiteland Township 209 Conestoga Road, Frazer, PA 19355 unless it gets rescheduled due to weather please see letter sent to the Zoning Hearing Board – YES that is a year typo in the letter, it happens. (Also read about Bishop Tube on Delaware Riverkeeper website HERE)
East Whiteland residents are so incredibly fortunate that Maya the Delaware Riverkeeper has taken an interest here (letter uploaded here to this website Delaware Riverkeeper Network ZHB letter 3.15.17 DRN comment with Attachments ).
Don’t just take my word, or the word of in many cases ill former Bishop Tube workers or General Warren Village residents, take the word of EXPERTS.
Bishop Tube is a site that could be redeveloped, but in my personal opinion with much less density AND after serious not minimal remediation, but again why not check with experts who are obviously concerned with this? Read what the expert says in the letter above…
Hey media, what are you waiting for? Maybe you all can get the DEP to come out of the shadows here? I still do not understand what it is they have actually done and what they are supposed to do? And why hasn’t more clean up been done since they announced they were watching it? Isn’t that like the DEP is looking the either way?
And again…..just so we are clear – I am not adverse to the site being developed with following caveats: (1) much less density and preferably a different and non-residential use (2) AFTER a lot more remediation than has been discussed – as in not just the soil being removed and replaced but dealing with the groundwater issues, right?
Also, for once the residents of General Warren should be taken into consideration, shouldn’t they? And the potential health, safety, and welfare of potential future residents?
One General Warren resident said the other day:
Just hiked the stream between Bishop Tube and General Warren Village. Our township officials need to go back and seriously look at what they are considering before approving.
All the promises by the township that Village Way will be nothing more than “emergency access” are likely alternative facts. Not like a bed of stone will be laid to provide this access. They will build a bridge. I really do not believe that type of investment will be made and not used. Maybe the township needs to consider access coming off of Three Tun Rd and coming in behind the oil company. The train bridge going into BT is posted 12’10” built in 1915 and visually crumbling. I can’t imaging how they will get in the equipment to tear down BT under that bridge or any other large construction equipment. Sure 2 vehicles can pass under this bridge but what about the 500/600 people who end up living back in there, how will they walk to the Giant? I didn’t measure but I can’t imaging a sidewalk under the bridge. Build your development and keep the Village out of it. Stop the bridge into Village Way.
Someone responded to that resident with:
What also cracks me up, because you know this won’t be in the brochure, I read in some document they are planning to put some type of vapor chimney in the units. Not for our common Radon issue, but for any other vapor release from the chemicals left in the ground at Bishop Tube. WTH???
Another resident said elsewhere:
We need it cleaned up right before building starts and that includes the groundwater below where the TCE now is !
There has also been a lot of chatter about the developer leaving if they do not get zoning variance but does zoning variance get groundwater remediation, etc??? I think the developer will get the variance in the end. I see it getting set up for a softball in the meeting replay of the recent supervisors’ meeting. But when Bill Holmes said it isn’t the end of it, he is right BUT residents with standing (General Warren) have to keep going to meetings because that is HOW you will get the site cleaned and get DEP to move.
I have to be honest that while I have issues with the developer and serious issues with the density of the development plan (even if it wasn’t being built on a toxic waste dump of a land parcel), where the issues never abate and concerns continue to grow is with the Pennsylvania DEP. They are the constant from day 1 with Bishop Tube. So that being said, residents need to go to meetings and call the DEP (717) 783-2300 is the main number in Harrisburg. (484) 250-5900 is the number to the Southeast regional office in Norristown. And keep calling State Senator Dinniman’s and State Rep Duane Milne’s offices too.
WATCH THE EAST WHITELAND MEETING – [CLICK HERE] Start watching somewhere around 20 minutes in. Are supervisors prepared to cave no matter what the risks to current and future residents? And DEP? Where is the DEP…..thank goodness for Environmental Action Committee because they at least seem to be in the residents’ corner, right? Seriously, does East Whiteland need Erin Brocavitch?
The PA DEP seems to say a lot about what they will not do, but I ask about what they should have been doing all along? Anderson Hartzell is the acting director of PA DEP in our area now, but no one has ever clarified the rather mysterious and abrupt departure of Cosmo Servidio in the fall? And remember how Limerick residents complained about the PA DEP being slow to act in 2010?
Read an old article from 1989 from the Washington Post called Forging a Covenant of Silence . Here is an excerpt:
WEBSTER, N.Y. — There are three vacant houses on the 600 block of Salt Road in this community east of Rochester, and those who live on the street wonder why their neighbors moved out and no one else has moved in. “All of a sudden I saw a moving van moving one family out,” said Ray Gerber, who lives several hundred feet north of the cluster of empty houses, now owned by Xerox Corp. “I worry about it.” “We’re in the dark,” said Grace Krasucki, another Salt Road resident. The empty houses — the result of a secret and costly legal battle — stand as a testament to the growing use of secrecy procedures in the nation’s civil courts and how that secrecy is hampering efforts by scientists and health officials to learn more about hazardous chemicals and their effects….In the fall of 1984, construction workers at the Xerox complex discovered discolored water during excavation. Xerox later learned that 63 pounds of trichloroethylene (known as TCE), a solvent used in cleaning and lubricating machinery, had leaked over a period of years from four underground storage tanks…. In addition to faulting Xerox for the TCE contamination, attorneys for the families alleged that their clients’ health had been affected by airborne emissions from the plant. According to sources familiar with the case, tests in the houses showed traces of a TCE derivative in the basements and the sump pumps. They also showed residues of two other toxic chemicals, styrene and selenium, in the soot that coated lawn furniture, the walls of their homes and their car windows.
I would be curious if the builder on this (Benson) actually has brownfield development experience? And wow check out the Google reviews. Not positive but then again these are the people who said let us build townhouses behind Linden Hall and we will restore Linden Hall, right? And what happened? Sold the land with approved plans and Linden Hall just sits and continues to rot, right? And then there is that whole thing brewing in Tredyffrin about Howellville, right? And the whole Kimberton Meadows saga which seems to persist?
Here – Kimberton Meadows saga worth reading about if they are slated to be builders of Bishop Tube’s new lemming village:
The group of homeowners says the development is not moving forward.