As 2018 draws to a close, what another long, strange trip it’s been. As is the case with every year, there were beginnings and endings.
This was a year where once again I found mankind in general a wee bit disappointing. Especially with the political vitriol. From coast to coast, print media to Internet to social media to television, it began always with the swirling inanity / insanity coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
One New Year’s Resolution? Just because he tweets, it doesn’t mean I have to read or listen. And for those of you who don’t like my opinion over the dictatorship in place, well cheerfully and with respect, you can stuff it. I didn’t vote for him, I have never liked him, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing meets charlatan and circus big top ringmaster.
I was a Republican for most of my life, perhaps when sanity returns I will be once again. Truthfully I think both political parties are screwy right now. I think Republicans and Democrats need to get back to the business of doing what is best for the entire plurality, not just selective factions. Our government was founded by the people for and of the people and it feels like a dictatorship meets turf wars. The anger that fuels this country is sick and twisted, and building a wall ain’t gonna change a thing.
In 2019, you don’t have to like my opinion or anyone else’s but we should be going back to the Founding Father’s and our rights to our own opinions. And respect for that lovely thing called the First Amendment. As a SLAPP suit survivor I know of what I speak, don’t I?
Our rights to expression and freedom of speech and the press are neither selective nor subjective. They are freaking inalienable and if you don’t like what someone says, it’s a big world with lots of opinions. And the right to have opinions. So if you don’t like something, move along, nothing to see here. (And that includes this blog.)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This is why I support groups in this country like the Institute for Justice.
And can we talk eminent domain? Eminent domain is a vile thing. 2018 saw the rally to Save Stoneleigh (Natural Lands/Villanova/Former Haas Estate/Amazing) from eminent domain (and I will note I had the first big regional editorial on the topic May 18, 2018 in the Philadelphia Inquirer.)
Well, we saved Stoneleigh and on Christmas Eve Eve we learned that Scrooge, I mean the Lower Merion School District, has started yet another eminent domain attempt. Is this the third time is the charm for Copeland and Lower Merion School Board and Lower Merion School District? 2017 was the attempt to go after Ashbridge Park, then Stoneleigh, now two other nearby properties that Villanova University was poised to purchase?
What remains to be seen is if Villanova will take this lying down. I hope they don’t. I hope Villanova University files suit against Lower Merion School District. Some may find my opinion surprising, but I think Villanova is a preferable neighbor when compared to Lower Merion School District and they aren’t wasting taxpayer money like the school district does every time they go on their vision quests of arrogance and greed.
Also 2018 saw all sorts of craziness when it comes to the Mariner II pipeline. Sinkholes, ruined wells, lessened property values, and raping and pillaging of Chester County. And a Governor of Pennsylvania who doesn’t give a crap but was the lesser of two evils in the twisted mid-term elections of 2018.
Finally, right before Christmas the residents of Chester County received a gift from District Attorney Tom Hogan when he filed criminal charges against Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners/Sunoco Logistics. What will happen now that DA Hogan has done this is of course anyone’s guess, but for 2019 I hope justice prevails. What has happened since this news broke is residents of Berks County pressuring THEIR District Attorney to follow Tom Hogan’s lead. Hopefully Berks, Bucks, and Delaware Counties ALL follow Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan’s lead, right?
Adelphia Gateway are you listening? If one pipeline is on our District Attorney’s radar, doesn’t it make sense he will keep tabs on all of them?
And speaking of pipelines, there is this thing (see screen shots on left) which floated by my Twitter feed. So Mariner II/Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer Partners are you ok with this? A homeowner essentially being threatened?
How is this O.K.? You bar people from parts of their own properties, and how is this O.K.???
How is any of this O.K.? We as residents are not benefitting here. What is raped from the land is shipped away from here to places like Scotland to make plastics, so what do we gain? And doesn’t that in fact make the eminent domain takings of land for pipelines more like eminent domain for private gain? And don’t forget about the bullsh*t fake public utility status and how is it politicians all looked the other way for that again?
2018 with the march of the Frankenpipe has done what exactly to benefit us? The workers aren’t even local guys – you can see it when you drive by job sites. And with all the work stoppages due to issues and fines, how is this pipeline safe? How are any of the pipelines safe?
As we move forward into 2019, we also need to look at Chester County municipalities and development fever. East Goshen, East Whiteland, West Whiteland, West Goshen, Tredyffrin, Easttown, and finally Caln Township come to mind immediately. So hey now? Elected officials? Who is it exactly you are representing again? From ginormous digital billboards to overly dense developments residents do not want (and destruction of open space and historic structures), who are all of you collectively working for? Us? Doesn’t feel that way.
And elected officials in Harrisburg? Do we need an act of God before you update the Municipalities Planning Code to offer Pennsylvania residents some protections, land and historic preservation?
Personally, it has been an interesting year. Lots of wonderful gardening and spending time with friends and family. It has been a year of reconnecting with friends I had not seen in a long time, and also closing the door on some other relationships. Cleaning house and recognizing who your friends are is not a bad thing. Introspection is good, and we do not need to be “friends” with everyone on social media.
I have rediscovered how local politics can be a blood sport out here, but can we say one of the roots of the cause can be when folks deal out good old-fashioned shady assed behavior?
I’m no fool, and I have my battle scars from just a few years living here. I’m outspoken and I’m a blogger. I don’t think you’re supposed to be either in the minds of some people. You are simply supposed to be some form of a Stepford wife. Or a bobble head.
I have done my time over the years of being the subject of gossip for being outspoken and a blogger and this whole theory of knives and knitting needles. And I have been the target of behavior that is so incredibly malicious and hurtful directed at me mostly because I was different from the way they were, or even because I just did not like them.
I think adult social bullying is the worst, and I truly think that a lot of people don’t even realize they are doing it. Suffice it to say, human beings can be so incredibly cruel to one and other.
I think 2018 will go down in the history books as a year where everyone, everywhere was totally mean to each other. As I have said before, I do believe a lot of this has to do with the stage that has been set in Washington DC. People are so angry from coast to coast, and here in our little corner of the world you see it as well.
2018 will end with two people still missing whom we have come to know through the people who care about them. Geoff Partridge of Villanova and Anna Maciejewska Gould of Malvern. Today is #MissingMonday and I hope these people are located.
2018 saw a year where our family lost a beloved pet. As a matter of fact many dear to me lost pets this year. The unconditional love and joy they bring us are like nothing else in this world. Remember the pets who have gone over the Rainbow Bridge with a prayer to St. Francis and support local animal rescues.
Although 2018 has been a tumultuous year from coast to coast and locally, it is not without bright spots. People are good even in the midst of bad. There are those who offer hope and bright spots when others have disappointed you. God may close doors, but always look for that window he left open.
I will tell you honestly I am not a big New Year’s Eve party person and much like St. Patrick’s Day, I would rather be at home.
When I was younger people would look at me funny when I said this. I suffered through many a New Year’s Eve at loud parties that did not suit me.
One of my favorite New Year’s Eves was in the late 1980s. I was taken to a funny as hell off-Broadway show called Lesbian Vampires of Sodom. Bizarre title and it was (in my opinion) one of the great NYC theater experiences. I laughed from beginning to end. Pure camp, very funny.
The show was at a small and legendary playhouse in the East Village – the Provincetown Playhouse on McDougal Street. Sadly, after being ruled eligible for preservation status, NYU essentially demolished one the most historic theatres in New York City a while back. The history didn’t matter there, either.
This New Year’s Eve long ago was a New Year’s Eve where some of my girlfriends were seriously pissed at me for leaving the fold and NOT going to a New Year’s Eve party with them. It was an eventful evening for a few of them that New Year’s Eve. I remember one of my friends met her future husband at the party I blew off for off-Broadway and the East Village of NYC.
But seriously? Usually I am fast asleep waaaayyyy before the ball drops in New York City’s Time’s Square. And at least in my 50s it’s quite alright to stay at home. Even from the Mummers Parade.
I have rambled far long than I intended to today. My humble apologies, but sometimes the words come pouring out. I will close by wishing all of you have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve. Cheers to 2019, and farewell to 2018.
Carla, here’s to a happy and healthy new year to you. Thank you for being sooooo caring about the history and beauty of our earth. Here’s a toast to the you for 2019. If only the township commissioners and the township lawyer could feel the same way about Caln.