well hello opdenaker, would you like to dance?

One month ago, I wrote about A J Blosenski which was sold to Waste Connections. My email went all the way up the corporate ladder. I spoke with some really nice people at Waste Connections, whom I thought had straightened out my neighborhood’s trash dilemma but apparently NOT.

Once again AJ Blosenski just arbitrarily skipped recycling in my neighborhood. I don’t do trash left on the street in the summer. I don’t do trash left on the street at any time when you’re paying for a service so I’m actually pissed now.

I was mildly annoyed before but then my husband looked in our account and although Waste Connections said we were going to get credited for the three weeks of missed service we experienced before, we never got a credit and they were happy happy happy to take money today for the next month yet they skipped recycling and didn’t call didn’t email didn’t text. And our service has been reduced to one pick up a week, which is really no big deal, except there was no reduction in cost. There was a vague promises of an extra trash bin, but that never materialized and then there’s the issue of the three weeks of missed prior service we were supposed to get credit for and we never got credit for.

Fool me once shame on you. For me twice shame on me. That being said, Opdenaker, would you care to dance? Yes I am calling them tomorrow. I had checked y’all out before because you offer rather good recycling. Like all other refuse and recycling companies you also have mixed reviews. But you aren’t Whitetail Disposal whom I found incredibly offensive with the hard sell door to door ignore the no soliciting signs during COVID.

I have been pretty good trying to give Waste Connections/ AJ Blosenski a chance to improve after I wrote my last post.

And when you tell customers that you will credit them for services not rendered, that kind of makes you less likely to stay with a company as well.

I am not in the mood for trash issues again.

meet meadowbrook manor in west west whiteland

I have friends who live in Meadowbrook Manor in West Whiteland. It’s a wonderful little cluster neighborhood of adorable little houses. Many of the residents have lived there for decades.

These residents have seen a lot of change. They have literally seen development gobble up big parts of Exton, and West Whiteland in general. They are also pipeline victims and part of hell on earth ground zero of those blasted pipelines.

Some folks from Meadowbrook Manor in West Whiteland have asked me to share the photos you see in this post and the videos. And they sent me a little statement as well which I am sharing with my readers verbatim:

Meadowbrook Manor built in the 1950s before anyone ever thought about floodplains or storm water management. We are one of (if not the) lowest point in the Whiteland valley. There are two streams that wind through our development; Valley Creek and an unnamed stream. As big, new developments have popped up along Valley Creek, one has to wonder how all the building and impervious ground cover impacts those of us downstream.

Yes, every new development must submit stormwater management plans to the township, but do those plans only protect the new construction from flooding? It is my understanding that new developments are not required to make things better for those of us downstream, but they certainly are not supposed to make it worse. Who is measuring and how is that determined, because things have definitely gotten worse. I have lived here for 26 years. The house next door didn’t flood even with hurricane Floyd, but in the last three years, it has had up to 10” of water inside. The poor young couple who bought it, has been displaced three times in three years. The house next to that has suffered the same fate. Some may blame climate change, and the intensity of recent storms, and I’m sure that is part of it.

The township has expressed sympathy, but we need action.

We need township engineers to follow the path of these streams and find places where more retention basins can be added to slow the tsunami of water that is engulfing homes with each heavy storm.

So won’t you be their neighbor, West Whiteland? When you look at this you realize exactly why Chester County needs to do better. And yes Chester County Planning Department this is why you all need to do better and get an executive director who is from Chester County and lives here. And then there are our state representatives and state senators who need to step up and get the damn Municipalities Planning Code updated and to protect our communities better.

I see all of you in Meadowbrook Manor. I just wish I had a magic wand.

steamy friday treasure hunting

Melangell Antiques

Melangell Antiques – House & Garden – 1133 Pottstown Pike West Chester PA – open Tuesday they Saturday 11 AM – 6 PM – Magical !! 610-624-4577

But wait…there is more….

Surrey Consignment Shop today – always treasures waiting! Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM. 810 Lancaster Ave Berwyn PA 610-647-8632

same old song, different day

Toll Townne on Route 100

Oh, I know people are tired of my posts about development. I don’t really care because in my opinion, all of this infill development combined with other elements like climate change are a recipe for disaster in Chester County.

I was speaking to someone recently, who had served on a planning commission in the region about all of the development in Chester County recently. They interpreted what I was trying to articulate as I was against new residents in Chester County. And no that couldn’t be further from the case, it’s about the number of residences.

Our communities are on overload. Our infrastructure can’t handle the current pace of development, and neither can things like our hospitals and schools and that’s not fiction. That is a fact.

Infrastructure would be not just the roads. Infrastructure includes things like our first responders and other municipal personnel. A lot of municipalities don’t have rental inspection ordinances, and a lot of these developments are purely rental. The increasing number of rental properties is also creating a more transient community and it is also driving the real estate to the point where people can’t stay in their own communities.

The people getting priced out of their communities are various business service workers, for example. Individuals getting priced out are also like the people that serve on our police forces, in our fire companies, and who teach our kids. In addition there are the elderly who raise their families here and wanted to end their days in their community. Or the younger folks, who may be newly married, and are looking to start and raise their families and put down roots where they were raised.

We have seen what this has done to the Main Line. And frankly, these are just the same developers moving west. They don’t care about our communities and they will pay lip service to whatever, and a lot of municipalities are dumb enough to think that ratables will get them by. And possibly Emperor’s New Clothes Syndrome, yes?

From township to township they march. Gobbling up acre after acre. And as acre after acre are gobbled up, in addition to the aforementioned issues I have pointed out about infrastructure stresses and overcrowding the school districts, look at today’s thunderstorms and flooding. Yes, climate change.

Flooding today

All of these townships, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pay lip service to the environmental issues we are seeing increasing day by day. If they really cared they would not only do something about pipelines in Chester County and across the state, they would update the Municipalities Planning Code of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to protect our communities environmentally. But they don’t.

Until then, people from municipality to municipality in Chester County need to go to their local meetings. You can go to the meetings via Zoom, or you can go in person, but you can’t just complain on social media or expect your friendly neighborhood blogger to carry all of your water.

Downingtown PA today

And even if you can’t go to every meeting, that’s fine, we all have lives. Just take a stand and be counted. It’s your right as a resident. Even more important, is to have a basic awareness of what is going on in your municipality and so many people do not.

Ship Road Development

Recently I was somewhat floored when someone asked in a social media forum what was going on around Ship Road and Route 30 in West Whiteland. It was almost incomprehensible that people and even residents of West Whiteland have no idea what has been going on there and what has been planned there for almost 10 years at this point! Even if you don’t go to meetings, that’s a really big development issue that’s been covered in local media.

Ship Road Development

Something else that is cropping up all over are “rain taxes.” Essentially, it’s a direct result of other development and municipalities. It’s been raised as an issue in West Goshen and West Chester Borough, and other places. Well this showed up as also as a current hot topic in Tredyffrin:

Development has consequences. And the fact that we pay for those consequences comes down to simple economics as well because the developers take the profits from their projects and they simply move on to the next municipality leaving all the residents and taxpayers holding the bag. Bag men one and all is ok with all of you?

Ship Road and Route 30: Ground Zero in West Whiteland including development all around this development

Adaptive reuse and preservation is possible. Even with the rampant overdevelopment occurring in West Whiteland Township for example, you have bright, shiny gems of preservation in places like the Benjamin Jacobs house and the Benjamin Pennypacker House as but two examples.

People do love our old structures. They love our open space we need to do more to preserve that. We need to do more to preserve our communities as well as foster a sense of real community.

This development is not sustainable anywhere long-term. You can’t just continue to say build it and they will come because what do we do with all of the people what happens as we are replacing our farm fields with plastic townhouses or apartment buildings?

People on planning commissions and elected officials have drunk the KoolAid to a degree in so many municipalities. And the officials who haven’t drunk the KoolAid are then often outnumbered by those who have. And then the good guys get blamed along with everyone else. It’s a vicious cycle and problems are precipitated by other factors including a lot of people simply do not understand how the planning and zoning processes works and don’t seem to wish to learn.

People love to talk about what they don’t like. But people don’t tell their elected officials and local leaders and they have never attended a meeting. And now there are ways to attend meetings virtually as well as in person. Even I Zoom meetings. If you don’t want to speak in public you can often submit a written comment.

The more land that is gobbled up and the less open space there is and the increase of impervious surface coverage also is important because whether you subscribe to climate change or not, our environment is changing and water, flood waters in particular, will seek their own level. And voila, flooding. All this development means the water simply has no place to go.

So pick your poison people. Take a stand. We live here. We should have greater rights to help decide how our communities are preserved and shaped for the future. Real rights. And until we can get the bozos in Harrisburg to update the Municipalities Planning Code we can and should ask for every other protection we can legally get.

Our elected officials CAN implement conditions of approval that help our communities.

Our elected officials CAN enact rental ordinances.

Our elected officials CAN badger Harrisburg and Washington DC for more meaningful historic and land preservation…including protection for our farmers.

Our elected officials CAN say no to rezoning a property from commercial to residential. (Hey East Whiteland Township are you listening? You CAN say no to rezoning Clews & Strawbridge on Route 30 so there are fewer rental apartments including on Route 30, can’t you? But will you? )

The entirety of Chester County needs protection from overdevelopment. People, find your voices. Hold elected officials and municipalities accountable, but learn how to do it properly.

And above all else don’t become political pawns of political parties. Why do I say that? Simple. These issues are actually non-partisan. Make the politicians endorse all of you and your positions/issues out there. Stop endorsing them because all that accomplishes is you get them elected and then they dump you once they have gotten what they wanted: your vote. Your vote should be earned by them.

Have a good evening.

Please wake up Chester County. Before it’s too late.

happy pie accident

This is a semi homemade kind of a cooking post. Languishing in the chest freezer. I found a random graham cracker crust. I had been thinking of making a pie because I had leftover cherries and a couple of apples that needed to be used.

So I decided that I was going to make my fruit pie with my graham cracker crust. I let the graham cracker crust thaw, and while I was doing that, I got the crumb topping and the fruit prepared for the filling.

A fruit pie is not rocket science. It is fruit, sugar, lemon, or lime juice, and a few tablespoons of flour, or some people use tapioca. And spices if you’re adding any. In fruit pies, I like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.

First, I pitted all my black cherries. I will admit that is a bit labor intensive because I don’t have one of those handy little pitting machines. I added them to the bowl with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom. Not a lot of spices because it’s a summer pie not a fall pie — just enough to give it a delightful flavor profile.

Next, I peeled my apples and sliced them paper thin like I was going to make a Tarte Tatin. I added them to the cherries and the sugar and spices and added the juice of two small lemons. That’s what I had on hand I said that to the side.

For the crumble topping I used half a stick of unsalted butter, cubed, into little pieces, a handful of oatmeal, brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and flour. I used one of those fun pastry cutters to cut everything into a crumble status.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I had an oven preheating to 350°.

Pie assembly was very simple. I put the filling in the graham cracker crust. Next I patted in and slightly mounded the crumble topping over the filling.

**I assembled this pie on a baking sheet because I put pies on a baking sheet in the oven so if they bubble over, they don’t cause a huge oven mess**

My final step before the oven was using my silicone piecrust cover around the edge of the graham cracker crust, so nothing burned.

I baked my pie for about 50 minutes in my preheated oven, and the result was surprisingly delicious. I had never used a graham cracker crust before on a summer fruit pie. I actually like the way it turned out. I forgot to take a picture of the pie before I cut it last night so above is just a photo of a little slice.

I am sorry this is a little of this and dash of that recipe, but that’s kind of how I roll in the kitchen half of the time. But I am writing this down enough that I can repeat my happy pie accident.

The pie tasted great, and the graham cracker crust was a good complement to just a fruit pie. It also cut down the preparation time considerably since I didn’t make a crust from scratch.

Bon appétit 😋

meanwhile in west chester borough there is a slight environmental issue on marshall drive…

⁦‪West Chester Residents of Marshall Drive in West Chester Borough said OIL was pumped out from somewhere and ran down street into the storm sewer? This is NOT really cleaned up is it?

So West Chester Borough who did this? Who is responsible for clean up? Does this look remediated? Do your storm sewers run to streams?

And people who reported it surmise given the amount that flowed down the street a contractor must have pumped it from a basement? So I guess that means they were removing an oil tank or an oil tank ruptured or something? Is that stuff supposed to be pumped into a street or is it supposed to be pumped into receptacles and removed? Does anyone know who this contractor was?

Also, because we’re talking about something that is petroleum what does that do to the road surface if it’s not cleaned up properly?

Here’s hoping this gets figured out in West Chester Borough, right?

My final comment is I am not saying accidents don’t happen. Accidents do happen but it’s all how you react to them and this looks a little messy.

the mystery of the cameras in mazie b. hall park in tredyffrin

On April 20, 2023 residents who live in the Mt. Pleasant section of Tredyffrin started talking about cameras on trees in Mazie B. Hall Park.

At first people wondered if all of the parks in Tredyffrin were getting some sort of security cameras or if this was something to do with Mt. Pleasant? No one had any answers.

Well, reliable sources now tell me that the cameras have been removed by Tredyffrin, and apparently neither Tredyffrin Township public works nor the police mounted those cameras on the trees and how creepy AF is that? I mean after all, weren’t those trees facing the tot lot in that park?

A couple of residents apparently were also told that there is some sort of investigation going on? So maybe Tredyffrin should talk to the residents about this?

Sorry, not sorry but somebody randomly mounting cameras in a park facing a tot lot is kind of creepy is it not?

Can they track the camera owners somehow? Where were cameras transmitting to and why? What exactly was being photographed or recorded and why?

Just saying.

Calling Nancy Drew or even Scooby Doo. Where are you?

they had me at french maid costume….in west vincent

Excerpt from the 7/18/23 Board of Supervisors Meeting.

I don’t visit West Vincent Meetings very often. But I am thinking we have all been missing out. This week brought us the mysterious caper of the sexy French Maid’s Outfit. Apparently, some employee or someone ordered this on a township credit card a while back?

The supervisors didn’t seem keen on discussing it. I mean heck two out of the three used to be Republicans and didn’t leave because of Big Donnie Orange more like they weren’t wanted and people don’t mention that too often and we know THAT is not to be discussed, right?

…..But I digress. Easy to do in West Vincent and they have had a busy summer with flaming bodies from Brooklyn dumped on West Vincent Roads and such, right?

NY Daily News: NYC CRIME
2 Brooklyn men arrested for shooting death of drinking buddy dumped in the Pennsylvania woods and set ablaze: NYPD

By Rocco Parascandola
Police Bureau Chief
Published: Jul 06, 2023 at 9:02 am

Police arrested two Brooklyn men for shooting a drinking buddy and then dumping his body in the Pennsylvania woods and setting him on fire, police said Thursday. Luis Marroquin-Cerna, 27, and Rodolfo Lopez, 29, spent the night of June 18 at a bar with Rolando Blanco-Duarte, 32, police said.

At some point, the trio left the bar and went to a building on 41st St. in Sunset Park and got into an argument, and shot Blanco-Duarte twice, police said.

The suspects later drove the victim to a wooded area in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where they dumped the victim’s body and set it on fire, police said.

I still want to know why they chose West Vincent and it was not THAT remote a road, but compared to a city, I guess it was?

Back to the Oooh laa laa of summer meetings in West Vincent….

So I have NO idea what this is about or where this appeared, but would love to see a line item purchase for a French Maid’s costume wouldn’t you?

Many thanks to my friend for sending me a better recording than the township does. Go to the end of the meeting and
listen for the French maid.

Sorry not sorry but I have visions of West Vincent politicians going trick or treating as sexy French maids this Halloween, don’t you? I am sure two of those old dog politicians will have a fit of the vapors over lampoon below, but they need to revisit their US history. It’s allowed yo’.

Trick or treat all year round in West Vincent these days?

Au revoir!