as long as hedge funds own the local newspapers, the future of journalism is grim.

What started me down this twisted path this morning was opening my email and opening up the email from our local paper, The Daily Local News to see what the local headlines were. And the headline had nothing to do with Chester County news this morning. It was basically a glorified press release of a tobacco based business opening in West Reading, which is in Berks County.

I will state for the record I have nothing against this business and Berks County I wish them luck, but I live in Chester County and when I opened my email that’s supposed to hold local news headlines it was a glorified press release from a business in Berks County somebody had turned into an article and the reason it was turned into an article is because there are so few reporters left for any of these local papers and they are supposed to just churn things out. Yes churn.

In 2011, Journal Register Company was bought by Alden Global Capital after coming out of bankruptcy. Alden is a hedge fund that specializes in distressed debt assets. The journal register was based in Yardley and owned lots of newspapers, including in our area like the Daily Local, Main Line Media News, Morning Call, Delco Times, etc.

See snippet from 2021 when they bought Morning Call up in Allentown, which was another terrific paper:

The Morning Call: The Morning Call, rest of Tribune Publishing’s newspapers now owned by hedge fund Alden


PUBLISHED: May 25, 2021

Allow me to share this article from NPR about Alden Capital:

NPR: When this hedge fund buys local newspapers, democracy suffers
Updated October 18, 202111:58 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Rachel Treisman

Have you heard of the hedge fund Alden Global Capital?

If you’re a reader of local newspapers — particularly the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun or New York Daily News — you’re going to want to make sure the answer is yes. That’s because the fund is stepping in to buy — and then gut — newsrooms across the country.

And that has consequences for democracy, as journalist McKay Coppins writes in The Atlantic. Below are highlights from his conversation with Morning Edition‘s A Martínez. 

NPR reached out to Alden for a response. A spokesman took issue with the entirety of the story, and laid out a long list of questions attacking the integrity of the reporter, The Atlantic and some of his sources without addressing some of the more specific claims within the report.

Research shows that when local newspapers disappear or are dramatically gutted, communities tend to see lower voter turnout, increased polarization, a general erosion of civic engagement and an environment in which misinformation and conspiracy theories can spread more easily.

Coppins notes that there’s even some research indicating that city budgets increase as a result, because corruption and dysfunction can take hold without a newspaper to hold powerful people to account….Coppins describes Alden as a specific type of firm: a “vulture hedge fund.” It has figured out how to make a profit by driving newspapers into the ground, he says, since Alden’s aim is not to make them into long-term sustainable businesses but rather maximize profits quickly to show it has made a winning investment.

Some of these papers likely would have been liquidated if the fund had not stepped in to buy them, as Alden’s president told Coppins. But that’s not true for all of them.

The Tribune Company (which owns the newspapers mentioned above) was still turning a profit when Alden bought it, but the hedge fund immediately offered aggressive rounds of buyouts and shrunk its newsrooms in the name of increasing profit margins….A recent Financial Times analysis found that half of all daily newspapers in the U.S. are controlled by financial firms, and Coppins says that number is all but certain to keep growing.

“The question is, will local communities decide that this is an important issue, that it’s worth saving these newspapers, protecting them from firms like Alden, or will they decide that they don’t really care?” he asks.

And I think that is the question facing our local communities, does local news matter to us?

The Atlantic:


Inside Alden Global Capital
By McKay Coppins

The tribune tower rises above the streets of downtown Chicago in a majestic snarl of Gothic spires and flying buttresses that were designed to exude power and prestige. When plans for the building were announced in 1922, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime owner of the Chicago Tribune, said he wanted to erect “the world’s most beautiful office building” for his beloved newspaper. The best architects of the era were invited to submit designs; lofty quotes about the Fourth Estate were selected to adorn the lobby. Prior to the building’s completion, McCormick directed his foreign correspondents to collect “fragments” of various historical sites—a brick from the Great Wall of China, an emblem from St. Peter’s Basilica—and send them back to be embedded in the tower’s facade. The final product, completed in 1925, was an architectural spectacle unlike anything the city had seen before—“romance in stone and steel,” as one writer described it. A century later, the Tribune Tower has retained its grandeur. It has not, however, retained the Chicago Tribune.

To find the paper’s current headquarters one afternoon in late June, I took a cab across town to an industrial block west of the river. After a long walk down a windowless hallway lined with cinder-block walls, I got in an elevator, which deposited me near a modest bank of desks near the printing press. The scene was somehow even grimmer than I’d imagined. Here was one of America’s most storied newspapers—a publication that had endorsed Abraham Lincoln and scooped the Treaty of Versailles, that had toppled political bosses and tangled with crooked mayors and collected dozens of Pulitzer Prizes—reduced to a newsroom the size of a Chipotle….In May, the Tribune was acquired by Alden Global Capital, a secretive hedge fund that has quickly, and with remarkable ease, become one of the largest newspaper operators in the country. The new owners did not fly to Chicago to address the staff, nor did they bother with paeans to the vital civic role of journalism. Instead, they gutted the place.

Two days after the deal was finalized, Alden announced an aggressive round of buyouts. In the ensuing exodus, the paper lost the Metro columnist who had championed the occupants of a troubled public-housing complex, and the editor who maintained a homicide database that the police couldn’t manipulate, and the photographer who had produced beautiful portraits of the state’s undocumented immigrants, and the investigative reporter who’d helped expose the governor’s offshore shell companies. When it was over, a quarter of the newsroom was gone.

Of course, after a little research, I realized that Alden Capital doesn’t own just a lot of our local newspapers. They are also into mobile home parks according to the Columbia Journalism Review:

The vulture fund that picked American newspapers apart has a new target
By Julie Reynolds
MAY 9, 2023

It’s late November, and nighttime temperatures have dropped below freezing in Christiansburg, Virginia, a town tucked in a valley between Blacksburg and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sarah Rupp, an aide at Belview Elementary School, learned from a kindergartner’s grandparent that eviction notices were being posted at Massie’s Mobile Home Park, the only low-income housing in town. The modest manufactured homes, arranged in neat rows, are tidy but mostly aging. Some are sided with corrugated metal. Some—though they’re called mobile—appear nearly impossible to move. 

Rents at Massie’s have shot up some 40 percent after new owners bought the park last spring. Since then, Rupp says, some renters have moved, leaving the park around 20 percent vacant. A few fled in the night, leaving possessions behind, she said. Rupp shows me a photo of abandoned children’s toys in a vacant mobile home. She worries that her school may lose as many as 15 percent of its students to homelessness. 

Other tenants at Massie’s have been given eviction notices or “pay or quit” letters. Some were posted on doors of people who’ve already paid their rent, while phones at the numbers provided by the new owners go unanswered. 

An hour’s drive northeast of Massie’s is Princeton, West Virginia, where Valeria Steele owns her mobile home. A single mother of a special-needs child, Steele pays rent for the land beneath her house at Elk View Estates. Unlike Massie’s, where the tenants rent their trailers, at Elk View many of the tenants rent the land but own their homes, or have a rent-to-own contract. Though she hasn’t been given a new lease, Steele’s monthly lot rent shot up to $525—$300 more than she previously paid—after new owners took over the park last fall.

Tenants at both parks send their rent checks to a post office box in Englewood, New Jersey, that is associated with Smith Management, the parent company and deeply intertwined affiliate of Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund famously described by Bloomberg’s Joe Nocera as the “destroyer of newspapers.” 

Massie’s and Elk View are among the more than one hundred such parks owned by limited liability corporations that in turn are owned by Homes of America LLC, a Delaware corporation that’s part of Smith Management. Across the country, Homes of America tenants are raising similar complaints: rent hikes of 40 to 60 percent, lack of basic maintenance, and unreachable managers. The parks’ owners have also become the targets of tenant lawsuits and legislation calling for tighter regulation.

Alden has become infamous for swallowing local newspaper chains and extracting their real estate and cash. Cofounders Randall Smith and Heath Freeman and their colleagues have been investing more than $150 million in mobile-home parks around the county since 2021, financing them through an entity called Tribune II MHP Finance One LLC.

Alden’s mobile-home-park strategy reminded me of what the hedge fund has already done to newsrooms. When Alden took over theMonterey County Herald in California (where I worked for ten years, the last three under Alden), the hot water stopped working and was never fixed. Staff had to place plants under a leaking roof. Several of Alden’s newspapers in the Philadelphia area suffered leaking toilets and other infrastructure problems before the buildings were sold.

Well, here we are. Psychologically there has to be something that can be said about a hedge fund that seems to deal in human discomfort, correct? Depriving us of the news and depriving some people of the only affordable housing they’ve ever been able to find and aren’t they just princes among men, these hedge fund guys at Alden?

They are creating a modern feudal society.

Back here in Chester County our local paper has been eviscerated and disemboweled by Alden. The same thing has happened in surrounding counties. When the last editor of The Daily Local retired, I figured it would only get worse and it has. It’s a woman who I think was from the Times Herald which is Montgomery County and Norristown.

A woman is more than capable of being an editor of a newspaper, but my point is now the editor for our local paper is pretty far removed from us even regionally. And who knows how many newspapers she is now responsible for? She just trying to make a living, but she doesn’t know our area, and to the hedge fund overlords that doesn’t matter anyway where we are. It never has.

All I know is our local newspaper, which used to have a bustling newsroom has two reporters. And they can’t even actually cover a lot of the news which occurs part of that is because they are only two people, and the other part of it is, I think they are seriously micro managed from doing their jobs. As in most of the real news is soft-pedaled, if it makes it to the paper at all, and that’s an ownership top-down decision. This, of course makes me wonder what kind of insurance these newspapers now carry under vulture, hedge fund ownership?

I used to be familiar with quite a few of these newsrooms. And the reason was I knew a lot of people that worked for these papers, including the editors, and some of the editors of these local papers were writing mentors, like the late Tom Murray, whom I still miss. I met Tom when he came in to run Main Line Life/Main Line Media News. His last paper before his death was for a short time, The Daily Local News.

Times-Shamrock selling off its newspaper group

The sale includes four local daily papers and several weekly and periodic publications.
Author: WNEP Web Staff
Published: 12:36 PM EDT August 31, 2023
Updated: 1:47 PM EDT August 31, 2023

SCRANTON, Pa. — The company that owns several local newspapers is selling off its newspaper group, according to a story published on Thursday.

Times-Shamrock Communications is selling the company’s four daily papers — The (Scranton) Times-Tribune, The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice, The (Pottsville) Republican Herald, and The (Hazleton) Standard-Speaker.

The sale includes weekly and periodic newspapers and commercial printing operations—Absolute Distribution Inc. and Times-Shamrock Creative Services.

The buyer, Colorado-based MediaNews Group, is owned by Alden Global Capital.

The sale does not include the Times-Shamrock’s radio or billboard operations, or the Scranton Times Building.

In April, Times-Shamrock no longer offered a print edition of its newspapers on Mondays, instead releasing a digital version on that one day of the week.

The decision was based on rising costs and changing demand from younger readers for electronic publications.

In 2021, the Times-Tribune turned over delivery of the daily paper to the postal service while it looked for new carriers in some locations.

The family that started Times-Shamrock—the Lynetts—have been producing newspapers since 1895 in Scranton. The sale marks the end of local control for the papers, a rarity in the newspaper business in recent years. 

Members of the family issued a statement about their view of the sale:

Newspapers have been our family business for nearly 128 years. Since 1895, we have had the privilege of serving this community with local news, events and happenings. Today marks a very sad end to that legacy. Our family would like to express our gratitude to the loyal employees, readers and advertisers who have been with us all these years.

We feel it is important to express our personal dissatisfaction with the sale of Times-Shamrock newspapers to MediaNews Group, a subsidiary of Alden Capital. This was a transaction that we do not support or endorse. Alden does not reflect the business principles we feel are consistent with the stewardship of any newspaper.

The sale was driven by a majority of our shareholders. We understand the fears about our ability to remain competitive. We recognize the underlying concerns about the newspaper industry’s revenue and audience declines, and the desire of many of the shareholders to leave the painful decisions to cut costs, coverage and employees in someone else’s hands. 

We have watched all of our beloved local newspapers in this region shrivel up and all but blow away. There used to be three local newspapers on the Main Line alone. they have gotten shriveled up into one which is also combined with a King of Prussia newspaper. It was originally the Suburban and Wayne Times and Main Line Times. Then came a 3rd paper, Main Line Life. Now that is one big homogenized ball of goo, and mostly press releases, passing as articles. I think there’s like one reporter now.

Now called the Main Line Times and Suburban, one of its lead local news stories was also the tarted up press release passing us a story out of West Reading. Somehow, I also don’t see the connection between Lower Merion and Radnor Township and Berks County.

I used to subscribe to both Main Line Media News and Daily Local. When I moved to Chester County, I let my subscription go for Main Line Media News and I used to read the paper online. The Daily Local like The Delco Times always seemed to have some sort of a pay wall – not at first, but that’s what it evolved into. So I wanted to support my local newspaper living in Chester County, which made me get a digital only subscriber to The Daily Local.

I had my Daily Local subscription for a few years. And then sometime around Covid, I had a bank card kited and I had to update 1 million things, including my newspaper subscription. I went into my Daily Local account and tried to update my information. It let me into my account, but it would not let me save my updated information and there was no one to call any longer because the hedge fund owners had also eviscerated like the local billing and subscription department. So I let my subscription lapse.

Since I let my subscription lapse, I just try to read the local articles I can catch on different browsers or an internet cache.

But fairly recently again, I’ve been getting solicitation calls. I have screen captured the number that called me twice recently within a couple of hours:

I remembered such calls a while back, and my spam call blocker knocked them off. But then I decided today that they were probably calling about the Daily Local so I called them back.

The first call was an obnoxious offshore woman on the phone who said she was from Minnesota. She didn’t like that I wasn’t giving her the information she needed so she could try to sell me my local newspaper, so eventually she grew frustrated and hung up. But since they had called me twice on August 21, I decided to call back a second time.

Miraculously, this phone call landed me in a call center actually contained within the boundaries of the United States of America. I had a very pleasant and normal woman to speak with and from her I learned that although this hedge fund can’t seem to pay to have more reporters covering local news, they apparently CAN pay for professional solicitation firms to solicit for them to get new subscribers or to gain back old subscribers. And sometimes I think maybe they do debt collection too but I’m not sure.

If you’ve ever looked at a nonprofit form 990 and checked out the expenses, when nonprofits employ “professional” or paid solicitation firms, you will see how expensive it is to actually have these people doing your business for you. I find it astounding that we no longer have newspapers with actual newsrooms let alone reporters and staff to run them, but they pay for this?

Alden Capital is killing our newspapers. Why are they killing our news sources really? I mean, I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I just don’t understand why these particular vultures started in on journalism?

According to Wikipedia:

Alden Global Capital is a hedge fund based in Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in 2007 by Randall D. Smith.[2] Its managing director is Heath Freeman

Interestingly, enough, Randall Smith had a brother in newspapers (also according to Wikipedia.)

His younger brother Russ Smithfounded the Baltimore City Paper and the Washington City Paper, which he sold for $4 million, and in 1989 founded the New York Press.[2]

Wikipedia has quite the interesting write up on Alden’s main man, including his years at the now defunct Bear Stearns.

Bear Stearns was an investment bank in NYC that kind of specialized in sleazy and Ace Greenberg’s paper clip memos. Once upon a time decades ago, I actually met Ace and his vice chairman. At that time I had been hired as an admin on one of the Bear Stearns trading desks. I was commuting from Philadelphia, like surprisingly many people do commute to New York from Philadelphia. I used to talk to these two little older guys on the elevator every morning and it ended up one was Ace, and the other was his vice chairman. Now I really liked talking to both of them. They were interesting, and I met some people at Bear Stearns who were wonderful, but overall the place was sleazy and if you wonder where they get the inspiration for investment bankers like you saw in the Wall Street movies or even the TV show Billions, look no further. Art does often imitate life.

I will note we all used to get these memos. They were distributed to everyone, and eventually ended up in a book called Memos From the Chairman. I actually used to own a copy. I actually used to have some of the original memos, but they got lost on a move. I lasted a little over a year at Bear Stearns. If you could last year at Bear Stearns, you could work anywhere. I was fascinated by how Bear Stearns worked, but seriously hated that job. The hours sucked, the majority of people were miserable, they had a wonderful cafeteria, because you could never leave for lunch, and mice would run over your feet on the trading room floors.

OK sorry I got off on a total tangent there. It was just a weird little trip down memory lane when I realized the guy that owns the hedge fun that is eviscerating all our local newspapers across the country came from Bear Stearns and all of a sudden that was like an epiphany or an Aha moment and it now makes perfect sense.

However, hedge funds and investment bankers shouldn’t be running our newspapers. They are only ever interested in news that makes them look good, so I guess it makes sense that they’re collecting them and destroying them since often newspapers and media don’t make hedge fun owners, and investment bankers look good.

And since investment bankers and hedge fund owners prop up political candidates and politicians on all sorts of stages, you can’t expect politicians to want to actually save our newspapers can you?

I hate to sound like a giant conspiracy theorist, but this is actually I think I conspiracy theory that has legs.

Is this all actually a ploy to get rid of the fourth estate?

The term “Fourth Estate” refers to the press and news media both in explicit capacity of advocacy and implicit ability to frame political issues, correct? So if hedge fund owners own newspapers and probably a bunch of politicians too after a donation kind of fashion, doesn’t this make perfect sense?

Maybe if we had more meaningful campaign finance reform, we’d also save more of our newspapers?

Well, that’s as far as this ramble is going for today. I would honestly love to be able to support local newspapers, but at this point if you do, it’s a catch 22 because you’re also supporting corporate raiders and investment bankers by lining their pockets because it’s not like they’re actually putting money into the newspapers is it?

Clark Kent and Lois Lane have left the building. At least definitely in West Chester, because why are the newspaper building once stood are ugly condos.

As long as hedge funds own local newspapers, the future of journalism is grim.

Thanks for stopping by.

pa dep holding public meeting on bishop tube 9/12/23 at general wayne elementary in malvern

  • On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, DEP will host an in person public meeting to discuss the Site and the implementation of the response action.
    Location: General Wayne Elementary School – Auditorium
    20 Devon Road, Malvern, PA 19355
    Time: 6:30 pm -8:30 pm
  • Planning for additional pre-design investigation activities.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you should have heard of Bishop Tube, that delightful toxic playground on Malin Road in East Whiteland. It is remarkably still up for residential development. Same guy as Rock Hill Farm proposed development in Willistown for you all new to this.


Media and Chester County Residents take note of this meeting.

pay it forward for new babies at chester county hospital…,

Just paying it forward- can you help? Here’s what the nurses and staff at Chester County Hospital are asking for your help with:

Help needed: The Well Baby Nursery at The Chester County Hospital is in need of knit or crocheted baby hats. The hats need to be small enough to fit an infant who is 5-6 pounds but stretchy enough to fit a larger infant-not a toddler or an adult. The average infant head is 12-14”. We are down to nothing but what you see here and the plain white hats we put on the babies immediately after delivery in Labor and Delivery. The donations would be greatly appreciated by the nurses, new moms & babies. The hats can either be dropped off at the main desk or sent to The Chester County Hospital
701 East Marshall St West Chester, PA 19380 Attn: Maternity Hats
Please share this post with anyone who likes to knit or crochet!

I can’t knit or crochet anything so all I can do is share! I will also note that chemo lounges can always use adult sized handknit caps for cancer patients.


more trash talk

Well we broke up with A.J. Blosenski almost a month ago and they FINALLY picked up the cans yesterday…after the regular A.J. Blosenski trash truck emptied a can that had been empty for a month so I hope they don’t try to charge us for it since we are no longer customers.

However, they have NOT refunded us for charging us the next chunk of service the same day we cancelled service. Nor have we received a refund on the many missed pick ups.

My neighborhood had a partially missed pickup again this week. So did a lot of areas. It’s like they just decided not to pick up.

East Whiteland Township actually recently cited A.J Blosenski for all the issues that their residents have experienced. Some Willistown residents have remarked that they wish their township would be equally proactive.

Meanwhile over in West Vincent it must be noted that Whitetail Disposal had their soliciting permits REVOKED. For aggressive soliciting. And they have been very aggressive. In a lot of communities in Chester County again.

And Whitetail has a history of issues as well.

So I guess the more our county and region gets overpopulated the worse the trash pick up will be.

That is the trash talk update for the week. I will end by stating no issues with Opdenaker at all so far. Everything that we are paying for is happening and the customer service is actual customer service. i’m including their website in case anyone is interested in checking them out. They might not service all areas at this point but at least they are honest about the work they can actually do and can’t do depending upon the area.

gosh the “professor” is pithy…

No, I don’t want to miss a word so allow me to quote the “professor”:

Today I was sent, what I consider, a very racist and sexist “blog article” apparently aimed at me… Oh well… Friends… In all seriousness. In a world filled with diverse perspectives and experiences, it’s inevitable that we encounter individuals who may not share our values or exhibit the same level of respect that we strive to maintain in our own lives. Such encounters can be challenging, especially when they involve hurtful comments or actions, such as racism or derogatory remarks. However, it’s during these moments that our capacity for forgiveness and a positive outlook can truly shine. Folks, you might think I am crazy, but I urge you to still treat these people with RESPECT and dignity. They are human… It’s OK… We do NOT need more screaming and insults… We need more forgiveness and understanding… Let’s talk and reason with each other and set a good example for the children/students. Now…Have a wonderful evening.

Gosh I love it when the “professor” opines. He’s a busy guy. When he’s not trying to co-opt issues like Save Lionville Station Farm, he loves his word salads.

Before we get to the “professor” and his latest word salad, a brief check in with the issue co-opt express. Bressi says he wants to save Lionville Station Farm from mega warehouses, and loves to use this issue for his personal political gain, but dude has been so busy tossing and serving up word salads that he has not even signed the pledge and taken the questionnaire put out by the Save Lionville Station Farm folks to politicians and elected officials. I mean, I know he likes to think big thoughts and ponder his navel but he’s had that long enough to get off the proverbial pot already, right?

So let’s get back to the “Professor“ at hand. Chris Bressi loves nothing more than trying to piggyback on an issue or social issue or whatever. I don’t think he has an original thought in his body. He acts like a Hallmark card yet this is the guy who wants to ban books and more so allow me to point out the latest which I believe is aimed at me? Political candidates love to keep up with trends, right? And now I am a sexist ? Duuude, that is truly hysterical 🤣🤣🤣

Apparently he seems like wants to call me a racist because I made fun of him posing for a photo op at a recent public event. What I said had zero to do with the event, and a person he was posing with from the event was blocked out because it wasn’t his fault Professor Smarmy wanted a photo op.

What I said was, I couldn’t decide to look that the “Professor“ was going for. Was he trying for goodfellas or the godfather?

So a fun fact “Professor“ is I am of Italian heritage. So if you’re saying I’m being racist to other Italians by poking fun at your outfit on a hot summer day I can’t help you, It is just another typical word salad from you to try to seek an advantage or attention.

And I’m not poking fun at the lovely event that a community threw, it’s all about how ridiculous and disingenuous you are…along with the Handmaidens of Donnie who help run your social media. I mean in for a penny, in for a pound, how come you didn’t pose with the one who likes to wear a gas mask to school board meetings? Would her gas mask clash or something?

It also wasn’t a blog post, it was a social media meme of a bad politician so maybe there’s something else out there that I’m missing? It was merely something a lot of us found funny because dude your outfit. I guess now I understand why you are actually kind of camera shy for a political candidate? and when you do get in a photo, you always seem uncomfortable/smarmy and why is that?

I also have to ask, did you think the Gilligan’s Island reference was racist? And if so, how so?

What’s really funny is the “professor” loves to quote Martin Luther King Jr. and Michelle Obama like farting, yet out of the other side of his mouth loves to chat about things like the evils of CRT, a favorite Trojan Horse of extremism politics which even a third grader knows isn’t taught in the public schools?

I could go on, but I won’t. It’s just too easy. I will also say out loud that the “Professor” give off the same ICK factor as county commissioner candidate David Sommers so I am surprised that they are not besties yet?

Whatever “professor”, you just keep flying high. If the voters of the Downingtown Area School District are very, very lucky you’ll hit a satellite or something and end up someplace else. 🤣

Anyway, I thought maybe he would like to sing better so enjoy “professor” smarmy, the musical.

and the questions pile up….

This. No identity even on “grand opening weekend”. Still known as “Pete’s”. Other people promote the business, and the Farmer in The Dell seems to just promote herself?

Sorry not sorry. The Farmer in The Dell at Westtown has her socials profiles, but this big hunking 120+ acre piece of land she’s renting doesn’t really have it’s own socials. No Farmer Jawn at Westtown, etc. Does that make sense to you? She seems to have all of the identity, not her actual work so what’s up with that?

Organic certification as a process begins after land has sat for three years. Soooo how do we support ourselves on 123 prime acres until then? Is the store in Germantown or Mount Airy or wherever still open? (See photo at bottom of post taken today) Are tea sales brisk? Where are the ingredients to make said tea and honey actually coming from? What local apiary specifically? There are a lot of beekeepers so is it locally sourced honey because when you are talking allergies, etc., ask any beekeeper and they will tell you local honey is best. And if it’s not their own honey, do they say where honey comes from? Where does anything come from if there isn’t a vendor there to say “hey this is mine”?

Someone tell me why we are supposed to support this farmer and where is an itemized account of where the money is going, especially but not limited to donations? Are there grants as well?

And there seem to be lots of business and other names and who’s on first? Farmer Jawn. FarmerJawn Greenery. Life Leaf Organic Farms. Viva Leaf Tea. Grow Sip Repeat. Farmer Jawn Agriculture. FarmerJawn & Friends Foundation Fund. Is there a form 990 by now? Why is the state charity entry incomplete on the state website? Is the state just behind?

I have never had a problem with the stated mission of this woman. I have read all the articles, like these:

But it’s like she skips around? That’s expensive, right?

Ironically next to her Mt. Airy store, Tired Hands (yes the brewery folk out of Ardmore) have a biergarten at 6730 Germantown Pike, Philadelphia. At first it was the Farmer Jawn Biergarten but now it’s Mt. Airy Biergarten? So the Greenery place there is not officially closed, but is it actually ever open?

Maybe sometimes things that seem too good to be true are true, but will this be the case in Westtown? And they say the farmer moved to the Borough of West Chester? If so, that’s a great idea especially if she is going to be tilling fields in Westtown, right? The commute from Philadelphia certainly wouldn’t be an easy one or practical right? Northwest Philadelphia to Chester County would be a not so great commute, yes?

And hey remember Greener Partners? They have a similar mission…

So 6730 Germantown Avenue in Mount Airy? This is a business location that is more closed than open and supposedly has no staff left and is the address listed for the non-profit, etc.? And then there is the farm or whatever in Elkins Park? Described as “furloughed”? And The greenhouses went bye bye before all this so what is up? Is this just real estate hopscotch? Bad luck? Coincidence?

These questions have nothing to do with the color of anyone’s skin, and they are questions that should be asked. We are asking to support this, and in THEORY, it’s a GREAT idea. (The regenerative agriculture movement is real and kind of cool.) But the reality of the Jawn of it all? Doesn’t pass the sniff test if we are honest, does it? But why are people afraid to say so out loud?

But hey what do I know anyway? I am just the villain in this play for asking questions.

But truthfully? Here’s hoping Farmer Jawn is a success in Westtown…but I do not see it happening. This photo below is why. And it begs one final question: is the new Farmer in The Dell in Westtown actually leaving the community that first embraced her for greener pastures? People move on all of the time, it’s called life. Perhaps just own it?

And Westtown School? What say you in all of this besides crickets?

octorara and east whiteland are not generally two places you find in a sentence together…yet here we are….sadly

Sadly it’s about the email trail. I wrote about this awkward topic in June:

Sadly, this is still giving me major pause. And I don’t want to be that person, but this person running for school board in Octorara, where he is a current school board member. His name is Anthony Falgiatore, and he is also a Sergeant in the East Whiteland Police Department. I do respect people that follow their passions, but while many members of law enforcement might have side gigs and second jobs, for most people that is not a job as an elected official in the same county, but different municipality from where they work.

For those who are not familiar with Octorara School District it was founded in the 1950’s and is serving a still fairly rural area of Chester and Lancaster counties.

So allow me to share two snippets of the August 21, 2023 Octorara School Board Meeting:

Here is the entire meeting:

Here is the verbiage of what Mr. Fox said:

For anyone unaware, the District is involved in two legal actions concerning Mr. John Ryan Miller: a federal civil suit, and he was arrested on our campus in September for criminal trespass and possession of a weapon on school grounds.

I’m presenting an email to the board and the public. Miller provides this email, and its string of forwarding actions, amongst his filings in the federal civil suit.

It shows Mr. Falgiatore, in a breach of confidentiality, forwarded an email sent by former Superintendent, Dr. Orner. The email was on the topic of school safety and security.

Mr. Falgiatore forwarded this email from his Octorara email account to his personal email account. Within 3 minutes, through another intermediary email account, it was in Miller’s hands.Mr. Falgiatore forwarded this email knowing Miller had been arrested on our campus and awaiting trial for the criminal trespass and weapon charges.

The public handout is 1 page as the body of Dr. Orner’s email isn’t included because of its sensitive content. Start near the bottom, you see the original email header from Dr. Orner to only the board from March 2022. For the board handout, look to the bottom left for Dr. Orner’s email header. The board copy has the pages side-by-side.

Reading up the page, on Feb 8, 2023, Mr. Falgiatore forwarded this email twice. First to his personal account, then within 1 minute he forwarded it from his personal account to an email address of Whizwit. The unknown Whizwit then forwarded to Miller. All of this in 3 minutes.

You’ve breached confidentiality.

You’ve done so with sensitive information on the safety and security of our school.

Through your action, the person arrested on our campus and awaiting trial, received this information – all in a matter of minutes.

This is kind of a big deal, which leaves me even more uncomfortable. See a video about testimony in this case:


Anthony Falgiatore’s testimony begins at about the 1hr:14min point in the recording.

It’s because of Sgt. Falgiatore’s position as a police officer, his external sharing of confidential information related to safety and security entrusted to him, his statements during his testimony, and uncertainty of how he would respond to a call at a local school in his jurisdiction that causes concern, and is that over reaction and unreasonable or reasonable?

So Sgt. Falgiatore, I find myself torn and a bit stuck here. I applaud you living your passions, but this has been a very strange case and your own boss is among the people this Mr. Miller is trying to sue so how does this work? Our first loyalties are to ourselves and our family for sure, but you are an officer of the law and also a politician so don’t you ever feel conflicted by this? How can you compartmentalize? How can you be proud to be endorsed by Klanned Karenhood?

And then there is this from April:

Sir, I guess I am asking which do you wish to do more? Because this dual work life/political life thing is possibly not working? And why would you forward emails, internal emails to a person suing your school board, your boss, and who knows whom all else in Chester County?

I think gob smacked applies here as a term of expression. Maybe you need to choose what matters to you most in an effort to pay forward the greater good? Do you want to be a politician or in law enforcement? No offense, I don’t think you can do both.

Maybe it’s time to choose? If you were retired from law enforcement and then chose to be a politician, no one would have a problem with that. But this whole have your cake and eat it too is not working so well, is it? Or maybe you think it’s fine. Have a ponder on it.

That’s all.

enough already

Gosh, apparently I am a racist for questioning anything about the new Farmer in The Dell for Westtown?

Guess what? I am not a racist. I reject that as a label.

Everything doesn’t add up and water always seeks it’s own level.

This chick above wants to say that if you have questions you are tearing down a black owned business. I find that assertion on her part absolutely disgusting. And deliberately incendiary and divisive.

I have been tracking the comments. I watched on Instagram where they eviscerated a woman who not only lives in Chester County but lived a farming life for several years. She was not racist or anything remotely close, but Farmer in The Dell For Westtown allowed the people commenting to tear her apart and call her a racist .

I could post loads and loads of comments. Some good, some bad, some horrible. And there is a disturbing common theme with some comments: race baiting.

That’s wrong. I don’t care what your race, creed, or color is, it is wrong. And thanks but no, I don’t suffer from white fragility or white privilege. I can’t help the color of my skin, and that doesn’t make me bad or a racist. But it’s a great deflection tool in this scenario, isn’t it?

The message is clear even if that is not actually the intent: if you aren’t with Westtown’s New Farmer in the Dell, you’re against her. So is it you can only worship, you CANNOT raise or voice concerns about how things look (you know like the mowing issues), and you can’t say anything else? If you do, is there a shade of shade of inference none too subtly that anyone who has anything other than glowing praise and accolades is a racist? Come on, really?

And you wonder why I have zero desire to check out Farmer Jawn in Westtown and give them business at this point? I am not on the immediate bandwagon, therefore I am bad. And note, I am not saying racism doesn’t exist, it does. But I am not a practitioner.

I don’t see what this woman is actually bringing to Chester County that is positive in this moment. Hopefully it changes, and if it does that would actually and truthfully be pretty cool. The irony in ALL of this is I actually believe in her mission if it is indeed her mission. Food insecurity is a real is a real live issue, just ask Chester County Food Bank or People’s Pantry, or down on the Main Line, Narberth Community Food Bank and Ardmore Food Pantry just to name a handful of organizations who care and help.

And I actually support farmers in Chester County. But they are hard working men and women, and they spend a lot less time on Instagram telling everyone how fabulous they are. (Too much? ) And urban agriculture? It’s a good thing, just like regular gardening. But she’s in Chester County now, yes? Maybe as she asks we accept her, maybe she needs to work on some acceptance herself?

So screenshot chick and others, hope you didn’t turn blue on my account. That would be distressing. I also hope that your hate doesn’t eat you up inside. I can’t control how you feel, even if I feel it’s wrong, but you don’t have the right at attempting canceling other human beings because their opinions and questions don’t match yours, or perhaps neither their race, creed, and color.

And Grace? It’s earned. right now all y’all have earned is my disdain.

This is pretty much all I have today.

we knew this billboard was coming and can it be seen from space ?

This looks terrible and is it actually dangerous ? This was taken last evening 10:30 PM or there abouts.

A friend asked if PENNDot was going to add strobes to the regular lights like they have on Route 100 so people pay attention to the traffic signals not the billboards? People are afraid of distracted driving accidents and adverse neurological reactions and perhaps that is indeed more than a little justified?

But hey, I never hold out hope on PENNDot. They can’t even add a four way stop on Providence Road and Warren Avenue in Willistown, and God knows the accidents justify it.

These billboards are bullshit. And another thing allowed thanks in part to the Municipalities Planning Code not providing protection for Pennsylvania communities, only developers.

East Whiteland could have gone balls to the wall and said no to billboards, but I don’t think they really could afford to sadly.

But East Whiteland? Time to deal with how this looks and the problems that will occur if not dealt with.

I am amused by all the people who are so oblivious to what goes on where they live that they were surprised this billboard was going up. I am also amused by all the people who said they would fight this particular billboard and then essentially vanished from the issue, like happens with so many issues around. Now I know people will take umbrage at my comments but sometimes residents actually have to actively participate where they live.

Billboards are not about improving communities, only destroying them. They are a monument to ugliness.