About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.

historic tragedy on dorlan mill road today.

This old house in 2020

Once upon a time there was a neglected farmhouse on Dorlan Mill Road. Above is a photo I took in 2020. I wrote about it then too.

Today was the last day standing in Chester County for this once beautiful farmhouse. Another historic structure bites the dust and this farmhouse had a slow decline and was it initially demolition by neglect?

You have to wonder why so many of these beautiful old houses have to go bye bye around here? What ugliness will replace this?

This morning 2/6/23
This afternoon 2/6/23

frugal kitchen magic: leftovers become roast pork chili

Groceries have gotten so ridiculously expensive. I’m back to shopping specials and patronizing stores with a better dollar value like Aldi. I am also trying to not waste food and use leftovers creatively.

Last Thursday a houseguest arrived. Thursday evening I made a roast pork Friday evening I made chicken cacciatore.

The thing about recipes with sauces is sometimes the sauces grow – like a stew you always end up with more gravy than stew at the end. That is the same thing with the chicken cacciatore. It left me with proper leftovers in two rectangular containers, plus a quart container of a beautiful tomato sauce. That was the result of the cacciatore. It has no chicken in it, but it’s tomatoes and onion and garlic and bell peppers which can be converted perfectly to a base for chili.

But you have to adapt the sauce, so I started with another onion in the bottom of my Dutch oven. Two that I had chili, spices, salt, and cumin. I sautéed the onion, a smidge and then I added a bag of frozen corn not frozen corn and sauce, just plain old frozen kernel corn. Is that is cooking I had a small jar of diced up Goya pimentos in my Lazy Susan, so I drained them and tossed them in as well

After the corn and onion and pimentos, cook and take on the hue of Mexican Street corn because of the spices, my next add is 2 drained cans of red kidney beans. These are 15 ounce cans and the brand is Dakotas from Aldi and they’re very good beans.

After I added the beans and give it a stir, I added the roast pork cubed into bite-size pieces and give everything a stir and let it cook on low for a few minutes.

Finally, I add in the tomato sauce from the cacciatore, and stir in more chili powder and about 3 teaspoons of the Dona Isabel panca hot pepper I keep on hand. It comes in a small glass jar and it’s basically kind of saucy and thick. It stays in your refrigerator along time after opening so I had a jar that was open.

The chili now cooks on low until dinner time. I will give everything a stir every now and again to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of my vintage Dansk Dutch oven.

Leftovers can be fun they don’t just have to be what it was originally and it doesn’t take much imagination to turn one thing into something else.

If you do something special with leftovers, leave me a comment and tell me what you make!

Thanks for stopping by.

isn’t it wonderful lower merion is a “first class” township?

I was in Ardmore again for the first time in a very long time. There are lots of dining options and other things to look at, but the streets are broken and filthy.

The roadways themselves are broken and rutted and it’s hard to imagine a township with so much money and bravado can’t seem to see the ruts and potholes.

So here I was back in Ardmore, where the actual township building is located, in the Historic Ardmore Business District with a business improvement improvement district called the Ardmore Initiative and let’s talk about the god damn sidewalks in what they like to call “the Main Street” of the Main Line. They are deplorable and dangerous. But hey, they can keep deluding themselves, right?

The sidewalks are badly broken in too many places, so I wonder if this is an odd metaphor for the state of Lower Merion Township itself? And it’s February so why are the holiday snowflakes still up?

Many years ago many of us fought to save the Historic Ardmore Business District. I am not sure what we saved Ardmore for. It’s so wrong.

Clean up Lower Merion, you can afford to.

go to the malvern retreat house art show on thru sunday afternoon

They don’t publicize this the way they should and this is a great show this year!

This show benefits their outreach at Malvern Retreat House.

10 AM – 7 PM Saturday, February 4, 2023
10 AM – 4 PM Sunday, February 5, 2023

315 S. Warren Ave Malvern, PA and there is ample free parking onsite. #art #freeevent

Seriously, this show is so terrific! And the price points are better than Yellow Springs Art Show which I love as well. And some of the same and comparable artists. Some of my favorites include New Hope Stained Glass and the fused stained glass artist whose name escapes me.

The Malvern Retreat House Annual Art Show has more than 2,000 fine art pieces including paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, and so much more.

For more information please visit: www.malvernretreat.com

The grounds of Malvern Retreat House are also gorgeous and have an increasingly rare naturalistic beauty about them.

historic ebebezer continues to crumble

Poor Ebenezer. Historically significant as quite literally perhaps the second oldest AME site in the country, except for Mother Bethel AME in Philadelphia. And I believe Mother Bethel’s current Pastor Mark Kelly Tyler knows this as he was in West Chester prior to Philadelphia.

Everything the engineer told me a few years ago now that I passed along to East Whiteland Township and East Whitehead Historical Commission is sadly happening. The walls have never been shored up, and the development going along around it is taking a toll. Time, weather, and circumstances are not friends to this site.

This is so sad. Quite literally an important historical asset, including as part of black history in Chester County. This was part of Bacton Hill. I have been told Bacton Hill was one of the early black settlements and well, most of the history has been bulldozed away, hasn’t it?

Black History Month starts when? February 1st? I would say maybe this February 1st someone will care about the history of Ebenezer and Bacton Hill, but really does it ever happen enough to make a difference? Sadly, no. So all I can ever do is point out further deterioration and prior posts over the years.

Before COVID hit, there was a lady from the National Trust for Historic Places I had connected with who seemed interested. Her name was Lawana Holland-Moore. I have tried following up since, but nothing, not even a reply. (Sigh.) Who knows? Maybe she will see this post and renew her former interest. There are so many historic places and structures at risk, but I just wish this place would matter for more than just an occasional minute.

I also hope that someday the East Whiteland Historical Commission really gets a fire lit under them. I have kind of given up there, I find little point in trying to connect with them at this point. Their chair is very nice, but they have never really been comfortable with me or interested in what I have to say.

At one point I had wanted to volunteer for the commission, but political road blocks came up and COVID happened. I’m not welcome there, and why should I keep trying? At one point I even offered to donate my time to help them photograph historic assets and I helped the former members who updated the History of East Whiteland Book, but they cycled off the commission. Hell, when I contacted a member of the commission last June looking for an update on Ebenezer I never even got a reply from them or anyone so I can take a hint.

But, I still need to remind people that #ThisPlaceMatters . Ebenezer and Bacton Hill are disappearing.

rest in peace, irénée du pont, jr.

Irénée du Pont, my photo 2016

I know I’m being repetitive, but there are just some people that you meet over the course of your life who are really special. Irénée du Pont Jr. was one of those people.

Over 20 years ago I was on the Main Line Delaware Committee for The Philadelphia Orchestra. At the time I was younger than all but a handful of the women by at least 20 or 30 years. There were three of us who were the youngest and they referred to us as the “working girls”. Yes, truly. They had no idea what they were actually saying when they said that – what they meant is that we worked. The majority of the rest of the members did not work. A few were high powered executives, but the majority of the ladies did not have to work.

So they planned this car rally fundraiser for the Orchestra that ended at Granogue, home and estate of Irénée du Pont, Jr.

When we were doing the walk through of the event, the event committee met at Granogue. Mr. du Pont was fascinating to meet and so nice to us. He showed us his home, his greenhouses, his collection of cars, and the water tower on the estate which has hands down the best view of the Brandywine Valley.

He took me up to the top of the water tower with a couple of the committee members. And he saw me looking over at the amazing greenhouses on the estate next to the mansion house that afternoon where he had banana trees. He then gave me permission back on that day to wander through his greenhouses. That’s where I first fell in love with the look of banana trees, even in a pot. (I have two banana trees of my own today overwintering in my family room.)

I never forgot meeting him or climbing to the top of the water tower. (And I said back at the time if I ever had the chance to go up to the top of the water tower again, I would bring a camera!)

Flash forward a couple of decades and I get go to another couple of events on Granogue. The last time was 2016. This time I climbed the water tower with a camera and I had the rare repeat opportunity to meet Mr. DuPont again. At this point he was well into his 90s.

In 2016, Mr. du Pont his wife Barbara had been married over 70 years when I saw him for the last time. He was an old school gentleman with a love of family, nature, people, and cars.

His beloved wife Barbara Batchelder du Pont died at 96 years of age in 2021. I remember thinking when she passed, that they had had such a love story that I wondered how he would go on without her. I saw a friend at an event this past fall who told me that Mr. du Pont was rather frail.

Irénée du Pont Jr died at 103 years old on January 16, 2023. I am legitimately sad. I think he was a really amazing man. Very humble and so bright, yet utterly down to earth. It was such a great experience to have the opportunity to meet him on different occasions. I still have the CD of the organ at Granogue he gave me so many years ago. I will freely admit organ music is not my jam but he was so proud of that Aeolian pipe organ!

A friend of mine once lived in one of the tenant properties as well. Mr. du Pont’s home, Granogue, was a truly beautiful place. It is a working farm and the beauty of his estate is naturalistic and magnificent. At one time, he also had his own train stop outside the boundaries of the estate. I am also pretty sure he had in his garage every car he had ever owned, and he had an amazing collection.

They don’t make men like him anymore. May he rest in eternal peace and happiness with his beloved wife.

I hope his estate remains intact. It is the most beautiful swath of land.

Here is the article from a Tower Hill School newsletter:

it’s a sad, sad song….in west whiteland

Greetings readers. I mentioned last night that it was a VERY interesting meeting in West Whiteland last evening. You can VIEW ENTIRETY OF MEETING BY CLICKING HERE.

Fireworks and it is not even the 4th of July but what does that even mean any longer since fireworks occur so often, right? But noooo not those fireworks, political fireworks. Bring the popcorn.

First up was what can only be described as CROSS TAWK. Did a certain Bossette Tweed not realize her microphone was open while making nervous chit chat? Her health, eye exams, lending her car out and then it not starting, work sending SUPER NURSE an Uber to pick her up, to being relieved the crowd of people wasn’t there for her we assume? And then there was referring to a certain developer who pulled his plan for 1/25/23 with some degree of familiarity, followed by what she thinks or did with a certain local reporter whom I think is a good guy? Theresa Hogan Santalucia, I am sure Bill Rettew is crushed beyond belief that you are obvs upset he was doing her job, and while no one may ever know, was “no comment” all you said? I mean you have been tots verbose recently yes? The “reality” of your life dear politician is you should quite literally shut your mouth once in a while.

So…now to the amusement. If you watch the replay, it is at the END – hit about the last 15 minutes and sit back with popcorn. But I captured an excerpt.

Bossette Tweed apparently got her wings clipped? And listen Bossette darling, I don’t speak for your township or the supervisors with whom you are supposed to serve for the best of your residents. I am allowed to comment publicly on the behavior of politicians, capice? You keep scribbling on your “page”, you need to buy a clue don’t cha doll? You are a politician and Ginny Kerslake’s comments in this video capture are SPOT ON and THANK YOU GINNY!

So no more PSATS, eh? And only you can go? Because you are BFFs with the movers and the shakers? Damn woman, maybe West Whiteland actually need a new organization if you are the one one they greet like Norm walking into Cheers? Maybe West Whiteland would be better suited to also belong to The Pennsylvania Municipal League? For example Theresa my little dumpling, The Pennsylvania Municipal League has a Civility Campaign, did you know?

Civility Campaign

Today, civility in government is more crucial than ever.

The Pennsylvania Municipal League is proud to present an initiative aimed at fostering civility in the delivery of public services whether they be in an office setting, a public meeting or any contact with a member of the public. The Civility Campaign begins with elected and appointed officials signing the following pledge:

“As a public servant, I hereby pledge to work daily to build a stronger and more prosperous community by advocating for civil engagement, respecting others – even during disagreements – building bridges to foster relationships and respecting different viewpoints, while finding solutions for the betterment of my municipality.”

The League will be developing a toolkit that provides information on running effective meetings, addressing conflicts in the public arena, a sample resolution that commits to public civility along with strategies on communicating thoughtfully.

Let’s work together to find solutions, critique constructively and foster greater understanding in our municipalities. Taxpayers and residents deserve no less in our communities.

Complete Civility Pledge Online

Download Civility Pledge PDF

~pennsylvania municipal league civility campaign

Now in her rebuttal or self defensive outburst, she remarked or more accurately verbally heralded an accusation inferring that I and a couple of others actually speak for other supervisors in West Whiteland Township. Shocking as this may seem, Theresa Hogan Santalucia, people are capable of independent thought, research, and that lovely thing called the first amendment. And doll, who was it you were so furiously texting? Girl you need to watch the on camera of it all, sorry.

I speak for no politicians, and your behavior draws critics like moths to a flame. YOU attract the attention because of your shenanigans. If you could just admit that as part of your 12 step political program, wouldn’t that be healthier for you in the long run? After all, stress is bad for health issues, right?

Readers, last night a politician who is a very unpleasant lame duck politician got her wings clipped. And had she not decided she had to have her say like a spoiled child, it would have mostly gone unnoticed. So Theresa, if you are not running because of your health and not because you would never survive another election season in the primary or general election, why not RESIGN NOW? They can appoint a bench warmer and you can focus on what you claim you need to focus on, correct?


hey union league with all that dough you are making from worshipping desantis, why not build a streeterie on broad street, not in your gladwyne parking lot at the guard house?

Guard House Gladwyne, pre-Union League days

When Albert Breuers retired and turned over the Old Guard House Inn in Gladwyne to The Union League in Philadelphia, it was an end of an era. But people, myself included, were relieved the Guard House would live on, even as a private club extension. Well now I don’t know what to think.

Inquirer: Changing of the guard at Main Line’s Old Guard House Inn
New Year’s Eve will be the finale. Owner Albert Breuers struck a deal with the Union League in Center City, which in January – after some light redecoration and a kitchen makeover – will take over. The Union League Guard House will be open to its members and their guests only.

by Michael Klein
Published Dec 16, 2016

Albert Breuers remembers the day – May 12, 1979.

Three days before, he had bought the Old Guard House Inn in Gladwyne – even then it was “Old” – a warren of dimly lit dining rooms with log-cabin walls backing up to a bar regarded as the Main Line’s answer to Cheers. The previous fall, he started working in the kitchen for previous owner Jack Callahan, who opened the restaurant in 1949.

“One of those blue-hairs – we had them in those days – she called me over and said, ‘Hey, boy. If you keep your nose clean, you will do very well here,’ ” Breuers recalled this week….New Year’s Eve, though, will mark Breuers’ farewell from the Old Guard House. It also will spell the end of the Guard House as we know it.

Breuers struck a deal several months ago with the Union League in Center City, which in January – after some light redecoration and a kitchen makeover – will take it over. The Union League Guard House will be open to its members and their guests.

It’s bad enough that The Union League is still honoring Ron DeSantis today who is no student of Abraham Lincoln, and I hope they get LOTS and LOTS of picketers. But now what I am hearing with regard to their possible Gladwyne plans is also wrong.

The news out of Gladwyne this morning is the Union League is doing a presentation in front of the Gladwyne Civic Association this evening at their regular monthly meeting for…wait for it….outside dining. Umm hello, a streeterie in the parking lot much? Eww. Maybe they should go for a streeterie on Broad Street instead? Yes, I know both are ridiculous ideas. I will also note, the Union League is building rooftop dining in Philthadelphia.

All – at our civic meeting on Tuesday, there will be a presentation from the GH Union League on an expansion to have an outdoor eating area. The civic never heard about this expansion (which is quite surprising and disappointing).

A few commissioners have questions as this expansion will take away some current parking spaces.

If you are interested, or have comments, please come to the meeting Tuesday, Jan 24 at 7pm at the Gladwyne Firehouse.

We are all surprised that the civic and even our Commissioners did not know about this until the other day, so we apologize for the delay in letting people know.

~ gladwyne civic 1/24/23

I will also note myself that this presentation to the Gladwyne Civic is VERY last minute. Why? Because apparently no one told the civic association these plans were in the works based upon what I read. Interestingly enough, I found reference to this on a Lower Merion HARB meeting agenda dated 7/26/22:

  • INFORMAL – 953 Youngs Ford Road – Old Guard House – Gladwyne Historic District
    Applicant seeks comment on a plan to create new window openings on the exterior wall of a non-original dining room extension adjacent to a proposed new outdoor dining area surrounded by a pergola structure.

So….why didn’t anyone tell the folks in Gladwyne this was actually in the air? I received a comment this morning from a Union League member. Allow me to share, although I will do the sender a favor and not share their name as that is not necessary, it’s just their opinion vs. mine:

This plan was in Place since they bought it. I think it is rather unjust to call the members discourteous. Parking is tight. You are correct. The UL is putting outside dining on the Roof at the UL and at great expense. It will be exquisite. They don’t do anything half assed. And BTW the DeSantis event is tonight. And what is wrong about that? The people of Gladwyne will be fine and will enjoy collecting the taxes from The guard house. Ain’t progress a bitch. BTW I do enjoy your writing very much. I just don’t see that you a a dog in this game. But free speech is free speech! Hope you are well.

~ Union league memeber to me 1/24/23

Dear member/friend, my “dog in the game” is not traditional. I used to live in Lower Merion (as you know) and I am aware of how hard Gladwynites work to preserve the history and character of this very important historic district. I also know how tight and bad the parking is and how people patronizing the Guard House these days don’t necessarily take care with their on street parking on Righters Mill Road, creating massive headaches for people who do live there. A plan as in their plans, is not the same as a filed plan, so is there a filed plan as in an actual plan, or is this still just a concept? This is also about being a good neighbor. This concept is not the potential act of a good neighbor, and it is that simple.

Ok, I will note it was part of the discussion when they came before HARB in 2019 as a Preliminary Review:

So now my question is, has this been formally discussed since? At a board of commissioners meeting or meetings? Any plans submitted even in draft form? Does the head of building and planning Chris Leswing know about this or the township manager Ernie McNeely?

I never object to outdoor dining where it FITS. It doesn’t FIT here. This is like when they wanted in Garrett Hill in Radnor not too long ago and diners would have been literally eating practically on top of Conestoga Road.

This is a very specific historic district. The Union League owns golf clubs with loads of outdoor dining space. Plus there is the rooftop dining project on top of the club’s home in Philadelphia. Here that idea just won’t fit. This is a village still, and parking for the Guard House is an issue, and having been there since the Union League took over to dine, the parking issue has never been sufficiently addressed. Righters Mill Road has been doubling as their overflow parking lot, and well the residents aren’t always so well respected when it comes to said parking. And when you add outside dining, there is also that good old expectation of quiet enjoyment so how would restaurant noises taken outside affect neighbors that way?

Now to be fair someone said to me they thought some sheds out back would go away and they would lose a “few spots” and everything would be hidden by a fence. Hidden by a fence made me laugh because it is now an extension of a private club, but it still comes back to village feel and parking. And this is a private club, not a public restaurant any longer, so there is that whole topic. I don’t personally care that it is now an extension of the Union League, except wonder what would happen if this club had a reversal of fortune? It is a valid question because they have been on quite the acquisition spree in the recent past

Union League, people can also go to Merion Cricket, Merion Golf, etc. for outdoor dining and they have the room locally. This location does not truly have the outside room. Leave Gladwyne Village alone, find another way to drive your revenue, and be a good neighbor. This is yet another reason I am glad I am no longer on the Main Line and no longer live in Lower Merion. In my humble opinion, this would be a very special bad plan if they go through with it.

Also worth pondering? What work should the Union League be doing on the Guard House building itself before even contemplating outdoor dining?

The Union League has a responsibility being in a historic area in Gladwyne. This is also a nationally registered historic district. They also just need to be a good neighbor here and not try this. Maybe my opinion doesn’t matter, but I do have the right to express it.

Why is the way something is, never enough?

Check out this fun on the history of Gladwyne by visiting the LOWER MERION HISTORICAL SOCIETY WEBSITE HERE.

Here are Google views screen shot taken today and you decide:

military charter school being proposed in rtsd back for another hearing (and will be before tesd eventually) and a charter school is coming for a bite at the education apple in wcasd

Wake up media, you have stories unfolding requiring immediate attention. The same can be said for residents in two Chester County school districts and on Delaware County school district.

I actually have mixed emotions at this juncture about charter schools. When our son was in school, it was a God send due to bullying issues that were not being dealt with in public school as well as the fact we had serious issues when he was in an elementary school that was supposed to be one of the best and in some cases, there were NO books for subjects like history. We sent him to Renaissance Academy Charter School in Phoenixville. There were ups and downs as is the case with any school, but it was a good experience, and they placed a high percentage of kids in great schools. IT still is an academic alternative that I think is serving 20 or 21 school districts at this point.

But now I am starting to look at charter schools with different eyes. Because of the new kids coming to the table in 2023. Specifically in WCASD (West Chester Area School District) and RTSD (Radnor Township School District). And the one for RTSD will also involve TESD (Tredyffrin Easttown School District.)

I will start with WCASD because that is where a charter school that is kind of coming on a stealth basis. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School. They say they have non-profit status, only it’s a little hard to find anything, not even a website announcing who they are, their board of directors, etc. They do have a Facebook page and please note how they get their jollies, making it quite clear what they are about:

First up? A fundraiser has been established on Give Send GO:

Would you like to be part of a success story? Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School in Exton, PA will be just that!  We will provide a traditional classical liberal education for each and every child.

The liberal arts in particular and liberal education in general are the surest, most time-tested way to direct students toward a life that is truly free. Our rigorous K-12 curriculum is content-rich, balanced, and strong, with an emphasis upon the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history, and attention to music, art, physical education, and foreign languages. In addition, we believe that by training students in the moral, intellectual, and civic virtues we are equipping them to live well-ordered lives as human beings and as citizens.

Your donation will provide funds to ensure a successful application and start-up of our LICENSED HILLSDALE COLLEGE K12 school in the Exton, PA area.  ALL DONATIONS GO DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE START UP COSTS OF THE SCHOOL. Attorney’s fees, administrative and marketing costs, website design, office rental, postage and other miscellaneous fees will be covered.  All board members are VOLUNTEERS. We will open a K-8 program in the Fall of 2024 and add a grade level each year until we have our first graduating class, the Class of 2028.

For more information on the Hillsdale College K12 program, click on this link:


Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School is an approved 501-c3 non-profit organization.

For more information, please contact us at this email:  vfcacs@gmail.com.


Gosh, they had me at indoctrination. You know right there, what this is about, don’t you?

The woman who established the fundraiser is referred to in this WHYY article from 2022:

And now there is an open house on Saturday, January 28th, 2023 at 21 Hagerty Blvd in West Chester where all the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism gather for meetings sometimes:

Jan 28




Come and meet members of the board and learn about a classical education. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School is slated to open in the Fall of 2024 for K-8 students. Each year we will add one year of our high school program and graduate our first class in 2030!

Seems lot o’ stuff happens at 21 Hagerty Blvd in West Chester in as far as certain political based gatherings? So this would be a charter school in WCASD BUT will it meet the requirements of public schools? This school tried before didn’t they? Or is this another proposed school with some of the same players?

Does West Whiteland know about this since they seem as if they are looking at property in West Whiteland? Get out the #popcorn because the Stepford Mommies for Totalitarianism will want this school and like their behavior in school districts will want the taxpayers paying for this too. I will say honestly, that the lady running the fundraiser? Has a lot of charter school experience, so she is sharp.

Now back to Radnor Township School District. And people in Tredyffrin Easttown School District need to pay attention because this is a charter school being proposed at Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s campus, which straddles a couple of municipalities and counties, doesn’t it? And who exactly recruited this school to Valley Forge’s campus? Was it in fact Valley Forge Military School and College which as we know got rejected on their own application prior to this one?

I first bought you the odd tale of Radnor and Pennsylvania Military Charter School at Valley Forge on December 15th, 2022:

Then the Philadelphia had a whopper of an article on Christmas Eve. My late father always said big news sneaks in on weekends and holidays and not enough people pay attention.

Philadelphia Inquirer: For a second time, a charter school is being proposed at Valley Forge Military Academy
Unlike the last proposal, which was put forward by the military academy, the latest application is being advanced by backers with no formal ties to the Main Line private school.

by Maddie Hanna
Updated Dec 24, 2022

Supporters are trying again to open a military-themed charter school on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy and College, despite a denial from the Radnor school board last year.

Unlike the previous proposal — which was put forward by the military academy and which Radnor rejected as an apparent effort “to subsidize VFMA and make VFMA available to students through the use of public funds” — the latest application is being advanced by backers with no formal ties to the Main Line private school, including a recently retired Republican state senator and a former head of a charter school advocacy group. The chairman of the proposed charter’s board said it would be a “marriage made in heaven.”

In the latest proposal, Pennsylvania Military Charter School would still rent facilities from VFMA — paying $3 million a year, according to its application to Radnor, compared with $500,000 in the proposal rejected in May 2021…..The new charter application is supported by a charter school management company that started in Arizona and now runs schools in states including Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina.

The company, Charter One, initiated the latest application, said Joshua Johnson, the chair of the board for the proposed charter, which is now pending before the Radnor and Tredyffrin/Easttown school boards.

A retired U.S. Army Green Beret who now works for a leadership development firm, Johnson, who lives in Carlisle, said he was contacted by Charter One to serve on the board.

“We think there’s still a need … to have an alternative to a traditional school that’s based on military school principles, but doesn’t fall into that boarding school category,” Johnson said in an interview, adding that some parents “can’t necessarily afford the tuition Valley Forge charges.”

Unlike VFMA — which costs $39,000 for boarding students, and $24,000 for day students — the charter would be free to attend. Charter schools are publicly funded; in Pennsylvania, school districts pay charters based on the number of enrolled students and what the district spends per child.

Pennsylvania Military Charter says it would enroll 975 students from kindergarten through 12th grade — about four times as many students as are currently on the campus. The boys-only academy enrolls about 140 students in grades 7 through 12, while 80 more are enrolled at the military college, according to school officials….The charter’s $17 million budget includes $1 million for an educational service provider fee; that money would go to Charter One for professional services and operational supports, Johnson said.

According to the charter’s application, the fee would also cover an “aggressive” marketing plan to potential students, including paid social media advertisements and direct mail.

Among those who have also agreed to serve on the charter’s board are recently retired State Sen. Bob Mensch, a Republican who didn’t seek reelection, and Lenny McAllister, a senior fellow with the conservative Commonwealth Foundation who previously was CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools.

Following Johnson’s presentation to the Radnor board, the lone public comment came from a woman who questioned why the charter hadn’t included gender identity or sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy; whether gay or lesbian students would be welcome; and what plans the school had to avoid hazing and abuse. (In rejecting the previous charter proposal, the Radnor board had said VFMA failed to adequately address community concerns about abuse allegations at its school.)

“Respect for persons is absolutely one of the things we’re going to drive,” Johnson said. “But when it comes to gender identification, it will be our policy that the gender and name on the birth certificate is how they’re going to be addressed at our school.”

SO….has Tredyffrin Easttown School District (TESD) scheduled their hearing yet? Here is the entirety of the January 17th Radnor School Board Meeting:

Here are 3 smaller videos which pulls out some crucial public comment:

This all gives me pause. Essentially, I have to ask if these people wanting to start charter schools which all supposedly have Pennsylvania non profits but will really be run by entities in other states should even be allowed to open charter schools in Pennsylvania?

And of course, then you have to wonder how they will deal with what public schools are required to have and do have as far as the many complicated issues facing public schools? And will they be fair and equal and non discriminatory in all areas including sexual and gender identity? And why should people have to watch their tax dollars get siphoned off for schools started by people who have so many issues with public schools that haven’t been upheld by the courts over the past few years? Gender/sexual identity, books they don’t like, masking, vaccines, etc.? Why are taxpayers supposed to pay for their peculiarities?

Truly if you have time, watch and listen to the recent Radnor meeting. And remember that is not just a concern to residents in the Radnor Township School District service area in Radnor Township Delaware County but also in Tredyffrin Easttown School District in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships in Chester County. Interesting things include a website possibly intimating approval – https://www.military.academy/valley-forge when they are far, far from it. They do not seem to have a business plan but they have plans for a course of study called ethical hacking. And as this hearing goes on , the charter presenters seem to become well, combative and uneasy.

With both of these proposed charter schools there seem to be many troubling questions, sadly. Here’s hoping the media steps up and really digs in.

Again, in conclusion, I am not against charter schools in the least. But these two give me pause. Also is there really a need for their brand of charter?

Stay tuned.

oh look, it’s sour grapes season…in west whiteland.

Where to begin? Well, it’s whining season, pity party of one pay attention to me over on Lame Duck Supervisor Theresa Hogan Santalucia’s “blog” page called “Politician in Chester County.”

Before I get to today’s dear diary of it all, can we talk about the profile photo? She looks like Darth Vader’s sister from another mother, doesn’t she?

But I digress.

This is a politician who is insecure and unpleasant, and that is being mild, and that is allowed to be said because wait for it….she’s a politician. She is prone to verbose word salad fits, and now she is calling herself a “blogger” via a Facebook page and here is today’s offering which DOES deserve comment:

Let’s talk about health issues.

This is just my story and in no way am I looking for sympathy. Just one person’s journey through a lifetime of a chronic disorder.

Why have I chosen to share this personal part of my life? Because when I announced I am not seeking reelection for Supervisor of West Whiteland, detractors decided that my reason of Health Issues is not true.

Let me be clear. No one speaks for me. I do not have a spokesperson and the only people I would ever give such a task to would be a close family member, my husband of almost 36 years, or one of my children.

For the second time in little over a year, Libby Madarasz has taken it upon herself to speak for me. She is not my friend, and she is certainly not nor ever was in any position to speak for me.

Despite my health issues and the prospect of another procedure. I was all set to run for reelection to prevent Libby Madarasz and her untruths from getting into office. I won’t even get into her campaign page and where she has stretched the truth or where it is outright fiction.

When I received a phone call that a highly qualified lawyer with a history of giving to the community was interested in running for the job, I felt a huge relief that I can concentrate on my health instead of a contentious campaign. Jo Ann Kelton is a very qualified individual and in the conversations, I have had with her I am confident she will serve the residents of West Whiteland with the highest integrity.

Here is my story, Again not looking for sympathy just offering clarity on my decision not to run and where I am today.

In 1986 while planning my wedding during a routine doctor’s appointment a nodule was discovered on my thyroid.

In early 1987 I went for my first thyroid surgery where the nodule and a small portion of my thyroid were removed. The only side effect at that time was a scar at the base of my neck and as I was wearing a high-collared wedding gown I didn’t let it bother me.

After the birth in 1988 of my eldest child, I started having difficulty staying awake and waking up. After some blood tests, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. It is an autoimmune disorder of the Thyroid gland. It seems to run in my family on my father’s side in many of the women of my generation.

I began seeing an endocrinologist and over the years have been on various levels of thyroid replacement medications.

In 2006 I started having difficulty swallowing, balance problems, and other signs of something wrong. After an ultrasound, I was sent to a surgeon and scheduled for my second thyroid surgery. In late winter 2007 I had the rest of my Thyroid and a goiter (that has permanently disfigured my face) removed. At that time, the lab results were micro cancer inside my thyroid that was causing the goiter to grow.

This surgery caused a permanent change to my voice and for the first three months, I had no voice.

I have had multiple changes to my medications and see my endocrinologist between every 6 months to once a year depending on where I am in medication dosages and overall health. I truly respect my doctor and everything he has done for me. I dread the day his last child graduates from medical school and he retires.

Over the years I have had increasing difficulties breathing. A trip to an ENT revealed That one of my vocal cords is frozen over my esophagus and the other side is atrophied.

Six years ago while running for the Board of Supervisors of West Whiteland, I walked most of the Township. I was mostly alone so I went at my pace and was able to get the job done.

As time has marched on I have had increasing difficulty breathing. I have added an ENT to my regimen of doctor’s appointments. I cannot even explain the dread a long flight of stairs gives me.

Fast forward to today. I have a permanent feeling of choking, at times it feels as if the insides of my throat are stuck together. My ENT has referred me to the University of Penn. I have an appointment and look forward to whatever help they can give me.

At this point, I am days away from my appointment at the University of Penn. I do not know what the future holds. I am hopeful that there is a resolution and that I will be back to my normal level of physical ability.

I hope this gives clarity on my reason for not seeking reelection. Nothing to do with being fearful of any political opponent or adversaries from neighboring communities. Just truly health issues that need addressing.

~A politician in chester county 1/22/23

Well that is a lot to unpack, right? Those are her words all word salad-y and verbatim. No embellishment except from her. Wonder what kind of toilet paper she prefers? She skipped that for some reason.

First thoughts: obviously no one speaks for her, who could get a word in edgewise? Related, is when exactly did Libby Madarasz speak for her? Why would she? WHO WOULD WANT TO?

She is right, Libby is not her friend. Most aren’t and don’t wish to be, she’s a toxic politician with boundary issues, yes? When she’s talking all about her health issues Saint Theresa left out political Tourette’s disorder with a side of potty mouth, didn’t she?

So now about her health issues. Does she think she is the only woman with health concerns or has family members with health concerns? Hardly. I have known women with thyroid issues and thyroid and throat cancer who never ever talked about it. If you knew them, you knew what they dealt with, but not thrown out there as a handy politician’s tool, you know what I mean? And of course, it shows you how little she knows her actual constituents, like Libby. If she did, she would know how brave Libby is and that is one reason why we respect her and love her so much. Everyone gets thrown curve balls in life, it’s how you live with them, how you rise to meet the challenges in life. We look to the POSITIVE examples of humankind and women in our lives, like Libby Madarasz.

If this woman had sought re-election for supervisor, she would LOSE. When you are getting primaried as an incumbent from within your own party, it’s not because they love you out there.

I was all set to run for reelection to prevent Libby Madarasz and her untruths from getting into office. I won’t even get into her campaign page and where she has stretched the truth or where it is outright fiction.

~ Politician in Chester COunty

Which of course is why it is hysterical that she put her imaginary super hero cape on to purportedly run so she could PROTECT West Whiteland from a woman who has already volunteered and sacrificed much to try to help protect residents and neighbors from pipelines. Besides, has Libby ever requested checks just get written in rather large amounts without approval?

Again, I literally have friends who live every day with serious thyroid issues, including nodules being removed, etc. All have scars. You don’t notice their scars. Two had cancers removed there. I had breast cancer. Radiation fried my thyroid a bit, so I have thyroid issues. Actually a great deal of people have thyroid issues, it’s fairly common. I took breast cancer meds and other meds for a decade. She’s a later middle aged woman. As we age, most of us have something, take something. It’s not a death sentence.

Why have I never believed health issues were never the reason for Theresa Hogan Santalucia not seeking re-election as West Whiteland Supervisor? Because if they truly were, wouldn’t she have publicly said something long before now, right? It’s more likely a case of riding the fence to test political waters and well, I am sure someone told her she wouldn’t make it again, and I am entitled to that opinion.

And every time she talks about running for office for her first election it’s like a tall tale of Little House on The Prairie. All that shoe leather, mostly alone on the windswept prairie in a blizzard, right? Oy vey woman, did you bring your light saber to defend from all those rabid villagers in your way too?

I will state I wish no one ill who has health issues, but I have little compassion for a local politician who has ruled like a petty tyrant and I am entitled to that opinion. I also have little compassion for someone who is essentially playing Fibber McGee about someone I know.

Libby has honor. Libby has a moral compass that is true. She is quite literally a good woman. Yes she is a friend of mine. And she is the kind of friend who paints you a little portrait of a beloved pet after an untimely death. Libby did that for me, and it’s something I look at every day and it makes me feel less sad. That people, is exactly the kind of woman Libby Madarascz is. A quiet doer, not an attention seeking glory hound.

As soon as Libby announced her candidacy, the political machine that should embrace and support candidates equally started rumbling. They couldn’t possibly have anyone independent running. These people are ridiculous. And predictable. THEY are the ones who found another candidate in Jo Ann Kelton in my humble opinion, not Theresa. But between these forces, and Theresa’s endorsement like the mafia kiss, I reserve the right to have concerns about HOW Jo Ann Kelton came to the party.

HOWEVER, it’s still a VICTORY because Theresa Hogan Santalucia is NOT running for re-election. I have a feeling no matter what happens, Theresa will take credit for Jo Ann Kelton’s candidacy and campaign. And if Mrs. (Ms.?) Kelton is elected Theresa will remind her as often as possible that SHE made this happen, not Kelton’s own abilities. Jo Ann Kelton has wisely kept her mouth shut thus far. However Jo Ann Kelton would be wise to say something publicly and thank Libby for being gracious. And she hasn’t yet. That is just good manners and costs nothing.

Now since this Lame Duck Supervisor has a lot to say about Libby and essentially called her a liar using other words, allow me to share Libby’s words most recently, and some other screenshots when she decided initially to announce a candidacy for supervisor. I challenge you to find “where she has stretched the truth or where it is outright fiction.” (HINT: IT DOESN’T EXIST.)

Anyway, let the sour grapes go rot somewhere. Talk to the hand, T-bird.

I close with Libby’s words. Libby has grace and style and class. She would have made a terrific supervisor. West Whiteland residents are lucky to have her in their corner. Residents should send her thank you notes, she did y’all a favor

Dear Friends,

The main reason I chose to run for West Whiteland Township Supervisor is that I care deeply about this township and I was concerned and unhappy with the supervisor whose term is ending.

When I threw my hat in the ring for supervisor, the outpouring of support and offers of assistance from friends, neighbors, fellow Democrats and even strangers, was so uplifting and encouraging. I am incredibly grateful and honored that so many have faith in me to do this important job.

With a tough race ahead and waning support from the community, the current supervisor withdrew her name from consideration. She will not be running for a second term.

In the meantime, another very capable and experienced member of the Democratic Committee, Jo Ann Kelton, decided that she would like to be considered for the open supervisor’s position. Jo Ann has served on the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board. She is a lawyer who represents the disadvantaged.

I have already accomplished the most important thing that I set out to do.

I will continue to bring my enthusiasm and energy to work for the betterment of West Whiteland Township. When issues arise that impact the health, happiness or safety of residents, I will stand up.

In the meantime, I am happy to withdraw my name from the race and get behind Jo Ann Kelton for West Whiteland Township Supervisor. I know she will do a fantastic job.

Thank you so much to all of the support you have offered!

~ Libby Madarasz 1/21/23