About carla

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

the site might be more cleaned up, but the ruin of ebenezer on bacton hill road doesn’t have much time.

November, 2016

I have not written about the ruin of Ebeneezer AME Church on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland for a couple of years now. It’s not my party any longer, and truthfully there are members of East Whiteland’s Historical Commission whom I am sure would prefer I not have an interest in this site. I guess it doesn’t matter that I did a lot of work for this site, some of my friends did a lot of work for this site, and years ago when no one was paying attention I did the placement for the media coverage which was local and regional.

But I do have an interest in this site. It spoke to me years ago, and today I listened again. In 2016 a structural engineer reviewed this historic site and warned about not addressing the bowing of the longer north and south facing walls. There were also warnings of the use of heavy equipment on and close to site. Well today I got a couple of photos from the road because of what I saw a couple of weeks ago that disturbed me.

The walls are coming down. No, no one is taking them down, the years and years of neglect leave no other option for old walls.

November 13, 2022

I think this is tragic and really upsetting. But it’s not within my power to change it. It is still within the power of the AME Church, unless they have suddenly transferred the property to another entity. I also think East Whiteland Township could try to do a little more.

I asked someone for an update on the site in June and never heard a peep. OK fine, they aren’t interested in conversing with me, but now I am saying I told you so. If they want to preserve any part of the ruling of that church, they need to move a little more quickly. They also need to preserve the graves that are in the graveyard.

Ebenezer represents a heck of a lot of history and there are freed slaves, black Civil War Soldiers, and ancestors of people who still live in the area today. This site deserves respect. Respect just isn’t a historical marker, respect is a better degree of historic preservation. You can read about my coverage of Ebenezer by doing a search on this site or CLICK HERE.

#ThisPlaceMatters

nigella notes.

On Thursday evening, we made a rare venture into Philadelphia to see Nigella Lawson at the Kimmel Center. We don’t often go into Philadelphia these days, as it is somewhat of hot mess. And yes we saw that last night, and the sidewalk was actually torn up right in front of the Kimmel Center.

An Evening with Nigella Lawson was originally scheduled for November 10th at the Miller Theater, and was moved to the Perelman Theater inside the Kimmel. The Miller (formerly the Merriam) is under renovation. I am actually glad they moved it to the Kimmel, and the space is gorgeous and so clean! And my friend and food blogger Marilyn was two rows behind us!! Marilyn is the genius behind Philly Grub.

It was an amazing experience and some very amusing people watching. In front of us to the left was a woman who literally massaged the top of her companion or husband’s head the entire time. In front of my friend to the left of her there was a person who took off their socks and shoes and put their bare feet up on the seat in front of them!

Overall, it was not a bad audience at all, and we had super nice people immediately around us.

Nigella Lawson is warm and personable. Friendly, funny, self deprecating in the most amusing and human way. I have seen other personalities whom I admire “live”, and seriously I walked away thinking how truly nice I think she is. Of course part of it is I am sure is the fact I am an Anglophile.

I took notes while Nigella was speaking. I wish it had been recorded! She is as lovely in person as we see on our television screens. And I don’t mean just beautiful, because she is drop dead gorgeous. I also mean lovely as in the nice person you meet whom you want to have over to your house for dinner.

To follow are the notes I took as she was speaking. You will note her program wasn’t a cooking demonstration, it was also the woman outside the kitchen. And she is not a classically trained chef, like Ina Garten whom I also admire and follow, she’s one of us just elevated. She’s a home cook.

Michael Klein from The Philadelphia Inquirer was the moderator. He was excellent. He and Nigella had terrific chemistry and rapport. Michael’s manner also helped make this a memorable event. Not that any of us should be surprised if you have followed his columns for years.

So here are my Nigella Notes:

When she was 9 she wrote a play on the meaning of existence. Terrapins were the characters.

At 10 she penned a self-described “very bad” murder mystery.

Originally Nigella thought she would be a novelist.

She spoke about finding her voice in writing. Nigella’s voice evolved from writing about food. I guess that goes along with something that one of my friends and writing mentors who is a retired journalist has always has said to me which is “write what you know.“

Writing – find your own voice. Nigella touched on that again. She also noted her experience when writing about food that people are more connected, almost nicer. As a blogger I can appreciate that, because when I post a recipe everybody loves it and no one complains. But if I write about a politician or politics/political issues, the keyboard warriors salute (and charge.)

Funny little Nigella notes include how she feels about fruit bowls- she doesn’t mix her fruit. Every kind of fruit has their own bowl.

Regarding her first book How to Eat– wasn’t sure at first if she would have recipes. She wasn’t sure she knew how to write about food.

“Life is full of unexpected turns.”

Nigella remarked how inspiration comes to us in odd ways, as we “lurch” through life.

She found it fortunate in her work as a journalist to live through her words.

Nigella started with TV at 38 or 40. She had two small kids, a husband who had cancer. His name was John Diamond, and he was also a journalist. He was 47 when he died. On a rather personal note, this resonated with me because my sister became a widow at 43, when my brother in law, then 49, died of a swift moving cancer. So I respect what Nigella went through and was dealing with back then.

Nigella spoke about what her terms were back then in order to do TV. If she could do TV, she wanted to do it from home but unscripted. Wanted to speak naturally. And with two small children and an ill spouse, it was an early work from home arrangement, and good for her for getting that.

I always have loved Nigella programs because she is relaxed and has fun in her kitchen. Her own dishes and pans, and not everything is perfect, much like our own kitchens. And one of my favorite parts of her shows is when she would go into her kitchen late at night for a snack. It’s so human and real.

Oh did I mention her pink boots?? Seriously an important note, they were truly fabulous!

When asked about writing her books, she prefers to do her books as they evolve, not as a “churning out machine.”

This: a cookbook from the ingredients she loved that was an essay, reflecting on ideas, then recipes to follow.

Home cooking because of COVID seems to have inspired this book in part.

This book, Cook Eat, Repeat are essays with recipes, like a companion piece to How to Eat. For that reason, on my own book shelves, these books are together.

On making or creating a book with food- the feeling of creating something.

The practical can make you feel you achieved something- the dizzying feel of achieving from the blank page.

Cooking for one in book because of COVID but she’s done it before. But cooking for one is important- you can concentrate on process of cooking and learn.

Lockdown caused her to spend more time on Twitter. Also notes recipes for one are important. I agree. I have always cooked for myself, even when it was just me.

Nigella hates the term “guilty pleasures.” It “blinks to snobbery” as in liking the “right” things and being afraid to say that you like something.

Essentially she remarked the hell with you shouldn’t be eating something, just try it. Life is too short. Don’t be counterproductive. Guilty pleasures with food doesn’t really work. Feel grateful not guilty.

When asked about things that she can’t live without or would prefer not to live without, there was bread and butter. “Life would be poorer.” She says she definitely needs lemons and salt in life. She remarked about a chips sandwich and referred to it as an English delicacy. As near as I can grasp it, this would be a sandwich of french fries or chips in between two slices of bread with butter.

She loves English mustard. Coleman’s, specifically. I always have Coleman’s dry mustard in my spice rack, and when I can get the actual jarred mustard I do. It has a bite. I use Colemans mustard in deviled eggs along with curry powder.

Now she and Michael Klein chatted about “brown food.” She said she wants to write about not just bright food and color. Not everything has to be high octane in your face. Or Instagram worthy. There is a need in life for the quiet bits. Food might not always blow your mind, sometimes it has a quiet kind of dignity, comfort. Lasts longer. “ A stew doesn’t shout for you to come to the table, it whispers.” (I loved that description.)

Quiet food, comfort food, has equally rich rewards.

It’s not all about the “shouty look at me.” Not everyone needs to be the same. (Amen. I wasn’t destined to live in a beige, beige world for one.)

We evolve our ideas, but your cooking evolves the way your life currently is. “I bumble away” referring to being a home cook. The more you cook the more you know.

“If you can’t deal with a cracked cake in life, life is going to be more difficult.”

What do you want to eat ? People have different palettes.

Recipes express the nature of cooking. Recipes express the nature of the chef.

Then she and Michael took a few questions from the audience. We were all asked to write a question down and basically put it in a little wicker basket when we were checking into the event.

The event actually went over the time allotted, and I could have listened to her for a couple of hours more. It was delightful. It was such a nice change from the obnoxious world we’ve been living in recently.

This was a really cool experience, and well I didn’t particularly enjoy the City of Philadelphia because it’s just so dirty and the streets and the sidewalks are such a hot mess these days, but the Kimmel Center was really nice.

Thanks for stopping by.

well now.

#whereisGUY ? ohhh he’s #byebyeGUY

Yes, I will admit it. I am quite gleeful about this. I totally did not care for that Guy as a candidate and every time he runs for something he acts the same way. Going back to that website from 2008 just proved it.

(https://whatkindofguy.wordpress.com/)

Do I think he will run for office again? Actually I kind of think he will. And he still won’t be my Guy. And I’m allowed to have that opinion about any politician.

There was one Republican whom I actually think is a really good guy and he didn’t survive the midterms, sadly. That is State Representative Chris Quinn. He was defeated by Radnor Commissioners, Lisa Borowski. Ironically Lisa has prevailed where former Radnor Commissioner and current Delaware County Council member Elaine Paul Schaefer failed in 2016 I believe it was. However, I am not a member of Lisa‘s fan club, because having watched her during her tenure with Radnor Township I see more often than not someone out for themselves not out for their plurality. However, she now has a chance and an opportunity to prove all of her critics wrong.

And now we sit and wait for the rest of the races to come in and for the election to be certified. I am going to say honestly that I think a friend of mine summed up the Republican everything quite well to me today.

This friend said:

No red wave! Looks like a red drip.
If Trump doesn’t get the “f…” out of politics we will see the death of GOP in next 10 years. Will go the way of the Whigs.

I think that’s correct sadly. and why do I say sadly? Because historically as a nation we are a democracy based on a two party system. Both major parties have issues, but the Republican Party is seriously flawed and insanely dysfunctional. And we saw that once again this election season by the candidates the GOP chose as worthy to back.

It used to be that they just fielded better candidates. There were at least candidates who would make you give a look at them before you decided one way or the other. Not this time.

But I’m not going to NOT say that I think the all of the candidates on the Democrat side were perfect. I do not think that and never did. I honestly feel this was the lesser of two evils election in a lot of cases. And obviously enough Republicans felt the way I did, since the results prove enough of them voted for Democrats.

This country needs to retire Trump even if he doesn’t want to retire. He was not and never will be the second coming of Christ. He’s like an old fashioned tent revival grifter. He’s also a walking talking malignant narcissist. Do you think he cares about anyone even the Republican party? He never has. This isn’t about America this is about his personal glory.

I heard from just as many Republicans as Democrats this election season who said they were fed up with the Republican party. In the case of the Chester County Republican Committee, their leadership needs to actually demonstrate they’re trying to improve the party for the better. What I saw this election season was them looking starstruck by Dr. Oz which was really something they should’ve been embarrassed about. And State Republicans? Just wow.

Chester County Democrats and State Democrats also need to wake up a little bit. I’m not letting them off the hook either. They also need to field some better candidates. And they need to make our elected officials more accessible. And maybe it’s a national Democrat party decision, but (for example) people don’t feel like Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan is accessible to her constituents. I mean sure she’s accessible to the big check writing variety, but not everybody else.

And to all of the hyper “vigilant” groups and Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism groups? I don’t need your approval, I don’t seek your approval, I don’t even want to know you. Yet you are obsessed with me. It’s damn strange, truthfully. And I love the comment below “politics don’t supersede human decency.” I mean where do you get your material, and are you basing the definition of “decency” on your own behavior? If so, how do you figure? All I see are an artificial bunch of bitches who constantly project. And all you all do on your own is bully every single person who does not agree with you. I would say look in the mirror but bless your hearts, it might crack.

It’s really nice that this terrible election season is over. But we all have a lot of work to do still.

But for now enjoy at least a temporary break in the constant political yammering. And definitely enjoy that attack ads have come to an end for another political season.

other things

Today is just one of those days that makes you think. I had to be home today, so I used Instacart. I will be honest I like this as a service. And for the most part I also really like the people that work for them. Today my person was a woman new to the area. Why and how she’s new to the area gave me pause.

This woman is here because of Hurricane Ian. Her husband has a job that requires a lot of travel. He spends a lot of time in this part of the Northeast. But they were living in Florida. Until hurricane Ian took everything. So she and her husband have relocated for at least the near term. His job is based out of the suburban Philadelphia area at this point, and well they just lost everything in a hurricane.

So as we’re sitting in our houses, apartments, townhouses, condos, wherever we need to pause a moment. Forget about all the hate and vitriol, think about people that go through things like this. And they go through it with a smile on their face and a positive attitude.

Also today I got to spend a little time with a friend of mine I don’t get to see very often. Life kind of intervenes and there are people that you just don’t see it as often as you would like. But again this is a person who has had quite the year, and is still positive and smiling and happy.

Today I also got to meet a Brazilian artist. She also has relocated to this area. And another person who just radiates niceness and positivity. The artist is Fer Caggiano, and I was introduced to her through a mutual friend. For this post I borrowed a photo of one of her paintings because it’s kind of how I’m feeling today, right or wrong. The link to Fer‘s website is embedded in the caption of her painting above.

The painting you see above made me check out a video of one of her shows, a show called “Like a Girl.”

Fer Caggiano is now calling Chester County home. It is kind of amazing that she is here. Her work is interesting, thought provoking, imaginative. I am not an art critic, I am just someone who likes things which strike me in some way The portraits in her Dare to Dream are cool. They aren’t traditional, they aren’t abstract, they are an interpretation of life and the essence of her subjects. Fer is also part of the NFT artwork movement.

What is an NFT artwork? NFT art is a digitalized piece of artwork that a person has tokenized onto a blockchain. Admittedly, that is not my jam as I like to look at art more traditionally. But Fer is multi talented, so she is an artist you can buy actual physical pieces from.

Fer is based out of Malvern now and Hands In on King St. They are located at 346 E. King St, Malvern. Now this business is owned by my friend Susie De Rafelo. Susie and I became friends because of a common love of gardening. Susie is amazing, (truly) and so multi talented and artistic. We are very lucky that this Chester County born woman returned to her roots and brought her business and imagination with her.

Hands In is a fair trade business. I am a fan of fair trade, as my long time friend Sherry Tillman has always practiced this through her business, Past*Present*Future , which is in Ardmore, PA.

Today started out like more of an average day. I also had hate mail in time for election day from some woman (a Stepford Wife for Totalitarianism) who should be ashamed of herself and her lack of intellectual ability, but she won’t be. She is a bless your heart and move on. You can read what she sent to me in my post this morning.

As humans, we are not designed to be mirror images of one and other. But in today’s hate and vitriol filled world, if you aren’t exactly like someone, you are bad. Ok, so to people like this morning’s fan, I am bad. If I don’t agree with someone on social media, I am bad. But I am tired of these people, and increasingly intolerant. I wasn’t born to live in a beige, beige world. I like color. I accept life can be messy, yet glorious. If you can’t, I am sorry, but that’s on you. These people are far too plentiful these days. And that is sad. But today, ugliness was once more balanced out with good. I appreciate that divine intervention, so to speak.

Thank you to the unintentionally inspirational women with whom I interacted today. You guys make life and the world a better place.

Now, if you haven’t already, please go vote.

Ciao.

today.

Today is the day, Pennsylvania. No excuses. Get out and vote.

Happy Election Day!

From a friend who works the polls:

Please do not post photos of poll workers OR of your ballot. Please remember that people in line to vote NEVER ASKED TO BE IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS- PLEASE DON’T POST THEIR FACES

If you want change in Pennsylvania, be the change. Use your power of your vote. Today is a day where people with a brain know the power of apathy and excuses for not getting to the polls to vote won’t cut it.

If you spot something wrong at your poll, call the police. Report it. Document it. Do not be intimidated by people at the polls and if that happens, call the police. Your vote is between you and your conscience.

This morning when I logged onto my blog’s Facebook page, to follow is what was waiting for me. I am giving you the screenshots I am not covering anything up. I am finished with being harassed by people like this.

And these are people, women like this especially, who don’t realize that the reason you fight for rights and free and fair elections is so even idiots like herself can have those rights. Bless her heart she is so limited in her personal worldview that she doesn’t get that visiting anyone’s Facebook page public or private is a privilege, not a right.

Needless to say she can shove it where the sun don’t shine. If this is who is lecturing anyone on manners, what a sad sorry state of affairs the world is.

If you choose not to vote, please don’t complain after the fact as you will only have yourself to blame.

I already voted. My vote is counted. I voted to protect a woman’s right to choose. as in every woman, no matter what that choice might be.

There’s nothing left to say. Go vote.

Pax

what kind of guy….not our guy

Guy Ciarrocchi is running for Congress in the 6th District. I know it gets confusing, because earlier in 2022 he also ran for governor. I’m going to include screenshots.

He’s not my kind of Guy, that is for sure. That being said, please think before you vote tomorrow.

He seems like the kind of Guy who drags out his heritage when it’s politically expedient. I also have plenty of relatives in South Philadelphia. I also have Irish and Italian lineage. (Of course my lineage gets more interesting because there’s also a dash of Pennsylvania German.) They are part of what make me who I am. I’m proud of those roots. They were hard-working, nice people. They taught me to stand up for myself among other things.

Again…..If politicians are judged by the company they keep, check out the company he’s been keeping especially recently in Berks County…..He’s very careful not to appear in a photo with Mastriano, which I find interesting, but do note with whom you find him. And where. #whereisGUY ? Hmmmm.

Now in 2008 or thereabouts there was an entire website devoted to him. That’s how strong people felt when he was running for State Representative against Paul Drucker. See:

https://whatkindofguy.wordpress.com/

Things that bug me include:

If you can still access that link above that is his old gubernatorial website from early 2022. That is kind of sloppy, truthfully.

it is basically the same bio verbatim as found on this website where they refer to him as a “young gun“: https://nrcc.org/candidates/guy-ciarrocchi/

Then there is this:

December 2021: Ciarrocchi Said Roe v. Wade Was “Bad Law” Based On “Very, Very Outdated Science.” “GOP gubernatorial candidate Guy Ciarrocchi, who is on hiatus from his job as the president of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce said, ‘I am pro-life. But, whether or not one agrees with Roe v Wade, we should all be saddened to know that millions of babies have died—30,000 each year in our state. The decision focused on a baby’s viability in 1973. At a minimum, we should all agree that viability is now much, much earlier due to scientific advances. So, Roe is now not only bad law, it’s based on very, very outdated science. It is time for Roe to be replaced.’” [Delaware Valley Journal, 12/1/21]

November 2003: Ciarrocchi Said A Court Decision Overturning Massachusetts’s State Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Was “Bad Moral Decision” Because It Would Make The Term Marriage “Meaningless.”  “For Haddonfield resident Diane Marini, yesterday’s Massachusetts high-court decision overturning the state ban on same-sex civil marriage could carry her closer to her dream: to legally marry her partner of 12 years, Marilyn Maneely. ‘We’ve raised five kids together, but we as a couple have no rights,’ said Marini, who with Maneely is among seven gay couples suing for similar legal recognition in New Jersey. […] Guy Ciarrocchi, director of the Philadelphia Archdiocese Office for Public Affairs, saw it as ‘a bad legal decision and a bad moral decision.’ ‘It’s bad legally,’ he said, ‘because it continues down a dangerous path of allowing courts to decide important legal issues rather than legislatures. And it’s bad as a moral decision because if every relationship the participants believe is special is deemed marriage, at some point the term marriage becomes meaningless.’” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/19/03]

~ The Case Against Guy Ciarrocchi



So let’s circle back to he never seems to appear in a photo with Mastriano. As a matter fact he seems to show up at events were Mastriano is but not in Chester County which is very interesting. To me that says that even this guy thinks Mastriano isn’t good for Pennsylvania. I’m allowed to have that opinion. I’m sure my opinion will upset his cheerleading collective from Moms for Liberty and Pennsylvania Conservative Women (formerly Conservative Women of the Main Line or whatever.) These “ladies“ I collectively refer to as the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism. But the event in Berks county was interesting because it was hanging with a bunch of people from an extremist group. Again.

And then he goes door-knocking in HIS neck of the woods . So he doesn’t tell people he’s a Republican, he tells them he’s an Independent? Dude, can’t be a little bit preggers here since you’re against abortion which must include political abortion too, right? Haven’t you said you were an independent when running for things before? So if you actually are not a Republican why run as one?


The extremism stance is a familiar M.O. if you refer back to the what kind of Guy website. I offered to you some screenshots from that website. And I’m really glad that website stayed up because it is very informative. And that is the biggest problem with today is people do not do their own research. Too many do something or say something or repeat something just because someone told you to. That’s why these groups like the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism have so many members. Here are the screenshots:


We do not need any more divisiveness in Washington, D.C. and this isn’t because he’s a Republican, it’s because the Republican Party only shows the American voter crappy candidates. It’s kind of a problem across the country but it’s like pervasive dangerous mold in Pennsylvania it’s so bad. This country is a democracy based on a two party system, but when you have one party that is no longer the party of Lincoln and that is the most polite way I can think of putting it, fielding sub par candidates and pandering to extremism, welll dayyuummmm….we live in crazy times. Usually I am a ticket splitter. There is not one Republican I could actually vote for with a clear conscience in 2022. Not one. Well except for Chris Quinn. I could vote for him for State Rep if he was a choice. He’s a good dude.

So it’s up to you tomorrow who you vote for. But this “Guy” is a man who has run for lots of offices and just is quite simply put, out for himself. It’s not about us, it’s about him. And if you are a woman in Pennsylvania especially, he’s not your Guy and it is EXACTLY that simple.

Get out and vote tomorrow. Don’t make excuses, find the time. It’s too important.

Thanks for stopping by.

this is WHY you need to VOTE tuesday.

Today is ugly season in Downingtown at Kerr Park. Their objective? To be louder, uglier, and nastier than everyone else.

This makes them (in their minds) better Americans than you and I.

They aren’t. It’s not actually a contest.

But all of this ugliness is exactly WHY people have to get out and vote Tuesday. They are exactly the reason we have to vote to preserve our rights. And those rights are whichever ones apply to us as human beings and Americans. If you think about it, to an extent, this election season is about protecting the basic human rights Americans enjoy, isn’t it? Our rights aren’t subjective.

Oh and where would we be without a Ron Paul t-shirt sighting as well?

The ugliness and abusive behavior and implied violence is supposed to make you afraid to stand up. It’s still the basic premise of bullies only win if you allow them. Trust me, I know. Threats and implied threats and harassment have become every day behavior for bloggers and other independent voices that aren’t interested in political cultism.

Those photos above demonstrate clearly that the Chester County GOP panders to extremism and extremists. If you are a Republican and you care about the party of Lincoln, I hope Tuesday you vote to keep their current slate of insanity and inadequacy out of office. I hope you vote to save what’s left of your party by voting against them.

Republicans and Democrats need to try to set a path forward to return to moderation, balance, and a viable working two party system. Because we need a viable two-party working system to maintain a democracy. That means saying NO to the ENTIRE GOP slate this time.

We are already “free people.” Our founding fathers fought, died, and bled for it. that means that these people also get to demonstrate their ugliness, sadly. But it doesn’t mean they have to win. But it means that Kumbaya time is over and you need to get out and vote on Tuesday.

I am just one voice. This is not my sole responsibility, and more of you need to find your individual voices. How we move forward as a county, state, region, and a country is a “We the People” kind of thing. I am not interested in people telling me how I should think and how I should write and what I should write about. I am writing about this because it matters to me personally. When I was born, women had limited rights. Women weren’t even really supposed to have their own bank accounts and credit card accounts and store charge accounts. And along with everything else, we vote Tuesday as women to preserve our rights. Don’t tell me you care, show me you care by actually voting.

Now please let me enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

hey lower merion residents, is this your billboard future?

Hey Lower Merion Township/Penn Valley/Gladwyne is this your future?

The secret is out. Once again the billboard baron is on the march. A reminder of what they did in East Whiteland Township, Chester County:

Oh and these are the trees they weren’t allowed to take in East Whiteland because residents went to PennDOT:

What has recently been heard regarding East Whiteland is that Catalyst withdrew their application from Penndot not so long ago and something like the billboard site is being sold to yet another billboard company?

And here are more views of current uses of the West Conshohocken sign not really so far away from where they want them in Lower Merion:

Yeah so read what came out from one Lower Merion Township Commissioner, Josh Grimes. And people say the commissioner in Bryn Mawr, Scott Zelov is all for moving the billboards so it now becomes the problem of another area of the township? Pretty obnoxious if true, right? Especially given all of the support other commissioners have gladly provided to him all these years over billboards in Bryn Mawr? Really hope this isn’t true don’t you? I also wonder who he’s using for a lawyer this time? Because unless I am mistaken I believe the lawyer he used and East Whiteland is actually Radnor Commissioner Jack Larkin and I wonder how he would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and they wanted to put billboards in Radnor?

And what’s with the carrot and rabbit psychology by billboard company? Kind of like what they did in East Whiteland, right? Perhaps it’s being done this way in Lower Merion because the objective all along was to get the giant TV billboards on the Schuylkill Expressway? Maybe the billboards should go up at “Maple Hill”? That’s in Gladwyne, right?

Please visit Daily Mail to read article

So my opinion which I’m entitled to have as I hope lower Merion fights these billboards because just because the man can buy a house in Lower Merion it doesn’t mean Lower Merion should have to be the location for his billboards unless they’re going on his own front lawn, Anyway, here is what Lower Merion residents are now facing:

lmsd is front page over eminent domain…again

Lower Merion School District is front page news over Oakwell, next door to Stoneleigh in Villanova.

Why? Eminent domain….again

We shouldn’t be surprised because Lower Merion School District probably wields eminent domain or the threat of eminent domain more than any institution I’ve ever heard of. I could be wrong, I am sure there are some that do it more but in my worldview they are one of the worst offenders.

Lower Merion School District in my humble opinion has always abused eminent domain powers. It’s like they think they are LMSD and everybody should just bow down. 

In their vision quest with blinders they’ve gone after Stoneleigh, Ashbridge Park, etc. I think if they had bought this property with the intention of using the house as the administration building for the school district or something like that I wouldn’t care. But to so wantonly wish to destroy so much green space, so many trees, so much beauty for turf fields for middle schoolers is really kind of tone deaf in today’s world and it’s just wrong, pick a reason.

The house itself is super cool and historic. Things on the grounds are historic. There’s a teahouse with a beautiful giant old terra-cotta warrior who is just spectacular. It’s an amazing property, and once again it’s something that will be destroyed because of this school district if they aren’t stopped.

It doesn’t matter who the superintendent of the school district is, they just think if it’s something they want they can take it. Again, this is my opinion and I’m allowed to have it. I spent 30+ years living in Lower Merion Township.

Something else I find interesting is literally across the road is Delaware County and Radnor Township. How do they feel about this? How do their residents feel?

The whole Oakwell issue has been a slow burn that seems to have ignited. I don’t have a crystal ball on how it will play out, but I don’t think middle schoolers need turf fields and artificial turf as much as they need nature. Kids need to be able to be kids. A lot of kids today don’t want to be on organized sports teams. There are also field alternatives where they can share fields. But the problem with the school district is they don’t do anything nicely, sharing among them.

So once again we’re staring in the face of Lower Merion School District’s misplaced sense of entitlement.

The Philadelphia Inquirer did an amazing job on this article and I think everyone should read it.

Lower Merion schools’ condemnation of storied Main Line estate for ball fields encounters growing resistance

by Frank Kummer and Oona Goodin-Smith

Updated Nov. 3, 2022

John Bennett kindled the hearth on a recent day in what was once his 20,000-square-foot brick Tudor Revival manor replete with heavy wooden doors, wainscoted library, and Mercer floor tile.

The 72-year-old physician-turned-medical-device-entrepreneur recalled how he lost the home and its 10 acres off County Line Road in Villanova through eminent domain in 2018 to make way for middle-school athletic fields. The property, known as Oakwell, contains nearly 700 trees, some of which are thought to date back centuries.

“Everything happened so quickly that there was no way to save it,” Bennett said as he recounted stories about the house, including having a ghost exorcised.

The Lower Merion School District — one of the wealthiest in Pennsylvania — paid Bennett $9.9 million for the house and grounds in the condemnation with plans to clear-cut hundreds of the trees for athletic fields for newly opened Black Rock Middle School. Updated plans show it would keep the Oakwell mansion and a pool house, but a teahouse watched over by a terra cotta warrior, stone fencing, and a brick-walled garden complex all dating back at least 120 years would be razed. The $90 million middle school opened this year. The district plans to start breaking ground for the fields in June…..

What is eminent domain?

The taking of Oakwell marks one of several district attempts to build athletic fields for the new school. The board faced an outcry in 2018 when it tried to condemn part of the Stoneleigh estate next door, which is preserved under a conservation easement. Efforts to use the nearby Ashbridge Memorial Park were halted by a long-standing deed restriction. An attempt to use another nearby property also fizzled, while other lots were deemed unsuitable…..

Eminent domain — or the ability of the government to pay landowners to seize their private property for public use — is a power “inherent to the government,” said Matthew Hovey, a municipal attorney with the High Swartz law firm that represents clients in the area.

Typically, Hovey said, the power is used as a last resort as it can prove “politically unpopular” and may lead to costly and lengthy legal challenges.

~ Philadelphia Inquirer

#saveOakwell #stopLMSD