About carla

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

why is radnor township like a nancy drew mystery that needs to be solved?

In December of 2013, The Radnor Township Board of Commissioners agreed to buy 71 acres of original Ardrossan land. It was well-documented in the media, right?

To quote Radnor Patch back then:

To cover the $11.6 million cost, Radnor plans to use a $10 million bond issue (previously approved by Radnor voters) as well as supplementary grant funding requested from DCNR, Delaware County and private fundraising, according to the township document.

“The bond payments would be largely funded by revenue from our Open Space Fund, which comes from the real estate transfer tax, rather than from property taxes. However, for an 11 year period (2015 to 2026) the projected payments will exceed the amount available in that fund and we would need a millage increase to make up the difference,” reads a township document on the acquisition.

The document continues, “The millage increase would be structured to sunset in 2026. The millage increase required would be .15 mills. The median home assessment in Radnor is $264,710. That landowner would pay $39.71 a year with such an increase. Further, 67% of the properties in Radnor are assessed under $344,682 and those taxpayers would pay an average of $29.34, with the highest in that range paying $51.70.”

“Board President Elaine Schaefer said the community has had a ‘long-standing desire’ to preserve Ardrossan as open space. She pointed to a 2006 referendum that allowed the board to sell up to $20 million in bonds to pay for open space that was approved by 80 percent of the residents,” reports Main Line Media News.

“Also, in the four recent hearings held to discuss the purchase where “scores of people spoke,” residents supported the plan 3 to 1, she said. While Schaefer said that she understands the financial concerns of ‘the minority,’ Schaefer, who was just reelected, said that Radnor was a democracy,” the newspaper reports. According to the document, the intended use for the land would be for a trail system (both walking/running on the perimeter and macadam/biking on the road) “and continued agricultural use through a farming licensing agreement, and reforestation, habitat and wetland restoration.”

~ Radnor Patch 12/19/2013

OK, let this sink in again for a minute “According to the document, the intended use for the land would be for a trail system (both walking/running on the perimeter and macadam/biking on the road) “and continued agricultural use through a farming licensing agreement, and reforestation, habitat and wetland restoration.”

I have to ask, are their proper trails back there yet and has all of that mentioned years ago happened? Or just cows grazing up against McMansions, so McMansions get tax breaks and the farmer grows his cow’s food and no one seems to wish to actually release a comprehensive report since he signed off on his original lease and Radnor developed the ordinance to produce the lease or whatever?

Not to be picky, but from said document of 2015:

And here, the entire document signed by Bill Spingler in 2015:

So in theory, the chemicals would have to be human, domestic animal and wildlife friendly, right? Also in theory, chemicals used could not pose an actual or potential threat to natural water sources, right?

So if the list of chemicals used by said farmer as part of the lease agreement is supposed to be provided, are they regularly and PUBLICLY available (as in always posted on township website as exhibits in the form in which they arrived with only personal email addresses and phone numbers redacted?) ??? At this point why can’t the issue be discussed at Radnor meetings whenever and why can’t the public seem to ever quite know the truth? I still don’t understand what the big deal in Radnor Township’s mind is since that agreement lays out disclosing of chemicals, etc?

So Radnor what about the chemicals? Has that creek been tested regularly and by whom and where are the test results? Why are no outside environmental groups involved or are they involved and if so who? Does Trout Unlimited know for example? What does Delaware County say or a state thing like the PA DEP?

OK now let’s think about the folks who think the lease agreement is ridiculous and come on where else can someone get a deal of renting gobs of land at a $1 and they keep all the lovely moola they make off of the land as well? That my friends, is a farmer’s dream. I can’t blame a farmer for wanting a great deal because farming is brutally hard work and ungodly expensive. However, there is an original ordinance and lease and lease agreement correct? So what happens if the farmer isn’t keeping with the agreement? Has the lease been changed in any way since it’s original issuance?

So yes, to those who wanted the lease overturned in 2021, did you ever think another way to invalidate a lease is if the terms of the lease weren’t being adhered to? And wouldn’t super nasty chemicals be a lease issue?

Bringing it full circle to today, is that why Radnor doesn’t seem to want to release all of the information the public is entitled to see because it is public land?

Seems pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? But sadly, hasn’t Radnor Township had transparency issues in the past? Sunshine doesn’t just help the crops grow, yo’.

Here are links to articles relevant to the farmer and the original lease. I looked for stuff on the trails that were part of this idea and purchase and subsequent leases or changes in lease verbiage, but…. ???? Does this stuff exist?

Radnor official says cattle are part of a tax dodge at the former Ardrossan estate
Richard Booker’s motion would end Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease for land that the township paid almost $12 million for in 2013.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 12, 2021

An elected official in Radnor is pushing for the township to cancel its lease with a cattle rancher on publicly owned land that had once been part of the sprawling Ardrossan estate, saying the deal helps wealthy landowners on other sections of the former estate take unfair advantage of tax breaks for agriculture.

Richard Booker’s motion, which he plans to introduce at a Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 22, would end the agreement that lets rancher Richard Billheim’s Fern Valley Farm use 71 acres of township-owned property for its beef cow operation in exchange for $1 a year.

Booker said in a memo with his motion that he decided to take action on the lease after reading an article published earlier this year by The Inquirer about the tax breaks at the former estate enabled by statewide agricultural-conservation programs under Act 319 — better known as “Clean and Green” — and Act 515.

The programs tax land for what it is worth as a working farm and not what its value would be if sold on the open market for housing, strip malls, or offices. Under Act 319, by far the most commonly used of the programs at Ardrossan and elsewhere, the land must produce $2,000 a year in farm goods.

At least two dozen parcels on more than 260 acres are successfully enrolled in the programs, accounting for more than 40% of the former Ardrossan estate’s acreage sold over the last quarter-century, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records.

» READ MORE: Ardrossan homeowners qualify for local reductions, too — courtesy of programs to save farms

Properties covered by the tax breaks include homes of a leader at a major real estate firm, members of the family that cofounded the Apple Vacations tour business, and the top-ranking member of the County Council for surrounding Delaware County.

The only known agricultural products coming from the enrolled land are the corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay grown there to feed Fern Valley’s cows. While cows do graze on a portion of that land, most of their grass-munching is done on the township-owned property. To Booker, that means Radnor is helping private property owners get their tax breaks because those cows wouldn’t be there absent the generous lease.

Radnor officials defeat measure to cancel ranch lease seen as aiding Ardrossan tax reductions
The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley Farm has said was vital to its 10-person operation
.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 23, 2021

Officials in Radnor have defeated a measure to cancel a lease on township land for a cattle operation that also helps residents on parts of the former Ardrossan estate save hundreds of thousands each year on their taxes.

In a 4-2 vote with one abstention, the township’s Board of Commissioners on Monday rejected member Richard Booker’s motion to terminate Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease to use 71 acres of publicly owned property for its 60-head Black Angus beef business.

Booker said at the sometimes combative hearing on Monday evening that this was not a good use of the land that Radnor paid $11.7 million to purchase in 2013 and now costs the township $600,000 a year in debt service payments.

“I don’t want anyone to lose their job or for the farm to go away,” said Booker, who is one of two Republicans on the seven-member panel. “What I do want is to get the township out of … the business of farmland-assessment reductions it has been in for the last seven years…….”However, commissioner Lisa Borowski, a Democrat whose ward includes part of the former Ardrossan estate, said residents are benefiting from the deal…..

Borowski also said that the farmland-preservation programs give Ardrossan landowners an incentive not to subdivide and develop their large properties, which they could opt to do. This does not appear to be accurate, since all of the privately held properties enrolled in such programs are also covered by deals known as conservation easements that prohibit them from being further developed in perpetuity, according to an analysis of property records by The Inquirer.

When the former estate was first broken up, buyers of those properties qualified for federal tax breaks for land conservation thanks to those easements, as The Inquirer has reported.

Asked in an interview Tuesday about which properties she was referring to in her public remarks, Borowski referred the question to Township Solicitor John Rice. Rice said he had not performed an analysis that would identify such properties.

Oh and don’t forget, Lisa Borowski is running for State Rep in the 168th against Chris Quinn, right? So maybe it would benefit State Rep Chris Quinn to inquire as to the chemicals used on the fields, etc,. right?

Look, I love open space and I will admit it, I love cows and those cows are awesome and special. BUT chemicals are a big deal and look at all of the things in the news about glyphosate and paraquat-based herbicides? And what about the pesticides they warn about that can harm bees and other beneficial insects? I totally get that not all farmers can go completely organic BUT where this land is being farmed should be part of a more organic plan if not a completely organic conversation, correct?

So time to show ALL of the cards on this, Radnor. At a minimum if you like and respect your farmer, don’t you want him to be able to farm in peace? And farm safely to protect humans, domestic animals, natural water sources, nature in general, etc, etc?

Happy Saturday, and moo.

why not visit dishfunctional in their new malvern location this weekend?

Dishfunctional isn’t in West Chester anymore. I open with that, because they were there for so many wonderful years. BUT Dishfunctional does have a terrific new location in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center in East Whiteland.

The store is long and wide inside and well lit. And full of so much fun stuff! Not just the china and crystal they are known for but so much else! They have some wonderful art right now too! My personal favorite? This amaze balls piece of Mick Jagger by Denny Dent. It’s huge, but very cool.

I found four extra dishes of the Johnson Brothers’ “Friendly Village” vintage ydishes I like to use in the fall and winter sometimes. They are hard to find, and were only $5 each which is an amazing deal!

I spent a lot of time looking through the store. It’s all very clean. Other things they have right in the front of the store I love is some fabulous antique cast iron lawn furniture. Also very reasonable in price and good shape.

Dishfunctional is located in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center. 225 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, PA.

Tuesday through Saturday
10:00 am until 6:00 pm
Sunday
11:00 am until 3:00 pm

Check it out!

a september soup tale

Soup. It’s just one of those things that once in a while you just want. There’s no rhyme or reason. Today was one of those days. This is a soup tale, not necessarily a traditional soup recipe, because I just made it up and you’ll have to follow along.

I save leftover chicken and actually bones and carcasses from roast chickens and freeze them to make bone broth . I also freeze necks and giblet that come inside a roast chicken when you purchase it from the store.

Today I also had acorn squash left over from a farm box, some fresh onions, garlic, a couple of hot peppers from my garden, and a big container of beautiful local mushrooms. So to me it said “don’t let anything go bad, make soup.”

First I got out my small instant pot and I added all my chicken bits. Then I added a sprinkle or two of kosher salt, fresh sage rosemary and thyme, a healthy dose of Lebanese Za’atar spice blend, Shawarma spice blend, and Persian Advieh.

I know, I know I have a weakness for exotic spice blends and different kinds of paprika. Paprika however was not in this recipe.

So I hit the broth setting on my instant pot after covering up my chicken parts and spices with water, leaving a gap of about an inch to an inch and a half at the top inside. After I cooked it all on the broth setting which is about 40 minutes, I added an extra five.

Meanwhile, I took out a cookie sheet pan and made a large tinfoil pouch and put inside of the pouch the acorn squash quartered, four medium to small size carrots cut into little circles, one large fresh onion chunked, and finally I added a small head of garlic, cloves peeled. I drizzled olive oil on top, tossed in a little bit of salt, folded everything up into a package and put it into a 400° oven for about 40 minutes. When the vegetables were done I turned off the oven and set it on the stove top as I waited for the broth to cool down.

When the vegetables were cool enough to handle, I scooped the squash from its skin and put it and the other roasted vegetables into a soup pot with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary. Not a lot just a little bit more, and a couple of dashes of Sherry vinegar.

After the broth had cooled down enough, I drained the broth through a strainer into my soup pot. I put the chicken parts and bits that I had used to create the broth in a metal mixing bowl to cool further. I used a hand blender and emulsified everything, adding to that believe it or not, 2/3 of a cup of creamy peanut butter.

I know peanut butter sounds odd, but when I was a kid and we first went to Historic Williamsburg one of the historic taverns in Williamsburg served a peanut soup, and it was a chicken stock base with peanut butter and it was amazing. It’s a flavor profile that I like. It doesn’t taste like a Reesie’s cup or anything like that but you do have that undertone of peanut butter flavor. Of course, if you’re allergic to nuts you can’t do this.

So what was my next step? I turned the stove on low underneath the soup. I added back the chicken I picked off the bones of the chicken I used to make the broth with. Then I sliced up all the beautiful mushrooms (baby Bella) I had, and tossed them into the soup pot, followed by two additional carrots and one apple grated. Finally, I had about a half a cup of Minnesota wild rice left over from last year, and since it only has a shelf life of so long, into the pot it went!

I have pretty much pre-cooked the soup and I will turn it off and just let it cook away in the pot with the lid on. I will let it come to room temperature and by that time it will be close to dinner, and I can then heat it up. And allowing this soup to sit hot like this will also help the wild rice cook because if you’ve ever cooked with wild rice you know it takes literally twice as long as any other kind of rice. I prefer wild rice in soup because it holds up very well.

For a made up soup of leftovers essentially, it is not bad. Sometimes I am like the kitchen sink cook, and it’s whatever is around goes in something. In this case it has worked out really well and I have to tell you the flavor profile of the soup is wonderful and emulsifying the vegetables and the broth with the peanut butter gives it a creamy texture without adding any dairy products.

Given inflation, food prices, and the economy, perhaps being a kitchen sink home cook is not so bad? I literally bought nothing special for this recipe I used everything I had around the house or in the garden.

The kitchen smells really good right now. Thanks for stopping by.

queen elizabeth II 1926-2022

I am a proud American, but I have always been an Anglophile. Today at 96, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral in Scotland. She was Britain’s longest reigning monarch. I think she was a complex woman, and although I didn’t always agree with the stiff upper lip of it all, I actually admired her, was a bit of a fan girl.

I do not really want to debate anyone on monarchy vs. no monarchy, look at all she accomplished in her life. Like her Great Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria, she live in a time of change. If you like history, you can appreciate this. If you are not a lover or student of history and just want to pooh pooh me, I can’t stop you.

I have friends who are Anglophiles who are not monarchists, they are anti-royalists. I spoke with one quite coincidentally today. And I liked the fact we could have a conversation about it because that is such a rarity today.

Now Charles her son is King Charles III. There has not been a Charles since Charles II who died in 1685. Charles I was beheaded in 1649.

Anyway, I am taking a few minutes here today to mark the passing of a woman who saw a lot of history. RIP Queen Elizabeth II

~ then princess elizabeth from her first radio speech at age 13 on october 13th, 1940.

my darling ups, you SO screwed up AGAIN, let me count the ways….

UPS is one of those companies who make it literally impossible to get through to a live person who really speaks American Standard English or any form of English in the U.S. They have offshore call centers at their worst.

I do not use UPS if I can help it. They have lost too many packages over the years. Some companies only deliver with UPS however.

And one point of clarification: our local UPS drivers are wonderful. My beef is with corporate and their cheap ass ways and offshore lack of customer service.

Allow me to start with an email to corporate UPS this afternoon, it pretty much tells the story:

To whom it may concern (and hopefully you are actually located within the United States) ,

I am entirely too fed up with UPS.

In August, after my friend’s property had a horrible fire where they live.  My friend’s teenage daughter lost her favorite boots in said fire.  So as a surprise, I ordered a pair to replace them. 

Why am I telling you this? Simple, because from this moment forward, my friend’s UPS deliveries have been attached to MY email address. I first realized this when I received notification of a mysterious package delivered to Phoenixville PA September 2nd, 2022.

I called UPS because I do not actually live in Phoenixville PA.  I spent and excruciating 45 minutes on the phone with your offshore inept “customer service” whose best advice was “Don’t worry.” Don’t worry? In the day and age of identity theft etc.?

Today I received yet another tracking number notification for UPS for a package to Phoenixville. So I got on your equally inadequate online customer service “chat.” They asked if I knew a particular person, and I said yes, but we don’t live together or share a UPS account.

So next I contacted my friend they mentioned and we worked out the common denominator was I ordered her daughter a present and the company used UPS to ship. 

A few minutes ago I tried futilely to actually get a live customer service agent to help me.  I even tried calling your corporate offices.  Did you know that you actually cannot get to a live person in the U.S. to speak with unless you have some secret inside number? Sorry rhetorical question, of course you know this as it is deliberate.

And don’t tell me to lookey lou inside my own UPS account, because what shows up is MY email address and MY home address.  You all accomplished this bit of stupidity elsewhere.

Well I am seriously peeved as a consumer.  It should NOT be so difficult to speak with an intelligent person and  not someone in an offshore call center. I doubt this is what your founders wanted. 

What I want is simple: 

1.  Remove MY email address from being associated with an address in Phoenixville, PA

2.  My email address should ONLY be affiliated with MY actual address.

3.  You need to return to ACTUAL REAL CUSTOMER SERVICE that ordinary folks can access easily.  Your offshore “chats” sucks and it is impossible to reach your customer service and if you can they can’t understand you and you can’t understand them.  Don’t know where offshore centers are located, and it doesn’t matter, it sucks.

Mine are simple requests, and for all of the money you make this should be no big deal.

Next are the email addresses I sent this to:

DAbney@ups.com,
cbtome@ups.com,
customer.service@ups.com,
pr@ups.com,
ncesarone@ups.com,
bsubramanian@ups.com,
custsvccaen@ups.com,
customerrelations@ups.com,
tmclcure@ups.com,
investor@ups.com

Form this list I have had no bounces yet, but I did get a literal out of office for customer service:

So yes, they admit to a lack of customer service in their own customer service emails. And I also got a reply from the former Chairman, retired two years but still retains corporate email address. So yes, I will remove him from the list, but I guess he doesn’t realize I didn’t dream up his email address, it was on the Internet? So how retired is that? And if he was a GOOD retired CEO he could just forward my e-mail to someone to help, right? We will have to see if he is a good retired CEO.

Seriously, this would make a great Saturday Night Live skit. And allow me to share part of the “chat” today with Lucky G, who was lucky they weren’t in front of me:

Above is UPS’s idea of “customer service” and I think that is more like customer aggravation. Remember the good old days, when you called customer service and they answered and helped you???

As I said somewhere else on here, our local UPS drivers are so good, and always nice, but they aren’t customer service. No, they are just the guys who get to listen when we tell them how bad customer service is.

So UPS, this post is for you. For what your earnings are, you should be able to manage a little actual U.S. based customer service. I have waning respect for U.S. companies who take jobs that should be U.S. based, offshore.

enough already.

Every day, something is attempted.

I told you all my readers and others that I wanted to take a couple of days to myself. Hence the post “gone fishing“.

Why did I write the post? Simple, I am sick of the assorted crap and adult kindergarteners who are more ill-behaved than actual kindergarteners in need of a nap.

I still am sick of the assorted crap, only today a different line is being drawn in the sand: zero tolerance of the trolling, doxxing, cyber stalking, real stalking, and harassment of me.

I have experienced it all, hence the nice graphic above. Cyber-stalking, doxxing, trolling, cyber-bullying, hate speech, public shaming, intimidation, and threats. I have a file, law enforcement is quite aware.

I am a blogger. I also am actually a writer who has had professional bylines. Therefore, when they the stupor fans say I am hiding, I have to ask “how hard have you looked?”

Because I choose NOT to interact with these inane and nasty types of people, I am “hiding”. Choosing not to interact with assh*les is not hiding, it is valuing myself more. It’s self-care after a fashion.

Why does anyone have to have a conversation with keyboard warriors if they choose not to? The answer is you do not. And then there are the ones who say they’ve never met me or interacted with me. That is pretty funny, because oh yes quite a few of you have. Yes, you never know with whom you speak and spout your crazy face to face, do you? Of course the other amusing thing is so many of these keyboard warriors are so incredibly weak and dare I say it, almost soft-spoken in reality. I find that fascinating.

Because of my interactions with these people, I also choose NOT to patronize certain businesses, even if I like the owners. Sometimes they are the owners, sometimes they are the employees of the owners. I don’t wish these businesses ill, so I simply find excuses not to stop in, even when invited. Just like I don’t plague family members of these people or try to do them harm.

Someone asked me recently who I was. I answered that I am myself. That is entirely true. I am not a different person depending on the time of day, year, hour. I am an individual whose voice you just don’t like. Not my literal speaking voice, but because I speak my truth.

This summer I have been doxxed several times. Last year I was doxxed by a Stepford Wife for Totalitarianism who also showed a photo of me in a hospital gown during the time I was undergoing breast cancer surgery and treatment. That was a purely petty female attempt to bully me, only it backfired, didn’t it? There is something that is such in just bad taste when you do that during breast cancer awareness month, which this woman did.

This is how they hope I will be.

And this behavior happens again, and again, and again. I am one middle aged woman, yet I am apparently such a threat to them? How can someone they don’t know who has no desire to interact or socialize with them be such a threat? Or is it because I have no desire to interact or socialize with them I am a threat?

Or am I just a threat because I speak my mind when I feel something is wrong?

These are the people who don’t wish to actually have a conversation with you (or me.) These are the people who are society’s misfits for whatever reason. It is hard for them to accept that they aren’t liked essentially because they are just not universally likable.

I am O.K. if not everyone likes me or loves me because I know who I am. I know who actually cares in real time, and with my loved ones and friends, it’s not about pretense. Our political persuasions, religions, belief systems, and even races are not all the same. You see, you can like people who are not the mirror images of you.

But sadly, that is what makes a lot of these people uncomfortable: if you aren’t the same as them. To them I say, it’s O.K. to live in your beige, beige worlds. God did not create us all to be identical, and God knows you don’t think a lot of us are your equals. And that is O.K. too.

It’s time to draw a line in the sand with regard to targeted harassment.

The following was posted on my blog’s Facebook page at approximated 2:30 AM. I took the screenshot at 8:30 AM when I blocked and reported another fake profile harassing me.

Think about that a minute: they went to all the trouble of creating a fake profile with no history, just so they could harass me, a middle-aged woman at 2:30 AM. Harassing and doxxing me. Saying I am hiding.

I am not hiding. And doxxing me doesn’t mean you will be able to hide forever, either. It all gets logged and reported.

Let’s break down what they said:

(1) I am supposedly hiding. I am not hiding. I just choose whom I wish to associate with which is obviously not them.

(2) I am the one causing all of the division and hate? Umm where exactly besides inside your tiny little mind? That statement is equally sad and pretty funny, so I guess I am personally responsible for establishing world peace too?

(3) “A whole lot of deleted comments and posts on here isn’t healthy” Gosh I am so terribly sorry, the grammar police will definitely be arresting you for sad, sad verbiage. Oh and who decides healthy? Your pal Dr. Oz, perhaps? And deleted comments? Gosh by golly, I guess you forgot you don’t rule the world and the Facebook pages of others?

(4) They are new here? Ha ha ha umm O.K. whatever you say and you won’t have to worry your empty head about anything, you were removed from the page. And why? So you aren’t upset and you can go harass and doxx someone else for a while.

Now let’s look at the profile. Newly created. Only likes a couple of things which are probably not representative of what they actually like or patronize. I still think this is a woman, or maybe they are just petty like a woman.

So why does this happen? Simple: I am not them. I don’t think like them. I am not one of them. I also don’t put up with being bullied, harassed , or intimidated online. And yes, law enforcement does keep an eye out on these activities. Not because I am a horrible person, but rather because people attempt horrible things on myself and others. Every. Single. Day.

I can’t control these people. Their behavior is on them. But they are incensed they can’t control me. But their behavior should not be tolerated by anyone. I don’t cause all the division and hate locally, regionally, nationally, or world-wide. But I will speak out when I feel something is not right. That makes me a threat to their personal perception or ideal of world order. That is on them, not on me, or anyone else.

We all have choices to make in this life of ours. We can choose to squander our lives with hate and bad behavior, or we can try to make our world a better place. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, I never have. But as a grown ass woman, I know I don’t have to read blogs or Facebook pages I don’t agree with. But human gaper delay being what it is, some of these people are quite literally obsessed with me. That, in fact is what is not healthy. Bless their hearts, Vanna can they buy a clue?

Ciao for now. I would say thanks for stopping by, but y’all interrupted going fishing.

Here’s hoping my stupor fans don’t choke on their hypocrisy today, bless their hearts.

gone fishing

I have blogged for years. I blogged back when blogging was just starting. There were no mommy bloggers talking about Disney cruises and pyramid scheme companies to sell jewelry, nutritional drinks, supplements, cheap clothes. I even had a price put on my head in the dark days of eminent domain in Ardmore by a big mouth outside publicist Lower Merion Township hired once upon a time.

Over the years I have been blogging, I have been threatened quite a bit, screamed at, and more. You name it, truthfully it pretty much has happened. I even had people more than once write guest editorials to local papers and letters to the editor to take pot shots at me.

Once in a great while I have been thanked by people I have helped, and most of the time that happens below the radar because when I help people, it’s not out there in the forefront, it’s done quietly off of any blog and social media. I don’t help for personal glory. I help when I choose to help because I believe in the difference between right and wrong.

I don’t write or do anything for accolades and atta girls. But I also don’t write for the constant armchair critics and keyboard warriors of many political persuasions.

I write first for myself, because I love to write. I also write because I think things are important and should be discussed. The problem with doing that today however, is that so few are capable of having a real conversation.

I get messages and phone calls and emails at all times of the day and night. Even on Sundays. People always telling me that I am the one that “has to do something. “

I am not the one that has to do something. I actually don’t have to do anything. This isn’t my job to fight your battles.

Once in a while quite a few of you need to stand up and be counted and use your own voices for good. You CAN actually do it.

I hadn’t written about the nonsense yesterday masked as a rally in Wilkes Barre here, but I had posted some photos I found floating around on social media since it occurred. Including photos that I know weren’t from yesterday, but were from other rallies of a similar nature, and are representative of some of the people that Donald Trump thinks appropriate to give voices and power to, while limiting the rights of anyone who disagrees with him.

Instead of thinking about why I might have posted that and what it means as an actual threat to democracy, there were quite a few who decided they were going to chide me and accuse me of posting fake news. I was not doing that.

There was one person who kindly said they thought maybe I hadn’t seen the photo before, and they had a conversation back-and-forth with me and we discussed it. To that one person and the others who had posted comments that weren’t accusatory and judgemental of me, sorry but I had enough and took down the post.

I am not anyone’s bitch or lackey in this play of life. I will also not be treated like anyone’s bitch or lackey in this play of life.

I don’t suffer fools lightly and never have.

Between the politically correct who want to fight the politics of evil but they want others to actually do it for them, or the literal sheeple of nastiness following the pied piper with an agenda in Willistown, the Stepford Wives of Totalitarianism, school board nut bags, ridiculous political candidates and more, I have had enough of ALL of your crap and I am saying so.

If you think that you can write better than I can, have at it. It’s fine. Lots of people write. Maybe you should try.

I have a life and I am getting back to it. Y’all can figure it out.

Consider me, gone fishing.

Ciao for now.

don’t you just love the sweet smell of politics?

“ Good manners is nothing they’ve ever suffered from“
~ Joe Biden Philadelphia 9/1/2022 in reference to the

MAGA megaphone types trying to shout down a U.S. President
Democracy. It is our birthright and like our freedoms, isn’t subjective. #VOTE

Ahhh September in an election year! I am starting with a screenshot from the Presidential address from Independence Hall last evening. And here is the Reuters video of speech:

So I actually listened to this speech last night. I wanted to hear what President Biden had to say.

Bravo.

That was a speech, and it went on in spite of the MAGA megaphones trying to shout down a U.S. President. And that is a conversation ALL of us need to have. It’s not just what MAGA Megaphones and their ilk have to say. WE ALL HAVE A VOICE AND WE ARE A DEMOCRACY….unless of course they really do wish to delve into socialism, communism, dictatorships, totalitarianism.

These people who have bastardized the Republican Party and U.S. politics, think the ONLY rights that matter are THEIRS.

These people who have bastardized the Republican Party and U.S. politics, think the ONLY voices that matter are THEIRS.

The objectives of these extremists can be seen everywhere as we as Americans prepare for midterm elections. Republicans as in the party of Lincoln, Democrats, Independents. We all need to come together and shut this crap down. It will take more than one election, start here with midterms 2022.

These people use dirty tricks and other chicanery to try to advance their message, and quiet the voices of others by always wanting to shout the other person down. They tried to do it to me today on Facebook.

Facebook is always amusing on whom they decide to tag for spam and fake news. Today they did it to me. On something that ACTUALLY HAPPENED, no less.

To follow is a slideshow of screenshots from the post and the video I included that Facebook deemed I am not sure what. Fake news, essentially. Here are the screen shots of original post, comments on said post, and a video to follow that was taken by Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism the day the Conestoga High School anti-masker students walked out encouraged by adults who would face no repercussions like suspension, etc. The video was filmed AS IT HAPPENED. As in live, not fake news.

Now before I post the video, allow me to say that these were all of the screen shots I collected earlier today. So I think I captured all of the comments, but am not positive because this was one of those posts that people kept saying they couldn’t see comments, although no comments were deleted or hidden, and then they couldn’t see the post, so I got what I could and moved on with life. Facebook does this all of the time, no matter what the topic. Their algorithms are fakakta.

Here is the video which they said was fake:

Yup a video that was even REPORTED ON BY MAINSTREAM MEDIA was fake news. Seriously, what a hoot, right?

Chester County high school shuts doors for a day after ‘threatening statements’ made over masking

by Maddie Hanna
Updated Feb 14, 2022

After about 50 students staged a walkout Friday to protest having to wear masks, Conestoga High School in Chester County — in the top-rated Tredyffrin/Easttown district — closed its doors Monday after administrators declared it could not operate in-person safely.

In a statement on Sunday, the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District said it was working with police to address “threatening statements directed toward other students, including racist and homophobic slurs and insults” that broke out on social media after the protest…..

On Friday, the band of Conestoga students opposed to masking chanted “USA” and “Freedom!” in the school’s atrium before walking out of school, slamming doors and yelling on their way out of the building, according to the high school’s student newspaper, The Spoke. A father who has been a leading critic of masking in the district said Monday that his son helped organize the demonstration.

The Spoke also reported that “pro-mask and pro-science students” had planned a sit-in for Monday.

~ philadelphia inquirer, february 14, 2022

In-person education returns to Conestoga High after threats over masking policy

By FRAN MAYE | fmaye@dailylocal.com | Daily Local News
PUBLISHED: February 15, 2022 at 10:07 a.m.

BERWYN — Conestoga High School returned to in-person education Tuesday after it had briefly switched to virtual learning following threats that were made by some parents over a student masking policy.

Over the weekend, interactions among students on social media devolved to include harmful speech and potential threats to the school, the district stated. The social media threats forced officials at Tredyffrin-Easttown School District to switch to virtual learning, in an abundance of caution. Local police were notified, and following a sweep of the school, no threats were discovered.

“We followed our established threat assessment procedures and at this point, we have resolved any potential threats, and will apply the Code of Conduct as appropriate,” said Dr. Richard Guisick, superintendent of schools. “We are continuing to investigate other matters that have been reported to school officials.”

The school opened Tuesday on a two-hour delay, to provide time for staff to prepare additional support for students as they returned to school. There was an increased police presence at the school Tuesday.

Guisick said school officials will address the student body as a whole during homeroom to review expectations and provide reassurance that support is available. Counselors were on hand to provide support to students with concerns.

“Harmful speech, including racist or homophobic speech, has no place at Conestoga, or anywhere in TESD, and will not be tolerated,” Guisick said in a statement.

On Friday, about 50 students staged a walkout to protest the school’s mask-wearing policy. All students must wear masks in the school, as required by current policy.

~ daily local February 15, 2022

So I am always amused by Facebook follies.

Why has I posted this again? Because Sarah Marvin was one of the parents who sued Tredyffrin Easttown School District over students wearing masks as a result of COVID-19. She’s an anti-masker and I am not sure but I also think she is one of those vaccine choice folks, and my problem there is simple: mumps, measles, or polio anyone?

Yes I am being repetitive. Some of these disrupters filed a lawsuit against Tredyffrin Easttown School district. Sarah Marvin, Andrew McLellan, Alicia Geerlings and David Goveranti specifically filed a lawsuit against T/E School District in the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court alleging that the mask mandate is unlawful. They hired a big name Philadelphia white shoe law firm, and then put up a bullsh*t Go Fund Me asking people to defray their costs. Sorry not sorry, it was offensive that they did that since every taxpayer was already paying the price for them disrupting meetings taxpayers pay for, and would be paying for the school district to defend themselves, etc.

Anyway, I had posted because now that Sarah Marvin is running for office, her part in the anti-mask debacle is being massaged. What was in the court filings seems different then what is now being put out there, OK? And for someone who runs on a platform of “common sense” and I assume that means fiscal common sense too, well what about the costs to taxpayers she and her anti masking crew amassed between being disruptive at meetings, manpower over so many Right to Know forms, and the anti-mask litigation?

I have the filing in two forms, here is the second one:

I have been watching the campaigns unfold, and the anti-masking stance has indeed been politically massaged to try to make the crazy seem more palatable, more mainstream. To follow is a slide show. One slide is from court summary in first court thing posted, second is Ms. Marvin today/yesterday on the topic, and the third is from her political website.

I chose to show the video of the student walk out because to me it speaks of parents grooming kids to their political objectives, instead of letting kids be kids. In my humble opinion, Sarah Marvin is one of those people. So guess what? I don’t think she would be able to legislate fairly in Harrisburg. She is part of those who have divisive agendas. No thanks. It IS that simple in my mind.

Needless to say I like to oblige political candidates in their quests for personal glory (yes, that is indeed sarcasm), so as per the request of Sarah Marvin who is running for State Rep in the 157th, I put the screenshots up here. Yes really, she said it was OK. See below:

Now I am happy to oblige Ms. Marvin yet I find her perspectives confusing…and again, the company she keeps? See next thing. A real, honest to God, fake news interview.

Here are some other video snippets of things that actually happened. Some kind of gathering with the Man from Oz. Can we say the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism AKA the MAGAettes (not to be confused with maggots although perhaps related?) It says the location was Berwyn, was this actually filmed in a public school somewhere?

Remember our little guy has a past (CLICK HERE)

Here is some of what Facebook allows regularly:

Below are some additional thoughts on candidates for State Rep in Chester County Gail Newman and Sarah Marvin .These little reels are elsewhere on social media as well. Neither woman is equipped to equally represent any Pennsylvanian intelligently.

I am not sure I have anything else for you. We will get who we vote for, so no time for voter apathy this November. Send these people packing, and we will need to keep sending these people packing every election until they stop.

Our rights are at risk. Our rights are not subjective. They worship at the altar of Trump. Yes he was President, because enough people drank the Kool Aid. We’ve been paying for Trump ever since in this country. He is a desperate man hoping to incite civil unrest and perhaps yet another riot in Wilkes Barre. Watch this event tomorrow, Saturday at 7 PM – Trump, Mastriano, Oz and I am quite sure a lot of familiar faces from this area.

Donald Trump is working to have ANOTHER January 6, 2021. Why? Because he is a malignant narcissist who wants to rule us like an oligargh of evil. These candidates who suck up to him or adopt his brand in any way, shape or form? Not for us. Mastriano, Ciarrocchi, Sarah Marvin, and Gail Newman are all a BIG NO. We are designed as a democracy with a two party system. Two parties which require BALANCE. We have a lack of balance and need to get away from extremism in politics. We need moderates back. On both sides of the aisle. None of these candidates are actual moderates. Check out the Lincoln Project if you don’t believe me.

Let’s all focus on pink fuzzy bunnies like Facebook actually wants. Thanks for stopping by to my little den of iniquity.

Cheers!

hey tredyfrrin dodo hamilton neighbors, are you ready for rue dégueulasse in radnor township?

Today Radnor Township is being visited because THEIR planning commission meeting Tuesday September 6th has a big old bomb of a plan which will affect Tredyffrin Township residents in Chester County. The pretentious A.F. name is “St. Honoré” for the development and there is an as equally pretentious A.F. street name proposed of “Rue St. Honoré” .

Zut alors! Mais oui, très prétentieux for a developer whose late father was born in Chester, n’est-ce pas? Which is why I found a better name to propose: Dégueulasse (disgusting, revolting, sh*tty, swinish, putrid) and Rue Dégueulasse or perhaps even Rue Dégoûtant? (And yes, dear developer, I can have these opinions.)

The location of this plan is DoDo Land in Wayne on Strafford Avenue, first mentioned on this blog in 2020. I had written about it then because of Tredyffrin Township residents and Radnor residents, because it just seemed like a shall we say, greedy development prospect?

What is even more concerning is if you look at the planning packet in it’s entirety, it looks like two more properties are folded in? 211 Strafford Avenue and 227 Strafford Avenue?

Here is the packet below. I don’t trust things to not disappear on agendas, so have fun wading through. It also has things on yesterday post concerning Garrett Hill:

Look, this is a lot to digest with VERY little time to do it. I know that Tredyffrin residents were VERY, VERY concerned the last time plans for DoDo Hamilton’s property came up in Radnor. Then I remember the strip the house sale.

And I wouldn’t say DoDo wouldn’t do this, because it was a fact she sold other properties for development when she was alive, correct? Including further out in Chester County? What I also seem to recall were neighbors being super concerned even while DoDo Hamilton was alive about stormwater management issues as a result of this property. And people were super concerned about stormwater management last time this property came up in Radnor, so, what now that it seems two additional properties are part of this?

In 2021, Main Line Today Magazine talked about this project and make sure you look at leadership team page of Haverford Properties:

Without strong preservation ordinances, things like “vinyl windows with short lifespans replace historic wood windows that could be made energy-efficient,” Prichard says. “In the end, all of thesesmall changes lead to a drastic overall change in the appearance of historic neighborhoods, even when no buildings are lost in the process.”

“Unfortunately, I think it’s gone.”

Radnor Township commissioner Jack Larkin is referring to the mansion at the corner of Strafford and Eagle roads once occupied by the late Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. The township is powerless to stop the razing of the Victorian-era home for a residential development. As written, its preservation ordinance “is very vague,” says Larkin. “We don’t have the authority to preserve private property, [and its location] would make it very difficult to build around it.”

The developer, Haverford Properties Inc., didn’t respond to several requests for comment, and it seems residents are mainly concerned about the density of the development. “There hasn’t been an attempt to save [the mansion], nor any significant community outcry over its impending demise,” says Prichard, a Radnor resident and member of the township‘s historical commission.

~main line today magazine Paul Jablow January 6, 2021

Now I don’t know if Haverford Properties is involved in the development at this point, do you? What I see from the documents in the planning packet, it’s C.F. Holloway. Yessss people, Cas Holloway, and is it fair that some refer to him as a neighborhood killer? Look what he did in Ardmore. The houses he took down were gorgeous old stone Main Line houses, and he pushed people out that I knew who were renters in one address, so IF 211 Strafford Avenue is being folded into this plan, what happens to the Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn?

The Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn is a historic home. I remember when the original B & B owners were looking for approval a bunch of years ago, and you would have thought they wanted to add rapists and murderers to Radnor Township. Ha, those residents should be careful what they wish for, right? In 2016 The Radnor Historical Society honored the Wayne Bed & Breakfast.

Also note this from a Radnor Historical Society 2012 event listing:

Local Garden Tour
Friday, June 7, 2013, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nominal fee of $10 and reservation required. Tour four unique gardens surrounding wonderful homes in Radnor and Tredyffrin Townships. The tour begins at the garden and greenhouses of Mrs. Dorrance Hamilton (only open from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.). on Strafford Avenue. Then visit the Victorian garden across the street at Traudi and Bob Thomason’s Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn. The Thomason’s property features a 110 foot copper beech, thought to be the second largest in the state, wonderful outdoor spaces for sitting and relaxing, including a large pool and spa surrounded by gardens, and an inviting porch that wraps around the circa 1890 inn. Myrna and Paul Paluba will host at their creatively executed, multilevel garden with raised beds, water features, and a peace garden for contemplation. Maud Walker will host at her garden which is highlighted by an unusual collection of trees and shrubs, including a magnificent weeping beech, whimsical garden decorations, and a replica of an Irish garden shed. Directions to all of the gardens will be provided at the Hamilton property. Further information, including how to make reservations, will be sent to you in March. This event is cosponsored by RHS and the Radnor Conservancy.

~ radnor historical society 2012

Ha! With this development when it comes to plantings and trees, wonder what will be left? Don’t answer that, it’s a we shudder to think conversation, mais oui?

Another old thing I found on Developing DoDo land was

LIFE IN THE BURBS |MAR 03, 2021HAVERFORD PROPERTIES DEVELOPING THE CURRENT HAMILTON PROPERTIES ON STRAFFORD AVE AND EAGLE ROADS IN RADNOR WITH 41-3 STORY TOWNHOMES, AND 9 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

And then there was an Inquirer article:

Developer to share plans for part of Radnor estate of late Campbell Soup heiress

by Katie Park
Updated Jan 28, 2020

A development company is considering building houses or townhouses on part of the Main Line estate of the late Dorrance H. Hamilton, heir to the multibillion-dollar Campbell Soup fortune.

Representatives of Haverford Properties are scheduled to meet with Radnor Township residents for the first time Thursday.

The company has not formally submitted plans to the township, but some residents, already disgruntled over development in the sought-after area, say they feel a sense of inevitability. Under what’s known as “by-right” development, Haverford Properties can legally build housing on the parcel.

“They have, without question, the right to develop that property. We have no discretion,” said Jack Larkin, a township commissioner who represents the section of Radnor where the development would be built. “We can never say we don’t want a particular industry in our town because we don’t like what it is.”

Then this:

Delco Today: Developer Eyes Houses at Former Wayne Estate of Campbell Soup Heiress Dorrance Hamilton

By David Bjorkgren
Published: 5:14 am EST January 17, 2020
Updated: 7:50 am EST January 17, 2020

A developer has plans for an estate property in Wayne where prominent philanthropist and Campbell Soup Co. heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton lived, writes Linda Stein for Main Line Media News.

Hamilton died in 2017 at the age of 88.  She moved to Wayne with her husband, Samuel M.V. Hamilton, in 1950. He died in 1997.

Radnor Township Board of Commissioners President Jack Larkin reviewed two plans for the property  at Eagle and Strafford roads.

“The first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter.

Larkin felt that plan was unattractive because it meant cramming 40 single family homes on to the two lots.

He was more enthusiastic about a second plan putting 41 town homes on the western lot and nine single-family homes on the eastern lot.

Forty nearby neighbors also weighed in, stating they wanted to “mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character.”

They asked for no more than 30 town homes on the west lot and no more than seven single-family homes on the east lot.

A meeting between residents and the proposed developer is planned Jan. 30.

Read more about plans for the Hamilton estate here.

~delco today 2020


Main Line Media News did something to their website, so I found one their articles on Delco Times website:

New housing in works for Wayne estate of Campbell Soup heiress Dodo Hamilton

By LINDA STEIN |
PUBLISHED: January 13, 2020 at 11:30 p.m. | UPDATED: August 23, 2021 at 10:47 a.m.

RADNOR – Although no plans have been filed with the township, word is getting around that a developer has set his sights on the Wayne property of the late Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, who was one of the Main Line’s iconic grande dames.

“The developer has shown me two concept sketches for the lots; the first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter. “This is, to me, an unattractive plan: Because the units are, by right, single family dwellings, cramming 40 homes onto the two lots means filling them with houses without space for buffers, open space, or stormwater recharge areas.”

Larkin continued, “The second plan would require a conditional use approval by the township, and would put approximately 50 homes into the two lots -41 town homes on the western lot, and nine single-family dwellings onto the eastern lot. Because the homes on the western lot are town homes, they leave a lot of space for the things that are absent in the by-right plan: Stormwater management, sidewalks, buffers, and open space. The density is problematic for me, but with that in mind, it is a good plan.”

“When we first discussed the property, they took my stormwater concerns seriously and the concept sketch they presented had already incorporated stormwater management facilities above and beyond what was required by the ordinance,” Larkin wrote. “Second, when they met with the township engineer for feedback, they promptly incorporated his feedback into their design. Third, they’ve already asked for a meeting with residents to discuss their plans and get your feedback.”

Meanwhile, about 40 nearby neighbors sent this statement to Larkin: “We understand and appreciate the developer’s rights to develop the property, and our goal as a neighborhood is not to squash any development, but to mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character. For those of us who have lived here many years, we have seen the negative effects of cutting down trees on the Hamilton’s property and the building of just four homes on the corner of Strafford and Eagle Road. Despite the assurances of the engineers, developers, and other experts, our neighborhood has been substantially damaged and our lives negatively affected by ‘tiny’ changes to the Hamilton’s property. There are approximately 40 neighbors on Strafford, Hedgerow, Grant, Forrest, Fairfield, and Old Eagle School who will attest to being harmed financially by the improper regulation of storm water runoff in the past.

“The character of the neighborhood will be drastically changed by the proposed development. Haverford Properties is seeking to double the number of homes within our small community. Our current neighborhood contains 35 acres and 64 homes, approximately two homes per acre. The developers plan to build 50 homes will result in 114 homes, for over three homes per acre. We already have a traffic problem, exacerbated by the fact that our community straddles two townships and counties. The Strafford train station is a delightful anchor to our neighborhood, but it too increases motor and foot traffic. Residents are already fearful to walk on Strafford Avenue. It is a death trap (with) no sidewalks, insufficient lighting, and a dangerous curve in the road. As a community we deserve better from both Radnor and Tredyffrin townships.”

~ delco times 2020

I looked on Commisisoner Jack Larkin’s website and couldn’t find anything about DoDo Land. Perhaps he doesn’t want the general public to see his commissioner musings or has he just checked out as a commissioner?

So here is some other stuff on screenshots to make it easy:

Look, Radnor Township doesn’t care if this gets developed, that has always been my opinion. But it is also my opinion that they make have tarted up the proverbial pig here with a new developer, but this is a plan that is still too dense. And now given the meeting agenda states this meeting is slated for NEXT WEEK AS IN THE DAY AFTER LABOR DAY, residents in Radnor and Tredyffrin do not have much time to rally.

THIS IS AN IN PERSON MEETING – Tuesday, September 6, 2022 – 6:30 PM – Radnorshire Room – 301 Iven Avenue Wayne PA 19087-5297

I think this is being put out in the hopes no residents show up after the last holiday weekend of the summer. I think this is deliberate. So residents in Radnor and Tredyffrin, it’s up to you. Below is the link to where you can find the email addresses for Radnor’s Board of Commissioners. Remember in particular that Lisa Borowski is running for State Rep in the 168th. HOLD HER FEET TO THE FIRE.

https://www.radnor.com/government/boards-and-commissions/board-of-commissioners

That is all I have got on this. Residents, you rose up before, just like the residents in Garrett Hill over unwelcome development and more there. Get yourselves to the meeting, but when you storm this Bastille don’t act all cuckoo like Willistown Residents over the sewer sale. Show decorum, make your points, be heard.

Good luck. You will need it here, especially Tredyffrin residents because you are neighbors and affected, but Chester County as well as another municipality. Tredyffrin needs to get their township to take a stand and attend the meeting too. And if zoning variances are sought, Tredyffrin Township needs to be a party to this so their residents can preserve their rights, correct?

guess what has a target on it’s back again? yup, garrett hill in radnor township.

Garrett Hill 1958 Sullivan photo/Radnorhistory.org

I will start this post with an editorial I wrote in 2007 (and Main Line Media News’ hedge fund owners shaved off my actual byline. If former Editor Tom Murray were still alive, he would tell them. Main Line Media News didn’t write it, I did):

It was the year of the neighborhood group December 18, 2007 at 10:00 p.m.

As 2007 winds down, I find myself contemplating what a long strange trip it has been from Bala to Malvern, and everywhere in between and beyond. In my mind, 2007 will be remembered as the “Year of the Neighborhood Group.” You see, to me, it isn’t just about the individual stories reported (and not reported), it is about the people behind the stories. The ordinary people who had the courage to step forward and be counted; not just one individual or group, either. I credit everyone who has had the courage to speak out and participate in the betterment of their communities.

I will start with a group I am proud to be part of that is dear to my heart: The Save Ardmore Coalition.

The Save Ardmore Coalition continued on its journey in 2007 by being recognized with two prestigious awards: The 2007 Stewardship Award for Historic Preservation from the Historic Architectural Review Board and Historical Commission of Lower Merion Township, as well as the nationally recognized David Award from The Institute for Justice in Washington, DC.

The Save Ardmore Coalition has also earned a place on the Ad Hoc Committee for Ardmore’s revitalization process, our members have participated in the comprehensive plan workshop process, we are a part of First Friday Main Line, we were proud to play a part in the fundraiser to aid Moira Shaughnessy, and have just launched a new initiative called “Be Vocal/Shop Local: Discover MORE in Ardmore.” Our hope with this year-end initiative is to further promote and support Ardmore’s local and independently-owned businesses. We also continue to lend our voices to other issues in Lower Merion Township and beyond.

I also want to recognize other citizen groups like Protect Berwyn, Save Ithan Coalition, WHOA from Gladwyne, the residents of Rugby Road in Bryn Mawr, the residents of Righters Mill and River Roads in Gladwyne, the residents of Cricket Avenue in Ardmore, Friends of The Barnes, the Garrett Hill Coalition, and the Daylesford Neighborhood Association. I salute these groups along with the many other citizens and groups along the Main Line and beyond who had the gumption to stand up and be counted.

And in addition to the organized groups, I would like to draw your attention to some new citizens seeking positive change as 2007 draws to a close: two brave ladies from Ardmore named Deanna Miller and Donna Dundon. Main Line Life Staff Reporter Cheryl Allison introduced us all to them in her recent article concerning a missing community room at the apartment building for limited-income seniors at Ardmore Crossing, now known as “Greenfield Commons.”

These ladies are senior citizens on fixed budgets who are members of our community. As the story is told, these nice people moved into this building so they could afford to grow old in Lower Merion Township, which increasingly, is no easy feat. When they looked at the building, they were told they would have a community room with a kitchen where they could play games, gather, have parties, special events, and community events. This is something fairly common for developments of any level, churches, as well as senior and assisted living facilities.

Well, the holidays are here, and apparently these seniors still don’t have their community room. According to Cheryl Allison’s article, there is much contention over this topic and I wonder how this can be?

I think it is most unpleasant to read stories like this especially during the holidays and mere days before Christmas, a holiday which is supposed to embody goodwill towards all mankind. But instead we are wondering if this new Ardmore story will become a tale of Dickensian proportions? Where are the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future when you need them?

A community room with a basic kitchen can’t be such a big deal or other places wouldn’t have them. And with all the great thrift stores, generous people along the Main Line, and furniture outlets in this area, how hard would it be to furnish such a room nicely? There are also sales all over right now on stereos and televisions. Surely this all can’t be that difficult and wouldn’t it just be the right thing to do? Wouldn’t it be nice for these seniors to get this room as promised from the new owners and for it to be decorated for the holidays? If I could have another holiday wish, it would be for these senior citizens in Ardmore, and I would hope others would share my sentiments.

In conclusion, many thanks again to everyone in 2007 who had the courage to stand up and be counted. I know it can be difficult to have a voice that may differ from the general consensus, or might be contrary to what government is comfortable hearing. I want all of you to also remember that positive change can happen, and ordinary individuals can make a difference in their communities.

So Tom Murray, when you are counting your readers’ votes for the “story of the year” this year, if I could ask you to think differently, it’s not really about just one story in particular, it’s about all of the terrific citizens who made a difference. So maybe voting 2007 “The Year of The Neighborhood Group” is the way to go. To me, this year, it is just too hard to pick ONE story.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody!

I stumbled across that while looking into Garrett Hill in Radnor and remembering the good things accomplished years ago by a group called the Garrett Hill Coalition. The Garrett Hill Coalition fought so hard to save where they called home, much like the Save Ardmore Coalition back then fought to save Ardmore, PA in Lower Merion Township. Today in 2022, I wonder what we worked so hard for because like Ardmore is constantly at risk, so is Garrett Hill.

As of today, I think Garrett Hill is at risk again. There is this whole thing going on about well, paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. Utterly cliché, but so apropos. This all came up at a Radnor meeting August 15th, and then there was an outside, not recorded meeting in Garrett Hill.

Garrett Hill is like a ping pong ball on Radnor Township’s ping pong table. Some years this community is left alone. Some years snide commissioners refer to it as essentially a poor section not worthy of much attention. Some years Radnor Township wants to do something stupid there, and 2022 is like revisiting the early 2000s.

Wentworth is a road I thought was not all township dedicated in Radnor or possibly private? And did ALL neighbors potentially affected by a shoe-horned in parking lot get notice of this? I heard quite to the contrary? So this land is not a taking in the eminent domain sense, but it is being taken/purchased at market rate for a….parking lot. Here look at these screen shots to get an idea of the “where”:

Yup that is a tiny street. It leads to more tiny streets. Sounds like a cluster fart of epic proportions waiting to happen. Here are some resident comments after the outdoor meeting where Radnor BOC President Moira Mulroney was overheard saying certain things, right? Like she thinks this is O.K.? Well of course she would, not her ward so does she really care?

Comments:

This lot will not benefit anyone in the neighborhood. It will only increase traffic going up and down Wentworth and Williams!! We need to stick together neighbors!

~ garrett Hill resident

I always avoided, at all cost, trying to turn onto Conestoga Road from Summitt Terrace/Wentworth Land due to poor sight lines. If they put a lot where Mike and Lorrie’s house use to be, I can see any unfamiliar drivers parking there having a challenge getting out to the main drag.

~ garrett hill resident

Adding both a parking lot entrance and exit to a very narrow residential street does not increase safety for those who live on the street.

~ garett hill resident

Since the property is owned by the same developer who already owns 910 and 912 Conestoga, I feel like we’re just footing the bill as taxpayers for his parking lot. Let the developer spend his own money.

~ garrett hill resident

While I agree GH needs parking, is almost $50k a spot the usual cost in Radnor for a parking spot? How long will it take Radnor to recoup that amount for each spot thru the parking meters?

~ garrett hill resident

What the hell … we were told 2 homes were going up we didn’t want the parking lot was there any discussions with the neighbors on Summit Terrs.?

~ garrett hill resident

 It looks like it was only introduced, so you & other Summit neighbors have a chance to speak up at the Sept 12th meeting.

~ garrett hill resident

That is a horrible idea to put a parking lot there!! There is no easy way to enter/exit the property!! And the late night noise that will follow Think about the residents still there that are retired and the new ones with little ones raising kids in school. You want a parking lot put it on your street next to your house!

~ garrett hill resident

Over $800,000 for 17 parking spots 

~ garrett hill resident

I don’t know how many times I have called the Radnor Police for people breaking into cars or stealing catalytic converters from Cars over on Meredith Ave. ….But anyway, I have lived here for many years and Lights are out all the time we need them updated to LED light won’t use a lot of power and, how about our roads so many things beak on peoples cars all the time anything they can do there, or is that a state road. But I also think that draining systems are very bad. The tunnel floods every bad rain, the road from my Apartment…. floods all the past the park and peoples cars around the area get messed up in our neighborhoods. And the ….delivery guy in is blue Subaru flying down Conestoga in the middle of the night all night and they haven’t done anything to him. And Villanova kids from the campus yelling when they leave Flips. But things like this need to get taken care as well.  I agree with you people I’m sure people around here won’t like me saying that ether, cause statements that I spoke about that my kids told me about the parade. But little do they know I had some great ideas that I shared for next year. But why can’t they park at the Business campus? That parking lot is gonna be backed up….

~ garrett hill resident

Now, how about some photos of Garrett Hill sourced from everywhere on the Internet like Facebook and Google so people can see Garrett Hill for what it really is: a small, still tight knit multi-generational area that doesn’t need supersizing or “:”improvements” that don’t actually help the residents:

A problem in today’s Radnor Township is the current manager sees his narrow abacus-rued world view and nothing else. I don’t think he actually cares so much about the residents, and I am allowed that opinion much like I am of the opinion he is always seemingly unwilling to listen to residents. He was fine as the finance guy, not manager. But this is not the only problem. One of the LARGEST problems is the current commissioners know very little of the past and past history and past problems with the way Radnor Township has attempted to treat Garrett Hill.

(Oh and as a related side bar to the two Radnor Commissioners who said non-residents shouldn’t speak at commissioner meetings? What planet or alternate reality do you all hail from? I for one have addressed this governmental body as a non-resident including in 2009 when I went before the board to get a historical market that benefitted Radnor and her history approved. Oh and I raised the money for that project although I was never sure everything we raised money for actually happened, but I can’t control that. )

Radnor Township is regressing and that is not a good thing. I wish the Garrett Hill Coalition still existed. ( See October 26, 2009 meeting video and start at 17:26 time mark for public comment about Garrett Hill – oh and Radnor Township will not allow their videos to be embedded, you have to watch on YouTube or their website and didn’t always used to be that way. It’s about control. Control to the point of questioning actual freedoms, I wonder?)

Radnor only wants their videos so public. So I found some others, like:

I will admit I am not quite sure what the League of Women Voters is doing down there for elections, but here is another Garrett Hill video:

Now. Time for more history. Maybe, just maybe the current Radnor Township Board of Commissioners might learn something. Some of the articles are written by friends, so I will excerpt one in particular liberally:

Neighbors rally to guide Garrett Hill’s development
Imagine a place in suburbia where neighbors check on each other, shovel snowy driveways together, and deliver soup to the sick.

by By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Published Oct 13, 2009

Joe Marchesani, owner of Garrett Hill pizza, sweeps clean the entrance to his restaurant before opening. ( Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel / StaffPhotographer )
Joe Marchesani, owner of Garrett Hill pizza, sweeps clean the entrance to his restaurant before opening. ( Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel / StaffPhotographer )

Imagine a place in suburbia where neighbors check on each other, shovel snowy driveways together, and deliver soup to the sick.

It’s a spot where children walk to the two local parks, a group of retired guys meets for cheap coffee and conversation before starting the day, and the neighborhood mechanic will drop what he’s doing to listen to a funny-sounding engine.

People with Ph.D.s and others with blue-collar jobs live side by side, families reside on the same streets that their grandparents did – in some cases, in the same houses – and everything shuts down for the Fourth of July parade and picnic.

Sound a bit too Leave It to Beaver to be true?

The residents of Garrett Hill in Radnor Township will tell you it’s not.

They have it that way, and they want to keep it that way.

Residents have worked tirelessly over two years to ensure they have had a say in zoning changes proposed in the township’s master plan for the neighborhood. Countless hours of televised meetings and volumes of paperwork attest to their commitment.

On Monday, Radnor commissioners will hold a hearing and vote on the master plan. Residents feared that, without their input, the plan would change the culture of their neighborhood.

“There are not too many places like Garrett Hill left in this country,” said Bill Kingsland, 57, owner of the local Bywood Seafood for 25 years.

While McMansions have sprung up across suburbia, Garrett Hill has apartments, twins, and single homes set close to the street on small lots with deep backyards built for vegetable gardens.

The small business district has changed over the years. What once was a general store is now a college bar. The post office is gone. A cleaners, a few small restaurants, auto repair shops, and a trophy store are at the epicenter of the neighborhood.

What defines Garrett Hill’s boundaries is probably more a matter of opinion than a firm border.

Garrett Hill owes its beginning to an Indian trail running between the Schuylkill and the Susquehanna River. The path later became Conestoga Road, the heart of Garrett Hill, which about 14,000 cars now use daily.

Carved from a land grant by William Penn, the area was once known as Methodist Hill. In the 1800s, the land was subdivided and became known as Garrettville after Dr. Lewis T. Garrett, a property owner. In 1907, a rail line – now the R-100 – cut directly through Garrett Hill.

The small properties of Garrett Hill were purchased by laborers or railway workers, many of Irish or Scots-Irish descent. A number of Italian families eventually settled in Garrett Hill, and there was an African American enclave.

The first African American elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Emlen Tunnell, grew up in Garrett Hill.

The neighborhood is the epitome of diversity on the Main Line, said John Fischer, vice president of the Radnor Board of Commissioners.

“There are people from all walks of life living together – all nationalities, religions,” he said.

“Everybody played together and ate together,” recalled Joe Marchesani, 58, a life-long resident and owner of Garrett Hill Pizza, where the sauce has changed, but the crust has been the same for 19 years. “There were no problems. We all kind of stood up for each other.”….Bob Adams, 48, a third-generation Garrett Hillian, describes it as Mayberry – a safe place surrounded by plenty of family. When he was young, Adams explained, if you did something bad, a neighbor threw a shoe at you.

Adams and his wife, a fourth-generation Garrett Hillian, bought his grandmother’s house; a cousin, who now lives behind him, bought his grandfather’s house.

“This community is so close-knit,” Adams said, “you know everybody.”..

In 2003, Radnor Township’s Comprehensive Plan suggested making zoning improvements to the neighborhood’s small business district. A $48,000 grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and $12,000 in township funds were earmarked in 2007 to create a Garrett Hill Master Plan and Overlay District.

The neighbors felt threatened. They signed petitions, and more than 100 residents went to the township meeting to ask for better representation and to have a voice on any zoning changes. “Save Garrett Hill” posters sprouted up on lawns.

The Garrett Hill Coalition was formed, and it appointed nine residents to a steering committee to represent the neighborhood’s interests.

“We were worried that this [zoning] would be used as a tool for developers,” said Rick Barker, the chairman.

~ mari schaefer, philadelphia inquirer 2009
2007
2007
2008
2008
2008
2009
2012

PATCH: Garrett Hill Group Gets Grant For Stormwater Project

Workshops will help tackle stormwater pollution and beautify properties.

By Sam Strike Posted Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm

ROSEMONT — Garrett Hill Coalition (GHC), a local civic organization, has been awarded a $4,100 grant by the Water Resources Education Network, a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund for its project titled: “Managing Stormwater in Our Back Yards: Valley Run, Radnor Township.” 

Funding will support educational workshops and demonstration projects for residents of Radnor and Lower Merion Townships to learn about ways to reduce polluted runoff and remedy flooding problems using landscaping amenities like rain gardens and rain barrels. 

~Sam strike patch 2012

Now stormwater is a big fear in Garrett Hill much like other parts of Radnor Township. Radnor seems to have a selective memory when it comes to stormwater management. Not lip service, actual stormwater management. As in where you actually have to do it, not add to the problems.

Radnor Township has stuff on Garrett Hill zoning on it’s website, CLICK HERE. Sometimes the links don’t work though. I swear their website was redesigned to NOT work.

One more old article:

And before I close two more bits of history. First is a piece from 2009 about Garrett Hill by the Radnor Historical Society:

The next excerpt is screen shots from a book on the history of Garrett Hill that appeared to be maybe circa 1977 that I found on Ancestry.com – I couldn’t download in PDF so I took some screenshots. The book is significantly more pages I believe. Some old timers may remember it – A history of Garrett Hill on its 100th anniversary by Phyllis C. Maier.

Well that’s all I have got. I think Garrett Hill is about to be told to bend over, and pardon me for being crude, but it kind of is. Radnor Township is a funny place, and it is full of pretensions. They don’t like that Garrett Hill exists anymore than other parts of Radnor like “Little Chicago” in North Wayne. It doesn’t fit the Main Line image they have which includes kind of sort of forgetting they are part of Delaware County.

Garrett Hill is like it’s own small town. It doesn’t need to be super-sized, overly urbanized, paved into oblivion. “Leave them be” a friend of mine said earlier today who doesn’t live in Garrett Hill but appreciates it’s character. What the current commissioner can’t see is it doesn’t need to have some puffed up unsustainable artificially enhanced business district. They should figure out a way to make nice with Steve Bajus for parking on the Rosemont Business Campus, otherwise known as “where a cute school once stood.”

Or maybe Radnor buys the private lots owned by the petty towing czars? Or maybe they just table the whole thing for now instead of spending money that some say this township really doesn’t have to spend?

I don’t know. All I know is Garrett Hill, you have like 14 days to rally. It may be time to storm the Bastille err Radnor Township Building. But don’t be freakish about it like Willistown residents. You have a big board room, pack it. The media is out there, start lobbying for coverage.

And other Radnor Residents, do you was what will amount to easily $800,000 taxpayer dollars to be spent on a parking lot in Garrett Hill in this uncertain economy? A parking lot which will be monopolized undoubtedly by the over abundance of Villanova off-campus students that Radnor Township also conveniently forgets about a lot of the time?

Garrett Hill, it’s time. I know you all are tired of this. But once again you have elected officials and township officials who don’t want to listen to you and really don’t care what you think.

Save Garrett Hill one more time. For your own sakes. Keep your character. You don’t have to be Wayneunk East.