dear east whiteland and east goshen: we need a little “sunshine” about shared intersection improvements at king and 352.

352 and king

For a while (as in at least a couple of years by my estimation), we’ve been hearing about the potential of intersection inprovements at Route 352/N. Chester Rd/Sproul Rd and King Road.

Mentions of it have shown up in reports in East Goshen and East Whiteland. It even showed up in an East Goshen newsletter in 2017.

March 2018 3 EGT

But what we as residents of these two townships have been hearing lately is disturbing.  A traffic circle.  Personally I hate them.  That is not why I find it disturbing, however.  What disturbs me is to build/construct a traffic circle land has to be taken. Taking as in eminent domain.  So who is on board exactly as a resident with this?

March 20018 2

 

How many residents in these municipalities, would lose land and/or their homes? I certainly wouldn’t be o.k. with that.  Would you? So if the traffic circle happened, potentially would Lockwood Chase development residents be o.k. with the historic marker sign for Battle of the Clouds being moved as well as whose homes might have to go by byes?

And what of my friend Tim and others who might be looking at some kind on GINORMOUS retaining wall?

There is not much information the public can look at.  I will be honest and tell you I have put in Right to Know Requests for East Whiteland and East Goshen about this project, and I encourage others to do so as well…especially if you live closer to ground zero for proposed intersection improvements. I fully expect them to deny a lot of what I asked for, but I am asking anyway.  If they say they won’t on the basis of real estate, that to me would be an indicator as to the truth of plans that include eminent domain.

I do not have a problem with improving the intersection, I have a problem with circles AT THIS LOCATION as I think they are a nightmare and MOST IMPORTANTLY BECAUSE I AM 100% AGAINST EMINENT DOMAIN.

March 2018 EGT

A simple solution of course would be signal improvements which would allow each of the four sides to go individually. (I do not know if I am articulating that properly.)

352 3

I am not a traffic engineer but sometimes simple solutions are the best.

Of course I must also mention that, d’oh, the increasing problems at this intersection has to do with increasing traffic….and a lot of that has to do with ALL of the development out here.

Increased development = increased density = increased traffic = increased burdens on infrastructure.

I think we as residents need to be granted more transparancy as this process progresses.  I do not think we should settle for “don’t worry, we’re working on it.”

Please watch an excerpt of the April 10, 2019 East Whiteland meeting. The excerpt I captured contains public comment on this topic.  I think if you live in East Whiteland or East Goshen or travel through this intersection from other neighboring munipalities on a regular basis you should definintely watch my friend Tim’s presentation.

Residents of East Whiteland and East Goshen together we are stronger.

#NoCircle #NoEminentDomain

april 15, 2019: the day notre dame de paris burned

Photo courtesy of my sister, who literally visited Notre Dame a few short weeks ago.

I was 14 when I saw Notre Dame. A visit to Paris at the end of a summer trip to Strasbourg through I a local historical society- I think at the time it was a historical society in Valley Forge but it has been so many years.

Photo courtesy of my friend Jane

On this trip it was teenagers with chaperones and while in Strasbourg we lived with families. That is how I made my life long friend, Marie Claude.

Photo courtesy of my friend John

When in Paris, we stayed in an old but respectable hotel near Gare De L’Ouest and my friend blew the fuses when she plugged in a hair dryer. They were definitely not luxury accommodations but to a bunch of kids it was cool!

Photo courtesy of my friend Jane

Now here is a personal fact you wouldn’t expect from me I think: I may be well read, but I am not necessarily well traveled. I have not been to Europe since I was a teenager. Life has just not happened that way.

Photo courtesy of my sister and taken March, 2019

I do remember being in Paris and being overwhelmed because it was so big and busy. I remember doing things like stopping in a grocery for a baguette and cheese and fruit with my friend Lizzie and seeing Notre Dame and part of Versailles.

Photo courtesy of my friend Jane

I do have a bucket list of places I would like to see now that I’m older, but I hadn’t put Paris on it. Maybe I should now. A great deal of my bucket list surrounds the United Kingdom. I want to visit all the gardens I’ve read about and been inspired by over the years, and I want to go to wild places like the Shetland Isles, visit the Highlands of Scotland, see Haverfordwest and parts of Wales, and visit Ireland.

Photo courtesy of my friend John

Notre Dame is indeed a structure and a place which has figured prominently in a sense over the lives of so many people. The centuries of history and what Notre Dame has seen and survived, art history classes, the very symbol of it if you are Catholic.

Notre Dame is just iconic.

Photo courtesy of my friend John

Yesterday to most in the US was just another tax day. Well, maybe not just another tax day because thanks to our current president’s great “tax incentives, tax plans” it was kind of chaotic. And miserable. But that’s not for this post.

I remember I was standing in my kitchen and I had asked Alexa what the news was. I literally dropped a glass in the sink when I heard Notre Dame de Paris was burning.

Photo courtesy of my friend John

When I first turned on the TV all the US channels of major networks had game shows and the equivalent on air. So I turned to the BBC channel for news and pretty much remained riveted there for hours.

BBC: Notre-Dame: Massive fire ravages Paris cathedral

Notre Dame has survived centuries of war. Only on April 15, 2019 it has nearly burned to the ground. The news this morning is good, and already money is being raised for her restoration and rebuilding. But I can’t help but wonder all that has been lost while I marvel at the miracle of what was saved.

BBC: Notre-Dame fire: Millions pledged to rebuild cathedral

Here we are in one of the holiest weeks of the year. Are we supposed to learn the lesson that with endings there are new beginnings once again? I don’t know. But I have photos taken by my sister and my friends Jane and John to share with all of you. Enjoy the majesty that is Notre Dame de Paris and say a prayer for her restoration.

Photo courtesy of my friend John

r.i.p. geoff partridge

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Geoff Partridge in 2017 with his beloved fiancée Jill Turanski. Family photo.

Rest in peace, Geoff Partridge.  May your memory always be a blessing.  You are at peace.

This is the post I hoped I would not have to write. It’s a story that is so hard to write. Last night came the news that a fisherman had found a male body in the Schuylkill River. I think if I am honest with myself, I had a sinking suspicion officials would say it was him because of where he was found compared to the proximity of where he disappeared.

When I first learned of Geoff Partridge being missing in December I did not at first realize that I knew his mother, Holly Morrison.  She and I share some very dear friends.  When you meet people as adults at a certain stage of your life you often do not realize who the kids are because they are grown-up and on their own.  Our mutual friends include those wonderful men who tirelessly searched the river by boat for Geoff.

I have been sitting with this news for a few hours at this point.  When Holly’s and my mutual friend Karen and I spoke I was speechless on the phone.  Then when I got off the phone I cried. Again, I did not know him personally but I cried. For his family, for his friends, for his life light burnt out too soon.  And for some reason bits of the Coldplay song Fix You wouldn’t leave my head.  I don’t know why that song.  I do not even know what kind of music Geoff liked.

One of the last lines of the song… Lights will guide you home.   I guess it was time for Geoff to come home for his loved ones to have closure.

Vinny Vella from the Philadelphia Inquirer was the kind reporter who wrote an article in December when Geoff was first missing.  We turned to him then because it was hard to get coverage of Geoff going missing when it happened, and he was amenable to telling Geoff’s story.  So we turned to him today again as soon as Holly and our friends knew for certain the man found in the river was indeed her son.  Here is what he wrote a little while ago:

Villanova man, missing since December, found dead in Schuylkill, police say
by Vinny Vella Philadelphia Inquirer

Vinny Vella | @Vellastrations | vvella@phillynews.com

Geoffrey Partridge, 36, was found dead in the Schuylkill late Thursday, almost exactly four months after his SUV was found, abandoned, on one of the river’s banks.

A fisherman discovered Partridge’s body about 6:30 p.m. in the water along River Road near Hollow Road in Gladwyne…Partridge’s cause of death was ruled to be drowning, and its manner was ruled to be a suicide, according to a spokesperson for the coroner’s office.

Holly Morrison, Partridge’s mother, said in a brief interview Friday that her “heart is broken” and she and her family were struggling to process the news.

We’re not supposed to bury our children.  My heart is so heavy for her, Geoff’s fiancée Jill, and their family and friends.  Geoff and Jill shared 15 years together. When Holly and I swapped text messages a little while ago she told me she is at such a loss for words and is devastated.

I see that Jill has posted on the Geoff Partridge page on Facebook.  I will share her words:

gp

 

In January of this year, Jill also said:

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I totally teared up the first time I read what she wrote in January, and again today.  There are people who are brilliant and too brief lights in our lives.  Geoff Partridge meant so much to so many.

I am not going to speculate on what happened that fateful evening he disappeared.  As it has been reported, Geoff had bipolar depression and Lyme disease.  Ok that right there is a toxic and exhausting scenario.  And people do not take seriously enough the neurological impacts of Lyme as well as the more obvious symptoms, including pain.

And if you have ever had friends who suffered from any form of depression, it’s a complicated thing to live with.  And I think it’s harder on men because in our society the traditional roles of men being stoic and strong and not expressing how they feel as readily as women makes it harder. It’s the whole boys don’t cry.

My friends tell me how lovely a person Geoff Partridge was. He loved and was loved in return.  I don’t know what else to write.  I am at a loss here as I feel the sadness of this news today quite profoundly. Part of this is just me as a cancer survivor – death hits me differently now. Also as a parent, this hits me hard.

Ar dheas Dé go raibh a anam. (May his soul be on God’s right hand.)

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family photo

 

 

bloombox: garden plants hand delivered straight from the source to you.

I love my plants. I love to garden. So now is the time when I start accumulating what I am going to plant.

Recently I became acquainted with two gentlemen from Lancaster, PA. David and Chase have this business called BloomBox.

This is an independent small business and the model is simple: great plants, reasonably priced delivered to your door. And by delivered, I mean hand-delivered. Not packed in the shipping box and sent FedEx or USPS or UPS. Delivered as in the grower comes to you.

This morning I decided to place a small order. I need to get my herbs, perennials and some of my bedding plants sorted. Herbs especially are something I buy a great deal of because my garden is in part a cottage garden. So I mix a lot of herbs in with my perennials and shrubs and trees and bulbs.

Much to my delight, after placing my order around eight something this morning, there was a knock at my door. And there was David co-owner of BloomBox with my plants!

My plants were in beautiful condition and exactly what I ordered and exactly what I expected. They also gave me a beautiful little Primrose to plant as a gift. They do that with all their customers.

David and I spoke for a brief time and I will be ordering from him again. To me this is an extension of shop local. And right now orders over $45 are delivered for free. Their delivery area is fairly wide but you still have to check your ZIP Code to make sure they serve you before you place an order.

They are not certified organic, but they are clean growers so in my opinion they don’t have to be certified organic. I know how they’re growing and what they’re doing.

Give BloomBox a try! I will also note that I am not a compensated blogger, and I have not been compensated for my opinion here in anyway. I am a new customer of the business and I am impressed so I am sharing this with all of you.

BloomBox checks all of the boxes: quality, value, customer service.

I will note that I am not going to directly put all of these into the ground just yet because it is still a little early. I will be bringing my plants into the garage and covering them outside with landscape fabric until it is warm enough.

Spring is here, so go dig in the dirt!

hey krapf it’s about your bus drivers

This Krapf School Bus driver took years off our lives in worry on Route 100 a little while ago because he or she had their turn signal on and was in REVERSE at the same time!

And that bus was in reverse for a couple of minutes at least. It was very scary because we did not know what was going to happen. In a situation like that you can’t just honk at someone because if they hit the gas they’re going into reverse right into your vehicle.

Krapf was very responsive when I called them to report it, but in my humble opinion whomever was driving that bus needs a refresher course in driving a bus. I know driving something that big can’t be easy, I certainly couldn’t do it, which is why you would never have someone like me driving kids around in a school bus.

But Krapf needs to do better. They have some totally wonky drivers out there. And the horror stories I hear from people are astounding. I shot a brief video as a passenger in our vehicle to prove they were in reverse – you could hear the beep beep beep.

the sounds of long ago

Some of my readers will find this a rather strange post from me.  So I found out today The English Beat and General Public vocalist Roger Charlery…also known as  Ranking Roger has passed away.

I graduated from high school in 1981.  My freshman year in college I discovered many new sounds in music including Ska.  Madness and English Beat were played everywhere.  When English Beat broke up we danced and listened to General Public….and still danced and listened to English Beat.

The sounds of my being a teenager.  I still listen to both English Beat and General Public from time to time.  Lots of happy and fun memories attached to the music.

R.I.P. Ranking Roger from one of your U.S. fans.

Here is the obituary from The Guardian in the U.K.:
Ranking Roger obituary
Singer and frontman for the ska revival band the Beat

By Peter Mason  Wed 27 Mar 2019 07.07 EDT 

Ranking Roger, who has died aged 56 after suffering from cancer, was a singer and frontman for the Beat, one of the four big British ska revival bands – along with the Specials, Madness and the Selecter – to emerge after punk in the late 1970s. The Beat’s flowering was a brief one, but Roger was at the heart of the group’s successes in the early 80s, when they had five Top 10 singles and two Top 5 albums in the UK before splitting in 1984. He had songwriting credits on many of their most popular compositions, and alongside duties as joint vocalist with Dave Wakeling was also the band’s “toaster”, talking in stylised fashion over various song sections in a mode popularised by reggae deejays of the late 60s and early 70s.

Later he pursued solo projects and collaborations with various well-known bands and artists, including Big Audio Dynamite and Sting, before touring and recording with a reincarnation of the Beat, with whom he worked until his death….Born Roger Charlery in Birmingham to Jean-Baptiste, a toolsetter, and his wife, Anne Marie, both of whom had emigrated to Britain from the Caribbean, he grew up in the Small Heath area of the city, next to Birmingham City football ground. ….Drawing heavily on Jamaican musical themes from the 60s but with a distinctly British feel and punk sensibility, the Beat, along with Madness, the Specials and the Selecter, swiftly became part of the 2-Tone movement, which took its name from the independent label to which each of the bands initially signed. Four of the Beat’s first five singles made it into the Top 10, including their third release, Mirror in the Bathroom, which peaked at No 4, and Too Nice to Talk To, at No 7. Their debut LP, I Just Can’t Stop It, was released in 1980 on their own Go Feet label and featured their most talked-about composition, Stand Down Margaret, which was banned by the BBC and had Roger’s toasting to the fore as it called for the resignation of the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. The album reached No 3 in the charts, as did its follow up, Wha’ppen? in 1981…..

Early this year, Roger announced that following a stroke and the discovery of two brain tumours he had also been diagnosed with lung cancer.

 Ranking Roger (Roger Charlery), musician, born 21 February 1963; died 26 March 2019

I also like this article from the Edinburgh Reporter:

Can’t get used to losing Ranking Roger
By Mike Smith – March 27, 2019

Those who know me know my love for ska music. The news that Ranking Roger, lead singer of legendary ska band The Beat, has died after a period of illness was like a dagger to my heart.

I loved The Beat. I’m proud to say I’ve seen them many times over the years. Their sublime musical talent, their ceaseless energy, their gift of being able to lift one’s spirits when they are at their lowest will be with me forever. Songs such as Mirror In The Bathroom, Hands Off She’s Mine, Too Nice To Talk To, Doors Of Your Heart – became classic numbers. They also did superb cover versions of Can’t Get Used To Losing You and Tears Of A Clown.

Ranking Roger – real name Roger Charlery – was a ska icon, bouncing across the stage with boundless energy. …..It was what The Beat did best. Their music invoked a feelgood factor and I have never been to one of their gigs which I didn’t enjoy or feel so much better afterwards.

Roger was just 56 years old – a year younger than I am which underlines that none of us are immune from tragedy….