life in the covid19 fast lane

We went into Center City Philadelphia to see my parents this weekend. I have not been in Philadelphia since before the riots this summer.

I didn’t have a camera with me so I captured a couple of photos on my phone but it really doesn’t do what looking at the city looks like now justice.

The city of Philadelphia after a year of COVID19 and riots and protests is not good in my opinion. So many boarded up store fronts. And these weird outside pods for bars on the sidewalk which are mostly on the street making them more narrow.

The streets themselves are in horrible condition, holes and potholes and trenches everywhere. Broken pavement everywhere waiting to literally trip you. Coming up 16th St. going home we also passed this generator that was almost a city block long that was running.

The streets are mostly empty. The people you see the most of are homeless. It’s back to Filthadelphia.

Philadelphia looks grey and grimy , depressed, and sad. And it wasn’t just a grey day making me feel that. I used to love the city. It felt alive and vibrant. Now it feels to be barely hanging on.

Thanks for stopping by.

chasing the covid19 shot

Trying to get a COVID19 shot is turning into a full time job. I am a Class 1A because I am still an active cancer patient on cancer meds. Yes, really. The closest I have been able to find a shot was the Wegmans pharmacy in Erie, Pennsylvania. 375 miles away.

I am registered everywhere. I waste lots of time on the pharmacy websites like Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Wegmans, and more. And I love when people tell me oh they have shots and you go on and you try to register but no they don’t have shots…. they’re out of stock. And if it doesn’t say out of stock on the vaccine finder website, you click into the location you’re looking at and it tells you then.

I spent five days on the phone trying to get through to the Chester County Hospital COVID19 scheduling line. Five days of my life I won’t get back. I finally got through this afternoon. I am a priority registration in the system but they don’t have anymore shots so they can’t schedule until they have shots, which is probably why I got through. But the man I spoke to (his name was Rick) was super helpful and just nice.

Then I saw that report regional media has this afternoon.

Pretty goddamn disappointed in them right now. Except part of me almost understands why they did it.

I don’t know what is with Chester County not having enough shots or the state of Pennsylvania not having enough shots.

Basically, I have to wait to be called. Because there aren’t even any shots at any of the drug stores or grocery store drug stores offering shots around here.

And like I said I have signed up everywhere I can. Which is why I got really annoyed when some Democratic Committeeman posted on NextDoor:

Info to get Covid vaccinations. This is information from Pa House Representative Kristine Howard. Thank God she was elected! Hope this helps!

I know I bet you’re all excited hearing something like that right? Well don’t be she’s not breaking any new ground here and Kristine Howard never does anything. All her office does is regurgitate information that’s already out there.

When I pointed this out to the Democratic committeeman he said to me (and I quote):

“Other than whining what have you done to provide information about COVID vaccines?

The Democratic committeeman went on to mansplain to me about how he “had followed the rules” and spent 2 to 3 hours each day hunting a shot until he got an appointment.

First of all, I hate being mansplained to. Second of all,  who is he to presume with anyone? Why is it my job in particular to provide information about COVID19 vaccines? I don’t understand that.

He wants to “thank God” for a State Rep who does nothing and who has done nothing since she was first elected. As an elected official, Kristine Howard should be trying to get more shots into Chester County, not just regurgitating information already provided by MANY others to look like she’s actually doing something. As a farmer I once knew said about someone years ago, she’s more useless than tits on a bull. Vulgar, but accurate.

And our new State Senator Carolyn Comitta? Where is she? She has been kind of invisible to constituents in my humble opinion.

Who has been helpful in Chester County, PA? The county commissioners. Josh Maxwell helped me personally get correctly registered on the county website. I kept registering and it literally didn’t take. He can’t personally get me a shot nor would I expect him to, but he took the time to help me and explain the process.

Honestly the process itself is faulty. Pennsylvania is backwards. We should be able to get shots. I have friends in other states who have had no problem signing up or finding shots.

And people like to criticize national healthcare as exists in the UK but guess what? Those people are getting their shots. They are rolling them out and people are getting their shots.

Every time you turn around in Pennsylvania it’s either the story out of Philadelphia where the 22 year old who started the non-profit who was giving COVID19 shots to their friends, or like today hospital systems kind of doing the same thing. The thing about the COVID19 shot is it’s not really merit based it seems like who do you know.

Well everyone loves a good game of who do you know this is a global pandemic and who was a clear conscience can do that to jump the line? I couldn’t personally but I understand on a certain level.

People are out there every day trying to play by the rules and banging their heads against walls trying to get a shot, and there are people who are gaming the system (who may or may not be eligible for a shot) who are just taking advantage of holes they find in the screwed up system to get their shots and is that right?

COVID19 has shown us since it started this time last year to eat up our lives about how some people don’t necessarily have a moral compass. And that includes elected officials.

There should be more system efficiency, shots should be more evenly distributed, and it should be just easier to actually get a shot.  I have played by the rules since this started. I even went on voluntary stay at home before we went on mandated stay at home because of potential exposure to one of the first victims of COVID19 in Chester County and I still don’t know who that was. I just had the dumb luck of being at the same place at the same time.

So for the Democratic committeeman who serves where I live who wants to “thank God” for Kristine Howard in one breath, and in the other breath basically that I should be in essence what she is paid and elected to do, I will give Chester County Residents the direct line to the COVID19 shot scheduling line: (610) 883-5410.

I sign off on this Friday afternoon having very little faith in the system right now, as it exists. Thanks for stopping by.

 

dear usps…

Dear USPS,

I think I’m done trying to be sympathetic for a while. I am trying to be nice but today was just unnecessary. I know you’re understaffed, overwhelmed by Covid affecting your workers, and then of course there’s that guy who calls himself the “Postmaster General” who just keeps eviscerating you.

I get Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General is a postal service killer and a jackass, but seriously? We are the people who always have a clear front walk and don’t block the mailbox…even with snow. I am the one that leaves homemade cookies in the mailbox at Christmas for Pete’s sake.

The above package toss was not the work of our normal postal worker or normal substitute. It was some new guy. This was not a heavy box. The path was not blocked. No dog was gnashing teeth and barking. Dude just didn’t feel like getting out of his truck.

I have mail from November and December that just never appeared. A lot of Christmas cards I mailed just never were delivered. I track every package and I signed up for “Informed Delivery” so I can keep track of mail coming to me. On average, “Informed Delivery” mail arrives 2-3 days after we get the email telling us what is coming, if it arrives.

Our mail sorts through Wilmington, DE which is something that in fact, President Biden did while Vice President. Our mail used to get sorted through Southeastern, which of course makes sense. It has never made sense the Chester County, Pennsylvania mail gets sorted through Wilmington, Delaware. We have had problems for years, but since 2020 we hold our breath every time we are expecting something, or mailing something.

Normally we don’t have a problem at the local level, but lately it’s been rather haphazard. We all know if the mailbox is blocked even by snow that none of us on the road will get mail. That has been getting challenging for all of us including our township snow plow drivers because we’re simply running out of places to move the snow. But this today? Just blows my mind because dude had a clear path and he just chose not to get out of the mail truck and chucked my package.

Please, we are trying to not complain, but today was ridiculous.

Customers deserve better. Heck your workers deserve better. But the guy today? He should NOT have done this.

sleazy, alarming, scamming postcards for the circular file

Got this postcard in the mail yesterday. Didn’t look at it until today. Today, when I looked at it, I thought to myself “what is this about?”

And they of the anonymous, could be interpreted as alarming postcard, want to send crap through the mail in not even an envelope “would appreciate you keeping this matter private”?

Say what? How about oh hell no?

So I called the number 267-279-9003 and it was illegitimate “Dan” (no last name given) and “Dan” wants to buy my house says the message.

The message is long and folksy but sleazy at the same time. He tells you how he will cover all your costs etc. but nowhere in the message does he say what his company name is who is affiliated with or what his last name is. So I hit “0” and left a message worthy of George Carlin.

Obviously a scam and not accredited with the better business bureau or even a real office. Some kind of virtual mail drop.

So if you look at the front of the postcard the postage permit is actually out of Tampa, FL. So I am going with scammers. I can’t really find much out online but I did find someone on Twitter who got one a while back.

Oh! And also amusing? Postcard says THIRD NOTICE so I have to ask where are the other two notices? You see dear scammer, I am super annoying in the fact that I would have remembered receiving this fake alarming postcard more than once.

Feel free to call up “Dan” and leave him a message. I can think of no better punishment than whomever having to weed through tons of unnecessary messages. Just call 267-279–9003 and when “Dan’s” message starts to play hit 0# and leave him a message 🤣 but don’t sell him your house 🤣

Talk to the hand scammer, talk to the hand.

what’s up with all of the amerigas delivery issues?

NOT GOOD ENOUGH AMERIGAS

I am about to talk about an issue I am not experiencing personally, but as I have started to see the issues crop up more and more in Chester County community groups, I figured it can’t hurt to put the problem out there. And the problem is simple: AmeriGas isn’t delivering the way they should be.

It’s winter, it’s cold. And no one wants to run out of fuel to heat their homes. A lot of people in Chester County use propane to heat their homes. A lot of people are signed up with AmeriGas and in several social media community forums I have seen posts, including today, about people coming close to running out or having run out of fuel and AmeriGas keeps telling them they’re going to deliver only they haven’t.

I am paying it forward and putting this issue out there. It’s cold this winter and we’ve had a lot of bad weather, so people expect delays with delivery of home related services like fuel. But when folks are told they were getting a delivery and then there is no delivery and then people keep being told they are on a special list but no matter who they talk to can’t actually get the fuel delivered, it’s just not fair.

Further complicating matters when you are running out of fuel and waiting on AmeriGas, is the legality of who owns the tanks. Most people rent their tanks. And if you rent your tanks other companies don’t want to deliver propane because it’s somebody else’s tank.

I did a little research and this is a problem with this company from coast to coast. AmeriGas has issues. A reporter from North Carolina recently did a story on the issues people are having with AmeriGas. (CLICK HERE ) after he did his story he got emails from as far away is Pennsylvania.

And a very unscientific and just general matter, I noodled around on Facebook and I put in the search term AmeriGas delivery problems and I came up with posts from people in groups all over the country.

So AmeriGas what gives? I am not hearing these complaints about any of the other local companies that deliver propane.

why preserve when you can demolish?

Wandering back to Lower Merion Township today. Yes, I do that on occasion, although these days it’s mostly virtually. I know some people who read my blog and visit the blog’s Facebook page are occasionally outraged when I don’t write about either Chester County or whatever they think I should be writing about. But life journeys are individual, and kind of like my writing journey, yes?

Growing up in Lower Merion, one of the things I loved most were the homes and the gardens. Stately, modest, actual estates, twins, cottages, mansions, and everything in between. Back in those days, the history of the area mattered. And the gardens were glorious whether large or small.

But then, October 1, 2009, Addison Mizner’s La Ronda was demolished. I was there with many others outside the gates. I documented it in photos. She was such a gorgeous structure. So historic. Part of the history of the area, yet even as a historic resource, she was torn down and exists only in memories and photographs.

When La Ronda was demolished, I knew deep down in my heart that Lower Merion was no longer the place for me. It had completely at that moment become about people and how much money they had, and not much else. When La Ronda came down I realized no property was safe or valued there. It was a sad realization.

Over the years I have continued to document notable properties. People have the right to sell to whomever they choose. People have the right to demolish homes great, large, wonderful, small, whatever. But I still lament the people who can’t see the value of the architectural history of an area, and the impact it has. Well another home popped up on a mental endangered list (as in my mind and opinion, I don’t know if it is on an actual list anywhere) because of a Historic Commission agenda in Lower Merion for February 22nd:

Sigh. 651 Black Rock Road. They say it’s Gladwyne, but it’s actually Bryn Mawr. I knew who lived there although they were not friends. Of course people wish to downsize and move on. But for this house to be facing the fate of the wrecking ball is just so tragic. This house is spectacular, with mature gardens and an amazing property and pool.

And as described by the realtor:

Let’s see “as is”:

If you look at all the photos, ok the kitchen is a little dated, and perhaps the bathrooms to the taste of some, but this property and home are spectacular. Quite literally, they don’t build them like this anymore. And the gardener in me wonders about plants that may have been there since the house was built.

So according to Lower Merion’s website, this is in Commissioner Scott Zelov’s ward? He was a champion of saving Stoneleigh and once upon a time against eminent domain in Ardmore (it’s why he got elected originally and I know, I was there), will he have an opinion on this if it proceeds to demolition? But will it matter?

Nope. It won’t. People have the right to demolish. Sadly.

Historic preservation can’t just be a vague idea, it actually has to happen. It has to matter. And in Lower Merion, starting way before La Ronda got bulldozed, it ceased to matter. Lower Merion’s current manager was West Chester Borough’s Manager before ascending to the plum position of Lower Merion Township Manager. And although I have nothing against the man personally, he always appeared to me to be pro-development over other things. And the current Director of Building and Planning is someone I watched climb the ladder at Lower Merion. And I have always found him pro development over anything else. He won’t like me for mentioning this but I sat through YEARS of meeting watching him flip his hair like Farrah Fawcett and present developer’s plans like he worked for them, does anyone else remember?

Anyway, the house is still standing as of now, but this is on an agenda and according to Lower Merion there is a demolition permit. What will happen when all of the old and historic houses and their gardens are gone? In Lower Merion and elsewhere?

Historic preservation isn’t really going to matter until it matters to all of us consistently across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And I do not believe every old house can and should be saved, but when you see houses like this one you have to wonder because beautiful places like this is what drew people to the Main Line in the first place. Until then, why preserve when you can demolish?

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe, roads are icy.

two wrongs don’t make a right

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.” That is what my grandmother used to say when I was little. And she’s still correct.

Chester County resident and area attorney Michael van der Veen was one of Trump’s second impeachment lawyers. Technically he’s Bruce Castor’s new boss, another member of the last minute defense team, so umm was this really surprising?

I mean come on have you ever known any trial lawyers? They can have huge egos and often questionable choice in clients. Did I find it amusing that he joined the big orange defense team? Yes because not only did he defend the Haverford College student who tried to hack Trump’s tax returns, he filed litigation against USPS and Trump in 2020. But then I remembered what an old boss said to me one time with regard to his ex-wife’s divorce lawyer and it was simply put “if I have to do this again I’m hiring them.”

However, if I was a lawyer would I defend Trump? Oh hell to the no. But exactly how many lawyers does Trump or his family have on their payroll? OK scratch that does it really matter? No it doesn’t. Lawyers have clients and not all people like their clients.

The news has reported that people have vandalized van der Veen’s property here in Chester County. That’s wrong. No matter what you think of his choice of clients or potentially his politics, to do that to someone’s property is wrong.

See: https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2021/02/13/michael-van-der-veen-traitor-home-vandalized-donald-trump-impeachment/

See: https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/michael-van-der-veen-trump-phillydelphia-vandalism-20210213.html

See: https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/graffiti-painted-outside-trump-attorney-van-der-veens-chester-county-home/2704391/

Someone a little while ago basically told me I was a bad American because I think vandalizing someone else’s property is wrong. But it’s not staying on some “moral hill“, his wife and children and neighbors didn’t sign up for this. Can you imagine how they feel? We all should feel safe in our homes, and not be scared where we live.

This crap in this country needs to stop. No matter what you think of this man or Bruce Castor, their families shouldn’t be subject to this and neither should their neighbors.

You can’t just trash other peoples’ properties because you don’t like their perceived politics. It’s like when election officials in Pennsylvania and elsewhere were getting threatened over the election. That wasn’t right either, it was wrong.

And this is actually the gift, the enduring gift that the Trump years have left us. A stain on the American people where we cannot have conversations even with our next-door neighbors about politics. We can’t agree to disagree. It’s either you take a particular side or you’re wrong. And if you’re wrong, you can’t just be wrong, someone wants to destroy you, your life, your property.

People can’t you see this is wrong?

Whatever happened to the worthy opposition?

Apparently Mitch McConnell’s home was vandalized and something equally unpleasant vandalism happened to Nancy Pelosi. I despise McConnell and am not a member of the Nancy Pelosi fan club, but do I think it is right to deface someone else’s property? No I simply don’t.

I am tired of this political eye for an eye in this country. I’m tired of the angry rhetoric on both sides. We can’t allow ourselves to be ruled by angry rhetoric anymore.

People, we literally need to stop the violence and the crazy behavior. If we don’t, the Trump legacy will linger far longer than it will already.

I am not trying to sound like a trite 1960s Hallmark card by saying give peace a chance but damn people we really need to do that.

Can we please just stop the goddamn madness in this country? Can we go back to being neighbors and friends and colleagues? Maybe our politics will be similar, maybe they will be different, but do you remember when it used to be OK to have a different political opinions from the guy across the street?

And let’s not be naïve and think that this second impeachment was going to prevail. Once again it never had the votes. That’s not to say I don’t think it was wrong because I completely feel Trump is culpable for January 6 and all the angry crap and vitriol from the election and over the past few years. But if we as Americans don’t draw a line in the sand to begin again, Trump ultimately wins and is that what people want?

Anger, violence, vitriol, and destruction and vandalism of property is NOT going to change the BS in this country. Only we can do that, and the only way we are going to be able to do that no matter what you think you know about politics is it cooler heads start to prevail.

I haven’t fallen and hit my head. I’m sure some of you were just wondering so I’ll make it simple: ten years ago next month I started to deal with my then reality of a lump in my left breast. Within weeks of that, I received an official diagnosis of breast cancer and began to plan surgery and treatment. When you face your own mortality dead on, maybe it changes your perspective.

My perspective is the USA is like a giant Humpty Dumpty and we need to put her back together. We need to make changes, we need to learn from our collective mistakes.

Please. 2020 was a horrible year. Let’s not allow 2021 to be the same. We as human beings can choose between right and wrong, and work for peace in this country.

Thanks for listening.

let’s talk shots

Let’s talk shots. COVID-19 shots. Have you got one? If yes, lucky you.

I am still a cancer patient, so I am eligible. I registered with Chester County. I registered with the state. I registered with Chester County Hospital and therefore Penn Medicine. I signed up on some other websites. Nada. Nothing. Zippo.

It seems that finding COVID-19 shots in Chester County is the ultimate Where’s Waldo. And even Waldo is practising social distancing.

Image result for where's waldo covid 19

According to The Daily Local as of February 7, Chester County is quite literally striking out on COVID-19 shots so WTF?

The Chester County Health Department continues to receive a very limited amount of vaccine doses each week, and last week it received no doses of the vaccine.

To date, Chester County has received more than 182,000 pre-registrations with the Chester County Health Department to receive the vaccine. In contrast this week, the county received just 3,200 doses, which the state instructed to be used as second doses. County officials are trying obtain more doses for Phase 1A groups, especially for seniors and those with high-risk conditions.”

Oh and then there is when you TRY to register according to Pennyslvania’s map:

So yeah, other than pipelines and blocking constituents on social media if you wonder WHY, WHY, WHY I won’t vote for Pennsylvania Lurch, a/k/a John Fetterman for U.S. Senate, look no further than we can’t get COVID-19 shots and the mansplaining out of Harrisburg is clear as mud and twice as frustrating as a long PECO outage.

I know people who do NOT live in New Jersey or Delaware but somehow signed up for shots there. No residency questions or challenges so to me this seems unethical if not dishonest. Is it dishonest? Who knows?

All I DO know is I have played by the rules throughout COVID19, including going on voluntary self-quarantine before stay at home was enforced because I was at a horticultural event where literally one of the first COVID19 victims in Chester County was. They were (whomever they were) the 2nd confirmed victim.

I have stayed home, gardened, learned how to make bread, and more this past year. Yes it is almost a year. I wear masks. I wash my hands. I don’t see my elderly familial people.

Think it’s just me gretzing?

We are all playing COVID shot roulette. And it’s debilitating. I am perfectly willing to wait my turn, only it would be nice to have a realistic idea of what that looks like. And most of us do not. We go to site after site. Like Giant Food Markets only where are their pharmacies administering shots? And who decided the randomness of it all as to where the shots will go?

Every time I have a medical appointment I have to COVID19 pre-screen. I don’t mind pre-screening but how about a damn shot instead?

Sign me, COVID-frustrated.

a column too far

I will start by saying that quite honestly, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is not my cup of tea most of the time. But I will be god damned and dead before I as a woman would judge a woman who was a victim of sexual assault and who also had a recent traumatic event trigger a past traumatic event. (See Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she is a sexual assault survivor in The Guardian and other media sources like the New York Times.) It is quite possible. And to essentially read a column written by a regional female writing voice essentially mansplain as a woman in her column just doesn’t sit right.

Of course the local papers collective mansplainers on the editorial board have some ‘splaining to do too, don’t they? I mean what is this saying? Being a bitch about someone else’s sexual assault makes great click bait???

(CLICK FOR ARTICLE: Christine Flowers: Some sex-abuse claims don’t deserve to be heard Feb 4, 2021 Updated Feb 4, 2021 and also featured in Delco Times and Pottstown Mercury.)

I feel strongly enough about this that I screenshot the article above. The Daily Local and most of the papers under the control of whatever hedge fund has eviscerated them has a hair trigger paywall. I also looked online at the digital capture of the physical paper and for the life of me can’t find this article in print so did they publish it online and run another column in print?

I (generally speaking), don’t read most of what this columnist writes. Yes it’s all her First Amendment Right to express herself and all that, but I question local papers giving her a platform when the platform is so truly offensive at times. This is hardly the first time she has written something awful, but it’s definitely one of the most offensive pieces. Why doesn’t she just have her own website platform for things like this? Or there is always Twitter. She loves Twitter….and if you aren’t like her, you are against her, and that can be exhausting in a columnist can’t it just?

People, women especially, are outraged by this recent piece and I think rightfully so. It’s just nasty. Here are a smattering of comments:

Sadly (and again I must point out) I can’t say she doesn’t have the right to her opinion, even if I find it well, horrible. However, the flip side is I have my opinion right here and right now that she is truly despicable for doing this and I will go further to say maybe she wants to be more relevant and is just sounding desperate? See some of her Tweetabulous tweeting recently:

“White suburban mommies read it in print, and clutched many a pearl.” Gosh Christine, maybe you don’t know from pearls? Everyone who owns pearls knows you don’t clutch them because that is how you break them, even if they are individually knotted in between each pearl. Very different from pop beads….

“These are the empathetic ovary brigadiers.” Now, I am not going to say it’s acceptable behavior to send this woman (or any woman) emails saying they wish violence upon her. That accomplishes nothing, suborns violence, and just makes people part of the problem, not solution. But the bitterness of calling women “empathetic ovary brigadiers” also doesn’t escape me. I could never have my own children, as medically it was never possible. But I was never bitter about it or was fixated because I just figured God had another plan and he did. Now don’t get me wrong, I sat through many a comment from women over the years like “You don’t have children, so you couldn’t possibly understand” and I will admit sometimes I had the mental image of smacking the smugness off of someone’s face when they said something like that. Or when I was in Corporate America years ago and I always got last chance to pick on holiday time off because I was single and had no children. I called it the “single tax” (and worse) but whatever, there were bigger things in life to worry about. However, in this scenario not sure what women who have had kids has to do with them not liking an article that kind of mocks victims of sexual assault, so I will stick with bitter and non-related.

“#MirrorMirror” What does that even mean? How did she think women would react or perhaps that was the point? A file under all attention good, bad, or indifferent is good?

What she wrote was her opinion, but in MY opinion she was wrong. It is hideous to presume as a writer that you know exactly when and how a woman who has been a victim of a sexual assault will react or exactly when another traumatic event will trigger a memory of another traumatic event. And coming from a woman just makes this worse. Christine Flowers doesn’t get a fab virtual look here as being strong or witty, she gets a virtual look (in my opinion) of bitter and nasty postmenopausal mean girl.

At almost 57 I can honestly say that I know more women who were sexually assaulted in some form (as in not always rape) than those who have not been. And it isn’t a case of birds of a feather. Yes, I was a victim once upon a time. It didn’t define me, I worked hard to move past it. But did I ever forget it? Oh hell no. It happened in the dark ages when you didn’t tell after because somehow it was always a woman’s fault, like you stood with a sign on a street corner that said “Assault Me, Please.Somehow I thought we had moved past that whole blame the victim and victim shaming, but apparently not.

I can’t as a woman say that another woman doesn’t still have PTSD over her assault. I can’t say that she does definitively have PTSD, either. But as a female writer, I don’t think I would build a column shaming a woman who was a victim of sexual assault and I wouldn’t be able to so assertively say this woman was using it to make herself a center of attention in the midst of a national tragedy (assault on the Capitol.)

I can’t minimize or mock what Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has revealed or said on this topic, because I believe being in the middle or adjacent to the riots and siege of the US Capitol, or in the same city and even country could indeed trigger victims. Just like the sound of the cannon a local school years ago to start off certain football games used to trigger a Vietnam vet who lived close by. Just like a simple email about celebrating someone retiring triggered women I knew because the person that others wanted to celebrate should be anything but celebrated and with good reason. When I read Flowers’ Op Ed it made me remember again, decades later, why I never told.

We can’t say it isn’t possible for certain traumatic events to trigger past traumatic events, and we shouldn’t mock it. Christine Flowers was not right to do so. But she has to live in her own headspace with it, and judging from what I have seen, again in my opinion, she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what any of us think and she is reveling in her negative spotlight. So bless her heart, she deserves people’s prayers for basically seeming just super hateful and uncaring.

But I do actually think it was a column too far. I do think the Daily Local was wrong publishing it.

Here is a rebuttal written by a woman in West Chester. I will share a large excerpt. Her name is Grace Nelson. Her words spoke to me:

Image result for thumbtack

Opening my local paper each morning, I am rarely without a sense of gratitude for the critical work news media does in upholding the basis of our democracy. Without exchange of ideals and ideas in this public square, our basis of governance would be rendered inert.

I consider the vulnerability and dedication of journalists and writers in these arenas to be acts of public service. It is in this context and with the above description of the heinous nature of sexual trauma in mind that I find myself so deeply disturbed by the disservice done by Christina. Flowers and the Daily Local News upon survivors of sexual assault and their allies…….Beyond this poorly disguised opportunity for political posturing conducted through a fallacy-laden line of argumentation, Ms. Flowers and those who allowed her words to be printed for mass consumption also finds themselves to be innately incorrect in their understanding of sexual abuse, the very subject matter at hand….survivors of sexual abuse know well that your identity as a survivor as well as the humanity you cling in your most difficult moments don’t only exist with convenience. You are always a survivor, regardless of who is watching and how that weight of trauma manifests itself in your moment to moment existence.

Whether Ms. Flowers finds it expedient that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s identity as a survivor manifested more strongly in the wake of the January 6th insurrection, the Congresswoman cannot and never will be able to peel away or compartmentalize her trauma….Neither was I able to shirk my reality as a survivor when I encountered this dangerous and hurtful column reading my morning paper over coffee.

I write to the Editor today not only in disgust of the words….but with an immense feeling of shame. I feel the familiar and occasional crush of shame of I carry in my life as survivor. I feel ashamed of the state of our national discourse surrounding sexual abuse knowing the pain words like Ms. Flower’s will carelessly inflict on a massive constituency of survivors.

I can’t imagine what The Daily Local, Delco Times, and Pottstown Mercury were thinking, and those people can live with their conscience on this. But if they thought they were being edgy and that would gain them additional readership, well I think all they have done is lose more readers, and possibly advertisers. And that in and of itself is a complete and utter disservice to local reporters who, in spite of the state of that paper, do their best to report the news.

When you read pure unadulterated bullshit like this, it just makes all of us no matter what our political or religious or racial persuasions to be better people. Last March she and the Philadelphia Inquirer went their different ways. (See Philadelphia Magazine article.) I didn’t actually know that until this all erupted, but her is her tweet from last year:

What Christine Flowers wrote is offensive but she also draws attention to the fact that sexual assault victims seem to be victim shamed still in 2021. It’s so last century….literally. And again, you just don’t expect the victim shaming of a woman to come from a woman.

Will she keep her job or just eventually go down with the sinking ship that is The Daily Local? Don’t know, and at the end of the day it is low on the scale of things that are important in life. Truthfully I suspect life will go on and Christine Flowers will continue to revel in negative attention.

The First Amendment comes in all shapes and sizes most sadly…..but newspapers don’t print all opinions and I am not sure why they printed this.

the billboard of it all: file under why governments don’t negotiate with terrorists?

I asked this question in 2018 when the billboard issue hit Tredyffrin.

I received a note today and like Alice down the Billboard hole I went, reading what is posted towards end of post which was sent with:

📌”East Whiteland Township is proposing to rezone the Township’s 19.45 acre open space and Ecology Park Land near Mill Lane and Route 401 to professional office. Also, the Township wants to adopt a new ordinance which would allow for the construction of large electronic billboards within the rezoned land. The Chester County Planning Commission has recommended that the township consider other areas that would be more appropriate for electronic billboards, such as the Route 29 corridor. ” 📌

Sigh….even the Chester County Planning Commission is saying BAD FREAKING IDEA to REZONE PARK SPACE and since East Whiteland shares the same solicitor as Upper Merion and didn’t Upper Merion just kill a similar plan there, why is it still alive in East Whiteland?

This is slated for February 1st when East Whiteland has two public hearings, both related to the community scourge of billboards/electronic signs.

Oh and this is more on 202, where in West Whiteland there is one of these suckers being proposed. Off Dunwoody Drive, a sign would go up on some boggy kind of weird space in an office park, right? Wasn’t that the gist of the continued West Whiteland hearing that appeared in the paper on January 8th? But the weird thing is there are two LLCs kind of close together in I guess West Whiteland? See what someone sent:

Now the West Whiteland hearing on January 27th was continued. Until February 10, 2021. The West Whiteland Township billboard hearing meeting was a complete technological cluster F. The video kept freezing but it was interesting in parts especially this lawyer who is representing West Whiteland as special counsel on this. He’s very bright. His name is Ryan Jennings. Amazing to watch. There was some discussion about whether or not a billboard application is actually land development. And then West Whiteland was referring to some other kind of litigation involving the signs and I didn’t really understand what was going on it was very unclear if it was actually related and how were the LLCs related to the parent company or something?

Of course because West Whiteland has issues with being sunshine friendly they said they don’t keep the zoom recordings and only their notes or something become the record and what kind of crap is that?

Back to East Whiteland. Just can’t help thinking about say West Whiteland signs get approved and East Whiteland is foolish enough to allow open space/park land to get rezoned, wow what will 202 end up looking like? I-95? Las Vegas? And you can’t say that residents won’t be affected because these townships all allow these developments to be built to the edge of these highways don’t they?

So one of the East Whiteland hearings February 1st is for a settlement agreement, the other is for the re-zoning. So if the billboard company deals in individual LLCs per site, are both public hearings under E. Whiteland Outdoor, LLC, or are other LLCs involved?

How many LLCs for billboards and electronic signs from these folks over the entirety of Chester County? How much litigation is going on over these signs in Chester County alone?

These public hearings are on East Whiteland’s website. They are slated for Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7 PM. It’s a public zoom hearing and the residents of East Whiteland need help, just like the residents of West Whiteland need help. These signs do not benefit residents. Residents will also be watching for residents and businesses who seem suddenly billboard supportive, won’t they?

Open space means parks and trails and preserving the area the way it used to be before development ran it over. Open space means trying to maintain an environment that will last for all of us and future generations. Do none of you remember the whole situation at Downingtown’s Kardon Park a few years ago that went to PA Supreme Court? It was all about open space, park land becoming something else…via zoning tweaks etc wasn’t it? It’s not the exact scenario but legal precedent would mean any municipality could face potential litigation that could be quite costly which would affect residents/taxpayers, right? That not so in the past case essentially told Downingtown Borough that they could not sell or lease park land, right? But it also possibly sets a precedent for all open space, doesn’t it? For open space that has been set aside as such and parks there are these pesky things in PA like the Donated and Dedicated Property Act, the Public Trust Doctrine, and our own Pa Constitution Article I, Section 27.

For reading about the Kardon Park case, just hit up Google and see these two links as well:

https://law.justia.com/cases/pennsylvania/supreme-court/2017/12-23-map-2016.html

https://www.philadelphiabar.org/WebObjects/PBAReadOnly.woa/Contents/WebServerResources/CMSResources/PhillyLawyerSpr10_depts.pdf

Back to what started this which was outreach by residents. This to follow in screen shots is what was sent to me by concerned residents. Their thoughts and a community call to action, as well as the letter from the Chester County Planning Commission. These are their words, no prompted by me, they asked me to share.

Pack the Zoom meeting February 1st.