barclay friends neighbors sent me photos

I was visiting a friend in Chester County Hospital today and remarkably, you can smell the smoke from the fire inside the hospital. It’s crazy. It was like someone had a fire in their fireplace.

I have friends who live in that part of West Chester and they have smoke infiltration in their homes. I am only publishing a couple of photos, but there but for the grace of God go all of us.

Other friends of ours (as in a couple of different families) had family members evacuated from Barclay Friends last night. Their family members are safe and sound elsewhere.

Another friend who has been on the scene texted that the fire was not completely out.

Neighbors of Barclay Friends are among the scores of unsung heroes who helped residents to safety. Some media outlets are saying not all are accounted for? (See this report from ABC News ):

Authorities struggled on Friday to account for the whereabouts of all the residents of a Pennsylvania senior living community after a massive blaze tore through their complex during the middle of the night, injuring nearly 30 and leading to a chaotic evacuation.

West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley said Friday afternoon that a few of the more than 130 residents of the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community, located west of Philadelphia, were unaccounted for following the huge fire.

“We’re hoping for the best obviously here,” said Norley, who put the number taken to area hospitals at 29.

Officials said fewer than 20 remained hospitalized and all were in good condition.

County emergency officials said there was the possibility someone could have died in the fire, which erupted late Thursday night. But a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which was on the scene, told an afternoon news conference that no relatives had reported any family members missing.

Some patients are at Chester County Hospital. These people have lost everything. Especially photos and memories. It’s devastating.

At West Chester nursing home fire, a heroic effort to evacuate residents
by Laura McCrystal, Justine McDaniel, Tricia L. Nadolny & Emerson I. Max, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS

Flames Rip Through Chester County Senior Living Community Displacing 150 Residents and Staff, Hospitalizing 27-The senior residents of the facility were evacuated into the bitter cold, and while more than 20 people transported to hospitals, officials did not elaborate on any injuries
By NBC10 Staff

The ATF was on scene this afternoon as well, so that should help people get answers, right?

It has been a very long day in the Borough of West Chester. On the eve of Thanksgiving I am grateful for all those neighbors, fire fighters, and EMTs and police who responded to this. I am told by friends that we can always drop off food or snacks to these volunteer fire companies. These men and women do this day in and day out.

Have a good night, all.

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prayers for barclay friends

Most of us in Chester County woke up to those devastating news. Barclay Friends in the Borough of West Chester went up in flames as many of us, myself included, were sleeping. I have a friend whose mom was there, thank goodness she is now home and safe with her family. There are many, many displaced seniors as a result.

It is the eve of Thanksgiving and I think we must be grateful for the absolutely amazing first responders we have in Chester County. Firefighters, EMTs, police, and so on. I am not one to toss around the word blessed lightly, but we are so blessed with these heroic individuals because this could have been so much worse without their expertise and valor.

Daily Local : At least 20 injured, 100 flee into night as fire roars through West Chester senior living center (Photos)

Prayers go to the families with displaced seniors and the staff of Barclay Friends . I am happy to post legitimate fundraising efforts one Barclay Friends gets this sorted out to where they can do that. I am also happy to post efforts of groups who will be collecting clothing and other basics for these seniors. And if someone is planning to get Thanksgiving dinner to these displaced seniors.

These senior citizens could be anyone’s family members, and at least one is a family member of a friend.

I will admit I am so terrified at how fast Barclay Friends went up in flames. All media reports this morning indicate fire investigation is already beginning.

Also, and VERY important: you will note my photos come from social media. I am not going anywhere near that scene and neither should any curiosity seeker. Let the professionals do their jobs and stay out of the area in the Borough of West Chester.

Prayers up on this.

heaven on earth is home

It looks like a painting. But it is real life.  Taken a short time ago over in Westtown.  I made my last trip probably to Pete’s Produce for the season.  (They have the most fabulous pumpkins this year, but I digress.)

Heaven on earth is where we call home here in Chester County.  Traveling through the scarred battle zone of raped land of the Sunoco Logistics Pipeline horror show to get to Pete’s really made an impression today.

We as residents need to do a better job advocating for Chester County herself.  Election Day will be here in a blink.  The power of your vote is one of the greatest ways to be heard.  Those who are NOT stewards of the land need to GO.

We need more land preservation and land conservation and less development.  We need to see what can be done to save what is left of our beautiful landscapes, including from the damn pipelines.

We have an agricultural and equine heritage that needs to be saved.  We have waterways and woods and wildlife and even the humble honey bee depending on us.

We can’t just talk about it and we certainly can’t depend upon the Chester County Planning Commission.  Pretty pie-graphs and surveys just take up space on a website.  What are they doing, really?  What are the Chester County Commissioners doing, really?  Planned photo ops are good for politics, what do they actually do for all of us? The all like to say they are helping plan our future in Chester county but I ask again exactly whose futures are the planning? Mine, yours, or theirs and those who make lots of political contributions?

I was down on the Main Line a few times over the past few weeks.  I realized once again how I truly now dislike where I used to call home.  And it is not just the great pretenders to what now passes as the “social” scene.  It’s the density, the roads, the overall frantic pace and congestion.  I realized how I literally exhale when I start to feel the open sky, fields, and forest of Chester County every time I am coming home.

But we are at such risk of losing that. We are at serious risk of losing Chester County.  From the history to the land, forests, fields, water (wells, streams, lakes, everything), to the old farm houses and barns to other historic structures — we have to act.

As my friend Mindy Rhodes has wisely said via M. Jankowski “If not you, then who?”  and John Lewis  “If not now, then when?”

Think about it.  Start with who you vote for.  And what you vote for.

#metoo but what happens after media spotlight fades?

Hecate/ The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy, William Blake (1757-1827)

#metoo A/K/A The Harvey Movement. Started by actor Alyssa Milano.

USA Today reported today in addition the following: 

Gretchen Carlson has been credited with cracking the secretive world of workplace sexual harassment thanks to her landmark case against Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. 

But she’s convinced the scathing allegations of assault and harassment leveled against Harvey Weinstein published by The New York Times and The New Yorker, and the tidal wave of women coming forward with similar stories in the last week and a half, is the real turning point.

“What we’re seeing happening now with the Harvey Weinstein revelations, to me this is the watershed moment,” she told USA TODAY. “This is the tipping point I’ve been working so hard for over the last 15 months. People are finally saying ‘enough.'”

A reporter friend of mine today asked the following as she was researching her story:

Does the #metoo make you feel more empowered? Do you think this is a here today/ gone tomorrow story?

Sexual Harassment is not new – does the fact it’s a Hollywood producer and accusers are stars give the issue more clarity- more weight that now is the time for discussion? 

Sigh.  Sexual harassment and sexual assault are not new. Just #metoo is new. It is still so hard for victims of either sexual harassment or sexual assault to report either.  No matter what victims seem to get victimized again in the process. And that is total sad reality, isn’t it?

Also to consider are the women who cry wolf in these situations for whatever twisted motivation they might have.  Yes, seriously, and I know of more than one instance over my lifetime.  And for every person who cries wolf, that makes it all the harder for women who have been victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

So according to the media this #metoo has been a crazy trigger for women to talk about this. It’s truly all over social media, pick your platform.

Vanity Fair: These Are the Women Who Have Accused Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Harassment and Assault. October 12, 2017 by Yohana Desta and Hillary Busis

Washington Post #MeToo: Harvey Weinstein case moves thousands to tell their own stories of abuse, break silence by Samantha Schmidt

PBS News Hour: Thousands share stories of sexual abuse with #MeToo after Weinstein allegations

What did I post on my own timeline?

It’s the truth.  When I think of sexual assault and sexual harassment, I think of it in terms of which women do I know who hasn’t experienced some form of either. And we, the everyday women in this country, will still be here long after the bright lights of Hollywood have moved onto the next cause célèbre.

And let us not forget what President Trump and Betsy De Vos have cooked up for Title IX, shall we? Good little foot soldiers of the current “republic” I am sure are claiming “fake news” but is US New and World Report really “fake news”?

Here is what the US News and World Report said:

Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to prevent discrimination in schools based on sex, but has since expanded to cover issues relating to sexual assault. No longer for just equality, it requires educational institutions that receive federal funding to have a procedure in place for handling complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, and violence.

The law was reshaped during the Obama administration in an effort to improve how colleges handle sexual assaults, but DeVos told The Associated Press the system “is not working right and well for anyone.”

So when I posted  #MeToo did I mean me too?

Yes.

For me, it was literally decades ago.  No one at this point needs the gory details.  It accomplishes nothing.  It happened and that was bad enough.

For years I denied to myself what happened and alternately blamed myself for what happened.

As I grew up from this thing I experienced, I came in contact with other women who themselves had been victims of either sexual harassment or sexual assault and in many cases were then victimized by the system.   I also knew of women who cried wolf and almost tanked the lives of men who had not been sexual predators.

I did not talk about it, I did not tell anyone when it actually happened.

Eventually because a light bulb went off in my head, I did deal with it.  I finally accepted what happened was not my fault, and quite honestly I worked through it with a therapist.  I knew if I did not I would become as screwed up as many women I had encountered who never did anything about it even just for their sanity.

But sociologically speaking, it’s still kind of a dirty little secret isn’t it?  This is a topic that makes people uncomfortable, yet it happened every single day.  We are now as women told to speak up, but if you are just a regular person what happens? Do people magically descend from the ceiling with flaming swords to defend your honor?

Hardly.

It’s hard enough to go to anyone and talk about this, but still today, doesn’t it seem nearly impossible to get action taken? We’ve all read the horror stories of when rape victims take things to court. And with sexual harassment in the workplace as a woman you get to lose lots and lots of sleep over taking action, or sucking it up and moving on so you don’t taint your career with reporting something, don’t you?

Why are the victims victimized twice?

There are women I know who will never, ever get over what happened to them.  And that is even with people supporting them and encouraging them to at least get therapy. And it has screwed with their lives incredibly.

Yes, we need to stand up and say #MeToo but we need to persist so the every day non-Hollywood girls and women are helped. We need to remember the ordinary women who stand in the shadows waiting for help.  The women who get so lost inside their own heads on this that it affects their lives, their children’s lives, truly the lives of everyone who cares about them.

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are as old as time.  We all need to do better.

Thanks for stopping by.

perversion

From Radnor Democrats Public Facebook Page. It had as a caption “Radnor Democrats
June 11, 2016 at 4:41pm · We always say that the Radnor Democrats have a big, diverse tent and to “join the Party.” Well, today, at the Wayne Music Festival, the Radnor Democrats LITERALLY have a big tent!”

Where to begin? Let’s start at the bitter end of September when news broke that there had been a not-local (as in NOT Radnor PD) law enforcement raid had occurred in Radnor Township.  The target? Phil Ahr, newly minted as of this summer President of the Radnor Board of Commissioners. 

News has swirled when he missed the regular meeting shortly after the raid and  then and this past Monday, some commissioners had wanted Ahr to resign. But the Democrat commissioners (Nagle, Higgins, Schaeffer) blocked the efforts.  I will admit that while they were speaking the truth about guilty until proven innocent, BUT this is the second scandal to rock Radnor Democrats with a Board of Commissioners president given the fact that in June former Commissioner and Board of Commissioners President Bill Spingler was found guilty by a Delaware County jury  of “indecent assault on a person with a mental disability.” (His 100+ year old former mother-in-law.) Ironically, Mr. Spingler is to be sentenced or something tomorrow a lot of newscasters in Philadelphia were stating today after Phil Ahr turned himself in to police.

See NBC10 Philadelphia’s reporter Deanna Durante’s 6PM report on Mr. Ahr goes to court. Also see a pretty comprehensive article by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Main Line Media News.

It’s child porn and lots of it.  It’s horrible. Truly horrible. Almost inconceivable.

Earlier this evening, Radnor Township itself held a press conference.  I contacted the township and they provided me with what they had handed out except for the PDF of the court docket – I found that myself. Today was the preliminary arraignment. 

Anyway, here it is and I will warn you it is truly disturbing:

 

 

So back to the three commissioners in Radnor who blocked a motion to have Ahr resign. Earlier this evening, they fell back behind the cloak of the Home Rule Charter of Radnor Township.  So while they perhaps could not have made Ahr resign as of Monday, given the scandal their township and political party has endured in recent months, shouldn’t they have convinced him to resign?  Or how about perhaps they should have NOT played politics at all and lived up to their oaths of office and convinced him to resign because they are supposed to look out for the best interests of the residents?

Once again, deeply troubling times for a township where I have many close friends….including those with children.

I am going to say, however, that no matter what your opinion is here, please allow law enforcement and those in the legal system do their jobs here.  Please respect the terribly difficult jobs they have, especially with this case.  Also respect the residents of Radnor Township who have to deal with this, especially the residents of Ward 7, Garrett Hill. Garrett Hill is a tight knit community that is suffering greatly.  And pray for Phil Ahr’s family.  He has now given them a terrible burden they will carry always.

Here’s a question for all of you: should local elected officials have to submit to comprehensive background checks including criminal in order to hold elected office?

Thanks for stopping by.

main line airport marker dedication

I was unable to attend the Main Line Airport marker dedication ceremony yesterday, but my dear friends at the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society were kind enough to provide this photo.

Support your local and county historical societies wherever you live.  They do the good deeds, and trust me, to get even a non-Commonwealth of Pennsylvania historical marker approved, takes some doing!

Learn about the Main Line Airport HERE

And HERE

And HERE

local elections DO matter

Soon it will be election day.  It’s an off-year nationally one might think, so why bother?

Easy.  Your vote is YOUR voice in YOUR community. This year is a more local focus….supervisors, commissioners, borough council members, mayors, city councils — just depends on where you live as to what and who you are voting for.

Local candidates are now more seriously making the rounds.  They will pop up spiffed and shined to check out community events, civic associations, and so on and so forth.  Yes, be warned, literal baby-kissing may ensue.

They may even come door-knocking. Where I live (in my opinion)  they are inconsistent at best on the door-knocking, or if they do show and you do vote for them, often you do not hear from them ever again, after that.

Be informed.  And don’t just vote for someone because they may share the political party you are told you should vote for.  Why?  Because on a local level, that is NOT what matters.  What matters is who they are, and what they stand for, and if you find them passably believable.  On the local level, you should vote the PERSON, not the PARTY. Because trust me, in spite of what they say, it has been my long standing belief that on a local level, political parties will often make deals with each other, and well, how do you feel about that?

I believe in balance.  Saying that, I do not think you have balance necessarily if one group of the same people (which is NOT the same as the same party) is in control for too long.

I believe in term limits.  We need to get some of those. It’s time to curb political monopolies.

Don’t be afraid of checking out the new kids on the block, but make sure you understand what they are truly about.  Also check out WHO endorses them, WHO backs them, WHO gives them campaign donations, and WHO they hang out with politically.  The more independent, the better in my humble opinion.

And in as far as incumbents you think may have been around long enough? Simple motto: when in doubt, vote ’em out.

The sanctity of the voting booth is for you alone, so vote your heart and conscience always.

And above all else, vote.  Your individual power of the vote is a powerful voice. Be the change you seek. Take back the power in your communities. Vote.