land conservationists/preservationists in chester county should watch this curious case…in willistown

This is a post I have been struggling with. I am a big supporter of Natural Lands. But I am not sure what to think here.

Summerhill Preserve is acreage in Willistown. It was put in preservation. But was the intent of the gift of this land and the preservation of it to make it a public access site, or just a preserved swath of land?

I used to see stuff fly by the past few years mostly about birds and Summerhill. Here are some screenshots and note that these screenshots don’t seem to go anywhere now when you click on the link:

Ok well stuff gets updated and moved around on websites and links get broken. No biggie. But when you go to Natural Lands website and put in Summerhill all you get now is a handful of very old articles mentioning but not centered on Summerhill. I never thought much of it, because I never thought Summerhill was like a place you could just visit, although I am sure I would love it like I love so many of Natural Lands properties. But Summerhill? Not on their list of places to visit. I just checked again today.

Again, no big deal. I have always thought, whether it is right or wrong, even if land is in conservation/preservation, it is not necessarily just open to the public. And Natural Lands kind of always said that about Summerhill. Note this screenshot from a few years ago I found for an event listing about Summerhill :

So then someone randomly asked me what was going on with Summerhill. I replied truthfully, wouldn’t know, had forgotten about it. Why had I forgotten? Because I never knew you could visit it and it had been ages since I even saw something mentioning it.

Well there is a wee problem and Natural Lands is in court with the Summerhill neighbors. And Willistown too I guess? But this is not the same as the strange case of Wildflower Farm and those neighbors. No comparison. Among other things so much of this land abuts private property. It’s not a working farm, it’s land — open space.

If you ever ask anybody who lives adjacent to a trail or conserved land or even a park they will tell you there is good and bad and living La Vida COVID in some cases has made it awkward at times. Sometimes stupid human tricks prevail – leaving trash, trespassing on private property and taking stuff, even urinating and worse from our much loved trails onto private property. It happens. Sadly, it happens. I have heard about it on the Chester Valley Trail and the Radnor Trail even in years past on the trail at Haverford College. People have told me similar stories like this near Willisbrook in Willistown. Stupid human tricks and a lack of respecting boundaries and private property, and of course it makes you wonder if they even respect the actual nature preserve or trail?

This is not the fault of the people responsible for the trails or nature preserves, in my humble opinion. It is probably impossible to babysit all of these properties all of the time and how many operate is somewhat on an honor system of dawn to dusk without real actual bodies on site to close and open properties?

So it begs the question of ironing things out so people know what will happen with what they donate land maybe? And ironing out what the public can and can’t do also perhaps? Is it not OK for preserved/conserved land to just be well passive, pristine, and preserved? As in maybe it’s left alone or maybe it’s an occasional very special space not open dusk ’til dawn to the public? And what if that is what a donor or grantor said in the first place? What if that is what conservation easements said? So maybe you can’t just pave paradise after all and put up a parking lot or you can but not necessarily everywhere?

I remember when the Summerhill place was for sale, conserved land was a selling point (and it was in the Willistown Conservation Trust Barns and BBQ as well):

So yes, neighbors moved in here knowing about the land preservation/conservation. But I think the question from reading an Orphan’s Court thing is original intent vs. I guess Natural Lands wanting to open this up and build a parking lot, etc? But I am having a hard time envisioning how they would even do this because of all of the properties that touch what Natural Lands has if that makes sense?

After reading this Orphan’s Court thing, it makes a person wonder if the neighbors here are wrong? Because if the original intent was just preserved land and that can be proven, are they wrong?

I love Natural Lands. I know some will think me horrible for raising this issue. But isn’t it important? After all you want people to donate land but land in conservation and save it from development, right? That is why I feel this case bears watching. It also looks like there is other stuff other than what is in Orphan’s Court brewing.

I am sharing the Orphan’s Court thing. Not trying to slam Willistown Township or Natural Lands. But this makes for interesting reading and pondering. And these strike me as VERY different neighbors than the OTHER Wildflower Farm thing and a different situation altogether, correct? To me this will be a case that no matter what happens will possibly lay things out a little more clearly for others in the future and will you agree when all is said in done? I am all for the race to preserve open space to quote another organization, but it should be less foggy, and simple right? Or wrong?

Time and judges will tell.

curious and curiouser in…east goshen

I will note ONCE AGAIN it does NOT take THAT much legwork to unwind or undo an eminent domain threat of taking. JUST FREAKING DO IT! Write your letters and resolutions, sign off on it .

Yo East Goshen Supervisors who don’t want eminent domain? Present a RESOLUTION to REVOKE the use of eminent domain here and sign it. That is what the have done in Lower Merion and elsewhere….the elected officials need to sign their names to this! Sign, seal and deliver it already.

Eminent domain is wrong. This use of eminent domain as a bully tool is wrong. The Hicks family deserves better, every resident in East Goshen deserves better than eminent domain.

Above I have shared the document from 2006 from where I used to live in Lower Merion Township. The fact is simple: a municipality can indeed undo eminent domain. They do not need to “investigate ending” eminent domain. Municipalities can do it.

East Goshen is a second class township. They operate under the second class township code. A resolution announces the taking, or intent to take. Another resolution and vote to undo it, can cancel it.

Do second class townships have third class brains??

East Goshen enacted eminent domain of the Hicks Farm, they need to resolve to end it and pass by majority vote. Is there problem for just compensation as a result of this debacle? Is there a money issue or other issue somewhere, somehow in this township? Are things going on behind the scenes that the public and plurality are not aware of? Did they apply for grants, etc. based upon eminent domain?

What is East Goshen Township hiding? Because doesn’t it feel that way? Like something is hiding in plain sight? And this is no dig at the newly elected chair of the supervisors as I hold her in high esteem. But methinks she inherited issues and am I alone with those thoughts?

And other things I find curious are these little things like REALLY is the codes guy in East Goshen who is Chair of the Planning Commission in West Whiteland? Isn’t that a wee bit incestuous? Just one example of course, but local municipal governments should have a new rule: if you are employed by a local municipality, you shouldn’t be an elected or appointed official.

Just do it, East Goshen. Just kick eminent domain to the curb and be done with it. Don’t spend your lives and waste more taxpayer dollars so solicitors past and present can contemplate their collective navels, I mean why? Just keep your word and get rid of eminent domain. Because until you do, it is STILL on the table.

East Goshen, sadly, you can’t remain a little bit pregnant on eminent domain. And if you need MORE help, there is a nice non profit public interest law firm out there called the Institute for Justice. Yes and they are the nation’s only libertarian, civil liberties, public interest law firm.

Git’ R’ Done East Goshen and call it a day.

2021 in review

o))) Winter Solstice Full Moon Journey + Ceremony Soundscape... - Gabriola  Arts Council

Before I get to a recap of sorts of 2021, let’s talk Christmas decorations. Mine stay up to Epiphany (maybe a little later.) When do you take your decorations down? I have to be honest, I also just like them so much I wish the Christmas season were just a little bit longer. However, I know once January rolls around the nutcrackers and elves kind of look like they are staring at me from the bookshelves, so down they come until next year.

2021 has been a crazy year and let’s start with more current events. Recently a person purported to live in the Malvern area was arrested in West Chester after a bar fight. Not just any old bar fight, she (yes she) also was charged with biting and spitting on employees. Hey I am not making this up, just ask the West Chester Borough Police who posted it. THAT is why the media picked up the story and wrote about it.

Biting and spitting during what is still a GLOBAL pandemic known as COVID-19. Why am I talking about this? Well it made the news so I posted a link to a published article. No real rhyme or reason, I just posted it. I do post crime stuff every now and again. I will note that I posted with NO opinion. Just posted the article.

Up pops the Stepford -With -Matching -Capes- Crusaders. I was a bad person for sharing it. Why was I posting it. Oh and the best? I was a threat to the community for posting it. Say what? Oh and middle school behavior for posting it. Did I mention it was in the news?

All I did was post the link. If something is in the news and it’s posted, it doesn’t make anyone a bad person for posting a link unless of course it’s fake news. It wasn’t. Now if you don’t like something someone posts, we are supposed to be grown-ups, right? So why not just scroll by for something more to your comfort level? (I will note another news story, similar topic also has surfaced out of Bear, DE at a WaWa of all places. Same age range women. Bizarre, dangerous, and hideous behavior in the age of COVID19.)

Social media behavior in general (as in everywhere) has greatly deteriorated since the last presidential election and COVID19. Maybe all of you armchair critics merely like the sounds of your own voices but not everybody has to listen to it. And so we are clear, I am not speaking about that old-fashioned concept of disagreeing, yet having a thing called a conversation. I am referring to the beyond the nipping at the virtual ankles, being flat out obnoxious if not more. And yet these are the same people who don’t understand where kids learn about bullying.

New Year's Eve

Sometimes I turn the other cheek with these village idiots in local social media groups. This was not one of those times. I grow increasingly intolerant of this brand of bullsheit. And that doesn’t make me a bad person, it means I have had enough of those who wish to have local social media domination in a puffy cloud world where cute bunnies and unicorns fart rainbows.

Then the other day I had the best giggle all day from a writer, Brian Hickey:

“Let’s Go Brandon: the rallying cry of people who peaked in high school.”

~ Brian Hickey 12/28/21

That makes a nice segue to the comments of 2021 on this blog having to do with politics, maskers vs. anti maskers, anti-vaxxers and more:

I only posted a snippet of the hate mail comments I receive. But these show the range from I am a horrible person to why don’t I just kill myself. Ah yes the milk of human kindness at it’s finest. And mind you, I will get these comments when writing about a garden tour. It’s me I suppose. I am too different in opinion from them, I don’t know “my place”, whatever. Someone I know had this to say about one person being a keyboard tiger jackass:

I hope he accidentally uses his poison ivy as toilet tissue And deserves the kind of life that is small minded, mean, douche-y comment deserves. You on the other hand deserve to have a wonderful day that you had and being able to celebrate it free from pestilence.

Your “I’m-not-afraid-to-go-low” friend from New York.

I have to admit that made me laugh. My New Yorkers are fierce.

And as far as social media groups like on Facebook go, if you as an admin have the audacity to remove an ankle biter, that is rarely the end of it. Some of them keep trying to get back into a group. Others keep sending their friends and relatives to either keep beating their drum in their absence, or to spy and see if people are still talking about them. Hence the reason most groups these days do not let you join automatically. Everyone is tired especially of the Facebook ankle biters.

Even inane NextDoor isn’t immune from insane social media behavior. 2021 saw the oddly obsessed CVS man and the people who recently piled onto the poor woman who was just concerned about a homeless couple living in their car in a grocery store parking lot in Phoenixville. And let’s not forget the freak flag flying political posts of NextDoor and the crowd sourcing for should people call the police about things, or posting personal information publicly like it isn’t social media, although it most assuredly is.. That site in general is a big headscratcher.

Also in 2021 we had the woman who thinks Tredyffrin Easttown School District school board meetings are for her to throw extra blonde temper tantrums. She didn’t like me mocking her public comments at a public meeting. And at that time she was blathering to anyone who would listen to her (including local media) about her views on life, vaccines, masks, politics, the universe.

This was the same woman who during breast cancer awareness month (the dreaded and disliked Pinktober to many of us) posted a photo of me on Facebook in a hospital gown taken either before my breast cancer surgery or after my surgery but before I started treatment. It was like a wanted poster with piss poor timing. Among other things it was supposed to intimidate me. Purely female BS.

The school board follies on the whole were quite insane in 2021. The ugliest of the ugliest. And it’s not over. Even if so many of the anti-vaxxer anti-maskers, and Qanon cuties lost their school board races, they are still around. At least one was a nurse. A pediatric nurse, no less. I hope whomever she works for is proud of her efforts, right? Others of their ilk did not lose and made it onto school boards. Essentially the politics of crazy will continue to threaten public school education just like it threatens the very tenets of our society and democracy.

The most frightening example of threatening our democracy occurred this year on January 6, 2021. That is another highlight of the sheer volume crazy of 2021. Who would have ever thought we would be watching news reports of mob of Americans storming our beloved Capitol? On January 6, 2021, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. hoping to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize then President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. This effort failed, and it has been in court and all over social media ever since. Mob members who have been identified are being prosecuted. One of the oldest mob members is from the West Chester area and I think I read he is in his 80s.

Living La Vida COVID in 2021 meant a lot of us spent a lot of time keeping to ourselves. And given the climate of the world around us, it was a perfectly acceptable alternative. As the world re-opened we still couldn’t be sure who was vaccinated, who was not, who had COVID, and who may or may not act crazy if they saw you wearing a mask or saw someone not wearing a mask.

This extended to a lot of our recent Christmas celebrations, which for most were considerably smaller to be safe, because what has arrived? The lovely Omicron variant. I know quite a few people who have picked it up, including at a Christmas concert I love but decided to skip this year because of COVID. Some people who were vaccinated I know who got snagged by the latest variant but they hadn’t had their booster yet. But most of the people I know who now have COVID19 have never gotten shots yet. I wonder if they will now?

Now that COVID cases are on the insane rise again, there are other issues. Remember we have one hospital in Chester County – Jennersville – closing at the end of this week, and another, Brandywine closing at the end January. It seems no one can stop Tower Health from doing this. But then again no one could stop Hahnemann in Philadelphia from closing, either.

Tower Health by these actions is essentially going to cause unbelievable problems for ALL residents of Chester County, not just the communities affected most directly by the hospitals they are closing. It’s a shame Chester County can’t sue Tower Health or federal entities like The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, isn’t it? Or can they?

New Yorker February 17, 2021 by Ward Sutton

Back to politics. The politics of extremism still rules the day. I have watched friendships erode over politics, even my own. I have a friend who is super conservative. I sent her a Christmas card like always. No card received here. Crickets.

I feel it is because I could never join the cult of Trump. I never judged this friend’s conservatism because it’s their belief system, and even if I don’t agree with a lot of it now, the world is big enough for more than one point of view. But I am wondering if I instead were judged? Makes me sad, but I can only control me. I won’t shut the door, but it makes me sad because there are a bunch of those in my life. I was fine when I was a Republican, but now I am not, I am somehow not worthy. Or I am not worthy to some because I am not liberal enough.

How did this world happen? I remember a time when you could be many political persuasions in a room, yet you would all leave the conversations friends. Now it’s “off with their heads” and you can’t have an actual conversation, let alone sit on different sides of the political fence. What good is that doing anyone?

Political cartoons: The best of October

Other things that marred 2021 was crime. Usually surrounding the City of Philadelphia, which has deteriorated into a filthy dirty, crime ridden city with a joke of a mayor and a doofus of a district attorney. But when Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon got carjacked at gunpoint at FDR Park in Philadelphia recently they got the bad guys in like a day….which NEVER happens to regular folk. I am very glad she is OK but I sure hope this keeps a GIANT spotlight on the hot mess that is the City of Philadelphia.

Crime has made it’s way more and more into what was bucolic Chester County. It sucks, frankly. And the police forces are smaller than in a big city.A lot of areas are covered by the Pennsylvania State Police. Like Charlestown where Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska-Gould went missing on April 10, 2017. In April, 2022 it is FIVE years. FIVE years.

In 2021 we saw the ugliness of development march on in Chester County. Even in a global pandemic it’s more, more, more. From butt ass ugly billboards to apartment buildings to fake carriage homes to townhouses for lemmings and more, over-development is now Chester County’s middle name, isn’t it?

We saw things like Tarad Hill Farm in West Bradford go up for sale. It remains to be seen what will happen, but it was being marketed for it’s development possibilities by the nouveau gentry who acquired it and now appears to be selling it. Support the efforts of groups like the Marshallton Conservation Trust in that area (please).

We also saw Rock Hill Farm in Willistown go into a sales agreement I guess since in that case there have already been plans submitted for development. (See here on Willistown website) That is 200 plus acres of what is not only amazing open space, but what about the history of the property? And it has Crum Creek going through it and is old-growth forest, wetlands, rolling hills and streams, and productive farmland. The big puzzle for me in this case is the son of the deceased owner or co-owner is on the Board of Willistown Conservation Trust and has been for a while, right? So why was nothing on that parcel ever put into conservation? In 2022 Willistown residents will see what will happen I suppose. So many object to it, but in the end I think the horse is sadly out of that barn. Someone recently put up a website.

Also in Willistown this year there has been the strange tale of the neighbors of Castlebar Lane and Wildflower Farm. They live in Willistown but apparently farms to them are verboten? Is this just a case of NOFIMBY (No Farm In My Back Yard) ? This is one of the most bizarre things in Chester County in 2021 and it’s so Scary Spice meets Stepford Wives meets Knotts Landing meets Desperate Housewives. Except in this case it’s a whole Scare Spice RACK. The township came to an agreement with Wildflower Farm recently, but we’ll see if the narsty neighbors (yes narsty) are finished yet. But hey look, they can always build bigger berms, right?

National View: Republican resurgence in 2022 already on the horizon |  Duluth News Tribune

This year has also been a crazy year in the seemingly unending saga of the pipelines. Sunoco/Mariner East/ Energy Transfer. Josh Shapiro announced criminal charges and then it seemed like a short time later announce a run for governor, so is this for him or for the residents of Chester County? And then they just announce that pipeline work would resume? Which came first, the chicken or the pipeline? File under to be continued….

However, in 2021 here at the end of the year have been a few surprises. Let’s start with Township Managers.

Casey LaLonde is done at West Goshen. Yup at the meeting on the 21st of December, he is leaving West Goshen for greener pastures somewhere in the private sector but where? Kiss kiss Casey and will folks find you at the Joan Crawford Museum as a docent?

Then today the news eeeked out that Mimi Gleason is out at West Whiteland? Fie under Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus in West Whiteland. Will it be Après Mimi, le deluge? Only time will tell and I think people should fasten their seatbelts.

Speaking of seatbelt fastening, today I learned that in East Goshen they will be “investigating” undoing eminent domain at the Hicks Farm. That was the word used in the meeting packet for next week. East Goshen Supervisors can you not begin next week with a simple resolution to end eminent domain? Okay semi rhetorical, because they can. It was done in West Vincent, it was done in Ardmore years ago. And so on in so forth. (Good lord they can even look on the Institute for Justice’s website for how tos probably, right? They practically have a legal zoom for eminent domain. Even a good Google can help you.)

And one of my favorite bright spots was the news on Crebilly Farm in Westtown. Recently the Westtown Township Board of Supervisors granted funding to Natural Lands to begin the process of grant proposal writing for the conservation of Crebilly Farm. I had to pinch myself on that one. But prayers up, there is something to work towards, even if there does seem to be an active real estate listing on the property?

Personally this has been a year for me. I reached a ten year milestone being breast cancer free, yet I lost two long time friends to cancer. Also this year two of the great ladies of my childhood passed away, and one of my late father’s favorite cousins. And the thing is none of these losses were due to COVID-19 but COVID kept people from saying goodbye to loved ones and friends all over the globe. And if we don’t all get it together, 2022 will be another long COVID riddled year. You aren’t having your first amendment rights threatened if you are asked to get a shot or wear a mask.

BUT I still had a wonderful year with my friends and family including being able to tour David Culp’s Brandywine Cottage gardens and have a couple of small and safe gatherings with vaccinated friends and family.

Life is what we make of it and it is the simple things that bring me joy. Like a phone call from a very dear friend who just wanted to thank me for being able to see my Christmas decorations. Of course I laughed and told her but now I had to start thinking about disassembling the tree and more and putting all of the ornaments away. When that happens it is like saying good bye to old friends for a year. But then we all start planning our gardens, don’t we, so it is a cycle of happiness, right?

As we literally count down the hours until 2022, I hope some of you can just hit the pause button. I wish for you health and happiness in 2022 and pray for a more peaceful world and a little less political craziness. I won’t be unrealistic and wish for it all to disappear, but maybe hope for just a little less mania.

Thanks for stopping by in 2021. 2022 marks this site turning 10. Happy New Year kids!

meanwhile in east goshen, holding collective breath over eminent domain at the hicks farm

10 Things You Might Not Know About The Horses Respiratory System - Mel  Equine

Meanwhile, in East Goshen they are preparing for their new year and Re-Org meeting. A new face joins the board, Cody Bright, Marty retired, and hopefully this breaks up what is formerly known as the Eminent Domain Trio with only David Showy Shuey left and his lil’ grodie toadie Michael Lynch right?

So hold your breath, say prayers, rub the nose of a horse you know for good luck.

I will note it does NOT take THAT much legwork to unwind or undo an eminent domain threat of taking. JUST FREAKING DO IT! Write your letters, sign off on it and Yo East Goshen Supervisors who don’t want eminent domain? Present a RESOLUTION to REVOKE the use of eminent domain here and sign it. That is what the have done in Lower Merion and elsewhere….the elected officials need to sign their names to this!

Eminent domain is wrong. This use of eminent domain as a bully tool is wrong. The Hicks family deserves better, every resident in East Goshen deserves better than eminent domain. East Goshen streams live on You Tube and they haven’t said anything else, so wear a mask and go if you would like. The meeting is Monday, January 3rd, 2022 at 6 PM.

Hopefully, this is the last time to display this image:

May be an image of horse, grass and text that says '#HANDSOFFTHEHICKSFARM NO EMINENT DOMAIN IN EAST GOSHEN'

yes virginia, there is indeed a santa claus (in west whiteland)

Yes Virginia, #andjustlikethat apparently there is indeed a Santa Claus. The news out of West Whiteland is La Mimi is gone girl gone.

I remember when she was manager of Tredyffrin. Never thought much of her there (Terri Woodman formerly East Whiteland’s Manager was the Asst. Township Manager at Tredyffrin 1986 – 2001 as a related aside). I remember when Gleason left Tredyffrin she was doing this whole “a job is not a life” thing (What? Would I make this up? CLICK HERE)

But really WHY did she leave Tredyffrin? There were some rather questionable things that happened back then, weren’t there? The sewer main that broke in Tredyffrin Township circa 2012, right? Or lettergate? The twisted tale of Tredyffrin? And that interesting tale in Tredyffrin didn’t quite end when La Mimi left Tredyffrin for “retirement” did it? CLICK HERE.

Then of course La Mimi popped out of retirement and popped up at West Whiteland (when La Mimi left Tredyffrin, I predicted no matter what that article said, eventually she would pop up as a manager elsewhere.)

But I digress. Suffice it to say, I have not been a fan. (Just like I am not a fan of that Supervisor Theresa Hogan Santalucia and her sunny personality and vast vocabulary and I bet she wasn’t on board with not renewing the contract of La Mimi was she?))

Her LinkedIn is already updated.

What happened to cause the #breakup? The eternal #pipelines of it all? Over development? Being like the Red Queen / Queen of Hearts and the whole off with their heads this is my kingdom of it all? Who knows and who knows if they will ever tell right?


However, next steps also depends WHICH consulting firm will West Whiteland use to shepherd them through? I remember when a consulting firm wanted to put a piss poor interim in Radnor the year they fired Dave Bashore. (Read this article to learn more why that Radnor Manager was removed.) I forget his name but the guy was from Coatesville and had been one of the supporters of eminent domain attempt of the Saha Farm, remember? (Coatesville folk who showed up in droves to that Radnor meeting long ago might remember.) A lot of times the consulting firms use former township managers who were not the best wherever they were, so here is hoping they vet even the interim candidates carefully. And I think it would be great if the residents could view the public CVs of potential candidates.

BUT the forensic auditors who helped Radnor back in the day sure hit pay dirt. And I am NOT saying anything remotely like that occurred, it’s just common sense that if you are removing a township manager, you look at everything and the staff, right? Just in case things were not always for the good of the residents but a petty little fiefdom or corner store, right?


Happy New Year West Whiteland Township residents. Your reorg meeting next week will be one not to be missed. It will be hybrid so you can go in person or zoom it. Monday January 3rd, 6:30 PM

scrooge alert: tower health is shuttering two hospitals in chester county, putting residents at risk and will potentially cripple our other hospitals.

Ahh yes, Tower Health. A name synonymous (it seems) with destroying local hospitals. It was announced quite recently that the deal for them to sell Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals was DOA (dead on arrival.) These hospitals are now to be CLOSED while the world (and our area) still suffers from the global pandemic known as COVID-19. If I have it right, it’s Jennersville by December 31, 2021 and Brandywine by January 31, 2022

Does it seem incomprehensible? YES.

Should it be illegal? Well that is a good question because aren’t there supposed to be hospitals to proportionately serve areas geographically or something? Where are Federal Laws in this? What role does Health and Human Services play in this? What role does that quasi useless lame duck twit of a Governor in Pennsylvania (Tom Wolf) and his ridiculous Court jester who wants to be a US Senator (John Fetterman) play? How about all these lovely State Representatives and State Senators? The Veterans Administration since Brandywine closing will affect places like the VA in Coatesville, etc., etc? Look at mental health services covered by Brandywine? What are the options now? Nothing or Philadelphia?

Tower Health is responsible for their own incompetence morally, fiscally, ethically, legally. However, their gross incompetence here will have disastrous effects on all of us in Chester County.

Ambulance services and first responders will be taking great risks with their lives and patients lives trying to get people to emergency rooms in other areas, all a great distance away.

Chester County Hospital and Paoli Hospitals are already being overrun and overtaxed thanks to these announcements, and that will affect ALL of us because if both Brandywine and Jennersville close their doors that will swamp those two hospitals and what happens to those of us who already use those hospitals and have found them stretched thin due to COVID-19?

And employees of these hospitals? Do we really believe that Tower Health will place them all elsewhere. I call bullsheit on that.

Tower Health is NOT for profit. Since 1997. I just called Tower Health and asked. And I looked them up on Guide Star. I made it to the executive offices. I called in on (484) 628-8000. I got a nice woman on the phone, believe her name was Tracy (didn’t write it down). I asked her is they cared what they were doing to Chester County? She replied that was a hard question but she could have someone call me back. I declined, because after all I do not want platitudes blown up my rear and a little pat on the head. But I found it helpful that you CAN get through to the top. CALL THEM. (It can’t hurt.)

Here is the Tower Health IRS Form 990 from 2020:

And while you are making calls, how about Harrisburg. Go straight to the Governor’s office and tell Tom Wolf. He works for US, not special interests and it is time to remind him. (717)-787-2500. Now it require a teensy bit of patience to reach Wolf’s message takers because first they tell you they can’t help with unemployment claims. Then you get the COVID recording (not long), then you get a real person. I got John. He was very polite, took down my concerns. I asked if they actually made it to the Governor and he said yes. I told them how our entire county was being put at risk by these closures. I could not however, escape the total feeling of Wolf’s office doesn’t care, which of course means MORE people should call.

Next on my list was Congresswoman Chrissy Houlihan’s office in Washington, D.C. (202)- 225-4315. I spoke with Jack. We had an actual conversation. Chrissy’s staff takes down your name, number, concerns. Jack told me they have been getting a lot of calls and he did say for constituents concerned about these hospital closures to CALL their officials. He agreed that it is a good thing for them to hear from constituents. If you do not wish to call Washington DC, Chrissy has a district office in West Chester (610)-883-5050 and Reading (610)-295-0815.

I know that the Chester County Commissioners have been in CONSTANT meetings since this was all announced. They need OUR help to bug these other people. Face it, we need a Christmas miracle. We are ALL at risk if these hospitals close. It is hard enough to get into a hospital NOW with COVID-19, and has been since COVID-19 arrived on the scene.

Here is Tower Health’s stated mission:

THE MISSION OF TOWER HEALTH IS TO PROVIDE COMPASSIONATE, ACCESSIBLE, HIGH QUALITY, COST EFFECTIVE HEALTHCARE TO THE COMMUNITY; TO PROMOTE HEALTH; TO EDUCATE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS; AND TO PARTICIPATE IN APPROPRIATE CLINICAL RESEARCH. TOWER HEALTH (PARENT) IS A NON-PROFIT HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES CHARITABLE COMMUNITY-BASED HEALTHCARE SERVICES AND PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE AND THE COMMUNITIES IT SERVES IN THE GREATER BERKS, MONTGOMERY AND CHESTER AREAS THROUGH ITS SUBSIDIARIES (SEE FORM 990, SCHEDULE R). SUBSIDIARIES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO BRANDYWINE HOSPITAL, CHESTNUT HILL HOSPITAL, JENNERSVILLE, HOSPITAL, PHOENIXVILLE HOSPITAL, AND POTTSTOWN HOSPITAL, THE FIVE OF WHICH ARE HELD IN SINGLE MEMBER LLCS THAT TOWER HEALTH IS THE SOLE MEMBER OF. AS A RESULT, THESE ARE TREATED AS DISREGARDED ENTITIES AND ALL OF THEIR INCOME AND ACTIVITIES ARE REPORTED ON TOWER HEALTH’S FORM 990.

~ Tower health via their Guidestar profile

Do we think Tower Health is living up to their mission statement? Ummm…NO or they wouldn’t be closing hospitals, would they? So where is the Bureau of Charities and the Pennsylvania Department of State on this?

There is a petition circulation about Tower Health and the closing of Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals. It has over 4000 signatures. But I think people need to make the phone calls too. It’s easy to dismiss an online petition, sadly.

I saw Marian Moscowitz interviewed on Fox29 (I rarely watch Fox, just like this particular anchor.) From the interview you can see, that Chester County is flailing with this news. Not saying that to be mean or disrespectful, they just don’t know what to do. In the interview it came out that with these hospitals closing, it means people are at a minimum 40 minutes away for ER medical help. People are going to DIE potentially because of this. And how could Tower Health not truly vet a potential buyer? And Canyon Atlantic Partners who bailed? Their website is a WordPress site….like a blog (like this site.)

Now this is interesting. Via The Sanatoga Post I learned that IF the sale of Jennersville and Brandywine had gone through, they would have been converted to FOR PROFIT hospitals. They aren’t currently because Tower Health is NOT FOR PROFIT. (It gets confusing because BEFORE Tower Health acquired Brandywine and Jennersville I believe those hospitals BEFORE were a FOR PROFIT model. Then when Tower came in they were NOT FOR PROFIT.)

WEST READING PA – Canyon Atlantic Healthcare, the company that proposes to buy Brandywine and Jennersville hospitals from Tower Health, would convert both to for-profit medical centers that “will pay taxes and put money back in the community,” its chief executive officer said in a story published Wednesday (Nov. 24, 2021) by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The current non-profit status of the two hospitals and others – including those in Pottstown and Phoenixville – acquired by Tower during 2017 from Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. has been a continuing bone of contention among municipalities and school districts where they are located. The promised return of tax payments by Canyon Atlantic would be news welcomed by the taxing entities affected…..The Journal story by Senior Reporter John George also noted that Canyon Atlantic’s chief financial officer, Michael Zwetschkenbaum, earlier worked as CFO of Pottstown Hospital during its ownership by Community Health.

~ Joe Zlomek Sanatoga post 11/28/21

So…now what is what and who is who at Tower Health?

Sue Perrotty (Portia Sue Perroty) interested me. I found a 2018 write up about her via Albright College and well she was connected to the Rendell administration in Harrisburg (worked as Marjorie’s Chief of Staff) and worked for First Union (Now Wells Fargo) and the whole American Realty Capital of it all (quite scandalous a couple of years ago surprised that still exists in print as a connection):

Click on it to really read this!

Here is more about Portia Sue Perrotty based upon an old press release from 2014:

Click on the above screen shots to get them blown up to read easily.

Portia Sue Perrotty is on the board of Global Net Lease…along with folks like Ed Rendell. I found this out via a SEC filing page. She is the Non Executive Director and Independent Director. What is Global Net Lease? Here:

Global Net Lease, Inc. (NYSE: GNL) is a real estate investment trust that focuses on acquiring and managing a globally-diversified portfolio of strategically-located commercial real estate properties which are crucial to the success of GNL’s roster of primarily investment grade corporate tenants.

So what this says to me is this woman is no dummy. And she is obviously connected. So you mean to tell me she couldn’t find a suitable buyer for these hospitals even through her connections? And since she came out of a Rendell administration, like Tom Wolf, what has he known or been aware of regarding this debacle? I am NOT singing a conspiracy theory song, just curious. The world goes round via connections and political and other connections in Pennsylvania have always run deep, deep, deep, right?

Next the Board of Directors. The “Executive Team” can’t fart without their Board of Directors, so here they are:

So some dot connecting on who does what on the board:

Tower Health and it’s board and executives are a bit of a puzzle. Also a Nancy Drew mystery because if you delve into who is who and who they know and where they were (and are) it’s kind of inconceivable they couldn’t find a proper buyer for Brandywine and Jennersville. It is utterly fascinating.

But fascinating isn’t going to save these hospitals, is it? Maybe, Chester County and PA should have paid more attention to an article from this time last year:

Chester County braces for sale or closure of Tower Health’s Brandywine and Jennersville Hospitals

by Harold Brubaker
Updated Dec 19, 2020
Philadelphia Inquirer (December 19, 2020)

When the nonprofit Tower Health bought three Chester County hospitals that had been for-profit since the early 2000s, Maureen Tomoschuk was delighted.

Tomoschuk runs Community Volunteers in Medicine, which arranges free care for uninsured Chester County residents. She had a hard time getting help from Community Health Systems Inc., the for-profit that sold Brandywine, Jennersville, and Phoenixville Hospitals to Tower.

“We were very hopeful and optimistic when Tower took over” about securing more charity care, especially at Brandywine, said Tomoschuk.

Now that optimism has turned to fear that Brandywine might close.

That’s because Tower, just three years after paying $423 million for the three Chester County facilities plus Pottstown and Chestnut Hill Hospitals, is considering selling them in a bid to recover from an unsustainable debt load and massive losses that started even before the coronavirus pandemic slammed the health-care industry.

The Berks County nonprofit told municipal bond investors last month that it hasn’t ruled out closing hospitals it can’t sell….Advised by the gold-plated consulting firm McKinsey & Co., Tower bought the five hospitals from Community Health Systems on Oct. 1, 2017, to expand its clinical footprint from Berks County….Looking south, the Tower board also saw particularly attractive markets around Brandywine and Jennersville, with growing populations and high and relatively fast-growing incomes. Mixed in are pockets of lower-income people in places like Coatesville and Oxford….Instead of quickly becoming lucrative feeders for Reading, the five hospitals have generated more than $400 million in operating losses since Tower acquired them, and now the mystery in Philadelphia health-care circles is who would want to buy them — a particularly fraught question in the cases of Brandywine and Jennersville because these small, semirural hospitals have struggled financially for decades.

Ok so I am guessing they didn’t come sniffing around here because Chester County is wonderful, right? (Yes sign me jaded)

So here we are in a global pandemic called COVID-19 not seen since…1918 and The Spanish Influenza, right? Well guess what else this Inquirer article from December 19, 2020 tells us? How about the genesis of Jennersville Hospital? Curious? Here we go:

Jennersville, which traces its roots to a West Grove clinic founded during the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak, moved to its current location in 1959, according to the Daily Local News.

Next comes the 2nd article we all should have been paying closer attention to:

Money-losing Tower Health replaces CEO after sustaining big losses in Philly and suburban hospitals. Clint Matthews is following Tower Health’s chief financial officer, Gary Conner, out the door.

by Harold Brubaker

Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Feb 22, 2021

Tower Health, the financially troubled health system that owns six hospitals in the Philadelphia area, announced Monday that it had replaced its chief executive with a board member on an interim basis.

In a move that was unsurprising to health-care leaders in the Philadelphia region, the board replaced Clint Matthews, who led Tower through a dramatic expansion since 2017 in a bid to compete with Philadelphia’s academic medical centers such as Penn Medicine and Jefferson Health. Matthews’ successor is P. Sue Perrotty, 67, a retired bank executive who joined the nonprofit’s board in 2019.

After a massive operating loss of $438 million in the year ended June 30, 2020, and continued losses in the current fiscal year, Tower hired a national consulting firm to help improve its management. The system also engaged an investment bank to consider the sale of hospitals, including the five community hospitals that it bought in 2017 for $423 million.

And then most recently this Inquirer article in October:

Former Tower Health CEO Clint Matthews’ push for more money revealed in Montco court papers. Clint Matthews got a $405,000 bonus for a hospital deal that went sour.

by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Oct 14, 2021

Before his dream of expanding Tower Health went bust, then-chief executive Clint Matthews was offered a compensation deal that included base pay of about $1.15 million and a bonus of $331,500 for the mergers he was about to engineer. He rejected it as “a bit light.”

The Tower board came back with a new offer. In the end, it agreed to increase his base pay by $100,000 ― and to bump the bonus by $73,500…Documents in a Montgomery County court case decided last week explore Matthews’s ambitious acquisitions and his relentless push for high compensation ― a drive that a struggling school system in the area served by his network, Pottstown School District, claimed undercut Tower’s very claim to be a nonprofit…Tower refused to say Wednesday what severance, if any, Matthews had been given. Nor would it disclose how much it is paying his successor, P. Sue Perrotty. It suggested that the public could learn that information once it filed required nonprofit disclosures with the federal government. That may not happen until 2023….When Matthews was gearing up for the hospital acquisitions, his simultaneous complaints about his pay did not sit well with Meg Mueller, a banker and Tower board member.

Then in that October article there is also this one little sentence that also stands out:

Matthews retired abruptly in February, leaving new management, mostly outside consultants, to unravel much of what he and a compliant board had done.

Shakespearean tragedy in the making here or what? Or just a good whodoneit requiring Sherlock Holmes?

Maybe this from September should have been paid attention to…even i it was out of a Reading newspaper:

Tower Health gives its CEO a formal contract
The West Reading-based health system also shakes up management at hospitals in Chester and Montgomery counties

By LISA SCHEID | lscheid@readingeagle.com | Reading Eagle
PUBLISHED: September 1, 2021

P. Sue Perrotty will remain CEO and president of Tower Health as the financially struggling health system finds a path forward in its partnership with Penn Medicine.

The Tower Health board of directors Wednesday announced the health system, which operates six hospitals in the Philadelphia region, has signed a contract with Perrotty.

The board said in a news release that the contract would ensure Perrotty will remain with the organization through its financial and strategic turnaround.

The details of the contract were not disclosed, and Tower declined to answer specific questions about the length of the contract or Perrotty’s salary….The board’s contract with Perrotty comes a month after Tower announced it was aligning with Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine after months of looking for a buyer for the struggling system. Tower recently said it is handing over its nascent liver and kidney transplant program to Penn Medicine.

Tower says Perrotty has been leading a turnaround…..

“Under her tenure, Tower Health’s ongoing financial turnaround has gained momentum, culminating recently with the organization’s first positive quarterly financial performance in more than two years,” Tower said in announcing Perrotty’s contract.

“Sue is a natural leader who has admirably stepped into this role with unwavering dedication and commitment to our organization,” Tom Work, board chair, said in the announcement. “Over her impressive career, Sue has shown a unique ability to inspire and motivate people around a shared goal. Sue has done exactly that as she quickly established a culture of meaningful communication to enhance Tower Health’s clinical services, drive innovation and strengthen our service to the community.”

So if Portia Sue Perrotty is such a strong leader, she should be able to keep at least one if not both hospitals open, right? Or is she merely just another former corporate raider type who doesn’t care about what she can’t see from her window? I.E. Brandywine and Jennersville are to her…expendable?

Found this quote from Lehigh Valley Business from Portia Sue:

Well Portia Sue, how about keeping at least Brandywine open? If not, some day you will probably visited by the four ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge.

OK one more hyperlink to another Inquirer article…sorry not sorry lots of required reading, but they have been so darn interesting:

Brandywine and Jennersville Hospitals will close, leaving thousands in Chester County without nearby emergency care
A sale planned for Jan. 1 to Canyon Atlantic Partners LLC fell through. Tower needs to cut losses.

by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer
Updated Dec 9, 2021

I don’t know what else to say other than the waters of the corporate moat around Tower Health sure are murky, and something is rotten in Reading.

I realize I have taken a long and winding road, it’s just Tower Health and this whole scenario is a wicked and convoluted tale, and fascinating relationships. At the end of the day, I don’t get the gross mismanagement that got everything to this point? I would say how does this happen but it does, right? This is like a double episode of Dateline or 20/20 or a made for TV movie waiting to happen, right?

People make your calls. Whether to Tower executives, board members, people they know, politicians….MAKE the calls. Don’t just vent on social media or think signing a petition is going to sway Tower. (Or elected officials in lofty places – sarcasm- like Harrisburg.)

christmas comes to wildflower farm in willistown (hopefully)

This evening at Willistown Township, the Township officials voted in an agreement with Wildflower Farm, specifically a settlement agreement. As I am a friend of the Heenans, I knew the agreement was coming, but was waiting for the official evening which was the Supervisors Meeting this evening. I have not been privy to the terms of the agreement, I should be CLEAR about that. I also didn’t ask because it’s not my business. I am just happy an agreement was reached.

Well, here it is:

I have to admit the Willistown Supervisors were very patient with the charming neighbors of Castlebar Lane. Still can’t decide if they are Super Stepford, Desperate Housewives throwbacks, Knotts Landing or just jerks of the first order.

And yes, Castlebar dwellers, that is my opinion and I am allowed said opinion. I would never have thought twice about any of this if I hadn’t seen things with my own eyes, including but not limited to someone driving back and forth and back and forth in front of Wildflower Farm’s driveways when I was there one time. For quite a while. I still think that was super creepy and stalkeriffic.

One of the neighbors, who was speaking a lot during settlement agreement identified himself as Frank Houder. He is on the Willistown Planning Commission and his business has gotten a lot of work out of Willistown Township over the years, correct? So I guess as an observer this evening I am a little surprised that he seemingly doesn’t get how things and ordinances work?

I don’t know. It’s a great mystery of life. How these neighbors can be so horrible even when tamed down at a meeting being recorded, escapes me. Again, my opinion and it’s allowable. But those people are why I do not go to many meetings and am grateful for Zoom and streaming. I can watch them and have my meeting Tourette’s and not disturb anyone. Because frankly, people like this make me want to stand up and tell them they are terrible and would they please just STOP.

So all these Scrooges of Castlebar Lane and their ilk will now sit and stew in their McMansions with their cold, dark hearts?? Will they keep filing things against Wildflower Farm? Will they keep essentially spying on Wildflower Farm?

People, it’s freaking CHRISTMAS. Do you get the whole reason for the season? Do you get how horrible you have been to your NEIGHBORS you supposedly wish to get along with?

And why do these neighbors think they should have been privy to a settlement agreement between the township and the farm? That has nothing to do with the neighbors, does it? Or do these people think so highly of themselves that everything has to do with them? (Umm hello, if the world revolves around them, stop it I want to get off.)

Well only time will tell what the Scrooge Collective on Castlebar Lane does. Here’s hoping they just accept they live in an area where farms used to be more plentiful than McMansions. Here’s hoping they realize how LUCKY they are to have a Wildflower Farm in their midst. I mean what if they were allowed to be pig farmers? Me thinks pigs would be far more offensive and odiferous than flowers, yes? And they could have a field of townhouses or ticky tacky new construction crammed in, but they are looking at a FARM and a nice rehabbed one at that. Be GRATEFUL.

As a gardener I have shared my garden resources with this farm – sources for unusual bulbs, tubers, roses, and native plants/trees. As a gardener, I am thrilled to have them close to home. They are wonderful and their flowers are awesome and so is their honey. And they are nice people I have come to know and I am grateful to call friends. Nice people. Beautiful children, hardworking. Chester County is LUCKY to have them.

Merry Christmas Wildflower Farm. Your friends and customers and nice neighbors believe in what you are doing!

Here are the prior posts on Wildflower Farm:

October 7, 2021: the strange tale of wildflower farm: in willistown when is a farm not ok to be a farm?

October 8, 2021: this is wildflower farm

Merry Christmas Heenans! Can’t wait for spring flowers!

usps is the new cvs in chester county (neither are open normally for business)

Frazer, Malvern, and Paoli United States Post Offices are suffering from staffing shortages these days JUST LIKE SO MANY OTHER BUSINESSES (including but not limited to CVS.)

If you have a small business and depend on the United States Postal Service you are pretty much screwed once again this holiday season. Of course USPS problems go beyond COVID-19 and staffing shortages. We have douche bag Postmaster General Louis De Joy to thank.

Here are some email addresses I dug up if you wish to try to contact them:

louis.dejoy@usps.gov

kelly.m.sigmon@usps.gov

Ronald.A.Stroman@usps.gov

david.e.williams@usps.gov

This was November 30th, Malvern, PA Post Office

I actually encourage everyone to email these people.

As a small business owner, I depend on USPS, UPS, and FedEx. They are all screwed up since COVID-19, but today I just finally reached my limit with the United States Postal Service.

Why?

Because Paoli, Malvern, and Frazer were all closed to counter and window service abruptly this afternoon due to staffing shortages. It’s ridiculous. NORMAL business hours. NO advance warning.

This is so freaking frustrating.

If you are a small business, or even just John Q. Public trying like a damn fool to mail your bills, mail Christmas cards or Christmas presents.

I am still grateful we have nice mail carriers, but we can’t pay them to ship at their US Mail Jeep, can we?

I am actually thinking of shutting down my orders until AFTER Christmas because of these issues.

BAH HUMBUG USPS.

after election day

The final tallies aren’t out there although we can see how some races are going. It’s going to be a mixed bag in Chester County, and across this country.

In Chester County, when all the votes are counted I think it is possible at a minimum the Democrats will not have 100% control of county row any longer. Or if they maintain control, it will be a squeaker.

A friend said to me this morning that the Democrats have a lot of reflecting to do, and they also underestimated the anger driving Republicans to the polls.

So like everyone else, I will sit back and wait for the official results.

I also will remark once again about how disgusted I am with both main political parties. Once again I have to think about do I remain in the one I am currently or do I go back to being an Independent? I am thinking Independent, but time will tell.

The reason I am thinking Independent is because of the uneven way the Democrat Party of Chester County treats candidates. They don’t really support candidates equally, and they don’t truly seem to embrace the more independent Democrat candidates.

And while I know I am no longer a Republican, I need to point out that in Chester County no matter HOW unsuitable some of their candidates are, they get behind them. And what I will say about the school board races in this county is when the dust settles, you are going to see that reflected right there. There are going to be plenty of candidates who were Republican endorsed who should not be dogcatcher get onto the school boards.

This was a brutal off year election and turn out was low. And low voter turn out is nothing new, because people talk a good game about who they want elected, but then they just don’t go and vote.

Anyway these are my thoughts this morning. You can like them, or you can hate them. It’s entirely up to you and won’t make a wrinkle in my world.

election day 2021 in chester county pa: time to watch the watchers

Well, it has been a heck of a few days, hasn’t it? The Republican Party of Chester County grows increasingly desperate. They have backed candidates who believe in nasty political fantasy, were at the January 6th insurrection, and more. This is so far from the party of Lincoln it’s shocking. It’s not even the party of Ronald Reagan, and what would he and other great Republicans think of today?

Just look at the full page advertisement that the Republican Party of Chester County ran in the Daily Local. It is stunning that the local paper would not know that sometimes there are things more important than ad revenue. That ad was so distasteful.

Now a bunch of hours ago, Chester County Republicans were quoting Thomas Jefferson. Also ironic since they can’t seem to grasp that they are trying to undo the very things our founding fathers fought and bled for, isn’t it?

And then there are PACs of former US Congressmen who once served our area, albeit briefly. Look who they are giving money to, and remember that when they decide to run for office again.

And January 6th. Well the county GOP can run but they cannot hide:

Insurrection is not patriotism. Putting out the word to essentially intimate voters, poll workers is not patriotism. Potential voting interference is not patriotism. Stealing political signs off the lawn of a registered Republican is not patriotism.

The Republican Party of Chester County is not about patriotism, but they are all about attempting to be petty despots aren’t they? And their actions hurt the GOOD Republicans trying to run here and there in various corners of Chester County. Their insanity proves they don’t actually care about what the Republican Party used to stand for.

The only way to stop this is to VOTE. And if you are harassed, intimidated, or bothered at the polls by these new types of Republicans, report it. Call the police if necessary. You see, for all of the ways these people will tell you they are afraid of things like Communism or Nazism, what are they actually doing by their very actions? They fear dictatorships and Totalitarianism yet what are their actions saying they are actually doing?

Our founding fathers did not flee oppression and more for us to be experiencing it today, did they?

That’s it. Get out and VOTE.