9/11 the somber hey 19

9/11/2001 New York City as seen from Brooklyn

It’s September 11, 2020. It is the 19th unbelievable anniversary of 9/11. One of the things that 9/11 taught us, as journalist Harry Smith on NBC’s Today Show just pointed out on the morning news is in this great country if we look, there is more that unites us versus divides us, and we learned that from 9/11. He also remarked that it’s hard for us to see it now and it is. We are a country divided. We can’t remain a country divided and this somber anniversary is the best example why.

United we stand, divided we fall. Last year when I wrote about 9/11, I remarked about the offensive plans that didn’t happen of the current president to meet with the Taliban at Camp David just before 9/11. I was thinking about that this morning and reflecting on 2020 to date. We don’t have a leader, we have a circus ringmaster. That’s not a leader. And on this 19th anniversary of 9/11, I pray for a country united and for real leadership. Every American regardless of race, creed, political persuasion, or color deserves this.

Now this 9/11 I am also going to pause and remember two men I went to college with. I’m not going to be some kind of weird death hypocrite and say I really knew them or they were my close friends because they weren’t. They were both people I met a couple of times, but people I never really knew who were close to people important to me to this very day. They lost their lives in 9/11.

Doug Cherry worked for AON. I remember when I found out that he had died in the trade center because I worked for then Wachovia Securities, and AON had a large office literally across the hall. Someone I knew from that office had oddly remembered I went to Ohio Weslyan for a while. So they told me when they learned the names of those who had died in their company. But that wasn’t on 9/11 that was in the days that followed. I remember afterwards the days that followed when you started to see the roll call of names of people lost. I remember when I heard about Doug I kind of felt old and felt my own mortality for the first time. He was my class, and although he wasn’t a close friend or somebody I even really knew back then, we went to a small school so you remembered the faces even if you didn’t remember the people. That was the case with Ted Luckett. He was the class ahead, and again somebody I didn’t know but remembered. But I remembered back then is he liked to sail — there were a lot of guys who went to Ohio Weslyan who were amazing sailors. Even on America’s Cup crews.

February 26, 1993 The garage bomb terrorist attack
on the World Trade Center
.

As I write this it is 8:46 AM. This is when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. It was at this moment I was pulling into my garage back then where I worked for then Wachovia Securities in Conshohocken. I was listening to the radio. I remember the tears just starting to roll down my face because I knew, I knew they (terrorists) came back because I had walked out of the World Trade Center shopping concourse in 1993 when they blew up the garage. And when I say when, as the bomb detonated I was standing on the sidewalk outside looking at Century 21. If life has been different I might still have been working in New York City on September 11, 2001.

I also remember as I walked into my office and all the brokers were riveted to television screens in their offices and their computers, at that point in time most people didn’t believe those were terrorist attacks. They just thought like a small plane had gone into the trade center. It was a crazy surreal morning as the news started to unfold. It’s crazy how clearly I can still remember it. I think this is like it was for our parents the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. You remember where you were and what you were doing.

So it’s been 19 years, what have we learned? I found this blog post of someone’s memories of 9/11. Please read it. Someone else I went to school with and don’t remember. They were fraternity brothers with Doug Cherry. It’s heartbreaking to read.

This year we are still in the grips of COVID19, so the ceremonies for 9/11 are very different. They are smaller and they are not reading the rollcall of lives lost. So today we all have to remember those we knew or knew of who were lost.

One of the other things I remember on this day 19 years ago, two sisters I grew up with who were close childhood family friends and still are. One, at the time, worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The other I think worked for Marsh and McLennan at the time but can’t remember for sure, but she did work somewhere in the World Trade Center. I remember being in a panic for days until I found out they were OK. They were both out of state visiting their parents.

So it is true, we never forget this day and never will. But what have we learned? I think we need to pay it forward as a country in memory of all of those first responders and others who lost their lives. We need to be better versions of ourselves. We need to come together as a country. We need peace and less racial divide. Is that possible? I don’t know. But we can try.

I don’t really have that much else to say about 9/11 today. I am going to list all the other columns I have written over the years since I started this blog.

Wishing you peace on a somber day.

9/11 written September 11, 2012

9/11 2012: from the air

9/11: 13 years. what have we learned? September 11, 2014

remembering 9/11 September 11, 2015

9/11 : 17 years. never forget. September 11, 2018

on the eve of 9/11 September 9, 2019

#NeverForget

9/11 Memorial in New Jersey

who is making weird paths in the corn field?

So who is cutting paths in the tenant farmer’s corn fields at Frazer Road and College Avenue on Immaculata’s property in East Whiteland Township.

This has never been done before and it’s only wide enough for a golf cart. I suspect it’s kids thinking they’re funny except this is money out of the pocket of the tenant farmer who rents the fields and I think that’s wrong.

The path seems to serve no purpose but it is destructive and it has flattened corn that is the profit of the farmer.

Farmers work too hard to put up with stuff like this.

meanwhile this morning at shoen road in west whiteland and leftover thoughts about emails to democratic committee people.

My photo still taken from a live video feed.

Last night I wrote about this guy who does whatever for State Rep. Kristine Howard and all these nice residents whom he calls “radicals”?

These are just people. These are just people who live in Chester County. These are just people whose well water has been fouled and property values decreased. These are the people that get sinkholes on their property now because of pipeline work. These are the people who travel busy public roads that get sinkholes from pipeline work. These are just people with reasonable expectations of quiet enjoyment. A reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment is actually legal term isn’t it?

And when they look outside, they see sites like I captured in the still images from a live video feed a few minutes ago. And it’s just not the savaged landscapes it’s the sounds. Everywhere you go you hear the sounds of the pipeline equipment. And there was this thump thump thump that will echo in your brain for days if you even just drive through an area with work going on. That is noise pollution. Sometimes where I live I can hear the rhythmic thump, thump, thump from neighboring townships dealing with Sunoco/Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics.

This was on Facebook in May with this : 📌2am Exton train station work AGAIN?
This is ridiculous. Yes we live close to the Exton train station and realized that when we purchased our house in Valley View, but why must this work be done starting at 1am every night? There clearly is not as many trains running during the day right now. Any idea who to call or find out how long this will go on for? It’s constantly backup beeping alarms, jackhammers and loud banging NON STOP. Arghhh 😡📌

And don’t forget the light pollution from the night work, right? Even if the temperatures cool down, how can affected residents open their windows for a beautiful night sky and maybe even a breeze? The night work lights make that impossible right? So take away that aspect of a reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment for that too, yes?

Facebook photo similar to what I took off of live video feed

As I was listening to this live video feed this morning I was very sad to hear this gentleman say they’ve been (meaning the pipeline company) here over two years, they were supposed to be here three months. I don’t know if I got what he said word for word but I think that’s pretty darn close.

Photo still I captured from live video feed of Shoen Road area this morning

So State Rep. Kristine Howard, your pool boy (or whatever he is other than from Pittsburgh) is calling these poor people RADICALS? They are just people. They are just residents. They are also your constituents in some cases. Your pool boy is calling people quislings??? Do you even get the historical reference and how offensive and wrong this is? Especially to those of Jewish heritage?

Quisling as a word word originates from the surname of the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during World War II. Quisling was put on trial for war crimes in Norway after World War II. “He was found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason against the Norwegian state, and was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945.”

People I love are of Norwegian heritage, and so are other friends and relatives.This use of this word is beyond offensive to us and to my friends who are Jewish. How does something like that even come out of this guy’s mouth or keyboard? And WHY? Even if he doesn’t like them he can’t use other word choices?

And it doesn’t stop there. Then there is this:

So what is the lesson here? Other than if you think pipelines are bad, or think pipeline permits should be pulled and pipeline work stopped completely until a real and actual and thorough inspection is done according to pool boys from Pittsburgh and leadership in the Chester County Democrat Committee we are all bad and radical people?

And the other lesson is what? If you are a Democrat you can’t talk to Republicans? If you are a Democrat you will be drummed out of the part for speaking to anyone who is not a Democrat or someone they approve of? HOW IS THAT EVEN LEGAL TO PROPOSE OR EVEN MORAL? I did not sign up for this crap when I moved to Chester County as a (then) lifelong Republican. I did not sign up for this crap when I changed from being an Independent to a registered Democrat for the fakakta primary. You know, I would switch back to Independent right now except I am going to enjoy being a ticket splitter and casting my vote for Wendy Graham Leland. As Chester County Democratic Committee leadership seems easily swayed and confused, please not I am not telling anyone how to vote. I am telling you how I will be choosing to vote. BIG DIFFERENCE.

The Chester County Democratic Committee claims on their website that “.. the Chester County Democratic Committee in standing for Freedom, Fairness, and Opportunity — regardless of who people are, what they believe, and where they come from. Together, we can make Chester County and Pennsylvania better places for all!”

So how does the above jive with:

And do we realize what the transgression was? Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland (AKA State Rep. Kristine Howard’s opponent) commenting on a public thread about pipeline issues on Facebook. Not some Democratic party controlled message board, and even then, what is the big freaking deal? We aren’t supposed to speak to anyone who isn’t our political persuasion ever? So the takeaway is we are only supposed to live and breed in Stepford and be bobbleheads? Talk about taking a page out of Trump’s book of Suburban Housewife Rules, right?

Are we quite literally all Pravda on this bus? Am I a bad person because I have friends from different political parties like Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland? Is the chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee Dick Bingham going to act on the attacks on Chester County residents who are Democrats? Or is his position personally pipelines over people?

Newsflash to pool boys from Pittsburgh, invisible state representatives seeking re-election, and the apparently malleable and spineless “leadership” of the Chester County Democratic Committee: Pipelines are a non-partisan issue. They affect everyone. To say we are radicals or traitors or whatever the verbiage is because we don’t like pipelines is deeply troubling as well as wrong. To tell registered Democrats or even registered Republicans we may not talk to our friends and neighbors because they are of a different political party is just a big bag of political pathetic tossed into a big box of wrong. It goes against every tenet of just being an American. It’s downright anti-American. Dick Bingham, MayAnn Piccioni, and Charlotte Valyo should be removed from their leadership roles. Somehow I do not think Joe Biden who has many, many friends across the political aisle would approve of these current events in Chester County, do you?

Oh and the lovely US Constitution allows my opinion.

We cannot allow outsiders to control our political parties. It’s anti-democracy.

Today boys and girls we learned once again on so many levels, how bad pipelines are for our communities. Vote your conscience in November and no matter what, do not think for one single moment that your friends, neighbors, relatives and more are bad radical people because they think the pipelines need to go. Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics/Sunoco are not nice people and they don’t operate for anyone other than themselves. They are pure profits over people, and well it’s time for #peopleoverpipelines. #DefendWhatYouLove #MamaBearBrigadeRocks

Facebook photo

rantings of a suburban housewife part 2: oh donnie boy, you sexist pig.

Ahh yes, getting political again and I don’t care. If you care, don’t read this post. Seriously. Because if you give me crap, this suburban housewife might verbally wield one of her rolling pins, while wearing an apron no less.

Recently I wrote a post about Trump’s mischaracterization of surburban and rural women. Well with apologies to Britney Spears, oops he did it again.

Well Oh Donnie Boy, the tweets, the tweets are calling. From glen to glen, and down the mountain side. The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling, It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.

I am back. And you Donnie Boy are indeed a national treasure. As well as being the poster child for a deranged, malignant narcissist. And yes I am saying that about a sitting U.S. President. Last time I checked they hadn’t revoked the United States Constitution. (Although I am sure someone is working on it?)

Allow me to re-introduce myself: part of who I am is indeed a suburban housewife. And I am offended that apparently we are all supposed to be pregnant barefoot in the kitchen, or at least chained to something in the kitchen. And drooling versus thinking.

If you love this President, there is no way on God’s green earth that you can talk your way around any of his tweets. They are consistently offensive to every woman everywhere.

And I say that as someone who has never exactly been a women’s libber but I’m starting to understand why you get to be that way as a woman more and more every damn day.

Gloria Steinem , I get it. Further and to the point, Susan B. Anthony doesn’t need to be pardoned by this guy and her ghost rolling over in her grave wouldn’t vote for him anyway.

So this is the guy who went from grabbing women by the pussy (not my words) to telling us suburban ladies how we are supposed to think? This is the guy putting up commercials aimed at little old ladies showing little old ladies in terror in their homes? This is also the guy saying the DNC removed “God” from the pledge of allegiance?

Umm hello? This is beyond ridiculous. This is beyond offensive. Lies and distortions and the rantings of a Twitterholic much? And people still support him. And I marvel at that.

So back to “suburban housewives”. Can we say sexist pig boys and girls? You talking about us? We are trying to do the man a favor. We are voting for Joe Biden so he has even more time to rant like a sexist pig on Twitter. (Picture me in an apron stirring a pot on the stove while saying this.)

We are all just here knitting socks, after all. My gosh, Mr. President you know we haven’t even one collective brain in our heads. I mean why we hadn’t even noticed you wanted to switch Puerto Rico for Greenland did we? Or that you are eviscerating the United States Postal Service so you can steal the election did we? Gosh honey, let us smooth our carefully coiffed hair we just sprayed with Aqua Net and give us a second to refresh our lipstick and don a fresh apron.

I’m sorry, am I being sarcastic? I am so sorry. I am after all, just a suburban housewife. I know not what I say. I do not have a brain. I am incapable of independent thoughts. I am but a mere mortal, female, and bobblehead. But before I turn Stepford, here are some runaway thoughts:

I don’t know when we moved into a dictatorship or oligarchy or something pretty damn close, but here we are people. More and more reminders every damn day of why this person doesn’t actually represent the American people.

Look Mr. President here is a housewife bobblehead!

This man doesn’t respect women or men. This man does not represent America. This man does not care about America. The only thing this man cares about is his own toxic malignant narcissistic self and what he can get out of all of us. As in how much money can he make of of us before he walks or gets shoved away?

This country is teetering on total disaster. And you can lay it at his feet. These toxic politics of running a country on Twitter has created a divisive, caustic atmosphere in which we all must try to just exist. That’s not fair to any of us, no matter what your political persuasion.

We are suffering from a global pandemic which Washington DC really still isn’t dealing with because telling the truth might interfere with someone’s re-election campaign, right? COVID-19 really isn’t real is it? It’s just something made up by politicians opposing the current administration, have I got that supposition down correctly? Essentially people are dying but as long as this guy gets re-elected that’s all that matters right?

WRONG. And I’m speaking to all the Republicans out there who secretly within the four walls of their own home know this isn’t a good person to have as a Republican president yet because they think they will turn to pillars of salt if they vote for a Democrat they will be among the Sheeple in November. 

And let’s talk about other things in this country. How about the great racial divide? What has this administration done to combat racism? NOTHING. They have made it worse. Until 2020 I didn’t think it was possible to make it worse. Yet here we are and people are dying because of that as well. 

People are rioting in the streets yet Marie Antoinette with a comb over would just let them eat cake (or more appropriately in this case, McDonald’s.) I would ask if he was a student of history but I think he was the one that mixed up World War I and World War II and the last global pandemic, correct? If this guy was a student of history he would understand how and why revolutions happen, right?

Another cute suburban housewife bobblehead!

And I’ll remind you (again) I’m not a screaming liberal. I am a suburban housewife and former life-long Republican. I am also a woman with a brain who definitely resents the crap out of men who are sexist pigs and talk down to us. Or anyone.

And as a suburban housewife, I could probably tell the President of the United States more about affordable housing than he actually knows. To make such a broad and offensively sweeping statements over and over is also at its core, utterly ridiculous. To keep repeating the insulting suburban housewife tweeting points is also just pig ignorant. It will never make the comments true to keep repeating them, just constantly reinforce why no one should vote for him.

A friend of mine reminded me we actually met Joe Biden years ago at something my father took us to. I had forgotten. But we were kids. And the thing about Joe Biden is he has never pretended to be perfect. He has in my opinion, owned his mistakes. He’s not a divider, he’s a uniter. Oh, and people like him. So I would say there is a lot of big orange jealousy going on.

The United States of America is not some giant reality show, but our great nation has been treated like one for four, long, angry years. We owe ourselves better even if for some it means going OUT of their political comfort zone. They need to realize they won’t be like Lot’s wife and be turned to a pillar of salt because I think the angels have been warning us over and over we need complete change.

I mean seriously, do you out there remember when the Republican Party were actually true Republicans? I do. It’s tragic what has happened to that party. But their tragedy is America’s disaster and none of us can afford it.

I am not a big Hillary Clinton fan. Never have been. But when she said the other night we can’t afford another shoulda, woulda, coulda election she is actually absolutely correct.

So Joe Biden, feel free to come door knocking on my front door. I would love to meet you and Kamala Harris. I do spend a lot of time in my apron in my kitchen. But hey, I am a suburban housewife. But as a woman with a brain, that’s not all I am.

God don’t like ugly, and Donnie Boy has cornered the market. He’s actually “winning” ugliness. Please for the love of all that is holy, vote-him-out in November.

Peace out.

You know us, we’re just suburban housewives, we don’t need to think….

the seemingly unending covid19 mess of it all

I don’t know about all of you , but this is so unnerving what we are dealing with. I am referring to COVID19. And 2020 in general.

As our communities struggle with how and what school districts are doing, many in our communities are making excellent points. Someone said to me if all school districts start virtually how are they possibly going to switch to in person? What is the magic combination? What is going to be different in October that they are suddenly going to feel it is safer? She said she felt that whoever goes virtual should be that way until January if not the end of the year, unless some schools actually go hybrid and it goes smoothly at those schools. She also pointed out a lot of schools which were contemplating hybrid are dropping off one by one.

Let’s start with the school districts who I think are trying but aren’t receiving consistent direction from any THEY answer to. First there is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to deal with and then there are Federal politics of the United States Secretary of Education Betsy De Vos because face it, she is allowing herself to be used because of the election. Old Betsy wasn’t appointed for anything other than political reasons so how can you trust that woman to decide what’s best for America’s children?

I think literally everything the school districts are dealing with is conflicting information. Then of course, they are also dealing with the sub-level politics within each school district.

Common sense and being more realistic would keep everyone virtual longer but we are dealing with politics over people on every level. And then there are the people who either can’t or just don’t want to homeschool their kids virtually. Economics, jobs, personal choice. It’s a hot mess.

And the problem overall? I don’t think the districts ever had disaster plans to cover any of this. Who knows if they should or shouldn’t have, NONE of expected this, and face it, ever since COVID19 has landed none of us have gotten consistent messages or direction from leadership in Washington DC.

Top down from the White House, they have tried all along to suppress information because of politics. People are dying and they are playing politics. The White House has been playing their agenda at the expense of everyone else and to the extent of trying to discredit their very highly educated experts because the experts are telling them they have to pay attention and do better that this COVID19 global pandemic is far from over.

People I know have lost family members to this virus. Other people I know are separated from family members because those family members are in states that are like big giant hotspots of COVID19.

Someone I know told me yesterday that one of their doctors lost a colleague to COVID19. A surgeon in their 30s or 40s. Not old or sick. This doctor also got COVID19 themselves early on from a patient who did not know they were carrying the virus. As this one doctor recovered they needed physical therapy because the virus caused some kind of movement imbalance.

But I guess the point to this long rant is nobody knows what’s going on and we’re all playing catch-up. And we’re dealing with misinformation and withheld information.

And this virus is affecting the economy. Except I think what is actually happening is it’s pointing out that the economy wasn’t so hot in the first place. Now everyone can hop all over me about that but I spent my life in the financial services industry. I’ve been around as the wheels have come off before.

And the day before yesterday I had to go to the bank only my bank branch is closed for renovations so I had to go to a bank branch for my bank in a supermarket. I haven’t been in a supermarket since March before COVID19 hit officially. I almost had a panic attack as I counted the people who weren’t socially distancing and weren’t wearing masks and didn’t have masks on their children. And were also crowding me. I went home and changed all my clothes, got a shower, and washed my hands multiple times.

I wish I had the magical answers to this problem, but as someone who like many of us out there lives an immunocompromised life, this stuff terrifies me.

Other countries who have been serious about containing this are doing much better now. But the overwhelming problem in this country when it comes to COVID19 from education to just going to the grocery store safely is the politics in this country. The toxic freaking politics.

I just wish we could learn more about what is going on honestly with the politics of it stripped away.

So many people are struggling. Salary cuts, job loss, losing their homes to crazy acts of mother nature. You name, it 2020 is mind boggling.

How do we come together and survive this? How do we usher the children safely back to school? What is safely back to school?

I can tell you I have almost gotten to the point where I don’t want to listen to the news or read newspapers anymore. Like many other people, I have moments where I struggle with all that is happening emotionally. You have to wonder why it is we are all being tested? Is it to make us stronger, teach us a lesson, what? You have to wonder if part of the answer is philosophical or theological.

I don’t have any answers I just have thoughts on the whole thing. And I don’t know if my thoughts are helpful to anyone. But I felt the need to write this out.

I guess we just have to try to continue to soldier along as best we can and try to make good decisions and stay healthy.

Thanks for stopping by.

okay 2020, can we cry uncle now?

Classic Diner Photo

It has been a day. I thought I was having a bad day with all my biggest pots blown over and things blown to bits in the garden until I started seeing the pictures my friends were taking.

But for the grace of God go any of us. Tropical Storm Isaias reminded us when it comes to Mother Nature, just who is the boss.

Earlier PulsePoint had a notification that I knew wasn’t good but oh these poor people!

Source: Facebook. Sproul Rd East Whiteland.

All over the region and into other states, the weather was horrible. What they think were tornadoes that even took down billboards in Delaware near Odessa, DE. See these photos posted by New Castle County Paramedics:

And then there’s the stuff that’s hitting the news. Like the Darby Creek flooding like crazy. Or this video sent to me by a friend who lives adjacent to the Schuylkill River:

Schuylkill River and flooded neighborhoods in Roxborough

One photo I saw today came from Long Branch, New Jersey. It was a new house being built and it looks like a bunch of match sticks. Really gives you pause about new construction doesn’t it?

New house being built in Long Branch, NJ reduced to rubble by today’s storm.

And then of course there are all the photos of all the trees down around here.

I think one of the things that floors me the most are the photos that were taken by the people at the Classic Diner in Malvern. Much like my friend’s photo from Long Branch, NJ it provokes the need for a serious conversation on development and stormwater management. Of course it also provokes the conversation of why do people drive through flood water like that?

Hershey’s Mill Road East Goshen where the dam used to be. Facebook photo.

But the more our area gets developed the more flooding we will experience because the water has nowhere to go. And also there’s the whole thing of global warming and changing weather patterns. It seems like we get more and more of these “hundred year storms”.

Please stay safe out there, we have more flood water on the way after this storm. Thank you to all the people who kindly lent their photos to me, Facebook and other social media sites.

And as a general life commentary, I don’t know about you but I am definitely over 2020. It’s the year where the hits keep on coming.

Classic Diner photo. Source: Facebook

east whiteland have you been over to flat road lately?

Reader submitted photo

3:30 PM UPDATE: From the chair of the East Whiteland Supervisors Scott Lambert (who like many others is having a hard time posting to Facebook today):

📌The original requirement of the builder was to renovate portions of the wall that had fallen in disrepair and remove a few trees that could endanger the wall in the future. However,with the wall now
leaning badly and in danger of collapse, the builder agreed to rework the wall and replace broken sections to return it to original condition. As with the initial work review the descendants of people buried in the cemetery were consulted as was our engineer and historical commission representation. An agreement with the contractor concerning the scope of the work was also executed.📌

EARLIER:

There is a historic cemetery on Flat Road. It seems to be in peril. East Whiteland Township approved a development plan there and wasn’t one of the things supposed to be that this cemetery (which I believe is Amish) would be protected?

Social Media post that appeared with photos

I don’t have the answers. And someone said well maybe they’re doing work on it. And this doesn’t look like work to me this looks like a wall collapse. A lot of these walls do collapse and I saw one not that long ago at a church in Upper Uwchlan and then they rebuilt the wall. When they rebuilt the wall then you could see they were telling people to stay away from it and using caution tape until it was set.

Reader submitted photo

The other thing to consider is a development is being built next door and vibrations from heavy equipment can affect old structures and that includes walls and headstones etc. doesn’t it?

Reader submitted photo

I don’t have the answers, but I do know that East Whiteland needs to go look at this. This is literally a historic site, and it matters. #thisplacematters

Reader submitted photo

Walls fall down. But this is a historic site. So again, something needs to be done sooner rather than later. This is a sacred place. And our historic sites should be as respected as much by municipalities as the developments they constantly approve.

Stay cool it’s so darn hot out there.

Reader submitted photo

PS: I am adding more photos here at the bottom that were just sent to me by concerned residents!

when things like human trafficking pop up, is it time for rental properties to be properly inspected in east whiteland and elsewhere?

What if this rundown house was your only choice for a home?

I am not deliberately trying to pick on East Whiteland Township no matter what some may think. But unlike many other municipalities (and I have been checking), East Whiteland does not have a person or people to regularly and routinely inspect rental properties in this township. They do not even have enough fire personnel to do all the life safety checks on rentals do they? (Asking the question because I heard there were people paid to do that I thought once upon a time out of the fire department or something?)

West Goshen (for example) has a rental property ordinance online. They have someone dedicated to rental inspections. That is in addition to the guys in the zoning department who inspect when the township gets complaints on rental properties.

The Borough of West Chester also has an ordinance and I am told as well as two dedicated rental property inspectors although residents say there are so many rentals they need more.

East Whiteland has a Rental Occupancy Report from 1992. I also found a form to fill out if you have a rental property. It mentions life safety, which is great and necessary. But I do not see anything about specific ordinances pertaining to rental properties and inspections of rental properties. And it is long past time to have that. East Whiteland is growing as a township and has grown exponentially in recent years. Does this township even know out of ALL of the new construction that is complete how many are rental units? And with ALL of the development still in the works and in various stages of construction, let’s get real, they are not all going to be owner occupied, aren’t some of these places going to be rentals? And what about the hotels? Are some of those like long term rentals at times? Sometimes when people can’t find housing they live in hotels/motels don’t they? Motor home parks? Trailer parks? No matter where the rental, shouldn’t people be safe?

Why am I thinking about this again? Human trafficking. If there were regular rental inspections and code enforcements along Route 30/Lancaster Avenue/Lincoln Highway where the human trafficking locations were, would we have even had human trafficking? Maybe, maybe not. I am told that human trafficking happens everywhere. And there is plenty that has happened in Pennsylvania. According to Fox23 in Central PA, Pennsylvania is ranked 11th in the nation for human trafficking. The Philadelphia Sun wrote about human trafficking this past March. The Philadelphia Sun said:

Deception, coercion, recruitment, and abduction are just some of the tools of trade for traffickers.

Trafficking in America is a billion-dollar business in all 50 states, where women, children, and men are being exploited; their lives of no value other than the profits they earn.

Where sex trafficking can occur:

Moving around in your daily life, in the city, suburbs, rural areas

Transportation systems: Septa, Uber, and Lyft

Brothels (houses), motels, and major hotel chains

Escort services

Bars, strip clubs, high-end baller parties

Online via social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Philadelphia Sun March 13, 2020

In November 2019 a woman named Tammy McDonnell who survived being trafficked spoke at Cabrini in Radnor. Read about it here: Survivor tells how to spot ‘red flags’ of human trafficking.

The stretch of Lancaster Ave/Route 30/Lincoln Highway where these rentals exist is a no man’s land. No one sees the people who live there, not because they aren’t visible but because people don’t want to see them. Mostly immigrant, with little choice in housing. And by culture, used to living in close quarters. So one would think rental inspections along that strip and elsewhere would make sense, right? So everyone was safe?

According to Patch, “The apartments used were at street addresses 483, 577 and 609 Lancaster Ave. in East Whiteland Township…”

Someone sent me screenshots off ChescoViews and Google Earth I guess it was (I am not very good at using Chesco Views):

This stretch of Lancaster is the one that looks so desolate and run down when you drive by except for the too many cars on the D’Ambrosio property (one of the sites of human trafficking right?):

People always ask how East Whiteland can be focused on this grand future of over-development without “seeing” these properties or their residents. During COVID19 especially when we were all at home, you couldn’t help but see as soon as the weather warmed up how many people live in these rental properties alone. I have also had people tell me in confidence that there are some awfully crammed rental properties in some of the townhouse developments.

So….maybe it is time for East Whiteland to look at this differently? They need an updated local ordinance on rental properties right? And I think they need a full time inspector of rental properties and possibly more staff, like maybe a part time one.

East Whiteland needs this NOW, yesterday and into the future. They have to find the money to have proper inspectors because I doubt there enough in the Fire Marshall category, and how much work are they supposed to do anyway? Aren’t they already stretched thin?

I will remind people of Christmas night 2016. That is when one of the rental properties in this stretch of road next to the Wawa at Planebrook went up in flames. A family lost everything that lived in one of these ramshackle rental units. And I think they never came back to East Whiteland. After all, it’s not like there really is any affordable housing right?

So you know how the fire by the Wawa was December 2016? How about that building which is uninhabitable has just sat there and rotted since then? Seriously here are some photos taken over the past few years (a real slum lord special, right?):

I was a renter for years. Face it, a lot of us were, and some still are. Would you want to live in any of these properties? What if you had no other choice? And were these landlords in the human trafficking locations 100% oblivious as to what was going on?

Potential For More Trafficking Victims Out There: Chesco DA
The Chester County DA’s Office calls for watchful eyes on kids in communities.
By Marlene Lang, Patch Staff
Verified Patch Staff Badge
Jul 9, 2020 4:20 pm ET
Updated Jul 9, 2020 4:46 pm ET

NBC10 Philadelphia: ‘I Don’t Want to Be Here.’ Girl’s Message Uncovers Chester Co. Sex Trafficking Ring
Three men face charges for running a human sex trafficking organization in the Malvern, Pennsylvania, area

Inquirer: Sex-trafficking ring uncovered after 14-year-old victim tells mom: ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’
by Ellie Silverman, Posted: July 8, 2020

CRIME My Chesco
Human Sex Trafficking Ring Dismantled in Chester County
July 8, 2020 – by MyChesCo – Leave a Comment

Pennsylvania Real-Time News Penn Live (AP)
Sex trafficking arrests made after 14-year-old’s plea to mom: ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’
Updated Jul 09, 2020; Posted Jul 09, 2020

Daily Local Authorities bust human sex trafficking ring in Chester County; girl, 14, rescued
By Jen Samuel jsamuel@dailylocal.com @jenpoetess on Twitter Jul 10, 2020

KIRO 7: TRENDING
‘I don’t want to be here anymore’: Teen’s frantic Facebook message to mom busts sex-trafficking ring

WFMZ: Chester County officials bust sex trafficking ring
6
9 News Jul 8, 2020 Updated Jul 8, 2020

6ABC: Teen’s Facebook message to mom led to sex trafficking rescue in Chester County, district attorney says

CBS Baltimore: Prosecutor: Missing Maryland 14-Year-Old’s Plea Leads To Sex Trafficking Arrests

CBS Philly: Authorities: Teen’s Facebook Message To Mom Thwarts Malvern Human Trafficking Ring, 8 Men Arrested

I also want everyone to know as per my sources, the East Whiteland Police Department truly went above and beyond the call of duty with this. It wasn’t just this girl messaging family that went into this. For a smaller department by comparison to large cities and boroughs, they put lots of man and woman power into this.


East Whiteland Police Department did exhaustive investigation and follow-up and coordinating with all different kinds of other agencies and states and it really does show their dedication to our community. These men and women should be publicly recognized for their efforts. In a time when police departments are being criticized, these men and women deserve to be commended. Ok yes, this is the job they sign up for, but this is huge. Or in my humble opinion it is. And kudos to our Chester County District Attorney as well.

I have many questions regarding human trafficking an how it happened. I will be curious to learn if the families of these girls who were rescued had ever reported them missing? If they did not, why not? Immigration fears or something darker? I ask because if my kid was missing I would leave no stone un-turned.


However I think we need to work as an extended community to prevent these things from happening and I think that means they need to have a system in place in East Whiteland Township and elsewhere in which rental properties are routinely and regularly inspected. Everybody’s been talking about this strip of rental properties in particular for years it’s nothing new. And East Whiteland like many other municipalities in Chester County are experiencing crazy amounts of development and growth. Why not have developers who want to be in our communities chip into programs like this? Isn’t it kind of part of infrastructure and municipal services? I mean it’s all great that mythical theory of build it and they will come but who keeps track once the developers have gotten their money out of sites and moved on?


I am calling on people in East Whiteland and Chester County to contact East Whiteland Township and ANY OTHER TOWNSHIP that does not have proper rental property ordinances and inspectors to catch up with the times. A lot of municipalities like East Whiteland are experiencing growth that is off the charts. Renters deserve safe places to live. Low income residents deserve truly affordable housing and safe housing.

Be safe out there. Thanks for stopping by.


did you hear the one about a meeting in a municipal garage, a porta potty and no air conditioning? ask westtown…

I am going to let Mindy’s words stand on their own. Yes, Westtown is trying to hold the FINAL planning commission meeting for Crebilly and Troll Brothers in a public works garage.

No air-conditioning, July.

No plumbing, July.

Porta potty in the time of coronavirus, July.

With all residents have been through with this AND coronavirus, this is the plan? Wow. One would think that with all the money the developer and family selling would stand to make one would think they could rent a ballroom in a hotel like the Desmond, right? Or hold it when all could gather safely, right?

But nooooo, it’s a saddle up occasion and here is whom to contact ASAP:

Westtown Township Main Number: 610-692-1930Rob Pingar, Township Manager: rpingar@westtown.orgWill Ethridge, Secretary Planning Commission: wethridge@westtown.orgBoard of Supervisors: supervisors@westtown.org

As Mindy says with every post, IF NOT YOU THEN WHO?