Do you know who this driver is? I seriously almost hit 911 on my phone and I don’t talk on my phone, I don’t text on my phone, I don’t do anything on my phone when I’m driving other than listen to music.
I first encountered him when I was at the light on W. King Rd. waiting to turn left on Sproul. There is a left turn arrow, no right turn from across the King and 352/Sproul intersection.
When I approached the light it was red. Then it changed to green with the left turn green arrow. I had my signal on I started to proceed through the intersection. As I am proceeding through the intersection, this guy driving a Volvo wagon decides he’s going to not have a turn signal on, but he’s going to turn right as I’m turning left. So I beeped my horn.
I made it through the intersection and he immediately hopped on my tail so close there couldn’t have been 5 inches between his front bumper and my rear bumper. And he did this all the way down 352/Sproul including when I had to stop for a UPS truck and then there was a mail truck on the other side.
He did this bumper speed up kind of tailgate at me all the way down the road. I have never experienced in my life something to come so close to road rage, and it was kind of scary. (And I was thinking to myself is this what people call toxic masculinity?)
He pulled up alongside me when I was at the light at the bottom of the hill at 3252 facing the Linden Hall townhouses. He rolls down his window and told me “I needed to get a clue.”
I looked at him and I said “I don’t know what you’re talking about you have a no turn on red there and I was going through the intersection legally.” He then proceeded to curse me out and give me the finger so I took his photo. As I was taking his photo he told me “Here’s a photo for you!” and kept giving me the finger. There were some verbal expletives thrown in, and I’m not really sure what or in what order because I was just trying to keep my calm, truthfully.
When I first moved to Chester County, I don’t remember people being this way. It’s sad and scary that this kind of behavior is considered acceptable. This man could have harmed me, and almost did with his vehicle.
If I had gotten his license plate I would have gone straight to the police. As it was, I had to pull into a parking lot to stop shaking. I hope he treats his friends and family better than he treated me.
One of my favorite things to do in Chester County is attend a Life’s Patina event. Meg Veno and her team of designing women have an amazing eye and flair for putting things together.
When you walk into the big barn, you are always greeted immediately by a lovely tableau in the center. You move from space to space within the barn which is two levels and quite large and your imagination just goes wild!
There is so much to see so many great ideas and every nook and cranny is filled with something you either know you need, you didn’t realize you needed but want, or would make a perfect gift for someone special in your life.
Spring event which started today with the preview my friend Amy and I attended this morning, was just lovely. After a long winter to go through those big barn doors into the magical scenes which unfolded for us every step we took, made even a gray and rainy day sunny!
There is someone running around Instagram pretending to be me. Chester County Ramblings has been my intellectual property since 2012. The above screenshot is the account and it’s a faker.
I noticed some people who know me have liked the account or photos they have posted. It’s not me. I have a suspicion but can’t prove anything yet of who did this. And because it’s Instagram it might just sit out there. But I wanted my readers and friends and family to know that account is not me and it is fake.
This Instagram account is trying to capitalize on my hard work and “ramblings” since 2012. I have never felt the need to have an Instagram account for the blog because I’m not a social media influencer, I’m a blogger. And this is someone who is passing themselves off as someone and somethings they are not. My Instagram is personal for friends and family. And private. Always has been.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, and they are very weird about stuff because I know people who have gotten their accounts hacked and then they’ve been locked out of them and other people have taken over the accounts….and Instagram has done nothing.
So I am putting this out there to all. Because I don’t know who these people are yet and I don’t know what they’re capable of but they’re using my blog name. They are not me. That’s all I can say. I have reached out personally to every business they have “featured”.
If you are approached by these people and they subsequently ask to put you on their Instagram, and if they try to charge you down the road for being put on said Instagram, remember one thing that is very important: I am not and never have been a compensated blogger.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. I just think it’s someone who’s pretty damn desperate. A dear friend suggested a merit badge for them:
Instagram of course, has been contacted. On my end this account has been blocked because it is fake. Desperate people do desperate things. They will eventually make a mistake and the general public will find them out, suss them out. It always happens.
This morning I am just taking it in stride and notifying businesses I actually patronize and people who already thought it was me.
There are a lot of these fake accounts out there, I am not the first person that this has happened to, and I won’t be the last. And law enforcement and media already follow the real me, and now they know once again there is a fake me. Again. Chances are they didn’t even take their own photos.
What’s really amazing is I just took a work related class on Internet security. And one of the BIG things they spoke about are those who pretend to be others. It was a whole section in this class and we were tested on it. Phishing, cloning, etc and never for good. And if law enforcement catches them, they are actually prosecuted. It’s pretty fascinating.
So to people out there who get any kind of a fake friend request or invitation to like even a real seeming Instagram page, do what I do, which is check things out before you hit the “like” or “friend” button. In this case they can’t say “Chester County Ramblings” because that’s me. So they say “chester_county_ramblings” to make you think it’s me and some have because for example when I do posts on this blog the titles are done all in lowercase letters because that’s my thing and I like the visual effect. And my tag line of “meandering through, writing about whatever strikes my fancy.” Today it’s this.
So happy hump day people. On this glorious Wednesday in spring remind you that I am often imitated but never replicated.
Last night I attended the virtual East Whiteland Historic Commission Meeting. One of the people presenting were representatives of the Great Valley School District.
You see, they are now faced with supersizing the elementary school campus. But nooooo of course it’s not due to wanton development in the area. Since the meeting occurred on St. Patrick’s Day I guess it was leprechauns just not being nice to them or something. Sorry not sorry for the deep sarcasm.
Anyway, the reason they were there as they want to tear things down and build new things and so on. But the district representatives did not like when I commented on the fact that school districts everywhere seem to do this following large swaths of new development in various communities. They will basically tell you it’s not true and everyone knows it’s true.
Of course I also commented that all those school districts are autonomous from municipalities, it’s still somewhat of a codependent relationship and I never for the life of me will understand why school districts won’t be honest and say “hey that’s too much development for us to handle.”
Again, sorry not sorry pointing out the truth.
I had to go out to Exton at the beginning of the week for a medical appointment. As I went up Route 30 from Malvern, I was again struck by the sheer volume of development I saw just there along that road. Every square inch that can be developed is being developed.
People are talking about the Ship Inn being for sale. Now that makes me sad because that is a very historic place. That used to be one of my landmarks years ago when I was going to a friend’s house further west. It was always this cheerful beacon on the road and so pretty and historic. Hopefully it survives.
But right where it’s located is at the vortex of a development tsunami. It’s West Whiteland and they are definitely one of the municipalities that can’t say yes fast enough to new development. Once upon a time I found these historic photos of Exton before all the development started. Night and day.
But it’s not just one municipality it’s more like pick a municipality. Look at East Whiteland. Do we really think the school district would be considering expansion if they weren’t out of room because of all the influx of people due to development? I mean come on let’s get real.
Go a little further east and you look at Tredyffrin and Eastown. Is the school district there not experiencing the same problems and need for expansion? It’s because of all the development, right? It doesn’t matter if it’s single-family McMansions, fake carriage houses, town houses, apartments, condos whatever you want to call them they are bringing people into our districts. The interesting thing is I still don’t necessarily believe that the economy is following the people so I wonder about the long-term sustainability but that’s another conversation for another day.
Go to other areas in Chester County and look at other districts. The West Chester Area School District is a monster it’s so big now. Owen J Roberts is huge, and so is Downingtown. And when you get out to areas like Elverson the kids actually go to school in a dual county district . This school district is Twin Valley, and it services two counties and like seven municipalities.
If you go east out of Chester County down to the Main Line, look at Lower Merion School District. The nasty eminent domain battles and fights because why? Because there are so many people coming into that district they needed to build another middle school. Now that middle school is going to be right on the border of Radnor Township which also has development worries of its own and only has one high school which is pretty crowded from what I’m told these days.
Of course in the case of Lower Merion School District and the location of their new school I have to ask what volunteer fire company is going to be responsible for that big complex? Especially when fire companies are going to be faced with the ongoing super sizing of both Bryn Mawr and Ardmore? So will that necessitate an additional fire company being built? Where would that go? And maybe it’s time for all fire companies to consider more paid staff because I think the volunteers are spread a little thin don’t you?
When are municipalities going to wake the hell up and realize the songs and tales of the Pied Piper-like developers and the Emperor’s new clothes they strew about are ruining our communities?
These developers are marching through our communities leaving overcrowding in school districts and stressed municipal services and infrastructure in their wake. And the Municipalities Planning Code ( aka the MPC), the Bible on which local development and zoning is based, allows all of this. It also allows all of the crazy zoning overlay districts which allow developers to get more and more into our communities.
The MPC was created at the end of the 1960s and I think it was signed in to being in 1970. It contains the extraordinarily outdated definitions of suburbs and exurbs that are still fueling all of this development today. And it’s got to stop. There needs to be a comprehensive update. And that update needs to contain language that actually protects our communities from over development. It needs to contain language that has more meaningful historic preservation and land preservation.
No matter where we live we are drowning in crappy new construction. And people don’t like when I say that because you know they’re reading this post from their McMansion. Well talk to me in 20 years and see how your house endures time and wear. I mean look at all the people alone who have had to remediate stucco in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
These developers roll into communities, they make a lot of money, they offer municipal rabbits the tiny baby carrots of ratables and they just move onto the next project. Or they will say to a municipality that they really care about the community in which they want to over develop because they live there? What do they really care about: the community or how much money they’re making?
Oh wait? What is that I hear? Oh that would be the chorus of I hate all development coming from some of you reading this post. I don’t hate all development but I really dislike the volume and lack of quality of the development we are seeing today. Why on earth do developers think that here in bucolic Chester County we want to see things that look like fake industrial?
And then there are the developers who basically take the same design and apply it to projects in multiple municipalities. Do they really think the public is that stupid? I mean maybe the local politicians are but not necessarily the people that live in these municipalities. Do we really want to live in developer created Stepford Land?
I have seen development in other areas, even urban areas that are clever and they actually have architectural design to them. Or they’re wonderful examples of adaptive reuse. My favorite recent example is something in Philadelphia called The Gotham. It was originally The Gotham Silk Factory, as in stockings. This project is amazing. It pays homage to its past yet it’s modern and new. It’s really cool. It proves you can meld old with new and come up with a good product.
But people, we have to start taking back our communities. We need to hold elected officials accountable. And even if they tell us there is nothing that they can do we still hold them accountable. And we need to find better replacements from within our communities and move these people out.
If you change the face of who governs you you can start to enact change in communities. But if it’s just the same old people sitting there year after year we are just going to keep on getting more of what we don’t like where we call home. That’s not just with local municipalities that’s with state representatives and state senators as well. So far with regard to the newbies in office on the state level I’m not really impressed. And there are some who skated in for additional terms riding on the coattails of others and they never impress me at all.
These are our communities. We deserve more of a say. But in order to have more of a say we all have to become more proactive within our communities. that starts with attending meetings. While they are all virtual, it’s much easier, so please take advantage of it. Pick a meeting and participate.
Tasty Table Market & Catering is one of my favorite food gems. Located at 10 Leopard Rd, Berwyn, PA 19312 they are a delight to deal with and their food is amazing! They are breakfast, lunch, take home dinner, corporate events, private events, weddings, any kind of catering you can think of.
I stopped in to pick up lunch and discovered all sorts of new things on the menu, as well as a slightly new look inside. You can go and eat your breakfast and lunch. The seating is limited but it’s very socially distanced. Oh and they serve La Colombe coffee!
Today I am having one of their Vietnamese hoagies which is a really good sandwich. I also checked out something new on the menu which is a vegetarian broccoli rabe quesadilla. Some of that is coming home for heating up at another time along with their famous crab cakes which are absolutely delicious.
So today I got a couple of calls from “Alex.” I learned her name when I called the number back. I was on the phone with my mother when they came in. In normal times, I don’t call unknown reasonably local numbers back, but this is life in the time of COVID19, and a call could be a vaccine appointment. I am registered for shot interest all over as a 1A so I have been calling some unknown numbers back. Like this one today which came in from Allentown 484-460-5990.
I recorded the phone call. One of the phone calls because I called back to see if they would give me a website address:
When I called back at first they said “Philly House Buyers”. Couldn’t find a website so I called again. This time “Alex” said “Home Buyers Incorporated” and gave the website of www.homebuyersincorporated.com . That gives a company in Nebraska (“NE”) , registered in Nebraska but I can’t find a registration in Pennsylvania (“PA”). BUT if you look up “Philly House Buyers” on the Pennsylvania Corporations Database, there is a company registered since 2009 with a Chadds Ford address. So are either of these companies the company behind the calls or are they both behind the calls? Here is what I found on state websites in PA and NE:
“Dan” is so helpful on his pre-recorded message, yet I am still waiting for the first two notices he supposedly sent. Here is what you get when you call him up:
The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about these types of calls (not the postcards) in 2019 and the pandemic has caused (in my opinion) an uptick in these calls and things like ads for online betting. They are opportunistic because a lot of folks are struggling.
For a guy who has at least six phone numbers, “Will” is a surprisingly difficult man to reach.
For months, Will has been badgering Philadelphians with prerecorded messages, offering to buy properties in the city and New Jersey. He asks homeowners to call back if they’re interested in selling, promising an offer in just seven minutes over the phone. He’s super casual about it, acknowledging how “random” his dropping them a line might seem….
Not unlike the “We Buy Houses” signs that litter neighborhoods seeking cheap property in hot neighborhoods, the robocalls are more than annoying. They prey on vulnerable homeowners, who are sometimes tricked into selling their properties far below market value, consumer advocates say
We dialed the callback numbers he left in voice mails, spoke to evasive “investors” who gave inconsistent answers, and unearthed a larger robocall operation that touched major cities across the nation…..But Will consistently left the same callback number: 267-831-1593. We called the number more than 20 times and never got Will. But, we did speak with Cory, Logan, Steven, Sandra, John, two Justins, and countless Pats.
They claimed to be investors from the “Home Buyers Network” who quickly buy properties in cash. Several said they were based in Tampa. Aside from that, they didn’t agree on much else.
For example, Cory Gallagher insisted the group had a website even as he refused to provide it. “Just Google it,” he said. “Call back if you can’t find it.”
Later, a man who went by “John Chris” said: “We don’t have a website because we’re a small-time investment company.”
So we are living La Vida Loca scam style. And yes I did file reports today with the FCC and PA Attorney General’s office. Not that I am convicted they consistently act on these things, but I took the time to do it.
Anyway, be aware. Also note these people prey successfully on our most vulnerable like senior citizens.
Two simple photos that speak volumes. They came with a message:
📌It is 2021 and this structure is also still standing and now falling into the local fresh water creek. West Whiteland Township shame on you. Route 100 and Township Line Road.📌
My posting of the (IMHO) dangerous and derelict structure in East Whiteland behind Osman’s Pizza on Route 30 in Frazer and adjacent to the Wawa at 30 and Planebrook has sparked an interesting community conversation. Simply put it is why can these municipalities take such care to approve all of the crazy unwanted development communities do NOT want, yet they seemingly ignore situations like this? I don’t have the answer and I know the process of getting derelict buildings down can be complicated, but maybe people have a point?
We walked into the beautiful big old barn and it was truly magical at Life’s Patina today. Beautiful and Christmas festive in every nook and cranny. There are only a certain amount of people allowed in the barn at any one time and everyone must be wearing masks, and there is hand sanitizer everywhere you turn around. It’s a magical and safe experience in a COVID-19 world.
Meg and her merry band of elves outdid themselves! From little balsam wood houses that light up, to Christmas mice in velvet dresses and tree skirts for feather trees it was amazing! Sparkling ornaments everywhere and among my favorites? Very lovely mercury glass pinecones and marvelous modern reproductions of old German Kugel ornaments.
Mixed in with Christmas magic were all sorts of vintage and antique items. One of the things I liked best was downstairs in the barn on the big long farmhouse table was a vintage Grenadine bottle.
We loved every minute we were there, and preview guests were also given amazing gift bags to take home.
I love Christmas, everyone who knows me knows how much I love Christmas and I loved today’s experience. You really should go if you can. Simply magical!
By appointment only. Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm, 1750 North Valley Road, Malvern, PA.
A friend asked me if I ever watched the East Brandywine Township meetings. I said no, but just spent some time watching the September 17th and October 1st meetings.
Get. Out. The. Popcorn. Drammmmma.
East Brandywine is like a little or a lot of who is on first. There is this one supervisor named Kyle Scribner. Seems kind of to really not get along with other two supervisors. He was the Chair of the Supervisors Board until the September 17 meeting when he quit being chair. It seemed to be over who was solicitor for the township, and apparently it is now Marc Jonas of Eastburn Gray but was formerly Kristin Camp of Buckley Brion? Is this such a big deal I mean don’t townships change solicitors all of the time? Is there more to the story?
Follow this link for everything East Brandywine has on You Tube.
Now mentioned in the East Brandywine meetings is litigation I guess the township is in. And one of the things they keep talking about is the “Carlino Giant Case”.
So I went a Googling. That’s that whole thing that has to do with what used to be the Croppers, correct? I guess that is why there was a special Saturday call or session listed for yesterday October 10th? Something about appointing a special counsel?
So relating to this case, I found the following while noodling around on Google:
Oh Joe Gale. Once I thought he showed promise. But it sadly has become apparent over time that he is nuttier than a fruitcake and so divisive. He seems hell bent on his personal agenda, which also seems as clear as mud some days, doesn’t it? And I find it fascinating that he does all this while living with his mommy, and what happens when he brings a girl home? For those wondering why I write about a Montgomery County Commissioner, it’s because I spent most of my life living in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County and when he was first running people I know and respect told me how wonderful he was blah, blah, blah and how he would be terrific for Montgomery County.
In Italy they call men like Joe Gale a mammone which literally translates to “mommy’s boy”. There have been a lot of articles written about mammoni (plural of mammone) and I find it all fascinating. Some of the articles ruminate about these guys having Peter Pan complexes. And CBS 60 Minutes even did a piece on mammoni years ago and maybe we should suggest Joe Gale for an updated piece?
Now I am not saying I have a problem with Joe because he’s young. One of our Chester County Commissioners, Josh Maxwell, is not much older than Joe Gale and somehow he manages to live on his own and is married and is an adult (and a heck of a nice guy too.) Josh became Mayor of Downingtown at 26. Sadly, Joe Gale is no Josh Maxwell.
Joe Gale doesn’t have emotional maturity, he seems instead somewhat stunted, and isn’t that sad?
Now I am not saying that the other two Montgomery County Commissioners are prizes, because oh hell to the no they are not. Montgomery County is a political swamp in need of a good draining and cleaning. And Montgomery County has surpassed the dysfunctional prizes once held by Delaware County ( see the chronicles of Delco Tom Paine before they disappear. Peter Porcupine is still a genius.)
Now if Joe Gale actually did anything for Montgomery County residents, well I probably would shut my mouth. But all he does is push his own somewhat clear as mud agenda from the comfort of mommy and daddy’s house. In June he released a very offensive statement concerning rioting, looting, and Black Lives Matter by any standards conservative or liberal in my humble opinion:
Yes I got into PACER. First Amendment victories thrill me.
So hey this is what Joe Gale thinks of all of us:
My gosh Joe Gale, isn’t the First Amendment marvelous? I mean I know you think it should be subjective and all that but it gives you the right to literally call a divine Main Line lady,Caroline O’Halloran and the rest of us who simply do not agree with you the “Marxist Mob”. My gosh my golly I have not been referred to as anything so delightful since a white sneaker wearing tea partier spat in my face and called me a Socialist years ago (while I was a card carrying Republican, no less.)
So Joe Gale started out like a true Alex P. Keaton at 20 running for Plymouth Township Council I think it was. He lost. Ran for something again there in 2013 and withdrew. He ran for Montgomery County Commissioner in 2015. He has more political experience if you want to call it that, than actual work and life experience. He worked for about a year at a clerk position at Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds. He then had job for three years at some developer. Briefly in 2018 he ran for Lieutenant Governor. So the job he has held the longest is Montgomery County Commissioner, but what has he actually done?
Back when he first wanted to be a Montgomery County Commissioner I found his Alex P. Keaton-ish self meh but palatable. After all considering the legions of skunks who had been Montgomery County Commissioners how bad he could be?
Let’s look at how he has approached COVID-19? Is it just me or does he act like it’s not real? And look at all the photos he poses for, including with old people which makes you wonder is he doing contact tracing? Or is anyone doing contact tracing on him?
Joe Gale’s website is a marvel of spin and oh the giggles. However, he marches all over social media angrier than Trump and that is saying something. Do they tweet to each other from the potty? Oh and his Twitter account @VoteJoeGalePA says “Joe Gale’s Personal Twitter Account. This is Not a Public Platform or Official Government Page.” Oh alrighty Joe and I have a bridge you can buy in Brooklyn….but I digress….
A First Amendment victory against petty political tyrants like Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale is to be celebrated. However, I have zero sympathy for anyone in Montgomery County if you let this mammone get re-elected.
This post is brought to you by my First Amendment rights. If you live in Montgomery County, do yourself a favor and DON’T vote Joe Gale whenever he’s up again or for whatever he tries to run for next. Mail him some new binkies and call it a day. Or demand he gets recalled. There has to be a process for that somewhere right?
And all you loverly politicians out there who like to block constituents in Chester County? This ruling against Joe Gale is a very much more local not so distant legal precedent.