for christmas, maybe it IS time to rethink the aqua of it all?

Well I was talking to a very dear friend today. She lives in the New Garden area. She is one of the most diligent and practical people I know. Literally have known her since I was like maybe 12 or 13. Our parents were friends. And she quietly says to me today something about have I seen what is going on in New Garden Township about their AQUA issues. I said yes, a bit and I thought gosh I didn’t even send her my post on the extra special interim manager, but anyway….

Then my jaw hit the floor. My friend said her water bill under AQUA ownership went from $250 each billing cycle to $900!

That news made me go watch the recent New Garden meeting recordings that my friend and friend to all communities Ginny Kerslake had posted on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/Ginny4PA/videos/1221133465137182/

https://www.facebook.com/Ginny4PA/videos/837250724147851/

https://www.facebook.com/Ginny4PA/videos/524162036279162/

So now I am wondering (aloud) if municipalities selling to AQUA is a mistake?

I don’t think we can un-ring the bell on inked deals, and things are still in court that would potentially stop the sales in East Whiteland and Willistown, although I find that unlikely, but who knows?

These municipalities can’t afford their sewer systems any longer, and I do believe that is true, BUT now I am wondering what part utility companies have in that?

And something else I am now wondering about might sound crazy BUT is there ANY way that AQUA could force those of us on septic and wells to hook up to them?

Oh and I think AQUA, or I should say I know AQUA watches this blog. But as a consumer and a resident where one of these sales is pending, I am actually allowed to have questions. Even now. And WHY do I have questions? Watching that whole crazy recent meeting that was held in New Garden. That and having a friend today tell me how much their bill increased (with kids in college and not there all of the time, no less.)

I also keep coming back to those lovely laws in Harrisburg that allow AQUA to increase their rates. So now I wonder aloud what so many others wonder: is AQUA just getting what they paid back via these increases so is that a good thing for consumers in the end?

https://www.pahouse.com/InTheNews/Opinion/?id=126232

Above is a link to a press release by State Rep Christina Sappey from this September. This is what jumped out:

Recently, rate increases for water and wastewater services provided by Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. (Aqua) went into effect for over 400,000 customers in 32 counties across the commonwealth. Many residents, including seniors on fixed incomes, have been surprised and frustrated to receive bills that have nearly doubled.

The current rules regarding rate regulations and water utility sales are not in the consumer’s best interest. It is imperative that reform is considered in Harrisburg to prevent future prioritization of corporate profits over residents’ access to a basic necessity, such as water.

I share the frustration of Aqua customers going through this current increase. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is the regulatory authority in Pennsylvania for utility rates. Utilities wishing to increase rates must submit a request to the commission for approval. The PUC is currently comprised of three commissioners, each appointed by the governor on a five-year term and confirmed by the State Senate.

When Aqua submitted this request in 2021, I urged the PUC to hold in-person hearings for residents to voice concerns. When that request was denied, State Rep. John Lawrence and I hosted a telephonic public hearing and I joined many of you in testifying against the then-proposed additional charges. Despite these efforts, the PUC commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rate increase in May of 2022.

Recently, I wrote to the PUC providing examples of the negative impact the approved rates have had and requesting a review of current charges to ensure they align with the commission-approved rates. I encourage anyone who feels their bill does not properly reflect their usage or the approved rate to file a complaint with the PUC.

Today’s state laws allow for inflated valuations of financially solvent public water and wastewater utilities by private companies, enticing local municipalities and authorities to sell for a large return in the short term, only for those costs to be recouped through the ratepayer’s wallet. These processes are done with little transparency or direct input from those that it impacts most, ratepayers.

~ STATE REP CHRISTINA SAPPEY 9/30/22

I want to be abundantly clear here: I still do NOT approve the way Willistown residents have been treating Bob Lange and Bill Shoemaker. There is a THIRD supervisor, and there was the THIRD supervisor who was all for the sale and then resigned before she had been a supervisor very long, correct? What was her name? Oh yes, Barbara Handelin, right?

My other issue with this in Willistown is the inability for some residents to realize this is NOT a Democrat vs. Republican issue, it is a COMMUNITY issue that affects EVERYONE, i.e. it is non-partisan. I have NOT been a fan of the shenanigans to date and every meeting it is essentially the SAME people repeating themselves. Surely there are OTHER residents affected, yes? Well people, be polite and either zoom a meeting and comment or go in person. But the same people speaking pretty much every time? Umm, people tune that out after a while, even if they believe in the issue. And where were all of you while Willistown was deciding to sell or not? Why is it in Willistown it feels like people wake up only AFTER the horse has left the proverbial barn?

So yes, I am indeed wondering aloud in the final month of 2022 about this. It doesn’t mean I have been “won over”, it means for the first time I am articulating concerns I have always had. It’s like now that the 3 ring circus in Willistown has quieted some I have had time to think.

And when one of your more long term friends tells you HOW MUCH their bill jumped, well, it HAS to make you think. And of course how it all went down in New Garden also has to make you think. All those supervisors singing the chorus of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil etc etc, right? Quid est veritas? What is truth?

I do know that Willistown and East Whiteland BOTH notified residents, held meetings, etc. COVID or not, meetings were zoomed if not in person and well, a lot of people did nothing. I even kept putting it out there. But New Garden? That place is rather odd, isn’t it?

And I also really want to know if those of us on wells and septic will be allowed to stay as we are? I have never heard that questioned answered. I also wonder aloud if AQUA could try to be more community minded? What if they supported measures in Harrisburg that might put the brakes on their rate jumping seemingly willy nilly?

It’s a recession. In my humble opinion we have been playing kick the can down the road with recession since circa 2008. Maybe it’s time to just stop and think on this a little longer?

Sign me, thinking out loud. Happy December, y’all.

Ratepayers hold Aqua, New Garden accountable for skyrocketing wastewater bills

11/22/2022 04:28PM ● By Richard Gaw

For more than four hours at the New Garden Elementary School auditorium on Nov. 21, three factions sorted through the smoldering mass of information that lay at the creation of an agreement of sale that has been on the front burner of controversy in the township for the past several years.

In one corner of the room, the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors sat a table facing another table occupied by three executives from Aqua Pennsylvania (Aqua), including its president Marc Lucca. The most dominant presence at the meeting, however, were the more than 200 township residents who sat and stood in protest of the reason that drew them there: the massive increase they are seeing in their wastewater bills from Aqua – as much as a 140 percent increase over the past year – that are arriving in their mailboxes as part of the residue from the township’s sale of its wastewater system to the Big Water giant for $29.5 million in 2020….

Nearly from the start, the patience of those in the audience to sit through the complicated alphabet soup of agencies and legal and legislative delays was paper thin, particularly during an hour-long presentation by former township official and director of planning and projects Spence Andress, who painstakingly sifted through a two-inch high stack of documents that described the minutia of what led to the eventual sale of the township’s system.

He said that a major factor leading to the decision by the Board of Supervisors and the township’s Sewer Authority to sell off the system was influenced by the cost of mitigating the infrastructure problems of the township’s vastly outdated wastewater system, which would cost the township an estimated $1.5 million a year, as well as an additional $1.5 million for debt service.

‘Allow us to speak!’

Halfway through Andress’ presentation, Peter Mrosinski and Margo Woodacre, two of the most prominent voices of opposition, shared their argument that the nature of the meeting was designed to shut down the residents. Their argument reflected the contents of a flyer that was circulated by KWA before the meeting that said that a former agreement with board chairman Steve Allaband would allow the group to lead the discussion, but that the idea was rejected earlier that afternoon by the supervisors. “Unfortunately, our supervisors once again appear to be covering their tracks and doing the bidding of Aqua to silence any meaningful discussion,” the flyer read.

Pa. approves increase in Aqua water and sewer rates. How much, it won’t say.
The Pa. Public Utility Commission granted Aqua’s rate hike request, apparently overriding a judge’s recommendation for a lower increase. But the PUC will take several days to announce the details.

Inquirer/ by Andrew Maykuth
Published May 12, 2022

Aqua Pennsylvania’s rate hike: The price per flush will go up 50% as early as Thursday
Aqua’s water rates will increase about 10%, and wastewater rates will go up 51% this week. In towns whose sewer systems were recently acquired by Aqua, the impact will be more severe.

Inquirer/by Andrew Maykuth
Published May 17, 2022

It’s time to repeal the Pa. law that allows the sale of municipal water systems | Editorial
Officials in Bucks County were absolutely right not to sell their system to a private company. Now, lawmakers must reverse the measure known as Act 12.

Inquirer/ by The Editorial Board
Published Sep 18, 2022

As Pa. municipalities sell water systems to for-profit companies, consumers are left paying the price | Editorial
It is irresponsible for local governments to peddle these valuable public assets and leave customers at the mercy of businesses who are all but guaranteed to jack up their bills.

Inquiere/ by The Editorial Board
Updated Aug 18, 2022

hey usps and louis dejoy, where’s the mail??

This was posted by a friend today:

I hate to sound nostalgic (AKA old!), but I fondly remember when the USPS managed to deliver mail REGULARLY. We — and our neighbors — have had no mail delivered since Tuesday, and that batch included only some of the mail that had been scheduled to land on Monday, when our carrier was also a no-show.

Because you can receive a daily email from USPS that shows images of what is scheduled to arrive in your box each day, it has been rather unsettling to see how many items qualify as missing. Well, the mystery has been solved.

This morning, my husband decided to pay a visit to the actual post office, after efforts to contact a human by phone went nowhere. A worker explained that the postal manager for the West Chester region issued an edict recently to deal with the agency’s short staffing: surreptitiously skipping delivery days. She said the office needs 80 carriers to handle the load: It has 40. As a result, she said we should expect to see a delivery every 2 or 3 days.

I guess the idea of notifying customers about the worker shortage wasn’t part of the plan. Would it really have been too difficult to put a notice in people’s boxes on their lucky delivery day? Perhaps some publicity about this problem would help solve it. Sigh. End of rant, but curious about whether this is happening in other areas.

~ Chester County Resident # 1

Now this is the second such tale in less than a week.

I have you on my mailing list but my mailman hasn’t been seen for five days. I was told that he had health problems but there were no replacements. Also, PO closed in town. So I will try for Christmas card instead.

~ Chester County Resident # 2

My second friend lives in the Borough of West Chester. She works from home and is self employed and well…mail is kind of essential.

So Louis De Joy you plastic arsehole, where’s the mail? Santa might want to deliver the Christmas cards himself I guess?

It’s time for Washington to deal with this. We need our mail. This is happening all over. It’s bullshit.

do we want to preserve chester county… or not?

So this is Chester county. Do we want to preserve her or not? Because we’re running out of time if we do wish to preserve her. If we do wish to preserve her history, her great open spaces (what’s left of them), her farms (what’s left of them) , her architecture (what hasn’t been replaced by endless fields of McBoxes.)

This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing, this is the people coming together and working to save Chester County kind of thing.

People drive me crazy when they say “Oh but if you only elect this Republican or this Democrat that change will happen.” No it won’t. When did all of you get so dumb about community activism?

All of these politicians bring YOU to them. That’s not the way you do it. The way you do it is every time you have an election, the politicians take on your issues as their issues. Because if you just continue out there to take their issues on as your issues, you will always end up the loser.

No, often it is not nice. It’s hard. It’s a slog. You have all sorts of people screaming and yelling at you and calling you names. You know, kind of like my average day being a blogger. But you have to work if you really want to save something. You can’t just say oh let’s put up a Facebook page and save something. You actually have to do the work behind it. Look at Crebilly. Those folks did not give up. And they did it.

There have been countless groups who have put up private groups and Facebook pages proclaiming their issue. But the thing is they never really get off the social media pages, do they? They don’t go to meetings. They don’t take meetings with elected officials of all levels. It’s like they expect the world to come to them. I have to bite my tongue and not say how’s that working out for all of you?

If they do have loosely held “groups“, often these days you find different members of sad aforementioned “groups” are going in different directions with slightly different objectives that are often counterproductive. It doesn’t work because you all need to come together.

It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to when you’re working for a common goal and a greater good, you leave that bickering at the door. You need to forget the whole thing about oh if we just do this one little thing for this politician then they’ll help us. No they won’t. The goal of them and their campaigns is to make all of you come around to see their perspective. As we learned years ago fighting eminent domain mean in Ardmore, you have to flip that perspective.

And if the politicians make hollow promises, then you vote them out and you start all over again. And you keep repeating the process till you have government that you can work with, that works for the people.

And I have to say after doing the whole thing in Ardmore, also gave me some of the most amazing friends as an adult. I remember the first event I attended that the Save Ardmore Coalition did years ago. I entered a room a stranger and left with new friends, Friends I still have almost 20 years later. I did not start at the very, very beginning. I heard what they had to say, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. Oh and one election cycle we flipped half of the Board of Commissioners in Lower Merion Township to politicians of BOTH political parties who made our issue theirs. And they kept their word and ended eminent domain for good a few months later. As opposed to that eminent domain circus in East Goshen recently , it didn’t take a year to unwind. That my friends was BS, just like the self-aggrandizing Libertarian “award” , “honor” or whatever was bestowed upon supervisors or one supervisor in general, like the day before their spouse became the head of the Chester County Libertarian Party. That was no better than a publicity stunt. And it made me very sad.

So now that the elections are over, it’s time for communities across Chester County to come together to save what’s left of their character. Yesterday because we were going to visit friends further out in the county from us, we had this gorgeous drive back and forth. It made me think. It made me appreciate all over again the beauty of where we call home.

This also means that we have to start getting busy with our state elected officials, the lame ducks and the ones poised to take office in January. They need to start helping us preserve where we call home. And that means changing certain laws so that is possible.

One big thing requiring change is the Municipalities Planning Code. It hasn’t been comprehensively updated seriously since like 1969. And the last time it was comprehensively updated, do you know what one of the developments was that happened as a result of changes? Chesterbrook. We need fewer developments and that means we have to lobby for these people to get off the rear ends and enact an act of the state constitution. We need to redefine suburb and exurb. We need more meaningful historic preservation and land preservation with built-in components to make it more attractive so that more people are interested in doing it.

This isn’t my job to do this. I am a curtain raiser, and I am once again drawing attention to this very important issue. We live in a beautiful place that is not that far off of being completely ruined forever. And those of us who come from the Main Line can tell you all about that because once upon a time the Main Line was truly beautiful and somewhat magical with amazing homes and properties. Now it’s just a suburb with too many people with misplaced senses of entitlement.

And that suburban sprawl continues to move west, or should I say march west because it’s not flowing, it’s attacking. Every time you turn around there’s another development planned. Or land getting gobbled up now by things like data centers and worse which we don’t know enough about here in this area, but in other areas of the country they’re fighting tooth and nail to get these things out of their communities.

We also don’t have to scream to be heard. When we scream we’re no better than those people that annoy the crap out of us at every school board meeting because they are undoubtedly uncomfortable with their own sexuality, so everything they perceive as different, is bad.

Anyway, it’s not just t-shirts and post cards and endless lawn signs that are going to bring us change. It’s involvement in our communities. And it’s consistent involvement, not involvement when the horses are out of the proverbial barn and nothing can be done.

Since the onset of Covid we have the ability in a lot of places for hybrid meetings. They are both virtual and in person. And most meetings are recorded now, and if you are in a municipality that does not record their meetings, start there. You have a right to have your meetings recorded, and/or you have the right to record the meetings in their entirety and broadcast them on YouTube or Facebook live or whatever.

I think the beauty and character and history of this county are worth preserving. That’s all I have to say. But people have to be willing to get involved and stay involved.

I am a realist. Not every old house can be saved, not every old farm can be saved. But I think as an extended group of communities, we can ask better of our elected officials all the way to Washington DC when it comes to this. But we all have to put the political BS aside and try.

Thanks for stopping by.

the site might be more cleaned up, but the ruin of ebenezer on bacton hill road doesn’t have much time.

November, 2016

I have not written about the ruin of Ebeneezer AME Church on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland for a couple of years now. It’s not my party any longer, and truthfully there are members of East Whiteland’s Historical Commission whom I am sure would prefer I not have an interest in this site. I guess it doesn’t matter that I did a lot of work for this site, some of my friends did a lot of work for this site, and years ago when no one was paying attention I did the placement for the media coverage which was local and regional.

But I do have an interest in this site. It spoke to me years ago, and today I listened again. In 2016 a structural engineer reviewed this historic site and warned about not addressing the bowing of the longer north and south facing walls. There were also warnings of the use of heavy equipment on and close to site. Well today I got a couple of photos from the road because of what I saw a couple of weeks ago that disturbed me.

The walls are coming down. No, no one is taking them down, the years and years of neglect leave no other option for old walls.

November 13, 2022

I think this is tragic and really upsetting. But it’s not within my power to change it. It is still within the power of the AME Church, unless they have suddenly transferred the property to another entity. I also think East Whiteland Township could try to do a little more.

I asked someone for an update on the site in June and never heard a peep. OK fine, they aren’t interested in conversing with me, but now I am saying I told you so. If they want to preserve any part of the ruling of that church, they need to move a little more quickly. They also need to preserve the graves that are in the graveyard.

Ebenezer represents a heck of a lot of history and there are freed slaves, black Civil War Soldiers, and ancestors of people who still live in the area today. This site deserves respect. Respect just isn’t a historical marker, respect is a better degree of historic preservation. You can read about my coverage of Ebenezer by doing a search on this site or CLICK HERE.

#ThisPlaceMatters

today.

Today is the day, Pennsylvania. No excuses. Get out and vote.

Happy Election Day!

From a friend who works the polls:

Please do not post photos of poll workers OR of your ballot. Please remember that people in line to vote NEVER ASKED TO BE IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS- PLEASE DON’T POST THEIR FACES

If you want change in Pennsylvania, be the change. Use your power of your vote. Today is a day where people with a brain know the power of apathy and excuses for not getting to the polls to vote won’t cut it.

If you spot something wrong at your poll, call the police. Report it. Document it. Do not be intimidated by people at the polls and if that happens, call the police. Your vote is between you and your conscience.

This morning when I logged onto my blog’s Facebook page, to follow is what was waiting for me. I am giving you the screenshots I am not covering anything up. I am finished with being harassed by people like this.

And these are people, women like this especially, who don’t realize that the reason you fight for rights and free and fair elections is so even idiots like herself can have those rights. Bless her heart she is so limited in her personal worldview that she doesn’t get that visiting anyone’s Facebook page public or private is a privilege, not a right.

Needless to say she can shove it where the sun don’t shine. If this is who is lecturing anyone on manners, what a sad sorry state of affairs the world is.

If you choose not to vote, please don’t complain after the fact as you will only have yourself to blame.

I already voted. My vote is counted. I voted to protect a woman’s right to choose. as in every woman, no matter what that choice might be.

There’s nothing left to say. Go vote.

Pax

what kind of guy….not our guy

Guy Ciarrocchi is running for Congress in the 6th District. I know it gets confusing, because earlier in 2022 he also ran for governor. I’m going to include screenshots.

He’s not my kind of Guy, that is for sure. That being said, please think before you vote tomorrow.

He seems like the kind of Guy who drags out his heritage when it’s politically expedient. I also have plenty of relatives in South Philadelphia. I also have Irish and Italian lineage. (Of course my lineage gets more interesting because there’s also a dash of Pennsylvania German.) They are part of what make me who I am. I’m proud of those roots. They were hard-working, nice people. They taught me to stand up for myself among other things.

Again…..If politicians are judged by the company they keep, check out the company he’s been keeping especially recently in Berks County…..He’s very careful not to appear in a photo with Mastriano, which I find interesting, but do note with whom you find him. And where. #whereisGUY ? Hmmmm.

Now in 2008 or thereabouts there was an entire website devoted to him. That’s how strong people felt when he was running for State Representative against Paul Drucker. See:

https://whatkindofguy.wordpress.com/

Things that bug me include:

If you can still access that link above that is his old gubernatorial website from early 2022. That is kind of sloppy, truthfully.

it is basically the same bio verbatim as found on this website where they refer to him as a “young gun“: https://nrcc.org/candidates/guy-ciarrocchi/

Then there is this:

December 2021: Ciarrocchi Said Roe v. Wade Was “Bad Law” Based On “Very, Very Outdated Science.” “GOP gubernatorial candidate Guy Ciarrocchi, who is on hiatus from his job as the president of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce said, ‘I am pro-life. But, whether or not one agrees with Roe v Wade, we should all be saddened to know that millions of babies have died—30,000 each year in our state. The decision focused on a baby’s viability in 1973. At a minimum, we should all agree that viability is now much, much earlier due to scientific advances. So, Roe is now not only bad law, it’s based on very, very outdated science. It is time for Roe to be replaced.’” [Delaware Valley Journal, 12/1/21]

November 2003: Ciarrocchi Said A Court Decision Overturning Massachusetts’s State Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Was “Bad Moral Decision” Because It Would Make The Term Marriage “Meaningless.”  “For Haddonfield resident Diane Marini, yesterday’s Massachusetts high-court decision overturning the state ban on same-sex civil marriage could carry her closer to her dream: to legally marry her partner of 12 years, Marilyn Maneely. ‘We’ve raised five kids together, but we as a couple have no rights,’ said Marini, who with Maneely is among seven gay couples suing for similar legal recognition in New Jersey. […] Guy Ciarrocchi, director of the Philadelphia Archdiocese Office for Public Affairs, saw it as ‘a bad legal decision and a bad moral decision.’ ‘It’s bad legally,’ he said, ‘because it continues down a dangerous path of allowing courts to decide important legal issues rather than legislatures. And it’s bad as a moral decision because if every relationship the participants believe is special is deemed marriage, at some point the term marriage becomes meaningless.’” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/19/03]

~ The Case Against Guy Ciarrocchi



So let’s circle back to he never seems to appear in a photo with Mastriano. As a matter fact he seems to show up at events were Mastriano is but not in Chester County which is very interesting. To me that says that even this guy thinks Mastriano isn’t good for Pennsylvania. I’m allowed to have that opinion. I’m sure my opinion will upset his cheerleading collective from Moms for Liberty and Pennsylvania Conservative Women (formerly Conservative Women of the Main Line or whatever.) These “ladies“ I collectively refer to as the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism. But the event in Berks county was interesting because it was hanging with a bunch of people from an extremist group. Again.

And then he goes door-knocking in HIS neck of the woods . So he doesn’t tell people he’s a Republican, he tells them he’s an Independent? Dude, can’t be a little bit preggers here since you’re against abortion which must include political abortion too, right? Haven’t you said you were an independent when running for things before? So if you actually are not a Republican why run as one?


The extremism stance is a familiar M.O. if you refer back to the what kind of Guy website. I offered to you some screenshots from that website. And I’m really glad that website stayed up because it is very informative. And that is the biggest problem with today is people do not do their own research. Too many do something or say something or repeat something just because someone told you to. That’s why these groups like the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism have so many members. Here are the screenshots:


We do not need any more divisiveness in Washington, D.C. and this isn’t because he’s a Republican, it’s because the Republican Party only shows the American voter crappy candidates. It’s kind of a problem across the country but it’s like pervasive dangerous mold in Pennsylvania it’s so bad. This country is a democracy based on a two party system, but when you have one party that is no longer the party of Lincoln and that is the most polite way I can think of putting it, fielding sub par candidates and pandering to extremism, welll dayyuummmm….we live in crazy times. Usually I am a ticket splitter. There is not one Republican I could actually vote for with a clear conscience in 2022. Not one. Well except for Chris Quinn. I could vote for him for State Rep if he was a choice. He’s a good dude.

So it’s up to you tomorrow who you vote for. But this “Guy” is a man who has run for lots of offices and just is quite simply put, out for himself. It’s not about us, it’s about him. And if you are a woman in Pennsylvania especially, he’s not your Guy and it is EXACTLY that simple.

Get out and vote tomorrow. Don’t make excuses, find the time. It’s too important.

Thanks for stopping by.

hey lower merion residents, is this your billboard future?

Hey Lower Merion Township/Penn Valley/Gladwyne is this your future?

The secret is out. Once again the billboard baron is on the march. A reminder of what they did in East Whiteland Township, Chester County:

Oh and these are the trees they weren’t allowed to take in East Whiteland because residents went to PennDOT:

What has recently been heard regarding East Whiteland is that Catalyst withdrew their application from Penndot not so long ago and something like the billboard site is being sold to yet another billboard company?

And here are more views of current uses of the West Conshohocken sign not really so far away from where they want them in Lower Merion:

Yeah so read what came out from one Lower Merion Township Commissioner, Josh Grimes. And people say the commissioner in Bryn Mawr, Scott Zelov is all for moving the billboards so it now becomes the problem of another area of the township? Pretty obnoxious if true, right? Especially given all of the support other commissioners have gladly provided to him all these years over billboards in Bryn Mawr? Really hope this isn’t true don’t you? I also wonder who he’s using for a lawyer this time? Because unless I am mistaken I believe the lawyer he used and East Whiteland is actually Radnor Commissioner Jack Larkin and I wonder how he would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and they wanted to put billboards in Radnor?

And what’s with the carrot and rabbit psychology by billboard company? Kind of like what they did in East Whiteland, right? Perhaps it’s being done this way in Lower Merion because the objective all along was to get the giant TV billboards on the Schuylkill Expressway? Maybe the billboards should go up at “Maple Hill”? That’s in Gladwyne, right?

Please visit Daily Mail to read article

So my opinion which I’m entitled to have as I hope lower Merion fights these billboards because just because the man can buy a house in Lower Merion it doesn’t mean Lower Merion should have to be the location for his billboards unless they’re going on his own front lawn, Anyway, here is what Lower Merion residents are now facing:

lmsd is front page over eminent domain…again

Lower Merion School District is front page news over Oakwell, next door to Stoneleigh in Villanova.

Why? Eminent domain….again

We shouldn’t be surprised because Lower Merion School District probably wields eminent domain or the threat of eminent domain more than any institution I’ve ever heard of. I could be wrong, I am sure there are some that do it more but in my worldview they are one of the worst offenders.

Lower Merion School District in my humble opinion has always abused eminent domain powers. It’s like they think they are LMSD and everybody should just bow down. 

In their vision quest with blinders they’ve gone after Stoneleigh, Ashbridge Park, etc. I think if they had bought this property with the intention of using the house as the administration building for the school district or something like that I wouldn’t care. But to so wantonly wish to destroy so much green space, so many trees, so much beauty for turf fields for middle schoolers is really kind of tone deaf in today’s world and it’s just wrong, pick a reason.

The house itself is super cool and historic. Things on the grounds are historic. There’s a teahouse with a beautiful giant old terra-cotta warrior who is just spectacular. It’s an amazing property, and once again it’s something that will be destroyed because of this school district if they aren’t stopped.

It doesn’t matter who the superintendent of the school district is, they just think if it’s something they want they can take it. Again, this is my opinion and I’m allowed to have it. I spent 30+ years living in Lower Merion Township.

Something else I find interesting is literally across the road is Delaware County and Radnor Township. How do they feel about this? How do their residents feel?

The whole Oakwell issue has been a slow burn that seems to have ignited. I don’t have a crystal ball on how it will play out, but I don’t think middle schoolers need turf fields and artificial turf as much as they need nature. Kids need to be able to be kids. A lot of kids today don’t want to be on organized sports teams. There are also field alternatives where they can share fields. But the problem with the school district is they don’t do anything nicely, sharing among them.

So once again we’re staring in the face of Lower Merion School District’s misplaced sense of entitlement.

The Philadelphia Inquirer did an amazing job on this article and I think everyone should read it.

Lower Merion schools’ condemnation of storied Main Line estate for ball fields encounters growing resistance

by Frank Kummer and Oona Goodin-Smith

Updated Nov. 3, 2022

John Bennett kindled the hearth on a recent day in what was once his 20,000-square-foot brick Tudor Revival manor replete with heavy wooden doors, wainscoted library, and Mercer floor tile.

The 72-year-old physician-turned-medical-device-entrepreneur recalled how he lost the home and its 10 acres off County Line Road in Villanova through eminent domain in 2018 to make way for middle-school athletic fields. The property, known as Oakwell, contains nearly 700 trees, some of which are thought to date back centuries.

“Everything happened so quickly that there was no way to save it,” Bennett said as he recounted stories about the house, including having a ghost exorcised.

The Lower Merion School District — one of the wealthiest in Pennsylvania — paid Bennett $9.9 million for the house and grounds in the condemnation with plans to clear-cut hundreds of the trees for athletic fields for newly opened Black Rock Middle School. Updated plans show it would keep the Oakwell mansion and a pool house, but a teahouse watched over by a terra cotta warrior, stone fencing, and a brick-walled garden complex all dating back at least 120 years would be razed. The $90 million middle school opened this year. The district plans to start breaking ground for the fields in June…..

What is eminent domain?

The taking of Oakwell marks one of several district attempts to build athletic fields for the new school. The board faced an outcry in 2018 when it tried to condemn part of the Stoneleigh estate next door, which is preserved under a conservation easement. Efforts to use the nearby Ashbridge Memorial Park were halted by a long-standing deed restriction. An attempt to use another nearby property also fizzled, while other lots were deemed unsuitable…..

Eminent domain — or the ability of the government to pay landowners to seize their private property for public use — is a power “inherent to the government,” said Matthew Hovey, a municipal attorney with the High Swartz law firm that represents clients in the area.

Typically, Hovey said, the power is used as a last resort as it can prove “politically unpopular” and may lead to costly and lengthy legal challenges.

~ Philadelphia Inquirer

#saveOakwell #stopLMSD

oh hello ethics inquiry and what does kyle scribner, international man of mystery think about this?

Now, I aim to be helpful, and I do not wish for ANYONE to not be able to read the screenshot (and so many don’t *get* all they have to do is *click* on the photo to see larger size), so allow me to give y’all the text:

From: danielle@danielle4pa.com
Date: November 1, 2022 at 5:28:15 PM EDT
To: RA-voterregstatcert@pa.govccelectionofficials@chesco.org
dryan@chesco.org
Cc: Marian Moskowitz <mmoskowitz@chesco.org>, Bill McGee <bill@pahdcc.com>, Liz Curtis Swain <[REDACTED]>,
Charlotte Valyo <chair@chescodems.org>, Carrie Gross <REDACTED>, Michelle Smith <[REDACTED]>, Alexandra Manning <[REDACTED]>,
Adam Bonin <adam@boninlaw.com>

Subject: Ethics InquiryGood Afternoon, Attached you will find a copy
of an ad that I received at my home address [REDACTED] on Saturday, October 22nd. If you follow the QR code on the ad, it leads to the
website of Kyle Scribner, who is the Republican candidate opposing
me in this election. I have searched the Department of State
website and I cannot find a report filed by the Uwchlan
Township Republican Committee or a committee on file in
that name one the DOS website. I also reviewed
Mr. Scribner’s finance report and cannot find an
In-Kind Donation disclosure on his finance report and
he has not filed any 24 hr. reports
that I can see. 

Today I stopped in to Chester County Voter Services and requested
to see Uwchlan Township Republican Committee’s report and no such committee exists. However, Area 25 Republican Committee, which
is also a name that this organization goes by was available to review.
It does appear that there are 3 expenditures that could align
with this mailing and the date that they mailer was received. 

The person submitting the report on behalf of the Area 25 Republican Committee, 605 Portland Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335 is Douglas Simpson. 

I do understand that mistakes may be made in the process of filing
campaign finance reports. However, transparency and accountability
to the voters in disclosure of contributions is the reason that our
campaign finance laws exists.

There are a few concerns here: 

The advertising disclosure is required in order to make it easy for a
voter to trace the source of material that they are being sent and
who paid for them. The disclosure on this mail piece does not align
with any registered committee at the state or local jurisdiction.
This could constitute mail fraud. 

If this committee is playing at a state level, it is required to report to
the Department of State and has failed to register or report their
expenditures to the state. 

If Area 25 Republican Committee is the true source of this mail, doing business as the Uwchlan Twp. Republican Committee, they are violating campaign finance laws. 

Friends or Kyle Scribner has also failed to disclose this
significant in-kind contribution on their campaign
finance report. 

Additionally, one of the people who was reported on
the Area 25 Republican Committee finance report to have
personally paid for this mailer against me is Michael Taylor.
Michael Taylor ran against me in 2020 and in
2021 Michael Taylor served as the solicitor for
the Chester County Republican Committee.

Mr. Taylor presided on behalf of Margie Miller over a dispute
regarding the Downingtown Area School District – Region 4 election,
where the Democratic incumbent school board member lost the
election by 4 votes, with 16 votes not being counted for various
reasons. I spent several days observing this process and
Michael Taylor’s close access and involvement in the process
of determining which votes would and would not be counted.
It concerns me that he may have this access in the process of
counting vote by mail ballots in my race or any other race this year.
He has gone on the record on social media saying that
they only needed to get vote by mail ballots thrown
out in that election to win. How can I be assured that he
will not be involved in the process of determining the
outcome of my race on election day? 

Transparency with voters is critical to an election process
that has integrity. 

I have been advised to report to Chester County Voter Services,
the PA Department of State and the Chester County District Attorney,
all who have jurisdiction over issues such as this.
Can you advise me on how to proceed? 

Danielle Friel Otten
~ Danielle friel Otten November 1, 2022 at 5:28:15 PM EDT

Sooooo….this is done on the behalf or at the behest of Kyle Scribner, International Man of Mystery? You know, I did not even know his actual name until like a week ago. You never hear him speak on his own.

Well I don’t have much more to say on the topic except for one wee thing. What do Uwchlan Republican Committee, AKA “Area 25” share with the Republican Committee of Chester County? Give up? The Chair of Uwchlan Republican Committee is the Vice Chair of the Republican Committee of Chester County. Isn’t that like SO cozy? I thought so. I like coincidinks, don’t you?

Oh and did I mention that the Republican Committee of Chester County blocks this blog on Facebook? Yup, they block, this blog’s Facebook page although this blog has never commented on their Facebook page. It’s very amusing, isn’t it?

Also amusing? The premise for the attack ad was how Danielle voted. But we all know if we use our brains, boys and girls, that how and why elected officials vote is not always a simplistic YES or NO. And if the elected official is someone like Danielle, if you ask nicely, she will tell you how and why she voted a particular way on a particular bill. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO CHECK THAT VERY THING OUT.

Anyway, Danielle Friel Otten is a friend. She was a friend before she ran for office. I am not in her district, but I believe in right and wrong. And I think unless Kyle Scribner has perpetual laryngitis he has some mansplaining to do, doesn’t he?

Whether or not anyone does a darn thing remains to be seen, but this is definitely interesting.

TTFN.

P.S. a helpful critic wrote in to remind me that I had written a post with Kyle Scribner in it before, so I had to post a correction. Actually, no, there is not need for mea culpas because I literally did not know who was running against Danielle as in the name of her opposition. But he is in a post about East Brandywine from October, 2020. Also truthfully? Once I heard who was running against Danielle I realized I had forgotten he existed in politician land. But since “Teresa” the helpful critic wrote in, I thought I would share the old post in case anyone wants to see those old East Brandywine meetings. But “Teresa” sadly said she couldn’t take me seriously because I said “mansplaining” and that it was a “gender thing.” I am horribly crushed, as everyone know I live for people named Teresa or Theresa to take me seriously….Go watch the Phillies people and quit writing to me LOL.

now a word about election deniers

When Trump won his presidential election I thought it sucked. Can’t stand him, never could. It had nothing to do with him being a politician. I thought he was a crook and a schemer and kind of nuts. Truthfully, him being President only confirmed my original feelings.

Did I love Hilary Clinton? Honestly, no. But him? Trump? He was the exact reason as a woman I knew as soon as he became the nominee, the Republican Party was no longer the party of Lincoln, but it was also no longer the party who cared about regular, everyday people period.

Are all Republicans bad? Nope. But good Republicans are hiding. They don’t want to be part of this nonsense. And it’s a shame they hide, because our country is a democracy based on a two party system. And our democracy is at risk.

Now back to election deniers.

When Trump won, I didn’t run around with my friends screaming the election was rigged. He won by being the snake oil salesman, fanatical cheating tent revival charlatan that he has always been. But the thing about Trump is there is always something lacking about the Wizard behind the curtain, so when he ran again, he lost.

When he lost, along came the election deniers to say it was wrong. Then came the January 6th assault on democracy and our nation’s capital. And there has been every day since then that has been an assault on democracy and what it is to actually BE an American, what it MEANS to be an American.

No one stole the 2020 election. Donald Trump lost the election all by himself. And obviously enough Republicans felt he was a corrupt Boss Tweed S.O.B. for that to happen.

I am tired of the barrage of misinformation from the sea of unqualified, nasty, potentially corrupt, apply your own pejorative term candidates the Republican Party is trying to shove down our throats. Allow me to point out a few: Oz, Mastriano, Napoleon “#whereisGuy” Ciarrocchi, Sarah Marvin, Gail Newman, Jessica Florio, Heidi VanderWaal, and the virtually mute Kyle Scribner. These people are not running for any of us. Truthfully I am not sure why any of them are running at all, and they are basically one step removed from digging up corpses out of the cemetery to run as Republican candidates. And all of these candidates cater to extremist groups and in some cases belong to them.

The Republican Party locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally have latched onto election deniers and election denying simply because that is all they have got. There is nothing based in reality, it’s all airbrushed for lock stepping sound bytes. And Trump still controls them, and he does nothing for the greater good, it’s all about doing things that benefit him, and that is the way it has always been. Trump is a corrupt malignant narcissist.

So if you out there want to believe the scams they are selling, that is on you. And I pity you all because if people like this prevail, we all lose. It’s that simple.

Truthfully I wish real Republicans would come out of the shadows. And send the deniers packing.

Also a friendly reminder that this is my opinion and until they repeal the first amendment I am allowed to have it. You don’t have to agree with me, and I have the right to choose not to engage including with threats and harassment.