for the love of goats

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One of the New Kids on The Block at Yellow Springs Farm

Ha! That title caught your eye, eh gentle readers?

Good! I love my Yellow Springs Farm goats! Well they aren’t really my goats but I love them. And every year, this time of year Yellow Springs Farm has open farm weekends :

Sat, 05/18/2019 – 10:00am to 4:00pm
Sun, 05/19/2019 – 10:00am to 4:00pm
Yellow Springs Farm Native Plant Nursery and Artisanal Goat Cheese Dairy, will be having our Springs Native Plant sale over 2 weekends in May. Originally a dairy farm 150 years ago,the farm and nursery consists of an historic farmhouse, dairy barn, a springhouse with pond on 8 acres of land. We grow native plants, design and install native landscapes and produce over 25 varieties of fresh and aged artisanal goat cheeses. So come on out and take a picture on our Open Farm day weekends(May 11th/12th and May 18th and 19th) with our Nubian Goats, sample cheeses, and see our blooming wildflowers! Plant experts will be available to help you select plants for your garden or landscape plan.

It’s a little slice of heaven. The goats are total characters. The plants are awesome – I have planted three gardens with them now. And the goat cheese and yogurt? Award winning for a very good reason – totally delicious.

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People visiting with the goats this weekend.

I have known the farmers Catherine and Al Renzi for years.  I remember back to circa 2001 when they decided to start their farm and when they bought it.

Over the years a well-deserved following has developed and the event has grown…as in the number of visitors increases every year. And this is where I am going to open my big mouth because it is a distinct privilege being able to visit Catherine and Al’s farm. And no, I don’t work or speak for the farm, I am speaking my mind based upon what I saw out of guests this year that I thought wasn’t the best behavior ever considering these farmers open up their farm (where they live and work) to all of us. 

Let’s start with parking.  They know their farm and their road so they tell you quite politely where to park.  That doesn’t mean the road and it doesn’t mean parking in roped off areas of the farm or blocking people in or even taking what amount to multiple spaces. Be polite, you are a guest.

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This is a farm. Not a dog park.

Pets.  This weekend people bought their dogs. Yes their dogs like it was a dog park.  It’s not a dog park, it’s a working farm with valuable animals including the farm’s own dog.  It is simply not fair to presume YOUR pets are welcome.  Keep them at home. Please. That’s like bringing uninvited guests to a sit-down dinner party.

The goats.  The goats are lovely creatures who are independent minded.  So listen to the goat herders. They know their charges.  And please do not feed their charges.  They have plenty of their own food.  Yes, they look at you with those big brown eyes but resist LOL, resist!

The plants. The plants are awesome!  Around 200 varieties of native plants. From all over the Mid Atlantic and Northeast.  I bought my first witch hazels ever here years ago.  On Saturday I had an impulse buy: one of my favorite kinds of oak trees, a Chestnut Oak. It was here at Yellow Springs that I discovered one of my favorite native perennials called Indian Pinks. Also flame azaleas.

And the cheeses? Mmmmmm mmmmm mmmm.  I recommend the goat cheese with mushrooms that was recommended to me this weekend. I can’t remember it’s proper name but it was delicious.

Yellow Springs Farm is located at:

1165 Yellow Springs Rd  
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania 19425
 (610) 827-2014
 www.yellowspringsfarm.com

Enjoy the goat photos and thanks for stopping by.

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dear east whiteland and east goshen: we need a little “sunshine” about shared intersection improvements at king and 352.

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For a while (as in at least a couple of years by my estimation), we’ve been hearing about the potential of intersection inprovements at Route 352/N. Chester Rd/Sproul Rd and King Road.

Mentions of it have shown up in reports in East Goshen and East Whiteland. It even showed up in an East Goshen newsletter in 2017.

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But what we as residents of these two townships have been hearing lately is disturbing.  A traffic circle.  Personally I hate them.  That is not why I find it disturbing, however.  What disturbs me is to build/construct a traffic circle land has to be taken. Taking as in eminent domain.  So who is on board exactly as a resident with this?

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How many residents in these municipalities, would lose land and/or their homes? I certainly wouldn’t be o.k. with that.  Would you? So if the traffic circle happened, potentially would Lockwood Chase development residents be o.k. with the historic marker sign for Battle of the Clouds being moved as well as whose homes might have to go by byes?

And what of my friend Tim and others who might be looking at some kind on GINORMOUS retaining wall?

There is not much information the public can look at.  I will be honest and tell you I have put in Right to Know Requests for East Whiteland and East Goshen about this project, and I encourage others to do so as well…especially if you live closer to ground zero for proposed intersection improvements. I fully expect them to deny a lot of what I asked for, but I am asking anyway.  If they say they won’t on the basis of real estate, that to me would be an indicator as to the truth of plans that include eminent domain.

I do not have a problem with improving the intersection, I have a problem with circles AT THIS LOCATION as I think they are a nightmare and MOST IMPORTANTLY BECAUSE I AM 100% AGAINST EMINENT DOMAIN.

March 2018 EGT

A simple solution of course would be signal improvements which would allow each of the four sides to go individually. (I do not know if I am articulating that properly.)

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I am not a traffic engineer but sometimes simple solutions are the best.

Of course I must also mention that, d’oh, the increasing problems at this intersection has to do with increasing traffic….and a lot of that has to do with ALL of the development out here.

Increased development = increased density = increased traffic = increased burdens on infrastructure.

I think we as residents need to be granted more transparancy as this process progresses.  I do not think we should settle for “don’t worry, we’re working on it.”

Please watch an excerpt of the April 10, 2019 East Whiteland meeting. The excerpt I captured contains public comment on this topic.  I think if you live in East Whiteland or East Goshen or travel through this intersection from other neighboring munipalities on a regular basis you should definintely watch my friend Tim’s presentation.

Residents of East Whiteland and East Goshen together we are stronger.

#NoCircle #NoEminentDomain

what is really going on in caln township with lloyd farm?

Many thanks to Abandoned Steve Explorations for the use of his gorgeous photo of Lloyd Farm in Caln Township.

Abandoned Steve Explorations took the glorious photo I am opening this post with. I am positively obsessed with the cool structures he covers. He was nice enough to lend us the use of this photo it’s part of an upcoming project. You can find him on Facebook , his website, and YouTube.

Lloyd Farm is haunting me. Part of a Penn Land Grant, dating its origins to the 1600s.

(See this history by Edward C. Lendrat)

Then there is the 18th Century farmhouse with an equally historic 1901 addition.

What am I talking about? 1757 was when the farmhouse was originally built and 1910 when the Lloyd family commissioned Gilbert McIlvaine the Philadelphia architect to build a “modern” addition that paid homage and melded with the original farmhouse. Mr. McIlvaine maintained a home in Downingtown for many years and was also active in the Boy Scouts founding several troops I am told in Chester County.

Back to Lloyd Farm…except the people who have called it home or who had something to do with it are important to the very fabric of Lloyd Farm’s history.

Yesterday I learned surprising news when a copy of an old historic preservation application was unearthed from the early 1980s – possibly 1982. Yes – seriously – Lloyd Farm Application for Historic Designation: PA Historic Resource Form Circa 1982.

From this form we learned quite a few things including that Lloyd Farm around or before the Civil War was a freaking stop on the Underground Railroad!

It’s just crazy and you have to ask what in the heck is going on in Caln Township? How long have these commissioners known the history of Lloyd Farm and why didn’t that historic designation proceed? Why wasn’t it pursued for a national historical status?

Did I mention the demolition permit? There is one. And what is with the date mismatch in that letter thing?

I don’t live in Caln. I do know amusingly enough like Lower Merion Township , it’s a First Class Township. But who runs the Township? Because it surely doesn’t seem like the elected commissioners does it? I know in Lower Merion Township years ago because I was part of it when the residents rose up after having had enough over the threat of eminent domain for private gain in Ardmore that we flipped half of the board of commissioners in one election.

And Caln residents are upset about this.

Really upset.

I want to know why the developer wants to tear down the house don’t you? Is this going to be like the death of Addison Mizner’s La Ronda in Bryn Mawr, PA? A case where a magnificent home was torn down for salvage just because someone could?

Caln resident submitted photo.

Look at the historic comparables in Chester County that are actually getting saved and restored: West Whiteland Inn, Exton. Benjamin Jacobs House, Exton. Fox Chase Inn and Barn, Exton. Linden Hall, Malvern (even if I don’t like some of what is being done it’s being saved, finally.) Loch Aerie, Malvern. The Jenny Lind House, Yellow Springs Village.

Also to be considered? Several Toll Brothers projects including in Chester County where similar vintage farmhouses and/or barns have been or are being saved. Now it is no secret how I feel about Toll Brothers developments, but if even they can preserve historic structures on properties they are developing why couldn’t the developer for Lloyd Farm do that? Or why couldn’t they contemplate something like selling off the farmhouse with a small plot of land around it to someone who might want to preserve it and live in it or something like that?

Caln resident submitted photo.

I don’t have the answers and every day I have more and more questions. This is one of those situations I just don’t get it. I just don’t get what is going on here. I don’t understand why this property isn’t more valued for the centuries of history involved here?

Our history should not always belong to the wrecking ball.

That’s all I have got.

#SaveLloydFarm #ThisPlaceMatters

Caln resident submitted photo.

reaffirming the gratitude jar

I have mentioned for years now that I have a gratitude jar. I had read about it a few years ago and it was just a simple thing to make us as human beings focus on the positives and the good things in our lives.

Sometimes when a bunch of negative things happen all in a row, it’s hard to stay positive. I find it hard to stay positive because I do not think by my very nature I am naturally positive. I have to work at it.

I think positive for me has been learned behavior, and it’s something I have to relearn and reaffirm again and again. Hopefully, someday it will be second nature to me.

A quote I found on another blogger’s post about gratitude jars is something I would like to share:

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu

I think that’s a pretty powerful statement. In the instant gratification social media-centric world in which we live, this quote which is pretty damn old is still current, isn’t it?

Lao Tzu was known as the father of Taoism. Mind you, many modern writers feel this is NOT a real person at all, but a legendary figure whose writings were actually created by many different people. And yes I got off on a tangent, so back to the gratitude jar.

Having a gratitude jar is a simple reminder that life is not all bad or all difficult. Having a gratitude jar helps you focus on the things that are wonderful in your life. Even every day little things are wonderful.

Having a gratitude jar helps us reaffirm the many positives in our life. Life can be hard. I am not trying to be Pollyanna and say everything is always wonderful with fuzzy caterpillars that turn into magical butterflies. I am more of a realist than that.

I just think we live in a completely crazy world at times and a simple thing like a gratitude jar is a great way to keep us honest and keep us thankful and keep us grateful.

Here is an old post from girls on the run on how to make a gratitude jar with your children (click on the hyperlink).

Some people empty their gratitude jars on an annual basis and re-read everything at the end of the old year or beginning of the new year. I don’t do that. I intermittently check out what I have written in the past and add a new note to the jar. I don’t add notes every day. Sometimes I go quite a while without adding anything. This morning I added two notes.

I will close with something I learned as a small child while attending Saint Peter’s School in Philadelphia. We used to learn songs seasonally for lack of a better description, and in the fall around harvest time or what would’ve been harvest time since we were at school in the middle of Society Hill, we used to sing a song called Simple Gifts. It was a Shaker song / hymn written by a Shaker Elder named Joseph Brackett in the 1840s.

Even Yo Yo Ma has recorded a version of it. It’s a classic in my opinion and it’s very beautiful. And I am not a particularly religious person although I have my faith.

The song was largely unknown outside of Shaker communities until the composer Aaron Copland used its melody for the score of Martha Graham’s ballet Appalachian Spring (Shakers once worshipped on Holy Mount, in the Appalachians), first performed in 1944.

Mr. Copland also reportedly used “Simple Gifts” a second time in his first set of “Old American Songs for voice and piano”, which was later orchestrated

Here are the lyrics and thanks for stopping by:

Simple Gifts Lyrics

Joseph Brackett (1797 – 1882)

(Shaker dancing song)

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

  ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,

  To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

  Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

on hired muscle and sinkholes

On Sunday shortly before dinner time my cell phone exploded with text messages and calls. News of another sinkhole opening on Lisa Drive in West Whiteland.

Now a sinkhole opening up after heavy rains in our part of the county is not so unusual is it? Is it not true we are rife with sinkholes because of the geological formations under the ground? All that stuff about schist, karst, and what some describe as a veritable limestone fault line?

See this from water-research.net:

Or check out this map from the geology section of the Chester County website:

So why does it always seem like the pipeline companies don’t care about the actual geology of our area where they are shoving their pipes?

In addition to the geological life of it all underground (which is why there were so many mine and quarries, etc right?) we are an area with lots of old farm pits and whatever a lot of developers have buried at old construction sites of years past? Today most construction debris gets hauled away properly but in times past? Was a lot of debris removed or buried?

Anyway my point is in my opinion all these things add up to giving a lot of people the ability to have sinkholes on their property. My other point is neighbors and residents seem to be more aware and fearful of sinkholes, yet these pipeline companies seem to just move blithely forward don’t they?

So we have another sinkhole and I’m told it’s a property that Sunoco bought on Lisa Drive. The pipeline that was exposed was the old pipeline Mariner One. What makes all the difference in the world now in my opinion is how Sunoco proceeds and thus far is it anything that business as usual? Or the continuing saga of Chester county residents versus Sunoco?

Why do I say that? Hired muscle, thugs, security take your pick of describing people who reportedly called themselves constables. Does that mean they want people to think they are law-enforcement?

WFMZ reports:

Chester County DA: Sunoco hired private security to protect pipelines

CHESTER CO., Pa. – Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced that after investigating a new sinkhole that opened up last weekend in Chester County, his office discovered that Sunoco hired constables from outside of Chester County to act as a private security force around the pipelines…According to a release from Hogan’s office, when the sinkhole appeared, citizens reported it and a plain clothes Chester County Detective approached the scene. When he arrived, an armed man flashed a badge and identified himself as a constable from Northumberland County.

When asked by the detective, the man admitted he had been hired as security by Sunoco, according to the release.

Is it just me or is that like welcome to Crazy Town?

I have had friends tell me of being in their own back yards and having the pipeline workers photograph and video them going about their everyday life. So they are allowed to do that yet if residents do the same they are criticized?

I have to ask if municipalities getting ready for other pipelines like Adelphia Gateway to come in are paying attention? Do they think realistically it’s going to be any different than what the residents dealing with Sunoco/Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer Partners experience every day?

Are we as residents of a county that played a huge part in the birthplace of our American freedoms supposed to just live in a factory town paid police state? Every time I hear one of the stories about the pipelines it reminds me of the tales of factory towns and factories and mining towns and mines where literally some company owned everything: where you worked, where your laid your head to rest each night, where you went to do your shopping and so on.

And when it comes to these pipelines what are we getting out of the deal? These are transport lines correct? So they are taking stuff taken out of the soil in other parts of the state and shipping them out of the area and overseas, correct? And for this privilege of living with this in our area what do we get? Oh yeah, things like experiencing eminent domain, declining property values, valid safety concerns, polluted drinking Wells, sinkholes, being harassed, and more?

Does Governor Tom Wolf give a damn? Does Attorney General Josh Shapiro give a damn? Do most local mucicipal reprsentatives in each township and counties give a damn?

Before I lived in Chester County, and even when I first moved to Chester County I thought people were being overly dramatic with regard to the pipelines. Because that’s what the PR spin doctors wanted me to think.

As I started to look beyond the spin and began to call some of the affected residents friends, and realized I already knew some of the affected residents, my perspective began to right itself towards the truth.

First I realized that if life had been different, we (as in my family) might be living in Marydell in West Chester with a pipeline now in the back yard. Then when I realized where we currently live is 1030 feet and 1060 feet from exisitng pipelines and where Adelphia Gateway wants to repurpose an old line like Sunoco-lite I really knew this was actually scary stuff.

And that knowledge has made realize we can’t really trust these pipeline companies can we? And that lack of trust extends to elected officials who do nothing to support the residents who elected them, doesn’t it?

As residents we are heavily scrutinized, perhaps even unfairly scrutinized because we are tired of the pipeline status quo. Is it just me or does it seem we as residents are held to a more stringent set of rules or a higher standard for wishing to protect where we call home and are raising our families?

That is why I am glad Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan is taking a hard look at what is going on. Maybe more officials will follow suit. One can only hope.

In the meantime, like thousands of others I live every day with grave concerns as to what the pipeline companies are doing. After all, we aren’t revolutionaries we just live here.

#DefendWhatYouLove (responsibly, please)

Here is more media coverage:

WFMZ 69 News: Sinkhole exposes Mariner east pipeline in Chester County

Philly.com: Another sinkhole appears in Chester County neighborhood, exposing Mariner East pipeline by Katie Park

Philly.com: Mariner East 2 worker’s ‘obscene’ comments draw ire of Chesco DA by Vinny Vella, Updated: January 16, 2019

Daily Times: The Heron’s Nest: Sinking feeling for Mariner East By Phil Heron pheron@delcotimes.com @philheron on Twitter

Dragonpipe Diary

StateImpact Pennsylvania

StateImpact: JANUARY 21, 2019 | 07:34 AM UPDATED: JANUARY 22, 2019 | 10:12 AM

Sunoco to ‘purge’ part of Mariner East 1 after new sinkhole opens at Lisa Drive by Jon Hurdle

east whiteland do you know your own history?

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It took years, but I finally located a copy of A Brief History of East Whiteland Township by J. Gilmore Wilson from 1965.  It is a slender volume, but it captures the history of a Chester County municipality that has no town center and to most is a place you drive through.

But East Whiteland has historical significance and as I do not wish to damage the spine of my book, I converted photos I took with my phone into a PDF so people can see it.

East Whiteland is one of those places thanks in part to organizations like the Chester County Planning Commission that people think they can just keep dumping development in.  Someone said to me again last week how King of Prussia was once upon a time farms and open space.  They then compare East and West Whiteland to King of Prussia, as in these municipalities are getting WAY over-developed.

I have said it before that I object to the Chester County Planning Commission being head up by a carpetbagger from Lower Merion Township. He doesn’t live in our county, how much of the history of places like East Whiteland does he know?

East Whiteland is a funny place because as much as it use to be farms, it was also equal parts mines and quarries and industrial.  That of course is why there are some astoundingly toxic areas past and present in East Whiteland Township.

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East Whiteland is home to random historical facts and locations.  For example: Dead Horse Hollow. Yes, a lovely name and according to J. Wilson Gilmore was at one time located south of the then PA Railroad, a quarter-mile east of the township line. As the railroad was being built all dead horses and mules were…well…dumped there. Can you imagine how THAT place stunk to high heaven in warmer weather? Gross.

Or how about Cabbagetown? It was a small community on Summit Road. And Barker’s Corners? That was a little village at the intersection of Swedesford and Church Roads.

Or how about the giant Penn Oak that was said to pre-date colonial settlers on Flat Road? Does it still stand somewhere, or was it cut down or did it die years ago?

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What about the Native Americans who once lived and roamed what is East and West Whiteland? Like the Okohocking which were for a while given a 500 acre reservation somewhere in Willistown Township? Do the residents of East Whiteland know the Indians referred to the area as “The Dark Valley” because of all of the woods? Of course today they would not recognize the area given all of the development.

How many know East and West Whiteland used to be one Whiteland? And they split into two areas circa 1764-1765?

Around 1777 do people realize that George Washington and his army after the Battle of the Brandywine marched into the area and encamped near Malin Hall? To quote Mr. Wilson:

With his troops deployed along this ridge from Three Tuns at the junction of King Road and Goshen Road, and west approximately three miles as far as Ship Road, he was in an excellent position with an army of approximately 11,000 men. During his march up the Valley, quite a number of local farmers joined his ranks.

And residents see reference to the Battle of the Clouds in East Whiteland but do they realize this was a battle which didn’t actually ever happen? Why? Inclement weather, apparently. Mr. Wilson states had the battle occurred, “the British army might well have been routed.”

The history goes on and meanders from schools to Duffy’s Cut to all of the inns and taverns and residents and industry and quarries and farms and early schools and churches.  Did you know the Catholic Church tried several times to build a church in various locations in East Whiteland but were never able to complete the task?  Mr. Wilson also talks about Ebenezer AME whose ruin barely stands today on Bacton Hill Road with its abandoned graveyard with a mobile home park to one side, and new development approved last year to spring up and around it.

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This book is fascinating and this is why I wish more local historical societies had really good websites with archives available online. I can tell you East Whiteland does not. Bits of local history continue to get lost and it would behoove the township to give the historical society more resources or help them build a proper website and archives.

Things in this book Mr. Wilson refers to are a mystery to me.  What were the Speakman apartments, for example?  And the Chester County Academy? Where is it?

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And what of a crazy cool log barn ?

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Or a crazy cool log cabin? “South of Conestoga Road, on Bacton Hill”?

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Or what was known as the “Black Maria” ?

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Now Elinor Janney Detterline also wrote a brief history of East Whiteland for the Tredyffrin Easttown Hostorical Society around 1970. It is available in the online archives they have for the public to use.

But Mr Wilson’s book? To me finding a copy was like finding the holy grail.  It’s fascinating.  And I wish more would take an interest in the history of East Whiteland before everything of historical value disappears. Because if this township doesn’t start to have more interest that extends past people like me and members of the historical society, then what?

Until I got this book I had no clue that they totally celebrated East Whiteland’s Bicentennial.  And then I found related to that, this super cool thing from a page about Frazer on Facebook:

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And East Whiteland had a tagline/slogan before “The Heart of the Great Valley” and it was “Land of Limekiln, Plow and Millwheel”.

Enjoy the book, I think I got it all back into order before I converted to a PDF.  East Whiteland has history.  And it’s not just the modern-day history of groaning under development.

Thanks for stopping by.

on the eve of 2019

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As 2018 draws to a close, what another long, strange trip it’s been.  As is the case with every year, there were beginnings and endings.

This was a year where once again I found mankind in general a wee bit disappointing.  Especially with the political vitriol. From coast to coast, print media to Internet to social media to television, it began always with the swirling inanity / insanity coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

One New Year’s Resolution? Just because he tweets, it doesn’t mean I have to read or listen. And for those of you who don’t like my opinion over the dictatorship in place, well cheerfully and with respect, you can stuff it.  I didn’t vote for him, I have never liked him, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing meets charlatan and circus big top ringmaster.

I was a Republican for most of my life, perhaps when sanity returns I will be once again. Truthfully I think both political parties are screwy right now.  I think Republicans and Democrats need to get back to the business of doing what is best for the entire plurality, not just selective factions.  Our government was founded by the people for and of the people and it feels like a dictatorship meets turf wars.  The anger that fuels this country is sick and twisted, and building a wall ain’t gonna change a thing.

In 2019, you don’t have to like my opinion or anyone else’s but we should be going back to the Founding Father’s and our rights to our own opinions. And respect for that lovely thing called the First Amendment. As a SLAPP suit survivor I know of what I speak, don’t I?

Our rights to expression and freedom of speech and the press are neither selective nor subjective. They are freaking inalienable and if you don’t like what someone says, it’s a big world with lots of opinions. And the right to have opinions. So if you don’t like something, move along, nothing to see here. (And that includes this blog.)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is why I support groups in this country like the Institute for Justice.

And can we talk eminent domain? Eminent domain is a vile thing. 2018 saw the rally to Save Stoneleigh (Natural Lands/Villanova/Former Haas Estate/Amazing) from eminent domain (and I will note I had the first big regional editorial on the topic May 18, 2018 in the Philadelphia Inquirer.)

Well, we saved Stoneleigh and on Christmas Eve Eve we learned that Scrooge, I mean the Lower Merion School District, has started yet another eminent domain attempt. Is this the third time is the charm for Copeland and Lower Merion School Board and Lower Merion School District? 2017 was the attempt to go after Ashbridge Park, then Stoneleigh, now two other nearby properties that Villanova University was poised to purchase?

newyears0What remains to be seen is if Villanova will take this lying down.  I hope they don’t. I hope Villanova University files suit against Lower Merion School District.  Some may find my opinion surprising, but I think Villanova is a preferable neighbor when compared to Lower Merion School District and they aren’t wasting taxpayer money like the school district does every time they go on their vision quests of arrogance and greed.

Also 2018 saw all sorts of craziness when it comes to the Mariner II pipeline.  Sinkholes, ruined wells, lessened property values, and raping and pillaging of Chester County.  And a Governor of Pennsylvania who doesn’t give a crap but was the lesser of two evils in the twisted mid-term elections of 2018.

Finally, right before Christmas the residents of Chester County received a gift from District Attorney Tom Hogan when he filed criminal charges against Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners/Sunoco Logistics. What will happen now that DA Hogan has done this is of course anyone’s guess, but for 2019 I hope justice prevails.  What has happened since this news broke is residents of Berks County pressuring THEIR District Attorney to follow Tom Hogan’s lead.  Hopefully Berks, Bucks, and Delaware Counties ALL follow Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan’s lead, right?

thisAdelphia Gateway are you listening? If one pipeline is on our District Attorney’s radar, doesn’t it make sense he will keep tabs on all of them?

And speaking of pipelines, there is this thing (see screen shots on left) which floated by my Twitter feed.  So Mariner II/Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer Partners are you ok with this? A homeowner essentially being threatened?

How is this O.K.? You bar people from parts of their own properties, and how is this O.K.???

How is any of this O.K.?  We as residents are not benefitting here. What is raped from the land is shipped away from here to places like Scotland to make plastics, so what do we gain? And doesn’t that in fact make the eminent domain takings of land for pipelines more like eminent domain for private gain? And don’t forget about the bullsh*t fake public utility status and how is it politicians all looked the other way for that again?

not ok2018 with the march of the Frankenpipe has done what exactly to benefit us? The workers aren’t even local guys – you can see it when you drive by job sites.  And with all the work stoppages due to issues and fines, how is this pipeline safe? How are any of the pipelines safe?

As we move forward into 2019, we also need to look at Chester County municipalities and development fever.  East Goshen, East Whiteland, West Whiteland, West Goshen, Tredyffrin, Easttown, and finally Caln Township come to mind immediately.  So hey now? Elected officials? Who is it exactly you are representing again? From ginormous digital billboards to overly dense developments residents do not want (and destruction of open space and historic structures), who are all of you collectively working for? Us? Doesn’t feel that way.

newyearsdwarvesAnd elected officials in Harrisburg? Do we need an act of God before you update the Municipalities Planning Code to offer Pennsylvania residents some protections, land and historic preservation?

Personally, it has been an interesting year.  Lots of wonderful gardening and spending time with friends and family.  It has been a year of reconnecting with friends I had not seen in a long time, and also closing the door on some other relationships.  Cleaning house and recognizing who your friends are is not a bad thing.  Introspection is good, and we do not need to be “friends” with everyone on social media.

I have rediscovered how local politics can be a blood sport out here, but can we say one of the roots of the cause can be when folks deal out good old-fashioned shady assed behavior?

I’m no fool, and I have my battle scars from just a few years living here. I’m outspoken and I’m a blogger. I don’t think you’re supposed to be either in the minds of some people. You are simply supposed to be some form of a Stepford wife. Or a bobble head.

d4a9539112f1d85988f92f91aac1ed48--christmas-images-christmas-holidaysI have done my time over the years of being the subject of gossip for being outspoken and a blogger and this whole theory of knives and knitting needles. And I have been the target of behavior that is so incredibly malicious and hurtful directed at me mostly because I was different from the way they were, or even because I just did not like them.

I think adult social bullying is the worst, and I truly think that a lot of people don’t even realize they are doing it.  Suffice it to say, human beings can be so incredibly cruel to one and other.

I think 2018 will go down in the history books as a year where everyone, everywhere was totally mean to each other. As I have said before, I do believe a lot of this has to do with the stage that has been set in Washington DC. People are so angry from coast to coast, and here in our little corner of the world you see it as well.

fc6e8139e3044880e3a378d28541fe042018 will end with two people still missing whom we have come to know through the people who care about them.   Geoff Partridge of Villanova and Anna Maciejewska Gould of Malvern. Today is #MissingMonday and I hope these people are located.

2018 saw a year where our family lost a beloved pet.  As a matter of fact many dear to me lost pets this year.  The unconditional love and joy they bring us are like nothing else in this world. Remember the pets who have gone over the Rainbow Bridge with a prayer to St. Francis and support local animal rescues.

Although 2018 has been a tumultuous year from coast to coast and locally, it is not without bright spots.  People are good even in the midst of bad.  There are those who offer hope and bright spots when others have disappointed you.  God may close doors, but always look for that window he left open.

573ec8d3396cb6b83fdbbd77c649bad0--ww-posters-ww-propaganda-postersI will tell you honestly I am not a big New Year’s Eve party person and much like St. Patrick’s Day, I would rather be at home.

When I was younger people would look at me funny when I said this. I suffered through many a New Year’s Eve at loud parties that did not suit me.

One of my favorite New Year’s Eves was in the late 1980s.  I was taken to a funny as hell off-Broadway show called Lesbian Vampires of Sodom. Bizarre title and it was (in my opinion) one of the great NYC theater experiences.  I laughed from beginning to end. Pure camp, very funny.

The show was at a small and legendary playhouse in the East Village – the Provincetown Playhouse on McDougal Street. Sadly, after being ruled eligible for preservation status, NYU essentially demolished one the most historic theatres in New York City a while back. The history didn’t matter there, either.

This New Year’s Eve long ago was a New Year’s Eve where some of my girlfriends were seriously pissed at me for leaving the fold and NOT going to a New Year’s Eve party with them.  It was an eventful evening for a few of them that New Year’s Eve. I remember one of my friends met her future husband at the party I blew off for off-Broadway and the East Village of NYC.

But seriously? Usually I am fast asleep waaaayyyy before the ball drops in New York City’s Time’s Square. And at least in my 50s it’s quite alright to stay at home. Even from the Mummers Parade.

I have rambled far long than I intended to today.  My humble apologies, but sometimes the words come pouring out.  I will close by wishing all of you have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve.  Cheers to 2019, and farewell to 2018.

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