This was left for a new resident of an East Whiteland Township neighborhood known as Spring Mill Farms in Malvern. I don’t know who the recipient of this horrible poison pen letter is, I don’t know who wrote the poison pen letter. But the bottom line is simple: this is freaking unacceptable.
Spring Mill Farms is one of the many developments in East Whiteland Township and I think dates back to the late 1960s. Really nice part of the Malvern area. But this development does NOT have a homeowners association or HOA. It’s just a few neighborhoods. It does have a civic association, but that is not the same as an HOA.
When I first moved to Chester County it kind of drove me crazy that people didn’t refer to the road on which they lived, they referred to the development. And as a newcomer I couldn’t keep up with what development was where, nor was that how I identified where someone lived. It still seems foreign to me. What is not a foreign concept is the reality of a nasty neighbor. And apparently there is one or more living in Spring Mill Farms.
Nasty neighbors are sadly a universal issue. And to leave an anonymous poison pen letter like this for a newer neighbor is well…WRONG.
Apparently the letter writer leads a very perfect life. My guess from the tone of the letter is that it’s probably a woman. I could be wrong but that’s the way things are phrased and the things that seem to bother this person. And they are literally telling these people how to place their trash cans, how their windows should be dressed, where the sports equipment for their kids should be, and essentially where the kids should be: in the backyard not seen by the public.
I don’t have neighbors like this. My neighbors are actually nice. Have I ever had crappy neighbors in my lifetime? Yes, who hasn’t?
Also, shock and horrors, this person apparently doesn’t like seeing BBQ grills. Basically this neighbor of Spring Mill Farms would like everyone and every thing placed neatly behind a hedge and to have shutters of distinction. Do you know who this neighbor is? If you do, by all means out them.
Years ago when I lived in Lower Merion Township and was considered a community activist and was also an early blogger, I sometimes had nasty anonymous notes like this literally stuck in my mailbox. I actually had a neighbor write an entire guest editorial to the Main Line Times signing all of her familial names with great pretentiousness directed at me.
The notes left for me in my mail were sometimes truly horrible. I was a bad person, who did I think I was, and more. I remember how horrible some of the notes were and how they made me feel at first. So I feel for whomever got this poison pen letter.
But to the recipient of this letter, I also suggest pink plastic flamingoes. And I would have them playing soccer or doing whatever sports the sports equipment you have set up in the front yard really represents. Fight the nastiness with humor.
To the scribe: when your neighbors expose you (and they will), perhaps apologize? Life is difficult enough without someone like you doing something so wrong like this. We all don’t have to love every neighbor, but this is just wrong.
To the civic association I say simply: deal with this.
Life’s Patina is a beautiful, happy place to visit. The seasonal barn sales are fun to go to. It’s a dream of creativity and just pretty things to look at.
Friday, April 29. 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday, April 30th. 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday, May 1st. 10 AM – 4 PM
A portion of Life’s Patina Spring Preview Party ticket sales and merchandise sold during our barn sale will be donated to CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, which aims to reach 4 million in Ukraine with immediate aid and recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance, prioritizing women, girls, families and the elderly.
These events are both indoor and outdoor. The parking is field parking so if the weather looks like it’s going to be funky check their Facebook page or website.
Even if you don’t need to buy anything you may find a little something or a large something that you cannot live without. And you will enjoy every minute that you are there!
LOCATION: Willowbrook Farm, 1750 N Valley Rd, Malvern, PA 19355
Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. … The expression “cancel culture” has mostly negative connotations and is used in debates on free speech and censorship.
~definition of cancel culture
As a blogger, I suppose you can say cancel culture is nothing new. After all isn’t cancel culture good old-fashioned mob mentality? Sheesh, I have been experiencing that for daring to have an opinion since early 2000s when blogging was in it’s infancy. I was originally part of something called PhillyFuture.org which no longer exists. It was this amazing group blog/blogging community that gave people a voice from neighborhoods all over Philadelphia and elsewhere. Some of us joined it to fight eminent domain…in Ardmore, parts of Philadelphia, Camden, NJ.
Blogging = bad mostly because people didn’t understand it. And it was giving issues local governments and others wanted to sweep under the carpet air-time. It was like what broadsides were to the American Revolution.
“Well-behaved women seldom make history” ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
For my opinions on Lower Merion Township and eminent domain for private gain especially, people were constantly on the attack. Especially because I thought eminent domain sucked as a concept. You don’t know from ad hominem attacks until you disagree with cheerleaders for Lower Merion Township. One of the early attempts on cancelling me came from two then Ardmore business owners who thought they would benefit from eminent domain. They actually wrote a nasty editorial about me that Main Line Times published. Sometimes it was attempted at public meetings during public privilege to the floor (public comment out here.) That was always amusing, because I wasn’t an elected or appointed official. They just didn’t like my opinion.
It didn’t cancel me.
Obviously I still blog, and this blog is now 10 years old. Periodically someone wants to cancel me. Sometimes several times a week. If I was a mommy blogger talking about Disney trips, diapers scented like Febreeze, which mani-pedi was the best, or various pyramid schemes it would be o.k. But if they can’t put you in a convenient box from Crate & Barrell, they short circuit.
The past few days it has been insane, and it is everything swirling around the Benjamin Pennypacker House in Exton, West Whiteland. (see THIS post and this OTHER post.) I have decided that a bunch of rabid realtors sent by the realtor I criticized are even more ridiculous that the anti-maskers/anti vaxxers or the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism who periodically put out a jihad on me. (You know they do and there was the one who posted photos of me in a hospital gown from some where in between surgery and treatment during Breast Cancer Awareness month and wondered why people found them tone deaf?)
Pro Tip: Don’t say the word HOOEY. It really unhinges them.
The past few days have even surpassed the hubub when I made fun of Ladies Hat Day at Nouveau Devon quite a few years back and commented on the coup at Devon also a few years back which speaking of is it just me or are those people just driving Devon straight into the ground? Who will be making book on when someone down the road will say Devon is archaic let’s build apartments or something?
The Nouveau at Devon didn’t cancel me either….
Now today and yesterday some have given it their best shot. One girl (says she is a college student) was so gleeful that I had forgotten the hyphen in low-class attack rat. She needs to get out more. And there have been two today people calling my writing drivel!! Usually it’s just this one woman who needs to lay off the teeth whitening or whatever because after a while it gives that Mr. Ed appearance, but she was joined by a self-described “Renaissance Man.” Also funny because true renaissance men don’t have to self-describe as such because everyone knows they are.
These people love to leave comments. Then they get outraged if I delete their comments but preserve screen shots. They don’t get that everywhere they post on social media they are guests until they wear out their welcome. They get all up in arms about people removing their comments. And blocking them. What is it they don’t get? No one is holding a gun to their heads they can choose not to read what I right? But hey don’t forget those “ladies” who talk about “packing heat” and then me. So are we supposed to conclude they are threatening to shoot me? Then they call me “ugly”, a “progressive liberal” or a “communist” or “vile” and then they want to pray for those THEY deem to be lacking in judgement and character.
Bless their hearts . They fear for my immortal soul too because of my writing. Then of course there is the back and forth from people who speak emojis about whether I can write or not. Lucky for them, I can or what would they have to talk about?
And all of these people “don’t get hate” as they tear people down whom they don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand? Then it’s I have a skewed perception of freedom and I must be crazy? Yay!!! Pretzel logic, and don’t let the acrylic nails get in the way as you type furiously.
Truly, I find these people fascinating. You see all these slogans out there like “Dare to be Different” but if you are, you must be bad.
One of my readers said today:
Isn’t it weird how the people that scream and cry about cancel culture are exactly the same people that want to take away your opinion?
“Cancel culture,” as a concept, feels inescapable. The phrase is all over the news, tossed around in casual social media conversation; it’s been linked to everything from free speech debates to Mr. Potato Head….As the logic behind wanting to “cancel” specific messages and behaviors caught on, many members of the public, as well as the media, conflated it with adjacent trends involving public shaming, callouts, and other forms of public backlash. (The media sometimes refers to all of these ideas collectively as “outrage culture.”)
There was a great op-ed in the Courier Journal a year ago:
I wonder if I’ll get “canceled” someday. I could trip up and say something awkward or inappropriate — and get crushed for it. It could be a phrase in a Facebook post or a newspaper article like this. It could be a slip in the classroom that gets reported by a student. It doesn’t bother me a lot. I know I’m not perfect in word, deed, motive or thought. And I don’t worry much about what others think about me. But it’d be painful and would hurt those around me.
Today’s “cancel culture” is not entirely new. “Political correctness” (PC) started in the 1980s and prompted people to speak more carefully about certain topics. If you crossed the line, some people would call you out and make life difficult for you. But there was a relatively healthy balance between valid concerns and silliness. Some people took it too seriously, while others would respond with eyerolls.
Cancel culture is PC on steroids. The approach is similar — increased sensitivities for better and for worse — with a heavy dose of fascism…You might also think of cancel culture as similar to the recent emergence of #Karen — a light social-media poke at aspects of middle-aged, middle-class, social conservatism. Cancel culture is a type of #Karen on the left. But while there’s a tongue-in-cheek humor to #Karen, cancel culture is deadly serious with much more at stake.
Cancel culture starts with principles that range from legitimate to debatable and incoherent. Its practitioners can quickly get insistent and dogmatic. It’s a religion that lacks mercy and grace, forgiveness and redemption. As any other religion, it’s never any fun arguing with its fundamentalists. It wars against civil liberties, free speech and free thought.
Who died and made them boss?
Seriously, it’s kind of an interesting topic. I guess we could all be canceled? But what does it really mean if the people doing the canceling don’t matter in the first place? Then is it just acidic pabulum being regurgitated to make them feel better? Would they like a binkie too?
To me it boils down to if you put them out of their comfort level, you are bad, so you should be canceled. You don’t write about or speak about or converse about what they are comfortable with, so you should be canceled. They said the moon is made of green cheese and you asked as of when, so you should be canceled. If you are the least bit different from them, you should be canceled.
How about all of you do you, and the rest of us will do us? Oh no wait…we might get canceled?
From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh they are a bunch of mean girl bobble headed Stepford wives.
Let’s start with their website image. The American flag is supposed to a symbol of our history and our values as a nation. While it is fine to have clothing or hats with the flag ON IT, to WEAR an actual flag is a sign of DISRESPECT for Old Glory.
This group is born out of the Trumpublican movement which has destroyed the Republican party. Were they born out of the Tea Party? Maybe in part, and while old GOP politicians Tom DeLay may have been skunks, he and others kept these faux Republicans out of the RNC 2000. I know because I was there, and I listened to conversations perhaps I shouldn’t have listened to, but that is what happens when big wigs think volunteers are invisible like their help at home.
Anyway, did you know on yesterday’s date In 1776, Thomas Paine anonymously published his influential pamphlet, “Common Sense,” which argued for American independence from British rule? Do the purported Pennsylvania Conservative Women even know that or have they read it or are they busy studying acrylic nails and big hair and brassy color shades not found in nature?
This mission statement and this group are FULL of hooey. They are all about banding together like a bunch of sheeple and to say they are God fearing and take responsibility for nurturing and protecting the traditions that America was founded on, is in a word, OFFENSIVE. All of these people actually FORGET what this country was founded on and why.
They claim the advocate for freedom, yet their definition of freedom is subject solely to their interpretation of the word. And again, they forget if our forefathers hadn’t quite literally bled and died for us centuries ago, they would not have their freedom to espouse their bullshit and hooey. Well I can’t title a post bullshit so I chose hooey. But I digress.
I find it endlessly amusing that the crap they spout is in part what our forefathers fought against, yet they also fought for the rights for people to have freedom of thought no matter how ridiculous their thoughts were. Hence why I asked if these students of self-focusedness actually remember their American history? Do they actually know what it is to be an American?
Thomas Paine wrote how he thought it was in essence stupid that Americans should be loyal to a mother country that he considered similar to an unfit parent. “Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families,” he wrote. He said our real connection as newly minted Americans was to people everywhere who yearned to escape oppression. “This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe,” Paine proclaimed. “Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.”
Thomas Paine wrote about a new country with a strong government than protected the rights of the people. And can it be hypothesized that Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” influenced the Declaration of Independence and all that followed? I think so.
But back to these women who are the nouveau champions of our proverbial values and home fires burning. Of course home fires burning implies these women keep house and cook and clean. Ummm ok, they are why take out and delivery were invented, weren’t they?
“As God-fearing women, we take responsibility for nurturing and protecting the traditions that America was founded upon.”
~ From “Mission Statement” of Pennsylvania Conservative Women (PACW) formerly known as Conservative Women of the Mainline.
Traditions America was founded on as interpreted by them? That’s actually funny.
They also claim they are “women modernizing traditional values.”
That doesn’t even make sense. Traditional values don’t require modernizing, they are based in traditions. When you “modernize” them, they stop being “traditions.”
Who decided they were the bosses of women, men and children anywhere? They are more like religious fanatics or cult leaders aren’t they? (Purple Kool aid and a doily anyone?)
Then there are the boobs at Moms for Liberty. Note the amusing mistake in their “About” section of “Moms for Liberty, Chester, PA” . They wouldn’t survive 5 minutes in Chester, PA which is in Delaware County. Now they are a national Stepford Wives consortium. That group has people tied to a group called Patriot Voices which is a 501(c)(4) which means donations aren’t tax deductible. Oh and Moms for Liberty is also a 501(c)(4) meaning donations to THEM are also not tax deductible. And upon looking at CONservative Women of the Main Line now rebranding to whatever, I noticed their donation button is not a donation button it is a “pay now” button which means they aren’t non-profit either are they?
I wonder how many people donating to these organizations which are not registered as tax deductible non-profit organizations think what they are donating is tax deductible? Makes you wonder where they money goes right?
Then there are the other groups and these groups all discussing anti-vaxxing, anti-masking and what works (in their little minds) against COVID (this is supposedly from Moms for Liberty group):
And I find myself circling back to their use of the word freedom. So they have freedom to choose? Ok, so do I, but when did freedom become subjective? When did their freedoms become more important than everyone else’s?
Let’s talk COVID for example. If they were less concerned about the hooey that getting a shot impinges on their freedoms would we have so much COVID on the rise again? Because let’s get real, the COVID cases in the hospitals taking most of the beds are the UNvaccinated. They exercised their freedoms but are now infecting us? How are their freedoms more important than ours? What if they had been around when this country was battling things like TB, leprosy, polio?
Is freedom subjective? Or did our forefathers fight for us to equally have freedom?
And if these women are modernizing traditional values does that mean they are updating tuna noodle casserole recipes? Inquiring minds want to know what the hooey is really all about because to this inquiring mind, they are Stepford Wives Sheeple and they better check their kool aid. And at the end of the day, I do know actual real conservatives and Christians and what is predominantly roaming around self describing as that? Not any of them, nor do they actually get it by a country mile.
Bless their hearts, I am finished thinking about insanity for the day.
Ahh yes, Tower Health. A name synonymous (it seems) with destroying local hospitals. It was announced quite recently that the deal for them to sell Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals was DOA (dead on arrival.) These hospitals are now to be CLOSED while the world (and our area) still suffers from the global pandemic known as COVID-19. If I have it right, it’s Jennersville by December 31, 2021 and Brandywine by January 31, 2022
Does it seem incomprehensible? YES.
Should it be illegal? Well that is a good question because aren’t there supposed to be hospitals to proportionately serve areas geographically or something? Where are Federal Laws in this? What role does Health and Human Services play in this? What role does that quasi useless lame duck twit of a Governor in Pennsylvania (Tom Wolf) and his ridiculous Court jester who wants to be a US Senator (John Fetterman) play? How about all these lovely State Representatives and State Senators? The Veterans Administration since Brandywine closing will affect places like the VA in Coatesville, etc., etc? Look at mental health services covered by Brandywine? What are the options now? Nothing or Philadelphia?
Tower Health is responsible for their own incompetence morally, fiscally, ethically, legally. However, their gross incompetence here will have disastrous effects on all of us in Chester County.
Ambulance services and first responders will be taking great risks with their lives and patients lives trying to get people to emergency rooms in other areas, all a great distance away.
Chester County Hospital and Paoli Hospitals are already being overrun and overtaxed thanks to these announcements, and that will affect ALL of us because if both Brandywine and Jennersville close their doors that will swamp those two hospitals and what happens to those of us who already use those hospitals and have found them stretched thin due to COVID-19?
And employees of these hospitals? Do we really believe that Tower Health will place them all elsewhere. I call bullsheit on that.
Tower Health is NOT for profit. Since 1997. I just called Tower Health and asked. And I looked them up on Guide Star. I made it to the executive offices. I called in on (484) 628-8000. I got a nice woman on the phone, believe her name was Tracy (didn’t write it down). I asked her is they cared what they were doing to Chester County? She replied that was a hard question but she could have someone call me back. I declined, because after all I do not want platitudes blown up my rear and a little pat on the head. But I found it helpful that you CAN get through to the top. CALL THEM. (It can’t hurt.)
And while you are making calls, how about Harrisburg. Go straight to the Governor’s office and tell Tom Wolf. He works for US, not special interests and it is time to remind him. (717)-787-2500. Now it require a teensy bit of patience to reach Wolf’s message takers because first they tell you they can’t help with unemployment claims. Then you get the COVID recording (not long), then you get a real person. I got John. He was very polite, took down my concerns. I asked if they actually made it to the Governor and he said yes. I told them how our entire county was being put at risk by these closures. I could not however, escape the total feeling of Wolf’s office doesn’t care, which of course means MORE people should call.
Next on my list was Congresswoman Chrissy Houlihan’s office in Washington, D.C. (202)- 225-4315. I spoke with Jack. We had an actual conversation. Chrissy’s staff takes down your name, number, concerns. Jack told me they have been getting a lot of calls and he did say for constituents concerned about these hospital closures to CALL their officials. He agreed that it is a good thing for them to hear from constituents. If you do not wish to call Washington DC, Chrissy has a district office in West Chester (610)-883-5050 and Reading (610)-295-0815.
I know that the Chester County Commissioners have been in CONSTANT meetings since this was all announced. They need OUR help to bug these other people. Face it, we need a Christmas miracle. We are ALL at risk if these hospitals close. It is hard enough to get into a hospital NOW with COVID-19, and has been since COVID-19 arrived on the scene.
Here is Tower Health’s stated mission:
THE MISSION OF TOWER HEALTH IS TO PROVIDE COMPASSIONATE, ACCESSIBLE, HIGH QUALITY, COST EFFECTIVE HEALTHCARE TO THE COMMUNITY; TO PROMOTE HEALTH; TO EDUCATE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS; AND TO PARTICIPATE IN APPROPRIATE CLINICAL RESEARCH. TOWER HEALTH (PARENT) IS A NON-PROFIT HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES CHARITABLE COMMUNITY-BASED HEALTHCARE SERVICES AND PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE AND THE COMMUNITIES IT SERVES IN THE GREATER BERKS, MONTGOMERY AND CHESTER AREAS THROUGH ITS SUBSIDIARIES (SEE FORM 990, SCHEDULE R). SUBSIDIARIES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO BRANDYWINE HOSPITAL, CHESTNUT HILL HOSPITAL, JENNERSVILLE, HOSPITAL, PHOENIXVILLE HOSPITAL, AND POTTSTOWN HOSPITAL, THE FIVE OF WHICH ARE HELD IN SINGLE MEMBER LLCS THAT TOWER HEALTH IS THE SOLE MEMBER OF. AS A RESULT, THESE ARE TREATED AS DISREGARDED ENTITIES AND ALL OF THEIR INCOME AND ACTIVITIES ARE REPORTED ON TOWER HEALTH’S FORM 990.
I saw Marian Moscowitz interviewed on Fox29 (I rarely watch Fox, just like this particular anchor.) From the interview you can see, that Chester County is flailing with this news. Not saying that to be mean or disrespectful, they just don’t know what to do. In the interview it came out that with these hospitals closing, it means people are at a minimum 40 minutes away for ER medical help. People are going to DIE potentially because of this. And how could Tower Health not truly vet a potential buyer? And Canyon Atlantic Partners who bailed? Their website is a WordPress site….like a blog (like this site.)
Now this is interesting. Via The Sanatoga Post I learned that IF the sale of Jennersville and Brandywine had gone through, they would have been converted to FOR PROFIT hospitals. They aren’t currently because Tower Health is NOT FOR PROFIT. (It gets confusing because BEFORE Tower Health acquired Brandywine and Jennersville I believe those hospitals BEFORE were a FOR PROFIT model. Then when Tower came in they were NOT FOR PROFIT.)
The current non-profit status of the two hospitals and others – including those in Pottstown and Phoenixville – acquired by Tower during 2017 from Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. has been a continuing bone of contention among municipalities and school districts where they are located. The promised return of tax payments by Canyon Atlantic would be news welcomed by the taxing entities affected…..The Journal story by Senior Reporter John George also noted that Canyon Atlantic’s chief financial officer, Michael Zwetschkenbaum, earlier worked as CFO of Pottstown Hospital during its ownership by Community Health.
Sue Perrotty (Portia Sue Perroty) interested me. I found a 2018 write up about her via Albright College and well she was connected to the Rendell administration in Harrisburg (worked as Marjorie’s Chief of Staff) and worked for First Union (Now Wells Fargo) and the whole American Realty Capital of it all (quite scandalous a couple of years ago surprised that still exists in print as a connection):
Portia Sue Perrotty is on the board of Global Net Lease…along with folks like Ed Rendell. I found this out via a SEC filing page. She is the Non Executive Director and Independent Director. What is Global Net Lease? Here:
Global Net Lease, Inc. (NYSE: GNL) is a real estate investment trust that focuses on acquiring and managing a globally-diversified portfolio of strategically-located commercial real estate properties which are crucial to the success of GNL’s roster of primarily investment grade corporate tenants.
So what this says to me is this woman is no dummy. And she is obviously connected. So you mean to tell me she couldn’t find a suitable buyer for these hospitals even through her connections? And since she came out of a Rendell administration, like Tom Wolf, what has he known or been aware of regarding this debacle? I am NOT singing a conspiracy theory song, just curious. The world goes round via connections and political and other connections in Pennsylvania have always run deep, deep, deep, right?
Next the Board of Directors. The “Executive Team” can’t fart without their Board of Directors, so here they are:
So some dot connecting on who does what on the board:
Tower Health and it’s board and executives are a bit of a puzzle. Also a Nancy Drew mystery because if you delve into who is who and who they know and where they were (and are) it’s kind of inconceivable they couldn’t find a proper buyer for Brandywine and Jennersville. It is utterly fascinating.
But fascinating isn’t going to save these hospitals, is it? Maybe, Chester County and PA should have paid more attention to an article from this time last year:
“We were very hopeful and optimistic when Tower took over” about securing more charity care, especially at Brandywine, said Tomoschuk.
Now that optimism has turned to fear that Brandywine might close.
That’s because Tower, just three years after paying $423 million for the three Chester County facilities plus Pottstown and Chestnut Hill Hospitals, is considering selling them in a bid to recover from an unsustainable debt load and massive losses that started even before the coronavirus pandemic slammed the health-care industry.
The Berks County nonprofit told municipal bond investors last month that it hasn’t ruled out closing hospitals it can’t sell….Advised by the gold-plated consulting firm McKinsey & Co., Tower bought the five hospitals from Community Health Systems on Oct. 1, 2017, to expand its clinical footprint from Berks County….Looking south, the Tower board also saw particularly attractive markets around Brandywine and Jennersville, with growing populations and high and relatively fast-growing incomes. Mixed in are pockets of lower-income people in places like Coatesville and Oxford….Instead of quickly becoming lucrative feeders for Reading, the five hospitals have generated more than $400 million in operating losses since Tower acquired them, and now the mystery in Philadelphia health-care circles is who would want to buy them — a particularly fraught question in the cases of Brandywine and Jennersville because these small, semirural hospitals have struggled financially for decades.
Ok so I am guessing they didn’t come sniffing around here because Chester County is wonderful, right? (Yes sign me jaded)
So here we are in a global pandemic called COVID-19 not seen since…1918 and The Spanish Influenza, right? Well guess what else this Inquirer article from December 19, 2020 tells us? How about the genesis of Jennersville Hospital? Curious? Here we go:
Jennersville, which traces its roots to a West Grove clinic founded during the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak, moved to its current location in 1959, according to the Daily Local News.
Next comes the 2nd article we all should have been paying closer attention to:
Tower Health, the financially troubled health system that owns six hospitals in the Philadelphia area, announced Monday that it had replaced its chief executive with a board member on an interim basis.
In a move that was unsurprising to health-care leaders in the Philadelphia region, the board replaced Clint Matthews, who led Tower through a dramatic expansion since 2017 in a bid to compete with Philadelphia’s academic medical centers such as Penn Medicine and Jefferson Health. Matthews’ successor is P. Sue Perrotty, 67, a retired bank executive who joined the nonprofit’s board in 2019.
After a massive operating loss of $438 million in the year ended June 30, 2020, and continued losses in the current fiscal year, Tower hired a national consulting firm to help improve its management. The system also engaged an investment bank to consider the sale of hospitals, including the five community hospitals that it bought in 2017 for $423 million.
And then most recently this Inquirer article in October:
by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer Published Oct 14, 2021
Before his dream of expanding Tower Health went bust, then-chief executive Clint Matthews was offered a compensation deal that included base pay of about $1.15 million and a bonus of $331,500 for the mergers he was about to engineer. He rejected it as “a bit light.”
The Tower board came back with a new offer. In the end, it agreed to increase his base pay by $100,000 ― and to bump the bonus by $73,500…Documents in a Montgomery County court case decided last week explore Matthews’s ambitious acquisitions and his relentless push for high compensation ― a drive that a struggling school system in the area served by his network, Pottstown School District, claimed undercut Tower’s very claim to be a nonprofit…Tower refused to say Wednesday what severance, if any, Matthews had been given. Nor would it disclose how much it is paying his successor, P. Sue Perrotty. It suggested that the public could learn that information once it filed required nonprofit disclosures with the federal government. That may not happen until 2023….When Matthews was gearing up for the hospital acquisitions, his simultaneous complaints about his pay did not sit well with Meg Mueller, a banker and Tower board member.
Then in that October article there is also this one little sentence that also stands out:
Matthews retired abruptly in February, leaving new management, mostly outside consultants, to unravel much of what he and a compliant board had done.
Shakespearean tragedy in the making here or what? Or just a good whodoneit requiring Sherlock Holmes?
Maybe this from September should have been paid attention to…even i it was out of a Reading newspaper:
By LISA SCHEID | firstname.lastname@example.org | Reading Eagle PUBLISHED: September 1, 2021
P. Sue Perrotty will remain CEO and president of Tower Health as the financially struggling health system finds a path forward in its partnership with Penn Medicine.
The Tower Health board of directors Wednesday announced the health system, which operates six hospitals in the Philadelphia region, has signed a contract with Perrotty.
The board said in a news release that the contract would ensure Perrotty will remain with the organization through its financial and strategic turnaround.
The details of the contract were not disclosed, and Tower declined to answer specific questions about the length of the contract or Perrotty’s salary….The board’s contract with Perrotty comes a month after Tower announced it was aligning with Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine after months of looking for a buyer for the struggling system. Tower recently said it is handing over its nascent liver and kidney transplant program to Penn Medicine.
Tower says Perrotty has been leading a turnaround…..
“Under her tenure, Tower Health’s ongoing financial turnaround has gained momentum, culminating recently with the organization’s first positive quarterly financial performance in more than two years,” Tower said in announcing Perrotty’s contract.
“Sue is a natural leader who has admirably stepped into this role with unwavering dedication and commitment to our organization,” Tom Work, board chair, said in the announcement. “Over her impressive career, Sue has shown a unique ability to inspire and motivate people around a shared goal. Sue has done exactly that as she quickly established a culture of meaningful communication to enhance Tower Health’s clinical services, drive innovation and strengthen our service to the community.”
So if Portia Sue Perrotty is such a strong leader, she should be able to keep at least one if not both hospitals open, right? Or is she merely just another former corporate raider type who doesn’t care about what she can’t see from her window? I.E. Brandywine and Jennersville are to her…expendable?
by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer Updated Dec 9, 2021
I don’t know what else to say other than the waters of the corporate moat around Tower Health sure are murky, and something is rotten in Reading.
I realize I have taken a long and winding road, it’s just Tower Health and this whole scenario is a wicked and convoluted tale, and fascinating relationships. At the end of the day, I don’t get the gross mismanagement that got everything to this point? I would say how does this happen but it does, right? This is like a double episode of Dateline or 20/20 or a made for TV movie waiting to happen, right?
People make your calls. Whether to Tower executives, board members, people they know, politicians….MAKE the calls. Don’t just vent on social media or think signing a petition is going to sway Tower. (Or elected officials in lofty places – sarcasm- like Harrisburg.)
I have to be honest, I feel like I should be playing Taylor Swift while I write this.
Not sure if I should go with “You Need to Calm Down Lyrics”:
“And we see you over there on the internet Comparing all the girls who are killing it But we figured you out We all know now, we all got crowns You need to calm down”
Or maybe from “Shake it Off”:
“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”
Yes, shocking as it might seem, I actually like Taylor Swift and as a lyricist she is a genius at times. It’s like she sings what people are thinking.
So why the lyrics? Well I am taking a minute because it has been a day or two.
I am a blogger (d’oh, I know you love when I restate the obvious) and that makes people uncomfortable. Men and woman.
Woman think I am going against some adult woman code by actually speaking my mind. I can’t do that, they say. They want me to be like them, in all their Stepford glory and limited comfort level.
Nope, life doesn’t work that way and I never liked cliques. Ask my high school friends and sorority sisters. If that’s your speed, that’s quite all right, it’s just not my jam.
Now the men, they can be a little more tricky. My opinions make some really uncomfortable. I have never understood that.
How does my opinion threaten their world and masculinity? Why do they feel the need to “school” me? Don’t they have enough to do at home? Or did they just peak in high school and haven’t gotten over their varsity blues?
So this week a couple of things. I went back to CVS to get some answers about our local stores. I don’t get paid for this, don’t have to do it, but as a CVS customer I wanted answers and shared with my community.
One would think they could just say thanks for the information or better yet, say nothing at all. I ended up closing down posts a couple of places I posted because for some strange reason it became the mission of some of these man children (and “ladies”) to just berate me:
How I was entitled to my opinion, but not entitled to spin things and and deceive people on reality. (Whatcha talking about Willis? Not opinion, but information provided to me by CVS.) Oh and because I shut down comments on my post because I didn’t feel like endless bits of this dude’s bullsheit I didn’t have the facts (as he saw them.)
Of course this guy then took to private messaging me so he could just keep spewing. According to him he had the right to do so and it wasn’t invading my privacy by sending unsolicited messages, I was invading everyone else’s privacy by posting on social media in general. (Yes you have to love pretzel logic combined with mansplaining.) Before I figured out how to just block him he was crowing with his pyrrhic victory “I am surprised by how many people are on to you!!! You are so busted! You really lost this one!! Ha” (I am confused. What did I lose? All I did was relay information told to me so how do you figure?)
Then there were the women. They just wanted to complain some more and correct me. Ladies, it’s not a competition, never was. And of course there was the one who had to know what was going on but couldn’t see because I blocked her. She was positively gleeful to hear people being miserable to me. (The funny thing is I don’t know her, and hadn’t remembered that I blocked her. I just don’t feel like dealing with some of these people so I just block them. It makes it out of sight, out of mind.A social media dusting so to speak. Clean and toss the rag, the dirt is gone like magic.)
Then there was some other thing. This guy who crops up here and there. He likes to trash talk me, usually behind my back. This time it was to my face. He went to high school with a guy who also doesn’t like me for whatever reason. That one doesn’t say anything to me, last time I saw him somewhere I said hello and was polite (because that is how I was raised) and he basically just grunted and scowled, which is fine because they don’t matter. So if they don’t matter to me, why am I so fascinating to them? And do I really know them? Nope, never have. It’s like they just decided to hate me on principle, but based upon what in reality, who knows?
Oh and what was the other thing that sent so many into a swivvet? Oh yeah my opinion on OTB (Off Track Betting) and casinos in communities. I think they are like dancing with the devil because they bring a lot of negative with them. Actually, you don’t have to believe me. If you know anyone in law enforcement who deals with the by-products of these establishments in communities, they will tell you. Plenty share my opinion on these establishments, and some don’t. And those who disagree but maintain respect for the opinion of someone other than themselves is completely fine, but then there are the others. They can’t have a conversation, they have to verbally pummel others. It’s crazy.
I don’t understand why these people feel the need to behave like this towards me or anyone else on social media. Male or female they need to get over themselves. Or they need to stop the world as it revolves around them personally…you know so the rest of us can get off?
It’s almost Thanksgiving, do we think they can tamp down the hypocrisy and harping and just try being normal? Or is that asking too much? Will they be posting at a fever pitch on Thanksgiving Day as well?
Whatever, just thought I would take a moment to address the armchair critics. Bottom line? They can keep doing them, that’s all they know, bless their hearts. (And they hate when I say THAT too which makes me say it more.)
Before I dive into writing my post, let’s talk about Gwyneth Paltrow for a second. Personally I think she’s bizarre. And narcissistic.
Gwyneth has announced she is going Sex Ed, including a new show that will be launching on Netflix this week. I saw an outtake of the show this morning on the Today Show, and they were talking Wolverine Claws. Yep sharp pointy claw things that can literally draw blood. Sex Ed with a side of kink, anyone? And like two in Bravo’s Real Housewives franchises , she will be selling vibrators on her Goop website and some female libido pill. But it’s a Goop product so they will be more wholesome, right?
I totally get her whole women having body issues. I especially get it after having breast cancer because quite frankly I have an uneven chest but I don’t want fake plastic boobs. Oh I guess this is going to be too much for some of my male readers, so I apologize in advance. But I have always said this blog is about whatever strikes my fancy and today the topic is women. This was just a quasi related segue.
Someone asked me the other day about a woman who used to be a very close friend. when we were in our 20s even up to my 30s. We did tons of stuff together. It wasn’t a weekend if I didn’t hang out with her at some point. She was a lot of fun and is still one of the most naturally beautiful women I have ever met. Men literally fell at her feet. Mostly they ignored the rest of us with her, although they would often buy us cocktails just so they could be in her presence. She was often a lot nicer to some of them than they deserved.
Our friendship started to change and wane a little when she got involved with this weird cult-like group. The group sold seminars under the whole guise of personal wellness and well-being but I remember going to a couple of things with her and it was like freaky Friday at least for me. I felt like the people that ran it were a bunch of charlatans and they were very happy to take people’s money, but I couldn’t get if the “help“ they offered had any value. But she was a friend so I didn’t say anything and I accepted this was something she needed in her life.
Then one day she asked me to help her rewrite her résumé. So I did it for her and she got a fabulous job in New York. And dropped me like a hot potato. There was no argument or disagreement, she was literally just done with me. Reinvented herself and was finished with those who knew her when. It really hurt. At this point in my life, this was the first time I had ever experienced anything like this. I have seen her fly by here and there over the years on the social media of others and she looks happy, and she got married. I hope she has everything she wants in life. But I hope she’s learned to treat people better.
Now this was a woman whose company I enjoyed very much, so she is someone I actually miss from time to time. But I think I just can’t let people in again all the time after great hurt. It’s not about not being able to forgive someone, it’s more about being practical because if they’ve done it once they will inevitably do it again and do you want to put yourself through that?
Next came a woman who was a very close friend, I was even one of her bridesmaids. Our parents kind of knew each other through other people, there was a lot of commonality. But I always kind of knew in the back of my head if I was honest she wouldn’t last.
When I realized this about this woman, ironically it was at her wedding. There were a lot of people she invited that none of us in her current circle had ever known existed in her world. She was one of those people that has one set of friends and then moves to the next set of friends and so on and so forth. She is also someone who would periodically disappear for long durations of time (years) from her friends’ lives and then just pop up like nothing had ever happened. She did that to me actually. And it was really weird, and hurt. But I forgave it the first time because it was nice to have her back in my life.
The second time I walked away from her entirely. The second time it occurred when I moved to Chester County. When I moved to Chester County I was the out of sight, out of mind person. And coming out here when I did in my 40s was a big change for me. I had lived my life and practically its entirety in only one other place except for early childhood. Chester County was completely unknown although I wanted very much to be here. So it wasn’t the simplest of transitions because it was so emotionally loaded. Here I am standing on the precipice of the rest of my life where I very much want to be, yet at the same time nervous because I was literally leaving everything else I knew someplace else.
This woman literally just stopped returning my calls after I was out here a little over a year. I was no longer geographically convenient for her as a friend, I suppose. But because I had given our friendship a second chance when she disappeared the first time, I was just quietly done. I am not going to chase after someone whom I had fulfilled my end of the friendship so to speak. And I had told myself after the first time, if it happened again, the life door was just not going to reopen.
The other thing I discovered with this other woman is she has become dependent on extreme forms of Christianity. That is her comfort level. It keeps her insulated from I think the reality she is trying to escape. That’s her jam, and I respect it because I think she actually deeply believes it. I have also seen her a couple of times here and there, and it made me realize that while I was over the hurt she caused me, I just I’m not going to let her back in this time. I will always be happy to run into her, but I just can’t again.
I have had some missteps with new women in my life moving to Chester County. There was one woman I actually really enjoyed. But she used confidences we shared with each other to curry favor with others. That’s a disloyalty that I can never get my head wrapped around. At the time when that happened, I was so new to Chester County and feeling the loss of my aforementioned friend, so this was briefly hurtful. But I just walked away. I closed the door. I realized after a bit they had their own issues, and this was for the best. And I hadn’t invested that much in knowing them at that point so it stung, but it wasn’t a permanent hurt.
Trust is a big value with me. And once you feel like it’s broken in a relationship for me that’s really hard to go back and deal with. Maybe that’s a character flaw on my part, I don’t know.
Then there were a couple of women that were kind of out of my childhood, and I was delighted to find them out here. Well one I already knew was out here, the other came out here after I moved here.
These couple of women are women I used to have a lot of fun with. And then one really wanted to just be the controlling person in the relationship like I was a child, and the other was kind of a copycat on things I liked. And of course then there were the extreme political views that emerged just like with a lot of people. I kind of said goodbye to both of these women at once. With one of them it wasn’t so hard a decision. The other one it was a harder decision, because I knew her longer and better. But having either of them in my life, meant chaos and unreal drama, so I chose myself and peace.
But as we grow and evolve as human beings, sometimes our friendships don’t grow in the same way. However, when you experience the loss of longer-term friendships it kind of makes it hard to trust sometimes the new people you meet. You want to let them in because they just seem so nice, but it takes a minute, know what I mean?
So there’s this one woman I met within the past couple of years whom I really enjoyed. I really thought she’d be a new friend. And maybe someday again she will be, but she did something I found completely disloyal. And when I kind of called her on it privately, she turned it around that it was my fault.
What my fault was is that she wanted to have a political discussion on a day where my head was just too full. You know those days, you just know that you can’t do one more thing. And I was working on something for a client. When I am working, I am working, and with the onset of Covid-19 a lot of people blur those lines. But I can’t be all things to all people 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. So I said I couldn’t talk. Because I literally couldn’t – I was working and I was just tired, physically and emotionally.
The other things people don’t realize is because I’m a blogger, some days I literally get private messages and reach outs from people around the clock. Can I look at this, can I comment on this, why haven’t I done that or the other thing? Some days I just get tired.
So this person blamed me for her essentially kind of being crappy to me. And I’m just done for now. This is not somebody I really want to walk away from because I think they’re really interesting, but this is a question of mutual respect and friend loyalty. Which means I’m letting go of them for now. I am not angry, although it has made me pissy. But it’s something I’m hitting the pause button on. At least for now. And it wasn’t an easy decision, either.
But as I said to someone who once taught me, and as an adult is a dear friend, these situations are one of those things that you think as you get older maybe the people will get better? But still it almost goes back to the same stuff you were dealing with in high school, just on a different playing field. Sociologically it’s interesting. Personally it can be hurtful, and you also get to a point in your life where you feel like you just need to hit pause.
And this is a very female on female or female response, because I also have encountered women who will just throw men and women under the bus just because they are threatened by change. Or they just crave attention good bad or indifferent.
My male friends aren’t this way. If one of my male friends has a problem, they don’t post it on social media they contact me and they pretty much say “so what’s up?”
I don’t pretend to be perfect, or to have led a perfect life. But I find women to be cruel and hurtful to one and other over the dumbest sheit.
I guess this just makes me a little sad because as I have settled into life over the years in Chester County, I have met some amazing women. But as we age as women, trust and loyalty go a long way.
If as a woman if you really have a problem with a woman you know, talk to them. And if they tell you one of the days you want to talk to them they just can’t do it, accept that at face value and try again another day. Maybe it will be a while, but sometimes it isn’t about what you want, it’s about what they need and whatever they have asked you to hit the pause button on.
Well ladies, that’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for stopping by.
I have always been a fan of former United States Secretary of State, General Colin Powell. Today he died due to complications of COVID19.
He WAS fully vaccinated. He was however, immunocompromised due to battling cancer. He suffered from a breakthrough case of COVID-19 and before fake news takes over, this isn’t an issue of the lack of efficacy of the vaccine, this is about the breakthrough COVID-19 variants health officials have been warning us about. I am sure the rabid anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers won’t pay attention to this, or will twist it up, but this is how and why he died. This virus is a killer and doesn’t care who you are, or where you’re from it will take your life anyway.
If you are immunocompromised in any way , this is what you fear. Here we had a literal lion, an amazing human being, and COVID-19 has taken him from his family, and this country.
So for all of you who want to send me articles about how COVID-19 still isn’t real, etc. just stop. It is.
I actually met this amazing human being once upon a time way back when Philadelphia hosted the RNC 2000, or when you still recognized Republicans NOT as a party corrupted and ruined by Donald Trump.
I was a media relations volunteer at the RNC 2000. I was stationed primarily at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. I met all sorts of fascinating people during this time. I met Powell the same day I met Larry King and an ABC network news guy.
Larry King was with his super tall blonde wife (# 7) and was so short and his face was pulled so tight he resembled a praying mantis. The ABC network news guy was just too important to talk to anyone and quite rude. I don’t remember his name. But I believe he’s retired.
But Colin Powell? He was just amazing. He was gracious and pleasant and spoke to us volunteers. Meeting him was a complete fluke, he was at the train station to pick his wife up from the train.
That was a crazy volunteer experience that was very memorable. I got to meet people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and his then wife Maria Shriver. I also helped a then slightly harried young Congressman from Mississippi named Chip Pickering. He had taken a train up from Washington without his wallet. I let him cab fare to get to the convention center or I believe he was a platform speaker of some sort. I remember somebody saying to me “You just lent a stranger money. You’ll never see that again!” Well not only did he pay me back, but his secretary sent me tickets to some of the best parties that week!
But meeting Colin Powell? That was the best.
What I have always liked about Colin Powell is he is the definition of a true patriot, and lived his life that way. In recent years, people have kind of tossed that word around like a verbal potato chip. But Colin Powell lived it. He served his country, not just some political party.
📌In an interview on CNN, the host, Fareed Zakaria, asked Mr. Powell if Republican Party members “realize that in a sense they caused, that they encouraged at least this wildness to grow and grow,” referring to Mr. Trump’s chaotic governance, which culminated in the violence last week.
Mr. Powell, 83 and a longtime Republican Party member, replied, “They did, and that’s why I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican.”
This country lost someone special today. R.I.P. Colin Powell and God speed.
I was there today visiting (I was a guest in their home, nosy neighbors) and for 25 min aguy in a dark SUV drove back-and-forth in front of their farm to see who was sitting on their patio. I finally waved at him and called hello (loudly) and he went away. I guess a middle-aged white woman sitting on someone’s patio as a guest drinking a sparkling water is a threat?
Can I tell you how BEAUTIFUL and serene and peaceful Wildflower Farm is in spite of their neighbors? I walked through their magical woods and walked every outside row and every hoop house row of flowers. I am a gardener, I was in heaven. And their trees are awesome. Including things like native redbuds and Japanese maples that they have planted. I can also envision their fields alive with peonies and hydrangeas, too.
We talked gardening. I shared my gardening resources for bulbs and native plants. I also shared with them Chester County farms also that are small producing farms. Why? Because those farms and farmers are embraced by their neighbors, not absurdly reviled.
The majority of the neighbors on this street where they live have that extra special development mentality that I abhor. They sure are the types who should be living in a Stepford Wife Toll Brothers or similar development where everything is samey-samey cookie cutter and they can’t plant flowers, but the petty tyrants of homeowner associations reign supreme.
Wildflower Farm is zoned to be a farm. They aren’t throwing raucous parties 24 /7 they are a young family with two beautiful children who have a dream to have a farm and grow flowers.
They are an organic farm.
And what I saw today with the person in the SUV driving back-and-forth and back-and-forth and back-and-forth with my own eyes, they are experiencing harassment and must feel as if they are constantly under siege.
If someone chooses to live differently or simply, these pig-ignorant types of people find fault with it. It’s literally heart breaking that they cannot see the beauty here through the trees. But it’s like a blood sport to play whisper down the lane and to gossip inaccurately and cruelly about this young family? That’s Christian, God-fearing behavior?
The people who live in this neighborhood on Castlebar Lane where poor small farm is located are not all bad. But the majority of them seem so off the hook unpleasant in my opinion, it takes your breath away. I don’t understand how these people can do any of this with a clear conscience? They trespass on their property, they fly drones overhead to try to say they’re doing something wrong and they’re not, and for what? What do they gain?
A friend of mine (who lives on a farm) said to me that they don’t get these people who want everything big box and cookie cutter.
Take the neighbor on one side? Building this giant berm so they don’t have to look at them which is something that is so ludicrous to me because if I lived next-door I would want a clear view so I could see what flowers they were growing! They have totally cleaned up this property it’s beautiful, and it has the most gorgeous woods. You look at it and it makes you think like this is what Chester County is supposed to be.
What is happening to these people is literally insane. And the fact that one of the people giving them a hard time and filing zoning things and other stuff is on the planning commission in Willistown Township just blows my mind and then there’s the other people who have lots (as in empty lots of land) on the road but don’t actually live there who have been big for years with the Willistown Conservation Trust? And if you go through publications of the Willistown Conservation Trust you see other names also in this bizarre NIMBY situation? I don’t understand these people apparently farms are OK just not in their neighborhood but it’s zoned agricultural, it’s not just a residential area so I really don’t understand the pretzel logic? (And FYI the candidate for Willistown Supervisor who seems to be doing a lot of promising including helping their horrid neighbors? Remember THAT at the polls. Those who over-promise to everyone, never deliver but that is a separate conversation.)
Wildflower Farm deserves ALL of our support. They are up in front of zoning next week and Willistown and I have posted about it it is a public meeting and if you’re not a resident you don’t have standing so you won’t be speaking but you can go and support in solidarity. Especially if you are a FARMER.
Please lend these nice people your support. Supporting farmers benefits all of us. Their dreams should not die because they have the biggest bunch of jerky Stepford village neighbors ever created. NIMBY anti-farm hell. Petty tyrants. And that opinion is allowed.
Also they have a petition. Sign the petition please, but also please consider attending the zoning meeting, especially.
I would also say in the short term to think twice about donating to Willistown Conservation Trust. If these neighbors are the kind of people supporting them I don’t know about you but you really want to be around them? But I would encourage you to support Natural Lands, of course.
I love flowers. I love farms. I love nice people. So you know I am Team Wildflower Farm, are you?
West Goshen Township operates on it’s better days as a little bit Pennsyltucky on this planet. Every once in a while I think they can’t get any kookier….and then, they surprise us all.
The thing about West Goshen is every time something happens, you have to wonder why do they seem to target resident in a petty tit for tat reprisal fashion? And I also have to wonder will they come after me for asking questions as well?
Before we proceed, a history lesson on the laws which gover the USA:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.“
~ 4th Amendment Constitution of United States of America 1789
“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.“
~1st Amendment Constitution of United States of America 1789
So now to the meat of the matter. A Facebook post made me stop and take notice. See this screenshot:
Wait? WHOA!!!! Whuuuuut? The Chair of West Goshen Supervisors Shaun Walsh was THAT rude? So I went to the meeting tape (which I have to ask if it will mysteriously disappear at some point I wonder?) and well go to around the 3 hour 7 minute mark and you tell me:
Now, full disclosure: the woman targeted at this meeting is a friend of mine. Her name is Margie Swart. She is a lovely human being. But she has a moral compass and strong sense of ethics, and asks questions, so <<<sigh>>> that can be a problem some places. I respect Margie immensely. We have gotten to know each other over the course of time, and have mutual friends.
I have to ask if Margie Swart is a target of West Goshen Township? As in a resident speaks up and there are cute reprisals? Yes West Goshen, I can indeed ask these questions.
So let’s back up a couple of years to something interesting I learned about just today. So…people can and do record public meetings, they aren’t just some municipality purview, correct? People do that to accurately preserve a record, especially on important topics. People also will record conversations with elected and public officials in public spaces. People like the media, for example. They aren’t doing anything nefarious, they want an accurate record and elected and appointed officials should be glad when citizens are conscientious, right? Maybe not?
So here is this now infamous recording from 2019 and why is it infamous? Oh I will get to that.
So there is that whole conversation of essentially, one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy for things put into a public space, right? Now if this conversation had been recorded in a bathroom in a public building for example, that would be different, wouldn’t it? But out there in the open in a public building? Next comes the reprisal, because since it is not illegal to record in a public space to try to file charges against a private citizen like that can be considered well, a reprisal, correct?
Yes, you aren’t seeing things, West Goshen Township tried to charge Margie Swart with WIRETAPPING and isn’t that welcome to West Goshen Watergate NUTS???
Next comes this curiosity in the West Goshen required reading, yes?
How can West Goshen Township Manager Casey LaLonde claim his phone conversation was recorded? Was he present? Do you hear his voice? I mean talk about d-r-a-maaaa right? I mean his grandma was actress Joan Crawford as in “Mommy Dearest” fame but REALLY? Township Manager Dearest much?
I have another question about this process and shameful debacle. Why should a resident and taxpayer have had to file a RTK or Right To Know Request on something a township publishes in a newspaper and which is also dually published in https://www.publicnoticepa.com/ ? I mean I could see them telling her to look for West Goshen Township notices on that website on X date and Y year, but a Right To Know Request? Wait??? Do we have a new show coming to a cable channel near you? It’s Always Cloudy in West Goshen Township? Lots of municipalities seem to struggle with sunshine laws and being sunshine friendly, but why is it a problem when residents ask questions in this township?
Margie is not the first Local Government Fiscal Watchdog and Transparency Advocate I have known. I have known many and I actually participated in a lack of sunshine protest years ago in Lower Merion Township – April 21, 2010 to be exact. It was a rather large protest and township officials were out taking photos of everyone too. Here’s a photo I took:
So how did the wiretapping thing end? Well there is a middle to it also isn’t there? How would you like to be a resident named as an “involved party in a wiretapping investigation”? And this thing occurred literally TWO years ago in September, 2019 and you find out about it TODAY in September, 2021?
Shall we talk about the final disposition of this? Is that an “Oh yes please?”
The Chester County District Attorney’s said NOPE, correct? So what was West Goshen playing at exactly?
Back to the recent meeting and I have to ask is it wrong to ask for government to be accountable as to their finances for example? And what’s with odd employee or manager practices? Are the taxpayer who pay these salaries not allowed to politely inquire? And Margie WAS polite. Listen to the recording. She is ALWAYS polite. I can tell you that at public meetings, I have not always been polite, but Margie? ALWAYS polite.
I don’t pretend to understand everything that happens in this municipality. I can’t pretend. But as a woman, I fear for my friend Margie Swart and can you blame me? Is she safe living there?
West Goshen Township, you need to find a better way of doing things and as an aside, so y’all are also hired who was the Borough Manager of Malvern as your Assistant Township Manager? Was all that vetted publicly or just announced?
West Goshen Township, you are entirely capable of avoiding thug mentality when dealing with residents. And yes I am entitled to the opinion that y’all behave badly. Residents who demand better aren’t bad people. And this is NOT a woman screaming and cursing and disrupting meetings with violent and angry behavior like we have seen this year at school board meetings. This is a woman who wants the best for her community and the person this seems to threaten the most is the Township Manager and why is that? It’s not his personal fiefdom is it? Or is it?
I am signing off with a note that everything I posted is public record. And I am allowed the opinions I have of West Goshen Township and sure am glad I don’t live there. I also can ask questions. I don’t understand a place where the elected officials kowtow to an appointed, salaried official because he works for them not the other way around, correct? Or have they all lost their moral and ethical compasses?
My final comment? It’s often hard to participate where you live, but we have to. It’s imperative. Elect people you can believe in, and when you can’t believe in them? Replace them.