Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Anna Maciejewska. Merry Christmas wherever you are. Maybe I will just talk to you directly today?
The photo I posted was lent to me by the people at Finding Anna Maciejewska on Facebook.
We never met, but I still think of you often. The mainstream media seems to have forgotten you, but me, your friendly neighborhood blogger and many others have not. So I thought I would write you a letter.
I have three women as friends who were Polish by birth like you. Two I worked with once upon a time, and one is a very dear friend and married to one of my oldest friends in the world. Like you they emigrated here and became citizens to live their American dreams. They are among the most genuine and lovely people I know.
They all love Christmas. I am guessing you did too. One of these friends of mine for years has been sharing the beloved Polish Christmas tradition of the Oplatek, or the Christmas wafer. I don’t have to tell you about what the wafer is, as you know. But for everyone else reading this, please enjoy what the Polish Women’s Alliance of America has to say:
Christmas Wafer – Oplatek
Sharing of the oplatek (pronounced opwatek) is the most ancient and beloved of all Polish Christmas traditions. Oplatek is a thin wafer made of flour and water, similar in taste to the hosts that are used for communion during Mass. The Christmas wafer is shared before Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper. The head of the household usually starts by breaking the wafer with his wife and then continues to share it with everyone at the Wigilia table. Wishes for peace and prosperity are exchanged and even the pets and farm animals are given a piece of oplatek on Christmas Eve. Legend has it that if animals eat oplatek on Christmas Eve, they will be able to speak in human voices at midnight, but only those who are pure of spirit will be able to hear them.
This tradition dates back many centuries when a thin, flat bread called podplomyk was baked over an open flame and then shared with the family gathered around the fire on Christmas Eve. Patterns would be cut onto the bread to make breaking easier. This is why oplatki today still have patterns on them, usually of Nativity scenes. You can order Oplatki from PWA. Learn how here.
Everyone who knows me Anna, knows how much I love Christmas. Some of my favorite mercury glass ornaments are Polish made. The ornaments made in Poland and Germany and once upon a time in the Ukraine are just truly magical.
This morning I stumbled across two things. One was a post written by a man who took part in searches for you in 2018. I never knew it existed. Here, let me share a little bit:
I spent part of my wife’s birthday recently looking for a dead body in the woods of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
I joined a group of about 20 people who had gathered in Malvern, Pa. to search for the missing-and-presumed dead body of Anna Maciejewska, a wife and mother who went missing in April 2017…Anna’s elderly parents in Poland, both cancer survivors, are grief stricken, frustrated and angry. And to make things worse, Anna’s husband has reportedly prohibited them from seeing their now four-year-old grandson.
Anna was not a young, attractive model or a wealthy socialite, and she didn’t fit into most of the other categories of missing persons anointed by the media as being worthy of intense and prolonged coverage. She was just an average American, like you and me, and she has vanished from the face of the Earth, leaving her family and friends distraught and seeking answers.
Most likely, you’ve seen clips on the news of packs of volunteers searching fields, woods and riverbanks for the remains of crime victims. It’s a horrid task and, in a way, nobody wants to find the object of the search – a body – as they cling to a sliver of hope that the person is somehow alive. That is, unfortunately, almost never the case.
But I can tell you that the search for a missing person is also a heartwarming act; it’s people banding together to help one another in a time of unimaginable stress and grief, especially for the victim’s family. An act of despicable inhumanity, the killing of an innocent person, paradoxically gives birth to an outpouring of love and unity among many, including people who did not know the victim….As one of mankind’s greatest minds, Albert Einstein, said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
Anyone with information about Anna’s disappearance is asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police at (610) 486-6280.
And also this literally happened recently – a podcast I find intriguing The Ever Evolving Truth has picked up the mantle of talking about this. There is also a page on Facebook called Fresh Eyes on Anna Maciejewska. It gives me hope, even if I don’t agree with some of their take on your disappearance so far. BUT they are paying attention to what happened to you, and I pray their interest sparks other renewed interest from media, law enforcement, etc. I also agree that even if you don’t agree with something, maybe see it through so every angle is covered, right? As an actuary you would look to all of the details to make sure you were correct, right?
Maybe the miracle of Christmas will help find you and bring you home? We all pray for that, Anna.
A Christmas wish and a wish for the New Year is for you to be found, Anna. You deserve to rest, your little boy deserves to know where his mama is, and your beloved parents deserve closure and answers along with your friends.
2 1/2 years missing is too long.
Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Anna Maciejewska.
Very Truly Yours,
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing are sometimes just nasty hissing cats at the end of the day, but the keeper of tea and scones has tried a makeover to get into politics, so it’s time to talk about this. (And yes, I say this knowing some of them will indeed get nasty with me or about me for talking about this. It’s a proven pattern. I am left alone as long as I don’t express an opinion they don’t care for.)
I will preface my comments with I have never sat down with this candidate in person BUT I have no desire to. Ever. I have seen her handiwork, meanness, and pettiness in and around West Vincent for years. I have experienced her handiwork via social media. She hurt people I cared about and tried to hurt me. THAT is not whom I would wish to be an elected official as there is enough of that to go around already. This is not someone I could even trust to know personally so if I lived in West Vincent, how could I vote for this person? The answer is I could not.
And yes I can indeed express my opinions here, as she is now a candidate for public office. She is now, officially, a politician.
I have tried to turn the other cheek but then I started to go through my saved screen shots over the past few years. As someone else I know in West Vincent said, it sure does make you think. And the end result? I cannot reconcile the born again public image of a dear old environmental loving auntie and grannie type with what I know she was part and parcel of. Leopards do not ever change their spots that much and it is pure delusion to think so.
So a question. Didn’t Sara USED to be a Republican?
So I asked and I was right, apparently she WAS a Republican until the Spring 2019 primary and then she became a Democrat and that was very Former Farmer Supervisor of her because when the local GOP out there reformed it changed the game of same old same old right? In this case it is actually a bummer that the Republican Party is so tarnished nationally because West Vincent GOP is actually a nice group of people. Well except for another former supervisor and former Lower Merion Township Resident. That gent, the Country Squire, has been a busy bee writing letters this election season. Apparently he also signed some folks up who weren’t too happy about that? (See HERE)
The candidate Ms. Shick said the party left her or something? Mmmm ok. If that is the revisionist history she is going with. Real Democrats should not want to vote for fake ones, should they? And then there was that whole Round Up comment (see screen shots right above this paragraph.)
And let us not forget she was not exactly on the side of right with that whole eminent domain issue a few years ago, was she? Remember? West Vincent faxed Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show a letter once upon a time announcing a taking?
There is so much history with her and associated or direct shenanigans and now she wants to be supervisor? It doesn’t take amazing powers of deduction to lead a body to wonder if she wants to go back to the good old days of just a few years ago? You know when the township ran for a select few and not the majority? You know when it was a giant political boondoggle?
She joined the Chester County Historic Preservation Network which I found admirable until she kinda had to get a dig or two in about me to someone I know on it and why? Made me re-think a small donation to them, sadly. Be a part of something great because it’s the right thing to do, not just to be nasty in another forum, correct?
Above screenshot was sent to me. But let’s get real, wasn’t West Vincent Voices originally started as a feeder page to boost certain folks no longer in office? Speaking of which, her support of Farmer Supervisor last time around:
Goodness me. Cha Ching. Now her sister is below her name and current Judge of Elections.
But back to the “good old days”. The “good old days” of anonymous letters left in mailboxes and is that what you want?
Because I am friends with and support people she basically has viewed as the “enemy” for years, I became a target. On social media as well as whisper down the lane. It enraged her and her pals that I dared have any independent thoughts about the politics of West Vincent. As a result I because a target of cyber bullying and cyber harassment, and bless her heart, you have to just love the not so subtle damnation of faint praise too, right?
Now I can’t blame the actual pages on her personally, and I know who created at least one of the pages. But I have to ask you, if you knew a page was actual cyber-bullying/cyber-harassment and someone who will be asking for your vote supported said cyber harassment efforts of pages like this, is that someone you really want to vote for, let alone become an elected official? (And yes liking items on pages like this is exactly akin to supporting their efforts IMHO.)
So we also all know plenty in West Vincent have chicken issues even if they keep them. Chicken Man terrified them and I am sure the thought of him still does. I even got accused of being Chicken Man which totally cracked me up. Others were also targeted as Chicken Man. They even posted wall placards in the US Post Office! Very twisted Mayberry. A vote for Sara Shick will take you RIGHT back there won’t it? Is that what you want for West Vincent?
I never knew who Chicken Man was either, but their research was impeccable. (But I digress.)
Look, I can’t make any of you vote for George Dulchinos, but I wish you would. He is a true blue all around good guy. And qualified. If you vote for Sara Shick, it’s back to the biz of quid pro quo… Quid Pro Quo is not Qualified.
Bernie FYI is Bernie Couris another current supervisor. A Conshohocken Borough Council transplant….and another former Republican. Conshohocken Borough is legendary as a political cesspool and he was part of it, wasn’t he? As a Republican until he wanted to be a supervisor in West Vincent, much like current candidate Sara Shick, right?
People switching political parties for political expediency is one of the oldest political tactics out there. Fake Democrats are not real Democrats. They are of the legions of politically expedient who would become something else again at the drop of a proverbial hat if it helped them in some way. Think next stop Purple People Eater Party…..
I am personally no longer a Republican, but I am not a Democrat either because I know in my core I am not truly a Democrat or Republican at this point, so why be fake and pretend?
So yes, my opinion is Sara Shick is wrong for West Vincent. Tea and Scones and nasty gossip is for cafes. Not politics.
Let’s work together and put the Farmer Supervisor Regime out to pasture once and for all. Stop the anger. Stop the politics of opportunism and favoritism. Stop the mean people. #VoteGeorgeDulchinos Keep it positive and progressive. Don’t regress to the days of yore. YOUR NEIGHBORS have worked hard the past few years to undo the wrongs. After all, government and elected officials are supposed to work for you, not you for them. And to continue that, you can’t recycle old and petty political factions.
In the most simplistic of terms, a vote for Sara Shick is like going back several years, not merely a few steps. Do not do that to yourselves.
Don’t vote for political chicanery, vote for someone decent like George Dulchinos.
Roundabouts. That is PennDOT new speak for traffic circles. I know, I know I have been writing about this a lot on this blog. Most recently at the beginning of this month (October, 2019) That is when East Whiteland and East Goshen released a letter they received from PennDOT September 30:
At that time I said September 30th was Monday, so why has it taken this long for the people to be notified and have they even notified the potentially affected residents? I marvel that PennDOT dated the letter September 23rd and it took until September 30th to be received? DO they not also send an electronic copy?
PennDOT needs to define “minor construction” and does that mean any eminent domain land takings?
PennDOT will do this project when exactly and how long will it take?
And if PennDOT was offering to meet with both townships, I suggested that when that occured the most directly affected homeowners should be present with whatever representation they so chose to be with them.
Well guess what? According to residents I know (directly affected in fact) the meeting DID take place. And East Whiteland Towsnhip verified this on October 15 when they said on their website “On September 30, East Whiteland and East Goshen Townships received a letter from PennDOT regarding its recommendations for the Route 352 and King Road intersection.
The Townships recently met with PennDOT to discuss those recommendations. No decisions as to road improvements have been made, but the Townships agreed to update traffic counts along the roads and expect to continue discussions with PennDOT when those studies are completed.”
Please note who was missing at said meeting with PennDOT. Yup, you’ve got it, the potentially affected residents.
When they received the news these residents (my extended neighbors) replied to East Whiteland very politely but firmly:
Thanks for keeping us in the loop and for pushing back on PennDOT’s recommendations.
That said, while we appreciate that you may be hesitant to proceed with the only two options PennDOT is permitting (a roundabout or making the roads perpendicular), we still have much to talk about. Will you share why the townships are willing to pay for new traffic counts, what the townships think are the existing problems that must be fixed and what is your goal?
It is my understanding that the various justifications the township has presented have been adequately debunked. It started with cut through traffic, then law breaking cut through traffic, then rush hour delays, then unjustified future traffic predictions, and eventually it morphed to safety. Now, it seems like rush hour delays may be the leading reason again. Or, is this all just a means to mask future plans for over-development? Whatever the reason, it is concerning and very disappointing that the township hasn’t ruled out eminent domain given the community feedback as well as an overwhelming evidence contradicting those justifications.
If the township still feels adequate justification exists and cares about the affected residents, you will help us to understand those justifications. We don’t need to wait for new counts.
If people were dying in the intersection, bad accidents were above “normal” or traffic was backed up frequently enough that it was unpleasant for those of us who actually live here, we would understand (or move). However, these conditions absolutely do not exist. We live here because we want to. If you plan to take our land, destroy our properties, reduce our quality of life, eliminate our privacy and reduce our safety by making the traffic move faster and closer to our homes, we need to understand and accept your justifications or we will fight you to the bitter end.
Finally, can we audit the new counting process when it occurs? Or can we be involved in hiring the firm to perform the counts? Given the conflicts of interest identified with McMahon and the weakness of their presentation, the legitimacy of any further data they present will be called into question.
Subsequent email letters went to PennDOT (three times) from directly affected residents and as they can be obtained on a Right To Know Request, I am publishing them now.
Here is the first letter:
From: Tom Stuart
Sent: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 11:28 AM
Cc: Sue Drummond <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Rich Orlow <email@example.com>; ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘ <email@example.com>;
Subject: Eminent Domain Taking @ King & 352
Dear Mr. Patel:
I read your September 23, 2019 response to East Whiteland and East Goshen Townships regarding the intersection of Sproul (S.R. 0352) and King Road (S.R. 2022).
In your first paragraph you cite an increase in traffic volumes as the justification for a solution requiring eminent domain taking. A solution that “must be advanced for eventual implementation within a reasonable timeframe.”
Given your solution will destroy homes, privacy, safety and home values (for which payment alone will not cure), are you basing your recommendation on the two traffic reports prepared by McMahon & Assoc in 2005 and 2016? Or, do you have some other traffic volume data that you can share?
It is my understanding that both McMahon studies were performed for just (2) one-hour periods during peak traffic periods in 2005 and 2016, respectively. Further, while I am not currently able to locate the 2005 report to confirm, I was informed by an EG township official that there was very little traffic volume increase measured at the intersection between 2005 and 2016. If this is true, then what “increase in traffic volumes” are your referring to? Is it based on only future predictions? Please quantify.
My wife and I have lived at the intersection for over 20 years. (I purchased the home on December 31, 1996.) Our home literally faces the center of the intersection. Based on my extensive experience, I vehemently disagree with the premise that there is a volume problem that must be resolved. You may consider my opinion biased because the widening and tree/brush removal will eliminate all of the privacy I have spent 10s of thousands of dollars (and a couple decades) to build up, it will dramatically reduce my safety (I can provide more details), and moving me closer to the intersection will destroy my property value.
That said, don’t take it from me. At the June 5, 2019 meeting at Immaculata, I surveyed an audience full of 100+ township residents by asking, “Who thinks delays are the primary problem at the intersection?” Exactly zero people raised their hands. (https://bit.ly/2oueoGQ: Time Stamp: 1:50:10)
So, while your recommendations may be suitable if there were a traffic delay problem at the intersection, the township residents do not agree with the premise under which you have proposed a solution.
So, if PennDOT will not support a permanent, signal-only solution to help address the left turn issues from 352, does PennDOT support a “do nothing” approach? It was not entirely clear whether you were recommending or requiring your “comprehensive” eminent domain taking solution. This is an important detail. Please clarify.
Here is the second letter:
From: Tom Stuart
Sent: Thursday, October 3, 2019 3:37 PM
Cc: Sue Drummond <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Rich Orlow <email@example.com>; ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ <email@example.com>; ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ <email@example.com>; John Nagel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Eminent Domain Taking @ King & 352 – *** Major Safety Concern ***
Dear Mr. Patel,
I have a critical safety concern regarding your suggestion to enable King Rd traffic to drive head on through the 352 intersection at the same time (“in exchange” for split phasing on 352.)
First, do you have a sketch or diagram of the revised intersection layout you are proposing?
I have driven up and down King Rd through the intersection a few times since I read your letter—including in the pitch dark last night. I wanted to get a feel for and imagine the shifted sight lines you are proposing (if the township proceeds with a 2-phased approach.) I imagined it with the westbound King Rd lane being re-located southward by about 1 lane width.
Given that the westbound approach rises slightly to the intersection and the eastbound approach rises significantly, you are inviting a full-speed, head on collision by letting that traffic flow at the same time and at full speed with such limited visibility.
Even if your plan includes destroying a half dozen or so properties by removing all of our privacy and safety providing trees and shrubs, safe sight lines simply do not exist with the current (or the slightly modified) geometry.
As you may or may not be aware, the left turns from 352 are not a major safety hazard now. They are more of an inefficiency and annoyance. The resulting accidents from those turns tend to be low speed fender benders… not head on and certainly not at full speed. The worst symptoms are frustrated drivers honking and cursing.
For this reason, I believe that switching the split phasing from King Rd to 352 as you propose (in part 1 of your 2-phased approach) will make the intersection considerably less safe.
Incidentally, there is a similarly shaped intersection geometry where Paoli Pike meets route 30 in Paoli. The sight lines are MUCH better there because it’s more level. However, in the mid to late 1980s (before the lights were changed to include a protected left turn phase from 30) there was a head on collision that occurred with so much force the driver’s heart detached from all of her arteries. So, unless you and the township want to be directly responsible for introducing fatalities to the intersection, I suggest you withdraw or amend that portion of your recommendation.
If you have any feedback defending what you proposed, I’d be interested to hear it—especially because the townships will likely heed your input more than mine.
I urge the townships to respond to this concern as well.
And here is the third letter:
Thu, Oct 17, 8:21 PM (12 hours ago)
to ASHPATEL@pa.gov, Sue, Rich, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, John, Christie, email@example.com, TINA, Timothy, Christine, Zeek747, me, Ted
Dear Mr. Patel,
I gather from your lack of response to my previous emails (and because the residents were not invited to recent closed-door meeting) that you do not intend to respond to me. The important part is that I have raised my safety concern, you saw it, the townships saw it and it’s now part of the public record.
I would like to draw your attention to a few more critical issues I have identified in your letter of Sept 23 to the townships:
Your suggestion (2e) indicates that signal upgrades could better detect traffic. Obviously, this means reducing delays without any negative impact on safety or otherwise. If PennDOT thinks traffic delays are a problem, why would this not be your recommended solution as a first and immediate phase? Why wasn’t this recommended and implemented years ago? You go on to state that this improvement would not be approved by PennDOT unless the township also agree to take land from local residents in “a reasonable timeframe”. This is outrageous and extremely upsetting. Is this how PennDOT operates– with a complete and total disregard for residents’ homes and properties not to mention a disregard for common sense and unnecessary expenditures?
One of your suggestions is to clear the vegetation through the intersection along King Rd to improve visibility (2c). When it comes to the goal of improving safety, this applies not only to the drivers but also to pedestrians and residents, I assume. As Senior Manager of Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, you must be aware that trees and shrubs create a safety barrier between the traffic and the residents when they must co-exist in close proximity. Tearing them down, as you propose, reduces safety for residents (and pedestrians).
You state that that safety is the department’s primary goal. Yet, you directly contradict this statement with your proposed solutions. If safety is the primary goal, a safety improvement like enhanced traffic detection and painted lines (as you suggest in 2f) could be implemented now. (Or, years ago.) In fact, if safety were the primary goal, a safety improvement such as signal phasing on 352 could be delivered even if it came at the expense of added delays. Your proposals not only fail to make safety the primary consideration, you go so far as to suggest that signal-only safety improvements to 352 traffic can only be delivered if the township agrees to reduce safety on King Rd by letting it drive head on, simultaneously. Local residents would likely agree with me that this could be a net reduction in safety. The reality is that the goal of your proposal appears to be: reduce delays and, if possible, improve safety and do so at the highest possible expense. I find it disappointing that neither you nor the townships ever acknowledge this glaring falsehood being perpetuated. This is not and has never been about improving safety.
Each time I read your proposal and consider what has transpired to date, I become more and more disappointed by what appears to be a complete lack of competence, integrity, honesty, transparency and common sense by all parties carrying some sort of responsibility here. If you disagree with anything I have said and do not wish to have a dialogue with me directly, I understand. I hope you will communicate your feedback to the townships so they can pass it along to me. Or, if the townships care about the affected residents, they can prove it.
Until I see common sense prevail, I will not go away.
“….would not be approved by PennDOT unless the township also agree to take land from local residents in “a reasonable timeframe”.”
There you have it. EMINENT DOMAIN. They always try to make it sound pretty. How was it one of the East Whiteland Supervisors referred to it? As “slivers” of land or something equally preposterous?
It’s eminent domain. It’s stealing someone’s property and for what? So PennDOT can have their Roundabout Reign Of Terror?
I noticed in September PennDOT was doing the old soft shoe PR on their pet project to ruin where we live. All. Across. The. State.
Here, courtesy of Talk Erie News, is essentially PennDOT’s press release in September about this:
Now whomever heads up PennDOT gets a plum pickings patronage job with taxpayer funded benefits of pure political pork, right? Well it is currently one of the original Wolf girls, Leslie Richards:
If you wonder why our roads are so bad, can it be said look no further than Ms. Richards? Would you like to contact Leslie Richards? Try:
The Honorable Leslie S. Richards
Secretary, PA Dept. of Transportation
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Here (courtesy of Wikipedia) is the chronology of her ascent to the cushy land of political patronage jobs:
Richards was elected to the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors in 2007, and became chairwoman of the board in 2008.
Richards was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in 2011. Her election, along with that of fellow Democrat Josh Shapiro, marked the first time in over a century that Democrats controlled the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Richards served as Montgomery County’s representative on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Richards also serves on the board of SEPTA.
Pennsylvania political operatives had mentioned Richards as a potential Congressional candidate in Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district. Richards declined to run for the seat after incumbent Congressman Jim Gerlach retired in 2014.
In 2015, following the election of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, Richards was nominated to serve as Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania. She was subsequently confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate in May 2015.
In 2017, Richards was appointed the first female chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as well as the Public Private Partnership (P3) Board.
But what does she actually DO? I will note I contacted Ms. Richards when this whole Roundabout Reign of Terror began. Her response, even an acknowledgement, of the fact that I contacted her must have gotten lost in the mail.
So people always say when it comes to things like road projects to follow the money, right? So what happens when we follow the money to PennDOT with regard to things like Roundabout Reigns of Terror? Who is benefitting? Is it a long list? Is it a short list?
I sent an e-mail overnight to Senator Andy Dinniman since I feel the State Representatives have been quite invisible on this.
What is happening here is terrifying. He needs to act. He actually might have the power to help my neighbors and get the pause button pushed.
NO ONE HAS TRIED BASIC SIGNALIZATION CHANGES! Why the heavy PennDOT push for traffic circles or the more politically new speak term of “roundabouts” ? Whatever happened to trying something less expensive before taking people’s homes?
Again, if the money trail is followed all the way to Harrisburg where will it lead?
The basic intersection changes affected residents asked for would cost a whole lot LESS than a Circle. And it would not involve eminent domain.
But we, as residents and taxpayers, have been told that PennDOT doesn’t want that. Everything they want seems to involve eminent domain doesn’t it?
Money, money, money. It’s only money and OPM or Other People’s Money at that. Do you want your taxpayer dollars to go to stealing a neighbor’s home?
Why should my neighbors be forced to this? Why should they fear losing their homes? How would you feel if you were facing eminent domain?
None of us asked for this. And the origins of this current situation is somewhat mind boggling to me. That all came out when we did RTK requests a few months ago.
People have asked State Reps for help and to the best of my knowledge that has kind of gone nowhere.
My neighbors need and deserve help. This affects residents in East Whiteland and East Goshen. Truthfully it affects anyone who travels through this intersection. Have you watched people use roundabouts? And what about Immaculata and the buses that come through to them and the trucks, big trucks, which travel these roads?
Of course my personal thoughts include that wanton development is also a culprit here- another thing residents didn’t ask for.
I have seen what the threat of eminent domain does to communities as I have been to this movie before. I just didn’t expect it out here as a threat quite as often as I have seen it.
We have done rights to know. In the spring we learned a lot. Is that the only way we can ever get answers is to pay to be flooded with paper?
This summer I took photos while a passenger in a car. Of a roundabout no one knows how to drive on in Chester County. On Route 52. Where it is still kind of rural and no one lost their homes, although undoubtedly someone lost some land as in open space/farm land.
The topography where that circle was placed is radically different from where PennDOT seems hell bent for leather to get one at King and 352.
Putting a traffic circle, roundabout, whatever you wish to new speak it as on King and 352 is like the proverbial square peg in the round hole, or is it round peg in the square hole? (Sorry, traffic circle humor)
Remember this issue when election day rolls around.
Soon it will be Halloween. Then we will have Thanksgiving and Christmas and Channukah and so on, so what do these poor residents have to look forward to with the evil specter of eminent domain courtesy of PennDOT lurking around seemingly every corner?
Residents asking for traffic improvements on side streets somehow translated to a potential pork project and please stop the roundabout turntable, residents want to get off.
Can anyone help stop this? Does anyone give a crap about residents anymore? Or all we just expendable?
Yesterday was a day.
It started extremely happily as I was doing something I really love to do. I had a wonderful time… until sadly I didn’t.
I encountered a woman, a total stranger, who upset me enough that I just stopped what I was doing and decided to go home. That doesn’t generally happen.
On the way home I saw something that made me smile. It was something happy that reminded me of what’s important and what’s lovely about life.
It was a group of boys, obviously good buddies, all clumped together on a public street corner hanging out as boys are wont to do. Of course, they are modern boys, so they were all clumped together each one staring at their smartphones. And they were standing next to a very important historic sign marker.
It was a moment. Frozen in time. It made me smile and I took the photo.
There was no malice. I captured a moment on a public street that made me smile. And shared it.
But oh no, because of the world we allow ourselves to live in, my happy moment caught in an image where you couldn’t even see the boys’ faces, was twisted and made ugly.
All of a sudden, a man I don’t know is leaving comments that I am a “sick person” and a “pedophile”. That I was a “twisted voyeur of children” unfit to live in my own community and that (and I quote) “you get banned all around Malvern and now you leer on kids.”
I have, among other things, never been banned from anywhere.
I took the comments as what they were, threats, and sent them in native format to the police in case something happened to me.
That is not something I regularly do, but I took those comments as the threats they were intended to be. I am a woman. And when a man is that viscerally verbally abusive in comments, I am not necessarily going to just say “well that’s ok”.
As a matter of fact I am NOT going to say any of this is ok any longer.
Whenever it is something to do with me, because I am the local blogger, people all over social media, including in community groups I am not part of, pile on. Comment after comment after comment.
It’s enough to make you puke because these groups all have “statements of community” after a fashion and how they are all about love, and family, and community and neighbors…unless it’s me or anyone else who will never be a cookie cutter version of them.
Whether it’s me or anyone else who isn’t in their limited circle of life or school car rider line, it’s just fine to tear everyone apart. We don’t have feelings. We’re not like you. We don’t matter.
And you people wonder why some of your kids are called out in school for being bullies or having behavioral issues? Where do you actually think they learn the behavior?
Last night, the day thankfully changed yet again. I was with friends for a surprise party for another friend.
I belonged there. I felt loved and safe there. I was with people who actually, truly, really know me. They all reminded me again of what is important in this world. And what’s not important are the people who want to turn lovely days ugly and dirty. What’s not important are those of you (some with extraordinarily flawed and messed up lives, I might add) sitting in judgement of me or anyone else you find suspicious for not being exactly like you.
PSA: I am done with the BS. I am over being judged, maligned, defamed, harassed, harangued, bullied….yet when some want something done I am the one they seek out?
Can’t have it both ways.
I am not a bad person and I don’t have to defend my existence to any of the shlubs who wish to sit in judgement of me, my blogging, my opinions, and what I choose to photograph on public streets. Or bars and restaurants I choose to review. Or for writing about what’s important to me.
I have been threatened, harassed, you name it. And for what? Because I am not some freaking Nouveau Stepford Wife or I didn’t grow up in Malvern when dinosaurs roamed the earth?
Get over yourselves.
Those who know me, know me to be loyal to a fault. Those who cross me know I don’t suffer fools lightly.
I saw this on a telephone pole in Malvern Borough in July. Anna Maciejewska has been missing since April, 2017.
I get the wheels of justice move slowly but come on now? Isn’t there anything? Recently I’ve watched news programs like Dateline NBC and ABC’s 20/20 do programs on missing women. One is a mother from a wealthy Connecticut suburb named Jennifer Dulos. Here’s an article from earlier this month:
On May 24, Jennifer Dulos of New Canaan, Connecticut, mysteriously vanished after suffering what investigators believe was a “serious physical assault.” Since her disappearance, police have discovered her abandoned car, bloodstained clothes, and video footage that points toward two suspects: Dulos’s estranged husband and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis
Yup another mom. Abandoned car. Loved by friends and family, no one believes she would leave her children. But at least this missing woman’s mother has custody of her children so she can see them.
So why isn’t anyone writing about Anna? Or putting her on Dateline or 20/20? Why is it it seems like the wheels of justice have just completely stopped?
I fully understand that at times the wheels of justice can be really slow, but does anyone out there still care about the missing mom from Malvern, Pennsylvania? I think people do care including people in law-enforcement that I am sure have put in thousands of hours of manpower by this point, but it’s been along time since we had an update hasn’t it?
I will be honest and say that a lot of people seem to blame the District Attorney’s Office for the slowness, and I don’t necessarily believe that is fair. These cases move slowly and there is also the Pennsylvania State Police to be taken into consideration isn’t there? And I’m not going to point fingers at either institution, but I think they need to update us to at least let us know that they’re still working on it. I also think they need to shop this to national television news magazines like Dareline NBC or ABC’s 20/20.
I never knew Anna. But last night as messed up as it sounds I had a dream where I was standing with a friend on the edge of some woods somewhere watching people with bloodhounds.
It was one of those crazy dreams where you could feel the mist in the air and cooler night time temperatures and hear the beating of the dogs and the shouts of people. I think the reason I probably had the dream is because I had watched this thing on Jennifer Dulos from Connecticut.
But when I woke up I thought of a more local woman I had never met, Anna Maciejewska.
I think of my friends who still have younger children in the elementary school range who are all wound up in their crazy quilt of back to school schedules. I hear snippets of how their kids are doing and what they are doing and it makes me think of a missing woman named Anna who doesn’t get to see her little boy grow up. And her little boy is getting older, so what questions does he ask about where his mother is?
I also have Polish friends. As in ex-pats who emigrated here and became citizens years ago. This Polish community is very tight-knit. I’m sure they all wonder what happened to Anna, even those who did not know her. My Polish friends did not know her but knew of her because they had kids that went to “Polish school” and participated in other Polish activities in the region.
Every summer two of my Polish friends take their children on extended vacations back to Poland to see their grandparents and meet their cousins and learn about where their mothers are from. I think Anna would have been doing that if she was around.
Anna Maciejewska came here for the American dream. She did everything the right way and she worked hard, and can we say what she got in the end was the American nightmare?
I think we all need updates on what is going on quite literally with finding Anna. If you have a heart beating in your chest you want to know. Her family deserves to know.
I have absolutely no idea whom you call if you know something and the screenshot above has a phone number 610-486-6280.
Anna, we have not forgotten about you. And truthfully, we never will. We want justice served all we’re asking for as residents of Chester County is a law-enforcement update and some media attention to this so this case can be solved.
If you know anything please contact police, as in the state police, and the Chester County District Attorney’s office.
Hang on Angel Anna, we are thinking of you and praying.
This is a community member. This could be anyone, and it’s legitimate. This is NOT someone who is faking anything and with all she has faced so bravely I don’t know how she does it.
She’s a real woman and a mom and she can’t catch a break.
Brain tumors, other potential cancer-like growths, and Mitochondrial Disease. (Mitochondrial Disease examples are MS, Parkinsons, and Lou Gehrigs Disease (ALS).)
But for the Grace of God Go any of us. If you can help, every little bit helps. Even just sharing this helps.
Please help me pay this forward. This is a generous community and Beth needs our help.
From her Go Fund Me months ago:
*updated* Beth has always worked two jobs – however – in early December 2018 one of the attorneys at the lawfirm she worked at told her “if you’re having seizures I can’t have you here”… two weeks later she was let go – the Friday before Christmas. She was not told why. She was told only that she had 5 minutes to gather her things and leave and and never come back. She rarely ever took a sick day even with the diagnosis of a brain tumor and lesion, which causes her to have severe vertigo and balance issues, seizures, headaches and fatigue….
In 2012 she even donated one of her kidneys to someone who needed it! To hear her say it, “it was the right thing to do. And, I had an extra one anyway.” She’s always one to make people laugh…..She has been battling migraines since age six and was diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago. Now she is facing a recent diagnosis of a CORTICAL DYSPLASIA LESION and a LOW GRADE GLIOMA (brain tumor). Which was actually discovered in 2014 on an MRI taken when she had a stroke. However it was not disclosed to her until June 2018 when she began having serious issues. Someone dropped the ball big time!
From her Go Fund Me this August:
AUGUST UPDATE – Beth’s is now being treated by a Neurologist at Einstein for Mitochondrial Disease. Mitochondrial Disease examples are MS, Parkinsons, and Lou Gehrigs Disease (ALS). She has an illness you cannot see and if she had been treated correctly years ago may have been able to avoid this stage. THERE IS NO CURE. THERE IS NO MAGIC MEDICATION. Mito is controlled through diet and nutrition and overall management. The hardest part for her and for us is the effects of the cognitive decline. She can’t do many of the things she used to even just around the house and its devastating to see and devastating to her.
At this point she has been using a cane to walk since November. She has dementia like symptoms more often but she still has more of a “good day” than not so that is what we hang onto. The right side of her body is weak and her hand tremors which is also starting to happen in her right leg. She cannot hold a cup, and her right hand remains closed and is painful to open so we bought a small toy football for her to hold to keep it open.
She is incredibly effected by sound – too many “noise sources” are very confusing for her and can be overwhelming and even physically painful – she says it makes her ears burn – which also triggers seizures (before a seizure she usually touches her ears and face and that’s how I know she’s about to have an issue). She also gets very confused at these tmes and often has trouble finding her words or remember the conversation she is in. I think this may be part of why she stays in alot.
Her body cannot produce the energy it needs as fast as it is being used. Some days she cannot even move to reach for something because her body just wont cooperate and she is exhausted but when she CAN do something even if it is for a short time she does.
She cannot eat many solid foods at this point because she cannot digest them well (Gastroparesis) and chewing physically makes her Jaw tired.
We focus on key nutrients like Magnesium, Vitamin D, Iodine and B to keep her energy levels up. Her medications are on a schedule – Thyroid, Seizure, Migraine, and the foods we make sure she has every day are Avocado, Mango, Banana, Chicken and FlaxSeed.
In June she had and EEG and ENG, in July she had another w/wo contrast so her Nuero can compare with all the other scans dating back to 2014 when they discovered the tumor and lesion (but forgot to tell her about) but ALSO discover her Gastroparesis, and Thyroid Disease – 3 effected Organ systems = Mitochondrial Disease) – but 5 years later here we are…
The ENG was a very painful test of electrical conduction done in two parts – the first was topical electrode shocking her muscles and the second was long needles that shocked her muscles once they were inserted – I had to leave the room – it was like watching her be tortured for two hours.
This disease is robbing her and us. It’s painful for her to have and painful for us to watch her go through knowing nothing can be done. Alot of people seem to be google doctors which is very frustrating – we know what we are dealing with because WE are dealing with it although we do appreciate the well intended suggestions of trying this or that or maybe its “just…” we finally have a have a very educated team of medical professionals that are experts in their field.
Beth thought she had unemployment funds until December and in May was tricked into signing a release not to sue her former employer for an ADA claim in exchange for them not to contest it. and her last payment was in June. She has applied for disability but in the meantime we could really use some healp.
Help spread the word!
Have you met Mike Noone? I did this afternoon at my friend’s cookout, and to be honest, I was impressed.
No, I am not telling you how to vote. Mike is the first candidate I have met this season, and the first I have met in a long time that you can just connect with and have an actual conversation. There is no political puffery, and I appreciate that.
Mike Noone is the Republican candidate for District Attorney in Chester County. He is at present, District Attorney Tom Hogan’s First District Attorney.
I will note I am always open within reason to meeting candidates. If I think they are a waste of time, I won’t and I am not shy in saying so.
But I liked meeting Mike. He is definitely worth having a conversation with if you have the opportunity! He also has an impressive track record.
This morning the Daily Local has an article about a vicious fire that could have been deadly yesterday along Pottstown Pike/ Route 100.
UWCHLAN — Fire erupted at an apartment house in the 500 block of N. Pottstown Pike Wednesday.
Lionville Fire Company was dispatched just before 3 p.m. for the report of a possible subject trapped in the former two-floor motel annex.
Firefighters reported heavy fire on the second floor of the building….The cause of the fire is under investigation
I think at least FIVE fire companies responded. And given HOW busy 100 is, many, many kudos to the first responders because that is difficult location no matter how you slice it. I am also told access to this property is somewhat dicey? I wonder if they could even get fire trucks across the little driveway bridge off Route 100 that I am told crosses a creek there? People say it’s not great?
The reporter/photographer for The Daily Local is someone I have known for years. He covers a lot of fires and one time he covered a house fire next door to where I lived many years ago. I will never forget that fire because the firefighters had to work so hard to keep the flames engulfing an old Victorian house owned by an absentee landlord from jumping to the roofs next door, including my own.
What the reporter/photographer doesn’t mention is a selfless local Chester County resident who stopped to help BEFORE first responders arrived on scene.
And I am NOT saying this as a chide, I am not sure anyone knew. But I know so I am going to tell you.
The person who stopped and risked her own safety was my friend, Ginny Kerslake. Yes, the same Ginny Kerslake who ran for Chester County Commissioner in the recent Democratic primary this past spring that the Chester County Democrats chose NOT to endorse. (And yes THAT is most decidedly a dig at the flawed endorsement process of a major political party.)
This is what my friend Ginny shared with us yesterday shortly after the fire erupted:
Avoid route 100 just north of Township Line Rd.
As I was driving past I saw black smoke and then the flames. Called 911 and banged on the apartment doors right next to the house to alert residents. A woman used my phone to call the woman who lives in the house – luckily she was out somewhere but her husband who smokes may be inside where the fire is. I really hope he’s not. First responders on scene. It’s frightening to see.
I left once there was nothing for me to do but get out of the way. I’m home now hearing lots of sirens and hoping for the best for everyone there.
Ginny acted in a selfless and heroic manner in my opinion. She put herself in danger to try to help others before first responders arrived.
Ginny is a modest woman and doesn’t seek accolades or personal glory for the amazing things she does. However, yesterday what she did was brave and heroic and she deserves our praise and thanks. In a world where so much is ugly, I am honored to have a friend who truly will put her own needs and life aside for the greater good. Ginny exhibited a selfless act of bravery in the true spirit of community.
I don’t think Uwchlan Township even realized what she did.
That above was the Uwchlan Township Police Department press release post incident. They obviously did not realize that Ginny Kerslake was in part responsible for getting people out of the structure(s).
I remember yesterday when PulsePoint reported the incident. They said “commercial structure” so I was not sure where they meant.
You undoubtedly have driven past this now fire location before if you are traveling Route 100.
The above photo with the arrows is one I shared in the fall of 2017 when a billboard was being proposed for the derelict and boarded up farm market or whatever it is next door. I used the arrows to remind people of not only the location on Pottstwon Pike/100 but also the proximity to the location which had the fire yesterday.
And this location is what was once known as the Dogwood Motel. Now it appears to be apartments of some sort. And this location once again represents the very limited supply of “affordable housing” in this part of Chester County. Like the mobile home parks we see scattered about including in townships in close proximity like East Whiteland and further away near or in other municipalities like Wallace Township, Honeybrook, Phoenixville, and the Downingtown areas, the old Dogwood Motel represents a very limited supply of affordable housing.
And as Chester County continues to get bombarded with new developments, the affordable housing supply continues to dwindle. And we are not simply referring to section 8 housing, we are referring to low income housing for those of modest means in all categories including our elderly who live on fixed incomes in a lot of cases. With all of this new development, taxes and rents increase often pricing life-long residents quite literally out of their homes.
No, I am not being a drama queen, it’s true. And people of low incomes and modest means are the invisible people society doesn’t wish to see.
This location at 514 N. Pottstown Pike is run down and has been for years. A search through Chester County records indicates the property is owned by people who seem as if they lived locally at one time, but now reside in Florida. I am not positive but if I am reading old deeds correctly they bought it possibly in a Sheriff’s sale decades ago? Here is are screen shots from Chesco Views:
The Daily Local indicates there is some sort of investigation post-fire. That is normal. Of course other questions would now include if the property owners are the equivalent of absentee landlords who is responsible for day to day maintenance on this property? And who at a township level and county level is responsible for seeing that this structure and other low income rental properties are safe and up to code?
It is thanks to first responders and ordinary people like Ginny Kerslake who is not a first responder that no lives were lost.
But what happens now to all of the residents who call this location home? I can’t answer that question but myself and many others are wondering.
If anyone does any LEGITIMATE fundraisers for the residents here, please post a comment on this blog’s Facebook page.
But for the grace of God go any of us in a situation like this.
#MissingMonday #FindAnna Anna Maciejewska is still missing.
As seen on a telephone pole in Malvern.