kristine howard, the only thing you have earned is my disdain.

Kristine Howard has lit drop flooded our mailbox today. Especially loved the giant glossy mailer that says she’s “earned” her reelection. Sorry not sorry, the balls on that woman! Or her campaign.

In all my years of voting, and watching local, regional, state, and federal politics I am astounded that someone who has literally done nothing is even still a viable candidateIn all my years of voting, and watching local, regional, state, and federal politics, I am gob smacked astounded that someone who has literally done nothing is even a candidate.

If she is such a real “environmentalist“ why has she killed so many trees this election season?

She is not visible, she is not available to her constituents, she is solely available to Tom Wolf and his agenda. And whomever else her puppeteers are.

I gave her a chance two years ago and the only thing she has earned to date is my distain.

I don’t care if you vote for a purple people eater tomorrow don’t vote for Kristine Howard.

sex, lies, and lawn signs: don’t we have bigger fish to fry in chester county?

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Sigh. I knew Incumbent and Invisible State Rep. Kristine Howard (D-167) was feeling threatened, but I had no idea that she would stoop to such lows (or allow her campaign to.)  Especially as a female candidate and current elected official.  But she has.  She is coloring outside the lines, waaaay outside the lines to the point of wondering what she gets by doing this or allowing it to be done? And she is always when anything ever comes out, a pathetic apologist.  Case in point is this latest missive to the Democratic Committee and whomever wrote this needs a lesson in writing in general:

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What is that smell? Ahh yes political puffery and bull twaddle.  Why? Because she and her campaign are TERRIFIED of my friend Ginny Kerslake who is running for her State Rep seat as a BETTER Democrat.  She’s too silly to realize that she should actually be terrified of my other friend who is running as the Republican candidate, Wendy Graham Leland. (But I digress.)

Everything that comes out targets Ginny Kerslake because well, that is ALL Kristine Howard has done.  Other than that she is invisible.  She started doing newsletters I think to prop up her sagging campaign.  And her campaign deserves to sag. But her campaign is behaving more and more like a Bravo Real Housewives franchise they are so pathetic. We might watch the Housewives shows for entertainment value, but we certainly wouldn’t elect them to public office, would we?

Her opportunistic boyfriend sidles up to husbands of former county commissioners and others who don’t even live in Chester County to slam and attempt to denigrate anyone who isn’t high stepping like a Rockette alongside them, Tom Wolf, or who is NOT pro-pipeline, correct? They have multiple fake social media news pages up and that’s how they are running this campaign: lies, innuendo, harassment, fake news. You know the political campaign equivalent of sex, lies, and videotape.

And at the heart of the matter are the pipelines, aren’t they? That is why Ginny Kerslake and Danielle Friel Otten are so feared. They aren’t them, they are us.  Being normal and hard working is the world’s oldest and biggest threat to political chicanery.

Rep. Kristine Howard allows these things to continue, turns a blind eye and is mute, so why would anyone want her in Harrisburg? Doesn’t she know right from wrong? Is allowing political crap like this to persist outside the bounds of being ethical? Or just being devoid of a strong moral compass?

Rep. Howard remains mute while others speak and write for her.  Just like with the last election when she was also invisible and mute to the point that even door knockers campaigning on her behalf knew nothing about her or what she even looked like.  And she used a couple of photos then that were like a decade or better out of date so when you did finally see a photo of her today most of us had no idea who it was.

Rep. Kristine Howard is also a Tom Wolf marionette.  Whatever Govie man says, she swoons. Swoons. How high can she jump for him? Very high.  Take last summer when her constituents adversely affected by pipelines quite literally begged her in tears to tour their neighborhoods with them. She ignored them but later showed up for a photo op with Governor Tom Wolf….and Rep Carolyn Comitta.

Back to her missive to Democrat committee members. Why is she targeting Ginny Kerslake and Ginny Kerslake alone over lawn signs? Other Chester County candidates have lawn signs out? Take Don Vymazal, for example. His signs are out.  Other signs are out. But no, all she targets is ONE person, Ginny Kerslake.

Rep. Kristine Howard also has her angry gal pals.  Like West Whiteland Supervisor Theresa Hogan Santalucia.  But they share a common dislike for Ginny Kerslake, don’t they?  When the good supervisor isn’t shilling for Howard she is the mouthpiece of her sister Rose Hogan Danese, who is running (or trying to run) against Rep Danielle Friel Otten.  Danielle is another target in general of these people.  And a friend of Ginny’s. (See the pattern?)

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So back to this whole #SignGate.  Ginny Kerslake is not breaking any laws and quite frankly contactless delivery is contactless delivery.  Rep. Kristine Howard should have better things to do.  But she and her campaign and her camp followers apparently do not have anything better to do.

It’s like the rumors they have been spreading about another friend of mine who was campaigning for Ginny before all the #COVIDmadness ensued.  Accusing her of having the virus and spreading it.  Have you heard of anything so hateful in the time of a global pandemic? And a little fact checking is in order because Ginny’s team hasn’t been canvassing since we were all told to stay the hell home.

And other things they made a mountain out of a molehill on was they claim Ginny Kerslake voted for Duane Milne in 2018. Ummm, who cares if it’s true?  I mean really? Aren’t we allowed to chose whom we wish to vote for regardless of political affiliation? And does that mean they know who every resident of Chester County has voted for? Are they in fact violating the supposed sanctity of the voting booth?

So every few days it is something else. But the signs thing is just so pathetic it was time to speak out about it.  I am sure they will attack me next.  And State Rep. Kristine Howard will stand mute when that happens, won’t she? After all where is her moral compass if she thinks this is the way to win a primary, right? Maybe she should stand on her record, but then that makes you wonder what has she actually done since taking office? The answer is photo ops with Wolf and other Wolfettes and not much else.

I ask you primary voters in the 167th to vote Rep. Kristine Howard OUT of office on June 2nd.  Any woman that stands by and allows her campaign soldiers to behave the way they have does not deserve votes.  She does not have her own voice. She is a political puppet, a marionette.  I find that equally sad and pathetic. I don’t think this is what State Rep. Kristine Howard set out to become, but it’s too late, she’s there and it’s done.

In general, the Chester County Democratic Party needs to get it together. They say power corrupts and I have to marvel at how it hasn’t taken that long for them to start acting stupid? And they criticize the Republicans? Come on now.

I close with a positive.  Please read former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge‘s recent editorial.  It is very powerful.  CLICK HERE.

 

caspar whiner

 

 

 

keeping it klassy down in d.c.

I don’t blog about national politics much. What is the point? They are going to do what they are going to do down in the political swamp. The only way we can control them as Americans is with our vote. And either people aren’t voting or the candidates suck.

Normally I do not watch or listen to most of the remarks made by this President. Today I am. Mostly out of curiosity. What I have discovered is I will go back to not watching or listening to most of the remarks.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sitting US President curse on television before. And everyone who disagrees with him is a horrible person. Or “vicious as hell”. But he’s perfect.

The song remains the same every time he opens his mouth except now he’s cursing on television. And nobody’s perfect everybody curses, but should a president really do that on television? And why wasn’t any of it bleeped out by networks? They would bleep it out if it was the Grammys or the Oscars or some thing wouldn’t they?

Let’s talk impeachment. If you’re realistic you knew it would never go anywhere, that it was political posturing. No matter what side of the aisle you sit on with this issue, that is the truth.

The votes were never there pure and simple. So I don’t know why all the excitement over an acquittal because it was never going to happen in the first place by the sheer basic basis of the number of votes for and against.

There is the whole impeachment argument of “well they had to try.” To that I say yes and no. If you know what the outcome will be, why waste time on it? And the Democrats knew how the Republicans will vote so what did all of the breast beating from BOTH sides of the aisle do for all Americans exactly? (Except for providing really funny Saturday Night Live skits, that is.

The night of the State of the Union started with the bad manners of not accepting Nancy Pelosi’s hand when offered.

The President and Pelosi don’t have to like each other but there’s decorum that is supposed to be observed and traditions respected. You know that whole term of worthy or honorable opposition?

Pelosi then compounded the issues by acting like a post- menopausal born again teenager who got dumped by her date before prom when she ripped up the speech on camera.

Apoliticism is apathy or antipathy towards all political affiliations. I now understand why people get there in their heads. I find myself headed there.

Here we have a guy I am supposed to respect and he spends more time on Twitter than I do and I am a blogger who has been on Twitter since 2008. I keep looking to see why perfectly lovely people I know think he’s so wonderful and I still can’t figure it out. Then there are all of the Republicans who think he’s not so wonderful yet they are literally mute.

Regardless of political affiliation we get the country we deserve. And this is why people should pay more attention from the most local of politics through to Washington. If you want better people in office you have to pay attention you can’t just be a sheeple.

We are a nation divided. I am not sure of the entirety of how we got here, but we need to stop it. A virtual Civil War that plays out every day in this country on social media helps no one. And it is perhaps more damaging and more lasting in negativity than the actual Civil War was in the 19th century.

Just my thoughts.

no billboards for christmas please, east whiteland

Just when you think more headaches can’t possibly arise for East Whiteland residents, along comes the possibility of…..BILLBOARDS…BIG ELECTRONIC ones.

So riddle me this East Whiteland— why did you spend ridiculous amounts of taxpayer money on a Route 30 Corridor Study only to allow further deterioration via billboards? I mean What The ever loving F ? is Lancaster Ave / Route 30 / Lincoln Highway supposed to improve by being turned into I-95 in Philadelphia by GIANT television screens that are on 24/7/365? You haven’t even addressed the smaller one that blinds people near Lincoln Court!

Way to sneak in the holiday surprise, right? (Here is the link to the Planning Commission Agenda but the links to each of the items on billboard, but those links go absolutely nowhere right now .)

And about the E. Whiteland Outdoor, LLC?

So does that mean East Whiteland now has a lot in common with other townships like Tredyffrin, Haverford, Coatesville, and even more? (See the Community Matters Blog in Tredyffrin.)

And hey East Whiteland all those apartment dwellers you want on Route 30? Townhouses, etc? Do you really think these people and future residents want to have to buy blackout shades to avoid the glare of I-95 in Chester County? Because that is what people already face driving by that small non-related overly bright TV in front of part of Lincoln Court, right?

And it looks like East Whiteland zoning for off premises signs doesn’t exactly match the supposed spirit of what they supposedly wish to accomplish with the Route 30 Corridor Study?

I just can’t EVEN with this township. Sign me disgusted. If YOU are disgusted too please go to the Christmas Surprise Planning Commission Meeting. Wednesday December 18th at 7 PM. East Whiteland Township is located at 209 Conestoga Road, Frazer, PA 19355

chesapeake bay crab cakes & more and the snotty pants customer service experience

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WARNING RANT AHEAD. Turn away now if you don’t want to read it.

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More. A catalog company based out of Owings Mill, Maryland.  Part of the Chesapeake Fine Food Group.  They describe themselves on LinkedIn as:

Based out of Baltimore, MD, Chesapeake Fine Food Group is the proud parent company of Mackenzie Limited, Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More, and Impromptu Gourmet.

Whether you’re a seafood connoisseur or a chocoholic, our catalogs have something for the gourmet in everyone. We have a simple rule of thumb: find the best of the best, and never compromise on quality.

Our three catalogs circulate on a monthly basis, and we can also be found online at http://www.mackenzieltd.com, http://www.cbcrabcakes.com, and http://www.impromptugourmet.com

One tiny detail? I get catalogs from Chesapeake Bay and Mackenzie Limited. Only I have never ordered from them nor received a gift from them.  When TWO of the same catalog came in for Chesapeake Bay today I called “customer service”.  Can you say Ms. Snotty Pants at your service?

Indeed.  Snotful doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Ms. Snotty Pants was all professionally perky when she answered my customer service call. She was saccharine sweet until….OH MY GOD the nerve!  I had the temerity to request NO CATALOGS.

“You aren’t calling to place an order?” Ms. Snotty Pants asked.

“No, sadly I just want to kill fewer trees. I have never received a gift from your company nor ordered from your company and also never requested a catalog, so I just want to be removed from the mailing list.”

“I can’t help you.” replied the suddenly icy Ms. Snotty Pants. 

This is when she got truly snotty. Spoke to me like I was a toddler.  She couldn’t possibly help me because (wait for it) my name was on a mailing list they paid for.  Someplace called the Direct Marketing Association.

I was dumbfounded. I asked her to repeat herself.  So she did. Irritated Mommy to bad toddler style. Did she offer me contact information for Direct Marketing Association? NOPE.

And apparently although they can solicit me for business in an unsolicited manner and clog up my mailbox, they are not required to maintain an opt out of catalogs list that so many other businesses keep.  Basically this woman didn’t give a crap when she realized no credit card and order from me.

Forget about the fact that I think these lists should be like do not call lists (which aren’t paid attention to much anymore, sadly), I think this phone call speaks VOLUMES about the LACK of actual customer service because every other catalog company I have phoned to say “Hey no more catalogs please” could NOT have been nicer.  They were all lovely. Except for Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More.

So maybe they have wonderful products and maybe their other brands MacKenzie Limited and Impromptu Gourmet also have wonderful products. But I will never, ever order from them and will encourage anyone who wants to read this post this far to also never, ever order from them. Customer service should be pretty damn basic for a company like this. And they are lacking.

Oh and about the Direct Marketing Association?  If you call them, they have absurdly short customer service hours daily, and oh yeah, you have to PAY THEM to submit an application to remove your name from their solicitation lists when you didn’t give them permission in the first place.

So I signed up at CatalogChoice.org, a non-profit who will try to help you get off the catalog lists.

As per an article Chesapeake Fine Food Group is sadly woman owned by Laura McManus and  Kate Glenn. Don’t know them and shame on them for not extending customer service to people who take the time to contact you to ask to please be opted out of catalogs they never requested in the first place. And FYI? Their Better Business Bureau Reviews are  awful. Their Facebook reviews are on average bad as well.

Any catalog companies who can’t assist you in getting removed from a mailing list are not catalog companies who deserve the business of any consumer whatsoever.

Rant over.

west whiteland: development and crumbling history?

Along S. Whitford Road. I have photographed this before. It continues to deteriorate.

Meanwhile, turn the corner onto Creamery Way I think it is and you see:

It’s like in West Whiteland there is a race to develop every square inch into homogeneous Tyvec wrapped insanity…while history rots.

Surely Chester County deserves better?

ex-supervisors in west vincent be like….seeing dead people

When there is an election coming in West Vincent you can always rest assured that the same old political bullsheit will surface. Oh yes, bad words…please alert the potty mouth police. (Yes, sarcasm, we are talking about West Vincent, after all.)

Take the letter above. Written by Vomitorious Ralph err…that suave Country Squire former Lower Merion Township resident and political operative , former West Vincent Supervisor…David Brown.

Hence, elections in West Vincent are like seeing dead people…err former politicians desperately seeking relevance.

(Yessss people…..Buckle up West Vincent between now and Election Day it will be CRAY CRAY…..)

Time to resurrect Chickenman archives?

The largest irony about reading this letter? Wondering if it’s autobiographical to the author’s cronies and their days gone by?

I mean come on now really Mr. Brown? My goodness. If you were Pinocchio 🤥 would you be able to hold your head up now?

You can always count on West Vincent to be super nasty at election time. I have experienced it personally and have saved the screen shots to prove it. Cyber bullying, cyber harassing, the dickitude factor runs high.

I fully expect they will attack me again because oh my gosh my golly I don’t like the crap that spews out of West Vincent every single election season.

If you want the tea and scones administration to return, by all means be of the sheeple and for the sheeple and vote sheeple. Sara Shirk is your gal.

But if you want a nice man who is thoughtful and caring and honest, then vote for George Dulchinos.

Otherwise it’s the Handmaids Tale….

“roundabout” we go in east whiteland and east goshen looking for answers…that don’t add up to eminent domain….

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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:

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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 websiteOn 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
To: ASHPATEL@pa.gov
Cc: Sue Drummond <sdrummond@eastwhiteland.org>; Rich Orlow <rorlow@eastwhiteland.org>; ‘slambert@eastwhiteland.org‘ <slambert@eastwhiteland.org>; 
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.

Best Regards,

Tom Stuart

Here is the second letter:

From: Tom Stuart
Sent: Thursday, October 3, 2019 3:37 PM
To: ASHPATEL@pa.gov
Cc: Sue Drummond <sdrummond@eastwhiteland.org>; Rich Orlow <rorlow@eastwhiteland.org>; ‘slambert@eastwhiteland.org’ <slambert@eastwhiteland.org>; ‘rsmith@eastgoshen.org’ <rsmith@eastgoshen.org>; John Nagel <jnagel@eastwhiteland.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.

Best Regards,
Tom Stuart

And here is the third letter:

Tom Stuart 
Thu, Oct 17, 8:21 PM (12 hours ago)
to ASHPATEL@pa.gov, Sue, Rich, slambert@eastwhiteland.org, rsmith@eastgoshen.org, John, Christie, benpoe4@juno.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.

Best Regards,

Tom Stuart

“….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.

media1media 3

Here, courtesy of Talk Erie News, is essentially PennDOT’s press release in September about this:

ERIE NEWS
PennDOT Data Shows Pennsylvania Roundabouts Reducing Fatalities, Injuries, and Crashes
By TalkErie News – September 16, 2019

roundabout

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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:

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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
Keystone Building
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
lsrichards@pa.gov

Leslie also has a Facebook page, but she allows no contact there. Just public adoration. She also has Twitter – Leslie S. Richards (@SecRichards) REALLY making her a Wolf girl.

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.

road1

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?

Other posts:

the dance around eminent domain and other tales from the king road/route 352 meeting

no eminent domain. no circle/roundabout. people before politics.

meeting on route 352 and king road set for june 5th at 7pm at immaculata university

east goshen responds to right to know request on 352 and king intersection improvements

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

penndot responds on king and sproul/352

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then there is this other stepford mecca being built on white horse road…

Of course then there is this development on White Horse Road in Malvern.

I don’t even know what this Stepford Mecca is called.

But hell’s bells I guess these local municipalities must really think that we are going to grow our food on top of Whole Foods and Aldi and Wegmans given the rate they are approving developments out of farm land and open space, right?

And when everyone is so surprised when every school district doubles in size splits into two takes land by eminent domain for new buildings, don’t be. This is exactly why it’s happening.

This is also the Chester County Planning Commission and Municipalities Planning Code of Pennsylvania hard at work…for anyone other than the actual residents.

Wake up Chester County. Wake the hell up.

breast cancer is neither pink nor fluffy

I saw these in a store on Saturday. The people running the store couldn’t tell me what percentage of profits went back to a breast-cancer charity if at all.

#Pinktober is something that any of us who have had breast cancer or are currently in treatment for breast cancer will tell you to pay attention to.

The true believers think that they are doing us a favor and honoring us who have or have had the disease by buying something pink. The truth is you’re not.

Look at the irony of buying products the turn pink for October as a marketing ploy which contain carcinogens. So you’re buying something you think is going to honor a friend or family member or other loved one who has had this awful disease and are you?

I don’t think you are.

I think people need to educate themselves on good solid breast cancer charities and if you’re buying something during the month of #Pinktober you need to know exactly how much is going to a non-profit.

There are three breast cancer charities I think or extraordinarily worthy and one of them is based in Chester County. Here is my list:

Unite For Her

BreastCancer.org

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

The pink ribbon culture is ridiculous. The #Pinktober culture is a marketing scheme. It’s called Cause Marketing. It’s about the bottom line of corporate America. Not those of us who are survivors or who are in treatment. There is MORE cause marketing for breast cancer than anything else.  Don’t fall for it.

You want to do something? Support those who have had or who are being treated with the disease by maybe doing something nice for them. Or if you feel the need to give a donation, do your homework and find legitimate charities that actually donate MORE to research or welfare then to their operating expenses.  Read the IRS form 990s of non-profits. Don’t get Pink Washed. Do your homework.  (Read this about the New York State Attorney General’s Office stopping a bogus charity I had written about a few years ago.)

By all means, support legitimate efforts to fund research and help women and families affected by breast cancer.  Men too. Because men get breast cancer too.  But do not think that pink box of crackers or energy drink haunting grocery store and drug store aisles or the t-shirt bought in a mall store is actually helping.

This isn’t a soft and fluffy disease. Breast cancer is not friendly or perky. So pink during October makes me want to scream or even throw-up.  I think the pink saturation does good.  I think it makes money for corporate America.

You do not have to believe me. But please, #ThinkBeforeYouPink

Watch this movie if you have the time: