I was in Ardmore again for the first time in a very long time. There are lots of dining options and other things to look at, but the streets are broken and filthy.
The roadways themselves are broken and rutted and it’s hard to imagine a township with so much money and bravado can’t seem to see the ruts and potholes.
So here I was back in Ardmore, where the actual township building is located, in the Historic Ardmore Business District with a business improvement improvement district called the Ardmore Initiative and let’s talk about the god damn sidewalks in what they like to call “the Main Street” of the Main Line. They are deplorable and dangerous. But hey, they can keep deluding themselves, right?
The sidewalks are badly broken in too many places, so I wonder if this is an odd metaphor for the state of Lower Merion Township itself? And it’s February so why are the holiday snowflakes still up?
Many years ago many of us fought to save the Historic Ardmore Business District. I am not sure what we saved Ardmore for. It’s so wrong.
Maybe I should call this post “why Guy is not my guy“.
Guy Ciarrocchi attacked me personally on social media. Why? Because I called him on his duplicitous behavior as a political candidate.
What? Would I lie?
Guy and his campaign have decided to attack me, a woman, over my opinion. I had absolutely no idea I was such a threat to bad political status quo. It’s fascinating. I think he’s a turd and he is threatened.
So what’s next Guy? Harassment? Doxxing? But I bet you won’t get your hands dirty with that you’ll just send people after me. And I’m not being paranoid, I’m being a political realist in today’s political environment. I’m just a person who didn’t drink your Kool Aid, so I must be attacked.
Let’s begin with the fact that first he was running for Governor and now he’s running for Congress. What’s he going to be running for next week? And speaking of McCarthy, McCarthy’s got nothing on him it’s all Pravda in his book isn’t it?
Guy has had ants in his pants to run since he worked for Congressman Jim Gerlach. Only he’s not Jim, he’s not capable of being Jim and if you were a Republican looking at him as a candidate, that’s exactly why you shouldn’t vote for him.
I have Republican friends who told me how he was so wonderful and this is who I should vote for in the fall. Well Republican friends, he attacks women who disagree with him, so how can you trust him with the best interests of women in the six congressional district?
He can’t agree to disagree, he has to be an attack rat. He didn’t like it that I asked about his affiliation with extremist groups like the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism. Apparently he has a very thin skin when pressed about that issue.
It’s also amusing to note that he and his little social media wombats LACK reading comprehension. I didn’t ask where he was on January 6, 2021, I asked where he stood on January 6, 2021. As in where does he stand on the assault of our nation’s capital? (and he actually did not answer that.)
Guy panders to extremism and most simply distilled down he is only running for Congress to benefit himself. There isn’t an altruistic bone in his body. He is a political wannabe.
I am entitled to my opinion as a U.S. citizen and a voter. Apparently Guy Ciarrocchi thinks my rights are subjective. He defends people who are political extremists and who have (for example) cost school districts all over his district excessive amounts of money over their shenanigans, so way to go Guy supporting fiscal responsibility. I guess fiscal responsibility is something that’s subjective in your worldview, too?
So as the campaign rhetoric starts to ratchet it up just remember this is how he treats women who disagree with him. A man who does not know how to treat women is not someone who should be elected to public office. Period. Besides, a Napoleonic complex didn’t work out so well for Napoleon in the end, did it?
Guy Ciarrocchi is not a choice for Congress we should want. The I Me My of it all is his mantra. The 6th Congressional District and this country deserve better.
Guy Ciarrocchi wants you to vote for him because he wants to run for something not because he has the best interests of our congressional district in mind. It’s all self-serving on his bus. And if people are stupid enough to elect him I will be able to say I told you so.
Oh my goodness, school board meetings are off for the summer, whatever with they do in all their Karening glory? Oh simple: try to close down libraries, ban drag queens, and destroy a local business.
Over the idea of a Drag Queen Bingo family event to raise funds for a local library at a local Chester County business….in September.
They have moved on from playing doctors at school board meetings regarding COVID vaccines and banned book lists (Angry Jesus made them do it), to flat out trying to control every aspect of the world outside. They are at this point EVERYTHING PHOBIC so we will leave it at that (or add it to the list of homophobic, transpohobic, queerphobic, lifephobic.)
Oh my gosh, am I being sarcastic? Why yes, yes I am.
How did this start? Well someone posted in a group called No Left Turn In Education Downingtown School District PA. Phew. Try to say THAT six times fast! And seriously such a cumbersome name they can’t even have a catchy acronym…
That is where it started. Here are all the screenshots gathered just from that group. Yes, there will be more, much more to follow:
Oh good lord, be still their tiny little minds. Of course, not to be over-shadowed, the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism had to get in on this news. Bless their tiny little minds and man slave members:
Yes, I committed sacrilege and the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism screen shots are out of order, but actually in order/out of order they all read the same: WE ARE EVERYTHING PHOBIC AND YOU MUST BE LIKE US. But hey, before this half of them were selling Lu La Roe, Slipada Jewelry, Isagenix so what did I expect? And did you know according to them you can take kids to strip joints?
They also contacted Congressional candidate and politician Guy Ciarrocchi who gave a non-answer reply. They tried to tag him so he must not be in that group any longer, but he was once, wasn’t he? Guy would be wise to stay out of it. They also contacted Doug Monsteriano who will undoubtedly jump up and down and foam at the mouth with glee.
Oh and then they drag God into it and send a pleading note to the library association orr something. Oh and my favorite? They compared Drag Queens to Strippers. And do you think they are going to be super provocative at an event where kids were present IF the event occurred?
I have to ask do they even know what drag queens are about? Why is a gender bending art form such a threat? Drag performance rag and related entertainment, it is also used as self-expression and a celebration of LGBTQ isn’t it? So is that what it’s really all about? Once expressing queerphobia?
One of my favorite comments about this? Here:
How many of them probably grew up listening to David Bowie, Elton John, Queen, hair metal bands like Poison, etc. did any of that *POOF!* turn them gay? Why are they so confused by this???
Oh but there is another country…err group to be heard from. The Chester County Coalition of Republican Women. (Seriously, these nut bags specialize in tongue twister group names huzzah!)
Again, if the screen shots are out of order, oh well. It all makes about the same amount of nonsense no matter what the order. But it begs a question: is the photo they posted yesterday of the new chair of the Chester County GOP collecting male underwear family friendly? Is he making Making the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of underwear a reality for all?
So now that all the folks are lathered up, wouldn’t it be a delightful sociological and psychological exercise to find out WHY they are REALLY upset? Are they afraid little Johnny will want to wear his sister’s clothes and play dress up in mommy’s heels after such an event? Or are some of the Stepford Wives afraid of their menfolk getting titillated and wanting to wear their frilly undies or something?
Who does this hurt? Why is it a bad idea to try something to make people laugh, be happy, and raise money. It’s like when they all flipped out about drag queen story time at Tredyffrin Library a few years ago.
And then other than targeting libraries and it’s not enough they want to ban books like yesteryear (but hey, Roe vs. Wade got overturned so everything old and bad is new again and look out for lynch mobs, right?)
Before I move onto the small business these people wish to destroy, allow me to post another favorite comment on this debacle of close mindedness:
They have way too much time on their hands to be worried about drag queen bingo. I’d be more worried about what their kids are exposed to in their homes…hate.
~ Another chester county resident
So how is the above a “review”? It is not. It is a petty assed way to do a small business harm. This dear readers is the other target of these small minded fearful of the world people: Stolen Sun Brewery in Exton. Why? Because if this library fundraising event occurs, this would be the location. Incidentally, they hold bingo events here, anyway. It’s one of their things. So now these freaks want to leave bad “reviews”, harass them and picket them? For trying to do a nice thing and help a beloved community non-profit raise some funds and have fun with their patrons?
Here is the “review”:
The comment that says “If you aren’t interested in an event, don’t go. It’s really that simple.”
And it is JUST that simple. What’s so terrible about Drag Queen Bingo? These events are fun. Now the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism and related groups are getting in on this and it begs lots of questions. So these fine capitalists here want to close libraries and put local businesses out of business? Are Puritan shoes and chaste dresses going to be in demand for fall?
The Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism have ramped up their efforts in yet another thread about this….ironically they see nothing wrong with their drag queen phobic and everything phobic behavior. I even see some names poking up in this who really need to keep their heads down. Next on their hit list will be the county commissioners who had to listen to their diatribe about masks. Drag Queens are the new mask issue, apparently. And one of my favorites of the inane is “Why Marie” who says she wants to throw up. Why Marie why do you want to throw up? Because you are vomitorious, perhaps?
Enough already. Aren’t you tired of the everything phobic? Now they want to put Stolen Sun out of business? And the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library? They want to shut them down too? And ummm yeah so how many of these upstanding ‘Mericans have adult beverages in front of their kids? Doesn’t that mean they aren’t “family friendly” either?
Stolen Sun is a great business and yes a brewery. A brewery is not a bar. They are also a coffee roaster. Are these freaks anti-coffee too? They do serve food, and have a kids menu too.
Part of the campaign is now leaving fake Google reviews which people can report with a mere click of a button. I will show you the fake review I found below, and other reviews this person left. Seriously, is there something in the water in Downingtown?
Do they think they will be serving kiddos beer in sippy cups at this event or something? Do they realize that West Chester University (for example) has hosted Drag Queen Bingo and Drag Queen events no problem/no fuss? They all love places like Dave & Busters which host Drag Queen Bingo Brunches or something? Historic Christ Church Neighborhood House in Philadelphia hosted Drag Queen Bingo no problem in June. Friday July 15th there is Drag Queen Bingo at McShea’s in Narberth. Are they going to go protest there too? Or call McShea’s and be nasty? (Actually if they tried to rock McShea’s, it would be worth grabbing the popcorn and seeing McShea’s put them in their place.)
These people needs to get over themselves. Leave small businesses alone. Leave libraries alone. Keep their paranoia and prejudices at home and stay in their small minded comfort zones.
Most of all, they do not have the right to project their ugliness on everything and everyone.
Anyway, #SupportSmallBusiness and patronize Stolen Sun they are good people and defend your local libraries. And leave drag queens alone. It’s not their fault you’re terrified of them.
Rant over. For now. God don’t like ugly, and these people epitomize ugly.
Next to the Ocean City, NJ July 4th parade I remember decorating my bike for as a little girl, one of my favorite July 4th parades ever, ever, ever is Garrett Hill’s in Radnor Township. It’s awesome, old fashioned, about kids, and community.
Or it was.
Apparently….Commissioner Lisa Borowski wants to politick at this event. You see this political desperate Dora who spends most of her time looking like a perky muppet with her bangs in her face is trying to run for State Rep in the 168th. The lines for this district were recently redrawn. She’s as bad as Elaine Paul Sing Song voice, err Schaefer. Now Elaine had a failed run for State Rep in 2016 I think it was, now she sits on Delaware County Council doing who knows what other than shameless self-promotion, but I digress. (Bet she shows up for her gurrrl Lisa, right?)
I have a very strong dislike of politicians who use community and non-profit events for campaign gain. Years ago I yelled at now Mrs. Septa Leslie Richards when she used First Friday Main Line as a politicking event. That did not make me a fan favorite with some local Democrats back then, but I have no regrets, it sucked and was wrong.
What Lisa Borowski is attempting to do is also classless, tacky, and wrong. That she would use a beloved tradition for personal gain like this is despicable AND shows you what kind of a State Rep she would be. She has already proven herself fairly useless as a Radnor Commissioner.
Radnor Democrats should be ashamed of her and stop this.
If she goes through with having her campaign walk in a parade designed for kids and families, keep it simple: BOO LOUDLY and videotape/ record it. This parade is NOT ABOUT HER CAMPAIGN!
I was 9 years old when I was given the right to choose what to do with my body. I am 58 today. Today the United States Supreme Court behaved like a political entity and terminated my rights and the rights of women everywhere.
I have almost no words on the topic it’s so horrible.
And the argument over a woman’s right to choose is pretty damn simple:
All women, no matter what their particular choice is, deserve the right to make said choice. It is as simple as that.
It is not for anyone to tell any woman anywhere what is best for her. This means victims of rape, incest, or whom are carrying dead fetuses have lost their rights.
Whether you are a teen, tween, of child bearing age, menopausal, post menopausal, and so on, you have lost your rights because the courts which are supposed to protect all of us equally got political.
But hey, Clarence Thomas and frat boy Kavanaugh made it onto the US Supreme Court in the first place. Wiggle wiggle.
Say does anyone know how many woman got abortions because of being involved with people like Donald Trump? Now that would be a fun statistic.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, who should never have been born in the first place is praising God for this decision. God has nothing to do with it. Just politicians. Stick with your own uterus Congresswoman Skank.
Now all who know me know I am NOT a fan of Daisy Dukes and crop tops. Even when I could wear something like that a century ago (or the 1980s), I didn’t. Not my jam. Don’t like either. But to cite someone at a music concert outside with all her lady bits covered? Wow just wow now they are telling women what they can and can’t wear in the podunk town?
This is the farmhouse at the Clews and Strawbridge boat dealership. I have written about it off and on for years. I started taking photos of it around 2011. ( see here, and here, and here)
This was a once lovely 18th century farmhouse. If my research is correct, it was built in 1734. According to the Tredyffrin-Easttown Historical Society, Lincoln Highway, Lancaster Pike, Lancaster Avenue was laid out in 1732! (Now I know the place has to be on a historic resources inventory list, but I can’t find that on East Whiteland’s website, although I can find it on one of the little maps on the comprehensive plan.)
Who does USPS work for? Not really sure. Are you? Waiting for a package is about as fun as sticking needles in one’s eyes.
So a friend sent me a little package from England. A gift. Royal Mail got it to the United States in TWO days. My package arrived in New York March 21st at 3:36 A.M. The next log in the sad and pathetic tracking tale is March 22 at 6:57 it arrives in Jamaica, NY (Queens) “International Distribution Center”. It zips through customs at 9:13 PM on March 22. It goes BACK to Jamaica, NY (Queens) March 23, 5:32 AM. Next it arrives in Jersey City, NJ at 8:32 AM, and leaves Jersey City, NJ at 10:28 AM.
OK at this point, my package should have come to Philadelphia. But oh no, it went to Chicago, IL. Yes, apparently someone must’ve wanted Chicago deep dish. It arrives at Chicago, IL “Logistics Center”, then travels to St. Louis, MO. Steak and BBQ in St. Louis perhaps?
After it leaves St. Louis on March 25th, my package entered a parcel witness protection program apparently…between March 29, 2022 and April 4th, 2022 my package was “in transit to next facility” then it magically re-appears in Memphis, TN. I guess someone wanted Memphis BBQ?
It is now in Jacksonville, FL. FLORIDA, let that sink in. CRAZY right? Spring break or something?
Fear not, there is more in this twisted tale of USPS. I finally waded through the cumbersome USPS website and opened a case. They closed said case without resolving a god damn thing and sent me a survey. I felt like I was in the USPS Twilight Zone.
So the United States Postal Service sent me a survey to see how they did resolving my issue, right? Only they did not resolve my issue. They didn’t call, they didn’t e-mail, they did exactly zip, ziltch, zero, NADA, NOTHING.
I would think this was just happening to me, except hit up social media and USPS issues abound. And in most cases it is NOT issues with our local post offices, the problem is how the handle everything.
A drug ring that moved more than 800 pounds of crystal methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, then spread the narcotic throughout the Mid-Atlantic, has been shut down, Montgomery County authorities said Tuesday.
In what officials described as one of the largest drug busts in county history, authorities arrested five men and seized drugs with a street value estimated at between $2.6 million and $3.7 million….The ring was first identified last March, when an undercover police officer in Lower Merion bought two pounds of meth from a local drug dealer and learned of the larger organization, which had been supplying that dealer and others.
Now in the middle of all this, I called my Congresswoman’s office. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan to be precise. Now I have no issue with Chrissy and her staff is among the nicest outside of former Rep. Jim Gerlach’s staff. And when you call other Washington DC Representatives (i.e. Senators Toomey and Casey 95% of the time you get voicemail, and the 5% of the time they do actually answer the phone you can tell they have zero desire to speak to constituents and it’s their job, but hey who is counting on that? Lord I remember the back in the day visit friends made to then Senator Arlen Spector’s Washington DC office and when they went in the staff was playing with a Karoke Machine. Yup, true story.
But back to the present day….
Congresswoman Houlahan’s staffer was incredibly nice, and they always all are. The woman I spoke with was polite and empathetic. But sometimes you want more than platitudes. Yes I know the Congresswoman supports USPS and some postal service reform act, BUT I wanted to someone actually say “How can we help you.” Again, I like them and Chrissy, but Jim Gerlach’s staff used to do more than listen, they did try to find a solution. I think part of the problem is everyone is so overwhelmed post -COVID and exhausted from the political slog that is Washington DC and the district represented.
I got off the phone with Houlahan’s office and decided to just get someone on the phone from USPS (damn it). And I did. Very nice and actually sounded appalled as to how my package wasn’t here yet and where it had gone. She made the comment about my packaging visiting more states than she has. Uhhh huh.
So I also pointed out that part of the problem in general with mail from my part of Chester County goes back to when Joe Biden was Vice President. We used to go through Southeastern for a hub or whatever you want to call it. He took it all away from there and we clear through Wilmington, DE. If we mail Christmas cards to our neighbors, for example, the cards go to Wilimington, DE before returning to Chester County, PA. It’s true. Not all of Chester County, but a good bit of it. It makes NO SENSE.
And I also remarked that EVERY time you have a problem with USPS outside of your local area they ask you from national if you have spoken to your local post office. That is SO FRUSTRATING when the issue has nothing to do with the locals who deliver your mail. It’s maddening. And you practically need an Act of Congress to even find where you can submit a complaint on their convoluted and staggeringly ridiculously ineffective and just bad website.
Oh and I think Biden could get rid of the current board of governors of the United States Postal Service, get a 100% new board, and THEY could ditch DeJoy. (Or at least that is what I think.)
Anyway, the other complaint I have with this whole process are the USPS social media people especially on Twitter. Maybe they are bots. Maybe they are outsourced to a country outside the US would be my other thought. Some are borderline OK and others? Just snide and rude and they are supposedly there to “help”.
I was going to end the post right here, but since I started raising hell this afternoon there has been an interesting development: like magic my missing package traveled at the speed of sound from Jacksonville, FL and arrived in Philadelphia at 6:04 PM. It miraculously departed Philadelphia at 7:28 PM and has arrived in Wilmington, DE as of 8:39 PM. It will come to Chester County from Wilmington. Now I don’t know when. But isn’t it just so interesting when you really start to complain, missing packages sometimes appear?
But why should customers have to expend so much energy just to get their own damn mail? The answer is we shouldn’t. And now while Congress is chasing their tails arguing over whether or not USPS should get electric cars how about actually fixing the broken system of mail delivery? And that doesn’t mean putting more tracking on postal workers delivering locally – don’t know what to call it but it’s a gadget they have in their signature device that is kind of Amazoning them – probably to try and increase productivity by electronically hounding the delivery folks so more quit.
And a word about electric cars: they have giant batteries. Batteries require specific recycling so electric cars may not be a complete environmental answer after all. And if you get the USPS electric trucks etc, how many charging stations will have to be installed and at what cost to taxpayers. Oh and the battery components don’t just grow on trees do they?
Anyway….here’s hoping I see my package soon. And #FireDeJoy
Enjoy my last word. An actual tweet sent by USPS on Twitter today with a Bridgerton reference. They thought they were being clever. Bless their hearts.
I make no secret about how I feel about the nasty NOFIMBY neighbors of Castlebar Lane in Willistown.
NOFIMBY = No Farm(s) In My Back Yard.
These people treat their neighbors horribly. They have waged a campaign of terror against the Heenans. The Heenans crime? They came to Willistown with a dream: to create a beautiful small farm and grow flowers.
I have written about this several times now. Truthfully, I am somewhat astounded at how hate for their neighbors drives these NOFIMBY neighbors. How their hate for farms in a township that grew on farms seemingly drives them. I mean what is the public supposed to interpret from their actions? Apparently they would prefer a townhouse development or some other form of plastic mushroom development instead of a FLOWER farm?
Of course I am also astounded that I still don’t see Willistown Conservation Trust coming to the defense of Wildflower Farm, aren’t you? But given how many great swaths of land are in play in Willistown in general these days, I wonder what they are doing? How can they stand idly by and not truly take a stand for small farms at least?
But I digress.
Wildflower Farm needs our help. Please write to Willistown’s Township Manager Sally Slook at email@example.com
Please tell Willistown to amend the zoning so farms and agricultural uses of land are protected. It also can’t hurt to tell the township that you specifically support Wildflower Farm and the Heenan family specifically.
I will also point out that Willistown Township has been very supportive of Wildflower Farm. This crap is NOFIMBY neighbor driven IMHO.
This is not a long post. Mostly visual. It shows a plan that is all wrong for this area.
When the plan first began in Easttown along Lancaster Avenue, the structure was purely penile.
Now it is hulking thing with a complete lack of human scale. The design aesthetic is also lacking. Given where it’s going it will remain lacking and look like an ugly institution when complete. And would anyone feel safe walking on the sidewalk in front of this building? How could you?
And these aren’t places people will stay in and raise families. This is housing that is transient, people stay a while and then move on. And none of these places are inexpensive, either. Once again it is yet another Chester County development project without any affordable housing units. And once again, I will remind people that affordable housing isn’t just subsidized or “section 8“ housing, affordable housing is also where people begin their lives with their first homes often in communities where they grew up, and move into when they want to stay in their communities as they age and have decided to downsize.
This project along with whatever gets built where Handel’s currently is will create a truly cavernous effect. Neither of these projects will reflect the community they are in, none of these monstrosities do anywhere. Urban canyons don’t belong in suburbia.
Did I mention how ugly I find them? Of course I have. And I know this post will provoke some comments of why do I think I can say anything about this etc. etc. To them I reply, I can say something because we all can express ourselves on these projects good, bad, or indifferent.
I have to say it’s no wonder Easttown Township doesn’t want their meetings televised or recorded. Then everyone would hear how the residents object to these plans and this township just does not even listen even when it comes to design standards.
RANT ALERT. If you don’t want to hear it, turn away now.
Traveling back from whence I came, or visiting issues in Lower Merion Township is always amusing albeit somewhat disturbing to always be amazed at the blind devotion to Lower Merion School District especially when once again they are doing something destructive.
The comments from the blind faithful THIS time are over Lower Merion School Board plans to bulldoze a beautiful swath of woodland unnecessarily is truly something which will take your breath away. I am not giving those comments air time because they are always the same thing: when it is distilled and boiled down, Lower Merion School District is perfect.
If you disagree with Lower Merion School District cheerleaders no matter what they are trying to do you are at a minimum a bad person. Or you are NIMBY, which doesn’t apply unless it’s in your neighborhood and even then it is just a knee jerk pejorative term most of the time. These folks want to drive their status symbol green friendly Teslas, but when it comes to actually doing better the environment in other ways, or even just preserving an area to keep a bit of charm, that is far too inconvenient.
And OMG you would think Lower Merion School District was in dire peril if they don’t get their way every single time.
MISPLACED SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT. Lots of school districts excel and thrive on far, far less.
No Lower Merion School District is not perfect and it has decades of issues to prove that. And no I don’t think highly of them.
And Lower Merion Township has contributed to issues surrounding Lower Merion School District vis a vis development. Sure they are separate entities autonomous from one and other, yet they have a weird codependency since what they do as individual entities affects the other. And when you overdevelop and they come, it overcrowds the school district, correct?
A few years ago now, Lower Merion School District had a failed attempt to seize land from Stoneleigh, the 100% preserved property donated by the Haas family to Natural Lands to remain preserved in perpetuity for people (and nature) to enjoy.
Then when Lower Merion Township School District couldn’t get their greedy paws on Stoneleigh, they acquired the old Clothier Estate and it was happy bulldozing. Oh and I forgot, before they attempted to get Stoneleigh, there was that whole situation where they made a play to take Ashbridge Park. Yes a park.
So then there was the whole thing of they still need more land and that old disco song “More, More, More” comes to mind because with Lower Merion School District more, more, more is always their mantra. Nothing is ever enough.
As a school district they could have sent representatives to Lower Merion Township for years to express concern over infill development, but they didn’t. And once upon a time, they had other schools, that they closed. They closed Ardmore Junior High School around 1978, they let the Ardmore Avenue School (elementary) rot and eventually closed it (that caused redistricting back then didn’t it although it was also integration?) they closed Bryn Mawr Elementary School, and the Wynnewood Road Elementary School.
So in my humble opinion, Lower Merion School District has always had issues and always been a crappy neighbor. In the vein of that opinion, their still current and fractured relationship with neighbors over field lights at Arnold Field. And remember redistricting again in the not too recent past and the case Students Doe v. Lower Merion School District which made it to the U.S. Supreme Court although it was not heard?
So back to Villanova where the new middle school with the stupid name that means nothing but could have meant something if they had bent their absurd rigidity and allow it to be named after beloved educator, Sean Hughes. Anyway, Lower Merion swoops in and elbows out Villanova University using eminent domain once again to get 13.4 acres on adjacent sites to Stoneleigh at 1800 West Montgomery Ave. and 1835 County Line Rd.
Oakwell. 13 acres of old growth woods and heritage trees, mostly majestic oak trees. HUNDREDS of them. This property was in play for a while and I believe the former owners just dangled a juicy carrot until they had enough people salivating. First it was Villanova University (which would have been just as bad owning this property in my opinion.) But you know Lower Merion School District and their favorite billy club of eminent domain, right?
So now it is to be turf field city, the hell with trees and species like the great horned owl which remarkably DOES live there? This is also still a threat to Stoneleigh in my humble opinion. This is also an enormous environmental threat to the entire area and will affect not only Lower Merion Township residents, but Radnor Township residents who literally are on the other side of terribly narrow County Line Road. And of course one can’t help but wonder, does a new school mean the need for another outpost for first responders? Where would THAT go if so?
This is post is truthfully an addendum to a last-minute call to arms the other day for anyone who grew up in Lower Merion Township or lives there still today.
Please continue to send emails telling the Lower Merion School District to NOT bulldoze down many acres of a pristine old growth oak forest. They want to destroy a valuable natural resource that will affect Stoneleigh immediately adjacent, and neighbors in Lower Merion Township and Radnor Township just so middle schoolers can have a few turf fields.
FLOOD THEIR EMAIL!
I hate to sound as old as dirt but we had plain old grass fields and survived quite nicely. It’s middle school. Of course ironically it’s also the place in school where they teach or used to teach earth science and this property is like a giant living earth science lab complete with great horned owls.
The school board keep trying to do an end run around neighbors who want to have a zoning hearing board meeting on this issue. I think it behooves all of us to support the neighbors and environmentalists on the front lines of this issue.
This property they acquired adjacent to Stoneleigh is irreplaceably special. It has mature woodlands with all sorts of flora and fauna species as well as the oaks. Those old growth oaks in particular are extraordinarily valuable, and not just monetarily. They are also heritage trees.
This property has been evaluated by experts and it is a treasure trove of species. It is home to many, many migratory birds, etc.
Here is whom you address your email to (and YES include LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP):
Now including those email addresses because if you have been sending emails their comment email address keeps getting overwhelmed.
The zoning meeting got cancelled on this topic this week. It is rescheduled. Do not know exact date. Including Lower Merion Township in your email will probably be the only response you get. And it will be from the current Township Secretary and it will be terse and may even feel somewhat rude, but you have put your sentiments on the record which is important in any issue. Don’t expect great things from the Township Manager, Ernie McNeely, and if you don’t believe me just ask folks in West Chester Borough where he came from before he became socially upwardly mobile and moved to Lower Merion, right?
By all accounts, Lower Merion School District finally has a decent superintendent. But he inherited a legacy of bad decisions and bad apples in my humble opinion. This was set into motion by the previous superintendent who was even worse than the one he succeeded.
Middle school kids can play just fine on grass fields and the new middle school has field space too. They could have fields on this latest seized property and save the woodlands. Saving those woodlands gives them opportunities from other than turf fields. Kids could learn from actual nature, not what is projected on a screen as they sit growing like mushrooms while they are looking at their phones anyway. Nature gives kids room to be kids.
Middle school kids aren’t competing for the Heisman Trophy or Soccer World Cup, maybe less playing fields and letting kids still be kids at that age would be more productive? But then the soccer moms and dads in their expensive athleisure wouldn’t be able to drive their giant gas guzzling or environmentally appropriate SUVs through the Starbucks drive thru with casual disregard for other drivers and pedestrians only to scream and yell at the side of a field and because it’s Lower Merion expect others to clean up their Starbucks cups, right?
Hell yea I am on a rant. This is ridiculous. I don’t always agree with Lower Merion resident Phil Browndeis, but his thoughts posted with his video shared above, struck a chord:
This is the last winter for a stand of old growth trees in Lower Merion. The Lower Merion School District plans to clear cut the trees to build new athletic fields for the new middle school. So much for carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat and all the other good that trees provide us.
Lower Merion Township is facing a great challenge which must be addressed with urgency: the Township is under tremendous development pressure which is being allowed to continue under old building and development and land use codes that do not protect and preserve the Township’s shrinking remaining environmental assets. This is a matter of grave concern: our tree canopy is under attack. Our waterways, already polluted, are being further compromised. Our cost to correct the adverse impacts of this type of development may greatly exceed whatever short term benefits may be derived.
An environmental tragedy is unfolding. Over 482 trees over 6” in diameter (which probably understates the number of mature trees) including 26 giant oaks, a magnificent oak savannah, and a densely treed mature woodland are slated for removal according to a proposal before the Township for their approval. It would be hard for this proposal to be enacted under the current zoning code, but this proposal is sadly grandfathered under old rules.
Due to an unfortunate set of events that occurred a few years ago, a wooded parcel was acquired by the School District for playing field development. This parcel is located at 1800 Montgomery Avenue and 1835 County Line Rd in Villanova. The plan involves an almost complete deforestation of the parcel including a clearcutting of vast swaths of trees. Neighbors say it is a stopover for migrating birds including snowy owls.
At the same time that this project is moving forward, the Township is in a planning process to write and implement a Sustainability/Greenhouse Gas Reduction plan and is considering adopting a Net Zero Carbon Emission resolution. The destruction of the woodland would be a self-inflicted wound making it far more difficult and costly to achieve the sustainability and carbon reduction we so desperately need. In addition, the children cannot walk to the proposed playing fields. They will have to be bussed. So we hope another site could be equally viable.
We are simply asking the Township authorities and the School district to work together to exhaustively and completely explore all other options. We must be stewards for our children and our children’s children. We can do the right thing, its not too late.
I don’t hold out great hope here, I am a realist and this school district is always selfish and so are the majority of their narcissistic blind faith devotees. However, you just don’t know and if we can save these woods, it is so crucially important to the are and to nature herself.
Thanks for allowing the rant, you know I love my oak trees and owls and woodpeckers and other critters. Visit Save Oakwell Sister to Stoneleigh on Facebook to keep up with what is happening. I guess I am a tree hugger after a fashion. And I definitely don’t agree with yet another bad plan by Lower Merion School District.
Maybe this in the end is just another Don Quixote tilting at windmills issue, but I still think it is something to talk about, and why not object to the plan? After all WHY couldn’t they preserve these woods and use other open space on property for fields? Why CAN’T they be part progress part preservationist? These trees are actually important and I am completely unapologetic to those who cannot see that.
Interesting reading on Lower Merion School District: