never wear a partridge in a pear tree on your head and other millinery mistakes

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Actress Christie MacDonald flaunting a flock of family of artificial birds on her hat,                         circa 1902. Photo from Popsci.com

So it’s December, and people are talking about Christmas. And decorating and throwing Christmas parties and singing Christmas carols.  You know like The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Image result for partridge in a pear tree lyrics

And while a partridge in a pear tree is a lovely song lyric, would you go around wearing one on your head? I wouldn’t. And  if I saw someone doing it I would probably blog about it.  And file under millinery mistakes.

Yes…I am about to be my own ghost of Christmas past…..the scene is about to be set…..

Now way back in the fashion mistakes of 2012 were the women who went to Ladies Hat Day at Devon who wore loads of more fall appropriate taxidermy (but why did the taxidermy have to come off of the wall again?)   They also tried to cover up tattoos with concealer make-up but it was so warm that spring day at Devon, that the make-up ran, but I digress.

In addition to the taxidermy that year was someone else  who describes herself as a milliner who wore…wait for it…an upside down plastic or lucite salad bowl and called it a hat. It was very Carmen Miranda of her.

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You all will remember a post on this blog mocking that creation and others over six years ago…in 2012.  It was right here, you know who wrote it, I did not hide my opinion.  That year it was such a carnival side-show at Devon’s Ladies’ Hat Day many others had a lot to say, including some other bloggers whom I never knew that I haven’t actually seen blog for years at this point. Blogs and bloggers come and go, and I am always amused people think I wrote every single one of them. LOL how would I sleep?

Apparently I am also solely responsible for all of the mocking which occurred that day. Over six years ago.  Dayummm, I must have super powers, right?

That was the Ladies Hat Day where I decided I was done with an event I used to very much enjoy….when it was mimosas, tea sandwiches, lovely summer dresses, and beautiful seasonally appropriate millinery. That day I (like make others) decided our social and charitable event money would be better spent elsewhere.

That 2012 Devon Horse Show is when we saw what that event was evolving into. No thanks. Cattle calls of ridiculousness. Bleck. I do not understand why people do not get that a lovely tradition at a horse show should have remained a lovely, civilized tradition.

Flash forward to this year.  Haven’t thought about that post or that “milliner” in forever. Why would I? She’s not in my social circles and I know a couple of actual milliners, one of whom who has trained in the U.K. and Europe.  And the milliners I know, know I don’t really wear a lot of hats.  Once in a while, but it’s not my jam. You see, when you talk with your hands, you tend to knock them off your own head and then they become flying weapons and additional drama…..

chicken12daysNow a funny story. When my husband and I were married, a milliner made me amazing white silk poinsettias to wear in my hair because I did not want a hat or a veil.  I designed what I wanted to wear in my hair and the milliner brought my design to life. The detail was fabulous. They were ethereal and beautiful – perfect for a holiday season wedding. Immediately after photos of the flowers in my hair surfaced, others who fashion themselves milliners and loving hands at home hat makers tried to copy them.  But they failed and looked quite cartoonish because they did not have the mad skills of the woman who made them for me.

But most of these modern “milliners” are so different from their predecessors. Or their European counterparts.  In most places in the United States, Europe and the U.K.  as has been the case as long as millinery has been part of ladies’ fashion, you know who the best are, but they don’t compete in hat contests wearing lucite salad bowls upside down on their heads, do they?

Anyway, why I am I talking again about buffet station pieces at “Glamour Don’ts”? Let me explain. Mrs. Lucite Salad Bowl 2012 felt the need to surface on photos a friend took at a private Christmas party. Friends and family celebrating the season.  It wasn’t an event for charity or public media coverage, it was a lovely and beautiful party where those in my world who are dear to me could get together and celebrate the joy of the Christmas season.

On one set of photos up pops Mrs. Lucite Salad Bowl 2012.  How I am a horrible person who (in her words since she desperately needs to be heard apparently)  “she never even met me, never knew me, never interviewed me and meanwhile made vicious assumptions and judgments.”

Oh and then she blamed ME personally for every other thing on the Internet back then (in 2012)  mocking that “hat”. From 2012 and you have had nothing else to talk about since? No joys or happiness? Truly, I am so sorry.

So Mrs. Lucite Salad Bowl 2012, allow me to be clear:

I have blog under my real first name and yes I did indeed mock your “hat” in 2012 because it was absurd – and I said so under my own name. I will say it again now and add I find most of your creations are absurd. Not fun, not edgy, not sophisticated, not beautiful—- absurd. And I am allowed that opinion. Ironically, I do not fashion myself the Fashion Police, just calling it how I feel about it.

A blog is someone’s opinion and MY opinion on that cheap piece of upside down lucite way back in the fashion mistakes of 2012 was shared by MANY that year.  I can’t tell you what they said, only what I said. And yes, I mocked it.  It wasn’t even clever.

Saying your “hat” in 2012 was absurd is not making “vicious assumptions and judgements” it was stating my OPINION. Is your ego so grand that you think I was supposed to interview you about that at the time? Or swap you a creation for a fake positive write-up like a compensated blogger which I am not? Are you high society somewhere and I missed the memo? Are we supposed to kiss the hem of your proverbial garmets?

You do not have to like me or my opinions, but the way you chose to vent a very old spleen from 2012 was well, tacky  (you do however get an 8 out of 10 for combining those particular degrees of difficulty.)  Do you see me or anyone else commenting on your family gatherings or family for that matter? Nope because you just don’t do that.

Mind you some of my friends had the following to say about people who are Christmas trolls:

Geez it is a salad bowl- fact- I had one like it years ago- pitched it because it was ugly even as a salad bowl.

And…

That hat, like any good salad, should be tossed. Reminds me of the Dead Kennedys album “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”. Like opening the refrigerator drawer and finding a bag full of brown slime at the bottom after six years that insists it was fashionable but was really past its best before it was even put on display. A fashion disaster worthy of the Titanic – “Iceberg (lettuce) dead ahead.”

And my favorite:

Don’t get me going… When the hat made its debut not a shred of good taste romained. The fashion police should have caesar.

So do you feel better now? If you are going to have cat scratch fever, at least get your facts straight and try not to look so silly next time.  You see dear, I don’t care that you didn’t like my opinion in 2012, I found it in extremely poor taste that you would choose to deliver your opinion on Christmas party photos of a mutual friend.  You don’t have to like me, but do you really think so little of them?

Merry Christmas and Bless your heart.

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boundaries

Boundaries. As in some people need them.

I am an actual real person. Not just some “blogger lady”.

People who contact me tossing around the names of friends of friends without the benefit of an actual introduction (or really knowing the names they cavalierly throw out) will be ignored. And blocked and reported on social media.

And if unwanted contact persists, I can and will turn them over to law enforcement. The same will happen if they decide to show up at my home.

I do NOT and will NOT play here.

I chose my topics I write about and that is the bottom line. I am not a compensated blogger, and in this venue I am not a writer for hire and I will NOT be guided by personal agendas of others. I chose my topics because they interest me or touch my life or world. I am not some sort of revolutionary,

We live in a very strange and angry world today and sorry not sorry, I am over weird contact. My blog’s Facebook page allows people to send me a message. That is sufficient means for anyone to contact me who doesn’t know me. And messages which are “off”, untoward, threatening, etc are retained and reported. If your reasons for contacting my blog’s Facebook page and sending a message are true, you have nothing to worry about.

Thanks

playing politics with the deliberately uninformed

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Until the last U.S. Presidential Election I was a life-long registered Republican.  I even took my corporate vacation during the RNC 2000 in Philadelphia so I could be a media relations volunteer the entire duration of the convention. I loved that experience. I met so many interesting people, and even lent a Congressman who was a platform speaker of some level cab fare so he could get to the Philadelphia Convention Center when he came to Philadelphia on Amtrak but forgot his wallet.

But the Republican party changed.  And maybe I have changed too, but if I am honest with myself and you my readers, the majority of my life I have always been a ticket-splitter.

You see, I do not subscribe to the quackery that if a candidate is of a particular party they are a bad candidate and I can’t vote for them.  I look at the candidates themselves NOT the political party to make my decision.  I have no misplaced sense of obligation to either political party, which is probably WHY I became an Independent.

But politics, including in Chester County, has continued to disintegrate since he who shall not be named took the Oval. Sorry, not sorry, it is the unfortunate truth.  And my opinion. This country is now like a daily episode of the now defunct ABC series Scandal.

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No longer does political civility exist.  Republicans think Democrats are evil and Democrats think Republicans are evil.  It is the theatre of the absurd. You can’t discuss the merits or lack thereof of ANY candidate.

And heaven forbid you not act like a perfect little political Stepford wife and share an article you find interesting. Like this one:

Philly-Area Media Chain Tells Readers: Don’t Vote for a Single Republican
“There are some Republicans that do a good job and should be taken seriously,” says the editor. “But they are sort of sacrificial lambs, unfortunately.”

by VICTOR FIORILLO· 10/31/2018, 9:12 a.m.

With the most contentious midterm elections in memory coming up in a matter of days, news publications across the country are publishing their endorsements of their chosen candidates. But one group of media outlets outside of Philadelphia has taken a much different approach.

West Chester–based Brandywine New Media, which owns the Times of Chester County, the Unionville Times, the Kennett Times, the Coatesville Times, and the Downingtown Times, has run a staff editorial telling readers that they should “not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot.”

Here is the Times of Chester County original editorial:

Editorial: An electoral shock to the system needed to save GOP
Oct 28th, 2018

As has been the case since the earliest days of The Times, we had planned to make endorsements in all of the 2018 elections….

But 2018 is a unique time in the history of American politics.

While some would try to paint a false equivalency that both of our major parties are bad, lacking ethics and are slaves to electoral expediency, we find ourselves unable to agree.

One party has been gripped by a mania, a cancer, and seems unwilling or unable to return to its roots, and instead panders to fear, anger and the worst instincts of a minority of its members: the Republican Party…..America needs two functioning parties to provide political balance and steady leadership. America needs a healthy Republican Party, as a counter balance to the occasional excesses of the Democratic Party — something sorely lacking now. If the current path continues unabated, we will see the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

….we suggest that you do not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot. We know this is a difficult ask for many, but these times and our democracy cry out for a reset and only staggering losses will get the attention of elected officials and the party’s voter base in a meaningful way.

I have provided but an excerpt of BOTH the article and  editorial, but I strongly suggest no matter what your political persuasion you should take the time to read BOTH pieces in FULL.

I wasn’t going to write a pre-midterm election post, but when I shared the Philadelphia Magazine article by Victor Fiorello on Facebook a woman piped up and said because I shared the article and suggested it was an interesting read that I was making a political endorsement.  Allow me to quote her directly:  ““Well worth taking the time to read” is a political endorsement. Your message is not sharing information but suggesting endorsement of a political view that many in Chester County find reprehensible.”

Can I say WTF now? I mean WTF?  I am NOT suggesting endorsement. IF I was suggesting endorsement of candidates, I would say so. Suggesting an article about the current state of politics is an interesting read or a good read is NOT an endorsement of anything other than the actual article!

I actually would like to say thank you to Victor Fiorello for writing about an editorial I saw but did not take the time to read until he pointed it out. And I would like to say thank you to Publisher and Editor of Brandywine News Media Mike McGann. Mr. McGann that editorial is nothing short of honest and spot on.  And a little bit sad.

I am truly sorry that so many lack intellectual curiosity about the political times in which we live, or are afraid to check things out lest they turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife (Genesis 19).

I am so sorry so many choose to be deliberately uniformed. It seems to me life is more interesting when you don’t behave like a veritable ostrich and bury your head in the sand, but what do I know, right?

I also realize some love to hate me because I speak my mind and am a blogger and am just different from them, but lordy. I fully accept although I find it fantastical at times some people (even other women) cannot handle women who do not conform to some pre-conceived set of notions that remind me of 1950’s housewives wearing kitchen aprons. These people should keep their own side of the street clean and do not presume to tell me or anyone else what to do. Because in fact, THAT is what is reprehensible here.

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Being American means freedom of choice when you vote. It means being your own man or woman and voting your conscience.  Being American also means you have the freedom to read a couple of local articles without fear of being put in the stocks like some renegade 17th century New England Puritan. (calling Hester Prynne and all that)

Grow up and remember your collective pride in what it is to be an American and to enjoy the freedoms our forefathers fought and bled and died for.  We have the right, actually a duty to question the political status quo as Americans.  Right now the status quo has some major suckitude going on.  The political process is at present so incredibly contorted that our country is to be succinct, MESSED UP.

And to other women out there:  it took until 1920 and when 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, stating, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Oh and another fun fact? Women in the state of Georgia could not vote until 1970.

Read up and vote next week people.  Vote for who you choose, not who some political party bobblehead from either party tells you to vote for.

Thanks for allowing the rant and Happy Halloween.

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american on american terrorism is NOT o.k.!

Today the news broke that someone in this country that someone is mailing pipe bombs to people like the Clintons, Obama, George Soros, and others.

That is truly a WTF moment.

These actions are not what the USA is about. These are not the actions of loyal Americans, but acts of domestic terrorism.

These actions are horrible. I don’t care what your politics are or what political party you belong to, no one should be mailing anyone pipe bombs.

I posted the New York Times article they published a couple of hours ago on my blog’s Facebook page with the sole comment of WTF. Sorry not sorry, it’s how I felt.

After I posted the article, the comments started. The one person who liked the article as in liked it because it was a good thing someone was mailing pipe bomb things to high ranking Democrats, took me to task because apparently I hadn’t posted articles when some Republicans were mailed envelopes with suspicious content.

Excuse the hell out of me, I didn’t know it was a domestic terrorism contest between political parties. I also had been blissfully unaware of that news report.

I used to be a total news junkie. I don’t watch the news very much anymore. Ever since this administration came to Washington our country has devolved into an angry hateful nation.

That is not my America. To me that is not being an American.

Truthfully, I am kind of sick of both political parties at this point.

The Democrats in Chester County evicted two teenage girls from the “Sunrise Movement” an event recently because they didn’t want them asking Governor Wolf environmental or pipeline questions at an event. They bought event tickets fair and square. So wrong. Of course one of the young ladies was already essentially ridiculed this summer by Wolf’s golf spike shoe wearing opponent Scott Wagner.

The younger voters might not have all the life experience of an older person, but they are the ones who will be inheriting the hot mess this country is becoming. Don’t discourage involvement. People are growing apathetic enough, myself included if I am honest.

The anger and rage coursing through this great nation is utterly terrifying. It has to stop.

We need to get back to civility within our political system.

In my humble opinion that also means we need to start systematically electing different kinds of politicians. We need to have representatives in elected office who actually represent us, not special interest groups, big donors, political party bigwigs.

Since the founding of this great nation people have fought and died for our freedoms. People need to remember what it is to be an American, and part of that is the ability to embrace differences in others. We are all not supposed to be identical. We are a nation founded by immigrants, and those people risked their lives to come here to escape political persecution, religious persecution, etc.

We need to stop the anger.

We need to stop the violence.

We need to just hit the pause button even in our own individual lives to be appreciative for the gifts we have been given by God.

Do something nice for a change. Turn off the political vitriol.

hey sears! this is what a working refrigerator looks like…thanks to gerhard’s in malvern….

Thanks to Gerhard’s Appliances in Malvern we have a working refrigerator at last! Aesop says the moral of this story is #ShopLocal

The other day I wrote about why no one should purchase a paper clip from Sears.  As I write this their giant white, nonfunctioning, unlovely Kenmore paperweight is still sitting in the house waiting for freaking Sears to come and get it.

This all started August 31 when my husband and I ordered a new refrigerator from Sears because the old one while less than 10 years old  was dying (Samsung in case you are wondering and the parts and repairs IF you can get the parts are VERY expensive.)

On  Friday, September 14th Sears delivered the refrigerator.  Now mind you, you have to pay extra to get it into the kitchen and they unbox it, but the do not hook it up.

Within FIVE minutes of the delivery truck leaving we discovered GAME OVER. We were the proud owners of a broken yet brand new refrigerator with scratches on the front and elsewhere.  Now the scratches I could have lived with and covered up with appliance paint, but a broken brand new refrigerator? No, couldn’t live with that at all.

For the past week we have been making call after call to Sears.  Two days ago I got super irritated by the volume of ridiculous calls to the Phillipines and called the remnants of the corporate offices in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. As luck would have it I got the same man who was snarly with me on the phone last week, the one time I was able to get someone in the United States on the phone.

And yes I recorded the call. Why? Because unless you experience the vortex of hell known as Sears “customer service” you do not understand.

Yesterday (coincidentally?), after sending my little AV project around to Sears and Consumer Reports and media outlets like magic a person from the U.S. who worked for Sears called my husband.  Did we want a new refrigerator? NO Did we want the giant white Kenmore paperweight repaired? Oh come on! Are we being punked? We were already told in no uncertain terms by the Phillipines that wouldn’t happen so NO just come and pick it up. And REFUND OUR MONEY.

Well apparently, they are sending people to pick it up. I won’t hold my breath as to the speed.  But what has been SUPER ANNOYING is they took our money in under five minutes via an electronic sales transaction on their website, yet they sit ON our money and have full use of it while we have custody of their sucky broken GIANT white Kenmore paperweight.

I will further note that I had to get Lite Movers of Wayne, PA (can I rave about them for a nanosecond? They are AWESOME and we highly recommend them!) whom we had to pay to remove the dying Samsung to the curb since Sears also no longer removes dead/dying appliances to come back last Friday to move the GIANT BROKEN WHITE PAPERWEIGHT out of the kitchen!

Yeah O.K. Sears, you aren’t inconvenient, time-wasting, frustrating, or money wasting AT ALL are you?

Doesn’t seem like a fair trade does it? Doesn’t seem like Sears did anything other than waste our money, cause us to spend MORE money and gave us the lovely gift of appliance shopping PTSD did they?

I have to ask can I charge Sears rent for the space in my home the GIANT WHITE UNWORKING KENMORE PAPERWEIGHT is taking up as tomorrow is ONE WEEK since they dumped it on us? (But I digress)

Meanwhile, we needed a refrigerator.  Last Friday afternoon my husband ordered another refrigerator from AJ Madison whom I had never heard of. By Saturday morning he had an email saying oopsies they would not be able to deliver until some time in OCTOBER.

(Did I mention this has been going on since around August 31st? Actually before if you count the attempted repairs on the dying Samsung which after a couple of hundred dollars and the inability to find parts was stopped.)

I will admit I had the full housewifey meltdown at this point.  Yes, yes I did.

So we called up Gerhard’s in Malvern and Angela took tremendous care of us in about ten minutes. Ten minutes.  Delivery included.  Beat everyone else’s price AND they do installation and remove dead appliances.

Yes that set my housewifey heart all a flutter, I kid you not.

And today? They showed up when they were supposed to, their delivery guys were wonderful. They installed it, help me set it up, removed all the packaging and the dead Samsung and like Lite Movers, didn’t scratch a wall or mark a floor.

The moral of this story is Sears still sucks and  SHOP LOCAL.

Oh and this time we went Frigidaire.

If you live in Chester County, you can find Gerhard’s at 116 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern, PA and their phone number is (610) 644-6666.

development bug growing? wake up great valley school district and residents before it’s too late….

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File under who bought the farm?

Yes. Development whining shall now commence.

If you don’t like it, move off of the page now.

At present, it is a lovely swath of land on Monument in Willistown called Troutbeck Farm. However, as per Willistown’s Planning Commission Agenda for August 8, 2018 it is another parcel up for a cram plan. According to Willistown’s development list on their website it’s up for 35 homes on a 37 lot subdivision.

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Now I know some will say it’s “only” 35 homes.  (Like Willistown’s Paoli Walk is “only” 30 townhomes and the old Daylesford Abbey land development  now the preposterously titled Chapel Hill Paoli is “only” 55 homes)

You can CLICK HERE to check out the Willistown Development List. And I think much like East Goshen, Willistown records nothing so if you do not attend meetings, you don’t necessarily know what is going on do you?

(I am not going into  Easttown’s , Tredyffrin’s or East Goshen Township’s sock drawers at the moment because they aren’t in Great Valley School District.  Doesn’t mean I don’t wonder about development and politics there too, but I digress…)

But anyway…. a lot of us wonder if Great Valley School District has Captain Oblivious at the helm because there is SO much development in various stages in this school district in Chester County.  People always think it’s just East Whiteland, but multiple municipalities make up this district.  And they all are little development islands in a bigger development sea in Chester County.

And no, before all you school district cheerleaders jump all over me, I am NOT questioning how good the district is at present. I am questioning the school district’s perennial lack of interest in a topic which affects all of the families, taxpayers, and most importantly students: DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE DISTRICT.

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According to Niche and Patch as of August 1, 2018, Great Valley is ranked 11th in the state. Think they’ll maintain that if the unchecked development continues? Haven’t they done eminent domain before in this district? How will they remain so good if the schools are so huge we’re ready for Great Valley East and Great Valley West? Are their school board members awake?

I found three documents courtesy of Willistown:

17302 Plans 10 SWM Troutbeck Farms

Troutbeck_Development-Narrative-17-05-05

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Apparently this has been going on for a few years?

According to Willistown, Troutbeck Development LLC is responsible for this plan. When you put that LLC name into Google you get:

where is trout llc

When you put the address into Google you get:

moser

Et voilà ! Another development is born in Chester County.  Don’t worry all livestock, horses, and crops will fit nicely on top of all of the Wegmans and Whole Foods Markets. And we don’t need open space.  Just traffic, pollution, infrastructure woes, and over-population issues, stressed out first responders, and school districts busting at the seams.

And what started all of this today?

The Philadelphia Business Journal heralding yet another development plan for East Whiteland in the Great Valley School District:

GMH Capital buys properties along Main Line

By Natalie Kostelni – Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal
Aug 6, 2018, 1:31pm EDT

 ew yuck

GMH Capital Partners has paid $3.2 million in two separate transactions to buy several properties along Route 30 in Frazer, Pa., for a proposed mixed-use development.

The Newtown Square, Pa., real estate company assembled and bought the parcels as part of its plans to develop a four-story apartment building with retail space. Those plans have been going through the approval process in East Whiteland.

Mind you, East Whiteland seems to love development that comes it’s way (just look at this 2017 list.) Not being mean, this township has earned it’s pro-development reputation, has it not?

The old Frazer Lanes has been closed for a while.  (CLICK HERE for old Loop Net commercial real estate listing. Click HERE for another listing which is where aerial photo came from.)

Google maps gives us another look:

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According to the article it’s the bowling alley, the trailer park next door, and the gas station.  The gas station is 558 Lancaster Ave, Frazer Lanes I think was 554 Lancaster Ave, and the trailer park is Norbros Circle These properties were mention in the 2017 fall issued land assumptions report in East Whiteland. I think they are also somewhere in the Route 30 Corridor Study.

Development, development, development.

Just yikes. But when it comes to this particular development can they build if the Alley Pub stays put? After all isn’t that in between Frazer Lanes and the Pioneer gas station?  The cheese stands alone? Can they withstand a big developer and survive as long as they choose? Here’s hoping the Alley Pub survives, right? It is after all the last of the old school joints in these parts isn’t it?

Speaking of development in East Whiteland, there is a petition circulating which was created in opposition to a development plan over on Flat Road.  The petition is called simply PETITION IN OPPOSITION TO FLAT ROAD DEVELOPMENT.  I am not the creator of the petition, but I feel for these people.  East Whiteland has been lobbing this around for a while. You can read about it HERE and  on HERE. If you want to see the Flat Road plan, CLICK HERE to go to East Whiteland’s site.  It’s “only” 47 more homes, no biggie, right? (There was an emergency meeting of the East Whiteland Historical Commission this evening about this too – the historic Amish Cemetery is over there.)

Wrong. Not picking on any development or developer in general but all of these “onlys” ADD UP, don’t they?

Soon there will not be one blade of grass left that is not planned for something.

And all of these “onlys” do indeed affect school districts. That readers, is what I got on my soap box about.  Every development adds up through multiple municipalities . This affects school districts.  School districts affect taxes, so do you get the vicious cycle?

Remember…is it not true a lot of things get pushed through local governments during holidays and the dog days of summer?  We live in a world where we must sadly remain ever watchful…and involved.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

is great valley school district about to slide down the slippery slope of reassessments?

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New development on Church Road in Malvern within the Great Valley School District

So..are they? Is the Great Valley School District about to slide down the slippery slope of reassessments?

I received a message overnight:

The Great Valley School District has decided to go after property owners that they think are under assessed……If you want to see the discussion at the School Board meeting where they decided to take this action here are the directions:

Click here and then on the June 4th meeting – go to the 1 hour 5 minute mark and listen to the discussion:  https://www.gvsd.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=237

Targeting specific landowners and not going after everyone who may be under assessed is discriminatory , unfair but legal. They are going after those where they think they can get the most return for the appeal.

Here is the video:

Here is the list:

NINE of the properties are FARMS. THREE are RESIDENTIAL

This is very Lower Merion School District of them.  Sadly, every time Lower Merion School District has done this it has resulted in MASSIVE amounts of litigation.  I found a 2016 case that I think is of note because of   legal footnotes that I will share:

Here are the footnotes I think that is something that should be read:

2.   In a tax assessment case, the Board has the initial burden of presenting its assessment  records into evidence, which establish a prima facie case of the validity of the assessment.
Expressway 95 Business Center, LP v. Bucks County Board of Assessment, 921 A.2d 70, 76 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2007). The burden then shifts to the property owner to present sufficient evidence to
rebut the assessment’s validity. Id. “Where the taxpayer’s testimony is relevant, credible and un-rebutted, the court must give it due weight and cannot ignore it in determining a property’s fair market value. Where the taxing authority presents rebuttal evidence, the court must
determine the weight to be given all the evidence.” Koppel Steel Corporation v. Board of Assessment Appeals of Beaver County, 849 A.2d 303, 307 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004) citing Deitch Company v. Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review of Allegheny County, 209 A.2d 397 (Pa. 1965).

3.   Article VIII, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides that “All taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected under general laws.” Pa. Const. art. VIII, §1. This constitutional uniformity requirement is based on the general principle that “taxpayers should
pay no more or less than their proportionate share of government.” Downingtown Area School District v. Chester County Board of Assessment Appeals, 913 A.2d 194, 199 (Pa. 2006). To meet the uniformity requirement, “all property must be taxed uniformly, with the same ratio of the
assessed value to actual value applied throughout the taxing jurisdiction.” Clifton v. Allegheny County, 969 A.2d 1197, 1224 (Pa. 2009).

I did not ask a lawyer about this, I am not a lawyer, but I can read and I can research.  I was told there is more to the story by a friend and that this was a list of “mostly profitable commercial businesses.”  

But it’s not just commercial properties (which will get sick of tax increases and reassessments too, by the way).  There are NINE farms and THREE residences on this short list. As someone else said to me “I don’t doubt their motives. Especially since they have 9 Farms with lots of open space to Overtax so they can’t afford the tax, thereby having to sell, thereby giving an in for more higher density development to make even more in taxes.

I watched this play out again and again in Lower Merion Township.  What ends up happening is people are forced from where they call home because they can’t afford the school taxes.  We as residents and taxpayers who stay pay for that as well. And if a school district doesn’t get what they want, they next logically move to reassess ALL of us. That is what happens. They need money because this school district is close to bursting at the seams. Why are they bursting at the seams? Development.

So yes, is also my opinion that this is a direct result of too much development too fast within this particular school district from multiple municipalities. In addition the behemoth with the view of the eerie blue lagoon (A/K/A/ dead quarry) known as Atwater and all around there on 29 that is residential, there is development perched over highway and next to a quarry at the intersection of Phoenixville Pike and Charlestown Road from Southdown Homes called Pickering Crossing. And then there is the new Toll Brothers development starting to happen on Church Road called Great Valley Crossing. And the new development most of us just realized was going to happen on Swedesford Road from people called McKee Builders called Malvern Crossing. Linden Hall which just when you think they can’t add another row, they add another row of houses. Or Ryan Homes’ Malvern Walk on Planebrook.

 

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And those are just a few of the developments that are either still in planning, approved, and so on.  Look at the Route 30 Corridor Study for East Whiteland. Did they not suggest additional residential long Route 30 in there? Remember the Malvern Transit Oriented Development Study from a few years back in malvern Borough? (Also see with regard to Malvern’s T.O.D. CLICK HERE. and re-read this column form Henry Briggs. How much more development could Malvern Borough alone see?)

These developments are just targeting bodies. And all these municipalities are falling for the Emperor’s New Clothes of Zoning Overlay Districts.  These new developments aren’t specifically saying “senior living”, for example.  So all of these developments might bring really nice new families to the area, but they are also adding in a lot of kids to the school district. It’s bringing the city to the country, only I don’t think the country can really handle it.

And JUST like developers did and continue to do around Downingtown where they call EVERYTHING Chester Springs even when really, it’s not….everything in the Great Valley School District is being described as “Main Line”. It’s not the Main Line and well damn, a lot of us (myself included) came here in the first place because we wanted beauty and open space and wanted to escape the Main Line. As in the actual Main Line, not the fake developer speak of what they think the Main Line is, or should be, or where it is.

And with the fake Main Line of it all, we in Chester County are starting to experience real Main Line problems. Tax increases. Traffic congestion. Infill development. Shrinking open space…and oh yeah SCHOOL OVERCROWDING.

Cause and effect.

These reassessments are in my opinion only the beginning.  Hope everyone who lives in the Great Valley School District is ready for when we all become Great Valley East and Great Valley West.   Because given the pace of development, that is a potential reality.  Or Great Valley School District just becomes a monster district like West Chester Area School District. And if that happens, where do the new schools go? Whose land gets taken for that?

Maybe some don’t like my opinions on this.  Maybe some think I am being unfair to the Great Valley School District.  I am not. It’s just the reality of the situation. And it bears watching.