world weary, need humor

I decided yesterday that we have been in our homes since mid-March and I haven’t seen many people since we’ve all been home, but I am really sick of people.

The behavior I have seen traipse over social media is staggering.

The behavior off of social media? Well looting and rioting are not my thing although I have no problems with peaceful protests. The rare occasions I have been out, people drive crazy and seem to act kooky too. So I have actually been happy to stay home.

But even staying home you can’t escape the crazy afflicting people in 2020. It is staggering. And depressing.

I get tired of people not understanding that we can all express ourselves and have different opinions and it’s not the death of us. I get tired of people telling me how I should feel. I get tired of people assuming they know what anyone is thinking.

I get everyone is stressed out of their gourds, but they need to have a little sensitivity towards others. Like all of the people who decided I was a bad person because I asked if more protests were a good thing.

Let’s review: it has been nearly a week since they started in Philadelphia. We still can’t get my parents out of the city because of road closures and more protests.

I see all these businesses that are trashed in a time when the economy can’t take anymore. I worry that protests will spread COVID19 and we will never be free of it.

I worry that we have a Tweeter in Chief who fans the flames of discontent, is unable to unify anything (look at his marital track record so are we really so surprised?) and used a historic church and a bible as a photo op and political prop and cleared his path by using god knows what flash stuff and we are supposed to be O.K. with that? He wants our lives under military rule and we’re supposed to be O.K. with that?

As I reflect on current events, I am mindful of the riots which have occurred in my own lifetime due to racial injustice. The Chicago Tribune even has a sort of timeline because I do not think they have everything listed, just the biggest ones. How many decades do we have to be outraged before real and mindful change occurs? It’s depressing. We says as a nation we want change, but then it doesn’t change. IT HAS TO CHANGE!

And in addition to the George Floyd nationwide response, we have a flailing economy and the great unknown of the COVID19 global pandemic. And the crazy behaviors associated with COVID19. Take for example a friend of mine took a walk today. Noted that a local kiddy playground was still closed when they were walking by. They posted about it. Immediately people jumped all over them and asked why they were outside. Seriously.

And as I type this, many of my friends are still without power after the crazy storms the other day. They have a name – Derecho. It was a storm where you were waiting for Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West and the residents of Oz blow by.

2020 is crazy so far. I want a do-over, don’t you?

So I need humor. This comes from a friend of my mother’s. I can’t take credit:

  1. I hope they give us two weeks notice before sending us back out into the real world. I think we’ll all need the time to become ourselves again. And by “ourselves” I mean lose 10 pounds, cut our hair and get used to not drinking at 9:00 a.m.
  2. New monthly budget: Gas $0 Entertainment $0 Clothes $0 Groceries $2,799.
  3. Breaking News: Wearing a mask inside your home is now highly recommended. Not so much to stop COVID-19, but to stop eating.
  4. Low maintenance chicks are having their moment right now. We don’t have nails to file and paint, roots to dye, eyelashes to re-mink, and are thrilled not to have to get dressed every day. I have been training for this moment my entire life!
  5. When this quarantine is over, let’s not tell some people.
  6. I stepped on my scale this morning. It said: “Please practice social distancing. Only one person at a time on scale.”
  7. Not to brag, but I haven’t been late to anything in over 6 weeks.
  8. It may take a village to raise a child but I swear it’s going to take a vineyard to home school one.
  9. I wanted zombies and anarchy Instead we got working from home and toilet paper shortages. Worst Apocalypse Ever.
  10. They can open things up next month, I’m staying in until July to see what happens to you all first
  11. I was in a long line this morning at the grocery store and it was opening at 8:00 AM for seniors only . A young man came from the parking lot and tried to cut in at the front of the line, but an old lady beat him back into the parking lot with her cane. As he approached the line for the 2nd time he said, “If you don’t let me unlock the door, you’re never going to get in there.”

Enjoy your day. You don’t have anything else.

dear senator dinniman

Dear Senator Dinniman,

Today I was not expecting to learn that you’ve decided to retire. Truthfully it makes me sad.

Why?

Because you are a rare public servant who has ALWAYS served the public. You have been so good to us no matter what our political affiliation.

You have been our steadfast and stalwart supporter on issues like the pipelines. You also are a big supporter of animal rescue which I am personally appreciative of. You appreciate historic preservation and land preservation. You are the real deal in a time when so many are not.

I know you would not have made this decision lightly, and family must always come first. But you have been so good to us over the years, that even I know as a resident of Chester County not as many years as some, that you treat your constituents like family.

So I just wanted to say most sincerely, thank you for your service. I also hope your wife gets better soon.

For my readers please FOLLOW THIS LINK to read Andy Dinniman’s statement.

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.

do YOU want signs like this in your community?

A friend of mine sent me this today because they were up in Quakertown, PA.

This is the company that Haverford Township goes to court with this week after many years of no activity. This is the billboard company that Lower Merion Township has gone to court with and Tredyffrin Township is currently in court with as well. This is the billboard company that has been to West Whiteland, Phoenixville borough, Charlestown Township, and now is beginning a journey with East Whiteland Township.

I think this is like the best of tacky Vegas and that’s not where we live is it? I think it’s even worse than I 95. But that’s just my opinion.

What is your opinion on the signs out there in blog reader land? I am honestly interested in your opinions. Feel free to leave a comment.

Billboards = Blight

#NoBillboards #NoBillboardsInTheBurbs

if you actually want peace on earth start by looking inward

Oh yes. Peace on earth and goodwill towards men. But when you say it do you mean it?

The other day someone I know who I think very highly of normally decided to post something on a social media page that I found deliberately inflammatory.

It was one of those “don’t hate me because I voted for X” posts. Of course the immediate result was everyone up in arms. Those who found the post deliberately inflammatory were then immediately accused of “hastily making assumptions based on [a] false belief system.” Some are further told their behavior objecting to this is “socially unacceptable.”

Mind you this was said by a person who claimed they hadn’t watched TV or the news since 1983. Yet there they are on social media getting their information. It’s ludicrous. And how are they to judge who has a false belief system or not? Or who is socially acceptable or not? It’s just nuts.

Now the person that posted this thing originally is probably angry at the outcome of the most recent, more local elections. But when this is the kind of thing that you post why do you think people are up in arms and getting out to vote different types of people into office? Sorry not sorry, this is exactly why. You are fomenting the hate and you know you’re doing it. What does political goose stepping accomplish?

Answer: NOTHING good.

Then how can these same people as human beings then turn around and spout peace on earth good will towards men? The short answer is they really can’t. Because all they’re doing is antagonizing the other side from their side and what’s the point of that? Is there always this game of one upsmanship? It’s hypocritical.

Something my grandmother said a lot when I was little least said soonest mended.

Totally applies here.

Deliberately poking the bear in a public forum so you can get the last word when NO ONE today can discuss politics civilly is just dumb. It is in fact (in my opinion) deliberately aimed at upsetting people. If you’re going to post it on your own social media timeline, that’s on you and that’s totally your right because it’s like your virtual house. But posting something that’s deliberately inflammatory or provocative in a public forum? And we’re talking national politics in a local forum? Why bother? Don’t we have more important things to discuss locally?

We all don’t have to share the same politics but basically everyone in this country is unable to discuss such matters with civility in a public forum at this point. So please explain why the divisiveness of politics needs to be discussed especially during the holidays? You do realize there were even cease-fires during wars during the holidays.

Seriously.

For example: The WWI Christmas truce (German: Weihnachtsfrieden; French: Trêve de Noël) was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of World War I around Christmas 1914.

It’s not a question of someone being a snowflake versus someone else not being a snowflake, it’s the simple thing of why do we always have to be at each other’s throat’s?

Do you seriously think these politicians you are defending until the death actually give a crap about you as an individual? They don’t. They don’t even know your name after they cash the donation check. But you keep on attacking your neighbors over their honor (politicians) and the perceived slights to their honor (politicians).

And then to watch someone else, a purported adult, completely troll someone else while calling them a troll? I would say that wasn’t so smart or so nice, but then again the person who did it is kind of fake and just wants to belong so maybe someone should just accept they are kind of a wannabe bobble head.

But it boggles the mind. Because this wasn’t in a place where there was some contentious local or national political drama going on they just posted it essentially to stir the pot and why? Does it make pain they are experiencing more palatable or something ?

None of these people in essence are capable at this point of having mature, respectful dialogue on any political issue. So maybe they should just leave the topic alone as keyboard tigers online?

Yes these people are your neighbors. Citing personal experience, I find it astounding the difference between online and in-person behaviors. And a holiday function I recently ran into someone who has literally eviscerated me more than once in social media forums. Completely holier than thou and nasty. Then I saw them face-to-face and in person. I realized what a nothing they were in person, almost invisible, which might be part of what drives her online? It’s sociologically fascinating.

I could have at that point really been kind of mean to this person publicly and it would’ve been completely justifiable given the way they have treated me in the past online. But what was the point really? So I let it go and I was socially pleasant because that’s the way I was raised. I don’t know how they were raised because they really couldn’t handle that, and that in and of itself was kind of funny.

If these people want to get down to it, what is “wrong” is deliberately stirring the pot and saying you’re not. I would probably respect you more if you just said “I’m going to stir the pot with this.”

The thing about these people to do these things as they really aren’t interested in your political perspective they just want you to accept theirs. And that is bunk.

If you really want peace on earth, then start acting like it beginning with your online behavior. And I am not saying my behavior is perfect. What I am saying is that as a collective of human beings we can do better.

National politics are ruining our local experience. We have the choice to stop that. I wish we would.

In 2020 let’s try to keep it real. Or be more real.

Pax.

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?

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

aerial

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:

930 1930 2930 3

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

erie 1erie 2erie 3

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:

leslie

 

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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the continued desecration of chester county

So Ship Road today. Pipeline Alley. It’s hideous and outrageous.

This pipelines aren’t benefiting us, they are benefiting people in Scotland making plastics and wherever the hell else they are shipping dangerous explosive things through pipelines. They are of course also benefiting corporate America. And I think select politicians.

Driving up Ship Road today it made me wonder if Terence Farrell has seen this? After all isn’t he the county commissioner who was overheard commenting negatively on the county litigation involving pipelines? That’s what people are saying so I have to ask does he expect us to vote for him in November ?

I haven’t asked him personally about this, but I know all these politicians read anything put out mentioning their name between now and election day so perhaps he’ll set the record straight and put out an official statement?

What is happening in Chester County and elsewhere is criminal. We live here. Where we call home is being destroyed and we are all being put at risk.

Our homes are our castles until pipeline comes through.

I don’t find that acceptable do you?

the continued desecration of chester county

So Ship Road today. Pipeline Alley. It’s hideous and outrageous.

This pipelines aren’t benefiting us, they are benefiting people in Scotland making plastics and wherever the hell else they are shipping dangerous explosive things through pipelines. They are of course also benefiting corporate America. And I think select politicians.

Driving up Ship Road today it made me wonder if Terence Farrell has seen this? After all isn’t he the county commissioner who was overheard commenting negatively on the county litigation involving pipelines? That’s what people are saying so I have to ask does he expect us to vote for him in November ?

I haven’t asked him personally about this, but I know all these politicians read anything put out mentioning their name between now and election day so perhaps he’ll set the record straight and put out an official statement?

What is happening in Chester County and elsewhere is criminal. We live here. Where we call home is being destroyed and we are all being put at risk.

Our homes are our castles until pipeline comes through.

I don’t find that acceptable do you?

who does pennsylvania governor tom wolf listen to when it comes to pipelines?


I am starting with P.K. Ditty’s video of today. It captures everything.  And everything includes the fact that in my opinion today was just a photo op for Governor Tom Wolf and some of his lady supporters in Harrisburg who ummm, shall we say aren’t so beloved by their Chester County and Delaware County constituents at present over pipelines? Come on now ladies, you know who you are and I even like two of you personally  (the third I do not respect at all) but I think all three of you (Democrats incidentally) are doing a crap job of representing residents on pipelines, alrighty?  Don’t be like Tom Wolf’s Political Andrews Sisters  (sorry not sorry, feeling politically sarcastic today.)

This was total BS what this event became. We all know it did not start that way correct?

Here is what went out August 22 from two local state reps which did NOT announce today, but I think sets a stage of political puffery:

BS

Translation? GIANT PUBLICITY STUNT.  I am hearing they are great at dodge ball with residents?  Because this is really about what? Perhaps it is really about Governor Tom Wolf getting them re-elected so they can support the fakakta thing called Restore PA, AKA another hall pass for pipelines at the expense of residents?

Fakakta means something silly or ridiculous and a a word used to describe something that is not working well or is really crap.  (It’s also a great description to apply to pipelines.)

State Senators Andy Dinniman and Daylin Leach listen to the residents on pipelines and they care. State Representatives Carolyn Committa and Kristine Howard showed up and I don’t quite no what else to say except I am massively disappointed in both of them over this. People are asking if Katie Muth actually showed up? And some other State Senator was there apparently.  His name is Tim Kearney. Daylin Leach was there so one would have thought State Senator Katie Muth would have at least shown up to say how awful he is or something? (She’s good at that, right?)

Today in my opinion was yet another GIANT PUBLICITY STUNT. (And I am not pointing fingers at the State Senators who were there, to be clear.)  Affected residents wanted to sit down and talk to our Governor.  OUR GOVERNOR. AS IN IS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT PENNSYLVANIANS EQUALLY. BUT DOES HE? HA! THAT WILL BE THE DAY….

Residents didn’t ask to stand in the heat and basically do the whole Oliver Twist  “Please sir, I want some more” and beg for freaking gruel, did they?

 

With regard to the timing and planning of today’s political gymnastics or mini-circus, I found out this morning Wolf would be at the Giant parking lot on Boot Road in West Chester at 2 pm today.  I heard certain media were informed by the Governor personally at some other appearance in Horsham this morning. But other media weren’t told? How does that work exactly? Word of mouth? No real press release? Top secret public location? Spy vs. Spy? I had a LOT of friends there. Friends who are directly affected by Energy Transfer/SuNOco/Mariner East Pipelines every. damn. day.

 

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I don’t need to do a complete recitation of the problems with this pipeline, they are well known and well documented at this point, aren’t they?  As human beings, we are at RISK. Our families are at RISK. Our wells are at RISK. Our properties are at RISK.  Our elected officials and public officials and agencies know this and yet….MOST DO NOTHING, correct?

 

 

Today was a scripted appearance.  Is it true that even media were restricted on questions or they weren’t supposed to ask questions? Were babies kissed? Did Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of salt? Oy vey so many questions I have and my political sarcasm cup runneth over today….but I digress.

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My friend Ginny Kerslake, a pipeline affected resident speaking with Governor Wolf

I spoke with my friend Ginny after and this is what she said:

“Several residents had the chance to tell their stories of how Mariner East construction has impacted them and their neighbors and share their concerns for the safety of their families and communities, asking Governor Wolf to halt Mariner East.”

I also touched base with my friend Tom Casey who had this to say about this afternoon:

“I expected nothing less than what happened today. The Governor listened to impacted residents, but didn’t hear them. I have also never met a politician where you literally have to negotiate the terms of a handshake.”

I wonder what that certain East Goshen Supervisor was doing there? He is certainly not halting the march of Adelphia Gateway is he? BUT he sure do love his sound bytes right? Dude, if you wish to be a man of the people then you have to actually be a man of the people, ok?

And speaking of East Goshen what is with the two mass mailing a couple of days apart of  Dear Occupant letters coming from SuNOco but says it is from East Goshen? It has to do with the 24 hour continual drilling and they will apparently pay for people to leave their homes while they do it? Sounds like quite the offer so what happens when no residents are around to bear witness?

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I find today’s event to be a study in confusion and contradiction. So was it just supposed to be a lovey dovey photo op that went bad?

The first media article I am sharing is by Bill Rettew from The Daily Local with Pete Bannan photos. (And yes, I do pay for online subscriptions to the Daily Local, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times.)

Daily Local:  Wolf visits pipeline construction site
BILL RETTEW 1 hr ago

The governor was a changed man.

Gov. Tom Wolf smiled often during a recent walking tour of West Chester Borough. On that tour he told pipeline foes that he would soon tour the pipeline construction site.

Wolf kept to his word, Thursday, and met about 100 residents and fellow elected officials within feet of the Sunoco/Energy Transfer Mariner East pipeline route.

The governor received some applause when he stopped to listen and talk. He was surrounded five deep and sometimes talked in little more than a whisper.

That trademark smile was gone. The governor did not give those impacted by pipelines much to smile about either when he definitively said several times that he would not halt construction.

The press and media were not notified about the event.

Ginny Kerslake, of West Whiteland Township, nailed the governor down about the visit. She had personally asked him three times to come and see for himself….

Wolf asked Kerslake how he could change. She said living near a pipeline was like playing Russian roulette.

Kerslake said after the visit that Wolf “finally” showed up.

The governor said he agrees with several pipeline bills, but they would not impact the Mariner East.

“This is not what we were asking for,” Kerslake said. “We want to talk about what’s going to happen to this pipeline.”

The second article is from Jon Hurdle at State Impact PA:

State Impact PA AUGUST 22, 2019 | 6:04 PM
Wolf tells pipeline activists he won’t shut down Mariner East
Governor defers to Public Utility Commission on pipeline safety
by Jon Hurdle

Gov. Tom Wolf told anti-pipeline activists on Thursday that he is not going to stop construction or operation of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipelines.

At a rare face-to-face meeting with opponents at a pipeline construction site in East Goshen Township, Chester County, Wolf was repeatedly urged to shut down the pipeline until public safety can be assured.

But he disappointed activists by stating clearly that he would not do so.

Eve Miari, an organizer of the event, said Wolf’s statement was the first time he had gone on the record saying clearly that he would not shut down the line because of safety concerns…..Six people who live near the cross-state pipeline, plus a supervisor for East Goshen Township, took turns pressing that case to Wolf….“My question to you now, Governor Wolf, is will you halt Mariner East now?” Kerslake said. “We do not have a credible and practical plan to protect us in the event of a leak.”….Rosemary Fuller, a resident of nearby Middletown Township, said her private well has been contaminated with fecal coliform and e-coli as a result of the recent horizontal directional drilling near her house.

Fuller tearfully told Wolf that the contaminated water creates more problems for her husband, who has cancer, and her son, who has a compromised immune system.

Pennsylvania Politics is in full flower again.  At the expense of residents. Bottom line? ANY politician that supports pipelines over people needs to GO and that includes the ones who never answer directly, don’t really return phone calls and play possum, and who act all supportive when it is most self-serving.

Of course Tom Wolf won’t shut down the pipelines. 

Yes I am disgusted.  Today at the end of the day was COMPLETE B.S.

Rant over. (for now)

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