Oh why couldn’t my instincts have been wrong? The poor Hicks family.
Last night East Goshen voted 3-2 for eminent domain takings of the Hicks farm land. May God damn them all to hell, quite frankly. There are few things I abhor more than eminent domain.
When I first moved out here from Lower Merion to be with my now husband, we lived in East Goshen. I used to think the world of East Goshen township. No longer. No more.
I will be honest and say I was part of the group (Save Ardmore Coalition) in Lower Merion Township years ago which successfully defeated eminent domain in Ardmore. It was a brutal, often disheartening, community divisive issue. At the same time we were fighting eminent domain, the Sahas were fighting to save their farm from Coatesville taking their farm via eminent domain for a golf course. It was eventually classified as eminent domain for private gain, not sure if it started that way.
The Sahas won their case in Coatesville, as we did in Ardmore. The Sahas became friends through this process as we were all involved with The Institute for Justice. I feel so lucky that I can still visit their farm now Mt. Airy Lavender. The Saha family still owns and runs their farm in it’s new business. If Dick Saha was still alive, you would have seen him at that meeting last night. He would have rounded up his farmer friends and gone to East Goshen. That is the kind of guy he was.
Let’s start with the fact that the pro trail supervisors essentially disregarded Supervisor Michelle Truitt. Michelle offered an alternative plan. A plan that actually would work and the farmland and the Hicks Family would be spared. But the magic eminent domain trio are essentially behaving like misogynistic jerks in my opinion (which I am allowed to have), so that went nowhere fast.
So the documents you see above will be on East Goshen’s website tomorrow. I submitted a FOIA Right to Know and asked for these documents because although they SHOULD HAVE BEEN in the public meeting packet, they weren’t were they? They referred to meeting in executive session over “legal matters” and I am sure this was part of it only I have to ask if the eminent domain trio (“ED Trio”) didn’t want this out before the meeting? And in my humble opinion it should have been because well ED Trio, you are claiming eminent domain for public purpose which means…ummm…things should be public, right?
I also asked for a copy of the letter(or letters?) announcing this crap that were sent to the poor Hicks family and was told by the new township manager Derek Davis that he needed a legal opinion. Well East Goshen shares a solicitor with West Goshen and this person used to be with Easttown’s Planning Commission and is solicitor for East Brandywine and West Chester Borough and not sure where else will undoubtedly say “no”, right? So Hicks family if you decide you want to share the letters, please feel free. Those also should be part of the public record of this very public disgrace.
Oh and genuinely nice Derek Davis used to be the Assistant Manager at West Goshen, so with all these professional relationships between East Goshen and West Goshen, why is it it seems all fuzzy about the West Goshen part of this trail plan? And let’s talk about that: why is it if East Goshen doesn’t seem to have the West Goshen part of the puzzle worked out yet, why are they so gung-ho on eminent domain NOW? Greedy much?
And my hypothesis as to why now is simple: I think this trail has been a pet project of a retiring supervisor, right? So maybe as opposed to true public purpose this eminent domain issue is wound up in someone who wants a certain legacy? Well dude, 411 is eminent domain is now your legacy. Any good you did will flutter away into nothingness and THIS is what people will remember about you. This supervisor is Marty or Martin Shane. His term ends at the end of 2021. So East Goshen resident y’all better get your ducks in a row and get a candidate who will tip the scales against crap like this. Do it Ardmore style: make this an election issue. Whomever saunters up as a candidate should sign an anti-eminent domain pledge. If they won’t do that, find another person.
I also found it verrrry interesting that East Goshen went 100% in person for this meeting and did not offer zoom as well. And they could have since we are all newly emerged from the COVID world. That’s a little too cute, kind of like West Goshen’s technical difficulties for their YouTube or whatever stream of their meeting last night. Kind of Britney Spears oops I did it again, but I digress.
Now let’s get into the meeting. Watch the video. My heart breaks for this family. Eminent domain is legal stealing, it’s bullying, and abusive. Kind of the way a couple of those East Goshen Supervisors were behaving.
The worst behaved of the East Goshen Supervisors was probably Chair David Shuey. He loves the sound of his own voice for sure and he knows everything. The king of “don’t interrupt me” and he’ll have people removed. Behaved like a total douche. Oh yes I am allowed to have that opinion of an elected official. Watch the meeting.
Shuey tried to proclaim how community positive he was and how he was against eminent domain for the pipeline and the whole traffic circle of it all that almost happened. I was at that traffic circle meeting, and he wasn’t user friendly there and I believe with the proposed eminent domain for the traffic circle and the pipelines it was more politically expedient to say he was against THAT eminent domain. For the Paoli Pike trail to nowhere, it’s more politically expedient to say eminent domain is the way to go.
Oh and of course Shuey tries to compare this Paoli Pike trail to the Radnor Trail. Apples and oranges dude, and no farms lost land for it. Do you think when that trail was built if it had been slated to go through Ardrossan’s cow field it would have gone through? Oh hell to the no and East Goshen will never be Main Line, and shouldn’t want to be. And then Shuey said something to the effect that East Goshen needs to be more competitive and say what? East Goshen was a gem, now it’s crown as a great Chester County community if forever tarnished and it’s sad, he can’t see the forest for the trees on this. He has a huge ego and he was combative and dismissive of residents. And I don’t know that he actually took all of the public comment. I know dude is a Democrat but last night he was very Trump-like in demeanor. Very unattractive public servant behavior in my humble opinion.
One of the speakers who resonated with me from the public in addition to the Hicks family and horse owners involved on their farm was former State Representative Dan Truitt. I have always liked Dan Truitt. He is quite simply a good man with a strong moral compass and sense of ethics. He made a heartfelt appeal to the supervisors to stop this process before it starts.
If I understand this convoluted trail mess correctly it’s like $5 Million Bucks a Mile and they don’t know if they will have all of the land in the end? So why eminent domain now? And it’s not like they will give it back if this goes kerflooey right?
Some folks out there in public opinion land are of the mind that this shouldn’t be such a big deal and the family sliced off pieces of land in the past. What they owned at one time in total is hardly the point. In fact, it’s not the point at all. What is the point are also the other potential impacts if East Goshen takes the land. They run an equine-based business and farm. HUGE amount of liability insurance they must pay for. Putting a trail for people as in strangers there all of the time puts the liability in a very bad spot, potentially a bad enough spot that they could possibly NOT have coverage and detrimentally affect their business, their livelihood . It’s not as simple or as offensive as saying “well they sold land before.”
Eminent Domain is legal stealing and it’s wrong.
Someone said to me “it’s just a sidewalk”. It’s not just a sidewalk. And it’s a trail part that may very well never be completed. And we’re also talking about a working farm. Again, you can’t just put sidewalks through working farms. It affects their liability which affects their ability to do their business on their own damn land. And the most important thing is the Hicks family said no. This is no better than when Coatesville tried to take my friends the Sahas’ farm years ago for a golf course.
Eminent Domain is legal stealing and it’s wrong.
A couple of comments from local community pages that have stood out to me:
(1) “Unfortunately (the way I understand this is going down) the walking path will disrupt a small business that currently uses the property in question as a private riding stable. People (and their dogs) are not always respectful of “do not pat or feed the horses” signs and this opens a huge liability issue up for the business owner. Horses can be unpredictable and spook easily creating potential harm and injury to both themselves and those around them. I think utilizing the property that they already have access to across the street makes more sense.“
(2) “In late 2019 the supervisors were using this bike/walking trail to justify changing the zoning along Paoli Pike from Boot Rd to 352 to allow three story apartment buildings with shops underneath. Also wanted zoning to allow townhouses at Boot and Paoli Pike and 352 and Paoli Pike. The plan was for Goshenville to be a town center. They were saying people will use the trail to bike and walk to this town center. People were very opposed to the change in zoning and I’m not sure if this plan is still in play. They had maps and renderings of the Town Center on their website. The building of the trail seemed to have a lot to do with this vision of Goshenville.“
I also think this debacle was a horrible final thing for retiring manager Rick Smith. This is what people will remember with him as well and that makes me sad. East Goshen can proclaim all the Rick Smith Days they want, what people will remember is the meeting last night and a particular exchange between he and one of the Hicks family members where he was quoted as saying “the train is coming” I guess in reference to eminent domain. It’s on the public meeting tape, and I did not misquote.
MAY 31, 2011 by Buck Sweeney firstname.lastname@example.org 608.283.6743
“In a recent case from the Court of Appeals, Hildebrand v. Town of Menasha, the appeal court upheld Judge Scott Woldt’s opinion in a Winnebago County assessment case. In this particular case, the Town of Menasha specially assessed a vacant commercial property owner for the cost of placing a trail through the property. The Hildebrands were assessed $33,205.60 in construction costs for the installation of a 10’ asphalt trail abutting their commercial property. In response, the Hildebrands filed a notice of appeal to the circuit court raising numerous issues.
The question for the trial court, which was upheld by the Court of Appeals, was whether the Hildebrands’ property was:
*Specially benefitted by the trail segment for which the assessments were imposed. *Whether the trail segment for which assessments were imposed constitutes a local improvement. *Whether the trail segment for which assessments were imposed constitutes a general improvement for the community at large and therefore not a proper subject for imposition of the special assessments.
The evidence at trial made it very clear that this particular trail was clearly not a sidewalk, but was in fact a bike trail to help connect a regional multi-community recreational trail linking Oshkosh to Hortonville. The trail in question was asphalt and 10’ wide, unlike most typical sidewalks.
After the Town realized that they were losing, they tried to transform the trail into a sidewalk. Too late, according to the Court of Appeals.
If municipalities want to make sure they have a correct legal special assessment, the assessment must be local. Although incidentally beneficial to the public at large, its primary means for the accommodation and convenience of inhabitants in a particular locality and confers special benefits to the property.
Remember, if you do notwant your sidewalk to be specially assessed, consider asking your municipality to place a 10’ asphalt trail through your yard.“
My head is spinning. I thought I was done with hating eminent domain but it just keeps trying to happen.
The Hicks Family said NO. East Goshen is WRONG.
Oh and procedurally I found other issues with the meeting other than the eminent domain resolutions were omitted from the public meeting packets. Like they should have done a ROLL CALL vote on this and they DID NOT. So do you want to know who voted YES for eminent domain? Marty Shane, David Shuey, and Mike Lynch. Shane is gone at the end of 2021 and Shuey and Lynch are done in 2023. East Goshen residents need to get on the stick now. And not let up one minute until these people are out of office. They are not so much public servants as they are self-serving. They are the Eminent Domain Trio forevermore.
As a human being, I stand with the Hicks family. Their land, their decision. They said no. Residents of East Goshen and Chester County residents and farmers, please stand with this family. This is crap. Pure and simple.
#HandsOffTheHicksFarmpass it on. Post it. Share it. Stand with this family. Trust me, you think eminent domain couldn’t happen to you…until it does. Remember Stonleigh and Natural Lands?
Eminent domain is an ugly business. It is defined as the right of a government to take private property for public use by virtue of the superior dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction.
So….let’s get to it. Has anyone looked at East Goshen Township’s upcoming BOS Agenda? There is some special and interestingly worded language about a potential “right of way land acquisition” for the Paoli Pike Trail and the Hicks Farm. (Item 11 “New Business”)
When you read that after reading item 5B which refers to “Executive session” and “legal matter pertaining to the Paoli Pike trail”, if you have ever followed eminent domain cases it makes you wonder what East Goshen Township is up to precisely doesn’t it?
Read the agenda and ask those supervisors some questions….at the meeting.
At what cost do trails get built? And is this where they were talking development a while back?
Eminent Domain is something I despise. I helped find it successfully many years ago in Ardmore thanks to our groups help from the Institute for Justice in Washington DC. I learned about both kinds of eminent domain, private gain and public purpose. And municipalities love to say public purpose is for the public good but is it always for the public good?
Since I saw these items on the agenda I have been asking around. And I was told that indeed residents did receive an eminent domain letter from East Goshen Township. And then I saw this:
I went through the public meeting packet for East Goshen Township for their upcoming meeting. And there is nothing like taking letter included in the packet and that should be publicly posted. Because if they’re doing it for the public good, don’t hide it in executive session agenda items which I have to ask is that what they’re trying to do?
📌‼️Chester County’s Eminent Problem Posted to Politics June 11, 2021 by Stephen Wahrhaftig
Imagine a knock on your door, and somebody announces that they intend to purchase your home, and that you will need to vacate it shortly. Imagine, also, that you are told that the value of your home will be established by the purchaser, and that you must accept the offer without objection. Sounds like a nightmare scenario.
This nightmare has played out time and again here in Chester County. It occurs when a local government decides that they want to take someone’s property for public use that is deemed more important than the rights of the property owner. It does not matter how long the property may have been owned, or how the owner feels about being forced to give up their land. If the locality wants it, they can take it at a price they feel they should pay. The process is called Eminent Domain, a somewhat gray area of law that has been in constant dispute for decades.
In the recent past, there have been examples of localities using Eminent Domain to seize private property for values that owners have felt unjust, and for reasons the community has sometimes found inappropriate….The latest threat of Eminent Domain use is happening in East Goshen Township. The victim in this case is Goshen View Farm, owned by the Hicks family. The ancestors of this family settled in Chester County back in 1769. According to a family member, this farm was purchased by William Huey Hicks in 1909. William was interested in the land because of the new system of electrification along Paoli Pike. Hicks bought the farm from the Sharpless family the old-fashioned way, by offering the owner a fair price and having the seller agree to the transaction in a free and agreeable sale….You may ask what the critical need is for taking a strip of land from a farm along Paoli Pike? Is there a hospital being built? Perhaps some emergency access is needed for a fire department? In fact, this property is being seized for a possible walking trail no more than two miles long, according to some local residents.
Sometimes referred to as “The Trail to Nowhere,” this strip of property is supposed to meet up with other township trails that may or may not ever exist, or even meet with this section of the trail. Perhaps the prospect of millions in government grant money is affecting the decision to invoke Eminent Domain. By some estimates, the township is spending about $5 million per mile to build the trail, $10 million in total.
The family that owns the property is not only unhappy with the threat of Eminent Domain but is also concerned about how visitors may impact their valuable horse stabling business, and about liabilities that may ensue when bikers and hikers cross the vehicle traffic on the farm lane exiting to Paoli Pike.‼️📌
Ok East Goshen there is building a walkable community and then there is bullsheit. This,East Goshen, is bullsheit .
I am all for walking trails. And I love the trails that East Goshen has in their park down the road. But this this is crap. I mean what are they going to do connect their trail with West Chester Borough? I mean do they want to connect their trail to 202 or something?
I have not seen the eminent domain taking letter, only told by a few sources that it exists. If the owners want to make it public I am happy to publish it because Imms always going to have a problem with eminent domain. And I don’t think this has anything to do with public purpose I think this has to do with legacy building on the part of some of these supervisors and that is WRONG.
And when I saw this editorial, it did make me realize that Chester county does have an eminent domain problem from time to time and this is one of those times.
And East Goshen? Time to be public about this. And stop the madness. Why is it farms especially farms with horses have to be subjected to eminent domain takings? Aren’t enough things like overdevelopment threatening the equine and agricultural history and traditions of this county as it is???
Other things East Goshen is NOT considering is the impact this would have on a working farm or how this not might but would affect their liability and liability coverage.
Trails are like a shiny new bauble for municipalities but they have to be done and created for the right reasons. If East Goshen wants to use eminent domain it’s the wrong reason.
Farmers and equestrians I am asking you to stand with concerned East Goshen residents and the Hicks family Tuesday , June 15th at this IN PERSON meeting at EAST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP located at 1580 Paoli Pike West Chester, PA 19380. The meeting starts at 7 PM. If my friend the late Dick Saha was still on this earthly plane I know for sure he would be there with his farmer friends.
Also, I encourage people and media to FLOOD East Goshen with emails and calls:
Eeast Goshen Township Building East Goshen Township 1580 Paoli Pike West Chester, PA 19380-6199 Phone: (610) 692-7171 Fax: (610) 692-8950 Office hours 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Please note that you must wear a mask when entering the building.
Yes, I put up this comment. Because that is how I feel. The drama around Devon is seemingly endless…and the intrigue. And to me it does feel (right or wrong) like a Main Line Watergate.
And maybe some of y’all don’t like me saying that, and truly I don’t care.
Do any of you have ANY idea how many contact me about Devon? And how many of those people are contacting me for me to contact media on their behalf with whatever it is they are telling me? And then there is the telling me not to tell them who they are?
No, I won’t discuss who is contacting me, I have honor and a sense of right and wrong. But I can’t tell the story for all of you. When I try to explain that, and explain I can’t just pass what they tell me along unsourced from anonymous sources, I am accused of being hostile.
That’s not hostility, I am being honest and blunt. This is not my story. I pretty much stopped going to Devon consistently in 2012 because I didn’t like what even I was seeing.
In my opinion, the cracks have been showing for years but I actually think now the event and event week is in serious trouble. What happens when one of these events isn’t held for a certain number of consecutive years?
Maybe some don’t like my opinion but it has always been my opinion that if Devon Horse Show failed it would just be a big development site.
This is the corporate board:
This is the foundation board, etc:
I will be honest and say that I don’t understand the cross-pollination between the boards. I also am of the opinion the boards should NOT have the same chairman. I am also of the opinion (and I am allowed to think it) that a lot of the issues surrounding the Devon horse show involve the chairman, correct??
And the chairman (yes, I am using a lowercase C because I don’t think he deserves the upper-case C), seems to wield such power? Why is he the all powerful Oz? Do we not remember about the wizard behind the curtain ending up exposed and not being what they thought he was? Or the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes?
I have heard all the stories, so has most of the local media. Yet nothing changes at Devon and every time something is written about Devon it’s less and less positive isn’t it? The last negativity was the show being canceled again. I wrote about this as well as quite a few media sources and equestrian blogs.
📌With so many accusations and dark theories floating around, Devon Horse Show and Country Fair felt the need to issue not one, but two statements explaining its decision to cancel the show for the second straight year……..Others suspect the show, twice cancelled, might never return. Hadn’t it outgrown its tight quarters? Legacy shows are a dying breed and the demise of Devon was inevitable, wasn’t it? Might the board vote to keep the country fair in Devon, move the horse show elsewhere and sell the horse grounds to developers and should we proactively seek an easement to prevent development of the land? Isn’t there a USEF rule that nixes horse shows that are cancelled two years in a row? COVID was an act of God, but still…📌
There is all this back-and-forth and somewhere in there lies the truth. And the people who want the show to go on are contacting bloggers like me and local media like Savvy and similar people. We are all being told the same thing. But we are also all being told that we can’t disclose their names and can we pass it on to other media but still we can’t disclose names. It doesn’t work like that.
I have spent the better part of the past few days feeling like deep throat out of Watergate. Yes, a 1972 reference to the informant who shared with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein all the Watergate stuff. Woodward and Bernstein were reporters for the Washington Post.
I can’t tell this complete story. Savvy and other local media can’t tell this complete story. The people who know the story have to step forward out of the shadows and into the light and tell the story. They have to stand behind the story they want everyone else to take the risk to tell.
I’m not trying to be mean, but these people whom I actually believe to be in the know, have to decide if they wish to hang onto moldering boxes for a dying event, or if they want to come forward for the greater good to save and preserve this tradition for future generations?
Now before everyone gets all up in arms over that statement I know everyone can’t come forward. But I do know that some people can come forward. And at this point the kind of have to. If people don’t come forward and everything is anonymous tip, nothing will change.
Does the chairman actually have power over these people or do they just allow him to have perceived power over them? What happens if people come forward and tell the truth and shame the devil?
I get harassed by someone every time I write about this topic or refer to something someone else has written. As a matter of fact I get harassed about more than I tell my readers about. I am kind of getting tired of miserable people. Today I had someone tell me I was being hostile because I refused to carry their water over Devon.
And then there was the person who had to give me hell because I described the rotting colonial era farmhouse that is part of the Clews & Strawbridge property which sells boats in Frazer as being “demolition by neglect“ when that’s exactly what it is and I’m entitled to that opinion. “Who told you to say that?” they said. I mean do they have eyes in their head? Can they not see what that house looks like? And they were going to “report me”; and then got mad because I asked if they were going to report me to the opinion police because what I stated it was in fact, my opinion.
Also today? The crack pots who think people are being racist and putting forward social injustices by using the word thug with regard to invasive plants. Thug plants is something commonly said with regard to invasive plants. It’s all about the context of how a word is used. In this context the word thug is being used to describe aggressive, invasive plants. Said plants don’t get hurt feelings, don’t feel racism. People feel and experience racism, but not in the context of plants. Therefore I personally must be racist and intolerant because I think their argument over the term plant thugs is utterly ridiculous.
There is an abundance of keyboard warriors since the onset of COVID. Basically they want to tell everybody how to think, how to act, how to feel, and when to do all of the above. But they don’t want to get involved. They can’t just bitch at me and actual media sources all of the time. Sometimes we can tell your story, or part of your story, but ultimately it’s not our tale to tell. It’s yours,
Some things around Devon horse show I think that might be worth talking about is doing something like maybe create a community trust to buy the land and run Devon Horse Show in perpetuity. This isn’t my idea, this is a friend of mine‘s idea who pointed out that the football team the Green Bay Packers are owned by this type of trust. They also made the salient point that there’s more than enough money in this area to do that. And if they could raise $900,000 or whatever the amount was to try to put the horse show on this year in like 12 hours, why couldn’t they do something like this?
I do think in the short term the people who know board members need to start working those board members. There needs to be a separation of church and state immediately of the corporate board and the foundation board. And these boards shouldn’t have the same chairman. And more of both boards needs to be able to think and act independently of the chairman, correct?
Devon needs another palace coup or in my opinion this downward spiral might not stop. But the “insiders” need to step forward to do this if they really want change. Bloggers and the most local of media can’t do this for y’all. You need to step forward and tell your story.
Here is some of the Devon crap of the past few years:
Phase 1A is the first vaccine distribution step. The vaccine is currently being distributed to:
Long-term care facility residents Health care personnel including, but not limited to: Emergency medical service personnel Nurses Nursing assistants Physicians Dentists Dental hygienists Chiropractors Therapists Phlebotomists Pharmacists Technicians Pharmacy technicians Health professions students and trainees Direct support professionals Clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities Contractual HCP not directly employed by the health care facility Persons not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious material that can transmit disease among or from health care personnel and patients Persons ages 65 and older Persons ages 16-64 with high-risk conditions: Cancer Chronic kidney disease COPD Down Syndrome Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2) Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) Pregnancy Sickle cell disease Smoking Type 2 diabetes mellitus
PHASE 1 B:
People in congregate settings not otherwise specified as long-term care facilities, and persons receiving home and community-based services First responders Correctional officers and other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A Food and agricultural workers U.S. Postal Service workers Manufacturing workers Grocery store workers Education workers Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship Public transit workers Individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs
PHASE 1 C:
Essential workers in these sectors: Transportation and logistics Water and wastewater Food service Housing construction Finance, including bank tellers Information technology Communications Energy, including nuclear reactors Legal services Federal, state, county and local government workers, including county election workers, elected officials and members of the judiciary and their staff Media Public safety Public health workers
All individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine (note that at this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech product is approved for those age 16 and 17)
It is still about as clear as mud and somewhat contradictory depending upon where you register. I had my first shot a week ago as a 1A active cancer patient. It was a total fluke that I got it, but it happened. And that is the biggest problem I see here is the fact that getting a shot IS a total fluke it feels like most of the time.
We registered our son. He is in the food service worker category because he works while he is in college locally. His classes are online and he’s here with us as opposed to a dorm right now. As a college student, living with parental units during a global pandemic is not so much fun, but we are grateful he is here and safe. I know of people who have kids in other states whose college students are supposed to stay on campus and abide by the rules set by their schools yet all they do is sneak off campus. And if they get caught it’s buh byes college student, yet they persist so it begs the question why did they go to school in the first place? If they didn’t want to be there, on campus, why not stay home and take classes online? I also see photos of college kids on spring break which completely blows my mind.
Like many families, we have a full complement of elderly relatives, and I live immunocompromised so our son has to be extra careful, and is. But common sense would dictate that he since lives with at least one 1A category person and he is exposed to the public as a food service worker, that one would think people in food service categories would be getting shots by now. But they aren’t. So he is kind of registered and signed up for when his eligibility arrives, but not yet vaccinated.
And then there is my husband who is phase 2, or who is left over in the world at that time. I am 1A, we have elderly relatives whom he helps with all sorts of things. So while not a traditional caregiver, he is still a caregiver. Yet he is literally the bottom of the barrel.
Philly Fighting COVID as a scandal is a perfect example of how messed up the COVID shot distribution is in Pennsylvania. The City of Philadelphia flat out seemed to ignore red flags with Philly Fighting COVID yet look how far they got? Where is the Philadelphia City Council accountability because do we really think they would have gotten shoved up the food chain without the ever problematic Philadelphia City Council?
Philly Fighting COVID, the company’s CEO Andrei Doroshin, and the city’s leadership all become comedic fodder in a recent episode of the podcast “Scam Goddess.”
Philly’s vaccine distribution scandal, which received national attention and resulted in the resignation of the city’s deputy health commissioner, gets roasted for about 25 minutes in the episode released Tuesday, and it probably deserved more given the embarrassment of the situation at all levels.
“So Andrei (Doroshin) is a 22-year-old Drexel graduate. He has a degree in psychology from Drexel. Can I just say, psychology, great scam tool. If you really wanna get into the fine art of chicanery … psychology,” Laci Mosley, host of “Scam Goddess,” tells the co-host of the episode, Jason Concepcion…..
Pennsylvania is definitely FUBAR on COVID shots. My mother, who is in her 80s and was 1A got a shot on a fluke. As in they showed up at their local hospital and just walked in….after wondering how they were going to get an appointment because they hadn’t been able to get an appointment. Another senior I know got a shot because they drove someone else to get a shot.
People are driving hours to places like Altoona, Carlile and Jim Thorpe to get shots. I even pulled up Erie as a shot location. All eligible but because Southeastern PA is like the Bermuda Triangle of COVID shots you either eventually get lucky or have to drive hours to get a shot. Other people are going deep into Lancaster and Lehigh Counties. I know people who don’t live in states like Delaware, yet drove there or NJ for a shot. It’s ridiculous.
I guess you can say this is government bureaucracy at work? Or is Governor Tom Wolf punishing Southeastern PA for something? And John Fetterman sends out he’s running for US Senate junk mail and actually expects people to vote for him when the state can’t even get sufficient shots to our area, yet underpopulated by comparison areas get more shots than they need?
I mean OH COME ON ALREADY!.
Do not misunderstand me, I am grateful that I lucked into getting my shot, but it should NOT have been so difficult. And so many who are 1A like me can’t get one. Random act of cursing here but it’s utter bullshit.
And people who should be essential aren’t essential so they can serve us our food, bake our cakes, deliver our food, deliver our mail, repair things in our homes, and so on are still hanging out there? People I know who moved to other states got a shot where they moved to almost immediately. And then there are the people with vacation homes in other states who hopped planes to go get COVID shots there….and didn’t exactly wait before hopping a return flight back to primary state of residence, AKA Pennsylvania the Bermuda Triangle of COVID shots.
Sign me befuddled by our government at work. And oh yeah, if Trump had taken this more seriously a YEAR ago, would we all be better and more safely positioned in our global pandemic universe. Love how he got his almost secret shot and is now suddenly encouraging people to get their shots….
Life with COVID19 one year later is irritating, infuriating, and fascinating.
Be safe out there. Wear a mask. Living in the Bermuda Triangle of COVID19 shots is like a giant constant game of dodgeball meets Russian Roulette
Today social media groups on the Main Line are all abuzz about a particular development plan. It is proposed for Bryn Mawr. I think it’s awful.
It is the same developer apparently as the “Berwyn Square” that Eastown just said no to. Which was truly remarkable because Eastown never says no to anything.
I didn’t just connect the dots to all these development plans, Savvy Main Line did it for us (CLICK HERE FOR SAVVY)
Too. Damn. Much. Development.
The Bryn Mawr plan is shocking. Having grown up on the Main Line, and especially because where I went to high school was Shipley which is in Bryn Mawr, I spent a lot of years in Bryn Mawr. And I can tell you a great deal of the wonderful “village” feel disappeared when Bryn Mawr Hospital supersized. But a plan like this? I think it would kill what is left of the small town Main Street kind of vibe.
Obviously I no longer live in Lower Merion so even though I sent the commissioner for the ward that contains Bryn Mawr an email, I know my opinion doesn’t matter, I just gave it anyway. I figure he owes it to me to listen since way back when he wanted to become a commissioner in the first place a group I was part of helped him get elected.
The other reality of this plan and if you look at the last screenshot in this post it shows a rendering of sorts, and it also totally doesn’t show you what that Lancaster Ave (Route 30) intersection in Bryn Mawr is really like. It is an extraordinarily busy and accident prone intersection. It’s where Morris Avenue ends and Bryn Mawr Ave. begins. It’s where Ludington library is, the main and original branch of Bryn Mawr Trust Company is there. It’s where the train station is and a block or so from where the hospital begins.
The above photo was taken in 2007. One of the many accidents at this intersection. This particular accident I believe resulted in the fatality of the driver in the car in front of the bus. I also had another friend who was hit pushing her babies across the street in a stroller on a pedestrian walk signal at this corner. At that time, there was an NBC10 report on that accident.
No one is going to say that the building currently on the corner where they are proposing to put this apartment development is attractive. It’s never been attractive. But every development that is proposed is overly dense no matter where you live and whichever township or county you call home.
The above photo is a development in progress in Downingtown. Another massive development. And none of these developments are particularly distinguishable from each other. Which is why I find great humor in the “brynmawr square“ and “Berwyn Square” development proposals
Above you see the development often discussed in East Whiteland. I don’t understand how the people who are paid to do the planning for these townships as well as elected officials have no vision.
At the end of the day this is why we desperately need to update the Municipalities Planning Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This amount of development is not sustainable. And I will never believe the emperor’s new clothes fairytale that it is.
It’s very sad that it has come to this, but pick the township, town, and county and there’s always a bad development plan or several bad development plans. We are the ones that live in these communities and it’s time for elected officials to start listening to us.
Wandering back to Lower Merion Township today. Yes, I do that on occasion, although these days it’s mostly virtually. I know some people who read my blog and visit the blog’s Facebook page are occasionally outraged when I don’t write about either Chester County or whatever they think I should be writing about. But life journeys are individual, and kind of like my writing journey, yes?
Growing up in Lower Merion, one of the things I loved most were the homes and the gardens. Stately, modest, actual estates, twins, cottages, mansions, and everything in between. Back in those days, the history of the area mattered. And the gardens were glorious whether large or small.
But then, October 1, 2009, Addison Mizner’s La Ronda was demolished. I was there with many others outside the gates. I documented it in photos. She was such a gorgeous structure. So historic. Part of the history of the area, yet even as a historic resource, she was torn down and exists only in memories and photographs.
When La Ronda was demolished, I knew deep down in my heart that Lower Merion was no longer the place for me. It had completely at that moment become about people and how much money they had, and not much else. When La Ronda came down I realized no property was safe or valued there. It was a sad realization.
Over the years I have continued to document notable properties. People have the right to sell to whomever they choose. People have the right to demolish homes great, large, wonderful, small, whatever. But I still lament the people who can’t see the value of the architectural history of an area, and the impact it has. Well another home popped up on a mental endangered list (as in my mind and opinion, I don’t know if it is on an actual list anywhere) because of a Historic Commission agenda in Lower Merion for February 22nd:
Sigh. 651 Black Rock Road. They say it’s Gladwyne, but it’s actually Bryn Mawr. I knew who lived there although they were not friends. Of course people wish to downsize and move on. But for this house to be facing the fate of the wrecking ball is just so tragic. This house is spectacular, with mature gardens and an amazing property and pool.
If you look at all the photos, ok the kitchen is a little dated, and perhaps the bathrooms to the taste of some, but this property and home are spectacular. Quite literally, they don’t build them like this anymore. And the gardener in me wonders about plants that may have been there since the house was built.
So according to Lower Merion’s website, this is in Commissioner Scott Zelov’s ward? He was a champion of saving Stoneleigh and once upon a time against eminent domain in Ardmore (it’s why he got elected originally and I know, I was there), will he have an opinion on this if it proceeds to demolition? But will it matter?
Nope. It won’t. People have the right to demolish. Sadly.
Historic preservation can’t just be a vague idea, it actually has to happen. It has to matter. And in Lower Merion, starting way before La Ronda got bulldozed, it ceased to matter. Lower Merion’s current manager was West Chester Borough’s Manager before ascending to the plum position of Lower Merion Township Manager. And although I have nothing against the man personally, he always appeared to me to be pro-development over other things. And the current Director of Building and Planning is someone I watched climb the ladder at Lower Merion. And I have always found him pro development over anything else. He won’t like me for mentioning this but I sat through YEARS of meeting watching him flip his hair like Farrah Fawcett and present developer’s plans like he worked for them, does anyone else remember?
Anyway, the house is still standing as of now, but this is on an agenda and according to Lower Merion there is a demolition permit. What will happen when all of the old and historic houses and their gardens are gone? In Lower Merion and elsewhere?
Historic preservation isn’t really going to matter until it matters to all of us consistently across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And I do not believe every old house can and should be saved, but when you see houses like this one you have to wonder because beautiful places like this is what drew people to the Main Line in the first place. Until then, why preserve when you can demolish?
Thanks for stopping by and stay safe, roads are icy.
Let’s talk shots. COVID-19 shots. Have you got one? If yes, lucky you.
I am still a cancer patient, so I am eligible. I registered with Chester County. I registered with the state. I registered with Chester County Hospital and therefore Penn Medicine. I signed up on some other websites. Nada. Nothing. Zippo.
It seems that finding COVID-19 shots in Chester County is the ultimate Where’s Waldo. And even Waldo is practising social distancing.
“The Chester County Health Department continues to receive a very limited amount of vaccine doses each week, and last week it received no doses of the vaccine.
To date, Chester County has received more than 182,000 pre-registrations with the Chester County Health Department to receive the vaccine. In contrast this week, the county received just 3,200 doses, which the state instructed to be used as second doses. County officials are trying obtain more doses for Phase 1A groups, especially for seniors and those with high-risk conditions.”
So yeah, other than pipelines and blocking constituents on social media if you wonder WHY, WHY, WHY I won’t vote for Pennsylvania Lurch, a/k/a John Fetterman for U.S. Senate, look no further than we can’t get COVID-19 shots and the mansplaining out of Harrisburg is clear as mud and twice as frustrating as a long PECO outage.
I know people who do NOT live in New Jersey or Delaware but somehow signed up for shots there. No residency questions or challenges so to me this seems unethical if not dishonest. Is it dishonest? Who knows?
All I DO know is I have played by the rules throughout COVID19, including going on voluntary self-quarantine before stay at home was enforced because I was at a horticultural event where literally one of the first COVID19 victims in Chester County was. They were (whomever they were) the 2nd confirmed victim.
I have stayed home, gardened, learned how to make bread, and more this past year. Yes it is almost a year. I wear masks. I wash my hands. I don’t see my elderly familial people.
Think it’s just me gretzing?
We are all playing COVID shot roulette. And it’s debilitating. I am perfectly willing to wait my turn, only it would be nice to have a realistic idea of what that looks like. And most of us do not. We go to site after site. Like Giant Food Markets only where are their pharmacies administering shots? And who decided the randomness of it all as to where the shots will go?
Every time I have a medical appointment I have to COVID19 pre-screen. I don’t mind pre-screening but how about a damn shot instead?
A preface: This post is a week old. WordPress has this oddity and flaw in its app of sometimes making you republish things although you already did. Such is the case here.
So former Chester County Commissioner and U.S. Congressman Ryan Costello blocked me on Twitter. I don’t really care but he behaved today in a manner so purely childish that I can’t believe he seriously wants people to take him seriously that he wants to run for Pat Toomey’s seat in the United States Senate.
I used to think he was a nice enough guy. I liked dealing with his congressional staff because he quite frankly inherited a lot of them from Jim Gerlach. I had dealt with them for years.
So today comes this Philadelphia Inquirer article on how he wants to run for U.S Senate. (And so does Lt. Gov. John Fetterman so please for the love of God, who else is running?)
So that is the article if you want to read it. Anyway the PA and Chesco Twitterverse started discussing this. One because of the shall we say haphazard way he decided not to run for re-election and then bailed on the Chester County GOP. Because truthfully he did. Not that I actually blamed him back then because they were rattlesnake material circa 2016 in my humble opinion. And 2016 was a Republican epiphany back then for many of us, myself included. The day Trump became the nominee was my last day as a Republican.
My initial comment when I saw the article was ummm no, we have already been to this movie.
📌Ryan Costello, a critic of President Trump who held the 6th District House seat before Houlahan, said “watching these protestors invade the Capitol reminded me of the left-wing protestors who would storm in and occupy my congressional office and harass my staff on a weekly basis. Politics has become an invitation for extremist behavior; to be rude, dangerous and disrespectful to our institutions and policy-makers.”📌
Ummm…leftist fringe? Some of these people are my friends.
I did say the following:
So Ryan Costello wants to run for US Senate? Here’s hoping he is out of his diapers before then, because this response out of him is better suited for sucking a binky and living on Parler.
Honestly, I am disappointed because I used to like him. And to color outside the lines in such a manner BEFORE he announces a legit run for office? He’s not exhibiting strength, he’s demonstrating immaturity at a minimum. There already are enough hate spewing windbags like this in Washington D.C.
They didn’t threaten anyone. They are hardworking people and he seemed to forget he worked for the people not the Chesco GOP or whatever. They did not feel they were being heard. And that is the worst feeling and one we as regular people feel all too often at the hands of our elected officials.
Not that Fetterman is a better choice for US Senate….I wouldn’t vote for him either at this point either and I have never liked Political Lurch.
📌The Daily Local News should stop promoting former Congressman Ryan Costello’s false comparisons between our area and dangerous events on national news. The violent, seditious terrorists we witnessed at the nation’s Capitol bear absolutely no resemblance, whatsoever, to the peaceful demonstrators exercising their democratic rights outside his district offices in 2017 and 2018.
The former Representative should consult the Daily Local’s own accounts of what transpired before leveling dangerously false comparisons. Costello claims that protestors “stormed his office and harassed staff weekly,” but most of the constituent rallies took place outdoors and far away from Costello’s office and staff.
The one occasion constituents entered Costello’s district office to stage a sit-in, the Daily Local’s own account describes them as “unobtrusive” to the staffers. When asked to move to another room, they complied. They ate pizza and sang Christmas carols, then left. That was it. No guns, violence, broken windows, Confederate flags, Nazi flags, or threats of any kind.
Ultimately, Costello’s commentary once again proves himself disconnected from reality and from the community he was once elected to serve. There was nothing remotely similar between the peaceful gatherings at/near Costello’s office and the riotous mob in DC. Peaceful assembly and requesting redress are protected rights of our citizenry.
Responsible journalism would not treat Costello’s conflation of the two as fact. Clarity is critical at this moment for our body politic, and readers deserve to be informed about what relevance an opinion has to the truth. The Daily Local does a disservice to its readers by reporting such egregious claims without basis of truth.
Luke Bauerlein, Exton; Phil Dague, Downingtown; Jane Palmer, Wyomissing; Beth Sweet, West Chester and Claire Witzleben, Wayne📌
These folks have a right to be upset. I guess so does Ryan Costello that we were discussing it. And what happened next wasn’t very “senatorial.”
Ryan Costello started addressing me on Twitter. He told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and did I remember when he stuck up for me once upon a time. And I did remember that, and part of the topic was his wife had gotten upset when people startled her on their street. I believe she was a pretty young mom at this point and probably not used to the public eye. Politicians sign up for this life, and their families really have little choice in the matter. And I felt at the time and probably would still today that people could have been nicer to her and more understanding. I took a walloping on social media for my opinion, and he stood up for me and I will always appreciate that.
However, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to speak my truth about how I feel about certain things. And calling people I know some thing akin to domestic terrorists for staging a sit in with pizza it’s not some thing that sits right with me. And it is a gross miss characterization of what I believe happened.
We went back-and-forth a while and then he sent me a private message and basically said that he thought I was talking to him in good faith and then he saw the comment about calling him Baby Ryan. And then he blocked me. I guess he just wanted the last word.
He did however say in one Tweet he didn’t care if screenshots were taken and shown that he stands by what he said. So Ryan? I do think you are acting like a baby or a toddler. I was also however communicating in good faith. I wish you could see how you are hurting yourself. Pennsylvania is a much different political climate than when you pulled your exit with drama, stage right. You need to get to know people all over again and their issues then, and issues now.
Here are the screenshots. Hopefully in some semblance of order. 2021 is certainly quite the year so far:
Yesterday was not O.K. Yesterday was a study in horror. Yesterday we could have lost democracy and what makes America well….America. Every American regardless of creed, color, political affiliation, and so on should NOT be O.K. with January 6, 2021.
Watching the mob scene on Capitol Hill over the last several hours, I was numbed by the whiteness that blanketed the screen.
As I get older, and possibly wiser, I find myself increasingly thinking about whiteness and of the mind-boggling degree to which my life as a Black American man has been impacted by it lately. Some 400 years since my ancestors were forcibly brought to these shores, and more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed them and their immediate descendants from enslavement, whiteness has dominated their (and now my) imagination, dreams of their/my future, and alas, even their/my joy.
To be clear, when I refer to whiteness, I mean the privileges, expectations, and elevated humanity afforded those in American society whose skin happens to be white; who exist daily in varying degrees of proximity to white people; who actively seek the affirmation of and their raison d’être from white people—and/or those whose aspirations for themselves, their families, and their communities are modeled on some kind of reflection of whiteness.
Today, this theme struck me with massive force. Televised scenes showed thousands of Donald Trump–supporting rioters and criminals, largely white and typically mask-less, descending on the nation’s largely Black capital.
I know according to Trump I am just a lowly suburban housewife, but my thoughts?
This is not America. And the last time the Capitol was stormed by invaders? 1814. Yes, sit with that a while. The last time was 1814 during the War of 1812 when British forces set fire to the Capitol. (You know when Dolly Madison was trying to save things in the White House?) These folks muscled by law enforcement and I am fascinated by what I saw on TV including when officers moved barricades to let the marauders in. I don’t know if that was tactical because they were being overwhelmed but it begs the question of why there wasn’t more of a law enforcement presence from jump?
One of those at risk yesterday was my friends’ daughter. She is young, and a Senate Page. I can’t imagine what her parents were feeling as this unfolded. I know I kept wondering how my own Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan was. And friends who just live in Washington D.C.
A special note to the one on Facebook a lot of my friends and I know who thinks we didn’t see her post “1.6.21” as a standalone post on her timeline. We saw. And she can delete what she posted and try to back peddle with people, but it will not change the ugliness she has deliberately been projecting with her posting for quite a long time. I still wonder if her little plastic housing development will secede from the union? And this woman was full of fake indignation and moral outrage at anyone suggesting those who stormed the Capitol were Trump supporters. Yes, seriously. I think she even had her virtual smelling salts out.
And for another woman who posted it must have been Antifa dressed as Trump supporters? Then honey, I must be the tooth fairy, and that must have been a Trump impersonator with Rudy Giuliani.
I will also note I know people that I believe are true patriots and they don’t behave like what you saw yesterday. And it wasn’t just some small percentage who were at fault because they got into the Capitol building. As we saw it unfold live before our eyes on television screens, computers, and smart phones from coast to coast, and around the world, that was the intent of the entire crowd. And was that the actual intent of Trump who really isn’t fit to be president even if he only has what? Two weeks left?
Yesterday was a crap show and that was 100% orchestrated by Trump and he is responsible and knew exactly what he was doing, so I hope you all who have gone unmasked for him at all those events are proud, because that all played a part in events leading up to this. You all have a degree of culpability. I watched everything yesterday unfold I couldn’t believe I was once proud for decades to be a Republican.
Yesterday was not democracy in action. This is not the constitutional right to express yourself and protest. This was ugliness, suborning anarchy, and basically acting like domestic terrorists.
I thought Joe Biden was marvelous when he spoke yesterday. My Congresswoman, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan said in a release to her constituents:
“The attack on our Capitol yesterday was unconscionable, but it was not inevitable,” said Houlahan. “It was a direct product of four years of division and dissent that has emanated from the very highest office in this country and a horrifying culmination of months-long baseless and unsubstantiated attacks on the very heart of our democracy. Those who carried out this attack and those who inspired it, implicitly and explicitly, must be held accountable.
My colleagues and I owe a debt of gratitude to those who worked to secure the Capitol, allowing the business of the people to continue. I was unequivocal last night and remain steadfast today that the work of this body, the work of the American people, cannot nor will not be halted, no matter the attacks levied against it.
We gathered yesterday in the tradition of the joint session of Congress to count the results of the Electoral College and to certify the victory of President elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris. And despite the efforts of insurrectionists, we carried out our oath-bound duty.
I’ve heard many references recently to the War of 1812 and the attack on the U.S. Capitol but, as a Pennsylvanian, I am reminded of a particular different piece of our community’s history.
Many Americans have visited Philadelphia and the historic sites that are the cradle of our nation. Fewer people make it out to my community, which is home to Valley Forge. Here, General George Washington led the Continental Army to winter quarters. The Revolutionary War had not been going well for our young soldiers, and the winter of 1777-1778 was harder still. It was bitterly cold, there were food shortages and a smallpox outbreak. Many brave patriots died.
We remember what happened there because it was a test of endurance, a demonstration of devotion to mission and to country over self. Coming out of that awful winter and experience, our troops emerged better trained, united and ultimately victorious. In harsh, dark times, they found their common ground and their fortitude. The success was not by chance, General Washington led by putting service above self.
Just like then, it is in these trying moments where we learn who our leaders are. They are the ones who don’t just ‘represent’ or give orders, or ready us for a fight. They are the ones who also educate. Who speak the truth. They inspire confidence and unity rather than sowing division and strife.
There is a striking parallel between what our nascent country endured then in Valley Forge and what we are enduring now. A hard winter of division, with illness running rampant. And an uncertain future after yesterday’s attack.
Our country’s resolve is being tested. I believe we will pass this test together and we will be made stronger.
We owe it to the people of this country to move forward from this election with a focus on healing the divisions that have been created and on ensuring our communities build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. We must be a government that works for all people, a body politic that stands on the side of truth and justice.
We must move forward with a servant heart and a common resolve to preserve this great experiment that is the United States of America.”
These people yesterday are the ones who have listened to Trump since the election. Since he lost the election. They listened to his his repeated lies of election fraud. (Guess they all missed the part where he disemboweled the United States Postal Service so no one could vote successfully by mail?) Trump has undermined this country’s confidence in itself, and ourselves as Americans. It has been unconscionable and yesterday it turned violent. And yesterday they vandalized our Capitol. OUR Capitol. As a lover of history, I just do not get it.
And what else don’t I get is the double standard of treatment. If yesterday had been a women’s march, or a Black Lives Matter march, or anything else than what it was, how would the response have been? Hell they arrested Jane Fonda now a senior citizen again in December, 2020 at a climate change demonstration. The response disparity of yesterday is truly quite remarkable.
I have said it before, and will say it again, protesting is an American right by our very United States Constitution. I have done it. But not like that display of yesterday. But yesterday? That was destruction. That was an attempt to overthrow the government. Elections are won and lost, we don’t need to die over it. If these patriots would kindly remember this is why our forefathers fought so hard for us to have our lives today, it would be helpful.
It’s time for Trump to go away. Is their a straightjacket somewhere in his size? He does not get to destroy this country any longer like he has destroyed his businesses over the years. The true “art of the deal” is knowing when to fold ’em and leave…and please take your lovely family along with you, Donnie.
We have had four years of a nightmare reality TV show come to life. Trump, you’re fired. Now run along.
Thank you Twitter and Facebook for giving him a mute.
America the Beautiful? Let’s get back to that shall we? Thanks for stopping by and oh my oh my how many COVID19 cases will result in yesterday?.