9/11 turns 22

Please use this day to remember all of those Americans who died on 9/11. Multiple races, ethnicities, walks of life, and more. Remember all of those people who died on this day to help protect our freedoms.

Honor America by actually remembering who we are, not what some try to dictate whom they say we should be.

On September 11, 2020 it was the 19th unbelievable anniversary of 9/11. One of the things that 9/11 taught us, as journalist Harry Smith on NBC’s Today Show had pointed out then on the morning news is in this great country if we look, there is more that unites us versus divides us, and we learned that from 9/11. He also remarked that it’s hard for us to see it now and it is. We are a country divided.

We can’t remain a country divided, and this somber anniversary is the best example why.

Yet we are a country still divided, even more divided I feel. Full of zealots wound up in their own hatred determined to pummel us with what they feel are their superior views. I was reminded of that this weekend when a woman I wrote about decided to get quite literally in my face so I knew who she was or saw her.

We were at a ceremony marking the history of a cemetery and a church ruin. Was that her appropriate moment? No of course not, but what she didn’t get is that I already saw her before seeing her inches from my face and it cemented my sense of what she did being wrong all over again. I told her that I don’t speak to people like her and walked away.

But these people like this woman? They don’t understand that they get their very rights to try to remove the rights of others in this country because of our forefathers, and again because of the people who lose their lives for being Americans. Like 9/11.

On 9/11 Americans were targeted for violence and death for being American. And any other person who was from any other part of the world who died that day in NYC, Washington DC, or Shanksville, PA died for being in the US then for whatever reason.

Yes, there is always more that unites us versus divides us, and we learned that from 9/11 and that is often nearly impossible for us to see in today’s world . We are still a country divided. We can’t remain a country divided and the anniversary of 9/11 is the best example why.

Today also marks day 12 that an escaped murderer is on the loose in Chester County County. Here’s hoping Danelo Cavalcante is apprehended today. Here’s a video from a guy from this morning about this:

I think they totally don’t know where this guy is at this point and that bothers me because today is 9/11 and there are ceremonies everywhere even in Chester County.

Back to 9/11.

The news is once again full of stories of families who lost people on 9/11. Children who grew up without parents because they died on 9/11. This is unimaginable loss, and all of these people have gone forward with their lives which has to be so hard at some moments. Graduations, weddings, first days of school, first steps of children and grandchildren and more.

Again on 9/11, I am also going to pause and remember two men I went to college with. I’m not going to be some kind of weird death hypocrite and say I really knew them or they were my close personal friends because they weren’t. They were both people I met a couple of times, but people I never really knew who were close to people important to me to this very day. They lost their lives on 9/11.

9/11 Memorial in New Jersey – my photo.

Doug Cherry worked for AON. I remember when I found out that he had died in the trade center because I worked for then Wachovia Securities, and AON had a large office literally across the hall. Someone I knew from that office had oddly remembered I went to Ohio Weslyan. So they told me when they learned the names of those who had died in their company. But that wasn’t on 9/11 that was in the days that followed. I remember afterwards the days that followed when you started to see the roll call of names of people lost.

I remember when I heard about Doug I kind of felt old and felt my own mortality for the first time. He was my class, and although he wasn’t a close friend or somebody I even really knew back then, we went to a small school, so you remembered the faces even if you didn’t remember the people.

That was the case with Ted Luckett. He was the class ahead, and again somebody I didn’t know but remembered. But I remembered back then is he liked to sail — there were a lot of guys who went to Ohio Weslyan who were amazing sailors. Even on America’s Cup crews.

I remember when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. It was at this moment I was pulling into my garage back then where I worked for then Wachovia Securities in Conshohocken. I was listening to the radio. I remember the tears just starting to roll down my face because I knew, I knew they (terrorists) came back because I had walked out of the World Trade Center shopping concourse in 1993 when they blew up the garage.

And when I say I remember exactly when it was as the bomb detonated in that garage in 1993. I was standing on the sidewalk outside looking at Century 21. If life has been different I might still have been working in New York City on September 11, 2001.

I also remember as I walked into my office that fateful day in 2001, and all the brokers were riveted to television screens in their offices and their computers, at that point in time most people didn’t believe those were terrorist attacks. They just thought like a small plane had gone into the trade center. It was a crazy surreal morning as the news started to unfold. It’s crazy how clearly I can still remember it. I think this is like it was for our parents the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. You remember where you were and what you were doing.

I also remember calling my late father, who was on his cell phone on an Amtrak train to New York for some kind of an appointment, and when he answered the phone I remember saying “Where are you? Where are you?” And he told me they had just stopped at Metro Park, New Jersey, and I told him get off the train. Take another train back. And he told me oh no the AMTRAK conductors said it’s fine, it’s nothing and he would be back that evening. With the aftermath of 9/11 in NYC, he couldn’t get out of that city for days.

So it’s been 22 years, what have we learned? I ask that ever year.

Another of the other things I remember on this day now twenty years ago, two sisters I grew up with who were close childhood family friends and still are. One, at the time, worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The other I think worked for Marsh and McLennan at the time (can’t remember for sure), but she did work somewhere in the World Trade Center. I remember being in a panic for days until I found out they were OK. One or both were out of state visiting their parents. And one sister had actually just left her job to go back to school or she definitely would have been there.

One of the sisters, if not both, were posted on missing persons lists that kept coming out back then at a rapid-fire pace. You have no idea how surreal it was to see familiar names on these lists. Especially because at this point the missing persons lists were also presumed dead lists.

On the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, I am also going to once again pause for a moment to remember the OTHER terrorist attempt on the World Trade Center. February 26, 1993.

In 1993, I worked in New York at that time at an office located downtown in the financial district. 44 Wall Street. Gabriele, Hueglin & Cashman.

On that day, I had accompanied my office friend Deirdre to the World Trade Center to grab an early lunch and to check out some stores in the shopping concourse above the garage. We were back outside of the World Trade Center buildings, getting ready to cross the street, when suddenly the ground shook and moved. I remember that we were looking directly across the street at Century 21, a department store in Lower Manhattan.

Then something happened that rarely happens in New York: Everything went eerily still and quiet. We looked up at what we first thought were snowflakes beginning to float and fall from the sky. After all, it was February.

Then car alarms began to go off one by one like the cacophony of many distorted bells. The snowflakes, we soon discovered, were in reality ashes.

People began yelling and screaming. It became very confusing and chaotic all at once, like someone flipped a switch to “on.” At first, we both felt rooted to the sidewalk, unable to move. I remember feeling a sense of panic at the unknown. 

We had absolutely no idea what had happened, and hurried back to our office. Reaching it, we were greeted by worried coworkers who told us that someone had set off a bomb underground in the World Trade Center garage. That much had come over the Bloomberg machine.

I will never forget the crazy kaleidoscope of images, throughout that afternoon, of all the people who were related to or knew people in my office who sought refuge in our office after walking down the innumerable flights of steps in the dark to exit the World Trade Center Towers. They arrived with soot all over their faces, hands and clothes. They all wore zombie looks of shock, disbelief and panic.

Of course, the oddest thing about the first terrorist attack on New York City is that I don’t remember much lasting fuss about it. I do remember that President Bill Clinton was newly sworn into office, but I don’t remember him coming to visit New York after the attack. (I found out later he did not visit New York after this attack.)

Everything was back to normal in Lower Manhattan in about a month, maybe two. After a while, unless you had worked in New York, or lived in New York, you simply forgot about this 1993 “incident.”

Except if you were there, like I was, you always remember that day as well. And I am sure I am not the only one who was in New York City downtown in February 1993 who felt as I did on September 11, 2001: that immediate “they came back” feeling.

Within the past few years I found my work friend Deirdre again, and we are reconnected. She still in the New York metropolitan area and has a beautiful family.

Life must go on and time can’t stand still, but all in all I can’t help but wonder: What have we learned since about our country and about ourselves? TWENTY TWO years after 9/11 what have we learned and what have we forgotten? What do we need to remember?

We never forget this day and never should. But what have we learned? I think we need to pay it forward as a country in memory of all of those first responders and others who lost their lives. We need to be better versions of ourselves. We need to come together as a country. 

We need peace, and less racial divide and polarizing, divisive politics. Is that possible? I don’t know. But we can try.

I don’t really have that much else to say about 9/11 today, other than this isn’t Taylor Swift’s 22.

I will close with it is so almost inconceivable to me that 22 years have gone by in a blink since 9/11 happened. Here’s wishing for a better world… and remembering those who lost their lives and gave their lives on this day as well as those who were in our lives then, but are not now.


9/11 Memorial in NJ

people are fed up with the cavalcante on the run of it all

To the people contacting me all I can say is spread the word around if see something say something. Just keep reporting sightings. Please don’t just report it to social media call the actual police.

I think law enforcement in Southeastern PA needs to get together and there needs to be reversed 911 to the entire southeastern PA area.

This guy could be headed into Norristown, or King of Prussia, etc.

My fear is he makes it to South Jersey and hides in the Pine Barrens for a good long time putting a lot of those people there at risk. Or he goes to Philadelphia, and just blends in with the rest of the criminals that are never caught in that jurisdiction.

And if Josh Shapiro can do things like giant press conferences on putting I-95 back together why can’t he put our mind at ease down here and get more resources as needed?

today at ebenezer, hope rose like a phoenix from the ashes

This won’t be a particularly long post and over the next couple of days I will be going through photos from the sign ceremony to post but today my heart was happy and full of joy.

I love this site, and I love the history it represents, and today I felt hopeful. Today I felt the old souls were pleased… and I could also feel more recent souls who loved Ebenezer whom I knew, Ann Christie and Al Terrell were smiling.

Also something unexpected happened. Today I got a thank you for my contributions to Ebenezer. That is a place that is so special to me, and the thank you was heartfelt. It came from Pastor April Martin and Bertha Jackmon. Coming from them that really meant something special to me. No one really has ever publicly recognized my efforts, and it’s one of those things where no brass band was ever needed, but a simple thank you today meant the world.

My relationship with the East Whiteland Historic Commission doesn’t really exist. I genuinely like a couple of the members and a few members past and present have always been truly really nice to me, and I enjoy speaking with them and knowing them a little bit, BUT I know most of those people do not like me, and a few do not go out of their way to make me feel welcome. And part of the things that have upset me about Ebenezer was trying to talk to them over the years. None of them are bad people, but they are quite cliquish, and not necessarily welcoming to someone like me, or anyone who isn’t their normal person.

Part of what I realized today is I don’t need their approval or permission to love local history. They honestly did a really nice job with the ceremony. Ebenezer’s graveyard is nicely cleaned up. A bunch of stones have fallen over but it’s partially the site itself, and there are new homes being dug around it. The plan is to restore the stones and cap the church ruin which is perfect.

There is a brand new website and fundraising will need to be done for the future and if there are folks who can set up a non profit to help Ebenezer live long into the future visit https://www.historicebenezerbactonhill.org/

It was really nice to visit Hiram and Joshua today too.

Many thanks to Chair of the East Whiteland Supervisors Scott Lambert and Manager Steve Brown for their support of preserving this historic site and for arranging all sorts of things today and East Whiteland PD for making a sometimes busy road behave today.

Again, I will post photos over the next few days. In the future I would like to plant daffodils and snowdrops by the grave stones after they are reset.

let me keep it simple: NO MEGA WAREHOUSES ARE GOOD D.A.S.D!

Photo from Uwchlan Community Day
SPSF Group Photo

There are things within a community that happen where people can no longer sit idly by and say oh that’s too bad or I really should say something and say/do nothing. Saving Lionville Station Farm is one of these formative moments. This is a pivotal issue within the community, where they can no longer sit idly by.

I believe in the people trying to stop this mega warehouse monstrosity from coming to pass. For whatever it is worth, I support them. I know some of the people. I also had friends that used to live back there at one time who would be affected if they were still there.

I mean, can you literally imagine sitting in your beautiful backyard that you have worked so hard to earn, and your entire view shed is taken up by walls of giant warehouses as far as the eye can see, so large you can’t even take an adequate photo?

And along with this project, the whole right of homeowners to have an expectation of private enjoyment will go right out the window. 24 hours a day seven days a week truck after truck car after car in and out of this complex if it gets built? There will be no peace.

These are the projects that destroy communities. These are like the data centers. These are like the hydrogen hubs. These are the overly dense projects that developers bring into communities just like all the goddamn apartment buildings built on what was farmland that we really don’t need, but we’re getting anyway.

These are the projects that make you wonder what the hell the Chester County Planning Commission is doing, along with the County Commissioners? It also makes you wonder what the State Representatives and State Senators are doing for us in Harrisburg? Which is really kind of nothing on these issues.

A project like this shows you how woefullly outdated once again the Municipalities Planning Code is. The world has changed a lot since circa 1969 and the State Reps and State Senators are lazy because they have to enact an act of the state constitution to update this and they WON’T. You see it’s not that they CAN’T, they won’t.

This is why all of these bad overly dense development plans including but not limited to this Audubon plan in Uwchlan for mega warehouses on Lionville Station Farm need to be election issues every single election cycle until meaningful changes occur. This is truthfully an election issue on every level and it starts with the Downingtown Area School District School Board.

This is a standalone issue. And many supporters of the school board are trying to conflate this issue with others and that’s wrong. Truthfully this is essentially how everything gets stalled in Congress and the US Senate. Sometimes things can be their own issue and should be.

DASD has the ability during August to unwind the contract. That means they have the ability to stop mega warehouses.

This developer has developed other kinds of projects like Shannondell, which is a wonderful, senior living and life care facility. A project like that, for example, wouldn’t put more kids in the school district. And with an aging population, something like this is actually needed.


READ: https://savelsf.com/blog/f/lets-get-to-work



And while I am not, and never will support extremism and corresponding candidates for school board, but sadly if the DASD doesn’t stop the madness, they are going to lose the support of lots of people going forward. And that includes me.

With all the ugliness in this school district over the past few years, I have done my level best to support the path of right. For that, I have been verbally abused, harassed, harangued, doxxed, etc. This was for supporting the issues against the craziness of things like the anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers, anti-everything, Drag Queens reading to little kids and attending fundraisers, and more. I didn’t help to make myself money or anything like that, I helped because it was the right thing to do. But now I am asking for something in return. I am asking for them to withdraw from the contract with Audubon in August like they are legally able to!

I have gladly supported the issues of these people fighting to save their school district. It’s time for them to support the people in their community on this issue. Giant warehouses, hydrogen hubs, and data centers don’t help any resident anywhere. these are projects which suck up land and ruin communities.

A friend of mine described mega warehouses as being so huge it was like somebody put a tarp over the City of Philadelphia. We were having a conversation about their drive recently down to Washington DC and passing mega warehouses. They had wanted to take photos of the warehouses, but they were so big you couldn’t take like just one photo to even grasp the concept of size and scale. Or how terrifying the tractor trailers coming in and out of these places made the roadways.

I suspect some Downingtown school board directors/members didn’t understand why they were being sent the questionnaire and the pledge from SLSF. The conclusion probably is that they feel it has nothing to do with their job. Actually, it has everything to do with their jobs because they’re elected officials who are also part of a community and as a school board director/member you have an elected responsibility to do what’s best. And if you think giant warehouses are the best thing for your community then you don’t deserve to be in office. It is pretty much that simple to me. And it pains me to say that because some of these folks are just wonderful.

And I’m not accepting the general school board cop-out that their solicitor “doesn’t think it’s a good idea.” I mean for real, do you really think he cares about all of you and your issues? That guy is just all politics of a certain kind isn’t he?

So to the Downingtown school board people that I have supported all along, sadly this is where I have to draw a line in the sand. I want you all to succeed and truly keep your school board seats, but this issue of mega warehouses? You need to stop being pussies and step up and do the right thing. I’m tired of mincing words.

If you do not stop the mega warehouses while you have the opportunity and support the community that pays taxes to you, please don’t expect me to be giving your causes and issues a supportive platform going forward. I’m not saying I won’t be supportive, but what I am saying is I will no longer go out of my way to help. If you can’t help with this issue and stand up and be adults and do the right thing, why do you expect everybody else to support you all of the time?

And DASD, you aren’t the only elected official who is ignoring this. There are two sitting county commissioners running for reelection, and one empty suit, baby kisser running for the Republican minority seat, who also are ignoring this situation and this pledge/questionnaire

So all of you out there know I like the truth. I also learned interesting factual unvarnished truth today while digging in to write.

My research indicates and is validated that the guy named Duanne and the co-opt candidate “Professor” Bressi talk a really good game about SAVING LIONVILLE STATION FARM BUT HAVE NOT RETURNED A COMPLETED CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE OR ACTUALLY SIGNED THE PLEDGE TO SAVE LIONVILLE STATION FARM!

To me that puts them in the category of liar, liar pants on fire. They are only trying to steal a campaign issue of residents of Chester County for their own political gain, which is why quite frankly I would throw their arses out of every social media group they belong to. If they meant what they said, they would sign the pledge and complete the questionnaire. Period. End of story.

If they are really interested in Saving Lionville Station Farm it would’ve been easy peeszy to complete the questionnaire and send it back in with a signed pledge.

BUT they HAVE NOT. So that is a very easy distinction for people to see why they shouldn’t vote for them for school board. These politicians are not doing things for people, only to further their own political gain. However, this is why it also looks really bad when the people who are in office haven’t signed the pledge. And that’s including two county commissioners up for reelection and not just the school board people.

I thought I would just point this out to all of you.

Here are all the politicians/candidates who have not signed the pledge, or completed the questionnaire:

Whether people like it or not stopping, mega warehouses has become a campaign issue for the fall of 2023. And it goes into the same bad category of pipelines, data centers, hydrogen, hubs, and too much goddamned development in general.

Politicians, this isn’t difficult. Working to stop mega warehouses will result in a plurality that will remember this on Election Day this fall. Ignoring the plurality on mega warehouses will most probably result in the demise of some candidates. It’s a simple fact of life sadly.

To the members of the Downingtown Are School District School Board, who are running for reelection and wish to keep their seats, ponder this carefully. This is literally your Waterloo. So y’all get to decide if you want to be Napoleon or The Duke of Wellington.

Rant over.

bless their hearts

I have noticed a couple of new tactics with those on social media who always have to challenge things, comment on everything, or look for an argument, where there’s no argument to be found.

Seriously it’s funny.

It starts with over usage of the word, “grace.” They tell you, you are supposed to have grace with everything.

It’s like take your shower with a side of grace. Take out your trash with a side of grace. Beat your wife with grace. Blow your nose with grace. I think, grace, like many other things is earned, has to occur to the individual, and is (again) overused in general as a word. It is truly the favorite go to with the judgemental small minded faux pious on Facebook in particular.

And truthfully, it is as amusing as the people who will say out of one side of their mouth they will pray for you, and out of the other side of their mouth they tell you to F off. I mean bless their hearts, am I right?

Pro Tip: it’s not your place to decide who needs to show grace. Resist the temptation to overuse the word “grace”. Save yourselves from preachified word salads and faux Christian outrage and attempted guilt by finding other pages and posts to ummm….grace.

And then there was like the woman this morning, who essentially said, I was being mean to utility lineman by posting about a tree that was still down blocking a busy road that counts as a state highway. Then there was her pal, who said I was displaying temper because I was suggesting to people that it is OK to follow up after 24 hours with the utility company about things like no power and a downed tree with wires blocking a busy area road.

That my adoring public is the second tactic: to be as passive aggressive as humanly possible.

Yes this is funny because this passive aggressive of it all is the new tactic of the people that usually just flat out bash you for whatever on social media. They actually don’t get that whether they are bashing or being passive aggressive we still see them for who and what they are.

And then there is the whole issue of reading comprehension. It truly makes you wonder what people see when you put up the simplest of statements. However, what is probably closer to what’s happening is they just don’t read it. Or they read a couple of words, interpret, project, and add their own word salad to it as they see fit.

So bless the fuzzy hearts of these people and the jackass horse 🐎 they rode in on. I don’t understand what it is about social media that makes people think they have to comment on every single post they see. It’s like they have a little book and they are collecting gold stars or colorful stamps for every post. (Either that or they’re paying attention to that ridiculous point system that Facebook has put up that no one seems to know what it’s actually for.)

Good golly people, you don’t actually have to comment on every single thing you see on social media. You don’t have to like everything, you don’t have to dislike everything and along those lines, you don’t have to comment on everything. It’s just like in the real world you don’t have to comment on everything. I say real world, because social media really isn’t the real world. In a lot of cases it’s just the reality that people choose to project.

And then there are the people that no matter what they say are bad. Often I fit into that category simply because I am not what these other people on social media know in their own lives. Also possible to be considered is a little bit has to do with the fact that I don’t need to know all of these people, and have no desire to. So that makes me bad merely because I know I am under no obligation to fit into what ever passes as acceptable in their tiny universes.

However, never fear I am here to comment on every oddball thing that strikes my fancy or funny-bone whenever it strikes my fancy here on this blog. And most delightedly, it’s not up to you. It’s up to me.

Judge not that ye not be judged.

Carry on with your bad selves and thanks for giving me the grace of giggles.

just another raggedy post?

I will freely admit I am a bit salty about Farmer in the Westtown Dell’s latest post. The message is clear even if that is not actually her intent: if you aren’t with her, you’re against her. So is it you can only worship, you CANNOT raise or voice concerns about how things look (you know like the mowing issues), and you can’t say anything else? If you do, is there a shade of shade of inference none too subtly that anyone who has anything other than glowing praise and accolades is a racist?

Come on, really?

See this Instagram post from 2 days ago:

From Farmer Jawn Instagram (Public Post) 3 Days ago

So yes I wrote a post about the way the place formerly known as Pete’s Produce looked. And this was after an email blast to her followers came out. And by her I am referring to Westtown’s New Farmer in the Dell, Ms. Barfield.

That email hit a bad chord in me. I felt as if those of us expressing concern were being chided for expressing valid concerns about how everything looked. Lady, it’s called communication and that is not necessarily one and the same as an Instagram post is it?

So I wrote about it and how I felt. It’s my right is it not? I was not being racist. But I had people saying I was and messages that were vile.

So let’s back up (again.) When they first announced Ms. Barfield was the new farmer, I was welcoming with a couple of basic questions – essentially concerning the Pete’s workers who had worked that farm for in some cases, years, and would she be hiring any of them. Here verbatim is what I said at the time (December 9, 2022) :

I welcome a new farmer to continue the tradition of Pete on this land. BUT with Pete, retiring, a lot of his workers are now unemployed, so I hope since so many of them worked so hard for him for so many years that this new farmer will adopt some of his workers as hers. What I am hearing Westtown School is that might not be so?

Truthfully, I thought it was kind of cool initially when she was chosen because she was a female farmer. I did not object to the switch to organic farming, but I will still repeat what I initially said because I know organic farmers: it is a BIG process. Going organic and getting organic certification is a lot of hoops, and expensive. I also noted it doesn’t happen overnight.

These are a sampling of the 250 comments on the Instagram post that I found distasteful:

BUT I have a huge problem with the way I feel those of us out here who are essentially being told we are racists because we asked what was going on over there and can anyone understand this? That is wrong. I am not a racist and I have read through all of the 277 comments (or that was how many at last count.) Just because someone is not your race and says “hey I don’t like something happening” that is not racist. People aren’t saying because she is a black farmer or even a female farmer that she is bad or can’t do the job. They are also NOT saying she shouldn’t own farm land. Out here specifically people were referring to how run down parts of the property looked because the freaking weeds weren’t cut along the sides of the road leading into the market area. Sometimes things are just about what people say. Sometime it’s not more or bad or wrong.

People did try to have a conversation about this on this Instagram post. Like one lady said and I quote:

I find what bothers me the most is that conventional farmers such as Pete and others are made to sound as if they are horrible stewards of the earth. I wish you the best but please respect all farming practices. There’s nothing unhealthy about the soil on that farm.

One of the replies this person received was horrible. She was told she had white logic essentially and what the offensive same hell does she mean? Just like the subsequent comment to someone else asking about “your species”? I am sorry was this person an alien?

And then there are the locals who feel they have to literally suck up and say that they are so sorry everyone is so negative and change doesn’t come easily and please forgive everyone for the negativity. The negativity is primarily coming from the supporters of Farmer Jawn. And yes, I agree change doesn’t come easily. But it’s all about how the change is presented.

Let’s review: when Westtown first announced the new farmer of that land people were excited. The land would stay farmed and not become a crop of cheap plastic mushroom houses. Then it was nothing really, including the weeds which didn’t get cut for months. That made people wonder and worry, myself included. I was not racist on my comments and am not a racist but yeah I am damn straight going to react to words like raggedy. And when I have never made the race or sex of this farmer (or any other farmer) an issue, why is she saying that is why people are asking questions?

Newsflash, Ms. Barfield, people asked questions and had understandable concerns considering how well tended the land had been by the last steward of the land even if he wasn’t organic. I will note he wasn’t exactly a straight Round Up farmer, either. He was just a conventional farmer, not organic. But for what it is worth conventional farmers I know do employ a lot of organic practices even if they do not have the organic official status because of the expense of becoming certified organic. This farmer could have played this straight and allayed fears people had. But she really has not in my opinion. And that is why I am finding this Instagram you did offensive to those of us who live here.

And that is the thing of it: you are the new steward of the land but you are unknown except for your social media out here in the community you are entering into. And you have kind of been putting this combative vibe out there. It’s not warranted. Life is difficult enough at times without that. Just because I am white doesn’t make me a bad person does it? So why would you assume I judged you by the color of your skin? I didn’t. And I won’t.

Ms. Barfield. I do not have a problem with either your mission or your vision. I do still wonder if the Westtown land will be too much and too expensive for you long term, but that isn’t wishing you ill or implying you can’t do it. I am not slamming you as a female farmer of any creed or color. What I have a problem with is anyone implying folks have a racial angle if they ask questions about your Westtown farming. That will not engender good will in the community you wish to be a part of.

Farming like gardening is kind of like life, especially when you are cultivating. Because lady, people require cultivation too. I was planning to show up and support you when you announced your August 18th opening. I was happy to hear this. But then came your Raggedyness post on Instagram and those comments. Now, I will get there when I get there.

My business in particular doesn’t matter a hill of beans, and I know that, but what I am saying that may resonate, is that if we had questions or reservations at all, are we really actually welcome as potential customers?

A customer wants to feel welcomed. That’s a pretty simple tenet of customer service.

Ms. Barfield, FarmerJawn, I wish you the best, but I am never one who will mince words when something strikes me as wrong or unfair.

Wishing you all peace.

NBC News 5/14/23

be the change caln township government and help one of your commissioners.

1701 Olive in Coatesville. This is a Caln commissioner’s house is it not? How can her municipal friends ignore the way she is living? How can they complain about other properties and ignore this? It’s horrible. As in really bad.

How can the condition of this property be safe? Residents locally say it’s been like this for years. These photos were taken today as in this morning.

There’s letting things go overgrown, and then there’s this. This looks like an abandoned property doesn’t it? Only it’s not. So when Caln Township commissioners ballyhoo on occasionally at meetings lamenting how they want to make the township a better place how are they not seeing this place?

I felt badly for this politician when her husband/partner went to jail this year for child porn. (I now say husband/partner because if you look on the Chester county court records I don’t see a marriage license so I don’t know what they are) and I felt badly for her with that situation because I honestly didn’t think she knew that was going on, and I still don’t. But she cannot continue to live in a house with a property this condition.

I think this politician is actually a very sad human being. But living like this, just can’t be a good idea can it? Because when you see an exterior like this, you wonder what the interior is like don’t you?

Lorraine Tindaro obviously needs help. And no one can even see her house from the street and it’s not like she has a grand estate with a half mile driveway.

The condition of this property just keeps getting worse. And you have to wonder if everything going on inside that house is OK if this is what the exterior looks like don’t you? If her political friends care for her, they will get her property cleaned up for her and help her.

This gallery of photos to follow are from July 20:

breaking up is hard to do

One of the topics of conversation this summer all over our area has been trash pick up. The formerly always reliable AJ Blosenski went off the rails.

There is no need to rehash all of our missed pick ups and all of our piles of trash and how hard it is to get them on the phone. Today I only waited half an hour. And waiting half an hour is utterly ridiculous.

A few days ago, I wrote the post to see embedded below.

I really wanted things to work out with Blosenski. I really kept hoping that they would fix their issues but when we had to start again this week with streets just arbitrarily being skipped for pick up with no prior notice and not getting notice until two days later after you had left multiple messages and filled out a missed trash pick up request online. This is why we decided we had been patient enough. We’re paying for a service and trash is stinky. So when you have a couple of weeks where the trash is fine and then the exact same problems start to repeat themselves and you’re the customer. the aggravation point isn’t worth it anymore.

So three days ago I called Opdenaker. I did not sit on hold forever before I spoke to a customer service person, and when that customer service person answered the phone, they were polite and friendly, and wanted to speak with me and wanted to be helpful. Essentially everything you want a customer service person to be.

This morning they dropped off our two new cans. They apologized profusely because they were actually a day late from their normal schedule of giving new customers cans but apparently they’ve been getting a lot of new customers because of the mass exodus from AJ Blosenski. And the man that drop the cans off was just so nice.

My husband had called to break up with A.J Blosenski formally. I had called the very nice regional person from Waste Connections that I have been dealing with to let him know. I wanted to extend that courtesy to him because the regional people have been so nice to us, trying to fix our missed deliveries. The Blosenski office told my husband that they would not be picking up our cans until August 28. Yes, almost a month from now.

I couldn’t believe that was true. So I sat on hold today to find out if it was and it was and I was told by the “customer service”person that arguing with him wouldn’t get it picked up faster I mean really? I wasn’t arguing I was however somewhat incredulous that they could have already charged us for the next quarter of service on an account we had canceled. Oh and we have to wait for that to be refunded, and they haven’t yet refunded the missed pick ups that they owed us for previously.

I’m not trying to be a difficult customer on the way out the door, but this is ridiculous. It’s like they are going out of their way to be as unpleasant as possible, and make this as difficult as possible. And it is indeed, a shame, because the regional person I had been dealing with from Waste Connections couldn’t be nicer.

So this is almost closing the door on A.J. Blosenski for us.

The trash photos you are seeing are all different examples of missed pick ups all over the area. There are some corporate acquisitions that go smoothly, this isn’t one of them. I am kind of shocked actually because prior to this we had a great service from them. But I guess the people that work there can’t handle being part of a larger, corporate structure. I hope it gets figured out. But we are moving on.

Oh and Opdenaker is a little less money.

meet meadowbrook manor in west west whiteland

I have friends who live in Meadowbrook Manor in West Whiteland. It’s a wonderful little cluster neighborhood of adorable little houses. Many of the residents have lived there for decades.

These residents have seen a lot of change. They have literally seen development gobble up big parts of Exton, and West Whiteland in general. They are also pipeline victims and part of hell on earth ground zero of those blasted pipelines.

Some folks from Meadowbrook Manor in West Whiteland have asked me to share the photos you see in this post and the videos. And they sent me a little statement as well which I am sharing with my readers verbatim:

Meadowbrook Manor built in the 1950s before anyone ever thought about floodplains or storm water management. We are one of (if not the) lowest point in the Whiteland valley. There are two streams that wind through our development; Valley Creek and an unnamed stream. As big, new developments have popped up along Valley Creek, one has to wonder how all the building and impervious ground cover impacts those of us downstream.

Yes, every new development must submit stormwater management plans to the township, but do those plans only protect the new construction from flooding? It is my understanding that new developments are not required to make things better for those of us downstream, but they certainly are not supposed to make it worse. Who is measuring and how is that determined, because things have definitely gotten worse. I have lived here for 26 years. The house next door didn’t flood even with hurricane Floyd, but in the last three years, it has had up to 10” of water inside. The poor young couple who bought it, has been displaced three times in three years. The house next to that has suffered the same fate. Some may blame climate change, and the intensity of recent storms, and I’m sure that is part of it.

The township has expressed sympathy, but we need action.

We need township engineers to follow the path of these streams and find places where more retention basins can be added to slow the tsunami of water that is engulfing homes with each heavy storm.

So won’t you be their neighbor, West Whiteland? When you look at this you realize exactly why Chester County needs to do better. And yes Chester County Planning Department this is why you all need to do better and get an executive director who is from Chester County and lives here. And then there are our state representatives and state senators who need to step up and get the damn Municipalities Planning Code updated and to protect our communities better.

I see all of you in Meadowbrook Manor. I just wish I had a magic wand.

same old song, different day

Toll Townne on Route 100

Oh, I know people are tired of my posts about development. I don’t really care because in my opinion, all of this infill development combined with other elements like climate change are a recipe for disaster in Chester County.

I was speaking to someone recently, who had served on a planning commission in the region about all of the development in Chester County recently. They interpreted what I was trying to articulate as I was against new residents in Chester County. And no that couldn’t be further from the case, it’s about the number of residences.

Our communities are on overload. Our infrastructure can’t handle the current pace of development, and neither can things like our hospitals and schools and that’s not fiction. That is a fact.

Infrastructure would be not just the roads. Infrastructure includes things like our first responders and other municipal personnel. A lot of municipalities don’t have rental inspection ordinances, and a lot of these developments are purely rental. The increasing number of rental properties is also creating a more transient community and it is also driving the real estate to the point where people can’t stay in their own communities.

The people getting priced out of their communities are various business service workers, for example. Individuals getting priced out are also like the people that serve on our police forces, in our fire companies, and who teach our kids. In addition there are the elderly who raise their families here and wanted to end their days in their community. Or the younger folks, who may be newly married, and are looking to start and raise their families and put down roots where they were raised.

We have seen what this has done to the Main Line. And frankly, these are just the same developers moving west. They don’t care about our communities and they will pay lip service to whatever, and a lot of municipalities are dumb enough to think that ratables will get them by. And possibly Emperor’s New Clothes Syndrome, yes?

From township to township they march. Gobbling up acre after acre. And as acre after acre are gobbled up, in addition to the aforementioned issues I have pointed out about infrastructure stresses and overcrowding the school districts, look at today’s thunderstorms and flooding. Yes, climate change.

Flooding today

All of these townships, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pay lip service to the environmental issues we are seeing increasing day by day. If they really cared they would not only do something about pipelines in Chester County and across the state, they would update the Municipalities Planning Code of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to protect our communities environmentally. But they don’t.

Until then, people from municipality to municipality in Chester County need to go to their local meetings. You can go to the meetings via Zoom, or you can go in person, but you can’t just complain on social media or expect your friendly neighborhood blogger to carry all of your water.

Downingtown PA today

And even if you can’t go to every meeting, that’s fine, we all have lives. Just take a stand and be counted. It’s your right as a resident. Even more important, is to have a basic awareness of what is going on in your municipality and so many people do not.

Ship Road Development

Recently I was somewhat floored when someone asked in a social media forum what was going on around Ship Road and Route 30 in West Whiteland. It was almost incomprehensible that people and even residents of West Whiteland have no idea what has been going on there and what has been planned there for almost 10 years at this point! Even if you don’t go to meetings, that’s a really big development issue that’s been covered in local media.

Ship Road Development

Something else that is cropping up all over are “rain taxes.” Essentially, it’s a direct result of other development and municipalities. It’s been raised as an issue in West Goshen and West Chester Borough, and other places. Well this showed up as also as a current hot topic in Tredyffrin:

Development has consequences. And the fact that we pay for those consequences comes down to simple economics as well because the developers take the profits from their projects and they simply move on to the next municipality leaving all the residents and taxpayers holding the bag. Bag men one and all is ok with all of you?

Ship Road and Route 30: Ground Zero in West Whiteland including development all around this development

Adaptive reuse and preservation is possible. Even with the rampant overdevelopment occurring in West Whiteland Township for example, you have bright, shiny gems of preservation in places like the Benjamin Jacobs house and the Benjamin Pennypacker House as but two examples.

People do love our old structures. They love our open space we need to do more to preserve that. We need to do more to preserve our communities as well as foster a sense of real community.

This development is not sustainable anywhere long-term. You can’t just continue to say build it and they will come because what do we do with all of the people what happens as we are replacing our farm fields with plastic townhouses or apartment buildings?

People on planning commissions and elected officials have drunk the KoolAid to a degree in so many municipalities. And the officials who haven’t drunk the KoolAid are then often outnumbered by those who have. And then the good guys get blamed along with everyone else. It’s a vicious cycle and problems are precipitated by other factors including a lot of people simply do not understand how the planning and zoning processes works and don’t seem to wish to learn.

People love to talk about what they don’t like. But people don’t tell their elected officials and local leaders and they have never attended a meeting. And now there are ways to attend meetings virtually as well as in person. Even I Zoom meetings. If you don’t want to speak in public you can often submit a written comment.

The more land that is gobbled up and the less open space there is and the increase of impervious surface coverage also is important because whether you subscribe to climate change or not, our environment is changing and water, flood waters in particular, will seek their own level. And voila, flooding. All this development means the water simply has no place to go.

So pick your poison people. Take a stand. We live here. We should have greater rights to help decide how our communities are preserved and shaped for the future. Real rights. And until we can get the bozos in Harrisburg to update the Municipalities Planning Code we can and should ask for every other protection we can legally get.

Our elected officials CAN implement conditions of approval that help our communities.

Our elected officials CAN enact rental ordinances.

Our elected officials CAN badger Harrisburg and Washington DC for more meaningful historic and land preservation…including protection for our farmers.

Our elected officials CAN say no to rezoning a property from commercial to residential. (Hey East Whiteland Township are you listening? You CAN say no to rezoning Clews & Strawbridge on Route 30 so there are fewer rental apartments including on Route 30, can’t you? But will you? )

The entirety of Chester County needs protection from overdevelopment. People, find your voices. Hold elected officials and municipalities accountable, but learn how to do it properly.

And above all else don’t become political pawns of political parties. Why do I say that? Simple. These issues are actually non-partisan. Make the politicians endorse all of you and your positions/issues out there. Stop endorsing them because all that accomplishes is you get them elected and then they dump you once they have gotten what they wanted: your vote. Your vote should be earned by them.

Have a good evening.

Please wake up Chester County. Before it’s too late.