a real or false sense of community?

When you look up “community” or a “sense of community” you find:

A sense of community is the feeling that members have of belonging, the feeling that the members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that their needs will be met through their commitment to be together.”

So when you join social media groups in your community, you go there hopeful there is an actual sense of community. A lot of times you find that, but other times you find groups that make you shake your head.

Some local groups that have made me shake my head in the past about what they allow to be posted. So given what we have seen unfold in this country lately, especially the assault on the United States Capitol, do admins of said groups have a greater responsibility to say keep the peace? And will platforms like Facebook take greater steps to address preexisting issues like stalking, bullying, and harassment?

Recent events have opened up conversations about First Amendment Rights in groups on social media platforms run by private companies. It’s not so difficult to comprehend the nuances unless you are being deliberately argumentative or obtuse.

Yes we have First Amendment rights, but we are on platforms hosted by others. If these others have rules, it’s their platform, not ours. We do not have inalienable rights to disregard their parameters. It’s their site, they just allow us to be on it.

Same thing for say closed groups on Facebook. They almost all have rules and they are governed by the rules Facebook tells folks setting up closed groups.

To me the whole argument of “well I can say whatever I want in Joe Schmoe’s group” is as ludicrous as the billboard company owner who used to say they had a First Amendment right to erect giant billboards which always begged the mental visual of them up there with a giant sharpie scribbling away, didn’t it?

I think social media groups have to be cognizant of what gets posted and keep an eye on it. And not just violence, undue profanity, and crazy political. Let’s not forget fake medical advice posts. One of my favorites came from a mom group advocating for bleach baths for kids with skin issues and doesn’t that actually constitute child abuse?

Being an admin to social media groups is like adult babysitting and you learn quickly that there are keyboard tigers who will argue about anything and everything. And then there is the online mob mentality which in my opinion since the onset of COVID19 has also spilled over more and more into the real world. Because social media and living online is not and will never be the real world.

The longer people spend solely on social media and online in general, the less their grip on acceptable social boundaries. You see that with professional and personal relationships.

Fostering a sense of community is a wonderful thing, but we need to keep it real. And we have an obligation to not tolerate sheer ugliness. We have an obligation to shut down online bullying as well, and that has not gotten better, it has gotten worse.

We can do a lot of genuine good. We can pay it forward for positive change in communities. We all just have to try.

Have a peaceful Sunday.

if mr. costello wants to go to washington, he needs to get out of his nappies first.


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?)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Former Pennsylvania Republican congressman Ryan Costello is taking steps to run for Senate in 2022
by Jonathan Tamari and Andrew Seidman, Posted: January 8, 2021 – 4:50 PM

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.

Then there was the commentary regarding what Costello said this week when he gave a sound byte to local media over the events in Washington:

📌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.

Here is the letter he referred to BY LINK.

Here is the letter by text as I obtained it:

📌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:

life in the fast lane

🎼Life in the fast lane
Surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane
🎼 ~ The Eagles

Woke up with that song in my head. And it made me laugh because it seemed like the perfect theme music to the absurdity of dealing with women in local social media groups.

2020 left the calendar wall dealing with the bless your heart church ladies. You were only ok if you thought their church’s proposed 12’ LED sign was a great idea. If you are against this plan, you are a bad person, discriminating against Christians everywhere and going to burn in hell apparently.

Here comes 2021 and we are here but a minute and already, and it’s a case of but wait there’s more….life in the land of women….

First come the fake news posting devoted social media handmaidens of Trump. Eternally hypocrites especially if you remember them way back when. They have been in a fever pitch of posting things daily, almost hourly some days. They post all the garbage that amounts to suborning anarchy and domestic terrorism, except it’s so ludicrous. So I wonder, after today will their plastic southern housing development secede from the Union? (It makes you wonder 😂)

Flash forward to yesterday when Nurse Ratched had to post in a gifting group her unasked for opinion on something and most people are still trying to figure out why she bothered and what was her point? A real ankle biter, she didn’t like it when a group admin (not me) shut her nastiness down in a place that is supposed to be nice. She spent the balance of the day spewing angry bull twaddle including telling us we were practicing “censorship.” It’s a closed, private group but she thinks she can just be out of control nasty? Alrighty then. So what does this mature enlightened being do? Copied and co-opted what is literally my intellectual property. Mazel tov my darling. Often imitated, never replicated and you are literally one flew over the cuckoo’s nest . And she’s “coming for me”? Over what? We (as in not just me) told her no? Oy vey.

Then when we thought the day couldn’t get any crazier comes Bunny Honey the Stepford development dweller. A local school district posted a COVID19 update. I shared their publicly posted update with no comment, just literally shared their release. Up rolls Bunny Honey full of righteous indignation and demanding my “rationale”. Ummm really? Sharing public information posted without comment, merely for the update it was intended to be by the originator (i.e. school district) requires rationale? Oh honey, stick to one dish casseroles. It’s safer .

And then there is the whopper. Someone contacted my blog. They were concerned what they saw posted in a “mom’s group” which was a woman looking for a venue to hold 100 people inside for a baby shower. Ironically, I was in the group but rarely went into it because of what was posted which swerved between abject drivel and complete lunacy presented as “medical advice”. The person did not know I was in the group. I posted a screenshot that completely masked the group, the poster, and any potential personal identifiers. I posted because I think this qualifies as a COVID idiot and if we as a community, country, and world are going to get past this pandemic, we have to be smarter as a collective than we often are. Pretty simple, right?

Wrong. The comments came fast and furious. How dare I say anything? Easy. How many of us now know someone who has had COVID? How many people have been forced to watch from afar as family members have died of COVID because they aren’t allowed to be with the, for fear of others contracting this highly contagious virus which has infected families all around the world as in entire families? I am sorry not sorry but I think it is nuts to plan a huge event and potentially expose a pregnant woman and her unborn child to COVID. With all the how dare I comments came the over 100 comments from people affected by COVID or who know people affected by COVID, or who lost people to COVID.

One of the people who criticized is one who also criticized my posting the school district update. Her right but gave me pause because sadly I guess I was only an ok human being when I was posting about saving homes from eminent domain and a traffic circle? And then of course came one of the like 20 admins the group has actually identifying the group it came from. So yo’ “boo”? I don’t want to be in a group where bleach baths and is that husband cheating on her and worse is a thing, so keep your righteous indignation because oh hell yes I was indeed judging….but remember I did it without naming the group or letting poster identity get out, that was ummm in part YOU.

Which brings me to the continuing and overwhelming projection of selfish behavior and narcissism that has become the norm on social media. This is now the perfect segue to an article I read. Here is an excerpt:

The Elephant Journal: December 19, 2020
How COVID exposed New Age Narcissism.

📌During this global pandemic that has disrupted life as we know it, many people have attempted to find the silver lining in the chaos.

For some, it has brought people closer to their friends and families. For others, it has slowed them down and got them to reevaluate their lives and careers. Some picked up healthy habits, while others gave in to unhealthy ones.

In the end, it has brought many things inside of us to the surface. It has left many of us exposed to a layer of truth about ourselves and society that we were unaware of before.📌

This is an interesting read.

I will admit quite freely that COVID19 has not worked positively on my patience or occasional bouts of sarcasm. I am more impatient than I was at times with these keyboard tigers who dwell on social media and especially in community Facebook groups. Quite simply, I am increasingly intolerant of these people not only attempting to dumb everything down, but their narcissistic or merely selfish approach to the me first of it all 24/7/365. I will never be among their adoring public but I thank them for their many gifts of assholishness which provides giggles.

How I end up coping with these people is finding the humor in what can only be described as their online idiocy and assholishness and bitchfests. We are all discovering these people. Humor helps make it better. So does dumping wasted energy out our lives. At the end of the day, we don’t have to like them, and they don’t have to like us. After all, who are they in the grand, even cosmic sphere of things? Not important. (But damn amusing to occasionally poke fun at since they are but a spin on Stepford Wives, anyway.)

Happy hump day Wednesday folks! It’s a brand new year of silliness!

darkness before the dawn continues? please remember it’s the christmas season.

I just read an article in New York Magazine I found very disturbing. It’s about Trump not leaving White House on January 20th, 2021. Then there are the articles about January 6th, 2021, including a fascinating history lesson via the National Constitution Center.

Electors from all 50 states just met on December 14 to place their states’ official votes. On January 6, that vote count is finalized and election results are certified in Congress. First day of the new Congress is January 3, 2021. Congress then reads the election results out loud at like 1 PM on January 6, 2021.

Then the President of the Senate, still Vice President Mike Pence, will announce the results. But what everyone is wondering at this point is will Trump-supporting Congress members try to disrupt this process one more time? Is Trump going to attempt a coup one last time as The New Yorker is pondering?

And I see people posting on places like Facebook what they think are little things no one reads about 1/6/2021 and well are they supporting anarchy, martial law, tyranny, and domestic terrorism then?

The people I see posting this are among the biggest hypocrites I have ever met. I guess it’s OK to use things like abortion as birth control as a teenager (among other things), and then become a fake born-again southerner super conservative pro-life refined lady? Bless your heart honey, I have got your number and the way your brain works now. I am saving the stamp and not sending a Christmas card. I just can’t.

I guess at the end of the day what I don’t understand is that for time immemorial in this country, one candidate has won, while another candidate has lost. And it hasn’t evolved into nonsensical conversations about certain southern states once again seceding from the union and everything else that has gone on in 2020.

I said a while back this year that it was almost like this country was on the verge of another Civil War and what is that going to gain any of us? Are people so afraid of other people that don’t look like them and act like them and vote like them that them can’t even live in the same communities with them anymore? Will Parler go from app to living zones?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. We’ve known each other since we were young because our parents were friends. We now sit on the opposite side from each other at the political table, yet we still share so many similarities in philosophy, even politically. We had this total conversation and it wasn’t angry, it wasn’t nasty…. we talked. It was awesome. We spoke about how we were so in the middle on so many things, yet all you see in this country is extremism in politics from both sides of the aisle ruining this country.

It’s the week before Christmas. We have all had a trying year including but not limited to a global pandemic. For the love of all that is holy can you people stop pretending a crazy man who tweets from the toilet had the election stolen from him? He didn’t. And y’all won’t turn to pillars of salt with Joe Biden as President. And while we’re on this conversation can people of a similar band also stop talking about how Joe Biden is not healthy and Kamala Harris is awful?

Just stop. Give peace a chance, quite literally.

Please. There is one week before Christmas. Can we act like it’s Christmas? Do something nice in your community. Pay it forward.

Or at least just think about it. Thanks for stopping by.

new life for a consignment store settee

After Christmas in 2013, I purchased the below settee from Consign-It Furniture in Kennett Square, PA. This had been manufactured for Hess Brothers in Allentown. The tag on the bottom of the piece said Hess Brothers. At the time I researched it and found it to be mid-century vintage.

I am not a big pattern person but I loved the settee’s shape and the arms and back in particular. So I lived with it for a few years and grew accustomed to the pattern until this year. I decided I was sick of the fabric and the piece was starting to sway in the middle underneath and get a little bulge.

So I began the hunt for an upholsterer. I did not wish to use the same person I used on a vintage wing chair a few years ago. It wasn’t that the upholstery job itself was bad, it’s that the price I was paying went from being agreed-upon to a moving target without notice. And when I compared notes with people and other upholsterer’s after the fact I paid probably $500 to $600 more for that chair to be reupholstered than I should have. It was a learning curve.

So I start looking for upholsterer’s and took a look at Ken’s Upholstery on Facebook. When I saw some of the work he had done from the bare bones of a stripped down furniture frame to finished piece, I knew this was the person I wanted to call.

We spoke and I think at first he didn’t know what to make out of me. I can be tough. But I kind of want to know what somebody’s about before I do business with them. The owner Ken and I bonded initially over 4th Street in Philadelphia. You see, 4th Street below South is where I went for years as a child with my parents to pick out fabric and sewing notions and trim.

My mother has always sewed, and we would also go into the fabric district there on 4th street for upholstery fabric for furniture and fabric for curtains and draperies. I remember being little and playing under the big workbenches where they would roll out the giant bolts of fabric to measure and cut. It was really kind of cool. Most of those places don’t exist anymore. I have all of these memories including back-and-forth discussion with the fabric sellers about what fabrics had a hard enough finish that would survive as upholstery and drapes.

So Ken came out to visit with sample books of fabrics which had been wiped down with sanitizing wipes. He came with gloves and a mask on. Which made me comfortable because face it, this year has been anything but normal with COVID19.

We discussed what I wanted and he took initial measurements and left me with the fabric books for a few days to decide what fabric I would choose.

I chose my fabric, and my quote was firmed up and emailed to me in writing and I provided a deposit for the fabric cost.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving they came and picked up the settee. I received photos all the way through the process, including when they took it down to the studs and found out that indeed the front legs were loose. So they stopped everything and put the settee frame back together the way it should be, and rebuilt her. Ken literally kept me updated every step of the way. I didn’t have to do the follow up, he just does it as a matter of best business practice.

The finished product speaks for itself. I had no idea such a gorgeous piece of furniture was living inside my consignment store settee! Ken’s Upholstery knocked it out of the park for us!

The settee is so gorgeous to me. The attention to detail and the time they took is self-evident. Oh I have provided a close-up of one of the arms in a photo because that’s very difficult to pull off and the tucks and everything have to be just right.

I will note that I am just a regular customer and the reason I am writing up my review is I think this business owner deserves all the accolades possible for just doing an amazing job and being a super nice, decent person. He’s very positive in a time when it is hard for anyone, let alone a small business owner to be positive.

I recommend Ken’s Upolstery highly! And his pricing is beyond fair.

I have attached a screenshot of the business card to give anyone interested all their information. Lots of interior designers in the greater Philadelphia/Main Line region he has been a best kept secret. But why go through the up-charges when you can deal directly with a craftsman like this?

If any of you out there are looking to get anything recovered I hope you will consider them!

Thanks for stopping by!

a tale of two cities…err chester counties

A friend commented today that whomever thought all this new construction was a good idea has hopefully made buckets of money ruining the area.

Among other things I blame the Chester County Planning Commission as well as the various municipalities.

Now these aren’t thoughts I wouldn’t expect from this person but are they wrong? So much construction and so many unfortunate, truthfully ugly apartment buildings. It’s just too much.

Start in Easttown and move west. From fakakta apartments they want to build essentially in the shadow of traditional and lovely Devon Horse Show neighborhoods via rezoning, to the supersizing of Berwyn Village.

Move onto East Whiteland. Apartments everywhere in various stages of development. Ugly, architecturally unfortunate buildings utterly devoid of charm.

And West Whiteland. Oh we can’t forget West Whiteland. A sea of apartments and wait until they develop at Ship Road and Lancaster Avenue which will create the urban canyon corridor from hell.

Here we are at King of Prussia west. And it literally sucks.

The tale of two cities errr ….Chester County.

Here we are in one of the most beautiful counties in Pennsylvania. But due to greed and urban sprawl, how soon before Chester County is referred to as formerly one of the most beautiful counties in Pennsylvania?

We are getting towards the end of 2020 and even in this brutal year of the global pandemic known at COVID19 the development has continued it’s relentless march across Chester County.

I have to ask when will it stop? Single family, multi family, fake carriage homes, apartments, town houses whatever it is ALL TOO MUCH.

yes, semi-homemade…split pea soup with ham!

The weather said split pea soup with ham.

The soup is made using green and yellow split peas.

It’s made from part of a ham I had leftover and a ham bone (I always save the ham bones and toss them in the freezer for occasions just like this one), chopped celery, a chopped onion, a chopped bunch of carrots, two bay leaves, fresh herbs which are still growing in the garden.

I didn’t have any bone broth made so I simply used one salt free beef broth and two vegetable broth. Each container is 32 ounces so it gives me enough liquid as per the instructions on the bags of dried split peas. That is your semi-homemade component for this soup.

How you put it together is first you sauté your diced up vegetables in a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil with some salt. Then you add the ham and the hambone. Then you add your fresh herbs – in my case it was sage and thyme and even a little rosemary. Then I added the dried peas, and after that, the broth.

Now it’s just perking along on the stove at a super low temperature. After a while I will turn it off and let it cool down and see where I am.

For those of you who know I like Great Jones pots this is their big stock pot.

Bon appétit!

finding christmas spirit

Soon little ceramic elves will be peeking from book shelves. Gnomes and Santas too. Maybe some nutcrackers. The tree will come to life with vintage and other ornaments. And Christmas baking season will begin.

But what will Christmas in the year of COVID19? Will we celebrate in tiny family pods? Will we celebrate. And what about that grinch holed up in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC? What about all the people who continue to be affected by COVID19 including now our former Chester County Sheriff?

So yes, finding my Christmas spirit has been a little challenging this year. There has been a little bah humbug in the air. Usually about now we are planning a Christmas party. But not this year. We won’t even see our entire family this Christmas. Too many people from too many places. That bums me out.

All of our Christmas celebrations will be quieter this year undoubtedly. But we do need to find our Christmas spirit!!!

Yes, even though I had recently discovered a couple of cool little Santas for a table, my Christmas spirit has been struggling.

Until yesterday. Yesterday my friend Kristin had her business’s open house. It was very different than previous years. We were timed, it was super small, we had to wear masks, and there was hand sanitizer. But there was still Christmas magic every which way I looked. She said sometimes we just have to believe and she’s so right!

Yesterday at the Smithfield Barn we were treated to a vintage Christmas. Totally magical so keep an eye out for more small, socially distanced pop-ups. Also check out what my other favorite elf Lisa has planned at Brandywine View Antiques in Chadds Ford! And you can’t forget Life’s Patina starts spreading holiday cheer next week and Meg is another favorite elf who always seems to know what I am looking for!

Also things that you won’t see this Christmas would be the open house I usually have for my friends to promote another friend’s business. But as luck would have it my friend Alice has two fabulous websites to showcase her products:

A Single Strand and ABW Designs.

Also to be considered is Past*Present*Future in Ardmore. Owned by my friend Sherry, you can shop safely with a mask in the store or buy things online! An artist by training, she has an amazing I and hers is a store that you go in and marvel at everything she has collected for her customers. It’s a beautiful place! And if you’re more comfortable shopping remotely right now you can do that too.

Another place would be Magnolia Cottage Shop in Malvern/Frazer and the lovely folks at Frazer Antiques. And also Old Soul Decor in West Chester which is re-opening in a brand new space Thanksgiving!

The last three places I am mentioning today are also special to me an run by friends as well. Clover Market has pivoted to online due to COVID19 and Janet has curated an amazing collection of things and they offer free shipping! Shopping Clover 🍀 has never been easier.

Second to last would be King’s Haven in Paoli which is not just an amazing interior design destination, but has a remarkably beautiful collection of art and gifts. All due to my talented friend Lauren.

Finally, there is Framers Market Gallery in Malvern, Newtown Square, and Haverford. Yes Jayne and Dave are friends, but I am a devoted customer and not just for the framing business. They rep some amazing local artists! And to me one of the best gifts you can give anyone for Christmas or the holidays is the gift of art!

Yesterday I realized part of finding our Christmas magic means #ShopLocal and #ShopSmall as well. So I hope you find lovely presents at some of these places and they are all places I am just a regular customer of. They won’t even know I have mentioned their business until I hit publish on this post. As a customer I like to pay it forward.

So I know this is going to be a holiday season like no other. But we do have to believe in the magic of the season.

Shop local, support small businesses wherever you live!

file under bad things could happen in upper merion?

Now I had heard billboards wanted to come to Upper Merion (township in Montgomery County adjacent to places like Lower Merion and Radnor Township in spots best known for the King of Prussia sprawl of malls) as in those giant things they call “monuments” that are on 202 in Chester County, Quakertown, attempted on Route 100 with a “farmer’s market”, and disposition unknown in East Whiteland on Route 30, and other places.

What I didn’t know in the Upper Merion situation until this morning when somebody pointed it out is that these billboards put a park at risk. Bob White Park to be precise. Who knew?

Apparently no one reads the papers because there was an article in Main Line Media News a while back:

Upper Merion supervisors delay hearing on signs
By Gary Puleo gpuleo@21st-centurymedia.com @MustangMan48 on Twitter Oct 16, 2020 Updated Oct 16, 2020 Comments

📌📝UPPER MERION — Some call them signs, some call them digital billboards.

Catalyst Experiential, the company that creates mergers of “art, architecture and advertising” calls them monuments that integrate “visual communication technology with local landmarks, infrastructure, and community experience, which encompasses the display as well as the ambient light sensor and other technology.📌📝

Whether or not Upper Merion Township will welcome the monuments in parks and underutilized parcels will not be decided until Nov. 12 when Upper Merion supervisors will again consider the concept after tabling the matter at Tuesday’s meeting….📝📌

The company was proposing installations at four locations, including Bob White Park, Betzwood Bridge, 795 W. DeKalb Pike and 216 Allendale Road.📌🎂

The proposed amendment to zoning ordinances to amend the Township’s Zoning Ordinance would permit and “encourage the innovative commercial use of certain lands within the Township” while establishing a township-wide communication platform.📝📌

The monument lease agreements would allow, among other things, a “proposed 30-year lease agreement with Croton Road Upper Merion Land Holdings, LLC for the lease of a portion of the property known as Bob White Park for the exclusive right to construct and maintain an off-premises advertising display subject to the terms and conditions outlined in said lease.”📝📌

Following a detailed presentation by Thaddeus Bartkowski, CEO of Catalyst Experiential, several residents voiced their concern about not having been informed about the hearing.📌📝

“All of these changes at Bob White Park are being made without any input from the residents,” said one resident. “None of us really knew until tonight what was going on. There’s lots of places to let us know … there’s social media. You could have shared the presentations with us. The workshop meetings used to be televised but they are no longer.📌📝

Interesting name cropped up if you click on article link and read the whole thing. Upper Merion has the same solicitor as East Whiteland Township, Chester County—Joe McGrory.

So again, I think the billboards are hideous and most locations in Upper Merion being proposed are locations already kind of hideous, but this whole plan for Bob White Park? Why has it gotten this far? Have Upper Merion officials lost their tiny minds?

So if I have this straight, billboard company wants to lease a portion of this park to erect a “monument” in a heavily wooded portion of park that faces the expressway? As in the Schyulkill Expressway? So maybe houses near the park wouldn’t have full on sign blast of light, merely an unhealthy glow potentially but that is not the real problem with this location is it? Isn’t the real horror of this location the potential RE-ZONING of park land to COMMERCIAL?

So OMG let me understand this: if Upper Merion re-zoned a public park to commercial land zoning wouldn’t that mean a park might not have legal protection if Jim Bob Shiny Bright Developer showed up down the road and tried to do something? Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ that is a dumb ass plan isn’t it?.

And apparently in return Upper Merion would get “park improvements”? Talk about sell your souls to the devil right?

So look, not my county, not my people, not my township. But fascinating in its proposed vulgarity, none the less. Upper Merion residents, I feel for you. No one likes these billboards, well except for the company who likes to build them.

things that make me happy include…

…Christmas ornaments!!! Christmas is coming!!!

Alderfer had a holiday auction. I especially love vintage ornaments and these fruit ornaments caught my eye.

I put in a super low bid and with buyer’s premium and tax it came to $30 and change! I am super excited to have them home!

Christmas countdown has begun!! (Much to my husband’s chagrin.)