As a general rule of thumb, this blog doesn’t endorse. But given the election shenanigans, dirty tricks, property vandalism and general mayhem of desperation in West Vincent Township Chester County, it is the right thing to do.
I have met and I have spoken with Mike Schneider on more than one occasion. Several occasions over more than a year as a matter of fact. West Vincent, he doesn’t want to be your “road master” and have taxpayers fund his health benefits and an additional source of income off the backs of hardworking individuals. (And is it true taxpayers fund a pension plan for Ken Miller as well?) Mike Schneider just wants to represent the residents and do better for West Vincent Township.
I might not live in your township but I have been going to it since I was a teenager. You have a beautiful township that is precipitously close to being completely overdeveloped. Your roads are a disgrace. Favoritism and political cronyism rule the day, every day. And you, the residents can stop ALL of this on election day with one vote per person for Mike Schneider.
The people who love Ken Miller would have you believe he is like the second coming of Christ. He’s not. He’s just a guy who was a farmer and got into politics and now doesn’t seem to do either job particularly effectively, does he? So actually you would be doing Ken Miller a kindness he doesn’t deserve by retiring him to his farm – he really needs to concentrate on his family farm full time because eventually can we say those tractors left topsy turvy in a field all add up?
Ken Miller got shown the door by his own political party in the spring primary. He is only on the ballot as a Democrat from write ins because he and his supporters are thatdesperate for him to keep his job. You see, if he loses power, so do all the mean people.
Yes, mean people.
These people do things like vandalize private property, leave nasty letters in mailboxes and slanderous broadsides on community bulletin boards. Why? Because they are scared of any truth seeking individuals like one with the Internet handle of Chickenman. It is completely maddening to them that they can’t unmask him. They like to tell you how he lies, even though he backs his writings up with public documents. Documents sourced from court records and West Vincent Township.
Recently those who practice the Religion of Miller have put their propaganda in an anti-Frank Perdue web page. They did this because well, they got outed with their cutsie-folksie-country life West Vincent Voices page basically got outed not so long ago as existing solely to prop up Ken Miller’s sagging campaign. You see, people were very upset when Dave Monteith’s property was vandalized and then people started talking about development. That was apparently too much honesty and sunshine. I am told the page was scrubbed of certain postings and residents who didn’t tow the line removed. And as they are cajoling you with syrupy sappy fakeness, they are out stealing lawn signs, aren’t they? And when residents post rewards for information on those who are stealing lawn signs, why those posts are removed, aren’t they?
Anything that challenges their desperate status quo is removed. But hey they like making phone calls, stopping at your homes, and sending nasty e-mails, right? And well, when all else fails you can always blame Barry DiLibero, right? Did you know when it rains or snows, it is actually Barry’s fault? Yup, just ask the Religion of Miller. Barry is a dear friend and well very talented, but he hasn’t mastered making it snow and rain…yet.
Now the tea and scones set act all nicey-nice but the truth is they do things like support cyber bullying and cyber -stalking efforts. They did that to me. They are just not nice people. They are past masters of smiling to their neighbors’ faces while they stab them in their backs. People live in fear where they pay taxes because of these people and their middle class thuggish mob mentailty behavior. And they seem to do all the talking for Miller, don’t they? It needs to stop, doesn’t it?
Bring civility back to West Vincent. Bring a real sense of community that is not selective but is all- inclusive back to West Vincent. Embrace public servants who work for all of you and not just a select population but mostly for themselves.
Election day can be your Emancipation Day West Vincent. You just have to step away from the Miller Mob. It’s not so hard, it’s just a vote.
Please note I am NOT being compensated for my opinion. I am not a recipient of special favors. Endorsing Mike Schneider is the right thing to do and Mike Schneider is the right guy to be supervisor and if I lived in West Vincent I would be voting for him.
At the end of the day Chester County needs more Mike Schneiders and fewer Ken Millers. And that is why I wrote this post.
I went to Malin Road and stood outside the fences of Bishop Tube today. Totally creepy and deserted. I was glad to see an unmarked police car do a drive by a couple minutes after I got there, the place gave me the willies.
I took photos from outside the fencing on the road. What a weird feeling to be out on such a gloriously beautiful day, yet there was the overwhelming creepiness of the Bishop Tube Site, all abandoned and the only way to describe it was the place seems to radiate negative energy. Don’t see how that feeling will be eradicated by plastic townhouses marching row after row. The site doesn’t appear to be particularly secure and given what appears to be vandalism, nor does itappear as if it has been for years has it?
Staring at the site, I couldn’t help but wonder where the PA DEP was on this? I can find on the Internet where they were in the past, but not in the present. Or the EPA, which is so screwed up just read THIS and THIS and THIS. Here let me share this:
The scene was otherworldly. A river tinted orange by a toxic brew of heavy metals, including lead, arsenic, and other pollutants. Three million gallons of wastewater from an abandoned gold mine in rural southwestern Colorado flows slowly downstream. Communities are shutting off drinking water collection. Vacationers are being warned to avoid contact with the contaminated water.
The cause? None other than a mistake by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Wall Street Journalreported details on the incident Sunday, noting that the spill was initially downplayed by the EPA, and that it was much larger than first reported. Most importantly, as of Sunday, the mine is still releasing wastewater at a rate of about 500 gallons per minute. The pollution incident is ongoing.
This latest toxic release is yet another example of the EPA spectacularly failing at its primary mission. As I’ve expressed in this space before, the government is not particularlycompetent at environmental remediation and management.
When you read things written by critics of the PA DEP, it is often not much better. Look these government agencies have good intentions but they all seem to get in their own way and in the end are the accomplishing their goals of protecting all of us?
The Pennsylvania DEP has been criticized for its poor record of providing information on fracking-related contamination to state residents. In April, a Pennsylvania Superior Court case claimed that due to the way DEP operates and its lack of public record, it’s impossible for citizens to know about cases where private wells, groundwater and springs are contaminated by drilling and fracking.
“The DEP must provide citizens with information about the potential harm coming their way,” John Smith, one of the attorneys representing municipalities in the lawsuit, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “If it doesn’t record and make available the violations records then it is denying the public accurate information, which is unconscionable.”
When is the last time the PA DEP or EPA took a good look at sites like Bishop Tube in Pennsylvania? These aren’t new sexy disasters, they are plodding along existing trouble spots so now that there don’t appear to be lots of government money floating around for clean up ( a la “Growing Greener“) who cares about these toxic sites like Bishop Tube?
I happened to check the court dockets on the Bishop Tube litigation mention in prior posts when I came home and there are a few more filings on the case of ordinary hard-working people vs, everyone involved around Bishop Tube. Here are the two most interesting:
Apparently although The Daily Local did that curtain raiser of an article a couple of weeks ago, no other media seems interested in a toxic superfund site in bucolic Chester County? Or are there media inquiries and other inquiries starting to foment and ferment behind the scenes?
Here are a couple of gems from all this legal stuff:
From the plaintiffs’ memorandum (2:15-cv-01919 (GJP) filed 8/10/15):
Page 4: “The Plaintiffs have alleged that, during the Defendants’ respective ownership and operation thereof, they discharged hazardous substances into the environmental which have migrated onto and into the Plaintiffs’ property including the Plaintiffs’ drinking water. It is further alleged that the Defendants have failed to remediate the contamination, the regulatory authorities have failed to require the Defendants to remediate the contamination and additional response work will be necessary.”
Page 6 “It is alleged in the Complaint that, during their respective periods of ownership and operation of the Bishop Tube site, the Defendants used or permitted the use of hazardous substances, including trichloroethylene (“TCE”), during the manufacturing processes for their seamless stainless steel and other products and that, as a result of the Defendants’ ownership and operations at the Bishop Tube site, hazardous substances, including TCE, were disposed into the environment, including the Bishop Tube site’s soils and groundwater. See Complaint,¶¶34-35. It is further alleged that subsurface migration of contaminated groundwater from the Bishop Tube site has and continues to contaminate the aquifer beneath the Bishop Tube site and beneath off-site premises including the Plaintiffs’ home. See Complaint, ¶36.”
Page 7 “Accordingly, in or about 1999, the PADEP took over response actions at the Bishop Tube site, which included periodic sampling of soil, surface water, groundwater, vapor intrusion pathway analysis and maintenance of monitoring wells in the contaminated aquifer as well as the installation of a soil vapor extraction and air sparging system designed to capture and remove contamination from subsurface soils at the Bishop Tube site. See Complaint, ¶¶42-43.
However, none of the Defendants have taken any steps to actively remediate the contamination that originated on the Bishop Tube site, which has and continues to migrate onto the Warren property and neither the EPA nor the PADEP have taken any steps to compel such remedial activity. See Complaint, ¶44. Further response action is necessary to abate the release of the hazardous substances at the Bishop Tube site which have and continue to migrate onto the Warren property. See Complaint, ¶45.”
A Notice of Intent to Sue was served on all Defendants as well as the EPA and PADEPon December 8, 2014, to which no one responded”
Page 11: “III. Plaintiffs’ RCRA Claim Must Not Be Dismissed
Johnson Matthey next argues that the Plaintiffs’ RCRA claim must be dismissed because it does not adequately allege an “imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment” and because the State is diligently addressing the contamination.
However, as described in detail above, the Complaint alleges that TCE contamination from the Bishop Tube site has migrated into the Plaintiffs’ well water. TCE is a volatile organic compound “used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, but it is also an ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers.
Trichloroethylene is not thought to occur naturally in the environment. However, it has been found in underground water sources and many surface waters as a result of the manufacture,use, and disposal of the chemical.” There is evidence that TCE affects the developmental and nervous systems in humans and is also carcinogenic. Specifically, there is evidence that TCE can cause kidney cancer and limited evidence for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver cancer as well as various tumors in animals. See United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxic Substances Portal for TCE, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=30 (last visited August 7,2015).
Accordingly, it is respectfully submitted that it is disingenuous for Johnson Matthey to claim that Plaintiffs have not adequately alleged sufficient imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment to sustain a RCRA claim.”
Page 13: “Conclusion
Simply stated, in support of their federal CERCLA and RCRA claims, the Plaintiffs have alleged that: (1) the Defendants, including Johnson Matthey, discharged hazardous substances, including TCE, into the environment at the Bishop Tube site which have migrated onto the Plaintiffs’ property and, specifically, into their drinking water; (2) that the Defendants have failed to remediate the contamination; (3) that the regulatory authorities have failed to require the Case 2:15-cv-01919-GJP Document 6 Filed 08/10/15 Page 12 of 13 10 Defendants to remediate the contamination; and (4) that additional response work will be necessary. Indeed, TCE is a carcinogenic. Based on the foregoing, it is respectfully submitted that the Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts, which must be presumed true for purposes of this Motion, to withstand a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the FRCP”
From First Amended Complaint With Jury Demand:
Page 5: 37: “During their respective periods of ownership and operation of the Bishop Tubesite, the Defendants used or permitted the use of hazardous substances, including trichloroethylene (”TCE”), during the manufacturing processes for their seamless stainless steel and other products.”
Ok above are just snippets of the legal documents, quotes, excerpts. You can read for yourself the entire thing as they are uploaded in this post:
I did not create any of this it is all on the court record.
I am a cancer survivor. I would not wish that on anyone. I have also known people who have seen their children through cancer and trust me, it is too gut wrenching for words. In my opinion based on the research available to publicly peruse, this is site is toxic is it not? And then there is General Warren Village. Those residents deserve peace of mind don’t they? They have always been directly affected by Bishop Tube haven’t they?
I am a realist. This might be a creepy site but it is this chunk of land that developers are salivating over (don’t know if they are glowing in the dark from walking around it, however.) This site will be made into something although really it should be cleaned up and left alone since it is also my opinion that this site will take years to properly remediate, and can’t you agree that is reasonable?
But the thing is this: a plan like that not only affects people who want their piece of the American Dream and want to live in gorgeous Chester County who might purchase these cram plan slab on grade no basement wonders if they are built, but potentially every east Whiteland resident in the future, correct?
How can East Whiteland say for certain they would not ever become a party over litigation surrounding this site? They can’t, can they? And they have an obligation to current and future residents to see beyond the shiny promises of developers oh so familiar to them, see beyond and some new ratables down the road, and must put their heads down and see that this site is properly remediated and even get alternate land uses investigated, right? The bottom line is the owner of the land knows how to remediate this properly, they have the experience, correct?
Approving a development plan here while this litigation is ongoing and remediation isn’t complete can be considered a case of putting the cart before the horse, yes? And why is it all we hear is about the developer planning on “capping vapors” with the concrete slabs for the townhouses, yet the current litigation mentions aquifer again and again which is ground water, drinking water, and so on, right? A little different from vapors, right?
East Whiteland has a lot of development balls in the air and should we worry about how the land planning with all the developer driven zoning overlays are getting done?
East Whiteland, you have to do this right. Lives depend upon it. Please.
So this beautiful bridge known as the KnoxCovered Bridge is in Valley Forge Park. I have taken it’s photo easily dozens of times and walked the bridge. It’s beautiful. It is 252 on one side along the creek and Yellow Springs Road on the other.
Here is one photo I have of it that I took (I think this one is circa 2008):
So someone according to my friend and others (including two television stations) did a hit and run on this beautiful bridge!
What kind of jerk does this???
As per PennDOT this bridge (The Knox Covered Bridge) is now structurally unsound and closed as of today. No estimates on repairs. This is in Tredyffrin Township Police Department’s jurisdiction, here is hoping they and Tredyffrin Township in general are as diligent and thorough as East Pikeland was with Rapp’s Dam and bringing that truck driver to justice.
This bridge, the Knox Covered Bridge was just recently part of an award of monies for repairs:
By Candice Monhollan, cmonhollan@ 21st-centurymedia.com, @CMonhollanDLN on Twitter (Pete Bannan photos)
People will be able to take a drive through history once again after PennDOT rehabilitates three covered bridges in Chester County.
PennDOT awarded a $3.2 million contract to Eastern Highway Specialists, Inc., who will set to work on the Rapps Dam covered bridge in East Pikeland, the Speakman covered bridge and West Marlborough and the Knox covered bridge in Valley Forge National Historic Park in Tredyffrin Township.
“The ideas to rehabilitate the bridges came from a variety of sources — from the county, from PennDOT, from the historic preservation community and from legislators, such as myself,” said Sen. Andy Dinniman. “PennDOT is trying to rehabilitate as many bridges on the funds that we have approved. The historic covered bridges are still being used..
Good thing that money is there, right?
Unbelievable. If anyone out there knows anything or saw anything, please please please call Tredyffrin Police or Valley Forge Park or PennDOT. It is hard to see who is taking tips as early media reports indicate that Tredyffrin Police are sort of referring this along right now. This apparently happened this afternoon around 2 pm but there is nothing on the Tredyffrin Police Department Website yet.
Please…if you know anything, or you say saw a damaged vehicle driving away from this direction this afternoon, PLEASE call police. This bridge is part of our heritage and our history and a lot of people still use this bridge daily. Accidents happen, but a hit and run like this is not right. The bridge is painted white so a vehicle could have all sorts of white paint on it and hopefully Tredyffrin will do their bit and see if any automobile paint is on the damage. yes, yes I know a little Nancy Drew meets CSI but this is such an awesome bridge!
Here is the media I have discovered thus far on this:
Authorities are seeking a driver who reportedly struck a covered bridge in Tredyffin Township Monday afternoon.
Knox Bridge, located where Yellow Springs Road crosses Valley Creek in Valley Forge National Historical Park, was hit by an unknown vehicle at approximately 2:30 p.m. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) spokesman Gene Blaum, the only information currently known about the vehicle is that it was ”large.”
The bridge remains closed indefinitely pending a PennDOT investigation….
Later, in a PennDOT statement, Blaum reported that ”nearly an entire stone-masonry wing wall adjacent to the bridge” had been damaged along with a 20-foot-long section of its timber siding….
Originally built in 1865, the Knox Bridge has rehabilitated twice, in 1996 and again in 2006.
Asked for comment, a representative for the Tredyffin Police Department referred all questions to Valley Forge National Historical Park, where an official in turn said any new information would come from PennDOT
EAST PIKELAND — PennDOT crews said the Rapps Dam Covered Bridge is structurally unsound after a tractor-trailer carrying flowers damaged it by driving through it.
Although a sign warns that the bridge can only accommodate vehicles that are 10 feet high, the tractor-trailer drove into the bridge heading south on Rapps Dam Road around 9:45…Broken a beams hung from the covered bridge’s rafters or lay in splinters on the deck of the bridge and the roadway leading out.
Cpl. Ben Martin said the truck was driven by Antoine Branham hauling flowers Centerton Nursery, a family-owned nursery in Bridgeton, N.J., when it went into the bridge. Branham was driving a leased truck at the time.
A representative for Centerton who did not give her name said they had no comment on the incident and would have no information to offer.
PennDOT crews surveyed the damage on the bridge and said it was structurally unsound. Cones and orange fencing blocked it off and will continue to for the foreseeable future
Now the media reports no comment from the business but I would have to ask if I was going to interview them how they could have a truck that big with a licensed driver think they could drive over an old covered bridge? But I can only ask that question here.
I am appalled and truthfully this driver’s actions could put this nursery into serious financial hock, because face it, aren’t they ultimately responsible for this accident if he was driving for them? And I notice that 6ABC says driver was on the job four days? So why wasn’t someone driving with him if that new? That is a big truck.
This bridge was built around 1866, right? Originally? 6ABC WPVI says that the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places too. I am so sad about this bridge. I hope it gets rebuilt. But we are talking about PENNDot, right?
PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. – April 29, 2014 (WPVI) — Officials have closed a road in East Pikeland Twp., Pa. after a tractor trailer was driven through a covered bridge, heavily damaging the structure.It happened Tuesday morning on Rapps Dam Road at the Rapps Dam Covered Bridge, which spans French Creek.
Police say a truck carrying potted plants was heading over the bridge from Route 113 toward Route 23.
The truck apparently made it all the way through the bridge, but not before tearing out most of the wooden support beams…..Police say the driver of the truck was Antoine Branham, and he had been on the job just four days…The bridge was originally constructed by Benjamin F. Hartman in 1866 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Lower Merion police say a woman was driving intoxicated with her 2-year-old child and two dogs when she crashed her car into a utility pole in the Bryn Mawr section of the township Friday.
As a result, the woman is facing numerous charges in connection with the case.
Grace Tuten, 32, of the 1000 block of Clover Hill Road in Wynnewood is facing charges of DUI, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangering another person, driving under a suspension, careless driving and related offenses….At police headquarters, Tuten recorded a blood alcohol level of .28, or more than three times the legal limit of .08.
Tuten’s 2-year-old son was a passenger in the car at the time of the crash, shortly after 8 p.m. He was found inside his child seat in the rear of the vehicle. The child was taken to Bryn Mawr Hospital for a precautionary evaluation. Two dogs were also found in the rear cargo area of the car.
Here we have another sad state of affairs and the commonality is kind of eerie. Both Main Line born and bred women and products of fine private schools and good colleges. Both married. Both have small children. Tuten is 32 and Williams-Earle is 30.
What has gone wrong here? How do families not know if someone is having issues? Do that many people really in this day and age routinely drive around comfortably numb? Where was Tuten coming from? It was 8 p.m. on a Friday so where was she coming from or going to and where was her husband? And who exactly let her get behind the wheel of a car? With a blood alcohol level of 0.28 was she visibly intoxicated? Who lets a young mother get into a car with her child and two dogs?
To me this is an alarming issue. And with two to hit the news a couple months apart , I truly see this as an issue. But if we are honest, by varying degrees this is not a new issue. It’s just not one discussed in public as much as whispered down the lane.
These women like Grace Tuten need help and they need our compassion. I said that when I wrote the post titled “deadly decision”. I see another young mom in crisis here.
Who is listening to these women? I wonder if these women had postpartum or other depression? Or are they simply experiencing pressures of being a modern Main Line mommy?
Since I have moved to Chester County I have even encountered some similar mommies, closer to my own age. One woman in the Giant a few weeks ago literally reeked of alcohol when she passed me with her cart. A friend said I should have called the police, but where was my proof? I did not see her drink. We live in such a litigious society that can it be considered a real Catch 22.
Alcoholism is an awful disease. I have friends who have been “in the program” for years. Including now not so young moms. Some have been successful working their programs, others not so much.
I have no idea what was going on with this woman Grace Tuten but I do believe the pressures they experience as young moms and wives in an affluent area are very real. And as a little girl, I remember the moms who were my mother’s generation who tippled. One in the mid 1970s called her popping pills with a cocktail chaser a “mommy’s pick-me-up”.
Grace Tuten lives in Wynnewood but was in the Bryn Mawr close to Gladwyne area with her child and her dogs, so she was somewhere she knew people really well perhaps? Or at a local restaurant?
I don’t know the motive, don’t know the woman but I feel for her because as a friend of mine said today who is a mom who had postpartum that she believes mothers just don’t intentionally put their kids in harm’s way. So I am going to stick with that.
The path to parenthood is not necessarily an easy one. I know many women who didn’t make easy transitions from working girl to SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) or did the whole motherhood and career thing easily.
I can tell you as a stepmother in training to an awesome now teenager, I have not had it all come easily. The love is there, but here I am in my late 40s becoming a parent for the first time. It is hard work to be a parent. And while I have enjoyed my transition from a woman who worked her whole life to being in essence a mostly stay at home parent, it is not as easy as it sounds. It sounds lovely, it is lovely, but it is a major life transition. And wow can you feel guilty for keeping house which is a job in and of itself.
But with age comes life experience, so in some ways, I think it has been easier for me than some of the younger mothers. With these younger women, they are not so many years removed from their single and young married party days. Most of their Facebook pages tell that tale rather readily. So here they are in a fairy tale life to some that on the inside for whatever reason might not be such a fine fairy tale. So do they drink socially and then it becomes drinking to take the edge off of the reality of life? Or do they just do the mommy pick me up to take the edge off and it gets out of hand?
I don’t really know. All I know is this is yet another case of a well-educated, well-bred young woman ending up with a DUI with her child in the car. I am hoping this is a topic that mom bloggers in the area will take up. Why? Because I think there needs to be a conversation.
The pressure to be the perfect woman is a very real thing. And the sooner we, as women can learn to stop beating ourselves up for not being paragons of perfection, the better. And yes that is a lesson I also have to learn and accept. (Some days are just better than others and self-perception is a tricky and cheeky devil.)
I wish life and fixing life issues was as simple as Cher’s infamous line in “Moonstruck” – you know – “Snap out of it!” – but it’s not. It takes work. Relationships take work, families take work. Yes there is love and all the good stuff, but you get the good stuff by working together, don’t you?
So mom bloggers out there, I hope you will take the time to talk about this issue. Not to be a salacious gossip, but to discuss how we can, as women, address this. And offer support but not enabling to those we might know who are in need.
This is just sad, and like I was sad for Meredith Williams-Earle, I am sad for Grace Tuten. So young to have screwed up so much. And the last thing to consider are the people who never think this will happen to them. The “I’ll just have one drink” theory.
I now understand why reporters say sometimes what they see in a court room haunts them. I will be haunted a long time by the crime scene photos which were shown of the slain Bernese Mountain Dog puppies Argus & Fiona.
The scene photos (I am not a police officer so I don’t know what to call them), were not intentionally gruesome, they were what they were. (We saw a photo of the shotgun too. It was not one that repeats, either, which means the buck shot had to deliberately reloaded, correct?) There seemed to be some sort of quiet sidebar conversation as in jury and audience could not hear) before the audience, judge, and jury saw the photos. I am thinking it had to do with the photos – but I don’t know for sure.
The photos – Argus lay there on the ground like he was shot in mid-flight. He seemed to be facing away from us. Then there was the photo of the female puppy Fiona. This photo made me cry (several things made me tear up this afternoon- so much was so hard to hear) it was so heart and gut wrenchingly awful. Fiona was curled in a semi fetal position staring at the camera with lifeless eyes. That is the photo I will see in my head for a long time it is so awful.
But back to the beginning. Three papers were there: Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily Local and Brandywine News Media. There were Argus and Fiona friends and family and supporters on one side and Gabe Pilotti had a mish mosh of people on his side. I never saw the man in person before today so I have no way of knowing who was family and who might have been church folk. I will note that whomever they are had minor children with them, who were in the room when the photos of the shot up dogs were displayed. Not to judge, but would you have wanted your children to see that? The smiling Pilotti from the mug shot was not present today.
Ramsey, Pilotti’s attorney referred to a “media campaign” over this issue. He seemed to make a lot of referrals to the Justice for Argus and Fiona Facebook Page and obliquely this blog (or in my opinion that is what it was) like we were all bad people for talking about this. Judge Nagle seemed to shut this commentary down on several occasions as being somewhat irrelevant to the case at hand.
Pilotti’s attorney was somewhat brutal with the Bocks. But that is a defense attorney doing their job I suppose. I do think the defense attorney was unnecessarily hard on Mary Bock in particular – asked her something like did she have remorse over the whole incident. My personal opinion was that asking something like that was gratuitously nasty. She was practically in tears having to relive parts of that awful day as it was.
Pilotti’s attorney seemed to make a big deal out of these neighbors of Pilotti’s that the Bocks used to be friendly with – people named Dallas and Kelley Definbaugh. I wonder, are those the people holding Pilotti’s gun? Anyway, it is not like it is some dirty secret. The couples used to be friendly, more from the wives knowing each other and kids being in same sections of classes at school. But that changed. The kids moved on into different groups and classes at school and the wives don’t hang out any more. So what? Do you keep in close contact with people with whom you no longer share any meaningful commonality? I don’t.
I wouldn’t know the Definbaugh people if I fell on them, and am just getting to know the Bocks, so I can only go with my gut. I like the Bocks. They are honorable people who experienced something so horrible. And when you see the photos of those dead puppies from that day and hear about how they were moved in a front end loader or a tractor or something to the township building the day they were shot, well let me tell you, you get a much more clear picture of how these people have suffered.
Remember this news report?
I also did not get why Pilotti’s attorney kept bringing up a letter that Mary Bock wrote to her neighbors after her dogs were shot. I mean get real, there are tons of kids out there and tons of people with dogs. If she wanted to tell her neighbors is that so wrong?
And Pilotti’s attorney wants to make a big deal out of this blog? I did not drive his client to shoot those dogs. And I am not condoning violence against his client, only like hundreds of others out there hoping for justice and a strengthening of Pennsylvania dog laws.
Today we heard from Officer Russell from West Vincent Police Department. He was the first on the scene and apparently present later when Pilotti was interviewed by police. He seems like a totally honorable and stand up guy. He also seems to be some sort of authority on fire arms and he spoke with some intelligence about the gun used – a 20 gauge single shot non repeating shot-gun with 9 pellet buck shot if I have it correctly.
Officer Russell recounted that fateful February day calmly with some degree of detail. He remarked that at the time (as in day of shooting) he found Pilotti’s answers “vague”. (his verbiage) . He reported that on the day of the shooting in front of the Police Chief he asked Pilotti for a written statement to assist in the investigation. He stated that Pilotti in his opinion seemed hesitant to do so, but eventually went back to his garage and sat down and compiled a “list”. Officer Russell also described seeing the dogs. He reported that Argus took a fairly direct hit to the head and the dog’s head was “kind of blown apart.” He described Fiona’s position (that I saw in the photos) and the blood coming out of her mouth and I believe he said on her paws. I will admit the photo of her so disturbed me that I could not get past the quasi fetal position and lifeless eyes staring at the camera.
District Attorney Tom Hogan appeared in court to watch for a while at approximately 3:45 p.m. That made people sit up and take notice – he is a busy guy so you know he can’t audit every court proceeding. I was thankful for his presence.
I stayed until just before the defense was going to cross-examine Officer Russell. People in the court room said that got out of hand. I remember before I left Officer Russell stating that they wanted to talk to Pilotti again because “something did not seem right.”
Pilotti’s attorney at one point referred to when Pilotti had shot dogs before, but West Vincent locals told me that those dogs were shot on a neighbors property because the neighbor’s animals were being mauled and is that not the truth? So that was something different from when Argus and Fiona were shot, huh?
And I have to ask (bearing in mind my limited knowledge of buck shot) but if Argus and Fiona were actually pursuing sheep why is it the audience and jury didn’t hear about injured sheep? Or see photos of bloodied sheep or dead sheep? I ask because as buck shot was explained today to everyone in that courtroom it sort of spreads or sprays out, right?
Watching the face of the jury all afternoon was quite interesting. That is all I will say on that.
Court continues tomorrow at the Criminal Justice Center in Downtown West Chester, PA. I strongly urge dog lovers to attend if possible. The Bock family and the memory of these puppies deserve our support in a peaceful way as an extended community. It is a public proceeding and the courtroom is open, not closed. You can go to all or part of tomorrow. Parking is not expensive in the new garage, either. You just park, go through the court screening and ask to be directed to Judge Nagle’s court (7th floor room 8 off the top of my head)
Today was deeply disturbing and very emotional. But I am glad I went. It makes me even more resolute than ever that dog laws need to change.
In a case that outraged animal-rights activists and generated national attention, a trial began Monday for a Chester County man charged with killing his neighbor’s dogs because he believed they posed a threat to his sheep.
Gabriel Pilotti, 73, of Chester Springs, was charged with cruelty to animals for shooting the two Bernese mountain dogs — 2-year-old Angus and 1-year-old Fiona — after they had escaped the fenced yard of their owners, Mary and William Bock….In his opening statement, Kevin Pierce, assistant district attorney said Pilotti willfully and maliciously killed the two dogs in cold blood and then left a voice message for a neighbor bragging about the incident……Argus was shot in the head as he trotted up toward Pilotti and that Fiona was shot as she ran away. Pilotti did not try to yell at the dogs or chase them away with a broom, he said.
“He choose to go to the most extreme measure first,” said Pierce.
Also noteworthy? The Chester County SPCA which is currently under fire in Chester County and beyond did NOT bother to show up today. I found that extraordinarily cowardly. They should have put the other stuff aside and shown up for the dogs. Good thing no one was depending on them for anything.
WEST CHESTER – Gabriel Pilotti, the 73-year-old West Vincent resident on trial for shooting two dogs that wandered onto his property, was portrayed in two different lights Monday as his case opened in the Chester County Justice Center.
To the prosecutor, Pilotti was a trigger happy man who shot first and asked no questions – taking the matter of dogs in his pasture to the “most extreme measure” by killing the two dogs without provocation.
“This is a simple case of a cold blooded killing of two family pets,” Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pierce told the nine women and three men on the jury in Senior Judge Ronald Nagle’s courtroom. He said the defendant “mowed down” one of the dogs as he “moseyed” toward him, and then reloaded his shotgun and shot and killed the second, younger dog as it ran from the yard.
There has been a lot of discussion about “things” in West Vincent again, and once again the knee jerk reaction of someone is to post things which are tantamount to bullying at a minimum in a building that functions as a United States Post Office.
Posting harassing things to bully private citizens in a building designated a United States Post Office is like mailing the same things through the mail – it is not quite legal and that is why things like this are given to United States Postal inspectors, isn’t it? Maybe it is past time to bump this up a notch?
So supporters, followers, politicians, township employees, whomever here is the 411: David Monteith is not and never has been “Chickenman”. And Chickenman is not the one who started the inquiry into the problematic West Vincent Farmers Market. Ordinary people did. I have looked into it, does that make me Chickenman too? Do the inconvenient facts that the Township Manager of Upper Uwchlan is following his zoning and the law make him , Cary Vargos , Chickenman?
I don’t know who Chickenman is and as an Auslander I stand a better chance of finding out than Ken Miller, Dave Brown, Claire Quinn and so on and so forth. Maybe Chickenman is Sam Cantrell and he is all organic? Maybe Ted Otteni or Gabe Pilotti is Chickenman? What about West Vincent’s Township Manager and Township Solicitor? Are they in fact Chickenman?
I know David Monteith. He runs a good business. And because he stood up once upon a time in West Vincent he is harassed by supporters of “good government” as it currently stands in West Vincent. These people stand in the shadows like vampires afraid to be seen in daylight, don’t they? And doesn’t this stuff oddlyseem to happen to every other resident and taxpayer of West Vincent who stands up for the right things? I figure it is only a matter of time before John Jacobs and Maria Holderness will be targeted, right? Maybe their residency will be challenged? How they tie their shoes? Maybe a case can be used against civilized, incorruptible, honest people some more in West Vincent? Why does good = bad?
So are you going to attack me because I am sick of what you “good people” have been trying to do to an innocent man the past couple of years? I get you are all working on mob mentality and like to hide in the shadows as bullies are wont to do, but sooner or later, probably sooner, you will be caught won’t you? After all you never know where surveillance cameras lurk (other than in woods during private barbeques) do you?
The irony of this dumb as dirt thing posted today is the proposed farmers market for West Vincent is actually located in Upper Uwchlan . So maybe Cary Vargo REALLY is Chickenman? Hell maybe Jim Gerlach is Chickenman! Or what about that nasty Larry guy who left comments on this blog? Is he Chickenman?
Lots of media follow this blog and eventually someone will say it is very odd the way West Vincent officials turn a seemingly blind eye while residents are bullied by government supporters. And I bet that might include The Daily Local which some flannel mouth woman in West Vincent whose name begins with an “S” seems to think she controls, right? (I find that to be quite the accomplishment given she is neither editor, owner, nor publisher is she?)
If you people do not have the balls to come out of the shadows and man and woman up and have a conversation the right way maybe you should all just shut it?
But this bullying and harassing of private citizens who love where they live and want the best for residents IS going to stop. People get tired of it more and more every time. And the fact that May primary turned out the way it did and the fact that the placards in the United States Post Office are back says that someone or several someones are running scared and dare we say they are BIG CHICKENS? Are they Chickenman????
Cluck, cluck, cluck. This blog is my opinion as guaranteed by the founding fathers of this country via the First Amendment. Guess they are Chickenmen too?
To be clear, I am not a big fan of West Vincent government. I think they rule oddly over one of the prettiest places in Chester County. And weird and unnecessary things always seem to happen. And for Pete’s sake, elected officials seem to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying and spreading nonsense about a writer called Chickenman don’t they?
West Vincent the truth shall set you free but that is a topic for another day. Well, it won’t be if you aren’t respectful of your citizenry at the upcoming Supervisors Meeting on Monday February 25th at 7:30 pm. I know full well residents have contacted you and requested that the matter of the shooting to death of puppies Argus and Fiona be put on the agenda. If you try to stifle your people on this, West Vincent, the hue and cry over attempting eminent domain at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show will be child’s play by comparison.
West Vincent Township is located at : 729 St. Matthews Road Chester Springs, PA 19425 Phone: (610) 458-1601
Residents want to learn about firearm use in a residential area, what constitutes a farm, and how to make changes to bad laws. And in addition to all of this, they strive to find a positive from this tragedy. West Vincent, you owe decency and answers to your citizenry.
To the citizenry I urge you to make your voices heard respectfully. Emotions are running hot on this issue and I was told by a reporter today about a woman who stood outside the dog shooter’s house yesterday and just stood in his driveway yelling “Dog killer!!” at him for 5 minutes. That, I am so sorry, is not cool. First of all he has guns and isn’t afraid to use them, and secondly he has neighbors who must feel under siege by all the media crawling around West Vincent, and third and most importantly things need to happen the right way with this. Don’t stoop to the level of someone who shoots dogs, please.
A friend of mine commented something that is worth repeating. She was afraid of people getting too vigilante justice for lack of a better term. She is absolutely correct that cooler heads must prevail.
It is with that in mind that I must say that encouraging people to call this guy who shot the dogs or stand outside his property is NOT the right thing to do. In my mind that falls into two wrongs don’t make a right.
If you want to help, show the Bock family support and condolences and empathy- losing a pet under ANY circumstances is so hard, and what happened to their dogs IS intolerable cruelty, but justice should be served under the law by those qualified to serve it.
If you want to help, get Pennsylvania lawmakers to update outmoded farm statutes and other laws so Pennsylvania’s dogs are PROTECTED.
If you want to help, go show support for these people at the upcoming West Vincent Board of Supervisors meeting and ask them to do their jobs as elected and appointed officials the RIGHT way.
If you want to help ask the Chester County DA to ensure that people use firearms responsibly as in DON’T fire them in residential areas and gun down dogs and possibly put unsuspecting humans at risk. Violence should NOT beget violence. As adults we have the free will and ability to pay this forward the RIGHT way.
And among other things, we need to pass that along to our children. Ok so lecture is over.
Let us get back to the business at hand: Justice for Argus & Fiona and peace and love for their humans. Together we can enact positive change so other dog owners don’t go through this. thanks for reading.The momentum is growing. Truly together we can enact change. It might take time, lots of petitions and bus trips to Harrisburg, but we can do it. And if we are successful, other pet owners and their furry friends might be spared unspeakable tragedy.
Now as far as the Chester County District Attorney goes, the following message was sent to media today:
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office will have a press release tomorrow with significant new information about the dog shooting incident in Chester Springs, PA.
Administrative Assistant to District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan,
First Assistant Michael Noone, and Chief of Staff Charles Gaza
Chester County District Attorney’s Office
201 West Market Street, Suite 4450
Post Office Box 2746
West Chester, PA 19380-0989
I have no idea what this means, but I hope it means they are taking a second look.
I am also taking this opportunity to share something from the Justice for Argus & Fiona Facebook page written by Mary Bock:
The outpouring of support has been amazing. Can I say that again? There is even support from elected officials like State Senator Andy Dinniman. Congressman Jim Gerlach has also been made aware, so I urge anyone who reads this to contact elected officials about this horrible turn of events.
Now a lawyer I know sent me three things for people to read, so please do:
WEST VINCENT — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office is expected to release new information Friday in the shooting deaths of two family dogs in Chester Springs last week.
According to a statement from a District Attorney’s Office spokesperson, authorities will release “significant” new details related to the killing of two Bernese Mountain Dogs who were shot on Feb. 12 after they escaped a fenced-in yard in the unit block
The District Attorney’s Office previously determined that the shooting was legal due to a century-old state law allowing someone to kill animals that pursue their own livestock or pets.
Officials said Thursday afternoon that investigators received additional information in the case and that the investigation is ongoing.
Mary Bock, the owner of the two dogs, spoke out Thursday about the experience and expressed hope that her pets’ deaths may lead to a change in the law that allowed their killing to initially be ruled legal.
Bock also spoke about the neighbor, Gabriel Pilotti, who told police he killed the dogs with a shotgun because they entered an enclosure housing his sheep. She said Pilotti expressed no remorse over the dogs’ deaths when her husband, William Bock, confronted him last week.
“It seemed like he almost enjoyed it a little bit,” Mary Bock said. “He was so cold and callous, he feels like he did nothing wrong. There were a million things he could have done differently, and he chose to pick up that gun and kill them.”
The dogs, 2-year-old Argus and 1-year-old Fiona, were shot less than 15 minutes after escaping the Bock’s two-acre property through a fence that was damaged by a falling tree limb several days before. The dogs eventually made their way to Pilotti’s nearby property, where they began an attempt to “herd” his sheep, Bock said.
Inquirer staff writer Mari A. Schaefer contributed to this article.
To the Bock family of Chester Springs, the Bernese mountain dogs Fiona and Argus were happy, loving pets. To neighbor Gabriel Pilotti, they were apparently pests.
And when he found them loose among his sheep last week, he shot them dead.
“It was just really vicious,” Mary Bock said. The dogs had not touched the sheep.
As of Thursday evening, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the West Vincent Township police still were trying to determine what happened the morning of Feb. 12 in a part of Chester County where sheep, horses, and alpacas amble in yards larger than the patches of green in more urbanized suburbs and smaller than more rural farms.
On that day, the dogs, two-year-old Argus and one-year-old Fiona, got out of their enclosed backyard when a tree branch fell and collapsed part of the fence, Mary Bock said. The dogs ran through yards of residences on the street behind them and ended up on the 72-year-old Pilotti’s property, which includes a pen where he keeps sheep.
Around 11:30 a.m., Pilotti saw the dogs near his sheep, pulled out the 20-gauge single-shot shotgun he legally owns, and fired, said West Vincent Police Chief Michael Swininger. Mary Bock said police told her Pilotti first fatally shot Argus in the face, then shot and killed Fiona.
Police investigated and sent their report to the District Attorney’s Office. That office has not filed charges against Pilotti, citing a portion of the Pennsylvania dog law that says, “Any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal.”
That could change.
“We have gotten new information and are continuing to investigate,” said First Assistant District Attorney Michael G. Noone, adding that a development could come Friday.
Pilotti could not be reached for comment.
And oh yeah, people from some church called Calvary Fellowship in Downingtown have been calling the Bock family and I have to ask why? And what do the West Vincent police have as far as info for the family? Someone says they want to speak with them today?