much ado about paying…for something else

When things become an ad to buy something else it just bothers me. To me this is about buying a service and buying “influencers”, not writing a blog.
I do not write a blog because of competition, I write because I like to write and have things to say. When I have nothing to say, I do not write. I do not have a monetized blog, I have no desire to.

Yes monetized blogs are a turn off to me because you never know if you are getting a real opinion or a compensated one. And a lot of bloggers do NOT make that clear.

I saw the above sponsored content (as in they paid for it to go into new feeds) on Facebook.  Out of curiosity I clicked. It led to this thing on LinkedIn.

This woman goes on to sell you on the business that she is actually pimping – you see it is not your well being a blogger she cares about, in my opinion it is the potential money she can make if you sign up for her deep interest network.

It’s like paying for a platform that already exists on free blogging platforms meets another kind of social media platform.

How many of those do we need? And why should we pay for it? Sorry, I think I will stick to being an individual, not a blogging Stepford Wife with another monthly bill to pay. I do not want fake potentially paid for “influencers.”  I want people who want to read what I write, like one of my photos or recipes…. organically.  Different strokes for different folks.

Sorry I just think this whole entire concept is Mighty Fake.

women to women: a puzzle for the ages

Godey-april-1861As I begin this post it has no real form yet.  A quasi flowing stream of consciousness. I figure by the end of the post the title will find me.

I have written many times before about my transition from being a Main Liner to a Chester County gal. And I am going to do it again. So if you don’t want to hear anymore about this or don’t like a flowing stream of consciousness, turn away from the blog now and visit again tomorrow.

Yesterday my friend Alene wrote about in essence adolescence and David Bowie.  She was part of a group of girls I was and am to this day still friends with.  Our 13 and 14 year old selves were quite different from a lot of our classmates at the time. And wow what we were subjected to from a pack of mean girls before they called them mean girls.

godeycovers-featured-270x290I have written about those girls from back in the day before.  And middle age hasn’t changed or softened a lot of them, and at the end of the day they are still just stuck in the 7th grade hallways with their tight jeans, bad perms and crimping irons…sneaking cigarettes and oh yes stumbling in their Candies.

We  (Alene and I) had a bit of a conversation about what she had written on her blog and in part she said

It’s interesting to me that you got a chance to witness what became of those people, whom I have long since forgotten.” I haven’t forgotten how it felt, though. It is sad. Now people talk openly about bullying behavior in the schools and the psychological effects on kids, but it seems to be universal and timeless.”

I had told her that on some level I felt sorry for these people. I actually do.

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These girls affected all of us in different ways but a similarity my friends and I share to this day is those silly girls made us realize what we don’t want in friends. For years after it also affected how I trusted or accepted people, which translated more simply is in a lot of cases I didn’t trust, I didn’t accept.

I worked to change that.  Sometimes I still work at it.

Take my moving to Chester County.  Moving and starting a new life no matter how exciting is very different when you’re an adult and middle-aged woman versus young and single. And this move in particular made me feel once again like that uncertain 12 year old who was thrust into a new and rather large school and area without much in the way of life skills to make the transition easy.

Maybe that sounds silly, but when I first moved to Chester County it is how I felt. Excited to be here yet so uncertain.

I have been lucky with this move that over the first years here I have discovered that many people I was friends with for years and years live not too far from me, and I have met a lot of really nice and genuine an amazing new people.14583203070_afc32dff39_o

But (there is always a but isn’t there?)….some people you take a chance on are just fated to disappoint.  And I have met some disappointing individuals.  Not too many, but a few.

No matter what age you are, you will always meet people who will just be uncomfortable because they can’t fit you into one of their boxes of pre-conceived notions.

But today I was faced with a situation that I not only did not know where to go with but definitely at first hurt then ultimately offended me.  Not disappointed.  Disappointed would have been on the short list of emotions when I was 12 but not now. I was emphatically offended.

Someone I had met over the last year basically told me today we couldn’t be friends because I was…wait for it….a blogger.

Initially I had reached out to her after we met as many of us do today, via social media. Right or wrong it is how we do a lot of our modern connecting. (Maybe we should bring back the calling card?)  But anyway.. I never got anything back. So I wondered if I had said or done something. I wasn’t sure what because this isn’t someone I run into (for example) every time I go to the grocery store. So I sent her a note. And what I got back basically made me just sort of sit back momentarily stunned:

 

Sorry if I offended you. Not my intention. But when I thought about giving a blogger access to my “personal” life, I got concerned…..I thought we got along well, as a public “voice,” you are in a different category.

 

O.k. so right now a certain group of equally disappointing “grown ups” some of whom reside in West Vincent are cheering at this post. Why? Because I have never been a human being to them, just a target to attempt to pummel into the ground. (But I digress.)

1206204introI do not think this woman intended to be deliberately hurtful. But there is no accounting for the accidental ignorance in human beings, especially women.  It was hurtful but mostly it was simply outrageously offensive to hear. I had thought I had made an initial friend connection with this person. But apparently I merely (I guess) had a use for a brief period of time?

But to say essentially you can’t be friends with me because I write?  Wow so very Puritan New England. Is being a blogger like wearing a proverbial scarlet letter or being branded a witch?

I have blogged for I would say about 15 years at this point.  When I first started my blogging was 100% based in political activism. That was deliberate. I had discovered I had a few opinions on politics and things like eminent domain for private gain.

So 15 years ago I would have said o.k. I can understand the fear of knowing a blogger because well blogging was new. But today, in 2016? It’s more like who doesn’t have a blog or online journal?  Lordy people there is even a Friendship Blog  – seriously – it is written by a published off the Internet PhD named Irene S. Levine about friendships. The author welcomes you to her site thusly:

Friendships are among the most complex but meaningful relationships in our lives. These unique bonds often run deeper than family ties, and sometimes last longer than our relationships with spouses or lovers. Yet there are few agreed-upon ground rules or roadmaps…..Dramatic changes in the ways women live, work and communicate have made navigating the terrain of female friendships even more daunting. This website aims to help readers navigate the awkward misunderstandings and disappointments—as well as the long silences and distance—that often crops up among friends.

I read this website once in a while because it’s interesting and not sugary sweetly and fakely cloying.

I was surfing the site just now looking for pearls of wisdom about making new friends after a certain age and I found this post on this site by a blogger (shock and horrors) named Cathy Chester who writes on her own site called “An Empowered Spirit” :

First-Person: Friendship lessons after 50

……Friendships have always been an important part of my life. I tend to them like a cat to her kittens, nurturing each one as best as I can….

Over the years I’ve tried to learn the difference between friends and acquaintances. I’ve been bruised a few times because I’m sensitive and sentimental, and always try to see the best in people.

During adolescence everyone experiences disappointment of one kind or another. When you are an adult, does this continue to happen?

The difference between friends and acquaintances is this: Friends stand by you through good times and bad. Acquaintances keep you at an arms length, remaining casually friendly at a safe distance.

In my fifties, I am trying to better understand human nature, to learn more about people and why they act and behave the way they do….We all think friendships get easier during midlife, and in some ways they do. We are more self-assured, and less likely to tolerate bad behavior. Yet in other ways we are striving to find ourselves….

There may be people you meet and there’s an instant connection. You form a close bond, and if you’re lucky it lasts a lifetime. Hold on tight; this is worth nurturing.

Tend to them. It’s worth the effort.

There are those you meet for a time and, when life moves on, so do they….

It’s time to let go and move on.

There are those you meet, and for some unknown reason they never feel a connection to you……The situation will never change.

Move on. It was never meant to be….

I am no authority on friendship. I am not a relationship expert, nor am I perfect in any way. But I know what I know from years of trying to be all things to all people as a child. As an adult, and after many disappointments, I’ve become more protective of my heart. And I’ve become truer to myself.

I love my friends, I’ve let go of past ones, and I thoroughly enjoy my new ones.

 

O.k. wow. Talk about someone just sort of reaching me where I am feeling today. I am going to pay more attention to An Empowered Spirit and Cathy Chester.

It’s funny but when this crap happens in life, you feel like you are experiencing it all alone.  But thanks to my actual friends and other bloggers in my age group no less I can put this into perspective. And jettison what happened to the invisible list  yet lengthy list of life experience.godey9-1861

But the whole thing about you can’t be friends with a blogger? What is that about? Blogging is something I do, it has never defined who I am. It’s a creative outlet for my voice, my writing, my photography.

And somehow I don’t think that is a bad thing. For the most part, I am happy to walk at the beat of my own drummer.  Now sometimes I doubt all that and wish I could be more like a lot of women my age.  Until I don’t.  Today was one of those times.  I realized the…well limitations of being limited in perspective.

Am I angry? No, but offended, yes.  It will pass and writing about it helps it dissipate in a game of mental catch and release.

In an era when women are corporate leaders and heads of state what does it do to the sisterhood metaphorically when you tell someone you really can’t be friends with them because they are a blogger? Oy vey.   I guess to some blogging is like a communicable disease. That is kind of funny if you think about it. Or sad.

Oh well!

Live and learn and let go. (And my post title just came to me as I predicted it would!)

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Been down one time
Been down two times
I’m never going back again

You don’t know what it means to win
Come down and see me again

~ Fleetwood Mac

 

P.S. If you want to read a really funny blog post  check out  What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say by Michelle Combs.

Godey-1880

 

 

good morning sports fans!

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Good morning sports fans! How is your day in the neighborhood so far? Mine is terrific!

So listen, I have something I have not felt the need to say in forever, but I think the time has come to remind my “fans” who love to leave the nastygrams that no one is forcing you to read my blog anymore than anyone forces you to read any other website out there.

And while I might appreciate a difference in opinion, it doesn’t mean I’m going to post comments I feel are abusive or harassing or just offensive. Although I will post some of the comments just because they are quite humorous in their ridiculousness. And I do have to laugh at those who think that their comments can’t be traced back to them that they are shielded by some cloak of invisibility. They aren’t.

The latest post to lather up the masses is the post I posted before the media on the iconic Devon Horse Show sign all smashed up. Apparently my comment has some with their knickers in a twist.

Yawn.

I appreciate my readers greatly, don’t misunderstand me. But I have to wonder at those who don’t like my writing because I have to ask if what I say is so objectionable, why are you still reading ?

Have a great Saturday all!

about writing

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Writing is something I love to do. I have always been fortunate that my writing mentors are actual writers. Over the years they have helped me, encouraged me, guided me, offered constructive criticism, and helped me generally speaking become a better writer.

If you blog, you are exposed to many types virtually. They love to be your armchair quarterback and tell you what they think. Sometimes they are polite pen pals, very enjoyable to interact with. But then there are the other kinds of pen pals. These are the people who hide behind made up names and can’t just disagree, they have to verbally eviscerate you. It gets old.

Pen names are as American as apple pie, don’t misunderstand me, but it is not like they stand up and say who they are as they criticize. It is their right to comment using a non de plume, but sometimes I think they are being cowardly. They are not being courageous they just don’t want their neighbors to know.

If life was all hearts and flowers and fuzzy pint-sized ponies we would all listen to what our mothers and grandmothers said — “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” But I am a realist, so I don’t expect that.

It doesn’t mean, however, that just because I blog I am required to post angry tirades or ad hominem attacks. When you break it down, this is my creative space and I control the content.

That is why I like the delete button. Other people don’t like the delete button so much. Which is why I hang onto I.P. addresses and so on. There are a couple of I.P. addresses that are chronic ankle biters. It is all part of modern writing. It is a sometimes sad commentary, but it is just life.

But where is it we, as writers, draw the line? I used to publish all comments. Now I don’t. My writing isn’t put put there to be the free platform for the negativity of others.

Writing is an intensely personal thing yet it is public if it is on a blog or in print in the traditional sense. When you write you are putting yourself out there and it can be hard. But it is also rewarding because just when you lose faith in humankind, someone connects with a piece you have written, a photo you have taken, a shared experience.

Thank you to those of you who take this journey with me!

misplaced christmas spirit: save the righteous indignation

DSC_0048Lordy,  my eyes are rolling this morning.   A few days ago, I wrote a post titled “in bad taste” in response to something a magazine writer Victor Fiorillo had covered about what a fauxblicist named Sarah Lockard had sent out.

Victor Fiorillo’s article now has over 200 comments, and there are more blogs covering this topic than I have seen on anything else social media related for quite a while.

One of the things that came out was something new on JimRomenesko.com, a blog and writer who is basically mainstream, generally  fair, and widely read.

Romenesko: Sarah Lockard – the blogger who’s seeking a free Christmas Eve dinner – charges $75 for any contact

Sarah-Lockard

Sarah Lockard, the AroundMainLine.com proprietor who is trying to get a Philadelphia-area restaurant to feed her family of five for free on Christmas Eve, has let people know that she’s now charging $75 for any contact. “Every text, email and biz correspondence with AroundMainLine.com is billable,” she says. The screenshot below – grabbed about a week ago – was sent to me by a Lockard acquaintance.

Some of the blog posts have been , and some quite funny.  Bloggers for the most part have been somewhat disgusted.

I was disgusted although not surprised.  I have first hand knowledge of her “business practices” as a non-profit I was very much a part of until a few months ago when my time constraints changed due to distance, experienced the “Lockard touch” in 2008.

First Friday Main Line is a small arts-based non-profit based in Ardmore, PA that has been in existence since 2006.  They are in fact a begathon, and if it was not for donations and the kindness of artists and musicians who believe in art reaching every day people along with the tireless dedication of Executive Director Sherry Tillman, this event and small non-profit would not exist.  Sherry also has a family and runs the amazing craft store in Ardmore called Past*Present*Future.

I used to do the PR for First Friday Main Line.  Sherry can show you binders full of actual placement I did in print media alone, let along the connection to television media as well. I even received a Congressional Commendation for something I did for First Friday Main Line in 2010. I am not tooting my own horn, merely setting the stage.

I have also been a blogger since long before many picked up a keyboard.  I started because my friends’ businesses in Ardmore, PA were being subjected to eminent domain for private gain. With the encouragement and shepherding of the Institute for Justice and their Castle Coalition arm, I began to hone the craft of blogging. The citizens group I was part of did not have money for a PR campaign, so we learned to do it on our own.  But it came at a personal cost.  When you are an activism-based blogger you really open yourself up to things. I learned to have a tough skin.

Anyway, back to First Friday Main Line.  What is one of the keys to the success of small arts-based non-profits with not much extra money? Exposure.  So we worked hard to establish this non-profit, which was modeled after the First Friday celebration in places like the Old City section of Philadelphia.

Somewhere in the early fall of 2008 we were approached by a website called aroundmainline.com and they offered to list the non-profit First Friday Main Line on their events calendar or something like that.  So Sherry, the Executive Director said “why not?” After all, even if we had no clue who this Sarah Lockard person was or what her website did, placement is the key for exposure and we considered it another local website.  At that time we were not aware of the expensive strings attached.

All aroundmainline.com ever did (we think) was maybe list us on an events page, but we are not sure because the only First Friday thing we ever saw listed was in 2008 and it was for the now defunct Wayne First Friday, which was one of the many suburban off-shoots of the First Friday Main Line model.

So Sarah was on the press release list for First Friday Main Line and in October 2008 we received this e-mail:

Subject: Your link is expiring
Date: 10/21/2008 8:19:45 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: slockard@aroundmainline.com

HI !
Thank you very much for this email
Your line link for First
Fridays on the Main Line will expire Thurs Oct 23rd
If you do want to renew
this each month, it is $500/month.
Please let  me know as this is
deadlining.

Sincerely,
Sarah Lockard

PS I am glad we were
able to give you such fantastic free promotion these last three weeks!!!

Ok not to be rude, but what did she do? I remember at the time going over this with everyone working on First Friday Main Line and everything that had been done in those last three weeks, as in actual media placement had been done with Sherry and myself!

I sent her a reply to which I do not recall receiving a reply:

Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 9:16 AM

To: slockard@aroundmainline.com

Subject: Re: Your link is expiring

Dear Sarah,
I hadn’t been aware you were running anything to be honest, so I apologize for overlooking it.  I  also just did a search and all I found was Wayne First Friday:
Anyway, thank you.
As for essentially running a link for $500 month, you would need to speak with the Executive Director Sherry Tillman, as I do publicity.  But, as someone who is on the committee of a very small no profit that is essentially a beg-a-thon, while your web site is lovely, when several other high-profile sites and magazines will run us for free because we are non profit, and write stories about First Friday Main Line….well $500 a month is too rich for our blood.  That is $6000 a year.
We are a non-profit. I just can’t see how we can justify that kind of money.  Also, on your web site, you mentioned a launch party recently.  In this economy, being that new, how can you justify the costs basically being charged by print magazines to get new business?
It’s not that I do not wish you well, but $500 a month?   I have cc’d Sherry in the event this interests her, but have you considered a swap?  Say our committee took a vote and agreed to link your site to ours, would you provide a prominent link to our site on your site?
Mind you, I am NOT speaking for the committee as a whole, I am just throwing an idea out there.
I also notice that you list the business associations including the Ardmore Initiative on your site.  Are they being charged as well? They are non-profits as well.
Anyway, if you can find a way or propose a solution as to what we can do that is mutually agreeable, Sherry will tell me.
If not, know that I do find your site interesting .

Since that time, I know many people and many businesses who have had Sarah Lockard interactions that were less than stellar.  And I have to ask because I have never seen, has she actually ever placed any of her “clients” in the traditional media and elsewhere? After all it’s not like her website is internationally famous, is it?

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that she wanted to charge a start-up non-profit this amount of money to be listed.  And for all the people who said all she was looking for was a swap of services with the free Christmas Eve dinner, I point out, that in my opinion, that was not merely what she was about.

So now a few days have gone by and there has been nothing out of Ms. Lockard about either her “Generous Monday” post or her free Christmas Eve feed me e-mail.  But what is popping up is this from some female bloggers:
blog1
blog2
blog3

Not to be rude, but I hope they got their five free Instagrams out of the deal.

Open Letter to Sarah Lockard of AroundMainLine

| December 16, 2013 | 3 Comments

Dear Sarah:

I know we don’t know each other, but I’ve been following the fallout fiasco from your restaurant email that was leaked and I want to say

I’M SORRY.

I’m sorry that there was someone who you reached out to for business who decided that sharing a private email (and your information) was OK.

I’m sorry that the blogging industry is filled with some vultures who wait for something to feed on because they don’t want to reflect on their own lives.

I’m sorry that a business contact was not professional enough to react in a responsible way.

I’m sorry that this was blown out of proportion and reduced to petty bullying by people who hide behind computer screens.

It goes on from there, but you get the gist of it. I applaud this fellow female blogger for writing about this and sharing her opinion but  I am sorry that this woman expended so much energy being sorry for a woman who has reaped what she has sewn. She should save the sympathy and empathy for someone who deserves it.

Sarah Lockard is not being bullied. She sent out an e-mail from her “corporate” branded  e-mail account to a bunch of restaurants and who knows who else.  She put this out there in the public when she hit “send”.

What happened was indeed you reap what you sew.  There was nothing private about an e-mail that promised some odd sort of very public display in return for feeding her entire family on Christmas Eve for   in essence more publicity for herself! It was a gamble, and she rolled the dice badly, and this is not bullying it is backlash.

And then there is this from another blog I had never heard of called What’s Up Fagans:

The Scary Side of Blogging

Katelyn Fagan  December 16, 2013

In one of my of blogging Facebook groups, someone shared a post about a blogger who made a bad PR choice, I guess you could say…. All of this represents to me . . .The scary side of blogging…I try to present my REAL life, my real home, my real self…..

Now thousands of other have mocked not only her business idea, but her, as a person, calling her horrible names, mocking her haircut, fashion, and looks. They have flooded her blog and email with hate comments and mail. They have put her entire family in a negative spotlight.

And my heart aches for her!

Because I never, ever, want something like that to happen to me! But it could. . . 

I could, because of my little bit of cyberspace, hurt not only myself and my business, but my family and loved ones. And that is scary. That is horrifying!  And the worst part? She didn’t even choose to share this publicly on her blog; someone else decided to share her email. Someone else threw her into the news….Because, for every self-conceited, self-righteous, know-it-all, holier-than-thou person who bashes, hates, criticizes, judges, condemns, and laughs at another without much of a second thought, thanks to the faceless internet, there is a real person on the other end being very really affected by those words….Don’t be the jerk. Be the good.

Now I agree with a lot of what this blogger has written about.  Just not applying it to whom she is writing about.  And while the reset of the world might view aroundmainline as a blog, and it’s owner/publisher a blogger, a very important distinction is she does not put it out there that she perceives it that way:
Welcome to AroundMainLine.com, the Philadelphia region’s first online magazine covering the Main Line and beyond. AML is privileged to welcome you to a reliable, socially responsible and culturally rich online magazine that speaks to the Philadelphia region. That’s right, we don’t believe in wasting paper and your valuable money to bring you the best of Philadelphia’s Main Line region, the surrounding areas and vibrant western suburbs. So, we are publishing our magazine digitally respective of the earth’s resources and your valuable resources.

I have no problems with e-commerce, but this whole thing is about making money and exposure for Sarah Lockard. So that doesn’t make her some mom blogger writing late at night in her PJ’s while waiting for the laundry to finish. She’s not that gal in my humble opinion.

These two blogs I have cited aren’t from these parts, either.  They are part of a group called Project Purse Club which is out of Indianapolis, Indiana. The Midwest is a whole different world and a world away.

I would love to be able to support every female blogger, but I am a realist. And there are a lot I simply don’t agree with. I do believe in realism, but my reality is not pink and cotton candy.  It’s the real world, and there are real issues. I do not take paid advertising on my blog, and what I write is my opinion.

I see both sides.  I was a purely activism-based blogger for many years.  I had something to say, and when I was finished, I changed my course.  I became a parent later than most and am a SAHM in training.  Some days I think that being a mostly SAHM (stay at home mom) is harder  than when I was a 9 to 5 person solely.

I also write about breast cancer because I am a breast cancer survivor.  Never thought I would do that, but then again I never thought I would have breast cancer either.

Now I took some criticism on my first post on the Free Christmas Eve Dinner Debacle, which should simply be known as Lockardgate

I am sorry, but I found what she did appalling.  But the simple truth of it all is if this woman made an honest mistake, she would not ignore what is going on around her, she would woman up like a professional and apologize or clarify what she wrote in that e-mail.

But she hasn’t.  And to all of those judging all of those other people commenting and writing who have had experiences with this person that weren’t positive? They are entitled to their opinion.

I think obviously that Sarah Lockard is bright.  And at times I have marveled at her knack for shameless self-promotion, free photography portraits that include hair/make-up/wardrobe. But asking restaurants to feed a family on Christmas Eve who can buy their own dinner is showing a lack of respect for the small businesses she is supposedly representing.  It also shows a lack of integrity.

If Sarah Lockard had sent out the e-mail asking to do this free Christmas Eve dinner for a family down on their luck or homeless or something I would feel quite differently.  But this is not what this is about.  This is and always has been about self-promotion.  And to me that is not a Christmas spirit I choose to embrace.

So while I appreciate the musings of some mom bloggers from the Midwest on the topic, they really don’t get it. But I hope they keep on blogging anyway.

and now a word from me

DSC_0317Recently people have started leaving me comments on random posts about issues going on all over Chester County.  Especially about both the Great Valley School District and the West Chester Area School District. All complained about not having a contact form.

Sorry but this isn’t that kind of blog, which is why I don’t have a contact form like you seek.  You are always welcome to leave a comment of course, but this blog is not activism based.  This blog is my journey through Chester County, and often just life. It is as I say, writing about whatever strikes my fancy.

That is to say, the subject matter is what interests me.  I am not a news outlet per se as a citizen journalist up here.  I am sorry, but I did a spin on that kind of blogging for easily ten years.  This blog is different. I’m different now and in a different place in my life.

For those new to the blog you will see a lot of my photography and even my recipes.  You will see some of my explorations into the county and seemingly endless photos of barns and farmhouses because I love them and each one is like a work of art.

You may see an occasional profile of someone who has touched my life and some of my general musings as a step-mother in training to a teenager. Or a recount of the thrill of the hunt after a particularly good barn pick.

But truly, no matter what a lot of politicians and wannabe politicians might think, this is not a “gotcha” site.

I appreciate the passion of others and I am grateful to my many, many readers and followers, but I have to be true to myself and I can’t be the voice of every issue that needs one.  I encourage those of you who have issues with these school districts in particular to step forward and be heard.  Write a letter to the Daily Local or contact a TV station.  Or you can also start your own blog or contact sites like PaNewz.com which is this cool site started by former NBC10 anchor Tim Lake, who left the station at the end of 2012.

It’s not that I don’t sympathize about what bothers you. I do . For example, do I think it is outrageous in this kind of economy to pay for a bunch of Great Valley school board folks to go to New Orleans on some sort of junket at taxpayer expense? Heck yes,  a city often nicknamed Sin City and  at $2000 per person for some convention?  It is astoundingly piggish for a purportedly fiscally responsible school board to consider that in my opinion. But do I know anything about this? Nope. Of course I am curious as to how many folks other area school districts send to this. But this is not something I really want to tackle.

As for the every Republican is bad in the West Chester Area School District of it all, my lord people give it a REST! There is a slew of new school board members on deck after the election, right? Let’s get through the rest of the year and see what they do. I am no authority here, and have no horse in this race.

One thing that does interest me is what The Daily Local is reporting about former judicial candidate Julia-Malloy Good. In an article by Michael P. Rellahan on November 16th he wrote:

WEST CHESTER — The elimination of a court position in Chester County Family Court that deals with complex divorce cases has sparked complaints and concerns from a number of attorneys in the county who say they fear the replacement system will prove less than efficient.

In addition, because the special hearing master whose position will cease at the end of 2013 is Julia Malloy-Good, the Democratic candidate who came close to winning a seat on the county Common Pleas Court bench this month, some have speculated that there was more to the decision by President Judge James P. MacElree II to do away with the job than meets the eye.

On Nov. 5, Malloy-Good placed third in the three-way race for two seats on the Common Pleas bench…Two days later, on Nov. 7, Malloy-Good was told by the supervising judge in county Family Court, Katherine B.L. Platt, that the position she had held for two years — special master for complex support cases — would be eliminated, effective Dec. 31, an attorney familiar with the situation said in a recent interview. The position had reportedly been included in the county’s proposed 2014 budget.

 

To be honest, I did not vote for this women and I mocked her campaign signs because they were ones that amused me.  The giant “Julia” signs to me were like “Madonna” and “Cher”. HOWEVER, I sure hope this woman isn’t the victim of some political shenanigans don’t you?

I have never had needed the services of a master in family court and I know people who are on both sides of the good and bad opinion of masters. But I do feel personally that they have a role to play in our judicial system. Masters serve a purpose.

Anyway, this to me is indeed a shame and struck a chord, which is why I mentioned it.  People have told me that no matter what one thought of Malloy-Good as a judicial candidate that she was good at her soon-to-be former job in the courts.

But this is as far as I want to delve into these things.  I am sorry that my head is in a different place, but you too can have a voice where you live. It is easy. And your right.

Enjoy your evenings, all. And thank you very much for reading my blog.

damage control

YSI_ValentineThere is damage control coming out of Yellow Springs Inn this evening.  And I can tell you one thing I don’t know who wrote it but it definitely wasn’t his publicist. She knows the restaurant and hospitality business and this slightly defensive Magna Carta is not her style at all. (Here is PDF of Yellow Springs Update)  And I do believe the photo used in the missive is one I took.  (Glad to see they are getting use out of the photos!)

Anyway, as many of my faithful readers know I had posted almost a week ago that my sources told me that Yellow Springs Inn was closing. I also said at that time that I had yet to speak to Charlie Orlando of Yellow Springs Inn or his publicist.

Charlie Orlando, naturally, was upset when he found out about the post.  He is a self-admitted computer and Internet Luddite, so someone must have told him to look at the post.

He and I texted back and forth over the weekend – I had been away and then had company. He said to me (and I quote) “There is some definite misinterpreting of the current situation and future plans.”  He went on to say “I am a lot smarter than that and if that is what someone told you, they had better check their sources.”

So as a favor and special courtesy to Charlie and until I did more research, I made the post private.  The post also referenced his new business venture. Basically, it wasn’t so hard to figure out.  It’s a place up in Berk’s County called Cab Frye’s which is another restaurant that was having a tough time in the economy.

Here are two articles:

Cab Frye’s to be sold By Karen L. Miller/ Reading Eagle

Edward J. Galgon Jr. finds a buyer who will maintain the fine-dining restaurant he has owned for 20 years

and

New owner to take over Cab Frye’s in Palm By Ryan Kneller/The Morning Call

I went to Berks County Public Records to see if any of the deed transfer relating to the sale had been posted and something had posted :

Then I went to the searchable database Pennsylvania has and looked up 914 Gravel Pike LLC the new owner.  This is what I found:

1657 Art School Road is the address of the Yellow Springs Inn at the Jenny Lind House, correct? So either the ghost of Jenny Lind is acquiring real property or someone at Yellow Springs Inn bought something bigger than a bread box, right?

I was just going to leave this all alone but in part I feel that the e-mail blast that someone sent out for Charlie Orlando is aimed at me and anyone else who has been speculating on the future of the Yellow Springs Inn (and for what it is worth that is a LOT of people).  I realize that a lot of people in Chester County don’t really know me as a blogger, but I have been doing it for years.  I also do my research.  And in this case people NOT in the restaurant industry or anything remotely involved sent me stuff. And what I have seen is not pretty.  I do not see this business as being sustainable.  I am not trying to be mean, that is my opinion. And legally, I am entitled to that.

And this missive sent out earlier this evening also doesn’t make sense. I have friends who own and have  owned restaurants, bars, clubs, and so on.  I have never heard of someone buying a liquor license in one county and using it in two counties have you?

paragraph

So how can you on a “limited” basis use the liquor license in  both Chester County and Berks County? I was told one license per address once upon a time, is that not true? Has something changed?

As for the “re-branding” I do not pretend to be a marketing maven, but I wish them the best.  Common sense dictates that operating two places at least 40 minutes apart will be difficult, right? Has Charlie Orlando cloned his talented Chef-Wife Barbara or himself?

As far as the liquor license goes I know a lot of people (myself included) wrote letters  of support to West Pikeland on behalf of the Orlandos and Yellow Springs Inn so they could have a liquor license again (they had one at the first Inn location up the street but was that license with the building he rented perhaps? I never really knew, or cared truthfully.) So I am not as facile at noodling around on the PA LCB website as some other websites, but this is what I found on the liquor license referred to in today’s e-mail blast:

liquor license

Then I did a second search on the PA LCB website – this time strictly for West Pikeland Township, Chester County:

liquor license west pikeland2

Wow that ghost of Jenny Lind is busy. I found another license pending transfer. To a Gorick Enterprises. So I went back to the PA Corporations Database and searched again:

liquor license west pikeland

There is that Rick Orlando name again.  I am guessing that is a relative of Charlie Orlando’s? A brother maybe? Why not just say so?  I would be thrilled to be in business with my sister and many people go into business with siblings, right?

So anyway, obviously change is afoot at Yellow Springs Inn.  What was sent out today only makes people more curious.

Will both places survive?  I am sure by sometime in the fall we will know definitively.  I just wish the swirl of confusion would settle down.

What needs to happen is for some restaurant honesty – restaurants open and close, change and evolve – it is part of the cycle of business.  It’s all how you handle the news. And disseminate it.

As my late grandmother who was Pennsylvania German used to say tell the truth and shame the devil.