PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Those set on preserving Stoneleigh Gardens versus the Lower Merion School District: It was a boil over this spring that has since simmered in the quiet summer months. But a final decision has yet to be made on the Main Line property that school officials identified in April for possible seizure under eminent domain. The announcement came at the same time the Gardens opened to the public and whipped up a firestorm.
“The Lower Merion School District still hasn’t taken Stoneleigh off the table and until and unless they do so, it’s still at risk,” said Oliver Bass, who is with Natural Lands, the non-profit organization responsible for preserving Stoneleigh.
On June 18, CBS3 filed an open records request with the Lower Merion School District for all emails about Stoneleigh between the superintendent and school board. A month later, the district responded.
It’s unknown how many emails traveled back and forth, but Lower Merion decided to keep virtually all of the electronic correspondence secret, based on attorney-client privilege and a real estate exemption, the denial read.
“Any time in the USA when we hear of government taking property, it strikes right at the core of our fundamental principles.”
Terry Mutchler, former head of Pennsylvania’s Open Records Office and a national transparency lawyer said Lower Merion has an obligation to be open — especially given the Stoneleigh uproar.
“I would think the district would want to be more in the sunshine than behind the curtain on this,” Mutchler said.
The released e-mails are naturally not earth shattering (but still interesting) , nor am I shocked that Lower Merion School District finds itself above sunshine. They have always flet themselves collectively superior to everyone.
Soooo, how would more people like to submit Rights to Know on Lower Merion School District? (Follow this LINK to files a right to know on super secret and unpleasant Lower Merion School District.)
If you live in Lower Merion Township, it’s time to dump the latest bad school Superintendent (Copeland) and it’s time to dump Dr. Melissa Gilbert and her merry band of Stepford Board Members off of the school board. Once upon a time I had high hopes for Melissa, but now she just believes her own press.
Have you ever read something from a complete stranger in a group you belong to and just started to cry because it just gets you right through the heart? As in immediately at the time of reading? Well I have, and I am writing about it because my heart is so sad for this lady I don’t know, who just lost her daughter to some tragedy across the county. And the mom is a recent breast cancer survivor. So it hits me in more than one way.
In my few years living in Chester County, I have discovered this is a place with a huge heart and in Chester County we take care of our own. So at the end of this I am going to put in a couple of things on how we can help this family. Not through any non-profit, we will help because we care, deal?
So I read this post this morning from Jennifer Lynch that said:
It has been 4 days, now, since our youngest daughter was identified as the Eugene Oregon Jane Doe. Every day is different, but equally horrifying. I finally got a call, from the detective working her case. He is in the violent crime division. There has been some “creative storytelling” from the parties we believe to be involved in the circumstances surrounding the death of a beautiful, vulnerable 24 year old girl, but we are no closer to real answers, as of yet.
Sometimes, I border on ok, sometimes I am out of my mind. Other times, I am just standing in the shower, when I suddenly realize that I am putting out more water than the shower head, and I have no idea how long I’ve been in there. Time has no meaning. I have a constant flow of still frames, in my mind. How could I have stopped this? What could I have done or said differently, to convince her to come home?
I don’t know.
She was stubborn, and willful, and there were times that we went at it like two Billy goats on a log. God, what I wouldn’t do, to be able to have another argument, another hug just one more moment, frozen in time.
Hug your children, even if they think they are too old, for hugs. You never know if it could be the last time.
So I went scrolling through the group looking for more information and I found this article:
She was like a sparkle — burning bright, hot and fast.
And in an instant, she was gone.
That’s how the family of Rachel Lee Lynch described the vivacious 24-year-old who was found dead near the bike path along the west bank of the Willamette River in Eugene on Feb. 20.
It would be nearly a week before her identity would be known — police initially identified her as Jane Doe and learned of her identity only after circulating surveillance images from the Safeway store on Coburg Road, where she had shopped on Feb. 16……Most of her family, including stepmother Jennifer Lynch, lives in Chester County, Pa. They said they had no idea Rachel Lynch was even in Oregon. But they did know, they say, that she was in trouble and had hoped it wouldn’t come to this.
“She was a cheerleader, an honor student,” Jennifer Lynch said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “She made one bad decision, she trusted the wrong person and it took her across the country. It took her life.”….“It’s just been incredibly hard,” Jennifer Lynch said on behalf of the family. “She was a good kid. But she’s like any young girl. They think they are in love, and they just can’t see the danger that they’re in. Guys like that, they work these girls. And like any woman, you see what he can be and not what he is. He played her like a violin.”
According to Jennifer Lynch, Rachel Lynch graduated from high school in 2009, and attended Temple University in Philadelphia for two years before she met a slightly older and charming boyfriend.
Almost immediately, the two were inseparable, Jennifer Lynch said. Her stepdaughter quit school and began following her new boyfriend’s wishes, she said.
“He was isolating her and it just kept getting tighter,” Jennifer Lynch said. “He was controlling her. And we saw her less and less and less.”
….Rachel Lynch loved music, movies and art. Her laugh was contagious, and her family is “gutted” by their loss, her stepmother said.
“She wasn’t a Jane Doe,” Jennifer Lynch said tearfully. “She had a family and friends who loved her and were looking for her. Right now, we just want to get her home.”
I. Can’t.Even. Then I read this:
Ladies..it is with a very heavy heart that I once again am reaching out for one of our own today. As many of you read last night about the loss of Jennifer’s daughter Rachel.
Rachel’s body was found on a bike trail in Eugene Oregon on Saturday. She was only 24 yrs old.
Jennifer is currently waiting on details from the coroner as I spoke with her thismorning. At this point she is more than appreciative of all the offers of help but their priority is to get their daughter HOME.
With Jennifer’s recent battle with Breast Cancer taking a major financial toll on them they desperately need the power of our group right now.
To lose a child at any age is a parents worst pain. We are praying for you Jen❤
Ladies our PayPal is open for donations which I will get directly to Jen for her to use for arrangements ASAP!
PLEASE PLEASE…use friends and family when donating AND put JENNIFER in the notes as we also have another fundraiser going❤
*ANYONE NOT HAVING PAYPAL CAN PM ME FOR MY ADDRESS❤
4000 women can make a difference together! Thank you Ladies.😢
Tomorrow, a dear friend’s daughter who is a varsity cheerleader at another Chester County high school has a birthday. And seeing Jennifer’s Rachel’s photo really hit that home for me. And I am also a step-parent and a breast cancer survivor, so on so many levels I get this. And most importantly as a human being I get this.
The newspaper article which I thought had great heart thanks to the reporter makes me think back to when I was the age of Rachel Lynch. When you are that young, remember how easy it was to get stars in your eyes over the wrong person? If we are honest we all had those experiences, or a lot of us did.
As an adult we read about domestic violence all of the time. We all say “it could never happen to us” but it happens to many of us, male and female. Sometimes it is brutal and physical, sometimes it is sneaky and subversive, almost subtle as it is all about control and the bruises from emotional and mental warfare you can’t see. I think those situations are even worse than physical abuse.
When you are in an abusive relationship it’s not necessarily so easy to get out. Sometimes you do not recognize (or want to recognize) how toxic a relationship is even if friends and family express concern. That sounds almost silly to people, but if you have ever witnessed anyone go through this you know that it is true.
I don’t know Jennifer, and I never knew Rachel. But I have known women like Rachel and by the grace of God they are still alive.
Here is the information again regarding sending donations via MomAdvice founder Kelly Lammey. Donations are NOT tax deductible. They will go towards the family’s expenses and to help out with bills post breast cancer. I am still paying off breast cancer treatment bills almost five years later, so I get how this is.
Here is the information:
Use PayPal and put “JENNIFER” in the notes as the group is involved in another fundraiser
email@example.com is the email address.
If you do NOT use PayPal e-mail KINGMOM123@AOL.com
DO NOT GET THE E-MAIL ADDRESSES MIXED UP! AND ALL CHECKS WILL BE MADE PAYABLE TO JENNIFER LYNCH .
If you can contribute goods or services towards the family holding a memorial service for their daughter or know someone willing to donate a hall somewhere in the Downingtown or Kennett Square area that would also be appreciated. AND AGAIN FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PAYPAL DONATION E-MAIL KINGMOM123@aol.COM
Remember Rachel and her family in your prayers. And hug your kids. This can happen to anyone. A young girl smiling at us now forever a moment in time in her Downingtown East cheerleading uniform. It isn’t supposed to be like this. She is supposed to grow old, fall in love, raise her own family.
Sparkling blue flags waved and 600 feet stepped in time as the West Chester University marching band sent a holiday tune into the darkening November sky.
With drums and flutes, trumpets and clarinets, the students last week turned a campus blacktop into the winter wonderland they hope to create near New York City’s Herald Square on Thursday.
That’s when the college musicians will have 75 seconds to dazzle tens of millions of viewers with “Winter Wonderland.”
The band is one of 10 high school and college bands nationwide selected to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which typically generates huge television ratings and draws thousands to New York’s streets….”I’ve been watching the Macy’s parade since I was little,” said drum major Jacqueline Cotto, a fifth-year music education and performance major from New York City who joined her first marching band in eighth grade. “I always wanted to march in it. That was always a dream.”
The Incomparable Golden Rams played in the Thanksgiving spectacle once before, in 1986. This year, WCU is sending the only group from Pennsylvania.
The band plans to play popular tunes as it marches during the three-hour parade. When band members reach 34th Street, the Macy’s building, and NBC’s cameras, they will break into “Winter Wonderland.” ….The band is scheduled to rehearse once on the site before the parade – at 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Hours later will come the moment Ross and Platt said they were most looking forward to. They are due to arrive at 34th Street at 11:44 a.m. to perform before millions….
VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) – A 32-year-old mother faces drunk driving and child endangerment charges after police say she plowed into the rear of a car Thursday night in Villanova, causing a chain-reaction crash. Officers found her 5-year-old son in the backseat.
Only CBS3 cameras were there as Linde was taken to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail. …According to an arrest warrant, an officer “asked Linde if she had been drinking and she stated, ‘Well,ya.’ Then, according to the warrant, when asked to submit to a field sobriety test, she responded by “stating she was ‘smashed’ and that she in no way should be operating a motor vehicle.”
One other driver in the crash was treated for injuries. Linde’s 5-year-old son was not hurt, but police say he was not restrained in a booster….
Court records show Linde pleaded guilty to drunk driving and causing a serious injury crash following a 2007 accident.
Linde is the third mother charged with driving drunk and crashing her vehicle with her child in the backseat in the past four months in Lower Merion.
When I commented before on this topic I said that I feared an epidemic of these DUI mommies was brewing.
I will ask some of the same questions I asked before:
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? And who exactly let her get behind the wheel of a car? Who lets an intoxicated young mother get behind the wheel of a car with a child in the back seat?
This woman Karin Linde is a repeat offender. With these new charges (see Linde 2013 ) she went to jail. They reported that her husband has the child. Thank goodness, I guess. Except if she is a repeat offender, how is it she is allowed to drive anyone around, let alone drive herself?
I will say it again that to me this is an alarming issue. And with now multiple incidents (different women) to hit the news a couple of months apart , I will state again that 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.
Once again, I want to try to show these women compassion. But if I am brutally honest, with this one I am having a hard time doing so. Why? Because this woman seems to have “oops, done it again” and wow, when do you stop? When does the being a mother gene kick in?
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.
When I wrote my last post in November on this sad topic I didn’t just catch hell from mommy bloggers who did not like me writing about this or mentioning these women by name (even if the media and law enforcement already “outed” them by name and location), I received a lot of off-line feedback from women who had experienced issues with alcohol and/or had been a child of one or more alcoholic parents. They thanked me for talking about it. And shared some heart wrenching stories of their own. I won’t betray those confidences, but I applaud them for being brave and dealing with it.
Some people with alcohol issues never hit the bottom to stop, some do. They have to want it. You have to want to get better.
Tonight, nineteen days before Christmas a young mother from the Main Line sits in jail unable to post bail. Somewhere, someone is undoubtedly trying to help her 5-year-old make sense of all of it. Can you imagine being that child? Accident, noise, mahem, sirens….mom being taken away in the back of a police car.
My heart aches for the children of these people. The littlest and almost silent victims.
And no parent wants to judge another parent, but my word this is hard to wrap my head around. I guess at the end of the day I don’t get how you put the alcohol first, child last.
Here is hoping something good happens for this latest DUI mommy. But I am sorry, this one seems like more of a train wreck, given past acts.
She could have killed quite a few people including herself and her child.
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.