I hate to sound nostalgic (AKA old!), but I fondly remember when the USPS managed to deliver mail REGULARLY. We — and our neighbors — have had no mail delivered since Tuesday, and that batch included only some of the mail that had been scheduled to land on Monday, when our carrier was also a no-show.
Because you can receive a daily email from USPS that shows images of what is scheduled to arrive in your box each day, it has been rather unsettling to see how many items qualify as missing. Well, the mystery has been solved.
This morning, my husband decided to pay a visit to the actual post office, after efforts to contact a human by phone went nowhere. A worker explained that the postal manager for the West Chester region issued an edict recently to deal with the agency’s short staffing: surreptitiously skipping delivery days. She said the office needs 80 carriers to handle the load: It has 40. As a result, she said we should expect to see a delivery every 2 or 3 days.
I guess the idea of notifying customers about the worker shortage wasn’t part of the plan. Would it really have been too difficult to put a notice in people’s boxes on their lucky delivery day? Perhaps some publicity about this problem would help solve it. Sigh. End of rant, but curious about whether this is happening in other areas.
~ Chester County Resident # 1
Now this is the second such tale in less than a week.
I have you on my mailing list but my mailman hasn’t been seen for five days. I was told that he had health problems but there were no replacements. Also, PO closed in town. So I will try for Christmas card instead.
~ Chester County Resident # 2
My second friend lives in the Borough of West Chester. She works from home and is self employed and well…mail is kind of essential.
So Louis De Joy you plastic arsehole, where’s the mail? Santa might want to deliver the Christmas cards himself I guess?
It’s time for Washington to deal with this. We need our mail. This is happening all over. It’s bullshit.
Photo taken by my friend Tom last evening after explosion or whatever it was from Energy Transfer/Sunoco
Last evening around 8 PM social media exploded from Facebook to Next Door with Chester County residents concerned about an explosion.
A friend of mine said today:
“It’s no longer about feeling angry and powerless about these pipelines, today I no longer feel safe in my home.”
What do you say to someone who is your friend when they say this? How do you console them? The short answer is you can’t. How can you? These pipelines are one problem after the other. Inadvertent returns or whatever you want to call it when drilling fluid rises up and floods a street, gets into a water well, and so on. Sinkholes. And now an explosion?
Residents of streets like Mary Jane Lane and in Hamlet Hill in West Chester actually felt their homes shake. Shake.
Oh and how dis Sunoco/Energy Transfer respond? See here:
For real? That’s it? That is the best they have got? Do they really think we are such rubes? I think we all know the difference between say an electrical transformer blowing, a car backfiring, and and actual explosion sound where HOUSES SHAKE????
It’s appalling. And will someone kindly explain how when people called this noise into 911 it didn’t even end up on PulsePoint? And only a lone police officer responded? There is a fire station right there, correct? With first responders who are response trained? Was this officer also trained in responding to pipeline emergencies? And before ANYONE FLIPS OUT I am not criticizing the fact this officer showed up, I am GRATEFUL he at least arrived on scene but where was everyone else? And now as the dust settles, I am being told by residents that the county says it is West Goshen’s responsibility yet supposedly the West Goshen Emergency Management Coordinator who is also purportedly the fire marshall over there did NOT know a thing until they saw it on social media this morning?
Who is playing God with the potential safety of residents?
All day long helicopters have been circling over there. My friends recorded them above their homes and I saw them myself when over at the Giant on Boot Road. They all can’t be from the helicopter museum, so who were they?
Saw this earlier:
Once again I am struck with the fact that residents and homeowners and even people who are just driving by pipeline sites are just constantly exposed to risk. We can’t live our lives in fear, but how about credible information?
Yes no one was hurt BUT this is scary, scary stuff. And as residents we seem to be forced to absorb an inordinate amount of potential danger when it comes to these pipelines. And we don’t benefit. There is no reward for the risk, just risk.
We have friends who have left this part of Chester County because of the pipelines. We have other friends who received NO as in ZERO disclosure of the pipeline easement when they bought their home in West Whiteland. They only found out purely by accident. Now they have their dream home and not so dreamy pipeline in their front yard.
Officials claim they are looking into all f this and to them I say try harder, look faster. Last night was an unwelcome reminder of the risk of those pipelines. Every day we see the destruction.
Watch the entire CBS 3 report above. They are reporting that Sunoco/Energy Transfer put BIG trucks blocking their site where the big boom occurred so TV cameras and residents can’t see what is going on and WOW so neighbor friendly, right? And CBS 3, “reported sinkholes”? Really? They were real and documented, not reported.
I will also note and post what Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety Coaltion and the Pipeline Safety Coalition have to say:
We all live here and our lives and the lives of our neighbors matter. Why do I always feel that we don’t matter when it comes to pipelines? Is this what we have to look forward to as other pipeline companies like Adelphia come to town?
I think it’s well past time for answers. What if last night had turned into neighborhoods blowing up? It’s not a stretch, it’s a question we need answers to.
This photo was taken recently by a Chester County resident. This is a scene we see all over. Residents deserve better. Residents deserve to feel safe.
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
Maybe I am post -surgical cranky, but I want to hear from State Senator Andy Dinniman and others on this.
I just had a WTF moment when a friend of mine texted me to let me know that the Chester County SPCA fired her (again) today. And oh yeah, they used the West Goshen Police Department to do it.
I am about to almost use a bad word: BULLSH*T
Once you get past the whole how-do-you-fire-volunteers of it all, I am stuck with how is it the Chester County SPCA continues to use a local police force like their own private security detail?????? (And yes my friend gave me one of the badge numbers but I am not disclosing this here as it is not the officer’s fault.)
Who is paying for this??? Are taxpayers/residents of West Goshen and Chester County on the hook for this misuse of municipal resources ???
I am completely and utterly disgusted. I hope the media eats the Chester County SPCA for breakfast. I hear some of the media is already working on stories.
I mean how can you get “people and animals together” when you keep using the local police as bouncers to fire volunteers?
And I thought it was bad when they used the police the last time…but two police cars to confront a woman????? REALLY????
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.
I think I am about to become my mother in one fell swoop. I also think I completely understand now why she was the uncool mother along with the uncool father who called ahead to find out if parties would be serving alcohol and if parents would be present.Truthfully my mother was a bit ahead of her time on this. I graduated high school in 1981. But I am also alive to write this post, so while my sister and I mocked our mother and father ever so slightly on this a million years ago, well in retrospect was she wrong?
Today, more than ever there seems to be a weird dynamic going on between some parents and kids. No parent wants to be labeled uncool, but some parents seem to forgo actual parenting for this odd popularity contest. It is human nature to want to be friends with our children, but the job first and foremost is to be a parent, right?
So what the hell was this father in East Goshen thinking over the weekend? What am I talking about? Why what lots of people are talking about this morning which are headlines regionally of an underage liquored up teen party where parents knowingly served minors alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day weekend last weekend.
Will kids drink? Yes, and don’t say no unless you were never a teenager. But for an adult to in essence sponsor a party where a teen is found unconscious and covered in vomit and other parents could not reach their kids? Not acceptable.
This story unfolding is every parents’ nightmare when it comes to teenagers. You want your kids to have the autonomy they crave, yet you still have to keep an eye on them to ensure they make smart decisions and stay safe. And then there is the added thing of having other parents as trusted partners in this process.
We can’t keep our kids wrapped in cocoons of cotton wool, but seriously, where was this parent’s head? I bet there were parents of kids at this party trusting this guy to keep kids safe, and I also bet there were other parents who did not know their kids attended this party.
Talk about teach your children well.
Sorry, but not only is this every parent’s nightmare but this is also the kind of parental antics that just make me very angry. So uncool. Utterly irresponsible.
Then there were the two fathers out on the lawn who could not contact their daughters, thought to be at the Saturday night party inside the East Goshen Township, Chester County, house.
And then there were the hosts of the party, who allegedly refused to let police see what was happening inside the house in the 1600 block of Bow Tree Drive.
After finding what was inside – including several teenagers hiding in a basement crawl space – the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department arrested Raymond Bonnett, 46, and his son Elliott, 18, and charged them with hosting a party at their home for 19 underage drinkers on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day.
The most serious charges were not for hosting the party, but two felony counts of “interference with custody of children.”
After more than an hour in which the Bonnett son ordered police officers off the family property and refused to let them enter the house, they found one juvenile “unconscious and covered in vomit on the basement couch,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.
….Members of the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department said they responded at 11:17 to a complaint regarding a residence in the 1600 block of Bow Tree Drive in East Goshen Township, where officers observed vehicles parked near the home, individuals “who appeared to be under 18 outside holding beer bottles,” and numerous juveniles inside the home with beer bottles and plastic cups, a news release said….The arrival of officers prompted the young people outside to go inside the home, and a teen later identified as Elliott Bonnett, 18, “instructed police to leave the property,”
I woke up thinking of the laws that need to change, and in my mind a bunch of things need to happen:
Punishment AND fines for animal cruelty need to be tougher all the way around. It needs to mean more than an inconvenience
Pennsylvania as in the Commonwealth needs to recognize companion animals like dogs as more than property- people discussed that a few years ago when trying for stiffer puppy mill laws but I do not recall anything than some stuff getting watered down. I bet Tom Hickey from the state is watching this blog, and I would like him to connect with me.
Also farm statutes must be updated so there is less “fuzzy” area. My thought is two-fold: protect the dog owners better, but still give farmers recourse. I have not fleshed that thought out anymore than that but in PA we need to remember the importance of farms as they do drive enough of state economy still.
I believe that municipalities like West Vincent that used to be extremely rural need to be made to look at their zoning more closely. After all, when you get down to it development doesn’t happen without them does it? So it is incumbent upon them to work harder for better relationships between old and new. Also what defines a farmer versus a hobbyist with tax breaks?
Gun and gaming laws. I do not want this tragedy to be overshadowed and used by a national political debate. My frame of reference is simple: school people on existing laws because one of the things so irresponsible about what happened is the fact a shotgun was discharged like that in what I am told is R2 residential as opposed to land area zoned agricultural and am I wrong in that?
State Senator Andy Dinniman who represents a lot of us and is a huge animal advocate is working on some law having to do with dog owners being able to sue for damages. He says and I quote ” I am drafting a law that would allow pet owners to civilly sue those who harm or kill their pets.” I do not know the specifics other than that but would ask that if some of his staff is watching this blog if they could post specifics as they occur.
I urge you to contact your lawmakers on a state and federal level and ask for change that will protect our dogs better. They are a part of our families not like an ear of corn.
In Chester County to connect with Andy Dinniman:
One North Church Street West Chester, PA 19380 Phone: 610.692.2112 Fax: 610.436.1721 Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m
After all, one of the people who helped set up the Facebook page was Mary Bock, who is a truly lovely and gentle woman who has shown such grace and peace in the face of unbelievable family tragedy. Make no misunderstanding with regard to that page as it is not for deviant purposes and implication is resented. People are banned and comments are removed. Posting and commenting is a privilege, not a right.
However, the unfortunate reality is that in this world two of the most heated topics in the world are issues having to do with children and pets, and this issue involves BOTH.
Below are some media snippets from yesterday afternoon as the region learned the dogs would start to have justice, and did not die in vain. I will comment that I am struggling with the statement Mr. Pilotti is purported to have released about remorse and prayers for the family. Part of me hopes it is true, yet part of me wonders why he simply did not do that before the media and public got news of what happened? Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t he have almost a week in between the actual date of tragedy and media whirlwind to pray and show remorse?
In any event, those of us supporting the Bock family do not support violence. Nor do we support nut jobs that stand outside anyone’s home screaming anything. No matter WHAT has transpired, we as a society cannot swirl downwards into utter lawlessness. More bad acts will not solve any issue.
So I ask all of you to use your energy to speak out for dogs. Get laws changed. And oh yes, no matter what West Vincent says if you live there you have a right to be heard at the Supervisors meeting. They may decline comment, but you have the right to public privilege of the floor or public comment. They do not have to respond, but as elected and appointed officials part of their job is to listen. Just be polite.
I am told that this coming Monday is a normal Supervisors meeting. Monday at 7:30 PM at their Township building 729 St. Matthews Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425
Media has reported that West Vincent has not really been chatting with anyone. I guess “unavailable” and “declining comment” would describe it best? In any event, they provide their township contact information on their website as:
As always, thanks for stopping by. And to that eternally curious woman who keeps asking a mutual friend about this blog to the point of obsession? Lady, if you have to ask you don’t need to know. Grow up and quit looking for chickenman conspiracies behind every bush and hillock in West Vincent. (No I do not know who chickenman is, nor do I care. Even chickens have First Amendment Rights…)
Face it, you live in warped Mayberry and the sooner you own that the more at ease your mind will be. I know it is hard for some to fathom that I post recipes and discuss politics and local issues, but so be it. Far more interesting than standing in someone’s kitchen telling birthing stories and discussing which mustard goes best with a honey baked ham, yes?
But there is something fugly and funky going on about this website because for a few minutes it came up and then it went down.
So the reason I was sent this post was so I could see the apparent systemic problems with horse rescue within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Can we say it isn’t just Jessica Basciano, Barbara Luna, Turning for Home and Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue that people need to have their eyes open with?
This manure pile that is horse rescue seems to have a lot of whinnying going on, yet the more I read about it, the more I wonder why PA’s Attorney General isn’t looking at inconsistencies and oddities in all of this from the end of those who are registered in PA as charities to criminal investigations having to do with animal rescues? From how the horses leave the track and where they go to how the horse rescues run and if they meet to burden for animal protection and welfare let alone how these businesses and non-profits run doesn’t it just seem the questions are layered with questions?
And let me be clear, I am not just speaking about the two rescues blogged about up here before, but the entire business of horse rescue in Pennsylvania. I heard a tale yesterday of a situation going on at another Chester County barn that seems just nutty. I don’t own horses, never have, never will. But am I wrong in saying that it seems the only consistency about horse rescue in Pennsylvania are the many inconsistencies? Is it just me who seems to feel that if there are hard and fast rules, there seems to be a lot of gray area for interpretation?
And lets talk about the group that is supposed to be helping being the eyes and ears of right, ok? LAPS or Large Animal Protection Society? I have been told repeatedly by those in animal rescue in general that these folks have badges or something? That they can go in and do surprise inspections and if need be, remove animals? But is their judgement clouded because of personal relationships their ranks may or may not have with persons in the groups they are supposed to keep an eye on? (And before someone in LAPs gets in a lather, sorry but it is not beyond the realm of reasonable to ask questions is it?) And what of all the people worried about horses in Chester County who have a hard time with LAPs personnel? Are they all bad people out to bad mouth LAPs or are they merely good people who keep going back to the well that is LAPs hoping they will actually do their job?
LAPs has on their own website:
LAPS Can Assist Other Humane Agencies
In addition to investigating reports of cruelty to large animals, prosecution offenders, and rehabilitating and placing animals in new homes, LAPS is always ready and willing to provide information and support to other agencies both within and out-of-state. We have provided people in other counties with the means and knowledge to encourage their local law enforcement officials to step in when the local humane societies do not, and have many times supported the State Police in their investigations in areas where the humane agencies do not provide service.
Also, we are glad to help anyone wishing to organize a humane society in an area not currently serviced by one. We have “been there, done that” and are more than willing to share the information you will need to get started. Our knowledge of the way the system works has been hard-won over the years since 1988 we have been in existence. If you need help, just call!
I will note that I went to www.GuideStar.org and pulled the most recent 990s I could find on Turning for Home, LAPs, and Another Chance for Horses. I am posting them as they are public record and they are registered non-profits. There are no 990s to be posted on Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue because has anyone ever been able to actually find a business registered, a non-profit registered, or is it just a fictitious name registration? Maybe that is why the judgement I found based on that recent court date is lodged against Ms. B? (See the links below, you can check the documents out yourself.)
Every time I say I am done with this cautionary tale the more that crops up. Water seeks its own level, mold spreads, choose your analogy I have but one final question and that is when did it stop being about what is right for the horses?
I think a non-profit rescue called the “Foxie G Foundation” took in some of these poor beasts and apparently same person as involved in that case last year in Adam’s County a guy named James Houseman. It is like hop scotch with horses. )
By Sari Heidenreich – email (PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) -Twenty four horses, including four who are pregnant, were seized from a Dauphin County farm by the Humane Society of Harrisburg last week….Earlier this month, Kaunas said this is the first type of horse hoarding case she has seen.)