for christmas, maybe it IS time to rethink the aqua of it all?

Well I was talking to a very dear friend today. She lives in the New Garden area. She is one of the most diligent and practical people I know. Literally have known her since I was like maybe 12 or 13. Our parents were friends. And she quietly says to me today something about have I seen what is going on in New Garden Township about their AQUA issues. I said yes, a bit and I thought gosh I didn’t even send her my post on the extra special interim manager, but anyway….

Then my jaw hit the floor. My friend said her water bill under AQUA ownership went from $250 each billing cycle to $900!

That news made me go watch the recent New Garden meeting recordings that my friend and friend to all communities Ginny Kerslake had posted on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/Ginny4PA/videos/1221133465137182/

https://www.facebook.com/Ginny4PA/videos/837250724147851/

https://www.facebook.com/Ginny4PA/videos/524162036279162/

So now I am wondering (aloud) if municipalities selling to AQUA is a mistake?

I don’t think we can un-ring the bell on inked deals, and things are still in court that would potentially stop the sales in East Whiteland and Willistown, although I find that unlikely, but who knows?

These municipalities can’t afford their sewer systems any longer, and I do believe that is true, BUT now I am wondering what part utility companies have in that?

And something else I am now wondering about might sound crazy BUT is there ANY way that AQUA could force those of us on septic and wells to hook up to them?

Oh and I think AQUA, or I should say I know AQUA watches this blog. But as a consumer and a resident where one of these sales is pending, I am actually allowed to have questions. Even now. And WHY do I have questions? Watching that whole crazy recent meeting that was held in New Garden. That and having a friend today tell me how much their bill increased (with kids in college and not there all of the time, no less.)

I also keep coming back to those lovely laws in Harrisburg that allow AQUA to increase their rates. So now I wonder aloud what so many others wonder: is AQUA just getting what they paid back via these increases so is that a good thing for consumers in the end?

https://www.pahouse.com/InTheNews/Opinion/?id=126232

Above is a link to a press release by State Rep Christina Sappey from this September. This is what jumped out:

Recently, rate increases for water and wastewater services provided by Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. (Aqua) went into effect for over 400,000 customers in 32 counties across the commonwealth. Many residents, including seniors on fixed incomes, have been surprised and frustrated to receive bills that have nearly doubled.

The current rules regarding rate regulations and water utility sales are not in the consumer’s best interest. It is imperative that reform is considered in Harrisburg to prevent future prioritization of corporate profits over residents’ access to a basic necessity, such as water.

I share the frustration of Aqua customers going through this current increase. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is the regulatory authority in Pennsylvania for utility rates. Utilities wishing to increase rates must submit a request to the commission for approval. The PUC is currently comprised of three commissioners, each appointed by the governor on a five-year term and confirmed by the State Senate.

When Aqua submitted this request in 2021, I urged the PUC to hold in-person hearings for residents to voice concerns. When that request was denied, State Rep. John Lawrence and I hosted a telephonic public hearing and I joined many of you in testifying against the then-proposed additional charges. Despite these efforts, the PUC commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rate increase in May of 2022.

Recently, I wrote to the PUC providing examples of the negative impact the approved rates have had and requesting a review of current charges to ensure they align with the commission-approved rates. I encourage anyone who feels their bill does not properly reflect their usage or the approved rate to file a complaint with the PUC.

Today’s state laws allow for inflated valuations of financially solvent public water and wastewater utilities by private companies, enticing local municipalities and authorities to sell for a large return in the short term, only for those costs to be recouped through the ratepayer’s wallet. These processes are done with little transparency or direct input from those that it impacts most, ratepayers.

~ STATE REP CHRISTINA SAPPEY 9/30/22

I want to be abundantly clear here: I still do NOT approve the way Willistown residents have been treating Bob Lange and Bill Shoemaker. There is a THIRD supervisor, and there was the THIRD supervisor who was all for the sale and then resigned before she had been a supervisor very long, correct? What was her name? Oh yes, Barbara Handelin, right?

My other issue with this in Willistown is the inability for some residents to realize this is NOT a Democrat vs. Republican issue, it is a COMMUNITY issue that affects EVERYONE, i.e. it is non-partisan. I have NOT been a fan of the shenanigans to date and every meeting it is essentially the SAME people repeating themselves. Surely there are OTHER residents affected, yes? Well people, be polite and either zoom a meeting and comment or go in person. But the same people speaking pretty much every time? Umm, people tune that out after a while, even if they believe in the issue. And where were all of you while Willistown was deciding to sell or not? Why is it in Willistown it feels like people wake up only AFTER the horse has left the proverbial barn?

So yes, I am indeed wondering aloud in the final month of 2022 about this. It doesn’t mean I have been “won over”, it means for the first time I am articulating concerns I have always had. It’s like now that the 3 ring circus in Willistown has quieted some I have had time to think.

And when one of your more long term friends tells you HOW MUCH their bill jumped, well, it HAS to make you think. And of course how it all went down in New Garden also has to make you think. All those supervisors singing the chorus of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil etc etc, right? Quid est veritas? What is truth?

I do know that Willistown and East Whiteland BOTH notified residents, held meetings, etc. COVID or not, meetings were zoomed if not in person and well, a lot of people did nothing. I even kept putting it out there. But New Garden? That place is rather odd, isn’t it?

And I also really want to know if those of us on wells and septic will be allowed to stay as we are? I have never heard that questioned answered. I also wonder aloud if AQUA could try to be more community minded? What if they supported measures in Harrisburg that might put the brakes on their rate jumping seemingly willy nilly?

It’s a recession. In my humble opinion we have been playing kick the can down the road with recession since circa 2008. Maybe it’s time to just stop and think on this a little longer?

Sign me, thinking out loud. Happy December, y’all.

Ratepayers hold Aqua, New Garden accountable for skyrocketing wastewater bills

11/22/2022 04:28PM ● By Richard Gaw

For more than four hours at the New Garden Elementary School auditorium on Nov. 21, three factions sorted through the smoldering mass of information that lay at the creation of an agreement of sale that has been on the front burner of controversy in the township for the past several years.

In one corner of the room, the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors sat a table facing another table occupied by three executives from Aqua Pennsylvania (Aqua), including its president Marc Lucca. The most dominant presence at the meeting, however, were the more than 200 township residents who sat and stood in protest of the reason that drew them there: the massive increase they are seeing in their wastewater bills from Aqua – as much as a 140 percent increase over the past year – that are arriving in their mailboxes as part of the residue from the township’s sale of its wastewater system to the Big Water giant for $29.5 million in 2020….

Nearly from the start, the patience of those in the audience to sit through the complicated alphabet soup of agencies and legal and legislative delays was paper thin, particularly during an hour-long presentation by former township official and director of planning and projects Spence Andress, who painstakingly sifted through a two-inch high stack of documents that described the minutia of what led to the eventual sale of the township’s system.

He said that a major factor leading to the decision by the Board of Supervisors and the township’s Sewer Authority to sell off the system was influenced by the cost of mitigating the infrastructure problems of the township’s vastly outdated wastewater system, which would cost the township an estimated $1.5 million a year, as well as an additional $1.5 million for debt service.

‘Allow us to speak!’

Halfway through Andress’ presentation, Peter Mrosinski and Margo Woodacre, two of the most prominent voices of opposition, shared their argument that the nature of the meeting was designed to shut down the residents. Their argument reflected the contents of a flyer that was circulated by KWA before the meeting that said that a former agreement with board chairman Steve Allaband would allow the group to lead the discussion, but that the idea was rejected earlier that afternoon by the supervisors. “Unfortunately, our supervisors once again appear to be covering their tracks and doing the bidding of Aqua to silence any meaningful discussion,” the flyer read.

Pa. approves increase in Aqua water and sewer rates. How much, it won’t say.
The Pa. Public Utility Commission granted Aqua’s rate hike request, apparently overriding a judge’s recommendation for a lower increase. But the PUC will take several days to announce the details.

Inquirer/ by Andrew Maykuth
Published May 12, 2022

Aqua Pennsylvania’s rate hike: The price per flush will go up 50% as early as Thursday
Aqua’s water rates will increase about 10%, and wastewater rates will go up 51% this week. In towns whose sewer systems were recently acquired by Aqua, the impact will be more severe.

Inquirer/by Andrew Maykuth
Published May 17, 2022

It’s time to repeal the Pa. law that allows the sale of municipal water systems | Editorial
Officials in Bucks County were absolutely right not to sell their system to a private company. Now, lawmakers must reverse the measure known as Act 12.

Inquirer/ by The Editorial Board
Published Sep 18, 2022

As Pa. municipalities sell water systems to for-profit companies, consumers are left paying the price | Editorial
It is irresponsible for local governments to peddle these valuable public assets and leave customers at the mercy of businesses who are all but guaranteed to jack up their bills.

Inquiere/ by The Editorial Board
Updated Aug 18, 2022

hey usps and louis dejoy, where’s the mail??

This was posted by a friend today:

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.

do we want to preserve chester county… or not?

So this is Chester county. Do we want to preserve her or not? Because we’re running out of time if we do wish to preserve her. If we do wish to preserve her history, her great open spaces (what’s left of them), her farms (what’s left of them) , her architecture (what hasn’t been replaced by endless fields of McBoxes.)

This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing, this is the people coming together and working to save Chester County kind of thing.

People drive me crazy when they say “Oh but if you only elect this Republican or this Democrat that change will happen.” No it won’t. When did all of you get so dumb about community activism?

All of these politicians bring YOU to them. That’s not the way you do it. The way you do it is every time you have an election, the politicians take on your issues as their issues. Because if you just continue out there to take their issues on as your issues, you will always end up the loser.

No, often it is not nice. It’s hard. It’s a slog. You have all sorts of people screaming and yelling at you and calling you names. You know, kind of like my average day being a blogger. But you have to work if you really want to save something. You can’t just say oh let’s put up a Facebook page and save something. You actually have to do the work behind it. Look at Crebilly. Those folks did not give up. And they did it.

There have been countless groups who have put up private groups and Facebook pages proclaiming their issue. But the thing is they never really get off the social media pages, do they? They don’t go to meetings. They don’t take meetings with elected officials of all levels. It’s like they expect the world to come to them. I have to bite my tongue and not say how’s that working out for all of you?

If they do have loosely held “groups“, often these days you find different members of sad aforementioned “groups” are going in different directions with slightly different objectives that are often counterproductive. It doesn’t work because you all need to come together.

It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to when you’re working for a common goal and a greater good, you leave that bickering at the door. You need to forget the whole thing about oh if we just do this one little thing for this politician then they’ll help us. No they won’t. The goal of them and their campaigns is to make all of you come around to see their perspective. As we learned years ago fighting eminent domain mean in Ardmore, you have to flip that perspective.

And if the politicians make hollow promises, then you vote them out and you start all over again. And you keep repeating the process till you have government that you can work with, that works for the people.

And I have to say after doing the whole thing in Ardmore, also gave me some of the most amazing friends as an adult. I remember the first event I attended that the Save Ardmore Coalition did years ago. I entered a room a stranger and left with new friends, Friends I still have almost 20 years later. I did not start at the very, very beginning. I heard what they had to say, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. Oh and one election cycle we flipped half of the Board of Commissioners in Lower Merion Township to politicians of BOTH political parties who made our issue theirs. And they kept their word and ended eminent domain for good a few months later. As opposed to that eminent domain circus in East Goshen recently , it didn’t take a year to unwind. That my friends was BS, just like the self-aggrandizing Libertarian “award” , “honor” or whatever was bestowed upon supervisors or one supervisor in general, like the day before their spouse became the head of the Chester County Libertarian Party. That was no better than a publicity stunt. And it made me very sad.

So now that the elections are over, it’s time for communities across Chester County to come together to save what’s left of their character. Yesterday because we were going to visit friends further out in the county from us, we had this gorgeous drive back and forth. It made me think. It made me appreciate all over again the beauty of where we call home.

This also means that we have to start getting busy with our state elected officials, the lame ducks and the ones poised to take office in January. They need to start helping us preserve where we call home. And that means changing certain laws so that is possible.

One big thing requiring change is the Municipalities Planning Code. It hasn’t been comprehensively updated seriously since like 1969. And the last time it was comprehensively updated, do you know what one of the developments was that happened as a result of changes? Chesterbrook. We need fewer developments and that means we have to lobby for these people to get off the rear ends and enact an act of the state constitution. We need to redefine suburb and exurb. We need more meaningful historic preservation and land preservation with built-in components to make it more attractive so that more people are interested in doing it.

This isn’t my job to do this. I am a curtain raiser, and I am once again drawing attention to this very important issue. We live in a beautiful place that is not that far off of being completely ruined forever. And those of us who come from the Main Line can tell you all about that because once upon a time the Main Line was truly beautiful and somewhat magical with amazing homes and properties. Now it’s just a suburb with too many people with misplaced senses of entitlement.

And that suburban sprawl continues to move west, or should I say march west because it’s not flowing, it’s attacking. Every time you turn around there’s another development planned. Or land getting gobbled up now by things like data centers and worse which we don’t know enough about here in this area, but in other areas of the country they’re fighting tooth and nail to get these things out of their communities.

We also don’t have to scream to be heard. When we scream we’re no better than those people that annoy the crap out of us at every school board meeting because they are undoubtedly uncomfortable with their own sexuality, so everything they perceive as different, is bad.

Anyway, it’s not just t-shirts and post cards and endless lawn signs that are going to bring us change. It’s involvement in our communities. And it’s consistent involvement, not involvement when the horses are out of the proverbial barn and nothing can be done.

Since the onset of Covid we have the ability in a lot of places for hybrid meetings. They are both virtual and in person. And most meetings are recorded now, and if you are in a municipality that does not record their meetings, start there. You have a right to have your meetings recorded, and/or you have the right to record the meetings in their entirety and broadcast them on YouTube or Facebook live or whatever.

I think the beauty and character and history of this county are worth preserving. That’s all I have to say. But people have to be willing to get involved and stay involved.

I am a realist. Not every old house can be saved, not every old farm can be saved. But I think as an extended group of communities, we can ask better of our elected officials all the way to Washington DC when it comes to this. But we all have to put the political BS aside and try.

Thanks for stopping by.

the site might be more cleaned up, but the ruin of ebenezer on bacton hill road doesn’t have much time.

November, 2016

I have not written about the ruin of Ebeneezer AME Church on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland for a couple of years now. It’s not my party any longer, and truthfully there are members of East Whiteland’s Historical Commission whom I am sure would prefer I not have an interest in this site. I guess it doesn’t matter that I did a lot of work for this site, some of my friends did a lot of work for this site, and years ago when no one was paying attention I did the placement for the media coverage which was local and regional.

But I do have an interest in this site. It spoke to me years ago, and today I listened again. In 2016 a structural engineer reviewed this historic site and warned about not addressing the bowing of the longer north and south facing walls. There were also warnings of the use of heavy equipment on and close to site. Well today I got a couple of photos from the road because of what I saw a couple of weeks ago that disturbed me.

The walls are coming down. No, no one is taking them down, the years and years of neglect leave no other option for old walls.

November 13, 2022

I think this is tragic and really upsetting. But it’s not within my power to change it. It is still within the power of the AME Church, unless they have suddenly transferred the property to another entity. I also think East Whiteland Township could try to do a little more.

I asked someone for an update on the site in June and never heard a peep. OK fine, they aren’t interested in conversing with me, but now I am saying I told you so. If they want to preserve any part of the ruling of that church, they need to move a little more quickly. They also need to preserve the graves that are in the graveyard.

Ebenezer represents a heck of a lot of history and there are freed slaves, black Civil War Soldiers, and ancestors of people who still live in the area today. This site deserves respect. Respect just isn’t a historical marker, respect is a better degree of historic preservation. You can read about my coverage of Ebenezer by doing a search on this site or CLICK HERE.

#ThisPlaceMatters

other things

Today is just one of those days that makes you think. I had to be home today, so I used Instacart. I will be honest I like this as a service. And for the most part I also really like the people that work for them. Today my person was a woman new to the area. Why and how she’s new to the area gave me pause.

This woman is here because of Hurricane Ian. Her husband has a job that requires a lot of travel. He spends a lot of time in this part of the Northeast. But they were living in Florida. Until hurricane Ian took everything. So she and her husband have relocated for at least the near term. His job is based out of the suburban Philadelphia area at this point, and well they just lost everything in a hurricane.

So as we’re sitting in our houses, apartments, townhouses, condos, wherever we need to pause a moment. Forget about all the hate and vitriol, think about people that go through things like this. And they go through it with a smile on their face and a positive attitude.

Also today I got to spend a little time with a friend of mine I don’t get to see very often. Life kind of intervenes and there are people that you just don’t see it as often as you would like. But again this is a person who has had quite the year, and is still positive and smiling and happy.

Today I also got to meet a Brazilian artist. She also has relocated to this area. And another person who just radiates niceness and positivity. The artist is Fer Caggiano, and I was introduced to her through a mutual friend. For this post I borrowed a photo of one of her paintings because it’s kind of how I’m feeling today, right or wrong. The link to Fer‘s website is embedded in the caption of her painting above.

The painting you see above made me check out a video of one of her shows, a show called “Like a Girl.”

Fer Caggiano is now calling Chester County home. It is kind of amazing that she is here. Her work is interesting, thought provoking, imaginative. I am not an art critic, I am just someone who likes things which strike me in some way The portraits in her Dare to Dream are cool. They aren’t traditional, they aren’t abstract, they are an interpretation of life and the essence of her subjects. Fer is also part of the NFT artwork movement.

What is an NFT artwork? NFT art is a digitalized piece of artwork that a person has tokenized onto a blockchain. Admittedly, that is not my jam as I like to look at art more traditionally. But Fer is multi talented, so she is an artist you can buy actual physical pieces from.

Fer is based out of Malvern now and Hands In on King St. They are located at 346 E. King St, Malvern. Now this business is owned by my friend Susie De Rafelo. Susie and I became friends because of a common love of gardening. Susie is amazing, (truly) and so multi talented and artistic. We are very lucky that this Chester County born woman returned to her roots and brought her business and imagination with her.

Hands In is a fair trade business. I am a fan of fair trade, as my long time friend Sherry Tillman has always practiced this through her business, Past*Present*Future , which is in Ardmore, PA.

Today started out like more of an average day. I also had hate mail in time for election day from some woman (a Stepford Wife for Totalitarianism) who should be ashamed of herself and her lack of intellectual ability, but she won’t be. She is a bless your heart and move on. You can read what she sent to me in my post this morning.

As humans, we are not designed to be mirror images of one and other. But in today’s hate and vitriol filled world, if you aren’t exactly like someone, you are bad. Ok, so to people like this morning’s fan, I am bad. If I don’t agree with someone on social media, I am bad. But I am tired of these people, and increasingly intolerant. I wasn’t born to live in a beige, beige world. I like color. I accept life can be messy, yet glorious. If you can’t, I am sorry, but that’s on you. These people are far too plentiful these days. And that is sad. But today, ugliness was once more balanced out with good. I appreciate that divine intervention, so to speak.

Thank you to the unintentionally inspirational women with whom I interacted today. You guys make life and the world a better place.

Now, if you haven’t already, please go vote.

Ciao.

today.

Today is the day, Pennsylvania. No excuses. Get out and vote.

Happy Election Day!

From a friend who works the polls:

Please do not post photos of poll workers OR of your ballot. Please remember that people in line to vote NEVER ASKED TO BE IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS- PLEASE DON’T POST THEIR FACES

If you want change in Pennsylvania, be the change. Use your power of your vote. Today is a day where people with a brain know the power of apathy and excuses for not getting to the polls to vote won’t cut it.

If you spot something wrong at your poll, call the police. Report it. Document it. Do not be intimidated by people at the polls and if that happens, call the police. Your vote is between you and your conscience.

This morning when I logged onto my blog’s Facebook page, to follow is what was waiting for me. I am giving you the screenshots I am not covering anything up. I am finished with being harassed by people like this.

And these are people, women like this especially, who don’t realize that the reason you fight for rights and free and fair elections is so even idiots like herself can have those rights. Bless her heart she is so limited in her personal worldview that she doesn’t get that visiting anyone’s Facebook page public or private is a privilege, not a right.

Needless to say she can shove it where the sun don’t shine. If this is who is lecturing anyone on manners, what a sad sorry state of affairs the world is.

If you choose not to vote, please don’t complain after the fact as you will only have yourself to blame.

I already voted. My vote is counted. I voted to protect a woman’s right to choose. as in every woman, no matter what that choice might be.

There’s nothing left to say. Go vote.

Pax

what kind of guy….not our guy

Guy Ciarrocchi is running for Congress in the 6th District. I know it gets confusing, because earlier in 2022 he also ran for governor. I’m going to include screenshots.

He’s not my kind of Guy, that is for sure. That being said, please think before you vote tomorrow.

He seems like the kind of Guy who drags out his heritage when it’s politically expedient. I also have plenty of relatives in South Philadelphia. I also have Irish and Italian lineage. (Of course my lineage gets more interesting because there’s also a dash of Pennsylvania German.) They are part of what make me who I am. I’m proud of those roots. They were hard-working, nice people. They taught me to stand up for myself among other things.

Again…..If politicians are judged by the company they keep, check out the company he’s been keeping especially recently in Berks County…..He’s very careful not to appear in a photo with Mastriano, which I find interesting, but do note with whom you find him. And where. #whereisGUY ? Hmmmm.

Now in 2008 or thereabouts there was an entire website devoted to him. That’s how strong people felt when he was running for State Representative against Paul Drucker. See:

https://whatkindofguy.wordpress.com/

Things that bug me include:

If you can still access that link above that is his old gubernatorial website from early 2022. That is kind of sloppy, truthfully.

it is basically the same bio verbatim as found on this website where they refer to him as a “young gun“: https://nrcc.org/candidates/guy-ciarrocchi/

Then there is this:

December 2021: Ciarrocchi Said Roe v. Wade Was “Bad Law” Based On “Very, Very Outdated Science.” “GOP gubernatorial candidate Guy Ciarrocchi, who is on hiatus from his job as the president of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce said, ‘I am pro-life. But, whether or not one agrees with Roe v Wade, we should all be saddened to know that millions of babies have died—30,000 each year in our state. The decision focused on a baby’s viability in 1973. At a minimum, we should all agree that viability is now much, much earlier due to scientific advances. So, Roe is now not only bad law, it’s based on very, very outdated science. It is time for Roe to be replaced.’” [Delaware Valley Journal, 12/1/21]

November 2003: Ciarrocchi Said A Court Decision Overturning Massachusetts’s State Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Was “Bad Moral Decision” Because It Would Make The Term Marriage “Meaningless.”  “For Haddonfield resident Diane Marini, yesterday’s Massachusetts high-court decision overturning the state ban on same-sex civil marriage could carry her closer to her dream: to legally marry her partner of 12 years, Marilyn Maneely. ‘We’ve raised five kids together, but we as a couple have no rights,’ said Marini, who with Maneely is among seven gay couples suing for similar legal recognition in New Jersey. […] Guy Ciarrocchi, director of the Philadelphia Archdiocese Office for Public Affairs, saw it as ‘a bad legal decision and a bad moral decision.’ ‘It’s bad legally,’ he said, ‘because it continues down a dangerous path of allowing courts to decide important legal issues rather than legislatures. And it’s bad as a moral decision because if every relationship the participants believe is special is deemed marriage, at some point the term marriage becomes meaningless.’” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/19/03]

~ The Case Against Guy Ciarrocchi



So let’s circle back to he never seems to appear in a photo with Mastriano. As a matter fact he seems to show up at events were Mastriano is but not in Chester County which is very interesting. To me that says that even this guy thinks Mastriano isn’t good for Pennsylvania. I’m allowed to have that opinion. I’m sure my opinion will upset his cheerleading collective from Moms for Liberty and Pennsylvania Conservative Women (formerly Conservative Women of the Main Line or whatever.) These “ladies“ I collectively refer to as the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism. But the event in Berks county was interesting because it was hanging with a bunch of people from an extremist group. Again.

And then he goes door-knocking in HIS neck of the woods . So he doesn’t tell people he’s a Republican, he tells them he’s an Independent? Dude, can’t be a little bit preggers here since you’re against abortion which must include political abortion too, right? Haven’t you said you were an independent when running for things before? So if you actually are not a Republican why run as one?


The extremism stance is a familiar M.O. if you refer back to the what kind of Guy website. I offered to you some screenshots from that website. And I’m really glad that website stayed up because it is very informative. And that is the biggest problem with today is people do not do their own research. Too many do something or say something or repeat something just because someone told you to. That’s why these groups like the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism have so many members. Here are the screenshots:


We do not need any more divisiveness in Washington, D.C. and this isn’t because he’s a Republican, it’s because the Republican Party only shows the American voter crappy candidates. It’s kind of a problem across the country but it’s like pervasive dangerous mold in Pennsylvania it’s so bad. This country is a democracy based on a two party system, but when you have one party that is no longer the party of Lincoln and that is the most polite way I can think of putting it, fielding sub par candidates and pandering to extremism, welll dayyuummmm….we live in crazy times. Usually I am a ticket splitter. There is not one Republican I could actually vote for with a clear conscience in 2022. Not one. Well except for Chris Quinn. I could vote for him for State Rep if he was a choice. He’s a good dude.

So it’s up to you tomorrow who you vote for. But this “Guy” is a man who has run for lots of offices and just is quite simply put, out for himself. It’s not about us, it’s about him. And if you are a woman in Pennsylvania especially, he’s not your Guy and it is EXACTLY that simple.

Get out and vote tomorrow. Don’t make excuses, find the time. It’s too important.

Thanks for stopping by.

this is WHY you need to VOTE tuesday.

Today is ugly season in Downingtown at Kerr Park. Their objective? To be louder, uglier, and nastier than everyone else.

This makes them (in their minds) better Americans than you and I.

They aren’t. It’s not actually a contest.

But all of this ugliness is exactly WHY people have to get out and vote Tuesday. They are exactly the reason we have to vote to preserve our rights. And those rights are whichever ones apply to us as human beings and Americans. If you think about it, to an extent, this election season is about protecting the basic human rights Americans enjoy, isn’t it? Our rights aren’t subjective.

Oh and where would we be without a Ron Paul t-shirt sighting as well?

The ugliness and abusive behavior and implied violence is supposed to make you afraid to stand up. It’s still the basic premise of bullies only win if you allow them. Trust me, I know. Threats and implied threats and harassment have become every day behavior for bloggers and other independent voices that aren’t interested in political cultism.

Those photos above demonstrate clearly that the Chester County GOP panders to extremism and extremists. If you are a Republican and you care about the party of Lincoln, I hope Tuesday you vote to keep their current slate of insanity and inadequacy out of office. I hope you vote to save what’s left of your party by voting against them.

Republicans and Democrats need to try to set a path forward to return to moderation, balance, and a viable working two party system. Because we need a viable two-party working system to maintain a democracy. That means saying NO to the ENTIRE GOP slate this time.

We are already “free people.” Our founding fathers fought, died, and bled for it. that means that these people also get to demonstrate their ugliness, sadly. But it doesn’t mean they have to win. But it means that Kumbaya time is over and you need to get out and vote on Tuesday.

I am just one voice. This is not my sole responsibility, and more of you need to find your individual voices. How we move forward as a county, state, region, and a country is a “We the People” kind of thing. I am not interested in people telling me how I should think and how I should write and what I should write about. I am writing about this because it matters to me personally. When I was born, women had limited rights. Women weren’t even really supposed to have their own bank accounts and credit card accounts and store charge accounts. And along with everything else, we vote Tuesday as women to preserve our rights. Don’t tell me you care, show me you care by actually voting.

Now please let me enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

it’s november, so of course we need soup…french onion mushroom soup….

I have a slight obsession with French Onion Soup. I’ve written about it before and my quest to find and develop a recipe I really liked and I think that was in 2015. I have been fiddling and fiddling with the way I make it, and I think this is the best batch so far.

My friend Karen‘s mother made the best French Onion Soup I’ve ever had anywhere. It was even better than the H.A. Winston soup that we all loved growing up. But I’ve kind of developed my own now which isn’t bad if I do say so myself. But I definitely have a memory of being in Karen‘s mother’s kitchen when she had that soup cooking. The aroma and the fragrance of it just filled the room.

I start my soup the day before with roasting my beef bones in the oven for beef stock. Then I throw everything into a stockpot with wine, water, and a 32 oz. container of low salt beef broth. To that I had a couple of carrots, celery or Celeriac (celery root), onion, fresh herbs, and that’s how I make my beef broth. This time I made my beef bone broth with Celeriac, because that is what I had. I cook this for a few hours. I let it simmer and cook down and condense. If I do it in the instant pot it takes a lot less time for the broth component.

I prepare the beef bone broth the day before because I like to fish the bones out of the broth and dispose of them, and then put the broth in the refrigerator overnight because then as you can see from the photo I shared above, I can skim the fat off the top very easily. This bone broth I made this time was truly gorgeous. This morning it was totally gelatinous like a consommé. That’s what you want.

Also, people always ask me how many beef bones I use. Honestly? It varies and this time I had 10 beef bones.

I line a big sheet pan with aluminum foil. Then I sprinkle them with just a smidge of olive oil and add salt pepper, Herbes de Provence, and garlic. When I roast them I do it at a 375° oven. I just keep an eye on the oven I think they were roasted through in about 35 to 40 minutes. Then I just turned the oven off and let everything cool down a bit before I bring them out of the oven and throw them into the stockpot as indicated above.

These bones were actually a surprise I did not know I still had in the bottom of our chest freezer they had come with a meat order from our local butcher, Worrell’s. Truthfully, you really do have to go to a local farmers market meat purveyor, or a local butcher shop to get good bones. And ask before you want to make the soup, because it’s not like the good old days and they don’t always have the bones.

The next day I start with caramelizing my onions, and today’s onions are the last I will ever get at Pete’s Produce Farm in Westtown which makes me sad. I use a combination of red and white onions. I add a little salt, a couple of tablespoons of butter, and a couple of dashes of balsamic vinegar to the bottom of the pot. You do want to caramelize your onions, but pay attention or they will burn. I almost killed them today because I was on the phone when I was doing this.

I also add mushrooms now to my recipe and that is pretty much because my husband loves mushrooms. The mushrooms, Cremini, came from Pete’s as well. I am so going to miss the produce and that store because these mushrooms were the prettiest I’ve had all year to cook with. But I have to admit that adding mushrooms especially this kind to soup add another layer of flavor that is just wonderful.

When I’m putting it all together after the onions have cooked down and caramelized, if I feel there is not enough liquid, then I will use a little additional bone broth or Better Than Bouillon to help it along. And you also cannot forget your healthy dash of Flavor Master’s Gravy Master. Why? Because that is something they put in the H.A. Winston soup when they were making it.

Today I did add an 8 ounce container additionally of bone broth. I also added a good half a bottle of wine

I wish I had a more exact and proportionate recipe written down, but I don’t a lot of times I cook things by the way I think they feel.

I will serve my French onion soup in a few minutes with a little shredded Gruyère on top but I don’t do the whole thing with the big hunk of bread and put it in the broiler. That’s too much work for me. The soup is work enough on its own. Besides it’s something I always eat around French onion soup when I get it at a restaurant, anyway.

We are also having an arugula and spinach salad with elite seasoning tomato and a honey mustard vinaigrette.

Bon appétit 👩‍🍳