welcome to philadelphia, the city of brotherly beat downs.

I am sure Radnor Township and many other municipalities are thrilled that I have decided to “phocus” on Philadelphia today.

It’s always hard to say what the most negative thing is about Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at present. And as a native born Philadelphian, I don’t say this lightly.

Filthadelphia and Crimeadelphia are two of my favorite nicknames. I was born in Philadelphia in the mid-1960s. We lived there with my parents until the mid-1970s. I saw a lot even as a kid, and one of the things that finally drove my parents from the city in the mid-1970s was crime. And it was crime in part that happened to a friend of mine and myself. We were riding our bicycles in our neighborhood and we were jumped by a gang of kids from elsewhere. We were literally two little girls riding our bikes. And because we didn’t have anything worth taking, including our bicycles, they instead smashed the glasses of my friend into her face.

As a grew up I watched Philadelphia have fits and starts of a renaissance. During the Bill Green years (94th mayor), the Ed Rendell years (96th mayor), and with the Michael Nutter years (98th) you often felt better about the City of Philadelphia. A fun, unrelated fact is one Philadelphia mayor, J. Hampton Moore, who was the 83rd and 86th mayor and a member of Congress lived at one time in the house we called home in Society Hill when I was little. The current lame duck mayor is Jim Kenney. He is the 99th mayor of the City of Philadelphia.

To me, Jim Kenney is like the Dr. Oz of Philadelphia mayors of recent history. Started out talking a big game, but there’s nothing to back it up. And now he’s just a lame duck who limps along. And then if you look at what else is happening today, it’s like every day you wonder if someone else resigned from Philadelphia City Council to run for mayor?

Philadelphia is a major city in shambles. Crime literally runs the city, and the city is also literally filthy. There is trash everywhere and then if you look at the streets within the city of Philadelphia, and the sidewalks, they are like a giant hazard every day. From potholes to broken sidewalks, random holes in sidewalks to where grates are missing and someone could actually fall in some kind of a hole and really hurt themselves, Philadelphia is disgusting. And this is so horrible because Philadelphia is the birthplace of America!

So today when I saw a post on Facebook from a friend of mine it was like I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer. This friend of mine is an artist, he is one of the premier portraitists in the United States today, and probably extending as far as different parts of the world like Europe.

His name is Garth Herrick. He is not some kind of flashy, showboating artist, he’s a working artist. He is a gentle soul and a kind person and humble. He’s the kind of person that would stop to help you if you were in distress and he would do it even if he didn’t know you. He’s just a good person. Because he lives in the city he often rides his bike because look at Philadelphia? Do you ever try to park on the street Philadelphia? Or what happens if you give up a space? Also, he is an avid cyclist in general and he cycles everywhere.

He was going down the street in the right direction, sounds like a smaller street or something like that, and he encountered a cab coming the wrong way. What ensued is absolutely nuts, and essentially the cab driver beat the crap out of him.

After ramming Garth on his bike with his cab, it was recounted that then the cab driver got out of his car and went after Garth and his bike. Garth had nowhere to go and had warned the cab driver he was going the wrong way on a narrow one-way street. I think the cab driver sounded like he was screaming at my friend to get out of his way. The only problem with that is there were actually cars behind my friend as well proceeding in the proper direction. I don’t think he had much of anywhere to go?

According to what he said, and a statement that he and apparently another witness gave to the police it was a cab driver from Germantown Cab Company. The witness actually got the license plate according to what Garth posted.

Now let’s get to the rest of this. Germantown Cab Company has been in the news before. Not positive.

Philadelphia Magazine: Germantown Cab Company Shut Down by PPA
150 cars taken out of service.
by JOEL MATHIS· 3/10/2014, 1:46 p.m.

Philadelphia Business Journal and NBC 10report that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has shut down Germantown Cab Company, taking 150 taxis off the streets for allegedly failing to turn over proper documentation and background checks on the company’s drivers.

But that’s not the only thing. Apparently the Philadelphia Police Department didn’t show up for an hour and a half to the scene and how is that even possible????? My friend turned down their offer of medical assistance and friends took him to a local hospital to be treated that he was comfortable with. (Because that’s the thing in addition that makes this hard, when they send an ambulance or whatever to take you to a hospital it’s not necessarily where you want to go.)

My elderly mother has been accosted more than twice in front of her building in what is considered a good neighborhood by mentally ill homeless vagrants. The last time it happened it was so bad that someone kindly jumped out of a car on the street and pulled the homeless man off of my mother who was sitting on a bench next to the front door of her apartment building. When I asked my mother why she didn’t call the police she told me because when you call the police in Philadelphia a lot of the time they don’t show up or they show up hours later.

You hear horror stories about crime everywhere. But in Philadelphia it’s extra special. They have a police officer shortage to begin with, and a lot of controversy over what they call “extended tours“ for officers.

And I think a lot of this as far as the total deterioration of Philadelphia can be laid directly at the feet of lame duck Mayor Jim Kenney. He is what my great aunt from South Philadelphia would have referred to as a “bum.”

So Kenney, what are you going to do here, yo.? Why am I writing about this? Because this isn’t the end of the story. And I think this also needs airing.

When my friend was waiting for police to arrive, he posted about what happened including a photo of his battered face in his local Facebook group in Germantown. Some people were sympathetic, but others were downright terrible. He was accused of being like the living embodiment of white privilege to being called a “Karen.”

I have screenshots of these comments, but I am choosing not to share them. I think they would only serve to inflame tensions in a very beleaguered section of Philadelphia which is just tired of crime.

But victim shaming/blaming is just something I find reprehensible.

I have to ask have we stooped so low as a society that we can’t exhibit any compassion or kindness? And again my friend is a salt of the earth kind of human being, he is just simply a really good guy. I also wonder if in this instance if he wasn’t a guy reporting a crime within his local Facebook group while waiting for the police if it would have made a difference?

So that is it for this sad story of crime and victim shaming straight from the streets of Philadelphia.

I think we all need to do better and try harder no matter where we live. And here’s hoping that the City of Philadelphia does something about this. Enough law and disorder.

sadly back to radnor: willows in radnor vandalized and burglarized

Willows circa 2010, my photo.

After writing about Radnor earlier this week with regard to Ardrossan area and Radnor farmer, I didn’t expect to write another post so soon. I am in the extended area at this point, so except for a couple of things here and there, it’s not my jam. Before I get into the meat of the post, vis-à-vis the post I wrote the other day about the Radnor farmer and the chemicals he uses on the fields, you have to think about the wildlife at the Willows. Here are photos I have taken over the years of some of the wildlife, and the sign about doing things in an environmentally friendly way that used to be posted at the Willows but I don’t know if it still is.

I have always loved the Willows, the architect Charles Barton Keen was a very dear friend’s grandfather and I have run across the occasional Zantzinger family member as an adult. They are one of the families which called the Willows home. Originally the house was called Rose Garland. Something that has always bothered me, is the house is referred to as a “mansion“ and it was never designed as a mansion. It was a moderately sized country house. Also Radnor Township likes to speak about how they “acquired“ the “mansion” in 1975. They neglect to tell everyone that they exercised eminent domain to “acquire“ the house.

Sometimes I wonder if the bad mojo that started at Radnor Township‘s ownership of the Willows has followed it into the present from the past. But I also think a lot of what has been wrong with the Willows is the fault of Radnor Township. It always used to be a venue for events and weddings. But in my humble opinion, the township kind of ran the Willows into the ground via benign neglect, and then eventually the Willows closed. Then there were all the years of who’s going to take over the Willows, who’s going to submit an RFP to run the Willows, what are they going to do with the Willows?

And I think there was a lot of benign neglect until this new nonprofit came in and kind of turned it around. At different points there was stuff done to the property that was wonderful. Like when there was the group the Friends of the Willows Cottage who did an amazing restoration on the cottage that now sits empty and rotting again. The fabulous era of the Willows Cottage was circa 2010. During that year I actually went to a few different parties there including an amazing summer solstice party which are the next photos I am sharing. I took and own the photos.

So when the Willows started being restored again this time around, I was so hopeful. I didn’t think it could be done honestly. The expense is enormous. But people love the house. And what has been happening so far is amazing. But I have to ask if Radnor Township and/or the Willows Park Preserve non-profit need to update or add a security system? Why am I asking ? See next screenshot.

This is rather sad as well as disturbing. After reading the article in Patch about this, a couple of things about the Willows occurred to me. I seem to remember the back in the day as in years and years ago they had a locked room in the basement for liquor and that’s where stuff would get locked away after parties or before parties, so why wasn’t liquor locked up in a municipal owned historic building?

The other thing is obviously they must not have a security system or security cameras because if they had either would they have discovered all of this on a Monday morning at 10 AM when they opened up for the week? And if there was security perhaps the vandalism would not have occurred let alone the theft. This is undoubtedly kids I think – of course it remains to be seen if they are high school kids or college kids, but this definitely smacks of kids by the very nature of it. I hope too much money wasn’t lost.

Sorry not sorry, it sounds like pennywise and pound foolish Radnor. I hope if Radnor can’t get their act together and install proper security on this site that one of the many well healed in Radnor Township who love the “mansion” as they call it, pony up to repair what needs to be repaired due to vandalism and for a proper security system that includes cameras. They could even get a wireless system like so many people are using today couldn’t they?

And I also just don’t understand what motivates anyone to break into a historic house and vandalize it. Is this the kind of world we are living in now? Do other historic houses in the area have to worry? Should this be a wake up call to other historic houses?

It’s a sad state of affairs that anyone did this to such a lovely place. And I hope if anyone knows anything, that they do the right thing and contact Radnor police.

The Willows at twilight circa 2010.

merry christmas anna maciejewska

Photo of Anna and her mother at Christmas, 2016.

Dear Anna,

Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Anna Maciejewska. Merry Christmas wherever you are. Maybe I will just talk to you directly today?

The photo I posted was lent to me by the people at Finding Anna Maciejewska on Facebook.

We never met, but I still think of you often. The mainstream media seems to have forgotten you, but me, your friendly neighborhood blogger and many others have not. So I thought I would write you a letter.

I have three women as friends who were Polish by birth like you. Two I worked with once upon a time, and one is a very dear friend and married to one of my oldest friends in the world. Like you they emigrated here and became citizens to live their American dreams. They are among the most genuine and lovely people I know.

They all love Christmas. I am guessing you did too. One of these friends of mine for years has been sharing the beloved Polish Christmas tradition of the Oplatek, or the Christmas wafer. I don’t have to tell you about what the wafer is, as you know. But for everyone else reading this, please enjoy what the Polish Women’s Alliance of America has to say:

Christmas Wafer – Oplatek

Sharing of the oplatek (pronounced opwatek) is the most ancient and beloved of all Polish Christmas traditions. Oplatek is a thin wafer made of flour and water, similar in taste to the hosts that are used for communion during Mass. The Christmas wafer is shared before Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper. The head of the household usually starts by breaking the wafer with his wife and then continues to share it with everyone at the Wigilia table. Wishes for peace and prosperity are exchanged and even the pets and farm animals are given a piece of oplatek on Christmas Eve. Legend has it that if animals eat oplatek on Christmas Eve, they will be able to speak in human voices at midnight, but only those who are pure of spirit will be able to hear them.

This tradition dates back many centuries when a thin, flat bread called podplomyk was baked over an open flame and then shared with the family gathered around the fire on Christmas Eve. Patterns would be cut onto the bread to make breaking easier. This is why oplatki today still have patterns on them, usually of Nativity scenes. You can order Oplatki from PWA. Learn how here.

Everyone who knows me Anna, knows how much I love Christmas. Some of my favorite mercury glass ornaments are Polish made. The ornaments made in Poland and Germany and once upon a time in the Ukraine are just truly magical.

This morning I stumbled across two things. One was a post written by a man who took part in searches for you in 2018. I never knew it existed. Here, let me share a little bit:

April 30, 2018 Finding Anna (and Ourselves) :The Frustrating Search for a Missing Mother, Wife, Daughter and Friend By Larry Goanos

I spent part of my wife’s birthday recently looking for a dead body in the woods of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Yes, really.

I joined a group of about 20 people who had gathered in Malvern, Pa. to search for the missing-and-presumed dead body of Anna Maciejewska, a wife and mother who went missing in April 2017…Anna’s elderly parents in Poland, both cancer survivors, are grief stricken, frustrated and angry. And to make things worse, Anna’s husband has reportedly prohibited them from seeing their now four-year-old grandson.

Anna was not a young, attractive model or a wealthy socialite, and she didn’t fit into most of the other categories of missing persons anointed by the media as being worthy of intense and prolonged coverage. She was just an average American, like you and me, and she has vanished from the face of the Earth, leaving her family and friends distraught and seeking answers.

Most likely, you’ve seen clips on the news of packs of volunteers searching fields, woods and riverbanks for the remains of crime victims. It’s a horrid task and, in a way, nobody wants to find the object of the search – a body – as they cling to a sliver of hope that the person is somehow alive. That is, unfortunately, almost never the case.

But I can tell you that the search for a missing person is also a heartwarming act; it’s people banding together to help one another in a time of unimaginable stress and grief, especially for the victim’s family. An act of despicable inhumanity, the killing of an innocent person, paradoxically gives birth to an outpouring of love and unity among many, including people who did not know the victim….As one of mankind’s greatest minds, Albert Einstein, said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

Anyone with information about Anna’s disappearance is asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police at (610) 486-6280. 

And also this literally happened recently – a podcast I find intriguing The Ever Evolving Truth has picked up the mantle of talking about this. There is also a page on Facebook called Fresh Eyes on Anna Maciejewska. It gives me hope, even if I don’t agree with some of their take on your disappearance so far. BUT they are paying attention to what happened to you, and I pray their interest sparks other renewed interest from media, law enforcement, etc.  I also agree that even if you don’t agree with something, maybe see it through so every angle is covered, right? As an actuary you would look to all of the details to make sure you were correct, right?

Maybe the miracle of Christmas will help find you and bring you home? We all pray for that, Anna.

A Christmas wish and a wish for the New Year is for you to be found, Anna. You deserve to rest, your little boy deserves to know where his mama is, and your beloved parents deserve closure and answers along with your friends.

2 1/2 years missing is too long.

Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Anna Maciejewska.

Very Truly Yours,

Me

dumbest credit card thief…ever

The above arrived today via UPS. My husband had to bring it in because I can’t lift anything heavy right now.  It was from Mieli.

We opened the packing box. It came shipped to me in my married name, and billed to me in my married name. A very expensive vacuum cleaner.

Only I did not order one.

I thought it was a present from one of my family members for some reason so I called Mieli to find out who it was from.

The customer service lady sounded confused. Told me that I ordered it. And I said “How would I have ordered it?”

“With a credit card.”

Ding ding ding. All of the alarm bells go off in my head. I said to the woman can you please tell me the credit card number. She gives me my Visa number.

I don’t use it very often. And the only time I had used it recently was for a meal (not grocery but take-out) delivery service and I had ordered fruit from a grower in Florida.

Oh and did I mention I’ve had this Visa card so long it was in my maiden name? Yet this vacuum cleaner came addressed to me in my married name. I do not know honestly how this ended up on my doorstep because I am not a customer of Mieli.

So I initiated a fraud investigation and claim with my credit card company. They suggested I call Mieli back and initiate a return of this gold plated vacuum cleaner. So I did that. And the customer service lady said she would email me some number and I got off the phone.

Then lightbulb went off. How could she email me? I’ve never purchased anything from this company nor received anything from this company as a gift or even seen a catalog from this company.

So I called Mieli back again. I told them I wanted a copy of the original receipt but I also wanted to know right now what was the email address used to fraudulently purchase this item? They gave me the email address.

If your email address is thunt031@comcast.net you had better run. A fraud department is hot on your trail. And quite possibly the police as that is my next call.

My bank theorizes that somebody was supposed to call the Mieli back and change the delivery address or call UPS to change the delivery address and screwed up and didn’t. Or maybe they were just going to show up and steal it from my porch.

I also went through all of my transactions on this card which aren’t very many because I don’t use it very often.

I am quite sure my Nancy Drew activities have exhausted my poor credit card bank. But I was also able to give them the little detail that the phone number used was close to but not my home phone number.

Oh and did I mention that I think this was purchased on Black Friday? I didn’t do any physical or virtual shopping on Black Friday. And a $500 vacuum cleaner is not something I’m going to buy. 

So chalk this up to a learning curve and it could’ve been worse. I am very grateful that my bank is so on the ball. But Fa La La it’s the holidays so be careful where you use your card.

perversion

From Radnor Democrats Public Facebook Page. It had as a caption “Radnor Democrats
June 11, 2016 at 4:41pm · We always say that the Radnor Democrats have a big, diverse tent and to “join the Party.” Well, today, at the Wayne Music Festival, the Radnor Democrats LITERALLY have a big tent!”

Where to begin? Let’s start at the bitter end of September when news broke that there had been a not-local (as in NOT Radnor PD) law enforcement raid had occurred in Radnor Township.  The target? Phil Ahr, newly minted as of this summer President of the Radnor Board of Commissioners. 

News has swirled when he missed the regular meeting shortly after the raid and  then and this past Monday, some commissioners had wanted Ahr to resign. But the Democrat commissioners (Nagle, Higgins, Schaeffer) blocked the efforts.  I will admit that while they were speaking the truth about guilty until proven innocent, BUT this is the second scandal to rock Radnor Democrats with a Board of Commissioners president given the fact that in June former Commissioner and Board of Commissioners President Bill Spingler was found guilty by a Delaware County jury  of “indecent assault on a person with a mental disability.” (His 100+ year old former mother-in-law.) Ironically, Mr. Spingler is to be sentenced or something tomorrow a lot of newscasters in Philadelphia were stating today after Phil Ahr turned himself in to police.

See NBC10 Philadelphia’s reporter Deanna Durante’s 6PM report on Mr. Ahr goes to court. Also see a pretty comprehensive article by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Main Line Media News.

It’s child porn and lots of it.  It’s horrible. Truly horrible. Almost inconceivable.

Earlier this evening, Radnor Township itself held a press conference.  I contacted the township and they provided me with what they had handed out except for the PDF of the court docket – I found that myself. Today was the preliminary arraignment. 

Anyway, here it is and I will warn you it is truly disturbing:

 

 

So back to the three commissioners in Radnor who blocked a motion to have Ahr resign. Earlier this evening, they fell back behind the cloak of the Home Rule Charter of Radnor Township.  So while they perhaps could not have made Ahr resign as of Monday, given the scandal their township and political party has endured in recent months, shouldn’t they have convinced him to resign?  Or how about perhaps they should have NOT played politics at all and lived up to their oaths of office and convinced him to resign because they are supposed to look out for the best interests of the residents?

Once again, deeply troubling times for a township where I have many close friends….including those with children.

I am going to say, however, that no matter what your opinion is here, please allow law enforcement and those in the legal system do their jobs here.  Please respect the terribly difficult jobs they have, especially with this case.  Also respect the residents of Radnor Township who have to deal with this, especially the residents of Ward 7, Garrett Hill. Garrett Hill is a tight knit community that is suffering greatly.  And pray for Phil Ahr’s family.  He has now given them a terrible burden they will carry always.

Here’s a question for all of you: should local elected officials have to submit to comprehensive background checks including criminal in order to hold elected office?

Thanks for stopping by.

scrooged in wayne

This location is Runnymede at South Wayne Avenue in Wayne PA (Radnor Twp)- friend courtesy photo

So last night a friend messages me:

Hey Happy holidays! I’m asking you this because you might know – the small white vans being used during Christmas for deliveries, do you know if they are usps or a FedEx or ups or Amazon delivery person? I ask because today I saw a delivery person driving one of these actually put an Amazon package in the storm SEWER. So I am trying to figure out what agency to contact this to report it. SMH.

So I messaged her back how crazy that was and that Amazon is introducing dedicated drivers in small white vans in the area. How crazy must it have been to see a delivery person chuck a package like that?

I suggested she go to the police and contact Amazon.com.  She showed me a picture of the package in the storm sewer which I am about to post:

She couldn’t figure out where the package was going because it was face down. Her  local police department went out to the location this morning and the package was gone. It’s pretty deep to fish out from this storm sewer, so we’re at a loss as to how the package moved – either someone came along with something to fish it out or there was inexplicable water that washed it out of view.

But somebody somewhere is missing a package a few days before Christmas. I hope it was not a present for a child.

I am a big Amazon fan but I will admit I have had problems with some of their delivery people since they started adding dedicated delivery. I have had things just not get delivered or delivered late. It’s a relatively new service in this area with dedicated drivers, so obviously they have some kinks to work out.

Here is hoping Amazon can figure this out.

murder comes to malvern borough

minerWe all learned yesterday that even in  small towns we  as a society are not immune to crime.  Yesterday we were told that on Monday night a young man of 21 was shot inside his grandparents home in the Borough of Malvern.

Yes, sleepy Malvern which doesn’t see much violent crime like this EVER, was all over the news.  As a matter of fact when the news interviewed a neighbor named Ben Boomer, he thought the last time Malvern had a murder was over 20 years ago. (I have no idea.)

The  media referred to this as a “Main Line Murder”, which in my humble opinion it is not.  Malvern Borough is in Chester County and cornfields and farms are close by.  The Main Line doesn’t have much in the way of farming they grow McMansions. (Sorry but it is true – just look at the future of Ardrossan.)

drew2The victim, a 2011 graduate of Great Valley High School was only 21 years old.  His name was Drew Ferguson.  He lived with his grandparents on a cute little street in Malvern Borough off (I believe) Old Lincoln Highway on Miner Street.  Someone told me the nickname for over there is “Miner Hill”.

Drew, we learned last evening on the news, was as per Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, murdered by a friend from high school, 24 year old Merritt Dudas.

Ok wow.  I don’t know any of the people involved or families involved, but so tragic as  all concerned are/were so young with their entire lives ahead of them.

These were someone’s children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors.

So senseless. So sad.

On a Malvern-centric Facebook page we heard one mom tell of teachers and former students at Great Valley High School meeting over at the school to grieve together and remember.

The media reports showed Drew’s Facebook page and yes, I went and looked.  I wanted to see what kind of kid this was.  I saw lots of photos of cars he was working on, the photo of him and what I guess was his dog, and then there was the photo that brought me, a stranger,  to tears:

drew f

His dad.

Ok my father died eight years ago last week and I so get the whole missing your father of it all. This Drew wrote this in January :

R.I.P dad 11/23/65 1/24/12 I will always love u no madder what and it still really hard to live my life with u gone but ur all ways in my heart love u dad see u when it’s my time

He was just a boy. And his “time” should have been decades down the road.

No matter what else, this Drew Ferguson was just a boy who obviously missed his dad and liked cars (and maybe drove too fast judging from photos of a wrecked red Honda?).  I am getting a lump in my throat thinking about it. And right there leaving a comment in sympathy in January is the young man accused of his murder. This is truly a senseless tragedy of Shakespearian proportions.

There are no words.  I totally feel for both families. This tragedy has and will continue to tear up a lot of people. This shouldn’t have happened and it happened in a town where things like this don’t happen.  And I am at an age where this kid Drew is the same age as some of my friends’ children.

Unimaginable.

The police and District Attorney’s office did an amazing job getting this all squared away so quickly.

Here is the coverage on this:

Daily Local: Acquaintance charged in fatal Malvern shooting

By   Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News

Posted:  11/20/13, 11:45 AM EST

MALVERN – The Chester County District Attorney’s office Tuesday charged an acquaintance in the death of a 21-year-old man who was found shot to death near his home in the borough Monday evening.

Authorities identified 24-year-old Merritt Dudas of Collegeville as the suspect who is charged with murder, robbery, theft and abuse of a corpse.

Drew Ferguson, a 2011 graduate of Great Valley High School living in the 200 block of Miner Street, was the victim, police said.

According to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, the investigation found the attack was not random and the two men had known each other for years.

Hogan said for a period of time Dudas lived in the home next to Ferguson and then with Ferguson at the residence on Miner Street when Dudas was without a place to live.

According to the criminal complaint, Dudas was arrested by police on Tuesday and confessed to the killing….“A tragic and senseless murder, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that in a very short period of time this was extraordinary police work,” Hogan said, indicating police did in 24 hours what should have taken about two weeks.

 

Philadelphia Inquirer: Cops: Friend shoots friend dead in normally quiet Malvern

Alex Wigglesworth, For Philly.com

Last updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 7:00 PM

NBC10 Philadelphia: Man Kills Childhood Friend, Stuffs His Body in Sleeping Bag: Police

6ABC  Arrest made in Malvern, Pa. homicide Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Malvern Patch:  Malvern Murder Not Random Killing, says Chesco DA/Police discovered the body of Drew Ferguson, who was found shot in his home.

it’s not easy being green….

green

It’s not easy being green…poor, poor West Vincent Township.  So much darn odd stuff happens within the township boundaries, you just can’t make it up.

The latest is a gargantuan pot bust.  Yes marijuana is apparently the new crop in that part of Chester County.  I can’t see it from my window and that is good.

Before I post the article I would mention that West Vincent residents have an AWESOME and not connected to the current regime candidate for supervisor – John Jacobs.  Given the odd things that happen to West Vincent residents  have an interest in cleaning up local government, can it be said this man puts himself at great risk to run?  Well of he can do that, you all should be able to vote for him.  West Vincent residents all say they want change, well the only way to get that is to break the death grip the current network has with a new supervisor.

You want change, people?  Vote the old out and vote in the new.  John Jacobs has a website.   Here is a link to other endorsed candidates if you are interested. Yes it is GOP and I would put up the Democratic info if I could find it. But the truth is who is representative of them in West Vincent? Clare Quinn?  Lordy that isn’t something to brag about and are you all still paying her benefits? Also worth noting? Another fabulous upstanding and honest person that I think would be marvy is running for West Vincent Township Auditor – Maria Holderness. Seriously people, it is time for change in your neck of the woods. After all what does it hurt to consider people whose hands AREN’T in some cookie jar somewhere?

Here is the article and yes, it’s not easy being green:

DA: major West Vincent pot grow operation busted

Posted: Thursday, 05/09/13 01:24 pm Updated: Thursday, 05/09/13 07:14 pm

WEST VINCENT — Over 180 marijuana plants were seized and one man was arrested Tuesday after police discovered a “sophisticated” grow operation at a home in the 1200 block of Jaine Lane in Spring City.

“Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of Christian Titone of Spring City Thursday for allegedly running what police said was a sophisticated hydroponic grow operation and that housed over 180 live marijuana plants .”;
According to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, 53-year-old Christian Titone was arrested after police executed a search warrant at his home. Officials said the home was located in a secluded area of the township.

“Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of Christian Titone of Spring City Thursday for allegedly running what police said was a sophisticated hydroponic grow operation and that housed over 180 live marijuana plants .”;
“The defendant thought he could outsmart the police trying to grow marijuana in a secluded section of Chester County. He was wrong,” said District Attorney Tom Hogan. “We have confiscated his drugs arrested him, and now will move to forfeit everything associated with his drug dealing.”

photo courtesy of The Daily Local News via Chester County DAs Office

photo courtesy of The Daily Local News via Chester County DAs Office

“A large number of grow lights removed from the West Vincent home of Christian Titone, who is charged with a large-scale marijuana growing operation.

Police said investigators executed a search warrant at Titone’s home during Tuesday’s early morning hours. Inside, they found a sophisticated hydroponic grow operation…also found processed marijuana ready for sale…Titone’s home also had a “state of the art” surveillance system…After the search, executed by the Chester County Detectives and the county’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Strike Force, members of the state police’s Clandestine Laboratory Team removed the marijuana and all of the growing equipment, officials said.

I notice the Daily Local lists a rather long list of law enforcement involved.  Basically everyone except West Vincent’s own police department and why?  Was West Vincent’s Chief out collecting Gabe Pilotti’s gun or something?  Pilotti is the one who shot the dogs in cold blood, remember?   One would have thought that the West Vincent police would have confiscated the weapon pending the outcome of the court case, right?  But we’re not here to discuss dog killers today.

Anyway just chalk it up to more unpleasant spotlights shining down on West Vincent.

Also found coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 4:07  PM

Aubrey Whelan Philadelphia Inquirer

Chester County detectives have arrested a West Vincent man who, they say, was  running “a major marijuana grow operation” in his house.

On Tuesday evening, detectives entered the home of Christian Titone, 54, on a  search warrant. Inside, they found 188 marijuana plants — part of what Chester  County prosecutors called a “sophisticated hydroponic grow operation” that  included lights, ventilation and an irrigation system, according to court  documents.

Titone had also set up a high-tech surveillance system that allowed him to  monitor everything inside and outside the house from HD monitors, detectives  said. The detectives also found processed, ready-to-sell marijuana in 12  different strains — with names like “Afrodite Mother” and “Ace of Spades,” they  said

Kudos to the Kennett Times for a catchy article title that cracked me up.

The Kennett Times: Plethora of pot plants lead to drug bust

W. Vincent resident accused of  marijuana-growing operation

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

Authorities said an alleged marijuana grower thought his remote location and sophisticated surveillance system would protect him from police….“A high-tech, high-end drug operation like this would be providing drugs to suppliers from Phoenixville to Kennett Square and points beyond,” said Hogan….Titone has been charged with several drug-dealing offenses, including possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia, the criminal complaint said.  Hogan said Titone was released after “promptly” paying $100,000 cash bail. He said a preliminary hearing would be scheduled in the near future.

hit and run coward sends 5 year old to hospital: have you seen the truck responsible?

WPVIYesterday on the news I heard about a hit and run in Bryn Mawr, in Lower Merion Township where I used to live.  At an intersection where I almost got hit several times over the years.  The intersection is the big one at Lancaster Avenue and Bryn Mawr Avenue right where Bryn Mawr Trust Company is and across from Ludington Library. I held my breath every time I crossed, and played chicken with cars ignoring the stopped traffic and pedestrian crossing signal more than once.  I hate that intersection for pedestrians.

This is a busy pedestrian intersection and on weekends there are things like the Bryn Mawr Farmers Market in the big municipal parking lot. Lots of the vendors who serve that Farmers Market hail from Chester County, incidentally.

This light has signals which are supposed to stop traffic in ALL directions for pedestrians.  Only I have discovered that many impatient Main Line and other drivers often disregard this.

So why am I writing about this in Chester County?  Because the truck that mowed down a mom and her twin children headed WEST on Route 30/ Lancaster Avenue, so who knows who may have seen the truck.

And this mom is part of a group I belong to called Philadelphia Social Media Moms.  They sent out an e-blast a while ago asking people to tweet out the following:

Here is a tweet you can copy and paste. We are trying to raise awareness so the perpetrator will be caught:
6yr old in hospital, Black Ford F150 still at
large. See something? Call police. #PSMM4Janeane http://ow.ly/ks5hi

 

By my calculations, 24 hours have passed since this incident. This mom has one child at home and one at DuPont in Wilmington.

This is not ol, and what this mom wrote to those of us who are part of this group chilled me to the bone.  I will share an excerpt only:

It is a terrible thing to see your child hit so hard [they are ] knocked out of [their] shoes. Please know we appreciate all your kindness and help

This is one of the things I disliked most about living on the Main Line, and in particular, Lower Merion.  They always talk a good game about pedestrian friendly communities and business districts, but the reality is often quite different. Like now.

This intersection is no stranger to horrific accidents, either.  Here is a photo from July 2007.  A woman named Maryjo Delvescovo, 43 died from her injuries in this accident.  I remember at the time the media saying she left behind a child. This photo taken by a friend of mine is pretty raw:

2007 accident

Accident at same intersection in 2007

If you know anything about this accident, please call police ASAP! Police are asking for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them at (610) 649-1000 or (610) 645-6260.

It would be nice if the driver of this black pick up truck were to come forward on their own of course.

This is why I wish more municipalities around here enforced pedestrian cross-walks more like they do in other places including New York State and Washington, D.C.

I am just sitting here shaking my head as I type.  I remember having conversations with one local politician in particular about this very intersection in the past.  I said at the time I was afraid a pedestrian would get hit.  Mind you, I completely expect this politician to have a large case of political Alzheimer’s when it comes to this.

Please…if you know anything come forward.  Everyone else, please say a prayer for this family whose children and mom were hit.

Update: Police looking for driver of Bryn Mawr hit-and-run that left a 5-year-old in hospital

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013

By Richard Ilgenfritz rilgenfritz@mainlinemedianews.com
LMTLower Merion police are asking for the public’s help with information on the truck or the driver who stuck a woman and her two children crossing Lancaster and Bryn Mawr avenues Thursday afternoon. One of those children remains hospitalized in Delaware with head injuries.

According to police, the woman and her five-year-old twins were crossing Lancaster when the driver of a black pickup truck going north from Bryn Mawr onto west on Lancaster Avenue stuck them.

….One of the children was taken to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., overnight Thursday for a head injury….The driver failed to stop and continued going west on Lancaster Avenue toward Villanova. The vehicle was described as a full-sized black pickup truck similar to a Ford F-150.

Police & Fire

Hit-and-Run Injures Bryn Mawr Mother and Children; Police Seek Black Truck

The accident happened at Lancaster and Bryn Mawr avenues in Bryn Mawr.

ByBryn Mawr-Gladwyne Patch Staff and Sam Strike  April 25, 2013

 

 

justice for argus & fiona: gabe pilotti goes to court

IMG_7297

Outside District Court in Pottstown 3.27.13. Photo credit AFD

All the confusion over whether or not Gabe Pilotti would go to court in Pottstown and when is over.  He did.  And NBC10 Philadelphia, The Daily Local, The Pottstown Mercury, and others were there. Many thanks to all of them for caring enough to cover. (Links to media coverage will be posted when available).  Thanks to Tom Hickey from Dog PAC for being there too.

NBC10 Philadelphia: Owner of Murdered Dogs Still Waiting for Apology From Alleged Killer

There were also lots and lots of police. Apparently they were there due to death threats received by Pilotti. As an aside,  no matter what he has done, that kind of eye for an eye vigilante justice has no place in civilized society.  That behavior is not condoned, and the Bocks are quite clear in their desire for the courts to be able to do their job and for laws being able to be created and changed to protect PA dogs. Vigilantism like that makes him the victim, when he is the one who shot defenseless puppies so why do that stuff?

Daily Local: Hearing waived in West Vincent dog killings

SOUTH COVENTRY — A 72-year-old man who shot and killed a neighbor’s two family dogs in February appeared in district court Wednesday as about 15 police officers stood guard outside.

Gabriel Pilotti, of the Chester Springs section of West Vincent Township, waived a preliminary hearing on charges of animal cruelty and recklessly endangering another person…Pilotti, who appeared in court with his attorney Thomas H. Ramsay of West Chester, did not speak as Magisterial District Judge James V. DeAngelo quickly moved through the procedures of waiving the preliminary hearing….About 15 law enforcement officers from various county and state agencies stood guard in and outside…

What no one seems to know is if Gabe Pilotti’s guns were confiscated pending outcome of case? Shouldn’t they be? (owning guns is a responsibility and did he behave responsibly?)  Also interesting to note that no one from district attorney’s office was present.  Don’t misunderstand me, they don’t have to be present at this stage but given the public outcry over this it seems they might have made an appearance.

So we all are on the same page, these are the charges at this point:

docket 1

Now this will head to county court at some point in West Chester. As per the docket (which is sort of updated) next up is a visit to Chester County Court in West Chester for a formal arraignment (if Pilotti and attorney don’t waive it ):

docket

Now I wonder if we can get the media to go to a hearing at Judge Cabry’s in Honeybrook next week on April 2nd for a little civil manner involving a horse rescue gal who isn’t always civil?  Will this hearing mean more problems for the owner of Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue?

And as a wee post script, Mary Bock had this to say with regard to the “apology” that Pilotti’s attorney referred to on NBC10:

….As soon as I got home I asked the DA’s office if such a letter came to them, they said they have seen no such letter.