A friend sent me this bit of snowy Daily Local/Chester County history. Nor’Easters of days gone by. This was from February, 1966.
And the paper was 7 cents.
A friend sent me this bit of snowy Daily Local/Chester County history. Nor’Easters of days gone by. This was from February, 1966.
And the paper was 7 cents.
Before I moved to Chester County, I was somewhat ambivalent about Sunoco and their pipelines. Among other things, I grew up with a father who was for years, in-house PR for a then major oil company. And part of that was during the Exxon Valdez era. But oil companies had deep pockets and what did I know? Nothing was near where we lived and those oil company deep pockets were always giving box loads of stuff to schools, bought full page ads in school newspapers for the kids of employees, etcetera.
When you first hear about problems with pipelines, pipeline construction, or even fracking, it is like this fuzzy thing out of focus ahead of you in the haze. It can’t possibly affect you. Until it does. And in my opinion, it is. I have friends who hail from Western Pennsylvania who literally have been warning people for years. And they are just nastily labeled “fracktivists”. Guess that is the new label for “concerned citizen”? Because I have got to tell you, the people I knew who once lived in Western PA are…wait for it…MOMS. You know how dangerous moms are, right?
Then it seems like in an instant but a couple miles in either direction from where you live as far as the crown flies in any direction, stuff starts to happen.
You feel like local municipal officials and politicians are just covering their ears saying “na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na” in order to NOT have to listen to residents. Respected environmental activists are labeled as being alarmists.
Then all of a sudden the PA DEP seems to wake up and temporarily halts work on Sunoco’s Mariner 2 Pipeline. Only as per residents in some affected Chester County neighborhoods and State Impact by NPR that might not quite be true as they report on January 9, 2018:
When Danielle Otten woke up Monday morning, she didn’t expect to see men working on the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction site that sits about 40 feet from her backyard, along Devon Drive in Uwchlan Township, Chester County.
For one thing, work in the area had stalled after drilling dried up and damaged nearby water wells this past summer. And just last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a court order halting construction along the 350-mile long pipeline after Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners continued to violate its permits, causing damage to private water wells, streams and wetlands…..When DEP issued a stop work order to Sunoco last week, it appeared that all work would halt aside from drilling and erosion controls that had to be continued in order to prevent additional environmental damage. But a spokesman for the DEP now tells StateImpact that when it comes to anything other than earth disturbance or water crossings, the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction.
In Chester County, as a resident, you can’t avoid the truth of the pipelines. And the risks and dangers. So many of us are on wells. And so many with wells are already having issues. And then there are those other pesky things…you know like sinkholes and so on?
The jarring visuals you see with your own eyes like the beautiful swaths of lands torn assunder are burned into your brain. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it and you wish you could.
Swing sets and play houses of small children sit in macabre juxtaposition to giant earth moving machines and huge pieces of pipe.
Giant walls, pipes, and earth moving machines also sit across the driveway from senior citizen apartment complexes and grocery stores.
Pipeline so close and on top of churches and schools in addition to residential neighborhoods and please, tell me, how is that safe?
Next to firehouses too? So basically, Sunoco puts those supposed to protect us at risk as well?
You have friends and former neighbors who have Sunoco gobbling up their land for the pipeline. You count your blessing like we did that we moved long ago from certain parts of Chester County because otherwise this view could be your very own backyard:
Only you can’t help but wonder if your slice of heaven will remain unmolested by pipelines? Like Medieval Feudal Lords, you are never quite sure what they will swoop in and take, are you?
You are, as residents of Chester County and elsewhere, supposed to bend over and accept these new vistas:
When you say “no I think this is bad” there are people who will jump all over you. “It’s perfectly safe. You don’t know what you are talking about.”
Perfectly safe? Is that why CBS This Morning ran and over FIVE minute segment on the national news this morning from coast to coast?
Sunoco is raping our land. They are depleting it, irrevocably changing it and in my opinion putting us all at risk. It is not OUR pipeline, it is THEIR pipeline being forced upon us all and we are not benefiting from it. This isn’t OUR infrastructure, it’s Sunoco’s infrastructure. What they take is being shipped OVERSEAS.
As another friend Ginny said to others:
Sunoco cannot replace the large, mature trees they are chopping down for this. Nor can they restore the fragile and important wetland there if they wreck it, just as they couldn’t restore the private wells that they wrecked in Marchwood this summer with this pipeline.
Living with hazardous liquefied natural gas lines is not a part of living in suburbia. In fact it is reckless to put these lines through densely populated areas, right alongside houses, schools, apartment buildings, shopping centers, seniors homes, etc.
When does it stop? When did Corporate America’s rights become more meaningful than ours in Chester and Delaware Counties and elsewhere in Pennsylvania? Why are we as residents being forced to live with something that destroys and takes and give nothing back in return? Why don’t residents matter? Why do we spend so much time feeling like our elected officials have forsaken us on this issue?
And why is it when you mention anything about not liking or distrusting pipelines some fool will always hop up and cry foul partisan politics? I mean do they really think we are such imbeciles that an issue which is non-partisan and affects EVERYONE is an example of partisan politics? Take off the dunce caps, because opposition to Mariner East is clearly bi-partisan.
Today in addition to the CBS News report, Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety is a nonpartisan, fact-based, grassroots coalition of locally-based safety groups, made up of concerned Pennsylvanians from across our Commonwealth issued a press release:
Well guess what? I believe these folks, and this pipeline and it’s march across Chester County and elsewhere terrifies me. These people protesting are our neighbors and friends. And there are quite the growing numbers of experts, environmentalists and others who believe these residents.
There is also a very important petition circling. It is directed at our rather elusive Governor Tom Wolf on Change.org asking him to protect our communities under the PA Health and Safety Statute.
Please sign and share this petition today.
Here are some articles:
Look at the end of the day, did we come to Chester County for this view below? I don’t think so. We need to protect what is ours. And what is ours, is not necessarily theirs.
I was visiting a friend in Chester County Hospital today and remarkably, you can smell the smoke from the fire inside the hospital. It’s crazy. It was like someone had a fire in their fireplace.
I have friends who live in that part of West Chester and they have smoke infiltration in their homes. I am only publishing a couple of photos, but there but for the grace of God go all of us.
Other friends of ours (as in a couple of different families) had family members evacuated from Barclay Friends last night. Their family members are safe and sound elsewhere.
Another friend who has been on the scene texted that the fire was not completely out.
Neighbors of Barclay Friends are among the scores of unsung heroes who helped residents to safety. Some media outlets are saying not all are accounted for? (See this report from ABC News ):
Authorities struggled on Friday to account for the whereabouts of all the residents of a Pennsylvania senior living community after a massive blaze tore through their complex during the middle of the night, injuring nearly 30 and leading to a chaotic evacuation.
West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley said Friday afternoon that a few of the more than 130 residents of the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community, located west of Philadelphia, were unaccounted for following the huge fire.
“We’re hoping for the best obviously here,” said Norley, who put the number taken to area hospitals at 29.
Officials said fewer than 20 remained hospitalized and all were in good condition.
County emergency officials said there was the possibility someone could have died in the fire, which erupted late Thursday night. But a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which was on the scene, told an afternoon news conference that no relatives had reported any family members missing.
Some patients are at Chester County Hospital. These people have lost everything. Especially photos and memories. It’s devastating.
Flames Rip Through Chester County Senior Living Community Displacing 150 Residents and Staff, Hospitalizing 27-The senior residents of the facility were evacuated into the bitter cold, and while more than 20 people transported to hospitals, officials did not elaborate on any injuries
By NBC10 Staff
The ATF was on scene this afternoon as well, so that should help people get answers, right?
It has been a very long day in the Borough of West Chester. On the eve of Thanksgiving I am grateful for all those neighbors, fire fighters, and EMTs and police who responded to this. I am told by friends that we can always drop off food or snacks to these volunteer fire companies. These men and women do this day in and day out.
Have a good night, all.
Someone asked me about half an hour ago which meeting in East Whiteland was featuring Bishop Tube this week. I said I thought only the Planning Commission and they asked me WHERE it was on East Whiteland’s Planning Commission agenda.
So I looked and lo and behold there is an AMENDED agenda…and Bishop Tube is postponed until the April 26th meeting.
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe it is just me, but could it be the shiny spotlight of public attention and outcry caused this?????? Or is it just a scheduling thing?
Recently we had Maya K. van Rossum opine in her professional capacity as the esteemed Delaware Riverkeeper. She has been a powerful and unexpected blessing to the concerned residents of General Warren Village. She showed up at East Whiteland Zoning a couple of weeks ago and then last week. (Other post found here “calling erin brocovitch”)
Over the weekend Maya contacted residents to encourage them to write Dinniman and Milne’s offices ASAP (see instructions here.)
So as residents are busy writing letters and calling the PA DEP and so on, East Whiteland Planning Commission pulls Bishop Tube from the agenda? (Bishop Tube was discussed at recent Supervisors’ meeting – CLICK HERE.)
We may never know but keep writing those letters and making those calls, right?
I have to be honest that while I have issues with the density of the development plan (even if it wasn’t being built on a toxic waste dump of a land parcel), where the issues never abate and concerns continue to grow is with the Pennsylvania DEP. They are the constant from day 1 with Bishop Tube, and I think they concern me most of all (they are being so Limerick here aren’t they?)
So that being said, residents need to keep on going to meetings and call the DEP (717) 783-2300 is the main number in Harrisburg. (484) 250-5900 is the number to the Southeast regional office in Norristown. And keep calling State Senator Dinniman’s and State Rep Duane Milne’s offices too.
Bishop Tube is a site that could be redeveloped, but in my personal opinion with much less density AND after MORE remediation than is currently being discussed because of those buried vats or whatever that the former employees talk about and who can argue with that???
I am guessing it is stay tuned on Bishop Tube, yes? But apparently Wednesday, residents get the evening off. For any questions of why they are no longer on agenda please call East Whiteland Township.
Final questions to leave everyone with: what does the EPA think of this site ? You would think they knew all about it, right? And what role or roles does politics play here and not merely local, but shall we say a larger scale?
Read this old Washington Post article about what TCE and other contaminants did to a town years ago:
Yesterday I went to say good-bye to my friend Al Terrell. This morning I am writing about saying good-bye to someone else I called friend. Tom Murray, Managing Editor/Lead Content Manager of The Daily Local, our Chester County daily newspaper.
Yes Tom, yes Sam, I know…I just buried the lede. But it is like I have to get my head all wrapped around this. And this one is tough.
It was not quite a year ago that I wrote my blog post about Tom Murray coming on as managing editor of The Daily Local .
We had a joke he and I from way back when he took over for Warren Patton at then Main Line Life (eventually Tom’s job grew and he helped create the whole thing known as Main Line Media News and bring multiple papers together.) When he had come on board to Main Line Life, I had as a local blogger and community activist with the then fledgling Save Ardmore Coalition (back in the days of eminent domain for private gain in Ardmore) sent him an email welcoming the “new sheriff in town.” He laughed and we became friends.
Just like that.
These photos I am sharing are my favorites that I took of him. September 2008 at the Harriton House Fair in Bryn Mawr. And one he sent me when I said I wanted to write about him assuming the editorial helm at The Daily Local. The other is a newspaper box from Saturday. And a photo shared by whom he first referred to as “his lady” when he first told me about her, Terry Hardin.
Tom gave a lot of us voices back in the day and today, and all my reader’s editorials were published under him. His “As I see it” columns for readers to have a voice.
But he also then became a friend.
I loved talking to Tom. He was a real daily newspaper guy. He was also a modern media guy and not afraid to try new things, new media platforms. He also was with Patch early on – when they were actually micro news sites and not just regurgitations and shameless re-publishers of the work of others that they are today.
When I was stiffed on fees for some freelance writing last year, he was someone whose wise counsel I sought. What he told me left me better prepared to take on writing assignments after that. And I loved the few choice words he had for the person who reneged on payment and said I was a lousy writer. “You know you can write, ” he told me “How many years did I edit what you wrote?”
I watched him support his late wife Diane through cancer and we all learned the hashtag #distrong . Like everyone else who knew him our hearts all broke a little when he lost Diane. And then when he met his Terry, we smiled and our hearts were happy. He and Terry were to be married.
I was at a dinner party Saturday night with my sweet man n Philadelphia when I checked my phone around 10:00 pm. At 9:47 pm my childhood friend Bob Robinson had messaged me to tell me he had heard from Tom’s son Ian that he had suffered a fatal heart attack around 7 pm. Bob and I shared Tom as a friend.
Behind me I heard the chatter of a happy dinner party as I stared at my phone re-reading Bob’s message. A surreal moment. There I am having a conversation with myself in my head “No, no, no. This can’t be true, it must be a mistake” and around me the cheerful banter of friends.
Because of Tom I got to know so many great people who I am lucky to call friends today. One of them, Cheryl Allison (who was a reporter at Main Line Media News for years) said to me
“I’ve never known anyone who was more passionate about the process of gathering and reporting the news. What many may not have known, but what I had the opportunity to witness, was how Tom delighted in finding, encouraging and mentoring talented young journalists starting their careers.”
Another friend, Caroline Mangan O’Halloran, who wrote for him when he was with Main Line Life and Main Line Media News and now pens the fabulous Savvy said to me
“I am terribly saddened by his loss. Tom was my boss at Main Line Life after Warren Patton. Tom and I bantered about (and disagreed) over many things, but he always played fair and shot straight. He respected everyone and was a kind and generous man. An old-fashioned newsman, he was a a truth teller. I too plan to pay him tribute in SAVVY.”
Truer words were never spoken. He encouraged the inner writer in both professional writers and citizen journalists. (And yes, perfectionists of the craft of writing I have done these two quotes like this on purpose. They are beautiful and I want them to stand out.)
I started blogging before it was quite fashionable, and when I started it was often perceived as a bit scandalous and definitely controversial. He was an early champion, yet would call me out if he felt I could do better.
As I had mentioned earlier, during his many year tenure at Main Line Life/Main Line Media News I wrote a lot of reader’s editorials. I wasn’t the only one – Tom was a big believer in the vox populi or the voice of the people. Tom is one the many traditional journalists I know that has helped me become a better writer. More importantly, this guy does good newspaper. He did the First Amendment and “sunshine” right.
And so I am writing about Tom for my blog. As I write I remember a really great guy and friend. And a man who was a true newspaperman, a dying breed indeed. True newspapermen are to journalism as cowboys were to founding the west. Mavericks, yet good and true. And so darn American if you want to distill it down.
I thought of Tom Saturday morning when we went over to the D.K. Diner in West Chester for a bite to eat in the afternoon. The first thing that greeted us before we went inside was a Daily News newspaper box. Way back when in the days of Main Line Life I would always tell him if a box emptied out fast. He liked to know which issues were selling big time.
Life is fleeting.
RIP Tom Murray. So many of us will miss you. I had no idea when we spoke last week it would be for the last time. The future of true journalism just dimmed a little.
If my sweet man hadn’t stopped that winter’s day so I could take photos, I wouldn’t have found my USCT soldier Joshua.
I wrote about this for three years straight here until things started to click. I am grateful for the help of so many, especially Al Terrell and those amazing Willistown Troop 78 scouts.
We went from a crazy overgrown site that no one loved to today at Ebenezer in Frazer!
Look at this and be happy – this is what it means to be an American. This is what it means to honor your history and the dead. This is what it means to honor some of our older veterans – as in from the Civil War.
A shout out to today’s guest star volunteers: WCU Student Veterans Group, WCU Men’s Rugby Club, and two WCU Fraternities, Sigma Epsilon (I don’t know if this should be Sigma Phi Epsilon?) and FIJI. About 50 students total. Kelby Hershey is apparently the super hero at WCU who brought these folks together today for us—and a new grave was discovered!
Enjoy the photos!
I am closing with a quote that is a favorite of my friend Sara:
”Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Walk humbly with your God .”[Micah 6:8]
Normally I do not pass these things on. But I hate Sunoco (and am not enthralled by the other gas line companies either, but they are more polite to deal with if you have to call and ask questions like I did today). Out here we are on wells and they put us, our families, our pets, our neighbors, our wildlife, our environment, our drinking water and more at risk.
Sunoco thus far seems to bully, lie, and intimidate their way through Chester County and elsewhere, raping the landscape as they go.
None of use should want them stealing any more land belonging to anymore individuals thru their B.S. Eminent Domain practices because they are not doing any of this for us….ever. With big oil and big gas, it is always and always will be….about them.
They put toxic, highly flammable, and highly combustible products too close to homes, and they are NOT protecting water sources or wildlife, let alone people.
This is NOT about us and our energy supply. They are just stealing it for other people. They don’t even adequately compensate people for what they do if you want to make it solely about money and it is so much more than that. And thus far the majority of local officials just bend over and give it up without much of a fight.
In the past two days I have had conversations with people from East Goshen and West Goshen Townships who both do not know each other and their experiences as related to me were virtually identical.
They were threatened with eminent domain and they felt they had no choice but to give them an easement; and both hired attorneys that cost many thousands of dollars!
They feel the worst is yet to come as they haven’t started the pipeline invasion yet. They have heard that townships may give them rights to work 24 hours a day, which if true is insane!
So much for East Goshen and West Goshen townships… These folks both tell tales of strange men and women with Texas and Louisiana car plates on their properties TRESPASSING before they even had legal easements.
It just isn’t right and the elected officials are of no help at all.
One said to me (and I quote):
What many don’t know is how in the end our property values will be affected and it is my belief that my property value ( and all on the pipeline path) will go down because of the easement… But the same monies will be needed to support the town budget so everyone else’s taxes will go up to provide the same tax base . We are all losers.
We are all losers. Yup. I received a pamphlet recently from Spectra Energy about pipeline safety. I have not previously received any pipeline info before where we currently live. So I called. I spoke with a very nice man named Don in Gas Control. And wow, we do not have a gas line on our property or in our immediate neighborhood, but wow, pretty darn close.
Another election year issue on a national scale. Please sign the above petition and add your voice. And for those of you tired of trespassers, call Andy Dinniman’s office in West Chester . There should be rules as to when they can access easements and they should provide advance notice.
Anyway, that’s it. I hate pipelines and I hate what they are doing to our area. And for what?