Of course the local papers collective mansplainers on the editorial board have some ‘splaining to do too, don’t they? I mean what is this saying? Being a bitch about someone else’s sexual assault makes great click bait???
I feel strongly enough about this that I screenshot the article above. The Daily Local and most of the papers under the control of whatever hedge fund has eviscerated them has a hair trigger paywall. I also looked online at the digital capture of the physical paper and for the life of me can’t find this article in print so did they publish it online and run another column in print?
I (generally speaking), don’t read most of what this columnist writes. Yes it’s all her First Amendment Right to express herself and all that, but I question local papers giving her a platform when the platform is so truly offensive at times. This is hardly the first time she has written something awful, but it’s definitely one of the most offensive pieces. Why doesn’t she just have her own website platform for things like this? Or there is always Twitter. She loves Twitter….and if you aren’t like her, you are against her, and that can be exhausting in a columnist can’t it just?
People, women especially, are outraged by this recent piece and I think rightfully so. It’s just nasty. Here are a smattering of comments:
Sadly (and again I must point out) I can’t say she doesn’t have the right to her opinion, even if I find it well, horrible. However, the flip side is I have my opinion right here and right now that she is truly despicable for doing this and I will go further to say maybe she wants to be more relevant and is just sounding desperate? See some of her Tweetabulous tweeting recently:
“White suburban mommies read it in print, and clutched many a pearl.” Gosh Christine, maybe you don’t know from pearls? Everyone who owns pearls knows you don’t clutch them because that is how you break them, even if they are individually knotted in between each pearl. Very different from pop beads….
“These are the empathetic ovary brigadiers.” Now, I am not going to say it’s acceptable behavior to send this woman (or any woman) emails saying they wish violence upon her. That accomplishes nothing, suborns violence, and just makes people part of the problem, not solution. But the bitterness of calling women “empathetic ovary brigadiers” also doesn’t escape me. I could never have my own children, as medically it was never possible. But I was never bitter about it or was fixated because I just figured God had another plan and he did. Now don’t get me wrong, I sat through many a comment from women over the years like “You don’t have children, so you couldn’t possibly understand” and I will admit sometimes I had the mental image of smacking the smugness off of someone’s face when they said something like that. Or when I was in Corporate America years ago and I always got last chance to pick on holiday time off because I was single and had no children. I called it the “single tax” (and worse) but whatever, there were bigger things in life to worry about. However, in this scenario not sure what women who have had kids has to do with them not liking an article that kind of mocks victims of sexual assault, so I will stick with bitter and non-related.
“#MirrorMirror” What does that even mean? How did she think women would react or perhaps that was the point? A file under all attention good, bad, or indifferent is good?
What she wrote was her opinion, but in MY opinion she was wrong. It is hideous to presume as a writer that you know exactly when and how a woman who has been a victim of a sexual assault will react or exactly when another traumatic event will trigger a memory of another traumatic event. And coming from a woman just makes this worse. Christine Flowers doesn’t get a fab virtual look here as being strong or witty, she gets a virtual look (in my opinion) of bitter and nasty postmenopausal mean girl.
At almost 57 I can honestly say that I know more women who were sexually assaulted in some form (as in not always rape) than those who have not been. And it isn’t a case of birds of a feather. Yes, I was a victim once upon a time. It didn’t define me, I worked hard to move past it. But did I ever forget it? Oh hell no. It happened in the dark ages when you didn’t tell after because somehow it was always a woman’s fault, like you stood with a sign on a street corner that said “Assault Me, Please.” Somehow I thought we had moved past that whole blame the victim and victim shaming, but apparently not.
I can’t as a woman say that another woman doesn’t still have PTSD over her assault. I can’t say that she does definitively have PTSD, either. But as a female writer, I don’t think I would build a column shaming a woman who was a victim of sexual assault and I wouldn’t be able to so assertively say this woman was using it to make herself a center of attention in the midst of a national tragedy (assault on the Capitol.)
I can’t minimize or mock what Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has revealed or said on this topic, because I believe being in the middle or adjacent to the riots and siege of the US Capitol, or in the same city and even country could indeed trigger victims. Just like the sound of the cannon a local school years ago to start off certain football games used to trigger a Vietnam vet who lived close by. Just like a simple email about celebrating someone retiring triggered women I knew because the person that others wanted to celebrate should be anything but celebrated and with good reason. When I read Flowers’ Op Ed it made me remember again, decades later, why I never told.
We can’t say it isn’t possible for certain traumatic events to trigger past traumatic events, and we shouldn’t mock it. Christine Flowers was not right to do so. But she has to live in her own headspace with it, and judging from what I have seen, again in my opinion, she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what any of us think and she is reveling in her negative spotlight. So bless her heart, she deserves people’s prayers for basically seeming just super hateful and uncaring.
But I do actually think it was a column too far. I do think the Daily Local was wrong publishing it.
Opening my local paper each morning, I am rarely without a sense of gratitude for the critical work news media does in upholding the basis of our democracy. Without exchange of ideals and ideas in this public square, our basis of governance would be rendered inert.
I consider the vulnerability and dedication of journalists and writers in these arenas to be acts of public service. It is in this context and with the above description of the heinous nature of sexual trauma in mind that I find myself so deeply disturbed by the disservice done by Christina. Flowers and the Daily Local News upon survivors of sexual assault and their allies…….Beyond this poorly disguised opportunity for political posturing conducted through a fallacy-laden line of argumentation, Ms. Flowers and those who allowed her words to beprinted for mass consumption also finds themselves to be innately incorrect in their understanding of sexual abuse, the very subject matter at hand….survivors of sexual abuse know well that your identity as a survivor as well as the humanity you cling in your most difficult moments don’t only exist with convenience. You are always a survivor, regardless of who is watching and how that weight of trauma manifests itself in your moment to moment existence.
Whether Ms. Flowers finds it expedient that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s identity as a survivor manifested more strongly in the wake of the January 6th insurrection, the Congresswoman cannot and never will be able to peel away or compartmentalize her trauma….Neither was I able to shirk my reality as a survivor when I encountered this dangerous and hurtful column reading my morning paper over coffee.
I write to the Editor today not only in disgust of the words….but with an immense feeling of shame. I feel the familiar and occasional crush of shame of I carry in my life as survivor. I feel ashamed of the state of our national discourse surrounding sexual abuse knowing the pain words like Ms. Flower’s will carelessly inflict on a massive constituency of survivors.
I can’t imagine what The Daily Local, Delco Times, and Pottstown Mercury were thinking, and those people can live with their conscience on this. But if they thought they were being edgy and that would gain them additional readership, well I think all they have done is lose more readers, and possibly advertisers. And that in and of itself is a complete and utter disservice to local reporters who, in spite of the state of that paper, do their best to report the news.
When you read pure unadulterated bullshit like this, it just makes all of us no matter what our political or religious or racial persuasions to be better people. Last March she and the Philadelphia Inquirer went their different ways. (See Philadelphia Magazine article.) I didn’t actually know that until this all erupted, but her is her tweet from last year:
What Christine Flowers wrote is offensive but she also draws attention to the fact that sexual assault victims seem to be victim shamed still in 2021. It’s so last century….literally. And again, you just don’t expect the victim shaming of a woman to come from a woman.
Will she keep her job or just eventually go down with the sinking ship that is The Daily Local? Don’t know, and at the end of the day it is low on the scale of things that are important in life. Truthfully I suspect life will go on and Christine Flowers will continue to revel in negative attention.
The First Amendment comes in all shapes and sizes most sadly…..but newspapers don’t print all opinions and I am not sure why they printed this.
By Erin Cox and Gregory S. Schneider July 5, 2020 at 7:07 p.m. EDT
The two energy companies behind the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Sunday abandoned their six-year bid to build it, saying the project has become too costly and the regulatory environment too uncertain to justify further investment.
The natural-gas pipeline would have tunneled under the Appalachian Trail on its way from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina…Property rights advocates in the Appalachians joined with an ashram in central Virginia and black Baptists from a rural county to make opposing the pipeline a high-profile political and social justice issue….Virginia-based Dominion Energy and North Carolina-based Duke Energy spent $3.4 billion on the project….But company officials said in a statement that other recent federal court rulings linked to the Keystone XL pipeline have heightened the litigation risk, extended the project’s timeline and further ballooned the cost of the project…
(Washington Post 7/5/2020)
So if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline have been stopped, why not Mariner II?
I do not know how you could have missed the news this week. It started when Sunoco/Energy Transfer breached the aquifer and mud emerged from the ground while drilling on Saturday on Shoen Road. This is where my friend Ginny lives. I will let her words from five days ago be heard now:
It was a rough day y’all. Started before 6am with Sunoco violating our township noise ordinance. Then at 1:40pm I sent an email to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection staff in charge of Mariner East informing them that Sunoco’s plan to handle a frac-out of drilling mud on our property was failing and instead of Sunoco stopping drilling as required or the DEP forcing them to, they all did NOTHING. Two hours later there was a river of drilling mud flowing across our property. All this while an estimated 250,000 gallons of formerly pristine groundwater pour down the drill hole every 24 hours to be hauled away as residual waste….. enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every two days. This is expected to continue for a few months.
The upside of all this: As I stood at the road, amongst a crowd of township police and glaring workers and security, and with the support of friends, people from our community driving by gave thumbs up and bold raised fists.
Community power. Defend what you love.
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/10/2020
And I watched live videos where it looked like my friend Ginny was being menaced on her own property? It has been crazy. My friend Ginny, however, is grace under pressure. And she pointed out on Tuesday:
As an estimated 250,000 gallons of ground water per day gushes down the borehole from the Mariner East HDD on Shoen Road in West Whiteland Township to be hauled away as waste, after Sunoco beached the aquifer yet again, let’s look at the situation in Edgemont, Delaware county where Mariner East drilling also destroyed private wells. But unlike in West Whiteland, THERE IS NO PUBLIC WATER OPTION.
Erica Tarr’s family has been without clean running water for several months. They have had to dig a new well and put in expensive filtration devices to no success and at great expense to them. Aqua PA has quoted them $500,000 to extend a new public water line to their home. Sunoco had done nothing for them. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has done nothing for them.
Where’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro? He has been investigating Mariner East for over a year now. Meanwhile this family is denied our constitutional right to clean water. So many families have been denied this right along this egregious project and in Western PA due to fracking, many without the resources to fight or fix, or without even knowing their water was contaminated. Where’s Governor Tom Wolf?
A reminder of Pennsylvania’s Green Amendment, proudly passed in 1971:
“The Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), (Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution), states: The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.”
What’s there to be proud of Pennsylvania?
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/11/2020
Ginny had this to say today:
As the DEP investigation into and cleanup of the drilling lubricant spill into Marsh Creek continues, so too do the investigations at Shoen Road where Sunoco has breached the aquifer and mud emerged from the ground while drilling on Saturday.
In a bold-faced life Sunoco claims they did not breach the aquifer, though they did it in 2017 and 2019 in their previous failed attempts and 250,000 gallons of water has been flowing back through the pilot hole and is being pumped 24/7 from drill pit.
And why isn’t the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection doing the appropriate analysis to determine an inadvertent return?
Time for the DEP to pull the permits
“This is an example of the crisis of our time. The people of Pennsylvania have a right to clean air and pure water, public health, safety and private property.
“Yet the priority seems to be protecting a multi-national, private, for-profit corporation, which then exploits and degrades our resources, our quality of life and our health and safety. Who does our government work for?”
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/14/2020
So what is Ginny talking about? Why the fouling of Marsh Creek by Sunoco/Energy Transfer this week. Lots of us, myself included have kept kids away from beautiful Marsh Creek since the polluting event this week.
Marsh Creek. A simply beautiful place loaded with wildlife. Where drinking water lives.
I first learned about Marsh Creek in my early 20s. I had a roommate back then who had grown up in the Downingtown area. Her mother worked for the EPA, so they were a family who completely respected the majesty of nature and were pro-environment back then.
Marsh Creek State Park was developed to help manage the water resources in the Brandywine Creek Watershed. Frequent flooding, water shortages, and lack of recreational opportunities were problems in the watershed.
The park was formerly a combination of rolling, wooded hills and small farms located on both sides of the Marsh Creek valley. The former village of Milford Mills is now under 30 to 50 feet of water. All of the buildings were removed; leaving only a few roads, foundations, and the embankments to the Larkin’s Bridge under the lake.
The lake was created by the damming of Marsh Creek. Construction of the dam occurred between May 1970 and June 1973. The impoundment is a 90-foot-high, 990-foot-long earth and rock fill dam on Marsh Creek, a tributary of the East Branch of Brandywine Creek.
On November 16, 1973, the gates of the dam were closed. The lake reached normal pool stage 218 days later on June 21, 1974.
At normal pool elevation of 359.5 feet above sea level, the impoundment covers an area of 535 acres plus a 25-acre wetland. The lake volume is 13,000 acre-feet (4.4 billion gallons) with a maximum depth of 80 feet at the dam.
The Marsh Creek watershed comprises 20 square miles of the Brandywine Creek watershed, which is part of the Delaware River Basin.
~ Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
My friend historian Catherine Quillman wrote a book about Milford Mills.
Way back in the first half of the 19th century, there was the tiny town of Milford Mills. A little village, really.
Little houses in the midst of sprawling farm country. A one room school house, a bridge, a general school.
Only in Your State says “Local legend also tells of a majestic mansion with 44 rooms. It was here, so goes the story, that supposed gangster Max Boo Boo Huff spent five years – from 1930 to 1935 – in the mansion, running a modern-day bar during Prohibition. Huff’s departure gave way to a new owner who turned the mansion into a resort.”
The village of Milford Mills existed until around 1970 when federal and local authorities decided a dam and a reservoir would be built there. The plans for Marsh Creek Dam meant the end of Milford Mills. I am told residents tried to fight it, but they lost and the village was razed. The dam was built and the man-made lake began to fill up with water. In 1974 or so the Marsh Creek Lake had a reported 100,000 fish added to it. The remnants of Milford Mills became the ghost town under the lake.
Marsh Creek was built to address water issues. It was built to provide drinking water for the Chester County Resources Authority. Apparently, previously there had been shortages. Also addressed by the creation of Marsh Creek? Alleviation of seasonal flooding. Of course I have to wonder given the intensity of infill development including around Marsh Creek if that still helps as much as they had thought it would. The park was also created and there are all sorts of things to do there. You can hike around and look at the ruins of Milford Mills, picnic, swim, sail, fish.
So when I first saw Marsh Creek it was I guess the late 1980s. I was in awe of how pretty it was plus fascinated by the mob stories and probable urban legend of wise guys ending up in the lake.
But now what lies ahead for Marsh Creek? How fouled is the water? Will we ever really know? What we do know is thanks to the brilliant activists.
Drilling fluid used in Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project in Chester County leaked into Marsh Creek Lake in a state park of the same name on Monday — one of three incidents in recent days along the pipeline construction project route.
Virginia Cain, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said the agency is investigating the three incidents, which occurred at two project sites, in West Whiteland and Upper Uwchlan Townships.
The DEP said the first leak occurred on the 100 block of Shoen Road in West Whiteland on Saturday. Both the DEP and the Fish and Boat Commission responded and tested water to see if it contained drilling fluids. Drilling was stopped to await an analysis of the liquid.
~ Philadelphia Inquirer 8/11/2020
And this heinous fouling of Marsh Creek Lake is not the only pipeline problem this summer. More and more sinkholes keep cropping up:
Pennsylvania pipeline inspectors announced Friday that they are investigating a new series of sinkholes that have opened up along Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project route in Chester County after cracks were reported in the pavement of Business Route 30 in Exton, impacting some traffic.
Public Utility Commission safety inspectors are investigating subsidence that has occurred since July 10 in places where the controversial pipeline is under construction. The incidents happened not far from the West Whiteland Township location where sinkholes formed over the last two years, forcing several construction halts and service disruptions on the operating pipelines.
~ Philadelphia Inquirer 7/17/2020
I just. Can’t. Even. What in the hell has to happen to be enough? Is this enough to get these people out of our communities? These pipelines are the things you hear about, but if you don’t live close enough to a pipeline site you think we are all a collective of drama queens.
I used to think that it was mostly drama before I moved to Chester County. I thought “oh it can’t possibly be that bad.” Then there are the moments that stick in your head. One such moment occurred for me a couple of years ago. We invited Adelphia Gateway which wishes to do Sunoco-like projects to a parlor meeting in my living room. My friend Ginny sat on my sofa with tears in her eyes as she recounted what had happened to her and her family at the hands of pipelines at that point.
This parlor meeting was July 25, 2018. I will note that questions we gave to the PR talking head sent to handle us have to date never, ever been answered. Adelphia Gateway will have my entire neighborhood within a blast zone if they proceed, and we are on wells. There is not public water for us so what has happened this week on Shoen Road and at Marsh Creek is EXACTLY what I worry about along with the sinkholes and well, the very real fear of any of these lines blowing up.
Anti-pipeline activists are still painted as these awful people. Ladies and gentleman, they are your neighbors. People you socialize with. Go to church with. Your friends. My friends.
For the recent primary election, the pipeline proponents, supporters, etc spent a crazy amount of money to try to still our voices by attacking candidates who speak for us. Ginny Kerslake did not prevail in the end in the primary against sheeple Kristine Howard, but my other friend Danielle Friel Otten did survive and crushed her opponent. If that pro-pipeline money had NOT been spent, I believe Kristine Howard would have gone down in flames. She still can if people are now smart and get behind a third friend, Wendy Graham Leland. I know it is only a matter of time before Camp Lameass Howard starts in on her. I wish them luck there, but I digress. I know some amazing women, but I digress again. (Sorry I do that sometimes.)
Lookee here however, remember that the politics intertwined in the pipeline issues are very important. It’s a ridiculous game of who is on first.
People, we need to be first.
Please call on our leaders to demand Governor Wolf Pull the Mariner East Permits PERMANENTLY:
The pipeline leak into Marsh Creek earlier this week was an avoidable water emergency. To make matters worse, Marsh Creek is a source of drinking water for people in that community. Sunoco/Energy Partners demonstrates by their actions that they have little regard for the impact their negligence has on the community.
The issue surrounding water in Chester County is at its tipping point and is nothing less than a PA Constitution crisis. It is possible to support progress and be good stewards of our natural resources at the same time. In fact, our PA Constitution demands it, Article I, Section 27 says: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”….AQUA is also engaging in a hostile takeover effort of our local water authority, Chester Water Authority (CWA). You may have seen the many, many SAVE CWA and Save Octoraro Reservoir yard signs in yards and on highways. AQUA wants to buy CWA. AQUA wants CWA because it stands to make billions on the deal, pulling vast amounts of money out of our fragile local economy. It also wants valuable public natural resources including the Octoraro Reservoir and 2000 acres of CWA land assets…..Will our water be sent to Northern Chester County for fracking?
~ Richard Ruggieri candidate for State Representative for District 13, learn more about him and his campaign at RuggieriPA13.com. 8/13/2020
Sunoco/Energy Transfer, the company behind the problematic and controversial Mariner East pipeline project, is in business with Aqua America, which provides water service to thousands of residents in Chester County, state Sen. Andy Dinniman revealed Friday.
“It is important that citizens know the relationship between companies involved with the Mariner East pipeline,” Dinniman said.
According to Energy Transfer’s 2018 annual report, the company owns a 51 percent stake in Aqua – ETC Water solutions, characterized as a “joint venture that transports and supplies fresh water to natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.”
~ Daily Local News 6/28/2019
Talk about an unholy alliance, right? So Sunoco/Energy Transfer fouls the water. AQUA PA is public water and they are trying to take over the Chester Water Authority ? So that also guilt by association (or investment) means they are fouling Marsh Creek and so on but then they would have control over our water if AQUA PA takes over CWA?
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. (Yes I am an Outlander fan.) But seriously? You can’t make this stuff up! We are living it! And to what end? The destruction of where we call home and our water resources for freaking corporate profits?
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has responded to several reports of fluid discharges at construction sites for the Mariner East pipeline system in Chester County, including a confirmed spill at a state park.
Operation at the drill site has been suspended indefinitely.
Harrisburg, PA — The Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Environmental Protection (DEP) assured Marsh Creek State Park supporters that concerted efforts are underway to safeguard visitors and park resources in the wake of Monday’s pipeline drilling fluid spill affecting the lake; and that Energy Transfer will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
“We are deeply concerned and troubled over this significant resource and recreation impact at Marsh Creek that comes at a time when that park, as are all our parks, is seeing incredible visitation rates amid the pandemic,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Drawing more than 1 million visitors a year, Marsh Creek is among our most visited park, and water-based activities are the catalyst for that draw.
“The popularity of paddle-boarding alone is phenomenal at Marsh Creek Lake, and anglers and other boaters can be found daily on the lake. Containment, water testing, and remediation are underway, and access to affected water and shoreline will be restricted.”
Noting the park’s connecting trails and other strong ties to surrounding communities, Dunn said, “DCNR recognizes this park is beloved by those who live nearby and is an important resource to the people and businesses of surrounding communities. I feel it is important to let them know we’re standing by them on this.”
On Monday, August 10, DEP responded to a report from Sunoco of a potential inadvertent return at HDD 290, a drill site off Green Valley Road in Marsh Creek State Park in Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County. Operation at the drill site has been suspended indefinitely.
Used in Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project in Chester County, an estimated 8,100 gallons of drilling fluid (mud and water) leaked into wetlands off park property and into a tributary to Marsh Creek Lake. The spill is affecting the lake’s cove area along Park Road.
What’s The Status
Buoys will be used on the lake to delineate the affected area.
Approximately 33 acres of the 535-acre lake is now off-limits to boating and fishing.
Offering a swimming pool, the park does not permit beach-based swimming. Boating and fishing still is permitted on the rest of the lake, and the park remains open to all other activities.
“With the assistance of DEP, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, private contractors, and our park personnel, we are focusing on containment, cleanup, and remediation, and we need the public’s cooperation,” Dunn said. “Aiding that effort are DCNR park managers and rangers, as well as our aquatic specialists who will be gauging the spill’s effect on water quality and lake aquatic life.”
What’s Being Done
DEP, along with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), continue to investigate and oversee the cleanup of the inadvertent return into Marsh Creek, said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
At the conclusion of the investigation, DEP anticipates that there will be civil penalties and potentially other regulatory ramifications.
Drilling activity at the site has ceased until further notice.
“Since the spill occurred on Monday, clean-up crews have made significant progress in collecting and containing spilled material. DEP aquatic biologists have been onsite since the beginning of the incident to assess the spill and ensure that cleanup activities are conducted properly. Downstream drinking water intakes have been notified and there are no concerns about drinking water safety. There have not been any complaints of impacted private water wells,” McDonnell said. “DEP is also actively coordinating with experts at DCNR, Department of Health, Army Corps of Engineers, and Public Utility Commission to ensure that the ongoing situation is managed consistently and safely. DEP has consistently held Sunoco accountable for violations and will do so in this instance as well.”
Located in northcentral Chester County, Marsh Creek’s lake and 1,784 acres offer a refuge for migrating waterfowl and also are popular with hikers, hunters, and picnickers.
More information about Marsh Creek and Pennsylvania’s other 120 state parks is available on the DCNR website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-877-6315; Virginia Cain, DEP, 484-868-2452
WEST WHITELAND — Sunoco/Energy Transfer workers hit and breached an underground aquifer at Shoen Road which since then has fouled 250,000 gallons per day of fresh drinking water, according to State Sen. Danielle Friel Otten, D-155th, of Uwchlan, and Shoen Road resident Ginny Kerslake.
The two women estimate that 50 trucks, with a capacity of 5,000 gallons each, have daily been removing water from the drill site of the Sunoco Mariner East pipeline.
Sunoco/ET spokesperson Lisa Coleman responded with a one-sentence comment.
“We did not impact the aquifer at Shoen Road,” wrote Coleman on Aug. 11.
UPPER UWCHLAN—On Friday morning, local public officials and legislators paddled to the site of Monday’s Marsh Creek Sunoco pipeline construction spill of about 10,000 gallons of drilling mud to monitor the mitigation process.
State Rep Danielle Friel Otten, D-155th, of Uwchaln and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-44th, of Royersford invited the dignitaries to view the damage and cleanup firsthand. They visited the popular state park lake via paddleboards, kayaks and canoes.
State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-157th, of Schuylkill said that the 10,000 gallon spill is alarming.
“I’m here to make sure our public parks are clean and the air around them is clean so people can enjoy,” she said. “Public parks are for all of us to enjoy.”
State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166th of Haverford, discussed meeting climate change goals.
“We can’t continue to build fossil fuel infrastructure and reach our goals,” he said.
“Marsh Creek is a valuable ecological and recreation area and I was very concerned when I learned of the spill.
“I wanted to see firsthand the extent of the damage and the progress of cleanup efforts. I was pleased to see both cleanup workers and representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on the scene….In addition to Friel Otten, Muth, Vitali, Shusterman and D’Amico, state Rep. Dan Williams, D-74th, of Coatesville came out, as well as Chairman Bill Miller from Uwchlan Township and Rebecca Britton, Vice President of Downingtown Area School Board.
~ Bill Retter, Daily Local News 8/14/2020
So…who was NOT there at Marsh Creek today?HOW ABOUT STATE REPRESENTATIVE KRISTINE HOWARD? KRISTINE, IF IT ISN’T A PHOTO OP WITH GOVERNOR TOM WOLF AND CAROLYN COMITTA YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED?
PLEASE VIEW THIS NEXT SCREEN SHOT WHILE IMAGINING BARBARA STREISAND SINGING “MEMORIES”:
While we are on the topic of who has and has not been to Marsh Creek can we mention that Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro should have been there over the past few days?
Enough is enough #WaterIsLife #DefendWhatYouLove
I do not know about you but I am over this pipeline bullsheit. Over it. Ever new adventure in the land of pipeline drama is worse than the last. These pipeline companies are destroying where we live and don’t try to spin the crap that they employ locally unless Oklahoma and all the other states that make up the out of state license plates are suddenly IN Chester County?
We put our lives and sweat equity into where we call home. So why is it government is just allowing it all to be destroyed? Systemic corruption? Greed? What?
I don’t know where to go in my head. I grew up around oil companies. My father did PR for one for years. Years. But all the pipelines I ever knew about then were petroleum. Like the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which started operating in 1977. Of course in that same vein, I remember the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. And I remember how the guy driving the tanker (while drinking) got off without felony charges.
As my friends from Just The Facts Please said regarding this latest jackassery word puzzle from Energy Transfer:
These [idiots] just can’t help themselves with their lies and stupidly worded statements. Marsh Creek IS an important drinking water source for this region. But I guess Kelcy Warren wouldn’t know that from his tower in Texas.
ETP states, “As a clarification to some public statements that have been made, no public drinking water has been impacted.”
So where in the Sam Hell do we go from here? I don’t know about you but I want these pipeline operators GONE. As in FOR GOOD. #SafetyOverSunoco #SoOverSuNOco
I know this is a ridiculously long post and I have meandered like a stream. But this Marsh Creek thing makes my head spin. This has to stop. Our elected officials need to man and woman up and kick the pipelines the hell out of Pennsylvania, starting with where we call home, Chester County, PA.
I am starting with P.K. Ditty’s video of today. It captures everything. And everything includes the fact that in my opinion today was just a photo op for Governor Tom Wolf and some of his lady supporters in Harrisburg who ummm, shall we say aren’t so beloved by their Chester County and Delaware County constituents at present over pipelines? Come on now ladies, you know who you are and I even like two of you personally (the third I do not respect at all) but I think all three of you (Democrats incidentally) are doing a crap job of representing residents on pipelines, alrighty? Don’t be like Tom Wolf’s Political Andrews Sisters (sorry not sorry, feeling politically sarcastic today.)
This was total BS what this event became. We all know it did not start that way correct?
Here is what went out August 22 from two local state reps which did NOT announce today, but I think sets a stage of political puffery:
Translation? GIANT PUBLICITY STUNT. I am hearing they are great at dodge ball with residents? Because this is really about what? Perhaps it is really about Governor Tom Wolf getting them re-elected so they can support the fakakta thing called Restore PA, AKA another hall pass for pipelines at the expense of residents?
Fakakta means something silly or ridiculous and a a word used to describe something that is not working well or is really crap. (It’s also a great description to apply to pipelines.)
State Senators Andy Dinniman and Daylin Leach listen to the residents on pipelines and they care. State Representatives Carolyn Committa and Kristine Howard showed up and I don’t quite no what else to say except I am massively disappointed in both of them over this. People are asking if Katie Muth actually showed up? And some other State Senator was there apparently. His name is Tim Kearney. Daylin Leach was there so one would have thought State Senator Katie Muth would have at least shown up to say how awful he is or something? (She’s good at that, right?)
Today in my opinion was yet another GIANT PUBLICITY STUNT. (And I am not pointing fingers at the State Senators who were there, to be clear.) Affected residents wanted to sit down and talk to our Governor. OUR GOVERNOR. AS IN IS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT PENNSYLVANIANS EQUALLY. BUT DOES HE? HA! THAT WILL BE THE DAY….
Residents didn’t ask to stand in the heat and basically do the whole Oliver Twist “Please sir, I want some more” and beg for freaking gruel, did they?
With regard to the timing and planning of today’s political gymnastics or mini-circus, I found out this morning Wolf would be at the Giant parking lot on Boot Road in West Chester at 2 pm today. I heard certain media were informed by the Governor personally at some other appearance in Horsham this morning. But other media weren’t told? How does that work exactly? Word of mouth? No real press release? Top secret public location? Spy vs. Spy? I had a LOT of friends there. Friends who are directly affected by Energy Transfer/SuNOco/Mariner East Pipelines every. damn. day.
I don’t need to do a complete recitation of the problems with this pipeline, they are well known and well documented at this point, aren’t they? As human beings, we are at RISK. Our families are at RISK. Our wells are at RISK. Our properties are at RISK. Our elected officials and public officials and agencies know this and yet….MOST DO NOTHING, correct?
Today was a scripted appearance. Is it true that even media were restricted on questions or they weren’t supposed to ask questions? Were babies kissed? Did Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of salt? Oy vey so many questions I have and my political sarcasm cup runneth over today….but I digress.
My friend Ginny Kerslake, a pipeline affected resident speaking with Governor Wolf
I spoke with my friend Ginny after and this is what she said:
“Several residents had the chance to tell their stories of how Mariner East construction has impacted them and their neighbors and share their concerns for the safety of their families and communities, asking Governor Wolf to halt Mariner East.”
I also touched base with my friend Tom Casey who had this to say about this afternoon:
“I expected nothing less than what happened today. The Governor listened to impacted residents, but didn’t hear them. I have also never met a politician where you literally have to negotiate the terms of a handshake.”
I wonder what that certain East Goshen Supervisor was doing there? He is certainly not halting the march of Adelphia Gateway is he? BUT he sure do love his sound bytes right? Dude, if you wish to be a man of the people then you have to actually be a man of the people, ok?
And speaking of East Goshen what is with the two mass mailing a couple of days apart of Dear Occupant letters coming from SuNOco but says it is from East Goshen? It has to do with the 24 hour continual drilling and they will apparently pay for people to leave their homes while they do it? Sounds like quite the offer so what happens when no residents are around to bear witness?
I find today’s event to be a study in confusion and contradiction. So was it just supposed to be a lovey dovey photo op that went bad?
The first media article I am sharing is by Bill Rettew from The Daily Local with Pete Bannan photos. (And yes, I do pay for online subscriptions to the Daily Local, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times.)
Gov. Tom Wolf told anti-pipeline activists on Thursday that he is not going to stop construction or operation of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipelines.
At a rare face-to-face meeting with opponents at a pipeline construction site in East Goshen Township, Chester County, Wolf was repeatedly urged to shut down the pipeline until public safety can be assured.
But he disappointed activists by stating clearly that he would not do so.
Eve Miari, an organizer of the event, said Wolf’s statement was the first time he had gone on the record saying clearly that he would not shut down the line because of safety concerns…..Six people who live near the cross-state pipeline, plus a supervisor for East Goshen Township, took turns pressing that case to Wolf….“My question to you now, Governor Wolf, is will you halt Mariner East now?” Kerslake said. “We do not have a credible and practical plan to protect us in the event of a leak.”….Rosemary Fuller, a resident of nearby Middletown Township, said her private well has been contaminated with fecal coliform and e-coli as a result of the recent horizontal directional drilling near her house.
Fuller tearfully told Wolf that the contaminated water creates more problems for her husband, who has cancer, and her son, who has a compromised immune system.
Pennsylvania Politics is in full flower again. At the expense of residents. Bottom line? ANY politician that supports pipelines over people needs to GO and that includes the ones who never answer directly, don’t really return phone calls and play possum, and who act all supportive when it is most self-serving.
Of course Tom Wolf won’t shut down the pipelines.
Yes I am disgusted. Today at the end of the day was COMPLETE B.S.
I woke up thinking about a woman I have never ever met and a little boy whom I have also never met but I imagine is so missing his mommy right now. I woke up thinking about Anna Maciejewska, again. I thought about her on Mother’s Day too.
I wrote about Anna on May 7th. A few days later (May 10th or 11th) I started hearing what a lot of folks had heard: that they had found her car in a neighboring development – Charlestown Meadows. (People had reported some sort of police helicopter etc one day last week.)
CHARLESTOWN >> Pennsylvania State Police are continuing to search for a missing woman after finding her car.
State police, Embreeville barracks announced on Monday that they located a dark blue 2011 Audi A4 with the license plate HTF2919 belonging to Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska, 43, of Charlestown. She was last seen leaving her Charlestown Township home on Hedgerow Lane for work around 9:45 a.m. on Monday, April 10. Maciejewska did not show up for work at Voya Financial that Monday or Tuesday, according to state police.
State police found her vehicle at Charlestown Meadows overflow parking lot on May 8. Following the recovery of her car, Embreeville Station requested search dogs and the help of the state police Cadets in Hershey who were bused in to perform a grid search of the woods and neighborhoods surrounding Charlestown Meadows.
“To date we still have not located Anna Maciejewska and continue to investigate the case as a missing person,” state police said in a news release.
This saddens me. For each day that goes by, people seem to wonder if poor Anna Maciejewska is still alive? It has been over a month, so who knows? I hope so, I truly do. Her son deserves his mama.
I have a few female friends who emigrated to the US from Poland. They have been generous in sharing their customs and traditions with me over the years. They introduced me to Kruschiki (a kind of cookie which I have been given at Christmas and Easter), and one friend every year sends me the oplatek at Christmas (a small unleavened wafer similar to communion if you are Catholic) which is broken at Christmas on Christmas Eve before dinner “Wigilia” – family members break a little piece off and pass it around with good wishes)
I have spoken to one of my Polish friends more than once about this since we all learned of the disappearance of Anna. She tells me that the Polish community is tight. Philadelphia, Bucks County, and even Allentown are active communities. I do not know if she (Anna) was active in any of those communities or not. My friend says that the Polish community has been buzzing about this, but I don’t really know if Anna was part of it. It’s a wonderful community with Polish schools for the little ones to learn the culture of their parents, festivals, and so on. I also know that all of my Polish friends are close to family still in Poland. Two of my friends travel with their children every summer for visits with family.
A Polish newspaper (Polish Daily News) printed a story on Mother’s day about Anna.
Rodzina i przyjaciele poszukują 43-letniej Ani Maciejewskiej z powiatu Chester w Pensylwanii. Ania 10 kwietnia o 9:45 rano wyszła z domu do pracy i od tej pory nie wiadomo co się z nią stało.
Na Facebooku powstała podstrona “Finding Anna Maciejewska”, gdzie rodzina i przyjaciele opisują szczegóły dotyczące zaginięcia Polki. Jak czytamy, ostatnią osobą, która ją widziała. Mówi, że wychodziła do pracy “w panice”, śpiesząc się na zebranie do pracy. Współpracownicy, z kolei mówią, że żadnego ważnego spotkania nie było tylko codzienny 15-minutowe spotkanie, który Ania mogła opuścić.
If anyone knows anything, please, please help this family. They need to find their beloved Anna. They are half a world away, I can’t even imagine the anguish.
Another Polish newspaper Super Express printed a story – a friend of mine provided the English translation from where it was posted:
“Here’s a translation of article from today’s Polish newspaper with more information:
‘Where are you Anna? Search for missing Polish woman from Pennsylvania continues. Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska (43) from Malvern in Chester County PA was last seen leaving for work on April 10, 2017. She did not return home since…We will disclose new information on this story. Reporters from “Super Express” interviewed Anna’s mother, Janina, who lives in Warsaw, Poland.We would like to remind everyone, based on Associated Press, investigators determined that Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska left her home on Hedgerow Lane on April 10th at about 9:45am. She was in a hurry, however she never made it to work at Voya Financial. Anna Maciejewska did not return home either. She left her house in a navy blue Audi A4, 2011 model with Pennsylvania license plate HTF2919. The last person to see Anna was her husband Allan. He told investigators that she left for work in a “panic” and was rushing to attend a work related meeting. She did not take her cell phone with her.Anna’s co-workers say that no important meeting was held that morning, only a daily 15-minute meeting, which she was able to miss. We determined that her last day at work was March 26 and she was last seen in public in a restaurant having dinner with her husband and 4 year old son on April 2.-Anna together with her son planned a trip to Poland for her father’s 80th birthday, which were on March 30. Three days earlier on March 27th she called us with this information that she will arrive in Poland in four days. On March 28th she sent a text message which said: “Mommy, something came up at work and we will arrive on Thursday, but we will stay the weekend (returning on Monday). Kisses, Anna” and in the evening she called and stated the same. I suggested that we postpone the birthday celebrations until Easter. She said she will discuss this in the evening with her husband, Allan. On Wednesday March 29th we were not in contact with Anna the whole day and only when we sent a text message with a question if she is coming to Poland, she replied with “I’m sorry I cannot come, kisses Anna” – said Janina, Anna’s mother. She added that on March 30th, on her father’s birthday, Anna didn’t call him with birthday wishes but sent a text message. Her father was very disappointed and offended by the fact that she didn’t call. “It’s really not like her” said Janina. Her parents also add that since then none of Anna’s friends or family have spoken to her.Anna allegedly fell ill and send a text message to her work that she will take the week of April 3rd off. On April 10th she never made it in to work and she didn’t return home that evening. Her family from Poland reported her missing on April 10th to the police in Philadelphia PA.On the day she went missing Anna didn’t have her passport with her, but she probably had her wallet. On April 8th Anna’s mother spoke with her husband Allan, who told her to call back in two days. Anna’s friends describe her as very intelligent and likable. She lives in a beautiful house, which she designed herself. She is a valued and well liked co-worker. Anna’s mother, Janina, believes that Anna would never leave her four year old son, whom she loves above all. Anna Maciejewska is from Warsaw Poland and has been living in the United States for 20 years. Trooper Brian Olszewski is investigating Anna’s missing person case. Anna’s sister hired a private detective. Official searches for Anna can be organized if there are leads in regards to her whereabouts. As of now Anna’s friend plans to hang posters within the next few days.Reporters from “Super Express” tried to contact Anna’s husband Allan and Trooper Olszewski for comments, but have not heard back from either party (as of Thursday night). ‘
Finally, here is an excerpt of a story posted by Dateline NBC yesterday afternoon for their Missing in America segment:
Originally from Poland, the 43-year-old kept in close contact with her elderly parents who still live overseas.
A respected actuary, she is consistent and communicative at work, according to co-workers.
And as the mother of a four-year-old son, Anna appeared to be a wonderful mother who adored her little boy, family members said.
But Anna mysteriously vanished more than a month ago. And the hazy details surrounding her disappearance have shaken her family and friends.….According to police, Anna was last seen on the morning of April 10, 2017 leaving her family’s home outside Malvern, Pennsylvania…..Anna’s mother traveled to the U.S. shortly after Anna disappeared to help search for her daughter. She and Anna’s nephew Michel stayed with Anna’s husband and son for a week. But they were unable to uncover any significant leads to Anna’s whereabouts.
Anna’s mother had to head back to Poland without any answers about her daughter…..Michal told Dateline the family is concerned because they learned Anna had recently been suffering from depression. “We didn’t know how bad it was, so of course that is alarming to us,” he said.….”She’s a daughter, a mother, a friend,” Michal told Dateline. “We just need someone to help.”
She’s a daughter, a mother, a friend. Truer words have never been spoken. I don’t know her, but this could be any woman any of us might know. This is a cruel twist of fate we just can’t predict. But this woman, this Anna whom I do not know, deserves better than this. Anna had been living her American dream with a successful career, family, home of her own. When and why did her American dream become an American nightmare?
Bishop Tube 2017 – Photographer Unknown – found on East Whiteland Township Community Huddle Page
Bishop Tube…yes…more, more, more on Bishop Tube. I do not seek information out, it finds it’s way to me. Today’s offerings are a slew of documents from the Pennsylvania DEP and other places going back into the 1990s and stopping a few years ago. People have been hanging onto stuff to save for a rainy day.
Someone said to me these few documents tell a story – and can you imagine all the documents we will probably NEVER see on Bishop Tube?
Anyway, after wading through these documents the story being told to me is someone should have cleaned this place up already, and why isn’t this on the EPA’s radar?
Since someone dropped a little “sunshine” in my lap, I am paying it forward and putting them out there. Just for the record I am not trying to be another Erin Brocavitch. This stuff just found it’s way to me…..
Luke Phayre addressing the Board of Supervisors in East Whiteland on December 14th , 2016 when they honored him ~ Adam Farence Daily Local photo
I noted in East Whiteland Supervisor Bill Holmes’ comments that he (like many others) do not know that Ebenezer is actually184 years old (deed of trust for land is 1832) – and yes this is a black historic cemetery solely. This is in my opinion and that of many others a very important piece of black history. This history of ours in Chester County has people laid to rest there whose relatives still live in the area today.
The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society in the late 1700s, but the church became it’s own entity founded in Philadelphia around 1816. So you can see given the age of Ebenezer AME in East Whiteland, Chester County, PA that it is truly part of the early days of a church and religion founded in Philadelphia. Bishop Richard Allen died in 1831, just months before Ebenezer came to be after Joseph Malin deeded the land.
Ebenezer is cleaned up thanks to Willistown Eagle Scout Luke Phayre (and his fellow scouts) , Al Terrell and the many volunteers including local arborist Robert Phipps, Doug Buettner , Kelbey Hershey and all the volunteers from West Chester University (veteran’s group and fraternity brothers from at least two fraternities – FiJi was one of them), Captain Howard Crawford and the American Legion folks, Charae Landscape Services, Tim Caban from East Whiteland Historic Commission, and many, many more. It has literally been a pretty large village of amazing volunteers the past few months. I apologize if I neglected mentioning anyone – would never wish to offend the wonderful volunteers who have come forward in 2016.
Luke Phayre has done a truly amazing job with his Easgle Scout project. He is an amazing young man. He is so bright and very polite, and dedicated with an amazing work ethic. And he has leadership skills and compassion which will take this boy far in life – such a credit to his equally amazing mom Kathy!
This has been a labor of love for me personally because until Al and Kathy and Luke came along after I had placed the first article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, up to that point no one, not even the AME Church was interested in the history and importance of the site. For years. And before me, the late Ann Christie had tried to get the place cleaned up.
People get upset for me that East Whiteland doesn’t acknowledge me for helping raise awareness, but seriously? Don’t sweat it. Local elected officials view as something like poison ivy half of the time and I am o.k. with that 🙂 I do not do what I do for any other reason than it is the right thing.
As soon as I first realized what Ebenezer was in 2013, I knew I had to raise awareness. And I will continue to do so because I want this piece of serenity and history preserved for future generations. My reward is seeing Luke Phayre and the Scouts recognized, and seeing what a community can do when it comes together. To see Ebenezer rise like a Phoenix from the ashes at 97 Bacton Hill Road and to have people from all over recognize how historically important Ebenezer and her departed souls are is the best thing ever!
Thanks also must go to Kristin Holmes of the Philadelphia Inquirer for two beautiful articles and to The Daily Local editor Tom Murray for a very nice front page story written by reporter Adam Farence who has followed the story of Ebenezer. Without our local and regional media it is hard to draw attention to things like this which matter.
We all get by from a lot of help from our friends.
Now we are waiting on the AME Church’s Bishop Ingram to make good on his promise to visit the site. We want to get permission to shore up the long walls of the church and keep on maintaining it. I sincerely hope the AME Church actually helps us to keep this project moving forward. That is a Christmas wish I have.
Today’s ceremony at the ruins of Ebenezer A.M.E. on Bacton Hill Road today literally made me cry. I was so overcome with emotion that the ruin and cemetery are finally getting well-deserved recognition and attention. #thisplacematters , all 184 years of it.
When I got to the graveyard, people were assembling. Media, neighbors, passers-by who decided to pull over and stop, descendants of those souls buried there, a representative from the East Whiteland Historical Commission, some of my “Ladies of Ebenezer”, the Willistown Troop 78 Scouts, Luke Phayre the Eagle Scout and his family (including his mom Kathy and grandfather) , many local veterans, three member of the East Whiteland Police Department, WCU Student Veterans Group members, and Al Terrell.
It was so overwhelming to me, it truly was such a beautiful sight. It was indeed something I was not sure I would ever see and among other things I so wished Ann Christie had lived long enough to see this happen – which is why some of the Ladies of Ebenezer were there today – we had made Ann a promise because she truly loved the site and had tried for years before my interest to get to this point. We also felt today we were able to honor her, along with the black Civil War soldiers and other souls buried at Ebenezer. After so many decades of truly wanton neglect, these people were honored.
It was long overdue, but our very history is often such a cruel mistress.
Our ceremony was opened by Luke Phayre. He spoke about his project and thanked people who have been helping him. He spoke very well and is truly a poised and wonderful young man.
Captain Howard A. Crawford, USAF, MSC (Ret) who is the Commander of the West Chester American Legion Post 134 (Bernard Schlegel Post) spoke simply and eloquently
“We’re here today to honor Civil War soldiers…African American soldiers that died…[who] weren’t given the honors of a true [military] burial.”
His son played taps for the soldiers on a bugle. Veterans gave a military rifle salute, and if memory serves I think it is called a three volley salute.
And East Whiteland Police Department sent three representatives. These fine gentlemen came in full uniform and participated. I was so touched that they wanted to do this, especially today when they were on their way to bury a former brother officer who had served with them and passed away. At a time in this country when people are so darn critical of our men in blue – like those Bryn Mawr College students this week for example – I think these are the quiet moments that most police critics tend to overlook that speak volumes as to the characters of those who serve. Bravo, East Whiteland Police Department. Such a generous gesture on your own day of loss.
In a nation currently torn asunder by varying political factions and beliefs, those of us involved at Ebenezer are humbled by this kind gesture on the part of Chester County veterans and local police and others who believe in our quest to save Ebenezer and honor those buried here.
Today we saw people leave their politics at home and come together. It was such a poignant and beautiful thing to be part of the week before Thanksgiving. This is what it means to come together and be Americans. There was no race, creed, color, or political divide we were all just Americans coming together to honor our dead. It was so inspiring and true and good a thing. Days like this give us all hope.
Thanks for stopping by. Read the Daily Local tomorrow too.
West Goshen is one of those Chester County municipalities that seems to like to stay below the radar. We heard a lot about them in recent years because of the Sunoco pipeline. But you don’t hear about them very often overall, do you? I don’t think so, unless I am missing something?
West Goshen also seems to outsiders and residents to not be so open and transparent a municipality, and maybe there is good reason for such opinions? The Board of Supervisors Meetings are neither televised nor videotaped for replaying later (even East Whiteland has joined modern times with that!) and their meeting minutes are not current and the most recent I could find was from July 2016, and they are draft minutes, not finalized (don’t they finalize at next subsequent meeting and post?). Oh and this Sewer Authority Meeting Minutes from June makes interesting reading but nothing more current?
I found this letter in the Sewer Authority Meeting Minutes so interesting, I thought I would share with the class. This is something one would think the local papers would perhaps be clued into and report on? What the heck is going on???
A resident is suing West Goshen Township. People do not take those actions lightly. And it is over a lack of “sunshine”. Yep. Open Records. (I have friends who did this and prevailed in Radnor Township some years ago now and this is not an easy thing.)
“CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE OF PETITION FOR REVIEW TO OVERTURN THEFINAL DETERMINATION OF THE OFFICE OF OPEN RECORDS (OOR) FINAL RULING AND TO COMPEL THE DEFTS TO PROVIDE ALL INFORMATION REQUESTED UPON”
Municipalities and sunshine and transparency do not necessarily go hand in hand do they?
I notice that West Goshen has TWO lawyers representing their interests versus one resident pro-se (representing himself) at this point.
Hmm that Camp name was familiar, so I asked a friend who lives in Easttown Township and they said Kristin S. Camp was their solicitor didn’t I remember the articles about Devon Yard the hideous Eli Kahn/Wade McDevitt/Old Waterloo/Devon Horse Show/Devon Drama plan?? (Well who could forget about that looming monstrosity?) They sent me a link to a February 2016 article written by Main Line Media News Reporter Linda Stein titled Easttown Township: More than 200 residents pack meeting about Devon Yard plans .
It always amazes me how many municipalities municipal lawyers have – Ms. Camp is no exception and she has a few. I don’t know if this list is completely 100% current and if not I apologize to the solicitor but I have: West Goshen, Easttown, West Nantmeal, Birmingham, and Pocopson all in Chester County? Wow, and she is a partner in her law firm? Busy busy busy.
But West Goshen is spending money on two lawyers to defend against one small resident? Are they nervous or something?
As a completely unrelated aside, Judge Royer has an amazing Pennsylvania political pedigree. Her grandfather was legendary State Senator Clarence D. Bell, who I think still holds the record in the Keystone State for being the longest serving public official in Pennsylvania – almost 50 years! (48 to be precise). Judge Royer’s dad was no slouch either. If you wonder what propels people towards public service, look no further than the examples Judge Royer had growing up. When Judge Royer was running I was new to Chester County, so I did a little research to decide if she was someone I wanted to vote for since women on the bench is still not an every day occurrence and I think it should be (but I digress).
So back to this case. What does it all mean? I don’t know. Hopefully reporters will dig into it.
Seems there is a lot going on behind the scenes in somewhat normally sleepy West Goshen doesn’t there? I don’t have much of an opinion about West Goshen at this point, but I do find this somewhat intriguing, don’t you?
And apparently there is a power struggle going on in West Chester and there is the guy who runs that BID (Business Improvement District) who is most unfortunately playing law enforcement in this video:
So yikes it seems not just the temperatures as in the weather that are heating up in the scenic Borough of West Chester!
WEST CHESTER, PA — The West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) executive director, Malcolm Johnstone, was observed in illegal activities at the corners of Gay and Church Streets in West Chester.
Malcolm was filmed approaching a street artist and forcing him to stop painting. He also implied he had the authority to stop a street musician from playing the guitar. All in all, it appeared Malcolm was committing hate crimes and civil rights violations.
Ok I am not an authority on civil rights violations, but I do question the authority of a civilian being able to just walk up and down the streets of West Chester and say to people what they can and can’t do. That is what borough personnel like police officers are for.
So I don’t know what is going on, but maybe it’s time West Chester Borough talks about this? Or they won’t if it is pending litigation? Is it because of this situation that there is now this proposed busking ordinance? Does that mean for street festivals in the borough where there is music or even just regular First Friday celebrations there will be extra permits and such that will have to be purchased even if performers were invited to come to the borough if this is passed?
I am not taking sides. But I can tell you as someone who worked to bring music to the streets of a community for many years by working on First Friday Main Line celebrations, it makes me sad if people are fighting over what should be a nice thing.
I have to be honest I was a little surprised by the West Chester BID guyMalcom Johnstone on the video. I say that as someone who is a fan generally speaking of all this BID (Business Improvement District) has accomplished over the years. But I think he made a misstep by whatever he was trying to do that ended up on video. I am sure he was just trying to mediate a tough situation.
I will also say that music is expression, but West Chester is essentially a big small town. It is not Nashville or New Orleans or New York…and I do think that street performers in those locations need to have a permit. Which leads me to my looming question: if West Chester passes this ordinance will that stop whatever this musicians versus whomever pissing match is all about?
NOTE TO BOTH SIDES:I am trying to be fair here, but I am struggling. I am struggling because to me music should not represent ugliness and fighting.
Maybe the Daily Local will take this on and hash out the issue.
Meet State Rep. Sue Helm. The architect of the disaster bill known as PA HB 809. Quite simply stated, this bill would render any local municipal government useless in the ability to control off-campus student housing.
Basically, if you live near animal house, your local municipality would not be able to do one thing about it and well you could get tons of these group rentals where you live and have no say. It is kind of ironic that a Pennsylvania a Republican State Representative seems to think private property rights are so subjective, but hey this is the very nature of politics, right?
Now I was polite, after all she has broadcast all over she is fighting breast cancer. I really wish to be respectful of that as I am a breast cancer survivor. But when I and others take the time to comment on HER legislation PA HB 809 and every comment seems to disappear, what’s to respect ?
I was polite. I asked her if she had ever lived with problem student rentals where she lived? Asked her if she had ever woken up to 20 cars on a neighboring lawn and beer cans and bottles everywhere? (I did)
Had she ever been unable to park on her street because the off campus student rentals always took all the parking?
Or ever had watched as a friend of mine once did as a college student late at night urinated on her porch and her young child’s toys just because they felt like it.
I asked her if she had ever been unable to sell great houses for a long time like friends of mine experienced in a Chester County community because their township turned a blind eye and they lived next to animal house. I know people who had similar issues in Radnor and Lower Merion and Haverford Townships and those are townships which regulate student housing.
I neglected to mention had she ever lived next to a slumlord owners student rental that burned to the ground. I did once upon a time. We watched college students who were seniors lose everything a couple of days before Thanksgiving. And because of wind conditions we were scared for hours the fire would jump to our roofs.
If you live in PA please take the time and post a polite message on this lady’s page or email, phone or tweet at her regarding PA HB 809 which will render local municipalities helpless when dealing with off campus student housing. This bill would hog tie local municipalities and they would be unable to act and help residents and basically it would so bypass any and all local zoning we could get these houses anywhere and everywhere. It would take away our rights.
Imagine West Chester, Tredyffrin, Lower Merion, Haverford Township, Radnor or wherever you lived with off campus student houses that didn’t have to follow any basic community rules and regulations because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took our rights away? We already experience this right now if we have any special needs (broad term means more than one thing) group houses in neighborhoods. And much like group student rentals sometimes these houses are ok, but just as often they are not.
Our homes are our castles. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania doesn’t protect us from wanton development even on old superfund sites, and now they want us to just say yes please may we have some more on group student rentals ?
Please Contact Rep Sue Helm and tell her to stop the nonsense known as HB 809. But make sure you contact your own State Rep to and tell them whatever you tell her.
PA House Bill 809 sponsored by State Rep Susan Helm of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties will change college rental restrictions if passed.
Helm’s proposed legislation claims that it is discriminatory for municipalities to single out students with rental regulations and would short-circuit any municipal ordinance that prohibits the occupation of a dwelling unity by students or unrelated individuals living together.
The proposed legislation would allow a municipality to enact and enforce ordinances that regulate things like noise levels, parking, and health and safety concerns. House Bill 809 addresses municipal rental restrictions that single out students, suggesting that this is discriminatory, based on an assumption that they will be problem neighbors.
PA House Bill 809 would override any current municipal housing ordinances that restrict the use of single-family homes, as college student rentals. The proposed legislation states that a municipality would not be able to prohibit the occupation of a dwelling based on an individual’s matriculation status (that is, if they are enrolled in college) or on the number of unrelated individuals sharing the property.
In the Mt. Pleasant community of Tredyffrin Township, the conversion of traditionally family-occupied homes to student rental properties has led to ongoing problems among the neighbors. Beyond the late-night noise, increased traffic, liter, illegal parking, the permanent residents of Mt. Pleasant are frustrated with the increasing number of student rentals and what they view as the adverse effects caused by the influx of students.
Because of the ongoing citizen complaints in Mt. Pleasant, Tredyffrin Township passed two ordinances in 2010, which placed zoning restrictions on the student rentals as a way to protect the rights of the permanent residents in the township.
Disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, underage drinking, public urination, Animal House behavior.
Those are perennial complaints in neighborhoods where college students live, local officials say. And with the start of the fall semester just a few weeks away, that’s why they aggressively oppose a bill that would remove their restraints on student housing.
Sponsored by Rep. Sue Helm (R., Dauphin) and backed by landlords, it would prohibit rental discrimination against students and end limits on the numbers of unrelated people allowed to live in a house or apartment.
….In all, more than 50,000 students attend colleges and universities in Philadelphia’s neighboring Pennsylvania counties, and campus housing hardly can accommodate all of them.
Disruptive behavior is inevitable when “you combine youthful exuberance with alcohol,” said Carolyn Comitta, the mayor of West Chester, which hosts West Chester University’s 15,000 students