you just can’t make this stuff up

Yoga Balls ClassroomMy, oh my!  Great balls of plastic!

O.k. I guess if West Chester Area School District paid more attention to actual education (as in maintaining not reducing curriculum) and things like reducing bullying from the elementary school levels through to and including high school I wouldn’t have an issue. Or even managed their coaches and teachers better as to avoid incidents of touchy-feely.

But I just do.  Not trying to rain on their parade, but with reduced monies available for education, is buying yoga balls and then using more tax dollars to promote as a PR angle the best and most prudent use of taxpayer money?

Also see:

West Chester School Uses Yoga Balls Instead of Character-Building Chairs

Teachers ditch student desk chairs for yoga balls

I have two words next time the West Chester Area School District Teachers Union gets all fired up about what they think they deserve: YOGA BALLS.

Wow. Sorry but this is foolishness.

the ramp to nowhere. thoughts?

NBC10: Woman With Disabilities Describes ‘Ramp to Nowhere’

SEPTA spent millions to build wheelchair ramps at one train station, but people with disabilities still aren’t able to board the trains there

SEE VIDEO OF NEWS STORY: CLICK HERE

Despite millions of dollars in renovations, some SEPTA stations remain inaccessible to some travelers with disabilities.

NBC10’s Chris Cato talked with Anne Cope, who says she was on the White House lawn when the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990. But 23 years later, she says public transit accessibility in Philadelphia still remains a major problem.

“The ADA was passed in 1990, and here we are with stations, some pretty important stations, that aren’t accessible yet,” said Cope.

SEPTA  has spent 9.2 million dollars in federal stimulus money to build two elaborate wheelchair ramps and a pedestrian tunnel at the Malvern station. However, once reaching the top of the ramp, people with disabilities cannot board any trains because there is no raised platform there.

 

 

 

fiscal cliff headache

“Fiscal cliff” is the term we are hearing enough to make our heads collectively explode used to describe the politically fiscal conundrum that the U.S. Government will face at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect.  And basically no one in Washington should have been allowed to go home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas without a VIABLE solution in place.

Among the laws set to change at midnight on December 31, 2012:

  • are the end of last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts (resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers),
  • end of certain tax breaks for businesses
  • shifts in the alternative minimum tax
  • rollback of the “Bush tax cuts” from 2001-2003
  • beginning of taxes related to President Obama’s health care law
  • the spending cuts agreed upon as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011 will begin to go into effect.
  • As per Barron’s, over 1,000 government programs – including the defense budget and Medicare are in line for “deep, automatic cuts.”

So, can we call it a depression now?

How much did the Obama family’s vacation to Hawaii cost US Taxpayers this year? Will that be a fiscal cliff cut? (It should be.)

Will there be a settlement of sorts before year-end?  Hope so, but a definite truism on this is neither political party wishes to be responsible for this mess. Another truism is this country is all sorts of porked up, so I think if they wanted to they could protect more necessary programs and slice and dice politically motivated ones. But I am but a mere mortal and female what do I know?

I have been living this economy since 2008 and yes I have survived without going ass deep into debt.  But I learned to live within my means, and that is definitely something more need to learn how to do. And I pay my own health benefits.

One of the things that used to fascinate me about growing up on the old Main Line and living on the new Main Line was the preposterousness of people. They would drive around in cars they couldn’t afford and live in homes that were grand and Barbie’s dream house- like and surprisingly devoid of furnishings at times. It was about the image.

To an extent it is the American Achilles heel of worrying more about the image than financial reality and fiscal responsibility that has gotten us into a pickle we should have learned our lesson from – what happened during the Great Depression.

For years the current administration refused to call a recession a recession, now they dance around the term depression (much like they danced around the term recession.)Obama in pretty worded speeches makes references to financial struggles not seen since the Great Depression. (You might wish to check out this article in Forbes from September.)

If you don’t got it, don’t spend it.  Now all of us who have adhered to that rule are paying the piper of others as far as I am concerned.   And for all those super rich, super liberals who voted again for Obama because of their guilty bank accounts, are you happy now? How’s that hopey changey forwardy thing working out?  Is anything better? Mind you I am not singling you out alone as there enough posturing conservatives who talk a good game and do nothing which I find equally intolerable.

Here’s a CNN Update:

Fish or cut bait? Obama, Congress to meet on fiscal cliff

By Tom Cohen, CNN

updated 11:07 AM EST, Fri December 28, 2012

Washington (CNN) — Is it political theater or a true last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff?

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders will discuss the looming tax hikes and spending cuts of the fiscal cliff at a White House meeting on Friday, as increasingly anxious markets and taxpayers look for any hint of progress.

Stocks opened lower on Friday amid growing fears that the president and legislators will fail to strike a deal, which also caused the Consumer Confidence Index to drop on Thursday.

Economists warn that continued stalemate could cause another recession as taxes go up on everyone with the expiration of lower rates from the administration of President George W. Bush, coupled with slashed government spending, including for the military.

great ideas!

Karen Toole-Ebbert Photo

Two great ideas.  One I wrote about, one I just found out about.First is a cash mob. (You can read my piece on Philly.com )

Second is a Daily Salvo video below about a Lower Merion Township Commissioner named Lew Gould who wants parking meter use suspended on Saturdays to help small businesses during a bad economy.

Anyway, at bottom check out Daily Salvo video, but right now, check out a little piece I wrote on something called a Cash Mob.  A cash mob would be perfect for Chester County Book and Music Company.  After all, maybe they have an interest in staying open given the survey on their website.  A cash mob descending on Chester County Book and Music would give them cash, and possibly much-needed media and public attention – but Chester County Book and Music Company can’t organize their own cash mobs, a customer would have to do it.  Or a business district authority or chamber of commerce if one exists in  and around West Goshen.

Flash mobs inspire Ardmore cash mob

By Carla J. Zambelli

You heard of flash mobs? Now there are cash mobs.

Flash mobs have gotten a bad name when they’ve turned into riots, but cash  mobs are all about supporting the community. They are a way to give back to a  small business by making purchases of at least $20 during a cash mob event.

“Cash mobs have definitely evolved from flash mobs,” said Suzanne Obzanski,  director of marketing for cashmob.com,  “except   members of a cash mob show up  and mob a store with cash. It  is a grassroots,  community-led movement that inspires community members  to shop in locally-owned  stores instead of big-box retailers.”

One was held Thursday in Ardmore. Karen Toole-Ebbert, a community  volunteerism enthusiast from Belmont Hills, called Sherry Tillman, owner of  Past*Present*Future, a high end craft and hand-made items gift boutique, to see  if she was game.

Tillman was ecstatic to be chosen as the recipient of Lower Merion’s first  cash mob.

“I was mobbed, baby!” Tilman said. “I was thrilled to be the business  selected.  It brought a lot of people in at one time, creating a fun shopping  experience.

Click HERE to check out the cash mob page for LM & Narberth. Learn more about the cash mob movement: http://www.cashmob.com/

Here is The Daily Salvo video:

 

daily salvo: eye on west vincent….again

This is just excellent!  Feel free to share and to “LIKE”  Daily Salvo on Facebook (and comment there if you like!).  Daily Salvo is on 1180 WFYL.com every day somewhere around 8 a.m. and they have a website too.  Smile West Vincent Township, tales of your escapades are spreading….just as bad news is wont to do….

Daily Salvo has also touched on West Vincent’s issues in two other pieces of commentary:

 

 

salvo spotlight once again on west vincent township

The Daily Salvo is once again taking a field trip to Chester County, PA.  Specifically, West Vincent Township.  How very interesting.

Daily Salvo can also be heard on News Talk 1180 WFYL.com

The three pigs visual is darn funny. Don’t know if Supervisor David Brown, formerly of Lawyer Merion, err Lower Merion Township will find it as amusing, but here’s wondering if Daily Salvo finds his political “roots” amusing? After all given the time line, he must have had some crossover with one of the attempting fathers of eminent domain in Lower Merion Township, Ken Davis, right?   Can it be said if you follow poitics that some of the “old guard” in Lower Merion nearly not only destroyed Republican politics in Lower Merion, but Montgomery County as well? So you always wonder where people go when they disapear off your local scene, right?

And isn’t it so cute that Lower Merion’s old David Brown is now what he seems he always wanted to be, as in a local politician in West Vincent?  Gotta give a guy credit for sticking to goals, right?

Check out an article from the Inquirer archives from 1997 and below that 1991:

Commissioner Seeks To Oust Foe From Nov. Ballot The Lower Merion Official Said Gloria L. Agre Moved Too Recently.

June 18, 1997|By Anne Barnard, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT

LOWER MERION — Township Commissioner Kenneth E. Davis, a Republican representing Gladwyne, is seeking to disqualify his Democratic challenger, Gloria L. Agre, charging that she moved to the ward too recently to qualify as a candidate.

Democrats yesterday confirmed that Agre moved to the ward about a month before the May 20 primary but said they were still looking into whether that would disqualify her.

In a complaint filed Monday in Montgomery County Court, Davis cites the First Class Township Code as saying that candidates for commissioner for a given ward must have lived in that ward for at least a year before election…..

A state-issued Township Commissioners Handbook states the same requirement.

“It’s kind of a monumental screw-up,” said David P. Brown 3d, an attorney who filed the complaint on Davis’ behalf. “It’s not an obscure point of law.

“It’s either ignorance of the law or they’re playing fast and loose with it, and I’m not going to characterize which,” he added.

A Night Of Clashing Candidates. Brown Queried On Tax Troubles

December 15, 1991|By Kathi Kauffman, Special to The Inquirer
 By the time the Lower Merion commissioners got around to interviewing candidates for a seat on their board Wednesday night, only a handful of townspeople were left to watch……First up was David P. Brown, endorsed by the leaders of the Republican party and former Ward 2 Commissioner Calvin S. Drayer, who resigned late in November. The board plans to appoint a commissioner to complete Drayer’s unexpired term on Wednesday.

Democratic Commissioner Alan C. Kessler wasted no time in raising the issue of federal tax liens against Brown worth more than $37,000.

“I’m sure you would agree that the township needs to be fiscally responsible,” Kessler said, referring to the $170 trash fee passed recently to help balance the township’s 1992 budget.

“In the face of the tax liens against you, do you feel you are the best person to serve the township?” asked Kessler.

Brown replied that during the course of his recent divorce, his lawyer had advised him that if he paid the taxes, “there would be a tactical disadvantage.”

He added, “These problems are a one-time situation. I don’t think they reflect on my commitment to the community or on my integrity.”…

Brown also said that he had just paid off hundreds of dollars in overdue business privilege taxes last week.

“I discovered in preparation for this interview that they had not been paid for several years now,” Brown said adding that the taxes and penalties incurred have now been paid in full.

“In other words,” said Kessler, “you thought that before running for commissioner, it might be a good idea to pay your taxes.”

After the interview, Brown said that his failure to pay the business privilege tax was a simple oversight.

“I was not expecting the kind of highly partisan attack that occurred,” Brown said. “The liens are public information and I am expecting to get them cleaned up in the next month. I would say the situation is unfortunate, personally embarrassing to me. I resent the political use of it, and I am still very much a candidate.”….Finally, Kenneth E. Davis was called before the board. Davis said he had been encouraged by Republican leaders to seek the Ward 2 seat when Drayer resigned. But he was then informed that the party would be supporting Brown instead, so he withdrew the application. He rejoined the field hours before the interviews were held…..Manko told the board, “If David Brown is picked, it stinks,”

But the thing is this West Vincent, politics on the most local level should be about the individual, not if they are a mini-me version of politics on a larger scale.  And sometimes people present a good face as candidates and once they are in office they pretty much suck.

Seriously, local yokel politicians only have as much power over you as you allow. And remember ultimately they work for you thew residents, which means you can fire them with the power of your vote.

All I know is reading all this stuff from the outside, I wonder how long it will take for West Vincent government to implode upon itself?  A beautiful place that seems to hide a lot of inner turmoil and ugliness?  So sad.

FYI, it was Mr. Brown, who put his bio out there and here is his poitical resume:

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

  • Republican Committee of Lower Merion & Narberth Committeeman 1976 – 1990 Counsel to Committee 1990 – 2004 Member Executive Committee 1990 – 2004 Former Solicitor to Montgomery County Controller
  • Republican Committee of Chester County Committeeman 2006 – present

So now that Mr. Brown is a Supervisor in West Vincent, here’s hoping he does the right thing by  all residents, yes?

The last word is check out today’s The Mercury – there is an editorial called “Why should West Vincent taxpayers pay for official’s health care?”