military charter school being proposed in rtsd back for another hearing (and will be before tesd eventually) and a charter school is coming for a bite at the education apple in wcasd

Wake up media, you have stories unfolding requiring immediate attention. The same can be said for residents in two Chester County school districts and on Delaware County school district.

I actually have mixed emotions at this juncture about charter schools. When our son was in school, it was a God send due to bullying issues that were not being dealt with in public school as well as the fact we had serious issues when he was in an elementary school that was supposed to be one of the best and in some cases, there were NO books for subjects like history. We sent him to Renaissance Academy Charter School in Phoenixville. There were ups and downs as is the case with any school, but it was a good experience, and they placed a high percentage of kids in great schools. IT still is an academic alternative that I think is serving 20 or 21 school districts at this point.

But now I am starting to look at charter schools with different eyes. Because of the new kids coming to the table in 2023. Specifically in WCASD (West Chester Area School District) and RTSD (Radnor Township School District). And the one for RTSD will also involve TESD (Tredyffrin Easttown School District.)

I will start with WCASD because that is where a charter school that is kind of coming on a stealth basis. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School. They say they have non-profit status, only it’s a little hard to find anything, not even a website announcing who they are, their board of directors, etc. They do have a Facebook page and please note how they get their jollies, making it quite clear what they are about:

First up? A fundraiser has been established on Give Send GO:

Would you like to be part of a success story? Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School in Exton, PA will be just that!  We will provide a traditional classical liberal education for each and every child.

The liberal arts in particular and liberal education in general are the surest, most time-tested way to direct students toward a life that is truly free. Our rigorous K-12 curriculum is content-rich, balanced, and strong, with an emphasis upon the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history, and attention to music, art, physical education, and foreign languages. In addition, we believe that by training students in the moral, intellectual, and civic virtues we are equipping them to live well-ordered lives as human beings and as citizens.


Your donation will provide funds to ensure a successful application and start-up of our LICENSED HILLSDALE COLLEGE K12 school in the Exton, PA area.  ALL DONATIONS GO DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE START UP COSTS OF THE SCHOOL. Attorney’s fees, administrative and marketing costs, website design, office rental, postage and other miscellaneous fees will be covered.  All board members are VOLUNTEERS. We will open a K-8 program in the Fall of 2024 and add a grade level each year until we have our first graduating class, the Class of 2028.

For more information on the Hillsdale College K12 program, click on this link:

https://k12.hillsdale.edu/?_gl=1*jvupm3*_ga*NjIxODc5NzkwLjE2Njk1NzMyNTg.*_ga_FBJP6CFLDM*MTY2OTk4OTQ3My42LjEuMTY2OTk4OTUxNy4xNi4wLjA.

Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School is an approved 501-c3 non-profit organization.

For more information, please contact us at this email:  vfcacs@gmail.com.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DONATING!

Gosh, they had me at indoctrination. You know right there, what this is about, don’t you?

The woman who established the fundraiser is referred to in this WHYY article from 2022:

And now there is an open house on Saturday, January 28th, 2023 at 21 Hagerty Blvd in West Chester where all the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism gather for meetings sometimes:

Jan 28

OPEN HOUSE – VALLEY FORGE CLASSICAL ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL

ANNOUNCING OUR FIRST OPEN HOUSE FOR PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES IN THE CHESTER COUNTY AREA!

By VALLEY FORGE CLASSICAL ACADEMY SCHOOL BOARD

Come and meet members of the board and learn about a classical education. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School is slated to open in the Fall of 2024 for K-8 students. Each year we will add one year of our high school program and graduate our first class in 2030!


Seems lot o’ stuff happens at 21 Hagerty Blvd in West Chester in as far as certain political based gatherings? So this would be a charter school in WCASD BUT will it meet the requirements of public schools? This school tried before didn’t they? Or is this another proposed school with some of the same players?


Does West Whiteland know about this since they seem as if they are looking at property in West Whiteland? Get out the #popcorn because the Stepford Mommies for Totalitarianism will want this school and like their behavior in school districts will want the taxpayers paying for this too. I will say honestly, that the lady running the fundraiser? Has a lot of charter school experience, so she is sharp.

Now back to Radnor Township School District. And people in Tredyffrin Easttown School District need to pay attention because this is a charter school being proposed at Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s campus, which straddles a couple of municipalities and counties, doesn’t it? And who exactly recruited this school to Valley Forge’s campus? Was it in fact Valley Forge Military School and College which as we know got rejected on their own application prior to this one?

I first bought you the odd tale of Radnor and Pennsylvania Military Charter School at Valley Forge on December 15th, 2022:

Then the Philadelphia had a whopper of an article on Christmas Eve. My late father always said big news sneaks in on weekends and holidays and not enough people pay attention.

Philadelphia Inquirer: For a second time, a charter school is being proposed at Valley Forge Military Academy
Unlike the last proposal, which was put forward by the military academy, the latest application is being advanced by backers with no formal ties to the Main Line private school.

by Maddie Hanna
Updated Dec 24, 2022

Supporters are trying again to open a military-themed charter school on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy and College, despite a denial from the Radnor school board last year.

Unlike the previous proposal — which was put forward by the military academy and which Radnor rejected as an apparent effort “to subsidize VFMA and make VFMA available to students through the use of public funds” — the latest application is being advanced by backers with no formal ties to the Main Line private school, including a recently retired Republican state senator and a former head of a charter school advocacy group. The chairman of the proposed charter’s board said it would be a “marriage made in heaven.”

In the latest proposal, Pennsylvania Military Charter School would still rent facilities from VFMA — paying $3 million a year, according to its application to Radnor, compared with $500,000 in the proposal rejected in May 2021…..The new charter application is supported by a charter school management company that started in Arizona and now runs schools in states including Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina.

The company, Charter One, initiated the latest application, said Joshua Johnson, the chair of the board for the proposed charter, which is now pending before the Radnor and Tredyffrin/Easttown school boards.

A retired U.S. Army Green Beret who now works for a leadership development firm, Johnson, who lives in Carlisle, said he was contacted by Charter One to serve on the board.

“We think there’s still a need … to have an alternative to a traditional school that’s based on military school principles, but doesn’t fall into that boarding school category,” Johnson said in an interview, adding that some parents “can’t necessarily afford the tuition Valley Forge charges.”

Unlike VFMA — which costs $39,000 for boarding students, and $24,000 for day students — the charter would be free to attend. Charter schools are publicly funded; in Pennsylvania, school districts pay charters based on the number of enrolled students and what the district spends per child.

Pennsylvania Military Charter says it would enroll 975 students from kindergarten through 12th grade — about four times as many students as are currently on the campus. The boys-only academy enrolls about 140 students in grades 7 through 12, while 80 more are enrolled at the military college, according to school officials….The charter’s $17 million budget includes $1 million for an educational service provider fee; that money would go to Charter One for professional services and operational supports, Johnson said.

According to the charter’s application, the fee would also cover an “aggressive” marketing plan to potential students, including paid social media advertisements and direct mail.

Among those who have also agreed to serve on the charter’s board are recently retired State Sen. Bob Mensch, a Republican who didn’t seek reelection, and Lenny McAllister, a senior fellow with the conservative Commonwealth Foundation who previously was CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools.

Following Johnson’s presentation to the Radnor board, the lone public comment came from a woman who questioned why the charter hadn’t included gender identity or sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy; whether gay or lesbian students would be welcome; and what plans the school had to avoid hazing and abuse. (In rejecting the previous charter proposal, the Radnor board had said VFMA failed to adequately address community concerns about abuse allegations at its school.)

“Respect for persons is absolutely one of the things we’re going to drive,” Johnson said. “But when it comes to gender identification, it will be our policy that the gender and name on the birth certificate is how they’re going to be addressed at our school.”

SO….has Tredyffrin Easttown School District (TESD) scheduled their hearing yet? Here is the entirety of the January 17th Radnor School Board Meeting:

Here are 3 smaller videos which pulls out some crucial public comment:

This all gives me pause. Essentially, I have to ask if these people wanting to start charter schools which all supposedly have Pennsylvania non profits but will really be run by entities in other states should even be allowed to open charter schools in Pennsylvania?

And of course, then you have to wonder how they will deal with what public schools are required to have and do have as far as the many complicated issues facing public schools? And will they be fair and equal and non discriminatory in all areas including sexual and gender identity? And why should people have to watch their tax dollars get siphoned off for schools started by people who have so many issues with public schools that haven’t been upheld by the courts over the past few years? Gender/sexual identity, books they don’t like, masking, vaccines, etc.? Why are taxpayers supposed to pay for their peculiarities?

Truly if you have time, watch and listen to the recent Radnor meeting. And remember that is not just a concern to residents in the Radnor Township School District service area in Radnor Township Delaware County but also in Tredyffrin Easttown School District in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships in Chester County. Interesting things include a website possibly intimating approval – https://www.military.academy/valley-forge when they are far, far from it. They do not seem to have a business plan but they have plans for a course of study called ethical hacking. And as this hearing goes on , the charter presenters seem to become well, combative and uneasy.

With both of these proposed charter schools there seem to be many troubling questions, sadly. Here’s hoping the media steps up and really digs in.

Again, in conclusion, I am not against charter schools in the least. But these two give me pause. Also is there really a need for their brand of charter?

Stay tuned.

will pennsylvania military charter school at valley forge be a fit for radnor township school dist

I just watched a replay of a Radnor Township school Board meeting. It was a special hearing about a proposed charter school. Now charter schools are always a hot button topic with school districts because essentially, they have to share money and resources. School districts never share well or necessarily willingly with charter schools.

First we met the man who would head the school, I guess (but I am not sure.) He’s on the board however. His name is Joshua Johnson. He had an extremely impressive and extraordinary military career. He was a Green Beret.

Also on the board, and present although he did not speak was retired Republican State Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) , who once served Bucks, Berks, and Montgomery Counties. Prior to that Senator Mensch was a State Representative in the 147th legislative district, and he started in politics as a Supervisor in Malborough Township Bucks County. I will note that Senator Mensh was instrumental in getting breast cancer legislation passed in PA, specifically bills SB 1225 for no-cost breast MRI, SB 1330 for no-cost genetic testing and counseling. I am an 11 year breast cancer survivor and I can tell you how awesome that is. Breast cancer is a financial albatross, trust me, and it is the gift that is like a financial black hole at times.

Here is how US News and World Report breaks it down:

Charter schools are publicly-funded, tuition-free schools, but they differ from traditional public schools in key ways. Comparing charter schools to public schools requires weighing a few different considerations.

First, charters have more flexibility. Rather than being part of a public school district, which dictates curriculum and standards in all schools, charters operate autonomously through individual agreements, or charters, with state or local governments that dictate rules and performance standards.

Given the ability to operate through these agreements, individual charter schools can tailor their curriculum, academic focus, discipline policy and other matters generally decided at the school district or state board level. In return for that flexibility, charter schools are supposed to be more accountable to parents and the state or local governments that authorize them….

The charter school movement, which gained prominence in the late 1980s and has been gaining ground ever since, began as a way to close the achievement gap between white and non-white students. Many charters still view that as a core mission.

But many of the same problems that plague traditional public schools are found in charters as well. New Orleans, where nearly all public schools became charters after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, still deals with the stratification of students and a pernicious racial achievement gap, says Adamson, who has studied the impact of charter schools in New Orleans…Education experts recommend that parents do research into the charter, visit the school and compare it carefully to the public-school alternative. Look beyond test scores and talk to educators who work at the school and parents who send their children there….Quantitative data includes test scores, graduation rates, college attendance rates and similar metrics, he says. Qualitative information could include surveys that measure student and family satisfaction, the type of curriculum they use, their beliefs and their policy on discipline.

So. I will state for the record, I do not have a problem with charter schools. Our child attended a very good one. But it was inclusive. Based on the Question and Answer segment after the presentation here, I am not sure what to think.

I did record it:

I do not know how this will play out, and honestly, I am not sure this concept will fly in the Main Line of today, even if it is proposed to be on the campus of an existing military school and college. One thing I do not get however is why the JROTC or whatever would go to Norristown, versus creating something on Valley Forge’s Campus?

The reality is Valley Forge Military Academy and College seems to be dying, doesn’t it? They have already sold off land, haven’t they? The school when you drive by no longer seems as crisp and tidy as it once was, does it? So what happens if there is no charter school approved? Do they keep slicing off bits of land and selling, or close up shop altogether and sell the whole kit and caboodle?

Valley Forge Military Academy and College itself has had a LOT of bad press in recent years. But in November an article in the Washington Post, was surprisingly positive. It was about Wes Moore, who was recently elected Governor of Maryland. Earlier this year, however, there was a scathing Mother Jones article about VFMAC

So it’s not just a simple conversation about charter schools. It’s also a conversation about military schools. There are however, other military based Charter Schools, and in the area too. Maritime Academy Charter School in Philadelphia and Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson in Philadelphia. First State Military Academy in Delaware. Delaware Military Academy.

It’s not a stand alone idea that no one has done, I just don’t know how it will fly on the Main Line. Face it, Main Line School Districts don’t even ever want charter schools in my opinion. It means fund and resource sharing and it also is an ego thing since public schools especially on the Main Line are supposed to be the greatest period.

The sticking point here I feel will be what was raised by that parent who asked about how the school would handle sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. This resident did not see it in their mission statement. Mr. Johnson responded that gender identification and name would be the same as found on a student’s birth certificate.

OK ummm…Pentagon seems to feel differently these days, yes? Or are supposed to?

The Pentagon’s policies on this topic are discussed in an NPR article I found from 2021. (CLICK HERE FOR NPR ARTICLE.) Essentially this reversed the Trump era rules, which were what’s on your birth certificate. Biden lifted that ban in 2021 which is in the NPR article, so I do not know how this will shake out for this charter school. It’s an uncomfortable military topic. See CNN article (CLICK HERE.) See Military Times article (CLICK HERE.)

If this charter school wants a real chance, then they need to align with what the Pentagon now says, right?

I will also note that in 2021 Valley Forge Military Academy and College was DENIED a similar charter school application. (CLICK HERE.)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Radnor school board denies Valley Forge Military Academy’s bid to open a charter

by Maddie Hanna
Published May 28, 2021

The Valley Forge Military Academy, a long-standing Main Line private school that in recent years has faced declining enrollment and allegations of mismanagement, has been denied in a bid to open a publicly funded charter school.

The Radnor school board, which rejected the application Tuesday, said the proposed Valley Forge Military Academy Charter School wasn’t sufficiently independent from the private school. The charter was proposed to be located on the academy’s campus and would have paid rent to the academy.

“It appears that representatives from VFMA applied to form a charter school in an effort to subsidize VFMA and make VFMA available to students through the use of public funds,” the board said in its denial, which was posted on the district’s website Wednesday. It called the application “plainly against the spirit and the letter” of Pennsylvania’s charter school law….The school has been accused of overlooking sexual abuse and hazing. Enrollment has declined, and the school has incurred financial losses. Alumni have accused trustees of mismanagement, though the board has denied those claims and maintained the academy is on the right track….During hearings before the Radnor board, representatives of the military academy said some students interested in their school had been rejected due to their inability to pay tuition.

That isn’t a rationale for the school to form a charter, Radnor’s school board said — adding that the purpose of the charter law “is not to subsidize private school tuition through the use of public school funds.”…The school board cited other faults with the application, including that the academy had failed to respond to community concerns about hazing and abuse allegations at its school….And because some of the proposed charter’s facilities would be in Chester County, it erred in failing to also apply to the Tredyffrin/Easttown school board, according to the Radnor denial.

I found their presentation on Radnor Township School Board’s website, which I found cumbersome to noodle around on, so I will share below. I wonder since part of this VFMAC campus is in Tredyffrin, are they presenting a charter application to that school board as well>

I have no dog in this race, my goal here is to inform only. There is a meeting scheduled about this for in the new year. It is actually a continuation of the public hearing on this Charter School. The date the school board lady announced was Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 at 7 PM . If interested in this, pay attention to the meeting schedule and contact THEM. NOT ME. A new charter school is a relatively big deal, let alone a military one, so I am kind of surprised about zero media coverage. Have a good night.

radnor bought ardrossan land that is farmed by a tenant farmer but perhaps it’s time to be more hands on with regard to chemicals used to plan for a better future?

I still don’t know what to think about the Radnor farmer. First there is the whole low rent thing in a time when Radnor Township’s finances are ummm shall we say not fabulous? And that is no dig at farmers, I support farmers. But this is a farmer farming on public land and well, that changes the landscape, right?

I did a Right to Know on the whole farmer in the dell recently, and I have to say, I still am left wondering about so much.

Now in 2013, Radnor inked a deal to buy 71 acres of Ardrossan for $11+ million. Wheeler Field, Quarry Field, Rye Field. “Everyone loves the cows” was a catchy phrase back then attributed to a commissioner then who is on Delaware County Council now, and some say has higher aspirations still. The farmer is also on two other fields nearby supposedly, correct? Not owned by Radnor Township but old Ardrossan Land?

So there is a farmer farming on the Radnor Township land. That started I guess around 2015 as per an old Patch article? In same family that worked for Hope Scott when it was Ardrossan proper, correct? Main Line Media News reported back then that residents were concerned about chemicals being used on the land. At that time, Main Line Media News quoted Commissioner Elaine Paul Schaefer (now of Delaware County Council):

“I believe a license agreement with the current farmer will be on the agenda for one of our next meetings, so we will have the opportunity to hear resident comment and discuss all the issues involved,” said Schaefer. “The current farmer has been farming the Ardrossan land for over 25 years, and his father farmed it for the generation before him. I believe that most residents would like to see this farmer continue to farm the land, as his very unique operation provides the beloved cows that beautify the landscape. As I understand it, the proposed license will require that the farmer utilize best management practices and adhere to the NCRS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) approved soil conservation plan.”ELAINE PAUL SCHAEFER TO MAIN LINE MEDIA NEWS 3/3/2015

So, I think it’s TRULY wonderful part of Ardrossan is still farmed, don’t misunderstand me, but well, what chemicals are being used on the fields should be an open and evolving discussion, right? Way back when Radnor inked this deal with the farmer, people urged the farmer to be as organic as possible, correct?

People started asking questions again this year. And Radnor Township is nothing sort of SUPER TOUCHY when it comes to ANYTHING Ardrossan.

So my Right to Know. I filed it, included a note saying hi to the solicitor. Solicitor got my email, Radnor open records officer apparently did NOT. I did not know any of this, and discovered it when I realized I hadn’t received an acknowledgment of any kind, rejection, response. So I filed an appeal to Open Records in Harrisburg and let Radnor know. The open records officer at Radnor was super apologetic and got what I requested together. She was very nice, no issues with her. I subsequently withdrew my appeal at the state level because that was the right thing to do.

I have been going through what I requested. Some of the records are rather hazy. I believe that is because that is how documents were given to Radnor and quite frankly, the farmer should provide clear copies for that sweetheart deal he gets to continue to farm. He might not like that opinion, but he farms on public land, and he is answerable to said public.

Now interestingly enough someone Radnor-centric said to me when I was starting this why didn’t I just go to the fields and take water/soil samples since it is public land. Ummm. Yeah. No can do. It is public land with a tenant who has a leasehold, so that would be wrong, be trespassing. I do however, think the state and county, if not the township should do routine testing.

So if you take the Quarry field, from what I was able to see on some documents which were fuzzy at best, the following products look like they were used used on Quarry Field in 2022 (Soybeans):


TORCH: manufactured by Farmalinx Pty LTD; a preemergent herbicide for annual weeds


FRONT RUNNER: manufactured by Atticus; preemergent for weeds, where crop is specifically for soybeans. Possibly acute hazard for aquatic environment?


CREDIT41 – manufactured by Keystone Pest Solutions. “Credit 41 Extra is a post-emergent, systemic herbicide with no soil residual activity. It is generally non-selective and gives broad-spectrum control of many annual weeds, perennial weeds, woody brush and trees.”


Other post-emergent chemicals used: Fome kill, Status, Turbo, Durango – all weed killers, but with minimal toxicity.

Now remember, I wrote about the chemical issues before and a resident went to the township and provided thoughtful commentary about chemicals used by the farmer in March of 2022:

Although not directly noted (as I do not know how to add the direction arrow to the Quarry Field), between the bottom of the Quarry Field and the boundaries of the Skunk Hollow Community Garden, lies the Little Darby Creek. This creek is a part of the Darby Creek system, is stocked, on an annual basis, with trout for fishing by both adults and especially children, is played in and most importantly, the endangered American Eel has been directly observed moving up through this creek and into the Willows Pond. 

Thus, there are several herbicides delineated to be toxic to fish, to water invertebrates and generally to be avoided.  DEVOUR, by Federal law, is NOT to be used in parks, golf courses and playgrounds – thus, as this field is Township owned, PLU, this herbicide should not be used!

Thank you…. for passing on to me the official records for herbicides applied to the Township-owned property called ‘the Quarry field’, in which the farmer….applies to the field in order to grow a good crop of Corn, that will be fed to his cattle. The records that I have received are from 2016, 2017, 2018, with the note that nothing was grown in the Quarry Field in 2020. What seems to be absent are any records for 2019 and 2021. 

For purposes of review, the principal herbicides applied have been consistent across the time span, including Acuron, Princep, Warrior II, Max Supreme, Abundit Extra, Devour, LamCap II, Gramoxone.

ACURON is a Syngenta product, an herbicide for long-season re-emergent weed control and specifically for Corn. It is a restricted  pesticide/herbicide, and hazardous to the applicator through skin irritation and allergic reaction. This product may damage fertility.  It is a mix of chemicals, including Atrazine. “Research has liked Atrazine to birth defects and cancer in people, and even miniscule doses can chemically castrate frogs. It has been banned or is being phased out in more than 35 countries but is the second-most commonly used herbicide in the United States. “It is known as an Endocrine-disrupting pesticide. “

PRINCEP, aka Simazine, is manufactured by Syngenta, focusing on corn, to address 40 broad-leafed weeds and annual grasses. The chemical is not persistent in soil. It is a restricted -applied chemical, with applicator issues of eye irritation, and a suspected but not proven carcinogen. The MSDS sheets indicated that it is toxic to fish and other water invertebrates. 

WARRIOR II – manufactured by Syngenta US. The primary use is to ‘defeat’ beetles, weevils and borers. This chemical is HIGHLY toxic to bees if directly exposed or if ‘’visiting’ flowers in bloom. P.S. Now being used to address Spotted Lanternfly. 

MAXSUPREME – is a liquid activator adjuvant specifically formulated to maximize herbicide performance for the designated crop. 

ABUNDIT EXTRA/EDGE – a Syngenta product, this is a pre-emergent herbicide, containing Glysophate which is formulated for ‘tolerant corn’. It has acute toxicity as an inhalant. It is noted on the USMS sheets to avoid spillage near water, as it is toxic to water organisms. 

DEVOUR, manufactured by Innvictus Cone, LLC. A highly-toxic, PARAQUAT-based, not selective, broad spectrum herbicide. There are lawsuits moving through the courts to remove this chemical from use, as mis-use of this herbicide  has been proven to cause at 250% increase in the disease Parkinson. 

There is established FEDERAL law that the use of DEVOUR is prohibited in parks, on golf courses and playgrounds!

LAMCAP II – manufactured by Syngenta, a restricted insecticide. This chemical is extremely toxic to fish, aquatic organisms, and toxic to wildlife. Note the MSDS sheets advise to be careful to avoid wet ground, to avoid runoff into water. 

GRAMOXONE SL2.0 – manufactured by Syngenta- A ‘knockdown herbicide. The active ingredient is PARAQUAT [see comments in Devour that relate to Paraquat (and Parkinsonism). Gramoxone is toxic to fish and other water invertebrates. 

To accomplish this research I examined the website for each of these chemicals, focusing on the purpose, usage and any possible toxicity. Since the purchase of sections of Ardrossan by Radnor Township, resulting in an increase of acres of parkland [Public Land Use], means that the resident/owners of this land needs to be protected, as well as the wildlife that inhabits the land and waters. ~RADNOR RESIDENT 3/23/22

So this resident had come to a blogger because she felt she was not really being heard. She is a senior citizen. However when watching an EAC meeting recording in August, I noticed something somewhat terrifying to me: the citizen’s EAC was told not to discuss this topic and it made me stop and go HUH and isn’t it just bizarre? I mean it’s NO big secret that Radnor Township Commissioner Lisa Borowski (former BOC Prez and Vice Prez) has aspirations and is running for State Rep in the PA 168th, right?

So here we are. And I know some of the documents are BEYOND fuzzy, but as it was explained to me, Radnor complied with my request. A municipality produces what it has in its possession and does its best to be responsive to a request. It doesn’t enhance or detract from the quality of the record. And that is if a municipality is responsive to a request. Not all are, like West Whiteland Township, for example. But that is another conversation.

I still have concerns, but it is up to Radnor Township residents to wake up on this and many other issues. Radnor is sliding back to days people don’t want, and most sadly don’t remember, including their current commissioners who don’t know their rear ends from holes in the wall a lot of the time, let alone township history. That is my opinion, of course.

One thing that did bug me a smidge in what I got from the Right to Know was what I consider a major face palm moment via a PA DEP pesticide guy named Donald Gilbert:

Sooo I am wondering what this PA DEP chemical specialist doesn’t understand about some Radnor residents being concerned about what farmer leasing Quarry/Rye field/Wheeler Tract sprays do you? Public land that leads to Little Darby Creek,a water source, right?

And for argument’s sake, is the PA DEP on top of the golf courses he refers to as far as chemicals they use and proximity to natural water sources too? Aronomink and Overbrook? That would mean they would have to watch Thomas Run and Miles Run, right? They flow to Darby Creek according to maps? And then if you want to include another club, Radnor Valley Country Club they have the Ithan Creek running through somewhere, right? And doesn’t that new Ardrossan Wigwam community have creeks or similar too?

What is going onto the fields is important. If engineered seed is indeed used, also important. It’s important to the cows one would think, as well, right?

Now I asked other state people some questions to try to better understand things. Not a complaint, but essentially seeking clarity on how things work from a state perspective. I asked how they check up on chemicals farmers or using near streams:

All agricultural operations that land apply manure or agricultural process waste water are required to have a manure management plan or nutrient management plan. Any starter or supplemental fertilizer must be accounted for in the Manure Management Plan or Nutrient Management Plan.

If the operation is a CAO (over 2000 lb of livestock or poultry per acre available for manure application) or a large CAFO (determined by EPA’s headcount numbers in 40 CFR 122.23(b)(4)) the operation is inspected annually by the county conservation district or State Conservation Commission. If the operation is a CAFO it is inspected at least once every five years in addition to the annual inspection by the county conservation district or state conservation commission.

If the operation is in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and not a CAO or CAFO, routine inspections are conducted by the County Conservation District or DEP to determine compliance with manure management regulations.

Other inspections are carried out by DEP or county conservation districts in response to manure-related complaints.

However, I must restate that the above is the compliance strategy associated with the land application of manure, not pesticide use. Paraquat and RoundUp are pesticides. I will reiterate what is stated below:

Concerns of pesticide applications including those on public (township) lands would be addressed-by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) or by the Township. The certification of pesticide applicators and the pesticide application program is under PDA, not the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). 

I also support touching base with the township which may have additional considerations for township land.

~ PA DEP Bureau of Watershed Restoration and Nonpoint Source Management
Agriculture Compliance Section 10/20/22

Now also interesting is I asked about Little Darby Creek. Little Darby Creek and its tributaries have a designated use of Cold-Water Fishery, Migratory Fishes. There are no Special stream protection designations such as High Quality or Exceptional Value in this area. I had previously though there was a high quality or exceptional value designation. I did read it somewhere, so I will have to consult my notes. I was grateful for the clarity.

In this recent journey for information, I coincidentally did discover there is a site the DEP used to monitor (some heating oil thing) with Facility ID 778907 Ardrossan Farm Parcel A7 – close to this same area where the fields are. It was some sort of remediation from years ago having to do with I think a heating oil spill. I found it once on this thing called emap (https://www.depgis.state.pa.us/emappa/). It’s a public tool which should be easy to use, but I find it somewhat temperamental to use.

So Radnor residents, what I learned from the state is concerns regarding pesticide applications including those on public (township) lands would be addressed-by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) or by said township. Now Radnor does have “policy” here as it is in the lease agreement the farmer operates under. The farmer is NOT required to be organic, and I will note getting an organic status is a lot of work and money. But Radnor has this verbiage in their agreement about the farmer utilizing best management practices, but it is not up to me to decide if best practices are up to snuff, etc.

I do not think Radnor Township is paying close enough attention. In my opinion in part this is because it’s Ardrossan.

Ardrossan stopped being the thing we remember after Bobby Scott died. That was 2005. Also see NY Post: The curse that plagued the family who inspired ‘The Philadelphia Story’. And Main Line Media News Ardrossan estate’s final chapter.

But Ardrossan is like Radnor’s proverbial sacred cow. But it’s 2022 and the estate is dotted with McMansions and McMansion attitudes. Who knows what will happen to the great house some day. But those fields and that land which Radnor bought in 2013 was purchased with public funds, yes? Then Radnor Township still has a duty to the public here, yes? I think they do.

You can’t undo what has already been done with regard to herbicides and pesticides, but I think Radnor and Radnor’s farmer could go forward with perhaps a better plan? It’s publicly owned land, after all. I support farms and farmers, but I believe in farming responsibly. I see it out here in Chester County, so it’s possible. This isn’t the only farm in Delaware County, so even from that perspective Radnor Township officials could check out best practices for farmers and maybe the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau could help them? I am sure they could also consult with Natural Lands?

Whatever, am sharing what I learned for the greater good. What Radnor residents do (and Radnor Township itself) is up to them.

meet the busy beaver of west vincent township AND new garden township

Sometimes I forget about people. Take this guy John Granger, Township Manger for hire. I first heard about him in March, 2009 when he was appointed interim township manger in Radnor while manager in Solebury Township, Bucks County, after they fired Dave Bashore. It was almost former Coatesville now Phoenixville guy Jean Krack, but that is another story entirely, isn’t it? In 2016 Granger was in Aston, Delaware County. Before West Vincent, Granger was in Exeter Township, and his contract wasn’t renewed.

I remember literally saying when West Vincent hired him full time, couldn’t they do any better? But whatever, I am but a mere mortal and a female of many questions and opinions. But now there is an “A ha” moment of sorts. Why?

Well because John Granger is a pattern guy. He is doing something in West Vincent he did while full time manager in Solebury, Bucks County: He’s straddling two townships. Yes I am being repetitive.

And sadly, no, I am not kidding you.

Granger will be a “consultant” compensated at $100 per hour, said Board of Commissioners president Tom Masterson (Ward 6).

He came recommended by Radnor’s special labor counsel Neil A. Morris, according to one commissioner. Morris also recommended the township’s interim solicitor John B. Rice of the Bucks County law firm Grim, Biehn and Thatcher.

Granger has been manager in Solebury since 2003. Before that, he was manager of Towamencin Township in Montgomery County from 1991 to 2001.

He also runs a consulting business, Granger Associates, which he describes as “management services for local government, focusing on grant writing and strategic planning,” according to his resume.

The Chalfont resident said Monday he will be using some saved up vacation time at his Solebury Township job, and estimates that he will work anywhere from 30 to 50 hours per week in his Radnor position.

~ main line media news, sam strike article 3/24/2009

New Garden Township Agenda September 19, 2022

So West Vincent Township explain to me how your full time manager John Granger can be your treasurer too and NOW he is interim manger and secretary for New Garden Township as well? West Vincent has approximately 5500 residents and New Garden approximately 11,500 residents? Does he still live in the Chalfont area or did he move?


Great work if you can get it and clearly he can and how much is he making for everything? And this is again what he did when at Solebury Township. He also became Radnor Township’s interim manager. So is West Vincent is supposed to be full time and he’s only there on average 3 days a week, is West Vincent getting a rebate on salary? Wowza West Vincent one would have thought you learned with Wendelgass but even West Pikeland didn’t did they?

Granger has done this before. Kind of double dipping, eh? Township Manager and Treasurer in West Vincent. Interim Township Manager and Secretary in New Garden Township.

Not my country, not my people. But hey, putting it out there. Below after the photos of camera shy Manager Granger today is your history lesson:

So for the “Radnor Time” , Granger came from Solebury, Bucks County. He was not a fan favorite when an interim manager in Radnor Township circa 2009, was he? Didn’t he try for a FL job at some point too? Anyway. He popped up as a name on the Main Line in 2014 with some litigation a former candidate for Radnor Manager filed:

Jury rejects claim against Radnor Township by manager candidate
By RICHARD ILGENFRITZ | rilgenfritz@mainlinemedianews.com | The Delaware County Daily Times
PUBLISHED: March 5, 2014 at 1:26 p.m.

Although a jury declared Wednesday that his future military obligations were a factor in Radnor Township’s decision not to hire an Air Force major as manager in 2009, the same jury added that there were still other reasons as to why it did not hire him.

John J. Murphy, who is currently the city manager in Hobbs, New Mexico, filed suit in federal court in 2011 claiming that Radnor did not hire him as manager because of his future reserve military obligations when the township was looking for a new manager after firing its old manager, David Bashore, in 2009.

In its decision, the jury had to answer two questions.

The first question was whether Murphy’s ongoing reserve military obligations were a contributing factor in its decision not to hire him.

Though the jury answered yes to that question, it was also tasked with the next question as to whether there were other reasons for Radnor not to have hired Murphy. Again, the jury decided the answer was yes.

In order for Murphy to have won the case, the jury would have had to find that there were no other reasons for the township not to have hired him.

Following the verdict, both sides declined comment…..

The township launched a nationwide search for a new township manager in 2009 by bringing in a consultant. The hiring consultant then conducted the nationwide search and received 76 applications for the post.

Radnor has said Murphy was not among the top 17 qualified of the candidates. Murphy, however, had been the put in with a group of eight who were interviewed based on the request of Commissioner John Fisher.

Murphy, the son of a retired Philadelphia police officer and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, had been working as the city manager in Wilkes-Barre, for several years before learning that Radnor was looking for a new manager. In court he said getting the job in Radnor was his chance to come home again.

In testimony during the trial, Radnor said the board believed that Murphy had overstated his qualifications and his role in turning around the troubled finances of the city of Wilkes-Barre when he was manager.

Murphy is also the brother of former Congressman Patrick Murphy who represented a district in Northeast Philadelphia and Bucks County.

Among the issues that came up during the four-day trial was a phone call that Patrick Murphy made on behalf of his brother to the commissioners president at the time…

There were also disputes as to what was said to Murphy by former Radnor interim township manager John Granger.

Granger, in the interim position, was tasked with facilitating interviews with potential candidates in 2009 for Bashore’s replacement.

In his suit and during his testimony, Murphy claims that Granger told him prior to his interview that he was in his list of top candidates. Murphy added that after the interview, Granger called him and said some of the board members had concerns over his ongoing military commitments and he was not selected for a second interview.

On the stand Wednesday, Granger said he did not recall the conversations Murphy was referring to and that he would not have made some of the statements attributed to him.

Granger was brought in to be the township manager in Radnor temporarily while he was also township manager in Solebury Township in Bucks County.

According to Granger’s testimony, he planned on working for Radnor from April through Labor Day in 2009. In the end, he stayed until Dec. 31, 2009.

Granger disputed Murphy’s statements by telling the court that he did not have any favorites because he didn’t really care who Radnor hired.

So….I remember I wrote briefly about this again in 2020 when John Granger was appointed Township Manager of West Vincent Township. West Vincent has a checkered past and present when it comes to elected officials and appointed ones, doesn’t it? Granger was also in Towamencin too:

NEWS
Towamencin officials must remain vigilant

By LANSDALE REPORTER |
PUBLISHED: April 19, 2003 at 6:41 a.m.

Instead, they must keep foremost in their minds that the review highlighted an overall failure to follow formal municipal procedures.

And they must learn from their mistakes in allowing former township Manager John Granger to assume power that wasn‘t his – power he used to transfer $1.9 million from the township to the Towamencin Infrastructure Authority without authorization, according to the independent review.

Township officials and residents are living with the aftermath of these actions, and continue to grapple with such thorny issues as widening Forty Foot Road, building a pedestrian bridge over the widened highway and “village plans“ that have been both touted and questioned in Towamencin.

AT THIS POINT, the township is forging ahead with the controversial project, restarting the procedure to acquire rights-of-way needed for the road-widening and pedestrian bridge project…..WHAT HAS occurred in the past can‘t be changed. And instituting written procedures such as these should go far to ensure the township does not encounter similar problems…..

The other troubling aspect is the topic of John Granger, who apparently has not had to answer for any of his deeds. He left the township abruptly, worked for a time at Temple Ambler‘s Center for Sustainable Communities and now has left that job.

He is a difficult man to track down and refuses to comment on the topic. It would be the right thing for him to come forward and offer an explanation for his actions.

The supervisors should demand this explanation. The public deserves it. And then, with new procedures in force, perhaps the township can move forward.

~ landsdale repoter 4/19/2003

Now back up to 2007, when Granger was quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer regarding open space:

Open spaces pinching suburbs
Municipalities find that keeping land free can turn into a money pit.

By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
Published Aug 12, 2007

….In town halls across the suburbs, conservation euphoria is giving way to the sober realization that open space can be a money pit.

“What did we get ourselves into?” is the increasingly common refrain among municipal officials, said John Granger, manager of Solebury Township in Bucks County.

READING EAGLE: Exeter will search for new township manager

By KEITH SMOKER
PUBLISHED: January 14, 2020

Exeter Township supervisors on Monday voted to officially open the position of township manager. The vote came a week after they agreed not to renew current Manager John Granger’s contract.

Supervisor John Cusatis said later that Granger was given 30 days’ notice when the decision was made Jan. 7. Cusatis did not, when asked, specify a reason for Granger’s pending exit.

Then this pops up:

WFMZ 69 News: Exeter Twp. supervisors take back supervision of police department
Gregory Purcell Jun 27, 2022

EXETER TWP, Pa. – Monday night’s meeting of the Exeter Township Board of Supervisors was relatively calm and quiet, compared to last Wednesday’s special meeting during which the board voted to censure and remove as vice president David Hughes.

The subject of the supervisors’ focus at Monday’s meeting wasn’t Hughes but controversial former Township Manager John Granger, who was fired in early 2020.

Granger had changed the reporting protocol for the chief of police, having the position report to the township manager rather than the supervisors. During Monday’s meeting, the supervisors changed the reporting structure for the police chief back to the way it was before Granger became township manager.

Oh and this is a public record for the PUC from 2019:

why is radnor township like a nancy drew mystery that needs to be solved?

In December of 2013, The Radnor Township Board of Commissioners agreed to buy 71 acres of original Ardrossan land. It was well-documented in the media, right?

To quote Radnor Patch back then:

To cover the $11.6 million cost, Radnor plans to use a $10 million bond issue (previously approved by Radnor voters) as well as supplementary grant funding requested from DCNR, Delaware County and private fundraising, according to the township document.

“The bond payments would be largely funded by revenue from our Open Space Fund, which comes from the real estate transfer tax, rather than from property taxes. However, for an 11 year period (2015 to 2026) the projected payments will exceed the amount available in that fund and we would need a millage increase to make up the difference,” reads a township document on the acquisition.

The document continues, “The millage increase would be structured to sunset in 2026. The millage increase required would be .15 mills. The median home assessment in Radnor is $264,710. That landowner would pay $39.71 a year with such an increase. Further, 67% of the properties in Radnor are assessed under $344,682 and those taxpayers would pay an average of $29.34, with the highest in that range paying $51.70.”

“Board President Elaine Schaefer said the community has had a ‘long-standing desire’ to preserve Ardrossan as open space. She pointed to a 2006 referendum that allowed the board to sell up to $20 million in bonds to pay for open space that was approved by 80 percent of the residents,” reports Main Line Media News.

“Also, in the four recent hearings held to discuss the purchase where “scores of people spoke,” residents supported the plan 3 to 1, she said. While Schaefer said that she understands the financial concerns of ‘the minority,’ Schaefer, who was just reelected, said that Radnor was a democracy,” the newspaper reports. According to the document, the intended use for the land would be for a trail system (both walking/running on the perimeter and macadam/biking on the road) “and continued agricultural use through a farming licensing agreement, and reforestation, habitat and wetland restoration.”

~ Radnor Patch 12/19/2013

OK, let this sink in again for a minute “According to the document, the intended use for the land would be for a trail system (both walking/running on the perimeter and macadam/biking on the road) “and continued agricultural use through a farming licensing agreement, and reforestation, habitat and wetland restoration.”

I have to ask, are their proper trails back there yet and has all of that mentioned years ago happened? Or just cows grazing up against McMansions, so McMansions get tax breaks and the farmer grows his cow’s food and no one seems to wish to actually release a comprehensive report since he signed off on his original lease and Radnor developed the ordinance to produce the lease or whatever?

Not to be picky, but from said document of 2015:

And here, the entire document signed by Bill Spingler in 2015:

So in theory, the chemicals would have to be human, domestic animal and wildlife friendly, right? Also in theory, chemicals used could not pose an actual or potential threat to natural water sources, right?

So if the list of chemicals used by said farmer as part of the lease agreement is supposed to be provided, are they regularly and PUBLICLY available (as in always posted on township website as exhibits in the form in which they arrived with only personal email addresses and phone numbers redacted?) ??? At this point why can’t the issue be discussed at Radnor meetings whenever and why can’t the public seem to ever quite know the truth? I still don’t understand what the big deal in Radnor Township’s mind is since that agreement lays out disclosing of chemicals, etc?

So Radnor what about the chemicals? Has that creek been tested regularly and by whom and where are the test results? Why are no outside environmental groups involved or are they involved and if so who? Does Trout Unlimited know for example? What does Delaware County say or a state thing like the PA DEP?

OK now let’s think about the folks who think the lease agreement is ridiculous and come on where else can someone get a deal of renting gobs of land at a $1 and they keep all the lovely moola they make off of the land as well? That my friends, is a farmer’s dream. I can’t blame a farmer for wanting a great deal because farming is brutally hard work and ungodly expensive. However, there is an original ordinance and lease and lease agreement correct? So what happens if the farmer isn’t keeping with the agreement? Has the lease been changed in any way since it’s original issuance?

So yes, to those who wanted the lease overturned in 2021, did you ever think another way to invalidate a lease is if the terms of the lease weren’t being adhered to? And wouldn’t super nasty chemicals be a lease issue?

Bringing it full circle to today, is that why Radnor doesn’t seem to want to release all of the information the public is entitled to see because it is public land?

Seems pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? But sadly, hasn’t Radnor Township had transparency issues in the past? Sunshine doesn’t just help the crops grow, yo’.

Here are links to articles relevant to the farmer and the original lease. I looked for stuff on the trails that were part of this idea and purchase and subsequent leases or changes in lease verbiage, but…. ???? Does this stuff exist?

Radnor official says cattle are part of a tax dodge at the former Ardrossan estate
Richard Booker’s motion would end Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease for land that the township paid almost $12 million for in 2013.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 12, 2021

An elected official in Radnor is pushing for the township to cancel its lease with a cattle rancher on publicly owned land that had once been part of the sprawling Ardrossan estate, saying the deal helps wealthy landowners on other sections of the former estate take unfair advantage of tax breaks for agriculture.

Richard Booker’s motion, which he plans to introduce at a Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 22, would end the agreement that lets rancher Richard Billheim’s Fern Valley Farm use 71 acres of township-owned property for its beef cow operation in exchange for $1 a year.

Booker said in a memo with his motion that he decided to take action on the lease after reading an article published earlier this year by The Inquirer about the tax breaks at the former estate enabled by statewide agricultural-conservation programs under Act 319 — better known as “Clean and Green” — and Act 515.

The programs tax land for what it is worth as a working farm and not what its value would be if sold on the open market for housing, strip malls, or offices. Under Act 319, by far the most commonly used of the programs at Ardrossan and elsewhere, the land must produce $2,000 a year in farm goods.

At least two dozen parcels on more than 260 acres are successfully enrolled in the programs, accounting for more than 40% of the former Ardrossan estate’s acreage sold over the last quarter-century, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records.

» READ MORE: Ardrossan homeowners qualify for local reductions, too — courtesy of programs to save farms

Properties covered by the tax breaks include homes of a leader at a major real estate firm, members of the family that cofounded the Apple Vacations tour business, and the top-ranking member of the County Council for surrounding Delaware County.

The only known agricultural products coming from the enrolled land are the corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay grown there to feed Fern Valley’s cows. While cows do graze on a portion of that land, most of their grass-munching is done on the township-owned property. To Booker, that means Radnor is helping private property owners get their tax breaks because those cows wouldn’t be there absent the generous lease.

Radnor officials defeat measure to cancel ranch lease seen as aiding Ardrossan tax reductions
The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley Farm has said was vital to its 10-person operation
.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 23, 2021

Officials in Radnor have defeated a measure to cancel a lease on township land for a cattle operation that also helps residents on parts of the former Ardrossan estate save hundreds of thousands each year on their taxes.

In a 4-2 vote with one abstention, the township’s Board of Commissioners on Monday rejected member Richard Booker’s motion to terminate Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease to use 71 acres of publicly owned property for its 60-head Black Angus beef business.

Booker said at the sometimes combative hearing on Monday evening that this was not a good use of the land that Radnor paid $11.7 million to purchase in 2013 and now costs the township $600,000 a year in debt service payments.

“I don’t want anyone to lose their job or for the farm to go away,” said Booker, who is one of two Republicans on the seven-member panel. “What I do want is to get the township out of … the business of farmland-assessment reductions it has been in for the last seven years…….”However, commissioner Lisa Borowski, a Democrat whose ward includes part of the former Ardrossan estate, said residents are benefiting from the deal…..

Borowski also said that the farmland-preservation programs give Ardrossan landowners an incentive not to subdivide and develop their large properties, which they could opt to do. This does not appear to be accurate, since all of the privately held properties enrolled in such programs are also covered by deals known as conservation easements that prohibit them from being further developed in perpetuity, according to an analysis of property records by The Inquirer.

When the former estate was first broken up, buyers of those properties qualified for federal tax breaks for land conservation thanks to those easements, as The Inquirer has reported.

Asked in an interview Tuesday about which properties she was referring to in her public remarks, Borowski referred the question to Township Solicitor John Rice. Rice said he had not performed an analysis that would identify such properties.

Oh and don’t forget, Lisa Borowski is running for State Rep in the 168th against Chris Quinn, right? So maybe it would benefit State Rep Chris Quinn to inquire as to the chemicals used on the fields, etc,. right?

Look, I love open space and I will admit it, I love cows and those cows are awesome and special. BUT chemicals are a big deal and look at all of the things in the news about glyphosate and paraquat-based herbicides? And what about the pesticides they warn about that can harm bees and other beneficial insects? I totally get that not all farmers can go completely organic BUT where this land is being farmed should be part of a more organic plan if not a completely organic conversation, correct?

So time to show ALL of the cards on this, Radnor. At a minimum if you like and respect your farmer, don’t you want him to be able to farm in peace? And farm safely to protect humans, domestic animals, natural water sources, nature in general, etc, etc?

Happy Saturday, and moo.

hey tredyfrrin dodo hamilton neighbors, are you ready for rue dégueulasse in radnor township?

Today Radnor Township is being visited because THEIR planning commission meeting Tuesday September 6th has a big old bomb of a plan which will affect Tredyffrin Township residents in Chester County. The pretentious A.F. name is “St. Honoré” for the development and there is an as equally pretentious A.F. street name proposed of “Rue St. Honoré” .

Zut alors! Mais oui, très prétentieux for a developer whose late father was born in Chester, n’est-ce pas? Which is why I found a better name to propose: Dégueulasse (disgusting, revolting, sh*tty, swinish, putrid) and Rue Dégueulasse or perhaps even Rue Dégoûtant? (And yes, dear developer, I can have these opinions.)

The location of this plan is DoDo Land in Wayne on Strafford Avenue, first mentioned on this blog in 2020. I had written about it then because of Tredyffrin Township residents and Radnor residents, because it just seemed like a shall we say, greedy development prospect?

What is even more concerning is if you look at the planning packet in it’s entirety, it looks like two more properties are folded in? 211 Strafford Avenue and 227 Strafford Avenue?

Here is the packet below. I don’t trust things to not disappear on agendas, so have fun wading through. It also has things on yesterday post concerning Garrett Hill:

Look, this is a lot to digest with VERY little time to do it. I know that Tredyffrin residents were VERY, VERY concerned the last time plans for DoDo Hamilton’s property came up in Radnor. Then I remember the strip the house sale.

And I wouldn’t say DoDo wouldn’t do this, because it was a fact she sold other properties for development when she was alive, correct? Including further out in Chester County? What I also seem to recall were neighbors being super concerned even while DoDo Hamilton was alive about stormwater management issues as a result of this property. And people were super concerned about stormwater management last time this property came up in Radnor, so, what now that it seems two additional properties are part of this?

In 2021, Main Line Today Magazine talked about this project and make sure you look at leadership team page of Haverford Properties:

Without strong preservation ordinances, things like “vinyl windows with short lifespans replace historic wood windows that could be made energy-efficient,” Prichard says. “In the end, all of thesesmall changes lead to a drastic overall change in the appearance of historic neighborhoods, even when no buildings are lost in the process.”

“Unfortunately, I think it’s gone.”

Radnor Township commissioner Jack Larkin is referring to the mansion at the corner of Strafford and Eagle roads once occupied by the late Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. The township is powerless to stop the razing of the Victorian-era home for a residential development. As written, its preservation ordinance “is very vague,” says Larkin. “We don’t have the authority to preserve private property, [and its location] would make it very difficult to build around it.”

The developer, Haverford Properties Inc., didn’t respond to several requests for comment, and it seems residents are mainly concerned about the density of the development. “There hasn’t been an attempt to save [the mansion], nor any significant community outcry over its impending demise,” says Prichard, a Radnor resident and member of the township‘s historical commission.

~main line today magazine Paul Jablow January 6, 2021

Now I don’t know if Haverford Properties is involved in the development at this point, do you? What I see from the documents in the planning packet, it’s C.F. Holloway. Yessss people, Cas Holloway, and is it fair that some refer to him as a neighborhood killer? Look what he did in Ardmore. The houses he took down were gorgeous old stone Main Line houses, and he pushed people out that I knew who were renters in one address, so IF 211 Strafford Avenue is being folded into this plan, what happens to the Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn?

The Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn is a historic home. I remember when the original B & B owners were looking for approval a bunch of years ago, and you would have thought they wanted to add rapists and murderers to Radnor Township. Ha, those residents should be careful what they wish for, right? In 2016 The Radnor Historical Society honored the Wayne Bed & Breakfast.

Also note this from a Radnor Historical Society 2012 event listing:

Local Garden Tour
Friday, June 7, 2013, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nominal fee of $10 and reservation required. Tour four unique gardens surrounding wonderful homes in Radnor and Tredyffrin Townships. The tour begins at the garden and greenhouses of Mrs. Dorrance Hamilton (only open from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.). on Strafford Avenue. Then visit the Victorian garden across the street at Traudi and Bob Thomason’s Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn. The Thomason’s property features a 110 foot copper beech, thought to be the second largest in the state, wonderful outdoor spaces for sitting and relaxing, including a large pool and spa surrounded by gardens, and an inviting porch that wraps around the circa 1890 inn. Myrna and Paul Paluba will host at their creatively executed, multilevel garden with raised beds, water features, and a peace garden for contemplation. Maud Walker will host at her garden which is highlighted by an unusual collection of trees and shrubs, including a magnificent weeping beech, whimsical garden decorations, and a replica of an Irish garden shed. Directions to all of the gardens will be provided at the Hamilton property. Further information, including how to make reservations, will be sent to you in March. This event is cosponsored by RHS and the Radnor Conservancy.

~ radnor historical society 2012

Ha! With this development when it comes to plantings and trees, wonder what will be left? Don’t answer that, it’s a we shudder to think conversation, mais oui?

Another old thing I found on Developing DoDo land was

LIFE IN THE BURBS |MAR 03, 2021HAVERFORD PROPERTIES DEVELOPING THE CURRENT HAMILTON PROPERTIES ON STRAFFORD AVE AND EAGLE ROADS IN RADNOR WITH 41-3 STORY TOWNHOMES, AND 9 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

And then there was an Inquirer article:

Developer to share plans for part of Radnor estate of late Campbell Soup heiress

by Katie Park
Updated Jan 28, 2020

A development company is considering building houses or townhouses on part of the Main Line estate of the late Dorrance H. Hamilton, heir to the multibillion-dollar Campbell Soup fortune.

Representatives of Haverford Properties are scheduled to meet with Radnor Township residents for the first time Thursday.

The company has not formally submitted plans to the township, but some residents, already disgruntled over development in the sought-after area, say they feel a sense of inevitability. Under what’s known as “by-right” development, Haverford Properties can legally build housing on the parcel.

“They have, without question, the right to develop that property. We have no discretion,” said Jack Larkin, a township commissioner who represents the section of Radnor where the development would be built. “We can never say we don’t want a particular industry in our town because we don’t like what it is.”

Then this:

Delco Today: Developer Eyes Houses at Former Wayne Estate of Campbell Soup Heiress Dorrance Hamilton

By David Bjorkgren
Published: 5:14 am EST January 17, 2020
Updated: 7:50 am EST January 17, 2020

A developer has plans for an estate property in Wayne where prominent philanthropist and Campbell Soup Co. heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton lived, writes Linda Stein for Main Line Media News.

Hamilton died in 2017 at the age of 88.  She moved to Wayne with her husband, Samuel M.V. Hamilton, in 1950. He died in 1997.

Radnor Township Board of Commissioners President Jack Larkin reviewed two plans for the property  at Eagle and Strafford roads.

“The first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter.

Larkin felt that plan was unattractive because it meant cramming 40 single family homes on to the two lots.

He was more enthusiastic about a second plan putting 41 town homes on the western lot and nine single-family homes on the eastern lot.

Forty nearby neighbors also weighed in, stating they wanted to “mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character.”

They asked for no more than 30 town homes on the west lot and no more than seven single-family homes on the east lot.

A meeting between residents and the proposed developer is planned Jan. 30.

Read more about plans for the Hamilton estate here.

~delco today 2020


Main Line Media News did something to their website, so I found one their articles on Delco Times website:

New housing in works for Wayne estate of Campbell Soup heiress Dodo Hamilton

By LINDA STEIN |
PUBLISHED: January 13, 2020 at 11:30 p.m. | UPDATED: August 23, 2021 at 10:47 a.m.

RADNOR – Although no plans have been filed with the township, word is getting around that a developer has set his sights on the Wayne property of the late Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, who was one of the Main Line’s iconic grande dames.

“The developer has shown me two concept sketches for the lots; the first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter. “This is, to me, an unattractive plan: Because the units are, by right, single family dwellings, cramming 40 homes onto the two lots means filling them with houses without space for buffers, open space, or stormwater recharge areas.”

Larkin continued, “The second plan would require a conditional use approval by the township, and would put approximately 50 homes into the two lots -41 town homes on the western lot, and nine single-family dwellings onto the eastern lot. Because the homes on the western lot are town homes, they leave a lot of space for the things that are absent in the by-right plan: Stormwater management, sidewalks, buffers, and open space. The density is problematic for me, but with that in mind, it is a good plan.”

“When we first discussed the property, they took my stormwater concerns seriously and the concept sketch they presented had already incorporated stormwater management facilities above and beyond what was required by the ordinance,” Larkin wrote. “Second, when they met with the township engineer for feedback, they promptly incorporated his feedback into their design. Third, they’ve already asked for a meeting with residents to discuss their plans and get your feedback.”

Meanwhile, about 40 nearby neighbors sent this statement to Larkin: “We understand and appreciate the developer’s rights to develop the property, and our goal as a neighborhood is not to squash any development, but to mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character. For those of us who have lived here many years, we have seen the negative effects of cutting down trees on the Hamilton’s property and the building of just four homes on the corner of Strafford and Eagle Road. Despite the assurances of the engineers, developers, and other experts, our neighborhood has been substantially damaged and our lives negatively affected by ‘tiny’ changes to the Hamilton’s property. There are approximately 40 neighbors on Strafford, Hedgerow, Grant, Forrest, Fairfield, and Old Eagle School who will attest to being harmed financially by the improper regulation of storm water runoff in the past.

“The character of the neighborhood will be drastically changed by the proposed development. Haverford Properties is seeking to double the number of homes within our small community. Our current neighborhood contains 35 acres and 64 homes, approximately two homes per acre. The developers plan to build 50 homes will result in 114 homes, for over three homes per acre. We already have a traffic problem, exacerbated by the fact that our community straddles two townships and counties. The Strafford train station is a delightful anchor to our neighborhood, but it too increases motor and foot traffic. Residents are already fearful to walk on Strafford Avenue. It is a death trap (with) no sidewalks, insufficient lighting, and a dangerous curve in the road. As a community we deserve better from both Radnor and Tredyffrin townships.”

~ delco times 2020

I looked on Commisisoner Jack Larkin’s website and couldn’t find anything about DoDo Land. Perhaps he doesn’t want the general public to see his commissioner musings or has he just checked out as a commissioner?

So here is some other stuff on screenshots to make it easy:

Look, Radnor Township doesn’t care if this gets developed, that has always been my opinion. But it is also my opinion that they make have tarted up the proverbial pig here with a new developer, but this is a plan that is still too dense. And now given the meeting agenda states this meeting is slated for NEXT WEEK AS IN THE DAY AFTER LABOR DAY, residents in Radnor and Tredyffrin do not have much time to rally.

THIS IS AN IN PERSON MEETING – Tuesday, September 6, 2022 – 6:30 PM – Radnorshire Room – 301 Iven Avenue Wayne PA 19087-5297

I think this is being put out in the hopes no residents show up after the last holiday weekend of the summer. I think this is deliberate. So residents in Radnor and Tredyffrin, it’s up to you. Below is the link to where you can find the email addresses for Radnor’s Board of Commissioners. Remember in particular that Lisa Borowski is running for State Rep in the 168th. HOLD HER FEET TO THE FIRE.

https://www.radnor.com/government/boards-and-commissions/board-of-commissioners

That is all I have got on this. Residents, you rose up before, just like the residents in Garrett Hill over unwelcome development and more there. Get yourselves to the meeting, but when you storm this Bastille don’t act all cuckoo like Willistown Residents over the sewer sale. Show decorum, make your points, be heard.

Good luck. You will need it here, especially Tredyffrin residents because you are neighbors and affected, but Chester County as well as another municipality. Tredyffrin needs to get their township to take a stand and attend the meeting too. And if zoning variances are sought, Tredyffrin Township needs to be a party to this so their residents can preserve their rights, correct?

utterly classless: radnor’s lisa borowski wants to use garrett hill july 4th parade for politicking for pa 168th? really?

Next to the Ocean City, NJ July 4th parade I remember decorating my bike for as a little girl, one of my favorite July 4th parades ever, ever, ever is Garrett Hill’s in Radnor Township. It’s awesome, old fashioned, about kids, and community.

Or it was.

Apparently….Commissioner Lisa Borowski wants to politick at this event. You see this political desperate Dora who spends most of her time looking like a perky muppet with her bangs in her face is trying to run for State Rep in the 168th. The lines for this district were recently redrawn. She’s as bad as Elaine Paul Sing Song voice, err Schaefer. Now Elaine had a failed run for State Rep in 2016 I think it was, now she sits on Delaware County Council doing who knows what other than shameless self-promotion, but I digress. (Bet she shows up for her gurrrl Lisa, right?)

I have a very strong dislike of politicians who use community and non-profit events for campaign gain. Years ago I yelled at now Mrs. Septa Leslie Richards when she used First Friday Main Line as a politicking event. That did not make me a fan favorite with some local Democrats back then, but I have no regrets, it sucked and was wrong.

What Lisa Borowski is attempting to do is also classless, tacky, and wrong. That she would use a beloved tradition for personal gain like this is despicable AND shows you what kind of a State Rep she would be. She has already proven herself fairly useless as a Radnor Commissioner.

Radnor Democrats should be ashamed of her and stop this.

If she goes through with having her campaign walk in a parade designed for kids and families, keep it simple: BOO LOUDLY and videotape/ record it. This parade is NOT ABOUT HER CAMPAIGN!

Email your displeasure to: lborowski@radnor.org AND CC info@lisaforpa168.com

This is utterly unacceptable and selfish and tacky and classless. Sorry not sorry for being repetitive here about this.

Say NO to Lisa Borowski July 4th in Garrett Hill and November when you vote.

hey radnor, where’s the beef ?

Not a sign you expect to see on the Main Line is it?

Radnor Township hates when you ask questions about Ardrossan and so does a certain Delaware County Commissioner and former Radnor Commissioner, right?

We will start with Radnor Township is just an odd place. Betwixt and between. They want to be super Main Line and forget they are part of Delaware County. (Of course people in other parts of Delaware County have always said they wished they could forget about Radnor, so it is a push me pull you, I suppose?) They were super slim shady politically until it came to a head years ago and the former manager was removed and elections (and scandals) bit by bit got rid of shall we say…interesting commissioners? Then they got another manager who didn’t use a Radnor credit card to buy stuff (like $400K was misspent or something? See this old report also embedded below) and there was a brief renaissance where things in Radnor veered away from slim shady into the sunshine.

But as with all things political, it was cyclical, and now the pendulum seems to be swinging slightly back slim shady or teetering on it, right? The current township manager is the last manager’s finance guy, not really suited to be a township manager either by education or temperament. Nice guy, very intelligent, but doesn’t seem to like to interact with the public much, does he? His assistant is the proverbial gatekeeper, and oh don’t necessarily count on a reply if you email. Control is the name of the game, I think, only who is actually in control these days? A lot of the commissioners are new and they don’t seem to get the basics like of course they might not get a quorum to have a commissioners meeting April 11th (today) which is undoubtedly why they cancelled it…Easter week.

But back to Ardrossan….

Adrossan was the estate legends were literally made of. The inspiration for A Philadelphia Story and High Society. A literally gorgeous and amazing estate. But once Bobby Scott, Hope’s son died, you knew it was only a matter of time until the march of McMansions really arrived. And McMansions were born.

So one has to ask since the McMansions seem to enjoy farming and agricultural perks although none of those people probably even cut their own lawns. The Ardrossan Farm development was approved in 2014. But what I can’t find is if the roads within the development suddenly became private roads? Why do I ask? That photo above. Taken at an entrance point into the nouveau development so are those roads publicly dedicated streets or not? If they are public with Radnor doing plowing, etc, why the “Private Community” sign?

Now in 2013, Radnor inked a deal to buy 71 acres of Ardrossan for $11+ million. Wheeler Field, Quarry Field, Rye Field. “Everyone loves the cows” was a catchy phrase back then attributed to a commissioner then who is on Delaware County Council now, and some say has higher aspirations still. The farmer is also on two other fields nearby supposedly, correct? Not owned by Radnor Township but old Ardrossan Land?

So there is a farmer farming on the Radnor Township land. That started I guess around 2015 as per an old Patch article? In same family that worked for Hope Scott when it was Ardrossan proper, correct? Main Line Media News reported back then that residents were concerned about chemicals being used on the land. At that time, Main Line Media News quoted Commissioner Elaine Paul Schaefer (now of Delaware County Council):

“I believe a license agreement with the current farmer will be on the agenda for one of our next meetings, so we will have the opportunity to hear resident comment and discuss all the issues involved,” said Schaefer. “The current farmer has been farming the Ardrossan land for over 25 years, and his father farmed it for the generation before him. I believe that most residents would like to see this farmer continue to farm the land, as his very unique operation provides the beloved cows that beautify the landscape. As I understand it, the proposed license will require that the farmer utilize best management practices and adhere to the NCRS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) approved soil conservation plan.”

~ Elaine Paul Schaefer to main line media news 3/3/2015

So, I think it’s wonderful part of Ardrossan is still farmed, don’t misunderstand me, but well, what chemicals are being used on the fields? Especially since the farmer who farms there (his farm is called Fern Valley Farm, correct?) also has the cows/steer he tends to, the last of the famous Ayrshire steer, right? So if he is raising feed corn etc. for said cattle, what are they ingesting? Way back when Radnor inked this deal with the farmer, people urged the farmer to be as organic as possible so what today, in 2022 is happening? Is there a correct list of chemicals? You know like Round Up and Round Up laced engineered seed?

Look, there are natural water sources everywhere, so isn’t it important? There is a sign outside the farmer’s farm that says “BEEF” so if he’s selling, wouldn’t you like to know what chemicals the butchered beasts were exposed to? This is why so many people like to buy organic meat today, correct? And people pay big bucks gladly for organic meat, poultry, fish, produce, yes?

So Radnor, where’s the beef? And is there an official farm store, USDA and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture listing for Fern Valley Farm? I looked and can’t find it. Truthfully, I think it’s great if the farmer can sell his products, as long as it is done right and isn’t meat it’s whole special category? How it’s butchered, stored, etc?

Back to field chemicals. Trout season is now open, right? So wouldn’t fishermen like to know what chemicals the Ardrossan farmer is using right now in 2022 and what they have been using in years past? Again, I looked to see if I could find it listed anywhere and came up empty.

So in addition to trout and the famous Ardrossan “cows” isn’t there a bald eagle now at the Willows nearby and there used to be big blue herons too, right? So what is the beautiful wildlife ingesting courtesy of whatever Radnor’s farmer uses? And kids are all over that area and isn’t that Quarry field slated for being part of the trails there or something at some point?

Sadly, public land requires public answers does it not? So what chemicals are being used on the land where the farmer farms that is owned by Radnor? I am of the opinion that Radnor Township can’t just be environmentally friendly for show, and it’s great they want to ban plastic bags too, but what about this? Why is it such a big deal for their tenant to produce a list of chemicals used?

So this isn’t the only curious part of Ardrossan tales of today is it? The other part is whatever benefits from farming the McMansion dwellers who have bought on Ardrossan land get? This has all swirled in the media for years. In November there was a movement which was defeated to cancel the farmer’s $1 a year lease:

Radnor official says cattle are part of a tax dodge at the former Ardrossan estate
Richard Booker’s motion would end Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease for land that the township paid almost $12 million for in 2013.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 12, 2021

An elected official in Radnor is pushing for the township to cancel its lease with a cattle rancher on publicly owned land that had once been part of the sprawling Ardrossan estate, saying the deal helps wealthy landowners on other sections of the former estate take unfair advantage of tax breaks for agriculture.

Richard Booker’s motion, which he plans to introduce at a Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 22, would end the agreement that lets rancher Richard Billheim’s Fern Valley Farm use 71 acres of township-owned property for its beef cow operation in exchange for $1 a year.

Booker said in a memo with his motion that he decided to take action on the lease after reading an article published earlier this year by The Inquirer about the tax breaks at the former estate enabled by statewide agricultural-conservation programs under Act 319 — better known as “Clean and Green” — and Act 515.

The programs tax land for what it is worth as a working farm and not what its value would be if sold on the open market for housing, strip malls, or offices. Under Act 319, by far the most commonly used of the programs at Ardrossan and elsewhere, the land must produce $2,000 a year in farm goods.

At least two dozen parcels on more than 260 acres are successfully enrolled in the programs, accounting for more than 40% of the former Ardrossan estate’s acreage sold over the last quarter-century, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records….Properties covered by the tax breaks include homes of a leader at a major real estate firm, members of the family that cofounded the Apple Vacations tour business, and the top-ranking member of the County Council for surrounding Delaware County.

The only known agricultural products coming from the enrolled land are the corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay grown there to feed Fern Valley’s cows...While cows do graze on a portion of that land, most of their grass-munching is done on the township-owned property. To Booker, that means Radnor is helping private property owners get their tax breaks because those cows wouldn’t be there absent the generous lease.

~Philadelphia inquirer november, 2021

Radnor officials defeat measure to cancel ranch lease seen as aiding Ardrossan tax reductions
The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley Farm has said was vital to its 10-person operation.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 23, 2021

Officials in Radnor have defeated a measure to cancel a lease on township land for a cattle operation that also helps residents on parts of the former Ardrossan estate save hundreds of thousands each year on their taxes.

In a 4-2 vote with one abstention, the township’s Board of Commissioners on Monday rejected member Richard Booker’s motion to terminate Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease to use 71 acres of publicly owned property for its 60-head Black Angus beef business.

The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley has said was vital to its 10-person operation, which also relies on feed crops grown on sections of the former estate that are now private homesteads.

Because of this reliance, Booker has argued that the lease is helping some of those private property owners claim property breaks available to land that is farmed.

~ philadelphia inquirer november 2021

So here’s an article about how the Ardrossan homeowners enjoy ag benefits although they aren’t farmers, per se:

Ardrossan homeowners qualify for local reductions, too — courtesy of programs to save farms
Dozens of properties at the former Ardrossan estate are covered under state abatement schemes, including the Act 319 “Clean and Green” program, that give landowners local tax breaks for farmland.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Jul 16, 2021

Thanks in part to 60 cows that they don’t have to wrangle, many of the wealthy homeowners who dot the sprawling acreage of the former Ardrossan estate have found a way to qualify for local tax breaks along with federal reductions.

That’s because the owners are taking advantage of state laws that permit them to pare down the property taxes owed to Delaware County, Radnor Township, and Radnor schools by registering their land as farms.

The tax breaks under state law are open only to parcels at the former estate larger than 10 acres. For lots under that size, the nonprofit that owns the land is arguing in Delaware County Court that it shouldn’t be taxed at all because restrictions on development have stripped it of all value….at least two dozen parcels — accounting for more than 40% of the former estate’s acreage sold by Eddie Scott’s businesses — are successfully enrolled in state agricultural-protection programs that qualify owners for tax cuts, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records obtained under the state’s Right to Know Law.

Those owners have seen their realty taxes reduced by an estimated total of $490,000 this year, a 30% reduction from the $1.6 million they would have owed without the discount, the analysis shows…

~ philadelphia inquirer july 2021

Yes, there were a LOT of Ardrossan related or touching articles in 2021. It kind of made me sad, in a way. Almost like the whole allure of that amazing estate were being tarnished in some way.

That is the problem with a lot of these large parcels of land. We see it here in Chester County. Not all are under any sort of conservation easements which is causing eruptions in many places in Chester County right now. You can’t make people conserve land, and then there is how do you make it attractive to conserve/preserve land? And developers just salivate at the prospect of these properties everywhere, and what developers can afford to buy versus what farmers can afford to buy versus what land and nature conservancies can afford to buy are all very different and difficult conversations, correct?

But the most bombshell of the Ardrossan related bombshell articles to me was the in depth Inquirer report:

Open Space, Closed Gates
Tax reductions were on offer to buyers in exchange for protecting the land. But the public cannot enter.

Jacob Adelman
Staff Writer July 16, 2021

This is an article that is too extensive to unpack and briefly excerpt, so people have to read it themselves. What makes this whole thing at Ardrossan even more controversial is the involvement of the North American Land Trust, which has found itself in hot water in 2022 for it’s relationship with Donald Trump. (Also click HERE.)

In an effort to bring this post full circle, many people always wondered how things with Ardrossan and what is left of this estate got here to this point today. And I think that is in part because it has always felt dually shielded in secrecy and controversy, right or wrong.

BUT why else would it behoove Radnor Township to lift the veil? It makes it easier for other people, other municipalities, other farmers trying to farm in the tri-county area. Farming is so under siege, and ironically, most often the farmers under siege are the one who play by the rules, correct? No one is saying farmer don’t farm, they just want to know about the chemicals in the fields and the beef of it all, right? However, people are asking questions about McMansion owners doing a modern spin on the whole feudal thing of it all including ag benefits, correct?

Come one Radnor, set the record straight, and is it really that hard to do these days?

Here are some more articles of a more recent past vintage on Ardrossan:

Ardrossan estate’s final chapter by Ryan Richards May 8, 2007

Another Ardrossan tract goes on the block Anthony Roberts April 27, 2005

For sale: A piece of the storied Ardrossan estate Anthony Roberts, April 7, 2005

Residents worry over herbicide use at Ardrossan Farm By Linda Stein March 3, 2015

Calf at former Ardrossan farm in Radnor diagnosed with rabies by Linda Stein April 17, 2018

Development underway at Ardrossan property in Radnor by Linda Stein August 22, 2018

Conservancy raising moo-la to save the cows by Joan Bang November 2, 2011

Ardrossan: Preserving Radnor’s green heart by Mike Weilbacher September 20, 2011

Radnor inks deal with Ardrossan farmer, approves Villanova West End Zone by Linda Stein September 23, 2021

breaking news: haverford school goes big for an additional school home

I get the most interesting tips at times. This afternoon I found out as folks involved with The Haverford School currently (parents, staff, or other) or attended (alumni) that Haverford School has seemingly accomplished what Agnes Irwin couldn’t do a few years ago in Easttown.

What am I talking about with Irwins? See:

What Does a Sprawling Berwyn Estate, a Hollywood-related Socialite, a Private Girls School and a Planning Commission Have in Common?

Supporters of Agnes Irwin School Using Scare Tactics in Berwyn Neighborhood Over Land Development Plans

Yes I digress, and what makes what I am about to disclose that Haverford School is doing is different because Haverford School was SMART, they sought a property to expand with a land use that was pre-existing and conducive to a school. So it’s apples to apples, not apples to oranges.

Haverford School apparently has had their bid accepted in Radnor Township for what locals remember as the Presbyterian Children’s Village on South Roberts Road. It was once the estate of Samuel Robinson (ACME Markets – same family as Crebilly, correct?) and called “Glencoe”.

Presbyterian Children’s Village: the former Glencoe Estate from Radnor Historical Society on Vimeo.

Presbyterian Children’s Village (now known as “The Village” if it still exists, not sure) was founded in Philadelphia in the 1870s as an orphanage. (See this article in a Wayne Presbyterian Church Bulletin) In 1926, Samuel Robinson, then President of ACME Markets bought the Glencoe Estate in Rosemont, which had originally been owned by Thomas McKean, Jr who had a similarly named relative who was a a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The estate was the creation of George Bispham Page. Mr. Robinson bequeathed Glencoe to the Presybyterian Church in 1959, and that is how the Presbyterian Children’s Village came to be there.

In recent years, until it closed, I vaguely recall negative press when it came to the Presbyterian Children’s Village. I found this: click HERE, click HERE, click HERE, click HERE. I actually knew someone once who was a children and youth social worker. Worked at Presbyterian Children’s Village for a few years. Did not like it and left

It is remarkable Glencoe has survived. And no matter what my mixed feelings about The Haverford School are at times, one can definitely say they respect the historic structures on their campus in Haverford, and I think they will undoubtedly continue to do so. Expanding their campus here I feel is a good thing. They are landlocked in their current location and that has always been a burden to their neighbors among other things.

I found a cache of the listing when it was on the Financial Times website. See screenshot:

I also found the listing lingering HERE , HERE, and HERE. Mostly the listing appears taken down. So here are screenshots of what I got a copy of (or you can refer to embedded PDF above):

Hopefully Radnor Township residents around this location on South Roberts Road are pleased. They should be. They have been saved the unpleasant fate of a housing development, apartments, condos, townhouses, etc.

I wonder how they will weave in the existing campus in Haverford, which sits in both Lower Merion and Haverford Townships. Hopefully it all works out.

chester county melting pot?

The above T-shirts crack me up, although I can’t take credit for their creation. You can buy them through My Chesco.

I thought of them this morning when I saw a post on NextDoor about moving to Chester County but being from Delaware County…and how moving here was a huge culture shock.

Different, yes, but culture shock? Meh, not so much in my opinion.

Now I was a newcomer not so many years ago and it was different. But that for me I think was mostly that I had not only lived in one place before Chester County for so many years, but because I was in my mid-40s. When you are younger or have young kids I think it’s just easier to assimilate and find commonality. I couldn’t have kids and was moving here and becoming a stepparent.

I think what made the move adjustment take time was because I was moving into a very established community, where people had lived for generations. However that was one of the things I liked best about coming to Chester Country. People put down roots and stay. Of course, with all the development these days I wonder if that will stay the same in the future? Because it didn’t stay the same in other places like the Main Line and Delaware County and other parts of Montgomery County.

Now as for the Delco pizza of it all I can’t really comment. Never had Gaetano’s and never understood the religion of Picas. Yes, sacrilege, I understand but I do not hail from Delco, I came from Main Line/ Montco. And I like my own pizza better with the exception of Tacconelli’s and the former Mack and Manco, now Manco and Manco in Ocean City, NJ. And out here Fiorello’s makes amazing pizza too.

What was immediately different for me personally when I moved to Chester County, was simply put, people were just a little nicer. The Main Line was super bitchy with a dash of misplaced entitlement by the time I left thanks to the Nouveau Main Line. Social climbers had created a blood sport, and those folks are exhausting (as well as ridiculous.)

Now I know plenty of people who refer to parts of Chester County as “Delco West” and for some I suppose that’s how they see it. I don’t. I see Chester County as Chester County a place with a rich heritage and am so glad I am here. I could wish for LESS development because that would put it in the category of “Delco West” via that perspective.

I have always known folks who grew up in Delco as quite literally “Delco Proud” and I respect that, it’s where they are from. It’s their Mother Ship so to speak. I wish I could say that about the Main Line but I can’t because the Main Line might have her history and memory pages on social media (where for some odd reason people are obsessed lately about discussing the Pew family and an estate that was broken up decades ago), but it has changed so very much. And not for the positive.

I will always have a lot of great as well as mediocre memories of the Main Line, but it is no longer my homeland and is not my Mother Ship. I do not miss the Main Line. I miss friends, but I do not miss living there at all. I love living in Chester County in spite of the nasty comments I get occasionally about what I write about.

And Chester County feels like home because it is home. Home is where my heart and friends and family are, right here in Chester County.

Thanks for stopping by.