the site might be more cleaned up, but the ruin of ebenezer on bacton hill road doesn’t have much time.

November, 2016

I have not written about the ruin of Ebeneezer AME Church on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland for a couple of years now. It’s not my party any longer, and truthfully there are members of East Whiteland’s Historical Commission whom I am sure would prefer I not have an interest in this site. I guess it doesn’t matter that I did a lot of work for this site, some of my friends did a lot of work for this site, and years ago when no one was paying attention I did the placement for the media coverage which was local and regional.

But I do have an interest in this site. It spoke to me years ago, and today I listened again. In 2016 a structural engineer reviewed this historic site and warned about not addressing the bowing of the longer north and south facing walls. There were also warnings of the use of heavy equipment on and close to site. Well today I got a couple of photos from the road because of what I saw a couple of weeks ago that disturbed me.

The walls are coming down. No, no one is taking them down, the years and years of neglect leave no other option for old walls.

November 13, 2022

I think this is tragic and really upsetting. But it’s not within my power to change it. It is still within the power of the AME Church, unless they have suddenly transferred the property to another entity. I also think East Whiteland Township could try to do a little more.

I asked someone for an update on the site in June and never heard a peep. OK fine, they aren’t interested in conversing with me, but now I am saying I told you so. If they want to preserve any part of the ruling of that church, they need to move a little more quickly. They also need to preserve the graves that are in the graveyard.

Ebenezer represents a heck of a lot of history and there are freed slaves, black Civil War Soldiers, and ancestors of people who still live in the area today. This site deserves respect. Respect just isn’t a historical marker, respect is a better degree of historic preservation. You can read about my coverage of Ebenezer by doing a search on this site or CLICK HERE.

#ThisPlaceMatters

it’s 2022 and we are still talking about tce polluted sites in east whiteland? this time, not a pa-dep site, but epa site at 258 phoenixville pike. so how toxic are parts of chester county, really?

Yes, TCE infected/polluted land and not just the Bishop Tube site. We’re all still talking about these sites. I always wonder why there seems to be so much still to clean up? I mean I get way back when none of us knew the environmental hazards people would face but is it just me or do others feel like these topics are discussed, but then not enough is ever cleaned up?

Watch this – so interesting

So I put up a post recently about the notice coming out about Bishop Tube clean-up.

It still remains a hot topic. WHYY (embedded below) and Philadelphia Inquirer (excerpt below):

Pa. announces $8 million cleanup plan for contaminated Bishop Tube site in Chester County. The site has been a focus of controversy since 2010 when plans to build housing there first emerged.

by Frank Kummer
Updated Sep 28, 2022

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection plans an $8 million cleanup of the contaminated Bishop Tube site in Chester County — a focus of controversy for 10 years when a company controlled by developer Brian J. O’Neill purchased it to build housing.

Constitution Driver Partners LP, O’Neill’s company, did not cause the pollution, and the property was already on the DEP’s list of brownfields approved for reuse as long as they are cleaned to state standards.

Still, residents and environmental groups have opposed building on the vacant industrial site where a number of contaminants are present in the soil, water and air inside the old buildings. The main contaminant of concern is trichloroethylene (TCE), a colorless liquid that can cause headaches, dizziness, and sleepiness in moderate amounts, and coma and death in large amounts. It is also linked to heart, liver, and kidney problems as well as cancer.

TCE has been found in excess of state allowable levels and was widely used in the process of making steel tubing at the 13.7-acre site in Frazer, East Whiteland Township, starting in the 1950s.

Here is this decision from the PA DEP:

But why I am writing this post is I find it interesting that ANOTHER toxic site in East Whiteland also containing TCE from the OTHER side of the township is becoming a hot topic. Maybe I have been living under a rock, but I forgot this existed. It started with my seeing this on the East Whiteland website:

So here is a map of Chester County Superfund sites – these are EPA sites, it doesn’t include all the other toxic sites like PA DEP sites:

Here is the EPA website:

MALVERN TCE
MALVERN, PA

Announcements and Key Topics

Public Comment Opportunity

EPA has opened the public comment period regarding a proposed cleanup plan for the Malvern TCE Superfund Site. Community members and interested parties are encouraged to share comments between September 29 and October 28, 2022. More information on how to comment and about the proposed cleanup plan can be found below.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a 
Continue reading announcements and key topics »

MALVERN TCE
MALVERN, PA
Cleanup Activities

On this page:

On related pages:


Background

The Malvern Trichloroethene (TCE) Superfund Site, located in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, operated as a solvent reclamation facility from 1952 to 1992. The site is in a wooded area surrounded by residential and undeveloped areas bordering the property to the west, north and east. The site consists of a main plant area connected to a former disposal area by a narrow meadow corridor, and sources of contamination at the site are tied to these two areas.

A portion of the site is owned and operated by Chemclene Corporation that, until a fire in 1999, sold hydrogen peroxide and industrial cleaning solvents. These solvents were used by local industries for degreasing metal parts and for other cleaning purposes. Chemclene used a distillation process to remove impurities from the previously used solvents, which were then returned to customers for reuse or held in bulk storage for resale.

Prior to 1976, sludge from the distillation process was disposed in the wooded area, also known as the former disposal area. The former processing, chemical storage, and waste management practices at the property contaminated the soil and groundwater. Following the detection of soil and groundwater contamination in 1980, Chemclene took several measures to clean up the site from 1982 to 1987 with the oversight of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The site was added to EPA’s National Priorities List in September 1983.

As an operating hazardous waste facility, Chemclene signed a Corrective Action Order with EPA in 1989 to continue the cleanup. When the company failed to carry out the Order, the site was referred back to EPA’s Superfund program in November 1993. Since then, EPA has been overseeing the cleanup of the site.

SO….learn to take ahold of opportunities and attend the October 13th meeting. Especially if you live on that side of the township where it is located.

The EPA 30-Day Public Comment Period has officially begun for the “Malvern TCE Proposed Cleanup Plan.”

The EPA published a newspaper ad in the Daily Local News and also mailed out fact sheets with details about the plan and the upcoming public meeting. (Mind you I do not know who received said fact sheet, I have yet to see a mailed copy.) A digital copy of the fact sheet and full Proposed Cleanup Plan document can be found on the front page of the Site’s EPA Profile Page: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/malvern

EPA will be hosting the public meeting on October 13, 2022 at 6:00 P.M. at the East Whiteland Township Building. I will note this seems to be the old ChemClene site. But people have an opportunity to speak up. They should take it. That site is actually pretty close to Great Valley High School among other things. I do not know that the meeting is being recorded, although it should be.

Again, This meeting I discovered is October 13, at the East Whiteland Township. As in this Thursday. 6 PM.

In closing, every time I hear about one of these things I ask the same question: how many toxic sites exist in Chester County? How toxic are parts of Chester County, really and do we want to know? How will the EPA treat parts of Chester County based on their recent “forever chemicals” coverage in the media? Will the PA DEP follow the EPA?

bishop tube news: it’s about god damn time someone started cleaning up.

It’s no secret how I feel about the Bishop Tube Site in East Whiteland. It’s the poison ground and apparently now some sort of cleanup is starting. We would not have gotten this far without the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. There really doesn’t need to be any more commentary from me, I am just posting what the DEP posted today and I’m also including the YouTube link to the Bishop Tube documentary.

https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=22193&typeid=1

https://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/SoutheastRegion/Community%20Information/Pages/Bishop-Tube.aspx

she wants to sue great valley school district in federal court? and taxpayers get to pay for it and the public is supposed to fund it?

Photo on the Internet and in Delaware Valley Journal and in fundraiser site updates.

It’s back to school season and it’s also back to school with the latest bunch of litigation and litigants whom in my opinion are wasting school district and school board time and wasting taxpayer monies. THAT is a legitimate opinion, and allowed by law.

Further and to the point, there is a parent named Fenicia Redman suing Great Valley School District, school board members, Governor Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, local police officers, and whomever else she can fit on a docket. She is representing herself pro se in Federal Court in front of Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro. If you want to know how to contact anyone in this esteemed Judge’s office, CLICK HERE.

I am posting publicly available information on this case, because I think it is in the interest of residents of this school district, this county, this state. I am posting the court dockets, filing, and links to information on the GoFundMe that also appears on some “Christian” funding site.

I do also have an opinion and comment regarding the audacity of doing a GoFundMe, etc. It’s pretty simple: she has a need for all of us to pay for what she is doing quite literally and financially. I have no issue with friends and relatives deciding whether or not to support Ms. Redman, but I find it outrageous that she is using a GoFundMe for public funding, which should be for actual need vs. self-created drama funding, and can you understand how I and others might feel? I will note that you can see some of the donors. Very interesting.

Ban Sexually Explicit Books In Great Valley SD, Mom Asks In Lawsuit
A federal judge denied Fenicia Redman’s request for a preliminary injunction to ban the books before the case is litigated.

Holly Herman’s profile picture
Holly Herman,
Patch Staff
Posted Thu, Sep 8, 2022

This lady has the former School Board Chair who went from being a fiscally responsible individual whom you always didn’t agree with to one flew over the cuckoo’s nest politically singing her praises, and supposedly Doug Monsteriano (of course). Perhaps The Man From Oz will pop up with a miracle cure for her as well? And what about little man Guy Ciarrocchi and Stepford Wife for Totalitarianism Sarah Marvin or Gail I Run For Everything Newman? Have they popped up in support? Or are they steering clear because it might be a little too close to the bone for them? I don’t know, just wondering aloud, which is also allowed.

Apparently this lady did a “press conference” on school district property? And the police were called to escort her off the property? So now the police are bad (see “sic cops” below) for doing their job? Umm if she had done this on a courthouse steps, she would have probably been left alone, correct? But this adds more drama, maybe?

People sue school districts all of the time. Over taxes being raised, evil spying laptops (Lower Merion), and many other things with actual validity in my opinion. This new brand of school board/school district litigation is basically a nice way to drive up costs, you know like the lawsuits that thus far have gone exactly nowhere in multiple district over masking?

Enbedded is what is on the dockets. It is public information. People should know why their school taxes etc go up. Things like this contribute. And because other various and assorted public officials not in the Great Valley School District are involved, also consider that taxpayers pay for that as well.

Finally, this lady is part of the regular circus at Great Valley School Board meetings, complete with her often grotesque story boards or poster boards, correct? She always says she is doing this for her child? Poor child. Wouldn’t therapy for both of them be less expensive? I say poor child, because whatever this parent does will follow an innocent child and well shouldn’t we pray for that child?

“Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”

~Isaiah 33:2

Heaven help us. What a world we live in. So many phobias, so little time. What happened to enjoying life as you see fit, without trying to impose your will on others? What happened to it’s a big, big world with a lot of room for lots of different kinds of people? What happened to peace on earth?

Sigh.

Screenshot from The Epoch Times.

why not visit dishfunctional in their new malvern location this weekend?

Dishfunctional isn’t in West Chester anymore. I open with that, because they were there for so many wonderful years. BUT Dishfunctional does have a terrific new location in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center in East Whiteland.

The store is long and wide inside and well lit. And full of so much fun stuff! Not just the china and crystal they are known for but so much else! They have some wonderful art right now too! My personal favorite? This amaze balls piece of Mick Jagger by Denny Dent. It’s huge, but very cool.

I found four extra dishes of the Johnson Brothers’ “Friendly Village” vintage ydishes I like to use in the fall and winter sometimes. They are hard to find, and were only $5 each which is an amazing deal!

I spent a lot of time looking through the store. It’s all very clean. Other things they have right in the front of the store I love is some fabulous antique cast iron lawn furniture. Also very reasonable in price and good shape.

Dishfunctional is located in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center. 225 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, PA.

Tuesday through Saturday
10:00 am until 6:00 pm
Sunday
11:00 am until 3:00 pm

Check it out!

file under “catalyst” for change: my goodness east whiteland, it looks like penndot spanked the billboard baron?

In July, I wrote about the clear cutting of a billboard site that essentially wasn’t supposed to happen that way. See:

So….residents weren’t happy, and neither was the township. PennDOT was contacted. Also before all that there was this letter East Whiteland send out this letter:

Now before I get to today’s lovely news, I spied a familiar name to Radnor Township residents on that letter above. Jack/John Larkin Esquire. Is he not the Vice President of the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners??? Anyway, just politically interesting.

So here we are at the end of August and guess what? PennDOT actually acted. Catalyst or East Whiteland Outdoor LLC seems to have gotten spanked?

Hmmmm this is getting interesting again. “Notice of Intent to Revoke Permit”? My my my.

Oh and Willistown residents? No storming of the Bastille or inciting a riot was necessary.

investigative reporter’s article in philadelphia inquirer leaves more questions than answers with regard arbor learning academy in malvern, including with dhs

Social Media Photo Circa 2016

On August 10th I launched a post on Arbor Learning Academy in Malvern. It is called “down the rabbit hole: what happened to arbor learning academy in malvern, pa?” I let it simmer because I knew as I was writing investigative reporters from the Philadelphia Inquirer were digging into this story which is a bit of a mystery locally. I did not want to be perceived as scooping investigative reporters who are really and truly good at what they do.

Today The Philadelphia Inquirer landed a whopper of an article which I will get to shortly.

The only response I got from my initial post was:

One of the big things to me when I wrote my August 10th post was who was the mysterious owner “Jean” identified today as “Jean Sun”? Where does she live? Is she the only other owner? Are there others involved who stayed in the shadows?

And how does she fit into the corporate name lookups on PA database?

Most people thought that the owner was the face of Arbor since inception was someone named Lauren Lilley and she is whom we saw all over social media. I will note sometimes posts said “owner” or implied as such and sometimes “co-owner” and even “business partner”, then finally “creative owner” whatever in the Sam Hell that means. Is this woman just a pawn in all of this? How do all of the pieces of this puzzle fit in reality?

But if this was the owner or an owner and the boots on the ground in charge person there, why was she putting up ads on social media this past May for cleaning? Daycare centers/Pre-schools etc are full time gigs or should be, right?

And then of course there were her tik tok videos now deleted but some were screen grabbed. I was sent one. Not posting it. Ick. But suffice it to say videos seemed to have disappeared and now account is private?

And then there were all the DHS things I looked up. Not sure what is in what order, but here they are again:

So thank goodness for the parents who thought all was not right, and former employees as per the article, but I have to ask WHY DHS has let them go so long with so many issues for a place that hasn’t existed for that many years?

The article says a DHS lady involved in their investigation is Shante’ Brown, director for the Bureau of Certification with DHS’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning. Based on what I found on a state website her office is located in Philadelphia:

Southeast Region
OCDEL
801 Market Street
Suite 5132
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3126
Telephone: (215) 560-2541
Toll Free: (800) 346-2929
Fax: (215) 560-5139

Now this lady use to work for the City of Philadelphia too. In theory, she las loads of experience, but after reading the Inquirer article I have to ask why she let this go on so long with so many issues and didn’t hut it down, if it was her decision? After all we are talking about the safety and welfare of kids, right?

It makes you question the checks and balances of a system when you realize this is just yet another place out here with issues. Allow me to provide links to other past daycare/pre-school problems out here in Chester County:

CBS Philadelphia: Third Chesterbrook Academy Day Care Teacher Charged With Abusing Toddlers JANUARY 31, 2020 / 12:34 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (location: Malvern, PA)

CBS Philadelphia: East Whiteland Police: 2 Chesterbrook Academy Day Care Teachers Caught On Camera Abusing Multiple Toddlers OCTOBER 31, 2019 / 6:00 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (same location as above: Malvern PA)

CBS Philadelphia: Chester County Child Care Worker Charged With Abusing 3 Toddlers OCTOBER 26, 2021 / 5:19 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (Location: Westtown/West Chester PA)

CBS Philadelphia: Former Chester County Day Care, Preschool Director Arrested For Failing To Report Child Abuse, Prosecutors Say DECEMBER 7, 2021 / 7:00 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (same location as immediately above: Westtown/ West Chester PA)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Two staffers at Malvern preschool accused of abusing children by Vinny Vella Updated Nov 1, 2019 (Location: Malvern PA – refer to links above)

So, it makes a person wonder doesn’t it? I realize government bureaucracy is government bureaucracy, BUT one thing that is super concerning are parents really expected to pay for day care and be the watch dogs when there are paid DHS watch dogs? Systems aren’t perfect, but after you read the Inquirer article, ask yourselves like I did why DHS leave them open so long?

If anyone has concerns about child safety, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. Concerns or complaints about licensed child care providers can be submitted online

~ philadelphia inquirer 8/15/22

I have to wonder aloud if Arbor Learning Academy were allowed to re-open would we want it in our community any longer? And perhaps a dumb question but if owners are multiple or some financial only, do they ALL have to have state clearances to operate a facility like this? Do they? Did they?

So like Alice down the rabbit hole, we all seem to be waiting for the next shoe to drop. Here is the Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Pennsylvania News Philadelphia Inquirer
Troubled Malvern day-care center closes, revealing problems that plague the system
The Chester County day care is closed as the state Department of Human Services investigates complaints by parents, who have also filed reports to the local police over alleged drug use by staff.

by Marina Affo and Ryan W. Briggs (maffo@inquirer.com , rbriggs@inquirer.com)
Updated 5 hours ago

Tuesday afternoon, Maurice Rouse walked around his daughter’s day-care classroom at Arbor Learning Academy and took down drawings and art projects that decorated the walls…..He and his wife, Erica, were among a small gathering of parents getting refund checks. The day before, the school had contacted parents a few hours after morning drop-off, telling them to pick up their kids early.

The Chester County day care center now remains closed indefinitely as the state Department of Human Services investigates complaints by parents, who also filed reports to local police alleging drug use by staff…An official with DHS would not address any specific allegations about the five-year-old facility…“We can’t talk about the current investigation,” said Shante’ Brown, director for the Bureau of Certification with DHS’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning….When needed, she said, the department will close an early learning facility immediately.

Meanwhile, the East Whiteland Township Police Department is investigating allegations of drug use, Detective Sgt. Patricia Doyle confirmed. She said the inquiry was ongoing, and “at this point there’s no substantiated claims.”

Abrupt and unexplained closures have plagued the center in the last year, more than half a dozen parents say, frustrating those who need child care in order to work.

One former staffer, Nicole Siuta, said she has been reporting the facility for alleged drug activity, child abuse, and endangerment since January 2021, when she resigned after 15 months.

She said she called ChildLine, the state reporting hotline for child safety, over a year ago to discuss similar allegations.

“I named specific names. I did everything and nothing came through,” she said. ….Over the last two years, according to DHS inspection records, Arbor was cited for 45 separate violations…

During a December 2020 inspection, DHS cited Arbor over one staffer who failed to obtain a National Sex Offender Registry clearance, and another who failed to obtain a required FBI clearance. Both staffers had worked at Arbor for about three months by the time the state inspector noticed the missing paperwork.

Last fall, state regulators switched Arbor to a provisional license. During a follow-up inspection about a month later, Arbor was hit with 18 more violations — once again, for having employees working with missing clearances….While Arbor’s temporary license appears to have expired in March of this year, according to DHS records, Arbor was allowed to continue operating.…An archived version of Arbor’s website from December 2021 has a welcome page that states “Arbor Learning Academy is a privately owned and operated child care center. The owner and Director, Lauren Lilley, has a degree in Early Childhood Education.”

Lilley did not respond to requests for comment.

Parents were told last week that the facility is actually owned by a woman named Jean Sun.

is there quite literally something in the water in willistown?

Is this about the sewer issue or personal animus?

I almost titled this post “Hey Willistown don’t let reality get in the way of your delusion”, but then I decided that was just a little too rude. But it’s about these signs. We all keep seeing them and not all of them are actually in Willistown.

It makes you wonder why these signs have to be so nasty and where they originated from.

I didn’t look far. From being against chickens to sidewalks in extraordinary places, someone has been a busy, busy beaver, haven’t they?

Above is a screenshot from a second Willistown sewer website called WillistownSewer.org which apparently will be replacing SaveOurSewer.org

First of all, these are NOT non-profit organizations as there is a common misconception that you have to be a nonprofit to get a “.ORG” domain.

But let’s back up. I am sure this post will cause another Willistown Tempest in a Teapot. Sorry not sorry, it can’t be helped, and I am entitled to my opinion. And this is yet another issue in this particular township which is exhausting because it is again so nasty.

When I was growing up on the Main Line, Willistown to those of us on the eastern Main Line was this magical place of rolling hills, horses, Radnor hunt, farms. I can safely say I have been coming out to Willistown for decades longer than some residents have lived there or known how to spell Willistown.

No, I do not live in Willistown, but I have friends there. Quite a few friends. But Katie bar the door, they will be revoking my passport into Willistown. Again. You know because I have had a thing or two to say about things like the NOFIMBY neighbors of Castlebar Lane and WildFlower Farm? (No Farms In My Back Yard = NOFIMBY)

But sweet darling baby Jesus, and yes I am taking the Lord’s name in vain. This has seemed to stop really being about the sewer issue and more about destroying the good names of two men who have given a lot to their community named Bob Lange and Bill Shoemaker. Are they perfect? Are any of us? And these are people anyone can come to. They don’t see residents as political persuasions. Oh and speaking of that, are these signs somehow politically motivated? I ask because there is a third supervisor in Willistown. Her name is Molly Perrin. Why is Molly never mentioned? Molly why do you not ever say anything in defense of the other supervisors? Molly do you actually ever say anything at all?

(Oh is that too mean? She’s a politician so might as well ask her where she stands on this behavior in her township, right? Molly, do you have a voice? What does it sound like? )

And why are these signs targeting two individuals in Willistown all over as in also outside of Willistown? If y’all don’t want us non-Willistownians commenting, maybe don’t post the signs outside of the township for starters?

Ok, I am waiting. I know it is time to cue the refrain of “She doesn’t live in Willistown, she shouldn’t say anything!

No I don’t live in Willistown. I wouldn’t want to at this rate because people are mean as snakes. There is this nasty edge meets a misplaced sense of entitlement no matter what the issue. And to me, this whole sewer issue has turned personal, which defeats the purpose of trying to win an argument in the first place. Next example? Here, this screenshot:

Campaign contributions being mentioned are rather interesting because first thing that caught my eye was Tom Hogan stepped down as D.A. in 2019. Before COVID. So what is the date on the small contribution to Bill Shoemaker? The reality is ALL of these corporations hedge their bets. They give to all candidates regardless of political party. I mean is this guy implying in his opinion that an honorable man sold out his municipality, an entire municipality, for $250? For real? My opinion is political candidates should not take donations from big old corporations. All of these corporations want something, even if it is just a certain perception. And then these donations will always do more harm than good, also because of perception at times.

And I go back now to these new street signs because they only target two supervisors. There have always been three supervisors, yet only two are ever targeted. I think that is done as a political motivation and personal animus, and just like the First Amendment may allow individuals to pay for street signs like this, I am also allowed to have that opinion. These are after all the same people who like to point out that Bill and Bob are related by marriage and the families are large landholders. Are they the largest landholders? I don’t know and I don’t care. What that says to anyone rational is they have a vested interest in the Willistown community. Family roots. Generational connections to the land. Why is that bad and they didn’t become supervisors to have a gateway to other things, did they? They have deep roots in the community, which doesn’t make them villains in some bad play or made for Lifetime TV movie. AND if they were NOT involved in the community the same folks would criticize them for that too.

But this is how all issues are approached in Willistown: lay siege and destroy the reputation of your neighbors. Don’t fight fair, act like gutter snipes. We’ve seen it over Wildflower Farm and other issues. Remember when M. Night Shyamalan wanted fences? That made regional papers and national entertainment news. Now it’s like “Oh he’s our wonderful neighbor”.

Let’s talk other issues for a moment like development. I am not a fan. No secret there. But I am a realist. The reason gets approved is simple: the Municipalities Planning Code of The Commonwealth of PA is woefully outdated by freaking DECADES. So it really doesn’t matter how local government officials might feel about development the reason above all others they can’t stop developments is zoning. Local zoning is guided by the Municipalities Planning Code so until it is changed to PROTECT our communities this is wash, rinse, repeat. It requires I think an act of the state constitution to update/overhaul the municipalities planning code comprehensively. There have been little things here and there, but not a comprehensive overhaul.

The county planning authority, AKA the Chester County Planning Commission keeps track of all developments in the county. I personally think they suck and are too pro development, but check out what they have to offer and be prepared to be horrified by the sheer volume of development marching across Chester County.

In Willistown, they talk about where developers already are, but not where they aren’t and what should also be saved. In Willistown they talk about land without conservation easements, but more so often than not when the horse is out of the barn and developers are already submitting plans. Willistown is not alone here. Most municipalities are like this. But where Willistown is different and should be better at conservation is the fact that Willistown is home to the Willistown Conservation Trust. So why isn’t more land in conservation?

Look at what is also brewing also in Westtown. Everyone wanted to preserve Crebilly. That time is here, and it’s possible. But will it happen? If the the Westtown Township Open Space Tax Referendum for Acquisition of Crebilly Farm doesn’t happen will Crebilly be saved? I mean do people think land conservation is actually FREE?

In Willistown there are lots of opinions on preserving open space. But someone politely pointed out the other day after a meeting that getting land into preservation requires money. And yes, you need to negotiate with a fat wallet if residents want more land conserved, especially when the developers have entered the ring. We as residents are NOT protected anywhere in PA because of the outdated, outmoded, skewed to developers and development Municipalities Planning Code. So basically communities have to BUY what they want to SAVE in order to actually save it. We might like how something looks, but if our communities don’t own it or us as individuals, does it matter in the end?

I am not saying that any of this is right, but it is reality. A very sad reality.

Another comment is those who are slamming two families over certain land parcels in Willistown isn’t going to get people where they want to be, either. With one family in particular, I find it egregious since they have literally given so much to Willistown. That is all I am saying on that topic.

People do not have to put their land into conservation. Some people don’t want to. I wish they did, but for some that was never the plan. And I still say that as someone who hates and despises all of this development. And I feel for Willistown residents over one huge parcel in particular. But I don’t see it stopping, sadly. But that doesn’t mean you all as residents can’t go look at all of the other parcels which you consider important that are not in play and work towards more conservation as a community, right?

But back to the verbal sewage over the sewer. A lot of municipalities can’t afford them long term now, so they are selling them to companies who are protected by state law when it comes to rate hikes. I have a problem with those rate hikes, but once again, it’s state law protecting what isn’t positive for Pennsylvania communities everywhere. So why aren’t people expressing outrage to State Reps and State Senators? Those are the people who can change this crap. Just like those state level elected officials are the people who can help communities worried about public water versus those on wells when it comes to all this new development….a lot of which doesn’t necessarily want to pay for public water and public sewer hook-ups and why shouldn’t they do that? Developers are adding all of these new people to communities and taking the profits and leaving? So why shouldn’t they have to do public sewer and public water hook-ups? Developers seem to be shielded from paying their fair share of anything, don’t they?

OK now a couple of articles about these sewer sales:

Inquirer: In Philly suburbs, sewer systems are for sale, and citizens push back, fearing rate hikes

by Andrew Maykuth
Published May 2, 2021

The frenzy of acquisitions in Pennsylvania is driven by a 2016 state law that encourages the consolidation of smaller water and wastewater systems under private ownership. The law, called Act 12, allows investor-owned utilities to pay an appraised fair-market value for an acquired system, rather than its lower depreciated cost or “book value,” and then to recoup the costs through higher rates.

Fair-value laws, enacted in about a dozen states, have triggered a land rush by private buyers to pay top dollar for systems. Some acquisitive public authorities have also increased their offering prices to compete with private companies — Conshohocken’s preferred bidder was the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority, which has acquired systems in Montgomery and Chester Counties. Under either public or private ownership, the higher price is passed on to customers through higher rates….. Officials from five states told the U.S. General Accountability Office that one potential disadvantage of fair-market value laws is their potential to increase a utility’s rates, according to a GAO report released Monday.

Five studies examined by the GAO found that average water rates charged by private for-profit utilities are about $15 to $21 higher per month than the rates charged by public water utilities. Private utilities have an incentive to generate a return for investors, the GAO said, while public utilities may need to respond to political pressures to keep rates low for all residents.

Every municipality has a different reason for approving or rejecting a privatization, and different circumstances — they may require significant infrastructure investments that would be better managed by a larger private entity, or already have high rates. Some towns just want to get out of the sewer business and focus on core public services

~ Philaddelphia Inquirer may 2021

And there is this article from NBC News for which you won’t hit a pay wall:

NBC News: Residents push back at high sewage and water bills from private companies

When Margo Woodacre opened her sewage bill in April, she did a double take. Her latest charges jumped 42 percent, to $37 per 1,000 gallons from $26 per 1,000 gallons. That was a major hit on the budget of the 71-year-old retired social worker who lives in Landenberg, Pennsylvania.

But she told NBC News she’s worried the rate hikes have just started. In 2017, her cash-strapped township of New Garden accepted a bid to sell off its sewer system for $29 million to a private investor-owned company called Aqua. But as part of the sale, Aqua could continue to increase rates by as much as 51 percent, with the utility commission’s approval, according to the agreement between Aqua and New Garden Township…. New Garden Township Solicitor Vince Pompo said in an email that the township had sold the sewer system because it “was aging infrastructure which was predicted to require fairly significant further rate increases of its own.” The township plans to use the sale profits to clean and develop public parks and improve streets in one of its villages….

~ NBC NEWS JUNE 2021

I understand why municipalities shed these sewer responsibilities, BUT Aqua is growing to be a bit of a monopoly and the state laws (fair market bill, etc) protecting their ability to jump the rates is disturbing. Privatizing water systems has become a contentious issue around here in Chester County, as well as across the state. I understand that improvements have to happen, and that is what causes a majority of these sales in the first place, but I have been doing research and where rates have been jumped it has been astronomical.

I feel as more and more of these sales are inevitable that the PA PUC should amend the laws and have staggered tiers of rates (as in they can only increase rates every so many years) and that rates should be capped and people on fixed or low incomes and seniors, they should pay less. State elected officials need to amend the laws so people aren’t so scalped with rate increases. It’s not the fault of the residents of PA when their municipalities decide to sell. If Harrisburg did something about the rates to protect residents, people wouldn’t object as much.

And if you paid attention to what I have said for years about OVER-development out here, you would realize that ALL along part of the problems with all of this development are the stresses placed on infrastructure. D’oh infrastructure in part are sewer systems.

Which is again why I have maintained all along you can’t just storm the local proverbial Bastille, y’all need to Git R’ Done in HARRISBURG and get the elected officials there to amend the laws that have sway on a local level.

In East Whiteland, the sewer sale has been approved it looks like based on a press release I found yesterday as a matter of fact.

Essential Utilities’ Aqua Pennsylvania Subsidiary Acquires the Municipal Wastewater Assets of East Whiteland Township
August 12, 2022 02:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time

BRYN MAWR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) announced today that its Pennsylvania wastewater subsidiary has acquired the municipal wastewater assets of East Whiteland Township, Chester County for approximately $55 million.

East Whiteland Township’s wastewater system serves approximately 8,200 customer-equivalents including residential and commercial connections. The system is comprised of 57 miles of collection mains and 12 pump stations. The collection system accepts waste from the neighboring municipalities of Malvern Borough and Charlestown Township. Its waste passes through Aqua’s Valley Creek Trunk Sewer system to the Valley Forge Sewer Authority for treatment. Essential’s unregulated subsidiary, Aqua Resources, purchased the 9-mile Valley Creek trunk system in December 2018, which consists of gravity sewers, force mains and two pump stations, from the Tredyffrin Municipal Township Authority.

“It’s particularly pleasing to be entrusted with the wastewater assets of East Whiteland Township, a municipality for which we’ve provided water service for years,” said Essential Chairman and CEO Chris Franklin. “Our excellent water service in the East Whiteland community brought important credibility to our offer to handle wastewater service in the township. We look forward to serving both water and wastewater customers throughout the township in the future.”

Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca said, “We look forward to providing excellent service to the East Whiteland community and have already identified the need for $17 million in infrastructure improvements over the next decade including two major sewer extensions. That work will likely begin with the Planebrook and Bacton Hill roads’ sewer extensions,” said Lucca.

East Whiteland is the second acquisition completed by Essential’s Aqua companies in 2022. The company currently has six additional signed purchase agreements to acquire water and wastewater systems in three of our existing states, which have a total purchase price of more than $363 million and represent approximately 216,000 equivalent retail customers or equivalent dwelling units.

Essential is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5.5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit http://www.essential.co.

Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater is a subsidiary of Aqua Pennsylvania and serves approximately 43,000 connections in 16 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.

Donna Alston
Communications & Marketing
M: 484.368.4720
Media@Essential.co
Brian Dingerdissen
Investor Relations
610.645.1191
BJDingerdissen@Essential.co

I have to be honest, I don’t even know if this registered with East Whiteland residents. And again, I am not saying communities should NOT object to these sewer sales. I have not actually ever said that. It’s the misinformation and attacks lobbed at two good men in Willisotwn which bothers me. So yo’ Willistown, you wonder why your last township manager decided to leave? You wonder why we looking at you from different parts of the county ask if there is literally something in the water?

Another sewer issue related article from August 9th to note:

Inquirer:

Consumer Advocate sues to overturn Aqua Pa. takeover of Chesco town’s sewer system
An administrative law judge recommended rejecting Aqua’s $17.5 million acquisition of the Willistown Township sewer system. The PUC went ahead and approved it.

by Andrew Maykuth
Published Aug 9, 2022

The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate has sued to block Aqua Pennsylvania’s takeover of a Chester County town’s sewer system, saying the $17.5 million sale will fail to deliver “affirmative public benefits” and would instead harm all Aqua customers with higher rates.

The Office of Consumer Advocate, headed by Patrick M. Cicero, asked the Commonwealth Court on Friday to overturn a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) decision last month that allowed Aqua to buy the wastewater system in Willistown Township, the latest acquisition of a public water and sewer system with the help of a 2016 state law that encourages the consolidation of utility ownership.

The Consumer Advocate’s Office, which reports to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, says the PUC erred by disregarding an administrative law judge’s recommendation to reject the sale, which the hearing examiner said would cause greater harms than benefits. The PUC voted 3-0 on June 8 to approve the sale to the Aqua, a subsidiary of Essential Utilities Inc., based in Bryn Mawr….But the consumer advocate said the case could have implications far beyond Willistown, a relatively small system serving nearly 2,300 customers in the affluent town near Malvern. The practical effect of the PUC’s ruling is that any acquisition by a “fit” buyer in the future will be approved if it can be shown it will promote regionalization of utility systems.

“This ruling, if allowed to stand, would eliminate the statutory requirement to conduct a fact-based weighing of harms and benefits to determine if a specific transaction will affirmatively promote the interest of the public in some substantial way,” wrote Erin L. Gannon, a senior assistant consumer advocate….

Robert A. Swift, a Willistown resident and private attorney, filed a separate Commonwealth Court lawsuit on Friday, seeking to block the sale.

The consumer advocate’s legal challenge could also be expanded to include Aqua’s $54.9 million purchase of the East Whiteland sewer system, which is adjacent to Willistown. A different administrative law judge had recommended that the PUC reject the East Whiteland transaction, saying that Aqua had not demonstrated any cost reductions or efficiencies from deal. Despite the recommendation, the PUC voted 3-0 on July 29 to approve the sale.

~ philadelphia inquirer auguest 9th, 2022

Another thing to read is a WHYY article on this Act 12 from 2017.

WHYY: Act 12, explained: Customers more likely to see rates rise with Pa.’s new water privatization process
ByEmily Previti August 18, 2017

Pennsylvania is already known among water companies and their shareholders as being a good state for doing business.

And now, it’s even better.

That was the conclusion of a report out this week from Moody’s Investor’s Service.

The change is Act 12, a law that offers a different way to privatize water systems in Pennsylvania.

~WHYY 2017

Now of course we go back to the PUC Public Utilities Commission which is SUPPOSED to act to ensure the safety and well-being of Pennsylvania residents, but all you have to do is look at the pipelines issue to see how much they “care.”

Pennsylvania is kind of a cesspool. It doesn’t mean our local communities have to be. But lots of local communities cannot see the forest for the trees.

Nasty signs now aimed at two good men accomplish nothing. They are just nasty signs. We all know I am an equal opportunity offender when it comes to politics and politicians. But Bob Lange and Bill Shoemaker are good guys. They care about their communities. You don’t have to like them or agree with them, but remember these are two people who will actually have a conversation with residents.

But these signs? They literally accomplish nothing and are abhorrent. You want to fight to save your sewer system although your municipality is saying they can’t afford to keep it? That’s fine, fight for what you believe in…but do it without these nasty signs.

THAT is what I am saying.

Quite simply: Rude A.F.

down the rabbit hole: what happened to arbor learning academy in malvern, pa?

Might as well go full on down the rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland. Arbor Learning Academy in Malvern on Ravine Road. What in the Sam Hell has happened there??? There is something brewing and bubbling and a police investigation and it’s CLOSED?

Recently as in within the past few days I was getting messages asking me if I knew what happened to Arbor Learning Academy. I had no clue. I pulled up their website yesterday I think it was and it was…well…scrubbed. When I went to pull up https://www.arborlearningacademy.com/our-team , what I got was:

O.K. that definitely made me interested and guess what? I picked it all off on a web cache.

Then this showed up and is being passed around Facebook and like everything else in this post is publicly sourced:

But what did this grammatically challenged letter even mean? To most families the woman who was “fired” was always the one folks thought was the owner. (The word “fired” is in quotes because you will see a little further down she claims otherwise, so it’s in dispute it seems?) See this post from some point in Stepford Wives For Totalitarianism where she self-describes as “owner”:

I pulled the corporate stuff that anyone can view on the PA site to look up corporate names. This is all I got:

So who the hell actually owns this joint? A great mystery of life. Then this thing appeared on Facebook, of which didn’t get the whole explanation which is why I put “fired” in quotes because this differs from whomever is now saying they are the “owner” :

So I am guessing, that missive above prompted this next screen shot. A reporter reaching out. But haven’t seen an article yet:

So what else? Oh I pulled some of the inspections things off of the PA Compass website of which I pulled a selection and you can all go look up it all yourselves:

Alrighty then, sign me glad I do not have need of one of these daycare places. Except there are some really good ones. I will be honest from the time I saw this being proposed on some agenda in East Whiteland I thought this was hinky, mostly because I found the location totally odd.

I still, like the rest of you, do not have answers. But something is obviously going on. So what gives? It would be a neat trick to learn who actually REALLY owns this Arbor Learning Academy wouldn’t it? And should this place even re-open? Would people trust it?

beat the heat with farm boy bbq

I’ve written several times about Chef Paul Marshall‘s Farm Boy Barbecue. We think it’s the best around and have since we first discovered it.

They were formerly in the spot at 29 and 30 in Malvern where the Three Crazy Ladies used to be at the gas station there. That was a good location I think for Paul initially as he was seeing how people would take to his barbecue and it took off and well, that was never supposed to be a permanent home, and he’s been looking for a while and where he’s ended up is he has taken over the old Friendly’s next to Public Storage at 43 Lancaster Avenue in Malvern, which is one block west of 29.

They are in the process of a building makeover, but they are still serving up the barbecue, weather permitting outside usually Thursday and Fridays, sometimes an occasional Saturday. They weren’t out yesterday because the heat was so brutal, but they were there today. The best thing to do, as they are rehabbing their space, is to check their Facebook page to find out if they’re going to be there. They are usually there like 11 AM to 2 PM on those days.

I was delighted to see that Paul and Julie were still out when I was coming by after being at my oncology appointment. I had not ordered ahead, which you can do on Toast Tab, so they were out of chicken and pork ribs but I got brisket (which is like a religious experience), pulled pork, and short ribs for everyone for the weekend. And when I was there I ran into our mutual friend Bob!

The building rehab is coming along and I took a peek at the plans and I think it’s going be really cool! It’s going to be a good size sit down restaurant and they are looking for a fall opening in this new location. But in the interim check for pop-ups at that location a couple of days a week, weather dependent. They also do catering if any of you are interested.

Anyway, #shopsmall #eatlocal

I am a very happy customer of this business I have not been compensated in any way shape or form for writing another post. It’s just the perfect solution for really stinking hot summer weather. Let Paul Marshall do your cooking because no one BBQs like him!

Stay cool and do a rain dance!

Thanks for stopping by!