maybe it is time to tell sunoco to get the frack out of chester county?


I am all for capitalism, don’t misunderstand me. However, what I don’t like is capitalism at the expense of where and how we live. And that pretty much sums up Sunoco and their quest for pipeline domination.

Take this timely news about Sunoco Logistics. And a gigantic oil spill attributed to their pipeline in Ohio…..that has affected among other things a nature preserve.

Huffington Post: Ohio Oil Spill: Mid-Valley Pipeline Leak Released More Than 20,000 Gallons Into Oak Glen Preserve

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal environmental officials now estimate more than 20,000 gallons of crude oil — double the initial estimates — leaked from a pipeline into a nature preserve in southwest Ohio.

Meanwhile, Sunoco Logistics said Monday that the pipeline has been repaired and re-opened. Sunoco shut off the stretch of Mid-Valley Pipeline from Hebron, Ky., to Lima, Ohio, early March 18 after a leak was confirmed.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said under a federally approved plan, a specially engineered clamp was placed on the 20-inch diameter pipeline, which had a 5-inch crack that leaked oil. The clamp was tested before oil flow resumed Sunday evening.

Shields declined to say how much of the oil supply was disrupted in the last week in a system that runs about 1,000 miles from Texas to Michigan. He said the information is considered internal company business…..The oil leaked into an intermittent stream and acre-sized marshy area in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve just west of Cincinnati. Teams from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio EPA and other federal, state and local agencies responded after Sunoco Logistics reported the leak at about 1 a.m. EDT March 18….. some small wildlife has been affected by contamination.

Define “some”? I have friends with existing pipelines going through their property where Sunoco is drooling to put more. These are more rural friends with land that looks like a nature preserve because it is so beautiful and full of wildlife and scenic natural water sources.

In some positive news on this topic, East Goshen this week voted to intervene along with West Goshen. I think it is SO important for these municipalities to go to the mat for their residents. Slowly some State Senators also seem to be getting involved, but my wish is they do more than write a few letters. Political resistance needs to be fierce. The time for polite is pretty much over.

I never thought I would think about this pipeline issue. But I am and someone left a very valid comment that made me think. It is on the Just The Facts Please Facebook page:

How did this argument become “Not In My Back Yard”? I appreciate the passion and concern but to say move it a mile down the road only shifts the burden onto another community.

That was never the reasons for fighting this to begin with.

The real issue is that a for profit corporation is walking over cities, towns, and communities on its way to higher profits for their investors. If we use NIMBY in this fight WE WILL LOSE.

For me it has always been about stopping the process and not allow Sunoco to steal from our state to ship 90% away. There were people in the Northeast region this winter that were freezing due to a lack of propane, while Sunoco stockpiled it. This should be unacceptable for everyone

I have to say I feel this person is correct about the NIMBY thing and makes several good points. Chester County communities should band together whether they are immediately affected or not. This is a “big picture” issue as well as being intensely personal to those affected right now.

NIMBY is Not In My Back Yard. I thank the good lord above I don’t have Sunoco in my back yard right now. But I could. Most of us in Chester County are all close enough to Sunoco and other existing pipelines. So I wholeheartedly support my neighbors’ efforts in neighboring municipalities — I don’t want this in my back yard either!

Sunoco Logistics as has been said repeatedly in the media is applying to the Public Utility Commission to become a utility for natural gas purposes. The cliff notes version is if they get this they more easily get the power of eminent domain basically to seize property when they want under the guise of eminent domain for public purpose. It’s not so public purpose, this is to positively impact their corporate bottom line so in my humble opinion doesn’t that make it eminent domain for private gain? How despicable, right? Do we work hard so we can live in beautiful Chester County so they can take our land and destroy what we have worked hard for??

Another interesting thing to ponder off of the Just The Facts Please Facebook page:

If you think that Sunoco’s desire to be honest should not be questioned, then here is something to think about.

In Sunoco’s filing with FERC (OR13-9-000) they state that they have already committed 90% of the product to ship (par. 5). That leaves 10% for domestic use. They also cite that FERC has not established a minimum percentage of capacity that must be set aside (par. 14). Sunoco claims there is no major market in the Northeast for the product (par. 4). Apparently the 55,317,240 (2010 that live in the Northeast region are nothing compared to the Norwegian population of 5,109,059 ( Our question would be if PECO claimed the same thing and wanted to ship excess electricity to another country would this then be alright with FERC. The answer would most likely be no. PECO is required to allow any and all customers to tap their lines. A Sunoco representative, Joseph McGinn—Senior manager, Public Affairs, has already stated when asked about tapping into the line “you cannot connect into it, but if PECO wanted to get it to you then that would be a possibility.” Sunoco Pipeline LP/Sunoco Logistics LP wants us to believe it is OK for them to ship our resource to another country, not pay taxes to the townships along the way, devalue our homes & regions, and destroy the place we call home only to put money into their investor’s & politician’s pockets.

Sunoco Logistics comes in and pays once for use of your land. You don’t get an annual rental fee, if you buy a property with a pipeline from them already there you get nothing, correct? Except if you have pipeline running through your property you get all the risk of having a pipeline in your backyard, don’t you? Which includes not merely environmental concerns but economic concerns as well, right? If you don’t think property values of residential real estate won’t be affected by a pipeline running through it, I would have to say my opinion is you are ever so sadly mistaken. It doesn’t take much to adversely affect a property value does it?

In Chester County a great deal of us don’t have access to natural gas to heat with. Why? Because the only gas lines are pipelines and are Sunoco’s and some other companies for their profit. They aren’t for residential usage and supply. We can have propane tanks, oil tanks, or heat with wood or wood pellets. But that gas is for other people.

Not only does Sunoco want to suck our natural resources out and ship them elsewhere and not give residents access, they don’t even pay their fair share of taxes for using the land and sucking it dry . Which is exactly why as a Republican I am saying people all across Pennsylvania should have yet another reason to send Governor Tom Corbett packing. Start with sending him a message in the upcoming gubernatorial primary. Write in Daffy Duck if you have to.

I have also personally decided to avoid filling up the car at Sunoco gas stations whenever possible. We have plenty of other brands and stations to use out here, and well Sunoco gas stations are the most expensive most of the time anyway, so it’s also being more economical. Yes, I am talking a personal boycott…personal choice and all that if you care to embrace the concept, right?

Another thing you can do is sign and send the letter available via the Chester County Community Coalition website to the Public Utility Commission. Power is in numbers, so the more people who take the time to do this simple thing, the better.

A website called ChescoPaGreen has a lot of information. I am a visual person so the maps they have really hit home. Chester County is literally all carved up by these pipelines.

It is time to stand up to Sunoco and the rest of big and small oil criss-crossing Chester County. The ratio of risk vs. reward is skewed in the favor of big and small oil and any politician or related company or person in their pocket. We as a collective of residents are bearing the burdens and the risks. Safety, property values, environmental concerns (how many of you out there depend on wells for your water?), and so on. We don’t see much in the way of benefits and these companies aren’t even paying their share of taxes let alone actually compensating people properly who have had these pipelines carve up their properties.

If you can’t go to meetings, please contact the Public Utility Commission and ask them to DENY Sunoco. Contact television stations and ask them to join our regional news websites (like, regional and local newspapers like The Daily Local, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Main Line Media News and give residents more of a voice. Also contact elected officials. On every level for local to Harrisburg to Washington DC, but remember a lot of politicians take donations from big business and individuals involved. You probably can’t expect much from lame duck elected officials, but contact them anyway. Like Congressman Jim Gerlach, for example. He has plenty of pipeline near where he calls home in Chester County.

Again, I didn’t think this would be an issue I really cared about and I was somewhat ambivalent for a long time. But then I moved to Chester County. We live in a beautiful county and we have sacrificed enough already between developers gobbling up ever scenic acre they can get and existing pipe lines.

I am just thinking enough is the word of the day. As in Chester County has given enough.

Time to hit the pause button.

I don’t have a pipeline running through my property. But I could. That makes it more than enough for me as a Chester County resident to say “NO”. Please say “NO” as well.

Thanks for stopping by.


sleazy sunoco


So the photo above comes from a website called Protecting our Waters. It was taken after a Philadelphia protest in December, 2013. The protest was against Sunoco and the Mariner East pipeline, so I thought it was apropos.

Of course it makes me think if the pro-military and pro- peace folks can protest all the time unmolested in front of what I assume is the old courthouse in downtown West Chester, I don’t see why these folks rising up in East and West Goshen can’t do the same thing some day soon and invite the media.

Good old fashioned peaceful protests can accomplish a lot of attention grabbing.

My recent post on Sunoco and their little project has gotten me a lot of e-mail and even comments from folks fighting this in Dauphin County.

I have learned from Chester County residents who already have the older version of the pipeline a couple of interesting things: I thought (mistakenly and incorrectly) that if Sunoco used someone’s property that they paid rent annually to the property owner. I am told they don’t. I also wondered what happened when real estate changed hands. Apparently Sunoco doesn’t pay homeowners who inherit them in their backyards anything.

So basically, letting Sunoco in is like allowing cockroaches?

I wasn’t going to do anymore posting on this until I realized where some of the pipelines are actually supposedly going: right through the back yards of people in Marydell Farms in East Goshen who have properties that run to Boot Road. Those people don’t have backyards that are THAT deep.

Which brings me to something I didn’t want to point out: shame on East Goshen Township. All the environmental and safety issues aside, how can East Goshen officials just sit on their rear ends while residents have their property rights violated and property values potentially affected?

I go back to the thing about living out here and NOT being able to have natural gas lines for residential use leaving us with other energy choices like propane, pellet stoves, coal, oil, electric heat, but we can’t have natural gas to heat or cook with YET Sunoco can crisscross our county with pipelines that only THEY profit from? Residents HERE assume the risks to health, safety, and welfare. Residents here worry about environmental effects like will what Sunoco is doing affect those on wells and could it ever affect even public water supply? How does what they are doing affect our natural waterways like streams, creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes? How does what they do affect our wildlife?

And why is it Sunoco or other big oil companies doesn’t even seem to pay taxes on natural gas production in Pennsylvania? (Think of all the roads and schools that could get fixed as well as other things in Pennsylvania if stupid Harrisburg actually made these companies pay their way, right?)

Sunoco Pipeline plan draws political resistance Philadelphia Inquirer By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer April 5, 2014

An elaborate plan by Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. to transport Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids by pipeline across Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook is running into resistance.

The company’s subsidiary, Sunoco Pipeline L.P., last month filed an application with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to sidestep local zoning restrictions to build pump and valve control stations in 31 municipalities crossed by the pipeline.

Sunoco Pipeline argues that it is a “public utility corporation,” and that the PUC can exempt the construction of the above-ground structure from local zoning if it determines the buildings are “reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public.”….Two suburban Philadelphia state senators on Wednesday wrote to the PUC, contending that the exemptions would conflict with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in December upholding local zoning rights over oil and gas activity….Sunoco has asked the PUC for an expedited decision. Formal protests and petitions to intervene are due by April 21…..The Mariner project involves converting an existing eight-inch pipeline that carried fuel from Philadelphia refineries to Western Pennsylvania. The project requires about 45 miles of new pipeline in Western Pennsylvania. Sunoco’s efforts to acquire rights of way by eminent domain have run into resistance.

And the thing is this: this issue is way bigger than East Goshen, West Goshen, or just Chester County. This pipeline is coming from where? Ohio through to Marcus Hook? And what about the huge issue of those flare towers? Like the one they want to build in a residential neighborhood in West Goshen on Mary Jane Lane???

And then there are all those eminent domain whispers. Ugly, truly ugly.

I never thought I would say I am glad I no longer live in East Goshen, but given all the people who might be affected by this there (including friends) and in West Goshen, I am glad I no longer live in East Goshen.

The reality is those of us NOT in those municipalities are watching this, because this affects all of us potentially. And what do residents around here get as a benefit or upside? I am beginning to think not much.

I guess at the end of the day I am thinking Sunoco is just be sleazy at the expense of Chester County residents and residents all across Pennsylvania.

People should be able to say no.

West Goshen crowd boos Sunoco plan By Kendal Gapinski Daily Local Posted 4/04/2014

WEST GOSHEN – Sunoco Logistics Partners L.L.C. was granted a continuance Thursday night of its zoning hearing regarding a pump station it wants to put in at the corner of Boot Road and Route 202, much to the objection of hundreds of residents.

According to zoning board solicitor Mark Thompson, Sunoco originally appeared before the zoning hearing board three weeks ago and asked for the hearing to be continued to Thursday night. Between the last zoning hearing and Thursday, Sunoco submitted a request for continuance of the hearing. Thompson said he believed the reason for the request was to allow Sunoco time to find out answers to questions raised during the last hearing.

The project in the township, part of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline, includes the development of a pump enclosure, piping, valves and a vapor combustion system to be 34-feet high, according to the zoners….The pipelines would be repurposed to deliver natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale areas in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and New Castle County, Delaware….Resident Chris Pielli spoke out after the decision was made, saying the board should have rejected Sunoco’s request for a continuance, forcing Sunoco to start the zoning special exception process all over again.

“Let them reapply,” Pielli said.

The board granted Sunoco’s request for continuance, and the hearing will be continued on May 1 at 7 p.m. at the township building. The board said that Sunoco will be there to provide additional testimony and witnesses for the record, as well as give others who have been made party to the hearing a chance to present their case for the record.

Residents fighting this you need to write every elected official (and I would include all the gubernatorial candidates as there is a primary coming up) you can think of and also contact multiple media outlets. Give this issue the high profile it deserves. Check out the Castle Coalition.

Chester County deserves better than this, doesn’t it?


will it be eminent domain and pipelines, sunoco?

20140331-190842.jpgSimple Shots Photos photo

A group in West Goshen is fighting mad and battling Sunoco Logistics and its plan for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

W. Goshen residents upset with gas pump station proposal By Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News POSTED: 03/30/14, 7:47 PM EDT |

WEST GOSHEN — Township residents are organizing against the construction of a proposed natural gas pump station, voicing outrage over possible health and safety issues from the facility.

“This doesn’t just affect West Goshen, but every community from here to Marcus Hook,” resident Tom Casey said.

Sunoco is requesting a variance from West Goshen at an April 3, 2014 zoning meeting to build a pipeline pump station with 34 foot ‘flare stack’ in a neighborhood at Boot Road and Route 202. Sunoco has similar requests in 31 municipalities across Pa as it transitions a cross-state petroleum pipeline to ethane, butane, propane liquid gas use.

Apparently one of the big fat sticking points per my sources is the flare stack proposal. I learned about the Just The Facts Please group from my friend Tim at Panewz: Gas pipeline wants fast track on expansion, pump station, flare stack approval in Pa

….Many pipelines across Pa were established with easements to carry petroleum when much of the Pa landscape was farmland. Today these pipelines pass through suburbanized communities.

Additionally, many residents are concerned about the conversion of the former petroleum pipelines to highly pressurized liquid gas and its combustibility. In some cases, residents aren’t aware that a pipeline, installed many years ago, runs through their neighborhood….One concern for residents is the pump or compressor stations that must be built along the gas pipelines to push the gas through. Some of these stations can be quite large, depending upon terrain and distance from the next station… Sunoco Pipeline is also applying for status as a Public Utility in Pennsylvania. See the application and a list of all Pa Townships involved in the Mariner East 2 pipeline expansion by clicking here.

If approved, the pump and valve control station buildings, above, that Sunoco says it would install on the sites, would be ‘exempt from any local zoning, subdivision and land development regulations’.

The company is also requesting that the applications be expedited because ‘full potential of Pennsylvania shale gas remains hampered by limited pipeline infrastructure’. The company has requested approval of this legal designation prior to the Public Utility Commission’s meeting of June 19, 2014.

The company’s application says the buildings and expedited service are needed for the ‘convenience and welfare of the public’. It also does not want one township’s denial of construction to hold up the entire pipeline.

A judge has already ruled in York County on Sunoco’s Motion for Survey Rights and efforts to condemn property in Eminent Domain. Read about it by clicking here.

Pa eminent domain blogger and Harrisburg attorney Michael Faherty has written ten reasons why, he believes, Sunoco will not succeed with the PUC in gaining Public Utility status and the power of eminent domain.

Alrighty then. The other meat of it? Sunoco apparently has a request before the PUC to be classified as a ‘Public Utility’ so the company can bypass all local zoning regulations and use eminent domain to take additional lands along the existing pipeline route? Apparently they are not a public utility when it comes to gas or something? So does that mean then they want carte blanche eminent domain powers? Sounds like it right?

The Facebook Page, Just The Facts Please, is trying to get more people to the meeting.

I think that eminent domain for private gain shrouded in a cloak of eminent domain for public purpose is what will occur if eminent domain for properties is attempted. I was told but have no proof that some are already are having to deal with whispers of eminent domain and to them I say FIGHT. I am somewhat astounded to hear how reluctant property owners are being bullied and isn’t that awful?

Look, our homes are our castles and our personal American dreams and personally I wouldn’t want big oil or the government to have a piece of my dream. (And I hope homeowners facing eminent domain know about groups like the Institute for Justice
in Washington, DC. They are a tremendous resource and much more.)

I used to be somewhat ambivalent towards this whole pipeline issue. But now, because of what I have heard happening in West Goshen and my former community of East Goshen I’m not so sure. And if big oil came knocking on my door I don’t think I could say yes. I am not going to judge anyone who has said yes, and I know some who have in the past, but I don’t think this is for me either.

Do we as Chester County residents get benefits of allowing drilling as we live in a state whose governor doesn’t have a tax (or much of a tax?) on the big oil companies having to do with what they drill? Ironically most of us don’t even have access to natural gas for heating because there aren’t a heck of a lot of those kinds of gas lines, yet they have been running an insane amount of pipelines. We are also on wells out here, so what happens to our drinking supply if they screw up?

I know you can’t take on everything but this is something at the very minimum worth going to a meeting to learn. After all a good portion of municipal meetings in Chester County are not televised.

I guess where I am on this is I hate government bullying. I hate eminent domain. I hate businesses attempting what Sunoco is attempting. I think I might even buy gasoline for my car elsewhere now. Wawa has better prices anyway. And most of all I hate that residents can’t just say “no thank you” if they don’t want a pipeline in their yard.

So if you have concerns, please don’t wait, go to this meeting this week. April 3, 7 pm, West Goshen Township Building. 1025 Paoli Pike, West Chester.

Judge Rules that Sunoco Pipeline Does Not Have Eminent Domain Power by Michael Faherty on February 28, 2014 in Pipeline Construction

The Top Ten Reasons Sunoco Pipeline Does Not Have the Power of Eminent Domain by Michael Faherty on January 22, 2014 in Pipeline Construction


daily salvo: eye on west vincent….again

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

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



well, when you hire what coatesville ejects, what do you expect phoenixville?

So the other day I wrote a post about Phoenixville and their governmental quest for a Platinum-clad multi-million dollar borough hall.

And today as I am reading an article in Phoenixville Patch, a name literally leapt off the page: Phoenixville Borough manager Jean Krack .  As in former Coatesville Redevelopment Authority head and  acting city manager then City Manager of Coatesville Jean Krack.

Lordy how do these old Coatesville people keep getting jobs?  I started to pay attention to Coatesville years ago when under Paul Janssen they tried to sieze the farm of my friends Dick and Nancy Saha via eminent domain for private gain. (Don’t remember? See Save Our Farm’s website.)

Now I thought it was bad enough when Radnor in the midst of the Bashore drama thought about bringing in Paul Janssen in 2010 as a then temporary township manager.

So if my memory serves, didn’t Jean Krack fill in as acting city manager of Coatesville when Paul Janssen went buh bye?  First they hailed him as the second coming of something or another, and then wasn’t their some fuzzy math about some $7 million borrowed from some sort of trust fund to keep Coatesville going circa 2005? And then there was some sort of blame game in Coatesville in the first few months of 2006? And then on March 14, 2006 the Times Herald reported under Ann Pickering that Jean Krack was fired as Coatesville’s City Manager? And then he turns up again in Phoenixville in 2008?

OMG it all makes sense now.  When will people stop hiring people Coatesville gets rid of??? I mean let’s get real, for years can it be said that Jean Krack talks a good game but doesn’t quite have the follow-thru in the end?  He is good at spending money, however. Haven’t taxes gone up under Krack? Wasn’t it reported in The Phoenix at the end of 2011 that taxes were going up 19%? And the year before that didn’t the Phoenix report a 24% increase?

(Oh and as a Phoenixville aside don’t forget about those condos that did not sell.  They get auctioned off on April 15th as per the Mercury.)

Now part of the discussion surrounding this new Phoenixville Borough Hall isn’t just the cost but the stormwater/flooding concerns.  Remember the thing in the Inquirer in September about water stuff?

Sleep in not in the forecast for borough officials in Phoenixville, which is braced for more flooding and steamed over inaccurate rumors about its water supply.

“We have not had this level of water in recorded history,” said Borough Manager Jean Krack. He said residents who have never had water in their basements before do now, and some trees have toppled because the ground holding them is so saturated. The Schuylkill is expected to continue rising after dark, but Krack said the borough is as prepared as it can be. “We’ve got a great emergency crew,” he said. “When you have a creek (French) going east and west, and a river (Schuylkill) going north and south, you have to take this sort of thing seriously.”

So they are taking this all so seriously now that they are moving forward with the Phoenixville Pagoda? Nice.

So back to Phoenixville in the news.  Here’s a little article from 2008  I found amusing on a couple of different levels:

Planners: Limit public comments?

Published: Saturday, August 16, 2008

PHOENIXVILLE — The relationship between Borough Council and its Planning Commission has been tested — and testy — over the last months, marked by multiple divergences of opinion and procedural snares.

But Borough Manager E. Jean Krack came before the Planning Commission Thursday evening with initial proposals for organizational reform.

“There’s a relationship that’s a little fractured,” Krack acknowledged. “If you allow me to participate as a conduit” between agencies, he said, “I may be able to foster the symbiotic relationship that should occur between bodies. “I was seven years in that role” in Coatesville, he said, “and I was able to shortcut a lot of things” because of it.

“There are some ideas I want to put on the table,” Krack said. He was concerned first with “my responsibility to the budget,” ….”The Municipal Planning Code requires open meetings but does not require public participation. The governing body [Council] is required to have public participation, not you.”
The issue, he said, was efficiency of public decision-making. “You all are here to do a job; I want to get you involved in what you need to, not what you don’t. With the exception of the magnitude of issues like the Master Plan, French Creek, you may want to limit public participation.

How very West Vincent of him, or maybe this was another place West Vincent looked for inspiration on the public comment debate? It doesn’t really matter – what matters is in my opinion government officials who seek to limit public comment are immediately suspect for that alone.  Of course in this case, I am amused by his touting his tour of duty in Coatesville since in the end they fired him as per all media reports, right?

But I digress.  My whole point is Phoenixville hired one of the managers that Coatesville fired.

Now I know Jean Krack like most municipal talking heads would like to take credit for all of the renaissance which has occurred in Phoenixville, but I think a lot of credit needs to go to the small business owners and residents themselves.

But back to Krack and his quest for a Platinum-clad Phoenixville Pagoda – check out the latest coverage in Phoenixville Patch:

New Borough Hall Causes Heated Discussion/Several council members express concerns over accessibility and office layout.  ByAlyson D’Alessandro  Email the author  5:45 am

Tuesday’s Phoenixville Borough Council meeting was punctuated by some serious discussion on the design of the new borough hall at 351 Bridge Street.

The subject was opened for debate because council needed to act to approve or deny the building’s Historical and Architectural Review Board (HARB) application. The issues also came up during committee reports, where it was mentioned during the infrastructure committee report….The motion before council was to hold a public meeting and open house, with renderings of the new building, in order to further discuss the project.

Council president Richard Kirkner and Council member Dana Dugan both expressed dismay……

Mayo gave an example of the layout of West Chester’s borough building. “You have to go up or down stairs to get to the offices, and not only that you have to cross a very busy street just to get there,” she said.

“With all due respect, this isn’t West Chester,” Dugan countered…..Borough manager Jean Krack said that in the most recent plan, that side of the building now has two windows….

“The interior is built on workflow, and to have people on different floors is wrong. This was built around working as a team,” Krack said.

Krack expressed concern that the council had set a finite budget amount for the building and that six thousand square feet had already been cut from the plans in order to stay within that budget.

“If we change anything, it will be several hundred thousand dollars [in cost],” Krack said…..Krack also said that holding another public meeting would push back the schedule of the building ….

Seems to me that Krack seems a little desperate to get this building shoved through?  That in and of itself is enough to make residents want to hit pause in my humble opinion.  I also think that Phoenixville needs to remember that the residents are the taxpayers and they in essence pay the Borough Manager’s salary.

I will say again I do not understand how Phoenixville’s Borough Manager and council people can justify the expense of this new borough hall in this economy. It was reported mid March by the Phoenixville Patch that they were considering cutting the police force. I don’t know about you, but if I lived in Phoenixville I would rather have the right sized police force, the necessary services, repaired roads (Phoenixville has lots of missing street signs and a lot of pot holes) versus a ginormous municipal building in an area they say floods.   Also at that meeting, Patch reported concerns from residents over a couple of development plans. (and don’t forget  that auction of  condos April 15th as per the Mercury.)

Well maybe it’s just me, but the design of this building isn’t much better than the giant Acme Market being built on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr.  But what do I know?  I am just a mere mortal and a female….now see if I was in Phoenixville I would talk to the folks in Radnor who inherited the mess of THAT too super-sized municipal building.  I am pretty sure they seem to think NOW that they built too large a temple of excess there too a few years ago.

No one wants a butt ugly municipal building.  But there should be a common sense approach as to what can really be afforded and a happy medium between a quonset hut and something along the lines of the Taj Mahal.

Now is not the time to build the Taj Mahal.  It’s a shame they can’t do an adaptive reuse of an existing building – or even part of that old steel site now being developed. (in that case, wouldn’t it have made an interesting argument to see what the developer who is doing the steel site development would have been willing to do?)  But again, I am but a mere mortal and a female on the outside looking in.


meanwhile, back in west vincent township

It seems that in West Vincent Township, it’s still a cloudy day?  I have this e-mail from ChickenMan which also contains part of an interesting update from the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Folks which I also received.  Wow talk about murky and no sunshine.

Are these people for real? And how come they can’t produce a lease for the taxpayers to review if this Township Supervisor Ken Miller (who makes that cheese I no longer buy from Birchrun Hills Farm) rents land from the township? Doesn’t that make in some sense the residents/taxpayers of West Vincent his landlord? And he does this (rents this land from in essence the taxpayers), yet he thought it was a good idea to seize Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds via eminent domain for private gain?  And if West Vincent owns all this land and is so hot to trot on a “plan”, why not use the land they already own before looking to seize privately owned land?

And who is this Pam Brown, other than she seems to be part of French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust?  Call me crazy, but damn that non-profit seems to have issues or am I imagining that?

And what’s up with this zoning issue?   Shouldn’t residents be able to discuss any potential changes in full sunshine even  typos?  That seems to be the norm for other municipalities in Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery Counties doesn’t it?

Also, why is it again this Clare Quinn can’t get benefits on COBRA from her former employer and it is such a good idea for the taxpayers of West Vincent to pay for her health benefits?  I would love for someone to pay my health benefits, but I live in the real world and pay my own. Just sayin’.

Anyway, read on from ChickenMan:

This came in to me from the Friends of the Horse Show and I am copying it here for you. 

West Vincent Township BOS meeting update
Dear Friend,
Once again interested residents of West Vincent Township packed the township building anxiously awaiting the zoning hearing that was postponed in December. Once again, the residents of the township were turned away, as the zoning hearing was postponed yet again.  The hearing is now set for January 23, 2012.   Explanation:  They sent the “insignificant changes” (one change and a few typo’s)  back to the County, because the County could determine that they were “significant changes”.  That’s right folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up, it’s double talk at its best!
To refresh your memory, the zoning hearing is to approve major changes to the township zoning ordinance.  The changes to this ordinance are vast, and will certainly change the look and feel of West Vincent Township in the future.   Even more important than the depth and breath of the changes, is the fact that the changes proposed will attempt to right the zoning violation that occurred when Pam Brown was permitted to built her accessory dwelling on her deed restricted property.
Frustration levels were high as the residents of the township voiced their displeasure in the manner in which the zoning changes are being handled.   They are complicated, difficult to read, and cumbersome, yet the supervisors and township manager along with solicitor do not intend to hold a town meeting or provide a plain language document for residents to better understand the future effects of the changes.
Since the township website makes it difficult to locate documents referred to at the meeting,  I have provided you with the links to follow along.  Get cozy and read along.

Click here to see the changes to the amendments.

Fast Facts taken from the meeting:
  • The meeting once again required two attorneys working on behalf the supervisors.  During the budget approval meeting of December 27, 2011, the supervisors said they were going to control the expenses of the attorneys in 2012,  I wonder when they will start?  My guess Monday night cost the township a minimum of  $1710 and possibly much more, might I remind you….nothing was accomplished!  The supervisors knew the hearing was not going to take place, yet they kept 2 attorneys at the table…..Good Job watching that budget!
  •  When questioned about the decision to pay 100% of Clare Quinn’s benefits, the board said they would determine the percentage in March when Clare will go on the policy.  Keep your eyes on this one, how will the supervisors spend your money?
  •  Remember when the Horse Show supporters showed up at the meeting, and mysteriously chairs were missing from the meeting room, forcing people to stand or sit on the ground?  The chairs have returned! Personally I want to thank my township for treating their residents with such care that they actually removed chairs from the meeting room when the supporters of the horse show attended meetings.


As promised, I have been inspecting records at  the township building over the last two weeks.  This is a slow process, however I will keep you updated as things of importance are revealed.  The 2012 budget did not include rental income for the farmland and farmhouse leased by the township.  After I pointed this out, Jim Wendlegas was not able to determine why they were missing.  During my review and on Monday evening, Jim took responsibility for “missing” the income from the farm land in the budget. The supervisors decided to vote to amend the budget to make this change at the next meeting. As part of my review, I have asked for copies of the leases on the farm land along with the farmhouse lease.  What I was provided was an expired lease (lease expired 9/30/08) on the Farmhouse and an expired lease for the farmland that Ken Miller leases from the township (expired 12/31/10). When asked for lease renewals, extensions or addendums to the leases, Jim looked surprised, and said he would have to “look” for them.  Jim did not have them available at the next meeting even though I stressed the importance of seeing them.  Just to be clear, the leases do not have an automatic renewal, and do require renewals in writing…Stay tuned more to follow….

Thank you for staying interested in what is going on in West Vincent Township.  Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who may have an interest in what’s happening in West Vincent Township.  If the e-mail has been forwarded to you, and you would like to receive future mailings, please click on the link below!


Maria Jacobs

Friend of the Horse Show

“Be the change you wish the world to see” – Ghandi

 To join the Friends of the Horse Show Mailing list click here
To see my previous mailings please click on    As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don’t want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me. I’ll take you off the list immediately.   Just hit reply to this email or write to
Best wishes

as the west vincent churns…..

They are taking names in West Vincent, apparently.  I am a ChickenMan aficionado.   What he does takes courage some days, and since I have blogged a few years now over a few issues I can appreciate that.

It seems that ChickenMan follows the credo of the truth is your best defense, only his local yokels want all to be rosy in the alfalfa patch and he upsets their apple carts on occasion. (As long as he doesn’t throw their goats off their milk, I suppose it’s all good, right?)

When you blog, there will always be a turd out there who doesn’t like what you have to say.  And they will “challenge” you to their higher moral playground of delusion, because instead of doing the common sense duh thing of stopping reading a blog or e-mail newsletters or whatever (it’s not compulsory reading, after all), they want YOU to stop.  Why?  So they can be more comfortable in their own skin, that’s why.  But hey, if they are living clean, whatcha’ got to worry about?

Anyway, I am one of the people on Chickenman’s e-mail list, and I got an update a little bit ago that says (and I quote):


Hi….And while you are about it, ask yourself why I dare not tell you who I am, or who the people are who help me?  Would it not be a whole lot easier if I could openly tell you who I am and who the people are that I work with?  I could be famous (!!!) for running this list.   Why do almost all the people who write to me ask that I hide their identity?  Why are most of people who oppose the current administration scared to say who they are?  Really, it should not be like this.
David Brown recently wrote and suggested I should reveal to him my mailing list. He actually wrote 
Here’s a challenge: let Chickenman publish his e-mail list, so others can participate in a fair discussion of any issue he chooses. 
I replied Anyone can write to me.  Most letters get printed.  Now if it seems that most letters are supportive, that is because most of the letters I get are supportive.  I have already stated that a bigger proportion of non supportive letters are published compared to supportive letters.
I dare not publish my mailing list.  I have seen what happens to people who are known to be my supporters.  I will never publish my list.  My subscribers addresses are safe and will not be published.
But if I did publish we may find that if I do that innocent ladies are accused of running a brothel, or that efficient businessmen are accused of shoddy work, or that others are accused of not living at the address where they sleep.
The first of my theories above is a guess.  The second two have actually happened………….
Your identity is even more secure than is mine.  And after 205 emails no one has yet found me…………………
To see my previous mailings please click on    As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don’t want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me. I’ll take you off the list immediately.   Just hit reply to this email or write to
Best wishes

Ok, so I am new to this rodeo.  I became interested when West Vincent tried to give residents eminent domain for private gain for Christmas.  Until that point, I had tuned in and out, occasionally being regaled with tales of West Vincent silliness from people I know.   But thanks to eminent domain, I am now a ChickenMan devotee.  And apparently so are several media outlets because I see lots more on what was only known as sleepy, bucolic West Vincent to us “foreigners”.  (Of course if that jackass master plan in West Vincent goes through, it will no longer be either sleepy or bucolic, it will be over-developed and ruined.  But hey, if they think the drive thru modern Eagle is a pleasure cruise, to each their own, right?)

But I got off on a tangent.

So who is this David Brown?  One of the Supervisors in West Vincent.  He’s one of the three bears – the other two are named Clare Quinn and Ken Miller. 

I used to buy cheese from Ken Miller’s Birchrun Hills Farm at Farm to City Markets and other places until eminent domain came calling at the Ludwig Corner Horse Show Grounds.  Now, I couldn’t in good conscience buy the cheese.  Truthfully, I bought to try to support local PA and well, his isn’t the best anyway, so it hasn’t been so hard to give up. Hails Family Farm (Wyalusing), Shellbark  Hollow Farm (West Chester) , and Canter Hill Farm (Malvern)…and well if you want to taste heaven try Yellow Springs Farm’s goat cheese AND they have a goat cheese CSA too….

Again, the tangents…sorry…back to this odd request from a Supervisor and purported proponent of good government.

Is he that neurotic that he needs to know who is on the list? Who cares? After all if he hasn’t done anything wrong and everything is peachy keen and coming up roses in West Vincent, why does it matter?

But maybe he needs a good mailing list for spam or something.

I am going to suggest that MORE people sign up for ChickenMan – he must be doing something right if a country supervisor neeeeeeeds his mailing list.  You can visit his website and can e-mail Chester County’s Favorite Chicken at .

When government officials keep clucking….it’s time to keep reading….such pettiness in government is highly counter-productive.  I am glad I am but an observing auslander.  I might be branded a witch or something….

Good government is as good government does, Supervisor Brown.  In my humble opinion (allowed by what? Oh yes, we got that as one of those pesky inalienable rights courtesy of our founding fathers), you all need to knock the warped Mayberry crap off.  But hey, I thought your name was familiar and a lookee on your website shows where you learned your “old school rules”: Lower Merion.  411? They do things a little differently now in the Republican Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth.  They have a thing about sunshine and transparency.   Old school, back door, borderline bully politics are going out of fashion…..

Just sayin’…not accusing…just sayin’