new rules? are halloween ordinances next?

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Gone are the days of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” Halloween innocence….now there are new rules. Will Bill Maher weigh in?

Maybe I have been Captain Oblivious, but does government regulate Halloween now?

First I saw this article on Main Line Media News’ website about Halloween in Radnor Township (and I quote):

From a press release:

Radnor’s Township Manager has set the Township’s residential Trick-or-Treating hours for 6:00-8:00pm on Friday, October 31, 2014. Radnor Township asks parents to follow….

Malvern Borough is even more restrictive as per their Facebook page:

Trick or Treat is tomorrow night, Friday, October 31st, from 6:00-8:00 pm for ages 12 and under. For safety, carry a flashlight and make sure your children are visible through either bright colors or reflective tape on their clothing. Please check their bags. Enjoy!!

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I know lots of places where it isn’t so safe to trick or treat they do things like trunk or treats, or Halloween at centralized location but we aren’t talking inner city, we are talking Malvern Borough and Radnor Township.

There are actually two articles about this which are interesting:

Huffington Post: What You Need to Know About 6-Foot Trick-or-Treaters

and

Washington Post: On Parenting Yes, that might be my teen at your door on Halloween

So yes, as teens get older they generally stop trick or treating, but this whole local government decreeing hours of operation and age restrictions just sits oddly with me. I get and appreciate the common sense tips about escorting small children, flashlights, reflective clothing, and checking candy but when were Halloween Ordinances passed?

So these townships are all dictating 6 pm to 8 pm only. The funny thing is all the parents I know with really little kids start around 4:30 pm and are basically finished by 6 pm.

Now I know that sometimes giant trick or treating teens can be not the best thing. When my sister and I were growing up one year a bunch of teenagers tried to mug my mother at the door. You see my mother had this silver bowl she put the candy in. They tried to steal the bowl. And it was the north side of Haverford in Lower Merion Township on the Main Line – not the inner city. We chalked that up to just punks.

When we were elementary school and kindergarten age young we lived in Society Hill. The costumes that year were from Creative Playthings I think. That was when we would also collect money for UNICEF in little cardboard boxes. We got jumped and mugged for the UNICEF boxes carrying minuscule amounts of change. And we were little kids being escorted by adults too.

I also know that parents will take kids to neighborhoods other than their own if there is no real trick or treating where they live, but known to be better in the neighborhood next to theirs. I also know that will freak out a lot of people if they see too many strange costumed and non-costumed faces, and not just their neighborhood folks. You are, after all opening your door, unless you just leave an honor bowl of candy set out. I think back in the day we trick or treated until 9th or 10th grade.

So I get Halloween can be problematic, and we live in less innocent times and all. But I have to ask : are we so far gone that local governments have to legislate a traditional holiday?

Thanks for stopping by.

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phoenixville school district bans halloween

In Phoenixville, Scrooge has a new name: Phoenixville Area School District Superintendent Alan Fegley.  You see, Superintendent Alan Fegley is banning Halloween in Phoenixville schools, citing among other things  “controversy surrounding the religious connotations of Halloween.”

Bull twaddle. What a dope. Guess Santa Claus is next, huh? Oh wait, that is why so many schools across the country celebrate Halloween because it saves them from attacks by the political correctness police who whitewash everything into Happy Holidays Hell, right?

Seriously, somewhere Charlie Brown is screaming as another attempt is made to dumb down a childhood and American tradition.  We all are still Americans, right? Or has that become politically incorrect overnight too in Phoenixville?

Halloween is a universal kid loved time no matter the gender, ethnicity, religion.  As a matter of fact Halloween is so religion neutral across the country it is partially why it gets so much attention.

The History of Halloween is actually interesting:

History of Halloween

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31.  The word Halloween is a shortening of All  Hallows Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.
Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture.

We are as a country, and certainly as an area, an ethnic melting pot.  So many cultures celebrate Halloween that I do not see what the big deal is?  Now from the costumey end of it, it is a holiday in major metropolitan areas like New York City that is very attractive to those of alternative lifestyles, so I have to ask, is Phoenixville Area School District riding the discrimination bus on this?

Kids love Halloween, and these  teachers and this school district needed to get creative, not kill the holiday.

Thrift stores this time of year are LOADED to the gills with gently used costumes, so why couldn’t the Phoenixville Area School District put out a plea to ask people to donate gently used costumes?  And the kids would dress up IN school instead of coming to school in costume? That is one way to deal in a sensitive manner with the kids who can’t afford costumes.  School districts all over the country do this for prom (as in they have little events with gently used prom dresses, so those who might not be able to afford to go CAN, so why not Halloween?

Another thing they could have done was make the costumes that were acceptable kid created only and put a price on say whomever could design the best costume for under $10 dollars.  Again, the school district could have put it out there that they were accepting clean and gently used donations towards Halloween costumes.

Or they could limit the costumes to “best mask”, and they could make the masks in class.  A parade of masks and  pumpkin decorating (and again, they could put it out there to local farms and businesses to donate pumpkins and gourds to donate.)

Halloween is not only a fun childhood tradition, it is a way for children to express themselves artistically and creatively.  Often the reality of life is difficult enough for small children, so who does it hurt to let them escape reality for a few hours and just be kids dressing up?

Phoenixville is all wet  and wrong on this one.

If I had kids in this school district I would dress up and protest in front of the school district administration building on a public sidewalk and protest this decision.  Or in front of the post office (or any place that is a public sidewalk where they can’t arrest you for demonstrating.)

If I was a farmer or business owner in the area I would be delivering mounds of pumpkins to the steps of the Phoenixville Area School District building and to the front steps of the home of Superintendent Alan Fegley.

The Phoenixville Area School District Building is located at 386 City Line Avenue, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Phone number: 484-927-5000. Dr. Alan Fegley, 484-927-5010, fegleya@pasd.k12.pa.us

Is Fegley worth the $205,000 per year another blogger reports he earns? Maybe if the school district paid more realistic salaries considering the econony, it might have a couple bucks to give elementary school kids Halloween back?

And Fegley?  Dressing up for Halloween doesn’t cause sexting (you know that other issue you dealt so well with?)

Seriously, Phoenixville?  You need Operation Pumpkin Drop.  Prove this school district wrong and give the kids Halloween back.  Kids deserve to just be kids once in a while.

 

By Frank Otto fotto@journalregister.com 10/23/12

PHOENIXVILLE — Elementary school students in the Phoenixville Area School District will be celebrating a fall theme day as opposed to Halloween-centric events this year and Superintendent Alan Fegley explained why at Thursday night’s school board meeting.

Fegley said the announcement was made in the elementary school student “package” from the district in August, but he explained the district’s decision to move away from Halloween fully at the meeting.

According to Fegley, a number of the elementary schools’ principals came to him with their concerns regarding Halloween celebrations for Oct. 31.

“I approved the change for a fall-themed activity for a number of reasons,” Fegley said…“There was unhealthy competition for the costumes and treats that were being provided,” Fegley said. “I’m a competitive person, don’t get me wrong. But when it’s sitting there and making other students not feel good because they can’t afford the costume or can’t have it made, that’s something that’s just something the district just thought was not worth having to go through.”

Additionally, with the costumes and despite warnings from the school, children continued to bring in costume weapons in violation of the school’s weapons policy.

Finally, the district wanted to “honor the diverse background” of its students and open up the celebration to fall-themed events rather than Halloween because of the “controversy surrounding the religious connotations of Halloween.”

the haunted estate of goshen road?

Before Goshen Road becomes a Chester County Road it is in Newtown Township when you cross 252.  On the corner of 252 and Goshen Road is the estate once home to the now deceased John Du Pont who killed Olympic wrestler David Schultz in 1996 at his Newtown Square estate.

Foxcatcher Farm is the name of the property and it has been rotting for years.  You can see quite clearly the deterioration of the houses and barns when the leaves are down.  Today I decided to stop on the road and snap a couple of photos – I had my camera and a zoom lens.

The gatehouse is empty although someone has planted fresh mums in honor of the season.

It is sort of creepy.  What is going on with the estate as in the land?  I know there was an auction a while back and the estate as in all his assets was being challenged in court as recently as this past April.

I know in Pittsburgh they have begun filming a movie about John DuPont – also see “Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Sienna Miller to Grapple With Du Pont Wrestling Murder Drama”

I wonder who owns the estate now?  Is it still the Rouse Group? What are the plans for Foxcatcher renamed Ashford? Will there be many mini manses dotting a once pristine landscape and killing traffic there and everything else? Between that and the plans for the old Ellis School/Arco Chemical known as Ellis Preserve, wow…just wow….

Well no one ever said Newtown Township got it.  Sigh. It would be really cool to photograph the estate before whatever happens happens.

 

 

 

 

 

pumpkins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ask anyone who knows me – I love pumpkins.  I was at Sugartown Strawberries yesterday….so I photographed what else?  PUMPKINS.  Rows and rows of pumpkins, dozens and dozens of pumpkins piled in a jumble of orange. They tell me hay rides start next weekend!  Sugartown Strawberries is located at 650 Sugartown Road Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355.  Their phone number is (610) 613-0525 and you can find them on the web and on Facebook.

And on your way back and forth next weekend, also don’t forget to check out the fall fun at Woodlawn Landscaping & Nursery on Paoli Pike (they are right there at the intersection of Paoli Pike and Sugartown Road).