This is not a post about Chester County it’s about orphaned and other bridges in need of repair in our area, state, country.
The bridge in the photo opening this post and throughout this post is the orphaned railroad bridge on Pennswood Road in Bryn Mawr, PA. It’s in Lower Merion Township. This bridge has been falling apart for decades quite honestly. I started photographing it in 2007.
It takes far too long for unsafe and run down bridges to be repaired in this country. I photographed the deterioration of this Pennswood Road bridge between 2007 and 2012. I think I had some other photos once upon a time but I can’t find them.
This bridge had holes that you could see through to the railroad tracks and rattled like all get out. Underneath this bridge runs Amtrak and SEPTA trains. The bridge is on the orphaned list like many others that were built by railroads and then orphaned – original railroad companies go out of business successor railroads disavow responsibility. I don’t quite understand how it all works but that seems to be how it works.
What happens is the federal government will pay for most of this repair, the state will pay for some of the repair, and the final bit will be the responsibility of the local municipality. In this case, Lower Merion Township. After the bridge is rebuilt it becomes the responsibility of the municipality.
I have to give credit here to the local commissioner in Lower Merion (Scott Zelov) who has been at this since he became a commissioner in 2006. It’s absolutely ridiculous that it took so long to get to this point. And the bridge was failing long before he took office. It’s been failing since I was in high school.
This is a definite problem across the country. I have seen programs on news shows that run nationally like network news on orphaned and dangerous bridges. In 2019 Pennsylvania was still on the short list of states with the worst bridges. Our state was number 2 in the country according to the CBS news affiliate in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Post Gazette also covers the topic.
People always ask “Who is State Rep Kristine Howard?”
Good question because really nobody knows. She has been the singularly most INVISIBLE state representative I’ve ever heard of since I first had the right to vote. Considering I’m in my 50s, I have been voting quite a while.
I literally remember when the committee people were coming around when Kristine Howard was running the first time.
I had not seen anything about her, hadn’t seen her physically anywhere, had not even seen photos of her anywhere at that point. NOTHING. She was just a name. The response I got was stunning and it was from her own party “No one really knows. No one has really seen her.” (and that message was delivered with an apologetic shrug.)￼
The sole image anyone had seen of her at that point is the photo on the left at the opening of this post. Only as we later found out she looks more like the photo on the right.￼￼
Even candidates I have not liked over the years got out there to shake hands and meet people and go to one bad chicken dinner after the other.
Last time we were supposed to vote for Kristine Howard just because she wasn’t Duane Milne. This time because she’s not Ginny Kerslake or Wendy Graham Leland. (I will note both of these ladies are out there, involved in the community, and care and have been that way long before deciding to run for office.)￼
Yet NO ONE knows Kristine Howard still. Is she the most closely guarded secret in Harrisburg or what? ￼Kristine Howard seems to send out the occasional puff piece to let people know she’s around or she voted as she was told, only she’s not around is she? Try being one of her constituents and getting her to respond to you. Try getting anyone in her office to respond to you.
In my humble opinion, Kristine Howard does not show up for residents and constituents. This summer residents affected detrimentally and dangerously ￼by pipelines begged her￼￼ to come tour their neighborhoods with them. They got no response.
But when Governor Tom Wolf showed up for an insider’s tour basically with the pipeline company inside the fences of the pipeline that have eaten up people’s properties and lives and neighborhoods this summer￼￼, there she was for photo ops posing with Wolf and Carolyn Comitta only like magic those photos have all seemed to have disappeared as bad optics are wont to do? (if anyone has copies of those photos that DID exist I would love to see one again wouldn’t you?)￼
There was also in the summer of 2019 a very important public meeting held at Immaculata that affected her constituents in East Whiteland Township. The issue? Traffic circles, eminent domain, and PennDOT. She sent a staffer who stayed maybe half an hour, and the meeting was more than two hours long. Kristine Howard shouldhave been there herself, could have been there herself, chose NOT to be there. ￼
The residents of the 167th Legislative District deserve someone who shows up for them, interacts with them, responds to their concerns. Kristine Howard is sort of being seen now because she’s being primaried. That is so insulting to constituents.
Think of politics in terms of fashion. Kristine Howard and Harrisburg need a makeover. I think the Harrisburg makeover is time better spent.
I can’t tell you who to vote for, but I will tell you who I think you SHOULDNOT vote for￼￼, and that’s Kristine Howard. She’s a fashion trend as tragic as hobble skirts, which literally impeded a woman’s ability to walk in the early 20th century.
Yes, really. And honestly? I tweet at Donald Trump and Real Housewives significantly more than him which isn’t saying much because I don’t tweet at any of those folks or Trump much. Mostly where Big Orange is concerned, I try to pretend he isn’t on Twitter. (Keeps the blood pressure down.)
But even Big Orange hasn’t blocked me on Twitter. But John Fetterman has apparently. It’s like he wants me to write a blog post about it. Especially amusing since there seems to be some legal precedent stating elected officials cannot block constituents on social media, especially if they use social media to inform constituents? And Lt. Gov. Lurch might not like my Tweets, but I am a constituent, yes? Something about that pesky thing known as the First Amendment, perhaps?
I do not know precisely when I was blocked (I discovered it today) because I don’t include him in tweets very often. I think he is like an empty paper bag with even less substance. I never even wrote a blog post about before about our Lieutenant Governor because he has always seemed a little creepy to me.
I have no problem with ink but his date and numeric tattoos are utterly creepy to look at. And I am fascinated and always slightly puzzled how the man can never get a shirt that fits properly at the collar. Or how a politician can look so uncomfortable in a suit, or even as a politician.
I remember when he first came onto the political scene that I took note of him. It was that 2016 U.S. Senate attempt. Then I promptly forgot about him until Tom Wolf starting trotting him out for his last election.
Wolf is a true Rendell Democrat and we’ll leave it at that.
Now what had I tweeted and how often at John Fetterman? The answer is not much and it was mostly pipeline related. Those pipelines are ruining where I call home and in my humble opinion are too problematic and too damn dangerous. And for what all this risk to residents? So people a few miles up the road can get sinkholes, the people in East Goshen suffer from inadvertent returns on Boot Road, other people can get their water wells ruined, miles and miles of countryside get raped and pillaged and for what? So a company that should not have PUC utility status can ship gas and “other hydrocarbons” overseas to make plastics in places like Scotland? And don’t forget exploding refineries that then immediately go out of business, right? Or property values that go down due to pipeline syndrome, right?
Compared to a lot of what I see on Twitter, I barely nipped at Big John’s ankles. I pulled as many tweets as I could find, and like I said, there weren’t many. I have screen shots so you can see:
John Fetterman did kind of make campaign promises about pipelines to people in Chester County and elsewhere. Once he got elected, what has he done? Here are some pipeline and Fetterman things I found on Facebook:
Here is what the ACLU had to say in January of this year:
One of the core purposes of the First Amendment is to allow people, regardless of their views, to hold the government accountable through expression. So, if your elected representative has an official Facebook page where she invites comments, can she block you from commenting because you criticize her work?
According to a federal appeals court, the answer is a resounding no.
On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the interactive portion of a public official’s Facebook page is a “public forum,” so an official cannot block people from it because of the opinions they hold.
A federal appeals court in Manhattan says President Trump cannot block critics from his Twitter account, calling it “unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.”
In a 29-page ruling on Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision that found that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked certain Twitter users, because he uses his Twitter account “to conduct official business and to interact with the public.” By preventing critics from accessing his feed, the president is barring them from participating in what the judges deemed a public forum.
“[The] First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” the judges wrote.
So I guess Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is more special than the sitting President? (However, I can’t say either would honestly win any popularity contests, can you?)
Now mind you, the reaction from some Twitter-vomitors was amusing. One guy said to me he would block me too and I was a “conservative big oil hater.” Oh how that made me giggle. I am an independent and a moderate but I’m not anti-oil, I’m anti-pipeline in Pennsylvania, there’s a difference. Above all else I am an independent thinker and I’m proud of that. But to the intellectually limited who haunt Twitter I am either that or an evil Liberal or a former RINO (Republican in Name Only).
Seriously, Twitter is the last bastion for total freaking craziness. That is why over the years I have been active then not active on Twitter. Twitter is like a weird free for all where grown men seem to think it’s OK to call women a Facist C-U- Next-Tuesdays. Yes, someone did actually do that.
Do I really, really care if John Fetterman blocked me on Twitter?
No. Because in the stratosphere of politics in PA, he’s temporarily trendy at best. He’s like that dress you know you shouldn’t have bothered buying that will be out of fashion before you even get to wear it enough.
But there is the principleof the thing here. The First Amendment allows freedom of speech and the ability to address your government. It’s not selective or subjective.
First Amendment:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
At the end of the day I know I did not do anything so terribly awful or profanity laced that I deserved to be blocked. I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, therefore one of his constituents whether he likes it or not. And whether I like him or not, which I really do not on principle. He’s a phony baloney. And he sucks up to that Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing so often people probably actually do throw up a little every time they see him fawning.
And am I so powerful he decided to block me? Oh hell no. I actually just think it’s because he doesn’t like to be reminded of things he said he would do and hasn’t, and he must hate being reminded about his pandering to Chester County residents devastated by the pipelines just so they would vote Wolf-Fetterman last election, right? besides, I am a blogger which is always an easy target for politicians because everyone knows bloggers are really Cyborgs, right?
So John Fetterman, I am not so politically naiive and honey have I got your proverbial number. You keep on going on your “listening tours” with your selective politically male hearing. We’ll remember the truth come the next time you want to run for something.
Meanwhile, I will continue to look at the little plastic troll dolls many friend got at a tag sale and marvel how they all sort of resemble John Fetterman.
This post was brought to all of you courtesy of the First Amendment and to all a good night.
Fifteen and twenty years ago I knew nothing about home schooling, cyber charter schools, or bricks and mortar charter schools. I wasn’t a parent, so I didn’t fully comprehend the importance of having such choice.
Yes, I predominantly went to private schools. But when I was in 7th to 9th grades I was in public school. Then called junior high in the much ballyhooed and over indulged Lower Merion School District. Welsh Valley Junior High School.
We had been living in the city, in Society Hill, and once we got past the 6th grade school choice as in a good and safe education meant little kids on buses and trains. So my parents made the move to suburbia at the end of 6th grade into the Magic Kingdom of the Main Line and Lower Merion Township.
The kids in the new neighborhood were awesome. They went to public, private, and Catholic school. Unfortunately, while my parents hoped that nice kids in a nicer neighborhood would translate into the public school I would be attending and it didn’t . Welsh Valley ended up being an education all right. Just not the positive or productive one that people like real estate agents would chatter about hoping you would purchase their listings. And some of those houses were classic. (And allow me a brief detour because I have to share the fact that as an 11 year old you haven’t lived until you have seen a Main Line house with not only a padded scream therapy room but a guest room devoted to a very odd collectible – an electric chair removed from some prison or something. The house was somewhere in Bryn Mawr.)
But back to public school. I have written about it before in detail, am not going into it again in such detail, so here are the cliff notes: drugs, bullying, inappropriate teachers, and behind the 8 ball scholastically when compared to my peer group in other schools, including other public school districts. I was a very bright student, smart enough to have been put more than a year ahead and my parents saw that their child was dying by inches in this educational environment that was supposed to be so fabulous. Only it wasn’t.
So the three year experiment was ended and I went back to private school. To Shipley. Private schools were almost affordable back then. Smaller classes, teachers who gave a damn, and actual academic excellence. It wasn’t a perfect Utopia, every school has issues, but I thrived. I will always be grateful that I was able to go to Shipley.
However, today private schools are ridiculous in price and their tuitions are beyond the reach of a lot of people. Even Catholic or other faith based schools are out of reach. Because of that, there is a need for education choice. We have seen the rise of cyber charter schools, bricks and mortar charter schools, and home schooling in Pennsylvania. These types of schools have filled the void created by that gargantuan public school vacuum in Pennsylvania.
I will freely admit that fifteen and twenty years ago I was a skeptic of alternative forms of education. But then I became a parent with a kid who was a faceless cog in the wheel of a giant school district who in my opinion did not care, or did not care enough. They did not care about effectively and consistently dealing with bullying even in elementary school. They did not care enough as a top down approach to education. And if you were the parents of a special needs child? Well I have friends who have children in that category and they will tell you that you have to fight for the basics in public schools every day. Even in affluent areas.
My personal experience is that of a very bright child who was suffocating. When my kid came home with “homework” that was not a book but a poorly copied copy of a Xerox copy of drivel I knew I was reaching a breaking point. When I experienced first hand a principal not dealing with overt, obvious, and repeated bullying, I knew I was beyond the breaking point. And this was not some inner city elementary school with no resources. This was East Goshen Elementary School in the West Chester Area School District. You would have thought that a school in what is supposedly Pennsylvania’s wealthiest county would be better than that, right? They weren’t.
And I know full well that teachers I know through social media who are in this district are going to be peeved at me once again. I also accept that friends of mine whose children were fortunate enough to make it through WCASD unscathed and prepared for life are not going to be happy either, but this is our experience, and I can’t dumb it down or sugar coat it, it happened.
I know I am not alone. I know a lot of parents in Chester County who either have their kids in charter/cyber-charter schools or who are home schooling. One friend in particular stands out. Her child is on the autism spectrum and was dying by inches in her Chester County school district. Her child was not getting needs even remotely met, and they were paying for it in taxes. So my friend decided to home school. The difference is remarkable. Her child is bright and articulate and is becoming a wonderful young lady who excels in school, loves to learn. She is like any other teen, and this is thanks not to the public school district where they live, but due to the determination of her parents.
We put our child in a charter school. As opposed to our parents, private school was not in the budget. The economics of today are very different, and when we were in private school we weren’t looking at $30k to $50k a year per child when all was said and done.
Our child is in Renaissance Academy in Phoenixville, and is thriving. The teachers care, they educate, the kids are nicer and brighter. Classes are smaller, which means your kid does not get lost, they are not just a cog in the wheel. And the irony is we are now in arguably the best school district in Chester County and we choose to keep our child there. He is happy. That also makes us lucky if we had to make a change, but most in charter or cyber charter schools can’t say that. And we all deserve choice. We are paying for it.
Another thing about how I feel now about alternatives to public school has to do with my peer group, my friends. I have two very good friends who are involved with charter and cyber charter schools. One in development and one from the administrative and educational side of the table. They are two of the brightest women I know and as a parent they are exactly the kinds of women I want in education today.
So are we bullet proof literally and figuratively no matter where we send our children to school? Absolutely not, but we pay enough in taxes every year to fund public school education that we should be able to have choice.
And there are two bills winding their way through Harrisburg that would rob parents of choice and detrimentally affect children’s lives. Especially those kids with special needs who often don’t get enough help now. Here, I will let Renaissance Academy describe it as they did in a notification to parents. It is fair and balanced and tells it like it is:
Last year, the legislature passed Act 3 which was an honest attempt to bring rationality to the funding of special education children. A commission was formed to draft a report and further legislation to achieve that objective. The commission did admirable work creating a three-tiered system and multipliers for each category of special education student. But two inequities arose in the recommended implementation. First, only in the case of charter schools is the funding based on basic education funding. Second, while the implementation is to apply only to the $20 million in new special education proposed by the Governor for traditional schools, it is applied to the total $1 billion in special education funding for charter schools.
These fundamental differences lead to two serious inequities. First, the discriminatory treatment of one class of special education student based, not on their challenges, but solely on the type of public school they have chosen to attend. The same child, with exactly the same challenges, would receive more state financial support if he or she were in a traditional school than if the family had chosen a charter school. Second, the decreased funding for charters destroys the ability of charter schools to meet state and federal FAPE requirements, and in some cases to continue to exist as a financially viable school.
To learn more about the specifics of these two bills HB 2138 and SB 1316:
I am not going to say all public schools are bad. They aren’t . But charter schools are a choice we should be allowed. Our child is in a very successful charter school and a public charter school is alternative public education. This is education we pay for, so we should not let lobbyists and politicians vote into laws things that remove educational choices.
This is of course another reason why I think people need to send Harrisburg a message this upcoming May primary. I think these bills are but another reason to render Governor Tom Corbett a lame duck. So use the power of your vote. Anyone who supports these bills either publicly as a sponsor or behind the scenes shouldn’t be representing us in Pennsylvania.
However, don’t just send a message with your vote, write your legislators. In Chester County it is suggested that you contact some or all of the following ASAP:
Dan Truitt (House/R) 610-696-4990
Robert Tomlinson (Senate/R) 215-638-1784
Pat Browne (Senate/R) 610-821-8468 – CO-SPONSOR of SB1085
More information on what politicians do in Harrisburg:
House Education Committee:
Clymer, Paul I. – Chair YEA (215)257-0279
Aument, Ryan P. YEA (717) 295-5050
Christiana, Jim YEA (724) 728-7655
Emrick, Joe YEA (570) 897-0401
English, Harold A. YEA (412) 487-6605
Fleck, Mike YEA (814) 644-2996
Gillen, Mark M. YEA (610) 775-5130
Grove, Seth M. YEA (717) 767-3947
O’Neill, Bernie YEA (215)441-2624
Rapp, Kathy L. YEA (814) 723-5203
Reese, Mike YEA (724) 423-6503
Rock, Todd YEA (717) 749-7384
Simmons, Justin J. YEA (610) 282-3901
Tallman, Will YEA (717) 259-7805
Truitt, Dan NAY (610)696-4990
Roebuck, James R. – Chair YEA
Carroll, Mike YEA
Clay, James YEA
Conklin, Scott YEA
Harkins, Patrick J. YEA
Longietti, Mark YEA
Molchany, Erin C. YEA
O’Brien, Michael H. YEA
Santarsiero, Steven J. YEA
Wheatley, Jake YEA
Senate Appropriations Committee:
Tomlinson, Robert M., ViceChair
Pileggi, Dominic, Ex‑Officio
Scarnati, Joseph B., III, Ex‑Officio
Argall, David G.
Eichelberger, John H., Jr.
Gordner, John R.
Greenleaf, Stewart J.
Rafferty, John C., Jr.
Smucker, Lloyd K.
Vance, Patricia H.
Vogel, Elder A., Jr.
Ferlo, Jim, MinorityViceChair
Costa, Jay, Ex‑Officio
Blake, John P.
Farnese, Lawrence M., Jr.
Schwank, Judith L.
Solobay, Timothy J.
Washington, LeAnna M.
Wozniak, John N.
Yudichak, John T
Be polite when you contact these people. Suggested talking points are as follows:
1. These changes would ensure that that the same special education child, with exactly the same challenges, would receive 30–60 percent less state financial support if he or she were in a public charter school than if the family had chosen to remain in the traditional public school. That is outrageous and blatantly discriminatory. At RA we have 160 Special Education students, this will be nearly a $1.5 million dollar impact on our small school.
2. This inequity will most likely also prevent my school from meeting mandated state and federal FAPE (Free and Appropriate Education) requirements, and could cause us to close –based, not on quality, but on insufficient funding.
3. The financial implications of the implementation of this bill is disastrous for one class of special education students, and will be a major step in the direction of eliminating educational choice for Pennsylvania parents.
There may not be any charter schools left in PA if this bill passes. Why are our public charter school kids being discriminated against as if they are not as worthy as traditional public school students? Our charter school kids deserve the same funding as every other public school child.
4. Children, regardless of the school they choose, should be getting the same amount of money. These are real children, with real disabilities who will get hurt by this. And if this passes, ALL of the kids in the school will be hurt because the school will not survive. We ask you, in the best interests of ALL our children, to not support this legislation.
My friends who work for an with charter and cyber charter schools are telling me that right now schools are trying to figure out how to cut 10% and more out of their budgets. Want to know why I admire charters other than the choice they provide our kids? They actually do more with less every single day. As opposed to traditional public schools and school districts they actually try harder. And well, yes, a lot of charter and cyber charter schools are making traditional public school systems look bad and work harder. I am all for that.
Students and parents deserve choice. Please join the fight to preserve such choice.
I hear a lot of parents who have kids in Charter Schools will be going to Harrisburg on May 6th. That is next Tuesday. A lot of these parents can’t really afford a day off, but they are making the choice for their children.
I hope the media will pick up on this as well. Education is so important. And the media is NOT talking about this, it’s not sexy enough for them or sensationalistic. It’s only education, right?
Your voice is needed to preset student equity and my final note is this is not merely another pissing match between traditional public schools and public charter schools. As the Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Charter Schools says (and I quote):
This is not a traditional vs. charter school issue. It is about institutionalized discrimination against special education students based on the school they have chosen to attend. A special education student in a charter school will receive between 30-60 percent less than a student with the same challenges in a traditional school.
My child is not special needs. He is merely a kid who needed a better choice in public education and a charter school has provided that. But I have friends with special needs kids. I know how they scrimp and sacrifice. So for them as well as more generally speaking, anyone who chooses alternative public school education for their children, I write this post. It is also my belief that it won’t be just special needs kids who suffer if these bills are just passed into law the way they are now.
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.
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.
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??
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 census.gov) that live in the Northeast region are nothing compared to the Norwegian population of 5,109,059 (wikepedia.com) 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?
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 PaNewz.com), 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.
It was February 19th when I broke the story here of the intolerable cruelty of humans. What happened to the Bock family and Argus and Fiona is still almost unspeakably horrible. But thanks to the love and amazing kindness of friends and strangers, what had begun as horribly negative is taking turns towards positive, so I thought I would post again.
I had stopped posting about this because I had concerns about the extreme reactions I had heard about including the woman with a bull horn screaming in the middle of a street. Or all the people who drove out to West Vincent to stalk the streets and see “where it happened”. Behavior like that is as unacceptable to me as shooting the dogs was and we’ll leave it at that.
The Bock family was blessed recently with a rescue Berner. Mary told all of us and she wrote:
Look what found us and is helping us heal! Her name is Heidi, she’s a rescue. She came to us Friday, spent Saturday at the doggie spa and its been nothing but love ever since! She’s almost 5 and is loving all the attention. She’s been great helping the kids heal and we think she’ll be awesome with the future puppies. The way we see it, she is the first dog Argus and Fiona saved. Hopefully there will be many more in the future!
How beautiful is that? The Bocks, as was reported in the media also met with our State Senator Andy Dinniman. Andy is a huge dog advocate. Here is what Andy is up to as per West Chester Patch:
According to the release, Dinniman’s first bill changes the circumstances under which it is legal to shoot a dog. Under Dinniman’s bill, some Pennsylvania residents would be allowed to shoot a dog that entered their property if it was chasing another animal “with apparent intent to harm.” The current law allows residents to shoot dogs that are simply pursuing another animal. The bill would apply only to state counties with populations of over 210,000, of which Chester County is one.
The second bill would allow grieving pet owners to sue if their pet is killed on their property. The maximum penalty would be $12,000.
Dinniman said the bills were written in response to the Feb. 12 West Vincent incident in which a man allegedly shot his neighbor’s two dogs after they ran onto his property, but wouldn’t punish the defendant.
“My bill, even if passed, is not retroactive and will have no direct affect on the parties in West Vincent one way or the other,” the state Senator said. “But this awful shooting illustrates what can happen and the need for our justice system to better recognize the unique role pets fill in our families.”
As many of us learned, what happened to Argus and Fiona has happened to other dogs. As a matter of fact we had heard on the Justice For Argus & Fiona page on Facebook of another case from up around Lebanon, PA. I think the Bocks inspired them to come forward to heal:
And here is Mr. Ranck’s story in the York Daily Record:
York, PA –Lance Ranck’s two dogs — Zoe, a 1-year-old herding dog, and Izzy, an 8-month old black lab — were shot and killed Dec. 26 after they broke through an electric fence. The dogs ran to a nearby farm and were shot when the landowner saw them advancing toward his livestock, said Melissa Smith with the York County SPCA.
Ranck of Springfield Township said he understands that if Zoe or Izzy had attacked and hurt the sheep, he would have been liable for the damages. But what he doesn’t understand is why the state doesn’t require someone who shoots an animal to notify police.
Instead, he said, his dogs were buried somewhere on the farm.
Ranck said he and his wife noticed a problem with their electric fence and they called a technician to come look at it. Just after they thought dog collars were fixed, he said, the dogs managed to get beyond the fence and run about a half mile from their home in the 8300 block of Fishel Creek Road to a neighboring farm.
“If not for the snow that had fallen that night, we would’ve never known where they went,” Ranck said.
He and his wife followed the dogs’ tracks to the farm.
The farmer, who has not been charged, according to Smith, could not be reached for comment….
Ranck said the loss of Zoe and Izzy, which he and his wife owned since they were puppies, has been tough to handle.
“We know our dogs shouldn’t have been off the property,” he said. “But if someone has the right to shoot them they should be accountable to report it.”
Ranck said it’s not about “wanting something” from the farmer, but seeing if the law can be changed to address future incidents. He’s reached out to state Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, and they plan to meet to discuss his concerns.
“If we hadn’t been able to follow their tracks we might still think they were just lost,” Ranck said. “A flier on the street wouldn’t help us if they’re dead.”
What haunts me here is Mr. Ranck’s words “State Police refused to go out and our county SPCA finally went out after we notified them that we are going public…2 months later”. (However, should I be surprised about that given the takes I hear from folks who talk about horse rescue and that group LAPS?)
It just goes to show everyone how badly laws need to change. No one wants to take away all rights of farmers, but there needs to be better protection for the dogs. And the media needs to be the public’s partner in this. It’s all well and good that Fox29 posted an update about the Bocks beginning again and being blessed with a rescue dog, but we need media outlets like them to not forget that people want laws to change. The playing field is past due for a leveling.
Please write your state representatives and state senators if you live in Pennsylvania. Do it for the dogs.
People have been asking when Gabriel Pilotti is going to court. It seems to be a bit of a moving target. First it was 3/28 then it was moved to 4/4 at 9 am, yet when I pulled the court docket just now, it gives the time as 4/4 at 1 pm. This means, people are going to have to watch the dockets closely.
An overnight crash involving a box truck and a car has left a 25-year-old woman dead and closed the southbound lanes of Route 202 near the 30 Bypass in Chester County for nine hours today, reopening only after the morning rush hour ended.
The crash occurred about 1 a.m. on the highway near Boot Road in West Whiteland Township.
Police said emergency crews arrived at the scene to find the pregnant driver of a 2004 Honda CR-V trapped in her vehicle, which had rolled following a collision with a guard rail.
Members of the Goshen Fire Company cut the roof off the vehicle to free the driver…Police said witnesses saw a white SUV entering the CR-V’s lane just prior to the crash, causing the driver to swerve suddenly to avoid a collision. The driver of the white SUV briefly pulled off the shoulder after the CR-V crashed, but then left the scene.
Police did not provide the name of the victim.
The Westtown-East Goshen Police Department is attempting to locate the driver of the white SUV, who can contact police at 610-692-5100. Any witnesses who saw the accident are also asked to contact police.
A pregnant woman could have lost her baby today.
I don’t like Route 202. I don’t like how games are played with highway repairs on Route 202. I don’t like the GIANT digital billboard along 202 in Westtown.
But what I don’t like even more are the stretches of 202 that are constant and chronic accident zones. And the one I hate the most is the cattle chute that runs by Boot Road.
There are too many accidents.
Since I became a Chester County resident, I feel like all I hear about are accidents on this stretch of Route 202. In fair weather and foul. During the day and at night.
So why are there all these accidents? Is it just there are THAT many awful drivers? Or should the design and design flaws of a PennDOT responsible road be considered?
One of the things I love about PennDOT is if you have ever driven up to Harrisburg, you should check out their glowing edifices to themselves. PennDOT seems to spare no expense for their offices and buildings up around the state capital. Yet, they never seem to make many of our roads quite as safe as they should be.
I think this stretch of Route 202 is one of those stretches of road, PennDOT needs to look at. Our highway system is multifaceted and multi-flawed. Many roads have outlived their original engineering design because there are just that many more cars on the road – the best example around here for that would be Schyulkill Expressway.
It’s time to make PennDOT look at this section of road. There are just too many accidents in this one particular stretch.
And please, if you were on 202 today and saw this accident and have any information on the driver who hit and ran, please call the police. That mama to be and her baby deserve better than they got today. Who is the State Senator around here? Is it Andrew Dinniman?