So news broke today that John Boehner, Republican House Speaker is calling it quits, pretty much effective immediately. Even he who has survived the cesspool of politics in Washington DC since 1990, has had enough.
And who can blame him? Look at the trickledown effect as we feel it on the most local of levels. American Politics is in a shambles of lying, cheating, stealing, back-stabbing extremism. Our country is living the fallout of extremism in politics. It’s embarrassing. (Even that fool Ted Cruz managed to embarrass the US during the Papal visit which is happening now. But Cruz is a curious fool who notices the preciousness of human life when it is about a woman’s right to choose, but very amusingly not so much when it comes to the death penalty. And he has made an ass out of himself ever since Pope Francis, mentioned his objections to the death penalty when he addressed Congress.)
Anyway, I have actually met and spoken to the tan man from Ohio. August 12, 2010 I was invited to a high rollers reception for then Congressman Jim Gerlach in Conshohocken at the Marriott (interesting to note that somehow KenOCrat Miller was not there, guess he really wasn’t so important even back then, but I digress.)
So anyway, I was taking a few photos and had gone outside for some air. High Roller political events are all about a select set jockeying for position and favor with the politicians there. It’s exhausting to be around these people seeking to curry political favor with a large check. Outside was John Boehner with his security detail and staff. He also had needed air. It was me, the car park guy, Boehner, his staff, and security detail.
Boehner asked me not to take his photo while outside. You see, much like many others in the courtyard he was enjoying a glass of wine…and a cigarette.
If I had taken his photo holding a glass of red wine and a cigarette it probably would not have been the best thing. So I said sure and we had a couple minute conversation. Not about politics. About how he was enjoying his visit and where he lived in Ohio. I was struck at that point of time how he essentially was a small town Midwestern guy from the state of small towns. He was a truthfully very pleasant person to speak to. I have met enough politicians who play on the national stage. (Some of my friends and I also spent the afternoon with James Sensenbrenner when he met with myself and others in Ardmore PA in February 2006 after he had proposed H.B. 4128 in Washington, DC to protect private property rights against eminent domain. I was also a media relations volunteer during the RNC2000 which was an amazing experience.)
But nice Midwestern guy or not, John Boehner is a seasoned politician and if he is calling it quits that says something indeed about the American political process.
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.
You all claim it started over Obamacare. Well…Democrats you can’t blame everything you don’t like on Republicans, and Republicans you can’t blame it all on Obamacare. And while you puff, preen, and posture, we are still waiting for you to do what? Oh yes demand reform on the part of the insurance companies. While you all fight, they just get richer and nothing changes.
Anyway, I don’t care if you are Republicans and Democrats, I am over, yes o-v-e-r this Government Shut Down. It was a dumb ass idea that should have remained a Walter Mitty moment that never, ever happened.
We hold the following truth to be self-evident: we didn’t elect any of you people for this. And while you puff, preen, and posture on Capitol Hill, with an occasional scripted quip from the White House, ordinary people suffer. And pay for your mess.
Also, this whole idea of government shut down has roots in a guy from the Carter administration named Benjamin Civiletti. (Just thought I would toss that in there)
And when we are talking debt and stuff Mr. President and Congress, can we quote Mr. President before he was President?
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasi…ng America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
I want to believe in our party system of Republicans and Democrats but I do not see any of them doing what they should. I see both parties as having been marginalized by extremists, extremism, corruption, and special interests. And it doesn’t matter what any of us regular folk believe or want. The only ones BOTH parties of elected officials in Washington listen to are the super rich , well connected, and the very powerful. The proverbial political king makers. No one else matters.
I find it ironic that you can pay the park rangers to fine runners like John Bell of Chadds Ford, but you can’t get back to the business of government? Mr. Bell has now retained a lawyer and will fight the $100 ticket in Federal Court and who can blame him, except we all will end up paying for all litigation that this government shut down results in, won’t we?
Which brings me to the heart of the matter. I have to ask Mr. President and Congress why this government shut down is not a tax-free event? After all, we as every day Americans have nothing to do with this and I think this should be like when Comcast and Verizon and PECO screw up and they have to adjust your bill. Why not adjust our tax bills accordingly? I see no reason why we should pay for your foolishness anymore then we already have to.
And let’s talk salary and benefits Mr. President and Congress ok? I pay my own health benefits. As Americans, we all pay for YOU as a collective. That’s a great deal being a politician. You can declare war on each other and do less than you usually do, and we have to pay for it. You aren’t living up to your job descriptions and if you were in corporate America you would be what? Oh yes, oh my, you would be fired.
The Government Shutdown stinks. Why should we all be paying because you can’t get along? Has it ever occurred to you or do you care that you make us all embarrassed to be an American at this point on some level?
How can we take pride in a government that is no better than a bunch of kids fighting on the playground?
With all due respect #DearCongress and President Obama? GROW UP. Running this country needs to stop being about the agendas of politicians and special interest groups from BOTH parties.
Despite millions of dollars in renovations, some SEPTA stations remain inaccessible to some travelers with disabilities.
NBC10’s Chris Cato talked with Anne Cope, who says she was on the White House lawn when the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990. But 23 years later, she says public transit accessibility in Philadelphia still remains a major problem.
“The ADA was passed in 1990, and here we are with stations, some pretty important stations, that aren’t accessible yet,” said Cope.
SEPTA has spent 9.2 million dollars in federal stimulus money to build two elaborate wheelchair ramps and a pedestrian tunnel at the Malvern station. However, once reaching the top of the ramp, people with disabilities cannot board any trains because there is no raised platform there.
To be clear, I am not a big fan of West Vincent government. I think they rule oddly over one of the prettiest places in Chester County. And weird and unnecessary things always seem to happen. And for Pete’s sake, elected officials seem to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying and spreading nonsense about a writer called Chickenman don’t they?
West Vincent the truth shall set you free but that is a topic for another day. Well, it won’t be if you aren’t respectful of your citizenry at the upcoming Supervisors Meeting on Monday February 25th at 7:30 pm. I know full well residents have contacted you and requested that the matter of the shooting to death of puppies Argus and Fiona be put on the agenda. If you try to stifle your people on this, West Vincent, the hue and cry over attempting eminent domain at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show will be child’s play by comparison.
West Vincent Township is located at : 729 St. Matthews Road Chester Springs, PA 19425 Phone: (610) 458-1601
Residents want to learn about firearm use in a residential area, what constitutes a farm, and how to make changes to bad laws. And in addition to all of this, they strive to find a positive from this tragedy. West Vincent, you owe decency and answers to your citizenry.
To the citizenry I urge you to make your voices heard respectfully. Emotions are running hot on this issue and I was told by a reporter today about a woman who stood outside the dog shooter’s house yesterday and just stood in his driveway yelling “Dog killer!!” at him for 5 minutes. That, I am so sorry, is not cool. First of all he has guns and isn’t afraid to use them, and secondly he has neighbors who must feel under siege by all the media crawling around West Vincent, and third and most importantly things need to happen the right way with this. Don’t stoop to the level of someone who shoots dogs, please.
A friend of mine commented something that is worth repeating. She was afraid of people getting too vigilante justice for lack of a better term. She is absolutely correct that cooler heads must prevail.
It is with that in mind that I must say that encouraging people to call this guy who shot the dogs or stand outside his property is NOT the right thing to do. In my mind that falls into two wrongs don’t make a right.
If you want to help, show the Bock family support and condolences and empathy- losing a pet under ANY circumstances is so hard, and what happened to their dogs IS intolerable cruelty, but justice should be served under the law by those qualified to serve it.
If you want to help, get Pennsylvania lawmakers to update outmoded farm statutes and other laws so Pennsylvania’s dogs are PROTECTED.
If you want to help, go show support for these people at the upcoming West Vincent Board of Supervisors meeting and ask them to do their jobs as elected and appointed officials the RIGHT way.
If you want to help ask the Chester County DA to ensure that people use firearms responsibly as in DON’T fire them in residential areas and gun down dogs and possibly put unsuspecting humans at risk. Violence should NOT beget violence. As adults we have the free will and ability to pay this forward the RIGHT way.
And among other things, we need to pass that along to our children. Ok so lecture is over.
Let us get back to the business at hand: Justice for Argus & Fiona and peace and love for their humans. Together we can enact positive change so other dog owners don’t go through this. thanks for reading.The momentum is growing. Truly together we can enact change. It might take time, lots of petitions and bus trips to Harrisburg, but we can do it. And if we are successful, other pet owners and their furry friends might be spared unspeakable tragedy.
Now as far as the Chester County District Attorney goes, the following message was sent to media today:
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office will have a press release tomorrow with significant new information about the dog shooting incident in Chester Springs, PA.
Administrative Assistant to District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan,
First Assistant Michael Noone, and Chief of Staff Charles Gaza
Chester County District Attorney’s Office
201 West Market Street, Suite 4450
Post Office Box 2746
West Chester, PA 19380-0989
I have no idea what this means, but I hope it means they are taking a second look.
I am also taking this opportunity to share something from the Justice for Argus & Fiona Facebook page written by Mary Bock:
The outpouring of support has been amazing. Can I say that again? There is even support from elected officials like State Senator Andy Dinniman. Congressman Jim Gerlach has also been made aware, so I urge anyone who reads this to contact elected officials about this horrible turn of events.
Now a lawyer I know sent me three things for people to read, so please do:
WEST VINCENT — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office is expected to release new information Friday in the shooting deaths of two family dogs in Chester Springs last week.
According to a statement from a District Attorney’s Office spokesperson, authorities will release “significant” new details related to the killing of two Bernese Mountain Dogs who were shot on Feb. 12 after they escaped a fenced-in yard in the unit block
The District Attorney’s Office previously determined that the shooting was legal due to a century-old state law allowing someone to kill animals that pursue their own livestock or pets.
Officials said Thursday afternoon that investigators received additional information in the case and that the investigation is ongoing.
Mary Bock, the owner of the two dogs, spoke out Thursday about the experience and expressed hope that her pets’ deaths may lead to a change in the law that allowed their killing to initially be ruled legal.
Bock also spoke about the neighbor, Gabriel Pilotti, who told police he killed the dogs with a shotgun because they entered an enclosure housing his sheep. She said Pilotti expressed no remorse over the dogs’ deaths when her husband, William Bock, confronted him last week.
“It seemed like he almost enjoyed it a little bit,” Mary Bock said. “He was so cold and callous, he feels like he did nothing wrong. There were a million things he could have done differently, and he chose to pick up that gun and kill them.”
The dogs, 2-year-old Argus and 1-year-old Fiona, were shot less than 15 minutes after escaping the Bock’s two-acre property through a fence that was damaged by a falling tree limb several days before. The dogs eventually made their way to Pilotti’s nearby property, where they began an attempt to “herd” his sheep, Bock said.
Inquirer staff writer Mari A. Schaefer contributed to this article.
To the Bock family of Chester Springs, the Bernese mountain dogs Fiona and Argus were happy, loving pets. To neighbor Gabriel Pilotti, they were apparently pests.
And when he found them loose among his sheep last week, he shot them dead.
“It was just really vicious,” Mary Bock said. The dogs had not touched the sheep.
As of Thursday evening, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the West Vincent Township police still were trying to determine what happened the morning of Feb. 12 in a part of Chester County where sheep, horses, and alpacas amble in yards larger than the patches of green in more urbanized suburbs and smaller than more rural farms.
On that day, the dogs, two-year-old Argus and one-year-old Fiona, got out of their enclosed backyard when a tree branch fell and collapsed part of the fence, Mary Bock said. The dogs ran through yards of residences on the street behind them and ended up on the 72-year-old Pilotti’s property, which includes a pen where he keeps sheep.
Around 11:30 a.m., Pilotti saw the dogs near his sheep, pulled out the 20-gauge single-shot shotgun he legally owns, and fired, said West Vincent Police Chief Michael Swininger. Mary Bock said police told her Pilotti first fatally shot Argus in the face, then shot and killed Fiona.
Police investigated and sent their report to the District Attorney’s Office. That office has not filed charges against Pilotti, citing a portion of the Pennsylvania dog law that says, “Any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal.”
That could change.
“We have gotten new information and are continuing to investigate,” said First Assistant District Attorney Michael G. Noone, adding that a development could come Friday.
Pilotti could not be reached for comment.
And oh yeah, people from some church called Calvary Fellowship in Downingtown have been calling the Bock family and I have to ask why? And what do the West Vincent police have as far as info for the family? Someone says they want to speak with them today?
The problem with small towns is among other things, gossip. Can that be said to be a huge issue in West Vincent Township?
As an auslander observing how these small Chester County Hamlets like West Vincent work, it can often be described as with fear and loathing can’t it? He said, she said with an unhealthy dose of incestuous politics, right?
So many I know would never live in West Vincent because of the convenient and batting of the eye inexplicable crap that happens to ordinary people who aren’t even doing anything half the time, right?
Want to know what I have noticed going through West Vincent of late? The number of properties for sale on every road and dirt lane imaginable. It is a small place and it seems that in it and abutting it, homes are going up for sale. Some of them incredibly beautiful, slice of heaven worthy properties. Can that all be because of the economy? Or is it deeper, darker, more sinister? Could part of what is wrong also have to do with fears of unecessary development? (see letter here called 2February2013Bville ) Or taxes? Or how tax monies are spent? Township services?
But part and parcel of what is wrong with West Vincent is fear and loathing and whisper down the lane, correct? Political retribution? Persecution of innocents?
Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and socio-economic levels. Real Christian people abhor bullying.
So West Vincent officials of course you know nothing about this, right? But can it be said you might never lift a finger if you knew who was doing this?
So West Vincent, here is the 411: Do you want to be on my radar again? Do you want to be under the microscope of media?
We realize you are still obsessed and live in fear of Chickens and mobs of Birchrunville People but let’s grow up, shall we? Not every one of your residents is going to agree with you. You are not gods. You were put there by the people and can be removed by the people, yes? You are not immune to ethics inquiries and state investigations, either, are you? Is that what you are trying to avoid?
The times they are a changing and it is time for twisted Mayberry to get with the program. Persecution and gossip are so Salem Witch Trials and February 1692 right?
And here is an idea to lay on the general public: accountability. If you know who leaves persecution missives around town in this country hamlet, feel freee to speak up. God don’t like ugly after all.
A final thought to file under God don’t like ugly and accountability are some flyers I have held onto, and in some cases for months. People have been sending them to me for months. They show up in places like the US Post Office in a couple of locations. I believe Birchrunville and maybe Chester Springs.
It is of course damn stupid to harass private citizens via the US Postal Service – and FYI it doesn’t matter if you are posting on post office property or sending through the mail it can and all should be given to US Postal Inspectors, shouldn’t it? They throw stuff like that through crime labs for prints and whatnot – sometimes state labs, but often Federal labs and would you want YOUR finger prints or DNA on them? And this isn’t CSI, they actually do this stuff. And if my name was on one of those flyers being left in post offices I certainly would contact the postal inspectors.
I have redacted the names but it is all obviously political in West Vincent because the citizen targets include one person who ran for supervisor and someone else was an honest Republican Committeeman. And the type face and phrasing is similar enough to give anyone with a brain pause that it is the same author or authoress as the notice above. But again, anyone with a brain wouldn’t do something this stupid because eventually it all comes out. And these people are doing this because they are obsessed with Chickenman. As in who the writer Chickenman is.
And what are they going to “prosecute” Chickenman for anyway? Telling the truth? (In that case Viva La Chicken, right?)Having First Amendment Rights? Exercising a very American tradition of having a pen name? (I will also note they tried this a few years ago in Delaware County with a blogger called Delco Tom Paine or something close to that. He was never exposed, never prosecuted, and much of what he wrote about came to pass.)
Bottom line: government corruption is like mold until it sees the light of day. And shame on whomever for persecuting private citizens for having two brain cells to rub together. And if these flyers end up being discovered as being created by West Vincent elected officials, appointed officials or with the knowledge of either well that might be a problem for a lot of people, huh?
West Vincent, it is 2013. Knock it off. The more you try to slide stuff by the more people seem to come forward and ask questions. Trying to silence, bully, harass, initimidate, and harrangue residents is not working in your favor so why not try a little honesty instead of croneyism?
And now for the ultimate in Paranoia. (And oh the irony they are ankle biting Jim Gerlach, eh? I bet the Congressman loves being up on post office walls next to the FBI most wanted, huh?) And at the end of the day is Chickenman silent? I still get mailings, don’t all of you?
If I was an elected or appointed or connected person in West Vincent I sure wouldn’t want to be caught along with whomever is putting harassing flyers up in US Post offices around West Vincent, would you? LOL this is some kind of truth for West Vincent isn’t it? And my final thing on this post is to post the list of “contributors” to two blogs no one reads (they are possibly vegan and at the very least chicken-free LOL):
I am a West Vincent resident and I set up this blog in 2009 to invite my neighbors to share information and enter a discussion about our township, what’s working and what’s not. Please continue to share your thoughts.
This is a place to post signed messages, no hidden authors, no unsubstantiated allegations. Please speak your piece and share your opinion. We ask posters and commenters to identify themselves; we would like this to be a discussion forum for West Vincent Township residents only. Thank you.
Twisted Mayberry….there is no substitute. You people would eat your young if it meant having your own way, don’t you all think so?
Duffy’s Cut victim John Ruddy, late of Chester County, is to be buried after services March 2 in County Donegal, Ireland.
Ruddy was one of up to 57 Irish immigrants who died of cholera and probable mob violence at an East Whiteland railroad construction site known as Duffy’s Cut.
Ruddy and the others are believed to have died nearly 181 years ago in the last two weeks of August 1832. Ruddy was 18.
His are the only remains thus far identified from an incident that was successfully hidden from the general public until recent years.
Professor William Watson of Immaculata University released details of the funeral arrangements. Services are set for 3 p.m. at Holy Family Church in Ardara, Donegal. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
A week or so I happened to be passing by the Duffy’s Cut historical marker (I got a historical marker approved a few years ago and it is a lot of work to get one of them) and stopped to photograph it. Given the clouds of mystery and intrigue still surrounding Duffy’s Cut, I think the foggy afternoon was perfect. I also think that given the development occurring in Malvern (borough and East Whiteland) by developers who don’t truly give a rat’s fanny about the area, the history, or the current residents (they care about building and selling projects) it is also appropriate to remember the history. You can never truly move forward into the future if you can’t honor the past, or that is just my opinion as a mere mortal and female.
In June, 1832, a group of 57 Irish immigrants from Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry arrived in Philadelphia. They were brought to Chester County by a fellow Irishman named Philip Duffy as laborers for the construction of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, Pennsylvania’s pioneering railroad. Within six weeks, all were dead of cholera and possibly violence, and were buried anonymously in a ditch outside of Malvern.
Two brothers, Frank and Bill Watson have done yeoman’s work on this topic of Duffy’s Cut. Read about them in the Wall Street Journal:
The Mystery of Duffy’s Cut
Historians Dig for Truth About What—or Who—Killed Early Rail Workers
MALVERN, Pa.—Frank and Bill Watson recently led a group hoisting shovels and pick axes into a wooded hollow here in Philadelphia’s suburbs.
“Let’s find some bodies,” said Bill Watson, a professor of history at nearby Immaculata University.
Two children playing nearby scampered away before the men led by the Watsons—twin brothers and historians—started chipping away at a hillside hemmed in by two housing developments and busy railroad tracks.
The Watsons are on a macabre mission that began with a file of railroad company documents left behind by a grandfather and curiosity about what exactly happened at this spot—known as Duffy’s Cut—nearly 180 years ago.
This much is clear: Nearly 60 Irish laborers died here in 1832 as they built a land bridge for what became the thriving railroad that lent its name to Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line suburbs.
Their bodies were believed to be buried in a mass grave next to the railroad line, used today by Amtrak and local commuter trains. Tales of ghost sightings nearby were passed down through generations of area residents.
Cholera seemed the most likely culprit. Newspaper reports from the time reported that the disease killed several of the laborers at Duffy’s Cut. And an 1833 letter written by a superintendent of a precursor of the Pennsylvania Railroad said the contractor who hired the workers, Philip Duffy, lost “nearly one half of his men” to cholera. But early in their research, the Watsons began to suspect there might be more to the story….
In 2009, they began finding skeletal remains of at least four people. While many questions linger, the Watsons have become convinced at least three of them didn’t die of cholera.
One skull has holes with traces of lead on the edges, indicating a bullet’s entry and exit wounds, as well as a narrow slit that appeared to be delivered by an axe or hatchet. Another has a compression fracture suggesting it was caused by a blunt object. The third had dents in the skull indicating violence….
The work at Duffy’s Cut has received media attention in Ireland, and the Watsons have told the story to Irish heritage groups here. Michael Collins, the Irish ambassador to the U.S., has visited Duffy’s Cut twice.
“I was really struck by the human tragedy of all these young people dying so soon after coming here, and family back in Ireland never knowing what happened to them, or even knowing that they were dead,” he said. “Their story needs to be told.”
Unfortunately as of October 31, 2011 from what I can tell the archeological digs stopped. It seems AMTRAK had enough. I am not surprised. I made a bit of a project out of them once upon a time and they are souless money grubbers who are horrible neighbors, charge ridiculous amounts for often dirty, smelly trains and piss poor service, so why would I be surprised history was also not their forte? The short answer is I am not.
I have not found anything more recent than a 2012 YouTube video put out by The University of Pennsylvania. Of course one would think our Congressman Jim Gerlach and our US Senators, State reps, State Senator Any Dinniman, and Gov. Corbett might show an interest in getting whatever that is left to be done gets done? But until they do, I daresay the ghosts of Duffy’s Cut will wander.
The dig for Irish remains at Duffy’ Cut in Pennsylvania has come to an end.
Frank and Bill Watson, the historians who first located the remains of Irish railroad workers, many of whom are believed to have been murdered in 1832, say that the mass grave they have been seeking is unreachable
It has been located 30 feet underground but too near to an existing Amtrak track to unearth it. It is said to hold the remains of up to 57 Irish emigrants from Donegal, Derry and Tyrone.
The Watsons, believe most of the Irish were likely victims of lynch mobs driven by anti-Irish sentiment which was widespread at the time.
The discovery of the mass grave came when geophysicist Tim Bechtel used updated equipment electrical imaging and seismic surveys, to discover the mass grave 30 feet below the surface.
It’s also on Amtrak property. They will not permit any digging because of its proximity to the tracks, spokeswoman Danelle Hunter told Associated Press.…The mass remains are of Irish immigrants, mostly from Donegal, who were building the railroad near Philadelphia when they all mysteriously died….
Frank and Bill Watson with the help of volunteers and archaeologists proved via DNA and testing that most of the Irish had been murdered and did not die of cholera.
“Since the beginning, we have seen it as our job to get their story out of folklore and into actual history, and we hope we have done that,” Bill Watson told Associated Press.
A local monument stated the men had died of “black diptheria” in 1834 but it is known they died two years earlier.
Soon after they started digging they found the remains of six people and a nearby shantytown.
University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Janet Monge found proof of savage violence done to the remains including a bullet wound to the head of one of them.
Many locals had been sceptical that anything would be found. East Whiteland Township Manager Terry Woodman told AP.
“Some people thought that this was lore, a story that through the telling had been exaggerated,” Woodman said. “There was a lot of skepticism.”
The rest who were killed were ordered buried in a mass grave and their shantytown burned to the ground.
One victim was identified victim as 18-year-old John Ruddy, based on his bone size and the passenger list of a ship that came from Ireland to Philadelphia shortly before the men died.
The brothers plan to bury the remains found in a suburban Philadelphia cemetery around St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
Dennis Downey, a history professor at Millersville University, said the work done has been invaluable.
So Malvern, as you look at the developer tarting up one end of the town to sell his project, remember what happened in the East Whiteland side of Malvern. Here’s hoping some day the dead there can all rest. They certainly didn’t get what they deserved coming to America looking for honest work.
Politics and I have a love hate relationship. Lately it has been a supreme turn-off basically because I feel under assault from robo calls and a mind boggling display of obnoxious lawn signs (from both parties).
Seriously GOP, a robo call from Newt Gingrich at 7:15 in the morning is a bit much. This morning Arizona Jan Brewer called me. Because you know she and I are tight BFFs, right? I have also received robo calls from Barbara Hafer, Newt Gingrich, and no foolin’ home schoolin’ Rick Santorum. And Ann Romney – she and I have also made a date to go shopping, apparently.
If the political inundation isn’t enough from THAT side of the aisle, there are all the people who call for Obama that aren’t Obama. And then there are the Democrats’ ads. You know like pick your congressman by their hair. Really Manan Trivedi, that was the best you could come up with?
Here is how I feel about Jim Gerlach: I like the man and have known him for years. I will admit I am a little disgusted the way he seems to have been sucking up to the fringe of the Republican Party and may have drunk too much tea, but I think that is more his campaign than him. I know the good Jim Gerlach is capable of and does do every day. He was my congressman in Lower Merion before my move to Chester County. I am no one special and he has made much time for me and my questions over the years, so for the measure of the man, I still think he is aces.
I have met Manan Trivedi too. He gets bonus points for being a candidate that doesn’t politick at non-profit sponsored events. Which is more than I can say for Lower Merion ex-pat Bret Binder (but I will get to that in a moment.)
Manan Trivedi might be nice, he may have served his country admirably, but that doesn’t mean he is the right choice or equipped for public office. He was plucked up last Obama election cycle by the Democrats to ride Obama’s coattails. I think they figured their other election strategies hadn’t worked against Gerlach (they had pitted the whiny Lois Murphy against him, and others like Bob Roggio who used to politick at every non-profit event possible) so they picked Manan.
I think they picked Manan Trivedi basically because he represented another minority. That type of political pandering is disgusting. He is a nice man, but he doesn’t have the chops, nor am I sure he actually lives in the district. He is sort of like the Democrats’ answer to Rick Santorum on the whole residency thing and we all know how well that worked out at the time, don’t we?
I can’t vote for Manan Trivedi. He is a nice guy who will just be a puppet. There is enough of that in Washington.
But let us talk about the PA senate race for a minute, shall we? As a woman, Tom Smith terrifies me. Period. Bob Casey will never light the world on fire, but I just can’t go the extreme to Tom Smith as a woman. (And I believe interestingly enough that before Tom Smith was a tea partier, he was a Democrat? Is that like confusion in politics?) I also have a parent who collects social security and is on medicare, and I don’t believe his about-face on social security and medicare. He can trot out aged mama in all the television ads he wants but the simple truth is his mother would never be affected by cuts to either as her son is a very wealthy man. And Tom, global warming is not a hoax. Look at Hurricane Sandy.
Onto State Senate. I am new to Chester County, but I like Andy Dinniman. truthfully, I could not even tell you the name of his opponent. Andy truly tries to work in a bi-partisan way for all the residents he serves. I happen to respect and like that in my state senator.
However, I can’t say that I will show that love to Democrat Bret Binder. Bret Binder is running for State Representative. He is an ex patriot of Lower Merion Township, and to be honest, having recently moved out of Lower Merion and having lived how the Democratic majority there has made a mess out of Lower Merion even though they claimed they wouldn’t, I just can’t support someone like Binder.
And I am annoyed when he tells people he is “fully local” and is from Lower Merion in the same breath. Never the twain shall meet.
Hey look, as someone new to Chester County from Lower Merion I am not going to tell anyone I am “fully local”. I am not. I am new to this area. Period. And as someone who literally feels like they can breathe because I have escaped the horrid politics of Lower Merion I am not going to support someone born out of Lower Merion Democrats. And that is not to say all Lower Merion Democrats are bad, but those who are in power do not even represent all the voices of Lower Merion Democrats. Suffice it to say it is very Boss Tweedy in Lower Merion and I don’t want that again where I call home and I do not believe without the financial support of those outside the district he wants to run in, would he have made it this far. Bret Binder’s campaign finance reports tell a tale of support from OUTSIDE Chester County. That is fine, everyone has a right to contribute how they see fit, but the thing is this: he is going to represent us, and who the heck is he? Other than a Democrat from Lower Merion?
And what else? Oh yes, Bret Binder is currently running an ad against Dan Truitt where he laments the public school system. People, he went to Harriton, which is a study of privilege and excess. It’s certainly not your average public school, so I wouldn’t bet the farm on him from that angle, either. Bret Binder also stretches and shapes the truth to fit his needs (as any good lawyer is wont to do) as far as Charter Schools getting money. What is wrong with charter schools seeing some of the educational money available? Does Mr. Binder have or has he had children in the public school system in West Chester? The West Chester Area School District is haphazard and broken in my opinion (and I am allowed even if some will find that opinion irritating).
Mr. Binder should not be judged harshly if he is single and has no children in the district, don’t misunderstand me on that. But I do know a lot of people in the West Chester Area School District who have pulled their kids out of this school district because of the problems in this district. If you can’t afford private or parochial school, charter school is one of the few options out there. And let me tell you this much: because of the West Chester Area School District feeling threatened by charter schools, charter schools in this area probably get about half of what they deserve. And do not tell me that the WCASD can’t be petty about this, just ask anyone who wants their kid on a bus for any school other that West Chester Area School District Public Schools.
Mr. Binder made an appearance at the East Goshen Farmers Market which was recorded for posterity. Now the East Goshen Farmers Market is run kinda by a non-profit, right? The Friends of East Goshen? So why would Lisa O’Neill who is a member of this 501(c)(3) and one of the people who runs the farmers market be in a political ad so to speak? Binder gets a grade of an F of politicking at a non-profit sponsored event that is SUPPOSED to be NON political and using it for campaign purposes like advertising and marketing, but wow really? One would think the farmers market folks would have known better? That is the kind of stuff that can harm a non-profit status is it not?
Bret Binder candidate for State Rep. at East Goshen Farmers Market with Lisa O’Neill who runs the market for Friends of East Goshen Township
Now onto the presidential vote of it all. I have to tell you that as of this minute writing this post, I am torn. There is quite frankly so much I do not find appealing in both major candidates.
At the end of the day it may come down to the size of government, however. While we have suffered through an economic period potentially as devastating as the Great Depression there is one sector that has had enormous job security: big government. It keeps getting bigger and more Orwellian big brotherish. I am not comfortable with that.
In this case, maybe change is good? Tomorrow will see. But please, whatever you do, vote your own conscience tomorrow. Do not vote a certain way because you were told to. Hope, change, and forward are just words. Remember that.
I remain, as always, an opinionated inveterate ticket splitter. I have not been compensated for any of my opinions by any candidate, nor do I donate finacially to campaigns. I make my own decisions and am my own woman politically. Sometimes it makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland Party of One, but seriously? I think that is the best way to be. Politically Stepford I am not, and no matter how you vote tomorrow, that is what I encourage people to do: do not be politically Stepford.
Do not just pull one lever for one party if you have doubts about some candidates. Mix it up. It’s between you and your God, no one will know unless you tell them.
In my mind, the solution in American politics is simple: we need a return to balance. Political extremism is ruining this country. So is not being able to hear the actual voice of the candidates over the din of the political party machines.
One size does not fit all in politics, either. And my last word on the subject? I wish municipalities would zone the SUPER sized political signs out of existence. They are obnoxious.
I promised that I would post Sandy photos if they were sent to sandysnaps @ spamex . com
Here are a couple from Glenmoore. They come from Dawn and Ed Mourar with the following message:
“As of 2 pm on 10/31, these lines remain untouched and on the ground.”
Now I know PECO is slammed, but I sent the photos to a contact anyway (and of course out that way, it might not be PECO, it might be PPL). What I don’t understand is why Upper Uwchland has not at least hazard taped this area off? They could be live wires, right?
Glenmoore isn’t that big, so hopefully someone knows where this is. The one drawback for me is a location other than Glenmoore did not come with the photos. If anyone knows the exact location, please post a comment.
Remember – PLEASE DON’T TOUCH DOWNED WIRES. Leave it to the professionals.
And yes the loyal friend TOD (transit oriented development.) TOD is not a one-sized fits all band-aid in ALL areas.
OMG already have the t-shirt on what THIS does to an old-fashioned main street oriented community.
Malvern Borough residents be watchful and not too gullible. Once upon a time they told this tale in Lower Merion Township for Ardmore, PA. Flash forward about ten years and what do they have? Nothing.
No train station (although Jim Gerlach gave them $6 million towards it)
Ardmore DOES have a confounding zoning overlay that cost a pretty penny but really has not gone anywhere called must (Mixed Use Special Transit often nicknamed More Unfair Special Treatment.)
Ardmore has a redevelopment plan of mythic proportions and a developer to build…only years later the developer’s contract keeps getting extended, this all costs loads of taxpayer monies (although there has never been a very specific accounting), and there is nothing to show for it. Many file this project which grew out of the defeat of eminent domain for private gain as a failure, government waste and boondoggle.
Malvern has already bit off a rather large project on East King (I have written about Malvern development before including HERE). This is not an economy for full steam ahead, it is proceed with caution. In this economy you do not necessarily make money to spend money. You need to be careful and realistic. Saying residents of rural areas and exurbs will suddenly forgo their cars and SUVs to take public transit out here is inconvenient at best is just silly. Are all people going to take the train or walk to the farmers market being discussed for 2013 in Malvern?
So my thoughts (in part having lived through this garbage where I used to live) is not to throw the baby out with the bath water, but to go SLOWLY. Finish one project at a time.
New Urbanism Utopia for Malvern is a little too much of a fairy tale for me. And Malvern had better figure out if it can handle the density when the East King Street project is complete versus just layering more on.
Let us be real: Malvern in a small community not too far away from what could be considered rural. People need their vehicles. I do not see Paoli local stops on roads like Swedesford and 401 and Pottstown Pike or Phoenixville Pike.
You will never see the communities out here turn into ones that don’t use their cars and the trade-off near the already congested town center of Malvern Borough for increased density is not worth it in my humble opinion. You keep adding people, they aren’t going to live out here without a vehicle. Where will everyone park? I don’t see that the redevelopment in progress addresses the need for parking sufficiently.
Residents of Malvern Borough, now is the time to pay attention. For some reason your community seems to be easy pickings for new development. I am not saying progress is bad, but you need to remember what kind of town you are and that is not Wayne and not West Chester. Malvern is small, like Narberth. Look to a community like Narberth. Or even Ambler. Embrace the small town of it all. Don’t let people talk you into what you never successfully will be.
MALVERN – Residents had a chance to provide input on the borough’s future on Tuesday, at an informational workshop on a transit-oriented development plan that could eventually alter the landscape of the community.
Sponsored by Malvern Borough with support from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the workshop introduced the concept of redeveloping the area within a half-mile radius of the Malvern train station.
Presenter Jeff Riegner, from the design firm of Whitman, Requardt and Associates, defined transit-oriented development as “compact, mixed-use, walk-friendly development around a train station.”
The project could include retail, residential and office development.
Allowing residents to leave their cars at home is a priority in TOD plans. Riegner said doing so leads to fewer roadway expansion projects, while giving commuters more options and raising air quality and home values.
“It really is a small-town idea and fits really well in a community like Malvern,” Riegner said.
There is no TOD plan currently in place for Malvern.