On Saturday we had to rush one of our animals to the emergency vet. We go to West Chester Vet which also has one of the best emergency clinics around.
As my sweet man was checking our critter in for treatment, a family who had driven up from Chester came into the vet hospital with a little dog wrapped up in a towel or blanket or something similar.
The child of this family had found the little dog whimpering and crying in either an abandoned house or some sort of garage. And they had driven until they found a veterinary hospital which was open. ( My other guess is they had to drive to find a veterinary hospital that would treat a dog that they found like this.)
As they were handing over the dog (which had been stabbed) to the veterinary technicians the blanket or towel or whatever the dog was wrapped in opened and my sweet man says the little dog’s insides were peeking through the stab wound (or wounds as I do not know which).
I was told by my source at the CCSPCA later that the dog had been stabbed by a mentally unstable person and the police were involved. Little dog looks to be a chihuahua or chihuahua mix.
When we checked on our sick dog on Sunday, we inquired after the little dog. Little dog had come through surgery like a champ and was starting to eat.
This evening when we picked up our critter we heard that little dog continued to improve. We asked if they had a link up for donations as a lot of people would like to contribute to little dog’s care. I also know a couple of people who would adopt little dog and give her a kind and loving home. Unfortunately, because this is an animal cruelty case they could not tell me anything else.
However, NBC10 is on the case and they have this to say about little dog, who has apparently been named Hope:
A dog brought into a local veterinary medical center over the weekend with stab wounds is “eating, drinking, and happy,” according to a nurse at the facility.
Kelly Fusco, a veterinary nurse at the West Chester Veterinary Medical Center says that the Chihuahua mix was rushed into the center by a family who said they found the pouch whimpering inside of a garage.
The dog who’s been given the name “Hope” by the veterinary staff is doing well after receiving emergency surgery to repair lacerations to her leg…..The case, which is being handled by the Chester County SPCA, is being treated as an animal cruelty investigation.
Hope is doing well and expected to make a full recovery, according to Fusco. She will remain at the vet until the investigation is complete.
I know nothing else about the dog. If you would like to contribute towards Hope’s care, please call West Chester Vet (610-696-8712) during normal business hours. They often do amazing acts of real kindness like this. Many vets will not do things like this. They are so awesome to do things like this that this makes me really proud as they care for our pets and the pets of many friends of ours!
Disclaimer: This is an extremely busy vet practice ALL of the time and I say call or maybe just Facebook them because I have no other answers. My guess is when they have something to say about this they will put something on their Facebook page or maybe tell NBC10.
We should also thank the unknown family who drove and drove to see that an injured dog got proper care. So many people wouldn’t bother, especially given the weather we have had.
Also a word of thanks is due to the Chester County SPCA and Main Line Animal Rescue for their caring and concern.
As for whomever did this, there should be a special place in hell for anyone who is cruel to animals, shouldn’t there be? I don’t get how anyone can do something like this to a helpless creature do you? May justice be served for little Hope, right?
St. Francis sure was looking out for this dog, wasn’t he? Or maybe the angel dogs once known as Argus and Fiona?
Get well soon, little dog named Hope. You are in excellent hands and a lot of people are pulling for you.
***Photo credit Kelly Fusco West Chester Vet and NBC10 Philadelphia
Gabriel Pilotti has faced his punishment on his animal cruelty conviction.
Judge Nagle a short while ago gave Pilotti 2 years probation, 90 days on a monitor, restitution $800 per dog, $1000 fine, no guns , 200 hrs community service.
I have thought about this long and hard, and a component of true justice is mercy. Did he show mercy to those dogs?
The answer of course is a resounding NO.
But given his age, although he may have deserved some jail time, I have to leave this to the experts, namely Judge Nagle and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.
The greater punishment in my eyes is he has been branded by the courts and a jury of his peers as a dog murderer. He loses his guns too.
He is in a permanent jail of sorts the rest of his days because he has to live in a community that does not respect what he did.
So he can go to church and his born-again Christian glory all he wants, he is in the eyes of the public something else entirely.
His supporters have already begun to leave comments up here, and they’re calling this a victory. I am not sure exactly what it is they have won, and they should in all honesty consider it in reality more of phyrric victory.
Justice has been served, and Argus and Fiona did not die in vain.
We heard closing arguments this morning and the jury has been charged with the task at hand. The photo is a street scene in front of the courthouse. I realized when I was cropping it that the people standing outside there are Pilotti and his familial supporters. But there is no expectation of privacy in a public space, is there?
Another long and emotional day in West Chester. A bunch of us sat in support with Mary Bock and later Mary and Bill Bock (they both had to be released by the court as they had both testified the previous day).
Of course while we were sitting in court, lovely people were leaving messages like this on the Justice For Argus & Fiona Facebook page:
We have been receiving messages like this since the whole Justice for Argus & Fiona thing began. Some of them have been quite vile. We have chosen not to make a big deal out of it. But this message was just one too many today. Mr. Pilotti testified in court today to angry phone calls he received, and we did not condone that behavior any more than this behavior exhibited above.
Today Mr. Pilotti testified. He wore a very 1970’s looking light tan colored suit and a mauve-tinged shirt and a very loud tie.
Also today we heard from West Vincent Police Chief Swininger. The Chief and the ADA presented into evidence the entirety of Gabe Pilotti’s interview at the West Vincent Police Department in February (February 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm I believe was when this took place.) The jury and all in the courtroom listened to this 55 minute interview.
Interesting things today occurred with reference to the shooting including wasn’t Mr. Pilotti afraid he might hit his sheep with buckshot spray? And later in the afternoon the Judge asked Mr. Pilotti why he chose buck shot over bird shot?
There was much discussion about a prior incident when Mr. Pilotti shot a pit bull (maybe two, I am not certain.) In that 2012 incident (May, I believe) the dogs had taken down his neighbor’s animals. Mr. Pilotti did not lose any animals in that incident although I think it was said one of his animals had puncture wounds. I believe they said his neighbor suffered a loss of a few animals and a few injured in that 2012 incident. Mr. Pilotti also seemed to admit under oath that Argus & Fiona had not harmed any of his animals. There was much discussion about the dogs, how they were shot, where he was standing, so on and so forth.
Mr. Pilotti held up o.k. under questioning by his own attorney, but a good lawyer always preps their client. They went through his personal history after a fashion and discussed that he had kept sheep since the 1970s and he considered himself a shepherd to his flock.
The shepherd thing came up a lot. Like a theme or something. I like sheep and goats. Cows and chickens too. But I know it takes a lot to be a farmer. Some people aren’t farmers, they are more hobbyists. It is obvious he loves his animals. But the Bock family loved theirs too, right?
Mr. Pilotti did not seem to hold up as well under cross by the Assistant District Attorney. At times, he almost seemed argumentative or maybe just defensive, I couldn’t tell.
A couple of times during his time on the stand there were admonishments from the judge to Mr. Pilotti and to his attorney. But fair is fair and those of us in the peanut gallery were told to pipe down at the end of the day too.
One witness that was called by the defense was that guy who had walked Bill Bock over to Mr. Pilotti’s the day of the shooting – Dallas Definbaugh. He is Mr. Pilotti’s across the street neighbor I guess.
Several other character witnesses were called before the defense rested – A Linda Reichert (neighbor of a neighbor), Steve Hobbs the Pastor of the Vincent Baptist Church, a Bill Malenke (neighbor), the husband of a niece (?), a very pleasant gentleman on a cane, and two church members Shirley and Quenton Craft. It was nice to hear them say nice things, but it doesn’t in my mind negate what happened. What happened was wrong in my opinion, and I am allowed to have that opinion.
Then the defense rested.
The jury was interesting to watch during the day. They paid close attention and even asked for an audio recording to be played back so they did not miss anything.
This is a case that I am not certain what will happen in the end. We can only hope for the right thing, and that no matter how nice a guy is to go to church with or live across the street from, shooting puppies is not right. But no matter what, the case was heard before a judge and jury and to me that is a victory.
One thing I kept hoping for today was that when Mr. Pilotti was on the stand part of me hoped he would have apologized to the Bocks for shooting the dogs, but I guess that is just wishful thinking and only something that would have happened on TV? (this would make an interesting episode of Law & Order, though)
Tomorrow everyone closes and then the jury is charged with their most important task: to decide guilt or innocence.
Closing arguments will resume at 9:30 in courtroom 8 on the 7th floor in West Chester.
And while we were in court more came out about the current state of affairs at the Chester County SPCA. So it is a double dog posting day. Stay tuned.
I now understand why reporters say sometimes what they see in a court room haunts them. I will be haunted a long time by the crime scene photos which were shown of the slain Bernese Mountain Dog puppies Argus & Fiona.
The scene photos (I am not a police officer so I don’t know what to call them), were not intentionally gruesome, they were what they were. (We saw a photo of the shotgun too. It was not one that repeats, either, which means the buck shot had to deliberately reloaded, correct?) There seemed to be some sort of quiet sidebar conversation as in jury and audience could not hear) before the audience, judge, and jury saw the photos. I am thinking it had to do with the photos – but I don’t know for sure.
The photos – Argus lay there on the ground like he was shot in mid-flight. He seemed to be facing away from us. Then there was the photo of the female puppy Fiona. This photo made me cry (several things made me tear up this afternoon- so much was so hard to hear) it was so heart and gut wrenchingly awful. Fiona was curled in a semi fetal position staring at the camera with lifeless eyes. That is the photo I will see in my head for a long time it is so awful.
But back to the beginning. Three papers were there: Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily Local and Brandywine News Media. There were Argus and Fiona friends and family and supporters on one side and Gabe Pilotti had a mish mosh of people on his side. I never saw the man in person before today so I have no way of knowing who was family and who might have been church folk. I will note that whomever they are had minor children with them, who were in the room when the photos of the shot up dogs were displayed. Not to judge, but would you have wanted your children to see that? The smiling Pilotti from the mug shot was not present today.
Ramsey, Pilotti’s attorney referred to a “media campaign” over this issue. He seemed to make a lot of referrals to the Justice for Argus and Fiona Facebook Page and obliquely this blog (or in my opinion that is what it was) like we were all bad people for talking about this. Judge Nagle seemed to shut this commentary down on several occasions as being somewhat irrelevant to the case at hand.
Pilotti’s attorney was somewhat brutal with the Bocks. But that is a defense attorney doing their job I suppose. I do think the defense attorney was unnecessarily hard on Mary Bock in particular – asked her something like did she have remorse over the whole incident. My personal opinion was that asking something like that was gratuitously nasty. She was practically in tears having to relive parts of that awful day as it was.
Pilotti’s attorney seemed to make a big deal out of these neighbors of Pilotti’s that the Bocks used to be friendly with – people named Dallas and Kelley Definbaugh. I wonder, are those the people holding Pilotti’s gun? Anyway, it is not like it is some dirty secret. The couples used to be friendly, more from the wives knowing each other and kids being in same sections of classes at school. But that changed. The kids moved on into different groups and classes at school and the wives don’t hang out any more. So what? Do you keep in close contact with people with whom you no longer share any meaningful commonality? I don’t.
I wouldn’t know the Definbaugh people if I fell on them, and am just getting to know the Bocks, so I can only go with my gut. I like the Bocks. They are honorable people who experienced something so horrible. And when you see the photos of those dead puppies from that day and hear about how they were moved in a front end loader or a tractor or something to the township building the day they were shot, well let me tell you, you get a much more clear picture of how these people have suffered.
Remember this news report?
I also did not get why Pilotti’s attorney kept bringing up a letter that Mary Bock wrote to her neighbors after her dogs were shot. I mean get real, there are tons of kids out there and tons of people with dogs. If she wanted to tell her neighbors is that so wrong?
And Pilotti’s attorney wants to make a big deal out of this blog? I did not drive his client to shoot those dogs. And I am not condoning violence against his client, only like hundreds of others out there hoping for justice and a strengthening of Pennsylvania dog laws.
Today we heard from Officer Russell from West Vincent Police Department. He was the first on the scene and apparently present later when Pilotti was interviewed by police. He seems like a totally honorable and stand up guy. He also seems to be some sort of authority on fire arms and he spoke with some intelligence about the gun used – a 20 gauge single shot non repeating shot-gun with 9 pellet buck shot if I have it correctly.
Officer Russell recounted that fateful February day calmly with some degree of detail. He remarked that at the time (as in day of shooting) he found Pilotti’s answers “vague”. (his verbiage) . He reported that on the day of the shooting in front of the Police Chief he asked Pilotti for a written statement to assist in the investigation. He stated that Pilotti in his opinion seemed hesitant to do so, but eventually went back to his garage and sat down and compiled a “list”. Officer Russell also described seeing the dogs. He reported that Argus took a fairly direct hit to the head and the dog’s head was “kind of blown apart.” He described Fiona’s position (that I saw in the photos) and the blood coming out of her mouth and I believe he said on her paws. I will admit the photo of her so disturbed me that I could not get past the quasi fetal position and lifeless eyes staring at the camera.
District Attorney Tom Hogan appeared in court to watch for a while at approximately 3:45 p.m. That made people sit up and take notice – he is a busy guy so you know he can’t audit every court proceeding. I was thankful for his presence.
I stayed until just before the defense was going to cross-examine Officer Russell. People in the court room said that got out of hand. I remember before I left Officer Russell stating that they wanted to talk to Pilotti again because “something did not seem right.”
Pilotti’s attorney at one point referred to when Pilotti had shot dogs before, but West Vincent locals told me that those dogs were shot on a neighbors property because the neighbor’s animals were being mauled and is that not the truth? So that was something different from when Argus and Fiona were shot, huh?
And I have to ask (bearing in mind my limited knowledge of buck shot) but if Argus and Fiona were actually pursuing sheep why is it the audience and jury didn’t hear about injured sheep? Or see photos of bloodied sheep or dead sheep? I ask because as buck shot was explained today to everyone in that courtroom it sort of spreads or sprays out, right?
Watching the face of the jury all afternoon was quite interesting. That is all I will say on that.
Court continues tomorrow at the Criminal Justice Center in Downtown West Chester, PA. I strongly urge dog lovers to attend if possible. The Bock family and the memory of these puppies deserve our support in a peaceful way as an extended community. It is a public proceeding and the courtroom is open, not closed. You can go to all or part of tomorrow. Parking is not expensive in the new garage, either. You just park, go through the court screening and ask to be directed to Judge Nagle’s court (7th floor room 8 off the top of my head)
Today was deeply disturbing and very emotional. But I am glad I went. It makes me even more resolute than ever that dog laws need to change.
In a case that outraged animal-rights activists and generated national attention, a trial began Monday for a Chester County man charged with killing his neighbor’s dogs because he believed they posed a threat to his sheep.
Gabriel Pilotti, 73, of Chester Springs, was charged with cruelty to animals for shooting the two Bernese mountain dogs — 2-year-old Angus and 1-year-old Fiona — after they had escaped the fenced yard of their owners, Mary and William Bock….In his opening statement, Kevin Pierce, assistant district attorney said Pilotti willfully and maliciously killed the two dogs in cold blood and then left a voice message for a neighbor bragging about the incident……Argus was shot in the head as he trotted up toward Pilotti and that Fiona was shot as she ran away. Pilotti did not try to yell at the dogs or chase them away with a broom, he said.
“He choose to go to the most extreme measure first,” said Pierce.
Also noteworthy? The Chester County SPCA which is currently under fire in Chester County and beyond did NOT bother to show up today. I found that extraordinarily cowardly. They should have put the other stuff aside and shown up for the dogs. Good thing no one was depending on them for anything.
WEST CHESTER – Gabriel Pilotti, the 73-year-old West Vincent resident on trial for shooting two dogs that wandered onto his property, was portrayed in two different lights Monday as his case opened in the Chester County Justice Center.
To the prosecutor, Pilotti was a trigger happy man who shot first and asked no questions – taking the matter of dogs in his pasture to the “most extreme measure” by killing the two dogs without provocation.
“This is a simple case of a cold blooded killing of two family pets,” Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pierce told the nine women and three men on the jury in Senior Judge Ronald Nagle’s courtroom. He said the defendant “mowed down” one of the dogs as he “moseyed” toward him, and then reloaded his shotgun and shot and killed the second, younger dog as it ran from the yard.
It’s to be a very dog-centric week on this blog, apparently. The day of justice is nigh. We received word via the Bock family this morning that jury selection begins Monday, September 9th:
This odyssey began for me on February 19th when I saw a cross-post about these puppies who were shot on a friend’s Facebook page.
Then I heard this:
Since February we have suffered the ups and downs of this case with the Bock family. We have rallied and supported the family as a community. And as a community of Chester County residents and dog lovers it is time to come together PEACEABLY and show our support for the Bock family and in a PEACEABLE manner express our hopes for justice. We need justice so the family has closure.
That does NOT mean going anywhere near Gabe Pilotti, unless you don’t want him to face a judge and jury of his peers and be held accountable? Unless you want him to become the victim in this tragedy in place of the true victims: the Bock family and two deceased Bernese Mountain Dog puppies.
The nature of humans and writing is a weird and complicated process, often because of what the reader expects from the writer.
Some posts write themselves in the middle of the night. That is the genesis of this post.
Sometimes I do not sleep well. I am on a drug for the treatment of breast cancer called Tamoxifen. I have three years to go and one of its side effects is it can affect your sleep. I don’t often talk about the whole breast cancer thing here, I have a dedicated (and well-respected blog for that.)
On this blog, I have had people who have taken issue with me speaking about my breast cancer. But it is part of me and like it or not, and it has shaped my life experience.
Ironically, having had breast cancer has taught me many positive things including the value of life and living life well and being happy. It gave me the courage to pursue my dreams, yes, like writing.
A lot of what annoys people about my discussing my breast cancer is when I measure it against other experiences. As it is the hardest and most difficult thing I ever experienced personally, heck yes I measure other experiences against it if the spirit moves me.
I have learned in life that often if your opinion differs from the comfort zone of others that can prove problematic. Especially when you write. You can verbally state your opinion more easily than if you write it down. But the thing at the end of the day that people don’t get is I write for me. Writing is first and foremost something I do for myself. And I do actually do research things which I am curious about.
Maybe someday I will have a book in me and not just a blog or occasional byline. Maybe I will write the memoirs of a female blogger. I will say I do have self-published photography books that I have done, and that was quite an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
As I make my way through this writing experience, I am often amused at what strikes a nerve. One of the first nerves was writing about West Vincent Township. Then came horse rescue. Wow horse rescue is still one of the largest read topics on this blog with a close second to Justice for Argus and Fiona. And then there is of course my asking if a favorite restaurant would survive because of listings in both sheriff’s and tax sales lists coupled with an additional land purchase for another restaurant in another county. Chicken little you would think the world was ending for verbalizing what quite a lot of people are still talking about.
Also amazing to me is how many people like my recipes and photography. I am so pleased about that. Recipes and photos are something really personal to me, so I really am happy that people are receptive to both.
Not all, however, have been receptive to my photos. Take for example the odd responses from the woman who grew up with the Women’s Lib Barn (yes I did do some research to ascertain it was a woman writing to me.) To this day I shake my head at that – I loved that barn for so many different reasons and my photographing it was like paying homage to it. But she so soured me on it, that now I just drive by….I don’t even look at it.
That was my favorite barn in Chester County. It is the first one I really noticed when I moved here. It spoke to me. As a woman I find myself often torn between the old and new, and the old roles of women versus the women of today. It also speaks to me because to me it also represents the uniqueness, individuality, and independence of the people of Chester County – traits I admire and respect.
I also write about parenting on occasion, collecting (as in antiques and collectibles) and gardening. At my core, I am part Domestic Diva or Suzy Homemaker. I love that for the first time in my life I actually have time for all of this, and can experience it without guilt or reserve. I love sharing those experiences with people. I even write about childhood recollections.
I used to focus more on activism based blogging. That was what I did then, and while it still has a role in my writing, it is not the main focus. I will write about things that I find curious. Or strange. Now, I write about whatever strikes my fancy, and share fun things I discover along the way.
Recently I have written a couple of things that are in the category of religion and beliefs. We should be able to talk about this stuff. I have in the past too. As a Catholic and as a human being I have expressed my disgust over pedophile priests. I have also touched on born again Christian stuff. No one had a problem with that or pedophile priest discussions. But when I touched on Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy, holy tomato Batman! It is like I personally corrupted the Holy Grail.
To me Anthroposophy represents communes and cult-like behavior. (Communes are intentional communities and intentional communities are communes, right?) Oh my! I have had people rear up….all associated with Waldorf or Steiner Schools. Am I the first to question Anthroposophy or Steiner? No. Go ahead, read THIS and THIS and THIS and THIS and THIS. Waldorf Watch a site devoted to this. And then there is Waldorf Straight Talk and a lot of things submitted by former teachers to different sites. I am sure some can say they are all disgruntled employees or residents, but are they? I know one story personally. It is not mine to share, but suffice it to say it was a former Kimberton Waldorf teacher and the person is hardly an axe grinder.
If you look at the comments regarding this touchy topic I have this man who has popped up who told me I was “afraid of my neighbors” and that I had a “fear piñata” I swung wildly at. He is in addition to the woman who just seems angry in general that I have expressed an opinion on this.
The man wants to help me “confront” my fear and that by my opinion which as an individual I am entitled to have that I have instead performed an ad hominum attack by “labeling” them. Oh and that I write in order to sound clever. And that I am not real.
Ah yes, the most devastating comment: because I don’t agree with what he is indeed trying to sell me, I am, therefore, not “real”.
Am I a fan of CSAs, organic farming, taking care of the mentally and physically challenged in our community, and Kimberton Whole Foods? Yes to all of the above. Except when I measure saints among us, my definition of saints and Godly people are derived from a more traditional religious beliefs and practices. And yes I am aware that CampHill has done some truly nice things. After all was it not CampHill Special School that took in the family of one of the defendant’s in the Milton Street trial a few years ago? That was very generous of them and honestly a good deed.
I am quite real, and I am clever, but not in the derogatory way the commenter intended. And I am not fearful. I merely stated my opinion based upon the research that I did.
It is always funny to me that people will feel free to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be writing about. I have to ask why they aren’t writing if they feel so strongly about certain things?
Some accused me of perpetuating “hearsay” while stating my opinion. I have to ask is the renowned publication The Atlantic “hearsay”? Is it only “hearsay” because they don’t want to believe people are writing about how they feel about Waldorf, Steiner, and Anthroposophy?
Waldorf schools are popular with progressives. But how do you feel about a dose of spiritualism with your child’s reading and math?
Would you send your kid to a school where faceless dolls and pine-cones are the toys of choice? A school where kids don’t read proficiently until age 9 or 10 — and where time spared goes to knitting and playing the recorder? A school where students sing hymns to “spirit” every day?
I am a fairly simple person with a complicated brain . I think about a lot of different things.
Things like why people abandon their homes, factories, churches, and farms and so on fascinate me. You know I love to photograph the old and abandoned and there seems to be a lot of that in Chester County, unfortunately. I believe it goes with areas that still have a rural component.
Abandoned and desolate, this house suffers from not only overt neglect, but a dispute to its historical net worth. A friend was kind enough to share this photo. The location is (if I have it straight) is slightly west of Valley Forge Park , sort of behind VF Baptist Church.
Some days I write about things that make me go HMMMM and other days I also write about things I cook. Other days I write about both. It’s just the way it is.
Like take this weekend for example – I made a tortellini salad with cucumber, shallots, string beans, tomato, tossed with fresh basil and Italian flat leaf parsley and rest with a homemade lemon tarragon mustard caper vinaigrette -The dressing is homemade and came out of my head as I was preparing peach pie filling. Yes, I also made a double crust peach pie with the delicious peaches from Northstar Orchards whom I visit at The East Goshen Farmers Market.
And if Sears would ever come fix my oven, (even Whirlpool/Maytag is upset with Sears) I might roast tomatoes and write about it. Roasted tomatoes make for awesome gazpacho as well as being delicious on their own as just a vegetable.
I also write about simple fun things for my home when the spirit moves me. I love the Smithfield Barn and Resellers Consignment for that reason. This weekend at Smithfield Barn I got the vintage pie plate in which I baked that pie photo captioned above.
Some of the things I write about are things that I grew up with. Like lamps. My mother had these two lamps in our home growing up. She hasn’t used them for years in her current home and had put them in a closet. Over the weekend she passed them along to me along with for a lack of a better description, lamp parts. You would be amazed how much better a lamp can look with a harp that gives a shade a different height.
The lamps are totally “me”. The shades I plunked on them I had in the attic. They came from a lady who used to be at Black Angus or Stoudt’s Antiques in Adamstown – she made these amazing pierced lampshades. I don’t even know if she is there any longer. My friend Anna’s mother got me hooked on these lampshades as well as my mother – they both had this style of shade on lamps in their homes.
See the lamps – they are so fun:
The lamps are in different parts of the house and I am so enjoying them! But as my mother said I like quirky lamps. I think these are very cool!
I love old stuff. Not necessarily antiques, but vintage. Setting my table with funky old dishes and vintage linens is total fun to me.
I actually organized my old linens yesterday. I have accumulated them in essence for pennies on the dollar because I get them at thrift shops, tag sales, church sales – wherever I see them that I like them. But I refuse to pay oodles of money for them. I love vintage linens basically because the quality is so much better than a lot of what you see today. Also a lot of times it is just that much more fun. I have a few kitschy 1950s and 1960s tablecloths for example – totally fun.
Also in the textile area are vintage and handmade quilts. Again, I look at church sales, farm/barn and even on eBay. I only buy what I can use and I am limited on what I am willing to pay.
Not one of mine. Made by a friend of mine for her granddaughter. A modern quilt that captured the vintage essence I love.
What else is on my mind today? Something troubling my friends who live in Schuylkill Township. They are facing quite the unsavory and dense development more suitable for urban living on a parcel of land that makes some refer to it as Groundhog Day – apparently it is a bad repeating nightmare for residents in a particular spot where they have bog turtles, rare bats, serpentine asters, bald eagles roosting and the DEP, US Fish and Game, have all been involved in the past. There are apparently steep slopes, egress and traffic issues. It feels like an uphill battle to these folks where the developer always wins. Who even cares about environmental and social degradation anymore is the last thing one friend said to me.
I know nothing except there is a public hearing TONIGHT.
I will fully admit that this whole create zoning to satisfy a particular developer or a slew of developers is problematic. One needs to look no farther than Lower Merion Township in the heart of the Main Line. When I tell you I spent years at meetings on similar development nightmares, I kid you not. They have these zoning overlays that were in essence designed for specific developers so they could build (one developer who is familiar to Chester County even referred to one overlay as “his zoning” and a meeting.) Another thing? When new developers appear on the scene, they then append the original zoning to satisfy even more developers.
“Planned Residential Developments” which are designed to afford flexibility to respond to growing demand for housing of all types and design. The proposed Planned Residential Development Ordinance will allow mixed residential uses on properties of at least 60 acres in Schuylkill Township.
The thing is this – I keep waiting for any of this zoning in any municipality to actually be about the residents with the best interest of the residents born in mind. I hate to sound jaded but it never is. These weird zoning things are for the lining of the township ratables pockets and the developers. The most bang for the buck on the profit margin side. If the zoning doesn’t fit the plans politicians want, they change the zoning. The flip side is when you try to get them to change the zoning to protect residents, environment, open space, you choose, it never seems “doable” does it? Or if they do regurgitate changes they are insufficient or weak enough that what people were trying to avoid happens anyway.
Zoning boards blame planning and commissioners/supervisors. Supervisors/Commissioners/Planning Commissions blame the Municipalities Planning Code
Yes, community planning is a passion. Where you live is a big deal. And I hate to sound like a Myna bird but once open space is gone, it’s gone. Once historic and older homes are gone, they are gone. You can’t save everything, but communities should plan better to save some things.
To empower cities of the second class A, and third class, boroughs, incorporated towns, townships of the first and second classes including those within a county of the second class and counties of the second through eighth classes, individually or jointly, to plan their development and to govern the same by zoning, subdivision and land development ordinances, planned residential development and other ordinances, by official maps, by the reservation of certain land for future public purpose and by the acquisition of such land; to promote the conservation of energy through the use of planning practices and to promote the effective utilization of renewable energy sources; providing for the establishment of planning commissions, planning departments, planning committees and zoning hearing boards, authorizing them to charge fees, make inspections and hold public hearings; providing for mediation; providing for transferable development rights; providing for appropriations, appeals to courts and penalties for violations; and repealing acts and parts of acts. (Title amended Dec. 14, 1992, P.L.815, No.131)
Note this covers Transferable Development Rights? That is what many residents in West Vincent are fighting as they also fight to keep their tiny, rural community from being overdeveloped.
You know, to control things like this from happening:
Having nothing to do with Chester County, I also have the Syria of it all on my busy brain. I guess I just have an Obamarifficproblem with a purportedly peace-loving president who pulls troops out of places like Iraq and Afghanistan to send them to Syria. So yes, I am thinking in this case a little isolationism might be good for the United States.
We can’t be everyone’s champion and big brother world-wide if we can’t fix issues on the home front. We have people starving and dying every day in the United States. We also have a crappy economy that could deal with a little love not a few more smoke screens to divert away the attention of the average American.
Anyway. That is it for the day. Love me or hate me, this is my blog. If you do not like what I am writing about, I will miss you, but will completely understand if you go find other blogs to read. But the reality of life is we can all have different opinions.
Snapped this photo while on vacation in Amagansett, NY recently. If I were a horse I would want to live at Stony Hill Stables. That place is immaculate and the animals so happy. And yes, they have a few retired race horses living there with all the right paperwork too I am told.
This photo was just such a beautiful and peaceful, yet unpretentious scene so thank you for the indulgence. I have a LOT of photos to share from the trip, I am still editing (I took over 1000 photos).
Back in the saddle getting back to everyday life means more gardening and barn picking and all that good stuff! Back in the saddle also means getting back to some of the blogging of it all.
I am not some blogging newbie. I have been at this long before it was either fashionable or trendy.
Some might not care for my opinion or some other blogger’s opinion, but opinion is one of those great things allowed in the USA courtesy of our founding fathers.
Just because I blog it does not make me a free publicist or phtographer. I get paid for that if that is what you want.
I also always do my research and trust me there are a lot of people who should deeply appreciate the fact I do not let loose with all the info I dig up on the public record. My sources, generally speaking are honest and above-board, and as a source I am also trusted by the media….because I do my homework. So have a care. And if you want to split hairs and play semantic monopoly, that is fine. But don’t play me or play passive-aggressive patty-cake. Fibs always come out. And telling people different stories catches up with people, it’s a tough game to maintain, yes?
This blog is different from the purely activism/civic activist- based blogging I used to do, but occasionally you will find that here because there are just things I believe in.
Take Justice for Argus & Fiona – the two Bernese Mountain Dog puppies shot months ago. Their family and dog lovers everywhere are still waiting for justice to be served. Mr. Pilotti now apparently wants a jury trial of his peers, so apparently from what the Bocks tell us via the Chester County District Attorney’s office that has yet to be scheduled and there is to be no plea deal – another rumor we heard.
Mr. Pilotti we have not forgotten. Chester County DA? We have not forgotten. What he did was wrong. It was intolerable cruelty. And it is really frustrating to be doing things the right way from our end, yet there is no justice and the dog laws have not moved one bit.
And for those hopping all over my back because I think West Vincent and the District Attorney should have confiscated the gun used to shoot the dogs pending the outcome of a trial? Get over yourselves. That is not something unusual. What is unusual is the fact that one simple thing never happened did it?
Here is the docket link. The first page has a docket entry of bitter end of summer for a new trial date but have no way of knowing if it is for real. My somewhat jaded opinion is it would be easier for the District Attorney and Mr. Pilotti if everyone forgot about the dead puppies but why should we? So it can happen again?
But what do we expect with anything having to do with West Vincent? Normalcy?
Speaking of West Vincent, Chickenman just celebrated his 4th anniversary. Everyone should read his anniversary message because if you live in West Vincent with this local government no one can afford to be an ostrich with their head in the sand can they?
And in the whole West Vincent of it all, another thing I believe in is the preservation of Birchrunville Village. So check out the flyer titled BirchrunvilleFlyer – you had beter get involved if you love the village because it is about to be super-sized if government officials get their way. a development plan proposes to insert 3 additional buildings plus parking for almost 50 cars, effectively creating a commercial strip mall in front of the historic schoolhouse building!
Birchrunville People sent out a message:
Please join concerned residents for a discussion at the Birchrunville Café on Saturday August 17 at 10AM. Learn what you can do to help make sure township ordinances are properly enforced in order to retain the character of this historic village. Also…Please attend the next scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday August 26. For more information, please check out the web site http://birchrunvillepeople.com
I hope everyone is having a delightful summer! As always, thanks for stopping by!
Well lo and behold, that has happened. No it isn’t Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue or that Turning for Home out of Parx Racing run by that Barbara Luna and why on earth would you think that feds might be interested in little old them anyway? They are angels are they not? Do you sense sarcasm? Good.
I am sick of horse rescue. I love horses. I rode many moons ago, and don’t ride now and have never owned horses. Some say that means I have no business saying boo about horse rescue, but I am sorry, horse rescue is the new puppy mill in Pennsylvania. It is not really regulated and those who are supposed to keep track of horse rescues like that LAPs (Large Animal Protection Society) just seem to be asleep at the tractor or something.
And yup, sorry I am allowed an opinion on this. And my opinion is there is a lot of money being made by different folks only it is hard to keep track of the horses, their paperwork, who is caring for them, who is responsible for them and all that.
Every time we turn around a new “rescue” pops up. Some of them are retreads and contacts of already suspect rescues and some are new. I love the ones that say they are a business but also a rescue. Call me confused but are they businesses selling horse or a non-profit rescue? It is all very confusing and we’ve been over it a dozen times at least.
I would say the issues with horse rescues in Pennyslvania are legitimate given all the comments. And to those who leave comments with problems with horse rescues please go to the authorities. If the authorities won’t listen you need to stand up somewhere under your own steam as many others are doing and be counted. I do not know what else to say.
Published: Apr 30 2013 11:51:14 AM EDT Updated On: May 01 2013 04:40:48 PM EDT
NORTH HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. –
Federal investigators raided a horse rescue operation in Berks County on Tuesday.
The FBI, acting on a federal search warrant, conducted the raid at Another Chance 4 Horses on Station Road in North Heidelberg Township.
Agents seized computers, cell phones, financial records, veterinary records and boxes of other items and documents related to the nonprofit operation and its sale and purchase of horses, according to an inventory list compiled by the agents.
Onto Justice for Argus and Fiona. The trial of Gabe Pilotti is coming up unless it does a dance, and here is an update from Mary Bock:
Talked to the D.A.’s office today, it’s been we’ll over 2 months since Mr. Pilotti shot Argus and Fiona and he still has the shot gun in his possession. As each court date comes and goes I am starting to lose faith in our justice system. How can this be that Tom Hogan was so passionate in his press conference announcing the charges they were going to file against Mr. Pilotti and now the D.A.’s office cant even seem to have the shot gun removed from his possession. I’ve been given excuse after excuse as to why they are not in the drivers seat. It is completely discouraging! Our justice system at its finest. I’ve been quiet, I’ve held back but now my patience is no more and I feel like my family and all of the people who have supported us have been taken advantage of and made to look like fools. 🙁 We have new dogs that we love very much, but we haven’t forgotten our old loves who were brutally shot by a sick man who then bragged about his conquest. Hoping and praying that our justice system will do what it is meant to do.
Argus & Fiona the beautiful puppies gunned down in West Vincent are never far from our minds. We are so happy that the generosity of so many have helped the Bock family begin to heal, but we sit and we wait for justice to be served. (and the photo is from one of the folks on the Justice For Argus & Fiona Page – isn’t it cute? Thanks Lynne!)
I can report that as per the Bock family, Mr. Pilotti was arraigned yesterday – it was scheduled for today originally. The DA told Mary Bock that the trial will be within 180 days, except I pulled the docket and see a trial date for mid-May so I do not know what to think. In my opinion I see these dates as fluid, but I am not a lawyer.
I also hear that Mr. Pilotti’s gun has not yet been confiscated, and shouldn’t it have been? (things are much easier when you just watch Law & Order on TV, right?) And I have been told by those who know better than I that the weapon he used to shoot those dogs should have been confiscated pending the outcome of the trial quite a while ago, so why hasn’t it? Does he dress it up and call it Bessie or something?
Please keep those letters, calls and e-mails going to elected officials about changing the laws and this case BUT we remain firm on we don’t want hate speech on the Facebook page or here, and cannot condone violence or inappropriate behavior.
This issue will soon have a day in court and we hope PEACEABLY many will join the Bocks on that day. But until then, please give Chester Springs a break. There should be no sight-seeing tour, that is gruesome.
You will note one other thing on the docket I am about to post. And that is Mr. Pilotti has applied for ARD. ARD is Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition. It is a program in PA designed for first-time non-violent offenders. People who get DUIs the first time often go through this if accepted.
I hate to split hairs or be mean about it, but how is it Mr. Pilotti considers himself non-violent? Wouldn’t you think it would be quite embarrassing and impossible for the District Attorney to allow this? Does someone who shoots dogs and then leaves voice mails for neighbors about it qualify as non-violent? Please note this isn’t a gun thing – this is a HOW he used the gun thing.
The docket currently lists May 15th for the court date of the criminal trial. However, like I said, if the District Attorney’s office has suddenly grown media shy, there may be another incidence of hidey-case and they might quick move it again, but we hope for the best, right? We would hate to think that the District Attorney doesn’t really care about this, right?