what are the responsibilities of community options inc and their group home at 118 spring road, malvern, pa?

Once upon a time at 118 Spring Road in Malvern, PA in East Whiteland Township, Chester County was lovely family home in General Warren Village. They celebrated Christmas, Halloween, births, deaths, graduations, weddings and other celebrations. They were part of a tight knit community. And General Warren Village is multi-generational which is also why I find it so special.

But eventually, everyone was gone and the family who were left and all had their own homes and whatnot, sold the property. I think they probably thought they were selling to a good company, but I remain jaded about these companies….who run group houses for disadvantaged adults.

No one, myself included, has any negative feelings towards the heirs of 118 Spring Road. They only did what their sad duty and responsibility to surviving family and deceased family had them do. We all wish some of the homes our families have known could stay captured in time and in our families. But we live in a rather expensive world and just often, well can’t.

118 Spring Road was purchased by a non-profit out of New Jersey. Called Community Options, Inc. Like a HUGE Devereaux or KenCrest. Only because they are nationwide, I have to wonder what is altruistic in their business model and what is profit-centric?

These non-profits who house people and own properties are entities, and right or wrong, I am skeptical of them. Not for what they SAY they do, but for what they sometimes DON’T do and they are privately owned, so if there wasn’t profit somewhere would their calling to help still exist? And because of the nature of who they house, they enjoy some Federal protections, don’t they? And their non-profit status means they escape the taxes the rest of us pay, correct? So these group homes should be close to perfect, correct? Perfect for the families entrusting them with their loved ones, the residents, and their neighbors, except they often are NOT terrific, correct?

My neighborhood lives with a KenCrest house. The relationship has been bumpy over the years. Their have been issues from time to time, but not EVER issues like I am hearing about concerning 118 Spring Road Malvern. My neighborhood and KenCrest have worked to build a better relationship, and if we see a problem, we have people in their organization we can call, and things get taken care of. But this Community Options is giving me a whiff of all of the problems with Devereux housing in the area, ok? Sadly, the Devereaux houses and Devereaux make the news way too often in Chester County, don’t they? Horrible stories.

But back to Community Options Inc. which now own 118 Spring Road, Malvern. Community Options has no Chester County office per se, so who knows who regionally is responsible? Delaware County, Allentown, or King of Prussia? See screenshots below in case anyone, media included wish to contact them.

So this morning as in today, I get a message from a friend whose elderly mother is a neighbor:

Great ….they just had 3 police cars at the group house next to my mother’s home. A patient beat up a female worker and ripped off her blouse. Then there was fighting– the police now in the neighbors yard on the other side of their house. Cops were took him to the ground several times until the third car got there and they got him under control.

~concerned person over incident at 118 spring road 8/6/22

I asked my friend a few more questions about this house which is fairly new in my opinion/estimation to have so many issues. I am told police have responded to this address several times so is that the job of our local police to babysit a non-profit’s property where they don’t pay taxes that support things like first responders and infrastructure? Why do neighbors and police have the added burden of dealing with this? I also heard that East Whiteland had to contact them about maintaining the property with things as basic as cutting the lawn and weeds?

My friend further said to me:

Don’t they have to run an orderly business and have control of their patients when they are permitted to be placed into neighborhoods ? As it sure looks like they have a pattern of showing they are unable to control safely the patients they are housing there. No less the safety of senior citizens and young children living around them. What recourse do we have to protect our elderly relatives that live by them ?

~~concerned person over incident at 118 spring road 8/6/22

And that is thing of it: there are elderly residents who have lived there and raised families there, as well as young families who are currently raising families who are starting to feel unsafe. So maybe this house gets special Federal Government love, but what about the rights of EVERYONE ELSE?

Now I found a disturbing New York report or article on homes like this and they specifically referenced an “early action letter” being sent to Community Options NY.

And I have been checking out reviews and such on the Internet about Community Options Inc. Take Indeed which is a job website do NOT have glowing reviews from employees. (“A terrible place to work.” ; “Horrible”; “Poor work environment”, etc) The Google reviews are not much better.

So has anyone seen their licenses with the Commonwealth of PA? Did they have to go in front of any boards or commissions in East Whiteland Township to move into a residential neighborhood and does a group home like this require licensing or a change in zoning?

I pulled the deed transfer and the mortgage on 118 Spring Road. I am embedding them here. I also noted something kind of weird on a signature page where the notary public also signed on someone else’s signature line. A very long time ago, for a few years, I was a notary public. I never signed on someone else’s signature line, but maybe some rule somewhere has changed?

I also pulled the mortgage Community Options Inc in case any of the neighbors are interested. It looks like there are stipulations? I also pulled the IRS form 990 for 2020. Remember about what I said about making money? Well…ummm…and oh yeah nice salaries.

I am NOT against special needs houses in neighborhoods. I have even seen them in fancy Gladwyne, PA neighborhoods. But there are good group houses and not so fabulous group houses.

And as per some perusing on the Internet:

“All personal care homes are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Personal care homes also meet state and local health, fire and safety laws and regulations. The personal care home regulations are available at the following link: 55 Pa. “

So Community Options Inc, ball is in your court. Talk to neighbors, apologize to neighbors (and township), check on the safety of your employees. Robert T Stack is the CEO or something. He signed the mortgage. You can find him on Twitter at @RobertStackCOI . You can find THEM on Twitter @COINATIONAL. According to ProPublica Stack makes something like $948,380.00 so maybe he can reassure us in Chester County and inspect the house personally?

To conclude: YES those group houses for adults with various disabilities have a legal right to exist in our communities. HOWEVER, neighborhood residents of group house locations have the right to not be upset by houses with problems like 118 Spring Road Malvern is thus far. In that vein, people entrust their relatives to these companies with these group houses and expect the residents to be safe and well cared for. And the employees of these group homes should also be safe. Was what happened today something that would make anyone feel safe?

What are the licenses and permits involved (state, local, etc) for this Community Options Inc. location at 118 Spring Road Malvern PA 19355?

What are the rights of the neighbors who live near this home who have been there in some cases decades?

These group homes are everywhere. As I said I have one owned by someone else in my neighborhood. In my neighborhood, the group home’s owners have worked really hard to create an environment that everyone can live with. It’s not always perfect, but as residents we know exactly whom to contact in the event of a problem.

Zoning for Spring Road:

Zoning for a pre-existing special needs home in East Whiteland:

It would be nice if this new place at 118 Spring Road owned by Community Options Inc. made an effort with neighbors and the company which owns this location took ownership of the issues like the police activity today and addressed and dealt with it. The community is watching and the community has rights, too, correct? I mean how does a house like this just move into a regular residential neighborhood anyway? Isn’t it an institutional usage?

Thanks for stopping by.

for the love of dogs: loss

Boo Boo Schnitzel 2012-2022

A few short days ago, I introduced you to my dog (see this post.)

Today we said good-bye to him at VRC in Malvern. The grief has been hiding at the edges since we took him in last week. Now it’s here. The tears are running so fast, I can’t see some moments. But writing has always been my catharsis, so I have to write it out. I need to tell a little of his story. A beautiful rescue dog who will forever, remain in my heart.

He is one of the happiest dogs we have ever had. Always wanted to play, always wanted to bring you a toy. Or greet you with a leaf he picked up off of the ground. A fearless chaser of squirrels, chipmunks, deer.

He came to us at six months old when he was dumped with his sibling on the streets of Philadelphia. I can’t find his first photo when I first met him. I have it somewhere.

Boo Boo came to us unexpectedly. We weren’t looking for him. I had (back then) recently said good-bye to his predecessors, Iggy and Mr. Peanut. Iggy we had lost at 8 to canine lymphoma. As I was finishing my radiation for breast cancer, Iggy was starting chemotherapy.

Anyway, one day a few months after losing first one then the other, I got a phone call at the office from Bill Smith, then at Main Line Animal Rescue. There was a puppy. He and his sister had been dumped on the streets of Philadelphia. A PSPCA volunteer was taking his sister. “Did I want him?” my friend Betsy asked (she was also on the call.) She knew it was soon, and we had just said good bye to Iggy and Mr. Peanut a couple of months before. Then they texted me a photo. It was all over. He came home. He was, as they say, a foster fail. He never left.

Keeping watch for squirrels and foxes and deer and chipmunks.

Ten years have gone by in a flash. I wish I could find the amazing words like John Grogan or James Herriot, but right now I feel, well, gutted. I can see him on the very first day we bought him home and so many moments in between.

He was almost Clarence, but then he was just a Boo Boo.

The kaleidoscope of memories includes him marching back and forth on top of the old logs in the woods, daring a chipmunk to pop up, chasing a deer out of my garden beds, investigating Christmas presents under the tree, rolling in deer poop (yes really, he was Captain Deer Poop), racing through the snow to chase who knows what, barking barking barking (boy loved to bark), curled up on someone’s lap, the grand poobah of the bed, begging food, under my feet like a trip hazard in the kitchen while I cooked, giving us kisses, and chasing the hose.

Oh that dog chasing the hose and water. I could garden up until watering time, and then I had to put him in the house. Then he would sit inside and whine. He just loved chasing the water.

Boo Boo also had a group of ladies. My friends. They would come over and he would sit in their laps making eyes at them.

Puppy dreams as a puppy.

This was a dog who was just happy, so very happy. He loved and was so loved in return.

Then last Tuesday, his world fell apart. It was like he couldn’t control his limbs. We called our regular vet Dr. Hahn at Main Line Vet in Malvern. “Take him to VRC.” Was he sure? Yes he was sure. We went to VRC.

At first they thought it was Myasthenia gravis. Then that test was negative, and so was the extra large tick borne disease panel. Yesterday they did an MRI. The only thing left was something brain related. We almost lost him going under anesthesia to go through the MRI machine. His heart rate dropped dramatically. They stabilized him, he went into the MRI on a ventilator, and he did really well with the test.

Dr. Tracy our neurologist called as he was coming out of anesthesia. We finally had what it was: something kind of rare. Immune mediated meningitis – not environmental. With a lot of dogs the recovery rate can be up to 85%. They treat it with steroids and something cytosar, which is a chemotherapy drug. His brain stem was inflamed, brain swollen.

Deep breath. Here we were again with a dog with a chemotherapy drug. Boo Boo was already on steroids, but they started the infusion yesterday afternoon, and we were ALL hopeful. This time yesterday, I was making plans to bring him home.

At a little before 9:00 AM the phone rang. It was Dr. Tracy. Boo Boo was worse, could we come in. Basically, we were out of options, and we needed to come back for his final time on earth.

We got to VRC and the parking lot was jammed. So many people, so many dogs. They took us back to ICU. We could see his time had come. VRC tried so hard. It was just simply too late when we finally figured it out. In the ICU with Boo Boo was that Bernese Mountain dog that got stuck in the mud on the banks of the Schuylkill River for 13 days until some kayakers saw her. She seems to be holding her own.

We weren’t so lucky. Boo Boo wasn’t so lucky. I am glad for that dog’s humans, but I selfishly wish my boy was in his bed under my desk as I write. Just like he has been for the past decade.

We went to the good bye room and waited for them to disconnect him from his IVs. My friend’s daughter is a nurse at VRC and she bought him to us, which was another blessing in the midst of this raw sadness and grief I am feeling. She is also a magnificent human being like Dr. Tracy, and has that soul of true kindness just like her mama.

We all held him, and in true Boo Boo fashion, he tried to rally because his humans were with him. He wagged his tail some, and gave us all a lot of kisses. That almost broke me then and there, because he had not been able to do that really for a week.

Boo Boo loved the snow.

I told him I loved him and always would. They came back with the drugs. I held him as he passed. He quietly slipped away and I felt his last beat of his little and huge dog heart. Dr. Tracy was with us the entire time. I am forever grateful for his care and for genuinely caring about our dog.

We are not bringing his ashes home. He is in every corner of our home and forever in our hearts. He is being donated to Penn Vet for science. Maybe then someday, other families will have answers more quickly and not go through what we are going through. Veterinary medicine, like human medicine is constantly evolving. I daresay, even a decade ago, we would not have even had this last week with him.

Now all we will have left after the sadness and grief recedes, are memories. Memories of a dog whom I loved fiercely (even when he decided to pee on the edge of a cabinet, or door, or something he wasn’t supposed to), and who loved all of us just as fiercely in return. It will be a long time before I stop thinking I see him running through the back yard into the woods, or running OVER a squirrel to chase the one beyond that particular squirrel. At night I will continue to hear the bark bark bark of his nightly routine and woods patrol for a long time.

Dogs give us that unconditional love. In return, we have to do what’s right when it’s time. And that is the hardest part, setting them free of what is ailing them. We want to keep them close, but then we have to say good bye, because it’s the terribly hard and right thing to do.

Well that is the abbreviated story of 10 years of a glorious dog life. How lucky we were to have him.

Chase those heavenly squirrels now my darling Boo. Run free forever. The bad stuff is over.

Me? I wish I could be brave and have the proverbial stiff upper lip. But I just can’t. My heart aches. These magnificent creatures are in our lives for such short periods of time. There is never enough time. Then they live forever in our hearts and memories.

Run free my darling dog. The bad things are over.

beat the heat with farm boy bbq

I’ve written several times about Chef Paul Marshall‘s Farm Boy Barbecue. We think it’s the best around and have since we first discovered it.

They were formerly in the spot at 29 and 30 in Malvern where the Three Crazy Ladies used to be at the gas station there. That was a good location I think for Paul initially as he was seeing how people would take to his barbecue and it took off and well, that was never supposed to be a permanent home, and he’s been looking for a while and where he’s ended up is he has taken over the old Friendly’s next to Public Storage at 43 Lancaster Avenue in Malvern, which is one block west of 29.

They are in the process of a building makeover, but they are still serving up the barbecue, weather permitting outside usually Thursday and Fridays, sometimes an occasional Saturday. They weren’t out yesterday because the heat was so brutal, but they were there today. The best thing to do, as they are rehabbing their space, is to check their Facebook page to find out if they’re going to be there. They are usually there like 11 AM to 2 PM on those days.

I was delighted to see that Paul and Julie were still out when I was coming by after being at my oncology appointment. I had not ordered ahead, which you can do on Toast Tab, so they were out of chicken and pork ribs but I got brisket (which is like a religious experience), pulled pork, and short ribs for everyone for the weekend. And when I was there I ran into our mutual friend Bob!

The building rehab is coming along and I took a peek at the plans and I think it’s going be really cool! It’s going to be a good size sit down restaurant and they are looking for a fall opening in this new location. But in the interim check for pop-ups at that location a couple of days a week, weather dependent. They also do catering if any of you are interested.

Anyway, #shopsmall #eatlocal

I am a very happy customer of this business I have not been compensated in any way shape or form for writing another post. It’s just the perfect solution for really stinking hot summer weather. Let Paul Marshall do your cooking because no one BBQs like him!

Stay cool and do a rain dance!

Thanks for stopping by!

where the crawdads sing and the theory of acceptance

I have been re-reading the Delia Owens book Where The Crawdads Sing. The book was optioned for a movie and I wanted to reread it before I see the movie, which is now newly released. Not that I am going to rush to see the movie right away, but I will eventually because I love the book.

The cover of the book declares it “a murder mystery, a coming of age-narrative, and a celebration of nature.” That is practically a dumbing down of the novel. It is so much more than the obviousness pitched on the cover to sell copies to the masses. It’s also about isolation and acceptance.

This book took the author a decade to write and has been sitting for 168 weeks on the top of the New York Times Best Seller List. It’s a haunting book, and a twisty-turny one for sure. But there are so many nuances. The main character is Kya.

Kya is a product of a dysfunctional Southern family riddled with issues and abuse. Her father beats everyone and is a crazy alcoholic and World War II veteran whom today probably would have been diagnosed at a minimum with PTSD. Eventually, Kya’s multiple siblings and her mother leave. They leave a then rather little girl with a dangerously abusive man, her father. Kya is also treated horribly by her community at large, a victim of nasty small town gossip, prejudice, and bullying. She is a poor white kid in a small town who lives in a marsh.

This Kya is called all sorts of names. Marsh Girl, missing link, marsh trash, dirty. She goes to school for like a day and runs away from it because the kids are so horrible. She is an outcast, an outsider. A few befriend her including member of the small black community who know all well the reality of prejudice and racism, and that is how she learns to read, take care of herself. Through these people she is introduced to a book publisher as she gets older because of her nature watercolors and accounts of wildlife living in and around her on the marsh. Her life experience, what she knows.

A lot of the book shows you the aching loneliness of a human being who only wants to be seen and loved. Her friends whom she actually trusts are the wild things in the marsh. Kya grow up naïve, world weary, mistrusting. Always the outsider looking in and so alone. People like that live among us every day. The people most don’t take the time to get to know.

The undercurrent of any human being’s need for acceptance is something that flows throughout this book. That got me thinking.

I remember growing up, I often felt like I didn’t fit. And I was by no means an outsider or outcast. I began to contemplate it when I was at Shipley, which then was predominantly WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) and some of the people I went to school just came from these families with insane money and pedigrees going back centuries. I was average middle class and had a vowel on the end of my name and was Catholic. Where many were blonde and blue eyed with adorable figures and killer equestrian and other sporting related genes, I had dark hair and was distinctly average. And it wasn’t that people weren’t nice, most were even if some weren’t. But it was sometimes it was like, where did I fit? Or was I just thinking too much and over-thinking? Probably. It may have been the experience before Shipley that caused that.

I had experienced that whole not fitting most acutely and didn’t know really what it was when we first moved to the Main Line from the Society Hill section of Philadelphia. My parents plunked me in Welsh Valley Junior High School, part of the esteemed Lower Merion School District.

Welsh Valley in my day was a hot bed of some of the meanest mean girls who walked the earth to this day. I wasn’t called “Marsh Girl” but I was called “City Girl” with derision and often. And I was bullied a bit. Even as I made friends, I was bullied and simultaneously watched the girls who were friends with me get a hard time sometimes because of association with me. And for what? I was new, didn’t fit into their then molds of having all mostly known each other since kindergarten. It didn’t just happen to me, and I knew many girls and boys they were just as miserable to. These were girls who literally just did this for the sheer sport of it.

I actually didn’t buckle to those girls, although the one who went to school with me but was a year behind me did make me come close in Sunday school. Yes, Sunday school. We lived in the same neighborhood at one time, and everything was fine until my mother bought me a pair of French jeans and a narrow wale corduroy jumper from a store in Ardmore where young to mid- teen and tween girls shopped. It’s been so long I forget the name. It was down the street on Lancaster Avenue from the Army-Navy.

I had not seen the clothing on anyone. These were styles everyone was wearing, and pretty much every girl I knew or knew of then shopped at this store in Ardmore. So I wore the jumper to church and Sunday school one Sunday. This girl literally came after me during a break in Sunday school. I remember I just kept moving to get away from her. She was yelling at me, trying to hit me. She was taller than me too. Yelling mainly that I was a copycat (‘take it off”) and worse. Yes…she happened to be wearing the same jumper…in a different color. I had never seen her wear it. Our mothers must have bought it at the same time. She had a sister in my class. She was a quieter more calculating version of her younger sister. They left me alone in school, and came after me in Sunday school. I remember my mother thought I was making it up at first until other parents kind of said “Oh THOSE girls.

This was just one example.

No one ever stopped them. The other mean girls were the Monday through Friday variety. They were even worse. They were especially delightful during lunch period and gym. I was grateful that my parents let me go to Shipley. There I found my fit and my footing, but sometimes I just felt odd man out, like I didn’t belong. But Shipley at least gave me the courage to see the junior high bullies for what and who they were. And I remember being very amused by some of the attempts of a few of them to quasi friend me when I was a junior and senior in high school because one of the cute high school jocks they liked to chase was my neighbor and we were friends. Of course, that was a foreign concept to them to be friends with a guy. For the most part, they were what my friend’s grandmother would describe as being fast and having round heels. I didn’t quite get the round heels reference at first. Like I said, I was naiive. But I knew enough to be amused by the false offers of friendship, and to keep my distance. However, I did learn a valuable lesson then: throughout your life there will people who will always need you more than you need them.

This whole not quite fitting at times doesn’t end with middle school or high school. It exists with adults and has become more prevalent in the age of social media. Take for example, this woman who is all over social media and in her business model about how important it is to lift up and support other women. Anyway, she is on this thread mocking another woman, a stranger to her, over a local fundraising calendar that was like the UK movie Calendar Girls. The comments are nasty, sexist, ageist, sizeist. Their target was a woman who is not size four skinny with Botox, breast enhancements, tons of makeup always, hair extensions, or Come-F-Me pumps. She is an actual real woman who is truthfully pretty, smart, and nice…but outspoken.

Outspoken always gets punished. Outspoken never quite fits and I know that first hand. It’s like yawn, why be so predictable…yet they are predictable and practically run off of a script. Similar to sniping at me, another stranger from a strange land to them.

These are the people in today’s world in general who seem to find it their mission to make everyone not them not fit. They are the only ones whose acceptance in this world should matter. Basically pick a year, a decade, a century and you will find people, especially women like this. They exist to wound. Be mean. You don’t fit in whatever notion they have of the big, wide word and society.

A couple of years ago I heard a story of a woman who was then a new breast cancer survivor who had horrible complications. Another survivor, supposedly a “friend”, offers her clothes she was finished with because she lost weight. But she was neither nice nor kind about it. More like “Here I won’t need these fat clothes any more.” Took my breath away hearing that. Just gratuitously mean, and again from a woman who supposedly likes to tell people how wonderful she is and supportive of other women.

As an adult, I have experienced the don’t quite fit at different stages of adulthood. First when I was among those who didn’t get married and procreate right away. It just wasn’t in the cards at first, and guess what? Some of those who were the harshest of that brand of critics are now all divorced at least once. And about the having no kids naturally out of my womb of it all? Couldn’t have them. Knew that early enough on in my life. It bothered me at times, but then it just didn’t because it was simply beyond my control.

Then I experienced the don’t quite fit when I moved to Chester County. At first it was because I was new and some folks had been around forever between their lives, and the lives of family members. Then it was because I was living with someone and not married. Yes, really. How do people have so much time on their hands to do this crap to other people?

Slowly over time, I have been accepted by some, not all. Ironically those who accepted me first are a lot of the people a generation or two above me who are long term residents of Chester County. Just nice, decent people. Also slowly over time you learn to let go of the negative feelings caused by the non-accepting. But you also learn over time it is O.K. to stand up for yourself and tell them what they are doing is not acceptable if you want.

But still, not everyone is accepting. It’s life. I ran into it again recently. Very hurtful, and caught me by surprise because it was unexpected. But it’s mostly because they have never met anyone like me that can’t just be put into a comfort category and left there. I am also outspoken. I stand up for myself. Standing up for myself is something I learned to do. You can thank Welsh Valley Junior High School in Lower Merion Township for that. When you are going to a school that is sometimes like a literal Mean Girls meets Lord of the Flies or bad Darwinian theory, you learn.

What it comes down to is simple: if you aren’t from someone else’s precise world, people may or may not be comfortable with you. It just is what it is. Where The Crawdads Sing definitely delves into this and the question of acceptance within a community and how isolating people changes them and you. That is also what I think plays into the realities of racism at times.

Today, in the USA we live in a world of extremism. Politically, socially, financially, and oh yes climatically. It’s sad and tiring. I wonder what other countries think of us? Maybe I don’t want to know because maybe it is just too embarrassing.

If you haven’t read Where The Crawdads Sing, you should. And before you see the movie because I am told sadly the movie still doesn’t capture all the myriad nuances of the book BUT that doesn’t surprise me. It would have to be a Netflix or Prime series, not just a two hour movie to capture it all.

Where The Crawdads Sing has also reignited a murder mystery surrounding the author. That is another fascinating aspect of the book, and does make you just wonder.

What happens when you don’t quite know how you fit? In the end it just depends how strong you are and if you are willing to be human as well. People always say “be kind” but they should add also don’t be fake. Being genuine goes a long way.

Thanks for stopping by.

from the past: same words still ring true with politics

I wrote this in 2008. Not much has changed except my State Senate and State Rep districts and where I call home:

Politics fascinates me. It’s like watching a bad reality television show in secret: you just can’t help yourself sometimes in the guilty pleasure of it all. Will the bachelor or bachelorette get their dream mate and a ring of super sized bling? Or in this case, will the candidate survive?

Election Day 2008 is already shaping up to be one of those election seasons like no other. Is it merely a case of desperate times mean desperate measures?

What do I know? The full complement of cute buzzwords to nowhere including:

Change.

Solutions.

Experience.

I know the definition of these buzz words, but what do they mean to me in this context? As in me, one ordinary American voter? What change, solutions, and experience will a candidate bring to my life to rock my world?

I have asked that of several dialing for dollars telephone solicitors for U.S. presidential candidates and they have all gotten downright agitated with me. Why was I questioning the word from on high? Why couldn’t I just accept the platform?

What platform?

Buzzwords are not platforms. They are buzzwords. If you want my vote, here’s an antiquated idea: earn it. Tell me how you, the candidate, are going to make a difference in my life. What are your positions on issues important to me? Will you remember my name just like those millionaires funding your flight time on private jets?

But does anyone give me answers? No. I just get more spin and more regurgitated political rhetoric spiced up with au courant jargon. And repeated requests for money. Just because.

Well now, I might purchase perfume “just because,” but I don’t believe in purchasing elected officials like a random pair of shoes.

Here’s an idea: why don’t candidates pay the American people to listen to all of the rhetoric and spin we are all going to be subjected to between now and November?

Getting down to it more locally and regionally, I am also in a politically irreverent state of mind, and perhaps am adding a dash of political inconvenience as well. I am being asked to choose both a state representative and a state senator with my vote, along with a U.S. congressman whom I chose not to put up top with the 2008 Presidential Follies.

With regard to the U.S. congressional race for the 6th District, I am going to come right out and say it: if it is like last time, I am taking two ibuprofen and calling it a day. Period.

Next we move onto our state races. I will be curious to learn who the contenders for state representative are in my district. At this point they all seem rather invisible. But since I am not sliding on glossy candidate advertisements by my door, as of yet, perhaps I am secretly grateful to be blissfully ignorant of all candidates at this point.

With regard to our state senate race for our senate district: we know the players, haven’t even reached primary day yet, and already it’s amusing.

As Pennsylvanians, we are most fortunate in our state races to have buzz words and phrases to delight and assault our senses, as well as the aforementioned presidential buzz and spin. Spin-buzz like:

Life Long Party Member Experienced Focused Independent! More signatures! Oh goody, more excuses to be politically inconvenient and irreverent. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (After all, during election season we are all Bill Mahers on this bus, aren’t we?)

Let’s start with “life long” political party affiliations. I’m not sure that is something to brag about, is it? And to be honest, who hasn’t thought about switching their political party affiliation once in a while, and how many people actually have switched their party affiliations?

And then there are my other favorite political buzzwords: “experienced, focused, independent.” Wow, what three utterly fabulous, completely subjective, spinable words. Well, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so pass the hand mirror so I can have a look-see.

How about something else I have seen two or three times now? The issue of who had more nominating petition signatures? I have to ask: why and how is that crucially important to my decision making process?

What do I want from all candidates? More substance and real solutions to real issues. Don’t just tell me what the issues are; tell me specifically how you will solve the issues without creating new issues. Also resist the urge to tell me I should vote for someone just because they are of my own political party. That is sort of reverse psychology for voters who think.

Above all else, if you want my vote? Earn it.

~ BY ME 2008

And yes, I am still as irreverent about American politics.

I am still as irreverent about political parties.

I know the New World order only thinks I am picking on them, but this has been my opinion for many years.

And what is still one of the most important things today to me and other voters? If these politicians want our votes they need to earn them. And it’s not about pandering to certain political factions or special interest groups or Facebook groups with no basis in reality.

talk of the town

One of the great amusements is why some people are essentially obsessed with me. Not being egotistical, they are.

They can’t fit me in a neat little box they can understand, so I am bad.

I don’t see their perversions of well, life, as a positive, so I am bad.

I don’t drink their brand of Kool Aid, so I am bad. And above all else?

I have no real desire to interact with them, so I am extra bad AND a threat.

Why am I a threat? Because I don’t see their narrow view of the world? Why is that bad? Why does everyone have to think the same? That is so Stepford Wives of them, a reference they don’t understand.

They say I am “hiding” but I take to Twitter? News Flash, I have been on Twitter since the beginning, and choosing not to associate or interact with people is not hiding. None of us are expected to interact with everyone, that is a ridiculous and infantile notion.

You see, a lot of these people are the armchair tigers, the keyboard warriors who spend their lives pouring over the words, actions and deeds of others and spouting verbal diarrhea to boot. Why on earth do I or anyone sane want to hang out an have a conversation with them. And why does anyone have to?

Conversation. That’s a great idea….but not with the perennially self righteous. They are not interested in what you or I or anyone else has to say unless it’s reverberating off of their echo chambers on social media. These people are super upset to find themselves blocked by my blog’s Facebook page. Life is not a Cheerocracy, I can choose NOT to respond and how to express myself.

I can also choose with whom I am connected to on any level. I choose not to be connected to these people. Besides, they aren’t in the least interested in a conversation, they just want to perform a beat down so why would that interest anyone?

Yes if they want to say I am an ogre with purple hair and green skin, I can’t control that. But I can control whom I let into my world. They are not value added. On any level. Don’t want to know them.

My blog is libel say they? Honeys, that thing called the First Amendment is not subjective. Rights are not subjective. They do not have a right to tear me up, down, or sideways. Mind you these are the kinds of people that send comments into this blog that I am a fat slob, a bully pig, Far left gross lib, oink oink brainless monkey, commie, Marxist, Socialist, etc., etc.

I mean oh come on really?

One woman here, just one woman, i.e. me. I don’t get it. I don’t have to be like them and they don’t have to be like me only we all have to be like them? Very confusing.

And these are the people that regularly doxx and more others, but if you point out something THEY said publicly on their social media like Facebook (ya know that little wee globe) or said publicly in a Facebook group, chicken little the sky will fall in? But hey I am just yakking smack, right?

Ok pretzel logic.

You have to understand that most of these people who have a jihad out on me are super public in what they do, like and dislike, so if they didn’t wish to be discussed, why do they do what they do?

To my readers and friends who are so kind with regard to me, I am sorry they then rail against you with full blown word salads. I also know sometimes they just rail against you not having to do with me. Face it, these people just rail. It’s all do as we say, not as we do, right?

It’s kind of like dealing with the people who were looking for secret messages in Beatles albums way back when, and playing songs backwards. They will undoubtedly rip this post apart looking for hidden meaning or interpretation, bless their hearts. WWJD? Not my department, only God don’t like ugly is the refrain of the time in which we live.

How truly bizarre they are.

Enjoy the embedded videos.

not a fine chester county tradition: demolition by neglect

105 S. Whitford Road 7/13/22

Recently I wrote about two historic houses within close proximity to one and other on S. Whitford Road in Exton (West Whiteland Township.) I am revisiting it today because I just don’t understand no matter what the municipality how this is OK.

I am also including the rotting historic farmhouse with a fabulous probably rotting barn behind it at 310 Lancaster Avenue in Frazer (East Whiteland Township) which I have been writing about for years (like the Joseph Price house at 401 Clover Mill Road at the corner of South Whitford in Exton, West Whiteland Township.) 310 Lancaster Avenue is the Clews & Strawbridge property, which if I recall my research correctly is three parcels under the same entity name.

Historic farmhouse at Clews & Strawbridge 310 W. Lancaster Avenue, Frazer (East Whiteland Township)

What is interesting about the Clews and Strawbridge property is I found a website today for self storage units there. I hope the storage is an inside the historic farmhouse given its dilapidated condition.

What I don’t understand with this location like the other two in this post is why people can’t take care of them? Why the demolition by neglect? And these are hardly the only examples in Chester County, either.

Joseph Price House 401 Clover Mill Road,
Exton (West Whiteland)

The Joseph Price House at 401 Clover Mill Road is so sad. That is a magnificent property, and it appears to be on still buy two old men in Ambler. I think at least one of them used to live around maybe? I also know they have had offers for that property for restoration/preservation but in this case it’s demolition by neglect meets greed isn’t it?

Today it looks like some kind of cheap roofing material was being thrown up to cover the holes in the roof and some of the porch roof. So is that because they’re trying to sell it or is there actually still a tenant/caretaker living there? There used to be but the more it deteriorated, people just wondered but Loch Aerie had a caretaker living there as that was rotting up until the end. And Loch Aerie is a prime example that restoration and a viable adaptive reuse is entirely possible. Loch Aerie went from a proverbial lump of coal for decades to a glittering diamond.

And the farmhouse at 105 S. Whitford is also legitimately historic. It’s even recognized by West Whiteland Township as such. It was part of the Oaklands estate. And was it also not once also a family home to a very popular former Chester County State Representative?

When I went by both houses along South Whitford Road today I was astounded by the condition of the property at 105. The farmhouse looks sad but not completely dilapidated yet. But give it time because if no one pays attention it will get that way.

Demolition by neglect is an old unpleasant thing in so many communities. A few years ago you even saw foreclosure versions of that when banks would come in and take over the properties and just leave ghost houses, or whatever the correct nickname was.

I don’t know what the future holds for that farmhouse but shouldn’t it matter somehow? Shouldn’t the condition of the property matter somehow? And that’s the whole thing: you get that not every historic house can be saved or every old house or every beautiful swath of land, but this whole demolition by neglect and chest high weeds thing is ridiculous. Don’t the people that live in the area already matter? Shouldn’t these property owners at least be respectful of the township in which they have these properties?

It’s just that in spite of how difficult Pennsylvania seems to make historic preservation because they just don’t offer nearly what a lot of other states offer, there are people who still want to restore these properties. It would just be nice if there was more restoration and less demolition by neglect.

bless their hearts, fan mail (they shouldn’t have)

I so look forward to my fan mail! It’s so delightful the way todays “conservatives” and “Republicans” react to criticism or something they don’t like, you know like famous 6th District Congressional Candidate Guy #whereisGUY Ciarrocchhiiii? Yes I added some letters to his name, it adds a creative touch (You’re welcome Guy!)

Please note I put “conservatives” or “Republicans” in air quotes because essentially they aren’t either. They are a gene mutation and actually don’t understand what it is to be either. These are the people killing the Party of Lincoln one piece of nastiness at a time. These are the people who think every kind of phobic is o.k. and what happened January 6, 2021 was just a harmless parade.

Well I don’t believe today’s fab fan mail came from any candidate or their campaign, but it was in response to my post miles to go before we sleep.

Imagine this: they called me a pig. So imaginative, and why just the other day I was just a fat slob! And Oh they use my entire name like that is supposed to intimidate me, and they list an email address I don’t have. Gosh, they are so original!

Please note I edited their name. I can actually do that. Here was their eloquent message:

I am a bully pig and liberal moron and I am supposed to sit around all day and eat and get fatter. Bless your heart for caring about my well being!

It is a toss up if this writer was male or female, not that it matters.

It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? They are completely unable to have a conversation so they do this? And mind you, these are the people whole live in moral fear and indignation over drag queens. Imagine what their children are learning at home?

This is the world these people live in: we must see things their way, repeat after them. That’s it, that’s all. Gosh ummmm…. NOPE.

Once again I marvel that people like this spawn.

And I am actually not so liberal. But socially liberal to these people (or just having a brain and using it) is like walking the earth with a green head and purple tongue. And hey they also like projecting and calling random good people racists too. They are just so original they need that paper gold star they envy that first grader for. Oh and yes, lest we forget, these are the people who complain about bullying in school. Can you imagine? (drip, drip heavy sarcasm intended.)

What evs.

Hide in the shadows, take nasty predictable potshots at me, threaten me, harass me and what will happen beside law enforcement eventually coming a calling in your direction? People will stand up to you, and that includes actual conservatives and true Republicans. Not because I am so important, or important at all, but because they are tired of what you haters represent and the fact you are the ones ruining this country.

It’s a shame the Island of Misfit Toys doesn’t have room for all of you.

Kiss kiss haters. God don’t like ugly.