did the grinch visit lionville beverage?

A friend just sent me a photo they took outside Lionville Beverage. I haven’t seen anything on social media. I didn’t see anything on CrimeWatch, etc.

So if anyone has any information, please post. This is the kind of thing that really sucks for small businesses. And isis it just me or does this sound like what happened to Locust Lane Brewery not so long ago?

Locust Lane Brewery robbery (story reported 11/16/23)

Given the sign on the door, it sounds like the Grinch made off with the entire cash register. Hopefully they have security cameras that can tell them something?

crazy reigns supreme: what is in lower merion’s water this week?

I really can’t even with this bullshit. And it is bullshit and it’s a hate crime… and once again, it’s happening in Lower Merion Township.

This hit social media today and late last night and somebody has been going around sticking stickers on stuff in grocery stores, and then this case the person who posted this photo who also did alert the store, and I thinkq the police said it was the Narberth ACME in Narberth, PA. Of course, this is the same vicinity where that female doctor set that grandmother’s porch on fire.

I don’t know how this is a township where all you see are #HateHasNOHome signs , yet you see this as well.

I’m going to allow the words of a resident to speak for themselves, because I think they are quite profound and on point:

It’s unpopular to say what you think or have an opinion. It will always make you unpopular with someone… and while I am sickened by the slaughter of Palestinian children. I think we are beyond an eye for an eye and I long for another solution or response to Hamas’ unthinkable attacks.

I am equally appalled by the antisemetism and blatant hatred shown for Jews and Israelis and the obvious ignorance of so many protestors. This example here is in our neighborhood. This is our grocery store. If you see someone acting out like this please call them out. They need an education — and some humanity. There is no place for this in our community. We can’t tolerate it.

This ugly ugly war in the Middle East has so much hate going around communities in our area and across the country that it just gives you pause. The holidays are upon us, and that would be Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, and however you celebrate.

I would say, why can’t we all get along but I know we all can’t get along. I haven’t seen this hatred displayed in Chester County yet. Maybe it’s because we are more of a melting pot out here, I don’t know. All I know is I’m glad that where I live this isn’t happening yet, but I am ashamed of where I used to call home has these incidents.

Please stop madness like this. And if you know anything about this, please call the police.

Hate begets more hate. Break the cycle.

west whiteland planning commission and weston

Well last evening’s West Whiteland Planning Commission regarding the Weston Tract was a revelation for sure. And sometimes being at one of these meetings you feel like a squirrel up in the tree watching. In this case, watching so as a resident you can get your comments in. Which is not as easy as you think if you are an affected resident of a neighboring township.

First were the planning commission members who were essentially saying that they should just be able to decide things not the supervisors, and the supervisors were essentially idiots for not approving the zoning changes for HIGH density housing on the Weston property just up W. King Road which would detrimentally many. That was astounding to me and out of line. The Planning Commission also acts as an advisory body, not end-game decision maker.

What surprised me even more is that they were not checked on this running commentary by the supervisor who was present, Raj Kumbhardare because although merely a conversation, they should have been at least corrected as to their role that they signed up for. But in fairness to Raj Kumbhardare, it could have been a pick your battles thing, but to me the comments also smacked of arrogance and ego and that’s not why you supposedly sign up for these committees.

Then there was Weston’s lawyer who was saying essentially high density is what the market wants blah blah blah and that of course just makes you wonder because he is representing Weston the seller not the developer buyer?

I wasn’t rude but this is what I said:

My statement and sentiments are simple. I know nothing is being decided tonight and this is a discussion, but I am also not naïve as to how things work.

The Weston Tract being developed is inevitable. I wish it was otherwise, but I am being realistic.

This development won’t just affect West Whiteland residents, it will affect East Whiteland residents, and given the connectivity of roads off of West King, will also affect East Goshen residents and perhaps even West Goshen residents.

Municipalities do not exist as independent island nations. We are interconnected.

This development will need a traffic signal at West King and Weston Way no matter what.

Also just so you get an idea of just a regular few days of traffic, I asked East Whiteland if they could do an informal study next time they had the you’re- speed up on West King near my road. The time frame was between October 25th and October 30th and for that time frame specifically and most simplistically they counted 31,000 cars in total over 6 days which is about 5000 cars per day, fairly evenly split at 2500 in east direction.

That is not insignificant traffic and it can be and has been heavier. We know, we live here.

Please say NO to high density housing. This is not the location for it.

And you also all probably know that in West Whiteland there is a developer who was doing something like perc testing maybe behind houses on Old Phoenixville Pike and correct me if I am wrong but isn’t it the guy who is the reason thee is the mess on Ship at 30 adjacent to the new couplet which is also a mess? All that one does is high density, correct? And you don’t want data centers or hydrogen hubs.

If this gets developed, it would be great if it was a school because that would mean a use that wouldn’t harm the area as much. But if it is residential how about single family, 1 acre and ½ acre lots? As in both. They do sell although developers prefer cram plans because they care about only their bottom lines, not the communities they disrupt.

You are a municipality who is getting the short end of the development stick and like everywhere else it’s all too dense and looks the same. Apartments and townhouses contribute to a more transient society as they are more likely to either be all rentals or have a lot of rentals.

You have the chance to guide a developer to do something better. And if this area gets zoned Residential with 1 acre and ½ acre single family, that would be beneficial to across King where Johnson Matthey has that chuck of land for sale, and possibly it could better protect your residents on Old Phoenixville Pike because in my humble opinion if that went high density, you would be potentially looking at another Meadowbrook Manor situation.

Thank you.

The planning commission member who could indeed inspire the public to be rude because he is so unctuous is Mark Gordon. Mark Gordon WAS also the paid zoning / codes guy in East Goshen and well I think he was asleep there half of the time there but he sure likes to be king of his anthill on the West Whiteland Planning Commission. Ironically he lives close to Weston, so one would think he would care more about how this affects people. I remember him from when East Goshen was trying to take part of the Hicks Farm via eminent domain for private gain for the trail to nowhere. And another planning guy who gives me pause? Raymond McKeeman who for years worked for West Goshen as a facilities manager/zoning officer. He also lives close to Weston so what’s his horse in the race that he’s pretty non-supportive of the residents near Weston?

I mean, I guess you could say one connection for both of these planning commission members is the law firm representing Weston also used to do the solicitor work for West Goshen and East Goshen and I think they’re back at West Goshen, so is it all just too cozy on this bus? Should these two planning commission members actually recuse themselves when this law firm has things before the planning commission? I’m neither inferring or stating any impropriety, but it’s often the appearance of things which are worse than the actuality isn’t that correct? And yes as an American under the Constitution I am allowed to ask these questions aren’t I? I’m allowed to question government and have opinions, correct?

Now I know this is the planning commission set in place by the dearly departed township manager, who is now in Montgomery County, correct? So are a lot of the current members of the West Whiteland planning commission shall we say strategic to whatever was going on before?

When it comes to politics and local government , I don’t necessarily believe in coincidence.

And something else I want to address that was brought up by Mark Gordon the planning commission guy in West Whiteland. He interjected the West Whiteland tax increase into the conversation about development. First of all the reason West Whiteland has a tax increase is because of things like all the development over the past multiple decades, as well as 30 years of prior administrations playing kick the can down the road with regard to taxes, correct? And he said something along the lines that the tax increase is 300%. It’s not, it’s actually more like 180% because no increases occurred in about 30 years. What that comes out to on average is about $150-$200 a year so it’s about $10-$12 a month. And for the record, nobody likes a tax increase, but sometimes you can’t avoid it, especially when prior administrations weren’t looking after residents the way they should have been, right? If you look at neighboring municipalities, all this increase does is bring this up to the level of neighboring municipalities.

Does Mr. Gordon of the Planning Commission in West Whiteland think development and the cost of development are free long term to municipalities and residents? If so, what’s he doing on the planning commission? Part of the reason they need to do a tax increase has to do with infrastructure, and a lot of that infrastructure is the human variety as in first responders, etc. so is Mr. Gordon saying they don’t need police and fire in West Whiteland?

Also, curious as to how Mr. Gordon thinks more than one ingress and egress out of this development onto W. King Rd. is going to work? Especially because he lives near there? The one good thing about the Weston property being developed is Weston Way the road in and out of Weston is wide. It needs a traffic light for sure, but they don’t need to open up the back of the property onto other little streets or add more ins and outs on W. King Rd.

I think the West Whiteland Planning Commission needs to remember that they are an advisory committee which means they are acting in an advisory capacity. They should be there to work in the best interest of the township and residents as a whole, not developers, right? They aren’t the decision makers and dealmakers. And last night as they were lamenting the fact that the board of supervisors didn’t agree with what they had suggested was very eye-opening to me. They don’t make the rules, but they want to make the rules? And given relationships on that board to other factors in this plan, I really think we should all be grateful that the supervisors actually are the ones who are the decision-makers.

There were many West Whiteland residents who spoke up last night. Among them are the residents over on Old Phoenixville Pike who are also trying to figure out exactly what a developer is doing back behind their neighborhood since he keeps doing perc tests or something. Some poor older gentleman spoke about getting his property torn up every time they send an excavator through, and I think that’s horrible. No plans have been filed and that’s what the John Weller from West Whiteland Township said last night, but obviously something is going on if a developer is doing testing.

John Weller also made a comment about Phoenixville Pike being narrow where those former helicopter warehouses are. The other side of West King, where those people in that small neighborhood on Old Phoenixville Pike also have a very narrow street, perhaps not even as wide as Phoenixville Pike across King. Another thing to note is neighbors are also concerned there about development happening because the land that’s being tested apparently also has 5 acres that are actually in East Goshen.

These people on Old Phoenixville Pike are worried and justifiably so. Car lights right in their windows where that never existed and traffic turning at the tangent point of their road close to driveways, more stormwater issues, etc. Right now they have a developer being inconsiderate dragging equipment in and out and tearing up their yards like the pipeline people have in other neighborhoods, so you know that doesn’t bode well for whatever is to come if that developer proceeds right?

This West Whiteland residents and residents from other communities were abundantly clear about development NOT being high density. And it is also clear that no one from any township that lives back near Weston wants apartments townhouses, or carriage homes. What fits the area and is suitable for the area if it goes residential are single-family homes literally on half acre and 1 acre lots.

If a school came in and they didn’t have to change the zoning for Weston, that would be great but you still have to worry about who would buy the Johnson Matthey land across from Weston (and one would hope they would do significant environmental testing on that parcel), or what might get shoehorned in behind those homes on Old Phoenixville Pike.

The residents from multiple municipalities should be proud of the way they turned out last night, and I hope they keep the momentum going. Because the more people go to meetings on issues like this the better the conversation. That way my hope is whatever happens on that tract of land doesn’t actually hurt the community that Weston is in.

I am sure this issue will pick up again in the new year. And hopefully at that point, the planning commission won’t be shaking their heads “no” when residents were speaking which is disappointing, dismissive, and piss poor decorum. And I hope the planning commission in West Whiteland learn that their personal taste (or lack thereof) is not necessarily what matters here. I was on zoom, and people were messaging me this who were in the audience. Residents had a right to speak, and they did speak. And for the most part, they were a lot nicer to that planning commission than certain members of planning commission deserved. With the exception of the lady named Mary Fran, or Mary Frances. She was fair and thoughtful in her comments.

Stay vigilant. After all these are our communities, not the developers. We live here. We have a right to be heard and we have the right to want to preserve where we call home.

Good job once again, residents. Planning Commission in West Whiteland? We’ve got your number on this project.

Old coverage:

historic preservation + christmas

This is the old Hershey’s Mill. Literally on the corner of Hershey’s Mill Road in East Goshen Township. She’s been restored, a new family is living there, and she’s decked out for Christmas.

Seriously how beautiful does this look? How quintessentially Chester County?

Historic preservation and Christmas are perfect together.

clover market holiday market going on now at the westtown school!!!

Clover 🍀 Market is open for their extra special totally fabulous holiday market this weekend December 2 & 3 from 10 AM – 4 PM on the campus of The Westtown School. They have the entire athletic center. There are over 100 curated vendors. It’s so much fun!

It’s free entrance and free parking and the setting is just spectacular if you have never been to the Westtown School!

We went to the preview this morning, and the place was filling up as we were leaving. And it was totally worth it going to the preview and we will totally do that again!

I hope you go and find yourself something spectacular to give us a gift for Christmas or a little something for yourself!

I will note that I did not get anything for writing this post. I am an avid Clover Market fan and was an early Clover Market supporter.

spring oak used to be a glorious farm

In 2014 I started writing about a farm on White Horse Road that was being killed for development. We went past it again recently and I thought it was time for people to revisit that.

It used to be a farm. Now it has full grown McMansions. I liked the farm.

Yet another reason why the Municipalities Planning Code needs to be updated.

days of our lives….in west goshen

West Goshen Township has become it’s own soap opera. They are rejecting Right to Know requests left and right. I know for a fact three of their rejections are being challenged because they weren’t anything that any resident shouldn’t be able to see, but hey secretive is normal for them, right?

So the widow of Dave Woodward the employee who committed suicide is suing West Goshen Township, and now there is an amended complaint. I honestly don’t know how it will turn out but I would say West Goshen’s proverbial slip is showing over this, don’t you think? And again I find less fault with the current manager versus the former manager whose claim to fame is being related to dead actress Joan Crawford and who now suck off the public teat via Arro Consulting maybe? Can we also say that culpability lies with Supervisors past and present?

Here are the sunshine reject letters which are being appealed:

Next we have the Woodward widow’s amended complaint against West Goshen Township:

That’s it. That’s all I have. It would be nice if traditional media did a little investigative reporting here. West Goshen residents do indeed deserve better than the current soap opera. They also deserve answers, not more pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

christmas magic this weekend at life’s patina willowbrook farm in malvern!

Life’s Patina holiday preview was AMAZING! This time their charity partner is St. Mary’s Franciscan Shelter for Homeless Families in Phoenixville.

The event was packed and people were enjoying themselves and this amazing holiday experience that Meg Veno and her team put on every year this time.

This is an amazing and magical event that is different every year. And every year there is a charity partner because Christmas and holiday season is about giving back as well as doing special holiday things.

The Sale is this Friday Saturday and Sunday at Life’s Patina Willowbrook Farm 1750 N. Valley Rd in Malvern.

Hours are: Friday, December 1st, 10:00 am – 5:00 pmSaturday, December 2nd, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday, December 3rd, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Entrance is free and so is the parking.

dear jimmy fallon, here’s some anonymously hysterical

The person who left the first comment on this post above ⬆️ is my hero. I laughed so hard I spit out my coffee this morning.

When Facebook first allowed groups to have anonymous posts, it was a great idea. That way if somebody is looking for something super personal like where to go if they are being abused in their home etc they had knowledge of community resources they might not know existed.

But anonymous postings have turned into things that I think should be sent to Jimmy Fallon for the Tonight Show because they just make you laugh. Like looking for a plumber. Why is it so hard to publicly ask if you’re looking for a plumber? Or a string quartet? Or an exterminator?

Anonymous posting on Facebook has become the witness protection program for the theater of the absurd.

I am sorry not sorry that I think most anonymous posting has become the theater of the absurd. And if you say you think it’s absurd the samey same police come out.

So yes, apparently I am a mean horrible person that these things posted anonymously crack me up. And then, of course, there are other people that say I have some nerve when I’m posting anonymously. Actually, no I’m not posting anonymously, you just don’t know who I am because I can choose whom I want to actually know. I am Carla and it’s not exactly a secret.

Then there was this whole thing because I actually asked the question if someone was looking for places to volunteer for the holidays why was it an anonymous post? I mean first and foremost you don’t even know exactly where they live, so how can you direct them to a volunteer opportunity near them? Is this person embarrassed to say they want to volunteer and give back during the holidays? I think anonymous posts in these Facebook groups should be for sensitive subjects not general crowdsourcing and if this person and I said it sounded like a woman writing the post. Because to me, it sounds like a woman. It’s all about the phraseology.

Now the best comment on my post asking about this particular anonymous post came today from a veritable Valkyrie who called me a misogynist. How does she figure that precisely? Because I said someone posting an anonymous post sounded like a woman? That’s an opinion that’s not misogyny or practicing misogyny. But for this chick as a woman, calling me a woman a misogynist that’s just her opinion. But for me, expressing my opinion, it makes me a misogynist.

Think about it for a moment: do you think anonymous posting was created for mundane things? I think it was created for sensitive topics. And how someone thinks a plumber recommendation or wreath making class are sensitive topics escapes me. And people make up these absurd reasons as to why somebody is anonymously posting like if they post anonymously, it will cut down on their chances of being hacked and impersonated on Facebook. Or that they are uncomfortable posting on Facebook to which you always have the reaction of then why are they on social media?

One of my other favorite anonymous posts was somebody asking what product works best to spray your hydrangea bush with so the deer don’t eat them. I’m sorry is this person’s hydrangea bush in the witness protection plan for gardens? And the other one is looking for a string quartet to play Bridgerton music. They had me at Bridgerton and Lady Whistledown too….

So Jimmy Fallon, if you’re ever reading my blog I have material for you 🤣 (and I can hear the music you will be playing in the background 🤣)

Carry on.

are you there god? it’s not margaret, it’s the rest of us.

I recently watched the movie version of the Judy Blume book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. When the book came out, I was about the age of the main character, Margaret. I had just moved from the city to Gladwyne. I remember quite vividly it was like moving to a foreign country.

I remember everybody in seventh grade talking about the book. My mother wouldn’t let me read it, so of course I snuck / bought a copy. what I remember about the book most of the time is it kind of spoke to me because of the age. And also my being a new kid in a new community.

Moving to the Main Line wasn’t the easiest. Like Margaret, I had lived in the city so suburbia was truly alien to me at first. It was not that it was bad, it was beautiful but so different. You could open windows at night for one, and there were horses across the street, and down the road.

Making friends at almost 12 wasn’t as easy when you were a new kid trying to fit in with girls who were your grade but a year older and who have known each other since kindergarten.

Something that initially made it a little easier was that we lived close to a friend of my father’s from high school and he had a daughter my age. Because of her I did start to make friends but just like Judy Blume’s Margaret, I still struggled with my place in my new world. (And oh the parallels of my moving to Chester County in my late 40s and becoming a stepparent!)

Parts of the movie that were in the book so resonated once again included secret clubs of girls. I remember slumber parties where they tried to call up the spirit of Jim Croce on a ouija board.

And the whole bra thing. My sister who is 3 years younger than I is the one who decided we needed bras. I still remember my mother’s face when my then almost 9 year old sister announced we needed bras. Of course, neither of us actually did but much like the book/movie everyone around us had them.

And deodorant/antiperspirant. My friends used name brands back then like Secret. My mother came home with Tussy roll on. I hated that.

Sneaking to shave my legs the first time….and slicing the crap out of them. That was followed by a lecture from my father with how his mother never shave her legs. Of course that made me think of all those old Italian ladies his mother and my great aunts knew who tucked mint leaves under their arms in the summer and my 12 year old self wanted to die on the spot.

Ear piercing. I lost that battle. I actually got my ears pierced in the health center my freshman year of college. When I was 17.

When school started in 7th grade, I went from a room of not quite a dozen kids, to a huge public school junior high with a completely overwhelming amount of students. I went from a small school in the city to a huge school that was like a city in itself.

Settling in, the mean girls were the worst. Some I still see as pretty much the way they were then even if they are now 60. No, they aren’t still wearing their Candies with tight French jeans and crimping their hair, or at least I hope not. And I still remember exactly how miserable they were to me and others back then. Sometimes I have thought I should thank them because they helped make me able to stand up for myself.

I have seen some of the former mean girls over the years as they have passed. One thing that has always stuck with me is I thought they were ridiculous then, and to an extent, now. Some are actually almost mummified caricatures of their former 12 and 13 year old selves. File under karma baby, karma.

However do you know where the worst mean girls existed? St. John Vianney Sunday School in Gladwyne. There was a girl who was a year behind me that live the next street over who used to harass the crap out of me in Sunday school. And what was it over? Clothes my mother bought me that were similar to hers. Things like a jumper. A corduroy jumper.

One of my friends and I have spoken about these “Margaret years”. And while we all moved past those years, but some of the memories linger and pop up unexpectedly. And watching the movie did bring some of the memories back. Same era, age, situation…which is why I liked the book my mother didn’t want me to read back then.

Life for me changed for the better when I was able to get out of the Lower Merion School District Schools. When I went to Shipley, another world and path opened. And I was finally in a place where I felt I better belonged. Part of it was fairly simple in that I never thrived in large schools and that was OK.

I’m glad that book existed for us back then. It spoke to so many of us. Parents didn’t want us reading it because it was controversial to them and contemporary to us. That book was hard for our mothers who were literally born in a different world than the one they were raising us in.

So isn’t ironic today when we hear about people today trying to keep books contemporary to kids today from them? Only these people today scream and scream and scream. I’m glad our parents didn’t act like that. It was simpler: they said no, we snuck the Judy Blume books into our houses, and everyone survived. I don’t recall them being dissected and screamed about in PTA or school board meetings.

Maybe more should watch the movie adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. It still offers perspective. The years pass, the situations change, yet there is always commonality.

You see, much like with politics, with life in general past is prologue isn’t it? And that goes hand in hand with we can’t bury our history by pretending things didn’t happen because our history will repeat itself.

Thanks for stopping by.