hey usps and louis dejoy, where’s the mail??

This was posted by a friend today:

I hate to sound nostalgic (AKA old!), but I fondly remember when the USPS managed to deliver mail REGULARLY. We — and our neighbors — have had no mail delivered since Tuesday, and that batch included only some of the mail that had been scheduled to land on Monday, when our carrier was also a no-show.

Because you can receive a daily email from USPS that shows images of what is scheduled to arrive in your box each day, it has been rather unsettling to see how many items qualify as missing. Well, the mystery has been solved.

This morning, my husband decided to pay a visit to the actual post office, after efforts to contact a human by phone went nowhere. A worker explained that the postal manager for the West Chester region issued an edict recently to deal with the agency’s short staffing: surreptitiously skipping delivery days. She said the office needs 80 carriers to handle the load: It has 40. As a result, she said we should expect to see a delivery every 2 or 3 days.

I guess the idea of notifying customers about the worker shortage wasn’t part of the plan. Would it really have been too difficult to put a notice in people’s boxes on their lucky delivery day? Perhaps some publicity about this problem would help solve it. Sigh. End of rant, but curious about whether this is happening in other areas.

~ Chester County Resident # 1

Now this is the second such tale in less than a week.

I have you on my mailing list but my mailman hasn’t been seen for five days. I was told that he had health problems but there were no replacements. Also, PO closed in town. So I will try for Christmas card instead.

~ Chester County Resident # 2

My second friend lives in the Borough of West Chester. She works from home and is self employed and well…mail is kind of essential.

So Louis De Joy you plastic arsehole, where’s the mail? Santa might want to deliver the Christmas cards himself I guess?

It’s time for Washington to deal with this. We need our mail. This is happening all over. It’s bullshit.

my morning paper has a side of breasts

So I still subscribe to The Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s our regional paper and I’ve had so many friends who have worked for them and still have a couple who work for them, so I like to support their writing. I still support their writing even though I get the countless solicitation emails from the Inquirer/Lenfest Institute. And the subscription even if it’s just online, isn’t inexpensive these days. I only do online subscription because all of the newspapers have gotten so small in print that it feels like the ad circular for the grocery store.

But the Inquirer has these ads. They are pervasive and I guess click bait. I don’t know why they can’t adjust the coding so it’s not the first thing we see? I am not a prude but I am sick of my morning paper with a side of boobs. An ad before this was something geared towards men with erectile dysfunction. That was August. These ads appear every day in my email announcing my daily newspaper.

And I totally get that newspapers need ad revenue but I also digitally subscribe to the New York Times and Washington Post. Neither one of them give me ads like this.

So I find this kind of offensive, and again I’m not a prude. But this is the kind of ad revenue they generate? I think that’s a little bit in poor taste.

And that is my one complaint about the digital edition of the Inquirer: all of the ads and so many of them are less than if I’m being nice. If I’m not being nice I don’t need ads about erectile dysfunction and tits in my face when I’m reading the paper in the morning. I also think a lot of these ads objectify women and I am not a super women’s libber and never have been.

Every time I see one of these ads I wonder what is it I am paying for? I want to read the articles but I’m paying a fair amount for a digital subscription now and I can’t imagine how much more expensive ad free would be and I don’t know that they can offer ad free because they need advertising sales.

My final bit of wondering, is would they care if someone like me was no longer a subscriber? I can answer that question and the answer is probably not. But I can’t be the only one that wishes this isn’t what smacked you in the face with your morning digital newspaper and throughout whatever it is you read on their website in general. Of course it’s also quite possible that I’m just old-fashioned and this is the sad future of journalism.

Thanks for stopping by.

bad taste and far away from their founding values: the union league club of philadelphia has lincoln rolling over in his grave.

The Union League Club in Philadelphia is this majestic building down Broad Street from City Hall. They like to boast about being occasionally ranked as #1 in city clubs in the country, but I wonder if they will get there again with their distasteful choice of Florida’s own human trafficking politician, Governor Ron De Santis for their “Gold Award.”

The Union League self-describes on their own website as follows:

Founded in 1862 as a patriotic society to support the Union and the policies of President Abraham Lincoln, The Union League of Philadelphia laid the philosophical foundation of other Union Leagues across a nation torn by civil war. The League has hosted U.S. presidents, heads of state, industrialists, entertainers and dignitaries from around the globe and has proudly supported the American military in each conflict since the Civil War. The Union League continues to be driven by its founding motto, Amor Patriae Ducit or Love of Country Leads.

~ The Union League on The Union League

From The Philly History Blog in 2006:

A striking building ….Union League of Philadelphia building stands at 140 South Broad Street in the heart of Center City. It was completed in 1865 and features a French Renaissance design.

The story of the League began in December 1862 when two weeks after the crushing Federal defeat at Fredericksburg, Virginia, Dr. J. Forsythe Meigs held an organizational meeting for a “Union Club” at his Walnut Street home. Members dedicated themselves to upholding the Constitution and to supporting President Abraham Lincoln’s often unpopular policies. Lincoln’s vigorous measures to stifle disloyalty alienated many northerners already fatigued by a protracted war. Union Leagues (a.k.a. Loyal Leagues), including the Philadelphia chapter, lent their unwavering patriotism to a weary chief executive and to a grueling war effort. By the time of the Philadelphia Union Club’s founding, the pro-war enthusiasm of 1861 had dissipated. The peace wing of the Democratic Party enjoyed considerable strength in the city. Unconditional Unionists were disturbed….The Union Club sought to reinvigorate Unionist fervor. Originally limited to fifty members of Philadelphia’s aristocracy, the organization rechristened itself the Union League and expanded its membership to several thousand by the end of the Civil War. The League functioned as a society for the burgeoning business class being ushered in by rapid industrialization. Members supported many efforts on the home front, including the United States Sanitary Commission’s commitment to improving health conditions in military camps and hospitals. At the USSC Fair in 1864, the Philadelphia League raised money for wounded and disabled soldiers. Its Committee on Employment located jobs for thousands of veterans and widows.

~ PHILLY HISTORY BLOG “In League With Lincoln”

When I was growing up, The Union League was this treat to visit for whatever the occasion. Amazing art and so beautiful inside, one of the things I remember most from growing up is one of my closest friend’s fathers used to take us to the second floor facing Broad Street every New Year’s Day for years so we could watch the Mummers’ parade from the windows of the Union League.

Other memories? Weddings, birthday parties, Orpheus Club Concerts, receptions. Tales of clubs within the clubs with men in kilts to men in diapers.

Back to Abraham Lincoln as their raison d’être at The Union League. Ron De Santis ships immigrants across state lines for shits and giggles. Ron De Santis has been described by MSNBC as a “politician unmoored from fundamental democratic principles….what makes DeSantis such a uniquely worrying character is that there is seemingly no political sewer into which he won’t wade…” He is the complete antithesis of anything decent, and has issues with the First Amendment when it comes to critics. We are also a nation of immigrants, it makes you wonder about De Santis, doesn’t it? And then there is his basic everything phobic and he should just get an award for being a general asshole and overuse of the word woke, right?

City & State: Some Philly Union League members oppose club honoring DeSantis with major award
Florida’s governor has come under fire for using government funds to relocate migrants from Texas to Massachusetts.

Some Union League members oppose club honoring DeSantis
Alec Larson TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER Sep 30, 2022

If I was feeling kind, I would say The Union League has lost it’s way. I am not feeling kind. The Union League has lost it’s damn mind.

Craig Mills is the Club President. What are his thoughts? Is he okay with this?

I am disgusted. My disgust does not matter to the Union League. I am also sad. My sadness at a Philadelphia tradition to so many generations doesn’t matter to the Union League. But this should matter to the membership. How about a vote of no confidence in their entire club leadership at a minimum? How about lots of membership resignations? After all The Union League with all of their properties has a pretty big overhead nut to crack, correct?

But think about it. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Clout Columnist Chris Brennan, Abraham Lincoln was the first recipient of the gold medal in 1863.

Clout obtained a flurry of letters from club members to Union League president Craig Mills, calling for the event to be canceled. Some members vowed to resign unless the club changes course.

One letter came from William Hangley, a local law firm founder who called DeSantis “a man who has made political and territorial disunion his stock in trade” and “has shown only contempt” for oppressed people, in direct contrast to the Union League’s original mission.

“Exactly what quality or tradition of our League is he thought to emblematize?” wrote Hangley to Mills, also an attorney….Clout had questions. The Union League did not have answers.

“The Union League is a private club,” Mills told Clout. “And this is a private event.”

~Brennan/Clout/Inquirer

Yes, The Union League of Philadelphia is a private club. But this is now what they will be known for. They are to be known for going forward as how far the Republican Party has fallen and how there quite literally is no longer “The Party of Lincoln.”

Somewhere, Abraham Lincoln continues to roll in his grave. And on October 13th, I hope protestors greet people entering the event. But I predict membership will not do much more than blunder and bluster. Clubs are like the embodiment of a huge FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.) Social status for so many will always outweigh doing the right thing. It’s sad but for some, it will just be too hard.

Cheers to The Union League of Philadelphia for killing the ideals and values of President Abraham Lincoln in one fell swoop.

investigative reporter’s article in philadelphia inquirer leaves more questions than answers with regard arbor learning academy in malvern, including with dhs

Social Media Photo Circa 2016

On August 10th I launched a post on Arbor Learning Academy in Malvern. It is called “down the rabbit hole: what happened to arbor learning academy in malvern, pa?” I let it simmer because I knew as I was writing investigative reporters from the Philadelphia Inquirer were digging into this story which is a bit of a mystery locally. I did not want to be perceived as scooping investigative reporters who are really and truly good at what they do.

Today The Philadelphia Inquirer landed a whopper of an article which I will get to shortly.

The only response I got from my initial post was:

One of the big things to me when I wrote my August 10th post was who was the mysterious owner “Jean” identified today as “Jean Sun”? Where does she live? Is she the only other owner? Are there others involved who stayed in the shadows?

And how does she fit into the corporate name lookups on PA database?

Most people thought that the owner was the face of Arbor since inception was someone named Lauren Lilley and she is whom we saw all over social media. I will note sometimes posts said “owner” or implied as such and sometimes “co-owner” and even “business partner”, then finally “creative owner” whatever in the Sam Hell that means. Is this woman just a pawn in all of this? How do all of the pieces of this puzzle fit in reality?

But if this was the owner or an owner and the boots on the ground in charge person there, why was she putting up ads on social media this past May for cleaning? Daycare centers/Pre-schools etc are full time gigs or should be, right?

And then of course there were her tik tok videos now deleted but some were screen grabbed. I was sent one. Not posting it. Ick. But suffice it to say videos seemed to have disappeared and now account is private?

And then there were all the DHS things I looked up. Not sure what is in what order, but here they are again:

So thank goodness for the parents who thought all was not right, and former employees as per the article, but I have to ask WHY DHS has let them go so long with so many issues for a place that hasn’t existed for that many years?

The article says a DHS lady involved in their investigation is Shante’ Brown, director for the Bureau of Certification with DHS’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning. Based on what I found on a state website her office is located in Philadelphia:

Southeast Region
OCDEL
801 Market Street
Suite 5132
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3126
Telephone: (215) 560-2541
Toll Free: (800) 346-2929
Fax: (215) 560-5139

Now this lady use to work for the City of Philadelphia too. In theory, she las loads of experience, but after reading the Inquirer article I have to ask why she let this go on so long with so many issues and didn’t hut it down, if it was her decision? After all we are talking about the safety and welfare of kids, right?

It makes you question the checks and balances of a system when you realize this is just yet another place out here with issues. Allow me to provide links to other past daycare/pre-school problems out here in Chester County:

CBS Philadelphia: Third Chesterbrook Academy Day Care Teacher Charged With Abusing Toddlers JANUARY 31, 2020 / 12:34 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (location: Malvern, PA)

CBS Philadelphia: East Whiteland Police: 2 Chesterbrook Academy Day Care Teachers Caught On Camera Abusing Multiple Toddlers OCTOBER 31, 2019 / 6:00 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (same location as above: Malvern PA)

CBS Philadelphia: Chester County Child Care Worker Charged With Abusing 3 Toddlers OCTOBER 26, 2021 / 5:19 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (Location: Westtown/West Chester PA)

CBS Philadelphia: Former Chester County Day Care, Preschool Director Arrested For Failing To Report Child Abuse, Prosecutors Say DECEMBER 7, 2021 / 7:00 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (same location as immediately above: Westtown/ West Chester PA)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Two staffers at Malvern preschool accused of abusing children by Vinny Vella Updated Nov 1, 2019 (Location: Malvern PA – refer to links above)

So, it makes a person wonder doesn’t it? I realize government bureaucracy is government bureaucracy, BUT one thing that is super concerning are parents really expected to pay for day care and be the watch dogs when there are paid DHS watch dogs? Systems aren’t perfect, but after you read the Inquirer article, ask yourselves like I did why DHS leave them open so long?

If anyone has concerns about child safety, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. Concerns or complaints about licensed child care providers can be submitted online

~ philadelphia inquirer 8/15/22

I have to wonder aloud if Arbor Learning Academy were allowed to re-open would we want it in our community any longer? And perhaps a dumb question but if owners are multiple or some financial only, do they ALL have to have state clearances to operate a facility like this? Do they? Did they?

So like Alice down the rabbit hole, we all seem to be waiting for the next shoe to drop. Here is the Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Pennsylvania News Philadelphia Inquirer
Troubled Malvern day-care center closes, revealing problems that plague the system
The Chester County day care is closed as the state Department of Human Services investigates complaints by parents, who have also filed reports to the local police over alleged drug use by staff.

by Marina Affo and Ryan W. Briggs (maffo@inquirer.com , rbriggs@inquirer.com)
Updated 5 hours ago

Tuesday afternoon, Maurice Rouse walked around his daughter’s day-care classroom at Arbor Learning Academy and took down drawings and art projects that decorated the walls…..He and his wife, Erica, were among a small gathering of parents getting refund checks. The day before, the school had contacted parents a few hours after morning drop-off, telling them to pick up their kids early.

The Chester County day care center now remains closed indefinitely as the state Department of Human Services investigates complaints by parents, who also filed reports to local police alleging drug use by staff…An official with DHS would not address any specific allegations about the five-year-old facility…“We can’t talk about the current investigation,” said Shante’ Brown, director for the Bureau of Certification with DHS’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning….When needed, she said, the department will close an early learning facility immediately.

Meanwhile, the East Whiteland Township Police Department is investigating allegations of drug use, Detective Sgt. Patricia Doyle confirmed. She said the inquiry was ongoing, and “at this point there’s no substantiated claims.”

Abrupt and unexplained closures have plagued the center in the last year, more than half a dozen parents say, frustrating those who need child care in order to work.

One former staffer, Nicole Siuta, said she has been reporting the facility for alleged drug activity, child abuse, and endangerment since January 2021, when she resigned after 15 months.

She said she called ChildLine, the state reporting hotline for child safety, over a year ago to discuss similar allegations.

“I named specific names. I did everything and nothing came through,” she said. ….Over the last two years, according to DHS inspection records, Arbor was cited for 45 separate violations…

During a December 2020 inspection, DHS cited Arbor over one staffer who failed to obtain a National Sex Offender Registry clearance, and another who failed to obtain a required FBI clearance. Both staffers had worked at Arbor for about three months by the time the state inspector noticed the missing paperwork.

Last fall, state regulators switched Arbor to a provisional license. During a follow-up inspection about a month later, Arbor was hit with 18 more violations — once again, for having employees working with missing clearances….While Arbor’s temporary license appears to have expired in March of this year, according to DHS records, Arbor was allowed to continue operating.…An archived version of Arbor’s website from December 2021 has a welcome page that states “Arbor Learning Academy is a privately owned and operated child care center. The owner and Director, Lauren Lilley, has a degree in Early Childhood Education.”

Lilley did not respond to requests for comment.

Parents were told last week that the facility is actually owned by a woman named Jean Sun.

on international women’s day remember tatiana poladko and her family and the women of ukraine

Video courtesy of Atnreakn Alleyne Facebook Page- Refugee area outside Ukraine

Here I was today, wondering what I would write about on International Women’s Day. Some of the women around here I find lacking, seriously lacking. They say they are all about freedom, yet they are Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism. They are LGBTQIA+ phobic in general, racist, suspicious and hyper-critical of anyone who does not fit into their narrow world view. They chase phantom CRT (still not being taught in our public schools), still going on about masks as masking lifts, and are developing book burning/banning lists.

These “Wifies” are all led around by the nose via social media and fake news being directed at them and they THINK they are helping their communities/schools, only they are pawns in a nationwide political game attached to 1/6/21 and Trumpublican politics. And they don’t even get they are being used. They call themselves conservatives, yet actual conservatives abhor and avoid them so what dies that say?

And then I started thinking and wondering if these not so slick chicks could survive in the Ukraine now. Short answer: NO. Real totalitarianism live and up front in the form of Putin’s Russian terroristic troops? Oh hell to the no. They wouldn’t be able to touch up their gel nail wraps or whatever. Besides they are blamers, not doers.

Then an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer Stopped. Me. Cold.

Walking to Poland: A Philly-area family escapes a Ukraine under fire
The couple never imagined that when they decided to spend a couple years in her homeland, they would be undertaking a dangerous, frozen trek to Poland.

by Jeff Gammage
Published Mar 8, 2022

Each day the war grew closer and more ferocious, said Tatiana Poladko, a local woman living in Ukraine. And on Friday she set out with her husband, their three small children, and her elderly father to seek safety in Poland.

A stranger with a car offered to drive them most of the way. Then they started to walk.

The kids, Zoryana, 7, Nazariy, 3, and Taras, 2, kept their winter hats pulled low against the cold. Her father, 81, struggled to keep up, and at one point fell down.

They crossed the border on foot….“So many people, babies, children, elderly, everyone,” Poladko said. “Ukrainian people with just a suitcase or two who never thought they’d be in such a predicament.”

Nor did she.

Poladko and her husband — Wilmington residents who run a Delaware-based college-access program — never imagined that when they decided to spend a couple of years in her homeland, they would be undertaking a dangerous, frozen trek to the Polish border as Russia shelled Ukraine.

They only wanted their kids to experience their Ukrainian heritage, to see the country and learn the language.

Now, as war rages, Poladko, a Ukrainian national, can’t return to the United States because of federal immigration laws. And her husband and children, all U.S. citizens, won’t leave without her.

They plan to apply for emergency visas that could permit Poladko and her father to enter the United States, but it’s uncertain if those will be approved….In Przemysl, Poladko and her family were able to board a train that was taking refugees to Warsaw.

They found a hotel. Now they’re trying to figure out where to go and what to do.

~philadelphia inquirer 3/8/22

This article. It moved me. I was in tears by the end of it. A young family from Wilmington, DE. Trapped in a war zone. Tatiana Poladko had been here legally for years studying and making a difference. I point out the legally part, lest the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism start building her a wall. Obviously she had put down roots, fallen in love, started a family. She and her husband Atnreakn Alleyne started a wonderful non-profit called TeenSHARP which helps Black and Latino kids get to college and succeed and thrive. They have two sites (New Jersey and Delaware) serving many areas and communities in those states, as well as Philadelphia.

So how do we get this young family home, safe and sound? Tweet, email, phone, Facebook your elected official of choice. The areas you should contact people would include the greater Philadelphia region, New Jersey and Delaware. Also contact the White House. Get more reporters to pick up their story.

Do I know these people? No, but they are the kind of people you want to know. And Tatiana’s poor father is the age of many of our parents, and his home area is being devastated by war as Putin and his Russian stormtroopers imitate Hitler and ever evil dictator who has preceded Putin inside and outside of Russia. He already lost his wife, let him live out his days with his daughter, son-in-law, and beloved grandchildren here.

Video from fighting in Ukraine, circulating Facebook

What is happening to Ukraine made me think of a growing up friend whose mother is Ukrainian. I remember my mother telling me the stories of my friend’s grandmother carrying her mother as a baby out of Ukraine to escape Russians, Germans, and who knows who else. The grandmother fled with a baby in her arms taking whatever work she could get until she could safely get her daughter to the United States. From there, they became citizens, and had a lovely life.

This Ukrainian grandmother, my friend’s Baba, still spoke very little English even when we were teenagers. I thought she was warm and lovely. Her bedroom suite was on the first floor of their house behind their kitchen. I seem to remember her cooking Ukrainian dishes, and we use to see Baba at our church (Catholic.) I remember the beautiful Ukrainian Easter eggs in the house.

I can’t help but wonder what my friend’s grandmother would think of what is happening to her birthland today? I know what friends of my mother’s who ran from the Nazis and hid from the Russians feel because they lived this in World War II. I know what my friend who is Romanian by birth feels, and three women I hold dear who emigrated to the U.S. from Poland and remember as Europeans what Ukrainians have been through.

So today on International Women’s Day 2022, let’s celebrate Tatiana Poladko and the women of the Ukraine.

And please, contact your elected official of choice and the White House if the spirit moves you to ask that Tatiana Poladko and her husband Atnreakn Alleyne, her elderly dad, and their 3 small children receive safe passage back to Wilmington, DE. Let not another family be separated. As Americans, we should do better.

#StandWithUkraine

#InternationalWomensDay

#TatianaAndAtnreakn

#PuckFutin

estate sale find: history treasure trove of articles and a fabulous book

That is a photo of a history book about Lower Merion Township from 1988. It was this great book that was privately printed that only had 1000 copies ever printed on the original publication, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this book out there for sale other than on eBay. I bought it for $10 at an estate sale.

Inside the book was a treasure trove of articles mostly about things in Lower Merion Township but one about Radnor Township as well. The articles were from The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Main Line Times when it was still advertised as an independent newspaper.

I have only just started to read the book but I am sharing screenshots with all of you fellow history buffs that I hope you will find of interest. One thing I loved in particular is a screenshot about things in Gladwyne. it was obviously an old map and it was lent to the folks who put this book out by the father of a childhood friend.

There is so much about the history of the Main Line and Chester County the disappears year-by-year. This is why I love when I can get my hands on one of these really good local history books. I don’t know who owned this particular copy of this book but it’s a wonderful book, and the articles are fabulous.

Enjoy!

a column too far

I will start by saying that quite honestly, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is not my cup of tea most of the time. But I will be god damned and dead before I as a woman would judge a woman who was a victim of sexual assault and who also had a recent traumatic event trigger a past traumatic event. (See Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she is a sexual assault survivor in The Guardian and other media sources like the New York Times.) It is quite possible. And to essentially read a column written by a regional female writing voice essentially mansplain as a woman in her column just doesn’t sit right.

Of course the local papers collective mansplainers on the editorial board have some ‘splaining to do too, don’t they? I mean what is this saying? Being a bitch about someone else’s sexual assault makes great click bait???

(CLICK FOR ARTICLE: Christine Flowers: Some sex-abuse claims don’t deserve to be heard Feb 4, 2021 Updated Feb 4, 2021 and also featured in Delco Times and Pottstown Mercury.)

I feel strongly enough about this that I screenshot the article above. The Daily Local and most of the papers under the control of whatever hedge fund has eviscerated them has a hair trigger paywall. I also looked online at the digital capture of the physical paper and for the life of me can’t find this article in print so did they publish it online and run another column in print?

I (generally speaking), don’t read most of what this columnist writes. Yes it’s all her First Amendment Right to express herself and all that, but I question local papers giving her a platform when the platform is so truly offensive at times. This is hardly the first time she has written something awful, but it’s definitely one of the most offensive pieces. Why doesn’t she just have her own website platform for things like this? Or there is always Twitter. She loves Twitter….and if you aren’t like her, you are against her, and that can be exhausting in a columnist can’t it just?

People, women especially, are outraged by this recent piece and I think rightfully so. It’s just nasty. Here are a smattering of comments:

Sadly (and again I must point out) I can’t say she doesn’t have the right to her opinion, even if I find it well, horrible. However, the flip side is I have my opinion right here and right now that she is truly despicable for doing this and I will go further to say maybe she wants to be more relevant and is just sounding desperate? See some of her Tweetabulous tweeting recently:

“White suburban mommies read it in print, and clutched many a pearl.” Gosh Christine, maybe you don’t know from pearls? Everyone who owns pearls knows you don’t clutch them because that is how you break them, even if they are individually knotted in between each pearl. Very different from pop beads….

“These are the empathetic ovary brigadiers.” Now, I am not going to say it’s acceptable behavior to send this woman (or any woman) emails saying they wish violence upon her. That accomplishes nothing, suborns violence, and just makes people part of the problem, not solution. But the bitterness of calling women “empathetic ovary brigadiers” also doesn’t escape me. I could never have my own children, as medically it was never possible. But I was never bitter about it or was fixated because I just figured God had another plan and he did. Now don’t get me wrong, I sat through many a comment from women over the years like “You don’t have children, so you couldn’t possibly understand” and I will admit sometimes I had the mental image of smacking the smugness off of someone’s face when they said something like that. Or when I was in Corporate America years ago and I always got last chance to pick on holiday time off because I was single and had no children. I called it the “single tax” (and worse) but whatever, there were bigger things in life to worry about. However, in this scenario not sure what women who have had kids has to do with them not liking an article that kind of mocks victims of sexual assault, so I will stick with bitter and non-related.

“#MirrorMirror” What does that even mean? How did she think women would react or perhaps that was the point? A file under all attention good, bad, or indifferent is good?

What she wrote was her opinion, but in MY opinion she was wrong. It is hideous to presume as a writer that you know exactly when and how a woman who has been a victim of a sexual assault will react or exactly when another traumatic event will trigger a memory of another traumatic event. And coming from a woman just makes this worse. Christine Flowers doesn’t get a fab virtual look here as being strong or witty, she gets a virtual look (in my opinion) of bitter and nasty postmenopausal mean girl.

At almost 57 I can honestly say that I know more women who were sexually assaulted in some form (as in not always rape) than those who have not been. And it isn’t a case of birds of a feather. Yes, I was a victim once upon a time. It didn’t define me, I worked hard to move past it. But did I ever forget it? Oh hell no. It happened in the dark ages when you didn’t tell after because somehow it was always a woman’s fault, like you stood with a sign on a street corner that said “Assault Me, Please.Somehow I thought we had moved past that whole blame the victim and victim shaming, but apparently not.

I can’t as a woman say that another woman doesn’t still have PTSD over her assault. I can’t say that she does definitively have PTSD, either. But as a female writer, I don’t think I would build a column shaming a woman who was a victim of sexual assault and I wouldn’t be able to so assertively say this woman was using it to make herself a center of attention in the midst of a national tragedy (assault on the Capitol.)

I can’t minimize or mock what Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has revealed or said on this topic, because I believe being in the middle or adjacent to the riots and siege of the US Capitol, or in the same city and even country could indeed trigger victims. Just like the sound of the cannon a local school years ago to start off certain football games used to trigger a Vietnam vet who lived close by. Just like a simple email about celebrating someone retiring triggered women I knew because the person that others wanted to celebrate should be anything but celebrated and with good reason. When I read Flowers’ Op Ed it made me remember again, decades later, why I never told.

We can’t say it isn’t possible for certain traumatic events to trigger past traumatic events, and we shouldn’t mock it. Christine Flowers was not right to do so. But she has to live in her own headspace with it, and judging from what I have seen, again in my opinion, she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what any of us think and she is reveling in her negative spotlight. So bless her heart, she deserves people’s prayers for basically seeming just super hateful and uncaring.

But I do actually think it was a column too far. I do think the Daily Local was wrong publishing it.

Here is a rebuttal written by a woman in West Chester. I will share a large excerpt. Her name is Grace Nelson. Her words spoke to me:

Image result for thumbtack

Opening my local paper each morning, I am rarely without a sense of gratitude for the critical work news media does in upholding the basis of our democracy. Without exchange of ideals and ideas in this public square, our basis of governance would be rendered inert.

I consider the vulnerability and dedication of journalists and writers in these arenas to be acts of public service. It is in this context and with the above description of the heinous nature of sexual trauma in mind that I find myself so deeply disturbed by the disservice done by Christina. Flowers and the Daily Local News upon survivors of sexual assault and their allies…….Beyond this poorly disguised opportunity for political posturing conducted through a fallacy-laden line of argumentation, Ms. Flowers and those who allowed her words to be printed for mass consumption also finds themselves to be innately incorrect in their understanding of sexual abuse, the very subject matter at hand….survivors of sexual abuse know well that your identity as a survivor as well as the humanity you cling in your most difficult moments don’t only exist with convenience. You are always a survivor, regardless of who is watching and how that weight of trauma manifests itself in your moment to moment existence.

Whether Ms. Flowers finds it expedient that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s identity as a survivor manifested more strongly in the wake of the January 6th insurrection, the Congresswoman cannot and never will be able to peel away or compartmentalize her trauma….Neither was I able to shirk my reality as a survivor when I encountered this dangerous and hurtful column reading my morning paper over coffee.

I write to the Editor today not only in disgust of the words….but with an immense feeling of shame. I feel the familiar and occasional crush of shame of I carry in my life as survivor. I feel ashamed of the state of our national discourse surrounding sexual abuse knowing the pain words like Ms. Flower’s will carelessly inflict on a massive constituency of survivors.

I can’t imagine what The Daily Local, Delco Times, and Pottstown Mercury were thinking, and those people can live with their conscience on this. But if they thought they were being edgy and that would gain them additional readership, well I think all they have done is lose more readers, and possibly advertisers. And that in and of itself is a complete and utter disservice to local reporters who, in spite of the state of that paper, do their best to report the news.

When you read pure unadulterated bullshit like this, it just makes all of us no matter what our political or religious or racial persuasions to be better people. Last March she and the Philadelphia Inquirer went their different ways. (See Philadelphia Magazine article.) I didn’t actually know that until this all erupted, but her is her tweet from last year:

What Christine Flowers wrote is offensive but she also draws attention to the fact that sexual assault victims seem to be victim shamed still in 2021. It’s so last century….literally. And again, you just don’t expect the victim shaming of a woman to come from a woman.

Will she keep her job or just eventually go down with the sinking ship that is The Daily Local? Don’t know, and at the end of the day it is low on the scale of things that are important in life. Truthfully I suspect life will go on and Christine Flowers will continue to revel in negative attention.

The First Amendment comes in all shapes and sizes most sadly…..but newspapers don’t print all opinions and I am not sure why they printed this.

DRAGONPIPE: News alert: In separate drilling incidents, Sunoco pollutes Marsh Creek Lake and hits an aquifer at Shoen Road

Quote

DRAGONPIPE DIARY ENVIRONMENTAL-DAMAGE

News alert: In separate drilling incidents, Sunoco pollutes Marsh Creek Lake and hits an aquifer at Shoen Road

via News alert: In separate drilling incidents, Sunoco pollutes Marsh Creek Lake and hits an aquifer at Shoen Road

Also see:

Philadelphia Inquirer: Mariner East pipeline leaked drilling fluid into Marsh Creek Lake, say environmental groups
by Frank Kummer, Posted: August 11, 2020- 12:38 PM

when things like human trafficking pop up, is it time for rental properties to be properly inspected in east whiteland and elsewhere?

What if this rundown house was your only choice for a home?

I am not deliberately trying to pick on East Whiteland Township no matter what some may think. But unlike many other municipalities (and I have been checking), East Whiteland does not have a person or people to regularly and routinely inspect rental properties in this township. They do not even have enough fire personnel to do all the life safety checks on rentals do they? (Asking the question because I heard there were people paid to do that I thought once upon a time out of the fire department or something?)

West Goshen (for example) has a rental property ordinance online. They have someone dedicated to rental inspections. That is in addition to the guys in the zoning department who inspect when the township gets complaints on rental properties.

The Borough of West Chester also has an ordinance and I am told as well as two dedicated rental property inspectors although residents say there are so many rentals they need more.

East Whiteland has a Rental Occupancy Report from 1992. I also found a form to fill out if you have a rental property. It mentions life safety, which is great and necessary. But I do not see anything about specific ordinances pertaining to rental properties and inspections of rental properties. And it is long past time to have that. East Whiteland is growing as a township and has grown exponentially in recent years. Does this township even know out of ALL of the new construction that is complete how many are rental units? And with ALL of the development still in the works and in various stages of construction, let’s get real, they are not all going to be owner occupied, aren’t some of these places going to be rentals? And what about the hotels? Are some of those like long term rentals at times? Sometimes when people can’t find housing they live in hotels/motels don’t they? Motor home parks? Trailer parks? No matter where the rental, shouldn’t people be safe?

Why am I thinking about this again? Human trafficking. If there were regular rental inspections and code enforcements along Route 30/Lancaster Avenue/Lincoln Highway where the human trafficking locations were, would we have even had human trafficking? Maybe, maybe not. I am told that human trafficking happens everywhere. And there is plenty that has happened in Pennsylvania. According to Fox23 in Central PA, Pennsylvania is ranked 11th in the nation for human trafficking. The Philadelphia Sun wrote about human trafficking this past March. The Philadelphia Sun said:

Deception, coercion, recruitment, and abduction are just some of the tools of trade for traffickers.

Trafficking in America is a billion-dollar business in all 50 states, where women, children, and men are being exploited; their lives of no value other than the profits they earn.

Where sex trafficking can occur:

Moving around in your daily life, in the city, suburbs, rural areas

Transportation systems: Septa, Uber, and Lyft

Brothels (houses), motels, and major hotel chains

Escort services

Bars, strip clubs, high-end baller parties

Online via social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Philadelphia Sun March 13, 2020

In November 2019 a woman named Tammy McDonnell who survived being trafficked spoke at Cabrini in Radnor. Read about it here: Survivor tells how to spot ‘red flags’ of human trafficking.

The stretch of Lancaster Ave/Route 30/Lincoln Highway where these rentals exist is a no man’s land. No one sees the people who live there, not because they aren’t visible but because people don’t want to see them. Mostly immigrant, with little choice in housing. And by culture, used to living in close quarters. So one would think rental inspections along that strip and elsewhere would make sense, right? So everyone was safe?

According to Patch, “The apartments used were at street addresses 483, 577 and 609 Lancaster Ave. in East Whiteland Township…”

Someone sent me screenshots off ChescoViews and Google Earth I guess it was (I am not very good at using Chesco Views):

This stretch of Lancaster is the one that looks so desolate and run down when you drive by except for the too many cars on the D’Ambrosio property (one of the sites of human trafficking right?):

People always ask how East Whiteland can be focused on this grand future of over-development without “seeing” these properties or their residents. During COVID19 especially when we were all at home, you couldn’t help but see as soon as the weather warmed up how many people live in these rental properties alone. I have also had people tell me in confidence that there are some awfully crammed rental properties in some of the townhouse developments.

So….maybe it is time for East Whiteland to look at this differently? They need an updated local ordinance on rental properties right? And I think they need a full time inspector of rental properties and possibly more staff, like maybe a part time one.

East Whiteland needs this NOW, yesterday and into the future. They have to find the money to have proper inspectors because I doubt there enough in the Fire Marshall category, and how much work are they supposed to do anyway? Aren’t they already stretched thin?

I will remind people of Christmas night 2016. That is when one of the rental properties in this stretch of road next to the Wawa at Planebrook went up in flames. A family lost everything that lived in one of these ramshackle rental units. And I think they never came back to East Whiteland. After all, it’s not like there really is any affordable housing right?

So you know how the fire by the Wawa was December 2016? How about that building which is uninhabitable has just sat there and rotted since then? Seriously here are some photos taken over the past few years (a real slum lord special, right?):

I was a renter for years. Face it, a lot of us were, and some still are. Would you want to live in any of these properties? What if you had no other choice? And were these landlords in the human trafficking locations 100% oblivious as to what was going on?

Potential For More Trafficking Victims Out There: Chesco DA
The Chester County DA’s Office calls for watchful eyes on kids in communities.
By Marlene Lang, Patch Staff
Verified Patch Staff Badge
Jul 9, 2020 4:20 pm ET
Updated Jul 9, 2020 4:46 pm ET

NBC10 Philadelphia: ‘I Don’t Want to Be Here.’ Girl’s Message Uncovers Chester Co. Sex Trafficking Ring
Three men face charges for running a human sex trafficking organization in the Malvern, Pennsylvania, area

Inquirer: Sex-trafficking ring uncovered after 14-year-old victim tells mom: ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’
by Ellie Silverman, Posted: July 8, 2020

CRIME My Chesco
Human Sex Trafficking Ring Dismantled in Chester County
July 8, 2020 – by MyChesCo – Leave a Comment

Pennsylvania Real-Time News Penn Live (AP)
Sex trafficking arrests made after 14-year-old’s plea to mom: ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’
Updated Jul 09, 2020; Posted Jul 09, 2020

Daily Local Authorities bust human sex trafficking ring in Chester County; girl, 14, rescued
By Jen Samuel jsamuel@dailylocal.com @jenpoetess on Twitter Jul 10, 2020

KIRO 7: TRENDING
‘I don’t want to be here anymore’: Teen’s frantic Facebook message to mom busts sex-trafficking ring

WFMZ: Chester County officials bust sex trafficking ring
6
9 News Jul 8, 2020 Updated Jul 8, 2020

6ABC: Teen’s Facebook message to mom led to sex trafficking rescue in Chester County, district attorney says

CBS Baltimore: Prosecutor: Missing Maryland 14-Year-Old’s Plea Leads To Sex Trafficking Arrests

CBS Philly: Authorities: Teen’s Facebook Message To Mom Thwarts Malvern Human Trafficking Ring, 8 Men Arrested

I also want everyone to know as per my sources, the East Whiteland Police Department truly went above and beyond the call of duty with this. It wasn’t just this girl messaging family that went into this. For a smaller department by comparison to large cities and boroughs, they put lots of man and woman power into this.


East Whiteland Police Department did exhaustive investigation and follow-up and coordinating with all different kinds of other agencies and states and it really does show their dedication to our community. These men and women should be publicly recognized for their efforts. In a time when police departments are being criticized, these men and women deserve to be commended. Ok yes, this is the job they sign up for, but this is huge. Or in my humble opinion it is. And kudos to our Chester County District Attorney as well.

I have many questions regarding human trafficking an how it happened. I will be curious to learn if the families of these girls who were rescued had ever reported them missing? If they did not, why not? Immigration fears or something darker? I ask because if my kid was missing I would leave no stone un-turned.


However I think we need to work as an extended community to prevent these things from happening and I think that means they need to have a system in place in East Whiteland Township and elsewhere in which rental properties are routinely and regularly inspected. Everybody’s been talking about this strip of rental properties in particular for years it’s nothing new. And East Whiteland like many other municipalities in Chester County are experiencing crazy amounts of development and growth. Why not have developers who want to be in our communities chip into programs like this? Isn’t it kind of part of infrastructure and municipal services? I mean it’s all great that mythical theory of build it and they will come but who keeps track once the developers have gotten their money out of sites and moved on?


I am calling on people in East Whiteland and Chester County to contact East Whiteland Township and ANY OTHER TOWNSHIP that does not have proper rental property ordinances and inspectors to catch up with the times. A lot of municipalities like East Whiteland are experiencing growth that is off the charts. Renters deserve safe places to live. Low income residents deserve truly affordable housing and safe housing.

Be safe out there. Thanks for stopping by.


this is not my philadelphia

Because of the oversaturation of COVID-19, and the crazy politics out of Washington D.C. I have not been watching the news. Last night, I watched streaming services TV and went to sleep.

I knew about that poor man George Floyd being murdered in Minneapolis. Sorry that’s how I see it if it offends you. Racism is killing this country again.

I knew about the peaceful protests going on in major metropolitan cities. I have little problem with peaceful protest, I have participated in them over the course of my life. But last night, peaceful protests went away, and opportunistic rioting and looting began. That’s not right.

We live in a very angry country. I think a lot of this can be laid at the feet of the politicians in the current regime in the White House. And last night this also came too close to home. Philadelphia was on fire. When I turned on my phone this morning it exploded with text messages like this one:

This is not my Philadelphia.

When you hear things like that your head feels like a ping-pong ball. So I started looking to see what I found:

Mandatory Curfew Implemented For Philadelphia, Gov. Wolf Signs Emergency Declaration As George Floyd Protests Turn Violent: CBS3 Staff
May 30, 2020 at 11:31 pm

The Inquirer: ⬤ LIVE
Philly awakes after a night of protest and looting; prosecutors today will begin deciding who will be charged;

MAY 30, 2020 George Floyd protests in Philly erupt in fires, looting; City officials blame outsiders
Mayor Kenney, Commissioner Outlaw say Saturday afternoon’s violence was instigated by people who had nothing to do with the morning’s demonstationsMichael Tanenbaum Headshot BY MICHAEL TANENBAUM
PhillyVoice Staff

What the ever-loving F?

This is not my Philadelphia.

I am horrified and almost feel like crying. We are a country of anger and vitriol and racism and discrimination. But this wanton mass destruction? Where innocent people are hurt? What does that accomplish?

Right now I am watching NBC’s Meet the Press. They have mayors from certain cities, officials from Minneapolis and so on talking about all of this and what is going on across the country.

There was a common thread of these people basically saying the president has to stop dividing and lead. I don’t think he can do that because he has a limited grasp on the reality most of us experience every day. I also don’t think he cares. And as the Mayor of Atlanta pointed out he has an unfortunate history of misspeaking and making matters worse. We can’t afford that as a nation. All of these mayors are also commenting on the fact that a lot of these agitators the turned peaceful protests violent came in from out of the area.

I was a little kid in Philadelphia from when I was born in the mid-60s through when we moved in the mid-70s. There were not protests like happened last night then. There was a lot of looting and rioting and other parts of the country but Philadelphia was somehow in a bubble.

Racism in America is a real issue. But looting and rioting and burning cities to the ground like happened in so many cities across this country yesterday and overnight? That is hate and anger which begets more hate and anger.

The images I am posting I have taken mostly off of Twitter. I’ve taken screenshots because they’re not my photos so you can see who took them. But we have to stop living like this.

I am also afraid that because of all these riots across the country that just as we’re getting ready to reopen after coronavirus as a nation I think we are going to see spikes in the virus because of the rioting.

Election Day is June 2nd. As Americans one of the most powerful things we can do is exercise our right to vote. And I hope what has happened this weekend drives a lot of you to the polls to vote out the bad and vote in better. And come November continue that in the General Election.

We are not a country of anarchy and anger, or we shouldn’t be. We, as Americans, are better than that. Or we should be.

Today we should all mourn for what we are devolving into as a nation. It’s getting to the point where do we really feel safe in our communities no matter where we live? It breaks my heart and terrifies me.