along 202…

Along Route 202 towards Delaware there are so many things….billboards, abandoned old buildings, strip malls, a few farms, more billboards and abandoned old houses.

Can anyone tell me about the house above?  I think technically it may still be in West Chester.

And speaking of West Chester, the tradition that just makes you smile:

 

And here again is the billboard that is the pride of Westtown – just like the giant T.V. you would never want:

 

it still looks like a giant distracting T.V. floating above route 202

On 202 in Westtown there is a giant T.V. screen, oh I am sorry, billboard. Or is it digital advertising?  Or is it “ground-mounted electronic-display system”?   Incredibly ugly, incredibly distracting I think. I have written about this billboard a couple of times now.

I still don’t understand why it was that Westtown officials sold out over this billboard, but on our way to Dilworthtown’s Blue Pear for dinner last night as a passenger in a car on 202 I was once again struck how distracting this signage was.

It floats over 202 like a GIANT disembodied television screen.  And like a T.V. it seems to change channels.  And last night there was a giant ad called “a kidney for Aretha.”

Really?

So I googled and found an Inquirer article about this.  I mean no disrespect to this Aretha, but I did my time at billboard hearings in more than one municipality and while I want to believe this is being done for the greater good, the jaded community activist in me wonders if he is trying to repair a tarnished community image in multiple municipalities?  How many of us were picked on in a questionable manner by his legal team at meetings?  Did Bartkowski seem to care about the resident after resident from all walks of life at multiple meetings in multiple municipalities who begged for their communities?

I really,really hope this lady gets her kidney, however, I really wish officials would start keeping tabs on that billboard, especially at night.  It’s awful. And distracting.  And why is that good for any community?  I wish I could believe the King of All Billboards was merely being a good son, and altruistic, don’t you? But I was at those meetings, and so were a lot of people I know, and the dueling images just don’t quite fit.

The billboard up and back in the dark was so bright. Thank goodness it wasn’t hovering over the Blue Pear like a neon full moon.  That would have totally ruined a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Aretha Swift advertises for a kidney

June 07, 2012|Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News

HOW MANY billboard owners does it take to snag a kidney?

Ten — if one of them is an obedient son. Luckily for Aretha Swift, Thaddeus Bartkowski is a very obedient son.

A few months ago, Bartkowski’s mom was listening to KYW radio while driving and heard a story about Swift. Swift’s kidneys had failed, but no one among her family and friends was a suitable match to donate a kidney to her. So she was placed on a waiting list to receive one from a cadaver or living donor. The average wait is five years.

The KYW story was about a fundraiser that Aretha held to buy space on a billboard to advertise her need…..”My mom called and said, ‘You should contact this woman,’” says Bartkowski, 32, co-founder of Catalyst Outdoor Advertising, in Devon. “She never calls while she’s driving unless she thinks something is really important. I thought I should listen to her.”

And that’s why, as of Friday, Swift’s cause now graces 24 digital billboards in places like King of Prussia, Reading, the Jersey shore and even — ta dah — Times Square.

They show a lovely photo of Swift alongside the words, “You have two, I only need one to live.” Viewers are then directed to a website, http://www.AKidneyForAretha.com, to learn more…..”Thaddeus didn’t know me from Adam and he’s done all this,” says Swift, 52, who is separated, lives in Roslyn and has three children. “And he’s only 32! He’s so impressive!”

 

 

 

in the news in chester county

Last night at dinner time came the gruesome and sad news of an apparent suicide by car burning in Chester County (specifically Charlestown Township/Malvern):

NBC10: Body Found Inside Burned Out Car: Emergency crews responding to a car fire report in Chester County discovered a body inside the burned out vehicle.

I find that horribly sad and tragic.  It happened at Haverford College in 2009 – not a student, but someone who came in from the outside and ended their life in a remote parking lot.

There are so many people who are so deeply troubled.

In other news, let’s talk radioactive trash:

Radioactive material came from West Chester trash

Published: Thursday, February 02, 2012

NORRISTOWN — The Department of Environmental Protection is asking anyone who knows the history of an antique medical kit found in a West Chester trash bin to contact the agency’s Bureau of Radiation Protection…..The material was found Jan. 19, when a load of construction debris set off radiation alarms at Waste Management Inc.’s Norristown transfer station. The company deployed a health physicist to recover the radioactive material, identified as approximately one curie of radium-226. Exposure to one curie of radium-226 is equivalent to having more than 100 CT scans at once, and it has the potential to create skin burns within a few hours of contact.
DEP health physicists worked with Waste Management to properly evaluate and store the radium, and traced its source to a roll-off container that had come from the Hershey’s Mill retirement community in West Chester. 

Nice.  A retirement community.

Punxscutawney Phil, meanwhile, is predicting six more weeks of winter.

Now, previously, I had posted about  local food banks, and in today’s Malvern Patch there is a story about the People’s Pantry, formerly known as the Deacon’s Pantry in Frazer.  They are raising funds for a new building and have been approved as a 501(c)(3), making deductions tax-deductible.  They serve close to 2500 people- at least 500 households.  They have a website. In other food bank news, West Chester Patch announced that Chester County Food Bank has been named 2012 Business of the Year by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.  Read about it here.

We live in horrible economic times at present, and many are struggling.  If you can contribute to a local food bank, that is to paraphrase Martha Stewart, a good thing.

West Chester Patch has announced lane closures (for a change, right?) on Route 202:

Nighttime  lane closures are scheduled on northbound and southbound Route 202  between the Westtown Road and Route 100 interchanges in West Goshen  Township, Chester County on Monday through Friday (Feb. 6-10) from 8  p.m. to 5 a.m. …PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to 511pa.com

The condition of 202 and how long this has taken is a personal pet peeve of mine.  That road is dangerous and deplorable. And the projects are like bad Brooklyn Bridge jokes. Construction never stops, never really completes, and work doesn’t seem to last very long.  They also do a crappy job of clearing debris from accidents, etc. from the roadway.

My last thing for this particular post is an outbreak of Whooping Cough in West Chester:

Whooping Cough Outbreak Declared for West Chester School

NBC10: Cases of pertussis at a West Chester school have officials shutting off classes to those who have not been vaccinated against the disease

By  Teresa Masterson
|  Thursday, Feb 2, 2012  |  Updated 8:32 AM EST

There is an outbreak of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, at the Hillsdale Elementary School in West Chester, officials say.

Only days after a case of whooping cough was confirmed at another Chester County school– Great Valley High School – the superintendent of West Chester Area School District announced Tuesday that its elementary school has an “outbreak” of the highly contagious disease….

Scanlon said that any student or employee who does not have all of the necessary vaccines will not be allowed into school.

According to the Chester County Health Department, pertussis is spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It begins with cold symptoms and a cough that becomes much worse over one to two weeks.

Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs (coughing fits) followed by a whooping noise.  However, older children, adults and very young infants may not develop the whoop.  There is generally no fever, officials say.

People with pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching their breath….The disease can be very severe…For any parent who wants to have a child vaccinated, the Chester County Health Department offers free vaccinations for children under the age of 18 on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The vaccine is also available free of charge for adults