life’s little observations

s-l1600

Something occurred to me the other day.  And I am not a psychologist or expert in the field of how negativity affects people, especially where they live, so these are merely my opinions and observations.

Stress and it’s impacts on us is widely studied.  This article from 2018 was insightful-  Stress and our mental health – what is the impact & how can we tackle it?. So was this article- Psychological Stress, Physical Stress, and Emotional Stress, and this one – All the Ways Living in a City Messes With Your Mental Health.

We live in an area that was bucolic and peaceful. Agricultural and equine heritage and traditions.  It is now being overrun by development.  Every time you turn around, another community is threatened. That is stressful if you are directly affected/impacted, and it can raise your blood pressure just driving by a place where you used to see cows, or horses swishing their tails while they grazed to seeing how  it is now just a big pit of scraped earth or budding Tyvec-wrapped communities where everyone is or will be jammed in like lemmings.

And then there are all of the pipeline sites. They are ugly and raw and NOISY.  People’s property values are declining, their wells being poisoned by whatever the heck it all is they drill with (there are enough articles in local papers etc about this, right?) And we can’t forget the sinkholes. When I was first coming out to Chester County before I moved here, I used to love when I turned on 352 off of West Chester Pike if I came that way.  All of a sudden it was just green with rolling stretches of lawn and trees. Now it is a raped landscape that actually stresses me out just driving by it, so I can’t even imagine how directly affected residents feel.

Or other area stressers like contested sites within municipalities where state agencies like PennDOT are concerned.  Take the site of Route 352 (A/K/A N. Chester R or Sproul Rd) and King Road in Malvern.  This directly affects residents in East Whiteland and East Goshen.

And here we are at year end and no one knows what is happening for sure at that intersection, and that includes the directly affected residents.  Will they face any eminent domain? Will they face a complete loss of certain properties through eminent domain? It’s a big mystery. And I watch email after email by affected residents go by to municipal officials and PennDOT.  PennDOT never replies. It is like they are ignoring the residents utterly and completely, which adds to the feelings of stress, dismay and uncertainty.

Is it just me or have any of you noticed how people aren’t putting up their usual Christmas displays in some of these areas targeted by pipelines, development,  construction, and PennDOT? This is what I have noticed, and it bums me out to see houses usually bright and cheery at the holidays look dark and sad. But in all fairness, if you were facing any of these things, how cheerful and full of Christmas spirit would you feel?

Life can be hard, that is the reality of life.  But for a lot of these people, it shouldn’t be so hard. These folks moved here and bought their homes to raise their families.  Their piece of the American Dream.  You live right, pay your taxes, are part of your community.  And your home is indeed your castle, and for a lot of these people there are quite literally barbarians at the gate.

Elected officials NEED to think about how these scenarios are affecting their constituents. All they have to do is drive by and notice how the longer these negative issues persist, how they affect people. Real people. People who in a lot of cases voted for them. It shows in the little things like gardening and holiday decorations.  I think it is criminal to drive by homes where you know the owners were once so house proud and see these changes.

Just some of life’s little observations.  Wishing these people peace.

#defendwhatyoulove

31958870_1928073177203881_5053741679077490688_o

Photo courtesy of West Whiteland Residents for Public Safety

Today more friends, acquaintances, and residents will be lending their voices and speaking truth to power over the scourge known as pipelines.

You see, this is day two of public hearings in West Chester that the PUC (Public Utility Commission) is holding on Mariner East. The pipelines are ruining where we call home and putting us ALL at risk.  Corporate greed putting lives at risk. We don’t benefit as residents.  We only assume risk and for what? So they can rape the land and ship dangerous things below our feet to places like Scotland that can blow us all to kingdom come, destroy our property values, pollute our drinking water wells and more?

Enough.  Enough. Enough. It’s well past time to get them out of our communities.

The Philadelphia Inquirer had the best headline in years late yesterday when they went to press with:

So to my Mama Bears and anti-pipeline warriors in West Chester today? Defend What You Love. Defend What We Love.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, crowd, tree, shoes and outdoor

Photo courtesy of Just The Facts Please

Several Chester, Delaware county residents urge PUC judge to shut down Mariner East pipelines, citing fears of leak or explosion

  • Jon Hurdle State Imapct

Seven residents of Chester and Delaware counties took their long-running fight against the Mariner East pipelines to a West Chester court on Wednesday, saying the Public Utility Commission should shut down the lines on the grounds that they are a danger to public safety.

They are urging a PUC administrative law judge to halt the operation and remaining construction of Sunoco’s still-unfinished pipeline project, on the grounds that any leak or explosion of natural gas liquids from the pipelines in densely populated suburbs like the two counties could result in mass casualties.

The plaintiffs are also seeking a court order that would require Sunoco to clarify its instructions on how residents should protect themselves in the event of a pipeline accident….Lawyers for Sunoco repeatedly accused Eric Friedman, a witness for the plaintiffs, of offering expert evidence that he was not qualified to give, but Barnes overruled several of their objections.

Under questioning from the plaintiffs’ attorney, Michael Bomstein, Friedman said a consultant’s projection on the impact of an explosion of NGLs showed that there would be fatalities within a radius of 800 feet…..Dr. Emilie Lonardi, superintendent of the 13,000-student Downingtown School District, told the court that five of her schools are between 300 and 1,425 feet of the pipeline route, and that despite many attempts to get detailed evacuation information from Sunoco, she remains worried about whether her students would be safe in a pipeline emergency.

She said she’s unable to assure parents at one elementary school that their children are safe.

“The hard thing for me is that I cannot look them in the eye and say yes,” she said.

The plaintiffs — Meghan Flynn and Rosemary Fuller of Middletown Township; Michael Walsh of Thornbury Township; Nancy Harkins of Westtown Township; McMullen; Caroline Hughes of East Goshen Township; and Melissa Haines of Aston Township — are pressing a case that has resulted in 11 months of legal filings and more than three years of public meetings, protests and court battles that have also involved the Department of Environmental Protection, local officials, the federal pipeline regulator PHMSA, state lawmakers, school districts, townships, and several environmental nonprofits…..Sunoco admitted in February 2019 that it made mistakes during construction

 Read both of these articles. In their entirety.  And to my friends in West Chester? Prayers up. #PipelinesOverPeople

Today Thursday  is the second day of the hearing   at High St and Market St at the historic West Chester courthouse. I have no courtroom information. The hearing should just be getting underway now.

20180613 Rally for Community Safety

Photo found on Internet. Possible source is Sierra Club

in the shadow of the goshen fire company on greenhill and boot

DSC_1049

I still do not understand how it is Sunoco/Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics is doing anything next to a fire house?

How is this even safe?  I thought firehouses were supposed to be respected and protected? How can our first responders keep us safe when they are literally not safe?

This is what it used to look like:

fh1

Now it’s this and I just don’t get it:

DSC_1047

#chescojustice served up on a tuesday afternoon

70866732_3004844296195879_6446611994215710720_o

Sometimes you just have to grin from ear to ear. Michael Noone, the current First Assistant DA in Chester County PA has announced intent to bring a civil public nuisance action against #suNOco / #EnergyTransfer regarding the construction and operation of the Mariner East pipeline project.

Sunoco has 60 days to take corrective action and if the nuisance has not been corrected, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office will bring a civil action in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas alleging actions both past and present that create a public nuisance and which should be abated, restrained, or such other relief granted.

HERE IS THE PRESS RELEASE:

cj1

cj2

But hey you know, these pipelines and pipeline companies are just misunderstood, right?  But no worries, certain state reps will just take more tours with pipeline companies and ignore their constituents, right?

Thank goodness for people who care enough to stick their necks out for what is right.

70396454_3004844169529225_5502734111342592000_n

ode to the politically expedient

Dear Representative Howard,

First of all you are probably wondering why I chose the title for this post? Simple. Being politically expedient means something someone does to advance themselves politically.

That madam, sadly, appears to be you to a “T”.

You fooled a lot of us and rode the D train to election in November, 2018. What’s that song by The Who ? Won’t get fooled again?

It’s oddly, somehow, appropriate.

Here are the lyrics:

We’ll be fighting in the streets

With our children at our feet

And the morals that they worship will be gone

And the men who spurred us on

Sit in judgement of all wrong

They decide and the shotgun sings the song

 

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

 

The change, it had to come

We knew it all along

We were liberated from the fold, that’s all

And the world looks just the same

And history ain’t changed

‘Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

 

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again, no, no

 

I’ll move myself and my family aside

If we happen to be left half alive

I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky

Though I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?

 

Yeaah!

 

There’s nothing in the streets

Looks any different to me

And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye

And the parting on the left

Is now parting on the right

And the beards have all grown longer overnight

 

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

Don’t get fooled again, no no

 

Yeaaah!

Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss

You are essentially invisible to your constituents. You are visible when hanging out with Governor Wolf who doesn’t care about us in Chester County and for parking lot photo ops.

Those damn pipelines will never be safe. And they are destroying where we call home, where you call home so how can you ignore your constituents?

You were…. politically expedient in August.

Today, once again you were politically expedient.

Your constituents have been coming to you for quite a while now begging you to take an interest in the pipelines. But you don’t respond to your constituents do you? No but today you take the time for tours and probably a photo op with West Whiteland and well….Sunoco/Energy Transfer?

I could call your office and leave you a message about how distressed I am to hear this latest news but why bother? You don’t really care about me or what I think or anything any of your constituents think or feel. If you cared about your constituents then you would not have ignored the pleas to meet with some of your incredibly well-informed and directly pipeline-impacted constituents.

When we asked you to get involved in East Whiteland and attend a public meeting at Immaculata about the proposal regarding the potential use of a traffic circle at King and 352 you didn’t come yourself, you sent someone who didn’t even stay the entire meeting. If a traffic circle is chosen it means eminent domain. We still don’t know as residents where we stand with PennDOT. And you didn’t go to the meeting so you really couldn’t judge for yourself how your constituents felt who were personally impacted in this scenario.

P.K. Ditty photo

You were not elected by the people to be one of the handmaidens of Tom Wolf. You were elected to serve your constituents. And all we have seen since you got elected is you being politically expedient when you surface at all.

So Representative Howard I have to ask are you of the people or against the people? Because if you continue to be politically expedient it seems you are against the people doesn’t it?

According to article 2 section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution you have a two-year term. How do you want to mark your place in Pennsylvania political history?

Representative Howard, we aren’t really that stupid or ill-informed. Your constituents are NOT happy. You are almost at the halfway point of your term. Again I ask, how do you wish to mark your place in Pennsylvania political history? Because right now you are only going to be remembered for being invisible to your constituents and for being politically expedient. That’s not a good look for any politician.

It’s time to choose. Your constituents would prefer you chose people over pipelines, constituents over being one of Wolf’s handmaidens.

Republican, Democrat, or Independent as residents we are resolute in our desire for good government and fair representation….and we need the people who represent us to stand with us in our everyday realities, not against us.

P.K. Ditty photo

are we safe co-existing with sunoco/energy transfer?

Photo taken by my friend Tom last evening after explosion or whatever it was from Energy Transfer/Sunoco

Last evening around 8 PM social media exploded from Facebook to Next Door with Chester County residents concerned about an explosion.

A friend of mine said today:

“It’s no longer about feeling angry and powerless about these pipelines, today I no longer feel safe in my home.”

What do you say to someone who is your friend when they say this? How do you console them? The short answer is you can’t.  How can you?  These pipelines are one problem after the other. Inadvertent returns or whatever you want to call it when drilling fluid rises up and floods a street, gets into a water well, and so on. Sinkholes. And now an explosion?

Residents of streets like Mary Jane Lane and in Hamlet Hill in West Chester actually felt their homes shake. Shake.

Oh and how dis Sunoco/Energy Transfer respond? See here:

For real? That’s it? That is the best they have got? Do they really think we are such rubes? I think we all know the difference between say an electrical transformer blowing, a car backfiring, and and actual explosion sound where HOUSES SHAKE????

It’s appalling. And will someone kindly explain how when people called this noise into 911 it didn’t even end up on PulsePoint? And only a lone police officer responded? There is a fire station right there, correct? With first responders who are response trained? Was this officer also trained in responding to pipeline emergencies? And before ANYONE FLIPS OUT I am not criticizing the fact this officer showed up, I am GRATEFUL he at least arrived on scene but where was everyone else? And now as the dust settles, I am being told by residents that the county says it is West Goshen’s responsibility yet supposedly the West Goshen Emergency Management Coordinator who is also purportedly the fire marshall over there did NOT know a thing until they saw it on social media this morning?

Who is playing God with the potential safety of residents?

All day long helicopters have been circling over there. My friends recorded them above their homes and I saw them myself when over at the Giant on Boot Road. They all can’t be from the helicopter museum, so who were they?

Saw this earlier:

And this:

Once again I am struck with the fact that residents and homeowners and even people who are just driving by pipeline sites are just constantly exposed to risk.  We can’t live our lives in fear, but how about credible information?

Yes no one was hurt BUT this is scary, scary stuff. And as residents we seem to be forced to absorb an inordinate amount of potential danger when it comes to these pipelines. And we don’t benefit. There is no reward for the risk, just risk.

We have friends who have left this part of Chester County because of the pipelines. We have other friends who received NO as in ZERO disclosure of the pipeline easement when they bought their home in West Whiteland. They only found out purely by accident. Now they have their dream home and not so dreamy pipeline in their front yard.

Officials claim they are looking into all f this and to them I say try harder, look faster. Last night was an unwelcome reminder of the risk of those pipelines. Every day we see the destruction.

Sunoco says Mariner East 2 system ‘backfired’ during maintenance but no risk to public. Residents report loud explosion; company says no liquids leaked from line By Jon Hurdle