is the bishop tube site in malvern completely remediated for environmental hazards?

Bishop Tube in Malvern PA courtesy of Abandoned Not Forgotten

It is a fairly simple question: has the Superfund toxic waste dump of a site known as Bishop Tube been completely remediated? And if not where is it in the process?

According to court records from 2005, the Bishop Tube site groundwater contamination was first formally recognized in 1980:

In 1980, Congress enacted CERCLA. Groundwater contamination associated with the
Malvern Site was first identified in the spring of 1980 in residential wells. (Pl.’s Resp. Ex. 2 at
56412.) In September 1983, the Malvern Superfund Site was listed on the National Priorities
List. (Id.)

Yesterday I wrote a post on Bishop Tube and the latest proposed development. I had the link to a health report. So…Ok look but the thing is this – that health report thing says a LOT about Bishop Tube. The site has been targeted as toxic and been investigated a bunch of time since 1972, correct?  A cancer cluster was alleged in March 2007 by the community, correct?

Community folks reported 1-2 cancer cases in every household at that time, correct? A plume of contaminants from on-site has spread and is in the groundwater and local wells, correct?  A creek flows through there. Traces of the crud have been discovered a mile away, correct? There has been activity to clean up the contaminants at the site, but is it REALLY complete? Until it is complete, crud will continue to move in the plume, correct?

Additionally, since I posted my post I have seen the post shared on social media.  Residents of the area who grew up in and around General Warren have shared memories like this one:

” I remember being evacuated in June 1982 due to chemical spills and clouds of toxic stuff being in the air. Still clear in my mind since was studying for finals and we had to spend the night up in the old school in town. Also remember how my parents felt since there were fire police knocking on peoples’ doors to get out of their homes while the cops stayed in their cars and were using  speakers to get people out.”

Lots of current and former residents who also had relative who worked for Bishop Tube have commented. And have you ever read any of the obituaries of people who worked for Bishop Tube? How many of those people died of cancer? Also getting a lot of reads is a 2007 Daily Local article that was part of a series on Bishop Tube:

Keith Hartman and Dave Worst have many things in common.

They were both born in the 1950s, two years apart. They both grew up in General Warren Village, the modest, working class subdivision located south of Lancaster Avenue near the intersection of Route 29, and named for the historic General Warren Inne.

Like many of their neighbors in General Warren, Hartman and Worst worked at the nearby Bishop Tube Co.

Most significantly, the two men know of former Bishop employees who suffer from potentially fatal illnesses that they believe may have been caused by their exposure to trichlorethylene (TCE), a suspected carcinogen, during their tenure at the plant.

Hartman’s father, Lester Hartman, who worked alongside him at the plant, suffers from Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease. Worst has stage two melanoma and lesions on his liver and kidneys that his doctors are monitoring.

According to a report from the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, breathing high levels of TCE may cause nervous system effects, liver and lung damage, abnormal heartbeat, coma and possibly death.

Hartman and Worst can also run off a list of fellow Bishop Tube workers who either died from cancer or nerve diseases, or currently suffer from them.”

Ok so then you peruse all the East Whiteland Planning Commission meeting minutes you can find online that discuss Bishop Tube and here is a sampling:

EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING February 25, 2015

ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT; CONSTITUTION DRIVE PARTNERS (BISHOP TUBE) – RRD RESIDENTIAL REVITALIZATION DISTRICT.
Represented by Lou Colagreco, Esquire and Bo Erixxon and Chuck Dobson
The proposed ordinance is amending the “Table of Development Standard for Residential Districts” for the RRD Residential Revitalization District for the maximum tract density by reducing the number from 20 units to 12 units per developable acre. Other changes provide for reduction in setbacks from street and building spacing. The applicant had held a meeting with the adjacent tank farm owners and residents from General Warren Village. They have been able to satisfy the access of school buses, tanker trucks and emergency access under the railroad overpass. The total number of units being proposed has decrease from 303 to 264 units.

EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING April 23, 2014

ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AND MAP AMENDMENT – RRD –RESIDENTIAL REVITALIZATION DISTRICT – SOUTH MALIN ROAD – BISHOP TUBE

Represented by Lou Colagreco, Esquire, Brian O’Neill, Frank Tavani, John Benson

The applicant is requesting to add a new permitted residential district by amending Section 200-19 “Permitted Uses for Residential Districts.” The property is located on the south side of Malin Road formerly known as Bishop Tube property. The intent of the RRD Residential Revitalization District is to provide for and encourage reuse, redevelopment and revitalization of tracts that have undergone remediation. Mr. O’Neill advised that he has partnered with Benson Companies to construct townhouses on South Malin Road.

Mr. O’Neill stated that he met with the Township’s Fire Marshal who expressed his concern with the ability to handle a fire for multi-story structures at this location. Therefore, Mr. O’Neill has reduced the number of units to 305 down from 537 units. Density has been reduced by two-thirds from the original proposal. There will be no building on “hot spot” within the property, thereby, providing more green space. These “hot spots” will be capped. The new design is a rear entry building with 16 or 20 foot widths, three stories and approximately 1,900 sq. ft. The issue of a school buses being able to maneuver was investigated and determined not to be a problem. Changes to the intersection timing at Route 30 and South Malin Road will require modifications. Emergency vehicles only will have access to a keyed gate through Village Way. Members were advised that stormwater runoff will be controlled and the water will be cleaning before discharged to protect the Valley Creek. Discussion ensued.

Mr. David Babbitt presented his finding of the Fiscal Impact Study. He advised that the financial impact is positive for all entities: township, school district and county. He reviewed the report and stated that this development will not have a negative impact on the school district. Discussion ensued.

Members were advised that stacked townhouses are three and one-half stories tall and approximately 1,600-2,300 sq. ft. Mr. O’Neill addressed the screening for the units on the west side facing the tank farm and the exterior building materials being proposed. He offered to provide a four foot berm in front of the homes facing the tank farm for additional protection. Members suggested: 1) further review by the Fire Marshal for the new plan configuration; 2) traffic study review; and 3) approval of the building heights.

EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING February 26, 2014

ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AND MAP AMENDMENT – RRD –RESIDENTIAL REVITALIZATION DISTRICT – SOUTH MALIN ROAD – BISHOP TUBE

Represented by Lou Colagreco, Esquire, Brian O’Neill, Guy Wolfington

They are requesting to add a new permitted residential district by amending Section 200-19 “Permitted Uses for Residential Districts. The property is located on the southeast side of Malin Road formerly known as Bishop Tube property. The permitted uses are by right, special exceptions and conditional uses. The intent of the RRD Residential Revitalization District is to provide for and encourage reuse, redevelopment and revitalization of tracts that have undergone remediation.

Mr. O’Neill advised that the Bishop Tube property access is restricted due to the railroad tunnel. Various other development proposals have failed due to these restrictions. He is suggesting developing the property by demolishing the buildings. He will build 34 townhouses and 360 loft apartment with underground parking. There has been a cooperative effort from all parties to clean up the site. Discussion ensued concerning the safety limitations out of this area. Mr. O’Neill offered other developments where similar access limitation exists. He offered to provide the members a tour of these other locations he’s developed.

EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING May 28, 2014

ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AND MAP AMENDMENT – RRD –RESIDENTIAL REVITALIZATION DISTRICT – SOUTH MALIN ROAD – BISHOP TUBE

Represented by Lou Colagreco, Esquire, Brian O’Neill, Frank Tavani, John Benson

The applicant is requesting to add a new permitted residential district by amending Section 200-19 “Permitted Uses for Residential Districts.” The property is located on the south side of Malin Road formerly known as Bishop Tube property. The intent of the RRD Residential Revitalization District is to

provide for and encourage reuse, redevelopment and revitalization of tracts that have undergone remediation.

They are proposing to construct 305 townhouses. The density has been reduced by two-thirds from the original proposal. Mr. Colagreco stated that this most recent plan has been presented to Ken Battin, Building Official/Fire Marshal, and he gave a favorable review of this plan. Members were advised that they can satisfactorily comply with the items listed in McMahon Associates letter, dated May 23, 2014. Changes to the intersection timing at Route 30 and South Malin Road can be accomplished. A discussion ensued relative to the County Planning Commission review letter. The solicitor felt that they had not been given them credit for the revitalization. Ms. Woodman asked, if the two properties under agreement with the Benson Company, contained any contamination? She suggested that the applicant investigate Section 200-25.1 (A) which requires that the properties either will or have undergone remediation standards. To date, the Township has no “brownfield” notification on these two parcels. The applicant was advised the the surrounding community is interested in the status of the cleanup. Mr. Colagreco suggested that information be forward to the Township for incorporation on the website.

ACTION:

Mr. Laumer made a motion to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Zoning Ordinance Text and Map Amendments to creating a new RRD- Residential Revitalization District and applying this District in lieu of the current I-Industrial Zoning District designation on three parcels including the former

Bishop Tube property located on South Malin Road east of the Buckeye Tank Farm. The motion was seconded by Todd Asousa and the vote was unanimous.

Ok, so all this craziness mostly talks ONLY about HOW many units. From a couple hundred to over five hundred, to three hundred to two hundred and sixty four and apparently after last evening’s meeting oh goodie two hundred and thirty some odd units.

But where is everyone on where exactly is the remediation of this toxic site? As of April of this year (as in 2015 in case you read this post years from now), there is a Federal Law Suit filed that is NEW about this site. Filing a Federal suit (Bishop Tube et al 2015 litigation) is not something someone wakes up one morning and decides to do like putting on a blue shirt versus a pink dress. It is a little more complex and complicated is it not?

Oh and as pursuant to the resident remembering an evacuation in 1981:

1981 Bishop Tube Acid Spill

So where is the remediation?  I have been checking old HSCA Remedial Sites Listing and De-listing Dates on the web from the state and have NOT found any de-listing of Bishop Tube, so what is going on?

If this site is NOT completely remediated , why the cart before the horse scenario? Isn’t it a little bass ackwards to be discussing a development plan if a site is not completely cleaned up?  And is it true it can take decades to properly clean up a site like this because you never know when little pools of toxic goodness will bubble up? And can’t these chemicals get trapped between rocks and stuff and get released anew if moved?

In 2007 State Senator Andy Dinniman talked a good game on TCE, or Trichloroethylene (reference July 2007 newsletter item “Dinniman Gets Tough on TCE“), so where is he now? Where is he on the Bishop Tube site? What about State Representative Duane Milne?

Ok so what about the court/legal pissing match between Constitution Drive Partners LP and the PA DEP?

Excerpt:

Philadelphia (July 18, 2014, 5:09 PM ET) — A Pennsylvania court ruled Thursday that the owner of a contaminated tract of Chester County land could not appeal a Department of Environmental Protection letter ending an agreement in which the landowner agreed to take measures to rehabilitate the site in exchange for protection from liability.   

The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board said that the letter the DEP sent to Constitution Drive Partners LP — which purchased the site of a former precious metals and steel processing facility in 2005 — was not appealable because the letter itself had no effect on the company…..When CDP bought the former Bishop Tube site in East Whiteland Township, it reached an agreement with DEP to take certain steps to remediate the existing soil and groundwater contamination, according to the opinion.

Then, in 2011, an independent contractor hired by CDP damaged piping and protective covering on a soil vapor extraction and air sparging system while conducting salvage operations on the site…..But in January, DEP sent the company the letter citing the 2011 damage and accusing the company of breaking the 2005 agreement…..CDP is represented by Jonathan Sperger and Lynn Rauch of Manko Gold Katcher & Fox LLP.

The DEP is represented by in-house counsel Anderson Lee Hartzell.

The case is Constitution Drive Partners LLC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, case number 2014-019-M, in the Environmental Hearing Board.

So how  does the above affect this potential development?  And should there even been anything in the approval process of a municipality when remediation doesn’t appear to be complete and there is a Federal level law suit pending?

In 2007 the PA DEP out a press release which says in part:

DEP TO HOLD HEARING OUTLINING TREATMENTS FOR CHESTER COUNTY SITE CONTAMINATION

Public Invited to Comment on Plans for Bishop Tube Property

NORRISTOWN — The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, to give residents the chance to comment on a proposal to address soil and groundwater contamination at the Bishop Tube site in East Whiteland Township, Chester County. The former industrial facility is being cleaned up under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA), a 1988 law that authorizes DEP to investigate and clean up hazardous waste sites. “We have a unique opportunity at this site to partner with the current property owner to make sure that groundwater and contaminated soil can be treated simultaneously and efficiently,” DEP Southeast Regional Director Joseph A. Feola said. “We will present these plans at the Jan. 30 hearing for public comment.”

The site consists of a large area of contaminated groundwater associated with the former Bishop Tube Company. The company used, and most likely released, hazardous substances into the environment, including trichloroethylene (TCE), nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid and various heavy metals including nickel and chromium. TCE is of particular concern since it has been detected in groundwater on the former Bishop Tube property and in wells and springs off-site.

Although DEP activity on this site began in 1999, most recently, the agency has been concentrating its efforts on three distinct source areas of contaminated soil.

Last September, a DEP contractor installed monitoring wells to help determine the extent that contaminated groundwater from the Bishop Tube site is affecting the Little Valley Creek, part of the Exceptional Value Valley Creek Watershed.

From 1999 through 2006, DEP completed three phases of remedial investigation work at the site, mapping onsite soil contamination and conducting stream and sediment sampling while conducting groundwater investigation work. Within the last year, the agency has initiated a feasibility study to evaluate options for addressing the discharge of contaminated shallow groundwater to Little Valley Creek.

The 13.7-acre Bishop Tube property is currently owned by Constitution Drive Partners (CDP), who purchased the site in 2005 to redevelop it for commercial or light industrial use. As part of the site purchase agreement, CDP will finance the purchase and installation of equipment needed to remediate contaminated soils in the three source areas and work with DEP to address groundwater contamination issues. This will enable DEP to better coordinate cleanup actions with the developer’s plans to renovate the site for productive use.

So what happened? What is the latest? My research thus far that save development discussions as in how many units, will there be playing fields and so on I can’t find anything much over the past few years about where the clean up process is can you? Now yesterday on this contractor builder “smart bid” site I found an interesting drawing:
bishop tube site TCESo these are hot spots and contaminated areas that they know of? (And isn’t it amazing this project is being all put out for bid consideration like it is a done deal? Is it a “done deal”?)

Last night I heard a handful of residents attended the East Whiteland Planning Commission Meeting. Early reports of citizenry perspective can be summed up in one word: disappointment.  East Whiteland has a grave responsibility here don’t you think? Shouldn’t a plan with so many external balls in the air be tabled until things are settled? Like any litigation involving the site and site remediation being completed? What happens if they just close there eyes, hope for the best and approve without all of that stuff being taken care of? Litigation where the township could be added to, correct?

And a word to the wise to residents who think this plan doesn’t affect them: even if you don’t live in or around General Warren Village this affects you. Traffic, infrastructure, and costs associated with any future litigation over a site contaminated with toxic waste for starters, right? Couldn’t any potential township involved litigation related to this site be economically crippling to a municipality?

Residents in East Whiteland should stand with the residents of General Warren on this. Those people in General Warren have taken it on the chin with things like Cube Smart (and the stories of how some residents were treated are a little alarming, right?). The negatives thus far outweigh the positives of any development at Bishop Tube, don’t they?

And there is another thing to consider  – so once upon a time there was this moratorium on development in East Whiteland. See:

Fate Of Debated Building Moratorium Hinges On E. Whiteland Race

Posted: October 28, 1999

Town Eyes Construction Moratorium East Whiteland Would Take 18 Months To Develop A Comprehensive Plan. Some Say The Proposal Would Not Stand Up In Court.

Posted: February 23, 2000

East Whiteland has no regrets on moratorium Such measures were recently struck down. Still, the break from development was valuable, officials say.

Posted: July 05, 2001

Ok so this went all the way to the State Supreme Court. And it was struck down. Which isn’t any great surprise given things like, oh I don’t know…. the Municipalities Planning Code and whatnot?  At the time former supervisor Virginia McMichael was quoted as saying:

“We knew we were sticking our necks out a little bit, and people said we should wait to enact a moratorium,” Virginia McMichael, vice chairwoman of the East Whiteland supervisors, said recently.

“But by not waiting, we did have a year to work on our comprehensive plan without having to accept new plans, and that was helpful to us. Now, we’ve lost one of our arrows.”

The article continued:

The township’s 18-month moratorium was adopted in February 2000. It was suspended last July after the Zoning Hearing Board found it invalid because proper review procedures were not followed. Supervisors reinstated the moratorium in September.

On June 20, the state Supreme Court ruled that while a municipality can regulate land development, it cannot suspend it through moratoriums.

Eyes rolling. How much did Virginia’s Folly cost East Whiteland tax payers? We may never know, right? And the irony of this woman championing a moratorium on development back then and by the time she skeedaddled to  wherever she went after she stepped down she was a champion of development and do I have that straight?

Who says you can’t have it both ways?

So if you do the math starting with plans that started getting presented when McMichael was still supervisor to the present day how many living units are in the works for East Whiteland?  1200+?   1500+?   Or more?

East Whiteland is awash in a Where’s Waldo of development. But hey, since East Whiteland is working on another comprehensive plan maybe they should have a Groundhog Day and try another moratorium on development? (Kidding but if only it could happen, right?)

Look Bishop Tube is scary stuff. Why can’t they clean it up completely and get some sort of cleaned up certification from PA DEP or the EPA before proceeding on anything else? And why can’t East Whiteland ask for that?

And as far as development goes East Whiteland would be best served by taking a breath just because a developer decrees build it and they will come, it doesn’t make it so. Especially when you are talking about sites like Bishop Tube which have the distinct potential of becoming Silkwood meets Erin Brocavitch, right?

The bottom line here is we all have to care, all of us. We just have to.  Can we say  that lives and future lives depend upon it? Here is hoping in a strange collision of the universe that politicians and developers and municipal folk care about doing this one right.

Bishop Tube 20140908_Report_of_Findings Bishop Tube

Figure_12_-_TCE_Source_Area_Location_Map

Bishop Tube Environmental Impact Assessment

Chester County Hazard Vulnerability Analysis July 2009

PRESENTATION ON HAZARDOUS SITES CLEANUP FUND REPUBLICAN POLICY COMMITTEE HEARING DECEMBER 6 2007

Bishop Tube Earth Engineering Report Letter

rose smoothie

20140619-141302-51182613.jpg

Bet the title got your attention, huh? Well this smoothie isn’t for people…it’s for rose bushes.

Yes, as in plants.

I have mentioned that banana peels are awesome junk food for roses. I told you I save my peels and just stash them in a plastic bag in the freezer until I need to feed the roses. Well, since my bushes have had their first blooms and one bush got beaten up by the roofers I decided today was the day.

20140619-141513-51313778.jpg

I used to dig the peels in around the base of each bush, but given the critter population living with woods and farmers’ fields I have developed a rose smoothie which I dig in around the base with a small spade I use to transplant seedlings.

The formula for the smoothie is I rough chop the peels and toss into the blender with whatever spent coffee grounds I have on hand and a couple of cups or so of very warm tap water. (I never drink flavored coffee and I would never recommend using artificially flavored coffee grounds. I don’t know how the artificial flavor chemicals would affect the plants.)

20140619-141544-51344382.jpgThe consistency of this smoothie for rose bushes should be on the thick side , but pourable. I don’t take my blended outside I pour the goop into a plastic pitcher. I then go around to each bush and dig a few ounces in around the base of each bush. I have a standard sized blender and only a few rose bushes right now, so one batch of rose smoothie is all I need every time I do this.

I will feed my roses this concoction every two weeks until Labor Day.

Now, I know people have this banana peel magic out on the Internet, but I want to tell you specifically how I first learned about this, which is easily twenty plus years ago thanks to a gardening article I read in the Wall Street Journal. Yes, the Wall Street Journal. Some of the best gardening articles I have ever read have been in the Wall Street Journal over the years.

20140619-141612-51372635.jpg

So in this article the writer was talking about caring for roses and mentioned banana peels. The writer cited as a source a book called Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen and Bridget Boland. The book was originally published in the 1970s in the United Kingdom but you can still find gently used copies on Amazon.com today. . I have the book and the companion book Gardeners’ Magic and Other Old Wives Lore by Bridget Boland.

Banana peels add calcium, magnesium, phosphates, silica, sulphur, and potassium. Spent (or used) coffee grounds are rich in similar nutrients (nitrogen, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium).

Anyway, if you grow roses, try this. And if you like fun vintage gardening books, find yourself a copy of Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners.

Food for thought as I leave you for the day: do you miss the real gardening shows that used to be on television ? There used to be real gardening shows where hosts including Martha Stewart used to get out and dig flower beds, discuss plants, and so on. They would share tips. Today all it is all hardscaping , fake pre-cast pavers, and outdoor kitchens as far as the shows. No real horticulture. I miss the real gardening shows.

Thanks for stopping by!

main line problems

DSC_3828Sometimes it is just so nice to be like a bird flying above the trees and fields.  You can watch and observe, and stay above the fray.

I called the Main Line home for most of my life.  It was a fun place to grow up, and well the Main Line of the past is certainly not the Main Line of today.  Ironically, a lot of people I grew up with and enjoyed as people now call Chester County home.

But yesterday was like fun x 2 = Main Line Problems.

And it makes me ever so grateful to not be there any longer.

First up let’s visit Radnor Township.  Radnor almost became a true victim of back room Delco politics until former Township Manager Dave Bashore got his and Radnor’s dirty laundry aired in public.  A lot of this public airing was because of a few brave individuals including a woman I respect a great deal named Christina Perrone.

When Bashore got fired as Radnor’s Township Manager a lot of things swirled into motion. Commissioners who were problematic ran away, Radnor’s solicitor at the time evaporated (and eventually resurfaced as innkeeper/owner of a bed and breakfast in the New York finger lakes district), a few supervisory and managerial types from the Bashore regime ended up as employees in some Chester County municipalities, and a few even ended up at other Chester County businesses.  It was like a political bubble burst and they scattered like raindrops. (Or ants leaving the picnic, whichever you prefer.)

However, not all of the politicians of this era disappeared.  There is one, who has been entrenched for easily 30 years.  He is like a cat with nine lives and then some.  His name is Bill Spingler, and he is the subject of the first ethics hearing in years on the Main Line this week in Radnor.

One would think Spingler would just retire. But people in Radnor say he is waiting for pet projects to go through.  You might think his ethics hearing had to do with is 2013 campaign shenanigans  ( see what got him into hot water here, here, here – all copied by Radnor employees on the taxpayer clock.)

Or maybe it would be the eternal question of where this guy really lives? After all the deeds don’t lie and this guy has purchased a new pad in Tredyffrin at Paoli Pointe, right? So that is a neat trick if he can be a Radnor commissioner by day and commute home whenever to Chester County, right?

But no, apparently it is his “work” at Villanova basketball games and something about pay to play at little league games.  And once again, it is brave Christina Perrone who has stepped forward to do the right thing. Truly, you can’t make this stuff up:

Ethics complaint against Radnor Commissioner Spingler amended again; Hearing set for Thursday

By Linda Stein Main Line Media News
lstein@mainlinemedianews.com Published: Monday, April 21, 2014

An ethics complaint filed against Radnor Township Commissioner John Spingler over his work at Villanova’s home basketball games has been amended again prior to a hearing set for April 24.

….“These admissions by Commissioner Spingler cannot be construed as anything other than business transactions,” Perrone wrote in her amended complaint. These “statements demonstrate that Commissioner Spingler is even more conflicted on Villanova University issues, including the CICD, than previously believed, due to the applicability of Radnor Code Section 39-5[A].”

That section states: “No elected or appointed official of the township…shall solicit or accept directly or indirectly any gift, favor, service, commission or other consideration that might reasonably tend to influence that official or employee in the discharge of the duties of office.”…

Of course where this gets even more interesting is now people have learned that the current township solicitor, John Rice, will be representing this politician? How is it the township solicitor is working for other than the good of the residents of Radnor? Does the solicitor in fact not work for the people, but just for the politicians? Doesn’t Commissioner Spingler know any more lawyers? (Asking a quasi- redundant question.)

And oh yes, this open meeting scheduled for April 24th at 6 pm (this Thursday) is now possibly going to be held as a secret, non-public meeting?  I know the lawyer representing Christina Perrone.  His name is Dan Sherry and he is very bright.

If this old politician had any style left he would simply resign and retire. but then again if the ethics charges stick, it could keep him from then retiring and moving onto Chester County politics, right? But the thing is this: is the whole system in Radnor rigged in a nice Main Line way?

And now for the news that really makes me glad I am off the Main Line: two graduates of The Haverford School for boys have been arrested for masterminding a drug ring that can only be described as “Breaking Bad” meets “Weeds”.  One guy was living on Barrett Avenue in Haverford. That is a lovely street with lots of children.  He is like 25 or 26.  The other ringleader is just 18 years old and lives with his parents in Villanova.  How do you put your family at risk like that?

These guys had a network and had minions working for them at Haverford School, Haverford College, Harriton High School, Lower Merion High School, Conestoga High School, Radnor High School, Lafayette College and I think even Gettysburg.

It even made the national network news and Wall Street Journal this morning:

Wall Street Journal: US News: Eleven Charged in Drug Ring on Philadelphia’s Main Line

By SCOTT CALVERT
April 21, 2014 7:29 p.m. ET

Prosecutors said Monday they had broken up a marijuana and cocaine trafficking ring allegedly run by two graduates of a suburban Philadelphia prep school and centered on the affluent area known as the Main Line.

Authorities announced charges against nine adults and two juveniles as part of an investigation that resulted in the seizure of drugs and three guns.

The two alleged leaders referred to the distribution ring as the “Main Line take over project,” according to court records, which quoted text messages in which they discussed plans to dominate marijuana sales at schools in the Philadelphia suburbs.

“They tried to infiltrate our schools, not for educational purposes, but to make money and to drag others into the downward spiral that their lives had become,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said in a statement. The seizure of guns and a variety of drugs showed that the operation posed a “significant danger” to the community, she said.

The two alleged leaders—25-year-old Neil Scott of Haverford, Pa., and 18-year-old Timothy Brooks of Villanova—are graduates of the private Haverford School, where both played lacrosse, according to an affidavit of probable cause. This year’s upper school tuition is $34,800.

“We’re appalled and shocked and horrified,” said Haverford School Headmaster John Nagl, adding that the all-boys school was “determined to learn from this and build a better school and a better community that understands the risks to boys and helps them make better choices.”

I have to feel sorry for the headmaster quoted above.  John Nagl is the new headmaster and these guys arrested came up through this elite private school under the former headmaster Joseph Cox.

To be honest, I have not much positive to say about the Haverford School of today.  I lived for years in one of the neighborhoods that had the misfortune to call this school a neighbor.  They treated their neighbors poorly and it was a top down approach starting with the now former headmaster.  I found him to be a huge jerk.

Throughout the years I have had many friends who graduated from Haverford School.  As did their fathers and uncles and brothers.  They weren’t this kind of graduate.  I also know people who have kids in lower school, middle school, upper school, and those who have graduated. A lot of these people basically indenture themselves so their boys can have the advantages of going to a school like that.  It’s just crazy.

These dealers are young.  They have tanked their lives, and to what end? A misplaced sense of entitlement and easy cash?  And the effect their selfish actions will have on all of their families is another sad thing to comprehend.  After all, it’s the Main Line so people might stop talking to your face about what your kid did, but the whispers will never go away.

I keep thinking how bright these young men must be and how different their lives could have been if they just worked for things legitimately. It is a sad commentary on the culture of the Main Line today.  The whole culture of misplaced sense of entitlement.

I sound like an old fart, and I don’t mean to.  This just is blowing the mind of everyone I know who not only grew up on the Main Line but who went to one of these schools. Not that drugs and the Main Line have never been uttered in the same sentence.  As one friend of mine said : “Both public and private schools are involved in this. And it’s not like this situation is new, it’s been happening in these schools for decades. Choose your decade, choose your drug of choice.”

This however, is pretty big.  And it is scary. We can educate our children and try to steer them to make the right choices, yet things can go wrong, majorly wrong.

Makes me glad I am not on the Main Line any longer. These problems are everywhere, don’t misunderstand me, its just that this is the situation which will destroy lives and families.  And for what? Being able to keep up with the Main Line Jones more easily? Sad.

Main Line Media News/Pottstown Mercury: Prep school drug ring busted; 11 arrested (photos)

By Richard Ilgenfritz, rilgenfritz@21st-centurymedia.com
POSTED: 04/21/14, 12:45 PM EDT | UPDATED: 10 HRS AGO

Prosecutors say two former Main Line students at the Haverford School set up an elaborate drug ring in an attempt to take over the Main Line drug trade at several area schools and colleges. The schools included some of the most privileged public and private schools in the region.

Authorities announced Monday the arrests of Neil K. Scott, 25, of Barrett Avenue in Haverford and Timothy Brooks, 18, of Cedar Lane in Villanova as the main suppliers.

Daniel McGrath, 18, of Glenolden; John Rosemann, 20, of Weston, Conn.; Christian Euler, 23, of Villanova; Garrett Johnson, 18, of New York; Reid Cohen, 18, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; Willow Lynn Ore, 22, of Philadelphia; Domenic Curcio, 29 of Philadelphia and the two juveniles have been identified as the sub-dealers.

…..So far eight adults have been taken into custody while another adult is being sought for arrest. Two juveniles, one a student at Lower Merion and the other a student at Radnor, have also been charged….Information from the Main Line Times, www.mainlinemedianews.com

Note to the Main Line of today: you reap what you so and how sad is that?  You see it’s not all grand houses, fancy cars, and designer clothes.  With affluence (or an affluent society) there should come a sense of greater good and doing the right thing.  But unfortunately, that was the Main Line of years ago, wasn’t it?

about 60 pipe bombs? in public storage in malvern?

Last night a headline broke on Malvern Patch:

p1

ps

Actual photo taken inside Public Storage in Malvern months ago

That really freaked me out because until a couple of months ago, I was a customer of that Public Storage – I had needed some extra storage when I first relocated permanently to Chester County.  It was clean and easy to get to and not creepy feeling the way a lot of those self storage places are.   The few months I was there we rarely saw other people, and given all the shows on television and cable about storage units (Storage Wars) and auctioning off abandoned storage units, you can’t help but wonder what people store there.

While a customer there I saw mostly people who were storing clothes and books and stuff like me and once in a while people who were antiques and collectibles dealers who didn’t have store fronts, and did shows.  Occasionally you would see an orphaned piece of  furniture or a lamp no one wanted left inside the front doors by the elevators, but that was it.

So I was floored when I saw Malvern Patch’s headline last night about the sleepy yet clean Public Storage and I am equally shocked this morning that yes, the bomb squad borrowed from Montgomery County (apparently Chester County doesn’t have one?) detonated BOMBS last night!  Sweet Jesus!  How long were they in the storage facility?  The risk to the public with this if not for law enforcement could have been crazy.

This also makes you think about all the other self storage facilities around here on and off that Route 30 corridor, doesn’t it? Remember that developer of Malvern (who isn’t getting the Whip Tavern is also bringing more self storage to Malvern called “Cube Smart”.)

So how do these self storage companies really know what is being stored?

Mr. Bomb Storage in the news broken by Malvern Patch (EXCELLENT job by the way in getting that out there) ends up is a Ponzi schemer named  “Istvan Merchanthaler, a 42-year-old man facing federal charges related to a $2 million Ponzi scheme.”

And Patch reports that there was a lot of law enforcement there last night.  Given what it was about, I have no doubt in my mind ATF was there too.

I hope they throw another book at this freak Istvan Merchanthaler for those explosive devices.

Here is the updated story from Patch (Malvern Patch really does do local news well as opposed to a lot of other Patch sites), and from Michael Price at The Daily Local:

Bombs Detonated in Park After Storage-Unit Seizure

A series of explosions shook houses Thursday night as authorities destroyed pipe bombs in East Whiteland’s Valley Creek Park.

By Pete Kennedy and Eric Campbell  Email the authors  March 7, 2013

malvern patchTwo bomb-disposal units were among the multiple emergency response teams working at the Public Storage facility in Frazer Thursday evening after a large amount of explosives was found inside a storage locker.

FBI agents and bomb technicians worked in and around the building, located on the unit block of Lancaster Avenue, as local police and fire departments controlled traffic, maintained a perimeter and kept ready to respond to any incidents.

Around 8:30 p.m., bomb squads from Montgomery County and Philadelphia began hauling the explosives from the storage facility to nearby Valley Creek Park. The explosives were transported inside large metal containers on trailers, and each trip involved a convoy of fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles…..

Shortly after 11:15 p.m., as a light snow fell, the first in a series of explosions shook houses and woke sleeping residents miles away. At least five explosions occurred before they stopped around 1:15 a.m. Friday.

There were also reports of an explosion earlier in the day, around 7 p.m., but employees at businesses near Public Storage said they did not hear anything at that time.

The FBI had notified East Whiteland Police that they planned to execute a warrant within the township, but the circumstances that led the agency to Malvern are unclear. The Daily Local News reports that the storage locker was registered to Istvan Merchanthaler, a 42-year-old man facing federal charges related to a $2 million Ponzi scheme. Harman said agents told him a Maryland resident had been arrested in connection with the bombs.

Federal agents remove explosives from Malvern storage locker

 By MICHAEL N. PRICE mprice@dailylocal.com

Posted: Thursday, 03/07/13 10:35 pm Updated: Thursday, 03/07/13 10:43 pm

EAST WHITELAND — Federal agents and bomb squad units removed a high amount of explosives from a storage locker Thursday night in the unit block of Lancaster Avenue in Malvern.

According to a high ranking official close to the investigation, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and members of the Montgomery County and Philadelphia bomb squads removed about 60 pipe bombs from a storage locker at Malvern Public Storage and transported them to a nearby park, where they were to be detonated.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous due to the ongoing and sensitive nature of the investigation, said that the storage locker was registered to 42-year-old Istvan Merchanthaler, a Chester County man facing federal charges in connection to a Ponzi scheme that officials say defrauded investors of about $2 million over the past seven years.  Officials close to Merchanthaler’s case said the suspect was connected to similar explosive investigations in other states, and added that he is facing charges in multiple jurisdictions throughout the east coast….The United States Attorney’s Office announced additional fraud charges against Merchanthaler Thursday

Ponzi schemes are bad enough without adding BOMBS to the mix. So what was the goal here? Defraud some people and blow some others up? Wow. Nice guy this  Istvan Merchanthaler, right?

duffy’s cut

DSC_0050

2/20/2013 UPDATE:

Main Line Suburban Life > News

Burial in Ireland planned for Duffy’s Cut victim

Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

By JIM CALLAHAN
jcallahan@journalregister.com

Duffy’s Cut victim John Ruddy, late of Chester County, is to be buried after services March 2 in County Donegal, Ireland.

Ruddy was one of up to 57 Irish immigrants who died of cholera and probable mob violence at an East Whiteland railroad construction site known as Duffy’s Cut.

Ruddy and the others are believed to have died nearly 181 years ago in the last two weeks of August 1832. Ruddy was 18.

His are the only remains thus far identified from an incident that was successfully hidden from the general public until recent years.

Professor William Watson of Immaculata University released details of the funeral arrangements. Services are set for 3 p.m. at Holy Family Church in Ardara, Donegal. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

PREVIOUSLY:

A week or so I happened to be passing by the Duffy’s Cut historical marker (I got a historical marker approved a few years ago and it is a lot of work to get one of them)  and stopped to photograph it.  Given the clouds of mystery and intrigue still surrounding Duffy’s Cut, I think the foggy afternoon was perfect. I also think that given the development occurring in Malvern (borough and East Whiteland) by developers who don’t truly give a rat’s fanny about the area, the history, or the current residents (they care about building and selling  projects) it is also appropriate to remember the history. You can never truly move forward into the future if you can’t honor the past, or that is just my opinion as a mere mortal and female.

I have always thought the tale of Duffy’s Cut to be a huge part of the history of Malvern. The Duffy’s Cut Project is housed at Immaculata. You can go see it.

The Smithsonian Channel has a special about it – called the Ghosts of Duffy’s Cut.

Duffy’s Cut is a big deal.  What was Duffy’s Cut?

From Immaculata’s web site:

In June, 1832, a group of 57 Irish immigrants from Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry arrived in Philadelphia. They were brought to Chester County by a fellow Irishman named Philip Duffy as laborers for the construction of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, Pennsylvania’s pioneering railroad. Within six weeks, all were dead of cholera and possibly violence, and were buried anonymously in a ditch outside of Malvern.

Two brothers, Frank and Bill Watson have done yeoman’s work on this topic of Duffy’s Cut.  Read about them in the Wall Street Journal:

The Wall Street JournalThe Mystery of Duffy’s Cut

Historians Dig for Truth About What—or Who—Killed Early Rail Workers

April 14, 2011 By PETER LOFTUS

MALVERN, Pa.—Frank and Bill Watson recently led a group hoisting shovels and pick axes into a wooded hollow here in Philadelphia’s suburbs.

“Let’s find some bodies,” said Bill Watson, a professor of history at nearby Immaculata University.

Two children playing nearby scampered away before the men led by the Watsons—twin brothers and historians—started chipping away at a hillside hemmed in by two housing developments and busy railroad tracks.

The Watsons are on a macabre mission that began with a file of railroad company documents left behind by a grandfather and curiosity about what exactly happened at this spot—known as Duffy’s Cut—nearly 180 years ago.

This much is clear: Nearly 60 Irish laborers died here in 1832 as they built a land bridge for what became the thriving railroad that lent its name to Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line suburbs.

Their bodies were believed to be buried in a mass grave next to the railroad line, used today by Amtrak and local commuter trains. Tales of ghost sightings nearby were passed down through generations of area residents.

Cholera seemed the most likely culprit. Newspaper reports from the time reported that the disease killed several of the laborers at Duffy’s Cut. And an 1833 letter written by a superintendent of a precursor of the Pennsylvania Railroad said the contractor who hired the workers, Philip Duffy, lost “nearly one half of his men” to cholera. But early in their research, the Watsons began to suspect there might be more to the story….

In 2009, they began finding skeletal remains of at least four people. While many questions linger, the Watsons have become convinced at least three of them didn’t die of cholera.

One skull has holes with traces of lead on the edges, indicating a bullet’s entry and exit wounds, as well as a narrow slit that appeared to be delivered by an axe or hatchet. Another has a compression fracture suggesting it was caused by a blunt object. The third had dents in the skull indicating violence….

The work at Duffy’s Cut has received media attention in Ireland, and the Watsons have told the story to Irish heritage groups here. Michael Collins, the Irish ambassador to the U.S., has visited Duffy’s Cut twice.

“I was really struck by the human tragedy of all these young people dying so soon after coming here, and family back in Ireland never knowing what happened to them, or even knowing that they were dead,” he said. “Their story needs to be told.”

Unfortunately as of October 31, 2011 from what I can tell the archeological digs stopped.  It seems AMTRAK had enough.  I am not surprised.  I made a bit of a project out of them once upon a time and they are souless money grubbers who are horrible neighbors, charge ridiculous amounts for often dirty, smelly trains and piss poor service, so why would I be surprised history was also not their forte? The short answer is I am not.
I have not found anything more recent than a 2012 YouTube video put out by The University of Pennsylvania. Of course one would think our Congressman Jim Gerlach and our US Senators, State reps, State Senator Any Dinniman, and Gov. Corbett might show an interest in getting whatever that is left to be done gets done?  But until they do, I daresay the ghosts of Duffy’s Cut will wander.

Duffy’s Cut dig ends as Amtrak refuses mass grave excavation

Lynch mobs killed 1832 Irish railroad workers say historians  – VIDEOS

By JAMES  O’SHEA,IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Monday, October 31, 2011,  7:07 AM
Updated Monday, October 31, 2011, 10:50  AM

PHOTOS – Duffy’s Cut – Irish labourers burial site in Pennsylvania slideshow

The dig for Irish remains at Duffy’ Cut in Pennsylvania has come to an end.

Frank and Bill Watson, the historians who first  located the remains of Irish railroad workers, many of whom are believed to have  been murdered in 1832, say that the mass grave they have been seeking is  unreachable

It has been located 30 feet underground but too near  to an existing Amtrak track to unearth it. It is said to hold the remains of up  to 57 Irish emigrants from Donegal, Derry and Tyrone.

The Watsons, believe most of the Irish were likely  victims of lynch mobs  driven by anti-Irish sentiment which was widespread  at the time.

The discovery of the mass grave came when  geophysicist Tim Bechtel used updated equipment   electrical imaging  and seismic surveys, to discover the mass grave 30 feet below the surface.

It’s also on Amtrak property. They will not permit  any digging because of its proximity to the tracks, spokeswoman Danelle Hunter  told Associated Press.…The mass remains are of Irish immigrants, mostly  from Donegal, who were building the railroad near Philadelphia when they all  mysteriously died….

Frank and Bill Watson with the help of volunteers  and archaeologists proved via DNA and testing that most of the Irish had   been murdered and did not die of cholera.

“Since the beginning, we have seen it as our job to  get their story out of folklore and into actual history, and we hope we have  done that,” Bill Watson told Associated Press.

A local monument stated the men had died of “black  diptheria” in 1834 but it is known they died two years earlier.

Soon after they started digging they found the  remains of six people and a nearby shantytown.

University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Janet  Monge found proof of savage violence done to the remains including a bullet  wound to the head of one of them.

Many locals had been sceptical that anything would  be found. East Whiteland Township Manager Terry Woodman told AP.

“Some people thought that this was lore, a story  that through the telling had been exaggerated,” Woodman said. “There was a lot  of skepticism.”

The rest who were killed were ordered buried in a  mass grave and their shantytown burned to the ground.

One victim was identified victim as 18-year-old John  Ruddy, based on his bone size and the passenger list of a ship that came   from Ireland to Philadelphia shortly  before the men died.

The brothers plan to bury  the remains  found  in a suburban Philadelphia cemetery around St. Patrick’s Day, March  17.

Dennis Downey, a history professor at Millersville  University, said the work done has been invaluable.

So Malvern, as you look at the developer tarting up one end of the town to sell his project, remember what happened in the East Whiteland side of Malvern. Here’s hoping some day the dead there can all rest.  They certainly didn’t get what they deserved coming to America looking for honest work.

political apathy.

There are some mornings you just think you should go back to be and start the day over.  This morning is one of those mornings. No Mitt Romney, today is not a good day for America.

Mitt Romney just picked his running mate.  Actually social media leaked it out a few hours ago, while mainstream media is hawking it as breaking news.

It’s not breaking news, it’s bad news.  Mitt Romney has chosen his running mate and he might as well have chosen Sarah Palin. He has chosen Congressman Paul Ryan. 

It is official, the politics of extremism will be running the elections in the U.S. this November.  Sign me one frustrated Republican.  Romney, like Obama, panders to small factions, pockets of extremism.  Like Obama, he does not speak to the average, nor majority of Americans.

The majority of Americans are in the middle, they try to belong to a political party and are trying to desperately believe in  anything and anyone, yet both political parties worship at the extreme sides of their respective parties, leaving little in reality for the Average American to grasp or hold onto.  Let alone believe in. Is the United States becoming a rudderless political ship steered by warring extremist political factions?

This choice by Romney makes me like a woman without a country. There is NO place in this election for voters in the middle of either party.  And Paul Ryan certainly won’t respect my right to choose as a woman.  And I am not saying what my choices are incidentally, only a Romney-Ryan ticket might as well have me proverbially speaking being barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. And silent.

Obama has done nothing for me, and truthfully what has Obama done for the majority of Americans?  The answer is nothing. He has been four long years of BTLA – big talk little action.  He’s good at talking, but while he is fiscally fine, can you say that for the majority of people in this country?  What is so fabulous about what he has done with healthcare? Has he reformed the actual healthcare companies? Look at bibles of wasted money like the largely uninterpreted Dodd-Frank Act?  Has there been sensible Wall Street  reform with rules people can actually follow?  Or has it merely given the Securities and Exchange Commission a bigger bully stick that comes complete with selective enforcement versus creating a better system through rule making that can actually work and not just grow their workforce?

Our country is an economic cesspool and the problems that existed four years ago, still exist today, only worse.  We might as well be in a depression.

Romney unfortunately is in that class of super rich who are out of touch with reality.  And his running mate is too extreme.  Ryan’s policies are too extreme and would punish everyone in this country except the infamous top 2%.

So where does that leave the rest of us?  We are not better off.   If anything, the Average American is more pissed off.

Romney’s Palin for Decision 2012 (Paul Ryan) may just hand the election back to Obama.  So I guess we had all better hope Obama can actually do something to benefit all not just select factions the next four years, hadn’t we?

I am so tired of the politics of extremism in this country, that I truly might not vote this November.  I have never said that, never done that.  I was going to volunteer at my new poll.  Why bother?

Sign me disgusted by American politics, and if Romney had chosen more wisely and chosen someone like Tim Pawlenty this might be a very different blog post.

But what do I know from American politics?  I am not of a religion that believes in magic underwear, after all.

The Wall Street Journal has some Ryan sound bytes:

WSJ: Paul Ryan Excerpts: ‘We Can Turn This Thing Around’

August 11, 2012, 8:42 AM

“I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns.”

Dude, you don’t represent me or my part of the country and the USA is pretty darn large.  Wisconsin is not representative of who I am as a Pennsylvanian.

REUTERS: Romney campaign confirms Paul Ryan as running mate

By Steve Holland

NORFOLK, Virginia |         Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:08am EDT

NORFOLK, Virginia (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, the Romney campaign confirmed on Saturday.

“Mitt’s choice for VP is Paul Ryan. Spread the word about America’s comeback team,” a Romney campaign mobile phone application said, confirming widespread reports he had selected the 42-year-old Wisconsin lawmaker who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee…..

Conservative leaders, increasingly anxious over the state of Romney’s campaign, had urged him to pass over reliable – but not particularly inspiring – figures such as Ohio Senator Rob Portman and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, and instead go for Ryan.

The Wisconsin congressman is a favorite of the conservative Tea Party, an anti-tax, limited-government movement that helped Republicans take over the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.

But Ryan’s selection immediately draws attention to a budget plan he proposed as House budget chairman that would include controversial cuts in government health programs for the elderly and poor…..

By choosing Ryan, Romney effectively adopts the Ryan budget, which includes proposed cuts to Medicare, the healthcare program for the elderly, long considered to be politically taboo.

Ryan would set up a voucher-like system for the program to help beneficiaries buy private health insurance or give them access to the traditional fee-for-service plan.

Another controversial portion of Ryan’s budget is a plan to reduce the cost of Medicaid, the federally backed healthcare plan for the poor, by turning it into a block grant program for states.

Several Democrats have said that among the potential running mates for Romney, Ryan was the one they would most like to face because of his budget proposals.

And d’oh Romney just did his speech and goofed – he just asked people to welcome the next “President” of the United States and then had to correct himself.   Well every campaign needs a Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle. Ironically, Obama did the same thing when introducing Biden.

Also check out The New Yorker on this.

August  9, 2012
Posted by

As you may have noticed, I’ve largely avoided speculating about Mitt Romney’s  choice of a running mate. That’s partly because I don’t have any inside  information and partly because of something I learned back in 1988, when I was a  young whippersnapper covering the Presidential election for the Sunday  Times of London. At the Republican convention, in New Orleans,  Vice-President George H. W. Bush stunned almost everybody by picking Dan Quayle,  a young senator from Indiana, as his running mate.

After a string of gaffes on Quayle’s part, following questions being raised  about his résumé and lack of experience, the Bush campaign sent in the heavies  to shore him up: James Baker and Roger Ailes….Quayle was irrelevant….In 2008, Sarah Palin reprised the role of clueless running mate, providing the  press corps with even more entertainment than Quayle had done twenty years  earlier. But Palin, like Quayle, didn’t have much, if any, impact on the result.  By the middle of August, before John McCain announced his choice of Veep  candidate, Barack Obama was already holding a steady lead in the polls, which he never relinquished….

Now there’s another veepstakes, with speculation that an announcement of the  candidate’s name could come as early as today. Rather than trying to make  predictions, it may be more productive to assess what Romney’s choice might  mean…..But my hopes would be tempered by the memory of Quayle, Palin, and all the other  Veep candidates who garnered acres of newsprint and didn’t count for much on  Election Day. In fact, here’s a challenge: Can anybody think of a running mate  who made a substantial difference?

I am not a Tea Partier and I am not a Democrat.  There is no place for me in this election as a voter.  It also makes me wonder where there is a place for average Americans in American politics at all.  Paul Ryan is not a choice. He’s more political extremism.

The politics of extremism will ruin this country if we are not careful.