Many moons ago in a time far, far away I wrote a very tongue in cheek e-mail as a blogger to a new newspaper editor for the local paper where I lived. I welcomed the “new sheriff in town.” The editor laughed.
His name was Tom Murray, and I respect him a great deal. He came up in journalism as a true newspaperman and when I first met him he had come in as the new Managing Editor of then Main Line Life. His job grew to run the day-to-day operations of the Editorial Department for three weekly newspapers, Main Line Times, Main Line Suburban Life and King of Prussia Courier – he was part of the transition to “Main Line Media News” as you know the papers today online.
I started blogging before it was quite fashionable, and when I started it was often perceived as a bit scandalous and definitely controversial – a lot has changed since the early 2000s, hasn’t it? Now it is sort of everyone-has-a-blog or website or vlog…and some still find me scandalous or controversial when they don’t agree with me.
During his many year tenure at Main Line Life/Main Line Media News I wrote a lot of reader’s editorials. I wasn’t the only one – Tom was a big believer in the vox populi or the voice of the people. Tom is one the many traditional journalists I know that has helped me become a better writer. More importantly, this guy does good newspaper.
And guess what? He is a new sheriff in town yet again where I live now (Chester County). Tom is now Tom is the Lead Content manager at the West Chester Daily Local News, the top editorial position in the newsroom. The role includes newsroom contact with the public and administrative management of editorial employees in addition to content manager duties.
When I heard Tom was moving into this role at the Daily Local I was psyched. Andy Hachadorian was an awesome editor in his own right, but this was the guy who edited the local paper I loved when I lived on the Main Line. So Andy stepped away from the helm in late February and Tom stepped up.
Good day Chester County. I wanted to take a few minutes of your valuable time and introduce The Editor’s Corner to West Chester Daily Local News readers.
For some, it’s more of a reintroduction as I worked with many people in Chester County over the years, while for others, this is the chance to introduce myself as the new Lead Content Manager of the West Chester Daily Local News.
For my old friends, I’m back and hopefully better than ever. We met years ago when I was Executive Editor of Main Line Media News ….And for the rest of the Chester County residents, I’m excited to be the contact person here at dailylocalnews.com as well as the print edition of the West Chester Daily Local News…..Just a heads up, I won’t be talking about Kanye and the Kardashians, unless Kanye really does run for president, but other than that, I hope to use this space to not only give my insights on the hot local topics of the day, but more importantly, start a dialogue with everyone and hopefully this can turn into a conversation.
There is more to this post , so I hope you go read the whole thing. And he means what he says: he is an editor you can talk to.
Glad to have you in Chester County, Tom. You always were my favorite new sheriff in town 🙂 I wish Jim McCaffrey was around to see this….
Want to connect with Tom? tmurray [at] 21st-centurymedia.com
The problem with a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance is what does it actually save? It’s not like whatever fines they impose will be extraordinarily punitive to a developer, will it? Two examples of active demolition by neglect in my opinion are Linden Hall or the historic house rotting next to Clews and Strawbridge .
What would be being charged with demolition by neglect actually do except possibly be considered by a developer to be a “cost of doing business”?
And then there are the non-developer demolition by neglect instances. The houses along Sproul Road or 352, for example. Some are owner occupied or rented, others vacant with absentee landlords and or estates. And along there is an entrance to a what? A 10 acre or so parcel approved for development a few years ago? (Which is what I wondered why the surveyors were out on King near Frazer Road and King that although the township could never tell me why the surveyors were out, I wondered after the fact if that was why? But I digress.)
How would this proposed ordinance affect homeowners or renters who might not have any financial choice in how the property looks?
Or what about abandoned factory sites like Bishop Tube? While it is pending whatever happens it is crumbling and rotting away. There are photos on the Internet going back to 2010 that are interior shots. Shouldn’t an ordinance like this also be able to encompass properties like that? After all they are also demolition by neglect pending redevelopment of the property, only it’s not historic except for the chemicals present like TCE.
I am not against a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance. I just wonder if it will be punitive towards those who truly deserve it? And it is not just developers who let historic properties rot. And it’s not just historic properties which suffer from demolition by neglect.
As a general rule of thumb, this blog doesn’t endorse. But given the election shenanigans, dirty tricks, property vandalism and general mayhem of desperation in West Vincent Township Chester County, it is the right thing to do.
I have met and I have spoken with Mike Schneider on more than one occasion. Several occasions over more than a year as a matter of fact. West Vincent, he doesn’t want to be your “road master” and have taxpayers fund his health benefits and an additional source of income off the backs of hardworking individuals. (And is it true taxpayers fund a pension plan for Ken Miller as well?) Mike Schneider just wants to represent the residents and do better for West Vincent Township.
I might not live in your township but I have been going to it since I was a teenager. You have a beautiful township that is precipitously close to being completely overdeveloped. Your roads are a disgrace. Favoritism and political cronyism rule the day, every day. And you, the residents can stop ALL of this on election day with one vote per person for Mike Schneider.
The people who love Ken Miller would have you believe he is like the second coming of Christ. He’s not. He’s just a guy who was a farmer and got into politics and now doesn’t seem to do either job particularly effectively, does he? So actually you would be doing Ken Miller a kindness he doesn’t deserve by retiring him to his farm – he really needs to concentrate on his family farm full time because eventually can we say those tractors left topsy turvy in a field all add up?
Ken Miller got shown the door by his own political party in the spring primary. He is only on the ballot as a Democrat from write ins because he and his supporters are thatdesperate for him to keep his job. You see, if he loses power, so do all the mean people.
Yes, mean people.
These people do things like vandalize private property, leave nasty letters in mailboxes and slanderous broadsides on community bulletin boards. Why? Because they are scared of any truth seeking individuals like one with the Internet handle of Chickenman. It is completely maddening to them that they can’t unmask him. They like to tell you how he lies, even though he backs his writings up with public documents. Documents sourced from court records and West Vincent Township.
Recently those who practice the Religion of Miller have put their propaganda in an anti-Frank Perdue web page. They did this because well, they got outed with their cutsie-folksie-country life West Vincent Voices page basically got outed not so long ago as existing solely to prop up Ken Miller’s sagging campaign. You see, people were very upset when Dave Monteith’s property was vandalized and then people started talking about development. That was apparently too much honesty and sunshine. I am told the page was scrubbed of certain postings and residents who didn’t tow the line removed. And as they are cajoling you with syrupy sappy fakeness, they are out stealing lawn signs, aren’t they? And when residents post rewards for information on those who are stealing lawn signs, why those posts are removed, aren’t they?
Anything that challenges their desperate status quo is removed. But hey they like making phone calls, stopping at your homes, and sending nasty e-mails, right? And well, when all else fails you can always blame Barry DiLibero, right? Did you know when it rains or snows, it is actually Barry’s fault? Yup, just ask the Religion of Miller. Barry is a dear friend and well very talented, but he hasn’t mastered making it snow and rain…yet.
Now the tea and scones set act all nicey-nice but the truth is they do things like support cyber bullying and cyber -stalking efforts. They did that to me. They are just not nice people. They are past masters of smiling to their neighbors’ faces while they stab them in their backs. People live in fear where they pay taxes because of these people and their middle class thuggish mob mentailty behavior. And they seem to do all the talking for Miller, don’t they? It needs to stop, doesn’t it?
Bring civility back to West Vincent. Bring a real sense of community that is not selective but is all- inclusive back to West Vincent. Embrace public servants who work for all of you and not just a select population but mostly for themselves.
Election day can be your Emancipation Day West Vincent. You just have to step away from the Miller Mob. It’s not so hard, it’s just a vote.
Please note I am NOT being compensated for my opinion. I am not a recipient of special favors. Endorsing Mike Schneider is the right thing to do and Mike Schneider is the right guy to be supervisor and if I lived in West Vincent I would be voting for him.
At the end of the day Chester County needs more Mike Schneiders and fewer Ken Millers. And that is why I wrote this post.
So, what a difference a couple of years makes, right? A friend sent me this photo the other day. Toll Brothers at their finest. Guess this is the next phase of Byers station or whatever, right? Because nothing says Chester County like the smell of plastic siding roasting in a treeless sky, right?
I know you can’t save every old house, but what is being done in places like West Vincent is almost criminal. Can you imagine if THIS above is what happens to Bryn Coed which sits not only in West Vincent but a neighboring township? That estate is like what? One and a half times the size of Chesterbrook when it was created? Can you imagine what Bryn Coed land would resemble if stripped bare like this?
Here is a photo of the same house that I took in June of 2013:
Now for those who live in West Vincent, the thing to remember is when KenOCrat Supervisor Roadmaster Farmer Miller sends his ladies in waiting forth to invite themselves into your homes to say what a fabulous job he has one, how he is all about preservation, the environment and so on, remember these photos or the next one….which is another for whom the bell “Tolls” over at Eagle Farms/Chester Springs Road (also sent to me ):
Now they naysayers and cheerleaders will try to tell you how Mike Schneider who is running for Supervisor against Ken Miller is not the guy for the job and heck come on it is allthe same tired rhetoricfrom when John Jacobs won and well John is doing an awesome job isn’t he? The bottom line is Ken Miller got booted by his own political party so in desperation he was a write-in fake Democrat. (How embarrassing that the Chester County Democrats have a horse in this race and it is a veritable Trojan Horse, right?)
Ken Miller’s supporters (because you NEVER hear from Ken personally do you?) will tell you how Ken is “fiscally conservative” into “conservation and environmental protection” and oh yes “good planning” and “road maintenance”. If he was Pinocchio he would be using a Toll Brothers wielded chain saw to slice off his ever growing nose.
This man voted in favor of eminent domain for private gain when they tried and failed to take Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show. His supporters will try to explain that away “It was for the good of the horse show”, “it was to protect the land” , “it really wasn’t eminent domain for private gain.”
Yes. It. Was.
That crappy Ludwig’s Corner Overlay Plan? What do you think that was about? Tea and scones? Moving pony club? And they could have seized the land, sort of twiddled their thumbs for a couple of years, sold some to a developer to build that crappy overlay plan and what would that be? Tea and scones? moving pony club? The answer is still eminent domain and it is private gain because well these overlay plans aren’t public purpose and a municipality as tiny as West Vincent isn’t going to develop these big honking plans themselves are they? Miller can barely take care of the roads, and not very well, correct? So that all leads back to what class? Eminent domain for private gain.
Basically it is the same pool of developers all over. In every community they tell the same tale as how they want to “help” the communities they wish to destroy with new development. But God only loves those developers who help themselves (to higher profit margins) and the occasional politician, right? (Sorry it’s called opinion and I am entitled to it.)
At the end of the day people, local elections matter. And if West Vincent residents don’t wake up in November or are afraid to vote intelligently, well scarred naked landscapes is what will replace the beautiful fields and forest and winding country roads.
And that ladies and gentleman is what I will never get about Farmer Supervisor Roadmaster KenOCrat Miller. He’s a farmer. Farmers are supposed to love the land right? So how is all the bad development out there loving the land?
Be wary Chester County. Ask not for whom the bell “Tolls”. It “Tolls” for all of us if we don’t slow down development everywhere.
Thanks for stopping by (and keep those bad development photos coming.)
I went to Malin Road and stood outside the fences of Bishop Tube today. Totally creepy and deserted. I was glad to see an unmarked police car do a drive by a couple minutes after I got there, the place gave me the willies.
I took photos from outside the fencing on the road. What a weird feeling to be out on such a gloriously beautiful day, yet there was the overwhelming creepiness of the Bishop Tube Site, all abandoned and the only way to describe it was the place seems to radiate negative energy. Don’t see how that feeling will be eradicated by plastic townhouses marching row after row. The site doesn’t appear to be particularly secure and given what appears to be vandalism, nor does itappear as if it has been for years has it?
Staring at the site, I couldn’t help but wonder where the PA DEP was on this? I can find on the Internet where they were in the past, but not in the present. Or the EPA, which is so screwed up just read THIS and THIS and THIS. Here let me share this:
The scene was otherworldly. A river tinted orange by a toxic brew of heavy metals, including lead, arsenic, and other pollutants. Three million gallons of wastewater from an abandoned gold mine in rural southwestern Colorado flows slowly downstream. Communities are shutting off drinking water collection. Vacationers are being warned to avoid contact with the contaminated water.
The cause? None other than a mistake by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Wall Street Journalreported details on the incident Sunday, noting that the spill was initially downplayed by the EPA, and that it was much larger than first reported. Most importantly, as of Sunday, the mine is still releasing wastewater at a rate of about 500 gallons per minute. The pollution incident is ongoing.
This latest toxic release is yet another example of the EPA spectacularly failing at its primary mission. As I’ve expressed in this space before, the government is not particularlycompetent at environmental remediation and management.
When you read things written by critics of the PA DEP, it is often not much better. Look these government agencies have good intentions but they all seem to get in their own way and in the end are the accomplishing their goals of protecting all of us?
The Pennsylvania DEP has been criticized for its poor record of providing information on fracking-related contamination to state residents. In April, a Pennsylvania Superior Court case claimed that due to the way DEP operates and its lack of public record, it’s impossible for citizens to know about cases where private wells, groundwater and springs are contaminated by drilling and fracking.
“The DEP must provide citizens with information about the potential harm coming their way,” John Smith, one of the attorneys representing municipalities in the lawsuit, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “If it doesn’t record and make available the violations records then it is denying the public accurate information, which is unconscionable.”
When is the last time the PA DEP or EPA took a good look at sites like Bishop Tube in Pennsylvania? These aren’t new sexy disasters, they are plodding along existing trouble spots so now that there don’t appear to be lots of government money floating around for clean up ( a la “Growing Greener“) who cares about these toxic sites like Bishop Tube?
I happened to check the court dockets on the Bishop Tube litigation mention in prior posts when I came home and there are a few more filings on the case of ordinary hard-working people vs, everyone involved around Bishop Tube. Here are the two most interesting:
Apparently although The Daily Local did that curtain raiser of an article a couple of weeks ago, no other media seems interested in a toxic superfund site in bucolic Chester County? Or are there media inquiries and other inquiries starting to foment and ferment behind the scenes?
Here are a couple of gems from all this legal stuff:
From the plaintiffs’ memorandum (2:15-cv-01919 (GJP) filed 8/10/15):
Page 4: “The Plaintiffs have alleged that, during the Defendants’ respective ownership and operation thereof, they discharged hazardous substances into the environmental which have migrated onto and into the Plaintiffs’ property including the Plaintiffs’ drinking water. It is further alleged that the Defendants have failed to remediate the contamination, the regulatory authorities have failed to require the Defendants to remediate the contamination and additional response work will be necessary.”
Page 6 “It is alleged in the Complaint that, during their respective periods of ownership and operation of the Bishop Tube site, the Defendants used or permitted the use of hazardous substances, including trichloroethylene (“TCE”), during the manufacturing processes for their seamless stainless steel and other products and that, as a result of the Defendants’ ownership and operations at the Bishop Tube site, hazardous substances, including TCE, were disposed into the environment, including the Bishop Tube site’s soils and groundwater. See Complaint,¶¶34-35. It is further alleged that subsurface migration of contaminated groundwater from the Bishop Tube site has and continues to contaminate the aquifer beneath the Bishop Tube site and beneath off-site premises including the Plaintiffs’ home. See Complaint, ¶36.”
Page 7 “Accordingly, in or about 1999, the PADEP took over response actions at the Bishop Tube site, which included periodic sampling of soil, surface water, groundwater, vapor intrusion pathway analysis and maintenance of monitoring wells in the contaminated aquifer as well as the installation of a soil vapor extraction and air sparging system designed to capture and remove contamination from subsurface soils at the Bishop Tube site. See Complaint, ¶¶42-43.
However, none of the Defendants have taken any steps to actively remediate the contamination that originated on the Bishop Tube site, which has and continues to migrate onto the Warren property and neither the EPA nor the PADEP have taken any steps to compel such remedial activity. See Complaint, ¶44. Further response action is necessary to abate the release of the hazardous substances at the Bishop Tube site which have and continue to migrate onto the Warren property. See Complaint, ¶45.”
A Notice of Intent to Sue was served on all Defendants as well as the EPA and PADEPon December 8, 2014, to which no one responded”
Page 11: “III. Plaintiffs’ RCRA Claim Must Not Be Dismissed
Johnson Matthey next argues that the Plaintiffs’ RCRA claim must be dismissed because it does not adequately allege an “imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment” and because the State is diligently addressing the contamination.
However, as described in detail above, the Complaint alleges that TCE contamination from the Bishop Tube site has migrated into the Plaintiffs’ well water. TCE is a volatile organic compound “used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, but it is also an ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers.
Trichloroethylene is not thought to occur naturally in the environment. However, it has been found in underground water sources and many surface waters as a result of the manufacture,use, and disposal of the chemical.” There is evidence that TCE affects the developmental and nervous systems in humans and is also carcinogenic. Specifically, there is evidence that TCE can cause kidney cancer and limited evidence for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver cancer as well as various tumors in animals. See United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxic Substances Portal for TCE, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=30 (last visited August 7,2015).
Accordingly, it is respectfully submitted that it is disingenuous for Johnson Matthey to claim that Plaintiffs have not adequately alleged sufficient imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment to sustain a RCRA claim.”
Page 13: “Conclusion
Simply stated, in support of their federal CERCLA and RCRA claims, the Plaintiffs have alleged that: (1) the Defendants, including Johnson Matthey, discharged hazardous substances, including TCE, into the environment at the Bishop Tube site which have migrated onto the Plaintiffs’ property and, specifically, into their drinking water; (2) that the Defendants have failed to remediate the contamination; (3) that the regulatory authorities have failed to require the Case 2:15-cv-01919-GJP Document 6 Filed 08/10/15 Page 12 of 13 10 Defendants to remediate the contamination; and (4) that additional response work will be necessary. Indeed, TCE is a carcinogenic. Based on the foregoing, it is respectfully submitted that the Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts, which must be presumed true for purposes of this Motion, to withstand a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the FRCP”
From First Amended Complaint With Jury Demand:
Page 5: 37: “During their respective periods of ownership and operation of the Bishop Tubesite, the Defendants used or permitted the use of hazardous substances, including trichloroethylene (”TCE”), during the manufacturing processes for their seamless stainless steel and other products.”
Ok above are just snippets of the legal documents, quotes, excerpts. You can read for yourself the entire thing as they are uploaded in this post:
I did not create any of this it is all on the court record.
I am a cancer survivor. I would not wish that on anyone. I have also known people who have seen their children through cancer and trust me, it is too gut wrenching for words. In my opinion based on the research available to publicly peruse, this is site is toxic is it not? And then there is General Warren Village. Those residents deserve peace of mind don’t they? They have always been directly affected by Bishop Tube haven’t they?
I am a realist. This might be a creepy site but it is this chunk of land that developers are salivating over (don’t know if they are glowing in the dark from walking around it, however.) This site will be made into something although really it should be cleaned up and left alone since it is also my opinion that this site will take years to properly remediate, and can’t you agree that is reasonable?
But the thing is this: a plan like that not only affects people who want their piece of the American Dream and want to live in gorgeous Chester County who might purchase these cram plan slab on grade no basement wonders if they are built, but potentially every east Whiteland resident in the future, correct?
How can East Whiteland say for certain they would not ever become a party over litigation surrounding this site? They can’t, can they? And they have an obligation to current and future residents to see beyond the shiny promises of developers oh so familiar to them, see beyond and some new ratables down the road, and must put their heads down and see that this site is properly remediated and even get alternate land uses investigated, right? The bottom line is the owner of the land knows how to remediate this properly, they have the experience, correct?
Approving a development plan here while this litigation is ongoing and remediation isn’t complete can be considered a case of putting the cart before the horse, yes? And why is it all we hear is about the developer planning on “capping vapors” with the concrete slabs for the townhouses, yet the current litigation mentions aquifer again and again which is ground water, drinking water, and so on, right? A little different from vapors, right?
East Whiteland has a lot of development balls in the air and should we worry about how the land planning with all the developer driven zoning overlays are getting done?
East Whiteland, you have to do this right. Lives depend upon it. Please.
Nothing like a shopping center slum lord in the snow, right? Has anyone else been to Lincoln Court Shopping Center recently as in during or after any of the recent weather???
That lot is challenging on a good day with clear weather, now it is so bad that personal injury lawyers should just hang out in the parking lot every day.
Yes I know it is a challenge to keep anything clean in this weather, but these commercial property owners are supposed to try to make it safe for business owners and their employees and their customers, aren’t they? And here even the handicap spots aren’t even properly cleared and aren’t they supposed to be by law?
And someone told me this is the same property owner that owns over where Frazer Post Office and Peppridge Farm is too?
Most municipalities do have rules that commercial properties must abide by so does East Whiteland ever look into stuff like this? Anyway, be careful especially in Lincoln Court.
I know many people who own chunks of commercial properties in the Northeast as well as small businesses struggling in this weather, and I know they are all having issues of clearing snow and finding places to put it. But can’t this Lincoln Court property owner get snow hauled off and say ask other property owners that own large stretches of field near there if they can pay them to put the extra snow there? Or ask East Whiteland if they have any places extra snow can go? There has to be a solution, right? Or is it this commercial property owner only cares about collecting the rents?
This winter has been brutal, God knows but people should be able to navigate safely in this lot and right now they can’t. Businesses need business from customers to pay the rent. But if customers and employees can’t navigate safely how the heck are all these businesses supposed to generate the income to pay the rent?
And is it true that according to East Whitelnd’s own code this center should have nearly 900 spaces? Someone told me that as per property management site (which I have not seen because I don’t know who it is…yet) there are approximately 592 parking spaces? (Except some City Feet listing I found says 771 parking spaces?) This is probably all grand-fathered, right? But aren’t all lots with 60 or more spaces supposed to have a pedestrian path or walkway from one side to the other?
Whatever, I am totally confused as to how many spaces a shopping center of this size should have. That is for East Whiteland to figure out. All I know is the parking lot conditions could be considered hazardous to the average citizen, and well it is the site of our local Drivers License Center, grocery store, QVC outlet and so on. It is always busy except for nowbecause it is ridiculous. SO why isn’t it cleaned up better???
East Whiteland is a municipality where there is a LOT of commercial property compared to residential and the news that does eeek out from the non-televised and non-recorded meetings indicate they are always courting more commercial projects, so why not have the older shopping centers like this look better, feel better and be better too? Mind you, I am not blaming East Whiteland for this parking lot debacle in the sense of it is not really cleaned up safely or properly, that is all on the property owner whomever they are, right? Just food for thought as more commercial sites grow, right?