back in the saddle

pretty

Snapped this photo while on vacation in Amagansett, NY recently.  If I were a horse I would want to live at Stony Hill Stables.  That place is immaculate and the animals so happy.  And yes, they have a few retired race horses living there with all the right paperwork too I am told.

This photo was just such a beautiful and peaceful, yet unpretentious scene so thank you for the indulgence.  I have a LOT of photos to share from the trip, I am still editing (I took over 1000 photos).

Back in the saddle getting back to everyday life means more gardening and barn picking and all that good stuff! Back in the saddle also means getting back to some of the blogging of it all.

I am not some blogging newbie.  I have been at this long before it was either fashionable or trendy.

Some might not care for my opinion or some other blogger’s opinion, but opinion is one of those great things allowed in the USA courtesy of our founding fathers.

Just because I blog it does not make me a free publicist or phtographer.  I get paid for that if that is what you want.

I also always do my research and trust me there are a lot of people who should deeply appreciate the fact I do not let loose with all the info I dig up on the public record. My sources, generally speaking are honest and above-board, and as a source I am also trusted by the media….because I do my homework. So have a care. And if you want to split hairs and play semantic monopoly, that is fine. But don’t play me or play passive-aggressive patty-cake.  Fibs always come out. And telling people different stories catches up with people, it’s a tough game to maintain, yes?

This blog is different from the purely activism/civic activist- based blogging I used to do, but occasionally you will find that here because there are just things I believe in.

Take Justice for Argus & Fiona – the two Bernese Mountain Dog puppies shot months ago.  Their family and dog lovers everywhere are still waiting for justice to be served.  Mr. Pilotti now apparently wants a jury trial of his peers, so apparently from what the Bocks tell us via the Chester County District Attorney’s office that has yet to be scheduled and there is to be no plea deal – another rumor we heard.

Mr. Pilotti we have not forgotten.  Chester County DA? We have not forgotten.  What he did was wrong. It was intolerable cruelty. And it is really frustrating to be doing things the right way from our end, yet there is no justice and the dog laws have not moved one bit.

And for those hopping all over my back because I think West Vincent and the District Attorney should have confiscated the gun used to shoot the dogs pending the outcome of a trial? Get over yourselves. That is not something unusual.  What is unusual is the fact that one simple thing never happened did it?

Here is the docket link.  The first page has a docket entry of bitter end of summer for a new trial date but have no way of knowing if it is for real.  My somewhat jaded opinion is it would be easier for the District Attorney and Mr. Pilotti if everyone forgot about the dead puppies but why should we? So it can happen again?

But what do we expect with anything having to do with West Vincent? Normalcy?

Hankin_Settlement

Speaking of West Vincent, Chickenman just celebrated his 4th anniversary.  Everyone should read his anniversary message because if you live in West Vincent with this local government no one can afford to be an ostrich with their head in the sand can they?

Chickenman 4th Anniversary Missive

http://chickenman.medianewsonline.com/

And in the whole West Vincent of it all, another thing I believe in is the preservation of Birchrunville Village.  So check out the flyer titled BirchrunvilleFlyer – you had beter get involved if you love the village because it is about to be super-sized if government officials get their way. a development plan proposes to insert 3 additional buildings plus parking for almost 50 cars, effectively creating a commercial strip mall in front of the historic schoolhouse building!

Birchrunville People sent out a message:

Please join concerned residents for a discussion at the Birchrunville Café on Saturday August 17 at 10AM.  Learn what you can do to help make sure township ordinances are properly enforced in order to retain the character of this historic village. Also…Please attend the next scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday August 26. For more information, please check out the web site http://birchrunvillepeople.com

I hope everyone is having a delightful summer!  As always, thanks for stopping by!

these aren’t the salem witch trials west vincent are they?

DSC_0069The problem with small towns is among other things, gossip.  Can that be said to be a huge issue in West Vincent Township?

As an auslander observing how these small Chester County Hamlets like West Vincent work, it can often be described as with fear and loathing can’t it? He said, she said with an unhealthy dose of incestuous politics, right?

So many I know would never live in West Vincent because of the convenient and batting of the eye inexplicable crap that happens to ordinary people who aren’t even doing anything half the time, right?

Want to know what I have noticed going through West Vincent of late?  The number of properties for sale on every road and dirt lane imaginable.  It is a small place and it seems that in it and abutting it, homes are going up for sale.  Some of them incredibly beautiful, slice of heaven worthy properties. Can that all be because of the economy?  Or is it deeper, darker, more sinister?  Could part of what is wrong also have to do with fears of unecessary development? (see letter here called 2February2013Bville ) Or taxes? Or how tax monies are spent? Township services?

But part and parcel of what is wrong with West Vincent is fear and loathing and whisper down the lane, correct? Political retribution?  Persecution of innocents?

persecution

Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and socio-economic levels.  Real Christian people abhor bullying.

So West Vincent officials of course you know nothing about this, right? But can it be said you might never lift a finger if you knew who was doing this?

So West Vincent, here is the 411: Do you want to be on my radar again?  Do you want to be under the microscope of media? 

We realize you are still obsessed and live in fear of Chickens and mobs of Birchrunville People but let’s grow up, shall we?  Not every one of your residents is going to agree with you.  You are not gods.  You were put there by the people and can be removed by the people, yes?  You are not immune to ethics inquiries and state investigations, either, are you?  Is that what you are trying to avoid?

The times they are a changing and it is time for twisted Mayberry to get with the program. Persecution and gossip are so Salem Witch Trials and February 1692 right?

And here is an idea to lay on the general public: accountability.  If you know who leaves persecution missives around town in this country hamlet, feel freee to speak up.  God don’t like ugly after all.

A final thought to file under God don’t like ugly and accountability are some flyers I have held onto, and in some cases for months.  People have been sending them to me for months.  They show up in places like the US Post Office in a couple of locations.  I believe Birchrunville and maybe Chester Springs.

It is of course damn stupid to harass private citizens via the US Postal Service – and FYI it doesn’t matter if you are posting on post office property or sending through the mail it can and all should be given to US Postal Inspectors, shouldn’t it?  They throw stuff like that through crime labs for prints and whatnot – sometimes state labs, but often Federal labs and would you want YOUR finger prints or DNA on them? And this isn’t CSI, they actually do this stuff. And if my name was on one of those flyers being left in post offices I certainly would contact the postal inspectors.

I have redacted the names but it is all obviously political in West Vincent because the citizen targets include one person who ran for supervisor and someone else was an honest Republican Committeeman.  And the type face  and phrasing is similar enough to give anyone with a brain pause that it is the same author or authoress as the notice above. But again, anyone with a brain wouldn’t do something this stupid because eventually it all comes out. And these people are doing this because they are obsessed with Chickenman.  As in who the writer Chickenman is.

And what are they going to “prosecute” Chickenman for anyway?  Telling the truth? (In that case Viva La Chicken, right?)Having First Amendment Rights? Exercising a very American tradition of having a pen name? (I will also note they tried this a few years ago in Delaware County with a blogger called Delco Tom Paine or something close to that.  He was never exposed, never prosecuted, and much of what he wrote about came to pass.)

Bottom line: government corruption is like mold until it sees the light of day.  And shame on whomever for persecuting private citizens for having two brain cells to rub together. And if these flyers end up being discovered as being created by West Vincent elected officials, appointed officials or with the knowledge of either well that might be a problem for a lot of people, huh?

West Vincent, it is 2013.  Knock it off.  The more you try to slide stuff by the more people seem to come forward and ask questions.  Trying to silence, bully, harass, initimidate, and harrangue residents is not working in your favor so why not try a little honesty instead of croneyism?

chickfilet 1

chickfilet2

final dumbass flyer

And now for the ultimate in Paranoia.  (And oh the irony they are ankle biting Jim Gerlach, eh? I bet the Congressman loves being up on post office walls next to the FBI most wanted, huh?) And at the end of the day is Chickenman silent? I still get mailings, don’t all of you?

Paranoia

If I was an elected or appointed or connected person in West Vincent I sure wouldn’t want to be caught along with whomever is putting harassing flyers up in US Post offices around West Vincent, would you? LOL this is some kind of truth for West Vincent isn’t it? And my final thing on this post is to post the list of “contributors” to two blogs no one reads (they are possibly vegan and at the very least chicken-free LOL):

Truth for West Vincent

I am a West Vincent resident and I set up this blog in 2009 to invite my neighbors to share information and enter a discussion about our township, what’s working and what’s not. Please continue to share your thoughts.

contributors

WVT Open Forum

This is a place to post signed messages, no hidden authors, no unsubstantiated allegations.  Please speak your piece and share your opinion. We ask posters and commenters to identify themselves; we would like this to be a discussion forum for West Vincent Township residents only.  Thank you.

contributors2

Twisted Mayberry….there is no substitute.  You people would eat your young if it meant having your own way, don’t you all think so?

chester county and development…not so perfect together?

Today when the news came that Brian O’Neill was continuing with Uptown Worthington’s next phase, I was not one of the ones cheering.  First I thought of my former township (Lower Merion) and the O’Neill projects in moth balls and sites looking shabby. Then I started to think about the development I have seen since I moved to Chester County, and I am concerned.

No one wants to turn their back on progress, but at what price comes progress?  For example, let us not forget Malvern Borough’s $60,000 mistake on East King Street. You know? Eli Kahn’s New Urbanism Fairy Tale?  In July, Kahn and his partners David Della Porta and Gary Toll did the old soft shoe and a rah-rah ground breaking.

With regard to Malvern, I will say again, You know what I think Eli Kahn and Jack Loew’s project is going to be like when it is done?  A super-sized Charleston Greene.  And over the years, how has Toll’s Charleston Greene worked for you ,Malvern?

A friend said to me a little while ago “You can’t spend other people’s money and
generate prosperity. ” 

There is food for thought.  Also to think about quite seriously is what Tredyffrin did last night other than not apologize for cyber-bullying the delightful and devoted and hard working community champion Pattye Benson.   They approved the C-1 Zoning Change. Now, basically, a LARGE death farm, excuse me, senior assisted living facility will grow on a rather SMALL site on Lancaster Avenue.  You know, where Jimmy Duffy’s Catering Company used to reside?

Interestingly enough, this new development is from a Tredyffrin resident who put the residents of Bala Cynwyd through the ringer for another awkward site senior assisted living facility around 2009. Main Line Media News said at the time:

Further township discussion of a controversial Bala Cynwyd development plan has been postponed until next month.

Developer Ed Morris of Traditional Properties LP had hoped to take his new plan for an assisted-living facility at 27-33 Old Lancaster Road to Lower Merion commissioners this week….Morris got zoning-hearing board approval in late July of a special exception to build a “home for the aged” on the parcels, which today are occupied by two single-family homes. The stone colonial houses would be demolished.

The plan was a switch from development plans approved by the township in 2006 for a four-story, 21-unit condominium building. Morris has said that marketing efforts to sell units in the proposed building were not successful as the housing market stalled….A number of residents in surrounding neighborhoods in Bala Cynwyd and Merion objected to the change in direction, saying that the assisted-living facility is a more commercial use, out of character with the area.

Oh my goodness!  Is this not an eerie sense of déjà vu?  Don’t I remember original plans for the Jimmy Duffy site being different, albeit equally unwelcome to neighboring Daylesford residents? (And Ed Morris like Brian O’Neill was featured in an article a few years ago in Main Line Today called Condo Mania)

How many developments do we need?  Does Chester County want to end up a congested mess with limited open space like much of the Main Line?

I noticed on Malvern Patch that a lot of people are excited by the idea of MORE mall at Uptown Worthington based upon the comments.  I, on the other hand, am concerned.

It wasn’t too long ago that this developer was embroiled in nasty, nasty litigation over this site.  And how will this phase of construction affect people? Remember the first phase? And look at the 100 year PennDOT 202 project right there right now. It really isn’t a 100 year project, but given how PennDOT does business it might as well be.

Then there is the thought of how many malls and mall like places do we need?   Exton is but minutes away with the Exton Square Mall, Main Street at Exton and the countless other smaller strip malls in and around it.  King of Prussia is also fairly close with the giant King of Prussia Mall and all the other various and assorted strip malls and sub-developments in the vicinity. (And don’t forget that charming casino because you know nothing says U.S. history like a slots parlor next to where George Washington literally slept.)

In addition to these larger malls and newer strip malls are all the other strip malls and often funky shopping centers on Route 30, Paoli Pike, Route 3, pick a road.

Really Chester County, how much development do you want? How much development do we need as residents?  Are we actually getting new stores or are businesses just hop-scotching between retail developments, moving every few years to whatever the next sweetest deal is? And do you want a steady stream of fill-in-the-name-big-box-retailers and chains?  What of the independent local business where they know their customer base and might be your neighbors?

I saw the development of Chester County in a most unusual way on my 9/11 hot-air balloon ride.  I saw the development from the air.  From high up in the sky it looked like miles and miles of Legos – developments all cookie cutter.

Chester County on a county level needs to get a real grip on the future.  The economy is not recovering, and still these developments proceed.  Developers will say they bring jobs, but once you get beyond retail shift work and minimum wage, what is there?  And you need more than that to fill up the condos, town homes perched on formerly rural highways, and the communities of McMansions. (Don’t forget about the fact they are trying to supersize Birchrunville in West Vincent. And then there is other potential residential development in the future, right?)

Once the open space is gone, it is not coming back. Once the charming cross-roads towns are gone and the farms are gone, they are also not coming back.  That’s all. Just think about it.

My wish for Chester County is a revolution of common sense.

meanwhile, business as usual in west vincent?

 Wow West Vincent.

I mean REALLY?  Is this true? Did you think no one would say anything?  And truthfully, I have recently heard other West Vincent tales from people I have continued to meet socially who aren’t “active”. They are just ordinary people trying to live their lives.  Suffice it to say their tales lend even more credence to everything Chickenman and others say.

I do not understand why the state doesn’t have a corruption squad to come into West Vincent?  Silly me, I thought Corbett was a law and order kind of guy?

From Chickenman this evening:

Now, I wondered, why would that sign appear?

It seems there was a “private meeting” between township representatives and the Hilltop Road residents on August 14 about road ‘improvements’ estimated to cost over $100,000.

I discover that no surveying, engineering, or professional planning has been done.  It seems, judging by the sign, that the residents don’t actually want the road improvements. They don’t want the bottom part of Hilltop widened and  paved.

So I leave you, my dear reader, to ponder over the question over who might benefit from this road improvement scheme?  Could it be something to do with money and not to do with local benefits?  Could it just be that a local contractor needs the work and a certain local farmer might benefit indirectly?  Answers on a postcard please, and there are no prizes.

If you don’t agree your tax monies being spent in this way, please follow the sign, and go to the meeting.  Support your neighbors and follow the sign. YOU might be the next. It’s what happens in West Vincent.

Now a tiny little gripe.  I only just heard about this.  Please tell me earlier, I can often help.  I can’t do anything if I don’t know about it.

To see my previous mailings please click on http://tinyurl.com/westvincentinfos
As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or  suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don’t want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me, it will be done.  Just hit reply to this email or write  to chestercountynews@gmail.com

Best wishes  Chickenman

Also don’t forget in addition to Chickenman there is also the group http://www.birchrunvillepeople.com/index.html – they point out how people might want to look at Second Class Township Codes to see how West Vincent follows the basics.

I found something interesting when reading about Second Class Townships:

Section 503. Removal for Failure to Perform Duties.-If any township officer fails to perform the duties of the office, the court of common pleas upon complaint in writing by five percent of the electors of the township may issue a rule upon the officer to show cause why the office should not be declared vacant. The officer shall respond to the rule within thirty days from its date of issue. Upon hearing, the court may declare the office vacant and require the vacancy to be filled under section 407.

Folks, it also wouldn’t hurt to remind Congressman Jim Gerlach the issues have issues in West Vincent.  Call his Chester County office or campaign office in Eagle. You also need to write letters to the Daily Local.  Go to meetings.

Again, I can write the occasional blog post but I do not live in your community.  Small minded petty politicos only have as much power as you allow them to have.

beautiful.

Beautiful.   No other word can describe the Great Blue Heron who lives at the Willows in Radnor Township.  I call it Big Blue.

The photo above was taken a few days ago by my pal Greg Prichard.  The photo below was taken by me in the same vicinity two years ago at the same time of year.

If there is any doubt why we need to preserve our environment and open space, just look at this magnificant bird.  You don’t see creatures like this in office parks, strip malls, and New Urbanism Fairy Tales of Transit Oriented Development.

Just saying.

west vincent on the peoples’ radar again: rising up about birchrunville

I haven’t had much to say lately about West Vincent.  First of all, nothing is changing, just more of the same old same old….including everyone but the cows at Ken Miller’s farm are being told they are the fine feathered friend Chickenman.  That gets old, who cares,  and besides they gave up burning witches at the stake centuries ago, right?

What doesn’t get old in West Vincent, apparently, are mysterious acts of retribution. Yeah, everyone knows it goes on and they are not paranoid delusions of residents. Stuff like that happens every day, and not just in West Vincent.

But West Vincent hasn’t been Mayberry Sleepy…. and there still seems to be stuff going on “on the down low”.

Chickenman’s e-mail the other day made me wonder if it was time for an update.  He wanted people to read an article in The Daily Local about proposed development of the old township building property, which is apparently a historic school house.

Here we go again.

By SARA MOSQUEDA-FERNANDEZ smfernandez@dailylocal.com

WEST VINCENT — Residents are concerned about office buildings proposed in Birchrunville, and they want township supervisors to reject the plans as inappropriate for their historic village center.

The applicant for the Birch Run Village plan seeks to construct three two-story office buildings, each of about 2,500 square feet, on a total of 2.5 acres.

 The property is at the corner of Flowering Springs Road and School House Lane. The school house on the adjoining parcel was built in 1833 and was formerly used as the township’s administrative building.

 According to Supervisor Clare Quinn, the zoning for the area is mixed use, which allows small commercial development.

Suzanne M. Roth, who sits on the township’s Environmental Advisory Committee, hopes more residents realize what the proposal means.

“We just really want to make sure that people understand the amount of development that’s being proposed for this property, the impact that it’s going to have on all of our lives,” said Roth. “This keeps changing, but at the moment it looks like there will be (three) two-story buildings.”

According to Township Manager Jim Wendlegass, Birch Run Village Leasing LLC originally submitted a land-development application in late 2004. That was denied, he said, and a new plan was submitted last year.

The township’s Planning Commission advised supervisors to reject waivers sought by the developers for the project….“This is an historic village with roads to match,” said Roth. “If the property is developed as planned for each parking space allotted, there will be eight car trips anticipated to travel our roads.”

That would mean about 256 to 270 more cars passing her house  daily or turning around somewhere in the village to enter the office complex, Roth said.

“Township police cannot enforce the 15 mph speed limit on the lower portion of School House Lane now,” she said.

 Ethan Schofield, whose property also neighbors the site, hopes that more residents will become aware about the issues at hand…Kenny Carroll, a resident of the township since 1973, said he was specifically concerned with impacts on the environment. “The Birchrun Creek, an exceptional value creek, will be seriously impacted by this development,” said Carroll…According to Carroll, another issue is the development’s impact on the schoolhouse building. “This building is an historical building,” said Carroll.

….Roth and other residents have put together a website, http://www.birchrunvillepeople.com/, with more information about their concerns on the project, hoping to inform the township and community members about these and other issues.

Clare Quinn?  How can anyone believe a thing that comes out of her mouth?  Isn’t she Chester County’s reigning queen of eminent domain is a good thing?  And well, don’t all the residents pay her health insurance via tax dollars, making her right up there with sucking off the proverbial public teat, yes?

In general, where is the need for this development?  Did residents request it?  Are there businesses lined up with signed leases waiting to move in?  How does this work? This isn’t just a suburb, it’s the country, and one of the largest problems with Chester County as beautiful as it is, are these odd business developments that never look exactly full.  Who decided there was an actual need, or is this a build it and they will come scenario? I don’t understand.

Malvern is already learning how their development that will be super-sized and traffic clogging will impact the borough economically.  Suffice it to say, it will not be the cash cow officials thought it would be.  And lordy it has taken David Della Porta long enough to get one of his New Urbanism Fantasy Plans through.  He’s a nice man, I have met him, but I have heard him chirp this all before – it’s just with the Borough of Malvern he finally found his perfect rubes.  He said at a ground breaking after the fact:

“What I mean by that is, the first urban-esque, mixed-use, transit-oriented development,” he said. “There’s really nothing in Philadelphia suburbs like this, where you have retail-residential involved in a great existing place that already has a beautiful little town, the services and the train station within walking distance.”

Urban-esque?  Hello, why do people move to the suburbs?  Why do people move to the country?  Is it so they can eventually feel the urban of it all they moved away from?  Call me crazy, but I don’t think so.

So West Vincent residents, lovers of Birchrunville, what say you?  Is this what you want?  It seems to me that a lot of different voices are saying “no”, aren’t there?

The problem is, this dopey plan will go through unless fought tooth and nail.  And I hope people get political.  Let your Congressman up for re-election know how you feel too.  Hasn’t he received a tidy sum of donations from power brokers and decision makers in West Vincent?  Donations are nice, but votes get an elected official where they need to go, so always let them know how you feel about local issues even if they are not directly involved.  Especially during a big election year.

Now, let’s also use this as a reminder as to why West Vincent needs term limits and new supervisors.

And here is the new website Birchrunville People: Preserving the Village of Birchrunville:

Check out the TRAFFIC TAB:

4-Way Stop Sign is Being Planned for the Intersection of Flowing Springs Rd. and School House Lane!

See the photo below of the new notice marking at the intersection, and scroll down to see the Caruolo Associates’ Traffic Report which “strongly disagrees” with the creation of the 4-way stop at this intersection! This will be an extremely hazardous intersection for vehicles driving up and down Flowing Springs, especially in the the winter! 

Why should the People of Birchrunville be put in danger for the sake of one corporation’s financial interest?

Check out the History Tab and The Actions Tab:

What Can You Do?

    1. Attend the West Vincent Township meetings (see Calendar).  Share your thoughts with the township Board of Supervisors and the Planning Committee.  Keep your comments and questions civil and respectful– these township officials are our neighbors and friends and they are committed to serving the township and upholding its laws.
    2. Stay informed.  We will try to keep this website up-to-date with the latest developments.
    3. Write letters.  Put your concerns and questions in writing and send them to:
      West Vincent Township Board of Supervisors: 729 St. Matthews Road Chester Springs, PA 19425           Pennsylvania State Senator: Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman One North Church Street West Chester, PA 19380
      Chester County Historical Preservation Network: http://www.cchpn.org/contact.htm
      PennDOT (PA Dept. of Transportation): Francis J Hanney Traffic control services manager fhanney@state.pa.gov
      Fire Safety:

Birchrunville’s first responder: Kimberton Fire Company P.O. Box 99 Kimberton, Pennsylvania 19442 Phone: 610 935-1388 Fax: 610-935-3956

Others Serving West Vincent: Ridge Fire Company #1 480 Ridge Road Spring City, PA 19475-9678 Phone: (610) 495-6063 Fax: (610) 495-5106 RidgeFH@RidgeFireCompany.com
Ludwig’s Corner Fire Company 1325 North Pottstown Pike Glenmoore PA 19343 Station #73 Phone: (610) 458-8479 Fax: (610) 458-2562
Check this page regularly for more opportunities to get involved and make a difference!

There is also a forum with comments worth reading

Good for these residents for stepping up and having a say!   But it is West Vincent, so who knows how it will end up. All I know is little country roads are just that: little.  And you only get so many chances to keep water sources clean and once an environment is gone, etc., it’s gone.

It’s a damn shame that the politicians in West Vincent and the taxpayer-funded staff do not really get the value of the charm of this area that will disappear once they turn it into Little Eagle.  I can’t wait for the CVS with fake Victorian gables.

Sigh.  More dumbness.

 

.