Memorial Day – A Day of Remembrance. Honor the Day. Honor Them!

“…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God, …and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”     ~ Abraham Lincoln

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and we honor the day by honoring them!

From local resident Dan McLaughlin, I received the following email along with photos (below) from today’s local Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies. Thank you Dan.

Local Memorial Day Remembrance  –
This Sunday, members of Paoli American Legion Post 646 and Wayne American Legion Post 668 honored local Veterans who gave their lives in service of our nation. Ceremonies took place at the Baptist Church in the Great Valley, the Philadelphia Memorial Park in Frazer, and the Veteran Memorials in Berwyn and Paoli.

At each location fallen service members were honored with prayer, a 21 Gun Salute, and a Bugler playing the National Anthem.

Memorial Day parades to remember our nation’s Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and members of the Air Force will take place in Wayne starting at 9:45 a.m. this Monday, May 28th and in Malvern on Sunday, June 3rd at 1:30 p.m.

 

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Regular T/E School Board meeting tonight + T/E Finance Committee Update

The School Board will meet in regular session on May 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm at Conestoga High School, 200 Irish Road in Berwyn. There are no priority discussion topics on the agenda. Click here for the meeting agenda.

There is no mention of the latest anti-Semitic threat (by a 12 year old student at TE Middle School) on the meeting agenda. There is a comment period at the beginning of the school board meeting but “the Board requests that each public comment made during this first opportunity be limited to items on the agenda.”   Therefore, parents and community members cannot speak about the recent threat at the middle school during this comment period (because it is not listed on the agenda).  The other comment period for ‘non-agenda items’ comes at the end of the meeting — for those willing to stay until the end of the meeting you would have an opportunity to address the school board with your questions and/or concerns on this topic.  Below is the only response that I have seen regarding threats which I previously posted and do so again —

Response Protocols to Reported Threats

Since the February event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the District has received some questions about how TESD responds when information about a potential threat is shared with school officials.  The following is a short summary.

All reports involving threats are taken seriously. Once a report is received, the school opens an investigation.  Depending upon what is learned, District responses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Application of discipline consistent with District policy and school law
  • Police notification
  • Enhanced supervision and monitoring measures
  • Administration of risk assessment protocols involving mental health professionals to determine whether or not a student is a threat to self or others
  • Appropriate supports for involved students

Parents and students are encouraged to report potential threats to school administrators so the school may begin to investigate and implement appropriate measures.

Ray Clarke attended the District’s Finance Committee last week and offered the following notes from the meeting — thanks Ray and there certainly are several very costly items under consideration by the school board.

Last Thursday’s TESD Facilities Committee meeting was notable for a couple of items with multi-million dollar financial impact to the District.  They will come up on Monday’s full Board agenda, so your readers might want to weigh in.

Of most import: the Administration has modeled classroom utilization at Conestoga given student enrollment projections based essentially on students currently in lower grades – so there’s a high degree of certainty.  Science labs would be at full capacity by 2020/21 and regular class rooms and other room types would reach that by 2023/24.  Solutions include another high school and grade level realignment and construction, but these seem much inferior to the concept of expanding Conestoga, which would also allow the addition of desirable space for, say, engineering labs.  The Committee seemed surprisingly uninterested in whether this is even feasible and how it might be done (an option we elicited was to expand towards Old State Road) but gave the OK to study this (how many classrooms, what types, what other common facilities, what approach, costs, etc.) over the course of the next year.

[This of course would have no impact on today’s parking issues – apparently now three quarters of all seniors (up from half a few years ago) request parking permits, and there is no space left.  The preferred option looks like allowing each student to park for (a different) 4 days out of 5.]

On a more dispiriting note, the Cadillac CCTV system is back on the radar, and the Committee recommended the spending of up to $100,000 to flesh out the design of a system which in the best case is projected to cost $2 million.  The provided materials lacked any statement of project objectives and presented no priorities or alternative solutions.  There was no explanation of how this time around the video can be streamed right through the current data network, whereas last time we saw this project an entire separate network was required.  The best support offered was “the cameras and technology are old”, “the police would like better quality” and “other schools have better systems”.  The District has selected WITH NO BID long term personal consultant Peter Heverin who in turn picked security consultant Kteck Engineering.  Of course there will be protestations that this first $100,000 spending is not a commitment for the $2 million, but note that the district is about to authorize the design of a very specific system by a very specific supplier of that system.

(I should just say here, that Open Land Conservancy and Tredyffrin Police work together very effectively to catch culprits in our Nature Preserves using $100 trail cameras.)

(And another kind-of-related-to-video side note re the discrimination incidents in the district discussed on CM: these are of course not isolated to T/E, and we are seeing more and more captured on cell phones.  Activist Shaun King has a strategy: identify and bring public pressure on the bigots (eg Haverford School alum and NYC lawyer Aaron Schlossberg).  Perhaps if students and parents were very aware of public consequences there might be more civility?)

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TE Middle School Student the Target of Anti-Semitic ‘Dirty Jew’ Attacks by Classmate

Image result for anti-semitismI was sent an Associated Press news article about a middle school student accused of anti-Semitic bullying and of making threats to a fellow student and asked if I was going to write about the situation.  I opened the article, expecting to read about this latest horror story occurring in some faraway place – only to discover that the incident occurred in our own school district at TE Middle School in Berwyn.

According to the story, which the family shared with news media, the bully’s target was their 12 year old daughter who told him she was no longer interested in him.  His response was to retaliate by texting images of Adolph Hitler and ‘dirty Jew’ remarks.  He reportedly also threated to bring a gun to school and go after 33 classmates, including the female student who ‘broke up’ with him.

Although the male student faces criminal charges for his actions, the article states that he returned to school within a week.  The female student was so afraid when the boy returned to school, that the family has removed her from the school for the remainder of the year.

I understand that the administration has to balance the safety of the female student and her classmates with the right to an education of the male student but personally it seems unfair that the alleged victim is the one not attending TE Middle School! According to 6ABC News, “the 12-year-old was charged with harassment and marking terroristic threats. He was suspended from school for five days.”

Chester County DA Tom Hogan was contacted for comment and the AP news article states that “ … he could not comment on pending cases but added he had no reason to think the girl’s parents would give an inaccurate account.”

Since the news article first surfaced, I have heard that the death threat against the 33 fellow classmates was investigated and dismissed by the school.  I have no idea whether that the threat was real or not or if it was dismissed. However, what I do know is that anti-Semitic bullying is not simply a ‘cyber incident’ or a ‘boys will be boys’ situation.   These are scary times we are living in – if a kid makes ‘dirty Jew’ comments and texts Adolph Hitler images at 12 years old, a simple “I’m sorry” does not cut it for me.

Besides the seriousness of the actual incident, in my opinion there is a significant problem with the fact that the other parents at the school were not notified by the school district.  Instead, the parents and the community learn about the anti-Semitic act from the Associated Press!  According to the news article, “School officials made no public announcement about the case, and other parents know only what they heard around town.”   Subsequent to the AP news release, various versions of the story are appearing on the major TV networks.

Why does it take the anti-Semitic story working its way through to AP news channels and publically broadcast coast to coast for us to learn about it?  To my knowledge and unless someone tells me differently, no letters were sent to the TE Middle School parents regarding the anti-Semitic situation.

The following statement is now on the TE School District website – I do not know when it first appeared or it it was specifically added as a result of this anti-Semitic incident as it is undated:

Response Protocol for Reported Threats

Since the February event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the District has received some questions about how TESD responds when information about a potential threat is shared with school officials.  The following is a short summary.

All reports involving threats are taken seriously. Once a report is received, the school opens an investigation.  Depending upon what is learned, District responses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Application of discipline consistent with District policy and school law
  • Police notification
  • Enhanced supervision and monitoring measures
  • Administration of risk assessment protocols involving mental health professionals to determine whether or not a student is a threat to self or others
  • Appropriate supports for involved students

Parents and students are encouraged to report potential threats to school administrators so the school may begin to investigate and implement appropriate measures.

It seems to me in the last few years we are hearing more and more of these anti-Semitic incidents.  A little investigation and I found that for the last 39 years, the Anti-Defamation League has conducted a yearly audit of anti-Semitic incidents. The 2017 survey reported there were nearly 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents – the highest number recorded since conducting the first survey in 1979 and an increase by 57% over the previous year. The annual audit tracks incidents of vandalism, harassment or assault reported to the Anti-Defamation League by police, media and victims. Only verifiable incidents are included in the survey.

In previous audits, the majority of reported anti-Semitic incidents occurred in public areas, like parks. However, the most frightening statistic to emerge from the 2017 report indicates that 457 incidents occurred in K-12 schools – an increase of 94 percent from the previous year!  And it is not geographic based – the anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2017 occurred in each of the 50 states, with Pennsylvania having the sixth highest number of incidents behind New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida.

Although I am not an educator, I am a parent and we are living in angry times. I know that there are two sides to every story and maybe I do not have all the facts but I know one thing for certain – hate-filled anti-Semitism has no place in our schools. The world should never forget that under Hitler’s leadership, some 6 million Jews were murdered during World War II.

All children need to feel safe at school. The school district went to great effort and expense to install fences around the schools. However, reflecting over the last several years, the threat has not come from outsiders (not to say that the District should not be prepared!) but rather internally – repeated assault of a female Conestoga student by a male District aide and assault of a learning disabled male student by a Conestoga aide and coach to name a couple.

Don’t sweep anti-Semitism under the carpet and turn a blind eye … use this as a teachable moment.

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Will Lower Merion School District Use Eminent Domain to take Natural Land Trust’s Stoneleigh Estate: Say No!

This story is almost impossible to comprehend but sadly it is true!

Through the wonderful generosity of John and Chara Hass (Rohm and Haas Company, specialty chemical manufacturer) and their children, the family’s Villanova estate Stoneleigh (c. 1877) was donated in 2016 to Natural Lands Trust. The wonderful estate turned garden is set to open its gates to the public starting Sunday, May 13.

DSC_0392

                                                            Photo by Richard Ilgenfritz, Digital First Media

Now days before the gates are open to the public, the Lower Merion School District is looking at the estate and gardens as a possible site for a new middle school – property to be taken by eminent domain. Initially, LMSD was looking at purchasing 6 acres (by Villanova Law School) for the middle school but  the entire 42 acre Stoneleigh estate is in jeopardy of condemnation!

Natural Land Trust is not interested in selling any of the  Stoneleigh property to the LMSD. According to the Main Line Times, the Trust’s attorney has stated, “the Natural Lands will not entertain the board’s offer to purchase a portion of Stoneleigh Garden and that the Natural Lands will oppose any effort by the board to take any portion of Stoneleigh by eminent domain,”

I’m struggling with the takeover of private property — because Lower Merion School District needs more sports fields — it is just plain wrong! With great generosity, the Haas family donated the land for public use, how can Lower Merion School District do this? Doesn’t the Natural Land Trust have rights? Not my idea of how elected officials should “lead by example”!

Go to Stoneleigh’s website to learn more about the property.  And please consider signing the petition to Save Stoneleigh from Condemnation!  Lower Merion School District needs to be stopped!

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In a recent comment on Community Matters, Ray Clarke (local resident and member of Open Land Conservancy Board of Directors) points out that the attorney writing to the Natural Land Trust on behalf of Lower Merion School District is none other than Ken Roos of Wisler Pearlstine, LLP — this is the same Ken Roos representing T/E School District.  As Ray noted, Roos billed T/E $60K in April alone!

I certainly hope that the potential eminent domain condemnation by Lower Merion School District of a Natural Lands Trust historic estate doesn’t give our T/E school board any ideas. The many new land development projects in our school district has meant more families moving into the area. As a result, there has been discussion over the years about whether a new elementary school is needed to meet the possible student enrollment increase. The condemnation of Open Land Conservancy property in T/E School District is not an option!

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Is Pennsylvania Ready for a Woman Governor – Yes, if Laura Ellsworth has anything to say about it!

t’s a ‘man’s world’ … or is it?

Although Pennsylvania has never had a woman governor, that may change if Republican Laura Ellsworth, a commercial litigation attorney from Pittsburgh, has anything to say about it.

On May 15, voters will choose among three Republican candidates for governor. Governor Tom Wolf is unopposed in the Democratic primary. In addition to Ellsworth, Paul Mango, a former health care systems consultant from suburban Pittsburgh and Scott Wagner, a state senator from suburban York who owns the $65 billion waste hauler Penn Waste Inc., are also running in the Republican primary race. Candidates Mango and Wagner are spending a lot of money fighting over who is more conservative, whereas Ellsworth is seeking broader, less ideological support from voters.

Today I took my daily walk from the Chester Valley Trail to Wilson Farm Park so as to meet the sole female governor candidate Republican Laura Ellsworth, who stopped by the park for an hour long meet and greet with the locals.

One of the residents in attendance asked Ellsworth if she voted for Donald Trump in the last election – without skipping a beat, she responded with a firm NO.  In reviewing a Philadelphia Inquirer article, I read that Ellsworth “backed John Kasich for president (says she wrote in his name in last year’s election), gave money to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Bob Casey — and doesn’t like political labels”.  It was clear today that she wasn’t touting party politics but instead representing herself as a candidate for “all” the people.

Endorsed by the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning, I also learned that Ellsworth supports universal background checks for gun ownership and the banning of bump stocks, which are devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly in addition to raising the age of gun purchase to 21 and imposing a three-day waiting period.

Now in his fourth year as governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf wants another four years. The only female candidate in the governor’s race, Laura Ellsworth hopes to be the Republican Party’s nomination to challenge the Democratic governor. But first things first – Ellsworth needs to win the May 15th primary and her Republican rivals, Wagner and Mango, are not going to make the task easy.

I have to say – having a conversation with Laura Ellsworth today was like talking to a next-door neighbor over the back yard fence. Although she has never run for public office, Ellswoth’s friendly and confident responses to the residents make her a natural in her new role as candidate for governor.

Laura Ellsworth exudes a very genuine quality with a welcoming voice in the midst of partisan politics.

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Tredyffrin Township’s Planning Commission agenda – townhouses, apartments, hotel and assisted living projects, Oh My!

What’s on Tredyffrin Township’s Planning Commission Agenda this week … Mt. Pleasant and Devon townhouses, multi-story apartments in Paoli, single family homes in Berwyn plus a new hotel  and another assisted living project. (Planning Commission meeting, Thursday, April 19, 7 PM, Township Building, click here for agenda).

Although we have had a long cold winter with spring taking its time to arrive that hasn’t slowed construction plans in Tredyffrin. Developers have flocked to the township with their assisted living and townhouse, apartment and condominium plans.

Reviewing the Planning Commission agenda, there is quite an assortment of proposed land development projects – some plans returning for further review and others new to the township.  A few highlights from the agenda include:

  • The Berkley Road Development project “Peyton’s Crossing” in Devon previously received approval to demolish a historic twin house on Berkley Road and build 6 townhouses – now they are back asking to amend the plan for 8 townhouses. (For the record, the demolished house dated to 1900. Remember Tredyffrin Township has no historic preservation ordinance of protection.)
  • The Linden Lane Capital Partners “Station Square” redevelopment plan adjacent to the Paoli train station, which demolishes 4 existing 2-story office buildings to make way for a new 4-story apartment building, is back in front of the Planning Commissioners for preliminary/final land development approval. The proposed $40 million project includes 153 apartments and first floor office space, interior courtyard and swimming pool.

    Proposed Linden Lane architectural rendering

The proposed Linden Lane – Station Square project has garnered much concern from neighbors, including the increase in traffic plus lighting and adequate landscaping buffering.

  • First time in front of the Planning Commissioners is a proposed townhouse community in Mt. Pleasant –  “959 Radnor Road, 969 Radnor Road, 979 Radnor Road”, and 959 Fairview Avenue”. The plan calls for consolidating 4 properties into 2 lots and then constructing townhouses on each lot.

This is Mt. Pleasant, a community on the brink of losing its identity and place in our local history. In the last few years, absentee landlords have purchased and filled houses with college students, forcing neighbors to act as ‘dorm parents’ with late-night parties, increased traffic, etc. Residents have watched as small homes have been demolished with Mcmansions in their place and price tags that many in Mt. Pleasant cannot afford. Or, the vacant lots where developers purchased and demolished homes, only to later abandon their plans.

The proposed townhouses will demolish 1920’s Mt. Pleasant houses

Wanting to understand the new townhouse plan proposed for Mt. Pleasant, I walked its streets this past Saturday with resident Christine Johnson, a long-standing supporter and leading voice in her community.

From a historic standpoint, at least a couple of the houses slated for demolition are from the 1920’s, which of course saddens me. Four houses will be demolished to make way for 12 townhouses – and with price tags  that most of the neighbors cannot afford. This type of high-end development continues to erode the Mt. Pleasant – a place where everyone knows your name! 

The bigger question for the residents of Tredyffrin Township is how many townhouses do we need (or want)?  Is the destruction of our communities worth it?

Returning to the Planning Commissioners is the Valley Forge Motor Court Motel development project and Nolen Properties assisted living project at the Aquilante Catering site on Cassatt Ave.

  • The current one-story Valley Forge Motor Court Motel is squeezed in between Route 202 and West Anthony Wayne Drive. The applicant is seeking to demolish the motel and build a multi-story Sleep Inn Hotel in its place. This proposed land development project was first in front of the Planning Commissioners last June. The applicant subsequently sought and received a Special Exception from the Zoning Hearing Board authorizing “hotel” use. I attended the first presentation of the proposed hotel and I recall that there were many in the community voices with objections to the plan — concerns for lighting, traffic and the multi-story size and scope of the proposed hotel.

In Pennsylvania, the PA Historical and Museum Commission uses the fifty-year standard to qualify historic properties. For the record, the Valley Forge Motor Court Motel qualifies as “historic”  but remember, Tredyffrin Township does not have a historic preservation protection ordinance.

  • 950 Cassatt Partners/Nolen Development Group is back with a “Petition for Zoning Ordinance Text & Map Amendment”. They are seeking to revise the O (Office) zoning district to permit “Residential Care Facilities” and to re-zone the property to the O (Office).

This proposed assisted living project is on the site of the Aquilantes catering business on Cassatt Road in Berwyn and  requires a zoning amendment. Although the developer has scaled back his plans to 190 units, this is still twice the current allowance for the intended use. The current zoning laws allow for 10 beds per acre but the proposal is closer to 20 acres per acre. The high density housing is not compatible with the surrounding residential area.

The proposed assisted living project requires the demolition of this 19th c. building.

The proposed text amendments to the density and impervious surface requirements allow a greater number of units and therefore a greater number of residents on this property as compared to a currently compliant facility.

The applicant hopes to gain recommendation from the Planning Commissioners to the Board of Supervisors for a zoning text amendment to create new density allowances for “transitional areas”.

When is enough, enough with the assisted living and the townhouses?  I really am not opposed to development — thoughtful development, not development that impacts communities, overcrowds the school district, increase traffic and destroys historic structures!

Show me some redevelopment plans for the many empty office buildings and box stores and these projects would have my complete support!

Hope to see many residents at the Planning Commission meeting tomorrow at 7 PM, Township Building.  Your voice matters and the Planning Commissioners listen!

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$25 Million Gift to Abington School District — Where’s Public Input and Transparency?

A gift of $25 million from Blackstone CEO and co-founder Stephen Schwarzman recently made news as the largest donation ever given to a US public school. But did the gift to Abington School District by its billionaire alum come with “strings attached”?  At the very least, the gift was poorly handled by the Abington school board; giving new meaning to ‘lack of transparency’.

Although I had read about the Schwarzman multi-million dollar gift, I didn’t know the spider web of secrecy until I received the following email from Ray Clarke:

I’m sure that you are aware of the news around the $25 million donation to his alma mater by Abington alumnus and private equity billionaire Stephen Schwarzman.  At first sight, this gift was nothing but good news for the community, but has become highly controversial for the many conditions around the gift (including both an original requirement to rename the high school and also curriculum changes) and for the lack of transparency in the process.  Abington is taking steps to address its issues, but today’s news brings the issue home to T/E.

It turns out that T/E solicitor Ken Roos is not only on the Board of a secret foundation set up a year ago to receive the gift, but also is the solicitor for the Abington district that did not release any details of the agreement with Schwarzman until the day it was voted on, and is now refusing to release the agreement in response to Right-to-Know requests because it “needs legal review”.

This is the same solicitor who in 2015 fought TE community member Neal Colligan all the way to the PA Office of Open Records, who then ordered the District to release all records of the secret meetings relating to the actions taken in response to the Affordable Care Act.

It appears that Mr. Roos took nothing from that 2015 experience, and the community should have little faith that, should TESD ever have the good fortune to receive a large donation from a billionaire with an agenda, he will be the one that will help the district uphold its responsibilities to the community.  Instead, I’m hopeful that we can rely on the values of transparency and engagement that many on this forum have worked with the district to build.

And if anyone knows billionaire TE alum, they should be encouraged to chip in here, but – perhaps as important – to use their resources and position to support equitable funding for all our public schools.

Ray

As thanks for Schwarzman’s donation, Abington school board directors decided to rename the Abington Senior High School to Abington Schwarzman High School – outraging parents.  Sadly, the Abington School Board directors never sought public comment and didn’t give the community advance notice about the vote. After a backlash over the billionaire’s naming rights, the vote was rescinded.  With apologies and a promise to involve the community in the process, a new agreement is to be signed by Schwarzman and the school district.

As wonderful as the Schwarzman gift is, unfortunately it is mired in the darkness swirling over the re-naming of the high school, secret foundation, etc.

And Ray is quite right to point out that Abington School District’s solicitor Ken Roos of Wisler Pearlstine is also the solicitor for T/E.  In addition, Roos serves as solicitor for Lower Merion, Upper Perkiomen, Upper Dublin and Cheltenham school districts.  With the level of activity in Abington School District and the multiple lawsuits in Lower Merion and Tredyffrin-Easttown school districts, where is the ‘good counsel’ that these districts should expect from its solicitor?

Transparency and public input should be a hallmark for school districts – why isn’t Ken Roos delivering this counsel to his clients?

TE School Board, are you watching?

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Bishop Tube: Abandoned Toxic Site in Malvern — The Next Townhouse Community? Learn About the Clean-Up Status from Maya van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper Network

The Bishop Tube Co., a former steel tubing plant which produced stainless steel tubes from the 1950s until 1999 consists of 13 acres and is located off Malin Road, south of Route 30 in Malvern, East Whiteland Township. The property is a highly contaminated site with Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) accused of neglecting the problem for decades. For DEP history and recent updates on Bishop Tube, click here.

                                                                                                                              Photo by Carla Zambelli

Former owners of the site did not remove contaminants, including a carcinogen (trichloroethylene, or TCE) that was used as a degreaser.  TCE has been linked to cancer and was found in the property’s soil, groundwater and Little Valley Creek which borders the Bishop Tube property. Located directly east of the property is the General Warren Village where residents suspect that the toxic substances have spread into their community, causing cancer and other illnesses.

Developer Brian O’Neill purchased the Bishop Tube property to build 228 houses on the contaminated site with cleanup required. Some neighbors fear that the planned cleanup would further expose them to the contaminants. From the start the redevelopment project has been plagued with problems — accusations of impropriety, innuendos of preferential treatment, legal battles from multiple sides and more players than one can count.

My friend and fellow blogger, Carla Zambelli has closely followed O’Neill’s proposed townhouse project at Bishop Tube site; keeping us informed on Chester County Ramblings. I suggest visiting the blog, and entering Bishop Tube in the ‘search’ on the homepage for multiple articles.

A very loud voice demanding cleanup for the highly toxic industrial site comes from Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), and environmental group and its leader for twenty-three years, Maya van Rossum.  In an attempt to silence and seek damages, O’Neill filed a $50,000 SLAPP lawsuit against van Rossum and DRN. Chester County Court of Common Appeals dismissed the lawsuit, however the case remains active in the Superior Court.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network works throughout the four states of the Delaware River watershed (NY, NJ, PA & DE) and at the national level using advocacy, science and litigation.

On Wednesday, April 4, 7:30 PM at Great Valley Presbyterian Church, van Rossum will be the guest speaker for the annual meeting of Open Land Conservancy of Chester County – the public is invited.  (See flyer below).

Please spread the word on this meeting — For locals, it will be a great opportunity for a firsthand update on the contaminated Bishop Tube site from someone on the front lines!

 

 

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Decision Reached: US Rep Ryan Costello Will Not Run for Re-Election

Congressman Ryan CostelloAccording to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it’s official that  US Rep Ryan Costello will not be seeking re-election in the 6th District.

Costello’s departure from the 6th District race was rumored the last couple of weeks but there were mixed messages last week when he filed petitions for the May primary, meeting the deadline. However in the end, citing personal and political reasons, Costello decided not to seek another term in Congress. An attorney and Chester County native, Costello will seek employment in the private sector when his current term ends.

Tax attorney from Chadds Ford, Greg McCauley has filed signatures to run as a Republican in the 6th District, with a priority issue for new jobs and wage growth in the economy. At this point, it is unclear if Costello’s name will appear with McCauley’s on the ballot for the May primary election.

Democrat Chrissy Houlahan, a veteran and former CEO, is currently running for her party’s nomination in Pennsylvania 6th Congressional District.

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Second Time Around — Support for Common-Sense Gun Control Legislation by Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors?

In light of the devastating tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we are all concerned about the level of gun violence in our nation.

It’s past time to face reality. We, as a nation, need to do better. In the wake of the unspeakable horror of children being killed while at school, now is the time for action and … for sensible gun control laws.

Gun control doesn’t have to mean no guns. Arguments can be made for shotguns and rifles for hunting and handguns for protection. Somewhere, between these moments – the legitimate use of guns for hunting, and the too-easy access to guns by children and the mentally ill – there needs to be a solution. For me, that solution lies in sensible gun control measures.

But as Tredyffrin Township Supervisor Matt Holt learned at last month’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the support for common sense gun control legislation is challenging.  At the February 20th meeting, Holt presented a motion for a township resolution to support legislation sensible gun control laws. Without receiving a ‘second’ from any of his fellow supervisors, Holt’s motion failed.

To the credit of audience members attending the Board of Supervisors meeting, there was an unwillingness to let Holt’s motion fail without discussion. As a result of the demand for public input, Supervisor Murph Wysocki presented a new motion, seconded by Supervisor Sean Moir stating that the supervisors would work together on a new resolution to support legislation for common sense gun control laws for presentation at the next Board of Supervisors meeting on March 19.

The proposed resolution to support sensible gun control law legislation is included on the agenda for tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting — the public is encouraged to attend and offer their input.

Here’s hoping that the second time around that the ‘new’ resolution, to support common sense gun control legislation, receives unanimous support from the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors.


Update:  After discussion and many comments from audience members, I am pleased to report that the resolution supporting common sense gun control legislature passed unanimously 7-0 at tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

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