Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens


March 16, 1998

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August 13, 1997
A beautiful part of southeastern Pennsylvania
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Archived Home Pages - February 1999

Reminder: There is a meeting of those opposed to the Rt. 29 Turnpike Slip Ramp at the Great Valley Nature Center tonight at 7:30 pm.
Email continues to come in to with thoughts on the proposed Route 29 Turnpike Slip Ramp. See our Email from Residents (Letters) page linked from the Turnpike Slip Ramp Opposition Center.
I have posted a revised "Fact Sheet" provided by Sue Staas and the Citizens Opposing the Turnpike Slip Ramp. See Facts To Keep In Mind linked from our Slip Ramp Opposition Center.
Remember there is a meeting at 7:30 pm tonight (Sunday) at the Charlestown United Methodist Church for conducting interviews of residents interested in the several positions to be filled on the Board of Supervisors this year. This reminder came in from the Republican Committee:
The Republican Committee is currently conducting interviews with Charlestown citizens who are interested in becoming candidates for Supervisor, Auditor or the School Board. Interviews will be held on Sunday evening, February 14 and (tentatively) on February 21. Both sessions will begin at 7:30 PM and will take place at the United Methodist Church. Check this website for confirmation of the Feb. 21st session. Interested citizens are welcome to attend. Those interested in interviewing should send a letter and resume to Sue Staas, PO box 427, Devault, or to email
12:15 PM - WE HAVE HAD OUR 10,000th VISITOR!
The following was posted late last night -
We are very close to having our 10,000th visit since 06/02/97!
We're at 9,958 as I write this on Thursday night. The counter is always visible at the bottom of this page. I've had some visual and operational enhancements waiting in the wings for this occasion and you see some of them at the top of this page.
New Menu Bar - Many of you look at this site from a browser with the font size set large enough to make the old menu bar require two lines for each cell. That is, "Neighborhood Issues" took up two lines, meaning the two rows of links actually used up four rows of valuable screen real estate. The change to the above graphic buttons means many of you will see more information on each page before you have to scroll down. We're still not doing anything fancy because many of you are still running old versions of browsers over slow phone lines.
Home Page - I've done away with the two ugly green panels at the top of the home page and replaced them with a "Worth Remembering..." panel where I can post reminders and change them frequently. Together, these two enhancements provide better use of space, a somewhat more pleasing appearance (I think), and more flexibility in terms of keeping timely reminders in front of you even after the actual news has been "pushed down" or "off" the home page.
Finally, I have started an FAQ page, or as most of you know, a list of "Frequently Asked Questions". That list will be expanded as I receive questions and as I realize various things need some explanation. It's always available under "About this site" in the left menu column. Suggestions for additions are welcome. I'm tempted to create an "LFAQ" or "Less Frequently Asked Questions" page with entries like the following that I received back in April 1998 -
"I am writing a story on Boston and Charlestown during 1944/45 wartime. I can not find any information as to how the sailors got from Charlestown to Scollay square. Some of my information says that there was access to the Elevated Railway in Charlestown but that it was abandoned in 1938. I wondered if the subway train went to Charlestown during that time. Or did they have to take a bus and if so which one.
I don't know if you can help, but I would appreciated anything you can tell me. I'm writing this story for my writing class that I am attending at a local college, so would need information soon."
I will be maintaining the site remotely this weekend and will probably miss the 10,000th visit. Who ever that visitor is, CONGRATULATIONS, though you win nothing but my thanks. Actually, all of you who have come back time and again to check the latest news, photos and articles about Charlestown have my sincere thanks. Very special thanks go to Charlestown Green (especially Kevin Kuhn and Ellen Behrle), Linda Csete (who provides me with "official" information), and the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission (who allow Linda to provide me with that information) from myself and all of you who check in here to read the information they provide.
Thanks for visiting,
Jacob Merriwether
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has an article by Susan Weidener on last yesterday's meeting between the Chester County commissioners and state turnpike officials. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here. One gets the feeling that we need every citizen to be heard in order to turn this thing around, so if you have not yet written a letter to those listed in our center, it would be a good "weekend project".
David Hewlings sent me a very thoughtful email with aerial photo focusing on the extreme congestion already experienced in the area of the intersections of Phoenixville Pike, Charlestown Rd, Whitehorse Rd, Yellow Springs Rd, and Route 29. His enhanced photo brings the entire current situation (i.e. "mess") into focus, and this is without the ramp. The article is linked from our Slip Ramp Opposition Center or directly by clicking here.
Kevin Kuhn sent me a copy of Charlestown Green's letter to three of our state officials asking them to increase their opposition to the ramp. That letter is posted on our "Letters" page accessed from the Slip Ramp Opposition Center.
There will be a meeting of the Citizens Opposing the Turnpike Slip Ramp at the Great Valley Nature Center on Monday at 7:30 pm. Everyone interested in this issue is welcome to attend.
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer also has the final in its five part series "An Acre An Hour". The article, "In Oregon, builders know their bounds" by Nancy Petersen, Suzette Parmley and Diane Mastrull, describes how "...Oregon saw sprawl coming and decided to draw a line.", and also discusses growth control measures in New Jersey and Maryland. The article is available on-line by clicking here.
I have made the "No Slip Ramp" symbol shown above, which appears on all pages that are a part of the Slip Ramp Opposition Center, a link back to the Center.
This in from Kevin Kuhn: The PA Turnpike Commission is scheduled to meet with the Chester County Planning Commission and The Chester County Commissioners this week to have them explain the County Landscapes Program to them (apparently they didn't know we had one!).
Also, at their Monday evening working session the Great Valley School Board prepared a resolution opposing the Slip Ramp and will vote on it at next Tuesday's meeting so it's important for residents to encourage School Board members to VOTE NO to the slip ramp. (See our Slip Ramp Address Page for addresses and in some cases email addresses of School Board members.)
I have posted the Charlestown Green letter to the County Commissioners. It's a good source of ideas for your letters.
I have provided a plain text version of the Slip Ramp Addresses Page so you can easily save it or copy it into your word processor.
We have our first response to our Slip Ramp Opposition Center. David Hewlings has provided some email addresses to go with the mailing addresses of several public officials, and he has also kicked off the "letters" page where you are encouraged to air your views and make suggestions, as David did.
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has the fourth article in the five part series "An Acre An Hour". This one, "In Pa., towns plan without a master" by Diane Mastrull and Nancy Petersen, focuses on the advisary nature of most planning commissions with the true power lying with the developers and supervisors. The article is available on-line from the paper's excellent Acre an Hour Front Page or directly by clicking here.
As you can see from the above, we have started a new section on the proposed PA Turnpike Slip Ramp. We hope all residents become informed about the ramp and its implications for our beautiful, mostly rural township, and write letters in opposition to this development. It's not too late to act!
Any visitors to the Charlestown Township web site who would like to make a public comment on the proposed Slip Ramp can send email to or to the site by clicking here. Email received on this subject (pro and con) with your name will be posted on a "Letters" page linked from Slip Ramp Opposition Center. While your name will be identified as the author of your letter, your email address will not be posted with the letter unless you specifically request it. Letters containing personal attacks or foul language will not be posted.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has set up a separate section of its web site for the series begun Sunday titled "An Acre an Hour". The web site version of the series includes the ability to select townships in any of the Delaware Valley counties and examine data such as the growth of single family housing development since 1980. Even if you're reading the articles in the five part series in the newspaper itself, this site is worth a look for its added value. You can check it out by clicking here.
"Paving way for environmental harm", the third in the five part series "An Acre and Hour" is available from the Inquirer's web site from the above series link or directly by clicking here.
The ban on outside burning is still in effect.
The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors meeting for February 15 has been canceled. The next meeting will be 03/01/99 at 7:30 PM at the Elementary School.
There are several newspaper articles pertaining to land development in and around Charlestown Township in today's (and yesterday's) area newspapers. Yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer began a five part series titled "An Acre An Hour" on land development issues in the Delaware Valley. Links to the first two in the series are listed below. The The Phoenix has an article on the Turnpike Slip Ramp issue and The Mercury has an article on Berks County setting aside $50 million for the purchase of farmland development rights.
Note to subscribers to our notification service: I will not send out notifications just for the posting of the remaining three articles in the "An Acre An Hour" series. I assume they will be published in the next three issues of the Inquirer and will only send notifications if there are other postings to this web site as well.
The weekend Philadelphia Inquirer has an article titled "Turnpike ramp plan dropped in Tredyffrin" by Meredith Fischer quoting Irene Ewald and Sue Staas on the implications for Charlestown of the decision by the Turnpike Commission to drop plans to build a slip ramp in Tredyffrin Township. You can read the article on-line by clicking here.
The preliminary agenda for next Tuesday's meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
Today's Daily Local has a discouraging (to Charlestown residents) article by John Crawford titled "Tredyffrin slip ramp plan shelved" reporting that the Turnpike Commission has abandoned its plans to build a slip ramp along Route 252 in Tredyffrin Township. This would seem to indicate the Commission is determined to construct the Route 29 ramp in Charlestown. The article is available on-line for today only by clicking here.
Remember (see 02/02/99 posting below), the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has scheduled a public meeting at the Great Valley High School Cafeteria on February 25, 1999 from 4:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. to provide information on the proposed Turnpike Slip Ramp in Devault at Route 29. Representatives of the Turnpike Commission will be there to answer questions. You may go to that "meeting" at any time during the period from 4 - 9 pm.
In the event you think the notice of the above ban on burning is still there because I forgot to take it off, be aware that the ban is still in effect in Charlestown. [See the most recent Fire Marshal report.] I'll remove the notice as soon as I am notified by our Fire Marshal that the ban has been lifted.
Today's Daily Local has an article by Kyle Ashinhurst titled "County farmland loss slowing" in which the results of a new federal report are presented. The article is available on-line for today only by clicking here.
We now have 75 active subscribers to our e-mail notification service. If you want to know more about this service and possibly sign up, click here.
The Official Minutes of the January 4 reorganization and regular business meetings of the Board of Supervisors have been posted. The official minutes of the January 18 meeting will be posted at a later date, after their approval.
I have posted comprehensive access statistics for this web site for the months of December and January (combined). One of the more interesting pages of information is the one listing search strings that visitors have entered on Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite and other search engines that led to our site. There are a number of individuals whose names were searched on (perhaps somebody was looking YOU up on the internet). Another interesting page lists the number of visits from various countries (over 20) around the world. Note that some searches are done on multiple words requiring only that at least one of the words appears on the page. From reading the list, obviously some of the visitors did not find what they were looking for on our web site.
Mr. Robert Wert - Award - 02/01/99At Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors, a special presentation was made to Robert Wert for his 15 years of dedicated service as Emergency Management Coordinator for the Township. The presentation was made by Henry Tamanini, a PECO Representative, and John MacNamara, Chester County Emergency Management Coordinator. This photo shows fellow supervisors John Sauser and Irene Ewald congratulating Mr. Wert.  (Photo by Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Did You Know?   Charlestown Village was once called "Scrabble" as well as "Hardscrabble". The 1955 program for the 125th Anniversary of The Methodist Church in Charlestown Village notes that the village was once called "Scrabble". Quoting from the program, "The story is told of a group of Scrabble youth who, in the late 1880's, loosed a chicken in the midst of a solemn evening service. It is likely that tail feathers flew in the church and again later in a few neighborhood homes." In addition, Janet Baldwin's "Twenty Questions" at the 1998 Charlestown Historical Society's Patrons Dinner notes that "Hardscrabble" and "Egypt" were two names for Charlestown Village before it was named officially in 1826." [Ref: The Methodist Church in Charlestown Village, 125 Anniv., Baldwin, "20 Questions"] [Did You Know Archives]
02/02/99 (afternoon)
I have posted Kevin Kuhn's report on last night's meeting of the Board of Supervisors as well as the official minutes of the January 12 meeting of the Planning Commission.
02/02/99 (morning)
Public Meeting on Slip Ramp Announced
At last night's meeting of the Board of Supervisors, it was announced that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has scheduled a public meeting at the Great Valley High School Cafeteria on February 25, 1999 from 4:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. to provide information on the proposed Turnpike Slip Ramp in Devault at Route 29.
Presentation Boards will be on display and Turnpike representatives will be available to answer questions. Come anytime between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M.
Charlestown Green President Kevin Kuhn adds "It is critical that ALL residents come out and voice their opposition to this proposal. The PA Turnpike Commission has repeatedly ignored requests by Charlestown Green, Chester County Commissioners and Township Supervisors to provide advance information or hold Public Hearings as compared to public meetings which are essentially presentations."
Fred Alston's Fire Marshal report for December has been posted.
The following announcement was received from Fred Alston, who is also our Township Civil Defense and Emergency Services Coordinator -

Charlestown Township
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

  • Do you have an interest in emergency management and want to be a part of it?

  • Do you have skills in communications, medical, security, fire, public works, transportation?

  • Do you want to be a problem solver?

  • Do you want to serve your community?
If so, then please come to our meeting - -
WHEN: Saturday February 6th at 1pm
WHERE: The EOC located in Room 209 of the Great Valley High School  (Use the west entrance on Phoenixville Pike )
Refreshments will be served

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