Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens


March 16, 1998

Website of the Week
Daily Local News
August 13, 1997
A beautiful part of southeastern Pennsylvania
Fans of the World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies

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Archived Home Pages - May 1999

05/31/99 - Memorial Day
I've added four more barns to our Barns of Charlestown segment of the Photo Albums section. We now have twenty Charlestown barns posted, with more to come. If you haven't seen the other sections of our Photo Albums, take a look some rainy day. Remember, clicking on a photo on a "gallery" page of four small images provides a page with a larger image of the selected photo. The gallery pages for Barns and for Wild Flowers provide "Previous" and "Next" buttons since there are several galleries for these albums.
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the rapid growth being experienced in Chester County in "Growth plan is `long way from home'" by Nancy Petersen. Subtitled "Under development proposals, land in Chester County would have been consumed at a speed of 1.9 acres per hour.", the article indicates a large part of new construction in Chester County is not in compliance with the County's "Landscapes" plan. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The fox story posted yesterday generated several interesting and amusing responses which I have posted below:
Must be something in their diet. Last Friday night, my cat chased a fox out of our back yard and rumbled in the neighbor's yard, startling my neighbor! Skyler (my cat) won that round and came back strutting into our yard, having dissed a potential threat to his turf!
Wendy Leland
I liked your picture of the fox. Jim and I have also noticed the proliferation of brazen foxes. We hear them at nite prowing our property for ducks and rabbits. We have seen many recently, crossing roads. There is a very mangy looking fox near the Bell and Clapper that stands by the roadway in daylight hours and walks along the field at Buckwalter & Rt 29.
Liz Howard
I am enjoying the photo of the fox. Now I can see the healthy results of their consumption of three of my chickens! The most recent attack occurred about a month ago when both Veronica and Sabrina disappeared. Unfortunately, they did not take Elvis, the noisy rooster that you can hear at all hours of the day. My guess is that they have kits that needed to be fed and they conducted a joint expedition.
Speaking of livestock, I have a client who needs to find a home for a very sweet doe goat by the name of Dana. Any thoughts?
Wendy McLean
If you know of a possible home for "Dana", please email me and I'll forward your suggestion to Wendy.
Reminder - The public is invited to a special Informational Meeting tonight hosted by the Charlestown Township Planning Commission at the Great Valley Nature Center at 7:30 PM. Topics and Guest Speakers are:
  • Transfer of Development Rights - Jeff Butler, Township Manager for Manheim Township, Montgomery County
  • Sustainable Watershed Management Update - John Hoekstra of Green Valleys Association and Michelle Adams of Tom Cahill & Associates.
Today's Suburban Advertiser reports on an incident in which two Great Valley High School students were arrested at school Tuesday morning. "Students arrested after gun incident" by Bryan G. Robinson is available on-line for the coming week by clicking here.
I grew up on a farm on Merlin Rd. in the late 40's and 50's. Back then, if we saw a fox, it was undoubtedly a view of its rear end as it disappeared into the woods or a hedge row. They were very cautious and rarely seen standing still in broad daylight, as often happens now. Last fall and this winter, we had a pair of red foxes living near our home and frequently sniffing around our yard. The female had the rougher coat and seemed to be the hunter, while the male always looked as though he just came from the beauty parlor. In January of this year, my wife saw the male climb on a wood pile behind our house and lie down and take a nap, and she took this photo.
"In grassroots effort, professionals are fighting for grass and trees" by Evan Halper in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on efforts to fight high density development of farmland along the Delaware. The group fighting development is addressing the complex issues of zoning, erosion, aquifers, and sewers. The article is available on-line by clicking here.
Over the weekend we passed the 100 count in the number of current "subscribers" to our email notification list. We now have 101 residents (families) and former residents who receive an email notification whenever we post significant information to the site. We had another milestone last week when we passed the 15,000 mark for total visits to the site since its "birth" almost two years ago.
Today's Daily Local News reports in "Development pace slows, county says" by Kyle Ashinhurst that the rate of growth of proposals for commercial, industrial and institutional development slowed dramatically in 1998. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site today only by clicking here.
The next public meeting of the Slip Ramp Committee will be Tuesday, June 8 at 7:30 PM in the Great Valley High School cafeteria. An agenda will be posted when it is finalized.
The following announcements have come in from Ellen Behrle -
The Great Valley Nature Center will celebrate 25 years with an Anniversary Party on Saturday June 12th at 6:00 PM at the Valley Forge Hilton Hotel in King of Prussia. Cocktail hour, dinner, awards presentation, bird of prey demonstration, open bar, and dancing. Live band, the Silver-Tones. Tickets are $50.00 each or reserve a table of 10 for $500.00. Black Tie Optional. Contact and we will have invitations mailed out.
Henriette Bumeder is looking for part time help at Swiss Pines. She will provide flexible hours and pay $7.50 per hour. Can you imagine what it would be like to be in Swiss Pines every day? What a beautiful way to spend the work day. Anyone interested should phone Swiss Pines at 935-8795.
Regarding the Neighborhood Roadside Cleanup Day announced on this site May 5, one person has volunteered to take charge of getting the necessary help to pick up trash along a few different streets in the Township and leaving the bags by the roadside for the trash company to pick up. This is the simplest way to help in the community service process. Especially those of you who have kids, aren't you able to spend about an hour on a Saturday picking up by the roadside? It's a great lesson to teach the kids. If you can help, please email me at .
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has a report "Around the region, voters' choices are clear on open space" by Diane Mastrull. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"100-plus housing development could be up in Schuylkill" by Lou Costello appears in today's The Phoenix. You may read the article from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The UNOFFICIAL primary election results for the Charlestown Township races and School Director for Region I, direct from the Chester County Election Web Site, are -
                                             COUNT   PERCENT
Vote for Two
    (precincts counted/total)         (1 / 1)         100.00
    (ballots/registration)       (708 / 1719)          41.19
096 - MICHAEL J. RODGERS                       488     40.50
097 - KEVIN R. KUHN                            513     42.57
098 - JOHN SAUSER                              203     16.85
099 - WRITE-IN                                   1      0.08
100 - WRITE-IN                                   0
  TOTAL                                      1,205    100.00

    (precincts counted/total)         (1 / 1)         100.00
    (ballots/registration)       (708 / 1719)          41.19
102 - ROBERT C. WERT                           540     87.24
103 - WRITE-IN                                  79     12.76
  TOTAL                                        619    100.00

    (precincts counted/total)         (1 / 1)         100.00
    (ballots/registration)       (708 / 1719)          41.19
105 - HUGH D. WILLIG                           411     60.80
106 - JOHN C. MARTIN                           263     38.91
107 - WRITE-IN                                   2      0.30
  TOTAL                                        676    100.00

    (precincts counted/total)         (1 / 1)         100.00
    (ballots/registration)       (708 / 1719)          41.19
109 - PHILIP C. STAAS                          587     99.83
110 - WRITE-IN                                   1      0.17
  TOTAL                                        588    100.00

    (precincts counted/total)         (1 / 1)         100.00
    (ballots/registration)       (708 / 1719)          41.19
112 - ANITA C. LaBARGE                         575     99.14
113 - WRITE-IN                                   5      0.86
  TOTAL                                        580    100.00
    (precincts counted/total)         (5 / 5)         100.00
    (ballots/registration)      (1491 / 4546)          32.80
065 - RAYMOND J. BRAUN                         186     13.43
066 - PATRICIA LANG                            344     24.84
067 - SUSANNE B. CARR                          843     60.87
068 - WRITE-IN                                  12      0.87
  TOTAL                                      1,385    100.00
    (precincts counted/total)         (5 / 5)         100.00
    (ballots/registration)       (371 / 1799)          20.62
065 - SUSANNE B. CARR                          201     63.61
066 - PATRICIA LANG                             81     25.63
067 - MICHAEL FERRIS                            33     10.44
068 - WRITE-IN                                   1      0.32
  TOTAL                                        316    100.00
Check the Chester County Elections Results pages for the unofficial tally from yesterday's election. For the Charlestown Township only votes on all races on our ballots (including county level) for both the Republican and Democratic ballots, click here. For the overall results for all races in the county, click here.
Susan Weidener reports in "Plan for Great Valley follows township lines" in today's Philadelphia Inquirer that "A community advisory committee on elementary school redistricting has recommended to the Great Valley school board a plan that breaks attendance along township lines." The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Non-election related news and other information in my queue to be posted on this web site will be delayed until tomorrow morning, at the earliest.
This is ELECTION DAY. Don't forget to exercise your right to vote for the candidates of your choice. There are two election-related newspaper articles available on-line this morning, neither of which is very informative.
Today's The Phoenix has an article "Local races highlight today's ballot" by Steven Feinberg that briefly summarizes many of the area races, including the Charlestown election of four supervisors. The article is available on-line by clicking here.
The Daily Local News reports "Voters will determine winners in hot races" by Kyle Ashinhurst, a county-wide summary of some races, including the School District race in Charlestown. Click here to read the article from the paper's web site.
As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier (see 05/14/99 entry below), Bronwyn Reice reports in "F&P Trust joins C'town lawsuit against slip ramp" in the The Phoenix that the French and Pickering Conservation Trust has joined Charlestown's lawsuit against the Turnpike Commission regarding the proposed Route 29 Slip Ramp. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
I will post the Charlestown races results as soon as I have them, hopefully this evening. I will also send an email to our subscribers when I have the results.
Chester County's official web site has an Elections Results page that will list results by precinct for the entire county. However, I am not sure if their coverage is at the local level. As of this morning, it looks as though it may just be the county-wide races. Charlestown's results will be listed here, with the results refreshed every 30 seconds. Depending on how well they can keep up with the tabulation and whether or not they cover our supervisor and school director races, that page may be your best bet to monitor results.
The following question was received via email and I hope some Charlestown parents of children in the 7-9 age group can help these folks out.
I will be relocating to Charlestown in June. I would like to know if there are any children activities for the summer? My children are ages 7 and 9 , we are looking for anything that might help them meet children there own age. Camps, sports, art, music any fairs in the summer. Thank you for your time in this matter.
If you have any suggestions, send your response to our future resident at .
Web Site Policy:   With Tuesday's election just around the corner, it's a good time to reiterate a few things about this web site. In an effort to keep this web site non-political and focused on issues rather than individuals, and based on the experiences with newsletters just before prior elections, I will not post any newsletters received last week or before Tuesday's election until after the election. I simply encourage residents to read the various pieces of campaign literature received in the mail, discuss candidates with friends, and VOTE.
I have been questioned as to why I did not provide a link to an article on our supervisors race that appeared in Friday's The Phoenix. Had the paper posted Friday's issue to their web site, I would have provided a link to the article (which I have not seen). However, that paper frequently "goes off the air" and misses postings to their site. If you look at the The Phoenix this Sunday morning, you will see that it still shows last Thursday's issue.
Actually, since The Phoenix, Daily Local News, The Mercury and Suburban Advertiser were purchased by the Journal Register company, all the corresponding web sites have suffered measurable, especially the Phoenix. Cutbacks in all sorts of resources and commitment of these local papers when bought by common ownership is not unusual as recently reported in "The Selling of Small-Town America" by Mary Walton in the May issue of the American Journalism Review.
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has an article on the success and growth of the Great Valley Nature Center. The article, "A center for growing things includes itself among them" by Susan Weidener is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The following announcements were received from Linda Csete, Township Secretary -
The meeting of the Board of Supervisors for May 17 has been canceled.
The meeting of the Planning Commission for May 25 has been canceled.
The public is invited to a special Informational Meeting hosted by the Charlestown Township Planning Commission at the Great Valley Nature Center on Thursday, May 27, 1999 at 7:30 PM. Topics and Guest Speakers are:
  • Transfer of Development Rights - Jeff Butler, Township Manager for Manheim Township, Montgomery County
  • Sustainable Watershed Management Update - John Hoekstra of Green Valleys Association and Michelle Adams of Tom Cahill & Associates.
According to yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer, the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust has joined the lawsuit filed by Charlestown Township in an attempt to force the PA Turnpike Commission to get legislative approval for the proposed Route 29 Slip Ramp.
Ellen Behrle's report on the May 11 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted to our Neighborhood News page.
The Official Minutes of the April 13, 1999 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted. Note that the minutes of the April 5 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have not been approved and therefore are not available at this time.
I have posted a Slip Ramp comment from a resident of Charlestown Hunt. It's available on our Comments from Residents page in the Slip Ramp Opposition Center.
Ellen Behrle's report on the May 3rd meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted to our Neighborhood News page. Ellen's report on the May 11 meeting of the Planning Commission should be posted by tomorrow.
Bronwyn Reice reports in The Phoenix on the candidates for the four supervisor positions in next week's Primary Election. "Charlestown candidates set for Tuesday's election" is available on-line from the paper's web site for today only by clicking here.
Two area papers are reporting today on open space land use proposals from local legislators. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports "Bills would help Pa. buy up land" by Mark Binker, which is available on-line by clicking here. The Daily Local News reports "County officials urge $1 billion open space preservation program", which is available on-line for today only from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Correction - Independence Construction Materials is not able to make the June 7 meeting of the Board of Supervisors to present findings and discuss the Devault Quarry. I will post information regarding a rescheduled appearance of the owners of the quarry when it is received.
Charlestown Township now has its own official email address that is received by Linda Csete, the Township Secretary. The address,, is listed on our General Info page.
A permanent link to the internet Bulletin Board for residents of Charlestown Hunt has been posted to our Neighborhood Organizations page. See our 05/05 posting below for more information.
The following four items were received from Township Secretary Linda Csete -
Parks & Recreation Board Planning Session - The Parks & Recreation Board is holding a Planning Session on the Master Site Plan for Charlestown Park. This is the initial planning session to develop the scope of work for Charlestown Park's master site plan. The session will be held at the PMYC Clubhouse at Charlestown Park at 7:30 P.M. this coming Monday, May 10 and is open to the public.
The preliminary agenda for next Tuesday's meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
The Planning Commission is tentatively hosting a presentation for Thursday, May 27. The Presentation by expert Jeff Butler, Township Manager for Manheim Township, Montgomery County will be on the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Process. This presentation hosted by the Planning Commission will be held at the Great Valley Nature Center at 7:30 P.M. and will be open to the public.
The subject of the Devault Quarry, originally scheduled for the June 7 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, has been postponed. We will announce the new time when it is available.
The following two announcements have been received from Kevin Kuhn, President of the Board of the Charlestown Historical Society.
The Board of Directors of the Charlestown Historical Society agreed to join as a party plaintiff to the Township's slip ramp Petition.
The new slate of officers of the Charlestown Historical Society is as follows:
  • John Martin - President
  • Phil DeFranco - Vice President
  • Helen Faggioli - Treasurer
  • Jean Helker - Secretary
The terms of office are for the next two years.
"Charlestown historic district rejected" by Bronwyn Reice in today's The Phoenix reports on the denial of National Historic District status to the Charlestown Township Historical Commission for the Devault-Cedar Hollow area. A designation as National Historic District would have helped in the Township's opposition to the proposed Route 29 slip ramp. The article is available on-line for today only from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer had an article by Rena Singer titled "Farm preservation gets boost in budget" reporting on lawmakers approving an unprecedented increase in funding for the state's farmland preservation program. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
April's monthly statistics for this site are available by clicking here.
Did You Know?   "Squire" John M. H. Hamilton was a Justice of the Peace, Notary, Tax Collector and Foster Parent whose residence and office (now gone) were on the outside of the Route 29 (State Road) bend in front of the current entrance to Charlestown Hunt. Hamilton is listed in the Spring 1932 Telephone Directory of Pottstown and Vicinity, which included a broadly defined Phoenixville area. [Ref: Bell Telephone (Spring 1932)] [Did You Know Archives]
Two local papers have posted articles on the County Commissioners deciding to join the Charlestown Township's suit against the PA Turnpike Commission. "Chester County seeks to join turnpike suit" in the Philadelphia Inquirer is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here. "County to join Charlestown in ramp suit" by Kyle Ashinhurst is available for today only from the Daily Local News web site by clicking here.
Reminder: The Charlestown Historical Society meets tonight. Click here for the agenda.
The ban on burning has been lifted. Burning must be done in accordance with the provisions of the Fire Control Regulation Ordinance. See Fred Alston's Fire Marshal report for April for details.
Kevin Kuhn reports that Citizens Against Zoning Change have also agreed to be a party to the Township's Petition regarding the slip ramp. Citizens Against Zoning Change was formed early on by Kevin and raised over $13,000 to fund an Amicus Brief to further support the Township's position. The Amicus Brief was originally filed by Saul & Neila Kun who own the farm across from the Altemose's, better known as "&", and the site of the 1997 CHS Patrons Dinner.
A second report has been received on the April 26 meeting of the Slip Ramp Committee. This report is from Ellen Behrle of Charlestown Green and is available from our Slip Ramp Meeting Reports page or directly by clicking here. Additional photos are included in this report.
Charlestown Hunt resident Julie Hagar has pointed out that an internet bulletin board already exists for residents of the Hunt. Here is a portion of Julie's comments as well as a link to the page from which you may sign up -
I thought you would be interested to know that someone in Charlestown Hunt set up a newsgroup for the purpose of discussing some of the issues that have been posted on this web site. It would be great if you had a link to the newsgroup (and possibly would save you some work if people would post to the group instead of sending e-mail to you). Some of the topics may eventually require township involvement (like issues of forcing Realen to complete site improvements such as the nature trail that they committed to), but some are more mundane.
Here is a welcome message provided by the bulletin board:
Welcome to Charlestown Hunt bulletin board. Please feel free to use this to ask questions, find partners for sports or other leisure activities (no personals please!!!), discuss issues, problems, or ideas for activities that your neighbors may be interested in. You must be an owner in Charlestown Hunt to become a member of the bulletin board. You remove yourself at any time. The messages posted will be available only to members. Only members may post messages. Your e-mail address or a list of members will not be available to anyone, including the members. Please join in and meet your neighbors.
Click here to sign up for this bulletin board (limited to Hunt residents). Note: It would be counter productive to duplicate this service as part of this web site. However, I always welcome comments from Hunt residents and will post those that are of interest to the Township at large.
This from Ellen Behrle, President of Charlestown Green
Charlestown Green, Inc. will be conducting a township wide road clean up fun day. We will need a lot of help. If we get enough people we would only be out for an hour and then it's over to the Charlestown Park for refreshments. Please come out and do your share. We need help with:
Set-up - a couple of people with pick up trucks who could deliver and set up cones which are needed in some areas for safety along some stretches of road.
Team Captains- Adults who would be in charge of a team in a specific area.
Adults and children who would work on these teams and collect trash in bags supplied by the township which, when filled, would be left at the roadside for collection. This would be a great boy or girl scout project for community service.
Collection- someone in charge of coordinating the collection of the bags. We are working on securing a rubbish contractor to collect the bags.
Someone to head the refreshment committee.
Refreshment committee workers.
Someone to handle the press.
This will happen sometime in June (date tba)
Please register now: Ellen Behrle 610-935-2808 or
05/04/99  (noon)
Ellen Behrle, President of Charlestown Green, Inc., just called to report that the County Commissioners voted unanimously this morning to authorize the County Solicitor to file a petition to intervene as a party plaintiff in the action brought about by Charlestown Township against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Ellen also said that Charlestown Green will be joining as a party plaintiff and she is aware of several other Charlestown Township organizations that are likely to do the same.
I have posted the most recent issue of the Charlestown Historical Society Newsletter which you can access by clicking here.
I also took the Newsletter's report on the April 26 Slip Ramp Committee meeting and added photos contributed by Al VanBrunt and Charlestown Green and posted the report on our Slip Ramp Opposition Center under Meeting Reports. The most direct route is to click here.
After my comment yesterday, there is definite interest in a special page or section for residents of Charlestown Hunt. In the meantime, this was received from Hunt resident Tony Matyas ( -
I live in Charlestown Hunt. I have a unit with a loft for which I paid a premium. The loft is unuseable unless the heat is on or the air conditioning is on. The rest of the time the loft is extremely hot due to either poor insulation or no vents are available to vent the accumulated heat outside. I wonder if there are other residents with similar problems who would like to get together and present this problem to Realen for resolution. Thank You.

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