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 - October thru December 2008

"Local plaintiffs cheer decision on voting systems" by Dan Kristie in today's Daily Local News reports on the progress of a challenge of the use of electronic voting systems in Pennsylvania, backed by among others, Charlestown residents Sue Staas and Michael Churchill. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Preliminary Agendas for the January 5 reorganization meeting and subsequent regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Sidney Nodland - Long time Charlestown resident and Great Valley High School teacher Sid Nodland passed away December 24th. His obituary, including memorial service information, is available from The Phoenix by clicking here.
2010 Census: Temporary Employment Opportunities (from Linda Csete) -
Note: Two PDF files with further information are available here and here.
The US Census Bureau has asked us to spread the word that temporary employees are being recruited for the 2010 Census, especially given the critical importance of accurate population counts to our member townships. See the attachments for additional details. The pay is good, the hours are flexible, and the work is close to home. Census taker jobs are excellent for retirees, college students, persons who want to work part-time, persons who are between jobs, or just about anyone who wants to earn extra money while performing an important service for their community.Your community is counting on you. Every 10 years, we conduct a census of our population. The results help determine your representation in government, as well as how federal funds are spent in your community on things like roads, parks, housing, schools, and public safety. As a census taker, you'll play a vital role in making sure that everyone is included.
Conducting the census is a huge undertaking. Thousands of census takers are needed to update address lists and conduct interviews with community residents. Most positions require a valid driver's license and use of a vehicle.
Census takers receive competitive pay on a weekly basis. In addition, you will be reimbursed for authorized mileage and related expenses. Bilingual speakers are encouraged to apply! All census takers must be able to speak English, but bilingual skills in English and other languages are needed in communities that have a large number of residents who speak a language other than English. If you have such skills, we encourage you to apply. Get more than just a paycheck Besides good pay, you'll have flexible hours, paid training, and the chance to work within your own community. You'll earn a place in history, as well as work experience you can add to your resume. Apply today by by calling 1-866-861-2010!
Homeless Pets (from a Charlestown resident) -
Hello to Charlestown residents and others who read this great website. Happy holidays to you.
I would like to bring to your attention that many domesticated animals are being abandoned now by cruel, heartless people. For a few weeks, I have been caring for four such abandoned cats and recently took a mother and her little kitten to the Chester County SPCA, Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, in hope they could find some help and a new home. Unfortunately, the SPCA is full of unwanted cats and dogs and they could not assure me that this playful, beautiful calico cat and the maine coon kitten would survive at the SPCA. I checked with other shelters in the area but found them to be unable take in abandoned animals because they have reached their "limit." I am heartbroken that these two lovable little creatures had to go to the SPCA. I currently have three adult cats, adopted from the CCSPCA.
The other mother and her baby are not such distinctive types of cat -- just a sweet black kitty and matching kitten, and they have little chance of being saved from euthanasia.
My request is that as many of you as possible be wonderfully big-hearted and compassionate this year and treat some deserving animals to a new home with you. If you can get to the SPCA soon, you may see the calico and her maine coon kitten, if they have survived since Sunday, Dec. 14. I named them Charity and Belle, but the SPCA did not ask, so you will not see those names on their ID signs. I do not want to bring Hope and Jingle (a quiet black kitty and her kitten) to the SPCA if I can avoid it. So please contact me asap via my email if you want to give Hope and Jingle a home. The animals cannot speak for themselves, and being stuck outside, starving and homeless on an icy, wintry night is no fun, as I'm sure you can imagine, so please do whatever you can to help the abandoned animals this year for Christmas. Thank you.
The Official Minutes of the November 11, 2008 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
"Pa. students in low grades improve science skills" by Dan Hardy in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on performance of Delaware Valley schools in state-wide science skills exams. Charlestown Elementary was one of a few elementary schools in which 100% of the fourth graders scored proficient or higher. Great Valley Middle School was one of a few schools in which eighth graders scored in the top 10% statewide. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Congratulations to Michael Churchill!
Charlestown's Michael Churchill to receive Lifetime Achievement Award (from Andy Motel) -
Affiliated with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Law Center's Michael Churchill to Receive Andrew Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award!
The Law Center congratulates our own Michael Churchill who will receive the prestigious Andrew Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his distinguished career of service to those in need; and in particular his extraordinary work to advance the goal of quality and equity in public education.
The Award will be presented at the Public Interest Section Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception on December 9, 2008 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The Andrew Hamilton Award is given by the Public Interest Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association to an experienced public interest lawyer based on such factors as personal vision and commitment; critical nature of the problems addressed by the nominee's advocacy; innovative nature of the nominee's work; outcomes and results achieved through effective advocacy; the difficulty of achievement; and community commitment.
In their nominating letter to the award committee, the Law Center's executive committee wrote,
"Michael embodies the traits that define the Philadelphia lawyer in all of his excellence. He is, most prominently, the most informed and sought-after expert on the subject of public education finance in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
Michael has devoted his rich, forty-three year legal career to public service. He served as chief counsel at the Law Center for 30 years, taking up the reins of the new organization in February 1976 with the death of executive director Ned Wolf, and stepping down in February 2006 to become Of Counsel to the Law Center.
Michael began the quest to increase and equalize spending on public education in the mid 1990s with litigation and publication of highly influential "gap" reports showing the wide disparities of public spending among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. He personally transformed the long running Philadelphia School Desegregation case from a focus on physical integration to a focus on closing the racial academic achievement gap with his intervention on behalf of community organizations before Judge Doris Smith. And, Michael's persistence (and that of hundreds of other advocates, lawyers and policy makers) paid off this year with a state budget that made the largest increase in public spending on education in decades and, as important, implemented the first formula since 1991 to ensure that the spending was equalized across the Commonwealth. Read more about this work on our Education Funding and Quality Project page.

Theft - (from today's Daily Local News) -
State police are investigating after someone stole items from an unlocked vehicle parked in the first block of Theresa Drive between Nov. 27 and 28. Authorities ask anyone with information regarding the incident to contact state police at Embreeville at 484-340-3241.
"County passes tax increase" by Dan Kristie in today's Daily Local News reports on passage of a 2009 final Chester Couunty budget on Thursday that calls for a 4.2 percent tax increase. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Unemployment rate ticks up in Chester County" by Sarah E. Moran in today's Daily Local News reports on unemployment in Chester County, which despite increases, still had the lowest jobless rate among Pennsylvania's 67 counties in October. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Preliminary Agenda for the December 9 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
Budget Passed (from Linda Csete) -
Press Release -
The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors passed the 2009 Budget at their business meeting on December 1, 2008, keeping the real estate millage at .75, which has been unchanged since 2003 when it was reduced from 1 mill. The Board credits good fiscal management and prudent budgeting techniques for their ability to keep taxes low at this recessionary time when many municipalities have expended part of their reserves and now find it necessary to increase tax revenues.
Township taxes that remain unchanged are the per capita tax rate of $10.00 per person over the age of 18 and the local services tax rate of $10.00 for all persons employed within the Township.
The only tax rate increase will be for the Earned Income Tax, changing from 1/2% to 1% of earned income as a result of the 2008 open space acquisition referendum that passed with overwhelming support by Charlestown Citizens by 77% of the vote.
For information, contact:
Kevin R. Kuhn, Chairman, Board of Supervisors 610-917-9960
Linda Csete, Township Administrator, 610-240-0326.
"Rail line takes new track" by G. E. Lawrence in today's The Phoenix reports on last night's meeting about the proposed Green Line commuter service between Phoenixville and Paoli, using in part the track-bed of the Norfolk Southern line through Charlestown Township. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Tax increase discussed at commissioner's meeting" by Anne Pickering in today's Daily Local News reports on discussions of the proposed county budget for 2009. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Official Minutes of the November 3, 2008 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
The Fall 2008 Charlestown Township Newsletter has been posted (293kb PDF) here and is permanently linked from our Index to Gov't Info page (see top of left menu column).
"Train proponents getting together" in today's The Phoenix reeports on the upcoming Dec. 3 meeting of the group "pushing for a rail connection to Phoenixville from the R-5 line through Paoli as a way to "increase the level of transportation service to enable the citizens to more connect with Chester County." (If ever constructed, the line would pass through Charlestown.) The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Imagining the region a quarter-century from now" by Gretchen Metz in today's Daily Local News reports on Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRP) discussions with Chester County commissioners and residents for its study "Connections - The Regional Plan for a Sustainable Future". The DVRP is working on the year 2035 update to the commissions long range plan. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Calendars Available at Twp. Office - CHS 2009 "Scenes of Charlestown" Calendars are available for sale at the Township Office (above the Devault PO) during normal hours of 9 am - 3 pm, Mon-Fri. If you have not been in the Township Office before, be sure to look at the magnificent John Peirce painting of the woolen mill with the church in the background. Click here for more information about the calendar and a mail order form.
Draft 2009 Township Budget Posted (from Linda Csete) -
The draft budget for 2009 which will be considered for adoption by the Board of Supervisors at their Dec. 1st. meeting has been posted. Tax millage will remain unchanged. As with the 2008 budget, this budget includes comparable figures from the years since 2005. The budget is permanently linked from our Index to Gov't Info page and directly by clicking here.
Records Request Form (from Linda Csete) - The Township's "Right-To-Know Request Form" has been posted here as a PDF file and is permanently linked from our Index to Gov't Info page (left menu column) under "Records Request Form".
Christmas Concert (from John Pittock) - "Christmas at Valley Forge - a musical celebration of the season" will be performed by the Valley Forge Christian College. Location is the main Chapel at VFCC, 1401 Charlestown Rd. Dates are Fri. 12/5 and Sat. 12/6, both at 7:30 PM. Contact phone no. is 610-917-3954. Admission free.
11/18/08  (11:30 am)
Lost Cat
Large Male orange tabby, medium haired, declawed front paws, neutered, has age spots inside his mouth, orange eyes with hazel/green tint. Right ear (?) has a notch on it from previous fight. Missing since Sunday November 16 from Bodine Road, Malvern/ Chester Springs area. Please contact 610-827-1480.
PennDOT Maintenance Phone Number Correction (from Linda Csete) -
It's come to our attention that the PennDOT maintenance number provided in the most recent township newsletter (Fall 2008) is incorrect. The number for reporting issues on state roads is 800-FIX-ROAD (349-7623).
GVNC Annual Silent Auction and Party (from Tom Pascocello) -
Please come join us at our Great Valley Nature Center Annual Silent Auction and Party on Saturday, December 6, 2009 from 6 to 10 pm.. If you've never been to the Nature Center at our annual auction and party, here is your chance. Come meet other people who love the outdoors, mingle with the staff, bid on incredible gifts, and enjoy the festive atmosphere in our historic barn. The funds we raise from this event help us support the wide variety of environmental education and outdoor recreation programs we offer all year long for nature lovers of all ages and abilities.
This event will be held in our beautifully decorated historic barn at the Great Valley Nature Center, 4251 State Road (Rt 29 & Hollow Road), Phoenixville, PA 19460. Tickets are only $40.00 and include an open bar, buffet style dinner, and the opportunity to support our nature center by bidding on some amazing items!
  Gourmet Buffet by Anthony Aquilante
  Full Bar and Signature Cocktails
  Live Music - Gift bags - Door Prizes - Live Animals
  Organic Tapas Bar - Fabulous Auction Prizes
Walk-ins are welcome, but in order to plan accordingly, we'd love it if you would let us know! Call 610-935-9777 or email We hope you can make it! Auction item donations welcome. We are looking forward to it!
Conestoga (Rt 401) & Valley Hill Rd. Traffic Light (from Fred Alston) -
On Saturday, 11/15/08 a vehicle crash destroyed the traffic signal controller at Conestoga Road (PA Rt 401) and Valley Hill Road. We were able to get enough of the destroyed box and internal components back together to return the traffic signal to minimal operation to protect the intersection. The signal timings cannot be corrected until a new controller (on order) is built and installed - possibly several weeks.
I ask that motorists have patience when the signal doesn't seem to be working properly.
Also, on Wednesday, 11/12/08 a vehicle crash destroyed the "RED SIGNAL AHEAD" warning signal on Conestoga Road (PA Rt 401) eastbound approaching Newcomen Road. That warning signal is also on order and will be installed as soon as the material arrives.
Please use caution when traveling in these areas. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Fred Alston, Roadmaster
"Officials seek info about gas pipeline" by Danielle Lynch in today's The Phoenix reports on the West Vincent Board of Supervisors meeting at which West Pikeland and East Nantmeal joined West Vincent officials to draft a letter to Dominion, a Virginia-based energy company that wants to build a pipeline to bring natural gas from Green County to Chester County. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Calendars Going Fast - The first printing of 400 2009 "Scenes of Charlestown" Calendar is about gone. If you would like one or more of these calendars (they make great gifts!), you should order as soon as possible. For more info on the calendar and a link to an order form, click here. If you are ordering several, you may contact Barbara DeWilde at (610) 827-7530 to arrange delivery or pick-up.
The Official Minutes of the October 14, 2008 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
"Chester County lowers 2009 tax hike" by Nancy Petersen in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on efforts by county officials to reduce the proposed tax increase for next year. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Residents subdued over tax increase" by Michael P. Rellahan in today's Daily Local News reports on last night's public meeting at which the proposed Chester County tax increase was discussed. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Toy Drive benefiting Ronald McDonald House (from Dennis Parisan) -
It is that time of the year that we all enjoy how fortunate we are. Our Fourth Annual Ronald McDonald Toy Drive is Saturday December 6th 2008 from 10:00 to 1:00. What a true success last year was thanks to all of you! Ronald McDonald House is sending Ronald McDonald to us from 10:00 - 11:00, so bring the kids in early to meet Ronald. Santa will be here from 10:00 - 1:00. For the big kids, this year we are having a guest appearance join our toy drive. Nationally Acclaimed Acapella and Doo Wop group "Mid Life Crisis" will be performing live. We also have Valerie Knight from the WOGL's "Breakfast Club" here signing autographs and operating the "Prize Wheel" with gifts and prizes! This year, we also will have Drag Racing Legend "Jungle Pam" Harding to sign autographs and take pictures also! Of course we will have Jennifer Sheets of Smug Mugs taking pictures for us all to enjoy. Also, we have a local Fire Truck for the kids to see, hot chocolate, cookies, cakes, coffee, the Donation Banner to sign and a Raffle for prizes. Please bring an unwrapped toy for a girl/boy and be sure to bring your Corvette, Hot Rod, Muscle Car or Antique and join the car show! ALL Car Clubs are invited! If you would like to contribute to the Toy Drive via mail, it is an easy way to help thousands of sick children and their parents. Please just make the check payable to "CCS-Ronald McDonald House" and we will place 100% of the money in the toy drive fund.
   County Corvette
   315 Westtown Road
   West Chester Pa. 19382
Thank you for all your support!  Denny Parisan (aka Santa)
Preliminary Election Results Corrected - Chester County's elections department has updated the results for Charlestown Township. (See our 11/06/08 entry below for specifics on the problem.) The results are available from the county's web site by clicking here.
"Chesco commissioners want residents to speak up about taxes" by Michael P. Rellahan in today's The Mercury reports on Chester County Commissioners' budget meeting this coming Thursday at which officials will present the proposed 2009 county budget. The commissioners are encouraging more public participation in the budgeting process and encourage county residents to attend. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Deal spares land from gas company's pipe project" by Anne Pickering in today's Daily Local News reports on a deal among Williams (a natural gas company) and Level 3 Communications that will reduce the number of easements required for Transco to expand a pipeline that passes through areas near but south of Charlestown Township. While not directly affecting Charlestown residents, I know there are many residents are following the recent discussions and issues associated with other planned pipeline expansions in Chester County. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Obituaries for two former Charlestown residents, Mary King Auchincloss and Mary E. (McConnell) Ott, were posted in today's Daily Local News. They are available from the paper's web site by clicking here.
West Vincent Supervisors to Discuss Pipeline Issues - The first item on the agenda for the November 10, 2008 regular meeting of the West Vincent Board of Supervisors (tonight) is a discussion of the planned pipelines through our area. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM at the West Vincent Township Office at 729 St. Matthews Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425. To get to the West Vincent Township office, proceed west on Route 401 (Conestoga Road), continuing through the intersection with Rt. 113, and continue on to St. Matthews Road going off to your right, immediately after the tight, angled bridge. Once on St. Matthews Road, the township complex will be on your left. (Note: I have no idea as to the extent of the discussion at this meeting.) For more information on the pipelines, see the Daily Local News article "Townships unite for talks about natural gas pipeline" here and under November 3 below. Thanks to Alix Coleman for bringing this item to my attention.
Election Results Updated
(from Charlestown Judge of Elections Bob Jones) -
Some of you witnessed the problems we had with two of the optical scanners. The scanners would not take ballots that voted straight party votes. So we had to ask many of you to use the one scanner which operated properly. We were finally able to convince the County that we were not crazy and they sent us two data cards with the right software so that all the ballots could be scanned properly.
We closed the polling data out on the two machines so at the end of the day we had 5 totals that had to be counted. We counted the totals last night and the County did not publish the correct figures. The file with our actual totals are attached that we recorded last night. (JM: Click here.)
Explanation of the Updated Totals - The updated totals page shows over and under votes, which were not included in the results posted by the county. Overvotes are cases where the voter voted for more candidates that were to be elected for a particular race. For example, if a voter marked a ballot for both Senator Obama and Senator McCain, it would be an overvote for the presidential race. Similarly, if a voter did not vote for anyone in a race for which one candidate is to be elected, it would count as one undervote. Also, remember that all results posted at this time, by the county and on this site, are unofficial in the sense that the "Certified Election Results" will be forthcoming from the county in the next week or so.
More Election News - Michael Churchill, one of our election officials, has informed me that there were a total of 278 additional ballots processed that were not in the County's Tuesday night's posting. These were from the two machines that would not accept straight party votes but did count ballots without straight part votes, (until the machines were updated). The total vote in Charlestown was actually 3,064 with Mr. Obama winning by 83 votes over Mr. McCain.
Thank You's from Bob Jones -
I want to thank my Election Board for the tremendous job they did to get everyone through this election process. These are all neighbors who have volunteered their precious time to the community. A special thanks to my two wonderfully talented daughters who bond with their father on Election Day. A special thank you for Tom and Helen for their continuing generosity in donating and preparing a meal for us every Election Day. Another special thanks to Jo Ann Voght for bringing us her corn chili even though she is going through a very difficult time in her life. Our prayers go out to her husband Michael. Thanks to my very special friends who helped make this a successful event:
Pamela Jones Lucy Hepp Ben Piombino
Dawn Jones Ellen Berhle Mary ludwick
Ted Wincov Ryan mast Jo Ann Vogt
Margaret Noble Elaun Rave' Debbie Kuhn
Suzanne Riley Pat Wagner Donna Casciola
Marcia Solda Carol mitchell MichaelChurchill
Tim Kelleher Eleanor Calvecchio Jerry moore
John Pickering Jack Calvecchio Phil Staas
Sue Staas Mike Rodgers Michael
Robert Hepp Ceaser Solda
The Official Minutes of the October 6, 2008 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
The Official Minutes of the October 23, 2008 special budget meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Election News -
  • Charlestown: 2,789 ballots were cast at Charlestown Elementary School yesterday, representing 71% of the 3,927 voters registered in our township. The presidential vote could not have been much closer, with McCain leading Obama by a mere 29 votes. Complete preliminary results for Charlestown Township are available from the county web site by clicking here.
  • Chester County: 77.2% of registered voters in Chester County turned out for the election. Obama won the county with 54% of the vote to McCain's 45%. Jim Gerlach won over Charlestown resident Bob Roggio by 56% to 44% in the race for the 6th District's representative to congress. Preliminary cummulative county results are available from the county web site by clicking here.
  • Thanks To Our Election Volunteers - I couldn't say it better than has Irene Ewald who sent me this - "Thank you to Bob Jones, Charlestown's Judge of Elections, and all the many friends and neighbors who so generously gave of their time to work at the polls. The election went smoothly with minimum wait time for voters. Charlestown had a record turnout. The people of the community are the winners."
CHS Meeting Tonight - The second fall meeting of the Charlestown Historical Society will be held tonight at 7:30 pm at Charlestown Elementary School. The speaker tonight will be Bob Momyer, who will speak on the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts period at the Yellow Springs community. In addition, updates on membership and calendar sales following yesterday's election will be reported. The society's 2009 Charlestown Calendar will be available at the meeting. Please park in the lot next to the school bus garage and enter the school at door #5. Light refreshments will be served.
5th Annual Gently Used Coat Drive - Each year I have had a request from Kelly Kelly to announce the annual Kelly Chrevolet Coat Drive. Collected coats are distributed to local shelters and needy people in the Phoenixville area. If you're not familiar with the area, you can get to Kelly Chrevolet by taking Charlestown Road north to its end at Nutt Road (Rt 23). Turn left on Nutt Road. The dealership will be on your left in a few blocks. This year Katie Kelly, a high school junior, contacted me with the following announcement -
My name is Katie Kelly. I am conducting the 5th Annual Gently Used Coat drive for Kelly Chevrolet!
Last year we collected over 500 coats which were distributed to The First Presbyterian Church in Phoenixville. The Church sorts the coats and then distributes them to local shelters (as well as their own shelter) in Phoenixville.
We will accept the coats at Kelly Chevrolet, 600 Nutt Road, Route 23, Phoenixville. The coat drive will continue through January 31, 2009.
I would greatly appreciate if you would consider a news story on the coat drive. I am a Junior in High School and can't be reached during school hours! Please contact my Mother, Kelley Kelly, if you have any questions! - 610-933-7707 (the Dealership!) or her cell: 610-216-1947.
Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this very worthy cause!
"Townships unite for talks about natural gas pipeline" by Danielle Lynch in today's Daily Local News reports on West Pikeland, West Vincent and East Nantmeal townships joining forces to work together to respond to a proposed Dominion pipeline passing through the area.The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Vote Tomorrow - The polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM tomorrow at the Charlestown Elementary School. (See Bob Jones' election reminders concerning parking, etc. below.) To confirm that you are properly registered, check out "Can I Vote?" at, which appears to directly access the Pennsylvania voter registration records to confirm voting status and polling place. (Thanks to Linda Csete for this link.)
Election Day Reminders (from Bob Jones) -
We ask that you park in the larger upper parking lot of the school. Enter the building and head straight for the gym. Once you make your right turn in front of the gym you will enter the polls on the side of the cafeteria. We will have eight lines set by your last name. It will be set up similar to the primary this year.
Voter services gave us an additional optical scanner in the spring and I requested and will receive an additional machine for this election . I have also requested some additional privacy booths so we can keep a smooth flow. Please have patience we will get you through as soon as possible.
Handicap Access
Park in the lower parking lot and come in through the main doors to the first door on the left into the gym. We will have the door marked as handicap entrance. If you need closer access email me at and I will give you my cell phone number to call when you arrive so I can open the door at the back of the cafeteria.
Calendar Reminder - While voting at the Elementary School, look for the Charlestown Historical Society's table in the hallway and check out the 2009 Charlestown Calendar - "Scenes of Charlestown - As seen through the eyes of artists over many years". The 2009 calendars will be available for $12 at the CHS table. Click here for more information about the new calendar, which is also available for $14 via US Mail using this order form.
New High School Principal - This posting is a week late, but I just ran across the article announcing the appointment. "Great Valley appoints new principal" in the October 25, 2008 Daily Local News reports on the appointment of Daniel Goffredo as the new principal of the Great Valley High School. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
10/31/08  (5:45 pm)
Lost Dog (from Kathy Wilson) -
Penny is back home 11/01/08 - My new foster dog somehow escaped this afternoon. She just arrived here from CT less than two weeks ago and I do not have a name tag for her yet. She does have a Rabies tag, but that is all. She is white with brown patches on her rear end and is an American Bulldog 6 months old pup. She answers to Penny. Lost from the Tyrone Farms section of Charlestown, bordered by Hilltop, Charlestown and Coldstream Rds. on Friday afternoon. Thanks very much.
The Preliminary Agenda for the November 3 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
The minutes of the March 6, 2008 meeting of the Open Space Commission have been posted.
"Chesco braces for record voter turnout" by Michael P. Rellahan in today's The Phoenix reports on the anticipated high turnout for next Tuesday's general election and how the county's election officials plan to handle the load. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Thanks to all of the Phillies supporters who emailed acknowledgement of our Wednesday night entry regarding our World Series Champion Phillies. (Note the new entry in the banner at the top of each page, under the banner photo.)
10/29/08  (10:30 PM)
Linda and I are big Phillies fans and attend about 8 games each season. We have watched every minute of the Phillies playoff and World Series games and we attended the second Milwaukee series game and the third World Series game in person. I'm not a superstitious person, but in this case I have felt I might jinx the Phillies by posting any comments as they progressed through the playoffs (I know it's ludicrous). But now, all we can say is WOW!!!
Reminder - Third Quarter EIT taxes are due to Central Tax Bureau of PA this Friday, October 31, 2008.

2009 Calendar Available at Elections -
2009 CalendarThe Charlestown Historical Society's  2009 Calendar brings you many of the finest paintings exhibited at our "Scenes of Charlestown" Art Show held in June, 2008. Small images of the paintings by three school students who exhibited at the Art Show are included. This is a bright, colorful calendar of scenes of our township depicted by local artists, past and present.
Information about each month's paintings is provided including the location, identification of the artist and historical significance, if any. Many of the artists live or lived in our township, and biographies of several of the artists are printed at the back of the calendar.
Improvements over last year's calendar include -
  • 13 Months - The 2009 Calendar includes January 2010, so you can note 2010 appointments before the end of the year.
  • "No School" Days - The inclusion of the Great Valley School District's scheduled days with no classes for the balance of the current school year.
  • Higher quality text
Information about the Charlestown Historical Society and a directory of Township Offices and Officials are also included.
The 2009 Calendar may be purchased for $12.00 at the CHS table at next Tuesday's General Election at the Elementary School. A portion of the purchase price supports the efforts of the Charlestown Historical Society to preserve and archive the history of Charlestown Township.
The calendar will also be available at the November 5, 2008 fall meeting of the Historical Society. If you prefer, the calendar can be mailed to you. The price including mailing is $14.00. If you cannot purchase a calendar at Tuesday's election and you would like to order one to be mailed to you, you may order one using the order form available here in pdf format (150 kb).

The sample ballot for voters in the November 4, 2008 General Election in Charlestown Township has been posted as a PDF file and is available here.
"Salute-A-Vet" Luminaria Ceremony -
Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge to Host First Annual "Salute-A-Vet" Veterans Day Luminaria Ceremony - A Fundraiser to Remind Public of the Service and Sacrifice of Nation's Veterans
The Freedoms Foundation, a national, non-profit organization that provides citizenship education programs for students, will offer citizens across the country a unique opportunity to honor and thank military veterans they know with its first annual Veterans Day "Salute-A-Vet" Luminaria Candlelight Ceremony on November 11th.
Between now and Veterans Day, the Freedoms Foundation is selling "Salute-A-Vet" Luminaria (for a $10 donation) to allow people an opportunity to recognize veterans they know- a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor. The Luminaria will be lit at a solemn candlelight ceremony on Veterans Day night at the organization's Valley Forge campus. The names of all veterans honored with a luminaria will be announced as part of the ceremony's solemn roll call.
"Preliminary budget calls for 5.6 percent county property tax hike" by Michael P. Rellahan in today's Daily Local News reports on the first draft of a new county budget that could result in a property tax hike in 2009. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"No help from Great Valley for Uptown Worthington" by Joe Langdon in today's Daily Local News reports on the Great Valley School Board's rejection of tax increment financing (TIF) for the Uptown Worthingtown development. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
10/20/08  (6:15 pm)
Lost Tuxedo Cat (from Alicia Clay) -
TippyNot sure if you can help, but would deeply appreciate your asking all if they have seen a small tuxedo cat. He is all black with a white spot on his chest area between his two front legs. My autistic son is missing him very much. He has a very faint meow. His name is Tippy. He no longer has this collar, he is a magician at taking them off. Please if anyone has seen him, call us or email us PLEASE! Thank you! Alicia Clay 123 Raven Hill Rd. -, 610-935-1792
"Pickering Creek preservation tops association's agenda" by Joe Langdon in today's Daily Local News reports on the recent Green Valleys Association's annual dinner, where the focus was on continuing efforts to preserve Pickering Creek. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Official Minutes of the September 9, 2009 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
Dr. Jane Smiley Burgoon - Dr. Jane Burgoon, a Charlestown resident who lived on a farm on Yellow Springs Road for almost 50 years, passed away October 7. Dr. Burgoon's obituary in the Daily Local News is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Senator hosts gas pipeline meeting" by Anne Pickering in today's Daily Local News reports on yesterday's meeting held to discuss the several possible natural gas pipeline projects that will affect various parts of Chester County. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Specter joins residents' fight against pipeline" by Nancy Petersen in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the same pipeline meeting. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Pa. starts efforts to cut electricity usage" by Marc Levy in today's The Mercury reports on new state legislation "that requires the state's 11 utilities to not only stop electricity usage from rising, but to cut usage beginning in 2011." The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Comment on The Phoenix article on October 10th covering the October 6 meeting of the Board of Supervisors (from Andy Motel, Chairman of the Charlestown Township Planning Commission) (original article in italics) -
On Friday October 10th, The Phoenix ran an article on the Board of Supervisors meeting the previous Monday, 10/6. I attended the meeting and observed the discussion of various items on the agenda, two of which were addressed in the article. The reporter was new, at least to the municipal process in Charlestown, and a number of inaccurate statements merit clarification.
On the first issue addressed by the article, Dewey Homes appeared and through its planner, Perry Morgan of JLM Design, presented some design modifications on Dewey's proposed residential development within Area 1 of the newly adopted (April, 2008) Traditional Neighborhood Development Zoning District (TND) located in Devault. The article states:
In this TND plan, Charlestown is divided into six zones. In these six zones, they plan to renew the residential areas by 'Berm and Buffering' (creating a mound of dirt and planting various trees on top of it). This is needed to 'create more privacy for residents,' said Morgan. Berm and Buffering is going to be done in zones one and two of the TND plan.
This is inaccurate is several respects. The TND District has 5 not 6 areas known as Area 1 thru 5. Discussion concerned a part of Area 1 owned by Dewey Homes known by residents as the "Quigley Farm." Mr. Morgan's sketches addressed several issues raised by the Township's Design Review Committee that oversees all design in the entire TND District. The discussion of berms centered on their possible use along Rees Road as a visual buffer.
The article next states:
This proposal also includes goals to create more open space, guest parking, and sidewalks for pedestrians. 'In zone four, green space was shrunk from. This was done to connect the green space to the town and also create more parking spaces,' said Morgan. He said they are eager to create many parking spaces, because based on their observations, there are not enough in Charlestown.
The only "open space" discussed is a small green area within one part of the Dewey piece. The TND District has always had sidewalks as this is a basic component of any TND. The need for additional visitor parking concerned a small part of the Dewey piece, not any area beyond this part of TND 1. As for "Zone Four", that section of the TND District, was not discussed. For the sake of clarity, Area 4 is the current site of the Devault Quarry on Route 29 and the asphalt plant across the street.
The article next addressed the anticipated timeline:
According to the JLM Design Group and Morgan, the TND is planned to be completed sometime in 2009.
John Mostoller was present from Dewey Homes and told the Board (as he has on prior occasions), that Dewey hopes to complete the design and engineering for the Quigley Farm piece and obtain the required approvals by the end of 2009 and started building beginning in the Spring of 2010. The TND contains 5 separate areas and will in no way be "complete" by the end of 2009.
The second issue reported on in the Phoenix was an update from Charlestown's Director of Open Space Programs, Aliena Gerhard, Esquire, on discussions between Schuylkill and Charlestown with the Thompson Family aimed at acquiring a permanent conservation easement over the nearly 400 acres of the Family's land located in both Townships. The Family is working with Andy Johnson of Conservation Advisors in Chadds Ford and the North American Land Trust to develop a limited development plan calling for just 23 new multi-acre home sites on the property as opposed to what might be far more than 150 homes. That will be accomplished, in part, through payments by each Township from its respective open space fund. On this, the article states:
The other project affecting Charlestown is the preservation of the Thompson family farm. Director of Open Space Aliena Gerhard said that the plan includes 23 new housing sites over 380 acres. This plan has a joint partnership with Schuylkill Township and the North American Land Trust. By preserving this family farm, the township hopes to protect the wetlands, wildlife and habitats, she explained.
Success will indeed protect habitat and some wetland area, but will also, as Gerhard said, reduce density and spare each municipality the added cost of services and pressure on the taxbase that comes from new single family homes. The article then closed with the following statement:
One of the difficulties with this process is that paying for a new open space easement will cause an additional tax for Charlestown residents. According to Charlestown Township Newsletter, the 'earned income tax (EIT) that 60 percent of our residents pay was already paid for other municipalities that generated $1 million dollars in 2007. This addition .5 percent tax will enable us to preserve an additional 750 to 1,000 acres.
The reporter mixed what she picked up at the meeting with information in a old newsletter that pre-dated the April referendum in Charlestown. There is no new or additional EIT proposed beyond the 1.0%. Charlestown implemented a .5% Earned Income Tax in 2004 and in the April referendum, residents voted to restrict the use of the funds raised by the increase from .5% to 1.% exclusively for the preservation of open space.
JM (Webmaster) Comments - (See the 10/10/08 entry below for a link to the original article.) I thank Andy Motel for taking the time to clarify significant points in the article. I would add to Andy's comments that the author of the article refers to "Charlestown" in two places where she should have referenced just the Devault TND district. I would also add that whenever the newspaper has a new reporter and that reporter is sent to cover a Board of Supervisor or Planning Commission meeting, the reporter may be faced with covering very complex issues and discussions without appropriate background. I am sure in this case, as in the past, this reporter will gradually get the "lay of the land" and the reporting will improve.

Another Comment on GVSD $6.6 mil Purchase (from Bruce Chambers) -
I am responding to Ellen Behrle's letter to the website regarding the recent $6,632,000 purchase of land by the Great Valley School District. I am not a resident of Charlestown, but live right next to your township line and in the same School District. As Ellen, I have been a regular attendee at the School Board meetings for the last year and a half and I appreciate her participation. However, I must disagree with her assessment that the School Board has discussed their intent to purchase land at these meetings. They have not. There has been no discussion regarding the need for land and new school buildings, nor has there been a discussion about a reason for needing land or buildings. In fact, at the last Board meeting it was discussed that the student population will be DECREASING in the next 6 years.
The budget for the fund they used to buy the land made no mention of buying land. Ellen is correct that the School District attorney did talk about the land purchase, but there were no facts presented to prove we got a good price. Furthermore, there was absolutely NO justification for the purchase, other than the Board President stating that they were "looking to the future". That was it. They spent $6,632,000 of our tax dollars based on "looking to the future" with no further explanation. I would expect more than that, and I believe all taxpayers would as well.
I would encourage your readers to go to to read what the Stakeholders have found out about this purchase. It contains important information about the purchase, to include questions regarding whether the Board followed the language of the law in making this land purchase. We believe the purchase of the land was unnecessary, unjustified, and may be contrary to the law. Judge for yourself after reading our articles.
"Charlestown mulls TND, easement" by Renneth Grey in today's The Phoenix reports on Monday nights Board of Supervisors' meeting at which the Traditional Neighborhood Development plans for Devault and the open space protections for the Thompson property were discussed. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Preliminary Agenda for the October 14 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
Jeremy Wilson - A posting of updated and more comprehensive funeral arrangements from Karen Wilson has been posted in today's journal entry here. The posting includes comments on how Jeremy's sisters Laurel and Claire are doing, and information on where contributions in Jeremy's memory may be made.
10/08/08  (12:15 pm)
The Official Minutes of the August 27, 2008 special meeting and September 2, 2008 regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Jeremy Wilson's obituary and funeral arrangements have been published in The Phoenix. The obituary is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Rabies in Area (from Michele Rempe) -
I just wanted to give people a heads up that there was a rabid raccoon in our yard this past Sunday afternoon. We were unable to keep an eye on it until someone from the Diamond Rock Wildlife Rehab Clinic arrived, so it wandered off. We were informed that, from our description of its behavior, it either had rabies or canine distemper. We learned that if you encounter a rabid animal and decide to shoot it, do not shoot it in its head, because the virus is in the brain tissue as well as the saliva. Diamond Rock was the only wildlife rescue organization that bothered to call us back. I was surprised that none of the other places are staffed outside of Monday through Friday 10 am - 4 pm. Nor do any of the other places check their messages outside of their office hours. I recommend that everyone add their number to their phone books (610) 240-0883. Please make sure your pets' vaccinations are up to date! If you have any questions, please call me at (610) 827-1012.
Michele Rempe
Markley House for Rent (from CHS President John Pittock) -
"Uptown Worthington TIF request halved" by Joe Langdon in yesterday's Daily Local News reports on Monday's special meeting of the GVSD Board to hear a proposal by Uptown Worthington for tax increment financing. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
10/07/08  (12:15 pm)
Jeremy Wilson - Funeral arrangements for Jeremy have been posted by Karen Wilson to caringbridge and are available here as today's journal entry. I encourage visitors to Jeremy's site to look through the journal written by his parents comprising almost 300 entries beginning with his diagnosis on August 30, 2007 as well as the guestbook with over 2,500 entries from all over the world.
Another Comment on GVSD $6.6 mil Purchase (from Ellen Behrle) -
I am a regular attendee of the school board meetings and have been for about the last 10 years. Many people ask why I attend most meetings and my response is that I learn more about the process concerning the "non-educational" function of the board by going than not going. As a result of this, the recent land purchase did not come as a surprise to me. The board has always been upfront at the meetings about its intention to purchase property. Additionally, annual discussions concerning the capital reserve fund often make reference to the need to have a hefty reserve in the event land purchase becomes necessary. Further, these discussions often include the need to purchase when something viable comes on the market and not to wait until the need is in front of us. I believe this to be a pro-active approach. One which will wind up costing us less in the long run.
I did attend the board meeting when the board disclosed that they were negotiating on the land and then again at the next meeting when the agreement to purchase was disclosed. Additionally, at the last meeting the District solicitor gave, what I thought, was a comprehensive presentation on the facts of the sale agreement and the facts of the appraisal were disclosed. The appraisal did not indicate that we paid over market value for this land.
I have to say that everything seemed upfront and above board to those regular attendees of these meetings. Some attendees agreed with the purchase and some did not. The unfortuante thing is that in a the great valley school district we have over 4,000 students and many, many more tax payers and most board meetings are very poorly attended. Most times there are only 15 to 20 over and above the school district employees. Since the business of this school district happens on the first and third monday of each month, it is only the attendees of these meetings that have the input in the process and the decisions of the board. Anyone else reacting after the fact is responding to only what we see in the media and not the facts that have occurred all along in that board room. I strongly encourage more residents to become regular attendees.
Personnally, I applaud the school board for taking this pro-active step with the land purchase. At worst, if we wind up not needing the land we can certainly sell it and recoup our money and then some. In this economy we will probably make more on this investment of the land that we are making on the rest of our monitary investments.
Sincerely, Ellen Behrle
Yard Sale - The Charlestown United Methodist Church, on Church Road in the village, will be holding a yard sale Saturday, October 11, 2008 from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, rain or shine. Items have been solicited from the church membership and all proceeds benefit the church. Items include furniture, household items, books and media, baked goods, sports equipment (no exercise equipment), holiday decorations (Christmas, Halloween, Easter), and small working appliances.
Jeremy Wilson (from Suzanne M. O'Brien 10/06/08)) -
Our neighbor's 11 year old son, Jeremy Wilson, one of a triplet pair on Blackberry Lane, passed this morning of cancer, after a valient fight lasting almost 14 months. Please send your thoughts and prayers to the Wilsons.
(I will post funeral information as soon as I receive it. jm)
Comment on GVSD $6.6 mil Purchase (from Paul Stevens) -
Where's the outrage? The Great Valley School District just bought (secretly) almost 50 acres of land for 6.6 million dollars. That's $132,000 per acre, for land they admitedly have no immediate use for and no plans for future use.
According to the Poenix article, this money came from the capital reserve fund. But it's not clear whether the school board even had the right to spend this money as "capital improvement."
More to the point, every year our school taxes go up. And now we hear the board has spent $132,000 an acre - probably five times the value of most land around here - to buy a property for which it has no particular use.
Where, indeed, is the outrage? Why aren't we paying our teachers more? Or hiring more and better teachers? Or spending all this excess money in ways that measurably improve our children's education?
Our taxes go up every year. And every year we sit and watch the board do as it pleases, like buying land for which it has no use. Talk about a travesty. Am I alone, or does anyone else feel like they've been "had?"
Paul Stevens, Charlestown Township
"Great Valley School Board to hear TIF presentation tonight" by Joe Langdon in today's The Phoenix reports on tonight's (4:30 to 6:00 pm) meeting of the GVSD School Board to hear a proposal for tax increment financing for the Uptown Worthington development at Rt. 202 and Rt. 29. The meeting will be at the GVSD administration building. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Candidate forum set for Tuesday" by Dennis J. Wright in today's The Phoenix reports on tomorrow night's forum at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville. The forum will include the participation of 8 candidates for U.S. Congress, State Senate, and State House of Representatives. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Counties' officials set for big turnout" by Carl Hessler, Jr. in today's The Phoenix reports on special preparations by election officials in anticipation of a large number of voters at polling places in Chester and Montgomery counties. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Voting Information (from Bob Jones) -
The last day to register for the election is this Monday October 6th. Election Day is Tuesday November 4th at Charlestown Elementary School.
We ask that you park in the larger upper parking lot of the school. Enter the building and head straight for the gym. Once you make your right turn in front of the gym you will enter the polls on the side of the cafeteria. We will have eight lines set by your last name. It will be set up similar to the primary this year.
Voter services gave us an additional optical scanner in the spring and I requested and will receive an additional machine for this election . I have also requested some additional privacy booths so we can keep a smooth flow. Please have patience we will get you through as soon as possible.
Handicap Access
Park in the lower parking lot and come in through the main doors to the first door on the left into the gym. We will have the door marked as handicap entrance. If you need closer access email me at and I will give you my cell phone number to call when you arrive so I can open the door at the back of the cafeteria.
If you have any questions please email me at . If you are interested in working the polls please let me know.
Thank You Bob Jones
Judge of Elections Charlestown Township #65
15th Annual Enchanted Story Trail (from Tom Pascocello)
Join us between 1 and 4 PM October 25th and 26th for another fun filled Enchanted Halloween Story Trail Walk at the Great Valley Nature Center. Families will be guided through the nature center's trails to enjoy skits about nature. Children will meet characters from recent movies and from their favorite books. At each stop they will also receive a treat. They will also receive a special package from Tickle Tooth Dental Care.
Please call ahead for reservations on the half hour. Recommended for ages 3-9. $5 for members $6 for non members
The Preliminary Agenda for the October 6 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
Voter-Registration Deadline - Monday October 6, 2008 is the last day to register to vote in the November 4 General Election. Voter Registration forms are available from the Charlestown Township Office (above the Devault Post Office) and all Post Offices as well as the Chester County web site by clicking here.
"GVSD buys 50 acres for $6.6M" by Joe Langdon in yesterday's The Phoenix reports on the Great Valley School District closing on the purchase of 50 acres on Bacton Hill Road. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.

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