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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens
March 16, 1998
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August 13, 1997
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Archived Home Pages - October 1999
The Preliminary Agenda for next Monday's regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted. Note that the agendas for upcoming Board of Supervisor and Planning Commission meetings are available from links on our Official Minutes page (in top menu bar).
For those who have been asking me for information on the candidates for next Tuesday's general election, yesterday's (Thursday) Philadelphia Inquirer for our region has a "Candidates & Issues" (Section H) which includes a list of the local Charlestown positions, with a list of candidates for each position and when provided, position statements. Unfortunately, this section of the paper is not on-line, at least I cannot find it on the paper's web site. If anyone can find the section on-line, please email me the url ("location" or "address") of the web page and I'll post it here.
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 material pertaining to the election, (except for a sample ballot, if I see one in time, and the results, when they become available). I simply encourage residents to read the various pieces of campaign literature and organizations' newsletters received in the mail, discuss candidates with friends, and VOTE. See our FAQ for more in this policy.
Due to Cheryl Atkins-Lubinski's resignation from the Planning Commission, there is currently a vacancy for the remainder of her term which expires 12/31/2001. A notice inviting interested residents to apply for the position has been posted at the Township Office and we have posted the notice here as well.
The issue of preserving open space is a big item in East Whiteland, and some there are supporting the notion of a moritorium on development. Various approaches to controlling development in that township are discussed in "Fate of debated building moratorium hinges on E. Whiteland race" by Susan Weidener in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
I have had a number of queries about Township "policies" regarding Halloween. Linda Csete, Township Secretary, confirms that there are no Township rules or regulations regarding Halloween.
Loretta Watson has written a comprehensive report on the Special Meeting of the Board of Supervisors on October 18 to discuss the possible uses and financing options associated with the 55 acre Brightside Farm tract being sold by the Great Valley School District. The report is permanently linked from our special Brightside Farm section or you can go there directly by clicking here.
Do you believe Chester County's quality of life will grind to a halt if the proposed Rt. 29 Turnpike Slip Ramp is not built? That's what the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry says will happen (see 10/26 entry below). In addition to calling the County Commissioners to voice opposition to the proposed Rt. 29 Slip Ramp, you might also wish to contact the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. CCCBI is conducting the campaign in support of the Slip Ramp, and the organization's telephone number is (610) 436-7696, their Fax number is (610) 436-7610, and their postal address is Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry, PO Box 3127, West Chester, PA 19381. The organization's offices are at 17 E. Gay St. in West Chester. It would be especially effective if some members of CCCBI themselves expressed opposition to the Slip Ramp to both the County Commissioners and CCCBI. A CCCBI membership list is available by clicking here.
I have posted the invitation to this year's Great Valley Nature Center Annual Silent Auction and Party, which will be held Saturday, November 13. It's a great event for a great cause. Call soon if you plan to attend.
Yesterday and today's local newspapers have had articles about the Governor's proposed "Growing Green" program. Links are provided below:
- "Ridge's plan for environment is languishing" by Rena Singer in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer is available here.
- "Conservationists' poll supports expanding Ridge's plan" from the Associated Press in today's Philadelphia Inquirer is available here.
- "Legislators respond to poll backing environmental aid" by Christian Bottorff in today's Daily Local News is available here.
The Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry is circulating a flier in support of the proposed Rt. 29 Slip Ramp for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The flier lists the three county commissioners, Colin Hanna, Karen Martynick and Andy Dinniman, and urges the reader to "Call Today! 610-344-6100" and to ask the commissioners to support the slip-ramp turnpike exit. It is likely this flier has been placed on car windshields in parking lots all over the Great Valley Corporate Center. (Thanks to Bob Jones for bringing this to our attention.)
Ironically, the flier says that without the slip ramp exit, "Chester County's quality of life (will) grind to a halt".
If the Chamber of Business and Industry is asking for calls in support of the slip ramp, then area residents who oppose the slip ramp should call the same number and express opposition to the ramp. Call 610-344-6100.
This is the last "Take-In" day for the Charlestown Playhouse Fall Sale.
Tomorrow, I will be posting a comprehensive report from Charlestown Green on the 10/18 Supervisor Meeting on Brightside Farm.
According to "Creek Road bridge out for at least next three months" by Amanda Alway in last Friday's The Phoenix, the Creek Road bridge, washed out in Hurricane Floyd, will be out of service for at least three months. As of today, the article is still available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
For those of us wondering when traffic lights will be installed at route 401's intersections with Valley Hill and Newcommen Roads, Township Secretary Linda Csete reports that the matter is still tied up with PennDOT. When there is more to report (hopefully a scheduled time for installation), we'll let you know.
The "Advance Sale" day for this year's Charlestown Playhouse Fall Sale is this Saturday, and the "Take In" days for the big eight day sale are Monday and Tuesday. See the sale's entire schedule and a map to the sale site by clicking here.
We currently have 110 subscribers to our Email Notification Service whereby subscribers receive an email notification with summary information when this site is updated. I occasionally drop a subscriber from the list due to the fact that notices sent to the subscriber have "bounced back" because the email address is no longer valid. My policy is to wait until I have had three or four consecutive notices bounce before dropping the addressee from the list. If you are a subscriber and have changed your email address recently, you should reapply or email me your new address to be reinstated.
Food for thought - The following comments and questions were posed by resident Paul Hogan in an email received yesterday.
Three of the bridges I built across the Pickering were wiped out by Floyd. I'm not in bad company because the Creek Road bridge off 29 was wrecked and now I hear the high RR bridge is unsafe for the heavy trains that have used it for over a century.
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer article "Growth and Development - Boom time by the numbers in county" by Marian Uhlman and Neill A. Borowski summarizes the US Census Bureau's Chester County statistics for the decade from 1987 - 1997, a period of very high growth in services. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
What will become of the right of way? A rails to trails conversion? The land to go back to the present owners adjacent to the right-of-way? Make a real long golf course? Can the bridge be saved for foot traffic? Will it take 9 years to fix like the one on Pickering Road?
While on the subject - why does it take 8 years to put light rail cars back onto the Reading to Philadelphia tracks that go through Phoenixville. The British and French built a high speed train from London to Paris and went under the English Channel in less time.
Why does it take eons to install the EZPass system that would speed up Valley Forge traffic and obviate the need for slip ramps in Charlestown?
I have posted my own report on last evening's special meeting on the Brightside Farm issue and welcome reports from others who attended the meeting. It's available from our Brightside Farm section or directly by clicking here.
I have posted a revised newsletter from the Charlestown Farm Committee including separate sections on a Charlestown CSA, a Charlestown Equestrian Center and Charlestown Trails. Even if you attended last night's meeting, there is much to learn from this material that was not covered at the meeting.
The Preliminary Agenda for the October 26 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
"$4 million awarded to rail project" by John Gentzel in today's The Mercury reports on Monday's press conference by Senator Santorum announcing the receipt of $4 million of federal funds for environmental studies for the proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro passenger rail project. If the rail line is ever constructed, it will serve as an optional means of commuting to Philadelphia for Charlestown residents and if nothing else, should somewhat reduce the number of cars on the Route 422 and the Schuylkill Expressway during rush hour. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Tonight's 7:30pm special meeting at the Charlestown Elementary School for presentations and discussions of the possible Township purchase of the 55 Acre Brightside Farm tract being sold by the Great Valley School District is the subject of an article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. "Charlestown land deal is on agenda" by Michelle M. Martinez is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here. We have a comprehensive though preliminary agenda for tonight's presentations.
"Federal funds go to rail-line proposal" by Michael Rothfeld in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on new funding for studies of a passenger rail line from Reading to Philadelphia, with a stop in Phoenixville. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
For those of you wondering why we have had no links to articles in The Phoenix for a while, the reason stems from the fact that the paper's web site has been "stuck" at the September 28 issue since that date. I still check it daily, and hopefully the paper will return to daily updates soon.
I have received a proposed agenda for the presentations at Monday's special meeting of the Board of Supervisors to discuss the possible purchase of the 55 acres of Brightside Farm being sold by the Great Valley School District. While the specific details may change, the agenda does indicate the likely scope of the presentations regarding the possible purchase of Brightside Farm by the Township. The agenda is available from our Brightside Farm "home" page or by clicking here.
"Officials to PennDot: Thanks, and what can you do next?" by Jere Downs in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on possible new PennDot projects in the years to come, including widening of the Schuylkill Expressway from Route 202 to the Blue Route. The article includes some discussion of the ongoing battle between open space advocates and those trying to deal with congested highways. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Reminder - Monday night's meeting of the Board of Supervisors is a special public meeting featuring a presentation of possible uses of the 55 acre Brightside Farm tract to be sold by the Great Valley School District. The meeting begins at 7:30 at the Charlestown Elementary School.
Three articles in yesterday's and today's local papers report on the funding of the Chester County Landscapes 21st Century Fund. Of the $75 million total funding, $12 million would go to farmland preservation.
- "Adding money to effort to save farms" by Nancy Petersen appeared in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "County shows off its new initiative to control growth", also by Nancy Petersen, is in today's Philadelphia Inquirer and is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "County to take Landscapes farther, help urban renewal" in today's Daily Local News is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here. (Early this morning the paper's link to this article was "broken", but I assume it will be fixed.)
This week's Suburban Advertiser reports on East Whiteland's efforts to preserve the 1793 Spring (Gunkle) Mill at the corner of Moore Road and Rt. 401. The mill is open from 1-3pm on Sundays through the month of October. I have not been in it yet, but old mills that retain much of their original equipment, as this one has, are fascinating to tour. The article is available on-line for the coming week from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The preliminary agenda for the October 18 special meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted. This meeting is primarily devoted to explaining the various issues associated with the possible purchase by the Township of the 55 acre Brightside Farm property to be sold by the Great Valley School District.
Two articles in today's Philadelphia Inquirer report on growth in Chester County.
- "In growth, county stays on top of the Phila. region" by Rich Henson with sub-heading "Many newcomers have followed the business boom, new Census figures show. Housing and taxes have drawn others" is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "Lots of jobs and too few workers" by Susan Weidener with sub-heading "That's the story in Chester County, where wages are good but skilled workers rare" is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Two pages have been added to our growing Brightside Farm section. Based on material provided by the Charlestown Historical Society, I have added a page of history of the 55 acre parcel that is for sale, including a timeline of title changes through 1930, and a page showing the tax assessment history, also through 1930. It's interesting to see that assessments in the early 20th Century included counts of out-houses and dogs.
Two articles in today's papers address open space issues in parts of Chester County.
- "Cracks forming in anti-sprawl alliance" by Brooks Barnes in the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the problems an alliance of townships in the Downingtown area are having. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "N. Coventry official mulls development moratorium" by Margaret Fitzcharles in today's Daily Local News reports on efforts to slow down commercial projects along Route 100, between Exton and Pottstown. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Tomorrow is Hazardous Waste Disposal Day. See the 09/27 entry for details.
I have posted the schedule and other details for this year's big Charlestown Playhouse Fall Sale.
Janet Baldwin loaned me a wonderful watercolor painting by Geraldine Berg titled "Pyle's Last Stand" which I have photographed and posted on the Brightside Farm section. If you are familiar with the vegetable stand that has been a hallmark of the Pyles for years, you'll especially enjoy the painting.
I have also posted Brightside Farm photos received from Mark Connolly and the Charlestown Farm Committee. Of special interest are the "before" and "after" photos shown at the first August meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the "after" photo being a rendering of what the property might look like with a housing development on it.
With the help of the Charlestown Farm Committee and the Charlestown Historical Society, I will soon be posting more detailed history of Brightside Farm as well as more information on how the land can be used.
The Official Minutes of the September 13 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Yesterday I did not see the Philadelphia Inquirer article "Second phase of open-space effort to start" by Nancy Petersen until I read the printed edition. The article provides a great deal of information about the County's open space plan, including where the first $50 million was spent, and efforts to continue with an additional $75 million. Of particular relevance in regard to the Brightside Farm issue is this quote from the article,
"People are waking up," said Hausmann, who now is chairman of the Chester County Planning Commission. "They are realizing that they have to buy the land if they want to protect the character of their community."
The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Griffiths, who live in the former post office on Route 29, around the bend from the Nature Center, lost their dog in a cruel, inexplicable way. The following was received from the Griffiths -
We live in the old Post Office on Rt 29 right by the one lane bridge. My dog was shot last night. He got out of the yard and came back about an hour later bleeding from the chest. My husband took him to the vet, then the emergency vet in Audobon.
After agonizing to make a decision, he had a collapsed lung, was in shock & had lost a lot of blood, we decided to put him to sleep. The vet said someone may have been hunting & hit him. I doubt that, I think someone saw him & didn't like it. If it was a hunting accident, should I be afraid of my children getting hit with a stray bullet?
All I want to say is, why did you have to shoot him? Would it have been that hard to call the police or animal control to get him? Our phone number was on his BRIGHT GREEN collar. Or even just shoot in the air to scare him. Try explaining to a 3 year old that God needed your puppy in heaven. Whoever did this is sick & cruel. I thank God that Jerry made it home, so he didn't die out in the woods in pain and I know what happened to him. Someone has caused us a great deal of pain.
I am very angry and extremely disturbed that someone would do this.
In "Talking with a leader in preserving open space" in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, Nancy Petersen talks with Molly Morrison, a senior staff member in the Chester County administration who works on the county's open-space program. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The possibility of the Township purchasing the 55 acres of Brightside Farm to be sold by the Great Valley School District is a significant topic before our elected officials and is the sole subject for the October 18 meeting at Charlestown Elementary School. I have created a section of this web site devoted to this topic, complete with maps, lot diagrams, photographs and reports and other written information. As long as this topic is "alive", I'll keep the small "Brightside Farm" button near the top of this home page for easy linking. Clicking the Brightside Farm button on any page on which it appears returns you to the "cover page" for the new section. I welcome corrections, additional information and opinions. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
With the help of Supervisor Irene Ewald, I have learned from Bob Esty, President of the Great Valley School District's Board of School Directors, that a "For Sale" sign at the entrance to Brightside Farm Sunday through Monday evening was a hoax, and that while the District is planning to sell the property, it is not yet officially for sale, and in fact a realtor has yet to be selected.
At last night's meeting of the Board of Supervisors, it was announced that the School Board and the Board of Supervisors will meet in executive session tomorrow evening, Oct. 6, to discuss the Brightside Farm property.
Fred Alston's Fire Marshal report for September has been posted.
Two articles in today's local papers address land use issues -
"A blue line stretched thin" by Bill Ordine in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the difficulties of the State Police in providing protection in our fast growing county. The article is available on-line by clicking here.
- "Preserving the rural history of burgeoning U. Uwchlan" by Brooks Barnes in the Philadelphia Inquirer is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "State's land-use reform bill takes step forward" by Margaret Fitzcharles inThe Mercury is available on line for a few days by clicking here.
As an aside, The Phoenix has not updated their web site for over a week, so articles pertaining to Charlestown residents during the week have not been available on-line.
Two articles by Margaret Fitzcharles associated with the preservation of open space appear in today's Daily Local News.
Inadequate space in area schools is the subject of "Schools' big need: Space" by Mark Schogol in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. This article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "Public, private groups save 25 acres for park" reports on a South Coventry Township partnership of public and private agencies. It is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "Land-use reform nears vote" reports on legislation to be voted today to give municipalities more control over urban sprawl. This article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
I will be posting a new section of this web site devoted to the Brightside Farm sale by the Great Valley School District and the possible purchase of that land by the Township. A "For Sale" sign has been posted on the School District's 55 acres of the former Pyle farm.
The Official Minutes for the September 14 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted. As always, they are available from our Official Minutes page (see link in button bar above).
Web site statistics for September have been posted. Click here or at the bottom of the left menu column.
The preliminary agenda for next Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
The Drought Emergency has been lifted. Two local newspapers have articles on the action by Governor Ridge -
Yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer had a front page article titled "Towns across area fight to preserve open space" by Diane Mastrull, Melia Bowie and Oshrat Carmiel that reports on various efforts in the Delaware Valley to facilitate public ownership or financial support for the preservation of open space. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "Gov. Ridge lifts water restrictions" by Chris Barber in the Daily Local News is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "Ridge lifts water restrictions for most of Pa." by Rena Singer in the Philadelphia Inquirer is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
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