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 - November 2000

Announcements from the Township Secretary-
The Planning Commission has cancelled its public meeting for November 28.
The Dec 12 meeting has been relocated to the Great Valley Middle School Choral Room, Phoenixville Pike.
Happy Thanksgiving!
We wish a Happy Thanksgiving for all of you and safe journeys for those traveling over the holiday weekend.
The (lengthy) Official Minutes of the November 6 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Mark Connolly has brought "Conservation group recognizes watershed" by Zlati Meyer in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer to my attention and points out that the conservation strategy described in the article may have value in Charlestown Township. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Coyote Update - This comment was received from Cathy DiFilippo (the events she refers to in the second paragraph occurred in August, 1997) -
I just pasted Correll's farm and two red fox crossed. This has been their path for years. One fox though, has mange as his tail is not full and he is very tame. I could walk right up to him.
Now, on the subject of the cayote, I did an enoromous amount of research since he was here. Their range is 40 miles around. Their main diet is carrion off the road. When the geese leave, you know he is here. The one at my place took out a den of fox, a cat and a neighbor's puppy and a duck. Most of this was during the daylight. When the Pa Game Commission came here to trap him, absolutly nothing fell into the traps which were bated. There was no wildlife left to trap. He is here to stay, until there is nothing left and he will move on. It is open season all year on the cayote.
Many thanks,
Cathy DiFilippo
"Elementary school dedicates a tree" by Pamela Batzel in today's Daily Local News reports on the planting of a tree in the courtyard at Charlestown Elementary School in memory of Donna Aquilante. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Today's coyote reports include this from Brenda Piombino -
We think we saw one on Coryell's old farm/field--but it could have been a large fox as it was reddish.
The field Brenda refers to is east of Valley Hill Road between Yellow Springs Rd. and the PA Turnpike Crossing.
Also, Cathy DiFilippo assures me that there are no grey foxes in Charlestown and there is speculation that coyotes from a den found in Eagle five years ago have made their way here.
Coyote News
I've had several comments on the report of a coyote in the vicinity of Wells Road. Some are skeptical and others support the possibility that we do have a coyote in our midst. I have lived on or near Wells Road much of my life, going back to 1944. Prior to Cathy DiFilippo's encounter with a coyote in 1997, I had never heard of coyotes any closer to us than the Poconos. I admit that I am skeptical about the current sighting on Wells Road. We have gray foxes in our area as well as a variety of dogs. However, my neighbor Wendy McLean has made me rethink my skepticism. Wendy (who leads the Board of the Great Valley Nature Center) also comments on some other local flora and fauna -
I have not seen one here, and did not know that others had claimed to have seen them. However, this past Thursday evening, I heard what sounded EXACTLY like coyotes howling. It sounded like it was coming from Wells Road.
In upstate NY, where my sister lives, there are lots of coyotes. I am very familiar with their sound. I have also heard them in the Poconos. What I heard this week was the same sound. Since I believed there were no coyotes here, I assumed that I had heard foxes singing a different tune than their usual "yipp". Perhaps I really heard coyotes?
I have also seen a particularly mangy fox around the Rapp House twice recently. I suppose this happens from time to time. I also saw a hen pheasant on Yellow Springs south of the Turnpike yesterday.
In other wildlife news, I have confirmed that we have Pygmy Shrews in our joint woodlands. These are the smallest North American land mammals and were previously unknown in Chester County. It is not known whether they are "rare" or just so sneaky that no one knows they are there. I believe we also have Woodland Jumping Mice. This would also be an extension of the range of this mouse, which is generally found farther north. I have sent specimens to a mammologist for confirmation.
In plant news, my woods contain a fairly rare plant known as the Showy Orchis, a member of the orchid family. You might have them too. We also have a healthy, tasty and much coveted crop of wild Morel mushrooms.
Wendy McLean
I know Wells Road resident Harry Berhans has decided to keep his "outdoor" cat inside much more than usual until he is certain the coyote is either gone or never existed. That sounds like a good idea that would apply to small dogs as well.
To that end, I'll repeat below two passages from the official minutes of the Board of Supervisors on August 4, 1997 -
Mrs. Ewald alerted the residents to local sightings of coyotes, one very near the Charlestown Elementary School. She said that they are the size of large dogs and will attack domestic animals and small children. She stated that the Township's animal control officer is working with the Pennsylvania State Game Commission on the problem. The Game Commission has recommended the Township bring in an expert to trap the animals, and she would like to proceed with this recommendation. Mrs. Ewald further noted that six years ago the Game Commission released coyotes into Pennsylvania to control the deer population and now problems are beginning to arise in many areas. Mr. Sauser disagreed with the statement that the Game Commission released coyotes, and further noted that it is permissible to shoot coyotes at any time of the year and encouraged people to do so.
Cathy DiFillippo, Charlestown Road, stated that she is one of the individuals reporting coyote sightings. She said that Rep. Rubley has helped her communicate with the Game Commission, which is attempting to trap the coyote that has been killing her poultry. She commented that while the Game Commission denies setting coyotes loose in Pennsylvania, there are reports that captured coyotes sport collars and tags.
If you want to read more about the 1997 sightings and reactions, see our archived Neighborhood News from August 1997 by clicking here. That page contains several entries regarding the 1997 coyotes.
We have a report of a coyote being seen on two separate occasions on Wells Road. If you have also seen it, please let me know. (This is not the first report we have had of a coyote. In August 1997 we had several reports of one in the area of the elementary school.)
The Official Minutes of the October 24 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
The Preliminary Agenda for Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
CAC Meeting Postponed (from John Martin)
The CAC meeting scheduled for Tuesday Nov 21 depended on inputs being received from the townships regarding population and employment projections for the townships as requested by Bill Fulton of the Chester County Planning Commission. Since all input may not be received by the meeting date, the November 21 meeting is portponed and to be rescheduled after the December holidays.
11/16/00 (1 pm)
Soybeans are being harvested today at the Pyle's Brightside Farm, soon to be the property of Charlestown Township. This field will be planted with grass prior to the Pyles' departure next February. Click the photo or here for a larger image of this photo.
With the closing on the Charlestown Township's purchase of the 55 acre Brightside Farm just a few weeks away, it's interesting to note the purchase of a 34 acre farm in Marple Township, Delaware County by a coalition of buyers which includes the county itself. "Last farm in Marple will be sold for $2.4 million" by Chani Katzen in today's Philadelphia Inquirer is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Loretta Watson's reports on the October 30 and November 6 meetings of the Board of Supervisors have been posted to our Neighborhood News page.
"An official who snapped over photos", a commentary by Bob Martin in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, comments on the October 26 incident between supervisor chairwoman Irene Ewald and Lance Altemose at an executive session of the Board of Supervisors. The commentary is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
11/10/00 (noon)
Charlestown Voters Turned Out! (received from Sue Staas)
The official tally of votes cast was 2,160 - which, based on the official count of registered voters in the township (3225) was 66.98%. HOWEVER, the actual count of registered voters who live and vote in the township (including absentee voters) is probably about 2500. Which makes the percent turnout closer to 90%! The discrepancy in numbers of registered voters in the township is a true reflection of our mobility and of the difficulty voter services has in keeping up with it!
Never, ever say that your vote doesn't count! Please remember the importance of your vote in May 2001, when we will be selecting local and county candidates for office. Good, responsive government begins at home.
Besides the 10 or 15% of you who did not vote in this very important election, there are about 360 residents in the township who are not registered to vote at all! (A reminder to those who are registered as Independents - Pennsylvania voting laws do not allow you to vote in primaries, which means that you lose the opportunity to vote your preference for those who will run for office. This is a real loss in local elections!) Voter registration forms are available in all the local post offices.
Most important of all! One hundred of our neighbors contributed untold time and energy to make the voting process (which is our right, privilege and responsibility) a smooth process. Thank you, thank you to those who regularly deliver literature around election time. Thank you to those who helped with the parking! Thank you to those who were greeters at the doors and in the school hallways. Thank you, thank you to the election board - those fourteen hardy souls who were on the job from 6 AM to goodness knows when! Thank you to the poll watchers (The turbulence in Florida should tell us how important the election board and poll watchers are!). And thank you to those who telephoned to get out the vote.
Thank you to the Charlestown Elementary School staff and to the School Bus Drivers who patiently endured the disruption of having 2100++ visitors during the day!
Your turn to help with this democratic process of ours will come in April, as we prepare for the May primaries! Please volunteer. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet your neighbors and to celebrate Charlestown and Democracy!
Sue Staas ( and Charlie Philips (, Republican Committee Folk.
Rt 29 BridgeRoute 29 Bridge Reopened -
This photo of the Rt. 29 bridge over the Pickering Creek was provided by Loretta Watson. Closed since October 20, the bridge reopened late Thursday morning. "Route 29 bridge re-opens in Charlestown" by Michael Quay in today's The Phoenix reports on the situation and is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Man facing charges in Charlestown car theft" by Karin Williams in today's The Phoenix reports on the quick arrest of a Default resident who allegedly stole an automobile from an employee of Gardner Steel Erection Inc., on Route 29 and Warner Lane. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Official Minutes of the October 30 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Doug Miles, a resident of Chesterfield Lane and a proud father, submitted the an article (and photos) about his daughter, Ginny, definitely a Charlestown Neighbor of Note.
Fred Alston's Fire Marshal Report for October has been posted.
My thanks to Sue Staas for providing the following information regarding next Tuesday's election -
YOUR VOTE COUNTS on November 7!
The race for President is a cliff hanger!
Pennsylvania is a swing state!
On the ballot are important races for the US Senate (Santorum - R vs Klink - D), U.S. Representative (Weldon - R vs Lennon - D), and races for State Representative (Carole Rubley, unopposed), State Attorney General (Fisher - R vs Eisenhower - D), State Treasurer (Hafer - R vs Knoll - D), State Auditor General (True - R vs Casey - D).
The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily Local News and the The Phoenix will carry extensive information on all the candidates over the weekend and on Monday. Now is the time to buy a newspaper to be an informed voter! This week's TIME and NEWSWEEK also have published informative articles comparing the two presidential candidates, their issues, past experiences and management styles. The League of Women Voters website is informative ( about candidates from every party for every office.
Directions to the Polls in Charlestown: Polls will be open 7AM to 8PM. Polls are located in the Charlestown Elementary School on Charlestown Road just up the hill from the light at Route 29 and Charlestown Road. It is most efficient to approach the school from the light in order to make a right turn into the first entrance to the school. Park in the lot to the right of the school. At busy times, there will be volunteers to direct you. Please note that Route 29 is navigable between the light and Pickering Dam Road - giving you opportunity to detour via Pickering Dam Rd, Hollow Rd or Union Hill Rd to approach the school through the Route 29/Charlestown Rd intersection.
The Preliminary Agenda for next Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
The Official Minutes of the October 10 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
Reminder: CHS meeting tonight. Learn the history of the many one-room schools that once populated Charlestown.

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