Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens

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March 16, 1998

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August 13, 1997
  
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Archived Home Pages - November 1999

11/30/99
"Towns have an Internet link in sight" by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Robert Sanchez reports on a proposal by the executive director for Chesco.net, a non-profit firm that currently provides internet access and hosting to many public organizations in Chester County, to provide a free internet site to be used by all townships and municipalities for posting local information and providing other township-level internet based services. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
11/28/99
I want to thank Supervisor Bob Wert for clarifying a confusing portion of our report on the November 15 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. As stated in the report, Bob did state at the meeting that he felt the revenue carried from year to year has grown and would justify a decrease in tax rates. The .4 Mil tax rate he is quoted as proposing at the meeting is, in fact, a decrease from the current .52 rate. We mistakenly implied that it would be an increase. My apologies for the confusion and my thanks to Mr. Wert for clarifying our report. I have modified the report to reflect the correction.
11/26/99
"Outraged by outages, customers blast Peco" by Chani Katzen in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the frustration of some residents in Marple Township over the problem of frequent electric outages. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Tom Hylton takes fight against sprawl to PBS" by EVAN BRANDT in today's Daily Local News reports on one man's efforts to promote the $50 million Chester County bond referendum for open space preservation. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
11/24/99
Happy Thanksgiving!
We wish a Happy Thanksgiving for all of you and safe journeys for those traveling over the holiday weekend.
There are two articles in today's Philadelphia Inquirer that pertain to open space issues.
  • "Putting his efforts into preserving open space" by Michelle M. Martinez reports an land trust operations and effectiveness in East Marlton Township. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.

  • "Board approves open space plan" by Oshart Carmiel reports on a program in Council Rock to eliminate tax increases for farmers who do not sell to developers. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
11/22/99
Loretta Watson's report on the November 15 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted on our Neighborhood News page.
11/19/99
The Fire Marshal's report for October, presented at the first November meeting of the Board of Supervisors, has been posted. Fred Alston had the report in on time, but I had "technical" difficulties reading the file.
11/18/99
There are several articles in today's area newspapers that may be of interest to Charlestown residents concerned with open space issues.
  • "North Coventry may halt development as it plans for growth" by Robert Sanchez in the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on North Coventry Twp supervisors considering the cost of defending suits regarding its moratorium on building. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
     
  • "Township gets a boost in dispute over land" by Mark Binker reports on a court ruling in favor of Bedminster Township in a case in which the township denied a zoning change for a developer. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
     
  • "Maza: Tax hike would help open-space effort" by Carl Hessler, Jr. in The Mercury reports on a proposal by Montgomery County commissioner James Maza's proposal that that county increase real estate taxes with the funds to be used for land preservation projects. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
     
  • "Area firms fighting Route 202 congestion" by Gretchen Metz in today's Daily Local News reports on the congestion along the Route 202 corridor and studies to determine the impact of various Route 202 expansion plans. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
11/15/99
Power Outage Survey Results  -  Twenty-one residents responded to our survey on the power outage on November 2 and 3, 1999. Many who reported outages included comments on their experience and some expressed their irritation with the frequency and length of such outages. I have summarized the information, including a map with very rough designation of the zones in which outages were reported, and the zones in which reports indicated power was not out. There are three pages summarizing the reports, plus a page with a larger image of the map. Many thanks to those who took the time to respond to the survey. Click here or the paragraph heading above to see the survey results.
11/14/99
I hope to have our PECO outage survey summarized and posted by the end of today.
"Oley preserves its landscape" by Michelle Karas in today's The Mercury reports on the success by Oley Township (Berks County) in preserving open space. Quoting from the article -
According to Shannon Rossman, a Berks County planner, Oley has been successful in developing and following a comprehensive plan to restrict development to certain areas of the township while preserving a massive amount of farmland. "There are actually more farms than houses in Oley," said Rossman. "And Oley is not allowing future development to come away from Route 73 into the farmland."
I have posted the list of members and alternates to the PA Turnpike Commission's Citizens Advisory Committee. This list as well as minutes of the first meeting (and eventually other meetings) are posted under Reports on meetings on our Slip Ramp Opposition Center.
11/13/99
The Official Minutes for the two October meetings of the Planning Commission have been posted. There is lot of text on the page and it will take longer than usual to load.
Two articles relating to open space issues appear in today's Daily Local News.
  • "Valley Creek group fights Vanguard expansion plan" by Martin Indars reports on efforts by the Valley Creek Coalition to protect Valley Creek during The Vanguard Group's upcoming expansion. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
     
  • "Commissioners trade barbs over Landscapes spat" by Christian Bottorff reports on the ongoing dispute among the county commissioners regarding alleged conflicts of interest of some of those working on Landscapes. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Great Valley Nature Center's annual Silent Auction and Party is tonight. Wendy McLean provides some additional news about the event in the following email received yesterday -

The staff at the Great Valley Nature Center has been busy all day setting up for Saturday's Annual Silent Auction and Party. I wanted to give you and the web page readers a preview. There are some really nice items this year. Folks are welcome to come even if they did not reserve in advance. (Click here to read the invitation to this year's event.)
There are items in every price range. For example -
  • SIGNED LIMITED EDITION Wyeth Print!
     
  • Beautiful Antique oak "Hunt Desk" (semicircular)
     
  • Signed Ed Rafferty Print
     
  • Orchid Basket by Michael Bowell
     
  • Mountain Bike
     
  • Dinners, Lunches, Brunches, Massages (!!!)
     
  • A WEEK in NEW HAMPSHIRE!!!
     
  • An assortment of jewelry and toys
     
  • Two great sets of binoculars
     
  • A hand-carved trout decoy
     
  • Gorgeous hand-made clothing
     
  • A cow hide. Yes, a cow hide.
The weather is going to be nice and the food plentiful!
A great night will be had by all who attend!

11/12/99
The Preliminary Agenda for Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been updated.
I updated the Search feature's index yesterday. This was long overdue. This site now has over 500 pages and you can search them using our Search link in the left menu column. If you've never used it, try a search on something like "dragonfly", "PECO" or your street's name or even your own name. "PECO", for example, finds 32 pages going back as far as the mention of PECO in the minutes of the March 1996 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Our search feature does not highlight the searched text on the found pages, but on some browsers the "Find in Page" feature will highlight entered text.
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has a feature article by Diane Mastrull titled "2 sides faulting land-use bill in Pa. Preservationists and builders oppose a provision of the anti-sprawl proposal - for different reasons." reporting on problems with the upcoming state Senate vote on giving municipalities power to delay development. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here. (The Inquirer web site is having problems this morning and much of today's issue is not accessible on the web.)
Another article relating to open space is "Norco wants building moratorium" by Margaret Fitzcharles in today's The Mercury. The article reports on North Coventry Township's attempts to "close the floodgates on development with a moratorium on all construction". The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Mercury also reports on discussions of possible County tax increases in "As budget talks begin, Chesco commissioners see tax increases on the horizon" by Christian Bottorff. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
11/11/99
The Preliminary Agenda for the Monday, November 15 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
Loretta Watson's report for Charlestown Green on the November 1 regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted in our Neighborhood News section.
A follow-up article appears in today's Daily Local News regarding possible conflicts of interest by those working on the County's Landscapes program. "Friction still festering over Landscapes issue" by Christian Bottorff is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Delegation: Freight rail firm should help SEPTA" by Bronwyn Reice in today's Daily Local News reports on efforts to get the Norfolk Southern freight rail company to share their freight line's tracks for a portion of the proposed SEPTA Schuylkill Valley Metro plan to provide passenger rail service between Reading and Philadelphia, with a stop in Phoenixville. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
11/10/99
We were away the past three days and I was unable to post anything to this site due to a very poor dial-up connection from our hotel room. I will try to get caught up in the next day or so on a number of things I have queued for posting.
To date I have received 19 responses to my request for some stats and comments on the election day power outages. If you have not yet responded and would like to, please use our built-in form for sending your message to me. I would like to know -
  1. How long, if at all, was your power out? I would like to hear from those who never lost power as well.
     
  2. Where do you live? This can be a street address or simply the name of your road and nearest intersecting road. This will let me isolate zones with different lengths of outages or no outage at all.
     
  3. How many people were in your household during the outage?
Please respond soon if you have not already done so. I will summarize the stats and comments and report back on this web site over the weekend. Many of your have obviously been very annoyed by the length of the recent outage and have expressed appreciation for the opportunity to "vent" this way. Some of you have special concerns due to elderly residents in your home who might be less tolerant of cold weather outages. To them especially, I suggest checking out our "How to" page on hooking up an emergency electric generator in your home as we have done.
In addition to posting results here, I am planning to send a letter with summary of this "survey" to PECO as well as our Board of Supervisors, who may be able to voice our concerns with more authority than I.
"A call for Landscapes conduct code" by Nancy Petersen in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the request that a code of conduct be established for those working on the County's "Landscape" program. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Two Philadelphia Inquirer articles of possible interest to Charlestown residents are linked below. Both are from Tuesday's edition.-
  • "Senate approves construction code, the first in Pennsylvania's history" by Rena Singer reports on legislation passed by the state Senate that establishes a state construction code. Concerns about this code have been expressed by a variety of constituents, including township governments. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
     
  • "County may face big tax hike, officials fear" by Nancy Petersen reports that increased spending levels and falling revenues may lead to higher Chester County taxes in the future. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The following letter was received from Ellen Behrle expressing her concerns about the proposed Wellness Center Project at the Great Valley High School -
November 8, 1999
Dear Fellow Parents of School Age Children in the Great Valley School District,
Earlier this evening at the School Board Meeting for the Great Valley School District the board discussed voting, at its next scheduled meeting to be held on Monday 11/15 at 7:30PM, to accept a School Based Wellness Center Project Proposal proposed by Great Valley School District and Jefferson Health System-Paoli Memorial Hospital.
In the publication circulated at the school board meeting the Mission Statement says "To provide adolescents with convenient and confidential mental health and substance abuse care options, according to their needs, to positively impact their level of wellness, choices for healthy lifestyles, and ultimately their educational success.
There were several concerned parents at the meeting who asked a variety of questions and requested information which the school board would not provide. Although one fact was made perfectly clear: parents of children 14 years of age or older would only be contacted if the child gave the school their permission. This would mean if a child was in crisis, depressed, taking drugs, suicidal or having any other difficulty we, as their parents, would not ever know unless our child, 14 years of age or older, instructed the school to inform us instead of the way it is now: your child is in crisis of any kind the parents are immediately called and have the opportunity to handle the situation.
Many valid questions were asked as well as concerns raised regarding the program's administration, funding, and possible legal entanglements; non of which were addressed.
The point was made by the Board President that there was no time limit on the voting of this issue. Which means there is no reason why the vote could not be put off until the public received answers to the questions which were asked and received the information which is necessary to fully assess this program. Additionally, since 4 members of the current board will be stepping down on Dec. 6th, wouldn't it make better sense to hold the vote off until the new board takes over as they would be the ones administering the project? This question was also asked and not addressed.
The school board will vote on accepting this program on Monday, 11/15 at 7:30PM at the K.D. Markley School, Fraser. Please come out and voice your opinion before it is too late and we are left with the expense of employing a Medical Director, On-site Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, On-call Mental Health Counselor and a Registered Dietitian and the increase in taxes as a result of legal entanglements brought about by parents who were denied critical information about their child's well being.
11/07/99
Power Outage Survey - I have received email from several residents expressing concern about the length of our recent power outages, and one suggested a survey from this web site to get an idea as to the breadth of the problem within Charlestown. It does seem, as one writer suggests, that PECO's new more competitive environment may be affecting the resources available for tree trimming and staffing for emergency repairs.
I will not post any individual names, addresses or email addresses, but would appreciate your sending me the answers to these questions regarding the November 2nd and 3rd storm period.
  1. How long, if at all, was your power out? I would like to hear from those who never lost power as well.
     
  2. Where do you live? This can be a street address or simply the name of your road and nearest intersecting road. This will let me isolate zones with different lengths of outages or no outage at all.
     
  3. How many people were in your household during the outage?
Please send your answers to these questions using our comment form. If you want to add any comments about your particular experience with the outage, please do so. I'll summarize the survey next weekend and post the results.
Emergency Electric Generators - After our recent 27 hour power outage, several people have asked me how we have our emergency generator hooked up that allows our home to function and this web site to remain on-line through long periods without PECO supplied electricity. I have put together a two page "how to" on what we did for those who might like to do something similar. It's available by clicking here.
11/06/99
The Draft Minutes of the first meeting of the Rt. 29 Slip Ramp Citizens Advisory Committee attended by appointed representatives from Charlestown Township have been posted in our Slip Ramp Opposition Center. The minutes are listed there under "Reports on Meetings" and you can take a short cut by clicking here. We also have the same report in "plain format" without the web site's header and menus, available here.
11/05/99
"Open space still puzzles W. Vincent" by Robert Sanchez in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the reaction of supervisors and residents of West Vincent Township to the rejection of their proposal to raise taxes to save land from development. Similar measures in Willistown and East Marlborough easily passed in those townships. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
For those of you following the attempts to save the "Paoli Battlefield", the final step of transferring ownership of the historic site from Malvern Preparatory School to the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund takes place to day. "Site of 1777 Paoli battle will change hands today" by Susan Weidener in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the successful conclusion to the campaign to save the battlefield. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
I have received the draft minutes of the first meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the PA Turnpike Slip Ramp at Route 29. This is the committee formed by the Turnpike Commission in lieu of holding open hearings on the slip ramp. I'll post these minutes soon and I expect to receive and post minutes of the subsequent meetings, the next one being next Tuesday at the Hotel Desmond. Thanks to committee member Sue Staas for providing the minutes.
11/04/99
We and our neighbors down Yellow Springs and Wells Roads got our power back about 8:40 PM last night after almost 27 hours without juice.
The Preliminary Agenda for next Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors at the Great Valley Nature Center has been posted. (Note the Board is meeting Monday, Nov. 8th at GVNC and again Monday, Nov. 15th at Charlestown Elementary School.)
The Preliminary Agenda for next Tuesday's meeting of the Planning Commission at Charlestown Elementary School has been posted.
The Official Minutes of the two October meetings of the Board of Supervisors have been posted. As usual, they are available from the "Official Minutes" link in the menu bar above.
Two articles in local newspapers report on regional voting on local issues, especially open space.
  • "W. Vincent voters reject open-space plan, leave township in 'conundrum'" by Tony Phyrillas in The Mercury reports on the defeat of an open space funding referendum in West Vincent (60% against) and the overwhelming success of similar amendments in Willistown (81% for) and East Marlborough (70% for) townships. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
     
  • "Hot-button issues spark upsets" by Susan Weidener in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the success of candidates who dealt with local issues in our area. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Peco repairing losses from storm" by Michelle M. Martinez in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on PECO's activities clearing up tree, wire and pole damage in our area after Tuesday's storm. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.

11/03/99
We and a lot of other people are still without power this morning. Our's went off at 5:45 PM last night.
In the one contested race in Charlestown, Paul Hogan with 350 votes defeated Bob Wert who received 294 votes for the 4 year supervisor position. All other candidates (uncontested) won with very few write-in ballots cast. The results are now available on the county's elections pages.
This report came in last night from Michael Churchill...
Charlestown voters overwhelmingly recommended purchase of the Brightside Farm in a non-binding open space poll conducted on election day. Exactly 500 voters filled in the survey form asking whether the Township should purchase the 55 acres from the School District. Ninety percent (451) said yes. Ten percent (49) said no. I will send excerpts from the comments on the survey form tomorrow. This is an extraordinary, strong showing of support for the purchase of this 55 acres adjoining the 25 acres already owned by the Township.
"Townships favor funds to stop sprawl" by Diane Mastrull in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports that at last count (all results were not tabulated when the paper went to press last night) the three Chester County townships that had questions regarding township purchases of open space voted in favor of such purchases. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Deerfield Conditional Use Hearing has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 8th at the Great Valley Nature Center. This hearing was originally scheduled for last Monday's Board meeting and pertains to the tract across Yellow Springs Road from Brightside Farm.
The Charlestown Historical Society meets tonight at the Charlestown Playschool at 8:00 PM. Non-members are welcome to attend and may join the Society at the meeting. Click here for the program.
We set a new site record in October with 13,253 pages served for 5,158 separate "visits". The latest site statistics are linked from the left menu column (near the bottom) or by clicking here.
11/02/99  10:45 PM
At this point Tuesday evening, I cannot get anything but error messages and endless waits from the County's Election pages linked below. I've tried from Netscape and Internet Explorer and from a Macintosh and a Windows pc. Hopefully we'll have results in the morning. FYI, we've been without power from PECO since 5:45 PM.
11/02/99
County and neighborhood election results will be available tonight from the County's web site by clicking here.
The Kimberton Fire Company now has its own web site which is quite informative. In case you have not seen it, we have a map of the Township showing which regions of Charlestown are covered by East Whiteland Fire Co. and which by the Kimberton Fire Co. It's linked from our General Info page.
For those of you wondering why I did not have any of The Phoenix articles on the Charlestown Township election races linked from our web site, it's because that paper's web site is still "stuck" on the October 22nd issue.
11/01/99
The agenda for tonight's meeting of the Board of Supervisors is posted here.
The ballot for Tuesday's general election for Charlestown Township has been posted and is available here.
The program for Wednesday's meeting of the Charlestown Historical Society has been posted here.
John Martin, President of CHS, sent the following notice:
Just a reminder to Historical Society members and to non-members also that we are having another work party at the Stinson Markley property on Union Hill Road to prepare for new tenants in the farmhouse. Please come for as many hours as you can spare on Saturday November 6. We will have another dumpster to fill and our focus will be on cleaning out the garage-shed, moving some furniture from the house to the barn and various yard cleaning activities. Many thanks to those volunteers who worked at the earlier session on October 2.
"GOP holds majority, but issues are key" by Nancy Peterson in today's Philadelphia Inquirer points out that three Chester County townships are seeking approval from their residents tomorrow for higher taxes to buy open space. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Norco probes zoning of water tables" by Margaret Fitzcharles in today's The Mercury reports on the first adoption in the county of what amounts to water resource based zoning. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.

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