One of jewels of Chester County is located in Westtown Township – Oakbourne Mansion. I was there for the first time early in the fall for Westtown Day – this extraordinary historic mansion is in the middle of their appropriately named Oakbourne Park. The park itself is quite beautiful and has walking trails, what looks like a community garden, and kids’ jungle gym equipment too.
The mansion has an iconic water tower which is actually part of the township logo I am told!
The mansion is in remarkable condition given its age and is owned by Westtown Township. It is in need of some maintenance like any house of its age but the place is just so gorgeous!
The details inside are amazing! From woodwork to tile work and mosaics and the crazy beautiful stained glass windows, this place is magical. Today it was hosting a Christmas festival kids’ fun day, and the event was hosted by Westtown’s Parks and Rec committee. Their Parks and Rec community volunteers really put together an amazing event – more committees in local municipalities should follow their lead! They are SO much more than playground equipment! And they love the park Oakbourne sits in which is so awesome to see!
Enjoy the photos. Hopefully someday Oakbourne will land on something like The National Register of Historic Places. I wonder if the National Trust for Historic Preservation knows this place exists? Do you know it exists? Everyone should check Oakbourne out- it really is so very beautiful! (If I was in charge of restoration work here, I would bring in Frens and Frens out of West Chester!)
What did you miss over the past week? The biggest stories in Pennsylvania are here.
Take a look at the open houses in and near Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood...
Two individuals were shot in Montgomery County on Friday night while they sat inside of their car.
A Pennsylvania pharmacist was one of two people who died on a cruise ship that departed this week.
This is what rebuilding looks like - at least for the Eagles. This one could set the NFL back a ways.
Two struggling teams will meet in Cincinnati when the Eagles arrive to tangle with the Bengals.If you can remember the optimism that surrounded the Eagles, along with Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz as the Birds sprinted out to that 3-0 start, you're a good fan.Pederson is a first-year coach; Wentz is a rookie quarterback. Both are beginning to look like it.The truth is this is probably more representative of the Eagles than that mirage early in the season, including that impressive win vs. the Steelers.Pederson in particular seems to have lost the imagination and touch he demonstrated - and his team is paying for it.He's fallen into the Andy Reid playbook, abandoning a running game that would immensely help his young QB while controlling the game and keeping some potent offenses off the field.Instead Pederson for some reason insists on throwing the ball, including an ugly effort vs. the Packers when the key to the game should have been to limit the time Aaron Rodgers had to dissect your defense.The Bengals aren't nearly as good. They look like they will miss the playoffs again. They won't need to be all that good today. The Eagles arrive likely without their top two weapons, which I guess is a bit of a stretch. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews has a bum ankle; running back Ryan Mathews is out again with a knee injury. There's a stunner: Ryan Mathews is injured.Pederson could load up with a huge diet of Wendell Smallwood, the running back who has given every appearance of being a solid lead back. Instead the guess here is that Pederson instead will try to have Wentz win the game again. Expect lots of 6-yard passes to Zach Ertz on third and eight.On defense, the Birds can't possibly be as bad as they looked against the Packers.Just about anything would be an improvement. They'll be better, just not good enough. The Pick: Make it Bengals 17, Eagles 13
. Offense could be strictly a rumor in this one. The Eagles are lousy on the road, the Bengals should kick enough field goals to get the win. Last Week:
I don't know what everyone else was thinking. I looked on one side and saw Aaron Rodgers, who is having a very good season even as the Packers have struggled. They are lining up a spot in Canton for Rodgers. How many Eagles can you say that about? The win pushed me over the .500 mark on the season at 6-5, while the Birds slumped to 5-6 mark, as they head back out on the road - where they have not fared well this season, against the Bengals. Game by Game:
Packers 27, Eagles 13 (My Pick: Packers 27, Eagles 23)Seahawks 26, Eagles 15 (My Pick: Seahawks 24, Eagles 13) Eagles 24, Falcons 15 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Falcons 29)Giants 28, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Giants 17)Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Cowboys 29, Eagles 24)Eagles 21, Vikings 10 (My Pick: Vikings 26, Eagles 13)Redskins 27, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Redskins 23)Lions 24, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Lions 10)Eagles 34, Steelers 3 (My Pick: Steelers, 26, Eagles 23)Eagles 29, Bears 14 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Bears 16)Eagles 29, Browns 10 (My Pick: Eagles 19, Browns 13)
Foreclosures listed for sale in and around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood could provide opportunities to move into a home you couldn’t afford otherwise...
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The school was also listed at the best high school for athletes in the state, according to Niche.com.
The debate in Swarthmore continues. I always like to think of readers' voices as those of the angels. They are singing these days in Swarthmore. I took to the editorial page today
to expound on the story that everyone is talking about. That would be the request by the HEADstrong Foundation to use a stately, old house in the borough as a temporary residence for cancer patients and their families who are getting medical treatment in the area. That request is being opposed by some neighbors.
An interesting thing happened as we covered this story, something that actually happens quite often. No one especially liked our coverage.Those who backed the Colleluori family and HEADstrong in their efforts believed we focused entirely too much on the opponents and ignored the fact that a lot of people in the borough were supporting their request. Essentially, they thought the town was being painted with much too broad a brush. If you spend any time, as I do, online you know what I mean. The stories have sparked a huge outpouring, both on our DelcoTimes.com comments board, as well as on Facebook.On the other side, those opposed to the HEADstrong request believed we were unnecessarily sensationalizing the story and fanning the flames of the bile that spilled out - much of it directed at them - online.As I always do in these cases, I invited them to offer their side of the story, and promised I would run it on our op-ed page. My thanks for Lisa Feehery for taking me up on my offer.One thing I would like to make clear. Lisa Feehery is not what most people are trying to make her and some of her fellow neighbors out to be. She believes what is in essence a fairly mundane issue over borough codes and zoning regulations is being fanned into something emotional, an "us vs. them" debate that she does not really want.You can read her guest column here
.Council is set to make their ruling Monday night. We'll be there.
On our editorial page Thursday,
we noted how Andy Reilly is about to do something most people in Delaware County already have done. The leader of the county Republican Party will cast a ballot for Donald J. Trump for president.
But Reilly's vote will have a little more 'oomph' than most of those cast a couple of weeks ago in Delco and Pennsylvania. That's because Reilly is one of 20 official electors from Pennsylvania to the Electoral College. You remember all that talk about Pennsylvania's 20 critical electoral votes? Reilly holds one of them. And despite a daily avalanche of emails, he says he's heard nothing to make him change his mind and not vote the will of the public in casting his vote for Trump. This comes as Third Party candidate Jill Stein is pushing lawsuits seeking recounts in three states, including Pennsylvania. A hearing on that request is set for Monday in Harrisburg. It turns out she's not the only one who has not yet accepted the election results. Here in Delaware County, unsuccessful Democratic 7th District Congressional candidate Mary Ellen Balchunis is seeking a recount, sounding the alarm about widespread hacking reports. You can get all the details on that push here.
Good luck with that, Mary Ellen. Don't hold your breath waiting for either of these challenges to hold water - or change the result of the election. Donald Trump is going to be the 45th president of the United States. And I, for one, am already starting to wonder if all these angry people who backed him aren't already wondering what they did and if Trump in fact is the guy who is going to go to bat for them. We shall see. I just hope the country is not saddled with a massive, four-year case of buyer's remorse.
An open house planned by the right realtor can help you in any number of ways. Check out those around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood...
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Hi there! Are you getting your letters from Chester County, PA? I am sorry to ask during this time of year, but you see parts of Chester County has an on again, off again mail problem.
You see, part of Chester County PA’s Mail sorts through another city and state. Yes, it’s true, part of Chester County’s mail sorts through Wilmington, Delaware!
Imagine, you send your next door neighbor a card and it takes not days , but weeks to arrive. Why? Because the mail sorts through Wilmington, Delaware!
Imagine you have an awesome local post office and equally terrific mail carriers. Imagine how awful they feel when they have to knock on your door and hand you damaged mail and damaged packages that sometimes look like the football after Monday Night Football! Why? Because the mail came to Chester County via Wilmington, Delaware!
Imagine you are waiting for a registered or priority package and you are tracking it on USPS.com and you watch it travel from pillar to post and then it just stalls for a couple of days…in Wilmington, Delaware. (with no explanation, ever.)
Santa, it is sad but true. When you complain the United States Postal Service doesn’t honor their “we deliver for you” they terrorize your local mail carriers and post office or they blow you off entirely. Heck maybe YOU can get them to respond to emails – because unless you are contacting the Office of The Inspector General, you stand a pretty good chance of being totally blown off.
Last time I went on a tirade against Chester County PA mail partially sorting through Wilmington, Delaware I was told off the record that the reason mail from Chester County sorts through another state entirely was Joe Biden and is this true? So should I be writing to Joe Biden instead of you Santa Claus?
I have a theory and that is the postal workers in the sorting facility in Wilmington, Delaware resent having to also sort Chester County, Pennsylvania mail. And that is why I hypothesize why mail goes missing, has inexplicable delays, and gets damaged. And who can blame them? Wouldn’t you be upset if some politicians just doubled your workloads because they thought that was the solution to some stupid political agenda?
December 1, 2016 update: spoke to consumer affairs personnel in Washington, DC in the Postmaster General’s Office after getting blown off by Philadelphia Consumer Affairs and the office of the USPS OIG. Santa would you like to receive a priority package marked fragile that looks like this?
So Santa, if you can talk to USPS about the mail and ask them to do something about the Chester County, Pennsylvania mail partially sorting in Wilmington, Delaware that would be an awesome stocking stuffer this Christmas!
We revisited the Great Swarthmore Debate today. That, of course, would be the conflagration of comments surrounding the proposal by the HEADstrong Foundation to use a home in the borough for a temporary residence for cancer patients and their families while they receive medical care in the area. I decided to follow up on the story for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, because no one seemed to be entirely happy with our coverage up to this point.Those in favor of the HEADstrong plan thought a story earlier this week spent too much time focusing on the comments of neighbors who are opposing the move and asking borough council to block it. They also said the story unfairly besmirched what they say are the overwhelming majority of people in the borough who support the plan.I heard from lawyers. I heard from state reps. All wanted to stress that there area a lot of people in Swarthmore who support HEADstrong and their mission. I also heard from several of those neighbors who appeared before council last week to oppose the plan.They believe they also have been unfairly characterized.Make no mistake. they have legitimate concerns and make several valid points, including concerns about traffic and parking, let alone setting a precedent for similar potential uses of borough property.Then there is the online and social media phenomenon.It is now part and parcel of what we do.There was a time when debate on such a topic would have been reserved for town meetings, water coolers and coffee klatches. Not anymore.The story exploded both on our website and Facebook.Today, every person with a phone, tablet or laptop is now a publisher, free to say whatever they wish, and often wearing the cloak of anonymity.The neighbors who have raised concerns about the HEADstrong proposal believe they are being unfairly vilified by the online comments. Read through them and it's easy to see their point.I hold some responsibility for that. The comments on DelcoTimes.com as well as our Facebook page are largely unmonitored. You sign on and you can spill your guts. That very often can turn ugly pretty quickly.When people register a complaint, I review the comments. Sometimes I delete them. Other times I realize a person simply disagreed with another's position. Those stay.Yesterday I removed one post on our Facebook page that included a photo of one of the neighbors who is opposed to the HEADstrong use.We should be careful in how we word this as well.Obviously, none of these people is opposed to HEADstrong, and the marvelous work they do providing free room and board and other crucial services to families dealing with heart-wrenching cancer diagnoses. They just don't think it's the proper use for this particular house. You can read our follow-up story here.
And then no doubt post your comments as well.
It may be the best response or suggestion to a blog item in the history of the Heron's Nest.
Yesterday I nominated
Wawa parking lots as some of the most dangerous places in Delaware County.That prompted a person on Twitter to come up with an ingenious suggestion.He urged the Department of Motor Vehicles to start using Wawa parking lots for driver's tests."Get into the lot, park, and get out. You get a license."Classic. Any other suggestions?
The Sixers did not lose last night. That's the good news.
Then again, they did not win either. No, they didn't tie.Actually, they didn't play at all.The Sixers had problems with their hardwood playing surface down at the Wells Fargo Center. Apparently the warm weather, coupled with the Flyers' ice surface that resides under the hardwood, along with rainy warm conditions outside combined to allow moisture to form on the hardwood. And apparently, no one thought to crank up the air-conditioning.Yes, they got floored.Yes, they mopped the floor, but not with Demarcus Cousins and the Kings, the way their fans would have preferred.Make no mistake, a lot of questions are going to be asked about the way the Sixers handled all this.Members of the Kings reported they had issues at their morning shootaround. That was at 10 a.m. Then the Sixers faced the situation during their pre-game practice.All of this was hours before game time, but no announcement was forthcoming until most fans were already in the house.The team initially announced to the crowd that the game was being delayed before eventually cancelling it altogether.Fans will be offered tickets to a future game, in addition to the rescheduled game with the Kings. Fans also will be reimbursed for parking. No word on whether the team will make good on any beer and food fans purchased before the rug was pulled out from under the game.Yes, it's a very slippery slope for a team that has had more than its share of pitfalls.Terry Toohey has all the details.
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