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Get Out And About In Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood: Check the Patch Calendar

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2017-01-15 20:27
Check the Patch calendar to see what events are happening around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood and when they get underway
Categories: Lower Merion

Free Admission to Norristown's Elmwood Park Zoo In Honor of MLK Day

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2017-01-15 18:03
Free admission is being offered to Norristown's Elmwood Park Zoo on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Categories: Lower Merion

Gladwyne Elementary Student Featured In Special Books By Special Kids Video

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2017-01-15 10:00
Dan wants to be a weather man and shows off his weather knowledge in this Facebook video.
Categories: Lower Merion

Main Line Eatery Chef Will Battle His Brother On 'Beat Bobby Flay' Next Week

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2017-01-14 10:00
The brothers will partake in a "Bro-down Showdown" next week on the Food Network.
Categories: Lower Merion

Fatal Skiing Accident At PA Resort / Mother Charged With Daughter's Murder / ROTC Teacher Arrested

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2017-01-14 08:00
Check out the top news that made headlines this week across the Patch network in Pennsylvania.
Categories: Lower Merion

Get Out And About In Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood: Check the Patch Calendar

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-01-13 20:42
What's going on? Check the Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch calendar for what's happening in town.
Categories: Lower Merion

Grace Packer's Mother, Charged With Murder, Had 30 Previous Foster Children

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-01-13 15:45
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is opening its own investigation into the tragic death of 14-year-old Grace Packer.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Bakery Helps Joel Embiid Fight for All Star Team, Rihanna

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-01-13 10:15
Joel Embiid took notice when the Collegeville Bakery put up a sign supporting his campaign to make the NBA All Star Team - and meet Rihanna.
Categories: Lower Merion

Collegeville Bakery Helps Joel Embiid Fight for All Star Team, Rihanna

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-01-13 10:15
Joel Embiid took notice when the Collegeville Bakery put up a sign supporting his campaign to make the NBA All Star Team - and meet Rihanna.
Categories: Lower Merion

5 year bloggerversary

Chester County Ramblings - Fri, 2017-01-13 09:47

Facebook is always reminding you of “memories” to share.  Most of the time I ignore the prompts.  This morning for some reason I decided to look.

And guess what? #TBT and all that jazz made me realize that my blog is 5 years old this month!

Yes! Chester County Ramblings is 5!

Above is the banner my blog first had.  I chose it because of not only my love of Chester County but because that is still my favorite and what I feel is among the most iconic Chester County barns.

Well eventually I started to change the banners on the blog because I had at the time been contacted by one of the adult children of the folks who live there. Ironically after I had my photography show at Christopher’s in Malvern in 2015 I heard from one of the homeowners because one of my images mounted in that show was of that barn.  She hadn’t liked that I had cut off the question mark in the photo I chose, and to contact her if I wanted to hear the story of the barn and how it got the writing on the side of the barn. Well I did, and never heard back.  And I still love that barn.

Over the years my blog has stuck to my tag line meandering through, writing about whatever strikes my fancy.

This blog covers a lot of ground and a lot of Chester County. Sometimes I ramble off to other areas. It is my blog, after all. A lot of posts involve my photography, my cooking, crafting gardening, and passion for junking, barn picking and hunting antiques.

One of my blog’s early and still iconic photos taken by me (and not Chester County):

I cover topics that make people uncomfortable at times. And the comments I get can at times be termed as hate mail.  It doesn’t matter that no one ever said they had to read this blog, or that just like when you do not like a particular TV station you can change the channel. People just want to comment.  Most comments I publish.  Some I do not but maintain for the Internet trail.

One of the hottest topics was my covering what can only be described as mommy DUIs.  My blog posts were written based on published media reports and public records.  The posts were carefully written and were compassionate.

It troubled me that there seemed to be a string of  cases of  well-educated, well-bred young women ending up with a DUI sometimes with kids in the car.

The pressure to be the perfect woman is a very real thing. And the sooner we, as women can learn to stop beating ourselves up for not being paragons of perfection, the better. And yes that is a lesson I also have to learn and accept. (Some days are just better than others and self-perception is a tricky and cheeky devil.)

I wish life and fixing life issues was as simple as Cher’s infamous line in “Moonstruck” – you know – “Snap out of it!” – but it’s not.  It takes work. Relationships take work, families take work.  Yes there is love and all the good stuff, but you get the good stuff by working together, don’t you?

And for these opinions, well the comments were not always…pleasant.   Such is life.

I experienced that even more when I wrote about teenage suicide.  For all we will discuss and even crowd source on community Facebook pages, people don’t want to talk about difficult topics.  I get that.

But I think we should talk about these things. That we have to.  For our kids we have to. For us as a society we have to.

Just like I think we need to really get moving on the drug epidemic attached to heroin.  The media puts a spotlight on it, but the drug deaths keep happening.  And these are not people from low income areas, but rather upscale more privileged backgrounds.

Politics. Now politics always pushes buttons.  I get messages telling me to stick to gardening and cooking posts.  I had a whole posse in West Vincent spreading garbage about me and supporting cyber bullying because they did not like what I wrote.

Cyber bullying is a hot button topic for me.  It’s real.  It has happened to me.

I first addressed it in June 2014. I asked then how do you keep your joy? How do you keep your joy in the face of unpleasantness?

It is very true that you cannot control the actions of others, you can only control your own actions and behavior.

Cyber bullying and cyber stalking. It’s real, it happens every day. It happens to kids and adults alike. It is an unpleasant side of the Internet.  And while there is plenty to help kids and young adults out there, there is in fact very little to help adults.

As a writer and a blogger I have been a target of unpleasantness. It is nothing new, but that never makes it right. When you write, you are putting yourself out there. You will have fans of your writing as well as the detractors. Sometimes the people are those you know, but a lot of the time they are just strangers.

When people love something I write, or a photo, or a recipe it is such a nice feeling. That is what makes blogging so fun. It’s a very neat connection at times.

I am blessed with meeting some very cool people throughout the years I have been writing. I have also had some unpleasant experiences. The two topics that seem to cause unpleasant experiences always seem to get whittled down to two topics: politics and animal rescue.

I also use this blog to talk about historic and land preservation.  Loch Aerie, Linden Hall, and Ebenezer AME are easily my three most covered in this category. Historic preservation needs to mean something in Pennsylvania in general. And more people need to get called out and fined by demolition by neglect ordinances.  The whole thing of just letting it rot is BS.

The need for preservation in Chester County is very, very real.  And it is up to us wherever we live.  Once places like Crebilly are gone, they are gone and never coming back.

Chester County has a rich agricultural and equine heritage in addition to just the history of what has transpired here, and I feel like it is all getting whittled away one bad development at a time.  Toll Brothers is one developer in particular which I think simply needs to be slowed down.  Pick a township. Pick a county for that matter.

Toll Brothers is hardly the only developer in Chester County but they certainly seem to be the most prolific.  Like ants at a picnic.

Yes, I write a lot about development.  I can’t help it.  There is just too damn much of it

Here are some of my favorite development posts:

when articles appear that tell but half a story
why don’t we have more control over our communities? we live here.
this is progress?
pause, downingtown?
spring oak farm
the bell “tolls” for thee, chester county
a love note to the chester county planning commission
the fairy tales of development

Along with everything else, I have shared more personal posts with you.  I have even mocked Ladies’ Hat Day at Devon. I know I know I have “some nerve”  and yes I do.  The ridiculous creatures I saw photographed at a recent theme ladies lunch (whether some were ladies of course is in question) should be glad I do not create a mockumentary over photos I saw.  Suffice it to say there should be an age limit on tutus and strapless…as well as more clearly defined parameters of who should wear Lily.

And one post that sort of stands alone had to do with the controversial topic of the followers of Rudolf Steiner or Anthroposophy. Sorry not sorry just not into communes and their belief system. I was reminded of it by this tweet at me this morning:

Yes I do receive all sorts of  tweets. And some of them  get retained like some of the comments. 

Here are some of my favorite “other posts” from the past five years:

is having an opinion social crucifixion?
girl power
this and that
surviving in the land of women
the curiousness of women as we age
women to women: a puzzle for the ages
who are we now?
anthony trollope, what would you think of us today?
childhood christmas memories
unexpected memories of childhood past
small and other gardens

I still love writing about gardening and cooking probably the most.  I actually have the mish mosh makings of a cookbook based on recipes on this blog I have yet to pin myself to my desk to write and self publish…but I will.

So thank you readers for being a part of my journey the past five years!  Cheers to the next five years!

Thanks for stopping by.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Victim Robbed of $5 at Gunpoint on Schuylkill River Trail: Cops

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-01-13 09:41
A suspect held a couple up at gunpoint along the Schuylkill River Trail early Friday morning, stealing $5, police said.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Jan. 13

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-01-13 07:32
The Daily Numbers: 13, as in Friday the 13th. Be careful out there today.

3 big stars who could be at the Sun Center Studios in Chester Township to film some scenes for a major motion picture.

1980 murder of ‘Avon Lady’ Emily Leo. The conviction of the man charged in the crime is now being reviewed.

37 years, how long Leroy Evans has been in jail for the crime.

2 DUI charges in 2 years for a Lansdowne councilman.

40, age of dad who will face a minor charge in connection with leaving his 1-year-old little girl unattended in his running SUV, which was then stolen.

28, age of one of Delaware County’s Most Wanted, who was picked up in Chester.

52, of Tennessee man charged with sexual assault with an alleged incident that took place in Upland back in 1999.

42 million dollar loss for Delta’s Monroe Energy refinery in Trainer.

125 million dollar loss for all of 2016.

1.5 percent uptick in revenue for Atlantic City casinos last year, their 1st increase in a decade.

2.6 billion dollars in revenue for casinos in 2016.

2006, the last time revenue in A.C. went up, just before Pa. entered the casino craze.

47 million in revenue for the Borgata, tops in A.C.

3 rate hikes predicted in 2017 by the boss of the Philadelphia Fed.

8 people shot, 2 of them fatally, overnight in Philly.

4 writers laid off by Philadelphia Magazine.

5-4 shootout win for the Flyers over the Canucks.

4.35 million dollar deal for Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

The Sixers & Joel Embiid are the talk of the town. Who’d a thunk it?

I Don’t Get It: Leaving a toddler in the back of a running car while you duck into a store, even for just a few minutes. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sun Center Studios, which will have us seeing “stars” with the arrival of some A-listers to shoot scenes for a major new flick.

Quote Box
: “We’ll have a fresh set of eyes and if we see anything that deserves a second look, we’ll do so.”

- Acting Chester Police Commissioner Otis Blair, on review of ‘Avon Lady’ murder case and conviction of Leroy Evans.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that Mariner East 2 coverage

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-01-13 06:46
Well I guess we must have our coverage of the Mariner East 2 debate just about right.

Both sides are unhappy with us.

As you might expect, the company is not especially thrilled with how much coverage we've given the concerns raised in the community about the pipeline that will run from Ohio, through West Virginia, and finally span Pennsylvania, including 11.7 miles across Delaware County. It will deliver hundreds of thousands of barrels of Marcellus Shale byproducts such as ethane, butane and propane to Marcus Hook.

In short, I get the impression the company believes all this unrest in the community is being trumped up by a few fairly vocal opponents. They point out that the company's old original Sunoco pipeline system already is delivering the same materials to Marcus Hook now. And they are pushing a study that was done after concerns were raised out in West Goshen that supports the company's claims.

Now the local activists are ticked because we ran a story detailing the company's side of the issue - after we had run a dozen or more stories detailing the community opposition. They believe it was little more than a puff piece of good PR for the company.

Today we also weighed in on our editorial page.

I will make the same statement I have been making now for months. I think Mariner East 2 easily could be the most important economic story in the region.

The proposal has a huge upside, with the potential for hundreds of good-paying jobs. It could make Marcus Hook, which was on its death bed when Sunoco shut down its refinery, the energy hub for the entire Northeast.

That said, I don't think I'd want it running through my back yard, or within a stone's throw of my kid's elementary school.

If you think that's middle of the road, there's a reason for that. It is.

Middeltown Township council likely next week will approve a new study to look at the impact of the pipeline. I think it's a good bet some public hearings will be held as well.

Get used to hearing about it. This story is not going away anytime soon.

Read the editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

My kind of winter

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-01-13 06:25
If this is winter, I'll take it.

It was 51 degrees when I got in the car this morning.

And it actually went up a few ticks in the last couple of hours.

I post the weather report on social media at 6 a.m. most mornings. I just posted our AccuWeather pic that shows it being 56 degrees at 6 a.m.

Here's the weird part. That's also going to be the high for the day. Temperatures actually will drop through the afternoon, and our high later today will only be 48. Compare that with the 66 degrees we reached yesterday.

Now brace yourself, we could see some scattered snow showers around the region Saturday. And it will be a lot more seasonable - in other words, cold!

But after a chilly weekend we could be back in the mid-50s next week.

When did we move to North Carolina?
Categories: Pennsylvania

Cursing linked to honesty

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-01-13 06:01
Here's the best news I've heard all week.

A new study suggests people who curse are more honest, an expression that they are expressing their genuine feelings.

If that's the case, as anyone who works with me in the newsroom can attest, I must be the most honest guy around.

Honestly (pardon the reference), it's not something I'm especially proud of; actually it's merely the lazy man's way out.

Instead of offering some more refined thought or bit of writing, it's so much easier to simply unload a few F-Bombs and be on your merry way.

You can read about the study here.

What do you think?

Is this study on the money. Or do they not have a blanking clue?
Categories: Pennsylvania

New Open House Listings for Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-01-12 20:17
An open house planned by the right realtor can help you in any number of ways. Check out those around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood...
Categories: Lower Merion

Limerick Police Arrest Suspected Child Predator After 7-Hour Standoff

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-01-12 16:43
BREAKING: The Limerick man allegedly sexually assaulted the girl multiple times from the time she was 9 until she was 13, the DA said.
Categories: Lower Merion