Welcome to the Coatesville Dems Blog
Public Corruption in Chester County, PA
I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I never was told the reasons for the high security at the Obama Campaign Headquarters in Coatesville.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I don’t know very much about the other issues but I have been following the Norcini Salvage Yard in Coatesville. The property is very clearly zoned Industrial 1 or Light Industrial. An auto service business is Light Industrial. A salvage yard or junk yard is very clearly Industrial 2 or Heavy Industry. Although it was represented as a kind of auto service business, I think the Norcini’s business plan was to put a junkyard on Elm Street. I don’t think they would have tried this in a white neighborhood.
I condensed Ms. Flamer’s remarks to her references to the Norcini Salvage Yard. Her entire talk is in the recording.
Ms. Flamer, “I’ve been attending City Council since 1925, right after I got out of high school…I want to know why the junkyard was put there… when so many of us citizens objected to it… I think a lot of people are coming here to Coatesville to take advantage of this special permit. You can do anything in the Fifth Ward; it seems to be where it is… Now why did the junkyard come there with this special, why all this special, whatever you do; no need to complain because it doesn’t make no difference. I’ve been up there many times and you’re not heard. It’s all done by that gentleman; I don’t know who he is. But it’s all done by him the planning don’t have nothing to say and it’s all decided before you get there. Do you have any answer to me why this has to be in the Fifth Ward? Is there any remedies for any of these things that I’m asking?
Coatesville City Manager Ted Reed, "As far as what you termed the junkyard. The gentleman, Mr. Norcini, as I understand it, applied for a special permit before the Zoning Hearing Board to put his business there and the Zoning Hearing Board approved to allow him to put his business there. The City Council reviewed a number of the complaints and concerns from the community in that area and they decided to appeal the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board. So the City Council took the appeals to court and I believe that was on September 17th, whenever that hearing was. That would have been in West Chester before the Common Pleas Court, Judge Nagle. I believe that Mr. Carnes argued that and perhaps he could respond."
"Ms. Flamer, What happened was a special exception was granted by the Zoning Hearing Board and it was the Cities position that Mr. Norcini initially applied for auto towing license and auto repair. And then the application slightly changed and the word ‘salvage’ was added.
We argued that was a mistake was a mistake that it was excessive and that the prompt action that was taken because of the sequence of events indicated that the property was only purchased about May 21st of that year. Although there were inquires made in March. And the inquires seemed to focus on a towing business. But he actually did apply for a change of permit that added the word ‘salvage’. Now one of the things that is well known is in the towing business there’s often a salvage component. Not a salvage yard but a salvage component. Because if a tower goes out with a wrecker and picks up a car and nobody comes to pay for it they actually can get title to it and sell it. So they get a salvage license from the state.
What happened here is they expanded the scope of that and turned it, in the cities opinion, into basically a junkyard or a recycling center. At that point on August 26th Mr. Molina sent a stop work order a cease and desist notice and they appealed that. They had only acquired the property on May 21st on August 26th they were told to stop.
They said that they spent money, but it was our argument that they spent that money for the towing business which would probably be an acceptable business in that neighborhood in that it would be an upgraded building and there would just be a tow truck not the scrap metal recycling. There own attorney stated that the City had made a mistake and I argued to the judge that the mistake was very serious because we had a totally different kind of use and in an area was surrounded by residential uses, not only on Elm Street but also on the other side, I believe is Coates Street. And I also questioned them as to what kind of activity was taking place and they admitted that out in the open they were basically tearing these cars apart and taking parts off them. They said that they would try to limit it to automobiles but that’s not what is permitted. And it’s clearly not permitted under the zoning.
The Zoning Hearing Board unfortunately bought their argument that they spent a lot of money and they were entitled to go forward at that point in time. But I argued that the Cities position was if you look at the expenditures that they made, which had totaled approximately $120,000, most of that money would have been spent just to fix up the building, clean up the area. They spent $27,000 in the beginning just going out there with their excavation and cleaning things up. But they weren’t entitled to have that kind of a use in that area.
The argument was that a mistake was made. That was then based in part on Mr. Norcini because he tried to slip it in. That he rushed to spend the money and that he did not properly look into it. He indicated that he was a highly sophisticated businessman. He had done these types of deals with his father who is a businessman. They never consulted with their attorney to review the Zoning Ordinance. And their initial representation to the City was as far as I can tell, I wasn’t the attorney at the time, but there was a towing operation and it sort of morphed into becoming what ultimately was identified as a junkyard.
So that is the question that is before the judge. We feel confident that we presented the best argument that we can. Unfortunately Ms. Flamer these zoning hearing boards, as members of this audience know only too well, they are the fact finders and the judges are not willing to overrule them unless they find a clear error or fault or it’s unsupported by substantial evidence. And as long as the Zoning Hearing Board can identify some evidence even if it’s not very good at it and that’s to say that they believed it, it’s a little difficult to overrule.
We argued that it was a clear misstatement of fact and the statement was wrong here and it’s in Judge Nagle’s hands."
Ms. Flamer, “Is this a health hazard to boot?”
Mr. Carnes, “Yes, it’s a health safety and welfare concern and I believe that there was testimony presented by a variety of your neighbors, maybe yourself included. The situation is what it is. The Zoning Hearing Board ruled and we raised as many possible challenges as we could and we tried to bring this to the attention of the court system."
Ms. Flamer, “Well when you get this decision, in other words is the Zoning Hearing…"
Mr. Carnes, “Well, we’re optimistic, cautiously optimistic that the judge will reverse the matter or remand it. If they remand it they would send it back to the Zoning Hearing Board and give the City a second opportunity to put all this to Mr. Molina. Mr. Molina was present at the proceedings but was never called by the solicitor to testify. He actually participated in asking some questions. But it’s sort of water over the dam; I think you understand. We hope that the judge will grant our request."
Mr. Reed, “Is there a chance for an appeal from this decision if in case it’s not favorable to the City, City Council would have the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to appeal that decision, I believe next would be the Commonwealth Court?"
Mr. Carnes, “That’s right, we have the Commonwealth Court but our hope is that our presentation and our argument will be well received by the judge and that he will reverse the Zoning Hearing Board or remand it."
What I said last night was:
“I didn't even know what Ms. Flamer was going to talk about but I can add this one thing to it. I’m not saying that there is anything illegal going on at the junkyard or that anything illegal ever did. Or that whether it is necessarily illegal to belong to a motorcycle gang. But allegedly up until March of 2008 (it was actually 2009) Daniel and David were members of the Road Runner Motorcycle gang. It’s either Road Runner or Road Runners, which is a sub-group of the Pagans… Instead of that just being whispered I wanted to get that in the record.
I want to say something about the Velodrome. It appears as though the Velodrome is going be here in Coatesville or Caln. And I think for the kids in school, it really doesn’t matter much since the School District is in both areas. And, well, if you’ve ever seen the bike races it’s kind of like a track meet on wheels. And I was just thinking, maybe someday a decade or so from now we could have a, someone from Coatesville High School could be a cycling champion and maybe an Olympic cycling champion.”
Ms. Marie Hess asked if some of the materials that are sent out by the city could be printed in English and Spanish.
Ms. Hess, “A lot of people that have a lot of violations and things leave trash out on Tuesday when their trash isn’t out until Friday. A lot of people don’t speak English and can’t read our City Information Packet and things like that. Our population is growing of people who speak Spanish here in the City, so we could start looking at trying to get things translated into English and Spanish… Some of our violations might drop just from education.”
The meeting ended with Council Comments. Mr. Eggleston seemed confident that the concerns of the people in Coatesville’s Fifth Ward would be sufficiently addressed. Mr. Simpson said that it is always a pleasure to have Ms. Flamer here.
I believe that Daniel and David Norcini would not have done this in a white area or a higher income level area. I tend to feel that it is not just a zoning issue but also a kind of civil rights issue, an Environmental Justice issue. So just in case this route is not satisfactory:
Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice
Republican Candidate John Raese has the voiced the philosophy that IS the foundation of the Republican Party. This is the entire GOP political philosophy in just three sentences. It’s what everyone knew is at the heart and mind of the Republican Party. No one articulates it better than John Raese.
John Raese on the Matt Lewis Show:
“LEWIS: Tell us a little bit about you and your business experience and how you got here.
RAESE: I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that's a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program.”
I have always wondered if the final and true aim of the GOP is to establish a monarchy of Republicans who “made money the old fashioned way”. No income tax, no Social Security just enough government to for an army to keep the “great unwashed” in line. Maybe some Republican candidate will blurt that out someday.
If the final goal of the Republican Party is to begin an American Monarchy there is a class of people here in Chester County who I believe would gladly volunteer to be the first princes and queens of the United States. They already have a let’s pretend Monarchy here in Chester County.
Daily Local News Published: Monday, September 27, 2010
More lookouts and a more extensive lookout system are now a requirement to stay in business. The street dealers might even need to get a legitimate nine to five job to keep up with expenses.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
A lot of important but routine business had to be discussed and moved forward.
The RDA had some business concerning the income the RDA receives from renting the properties that it is holding for redevelopment. The 2009 Audit was discussed. And everyone is relived that the RDA is no longer encumbered by the Mosaic Development Partners fiasco.
I believe the most important things were what Robert Grabus of the Chester County Economic Development Council had to say. The CCEDC has been charged with reviewing the proposals that were submitted by those interested in developing RDA property. There is a specific format for those proposals. The only proposal so far has been submitted is the “National Velodrome” project.
Below is an excerpt of Mr. Grabus’ remarks:
“This project will give Coatesville a place name in the world. It will become this countries national center for training our Olympic bicyclists. The gentleman in front of that, David Chauner, whom you all have met-two time Olympian. He runs the Pro Cycling Tour in Philadelphia. So I think it will accomplish sort of a marketing, a degree of marketing, positive marketing. It’s definitely a good project. Some of the questions that were raised… they’re looking at a 5 Million dollar grant from the State which actually requires us to move so that they have some kind of land control relatively quickly. They need to have that done prior to the November 2nd Election. Which means the next time this board meets we are going to have to have recommendations here for the board to at least give them some kind of land control. They need that to get the RCAP. And that’s 5 million dollars on a 20 million dollar project. That’s a lot of equity.
It’s an interesting project. You know you’ve had some competition for this recently. Caln Township is very interested in this project; the unanimous vote by their council to move forward with it. Some legal issues are preventing that movement. I’m not at liberty to discuss that. But that is not on the part of the developer. It’s the way the land was acquired that they were going to transfer.
So that was an interesting project. Personally I think the “Flats” site is better site from a logistics standpoint than Caln Township’s site. There were other things that Caln Township brought to the plan, not the least of which was the one hundred percent unanimous approval by the Council to move forward. And they were ready to form committees to get it done.
So we will have to have a recommendation on the finances to you by the next meeting…“
There was some discussion concerning having special meetings in order to make the November 2nd deadline for the grant.
Mr. Grabus, “They don’t need 120 days or 6 months… for due diligence. They need a 90 day agreement that says, we have control over the property subject to X."
And one more very big thing, BART BLATSTEIN IS BACK!
Mr. Grabus, “I’ve already started to reach out to other developers. I have a meeting Thursday morning with a gentleman and that’s Bart Blatstein…. If nothing else we could have a work session with Bart to just bounce questions off, what do you think about this? What do you think about that? Here’s a guy that’s taken massive chunks of property that was crime ridden and very uninviting and turned it around in a short period of time. So he’s the type of person that we want to bring for a pricing policy and he’s got the money to do it…money talks and money walks.
Read the feasibility study for cycling center that was requested by Coatesville City Manager Jean Krack for the City of Coatesville in 2005:
Coatesville hires Velodrome Management Group to complete feasibility study for cycling center
The Valley Preferred Cycling Center – Bob Rodale’s Dream Inspires Countless Champions For More Than Three Decades!
The National Cycling Centre Manchester, UK is an indoor Velodrome track.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Mr. McNeil is not only a good hearted person who gives money. He makes things happen.
Volunteers glean farm fields to provide Chester County Food Bank with produce By Kathleen Brady Shea, Inquirer Staff Writer
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Trivedi for Congress
Dan Onorato Downington Kerr Park A1638.mp3
Friday, September 17, 2010
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - Bill Clinton Extended Interview Pt. 2|
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Also see Coatesville City Council Vice President Karl Marking's:
Halloween Parade Post
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Coatesville Firefighter Jim Lentz, “To answer the sprinkler question; the building to my knowledge is sprinklered to code then (when structure was built) and it may still be the code today. If it’s not the code to today’s standard it would be a little more restrictive.
What transpired is the fire started on the balcony, where the fire level occurred. The balconies are unprotected. Then, balcony to balcony caused the fire auto exposed right up the walls into the floor above it and into the cog wall where there is no protection.
Those buildings are designed to protect any apartments and the stairways as life saving sprinklers. Enough sprinklers for people to get out. So the fire burning over the top of sprinklers and dropping down, the ceilings are gone, it’s hot but the heat level would just take off and the sprinklers don’t pop open. The other problem is its plastic pipe. So, the pipes are in the attic ceiling, the sprinkler is underneath the drywall. When the fire burns down it melts the pipe before it melts the sprinkler head and then you don’t have a controlled sprinkler system. It’s the way the building code is".
City Manager Ted Reed, “We will be investigating all of it the whole situation and hopefully we’ll have a full report that the Fire Departments will get and obviously the City Council would.”
The “City Manager’s Report” which largely concerns the fire is here:
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Rufus was only slightly injured. He is alive and well today.
Whenever you see something good, a structure, an organization or even a stunning view of nature, keep in mind that it didn’t just happen. Somewhere, sometime a group of people got it built or preserved. In every case it began with one person deciding to do something and keep doing it.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
When the ATF and undercover State Troopers were all over Coatesville looking for arsonists during the time of the fires it was hard on Coatesville pharmaceutical entrepreneurs. The white kids from outside Coatesville were being stopped by police. The street boys allegedly had to hire extra lookouts, adding to overhead. Little kids just above toddler age didn’t hand small bags directly to people in cars anymore, “curb service” style. They tossed them under cars at the curb to be picked up moments later. Business was so bad that some pharmaceutical entrepreneurs allegedly had to get 9 to 5 payroll type jobs.
The drug business is tough again in Coatesville. Richard Legree Jr., the first politically connected person went down a few years ago. It was alleged that then CCRC Area 14 Chairman Richard Legree Sr. went around to every magistrate judge in Chester County when he heard that his son was arrested, until he discovered that Richard Jr. had been brought to the Federal Detention center in Philly. Richard had “name recognition in Federal Court but it allegedly was a different sort of “name recognition”. Just recently Richard Legree Jr's second cousin Willy Suber was brought to the Federal Detention Center in Philly and Lisa Johnson and John Tinson were arrested last year.
I think it is unfortunate that Lisa and John went into the Chester County Court System. For instance, Richard Legree Jr’s bail was nothing. Actually he was held without bail in the Federal Detention facility on Arch Street in Philadelphia. John Tinson and Lisa Johnson’s bail was also sort of nothing, but not the same kind of nothing as Legree’s detention and then imprisonment. “$5,000 unsecured bail” for Johnson and Tinson equals nothing, that is no money at all was put up for bail.
By the way, you have to ask someone in City Hall if Tinson continued to be paid his salary until July or not.
I think that Richard Legree Jr., Lisa Johnson, John Tinson and "Willy" Suber are just the beginning. I think that even if Lisa and John are declared innocent in Chester County Courts other allegedly politically connected people will fall. I think that more arrests are coming and that the alleged imbedded and politically connected Coatesville drug edifice is being dismantled piece by piece.
I think it couldn’t happen at a better time. Just when the drug business is going dry again in Coatesville because of police activity, it looks like a resurrection of retail and 9 to 5 jobs is coming to replace the drug selling underground economy. Business people with legal businesses are taking another look at Coatesville as a retail anchor for central and western Chester County. Just putting people away isn't enough. People have to have a career choice other than being a corner boy. The apparent growth of new retail business in Coatesville might be that other choice.
By the way, Richard Legree Jr. is back. The document below has the conditions of his 8 year supervised release under the direction of a United States Probation Officer: