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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lights up on Coatesville’s potted trees this Saturday

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I copied John Pawlowski’s email with his permission:
 Here is a friendly reminder that the Weed and Seed Community Policing Sub-Committee plans to install lights on the small trees in the planters between First and Third Avenues Saturday, April 30. We will meet at 204 East Lincoln Hwy., at 9 am. Please help if you can.
 I know we would need ladders of varying sizes, 6, 8 or even 10 feet.
 The City of Coatesville Publics Works department, have dropped off some ladders and the lights that we'll need for the project.
 The ladders that I mentioned are inside of 204 E. Lincoln Hwy., along with the lights. I was given, for this particular job, a key to 204 E. Lincoln Hwy.
 We will meet at 204 E. Lincoln Hwy., rain or shine. If it rains, we'll discuss this project and of course we'll reschedule.
 Please try and be available this Saturday.
How important are those bright lights for Coatesville, ask yourself, how important are bright lights for Times Square and Las Vegas?
We will do this rain or shine. If it rains we will simply meet at 204 E. Lincoln Hwy., and discuss further dates for re-scheduling.
John Pawlowski

Enronizing Education

Remember the “smartest boys in the room” from Enron? Those boys moved to Wall Street investment banking companies like Goldman Sachs after Enron went under. I think their “smarts” were pushing formerly legal businesses into organized crime as possible without going to prison for a long time.
I think a willingness to commit criminal acts “for the good of the company” is what separates “business ethics” from ethics. A criminal mind is now a sought after quality in Wall Street employees.
The GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and fossil fuel extraction companies. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett underscored the Republican Party’s relationship with fossil extraction companies and the Republican Party’s efforts to privatize education with this:
Unions are the Democratic Party’s only big money counter to the GOP Supreme Court’s stamp of approval on the laundering of secret campaign financing “Citizens United” decision. All the rest of the big money for political spending in the USA comes from US and foreign corporations.  
Strangling publicly funded secondary schools, cutting off funds to K to 12 public schools and pouring public funding into private “charter schools” are not unique to Pennsylvania. It’s a nationwide GOP effort to “Enronize” education in the USA and make education a money pot for Wall Street while at the same time eliminating public sector unions.
One of our nation’s greatest achievements is public education. That educated intelligent public helped to make the USA the manufacturing and innovative powerhouse that it once was.
That manufacturing powerhouse was transported to China by Reaganomics and “moving to the ideological middle” Democrats. Unions and middle class prosperity declined with the exportation of manufacturing.  The Republicans and their fat cat international partners flourished and the United States withered. 
Wall Street now sees no reason for the existence of intelligent American citizens; they make their money in China. Privatizing education by cutting public funds for higher education and creating charter schools will allow Wall Street to bleed the USA completely dry.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vouchers to use in private corporate “Charter Schools”

Published: Monday, April 25, 2011
In Coatesville you don’t “follow the money” you follow the people. There are certain people who I believe are only involved in enterprises that offer opportunities to steal. And there are several former Coatesville officials who are or have been involved in charter schools.
There are well meaning people that think charter schools are an opportunity for students and in some cases this is true. But I think the primary momentum behind charter schools is in the opportunity to steal tax payer money. 
Charter Schools are private corporations using tax payer money. But they are accountable to their board of directors. We are contemplating throwing tax payer money into the closed and darkened back rooms of Charter Schools.
Many of us are angry at giving Billions of tax payer dollars to investment bankers who operate in a grey area between legality and organized crime. I believe there are many charter schools that operate in a grey area between legality and organized crime where parents and students loose and criminality wins.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Break out the straightjackets for Santorum and Republicans like him

When you see this guy in person it’s glaringly obvious that he is a nutcase jerk. Santorum, Gov. Scott Walker and other Messiah syndrome Republicans like them need professional psychiatric help. Put the straightjackets on them and put them in sanatoriums. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Tree Planting at Coatesville's Gateway Park

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It was a little chilly but no one noticed. Warmth came from working together to make Coatesville a better place. From left to right in the lineup photo; Sheila Fleming and Wesley Horner from the Brandywine Conservancy, former City Councilman Kareem Johnson, Matt Baker, Officer Ollis and Marie Hess Weed of the Seed Committee. In the other photos you can see Weed and Seed Director Allen Smith, the really amazing John Pawlowski and Public Works Director Don Wilkinson. Sorry, I just couldn’t get everyone’s name.

This is Wesley Horner speaking about the plans for Today’s Earth Day Tree Planting in Coatesville at the April 11 Coatesville City Council meeting:
Wesley Horner on Earth Day tree planting.mp3

“Thank you very much, I’m Wesley Horner, Senior Advisor for Water Resources for the Brandywine Conservancy and we’re here this evening to make sure council is aware of and invited to the upcoming Earth Day Planting Project which we are doing with multiple involvement from City groups and agencies.
This is a Growing Greener project sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection. It involves basically preparing reforestation and plantings along the Brandywine Creek, which is obviously near and dear to our parks. And the first phase of the two planting is a fairly modest planting will happen on the morning of Earth Day which also happens to be Good Friday a week from Friday 8:30 to approximately 11:30.  And we will be planting some additional shrubs, native species along the rear fence line at Gateway Park. There’s already been trees planted, revitalized.  
And the second phase will be a little more ambitious, that will occur next year hopefully on Earth Day 2012 and will involve significant sections of the stream bank along the Brandywine north of Lincoln Highway. So that will be a considerably more ambitious project. It involves at the present time we’re trying to reduce invasives so we’ll be doing some spraying and removal of invasives there…
We’ve been working very closely with Weed and Seed Community Policing Subcommittee; Matt Baker, Allen Smith, Officer Roger Ollis have been extremely helpful and we hope to have a good turnout in the morning and get these 75 native shrubs put in there; ultimately a modest amount of water quality improvement impact on the Brandywine. But I think in this case, probably intended to have more of an esthetic and screening impact so that when we’re in the park you get a nice visual effect. As the trees mature there will be a nice green background…
The total project is approximately $40,000 of trees and shrubs and a far amount of invasive control as the vines north of Lincoln are serious problems. We are doing this, it’s really part of the Conservancy’s Reforestation Campaign, planting thousands of trees throughout the watershed. And we thought it’s important to do some projects in the City of Coatesville as well.”

"Wesley Horner recently joined the Conservancy staff as Senior Advisor for Water Resources. A familiar face, Wes was Associate Director of the Conservancy’s Municipal Assistance Program (MAP) from 1996 to 2000. While here, he co-authored two handbooks, the Conservation Design for Stormwater Management and Transferable Development Rights: A Flexible Option for Redirecting Growth in Pennsylvania. Most recently, he worked for Cahill Associates, an engineering firm formerly of West Chester, and CH2M HILL in Philadelphia. During his tenure with Cahill Associates, Wes managed the preparation of Pennsylvania’s Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual. Contributions to numerous other manuals for managing low impact development-stormwater fill his resume.
At the Conservancy, Wes will strengthen our sustainable watershed management program. Many will benefit from the treasure of experiences that make him a leader in his field.
A graduate of Haverford College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Wes also received a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from Harvard University. An avid gardener, he lives in the Coatesville area and has two grown children."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Are people gun shy about building walking/biking trails in Northern Chester County?

If you go into Northern Chester County you can find Confederate Battle Flags proudly flying and now and then someone proudly wearing a KKK baseball cap.
I think the people from Chester County and the Brandywine Conservancy won’t say it publicly but I believe they are gun shy about putting Greenway Riverpark trail along the West Branch of the Brandywine from Coatesville to Hibernia Park and further into Honeybrook Township. And also the East Branch Greenway into Honeybrook Township that is now in the planning stages (some sections are complete). I believe they’re afraid of the white nationalist/property rights/KKK people in that area of Chester County.
I don’t think they need to be afraid of them.
We have exactly the same type of people in the Northern Montgomery County Skinhead/KKK areas along the Perkiomen Creek. They put up “Stop the Horse Trail” posters along RT. 29 when we tried to build the Perkiomen Trail.  They circulated rumors that Black People from Philadelphia would be “walking in your backyard and maybe robbing you”.  That’s a very long walk but reality doesn't intrude into the KKK mind.
The property rights people strung thin wires across the existing portions of railroad bed at neck level for horseback riders. One of those horseback riders happened to be Michael Marino who was Montgomery County District Attorney at the time. If Mike Marino hadn’t pushed for the trail’s completion it probably wouldn’t have happened.
It took 11 years from idea to start of construction. Add several years of property rights lawsuits during construction.
When it was in the planning stages many people complained that the Perkiomen Trail would lower their property values and some of them sold their properties near the proposed trail route before the imagined lowering of property values.  The trail was actually re-routed away from a group of property owners adamant in their opposition to the trail. Now, “Close to the Perkiomen Trail” is featured in real estate advertising.
The Perkiomen Trail is complete and successful beyond most people’s expectations.  Moccia’s Train Stop Restaurant gives “Along the Perkiomen Trail” a prominent position in their advertising.  Moccia’s old small Restaurant in Schwenksville re-opened as a light meal place and as does their new larger Restaurant, caters to trail users. It has hitches on the trail side for horseback riders. The Moccias are, by the way, an extremely nice family. 
The Skinhead/KKK types still have their “ceremonies” near the Perkiomen Creek but they don’t actually light crosses anymore, the fire might be seen from the trail.
Perkiomen Trail is regularly patrolled by Montgomery County Park Rangers. There is actually a level of security along the path of the road bed that didn’t exist before the Perkiomen Trail.
There is a deeply ingrained human need to stroll and socialize.  Italians call it La Passeggiata. There is also a deeply ingrained human need to be into a natural area with wildness. When you give people that live in car centered concrete and macadam communities trail systems that combine both, we flock to those places in huge numbers.
Because of the astounding success of the Perkiomen Trail and the Schuylkill Trail it’s easier to find support for new trails. The “property rights” people are still around and because we have a Black President they are highly aroused, but they just don’t have the clout they once had. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

UPDATE Student Certificate- Earth Day Tree Planting along Brandywine in Gateway Park Coatesville

Here is the Earth Day Certificate for student volunteers

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Green Roofs in Philadelphia=Green Roofs in Coatesville

I presented green roof technology to the Coatesville City Council about 6 years ago. Back then Pittsburgh and Baltimore were the nearest places to look at green roofs. Local Architects and builders had no clue. A lot has happened since then.
Much of the older roof construction in Philadelphia is identical to the older roof construction in Coatesville. What works in Philadelphia's older construction will work in Coatesville.

WelcomeGreen roofs offer big benefits for the environment. Made of layers of lightweight, absorbent material and covered with tough perennial plants, they retain large quantities of rainwater, reducing runoff that contributes to flooding and water pollution.PECO has partnered with PHS to manage the 45,000-square-foot (more than one acre) green roof at its Center City Philadelphia headquarters. The PECO green roof, which includes a viewing area and stunning city views, is open to the public to showcase the merits of green roof technology. Click here for tour information.”

The money and power behind “property rights” is now nakedly exposed.

RACHEL MADDOW [psssst...she gets it] on the THEFT of JEAN KLOCK 


You see a lot of farms when you drive through eastern Pennsylvania. What most people don’t know is that most farms along the eastern border of Pennsylvania are owned by real estate speculators. The money and power behind the anti-Eminent domain “Property Rights” anti-local government fights of a few years ago is now nakedly exposed.
We know that the “property rights” they were talking about were the rights of land speculators and corporations. In the town of Benton Harbor, Michigan the land speculator is:
The corporation is:
“They are using Benton Harbor as a test case,“ Henry said. “If they have disenfranchised the people so badly they just don’t respond to anything, they can do this all over the country.”
Benton Harbor takeover sparks furious reactionOpponents mobilize protests, repeal campaign

The City of Benton Harbor, MI in effect does not exist.
1. Absent prior express written authorization and approval by the Emergency
Manager, no City Board, Commission or Authority shall take any action for or on behalf of the
City whatsoever other than:                       
i) Call a meeting to order.
ii) Approve of meeting minutes.
iii) Adjourn a meeting.

Also see:

MI Gov. Rick Snyder's takeover of Benton Harbor tied to shoreline development - what Rachel missed

OPEN HOUSE The Brandywine-Struble Greenway

For more information GO TO:

SATURDAY! "EGG-CELLENT" EGG HUNT Gateway Park-1st Avenue in Coatesville!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Walgreen Pharmacy of Coatesville construction

The construction of the Walgreen Pharmacy at 8th Avenue and Lincoln Highway moving along nicely.

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There is a “bomb threat” at the local Magisterial Courthouse on Lincoln Highway in Coatesville.

The streets are blocked off and the Maranatha Christian Academy day care center across the street has been evacuated. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Criminal Records of those in shooting and murder in Coatesville on Friday, April 15, 2011

Daily Local News Published: Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fatal Shooting in Coatesville (video)

Daily Local News Published:  April 15, 2011

Alleged Shooter:
 Joel Calheim Kennedy 20
Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Gregory V. Issue Date: 04/16/2011 
# Charge  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition
1 18 § 2501 §§ A F1 Criminal Homicide 04/15/2011
2 18 § 2502 §§ A Murder Of The First Degree 04/15/2011
3 18 § 2502 §§ C Murder Of The Third Degree 04/15/2011
4 18 § 2702 §§ A1 F1 Aggravated Assault 04/15/2011
5 18 § 2702 §§ A4 F2 Aggravated Assault 04/15/2011
6 18 § 2702 §§ A4 F2 Aggravated Assault 04/15/2011
7 18 § 2702 §§ A1 F1 Aggravated Assault 04/15/2011
8 18 § 2702 §§ A1 F1 Aggravated Assault 04/15/2011
9 18 § 907 §§ A M1 Poss Instrument Of Crime W/Int 04/15/2011
10 18 § 907 §§ B M1 Possession Of Weapon 04/15/2011
11 18 § 2705 M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person 04/15/2011
12 18 § 2705 M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person 04/15/2011
13 18 § 2705 M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person 04/15/2011
14 18 § 2705 M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person 04/15/2011
15 18 § 2705 M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person 04/15/2011
16 18 § 2705 M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person 04/15/2011
Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey J. Issue Date: 05/05/2010
# Charge  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition
1 35 § 780-113 §§ A16 Int Poss Contr Subst By Per Not Reg 05/05/2010 Withdrawn
2 18 § 5126 §§ A Flight To Avoid Appreh/Trial/Punish 05/05/2010 Withdrawn
3 18 § 5104 M2 Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforce 05/05/2010 Withdrawn
4 18 § 5503 §§ A3 S Disorder Conduct Obscene Lang/Gest 05/05/2010 Withdrawn
5 18 § 5503 §§ A4 S Disorder Conduct Hazardous/Physi Off 05/05/2010 Move to Non-Traffic
Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey J. Issue Date: 05/05/2010
# Charge  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition
1 Disorder Conduct Hazardous/Physi Off Guilty Plea

Shooting victim 
Kadeem Dijon Morales 18
 DOB 07/14/1992
 Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Gregory V. Issue Date: 08/17/2010

# Charge
  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition

1 LO § 161 §§ 4a S Loud Music 08/13/2010 Guilty Plea

Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Michael J. Cabry III Issue Date: 01/04/2010

# Charge  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition

1 75 § 1503 §§ C1 S Person Ineligible For Licensing-Junior Lic 01/02/2010 Guilty Plea

 Shooting victim
Jerisha Short-Pernsley

The murder victim was James Morton Bookman, 18
Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Grover E. Koon Issue Date: 11/09/2010
# Charge  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition
1 18 § 5104 M2 Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforce 11/05/2010 Withdrawn
Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Nancy A. Gill Issue Date: 07/01/2004
# Charge  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition
1 18 § 3929 §§ A1 S Retail Theft-Take Mdse 06/29/2004 Guilty Plea
Judge Assigned: Magisterial District Judge Grover E. Koon Issue Date: 06/25/2004
# Charge  Grade  Description  Offense Dt.  Disposition
1 LO § VII §§ 1 S Curfew 05/22/2004 Not Guilty

Saturday, April 16, 2011

About Coatesville’s version of Allentown’s SWEEP (Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program).

Because something works in Allentown doesn't mean it will work in Chester County. Allentown is a Democratic Party city. But even Republican judges in Lehigh County look down on Chester County Republicans.
Let’s put this way. The Chester County Republican Committee reveres a former County Commissioner and Chester County Republican Party Chairman named Theodore Rubino. “Teddy” as he was affectionately called was CCRC Chair in the 1970s and Chester County Commissioner at the same time. He was a trash hauler from Malvern, PA. “Teddy” had an empty top drawer in his desk at the Courthouse. If you wanted something done, he would walk out of the office and the drawer would magically be filled with money that “Teddy” would put into his pockets when he came back.
Rubino died just before he was to enter Federal prison. This is a guy the CCRC holds dear as a best ever Republican Party Chairman. I call him Chester County’s version of Tony Soprano. Stuff like this happens when an extremely wealthy county stays in the hands of one political party for over 150 years.
I think Chester County basically can gear up a “wild west” court system when they so desire and get away with it. Amazing and unusual stuff happens here in Chester County Courts that makes Republicans outside of Chester County say. “What’s wrong with them down there?”
It’s not really a partisan political thing and it could happen in any country on earth. It’s what happens when all the money and all the power is handed down within the same closed group of people for 150 years.
What I am getting at is that I think a slumlord who knows which buttons to push can basically ignore any regulations that Coatesville makes.
But there are plenty of Republicans who didn't  look to “Teddy” Rubino with undying reverence even when Rubino was CCRC Chair.  There is a change in the winds of politics in Chester County and there are places where the City of Coatesville can get help.
Our best chance at cleaning up the city with enforcement of regulations is the Housing Authority of Chester County enforcing Section 8 HUD regulations and withholding rent from slumlords until the property is repaired. And more money for enforcement may be on the way as per the Southeastern Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project public meeting on regional opportunity in Audubon last Thursday.
But rising property values in Coatesville will make the slumlord’s, buy at Sherriff Sales, spend almost nothing on the property, collect rent for about a year, ignore all summons, don’t actually pay for the property and after about a year of ignoring summons let the County take the property back; business model unworkable. If the property values increase like I think they could the slumlords will need to go outside of Coatesville for a community to victimize with their business model.

Another separate housing problem in Chester County was until very recently among the new Spanish speaking immigrants didn’t know how to complain or who to complain to if their apartment had a leaking roof, no heat, no water and no electricity. Organizations have grown here in Chester County to help the Spanish speaking community.
The “Famous Building” in Coatesville had Spanish speaking renters only.  The “Famous Building” once had a roof supported entirely by the brick façade instead of the steel frame. The bricks were connected to the steel frame by steel ties. Over the years those steel ties rusted away and the façade bowed out three feet from the frame at the center front of the building. The roof was in danger of collapse. If it did collapse it would have come into the top floor and the entire 6 story brick façade would have fallen to the street below.  
 The future is more promising for Coatesville than at any other time. A big part of that promising future is the efforts of ordinary people. I just don’t think that anything that would rely on our court system is going to do much for Coatesville at this time. Publicizing the names of our big violators slumlords such as Amrit Lal, David Smith and Ernie Campos as I do might help but don’t look to what I believe is an astoundingly corrupt court system for help. 
Paul Janssen’s first statement to the Coatesville City Council was “We have to make the streets safe”. Eleven years later that’s still a distant goal: which reminds me; I need to get a sympathy card.   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coatesville and Phoenixville have different parking problems

Coatesville has an enormous amount of unused metered street parking on Lincoln Highway in the three blocks east of the downtown area in Coatesville. It’s an easy one to five minute walk to the downtown area.
It’s personally frustrating to hear arguments over zoned parking for businesses because I know the zoning parking regulation Coatesville uses is based on zoning that is designed for new suburban land accessible only by motor vehicle.
Chetty’s Pennock Place building is not at Third Avenue and Lincoln Highway because of the cycle of events after Andrew Lehr’s insistence at a Coatesville City Council meeting on March 27, 2006 that the suburban parking zoning be followed exactly before Council would approve it. Chetty did not get the “Conditional Final Approval” that Pulver’s Marriott Courtyard Hotel recently did get. The clock on Chetty’s development plan ran out and the months long delay to get back to final approval was enough for Chetty to lose the deposits on condos, his investors and eventually the entire project. That’s even though the target occupants of “Pennock Place” would have no more than one car and would use the new train station.
If you want to see a perfect example of what Coatesville would look like if all of Coatesville’s downtown business area had the kind of zoning parking regulations Coatesville uses for new commercial zoning drive on down to Main Street at Exton”.  
Coatesville’s actual parking problem was the abuse of hourly parking by certain “connected” people who had a sort of immunity from tickets. That is, the tickets went away in Magisterial Court frustrating the officers who ticketed the vehicles. That problem has been mostly cleared up.
Phoenixville has lots of people who want to be in downtown Phoenixville. It’s a different kind of parking problem that Coatesville desperately needs:
Published: Thursday, April 14, 2011
For basic information on land development, read “Saving Pennsylvania; Save our Land, Save our Towns” or “Save our Land, Save our Towns it’s the same book with slightly different titles. It’s in our libraries. If you still have a VCR there is a videotape of the original PBS TV show in our libraries also.
 I’m leaving it to the USDoJ to sort out why Lehr didn’t go for conditional and final approval and if it had something to do with the “alleged visit to Chetty Headquarters in December of 2005”.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Like Kirby Hudson said it’s possible that Coatesville’s $1.5 M train station improvement grant might not there.

Acting Coatesville City Manager Kirby Hudson speaking at the April 11, 2011 Coatesville City Council Meeting, he was answering a question about grants:
“Now one of the things that has not been touched yet was going back to when Congressman Gerlach came and he got, it was a grant. Let me take that back. It was an earmark that was then turned into a grant for the renovation of the train station. That has not been touched yet because the project hasn’t gone.” 
And 2 ½ minutes later:
“Right now what we’re working on right now with the State, hopefully the money will be there; because there are all sorts of cuts going on now. Would be the redevelopment of the Fleetwood Street area and train station.”
I'm guessing that the cash for the train station grant came from rail transportation so:
This is the business side of the $38 Billion Democratic cave in to Republican tantrums, I mean demands:
Here are the rail transit cuts from that document above in Millions:
Railroad Safety Technology Compared to FY10 Enacted -$50 Compared to FY11 Request $0
Rail Line Relocation and Improvement Program Compared to FY10 Enacted-$24 Compared to FY11 Request $10
Amtrak - Capital and Debt Service Grants Compared to FY10 Enacted-$78 -Compared to FY11 Request $128
High Speed Rail Compared to FY10 Enacted-$2,900 Compared to FY11 Request -$1,400
We just have to wait and see if the money is there or if the tea partiers sunk our train station.
To garble a quote from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” Republicans don’t need no stinking public transit. They use personal jets and helicopters.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Section 8 Housing Turning NIMBY on its head and Coatesville is exquisitely positioned to be the epicenter of the next real estate boom of Chester County.

It’s easy to see why the only people even remotely interested in the HUD and First Suburbs meeting on April 14, 2011, a pilot program by HUD to raise the Section 8 Voucher amounts in locations in South East Pennsylvania, are Coatesville residents.  It’s that old NIMBY-Not In My Back Yard thing again from the areas outside of the City of Coatesville. But there is another way to look at it that sort of turns NIMBY on its head.
First back to basics:
The rationale behind Section 8 Vouchers is to give low income people a chance to move to middle income areas where hopefully their family will have a better chance for a good education, access to jobs and maybe most importantly a chance to socialize with higher income people. President Reagan put the kibosh on that when he cut the Section 8 Voucher funds in half. From then on Section 8 Vouchers were basically only usable in areas with low real estate values. Another important fact is that the Section 8 Voucher amount is the same all across Pennsylvania and can be used anywhere in Pennsylvania.
Right now just about the only place in Chester County that Section 8 Vouchers can be used is Coatesville. Most of the rest of Chester County has property values too high for Section 8 Vouchers to be usable.
But here in Coatesville there is another thing called “Gentrification”. People here in Coatesville that are now using Section 8 Housing Vouchers are worried that the property values will go so high that slumlords will be put out of business. If the Section 8 Voucher amount does not go up and “Gentrification” does happen in Coatesville those people will be looking for low cost housing outside of Coatesville.
“Gentrification” probably is coming to Coatesville. It will take some time to happen. some 5 to 10 years. In the mean time what I think are predator slumlords like Amrit Lal, Ernie Campos, and several others that infect low income areas of Chester County may be finding “McMansions” property on sheriff sale lists that fits into their “business model”. When “Gentrification” does happen the people using Section 8 Vouchers probably will be able to find Section 8 Housing in the “Outer Suburbs” of Chester County.
“The Los Angeles Times reports that in one gated community in Hemet, east of L.A., McMansions with granite countertops and vaulted ceilings are being rented to poor families on Section 8 vouchers; according to the Washington Examiner, similar homes in Germantown, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C., are being converted to boarding houses.” Brookings   
If Brookings is correct on their demographic projections and condos located close to rail transit become the most popular form of housing maybe those predator slumlords will be stalking the outer suburbs looking for a sheriff sale former trophy home to devour and convert to Section 8 Housing.
 “the two largest demographic groups in the country, the baby boomers and their children—together comprising half the population—want homes and commercial space in neighborhoods that do not exist in anywhere near sufficient quantity.” Brookings
“But the biggest factor, one that will quickly pick up speed in the next few years, is demographic. The baby boomers and their children, the millennial generation, are looking for places to live and work that reflect their current desires and life needs. Boomers are downsizing as their children leave home while the millennials, or generation Y, are setting out on their careers with far different housing needs and preferences. Both of these huge demographic groups want something that the U.S. housing market is not currently providing: small one- to three-bedroom homes in walkable, transit-oriented, economically dynamic, and job-rich neighborhoods.” Brookings
This is nothing new; the demographic shift away from car centered suburbs to cities and inner suburbs with public transit was seen decades ago. It is the primary reason that some very big time developers such as Don Pulver and Bart Blatstein are so very interested in the City of Coatesville. The other reason is that Coatesville is the major transportation hub in Chester County.

"The convergence of these two trends is the biggest demographic event since the baby boom itself. The first wave of boomers will be sixty-five in 2011. The largest number of millennials reaches age twenty-two in 2012. With the last of the boomers hitting sixty-five in 2029, this convergence is set to last decades. In addition to the generational convergence, the Census Bureau estimates that America is going to grow from 310 million people today to 440 million by 2050."  Brookings
 “When developers do propose to build denser projects, with narrower streets and apartments above retail space, they often run up against zoning codes that make such building illegal. Consequently, few compact, walkable neighborhoods have been built relative to demand, and real estate prices in them have often been bid up to astronomical heights. This gives the impression that such neighborhoods are only popular with the affluent, when in fact millions of middle-class Americans would likely jump at the opportunity to live in them.” Brookings
Coatesville has walkable neighborhoods and business areas now, an east-west interstate rail line in place that is fairly easy to add a commuter rail system to, a north-south line that with some work could carry passengers again, a regional business jet airport that is soon to have direct international flight capability and it's about to get what is called a WOW factor by community planners in the form of the National Velodrome and that is in an Olympic year. A key phrase from Brookings is:
"Consequently, few compact, walkable neighborhoods have been built relative to demand, and real estate prices in them have often been bid up to astronomical heights."
The largest demographic shift in US history has already begun. Coatesville will very shortly be exactly what that demographic is looking for.
In a nutshell, Coatesville is exquisitely positioned to be the epicenter of the next real estate boom of Chester County.

The other side to that demographic shift is that the next slums of Chester County are set to be in the rural suburbs of Chester County.

The  McMansions can hold their value. Immigrant Mexican families are following in the footsteps of the Polish, Italian and other immigrant groups before them. Mexican families are already writing "white" for race on the Census forms. They are building and investing in businesses and building wealth. Right now some Mexican Immigrant families and other immigrant families with large numbers of family members are buying up 6 and 7 room homes in Chester County. Unlike most McMansions buyers they actually have a need for a home of that size. If that upward mobility of Mexican American families trend continues the market value of large homes of the outer suburbs might not plummet and they might not be infected by predator slumlords.

Another way the outer more rural suburbs can hold some of their value is to adapt mass transit such as trolley lines to suburban subdivisions. Those trolley lines would very likely connect to railroad lines in, you guessed it; Coatesville.

But the bottom line for Coatesville residents is that Coatesville has a very long head start on mass transit and walkable streets. Like I have been saying for years, "Coatesville homeowners are sitting on a real estate gold mine.

HUD will base who gets into the pilot program in the flyer below on who shows up. People using Section 8 Vouchers that want to stay in Coatesville when and if "Gentrification" occurs need to show up at this meeting, People from Coatesville that care about those that struggle to survive on low incomes need to show up at this meeting:


The Next Real Estate Boom

Christopher B. Leinberger, Visiting Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program 
Patrick C. Doherty, Director, Smart Strategy Initiative, New America Foundation

MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

Kirby Hudson, the Acting City Manager of the City of Coatesville is giving us a chance to do something about, but WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We can get together to things like cleaning up the city. We need to show up at this meeting in a big way.

OPENING OUR EYES TRAILER from Gail Mooney on Vimeo.
Mother/daughter filmmakers, circle the globe on a 99-day journey around the world, seeking people who are making a positive difference in our world. 

They discover the power of the individual - the power within each of us. The global power of "one".

It was life changing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I can imagine how the conversation between Curt Weldon and Moammar Gadhafi would go:

A fictional conversation between international heavy weapons dealer and former Republican Congressman from PA’s 7th Congressional District Kurt Weldon and his old buddy Moammar Gadhafi:
Conversation at Moammar’s place in Libya:
“Moamy baby, us Republicans are shutting down the US Government and the guys flying the F-16s that busted up my, I mean your, tanks won’t bother you for a while.
Meanwhile, I’ll cut you a deal on more of my Defense Solutions  BTR-80 Armored Personnel Carriers and T-72 Main Battle Tanks to replace the ones F-16 jockeys busted up. I’ll throw in some MT-LB Personnel Carriers, BMP-1/2 Infantry Vehicles, and Self Propelled Howitzers to round out the deal. 
Then at the same time you throw out some kind of olive branch to the treasonous bunch of criminals that went against you. 
Just be sure to tell Barack and Hillary you won’t use my stuff on Libyans just the al-Qaeda guys, wink, wink. Us Republicans know who our real friends are. 
When you get things calmed down in Libya and the oil starts flowing again I might have some more T-72 for you.”
By Sharon Weinberger07.03.08
“Ex-Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pennsylvania, is helping broker deals between Russian weapons suppliers and the Iraqi and Libyan governments through his company, Defense Solutions.”


UNDER OUR SKIN Special Screening of the Award-Winning Documentary Film

When I was a member of the Schuylkill Center (for environmental education) in Roxborough, PA every one of the employees and interns there had deer tick bites. Some had Lyme disease. Somehow even though I was around deer tick infested areas frequently I was never bitten or never reacted to a bite. I would like to know why that happened. I was fishing with a friend and he suffered badly with black fly bites but I had no visible bites. It wasn’t the insect repellent. I just never reacted to the bites. 
My daughter was bitten as a child in our back yard in Trappe, PA. My son who was outback just as much was never bitten. Jim Pitcherella

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some picketers from “the NAACP” were at the Marriott Coatesville Hotel site today.

Update, see the article concerning what I think is an ill conceived and nonsensical "protest" in today's DLN:

There were between 30 and 40 picketers who said they were from the NAACP at the construction site of the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Coatesville on First Avenue, RT 82 this morning. 

Their gripe was that, “They don’t hire any local people”.
I asked if one of the men if he knew that it was a union construction site. He said, “They didn’t tell me that.”
I asked if they knew that over 100 local Coatesville residents had been trained at the Laborers' District Council Education and Training/Apprenticeship School in Exton, PA.
He said, “No”.
I asked him, “Who told you that they don’t hire local people?”
He said, “The NAACP.”
Whoever planned the picketing should have just asked former NAACP members or checked at Coatesville City Hall. Because:
When the plans to revitalize Coatesville were made jobs for Coatesville residents were not forgotten:
 Bart Blatstein and all other developers building in Coatesville RDA land were compelled by Coatesville Redevelopment Authority contract to hire qualified Coatesville residents first; then Coatesville School District residents, then Chester County residents and finally from any area.  

The construction industry, especially the high rise building construction using Steelworkers Union workers, can be dangerous and demanding. It demands trained and skilled workers.
 You can put demands for developers to hire Coatesville residents but if there are no residents that qualify for the jobs they will be filled by outside people.
In 2005 Coatesville community activists, religious leaders and government representatives got together and formed the “Coatesville Community Action Committee” with a plan to train willing Coatesville residents for those jobs and in a trade that they could carry all through their lives.
I participated in the 2005 meeting at Career Link in Coatesville with Andrew Dinniman (then Chester County Commissioner), community activists Elwood Dixon and Bill Washington, PA Career Link, The Laborer's District Council Education and Training School and former Coatesville City Manager Paul Janssen, Bill Washington also represented NAACP of Coatesville as its branch vice president and others 25 in all put in place an education and training program at the Laborer's District Council Education and Training facility in Exton, PA for Coatesville residents.
 That education and training program has so far enrolled more than 200 Coatesville residents and residents from the Coatesville School District.
Coatesville and area residents signed up and took preliminary testing at several sessions in the Hutchinson Church, on Chestnut St. in Coatesville.
April 25, 2005 a job fair was held at CAT Brandywine where 23 trade unions were represented. They explained what each union’s role was in construction and answered questions from residents and students.
Even drug users were not turned away. If you passed the written test and failed the drug test you could still enter the program by enrolling in a drug rehabilitation program.
Upon completion those students will be and many are now ready for employment as apprentice construction workers in various union trades.  
Daily Local News
ADAM CIRUCCI , Staff Writer
“COATESVILLE -- Residents and city officials are planning to rebuild Coatesville’s work force from within, while rebuilding its neighborhoods from without.”