With so much going on around town. Catch up on what you may have missed.
It’s Friday March 29. For all you business-folks out there, that means the first quarter is in the books. This week we are talking student mental health – WCASD shared some figures, and I have to say they are a little shocking; West Chester has a new promo video; there is a fight brewing over athletic fields; plus, a story or two to make you smile. Let’s get started.
“It is important that we learn the lessons of the tragedy at Barclay Friends and act to help ensure that it never happens again.”
-Andy Dinniman, PA State Senator
The proposed sprinkler law. New legislation introduced by state senator Andy Dinniman seeks to improve fire safety in senior living facilities through increased inspections and stronger security around the sprinkler system. The internal sprinkler system at the Barclay Friends facility is suspected to have been off during the deadly fire.
Teca’s new neighbor. After several years with at least one vacancy, the corner of Walnut and Gay may be nearing full occupancy again. Last week Borough council green lit Zukin’s proposal for a new hotel which will occupy the northwest corner across from the post office. Then Opa Greek Restaurant has announced it will be moving into the retail space next to Teca that was vacated when the wine tasting place left. Then all that will be missing is a tenant on the southeast corner, at least until the post office leaves…
In other Gay Street news – Out: The G Spot thrift store has left their location at the corner of Gay and Matlack while, Que Rico! Ice cream bar and latin grill is closed for repairs. In: Taco Mar has moved into their new Gay Street location and is ready for business (official opening was Tuesday).
Stressed out. West Chester Area School District is (let’s embrace March Madness here) bringing the full-court press to dealing with student stress. According to a recent letter sent to parents from Superintendent James Scanlon the district has added a mental health specialist at each of its three middle schools. They have also added a mental health program at the high schools. This is in addition to conducting suicide and violence risk assessments which began a couple of years ago. He also cautions prevention takes help from everyone in a student’s life, “Overwhelmingly, as our staff talks with and works with parents of students who are struggling, it’s apparent that denial is one of our biggest obstacles.”
A look at West Chester student mental health by the numbers:
- 285 behavioral health screenings were conducted by middle school mental health specialists
- 179 high school students were identified as showing risks for suicidal or violent tendencies
- 50 students receive regular counseling to help them get through the day
- 54 tips were reported through the Safe2Say anonymous tip line notifying educators of a student who may be in crisis.
“What other enterprise would be more obnoxious than their plan to light up two fields, with screaming athletes, 220 nights per year until quarter to 10?”
-Westtown resident Bob York on Westtown school’s athletic field proposal.
Can you turn that light out, please? Westtown school wants permission to light two athletic fields 220-nights a year but local residents want nothing to do with it. The proposal would involve the creation of two new turf fields. The fields would be used by Westtown athletic teams until 6 p.m. then they would be rented to outside organizations, such as West Chester United, who are are always on the lookout for quality fields. Residents however, worry about light and noise disruptions. Westtown says they are not able to finance the project without the rental income.
Now, for some student athletic news that will make you smile. West Chester University’s Division II National Champion runner-up soccer team has signed its latest recruit. Colby Palomeque, of East Fallowfield Township, an exciting young player who brings great passion and knowledge for the game. Head coach Michael Benn welcomed the 8-year old, who suffers from the rare ROHHAD Syndrome, with an official signing and press conference. Colby will attend practices, games and team dinners over the next two years. “Our team is going to get as much out of this experience as Colby will,” said Benn. Congratulations, Colby!
Speaking of sports and congratulations, East High School Athletic Director Sue Cornelius was named Athletic Director of the Year by Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. Nicely done, Ms. Cornelius.
Welcome to West Chester. The business district with help from Fig West Chester and Tailor Made Media, has released a new promotional video touting all the benefits of life in West Chester including a beautiful and thriving performing arts center. (Just don’t anyone tell them about those proposed athletic fields.)
Tomorrow’s community helpers. Calling the next generation Fire, EMT and Police personnel. West Chester Area School District has approved training through the Octorara Homeland Security and Protective Services Academy to count as accredited coursework. Now students can plan for a career in emergency services while still earning credits toward graduation.
How kind of you. Students at Westtown-Thornbury elementary school participated in a kindness challenge, complete 5000 acts in just 15 days. The students were given journals to log their acts. The challenge was completed in collaboration with Think Kindness, a nonprofit anti-bullying organization. Probably something we can all learn from here.
The warnings. Don’t hand over the money until you have the item you are purchasing in hand. The suspect is in custody, but I think it’s a good lesson for us all. Also don’t be alarmed (or maybe a little alarmed), Rustin High School will hold a Mock Crash event on Monday April 1. The event which will involve Westtown-East Goshen Police Association strives to simulate an automobile accident offering as much realism as possible. The goal is to educate on the potential consequences of distracted or impaired driving ahead of prom season.
Speaking of consequences, Tyler Lampe, 22, will serve three to six years in prison for the rape of a West Chester Student. “To me, you remain a stranger. I was never afforded any kindness or basic respect, I was never even given the opportunity to say no,” the victim said in a letter to Lampe read by the court.
The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? We have tomorrow’s Borough Electronic Recycling and Shred event etched on the calendar (3/30 – 9 a.m to noon). We missed it last year and I have an old iPad and laptop I am dying to get out of the house. We do not have tickets but the Uptown performance of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels looks pretty awesome.
Plus, 70 degrees tomorrow. Tables are definitely out downtown and if you haven’t been (and you haven’t), you’ve got to check out this park. So cute.
That’s it. Hope everyone has a lovely week. If you missed last week’s Roundup you can find it here. I’ll be back next week with another Roundup and an inside look at West Chester’s new Buy Nothing Facebook group. Some pretty cool stuff. Until then.
P.S. Don’t forget to follow the blog!