West Chester Weekly News Roundup

west chester pa summer
Things were hot in the borough this week.

With so much going on around town. Catch up on what you may have missed.  

It’s Friday, July 19. Hot, hot, heated week. West Chester passed a plastic ban to mixed emotions and possible legal action, Teva-expands its West Chester presence and a big win for affordable housing. Plus, the Turk’s Head Music festival is on Sunday (hopefully with a cooling tent). Ready? Let’s get started.

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Fame Fire Company called into perform a water rescue on Wednesday. Images: Fame Fire Company

Storms, flooding and a heat wave. On Wednesday, West Chester Borough Police Department posted the borough was under a Code Red alert, a heat warning put into place when the daytime temperature reaches 95 degrees by 11 am on two consecutive days or 100 degrees on any given day. Then on Thursday heavy rains led to widespread flooding that cause the closing of Gay Street and several others leading to more stranded vehicles and traffic headaches. The heat wave is expected to extend through the weekend. If you need to cool off, the West Chester Area Senior Center and the West Chester Public Library are recommended options. 

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The Friends’ School students that started the ban last fall were in attendance Wednesday night.

Oh, wait, I brought a bag. If you haven’t heard, West Chester has a new plastic ban. The standing room only crowd of supporters spilled into the hall on Wednesday evening as a hesitant Borough Council was narrowly persuaded to pass the ban by a vote of 4-3. The ban prohibits the distribution of single-use plastic bags (the filmy kind with the handles) and straws in the borough with a few exceptions including for those with special needs  (full background and details on the ban). However, don’t expect to see restaurants dumping their plastic straws and bags this weekend, the proposal isn’t scheduled to go into effect until July 2, 2020. 

The fate of the universally supported (by Borough Council) ban became less certain after the state passed a law banning bans of single-use plastic. The West Chester ban is slated to go into effect after that ban has been lifted, thus the date change from January 1, 2020 to July 2, but the vote still leaves the Borough open to legal challenges by the state.

As can be predicted sentiment in the borough is mixed, some feel this bill is the first step in changing the world while others feel it is a complete waste of time and money, and, of course, there are those that HATE paper straws but, as one helpful resident pointed out “no one ever asks for a straw with their beer,” so, I’m guessing in time we will all adjust – and someone is bound to make a better paper straw. 

“A one-stop shop for biologics development and clinical manufacturing.” 

-Mehran Yazdanian, Teva executive and head of the expanded West Chester Site.

The new neighbors. According to reports in GlobalSt.com, Teva Pharmaceuticals is expanding its presence in West Chester. The Israli-based pharmaceutical giant officially doubled its holdings in Brandywine Parkway making it the proud owner of approximately 314,000 square feet in the office park. According to the report, West Chester will be home to roughly 650 employees by the end of 2019.  

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Smile, housing help is on its way.

Help for the borough’s housing problem.  Last fall, the Melton Center submitted a proposal to erect a 51-unit affordable housing complex on its property. The proposal included ten townhomes and a four story apartment building. The Center has been actively fundraising in support of the ambitious project and this week it got a big win. According to a press release put out by the office of State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, Chester County will receive $3.08 million through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund including $875,000 for the center’s housing project. In all the Melton Center will receive 1.075 million in support of various projects. 

“This is bigger than football.” 

– Former Henderson Football coach Stefan Adams 

How many days until football season? With just over a month to go until the start of the season, Henderson’s football program is once again without a head coach after current coach Stefan Adams announced he is returning to Ohio to help at-risk youth. Adams joined the program just over a year-ago and led, let’s call it a rebuilding year, a 0-10 record. PrepLive reports, assistant coach John Lunardi will helm the program while the school searches for a full-time replacement.    

West Chester bike race’s new title sponsor. Wilmington University has signed on as the title sponsor of the women’s pro race at the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic. It’s nice to see this local event getting some major corporate love. 

the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion
The difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Image: YMCA Greater Brandywine

The warnings. It’s hot out there. This week the YMCA shared a reminder of the differences between heat exhaustion (faint, dizzy, excessive sweating, muscle cramps) and heat stroke (throbbing headache, no sweat, red-hot-dry skin) and what to do in the case of each – (head immediately to a cool, air conditioned space) and (call 911. Stroke is serious). And don’t forget this warning extends to pets. Leave them at home in the air conditioning when you can.  

Give back. Friends Association, a nonprofit that helps families during times of housing crises, is in need of gift cards to Wawa and Giant. The West Chester-based organization’s supply was depleted when five new families hit the shelter at around the same time. Pick up a gift card on your next coffee or grocery run and drop the gift cards off at their 113 W. Chestnut Street office weekdays between 9-4:30. 

Also, on the lookout for contributions, Benchmark Federal Credit Union. They are collecting new children’s bike helmets at their East Gay Street location. The bike helmets will be distributed to local children in need. 

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Stay cool out there, West Chester.

The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? So much fun stuff happening in the borough this weekend – 25th anniversary celebration at the Grower’s Market, Turkshead music festival, ice cream and beer at Levante, plus a specially-themed Happy Hour on the Terrace for all you GoT fans. We are heading up north for a delayed graduation party and some private pool time but we’ll be back in town on Saturday. 

Come listen to the music with us: Grab a blanket and maybe some cleverly disguised adult beverages and, swing by West Chester’s home-grown musicfest. We’ll be there (when you live as close as we do you really have no choice.)

Mark your calendars: 

  • Happy Hour on the Terrace, Game of Thrones edition, West Chester Library, July 19
  • Grower’s Market 25th Anniversary Celebration, West Chester Grower’s Market, July 20
  • Ice cream and beer, Maggie Moos at Levante, July 20 
  • Turk’s Head Music Festival, Everhart Park, July 21
  • Apollo 11 Classic Movie Monday Special Event, Uptown!, July 22
  • Block Party, First Presbyterian Church, July 25   
  • Splish Splash in the Brandywine Creek, Stroud Preserve, Aug. 2
  • Goshen Country Fair, 1320 Park Ave., West Chester, July 29 – Aug. 3
  • National Night Out Against Crime, Henderson High School, Aug. 6
  • Move in Weekend, West Chester University, Aug. 23-24

Thank you for stopping by. That’s it for this week! Here is last week’s Roundup and if you’re looking to pass some indoor time here are some interesting local reads or check out West Chester’s new coffee shop. If you like coffee, like real coffee, I think you’ll enjoy it.  

And as always, if you’re not following yet, please do. 

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