West Chester Weekly News Roundup

chili fest2019
A gorgeous fall day and the promise of all-you-can-eat chili drew 9000 to the borough on Sunday for the Chili-Cook-off. Saloon 151’s Bootleg Chili won first prize in both the restaurant division and people’s choice. 

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

It’s Friday October 11, The School District breaks the news – redistricting is coming. Plus, West Chester’s new, stricter, trash policy (see what’s changed), the future for the High Street corridor, WCU football, and the winner of last Sunday’s chili cook off. This is what fall weekends are made of. Let’s get started. 

pretty house
No trash cans visible here.

Garbage, rubbish and refuse. The borough is putting its foot down on garbage violations. According to the Borough website, a new trash ordinance went into effect on October 7. Among the big changes: trash cans must now be stored in a location that is not visible from the street and cigarette butts on the sidewalk in front of your property are a ticketable offense. 

Fines are also going up.  A first offense will now cost you $30 instead of $25 and violations don’t clear after a year. The previous language allowed for up to three violations in a year before the issue would be sent to court, the new policy seems to allow for only three violations in a lifetime. So stay vigilant my friends.

“We can’t just sit here and say we’re doing great. We have to continue to plug along and make improvements.” 

-Mike Perrone, Borough Manager

Show me the money. The Borough has received $2.5 million through the Chester County’s Community Revitalization Program for improvements downtown. $400,000 of the money is to be used for streetscape improvements on South High Street. These improvements include upgraded lighting, curb bump-outs and better bus shelters. A separate pool of money has also been earmarked for a High Street Corridor Study. This will inform future decisions around traffic patterns and safety improvements. 

That’s a lot to process. The West Chester School District has a lot on its mind. Last spring they started the discussion around changing school start time for high school students, then early this month they announced they will be breaking ground on their new elementary school and now, they have broken the news to parents, redistricting is coming with the 2021-2022 school year. 

According to the letter that went out this week the district’s student population has increased by more than 700 since 2015 and they are expecting an additional 900 to enroll over the next seven years. Also stated in the letter were the goals of the redistricting plan which is to balance student populations across schools, keep class sizes small and allow as many students as possible to finish out their time at their current school. The district is forming a steering committee to oversee the process. If you are interested in participating you’ll need to complete this form.

Also out this week, a new comprehensive study on how changes in school start times are affecting county students. 

We know what you did last summer. Protesters at Tuesday’s Borough Council Working Session wanted Councilman Bill Scott to know they haven’t forgot what he said. Scott continues to serve on Council after making insensitive racial remarks to an actress in a summer production of the West Chester-set Mud Row. All six fellow Council members and members of the community have since called for his resignation. The protesters say they will remain until he resigns. He said, no comment. 

Ymca oscar lasko
Another round of renovations are planned for the Oscar Lasko YMCA downtown.

“We considered countless alternatives… and ultimately it was determined that this is the most prudent and fiscally responsible decision.” 

-Francisco Zambrano, Executive Director, Oscar Lasko, YMCA

All work and no play. Oscar Lasko YMCA on Chestnut Street will soon begin a remodelling project its Chestnut Street facility to create much needed office space. To get that space they are sacrificing the racquetball courts.The courts will close permanently on Oct. 20. The first phase of the project is set to begin October 21 and run through early summer. 

The warnings. Don’t let curiosity get the best of you. West Chester University freshman Alex Sanchez was charged with criminal trespass this week for trying to scale the school’s 200-foot water tower. Sanchez told the investigating officer he was “exploring curiosity.” Sounds like he may have also been “exploring” something else. 

vote2019-1
Don’t forget to vote November 5!

The accolades. And a heartfelt thank you to Sam Stretton and Wilma Ford who worked to change the borough’s voting system from at large to the more representative ward system we use today. Both were recognized as Legacy Award winners at last weekend’s Melton Center Gala.

Speaking of voting, elections are coming up and there a several local and county positions on the ballot that could have a real impact on everyday life. Here’s a look at the races and who’s running.

Also, a hearty Cub Scout salute to Trey Conrad for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. And, congratulations to West Chester’s own, Kerry Kauffman on being named teacher of the year by the Malvern School. The Malvern school is a local preschool program with schools all across eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Finally congratulations to West Chester University football. Their 611-273-17 is the third best in Division II football history! If you want to see for yourself, the Golden Rams (6-0) will be home next weekend for their homecoming game against East Stroudsburg University. 

Pay it forward. West Chester University has recieved a $120,000 gift to help students who are struggling to make ends meet. The money is to be used to help purchase students necessities such as books and pizza. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Barclay grounds late summer. Photo: SavetheBarclayGrounds.org

Hello. To the Friends of Barclay Park. Barclay Park now joins Everhart and Marshall Square Park with a dedicated group of neighborhood partners to help maintain and improve the park. If you’d like to help, visit SavetheBarclayGrounds.org for details. 

Also, hello to West Chester’s first parking protected bike lane, but don’t worry all of you with parking concerns, it’s not staying, at least not for now. Bike enthusiasts, the borough is demonstrating the bike lane this Saturday from 9-12 at the corner of Market and Darlington Street, if you’d like to see what it will look like.  

Goodbye. This week West Chester Fire Department is saying goodbye to one of its own. Longtime firefighter for the Good Will Fire Company Robert “Hoofy” Doan is being remembered this week as a friend and mentor. Thanks from all of us for your years of service. 

The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? We are dividing and conquering some festivals. On the list: East Goshen Pumpkin Fest, Treehouse World Fall Festival and the Chester County Historical Society block party (help them get a new roof!).

Also, on the list – take out the Halloween decorations (oops) and it’s time to say goodbye to the garden (tear). Plus, here are some more ideas.

Mark your calendars: 

  • Free event: Hocus Pocus, courtyard Hotel Warner, Oct. 19
  • Free event: Chester County Historical Society Block Party & Open House, Oct. 19
  • Pinktoberfest, Levenate Brewing, Oct. 19
  • Free event: West Chester Halloween Parade, downtown, Oct. 23
  • Free event: After Hours Alien Raid/Halloween Party (ages 11-17), West Chester Public Library, Oct. 24 (registration required) 
  • WCU Church St. Fest and Parade, WCU, Oct. 26
  • West Chester University Homecoming, WCU, Oct. 26
  • Haunted Helicopters, Helicopter Museum, Oct. 26
  • 5K Zombie Run, Rustin High School, Oct. 27 
  • Harlem Wizards vs. West Chester East teachers, East High School, Nov. 8

That’s it. We are done. Thanks for joining me for another week! If you missed last week’s Roundup here you are. If you have news you’d like to share, please leave a comment or send an email. If you are not following along yet, we’d love to have you. And if you could use a coffee after all this, go here. See you next week!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s