West Chester Weekly News Roundup

44West5
Hello, West Chester, what’s changing this week?

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

It’s Friday October 25, Is that tap water you’re drinking? A new report questions the quality of our drinking water. Plus, the preliminary 2020 Borough budget (no new taxes), parking fee changes become a reality, and speaking of parking, West Chester University homecoming is this weekend. Grab your favorite light beer and let’s get started. 

everhart park_stream
How safe is our drinking water?

“Legal does not necessarily equal safe.”

-Sydney Evans, Environmental Working Group

Bottled water, please. A new report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group found elevated levels of eight potentially cancer-causing contaminants in the Aqua PA water supply that serves the West Chester area. The group’s recommended contamination levels are in many cases lower than those allowed by the EPA, but the group contends current regulations are not in alignment with the latest science. 

“A lot of these legal limits are outdated and not necessarily the safe level,” Evans said. “We’re trying to… let people know, based on the latest science, what the safe levels of contaminants in water are.” 

No new taxes. West Chester’s preliminary budget for 2020 has no tax increases or new fees. This is the first budget in a while that has come without some cost to residents. Included in the budget $47.9 million budget, which consists largely of personnel expenses, is $1.5 million for a new firetruck. There is also a reduction to Stream Protection Fund revenue projections to allow for more exceptions for heritage tree protection.

Well, I’m glad you asked. Last Wednesday night, Borough Council voted 5-0 to implement a new fee structure for the Chestnut Street and Bicentennial garages. The changes are not particularly popular with garage users, but I guess, what fee structures are? 

Parking rate changes
New, approved garage rates. Although not sure when these are to go into effect.
halloween parade
Nice night led to a good turn out for the annual Halloween Parade. Parade clocked in at a very manageable 40 minutes or so.

Who doesn’t love a good parade? West Chester University Homecoming parade route is changing. Instead of the parade route heading down Rosedale per usual this year it will go down South Church from Sharpless to Rosedale with performances at University Avenue. Parade activities should take roughly two hours. Roads will be closed during this time. 

So what do you think of this impeachment thing? In an attempt to keep community sites, like Nextdoor, politics free, Borough Councilman Don Braceland has launched a new “West Chester Politics – Unleashed’“Facebook group. The site will welcome all manner of political discussion as long as it’s conducted respectfully.

“We just returned to our apartments… it was a long, grueling day..still don’t know what caused the odor & subsequent coughing, sneezing, watery eyes! Thanks to The Hickman personnel for helping us!”

-Mary Taylor House resident on Facebook

Do you smell something? This past week West Chester police and fire were called to investigate two separate incidents of suspicious gases. Last Thursday Hollinger Fieldhouse and several West Chester University buildings had to be evacuated after a gas leak was discovered at the fieldhouse. Then on Saturday, evacuations were called for at the Mary Taylor House at the Hickman home. In both cases residents and students were able to return without incident. 

Its college application time. Two years ago, West Chester University launched a pilot program offering a college experience to a student with intellectual difficulties that might not otherwise get such an opportunity. At the completion of the program the student graduates with a certificate rather than a degree but otherwise gets a college experience. So far three students have successfully been enrolled in the pilot program. Now with the conclusion of the pilot the University is now looking for funding to make it an official program

Speaking of students that might not otherwise have had an opportunity, this week a workshop on Historically Black Colleges and Universities was held at Henderson High School. The session sponsored by the black student unions of each West Chester’s three area high schools focused on the historical importance of these institutions in advancing minority education and encouraging pride in their rich heritage

The warnings. Don’t dump your unwanted books at the library’s doorstep. This warning is courtesy of West Chester Public Library who was treated to several boxes full of unwanted books this week. If you are looking to donate gently used books there are several organizations locally that will take them or throw them up on Buy Nothing West Chester. However old textbooks and study guides, just recycle them. 

Winning isn’t everything. Several Chester County high school students are in deep trouble after hacking the Downingtown-area school district’s database to gain advantage over rivals in a water gun fight. They are now facing potential Federal charges. This isn’t West Chester-based, just putting it here to keep it that way. 

high st3
Another beautiful day in “charming” (I’m quoting here) downtown West Chester.

The accolades. Congratulations to former West Chester University diving coach Dr. Ronn Jenkins on his aquatics center. Jenkins coached the men’s and women’s diving teams for more than 40 years racking up numerous accolades and awards, including induction into the WCU Athletics Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame, and the Chester County Hall of Fame. The ribbon cutting on the “Dr. Ronn Jenkins Diving & Aquatics Center” will take place this weekend as part of the WCU homecoming festivities.   

There are so many reasons that charming Andiario in downtown West Chester is one of the best — if not the best — restaurants in the Pennsylvania suburbs.”

-Craig LaBan, Philadelphia Inquirer

While it’s no aquatics center, Andario is back at its accolade winning ways. Joining the hallowed ranks of foodie havens such as, Venick, Vedge, Zahav, and Talula’s Garden, the West Chester eatery was the only restaurant in Philadelphia’s western suburbs to make renowned Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan’s list of the region’s top 25 restaurants. 

Pay it forward. In 2019, the West Chester Fire Department joined the 6ABC Operation Save a Life program. Through this partnership they are providing free smoke detectors to anyone who needs one. Email smokealarms@wcfiredept.org for details. 

Hello. To Creep Records. Confession here, I rarely go into record stores and if I do I rarely purchase, but I do love the idea of them. I found it quite a loss to downtown when the Mad Platter went out of business last year and I found myself equally happy when last weekend we walked by bustling Creep Records, with its boxes of LPs and music spilling onto the street. Welcome and maybe you will be the one to convince me to buy the record player to play the LPs I love the idea of…

Also, hello to new Big Belly Trash Cans downtown. Ok, they are not new but they look like it thanks to innovative art makeovers compliments of West Chester Public Works and Arts at WCU. Looking good!

halloween
Time to get in that Halloween spirit!

The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? I feel like we have nothing and everything all at once. While, there is little we have to do (cough grocery shopping cough), we are going to try and squeeze in quite a bit. We’d like to check out WCU’s Church Street Fest then we have plans to meet friends for a hike, and then, of course, is pumpkin carving.

Mark your calendars: 

  • 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
  • Family Pumpkin Carve and Scarecrow making, Brandywine ACE Pet & Farm, Oct. 27
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show, Uptown! Theater, Oct. 31
  • WCU Live presents Jason Bishop (magic show), Emilie K Asplundh Concert Hall, Nov. 2 
  • Harlem Wizards vs. West Chester East teachers, West Chester East High School, Nov. 8
  • Apple Cider & Donut giveaway, Grower’s Market, Nov. 9
  • Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute, Uptown! Theater, Nov. 9

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