West Chester Weekly News Roundup

cold snap
Drop it like its cold: A cold snap on Saturday caused many trees to drop their remaining leaves.

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

It’s Friday, November 15, major changes to West Chester’s Summer Camp program, Barre3 finally opens, Dia Doce heads to the KoP mall and free EV charging to come to an end. Plus, new details on what exactly a delayed start time for high school students might look like. Borough’s been busy this week. Let’s get started. 

camp meeting
After being tipped off by a Facebook group, several families spoke out about the effects the proposed changes to the camp program would have on their children’s ability to participate.

This one time at summer camp. Significant changes to the are being planned for the Borough’s Summer Camp program. The changes were brought to light this week at a meeting of the Borough Council Finance Committee. Tucked in the details of the proposed 2020 borough budget was a severe overhaul of the popular Parks & Rec program. Among the proposed changes:

  • Limit the camp to Borough Residents only 
  • Cut the hours of the camp to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
  • Move all camps to the Melton Center

For comparison, last year the camp was open to both borough and (for an additional cost) non-borough residents; it ran from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5:30 for the older kids); and was held at Everhart Park and Hoopes Park as well as the Melton Center. If this is the first time you are hearing of these proposed changes you are not alone. The changes have been poorly communicated (if at all) to parents, residents and participants of the program. If you are a parent and these changes would affect your ability to use the program or if you are simply interested in learning more, another hearing is being held on the topic next Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Borough Hall. All are encouraged to attend.  

I’ve got my money on my mind and my mind on my money. Speaking of the budget, this week the Parking Commission put forth a proposal to begin charging for use of the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. According to the briefing document the goal is not to make (much) money but rather just recoup costs.    

henderson
Under the proposed changes, start times for high school students would move back between 45 minutes and an hour.

Just five more minutes. This week the School Start Time Task Force presented an update to the West Chester Area School Board including three potential school start time scenarios. For those new to this topic, teenage students have been found to benefit from the additional rest afforded by a later school start time (higher test scores, fewer accidents, happier overall) so many schools have begun looking at the start times of their high and middle schools, West Chester included. Now they have some proposals for exactly how this could look.   

Option 1: All high schools and Fugett Middle School would move to an 8:30 start time; all elementary school would begin at 9:10; Stetson and Pierce Middle Schools would continue to begin at 8:05.

Option 2: All high and middle schools would begin at 8:15; elementary start times would stay the same.

Option 3:  All high and middle schools would begin at 8:30; all elementary schools would begin at 9:10.

All options would require additional buses and drivers and the group is continuing to look at how the changes will impact after school activities such as clubs, athletics, and student jobs. A final report and recommendation to the School Board is planned for March 2020.  You can find the full presentation here.

Because you count. Starting in early 2020 all homes will receive a census questionnaire. It can be mailed in or completed online or by phone if you’re in the mood to chat, but it needs to be completed by every person living in the United States. Otherwise, beginning in May census workers will come knocking at the door. More information about the census including how to get a job is available on the borough website.    

pumpkins
Caught between seasons.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Longwood has announced it will be opening its popular light display a week early beginning on Friday Nov. 22. Speaking of, also this week the West Chester Library recently announced they have a family pass to Longwood Gardens for members to check out. You can have if for up to 3 days at a time. Reservations can be made seven days in advance and you can use it to get into the holiday light display.  

The warnings.  The opioid crisis is still very much a thing.  The West Chester Police Department is looking to purchase a medicine drop box. The unit would be installed in the police department lobby and allow for safe, anonymous collection of unwanted or expired medications – prescription and over the counter. 

Watch out for the deer. Apparently the only place in America that you are more likely to hit a deer than Pennsylvania is West Virginia and Montana. So this week the West Chester Police Department is sharing some motorist safety reminders including deer are most active at dawn in dusk, they travel in groups, and they can get fixated on your headlights so try flashing them to them out of harm’s way.

dia doce
Dia Doce is spreading the love with a new kiosk in the KoP mall. Image: Dia Doce Instagram.

The accolades. Congratulations to Dia Doce on their new pop up location! It opens today in the King of Prussia Mall! For the holiday season! They will be at a kiosk right next to Santa! That would be my personal nightmare (I’ve got anxiety just typing it), but man the business. I will continue to head up High Street for my cupcake fix but congratulations to all you that don’t have that option.  

Also, congratulations to Kaitlin Hatch, the 2019 West Chester University alumna and field hockey star is a finalist for the NCAA’s Women of the Year. Now that’s impressive!

Finally, congratulations to me, this little write up was called the “best WC write up” by the West Chester Public Library. Thank you for the shout out and the share! (Emoji hearts.)

longwood
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in this pic but use it as a reminder to buy hats and coats for the homeless and Longwood lights open a week early this year.

Give back. Safe Harbor is collecting coats, gloves, hats and scarves for the area’s residents. There are roughly 20 men and 20 women in need. If you are able to help out, contact Safe Harbor at: 610- 692-6550

Also the West Chester YMCAs (Oscar Lasko and Airport Road) are once again hosting their angel trees for area kids in need. This year there are more than 650 kids participating. To get involved just pick a name. Get a wish list. Go shopping. You must purchase at least four gifts and they all need to be wrapped and tagged. It’s a fun program. We participate each year.

Know a local high school senior that goes above and beyond when it comes to community service? Remind them the Spellman Humanitarian Award is accepting applications through December 13. Every year 10 students from each ot the three West Chester High Schools who demonstrate the spirit of volunteerism and citizenship are honored at a spring banquet. 

barre3-2
Barre3 opened its 140+ location this week right here on Market Street. Image: Barre3 West Chester Instagram

Hello. To Barre3. The little bit of everything (strength, conditioning, mindfulness) workout franchise just opened a new location in West Chester. Check them out at 706 E. Market. They were offering a free class but not sure how long that will last.

sunset
What are you up to this weekend?

 

The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? Saturday we are going to be bundling up to help the Friends of Everhart Park rake leaves as part of the park clean up. Then we are heading to Side Bar for a mini-date night thanks to Parents Night Out from the Y. 

Looking for something to do? Here are some more ideas.

Mark your calendars: 

  • Frozen, the musical, Stetson Middle School, Nov 15-17
  • Borough’s Biggest Leaf Pile, Everhart Park, Nov. 16 (Bring your rakes!)
  • Nobuntu, WCU Live, Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, Nov. 16
  • Free event: Chanting and Chocolate, Uptown Theater, Nov. 17
  • West Chester Wildcats, semi-pro basketball game, Melton Center, Nov. 30 
  • Better Than Bacon Gives Back, give back with laughs, Uptown Theater, Nov. 30
  • QVC West Chester Christmas Parade, Downtown, Dec. 6
  • Toddler Gingerbread Contest, Treehouse World, Dec. 6
  • Breakfast with Santa, Parks & Rec Department, Dec. 7 (Registration required.)
  • Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause, Brandywine Ace Pet & Farm, Dec.7
  • NYC on Your Own, West Chester Park & Rec trip, 12/11
  • Pictures with Santa and a Fire Engine, First West Chester Fire Co., Dec. 14

That’s it. This week is done! Thank you for joining me. Here is last week’s Round Up if you missed it. Also, I have spoken with a member of the Park Commission and I am working on a larger story on the changes to the summer camp program. In the meantime, if you know of a parent that has used the program in the past, let them know about the changes. I think they are a deal-breaker for most working families. See you next week and don’t forget to follow along!

Have story ideas or events or seriously good gossip? Send me an email at hello@hellowestchester.com.

 

 

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