Chester County Press 02-16-2022 Edition

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Chester CountyPRESS

www.chestercounty.com

Covering Avon Grove, Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Oxford, & Unionville Areas

Volume 156, No. 7

INSIDE

Kennett Square author publishes book...3A

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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Oxford School Board member’s ‘toxic’ comments lead to emotionally charged meeting A large crowd turned out to demand that Jennifer Kehs resign from the Oxford School Board in the first public meeting after she made comments about illegal immigrants that created a firestorm of controversy By Betsy Brewer Brantner Contributing Writer

important than at a Feb. 8 work session of the Oxford School Board. The meeting was moved to the Hopewell “Kids First, Progress Elementary School instead Photo by Betsy Brewer Brantner and Unity,” the motto of of the district’s adminis- A group of parents whose children attend the Oxford Area School District gathered the Oxford Area School tration building to make with signs protesting the controversial comments made by school board member District, was never more Continued on page 2A Jennifer Kehs.

Column: The importance of teaching black history ...5A

New mayor takes on Avondale’s challenges By Chris Barber Contributing Writer

Nonprofits and United Way of Southern Chester County make a difference..1B

INDEX Opinion.......................5A Obituaries............2B & 3B

To Subscribe Call 610.869.5553

Classifieds..................4B

Avondale’s new mayor loves her small town and brings with her the belief that its people need to be heard. Susan Rzucidlo, 59, took the reins of the tiny borough last month along with the three new Democratic council members who also gained victories in last November’s municipal election. They are Mike Essmaker, Janet Watts and Stephanie Reichert with incumbents Democrat Paul Morgan and Republican Dave Besselman remaining on the borough council. “I ran because political leaders weren’t listening to people,” she said. Rzucidlo, a lifelong southern Chester County native who moved to Avondale from Landenberg in 2019, has the power to perform weddings, declare an emergency and break the tie of a council vote. Most of all, she is in a position to work

that have been suggested are limiting occupancy to the second and third floors of the apartment building and altering the flow of the Creek. Problems accompany those potential solutions, however. For one thing, the White Clay Creek is a “Wild and Scenic River.” That means changes to its structure – depth, width, direction -- are limited and federally regulated. The other issue is that by reducing the occupation space in the apartment, many low-income residents are left with nowhere else to go, given the lack of affordable housing in the area. “I’d like to work with Stroud Water Research Center in defining the problem,” Rzucidlo, said. Another issue that Avondale residents can attest to is the traffic on Route 41. At times, especially on Friday afternoons in the summer when people are traveling to the seashore, the traffic situation Continued on page 3A

A Chester County judge’s ruling on Monday opened the door for Texas-based Canyon Atlantic Partners to complete the purchase of Jennersville Hospital and Brandywine Hospital from Tower Health. Both hospitals are now closed. Canyon Atlantic Partners reached an agreement to purchase the hospitals in Chester County last November, with the closing on the sale scheduled for Dec. 31, the same date that Jennersville Hospital was scheduled to be closed. The transaction fell through before the closing could take place, and

both hospitals were subsequently closed to the communities that they have served for decades. Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Edward Griffith ruled that Tower Health was wrong when it unilaterally cancelled the sale. He reinstated the sale agreement and gave Canyon Atlantic Partners and Tower Health 90 days to figure out how to complete the transaction. The process is certainly more complicated with both hospitals now closed. The judge’s preliminary injunction order stated the following: Continued on page 2A

Local agencies bracing for impact of U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer In the middle of the juxtapositions, debate and ever-changing course of legislation that continues to inform the conversation of abortion in America, it is a universally acknowledged truth that six is greater than three. The U.S. Supreme Court

seems poised to uphold a Mississippi abortion law, with members of the court’s conservative sixto-three majority signaling that sweeping changes are soon to come that will further limit abortion rights, beginning with the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade. While a final ruling is not expected to come before summer to affirm a ban on

abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation for pregnant women in Mississippi, the vote will likely create major implications for the future of a woman’s right to choose within the framework of federal law, and give state legislatures the legal authorCourtesy image ity to restrict abortions. Several local agencies are weighing the implications While the national argu- of an upcoming ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that ment between Pro-Life and could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, which has Continued on page 4A

been in effect since 1973.

Comprehensive Plan presented to Oxford Borough Council By Betsy Brewer Brantner Contributing Writer

© 2007 The Chester County Press

on forward-looking projects and engage advisory commissions to come up with solutions to the borough’s challenges. Among those challenges is addressing the continued flooding of the Avondale Apartments, Route 41 traffic through the borough and a local hospital that recently closed. The threat of flooding has hung over the apartment building along the White Clay Creek for years. Every couple years or so, the creek floods and forces the inhabitants to emergency shelters, prompting responses from first responders and charitable organizations. Currently, a committee has been established to come up with some solutions not only to the flooding, but to helping the residents that are periodically driven out by the flood waters. That committee is made up of local parties and those from nearby Kennett Square as well. Some of the solutions

Judge reinstates the agreement for sale of hospitals

At the beginning of their most recent meeting, Oxford Borough Council announced that they met in executive session on Monday, Jan. 31 to discuss personnel matters related to terms and conditions of employment and to consult with the solici-

tor regarding information or strategy in connection with claims raised by Sycamore Crossing Homeowners Association. Borough Council also approved a motion to ratify the statement that was released by Oxford Borough regarding comments made at the Jan. 18 Oxford Area School Board meeting. Mark T. Gallant, a senior community planner with the

Chester County Planning Commission, spoke before Borough Council on Feb. 7, explaining the Comprehensive Plan process. He listed the priorities as voiced by stakeholders after the public feedback from the open house series, stakeholder meetings, and public survey results. The priorities, listed in no specific order, included the following:

• Parks and Recreation/ events • Connectivity and safety • Borough character/facilitate business opportunities • Manager development • Fair and competent codes enforcement • Communication, engagement and inclusion • Infrastructure management • Environment and preservation

Moving forward, council president Kathryn Cloyd said, there will be discussions on the progress of the plan. She spoke about the new format of the council meetings, saying the first meeting of the month will be focused on educating council on issues to be addressed, while the second meeting will be a regular business meeting. Continued on page 3A


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CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Chester County Press

Local News Oxford School Board... Continued from Page 1A

room for a growing number of parents and children who were calling for the resignation of newly elected school board member Jennifer Kehs following comments she made at a Jan. 18 meeting. Concerned parents held signs outside the meeting calling for Kehs’ resignation, and a number of school police and local police stood by to keep the growing crowd under control. More than 20 people had signed up to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting, and school board president Joseph E. Tighe told the crowd, “No talking while someone else is speaking. If you can’t follow our rules, we will

Hospitals... Continued from Page 1A

“And now, this 14th day of February, 2022, following a hearing conducted February 2 and 4, 2022, and upon consideration of Plaintiffs Motion for Preliminary and Special Injunction, Defendants’ response and all related filings, it is hereby Ordered and Decreed that: a. Defendants’ Notice of Termination of the Agreement dated December 8, 2021 , is null and void and Defendants are enjoined from taking any action consistent with

shut the meeting down.” He reiterated that statement all through the meeting.

No one was more impassioned about this meeting than the students themselves. Ashley Whitman, an alumni of the school, brought a letter signed by 264 graduates of Oxford which said, “Board member Kehs prevented ratification of article #7320 recently amended in alignment with government guidelines, which states that the school must provide an education to all students in the community regardless of their housing status.” The alumni condemned that action. Two current students also spoke. “I stand for equality. We

(students) embrace different cultures,” Oxford student Ryan Owens said. “Our school is supposed to be a welcoming school for all.” Another Oxford student, Sabrina Allioto, made an impassioned plea saying, “making a statement like Mrs. Kehs did has a negative impact on our school and causes division and separation in our school. It is toxic. All students deserve an education.” Oxford alumni and current students agreed that they did not want the same divisiveness that is circulating through the entire country to divide the schools in Oxford. Kehs listened as the majority of speakers called for her resignation and described her as xenophobic and bigoted in her views.

the Notice of Termination; b. Defendants shall maintain and secure the physical facilities comprising Jennersville Hospital and Brandywine Hospital, the assets related to them, and all of the other Assets (as defined in the Agreement) in the same state as they currently exist as of the date of this Order and are enjoined from any further dissipation, transfer or abandonment of those Assets; c. Plaintiff shall have a period of ninety (90) days from the date of this Order to evaluate the nature and condition of the Assets, determine what steps are necessary for the parties to

complete closing under the Agreement, and thereafter complete closing ; and d. Defendants shall provide Plaintiff access to the Assets and all related documents and information reasonable and necessary to comply with this Order and permit Plaintiff to proceed to closing under the Agreement, and Defendants shall perform all remaining obligations under the Agreement reasonable and necessary for the parties to proceed to closing on the Agreement, and Defendants shall be compelled to specifically perform their obligations under the Agreement…”

‘I stand for equality’

Kehs provides statement After the meeting, Kehs was asked if she wanted to comment on the school board meeting and sent the following statement for inclusion in this article: “As a newly elected 2022 board member of OASD, I was presented with a revised policy on homeless students which had been previously been referenced at the October 19, 2021 school board meeting. After reading the proposed modifications, I asked questions to understand if the policy was solely referring to impoverished students or if there were other students being included. As board members, our responsibility is to ask valid questions in order to fully understand policy updates before we vote on them. “The other separate item that I raised during the meeting referred to academics in our district: I wanted to understand why school property taxes for OASD have increased above other local school districts such as Kennett Square and Unionville, while OASD is seeing lower academic test scores.” During the Jan. 18 meeting, Kehs asked Superintendent David Woods on more than one occasion, “Shouldn’t we call out the illegal immigrants from the homeless?” Woods’ replied that the school district was prohibited from inquiring about the immigration status of students. Tighe also cautioned Kehs about using the term “illegal immigrants” when describing students.

Both the Pennsylvania and the federal laws identify a “homeless” student without reference to their immigration status. (See the McKinney-Vento Act.) In defense of immigrants Myra Castilo addressed Kehs’ comments. She said she was the daughter of an immigrant. “I came to this country with no knowledge of the language,” she said. “Now, I speak Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian. How many languages do you speak? The immigrant community gives more than they take. We pay rent, taxes and buy real estate. I challenge you to see where these immigrants end up. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers and nurses.” A number of the speakers were also upset with the insinuation that Oxford was deficient in educating its students, and cited their successful education in the school district. Others asked if Kehs was suggesting that the school board not follow the state and federal laws for school boards. Failure to follow those laws would mean the potential loss of some funding for the school district, which is already receiving less funding than most districts in the state. The lack of funding received by some school districts is currently being analyzed to determine if that deficiency in funds is actually responsible for lower test scores. While words like “xenophobic” and “racist” were used to describe Kehs, other attendees came to her defense. Carrie Tequinas

addressed the school board saying, “There is not a racist bone in her (Kehs) body.” One resident, Judy Martora asked the school board, “Why did you put that meeting on the website? You are tearing a community apart.” However, the Oxford School District’s website clearly states: “All Oxford Area Board of School Directors work sessions and regular meetings are available to view at any time on the Oxford Area School District Youtube channel.” Dee Wiker also raised questions about the federal ESSER funds questioning the health and safety plan required in order to received those funds. Pennsylvania has received $523.8 million in emergency, one-time ESSER funds. Of this amount, $471.4 million will be directly allocated to school districts and charter schools based on the same formula used for Title 1-A allocations in 2019. It was unclear whether some of the attendees at the meeting clearly understood federal laws and the obligation of all school districts to follow both federal and state guidelines, that specify that both federal and state funding is necessary to educate all children in the district. Jeopardizing that funding that the Oxford Area School District is entitled to certainly would not improve test scores or the education that all children in the school district receive. The next regular meeting of the school board will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Hopewell Elementary School.

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

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Chester County Press

Local News Avondale mayor... Continued from Page 1A

is horrendous. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that just about every truck that carries goods out of the Port of Wilmington northward into the far reaches of Pennsylvania goes through the borough with no convenient alternative route. Through the years there have been suggestions for solutions, but many of them are controversial. Some groups have recommended a roundabout in the center of Avondale, but Rzucidlo said that sort of construction would decimate the center of town and the businesses there. Not only that, she said, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has said a roundabout would not alleviate the problem. The idea of a bypass is also off the table, she said, because there is too much housing development around Avondale now. Still, Rzucidlo has not

Oxford borough... Continued from Page 1A

She stressed that votes may be taken at either meeting. Both meetings are open to the public and will be advertised per the requirements of the Sunshine Act. Cloyd does plan to minimize committee meetings, explaining that temporary work groups including no more than three council members will be created for the purpose of preparing information to bring to council at the education meetings. She will assign a lead member. Work groups may invite borough residents to provide input. Each work group will decide how it will coordinate its activities and communicate among work group members. Those will not be public meetings. Cloyd emphasized that the work groups’ purpose will be educating council members about topics they may need to be asked to vote on, and she also said that she feels one of the most significant votes of 2022 will be the adoption of the 10-year Comprehensive Plan. Many of the topics addressed in education meetings in the first half of the year will be derived from the list of priorities identified in the Comprehensive Plan. Cloyd had previously said, “It is hoped that flexibility of the work groups and their meeting times will make it easier, especially for members with children, to participate.” The only remaining standing committee will be the Personnel Committee which will continue to be chaired by council vice president Mary Higgins. The Finance Oversight Committee is still being firmed up. Peggy Ann Russell and Amanda Birdwell will co-chair the committee. The third council member has not been appointed yet. There was an ongoing discussion about whether these would be public meetings and how often the meetings will be held. Council has previously stressed how important it is to them to make matters concerning the budget transparent to residents. In other business, council approved a motion to

given up seeking solutions and is eager to work with nearby townships. “I think solutions can be found if you’re willing to look outside the box,” she said. Like many residents of southern Chester County, Rzucidlo is distressed by the recent closing of the Jennersville Hospital, a close-by resource for health care for residents of the region. She said she does not have the answer, but in her mind, she has thought that repurposing the building into an emergency room and urgent care or an affordable housing apartment facility would address more than one crisis. “There’s really no affordable housing options across the whole county. It’s a national issue,” she said. While having some challenges to work on, Avondale also has many features that are good, Rzucidlo said. While there are 30 businesses in Avondale, Rzucidlo said that most of

the public does not recognize these as destination points, but she is in the process of building a resource file of them online so people can see how to get in touch and what they have to offer. She also pointed to some events that give Avondale its character, like the arrival of Santa Claus to town and various festivals. Soon, she said, the Garage Youth and Community Center is moving from West Grove to the old firehouse on Pennsylvania Avenue, and she hopes to set up a youth advisory commission to discuss serving that population group. “We are so happy to see them here,” Rzucidlo said. Another positive project she cited is the purchase of the old train station by a woman who is converting it into her home and law office. Rzucidlo is particularly interested in and informed about the situations faced by individuals with special needs, including her adult son who is autistic. In that

ratify a statement by the Oxford Borough Council regarding comments made at the Jan. 18 Oxford Area School Board meeting. Council also approved a motion for two projects for Meloria Design, a green infrastructure design firm, to complete site plans and cost estimates as part of a Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Grant Award from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Meliora previously surveyed the borough and identified various types of projects and possible locations throughout the borough. They then received public input to narrow the projects down to two that Meliora would develop concept plans and a cost estimate for. This will enable the borough to apply for grant funding to complete the projects over time. The two projects chosen are on borough-owned property. Borough manager Pauline Garcia-Allen presented a state-of-the-borough report for council. The report provides an assessment of challenges and opportunities that she has identified as priorities for 2022. The report is intended to inform on the work that needs to be done in order to provide context for council’s decisions over the next year. The following projects and priorities were identified:

(Working with the Planning Commission & Council to):

Community Education & Communication: • 2022 Budget Education Initiative • Updates and improvements to the borough website • Ensuring borough materials, forms and communications are available in Spanish Borough Code of Ordinances, Permitting and Processes

• Update the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance • Develop a comprehensive Commercial Use & Occupancy Ordinance • Adopt the 2018 ICC and 2021 IPMC • Update/amend the sidewalk and curb ordinance • Update ordinances that manage and regulate parking • Improve Commercial U&O permit process • Update building permit process and fees Internal Processes, Personnel and Appointments: • Improve IT platforms and processes • Reorganization of codes department • Develop job descriptions and identify professional growth opportunities • Work with Oxford Police Association on new CBA agreement. Asset Management: • Develop a Capital Improvement Plan • Complete this year’s capital improvements as identified in the 2022 Capital Budget • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit Requirements: • Part of the regulations associated with the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) administered under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program. • Finalize the Borough’s Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP) • Implement a Stormwater Management Program • Work to secure grant funding for PRP projects

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Photo by Chris Barber

Avondale Mayor Susan Rzucidlo stops by Earl’s Sub Shop often for snacks.

regard, she developed and gifted to the state a chart/ registry that can be kept in first responders’ resources with notifications of needs. She used the example of an individual who is deaf and not responding to the

orders of police. That registration would let police and other responders understand the condition of the person they are responding to and act accordingly. Finally, Rzucidlo said, she looks forward to working

for progress in the town she loves. “I think there’s a long history of trying to work together, and that’s something I intend to continue. I know the board is interested in the same,” she said.

Kennett Square author publishes book about Italian immigrant grandmother Life’s Journey, a new book by Josephine B. Pasquarello, has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. Based on the reallife experiences of the author’s paternal grandmother, Life’s Journey tells the story of how a young Italian immigrant peasant traveled to south Philadelphia in search of a better life and love. Geltrude Carmela DiLullo traveled from Italy to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century as part of an arranged marriage. Along the way, and with a lot of hard work and dedication, Geltrude—or Carmela, as she preferred to be called—overcame enormous obstacles. These challenges included her solo journey across the seas, overcoming illness and betrayal, finding

love in the life arranged for her, and beginning a legacy for her family, which is flourishing still today. Pasquarello is a writer and public speaker with a passion for her Italian heritage, her hometown of Philadelphia, and family life. As a writer, she regularly contributes short stories to several periodicals. Her first book, Love & Loyalty was published in 2017 and is available for purchase now from the Dorrance bookstore online. An entrepreneur, Pasquarello has successfully operated several small businesses in the Philadelphia area over the years through the same hard work, love, and dedication instilled in her by her family. The tenth of twelve children, Pasquarello was raised in Philadelphia by an Italian immigrant mother, hailing from a simple back-

Courtesy photo

ground to find success in her life. Now a mother and grandmother, she enjoys traveling, especially to small villages in Italy, and Broadway musicals. Life’s Journey is a 306page paperback with a retail price of $20.00 (eBook $15.00). The ISBN is 978-1-63867265-4. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc of Pittsburgh.


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CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Chester County Press

Local News Roe v. Wade... Continued from Page 1A

Pro-Choice coalitions will continue to rage on -- leading up to and after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision -- the echo of these opposite convictions is already being heard in Harrisburg. Since 2016, Pro-Life Republicans in both the House and the Senate have introduced six anti-choice bills into the Pennsylvania General Assembly, but three of the six have been vetoed by Democratic and pro-choice governor Tom Wolf, who vows to strike down the other three before he leaves office in 2023. “Abortion is health care and it must remain safe and legal,” Gov. Wolf said. “Republican politicians have spent decades trying to dismantle the right to abortion and reproductive health care by passing restrictive abortion bans, including here in Pennsylvania. The [U.S.] Supreme Court ruling could put necessary reproductive health care, including abortions, in jeopardy and we all need to sound the alarm.” The Republican legislature in Pennsylvania, however, refuses to yield in its ambition to eliminate the legal right to abortion services in the state. Most recently, Sen. Judy Ward (R-Blair County) submitted Senate Bill 956 in January that proposes an amendment to the state’s constitution that. if passed. would add language stating that “there is no right to abortion” in the commonwealth and that nothing in the state’s constitution “requires taxpayer funding for abortion.” Along party lines, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted to approve the bill. Senate Bill 956 is just the latest indicator that the floor on which legal abortion in Pennsylvania has stood for decades has become a shaky one. Further, the issue has become increasingly exacerbated by the rising tenor on both sides of the argument and elevated in volume by the state agencies whose mission it is to share their belief systems. ‘A political line in the sand’ A major component of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania’s mission is to serve as an advocate for the protection and advancement of health equity and access to care throughout Philadelphia and several neighboring counties, including Chester County. Lindsey Mauldin, the agency’s vice president of advocacy and public policy, said that if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, it will have dire consequences for those who now have legal access to these services. “When we overturn a policy like this -- and add to that the criminalization of providers who perform abortion care -- not only does it make abortion illegal, it creates a political line in the sand that is not about caring for people and their health care, but about making a political statement,” Mauldin said. “Many people accessing abortion already face barriers and already have to jump through hoops,

Photo courtesy of the Chester County Pro-Life Coalition

Through participation in public events, organizations such as the Chester County Pro-Life Coalition continue to support the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

including a number of barriers to abortion that still exist. Taking away access will just further add to those barriers and add to people’s ability to access care. “These policies don’t really help people. They actually hurt people’s ability to access healthcare and their decision as to when they want to start a family.” For pro-choice agencies like Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, every meeting, protest, posting and initiative is being waged against the backdrop of continued state legislation that moves the goalposts farther from access to abortion services. On Jan. 1, the following restrictions on abortion in Pennsylvania went into effect: • A patient must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage the patient from having an abortion, and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided. • Health plans offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment, or in cases of rape or incest, unless individuals purchase an optional rider at an additional cost. • Abortion is covered in insurance policies for public employees only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. • The parent of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided. • Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. • An abortion may be performed at 24 or more weeks after the last menstrual period only in cases of life or health endangerment. • The state prohibits abortions performed for the purpose of sex selection. • The state requires abortion clinics to meet unnecessary and burdensome standards related to their physical plant, equipment and staffing. This legislation provides an additional layer of regulations in the state that began in 1982 with the passage of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act that enacted five provisions: Informed consent, parental consent, spousal notice, exceptions for “medical emergencies,” and “other reporting requirements,” an act that required certain reporting requirements of facilities that performed abortions. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Dayle Steinberg has stated that the agency will continue to support the efforts of Gov. Wolf

Photo by Joe Piette

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania held a rally with Planned Parenthood Generation Action at Temple University this past December.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Tom Stevens is the president and CEO of the ProLife Union of Greater Philadelphia.

Dr. Gordon Eck has been a practicing physician for over 40 years and serves on the board of Chester County Women’s Services.

and Attorney General Josh Shapiro in their efforts to “protect and expand” existing abortion access in the state. However, Wolf’s tenure as governor will end in 2023, and while Shapiro is the early Democratic frontrunner to replace Wolf in Harrisburg, he is running against 14 Republican candidates. If a Republican wins the gubernatorial election, it could mean that the GOP would control both the governor’s office and hold a majority of seats in both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate – a clear pathway to further pass laws restricting abortion access. “Those Republican candidates for governor who say that they will be the pro-life governor are political stances that are not helpful to Pennsylvanians,” Mauldin said. “The drumbeat of abortion bills over the past few months has been constant in Pennsylvania and a Republican governor’s election would be absolutely detrimental to an individual’s ability to access reproductive healthcare in the state.” ‘The big truth is that abortion is the taking of a human life’ Tom Stevens, the president and CEO of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, said that an overturn of Roe v. Wade will signal the end to what he called a bad law that has been on the nation’s books for the past 50 years, and one that will slowly lead to a unified and common judgment. He compared the public debate about abortion to the way Americans began to change their opinion on slavery. “With slavery, we needed to have minds changed in the country, but we also needed to have laws change, and until slavery became illegal, it wasn’t done with,” he said. “The common thinking took a while to come along, and we need to see the same thing with abortion. During the time of The Civil War, southerners asked why northerners should have any say about what is hap-

pening in the south, but the fact was that the northerners were saying ‘Slaves are human.’ “It’s the same thing going on here. The big truth is that abortion is the taking of a human life. That was true 50 years ago and will be so in the future, and until laws in every state say that the taking of a human life is not acceptable, then the fight won’t be done.” Dr. Gordon R. Eck, a board member with Chester County Women’s Services, said that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the legality of abortion will be returned to the states where most experts in constitutional law believe the decision should be made. “Regardless of the outcome, life-affirming organizations like Chester County Women’s Services will continue to offer free care to those women contemplating the heartrending decision to have an abortion,” he said. “There they will be able to see the miracle, via ultrasound, of what ‘it’ is that they are nourishing and safeguarding.”

Photo by Commonwealth Media Services

Lindsey Mauldin, vice president of advocacy and public policy for Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, spoke at a press conference last December alongside Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in support of abortion access and in opposition to recent anti-abortion legislation put forth by state lawmakers.

provide Pennsylvanians with access not just to abortions but to the other side of their continuum of care, such as birth control emergency contraception, health services, pregnancy and testing, and education. “It is important to note that in southeastern Pennsylvania these issues that people face when they can’t get access to abortion care often contributes to food and financial security,” Mauldin said. “We realize that these issues are connected and that people can’t live a full life if they do not have autonomy over their own bodies. “Beyond the abortion debate, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a trusted provider, and we are here to stay, and as long as we can continue to provide those services we will con‘Our patients are not tinue to do so. Our patients coming to us for are not coming to us for political reasons’ political reasons. They In a recent survey con- come here because they ducted by Operation rely on us and to receive Rescue, the number of abor- our care.” tion facilities in the U.S. The continuing arguincreased in 2021 to a total ment of 740, a rise of 14 from 2020 – with 41 new faciliWhile the future of Roe v. ties opening or resuming Wade hangs in the balance, abortions in 2021. While what will always remain the number represents the at the center of this more largest increase in abortion than 50-year argument facilities in the U.S. since between the Pro-Life and 2016, the same upward Pro-Choice movements is trend is not occurring in the fundamental question, Pennsylvania. In contrast, the number of “When does life begin?” To support the conviction abortion clinics in the comof the Pro-Life movement, monwealth has declined Eck pointed to Micheline over the years, from 114 Matthews-Roth of Harvard in 1982 to 81 in 1992, 20 University’s 1981 appearin 2014, and 18 in 2017. A ance before the before recent search of clinics in the U.S. Senate Judiciary the state revealed that there are now only 11 – and Subcommittee, when she none located west of State said, “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot College. While agencies like be decisive. It is scienPlanned Parenthood of tifically correct to say that Southeastern Pennsylvania an individual human life wait out the U.S. Supreme begins at conception.” “As a practicing phyCourt ruling on Roe v. Wade, sician of over 40 years, they tussle with another I know of no medical challenge: continuing to

embryology textbook that states a new human life begins at any time other than conception,” he said. “As a physician devoted to the protection and preservation of human life, I urge our legislatures and fellow citizens to recommit to defending the right of all babies to have the opportunity to experience the wonder of life.” Stevens said that while he remains firm in his belief that the debate between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice – in the U.S. Supreme Court, in Harrisburg, in places of faith and in agency-led protests – is a long way form being over, he sees a conclusion. “Does anybody claim that there should be a right to slavery in the United States anymore?” he said. “That conversation is over, even though people dug in on both sides for a long time. I believe that this will be over, and it will be the right to life side who will be the voice of reason.” On the other side of the argument, Mauldin said that what truly lies in the balance will be the ability to provide safe access to healthcare. “Abortion is a safe procedure,” she said, “and when we see rates of maternal mortality at an all-time high – particularly in southeastern Pennsylvania and specifically for Black and Latino women – we know that access to services is something that we should not be taking away. “One in four women – which includes the transgender population -- will have an abortion in their lifetime, and that’s a part of the conversation that we cannot ignore, because it is a service that many people access and will continue to access in the future.” To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

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Chester County Press

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Opinion

Editorial

Letter to the Editor

Our new American pastime

Houlahan should sponsor a War Powers Resolution to end any U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen

At his wife’s persistence, an Avondale man recently opened the door to his car garage and saw the accumulated clutter of a 30-year marriage, three children and enough doggie and kitty crates to operate a small pet kennel. Within the slivers of space still remaining, the man poked around the inventory he had managed to collect over the decades, lifting and shifting and sifting through a pile that had grown to over six feet in height. He counted eight bicycles, three bed frames, seven boxes filled with dry-cleaned and ironed clothing, seventeen empty picture frames, four filing cabinets, a dining room table with six matching chairs, three couches, two boxes of kitchen cutlery and dishes and a still-operable large-screen television that had been crammed into its place just last year because the family decided they needed a larger television. After surveying the small mountain of items, the Avondale man told his wife that he would begin to search for storage units in the area and see which one would give him the best deal. He found three in Avondale, two in Kennett Square, three in West Chester, one in West Grove and two in Landenberg. All of them offered the man competitive monthly rates, but after the third call, he put away his phone and returned to the garage. How did this happen? he asked himself. How did we get so many things? *

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“Our excessive possessions are not making us happy,” wrote best-selling author Joshua Becker in his book The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own. “Even worse, they are taking us away from the things that do. Once we let go of the things that don’t matter, we are free to pursue all the things that really do matter.” The statistics tell the complete and harrowing truth: that consumerism has become our new national pastime: • There are 300,000 items in the average American home, and the average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years. • Researchers have found that Americans now purchase twice as many material goods as they did 50 years ago. • According to the U.S. Department of Energy, while 25 percent of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them, 32 percent only have room for one vehicle. • There are more than 50,000 storage facilities in the U.S., and 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. • According to an article in the New York Times Magazine, one out of every ten Americans rent offsite storage. • Storage units are the fastest growing segment of the real estate industry over the past four decades. Real estate website REJournals.com recently reported that there are more self-storage facilities in the U.S. than there are McDonald’s restaurants, and has become a $24 billion a year industry. “…Nobody gets to the end of life wishing they had bought more things,” Becker wrote. “Why is that? Because consumption never fully delivers on its promise of fulfillment or happiness. Instead, it steals our freedom and results only in an unquenchable desire for more. It brings burden and regret. It distracts us from the very things that do bring us joy.” *

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The Avondale man began the utterly slow process of tearing down the giant wall in front of him. With each tussle and with each twist, the wall collapsed more and more, one item at a time. He knew that the best memories from the 30 years he has spent with his wife and children have had very little to do with these objects – they were merely accessories to his happiness -- and if he rented one storage unit, eventually he would rent another one and another one until finally the physical remnants of his life would overtake him. After several hours of work, the Avondale man came to the realization that all this stuff, unlike those whose lives he treasures, has no heartbeat and no attachment to their owners – and that each chair and table and bookshelf and starched shirt is easily transferable. He walked back into his house and made another phone call. The Habitat for Humanity of Chester County 1847 East Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, Pa. 19320 610-384-7993 Restore Donation Hotline: 610-466-1890 https://hfhcc.org

CALL TO ADVERTISE 610-869-5553

Letter to the Editor: It is heartbreaking to read of the recent Saudi-led bombing of civilians and the hundreds of thousands starving and maimed Yemenite children. That my government is complicit in these atrocities is outrageous. The U.S. has ignored Saudi Arabia’s repressive government, its brutal assassination of journalist Jamal

Khashoggi, its export of a virulent, anti-west form of Islam, and its entry into Yemen’s civil war in order to ensure a friendly government and an oil pipeline through southern Yemen. Rather than helping to de-escalate this horrific situation, we have sold warplanes to the Saudis, shared intelligence, and provided them with parts and technical advice. In 2019, both Republicans

and Democrats recognized our policy was immoral and ultimately against our national interest. A joint resolution to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s military involvement in Yemen was vetoed by President Trump. President Biden has said he would not veto such a resolution and we must hold him to his word. I have urged my Congressional representa-

tive, Chrissy Houlahan, to sponsor a War Powers Resolution that will end any U.S. involvement in this war. Please call your Congressional representative and urge him or her to cosponsor and vote for a War Powers Resolution to stop all U.S. support of the war in Yemen. Betsy Berger Kennett Square

Guest Column

This Black History Month, don’t ban our history—teach it As politicians ban books and courses, this Black History Month seems especially significant By Tracey L. Rogers When President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, he urged all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” It’s true — Black Americans have excelled “in every area of endeavor,” from arts and culture to sports and entertainment to everyday living and thriving in this country. What’s often overlooked in celebrating these accomplishments, however, is the price we’ve paid to reach our aims. Unbelievable struggles were necessary just to live, work, and vote, never mind to excel. These accomplishments have mostly been hard won, if not deadly. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., like others before and since, lost his life in the fight for civil rights. The late Congressman John Lewis, who marched with King in Selma, will be remembered as a patriot who fought for voting rights. But it took decades of Black voter disenfranchisement and violent attacks on activists — including Lewis himself — before the Voting Rights

Act of 1965 was passed. Black history has shown that what’s been gained can too easily be lost. Even now, Black Americans are still at risk of having their votes suppressed. Some 43 states proposed over 250 laws restricting voting last year alone, most of which disproportionately impacted Black voters. Meanwhile Black Americans and their achievements continue to be challenged and underrepresented across society — from films and media to colleges and universities. Affirmative action, designed to eliminate racial inequities in higher education and other institutions, is now under fire. As the conservative Supreme Court hears two cases against policies meant to limit racial biases in colleges and universities, the legacy of Black history is once again in jeopardy. In today’s charged political climate, many white Americans have either forgotten our history or simply chosen not to acknowledge it in its entirety. As politicians and school boards across the nation try to ban teaching “critical race theory” (CRT) in classrooms, this Black History Month seems especially significant — not only for Black Americans, but for white Americans too.

America tends to “whitewash” Black History Month with performative gestures like feel good TV specials and brand campaigns that make our history more convenient and palatable. But Black History Month isn’t just about what we’ve done for our country — it’s about where the resolve to do those things came from. The full history of our strength and resilience begins with atrocities like slavery, lynching, segregation, and other acts of violence, and it is our full history that must be remembered. These truths make some white Americans uncomfortable — which some would argue is the real reason behind the CRT debate. But if we can’t have an honest reckoning about the obstacles white supremacy put in the way of Black Americans, how can we as a country overcome them? President Biden began his own address on Black History Month this year by saying that it “serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history.” He continued, “Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America — our faults, our struggles, our progress, and our aspirations.”

Courtesy photo

Tracey L. Rogers

As we strive to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive nation, I couldn’t agree more. So, in preparation for a month’s worth of tributes honoring Black History, I implore white Americans to learn our entire history and their role in it — the good, the bad, and the ugly — so they can be more aware and better allies. Now isn’t the time to change our curriculum and throw away our books. May we instead “seize the opportunity” to honor Black Americans, as President Ford urged — from past to present. Tracey L. Rogers is an entrepreneur and diversity, equity and inclusion consultant living in Philadelphia.

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CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022


Chester County Press

In the Spotlight

Section

B

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Collective impact squared: Local nonprofits and the United Way of Southern Chester County The second anniversary of pandemic shutdowns in Southern Chester County invites reflection on the heartbreak and challenges the community has faced and the losses that everyone, on some level, has experienced. While looking at the past two years and the present situation through the angle of gratitude does nothing to mitigate loss, this perspective does refract light and hope in a way that feels helpful right now. “The hard work and sacrifice of local first responders and frontline workers have saved countless lives,” said Kennett Collaborative Executive Director Bo Wright, “and local nonprofit organizations in many different sectors have worked together to pull the community through extraordinarily challenging times. As we look back, and as we look around today, we’re struck by the incredible power of collaboration. There are so many examples of collective efforts that have made a much greater impact than the sum of their parts.” Organizations like Kennett Area Community Service (KACS), LCH, The Garage Community and Youth Center, Mighty Writers El Futuro— Kennett, Tick Tock Early Learning Center and others have collated individual donations of food, money, and essential supplies that together add up to literal tons of support. They’ve coordinated staff and volunteers to make sure that underserved families have had necessities including food, shelter, transportation, medical supplies, and childcare. Local school districts have pivoted to keep children safe, supported, connected, and learning. But as various entities have worked together, they’ve been able to “square” their impact and meet needs that would have been simply too big for any single organization to tackle on its own. Most of these collaborations began at weekly Zoom meetings convened by the Southern Chester County Opportunity Network (SCCON), an initiative of Square Roots Collective led by Kate Daneker. Many dozens of community leaders convene at these meetings to identify needs, share resources, and form task forces to focus on different areas. One important example of this multiplication of collective impact responding to an urgent need identified at a SCCON meeting was the just-in-time COVID testing and multi-lingual education among underserved populations at local mushroom farms spearheaded by The United Way of Southern Chester County (UWSCC) in June 2020. While the what ifs don’t bear thinking about, the rapid ripple effects of thousands more positive cases of the original coronavirus strain right here in the community, coupled with lack of accurate infor-

mation about effective precautions, would have been devastating. Squaring collective impact to address Avondale flooding UWSCC has been bringing the same kind of bigger picture, strategic thinking and leadership to address another significant issue that affects local residents, nonprofits, and the wider community. The repeated flooding of the Avondale Apartments is an example, said UWSCC’s CEO Carrie Freeman, of a problem that devastates families, poses ongoing health risks, places a heavy burden on municipal fire and emergency services, and significantly drains the resources of area nonprofits on a regular basis. “It has been an on-going disaster for decades,” Freeman said of the apartments. “They sit in a flood way and on a floodplain, and its first-floor residences flood at least once a year. “There are significant risks to life and safety every time there’s a flood.” Freeman said. “Up to 250 people—not just residents of the apartments—lose their housing for months at a time and area nonprofits pick up the tab to house and feed the displaced residents.” UWSCC has been leading a multi-agency, multi-municipal, publicprivate collaboration to identify and implement sustainable solutions. The broad-based group of concerned stakeholders Freeman has assembled includes municipal staff and elected officials from Avondale and surrounding communities, community and nonprofit leaders, the landlord, and experts from Stroud Water Research Center and the Chester County Water Resources Authority. The main causes of the flooding are storm water runoff due to increased development in other municipalities over the decades and climate intensification. Storm waters flow south through the East Branch of the White Clay Creek, through Loch Nairn, across Route 1, and spill into the “bowl” of Avondale Borough. Even a few inches of rainfall in a short time can cause flooding in Avondale. Many of the keys to long-term mitigation, therefore, lie upstream. “We’re working on federal grants and design changes and are in discussion with landowners as well,” Freeman said. “It's a long-term project, but once again it’s a matter of identifying the problem and some strategies and engaging stakeholders to work together for long-term and sustainable change. “New Garden Township is willing to partner on storm water mitigation in the new park at Loch Nairn, and Shane Morgan, National Wild and Scenic River Program Manager for

Courtesy photos

United Way of Southern Chester County CEO Carrie Freeman has spent decades supporting the nonprofits that serve on the frontlines, unifying and amplifying the voices of the underserved in the community. Collaboration, connecting, and strategic thinking are at the heart of what the United Way of Southern Chester County does.

the Whiteclay Watershed Association is working on grants for a watershed assessment and restoration plan and for a community engagement project to gather input from Avondale Borough residents.” Because there is no quick and easy solution either to this flooding or to the urgent need for safe, affordable housing—and because the next storm is always just a forecast away—Freeman is spearheading another vital collaboration. “We’re working with the Borough and agencies to create a written emergency plan for the residents, with the names and numbers of local organizations who can help and take people in,” she said. “The Red Cross is generally spreading its resources across any number of disaster sites during these emergencies, and with concerns including the language barrier, residents are often understandably fearful of getting on a bus to go somewhere like Downingtown.” In all of this, UWSCC works to unify and amplify the voices of the underserved. “It has been so wonderful how Carrie has really spearheaded the initiative to look into systemic ways to address this long-time issue,” said Kristin Proto, executive director of The Garage. “As an organization, we can only go so far, but as a funder and convener of many different community stakeholders, having UWSCC lead in this space has allowed us to speak with one voice on behalf of the residents.” The Garage is currently raising funds to renovate the former Avondale Fire House, a stone’s throw from the apartments but, Proto clarifies, “on high ground.” In this new location, the Garage will expand its programming for middleand high-school students in the Avon Grove School District as well as social and community services for local families. The frontline agencies that UWSCC supports are grateful for how UWSCC multiplies the impact each individual organization can have in the community. “The United Way of Southern Chester County

Several non-profit organizations throughout Southern Chester County have mobilized during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of the underserved in the community and to organize COVID-19 testing and solicit, receive, organize, and distribute generous individual donations to help feed countless thousands of people in the community.

improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities,” said Leah Reynolds, executive director of KACS. “UWSCC is an important leader bringing together individual donors and businesses to help meet the needs of the organizations that make this region healthy and stable. “KACS is grateful to receive much-needed funding and partnership from the UWSCC to provide important life-sustaining services to those in need.” “COVID took our biggest fundraiser away from us” While the work of local nonprofits on the frontlines has been nothing short of heroic, bringing many in the community through the past two years and some of the worst of the COVID19 pandemic, UWSCC and the agencies it supports have not had a moment to breathe a sigh of relief. The ongoing effects of the pandemic among underserved people in our community may be quieter, but they’re no less insidious. The stark reality is that the pandemic and its ripple effects continue to stretch the capacity of Southern

Chester County’s support agencies. “It’s still hitting the working poor the hardest,” Freeman said. “Omicron is pervasive, and people in low-paying jobs who have to interact with the public are catching it in unprecedented numbers.” While they may not be as sick or have to be hospitalized, it’s what happens next that can be economically devastating. “When someone tests positive, they have to stay home for five days and lose a week of pay. When it spreads through a family, kids can’t go back to school or daycare and that means more days off work without pay,” Freeman said. “For thousands of people right here in this community, a week or more of lost income means they’re unable to pay rent and buy food and other necessities.” The numbers of people that KACS feeds, Freeman said, have not fallen back to prepandemic levels. The frontline workers in nonprofit agencies are also testing positive for COVID-19 in large numbers—which only multiplies the challenges of serving those in need. Here again, collective impact has

made a difference. “When LCH received a major drop of test kits recently, they donated a significant portion of them to local nonprofits for their staff. It’s an awesome, thoughtful collaboration,” Freeman said. At the same time as these needs continue to escalate, “COVID-19 also took our biggest fundraiser away from us,” Freeman said. The Kennett Chocolate Lovers Festival, which has raised significant funds for UWSCC for years—in addition to being one of the most popular events on the local calendar—has had to be cancelled for the second year in a row. While their “Year of Living Chocolate” raffle and their Box o’ Chocolate sale coming in March are creative pivots, and great community collaborations, they don’t bring in anywhere near the funding UWSCC needs to give local agencies the support they depend on. “A gift to the United Way is taking care of your community,” Freeman said. More information about the United Way of Southern Chester County, including the raffle and chocolate sale, can be found at unitedwayscc.org.


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CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Chester County Press

Obituaries WILLIAM JAMES KRAUSS William James Krauss, 74, of York, Pa., passed away on Feb. 9 at Chester County Hospital. Born in Chester County, he was the son of the late William Alfred and Anna Mae Earhart Krauss. William was employed with Quebecor Printing in Atglen for 25 years. He had a love for cars, having owned many in his lifetime. In earlier years, he enjoyed riding motorcycles and shooting pool. In more recent times, he enjoyed spending time with his granddaughter Elaina’s “babies” and his trusty sidekick, Midnight, affectionately known as Mittens. He is survived by three sons, John Zeigler (Micki) of Elkton, Md., William Howard Krauss of York, Pa. and James Krauss (Brittanie) of North East, Md.; one granddaughter, Elaina Krauss; two brothers, Lee Roy Krauss (Joyce) of Nottingham and Larry Krauss (Janet) of Nottingham; and one sister, Theresa Furstnau of Sugar Grove, Va. He was preceded in death by a sister, Ruth Ann Chestnet. Services are private. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made in his honor to the charity of their own choosing. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.

ISABEL MADRON Isabel “Bel” Madron, of Kennett Square died on Feb. 2 at Chester County Hospital. She was 70. She was the daughter of the late Lester J. and Ida T. Madron. She was born in West Grove and resided in the Kennett area all her life. Bel was a 1970 graduate of Unionville High School. Isabel was employed as a caretaker at a private residence in Greenville, Del. for over twenty years. Prior to that, she was employed by the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Del. Bel enjoyed singing and playing guitar, writing, gardening, stained glass, her cats and just being outside away from people! She enjoyed flying and received her private pilot’s license in 1979. She was a faithful member of the Hamorton Methodist Church in Kennett Square, where she loved to share her music and formed many close friendships. Isabel is survived by three sisters, Delores F. Abel of Avondale, Joan and Carol Madron of Kennett Square; and three brothers, James of West Grove, and Ted and John of Newark, Del. She was predeceased by one brother, Ronny. There will be no parting services. If anyone would like to remember her, a contribution to “Castaway Cats” 4 Christiana Court, Bear, Del. 19701 or to any animal rescue would be appreciated. Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home of Kennett Square.

Alleluia My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9 The Chester County Press features a dedicated church/religious page that can help you advertise your house of worship and/or business. The page is updated weekly with new scripture. Only $10 Weekly for this space. We are offering a special discount of 25% off each and every help wanted/ classified advertisement to any business that advertises on the PRESS church page.

JUDITH MIREK ZIPFEL Judith Mirek Zipfel, age 76, of West Grove, formerly of Lansdale, Pa., passed away on Feb. 7 at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She was the wife of Carl Zipfel, Jr., with whom she shared 55 years of marriage. Born in Hartford, Conn., she was a daughter of the late Edward J. Mirek and the late Virginia Carey Mirek. Judith worked as an executive assistant in the insurance industry prior to and for many years after staying at home and dedicating herself to raising her children. She was a devoted Catholic her entire life and was a member of Assumption BVM Catholic Church in West Grove. She enjoyed vacationing with the family and, later, traveling to various locations and countries with her husband. But, most of all, she enjoyed spending time with and caring for her granddaughters. She will always be remembered for her kindness and selfless devotion to her family. In addition to her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Patricia Zipfel and her husband Eric Stewart, of North Carolina and Nancy Andrews and her husband John of Wisconsin; one son, Carl Zipfel III and his wife Danielle of Lincoln University, Pa.; two brothers, Edward Mirek Jr. and his wife Virginia of Conn. and James Mirek and his wife Diane of Conn.; one sister, Lynn Stearns and her husband Edward of Conn.; her sister in law Kathleen of Mass.; and two grandchildren, Carleigh and Camille Zipfel. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Gary. A mass of Christian burial was held on Feb. 11 at Assumption BVM Catholic Church in West Grove. Interment will be in St. Patrick Cemetery in Kennett Square. Contributions in her memory may be made to The Bridge Food Panty. Please may checks payable to the Avon Grove Church of the Nazarene and include The Bridge Food Pantry in the memo and a note to let them know the gift is in honor of Judith Zipfel. Checks may be sent to 240 State Rd, West Grove, Pa. 19390. Arrangements are being handled by Matthew J. Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory (484-734-8100). To view the online obituary, please visit www.griecofunerals.com.

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

3B

Chester County Press

Obituaries GIACOMO VINCENT RANALLI, JR. Giacomo Vincent Ranalli, Jr., known as Jack or Jackie to many in his extended family, has passed away at the age of 80. He was the son of the late Giacomo “Jack” Vincent Ranalli, Sr. and Natalina (Canzano) Ranalli. His parents had four daughters then were blessed with a son. Jack graduated from the Archmere Academy in Claymont, Del., where he participated in football and track and field. President Joe Biden also attended the school during those years Jack was in high school. After high school, Jack served his country as a member of the Delaware National Guard. For many years, he worked alongside his father at Ox-Grove Lanes in Oxford, and then he later was the sole proprietor of the business. He loved to cook, especially pizza, cheesesteaks and strombolis at the bowling facility. He also loved sports and was a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. Jack was a voracious reader all his life. In his retirement, he continued to enjoy reading, especially mysteries and thrillers. He also enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, playing golf, meeting his oldest sister for breakfast on Fridays, and working as a security guard at the DuPont Experiment Station in Wilmington, Del. He received many Employee Recognition Awards for always being on time and never calling out. Jack is survived by his wife, Linda (Snyder) Ranalli and their three children, Lana Dawn Jones and her husband, Terry, John Vincent Ranalli; and James Anthony Ranalli and his wife, Jennifer. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Aaron, Daniel, and Ken, and a sister, Victoria Fidanza. He was predeceased by three sisters, Lucy Angelucci, Ester DeDominic, and Rosemarie “RoRo” Ferranto. Jack was a kind and pleasant person and will be deeply missed by his family. Burial services will be private at St. Patrick Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Heart Association at www.heart.org. Arrangements are by Matthew J. Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory Inc. (484-734-8100). Condolences may be shared at www.griecofunerals.com.

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LINDA R. CREIGHTON Linda R. Creighton, 64, of Landenberg, passed away on Feb. 12 at the Temple University Hospital while surrounded by her family. She was the daughter of Ruth Faulkner Crossan of Avondale and the late David Crossan. Linda was the CEO of ELE Global Associates in Landenberg. She worked on the weekends at Fran Keller’s Eatery in Kennett Square, where she enjoyed socializing with the customers. She was a member of the Landenberg United Methodist Church and St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church in Hockessin, Del. Linda enjoyed gardening, spending time at the beach, and being with her friends and family, especially her beloved grandchildren. Her greatest joy in life was being a Nonni. Everyone who knew Linda, knew that her family was the most important thing in her life. In addition to her mother, she is survived by one daughter, Nicoletta Kelley and her husband Brian of Oxford; two sons, Gabriel (Gio) Frezzo of Landenberg and Colin Creighton of Landenberg; her fiancé, Richard Ruoss of Oxford; one brother, Howard Crossan of Princess Anne, Md.; one sister, Donna Harman of Landenberg; eight grandchildren, Justin Kelley, Ryan Kelley, Sean Kelley, Noah Creighton, Kane Creighton, Maeve Creighton, Matthew Ruoss, and Miles Ruoss and numerous loved nieces and nephews. You are invited to visit with her family and friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday evening, Feb. 17 at the Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 West State Street, Kennett Square, and again on Friday morning, Feb. 18 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Landenberg United Methodist Church, 205 Penn Green Road in Landenberg. Her funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Landenberg United Methodist Church, P.O. Bo 36, Landenberg, Pa. 19350 or to the Organization for Autism Research, 2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 401, Arlington, Va. 22201. To view Linda’s online tribute and to share a memory with her family, please visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh. com. a connection to southern Chester County are charged a modest fee. Obituaries appear on the Wednesday

after they are received with a Monday 5pm deadline. They are also posted on www.chestercounty.

DORIS A. HUGHES Doris A. Hughes passed on Feb. 11 while surrounded by her family in her home in Oxford. She was 70. Doris was the daughter of the late Odell Carl Hughes and Frances “Frankie” Sarah Hughes. She was a graduate of the Oxford Area High School. She was a long-time employee at Lincoln University's Langston Hughes Memorial Library for over 46 years as the office assistant in Special Collections and Archives, where she will be truly missed. Doris was a charter member of the AFSCME District Council 88, Local Chapter 2377 Union. Doris enjoyed word search puzzles and spending time with her grandchildren. She leaves to cherish her memory one son, Andre Hughes of Oxford; one daughter, Shanta Hughes, of Oxford; one brother, Edward Henderson (Lula), of Georgia; one sister, Florence Hughes, of Oxford; five grandchildren, Ejion Wilson, Tiana Ely, Tyrese Ely, Alijah Taylor and Araiah Hughes-Jessop; a host of nieces and nephews who brought extreme joy and happiness to her life. Doris was preceded in death by one brother, William “Ducker” Sherman Hughes; and five sisters, Nellie Mae Twyman, Alice Hampton, Josephine Eggleston, Virginia Martin and Elsie Henderson. A Homegoing Service will be held 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 18 at Mary Dod Brown Chapel, 1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, Pa. 19352, where friends and family may visit from 9 to 11 a.m. Interment will be private. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.

com. Photos should be sent as .jpeg attachments to the obituary text. To submit an obituary to the

Chester County Press or for a rate quote, email the information to editor@ chestercounty.com.


4B

CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Chester County Press

Local News Armstrong launches Business Pro Wi-Fi powered by WorkPass for small Business Armstrong, a major cable, telecommunications and internet service provider with operations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky, has launched the Business Pro Wi-Fi, Powered by WorkPass, a new smart office services bundle designed to improve broadband coverage and speeds that will help personalize and secure the home network. Powered by cloud-based artificial intelligence, Business Pro Wi-Fi, Powered by WorkPass offers an integrated solution that is controlled from the Plume WorkPass app. Business Pro Wi-Fi offers a suite of services that help small business owners meet their networking, cybersecurity, guest ana-

lytics, business insights, marketing and advertising, and employee management needs unified under a common app and web portal, without the need for costly IT infrastructure or multiple point solutions. All of this is easily installed and managed through the Business Pro Wi-Fi, Powered by WorkPass mobile app. “Business Pro Wi-Fi, Powered by WorkPassTM provides a suite of modern services – including adaptive Wi-Fi, cybersecurity, and real-time data insights – all designed to address the unique operational needs of a small business owner,’’ said Steve Begg, vice president and GM of commercial services. “As an existing Plume customer, WorkPass integrates seamlessly into

our established systems, and immediately expands our portfolio to deploy new services to our small business customers.” Business Pro Wi-Fi offers services that are catered to the unique and very specific needs of small business owners that manage their own IT environment and is designed to deliver amazing experiences for all network users and be effortlessly managed from the WorkPass app: • Seamless, uninterrupted connectivity: Business Pro Wi-Fi includes adaptive Wi-Fi that blankets every corner of your business premises with perfect internet coverage. In addition, Plume’s unique AI-driven algorithms continuously optimize performance for every device and

application. • Control networks from anywhere: Business Pro Wi-Fi offers small businesses control over their networks, enabling them to easily manage guest experiences, security settings, device access, and more right from their smartphones. App-based controls let owners monitor the network or troubleshoot wherever they are. • Real-time insights to help small businesses thrive: Business Pro Wi-Fi offers small businesses actionable insights into customer behavior that can drive sales and build loyalty. Concierge turns guest analytics, such as visit frequency, data usage, or length of stay, into opportunities for expanded

touch-points. Flow™ uses revolutionary Wi-Fi sensing technology to offer real-time presence detection providing insights into traffic movement throughout a business, translating to more effective merchandising, staffing optimization, and layout decisions. • AI security to protect small businesses from new threats: Cybercrime is constantly evolving, and small businesses need secure networks that stay one step ahead. WorkPass leverages AI to ensure data, smart devices and business are always safe. Multiple access zones ensure backend systems, employees, and customers have the access and security that’s perfect for them. Flow alerts owners if motion is detected

during closed hours. Business Pro Wi-Fi Powered by WorkPass is immediately available to Armstrong Small Business customers. More information can be found at ArmstrongOneWire.com. Armstrong provides industry leading highspeed ZOOM Internet with Enhanced Wi-Fi, advanced television powered by EXP, and telephone services to residential and commercial customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky. Armstrong is America’s 11th largest cable television provider, according to SNL Kagan, an offering from S&P Global Market Intelligence. For more information visit ArmstrongOneWire.com.

ChristianaCare starts process to acquire Crozer Health Christiana Care Health System, Inc. (ChristianaCare) and Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc. (Prospect) announced the signing of a letter of intent for ChristianaCare to acquire Crozer Health from Prospect. Four hospitals are expected to be a part of the sale. The agreement also includes the hospitals’ related businesses, real estate assets, Crozer Health Medical Group and the associated assets, ambulatory centers, medical office buildings, physician clinics and ancillary outpatient services, and it is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Under the letter of intent, ChristianaCare is to purchase

the assets and operations associated with the following Prospect hospitals: • Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pa., with 499 certified beds. • Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, Pa., with 215 certified beds. • Springfield Hospital in Springfield, Pa. • Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, Pa. While the executed letter of intent includes several important terms, the parties will engage in further due diligence and negotiation of a definitive agreement. Definitive agreement execution is targeted for the second quarter of 2022, with the potential for closing to occur in the second

half of 2022. Upon closing, ChristianaCare will return Crozer Health, with its approximately 4,000 employees, to nonprofit status as part of ChristianaCare. The related real estate assets of the Prospect hospitals are to be released from the existing master lease agreement between the real estate owner and Prospect. “The pandemic has demonstrated the vital importance of working together to meet the clinical needs of the communities we serve,” said Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, CEO of Crozer Health. “We are excited by the potential to join these two great organizations so that we can continue to provide the highquality, accessible care that

our communities – Delaware County and beyond – rely on.” “ChristianaCare and Crozer Health have been serving the people of Northern Delaware, Southeast Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland and New Jersey as neighbors for many years,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, ChristianaCare president and CEO. “We welcome this opportunity to explore a closer relationship with an organization that shares our commitment to value and service to the community.” ChristianaCare and Crozer Health share similar commitments to value and population health, as well as complementary strengths. For example:

• Both organizations have vibrant graduate medical education programs that are important for the region’s ability to attract and retain top new, talented physicians, especially primary care providers. • Both organizations operate sophisticated, highquality trauma programs that serve the greater region. ChristianaCare includes the only Level I trauma center for adults and children between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Crozer Health includes a Level II trauma center and the Nathan Speare Regional Burn Treatment Center, which serves as the regional burn center for Delaware and surrounding areas. Headquartered in

Wilmington, Del., ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making highquality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,299 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.

Company No. 1, of Oxford Pennsylvania, acting by and through its Governing Board, hereinafter referred to as UFC, will receive up to, but no later than 5:00 PM on April 29, 2022, sealed proposals for the potential award of the following contract: Request for Proposal Design Services For Union Fire Company No.1 Midtown Station Renovation Phased Project Such proposals shall be received at the location specified below: Union Fire Company No. 1 Attention: Long Range Planning Committee 315 Market St Oxford, Pa 19363 Each proposal must conform and be responsive to this Notice and all other documents compromising the pertinent Request for Proposal Documents. Copies of the Request for Proposal Documents are now available at: Union Fire Company No. 1 315 Market St Oxford, Pa 19363 www.oxfordfire.com The UFC reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, to accept or reject any one or more items of a proposal, or to waive any irregularities or informalities

in the proposals or in the process. No proposal may be withdrawn for a period of Ninety (90) days after the due date. The UFC does not discriminate with regard to race, religious creed, marital status, age, color, sex, national origin, mental or physical disability in the award of contracts. District encourages responses from minority, small businesses, disadvantaged businesses, disabled veteran, and women owned consultants and suppliers. 2p-15-1t

Legals ESTATE NOTICE

Estate of Robert W. Smith aka Robert William Smith, Smith, Robert W. aka Smith, Robert William late of Nottingham, PA. LETTERS Testamentary on the above Estate have been granted to the undersigned, who request all persons having claims or demands against the estate of the decedent to make known the same and all persons indebted to the decedent to make payment without delay to Collin Olie, c/o Mark J. McCarriston, Esq., 177 Maple Shade Road, Christiana, PA 17509, Executor. Mark J. McCarriston, Esquire, 177 Maple Shade Road, Christiana, PA 17509 2p-2-3t

PENN TOWNSHIP PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that the Board of Supervisors for Penn Township, 260 Lewis Road, West Grove, Chester County, Pennsylvania, will conduct a conditional use hearing

on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. at the Penn Township Building to consider the Application of Thomas Craig, Jr. for the property owned by Thomas Craig, Jr. & Rhonda Mastronardo located at 268 Woodcrest Road, West Grove, PA 19390, being tax parcel #58-4-171 in the RS Residential Suburban Zoning District. The Applicant seeks conditional use approval pursuant to Section 1501(A)(2)(d) of the Penn Township Zoning Ordinance of 2019, which requires that all accessory uses in excess of 1,000 square feet procure conditional use approval. The Applicant proposes to construct a 34 x 50 feet pole barn on the 1-acre parcel. All persons wishing to participate in this hearing are invited to be present. Any person with a disability requiring a special accommodation to attend this hearing should notify the secretary at (610) 869-9620, as early as possible but not later than five (5) working days prior to the hearing. The Board of Supervisors will make every reasonable

effort to provide reasonable accommodations. Lamb McErlane, PC, R. Samuel McMichael, Esquire, Winifred Moran Sebastian, Esquire, Solicitor for Penn Township 2p-9-2t

PUBLIC NOTICE

PENNSBURY TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD NOTICE is hereby given that the Zoning Hearing Board of Pennsbury Township will hold a Public Hearing at the Pennsbury Township Building, 702 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at which time the Board will hear the following matter: In re: Application of Courtney D. Heinle and Carolina Heinle, seeking variances from Sections 162-2002.A.3.b and 1621503.B of the zoning ordinance so as to allow the construction of an in-ground residential swimming pool closer than 50 feet from the rear property line (requesting 10 feet) and with disturbance of more than 15% of the Prohibitively

Steep Slope (requesting 17.45%) where no such disturbance is permitted for swimming pools, upon property located at 1005 Ballintree Lane, West Chester, PA (UPI #64-2-9) in the Township’s R-3 residential zoning district. If you are a person with a disability and wish to attend the public meeting scheduled above and require an auxiliary aide, service or other accommodation to participate in the proceedings, please contact Kathy Howley at 610-388-7323 to discuss how Pennsbury Township may best accommodate your needs. Edward M. Foley, Solicitor Brutscher, Foley, Milliner, Land & Kelly, LLP, 213 East State Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348 2p-16-2t

PROPOSAL NOTICE

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

5B

Chester County Press

Local News Oaks Ministry appoints Grieco as program director The Oaks Ministry announced the appointment of Dawn Grieco to the position of program director. She brings many much-needed skills to the organization. Grieco has been leading Celebrate Recovery Inside at Chester County Prison for a number of years in

order to help to create a bridge for those returning to the community. Recently, she completed the Correctional Ministries certificate program out of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center, specializing in Re-Entry Services. She will be responsible for taking the existing program

and expanding the offerings for Oaks Ministry’s residents, collaborating with other churches and nonprofits, and raising funds to help execute an ambitious strategic plan. The Oaks Ministry provides transitional housing with a faith-based structured program to help

women in need find hope, healing and restoration. Although the ministry is based in Oxford, women from any area may apply. More information is available at www.oxfordoaksministry.com, or by calling (484) 368-7268.

Courtesy photo

Dawn Grieco

Gov. Wolf proposes new investments to build successful future for Pennsylvania families After transforming the state’s budget from a severe shortfall to a record surplus over seven years, Gov. Tom Wolf recently outlined his vision for a generational investment in education and to raise wages, attract innovative industries and create good jobs that will make Pennsylvania an even better place to live and work. While this is his final budget speech before the General Assembly, Gov. Wolf said he plans to spend every day continuing to fight for Pennsylvanians and deliver key budget priorities that will have long-lasting impacts on our commonwealth and its citizens. “These are days of opportunity for our commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “That’s because, at long last, our fiscal house is in order. Over the past seven years, we’ve turned a $2-3 billion structural budget deficit into a $2-3 billion budget surplus. We’ve built our Rainy Day Fund to more than $2.8 billion—more than 12,000 times what it was when I took office.” Gov. Wolf will be the first governor since Dick Thornburgh, who left office in 1987, to turn over a budget surplus to his successor. “We are no longer digging out of a hole. We’re ready to build. And this year’s budget does exactly that, by making new investments that will build a brighter future for Pennsylvania families,” Gov. Wolf said. The governor delivered his annual budget address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Feb. 8. Highlights of the address included: Continuing to invest in students and good jobs Gov. Wolf has kept his promise to provide historic support of public education and this budget builds on that strong foundation with an additional $1.9 billion to benefit students from pre-k through college. Early Education Gov. Wolf understands children in high-quality pre-K programs do better in school, are more likely to graduate, and earn more throughout their lives compared to kids without early learning programs. Over seven years, the number of young children in Pre-K Counts and Head Start has more than doubled and the governor is proposing additional investments so more young learners can start kindergarten ready to thrive. • $60 million increase for Pre-K Counts allowing 2,308 more young children to attend early education.

• $10 million increase for Making Pennsylvania the best place for workers the Head Start Supplemental and businesses Assistance Program to As the 18th largest assist with rising costs. economy in the world, Generational investments Pennsylvania is a destination for workers and in K-12 schools During his term, Gov. entrepreneurs. This budget Wolf has reversed fund- continues to invest in job ing cuts and made historic training that creates highly investments of nearly $1.4 skilled workers to attract billion in public K-12 edu- start-ups and well-estabcation. After a record $416 lished businesses to make million increase last year, the commonwealth an ecothe governor is proposing a nomic force for decades to generational investment of come. • Increasing the mini$1.75 billion in our schools. • $1.25 billion in basic mum wage to $12 per hour education funding, bringing on July 1, 2022, with annuthe total going through the al increases of $0.50 until Fair Funding Formula to reaching $15 in 2028, with more than $2 billion, or 26.5 an estimated 1.5 million people getting a boost in percent of state funding. • $300 million for the pay. • Reducing the corporate groundbreaking Level Up initiative launched last year net income tax rate from to support the 100 most 9.99 percent, among the highest in the nation, with underfunded schools. • $200 million increase for a desire to show a path to 4.99 percent as quickSpecial Education. • $373 million in sav- ly as possible to make ings through commonsense Pennsylvania more comcharter school accountabil- petitive and expanding the ity reform. The governor’s tax base to level the playplan ensures taxpayers ing field for all businesses. • $30 million in funddo not overpay for cyber charter schools and special ing for two new child care education at charter schools, options for state employees. • $1.5 million increase allowing school districts to reinvest in students, teach- for Industrial Resource Centers (IRC) to help ers, and learning. “We can afford to invest manufacturers respond to changing mara whole lot more in the Fair Funding Formula without kets and new technology raising one penny in state and remain competitive. • $2.35 million for Invent taxes, and we can afford to do it without asking any Penn State to help entreschool district, anywhere preneurs turn ideas into in Pennsylvania, to sac- commercial products and rifice one penny in state services. • $1.5 million increase for funding,” said Gov. Wolf. “Last year, we made a the PREP Network to help historic investment in our small businesses and higher schools. This year, we have education institutions partan opportunity to build on ner to benefit students and that momentum and make entrepreneurs. • $8 million for job training a generational difference for students all across the through the Workforce and Economic Development commonwealth.” Network of Pennsylvania Continuing to transform (WEDnetPA), which has helped more than 2,000 Higher Education The governor is proposing companies train nearly 1.3 to continue the transforma- million Pennsylvanians. • $2 million increase to tion of higher education so students can succeed with- address food insecurity and out crushing student loan ensure more families have healthy meals through the debt. • $200 million for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Nellie Bly Tuition Program Surplus System (PASS). for students attending a PA State System of Higher Keeping Pennsylvanians safe through criminal Education (PASSHE) unijustice reform versity or community Throughout his admincollege so more people can earn a degree with less debt istration, Gov. Wolf has and encourage young people prioritized criminal justice to remain in Pennsylvania. reforms that make our jus• $150 million in one-time tice system more just while federal ARPA funds for the keeping Pennsylvanians PASSHE to support System safer. Gov. Wolf’s proRedesign, enhance student posal builds on those success, freeze tuition, and successful criminal justice increase student aid to make reforms to further protect Pennsylvanians. college more affordable. “We’ve made immense • $125 million additional investment for higher edu- strides in reforming our cation institutions including criminal justice system and a $75 million increase in making our communities,” General Funds for PASSHE. said Gov. Wolf. “But we still have a long way to go

to. This is an opportunity for us to build on our hard work and make transformational changes to promote justice and safety across Pennsylvania.” Improving public safety Gov. Wolf has invested more than $50 million in gun violence reduction and prevention, furthered police reform by requiring background checks for law enforcement applicants and mental health evaluations for officers, and protected victims of abuse by preventing domestic abusers from possessing guns. This budget builds on those reforms to make our communities safer for all Pennsylvanians. • $35 million in grants and technical assistance to support community-led gun violence prevention efforts. • $141 million increase in state General Funds to support Pennsylvania State Police to reduce reliance on the Motor License Fund. • $7.7 million to provide funding for technology necessary to increase public and law enforcement officer safety such as mobile video recorders and body worn cameras. Establishing pretrial reforms Gov. Wolf believes that everyone has a right to adequate legal representation, a fair trial and not to be held in prison based solely on inability to pay fees. Research shows that less time spent in jail pretrial lowers the chances of committing another crime. The inability to pay bail leads to increases in the likelihood of conviction, increased guilty pleas, higher average court costs, and longer incarceration sentences. This proposal will help Pennsylvania implement a best practices model for bail and pretrial services. • $1 million to create an Indigent Defense Fund. • Reforming monetary cash bail reform to promote equity across Pennsylvania counties, reduce the disproportionate impact on minorities in the criminal justice system, and reduce the total number of indigent defendants held in jail pretrial. Supporting reentry and reducing recidivism Gov. Wolf has reduced the number of people incarcerated in state correctional facilities by 11,000 while simultaneously lowering the crime rate, enacted a firstof-its-kind Clean Slate Law to automatically seal certain types of criminal records and help reduce stigma against Pennsylvanians who have interacted with the criminal justice system,

and signed into law Justice Reinvestment Initiative bills to make the state’s justice system fairer while keeping communities safe. Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal builds on that work to further improve reentry supports and reduce recidivism. Research shows that supervising people who are at low risk of reoffending increases their likelihood of recidivism. Once an individual has served their sentence and is released back to the community, it is critical to ensure that they have the necessary supports to succeed in the community. • Reforming probation to promote proper services for individuals while providing necessary accountability for a limited period of time. • $425,000 for increased staffing resources to provide additional technical assistance to county juvenile probation offices and improve consistency between counties. • $1 million to make reentry services available at the local level for women to give them the best opportunity to start fresh and reduce recidivism. • $7 million in state funds for the Department of Human Services to open a wing of beds for elderly inmates leaving the state correctional facilities with complex medical or behavioral health needs, to provide transitional support for medical release. • Expanding Clean Slate to provide comprehensive reform and ensure true progress in eliminating the stigma of a conviction Protecting the most vulnerable Gov. Wolf’s 2022-23 budget reaffirms the commonwealth’s long history as a leader in caring for its most vulnerable citizens, including children, seniors, veterans, individuals with mental health concerns, and individuals with intellectual disabilities.

care for residents and drive increased funding to the bedside. • $50 million to increase the supplementary payments rates for personal care homes to invest in supportive services and caregivers. • $36.6 million increase in county mental health base funds to support efforts to provide critical behavioral health services. • $14.3 million increase to the minimum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit for low-income older adults and adults with disabilities. Using American Rescue Plan Act dollars to support Pennsylvanians Last week, Gov. Wolf announced his plan to spend billions of dollars of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that the federal government gave Pennsylvania to help Pennsylvanians weather the COVID-19 pandemic. “We can’t keep sitting on this money – not when Pennsylvanians are hurting,” said Gov. Wolf. “This isn’t an abstract issue – people are hurting, and we have the resources to help, so we must take action to help. It’s imperative that we drive out funding now to help the Pennsylvanians who need it.” Gov. Wolf’s previously announced plan for these ARPA funds builds on the initiatives included in his budget to further support vulnerable populations, help Pennsylvania continue its recovery from the pandemic and lay the foundation for a brighter future. • $500 million to create the PA Opportunity Program to provide relief to workers and families from the high cost of childcare and household expenses and support opportunities to complete a degree, credential, or license to strengthen skills and increase income—all leading to a better quality of life. • $225 million to help 11,000 small businesses through the COVID Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program. The grants will help small businesses to stabilize and reopen. • $204 million to increase property tax relief through the existing Property Tax/ Rent Rebate Program. • $325 million to support health care workers in Pennsylvania. • $450 million to invest in vital conservation, recreation, preservation, and community revitalization projects and address the threat of climate change.

Supporting Health and Quality of Life for Vulnerable Populations Gov. Wolf believes that every Pennsylvanian deserves an opportunity to thrive. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been more important for Pennsylvania to invest in initiatives that provide support for vulnerable Pennsylvanians. • $91.25 million increase to Medical Assistance rates for skilled nursing facility providers and $14 million for state veterans’ homes to help long-term care providers hire staff to comply with new regulations that Pennsylvanians can find call for increased staffing out more about Gov. Wolf’s ratios to promote improved budget at budget.pa.gov.


6B

CHESTER COUNTY PRESS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022

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