TOGETHERNESS: A loving couple

At a meeting the other evening I sat down next to a friend, and presently his wife of many years joined us. I realized I was sitting between them and offered to move so they could enjoy being next to each other.

"Oh, no," they said instantly. "We're fine. Don't get up! No, no."

I laughed and pointed out how strongly they seemed to share the same opinion.

"It's the first thing we've agreed on all day," commented the husband with a wry smile.

WASHINGTON DC: Rep. Houlahan's district director visits

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan's district director, Sue Walker, visited the West Marlborough Township supervisors' meeting on Dec. 3 to introduce herself and talk about what services the congresswoman can offer. Ms. Walker said the newly drawn Sixth Congressional District encompasses all of Chester County and the southern part of Berks County, and Rep. Houlahan has offices in Reading and in West Chester (709 East Gay Street). Ms. Walker said the staff members focus on casework and outreach and can help constituents with federal matters like veterans' services, federal taxes, Medicare, Social Security, green cards, visas and passports. She said they are also able to help municipalities apply for federal grants.

KENNETT SQUARE: 200 apartments on West State Street

A developer is proposing to build 200 apartments, plus a pocket park, in the 600 block of West State Street, Kennett Square. The tract is near the Mill Road intersection. Tenants of the four apartment buildings, to be called "The Lofts of State Street," would park next to and underneath the buildings.

The borough's zoning hearing board will review the project at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in the meeting room at the Kennett Fire Co. on Dalmatian Street.

The project is being proposed by StanAb LP, a West Chester-based development company owned by Tony Stancato and Vic Abdala.

WEST MARLBOROUGH: Tax increases on the horizon

The West Marlborough supervisors have been warning for months that a tax increase is likely, and the proposed budget for 2020 reflects just that.

The earned income tax would go from 0.50% to 0.75% and the property tax would go from 1.7 mills to 2 mills. These increases would generate an additional $65,000 to fund emergency services (fire companies and ambulance service) and Kennett Library construction. There would be no increase in the police services provided by the East Marlborough police, for which the township pays $12,000 a year.

There seems to be general support for funding emergency services, but residents seem unsure whether West Marlborough taxpayers should contribute to building the proposed new Kennett Library. Residents have also been wondering whether the supervisors could help to fund these causes using the windfall in real-estate transfer taxes that resulted from the sale of several estates in the township.

The proposed 2020 budget will be discussed in a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, and I will be there. Ordinances would need to be advertised and passed before any tax increase could be imposed.

MARLBORO: The annual carol sing

Marlborough Friends Meeting's annual candlelight Carol Sing will be at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, with refreshments to follow. "The Spirit of Christmas never fails to visit as the Marlborough community gathers for a time of song and fellowship. Harp and guitar music blend easily into centuries-old woodwork." This event is an old-fashioned and meaningful Christmas tradition we never miss. The tiny Marlborough meetinghouse is at the corner of Marlboro Road and Marlborough Spring Road. All are welcome.

AT THE MOVIES: Right theater, right time, wrong movie

We thought we'd purchased tickets to see the Mr. Rogers movie with Tom Hanks. It even said so on the tickets we printed out. But the first scene of the movie was anything but warm and fuzzy: it showed two German shepherds on the prowl in front of gloomy-looking mansion.

"I don't think this is the right movie," I whispered to Dearest Partner.

Sure enough, it was not "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" but "Knives Out," a brand-new murder-mystery starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, and Don Johnson. It turned out to be hilarious, great fun, and thoroughly entertaining. Serendipity is sometimes our friend.

When we go back to see the Mr. Rogers movie, I'll remember to bring my earplugs. The volume of the previews was so painfully loud that I had to keep my fingers in my ears. I was wincing, but nobody else seemed bothered. I believe hearing aids are going to be a growth industry for this next generation.

BLACK FRIDAY: The stores get ready

A friend was sharing her pre-Black Friday adventures at her local Megalomart. She was not there to score a big-screen TV or any other popular item; she just wanted to buy her weekly groceries. Unfortunately for her, to handle the expected rush of shoppers, store employees had taped off certain vital areas. "It was like a crime scene," she said. And yellow arrows pointed the way to the checkout area; she said it reminded her of the yellow brick road in “The Wizard of Oz."

I was at Lowe's on Thanksgiving Eve to buy tiki torches, of all things, and saw piles of items shrouded in black plastic, their identities to be revealed on Black Friday. The mystery piles were decorated with question marks.

"What are they?" I asked an employee. He looked around to see if anyone in authority was watching and lifted up a corner of the plastic; it was a socket wrench set.

"But don't tell anybody!" he warned me, jokingly.

Write to Tilda at Thanks!
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