NEW BOLTON: Robotic CT imaging for horses

At a First Tuesday lecture at New Bolton Center on Nov. 5, three veterinarians (Barbara Dallap Schaer, Kathryn Wulster, and Dean Richardson) gave a fascinating presentation about New Bolton's new robotic CT imaging system.

Instead of having to anesthetize the horse and figure out how to slide the affected body part into the CT "doughnut," the new system uses computer-controlled robotic "arms" that move around the standing, awake horse to acquire the data. The vets then review the high-resolution reconstructed images and can plan treatment accordingly. The new CT system provides key information about injuries and sometimes uncovers unsuspected problems.

As orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richardson quipped, "If I can't see it, I can't fix it."

Dr. Richardson said the most frequently injured equine body part is the fetlock, and he showed photos showing why: when the horse is galloping, the fetlock is almost flat against the ground.

The speakers said that new system may even have applications for human medicine. Now children have to be sedated for CT scans so they don't move, but with a robotic system the child could lie in bed playing a video game during the scan.

One of the first questions from the audience, most of whom were horse owners, was about the cost of a scan using the new system. The speakers said it was about the same, given that anesthesia wasn't needed, and insurance companies have been covering the procedure.

AUTUMN: Changing of the seasons

Up until the end of October, I was still harvesting zinnias, celosia, cosmos, ageratum, salvia, phlox and even snapdragons from the cutting garden. Then came the first frost, and everything turned to either mush or dried-up, colorless stalks. Another gardening season is over.

Tom Tatum's outdoors column in last week's paper also offered a good reminder that it's rutting season. The romance-minded bucks are not thinking straight and are even more likely than usual to cross the road without looking both ways. Also, if you see one deer along the road, there are probably others nearby.

WEST MARLBOROUGH: Making the pitch for a new library

Kennett Library board member Jeff Yetter has been making the rounds of local government meetings asking for funding to build a new library, and he and library director Megan Walters brought their road show to West Marlborough on Nov. 4.

The architect's renderings show a modern, 29,000-square-foot building located just a few lots east of the current library on East State Street in downtown Kennett Square. Jeff said the glass walls are designed to draw people in and allow them to see all the library's activities.

Jeff emphasized that libraries are about far more than just books these days. The library runs many popular children's programs and has a thriving English-as-a-second-language tutoring program, but the 58-year-old building has just run out of space.

Plans also call for an auditorium that could be used by community groups as well. There would be 37 parking spaces reserved for patrons.

The catch, of course, is the cost of building and operating a new library, the same hurdles that the library board has struggled to overcome since the idea of a new library was floated back in 2000. Jeff said the building is estimated to cost $15 million, and operating expenses would of course increase in a larger facility with an expected doubling of patrons.

He said that West Marlborough has 108 library cardholders, 1% of the total, though the number of township users is likely higher. He asked the township to contribute $22,638 per year for three years toward the cost of building the library.

HERSHEY: The YR's last XC race for Unionville

On Saturday we headed to Hershey for the state cross-country meet, the final one for the Young Relative in a Unionville jersey. Even though the tough final hill (not-so-fondly known as Poop-Out Hill) was eliminated because of the muddy conditions, it was still a grueling race. Nonetheless, the Y.R. drew on his physical and mental strength to give his best performance ever at Hershey, and both the Unionville boys' and girls' teams finished sixth in the whole state. Two Unionville boys were named to the elite first team by the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association.

At the Parkview course, spectators park at the Giant Center, an arena surrounded by acres of vast parking lots. To help you remember where you parked, the light poles are identified by numbers and banners depicting candy-bar wrappers. We parked at "Almond Joy." Dearest Partner was in one of his playful road-trip moods and kept reminding me that we had parked at KitKat. Or Mounds. Or Reese's. Or Butterfingers.

WEST MARLBOROUGH: An unexpected windfall

The West Marlborough Township supervisors and residents received some happy news at the township's Nov. 4 monthly meeting: real-estate transfer taxes have brought $33,756 into the township's coffers so far this year, more than twice the $15,000 the supervisors had projected in the 2019 budget. The windfall resulted from the sale of several large properties in the township this year.

UNIONVILLE: Art Gala Nov. 15 and 16

The annual Unionville Art Gala will be held Nov. 15 and 16 at Unionville High School. Admission is free, and proceeds from the event benefit programs at the high school. The student featured artist is senior Sophia Mayer (students Ashley Kirk and Claire Favor were runners-up for the honor) and the featured local artist is Diane Cannon. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16

WEST MARLBOROUGH: A new space for the township

If anybody has a spare dining-room table to donate, please contact Shirley Walton, West Marlborough Township's long-time secretary-treasurer. The township has expanded its tiny Doe Run Village office into the much larger space formerly occupied by John Goodall and the western staff of the Brandywine Conservancy, and Shirley said that without furniture it is so empty that it echoes. Having a table (an oval one is preferred) would allow the township staff to review plans without spreading them out on the floor, she says.

Shirley's email address is westmarlboroughtownship@verizon.net.

Write to Tilda at uvilleblogger@gmail.com. Thanks!
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