It was a quiet year in Chadds Ford, though there's still a chance some trees my be cut down against the property owners wishes. In Pennsbury, litigation was the word of the year.January
Former Birmingham Township Supervisors David Bortner becomes Judge Bortner after being sworn in as Common Pleas Court judge.
He had defeated Jennifer Levy-Tatum in the November 2007 general election.
o Valerie Hoxter was named tax collector in Chadds Ford Township on Jan. 2. Hoxter replaces Bruce Prabel who was planning on relocating sometime this year.
o January ended with the unexpected and unannounced closing of the Wawa store in Chadds Ford Village on Route 1 and Creek Road. Regulars would have to find someplace else to get their morning coffee, paper and daily chat with neighbors.
St. Cornelius School in Chadds Ford Township celebrated Catholic Schools' Week with science projects, a pancake breakfast and a student/teacher volleyball game.
This year's theme was "Light the Way" and, according to school Principal Sister Barbara Maureen, the idea was to explore ways of presenting Catholic schools and the education they offer as "a means of lighting the way to a better world."
o An independent engineer's report concluded that a plan by PECO to clear-cut trees on private property would damage the land.
PECO told Chadds Ford resident Bruce Prabel in December - on Prabel's birthday - that it was going to clear more than 300 trees in the right of way it has on Prabel's and his neighbors' property off of Heyburn Road.
PECO wanted to cut down all the trees within the 150-foot easement that could, if left unchecked, grow to a height approaching the high tension wires.
Prabel has been fighting the plan he said would turn the "woodland into a weed bed." So far the trees still stand.
o Litigation continued in Pennsbury Township over the proposed Pennsbury Village project. The developer, Pennsbury Village Associates filed a Writ of Prohibition against Supervisors Wendell Fenton and Charles "Scotty" Scottoline. It would take until November before a decision was reached.
o The Brandywine Valley Association held its first Polar Plunge in the Brandywine Creek at the Brandywine Picnic Park. More than 100 people braved the frigid waters on Feb. 9.
o Pennsylvania State Police began an investigation into a fatal shooting at McKenzie Brew House. The incident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday, Feb 23.Andre Pierre Frederick, 30, of Wilmington was shot multiple times, authorities said.
The Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fame opened an exhibit featuring the 17 Delaware County athletes who have won medals in the Olympic games.
Hall of Fame curator Jim Vankoski said a total 48 Delaware County residents have taken part in the Olympics over the years, but the was for those who've won medals. Vankoski noted that all 17 medal-winners were participants in summer games only.
The exhibit was in honor of the 2008 Olympic Games planned for Beijing, China later in the year.
o With the price of scrap gold nearing $1,000 per troy ounce there was an increasing amount of advertising asking people to sell their old jewelry. But Dan Doubet, of Dan Doubet Jewelers in Chadds Ford Township said people should use caution and reason when making such a decision.
"Don't sell the family heirlooms," Doubet said.
He said that an unscrupulous buyer might not tell a seller the true value of a piece of jewelry and only offer the scrap price. While that might still amount to a hefty piece of change, it may also be far less than what the item is really worth.
o T-Mobile customers moved a step closer to getting better signal in the Chadds Ford area. Members of the township planning commission voted 5-0 to recommend that the board of supervisors approve the company's plan for an antenna on top of an existing PECO transmission tower.
The tower is on Creek Road, south of Route 1.
There was a bomb scare at the Brandywine Baptist Church when an unattended suitcase was found beneath a parked car. Members of the Pennsylvania State Police Bomb Squad eventually blasted the case open with a high pressure water burst, but no explosives were discovered. What police found was some piano wire, wire cutters and other items that had them wonder if the case might have belonged to a piano tuner.
o Area residents had the opportunity to hear about, and voice their opinion on plans to replace Twin Bridges, the span crossing the Brandywine Creek along Creek Road between Chadds Ford and Pennsbury Townships.
Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and GreenmanPedersen, Inc, a consulting firm for PennDOT, met with representatives from two townships, the Brandywine Conservancy and other interested parties to discuss the 80-year-old bridge's fate.
All talks and considerations were in the preliminary stages only, but engineers and planners were currently considering two options - one with closed spandrels, the other with open spandrels. Both have a rough preliminary cost estimate at $10 million. The Federal Highway Administration is to pay 80 percent of the cost, said Jason Besz, project manager for GPI.
o A group of Chadds Ford Township students took their Power Puzzle Challenge seriously and presented their findings to the Christian C. Sanderson Museum. The applicable word is "inefficient."
Colby and Mitchell Camp, along with Jermemy and Haley Manin, Jonathan Jackson, John Cronin and Justin Lindner, all of Chadds Ford attended a First Lego League robotics tryout in January that included teaching students about energy choices, efficiency and solutions. The Power Puzzle Challenge was to select a building and study its energy use. The students chose the museum.
According to the formal presentation, the students found "many inefficiencies."
Sanderson Museum President Sally Jane Denk said, "We knew that and now we can do something about it and begin to seek funds. "I think it's wonderful these young people chose the museum. As a former
Boy Scout Troop 31 honored its history with a 60th anniversary dinner. More than 100 people attended, including one of the troop's first scout leaders.
Current Scout Master Ray Coe said there are a lot of small things that make the troop special, it's the paddle activities, canoeing and kayaking that sets it apart from other troops.
The troop has roughly 20 canoes and eight kayaks.
"Canoeing and water activities have become an integral part of what we do. Other troops rent canoes form us," Coe said.
o Hollywood came to Birmingham Township when local filming began on "Marley & Me." The film, is based on the book by Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Grogan, stars Owen Wilson as Grogan and Jennifer Aniston as his wife.
The cast and crew were in the area along Meetinghouse and Creek roasds for about 12 days.
o The local art scene was shocked to hear of the death of artist Rea Redifer. He died May 12 at the age of 74.
"This is a terrible tragedy," said artist Andrew Wyeth who knew Redifer for years. "Rea had terrific ability and was one of the finest watercolorists in the country."
Wyeth said he and Redifer had painted together and were close friends.
o The Pennsbury Village project was again causing friction and finger pointing in Pennsbury Township as former Supervisor MaryAnna Ralph said current Supervisors' Chairman Wendell Fenton should have paid a consulting fee from February 2007 himself rather than having the township foot the $1,900 bill for something he wanted done and without first discussing the matter with other supervisors.
Ralph said there was deliberate impropriety in Fenton's action, saying the bill was submitted for payment without Fenton telling Ralph and fellow supervisor Karen Wood about it.
o The new grading system at Unionville High School seems to get moving in the right direction.
Director of Secondary Education John Sanville gave a presentation to the board regarding the current status of grading policies at the high school at the Monday, May 18, meeting.
On the decision to move to a rounded grading policy, Sanville said that meetings with school administrators and parents led the district to adopt rounding as opposed to truncated grades.
The project to update the Chadds Ford Township Comprehensive Plan may come to completion by March 2009. That word came from Ray Ott whose consulting firm is working with the township to update the plan for the first time since 1973 when Chadds Ford Township was still named Birmingham Township.
Ott and the township task force working on the project held a public meeting to gather public input into the project. Roughly 40 residents took part in the meeting, breaking down into four focus groups
There was no general consensus of what was needed, but all four groups cited traffic control as important. Participants said traffic along Route 1 was too fast, especially as it went through the village area. And they want to see the loop road completed.
Specifically, they said they wanted the portion at the southwest corner of the Route 1 and 202 intersection to be finished. That section would link Route 202 at Hillman Road with Route 1 across from Hannum's Harley Davidson at Brandywine Drive - the northwest piece of the intersection.
o Birmingham Township supervisors cleared the way for new cell phone service when they voted in favor of a new cell phone antenna.
The antenna will go on an already existing tower on Route 202, behind the Stoltzfus RV and Marine shop at 1335 Wilmington Pike. According to attorney George Asimos, Cricket will share the tower with Chester County, Sprint and Nextel.
Rick MacKenzie, of Cricket, said his company is actively pursuing other antenna locations - about 550 towers in the county - most of which are already existing towers erected by other carriers.