Thursday, November 18, 2010

Citizens Form New Civic Group to Promote the Revitalization of Downingtown Borough

Press Release: For Immediate Distribution  11/17/2010

An ad hoc group of residents, business owners and citizens have joined together to form a new group to promote the revitalization of Downingtown Borough. To be called “I.D.E.A.L.” (Invigorate Downingtown’s Economy and Lifestyle), the group seeks to support public and private investment in Downingtown which will help stabilize the tax base, support businesses and restaurants on Main Street, and increase long term property values, while promoting enhancements to the environment.

Over sixty people attended a meeting on Thursday November 12th held at Dane Décor on Main Street in Downingtown to learn more and express their support for an organized way to move Downingtown forward. Dane Décor co-owner Hank Hamilton was once a leader of the Downingtown Main Street Association, which was instrumental in getting projects such as Main Street Village redeveloped from a contaminated former industrial site to the beautiful townhome community it is today. Hamilton chairs the Downingtown Marketing Support Agency, a committee of the Downingtown Chamber of Commerce, which has lent its support to the I.D.E.A.L. group’s formation.

“I have lived in Downingtown’s Main Street Village for the past 10 years,” says Cara DeStefano, the chief organizer of the group and the evening’s event. “I want to see our property values and quality of life thrive here.” She cited the Philadelphia Magazine article which named Downingtown Borough one of the 10 best places to live in the region, and the fact that it is “totally ready to bloom.” “I share that vision for Downingtown as an excellent place to live, work, shop, raise a family and enjoy restaurants, parks and entertainment,” she said, “and I want to help make it bloom.”

One of the immediate areas of concern is to support Borough Council’s efforts to redevelop the contaminated Kardon Park site. “There are many people like my wife and I who use the Struble and Lions Trails regularly who favor improving the park with new trails and parking, and fresh running water to clean up those terribly stagnant ponds, comments Richard Bryant, a local resident on Washington Avenue. Bryant states that the proposed improvements would turn an underutilized resource into a visual and economic asset for the community.

“We are all dumbfounded by the Orphans Court Judge’s recent decision says Sean Lawrence, a resident on Buchanan Court. “The decision leaves the Borough having to maintain a contaminated site forever that it cannot afford to clean up. We wholeheartedly support Borough Council’s vote to appeal the decision.” Lawrence adds: “It is hard to believe that the Judge would allow a former landfill that has never been capped to be open for access by the public. It would be unthinkable today to acquire a landfill for a public park without capping or remediating it.”

Adds Bryant: “We really want to educate the public as to the facts about the contamination in the surface soils. There is a lot of misinformation circulating since the Judge’s decision that ‘the park is safe.’ The park is safe if people stay on the paved trails. We very much agree with Borough Council’s decision to post signs about the risks associated with going off the path at The Ponds.”

“This underutilized site just a couple of blocks from the center of town has tremendous potential to generate cash for the tax payer,” says Doug Castaldi, a business owner in the Borough. “I have reviewed the charts on the fiscal impact of the project and it will be a cash cow for the school district as well as the borough and the county – not to mention generating over $8 million for Borough residents that can be used to pay down some of the Borough’s debt and lower operating expenses. We need new residents and businesses coming into our town in order to stabilize taxes.”

Kevin Mathews, owner of Downingtown Running Company on Main Street, echoes the sentiment of many business owners and restaurants in town: "We care about character and environmental preservation. We can be environmentally conscious and have community growth at the same time."

DeStefano says that a key goal of I.D.E.A.L. will be to bring like-minded people together who share a common vision for moving Downingtown forward. “We have been a ‘Silent Majority’ but we will not be silent any longer,“ she said. “Our voices will now be heard loud and clear.”

IDEAL on Facebook        Cara~contact person to join the cause.
I am glad to be involved with such a worthwhile group.


  1. I.D.E.A.L
    What a wonderful and positive idea, Cara. Good for Downingtown!

    Thank you Mr. Hamilton and for everyone involved in the creation of this new group. I am excited for Downingtow and grateful that so many bright individuals care about our town and its future. And special thanks go out to all but one of our borough council members (no doubt you know which one I'm talking about, lol)for all of their selfless hours of commitment and energy in helping to keep our borough vital and progressing into a better future for all of us. Despite a few disgruntled naysayers, I believe the heart of Downingtown will prevail and continue to grow into one great place to live.

  2. Oh, Brother........

    ...and this was presented to Borough Council?

    Are all these people too clueless to realize all of this is out of Council's hands?

    The fate of Kardon Park will be determined by the courts, not a bunch of people who form a "civic group", and issue a "press release".

    The silent majority? Who is the leader of this hapless group, the Ghost of Jerry Falwell?

    And who has counted this "majority"? Sixty people gather for donuts in a furniture store, and commiserate the loss of a court case, and this is a majority?

    Mister Ed

  3. Mister Ed go back to eating your oats and talking to Wilbur no one really cares to hear your rantings.

  4. Mr. Ed; it is people like you who don't understand that an appealed case means there is a dispute with that decision. The decision obviously stands until it can be proven that development would be more suitable and mitigating a dump site more reasonable than allowing it to stay "as is".

    Many of us in the community happen to agree with the principles behind IDEAL and we want this decision reversed for the benefit of everyone in the borough.

    There is a deficit coming in 2011 likely to last to 2015 and instead of leaving this dump "as is" we feel it needs to be integrated into Kardon Park just as it has been done for many other cities in the USA:

    So keep making your negative, snide remarks and exaggerating your points. After all, you are entitled to your opinion regardless of how stupid your comments are to people who care about fiscal responsibility. We don't really care what you say and this group is growing much larger than the great turnout of folks who were at this event.

    And taxpayers won't like it when they find out that Anne Feldman single handily is obstructing an important development that would mitigate our debt and preclude real estate tax increases in 2011-2015. For the time being she, in her working for the citizens of Downingtown, has stopped $9M dollars from coming in to the borough to remediate the problem with a total $6.4M annual budget. If she were in Philadelphia I think she would be impeached!

    But of course if you are part of the problem, which you all appear to be, and not part of any sound financial solution then why would you care about how much tax Downingtown residents pay for real estate?

  5. So, RCB, if the court decision is upheld, will you still be making the argument that the Borough should be doing something unlawful?

    Just wondering.

    Will you be personally willing to pay the costs associated with this ill-conceived fiasco?


  6. I too, am forming a civic goup, as it turns out.

    We are DROP-IT.

    Downingtown Residents Opposed to Propaganda and Irrational Thinking.

    Jessica Wabbit

  7. Will this group have hats?

    I collect hats.


  8. Judging by the childish responses from the 3 posters above it appears that the FOKP are now resorting to bad comedy and failed humor to get the point they are trying to make across to everyone. Well done .. I remember this being done when I was in school…. GRADE SCHOOL!!!

    So what I can gather from what has been typed out is that both sides disagree .. one side is handling it with (a little more) class and the other is resorting to attacks and multiple posts intended to provoke the other side. It would be nice if BOTH sides would agree to disagree. No one is going to convert ANYONE else who has made up thier mind already. I had no opinion on the park whatsoever, and yes I live in the borough of Downingtown. This is the only blog I have read in addition to the rantings on the Dailey Lack of News. Both sides are guilty of mud slinging. But the Ann Feldman supporters on this site have taken it to a new low. I had said that I was not going to take a side one way or the other. But I do not want to be associated with a group of people who go on the attack in such a childish and nasty manner as the people on this blog have. I would not have much in common with that kind of rude behavior. I came here seeking to educate myself and have done so by readin the posts here and can make a solid decision.

    I read the other heartfelt blog Elaine has posted. The title alone says STAYING SANE ... meaning she is sane now and is trying to stay that way.... and for you to bring that over to this side is appalling and down right mean. CONGRATULATIONS Friends of Kardon Park you have just turned this resident over to the other side by your arrogant behavior.

    I am sure that you will have some smart ass reply and a retort full of wit and humor to cover the other ass that you speak out of.

    Downingtown resident

  9. Downingtown Resident,

    Thank you for your heartfelt reply. Reguardless of which "side" you would have taken after reading the information I feel it necessary to apologize for childish behavior on my part. My only reason is after being personally attacked I fired back and I can get ugly when it comes down to it. It is not an excuse though to muddy the waters of information for others. You are right neither side can agree and will most likely not budge from their position, with that being said Cara and those of us who are promoting and involving ourselves in IDEAL are not only looking to help reverse Judge Platt's decision, but to help bring Downingtown to a place that can be realized with citizens working together.

    Thank you again for shedding light on my behavior, but also for taking to task those who tend to verbalize their shortcomings.

  10. I was not disappointed .. way to go ..

    Downingtown Resident

  11. Downingtown resident,

    Surely you must be aware of how profoundly ridiculous this entire site is dedicated (in large part) to the misrepresentation of the Kardon Park issue. There is not a shred of documented evidence backing up the assertions made here. None, zip, nada.

    Just references to some document somewhere or some statement made by someone, and then those are taken completely out of context. Or a reference to some website the assertion was supposedly based on without any indication what document on that website, or which part of that document supports the assertion. Worse, the few times that specific documentation regarding the contamination is presented, it is selectively chosen to give the exact opposite impression from the scientific conclusions. Despite repeated attempts to get people to back up their positions with documented facts, again nothing, zip, nada. This is because the documentation supporting the assertions does not exist. Moreover the documentation says the exact opposite, and has been posted repeatedly here and elsewhere, and has been reviewed in a court of law, and by DEP officials.

    Now we have a group of people dedicated to reversing the judge's decision. Just how they propose to influence a panel of Commonwealth Court Judges, or perhaps eventually the Pennsyvania Supreme Court Judges, is a bit of a mystery. Unless they are parties to the case or the lawyers involved, they have absolutely no input whatsoever. This is nothing if not comical.

    So if people want to have a little fun on a completely nonsensical blog, have a sense of humor and have a laugh. I know I have.

    There is little point in posting the facts (which has been done), since they will just be ignored.


  12. Direct from Section D of the DEP order document:

    A Human Health Risk Assessment for direct contact exposure to Site soils [the "Site" as described in Section B is the 50 acres known as Kardon Park] indicated that any risk to human health is WITHIN AN ACCEPTABLE RANGE, as set forth in the Act 2 regulations.


  13. This is from Appendix C of the Golder Associates report upon which the DEP clearance for park use is based.

    "The estimation of systemic and carcinogenic risk brings together all of the conservative assumptions used in developing toxicity factors, exposure factors, and exposure concentrations.
    The procedures used in the quantitative risk assessment are based on those used to calculate statewide Health Standards under Act 2. In its Qualified Endorsement of the Act 2 Proposed
    Regulations (June 12, 1996), the Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board discussed the procedures used to develop these standards and stated that the procedures are "highly conservative." These same procedures are used to characterize risk for Kardon Park and as shown in Tables C-4
    and C-5, no unacceptable human health risks have been identified for exposure to surface soil. (please re-read says NO UNACCEPTABLE HUMAN HEALTH RISKS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED FOR EXPOSURE TO SURFACE SOIL, both systemic and carcinogenic)

    In summary, the risk estimates developed herein conservatively compensate for inherent uncertainties and also provide an appropriate margin of safety in the use of the risk assessment results for making risk management decisions. It is very likely that the estimates calculated in this risk assessment overestimate the potential risks associated with the COPC's in surface soil at Kardon Park."

    This is the type of evidence (and there was a lot of it, since the Golder Report is over 400 pages of scientific data supporting these conclusions) Judge Platt had to base her decision on.


  14. Here is an article on the value of open space in SE Pennsylvania:

  15. ****NOTICE***** Postings were deleted for content.

  16. In laymans terms:



  17. So apparently the rules in Elaine B's blog universe are:

    Post anything you want, as long as it confirms the misrepresentations SHE has posted, or does not poke fun at the absurdity of this blog.

    This post will be deleted in Five, four, three, two ......

  18. Elaine B said:

    "I have absolutely no idea what you are speaking of when you say I blocked a post. I have not blocked anything, nor have I censored something. Whomever you are need to come forward instead of hiding under the cloak of anonymity and tell me exactly what you are talking about. It takes a lot of hubris to accuse someone of something and then have no proof to back it up."

    The burden of proof has been met, as they say in court.

  19. I deleted the posts that were ridiculous in content. If you had bothered to look any of the posts that actually speak about a subject stand. The childish mutterings about hats and DROP have been deleted. And if you cared to post the whole quote I said unless the content was objectionable I would not delete it, but the immature ramblings that I did delete were not germain to the conversation nor were they worth "air time". But if you would like go right ahead and spam the blog yet again because it seems when you do it tends to make people disgusted with anything else you may have to say.

    It's not censoring it's taking out the trash.

  20. Censorship is censorship. Unless a post is blatantly vulgar or libelous, the readers should decide if it is inappropriate. They can certainly dismiss anything they find to be silly or not relevant.

    This blog is a vehicle for promoting an agenda, nothing more.


  21. so Chris start your own blog and post the address here ... show us how it is done properly .. your so quick to cry out when it does not fit your ideas ... so typical ...

  22. It's alright let him/her rant. This person is just generally angry at whomever does not share his/her ideals. I deleted posts that had nothing to do with anything and were clogging up bandwith, but C'est la vie this too shall receive a rant.

  23. First of all, you would have to be flat out delusional to think many people are reading this blog in the first place. The only way anybody would find it is through other pro "KardonPonds" websites. That is how I found it. You are preaching to the choir, here. (I'm guessing a few dozen people at best)

    Those other sites are ridiculous as objective sources of information, only misrepresentation and out of context text clips intended to deceive.

    Now, contrast these sites with the FOKP site. There you can find the complete legal briefs by Kim Mfg., Progressive Housing, the Borough of Downingtown, the Attorney Generals office, as well as that of FOKP. In short, you can get all sides of the story and decide for yourself through various arguments, pro and con. There are plenty of links to information from the public records, etc. Anyone who has read all of these documents understands why Judge Platt decided as she did.

    Sure FOKP makes their case there, as it is about their fight to save a park. But they are not afraid to let you read the opposing arguments, in their entirety.

    People who are confident in their arguments and positions do not censor people out of fear of looking ridiculous, or out of a desire to mislead.

    Show me where on this site, the IDEAL website, the site or the KardonPonds site you can find anything other than one-sided pro-development arguments and misleading statements. If I were not posting here, this could be easily confused with a cult.

    Whenever someone posts a rebuttal on this site, it is ridiculed, rather than argued on the merits. On the Kardonparkfacts site, links to this blog are removed, maps and documents are changed routinely, and there is no possiblity to rebut anything. Same for

    I will give you credit (it is due) for at least having the guts to put this up in blog format. I would have much more respect if you didn't try to micromanage the information and argued points on thier merits, didn't censor, and backed up your assertions with something remotely resembling proof.

    I am not angry, not a bit. I actually get a charge out of blowing holes in absurd arguments.


  24. Elaine, I commend you for creating this blog and for providing important and factual information for the benefit of the residents of Downingtown. Naturally the naysayers (aka FOKP) will try to polute this blog, much like the contamination at Kardon Park, as they often do in the Daily Local News, but the majority of residents who care about our great little town and want to see it continue to grow and improve and not die off like Coatesville, can see right through their veil of propaganda.

    I say stay strong Downingtown, "slow and steady wins the race"!

  25. Since my last comment was blocked three times...this confirms the censorship on this blog. It was not silly or irrelevant (or libelous or vulgar)to the thread.


  26. Your rant is back. Do me a favor and stop making me go look for your stuff.

    Anyway as far as people reading this blog....really? You're here. Also there is a pesky little fact that you can also get to this blog from here

    Now the fact that you said you can get all sides at the FOKP site is a lie...plain and simple. There is a link to all the documents that you speak of the ACT 2 clearance, the Golder Report, Judge Platt's decision, The conditions of approval, Golder Report Appendix C,and the conditions of approval in East Caln on the Kardon Park site. The other questions are those that have been asked by people and are answered. I do not know where you get off saying that FOKP site is telling both sides. Their links beyond what is posted at both sites are only for their agenda as they should be, but it does not make that site the Holy Grail of information.

    Yet another thing, quit crying about being ridiculued. I seem to recall that you came after me questioning my sanity (due to the title of the other blog that I have), not once but several times and have called me several names, delusional for one. You cannot take pot shots at someone and not expect to be fired upon yourself.

    The funny thing is you have done nothing other than maybe draw more people to our cause with your childish behavior. I believe that given the opportunity people can draw their own conclusions and follow links that they themselves want to if they choose. I don't feel they need a remedial reading course and I have to post it verbatim here......and even when I have you still don't get it, so no point to it now.

  27. Look I never questioned your sanity (well openly). Your blurb at the top, About Me, said "Trying to Stay Sane in an Insane World is Just my Journey Through Life". Or something like that. Then you removed it. Those are YOUR words, not mine.

    I was just having a little fun with your words, and did not even know there was another blog, since I did not read your profile. There was absolutely no mention on this page of another blog. I have absolutely no interest in your personal life.

    Now I suspect you already knew that, but have repeatedly claimed this was some sort of attack on your person and sanity.

    Saying your posts are illogical, irrational, delusional, innacurate or misleading etc., however is not an attack. It is an observation, and I have pointed out specific examples.

    But the fact remains that on several occasions, I have posted, and the post appeared, then mysteriously disappeared. I highly doubt the "spam filters" are detecting politically unacceptable content. I have never seen this on any other blog I have posted on, unless the post was flagged.

    Anybody can log on to the FOKP site and see the complete legal briefs by all parties to the legal case for themselves. Do you assume your readers are incapable of doing that? How exactly is saying the briefs are there, a lie, when they are, in fact, there?

    Here is the link:

    Here you can find the complete legal briefs by Ms. Rossi, attorney for Progressive Housing and Southdown Homes (Jack Loew), the legal brief for the Borough, the AG's office, the brief for EC by Malman, Progressive brief for the EC appeal, etc. These are in fact the opposing arguments in the Kardon Park matter.

    They are there. Calling someone a liar using a lie is a rather strange way to gain credibility.

    As I pointed out, FOKP is confident enough in their position to put the legal arguments of their opponents right there on their website, for anybody to read. Which is more than can be said for any of the pro-development sites.

  28. Good gravy you do not know how to read at all! Just because they have posted links to the SAME documents that are on the site FOR the development does not mean that they have the market cornered on the truth. The other links posted there are a lot of other propoganda just like you claim those of us who are for the development post. You are really a piece of work. I don't know how you got to a place that you are the only one who is right about anything and only you take the high road, but I feel sorry for you because when it all comes crashing down around you you are going to get hurt.

    You really do not read anything anyone else writes completely or you find ONE word and hang your hat on it and we are off to the races. A gentleman in the Daily Local put it exactly right, "There are some folks who are against developing parts of Kardon Park. And there are a few who have NIMBY syndrome so bad that they are trying to run the rest of our lives by cleverly disguising the real facts about a bad piece of land for their own selfish, self-interest." and yet again here, "So the real question becomes what do these people suggest we do to improve our borough’s financial position for the benefit of everyone? What is their backup strategy if we don’t gain financial resources from this kind of development?"

    Mr Bryant describes you to a "T".

    Now are you about done whining because I am running out of cheese.

  29. So just to be clear, the legal briefs presented in court by Progressive Housing Inc., Southdown Homes, the Borough of Downingtown, the Attorney General's office, Kim Mfg, and Friends of Kardon Park are, in your mind, "propaganda"? (the links on FOKP website)

    Good gravy, Elaine B., you just may be crazy.

  30. As for Mr. Bryant, how is advocating for something that is unlawful a responsible position?

  31. Now stop those are some of the same ones on the kardon park site too. Don't be obtuse....wait maybe you can't help it. I was speaking about the other proenvironmental links. Wow I have never seen any do the twist as well as you do.

  32. Now you can't go around claiming other people are stupid, have reading impairment, etc., when it is you who don't read or understand what is written.

    Go back and read my comment. I specifically said the complete "briefs" from the developers, the Borough; the people advocating the development of the park are listed on the FOKP site. Those would be the official final briefs or arguments, if you prefer, after the hearings were concluded, when the parties had their last chance to influence the judge.

    This is what I wrote:
    "Now, contrast these sites with the FOKP site. There you can find the complete legal briefs by Kim Mfg., Progressive Housing, the Borough of Downingtown, the Attorney Generals office, as well as that of FOKP. In short, you can get all sides of the story and decide for yourself through various arguments, pro and con. There are plenty of links to information from the public records, etc. Anyone who has read all of these documents understands why Judge Platt decided as she did."

    And here is what you wrote:
    "Good gravy you do not know how to read at all! Just because they have posted links to the SAME documents that are on the site FOR the development does not mean that they have the market cornered on the truth. The other links posted there are a lot of other propoganda just like you claim those of us who are for the development post. You are really a piece of work. I don't know how you got to a place that you are the only one who is right about anything and only you take the high road, but I feel sorry for you because when it all comes crashing down around you you are going to get hurt."

    You are wrong. These are the arguments of the parties in favor of the development, in their entirety...the opposing viewpoint of FOKP. Nowhere on the site do these appear, and they never will. The last thing anybody there wants to present are the winning arguments in the lawsuits. It would completely undercut everything on their website.

    Neither do these legal briefs appear on the IDEAL site, or the developer's website.

    Once again, if I am wrong, post the links.


  33. Additionally, the FOKP site lists newspaper article links, which would directly lead to commenters from both sides of the issue.

    Clearly FOKP is not afraid to let visitors to their site see opposing arguments. This demonstrates confidence in their position.

    By contrast, the other sites include articles and text clips, but have eliminated the links which would actually lead the reader to the sources, where opposing arguments could be found.

    The developer's website (, and the site deliberately eliminate any links to websites that have opposing viewpoints (including yours, which had been there). Rather than post the link, they cut and pasted the text.

    If that doesn't tell you they are trying to control the message, and are afraid of opposing viewpoints, I don't know what would.