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Chester County Press

A selection of Uncle Irvin's columns over the years

01/07/2019 03:15PM ● By J. Chambless

A tax whose time has come

By Uncle Irvin

Last summer, the state of New Jersey made legislative history by taxing cosmetic surgery procedures.

The New Jersey law levies a 6% tax on hair transplants, Botox injections, liposuction, etc. Recently, seven other states, including New York, have introduced similar legislation.

If we are going to use a state lottery to pay for seniors healthcare, and slot machines to fund public schools, and tobacco and alcohol taxes for public use, we can certainly justify taxing elective cosmetic surgery and the mostly wealthy women who think they need a facelift, nose job, or breast augmentation.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 9.2 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed last year at an estimated cost of $8.4 billion.

A 6% tax would raise over $500 million if all states were to enact the tax.

State Rep. Chris Ross, where are you when we need you?

America’s canyons

By Uncle Irvin

It isn’t difficult to get down on America and Uncle Sam.

Iraq, racism, corruption, urban sprawl, etc.

If you are and need a reason to believe in the U.S.A., again, Uncle Irvin suggests that you visit America’s canyonlands, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Not only for the serenity, eternity, and majesty of these natural wonders, but the care and diligence of the National Park Service. Not a trace of trash, disfigurement, or graffiti but excellent roads, museums, visitors centers, lodges, food service facilities.

The visit restored my pride in being an American, now if only we can find a way to fix some of our other problems.

Atheists and lawyers are a pain in the butt

By Uncle Irvin

Having already trumped litiginous atheists in the Ten Commandments Plaque case earlier this year, Chester Countians and the rest of the USA are now facing an even greater threat.

A California atheist who resents his sibling pledging allegiance with the words “under God” which were inserted to the Pledge of Allegiance by Congress in 1954, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a federal appeals court in California decision not to require teachers to lead classes in pledging allegiance to the flag of “one nation under God.”

The Supreme Court decision will come next Spring/Summer and will be decided by only eight justices. Justice Antonin Scalia has agreed to recuse himself, even though he didn’t have to because laws and regulation regarding conflicts of interest do not technically apply to Supreme Court justices. Justice Scalia would be a certain vote to send the atheists packing.

Just what this country needs more of ... loud-mouthed and outspoken, litiginous atheists and trial lawyers.

Blind woman with guide dog

thrown out of local store

By Uncle Irvin

In what appears to be a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a legally blind visitor with an accredited guide dog was ordered out of Campbell’s Market, East Nottingham Twp., by the night manager.

According to the Chester County Health Dept., Dajit S. Chawla is the food facility operator of the establishment.

Priscilla Patterson, 20, and guide dog, Wesley, are visiting her mother and cousin. All three, and the dog, were shopping in Campbell’s Market on the evening of July 15, 2005. Wesley, the guide dog, was lying on the floor of the store under the feet of his mistress who was looking for a movie rental with her cousin.

For no apparent reason, a representative of the store, identified as “Danny,” questioned Priscilla’s legally-blind status and ordered her and the dog out of the store.

Ms. Patterson and Wesley left without a whimper, even knowing the store was violating the law.

Ms. Patterson has filed a legal complaint against the store and its owner with the Pa. Commission of Human Rights.

Under the ADA, the right of a blind person to be accompanied by a dog guide is guaranteed in all public accommodations.

Wesley, a golden retriever, was trained by Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, Cal.

Can statistics lie?

By Uncle Irvin

A recent report issued by The Pennsylvania Department of Education states that 96.99% of all public school teachers are highly qualified.

How can the public swallow this swill?

The states criteria for highly qualified is only a bachelor’s degree and certification in the subject they teach or certification in elementary education. How can a teacher be called highly qualified only because they graduated from college, regardless of grade point average?

The Department of Education did not consider:

  1. how long a teacher has taught

  2. how many graduate credits they have – when these two criteria are the sole basis of a teacher's salary.

Look at this incredible statement another way: If 97% of all teachers are highly qualified, why are they turning out 15%-20% functional illiterates?

If 97% of all teachers are highly qualified, why won’t their Union permit them to be judged on productivity or merit?

Issuing these kinds of pablum-senseless statements will do little to get the public school system back on track.

GOP Chairman crying Wolf

By Uncle Irvin

It is amazing to see Joseph “Skip” Brion, the Chairman of the Chesco GOP, accuse “out of town Democrats” of stealing Bush/Cheney signs.

Not only is sign stealing a time-cherished political prank but sign stealing/mutilation was taken to new heights in Chester County by the GOP in the Rubino era of the 70’s and 80’s.

Back in those days, Uncle Irvin was a GOP Committeeman and was awarded a patronage job in Harrisburg and a Rubino operative.

I can recall a state Senate election between now deceased incumbent Republican John H. Ware III and another deceased “character” named Fred Cadmus.

Cadmus was known throughout Chester County as the “Country Lawyer” which became the name of a famous West Chester restaurant, which Cadmus owned as well. Cadmus was a threat to the GOP because he had endless money, a commodity that no Democrat seems to have since.

Cadmus’ campaign had billboards and signs all over Chester County – which Rubino ordered destroyed or mutilated by his henchmen, including a younger Uncle Irvin.

Heading the GOP hit squad was none other than Dick Schulze, who later became a member of the State House and Congress.

Schulze’s squad ran down or stole all of Cadmus’ signs on Rte. 100 from Rte. 30 to Lionville, as well as applying graffiti on Cadmus’ billboards.

Campaign pranks are as American as mischief night, and Mr. Brion should stop complaining.

Is 'Shooting the Bird' legal?

By Uncle Irvin

In what may be a hallmark legal decision, a Texas appellate court has ruled that giving a fellow motorist “the finger” does not constitute disorderly conduct and, therefore, not a crime.

It is also interesting to note that court testimony in this case traced the “impudent finger” back to the days of the Roman Empire (500 BC). For Latin scholars, the gesture is called “digitus impudicus.”

The Appellate Judges agreed that “the bird is everywhere and in many instances is losing its taboo status – especially among the younger set.”

A motorist shot the bird to Uncle Irvin recently when I beeped my horn because he fell asleep at a stop sign. I just smiled and went on my way!

It ain’t the Linc, but…

By Uncle Irvin

Since the close of school last June, a vast metamorphosis started to take place at the Sports Complex behind Unionville High School.

It’s finished now and Uncle Irvin, who believe it or not, works out five days a week had a chance to jog on the composite track that replaced the old cinder track that surrounds the lighted main athletic field.

Most of us in this area are reveling at Lincoln Financial Field, the new $350 million home of the Eagles. The Unionville field cost a little less than that but, costs aside, it was a much-needed improvement to the athletic facilities by the School Board.

Since my two sons graduated from Unionville in the '70s, I know a little history about how little money the School Board spent on athletic facility’s improvements in the '70s, '80s and '90s.

How about zilch, zero, nada!

Maybe a little more than that then, but the bulk of improvements came directly from parents.

Uncle Irvin was a charter member of the Football Parents Association.

We paid for 100% the trainer, 100% of an electric scoreboard, 100% of a public address system and 100% of the lights, which were installed about 7 – 10 years ago.

Ralph DiCarlo Sr., Jack Beeson, Dick McFeeley, Barry Sipes were just to name a few of us in the 70’s, and many other fathers and mothers for almost 30 years gave countless hours to improving the facilities and program.

And, I am sure all of us don’t regret it a bit that we didn’t have School Board money because it was being used for curriculum and school facilities.

Joe the Junketeer

By Uncle Irvin

According to a study by the Center for Public Integrity, Congressman Joe Pitts took 41 privately sponsored trips at a total cost of $92,055 for the 5 ½ years ending in 2005, the third highest among Pa. Congressmen and Senators. These trips, sponsored and paid for by groups that lobby Congress, are considered little more than pricey vacations wrapped around speeches or seminars.

This kind of travel is not illegal, but is part of the problem of overall Congressional Reforms and higher ethical standard now demanded by the voting public.

Pitts, who has served in Congress since 1993 and is running for re-election in 2006, is a virtually anonymous and invisible back-bencher. He serves on no important committees, has individually sponsored no significant legislation, and is nothing more than an automatic vote for the right wing conservative, Christian coalition.

Pitts’ Bible Belt district of about 55 percent in western Lancaster County and 45 percent western Chester County has guaranteed him of certain victory and only token, poorly financed opposition, thus far.

Democrat Andy Dinniman’s recent election to the state Senate could lead to the resurrection of the Democratic Party in Chester County, which could prove to be Joe Pitts’ ending in the 2008 election.

New school boon to area

By Uncle Irvin

The new combination of a technical high school and community college to be built in Penn Township promises to be a big plus for southern Chester County.

Called the Chester County Technical College High School Pennock’s Bridge Campus, this school will bring more skilled high school graduates to the workforce – particularly in this area.

Certainly not all high school graduates need to, or want to, go on to college, but they need to be literate and trained in order to be productive workers who can then look forward to earning a competitive income as well as helping local businesses become more profitable.

All of us look forward to the speedy completion of this new school and welcome its first graduates into our workforce.

Social promotions have to go

By Uncle Irvin

Surely, any citizen who cannot see that social promotions must be eliminated from our school system before we see any improvement is blind.

Social promotion – i.e. promoting students regardless of test scores and achievement rather than holding them back – has long been part of American public education, albeit a tacit part.

Educators and teachers do not like to talk about it because they cannot defend the principal without acknowledging the mediocrity of our public education system. The whole issue is getting some much needed light because New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting his foot in the sand demanding that social promotion be eliminated from NYC public schools.

We need more leaders like Mayor Bloomberg right here in southern Chester County.

The stench of political stew

By Uncle Irvin

What do you get when you mix seven political hacks with the 253 thieves that make up the PA General Assembly?

Hints: The political hacks are judges in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Answer: You get a political stew that smells

Recently the PA Supreme Court ruled that the State Auditor General, the chief accounting officer of the Commonwealth, cannot audit the spending of the General Assembly.

As has been pointed out here before, the cost of running the General Assembly costs over 300 million dollars a year.

That translates into $1,186,000 per member per year to pay for the bums in Harrisburg that do nothing but steal taxpayer money.

You know why the judges of the Supreme Court ruled that the General Assembly can’t be audited?

Because the General Assembly holds the judges’ purse strings and they all come out of the same political mélange.

Time has come for regional police forces

By Uncle Irvin

There are arguably close to 20,000 people living in Kennett Square Borough, East Marlborough Township and Kennett Township, most of them concentrated within a mile from the middle of Kennett Square Borough.

Right now, only Kennett Borough has a real police force; East Marlborough has a one-man force and Kennett Township has a contract for a one man force, but no one is actually working.

Right now, while Kennett Borough has an only temporary chief, would be a perfect time for the three municipalities to explore a regional force.

The Borough and its 5,000 taxpayers are being squeezed financially to support a force while East Marlborough and Kennett Township are a joke with a one-man force to cover crime, which is a 24-7 phenomenon.

The added financial muscle from the township would give the Kennett area an opportunity to provide first class police protection which is now a public necessity.

Heretofore, petty bickering between Borough Council and Township Supervisors and the Albert McCarthy problem have been road blocks.

It appears that one of the two roadblocks is being removed.

Is petty bickering going to continue to hold up a concept whose time has come?

P.S. Petty bickering is also the reason why Oxford Borough, East Nottingham Township and Lower Oxford Township don’t have a regional police force.

A modern school district model

By Uncle Irvin

Thinking outside the box is a trait very few, if any, of our leaders have mastered. It is, however, how we can improve and grow our institutions to keep up with change.

Here are my ideas for a better way to run school districts:

Eliminate the Superintendent position

Combine the business operations with administration creating a new CEO position

Create a new position that is responsible for curriculum and faculty similar to the Provost position at universities.

These changes could be expense-neutral and set up a far more realistic and modern use of skills.

Having an individual with a Doctorate in Education run a $40-$60-million-dollar enterprise, which is the present model, simply doesn’t make sense.

A school district CEO should have business and management skills and training to properly manage a huge public enterprise like a school district.

A separate position, such as a Provost position or chief academic officer, who would concentrate on curriculum and faculty would complement the CEO.

School district administration has not changed in a hundred years and is so sadly obsolete.

An Oxford trailblazer going strong

By Uncle Irvin

In this issue of the Chester County Press, there's a story about the financial history of the Oxford area from 1970 to 1990, told by the guy who was a big part of it.

Carl Fretz was the president of Peoples Bank of Oxford, and the area it served was his instrument. With Carl as president, Peoples became the leading regional bank, which not only made money for the shareholders, but loaned money to many small businesses, while opening branches all over the area.

Uncle Irvin and his weekly newspaper operation was one example of how Carl's lending philosophy paid off. Carl thought the character of a businessman was just as important as collateral, and if he didn't practice this philosophy, the Chester County Press, and many new business ventures, would not have happened so quickly.

Prior to Carl, Clyde Mason -- the founder of the bank and Carl's boss -- very rarely loaned money to businesses which were not related to agriculture. Carl pioneered a more progressive lending strategy that served all small businesses.

In addition to his business career, Carl was a mover in his church and other philanthropic endeavors, and offered his considerable singing talent to the community.

The Oxford area is a better place today because of leaders like Carl Fretz.

Bike path a good idea

By Uncle Irvin

As a non-cyclist, I say there are two reasons the East Marlborough Supervisors should go ahead with the proposed bike path.

The first one is safety for cyclists and motorists. Uncle Irvin lives on Line Road. For some reason, cyclists in packs love to traverse this road, which is less wide than current regulations, and has no shoulder. It takes dexterity for two cars to pass in opposite directions without hitting a cyclist.

Line Road is not alone, as most roads in this area are just as unsafe as Line Road.

Second, as a resident of East Marlborough, I believe emoluments like bike trails add to a rural, residential character that, along with the Unionville-Chadds Ford school district, is a magnet for home buyers. And for some reason, East Marlborough does not have a public park, like Kennett and New Garden.

With little room left for developers, it is safe to assume that home prices in East Marlborough will rise more than average, and this bodes well for every resident.

The bike trail is a win-win situation.


By Uncle Irvin

In a recent edition of the Chester County Press, two stories appeared to contradict themselves.

In the first instance, Oxford Borough Council wanted to pass a simple resolution calling on the federal government to put some more teeth in the gun purchasing process. According to the story, more than 100 citizens showed up at a council meeting to shoot down this sane approach to urban gun violence because it infringed on their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

In the same issue, we read about a County Safe Schools Summit sponsored by law enforcement and school administrators. The thrust of the summit was to advocate closing the gap between mentally disturbed individuals and their right to bear arms.

This split will certainly curtail or stop any reforms or changes, which is tantamount to waiting for the next school disaster.

Having been closely involved with the First Amendment to the Constitution, I can say there is nothing in either amendment that grants absolute rights. If you falsely cry "Fire!" in a crowded theater, you are not covered by free speech. Likewise, anyone who purchases an assault rifle and magazines of ammo is not entitled to protection under the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

There is no way to determine who in our country is mentally deranged, so the next best thing is to abolish assault rifles and multiple cartridge ammo.

You don't need an assault rifle to hunt or protect yourself!

D's 'Trump' R's

By Uncle Irvin

For the first time in more than two centuries, the Democratic Party of Chester County has elected four of their own to county row offices, including County Treasurer and Controller.

In some ways, this is not as surprising as it seems. Population increases and a change of new voters has already given Democrats a big boost in party registration over the past 20 years. The two parties are now virtually the same. Democrats have already carried the county in the Presidential and Senatorial elections, but have failed in county races quite miserably.

Now, with a little help from the widespread discontent over President Trump and the reckless and failed leadership of the last two GOP County Chairmen, Skip Brion and Val DiGiorgio, the GOP County Committee has virtually collapsed.

A couple of things we can look for:

  1. Next year's General Assembly races and the fate of GOP incumbents John Lawrence and Eric Roe, and Republican Congressmen Ryan Costello and Pat Meehan.

  2. The mass firing of GOP employees of the four row offices in January and the hiring of Democrat replacements in the tradition of “To the victors belong the spoils.”

  3. The 2019 county races for County Commissioner, District Attorney and Sheriff.

The security blanket that went with Republican endorsement has been shredded, giving a breath of fresh air that could mean better local government for Chester County.

Flashback to the 70s with new book

By Uncle Irvin

Chester County author Bruce Mowday’s new book “Jailing the Johnston Gang” offers a glimpse of life in Southern Chester County in the “roaring 70s.”

The book, published recently, offers a close look at how the notorious Johnston Gang was brought to justice by a combined effort of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Mowday, a former reporter and editor of the Daily Local News, spent almost two years of his life chronicling the Johnston Gang for the newspaper and spent another nine years putting the story into book form.

The flash back was especially satisfying for Uncle Irvin, who had just begun a career in weekly newspapering in 1970. The Chester County Press covered the Johnston capers, albeit as a weekly, and Press editor Jerry Hager, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 30, 1978, was the first reporter to arrive at the East Nottingham home of Robin Miller, Bruce Johnston Jr’s 15-year-old girlfriend who was murdered that day.

Hager’s pictures of the crime scene were purchased by the Associated Press and were distributed nationwide.

The book is scrupulously indexed for accuracy unlike the Hollywood movie “At Close Range” starring Sean Penn and Christopher Walken.

It brought back memories for me as it might for you.

From chaos comes change

By Uncle Irvin

The recent meltdown of the leadership of the Kennett Library, and the concomitant hostile relationship between the library and Kennett Square Borough Council, seems to have abated.

In its place, changes have been made by both sides, setting the platform for constructive dialogue and ultimately the adoption of a plan for the library being crafted by community leaders and the formation of a public task force.

Oxford, a much smaller and less affluent neighbor, has recently opened a new library addition, increasing its size and scope. Unlike Kennett, Oxford's library succeeded largely because the library board, committee leaders and citizens were on the same page and worked together to reconcile differences.

This much we know:

The Kennett Library needs a large expansion to fulfill its destiny.

The “new” library must be supported by ample free parking on site!

Let's get to work!

How to control school taxes

By Uncle Irvin

It appears that the Avon Grove School District will operate in the 2008-09 school year with a zero percent tax increase.

The present 23.82 mills rate has been in effect since 2003-2004, making it three years in a row for zero increase!

How and why is this phenomenon happening in an era of more than inflation millage hikes everywhere else?

Besides sound management practices by the Avon Grove Administration and School Board, the answer is fairly simple.

It’s called commercial tax ratables. You see, businesses pay real estate taxes, but they require no services from the school system.

So when a township such as Penn, with enlightened visionary Supervisors, makes it desirable for business to relocate there, everyone in the entire school district benefits.

As a sidebar to this thought, Curtis Mason, the longstanding chairman of the Penn Township Supervisors, and one of the chief architects of creating a good business climate in Penn Township, may have to leave his Penn Township position.

Curtis is the Republican candidate for the State Legislature for Art Hershey’s seat, and if he wins in November, he will give up his seat on the Penn Board.

But this is America, and it is fitting to get promoted when you do a good job.

New Garden's positive turnaround

By Uncle Irvin

Back in the 1970s, New Garden Township was the only township in southern Chester County that had no zoning ordinances. The sleepy township was run by the mushroom industry and led by a trio of yawning supervisors, Bob Taylor, Chip Smedley and mushroom grower Dino Ruggieri. Taylor was a GOP operative who served as Chester County's sealer of weights and measures, a politically appointed job.

This township was really asleep and devoid of progress.

Fifty years later, New Garden may be the best-run municipality in southern Chester County. The highlights of this miracle are the only regional police force in southern Chester County, a viable open space program, and a wide base of commercial development. The present five-man board of supervisors, led by Steve Allaband, has developed a winning streak of progressive endeavors, and a head of steam pushing New Garden to its place among the best-governed townships.

Pay to Play = DOA

By Uncle Irvin

The phrase “pay to play” usually refers to political corruption not school districts sports programs.

But apparently there are some school board members and administration personnel who are considering charging fees for public school students to play sports.

Recently Oxford Area School District officials discussed the merits of charging students to play sports.

Uncle Irvin thinks this is a bad idea and perhaps, unconstitutional and should be DOA (dead on arrival).

Rather than “pay to play” school board should consider eliminating certain sports that are expensive and have low turnout for either gender.

Or maybe its time to freeze teacher salaries, benefits and pensions, something that’s happening every day in the private sector.

Pileggi’s Open Records Law a fraud

By Uncle Irvin

In February of 2008, the General Assembly passed a new Right-to-Know law, known as “Open Records.”

Our State Senator Dominic Pileggi, the Republican Majority Leader of the State Senate has taken credit for passing the new law designed for transparency and easy access for everyone to “Open Records” information.

Guess what?

The new Pileggi law is a fraud.

Uncle Irvin recently requested the financial retirement package of retired State Representative Art Hershey so that I could report it to our readers.

I was told to fill out a form and send it to the Chief Clerk of the State House, which I did.

An employee of the Chief Clerks office telephoned me to say that she had only the medical benefits information and the pension information had to come from another agency, which she would get for me.

I said “Ok” send it to me and she said she could not until I paid 25¢ a page. I said I’ll get you my credit card. She said payment must be in cash or check before they could send me the information. Of course she didn’t know how many pages at this time.

So it would be many mananas until I get the “open records” you and I are entitled to.

So that’s why I say Pileggi’s new law is a fraud and he’s a fraud for saying it’s progress.

This information should be online and free to everyone.

Striving for the Ideals of Christmas and Chanukah

By Uncle Irvin

All of us, except the atheists among us, recognize that the end of December is something special.

It is special even beyond the trees, lights, parties, gift giving and Santa Claus. It is a time when people of all faiths reconcile around a biblical covenant… “Peace on Earth, good will toward men."

The peoples of Earth have striven to that goal of Peace on Earth unsuccessfully for 2 thousand and eight years.

And we must continue our struggle, in this holiday season even a little harder.

The junkyard in Kennett Township

By Uncle Irvin

Kennett Township Supervisors and Zoning Officer Chester C. McCabe are blind to parts of Kennett Township that wrap around Kennett Square Borough.

For example, on East Line Road between the Route 1 Bypass just off Mill Road and East Marlborough Township is a dump that seems to be growing daily.

Junked, rusted, non-operational trucks, cars and other detritus have been allowed by Kennett Township authorities to accumulate into an eyesore--plus as least two pitbulls can be seen roaming free.

This columnist has said before that Kennett Township officials could care less what goes on in that part of the township that wraps around the borough.

Years ago, they permitted the Quinn family to operate an auction house on Cedarcroft Road next to the cemetery. The Quinn Auction operated for years with no septic system and free running sewage and inadequate parking in a dilapidated building that was a safety hazard.

The present three supervisors, Falcoff, Elling and Hammaker have once again conveniently forgotten where Kennett Township borders lie.

Voucher system ready to go

By Uncle Irvin

It appears as if we already have the ammunition to reform our public schools.

The seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2002 on school choice found the voucher plan constitutional.

Under the voucher plan, parents who have students eligible to attend a public school would be eligible for a voucher to attend any school of their choice, public, parochial, charter or private.

The voucher amount would probably be based on per-pupil costs in public schools which would be in the $10,000-$15,000 range, the amount public schools pay charter schools now.

For example, if you would like your son or daughter to attend a private school like Tower Hill, upon admittance, you would get a voucher for $15,000 and pay the difference.

This kind of voucher system is being contemplated in a Denver, Colorado suburb as we speak.

The voucher system would force public schools to upgrade their curriculum and teacher quality or suffer the loss of students. In short, they would have to compete.

Pistol-packing supervisor

By Uncle Irvin

Why would a supervisor come to a public meeting carrying a gun in open sight?

John Coldiron, the chairman of the East Nottingham Township Board of Supervisors, carried a gun into the meeting last week. With such poor judgment, Coldiron is unfit to serve the public—like all his cronies on the board of supervisors.

Residents should be ashamed of this kind of nonsense, but in the disgraceful tradition of former supervisor Sam Goodley, it's business as usual in East Nottingham Township.

Thank you, John Ware!

By Uncle Irvin

The only reason Uncle Irvin came to Oxford in 1970 was to purchase the Chester County Press from John H. Ware III.

At that time, Ware lived in Oxford and was running the family's natural gas businesses. He was a state Senator and went on to become a Congressman. Most of us didn't know it then, but John Ware was a billionaire.

However, we all came to know Ware and his family's philanthropic character. John's philanthropic achievements really blossomed after his death. Carrying the torch was Ware's wife, Marian, and his children, particularly daughters Marilyn and Carol Ware Gates.

Their latest generous gift was to Cochranville-based Canine Partners for Life, for the Marian S. Ware Service Center, which is now under construction. The new facility will become the hub of Canine Partners for Life's activities. Public fundraising for the next phase of the Canine Partners for Life expansion is ongoing.

On a private note, I can't claim to be an old friend of John Ware III. He was in his 60s, and I was in my 30s, but he, nevertheless, gave me a strong act to follow as a publisher/businessman.

He and his family are still giving back to southern Chester County.

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