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Meredith: Congratulations are due

Dear Friends,
Good morning. In a moment, I’ll revisit one of my columns about the importance of Joe Biden’s revealing the names of his future cabinet right now; what Donald Trump meant when he said that the death toll from COVID-19 “It is what it is;” and how two different local municipalities treated open space.
But first, congratulations to Doylestown Hospital and Buckingham Township. Doylestown Hospital was named eighth in Southeast Pennsylvania and 11th in the state by U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” rankings. Doylestown Hospital is the only hospital in America that is owned by a woman’s organization … the Village Improvement Association (VIA). Brava VIA and the Doylestown Hospital.
Also, Buckingham Township has been ranked 11th in America for its safe neighborhood. identified Buckingham Township as one of the 100 safest communities in America. Bravo Buckingham!
You readers know my enthusiasm for open space. Bucks County and its 54 municipalities have done an excellent job to protect open space. I have two contrasting examples from neighboring counties which tell very different stories.
The first, just east of Coopersburg in Upper Saucon Township (Lehigh County), is the Tumblebrook Golf Course. It’s has nine holes and occupies 100 acres, I’d guess. Wisely, Upper Saucon Township purchased the course and protected the open space. It’s prevented developers from building residential housing on the grounds.
As my fellow Bucks County Commissioner Joe Canby observed 60 years ago, “Cows and corn fields don’t require water and sewer lines, roadways and schools.” Contrast the Tumblebrook story to what happened to the Upper Perkioman Golf Course, near Pennsburg in Montgomery County.
On approximately 200 acres in seven municipalities (Upper Hanover, Marlborough and Hereford townships, plus the boroughs of East Greenville, Green Lane, Pennsburg and Red Hill, and the Upper Perkioman School district), the Upper Perkioman Golf Course came up for sale about 20 years ago. The 18 holes lay on Harry Eschbach’s farm.
What did the seven municipalities and the school district do when they had the chance to buy the golf course and keep the land as open space?
They did nothing. What happened to the land? Now, more than 700 homes dot the former golf course and with it, water and sewer lines, macadam roads … and hundreds of school children.
And what happened to the real estate taxes? Guess what?
Mighty Betsy and I just finished Mary Trump’s best-seller book, “Too Much and Never Enough.” There were no surprises although the most telling paragraph from Donald Trump’s niece was her conclusion.
“Donald Trump’s cruelty serves, in part, as a means to distract both us and himself from the true extent of his failures,” Mary Trump concludes. “The more egregious his failures become, the more egregious his cruelty becomes.
“Who can pay attention to the children he’s kidnapped and put into concentration camps on the Mexican order, when he’s threatening to ‘out’ whistleblowers, coercing senators to acquit him in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt, and pardoning Navy SEAL, Eddie Gallagher, who’d been accused of war crimes and convicted of posing for a picture with a corpse, all within the same month? If he can keep 47,000 spinning plates in the air, nobody can focus on any one of them.”
Did you see the Axios’ TV interview on Aug. 4? Jonathan Swan, the reporter, challenged Trump’s repeated assertions that the COVID-19 pandemic is “under control” and highlighted that the U.S. is now reporting a seven-day average of over 1,000 new deaths from the virus.
“They are dying, that’s true,” Trump responded, “And it is what it is. The virus is under control as much as we can control it.” That’s hardly what families want to hear as the grim statistics approach 160,000 COVID-19 American deaths.
I’m not a fan of Joe Biden either but I’ll hold my nose and vote for him. To ensure that Donald Trump does not win a second term, Joe Biden should identify whom he’d name for his cabinet.
Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist, made that observation in his April 27 op-ed piece.
Friedman wrote, “We need a national unity cabinet … to emphasize a political system that mirrors the best in us. Biden needs to name cabinet members from Democrats on the Bernie Sanders left, to Republicans on the Mitt Romney right.”
Sincerely, Charles Meredith

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