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Archive for the ‘West Chester’ Category

West Chester Outlaws Singing, Dancing and Pantomime

Monday, March 27th, 2017

WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA — The West Chester Borough Council illegally enacted an unconstitutional law that restricts:
acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing, reading, puppetry, sidewalk art, and reciting.

In July, September and August of 2016, Borough Council held public hearings to discuss a proposed busking ordinance.

After much discussion and debate, the Borough’s legal council stated many changes had been made, including:

  • The removal of sidewalk chalk, reading and pantomime from the list of restricted activities
  • Busking would only apply to performers soliciting money
  • The ordinance would not apply to private property

However, the new ordinance was not advertised and was incorporated into Borough Code without incorporating the voted upon changes.
Read the West Chester Busking Ordinance (pdf)

The ordinance completely bans performance art without a permit. For instance, if you allow a 5-year-old to color with chalk on the sidewalk without a license, you both will be breaking the law. If you obtain a license to perform music and kids start dancing, they will be breaking the law. If you write music without a license and kids start dancing, you all will be breaking the law. Should you and your friends attend a peace rally or sporting event and sing the “Star Spangled Banner”, you will be breaking the law. You are not allowed to read the busking ordinance without a permit.

Many performances are even banned if you have a permit. Under no circumstances can you read within a 100 feet of a library. Choirs are banned from singing within 100 feet of a church. No pantomime or magic is allowed near a hospital.

Two businesses (Penn’s Table Restaurant and Malena’s Vintage Boutique) along with the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) appear to be behind the illegal passing of the unconstitutional law. Concerned citizens are boycotting these establishments.

On March 27, 2017, Borough Manager Michael Cotter stated, “The correct version is in the process of being posted.”

Related Articles:
West Chester Borough Busking Ordinance
Saturday, July 9th, 2016

West Chester Busking Ordinance Borough Council
Saturday, July 16th, 2016

West Chester Borough Petition Against Busking Ordinance
Saturday, July 16th, 2016

West Chester Busking Public Hearing
Monday, July 25th, 2016

West Chester Busking Ordinance
Monday, September 19th, 2016

West Chester Passes Unconstitutional Law

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016
Published on Oct 18, 2016

West Chester, PA — West Chester Borough is already involved in litigation over the constitutionality of their Noise Ordinance. Technically speaking it is illegal to play a guitar in West Chester under the noise ordinance. In fact, you can not play any instrument in West Chester.

This is in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Specifically, the First and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee freedom of speech and expression.

The new ordinance passed today, October 18, 2016 will violate the Constitution even further by regulating:
acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing, reading aloud, puppetry and reciting.

HATE CRIMES AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN WEST CHESTER, PA

Harassment, Civil Rights Violations and Hate Crimes
Swatting, Police Terror, Assault and Wrongful Arrest
Harassment, Abuse and Terroristic Threats of the West Chester Police Department
West Chester Police Officer Gregory Cugino Makes Threats
West Chester Police Officer Gregory Cugino: Intimidation and Harassment
Lt. William Morris, Patrolman Albert McCarthy Jr., Patrolman Gregory M. Cugino, and Corporal Joshua Lee
Cugino Complaint
Gorman Complaint
Lee Complaint (Corporal Joshua Lee 2011)
Sergeant John O’Donnell Complaint
Anthony Marion (Penn’s Table Restaurant) Right To Know
Anthony Marion Criminal Complaint #1
Anthony Marion Criminal Complaint #2
Anthony Marion Criminal Complaint #3

Dan Truitt Vs. Carolyn Comitta for PA State Representative

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

by Daniel Brouse

WEST CHESTER, PA — The office of State Representative is up for election in Chester County. State Representative Dan Truitt is running for re-election against West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta. The 156th Pennsylvania House of Representatives District is located in Chester County and includes the following areas:
Birmingham Township
East Goshen Township
Thornbury Township
West Chester
West Goshen Township (PART, District North)
Westtown Township

Truitt and Comitta are on opposite sides of the “West Chester Busking and Street Performance Ordinance.”

Mayor Comitta is behind a proposed ordinance that would limit a citizen’s ability to sing, dance, play music, perform magic, juggle, read aloud or recite. The original ordinance would have required children to have a license to draw with chalk on the sidewalk. So many residents and lovers-of-the-arts showed up to this public hearing that another public hearing was added. Then, so many people showed up to protest the ordinance at the second meeting, yet another public hearing is scheduled. Though the ordinance has been watered down, it is still in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Mayor Comitta is also embroiled in allegations of police misconduct, police corruption, hate crimes and civil rights violations. Mayor Comitta’s West Chester Police Department arrested and assaulted two street musicians under the guise of the noise ordinance. Without grounds, scores of citations have been issued to other performers. One artist was cited three times, though he was not making noise. The artist won all three court cases but is now forced to sue in Federal Court (to obtain damages and challenge the noise ordinance under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.)

Mayor Comitta has been unresponsive to all requests both written [1, 2, 3] and verbal.

On the other hand, Dan Truitt met with and supported the West Chester artists that perform at Gay and Church Streets in West Chester. Dan’s office provided research on the constitutionality of the proposed ordinance and the existing noise ordinance. Dan said, “The proposed ordinance violates the Constitution.”