Thursday, March 28 2024 11:33

Publisher’s Letter

Written by Edwin Malet

April 2024

It’s April. At County Lines, we’re celebrating spring! Green shoots emerging! Flowers blooming! Geese honking! And kids playing outside!

And, according to Victoria Laubach, Executive Director of the Green Valleys Association, “Beavers are Making a Comeback,” not just seasonally, but over the course of a century. In the early 20th century, beavers were hunted to near extinction. Now, beavers are increasingly abundant and helping us, not just for making hats, but by reducing runoff, flooding and erosion.

You’ve all been waiting for it! West Chester’s — get ready — quasiquibicentennial! On April 21, there will be a parade, marching bands, decorations, some floats, plenty of displays of pride. Cara Corridoni describes West Chester’s history and the plans for the day in “West Chester Celebrates 225 Years at the Center of Chester County.”

Once again this April, the West Chester Film Festival presents short films from around the world — Oscar-winning documentaries, inventive animations, local dramas and gut-busting comedies. Over three days, April 24 to 26, the Fest will show dozens of short films, as well as host parties, workshops, pop-up blocks and more in Downtown West Chester.

Until Joe Biden, Pennsylvania had contributed only one U.S. President, James Buchanan. You can visit his home in Lancaster, called Wheatland. Sadly, Buchanan is mostly known for appeasing slavery and mismanagement of the so-called Utah War. He served only one term. Malcolm Johnstone tells his story in “Pennsylvania’s Own, James Buchanan.”

Happily, though, Lancaster is about much more than this former president. And it’s about much more than the Amish. In “Lancaster’s Countryside Cosmopolitan,” Emily Hart tells about modern-day Lancaster: Korean donuts, the Best Coffee Shop in Pennsylvania, a luscious French café, and an international food fiesta at Lancaster’s Central Market. She’ll also finds spas, breweries and vineyards throughout the county.

“Cricket is a Bit Like Baseball … BUT DIFFERENT.” I think it’s very different. Wickets, bowls, overs … Only two innings. The field is 360 degrees around the batter, who can bat forever. And yet it’s the second-most popular sport in the world — in fact, its popularity is growing. Read about its special relationship with Pennsylvania.

Shannon Montgomery thinks the best time for “Building Your Outdoor Oasis” is now, before those long summer days arrive. With careful planning, you can transform your outdoor space into a personal paradise — an ideal space to relax, spend quality time with family and friends, and entertain. Get ideas and inspiration, with advice from local experts, plus a Resource Guide to help you plan.

From celebs to politicians, and of course athletes, people are getting inked. Cultural norms are shifting, and the stigma surrounding tattoos is fading. Significantly, Americans believe that our society has become more accepting of tattoos. Shannon Montgomery looks into the current trend in “Beyond Skin Deep.”

Sherly Alex of the Main Line Dental Group writes for our Being Well column this month on “Laser Dentistry.” She explains that laser dentistry is providing patients with a high level of comfort and aesthetic improvement, offering a safe, effective and relatively painless option for improving smiles, using techniques that are gentle and don’t require invasive measures.

When the kids announce their mid-morning and mid-afternoon refrain, “I’m hungry,” your role is to tide them over until their next meal. Brandywine Table’s Courtney Diener-Stokes searched for “Wholesome & Hearty Snacks for Spring” and found them in raw vegetables, served with dip, hummus, cheddar cheese, whole-grain crackers, peanut butter or oat and raisin energy bites. She also suggests involving the kiddos in the snack preparation.

As always, our Best Local Events section is filled with things to do for you and your family.

Hopefully, you already have County Lines delivered to your mailbox. Save it for future reference. At, you can read the April issue online. At, you can read the digital issue. Or click Get A Copy on our website to find locations to pick up a print copy.

We hope you’d like to subscribe to County Lines. Do it on our website or call 610-918-9300. For single issues, try Wellington Square Bookshop, Main Point Books, or Reads & Co. Bookstore. Visiting an advertiser is also a great—and free—way to find copies!

Ed Malet, Publisher


Beavers are Making a Comeback

Beavers were thought to be near extinction, but recently they’ve been spotted at Welkinweir in northern Chester County. That’s good news. Their dam-building activity provides habitat for insects, birds, amphibians, mammals and fish. And their dams can naturally restore healthy streams, improve water quality, store sediments, filter pollutants and slow water, diminishing erosion during storms. Elsewhere many groups are finding ways to incorporate beavers into their restoration work. At Welkinweir, we welcome them back.


Pennsylvania’s Own: James Buchanan

Ironically, considering he was ranked near the bottom on the scale of successful presidents, James Buchanan was among the most qualified, serving in both houses of Congress, as Secretary of State and two ambassadorships. In 1844, 1848 and 1852, he sought the nomination of the Republican party, but succeeded only in 1856 and on the 17th ballot. In office, trying to stave off the Civil War, he showed sympathies for the South, embracing the Dred Scott case. The so-called Utah War also heated up on his watch, becoming known as Buchanan’s Blunder. Sadly, he is mostly remembered for appeasing slavery and mismanagement of the Utah War. By the time he left office, seven states had seceded. He served only one term.


Cricket is a Bit Like Baseball … BUT DIFFERENT

In the 19th century, cricket was the leading sport in America and had a special relationship with Pennsylvania. Witness the Merion, Germantown and Philadelphia Cricket Clubs, and the college teams at Haverford College and University of Pennsylvania. The advent of baseball undermined cricket’s popularity in the U.S. until the turn of the 21st century. Today, there’s renewed interest in cricket. Youth clubs are popping up along with a 13-club league, with teams from Malvern, Exton and Villanova, called the Greater Philadelphia Cricket League. The Philadelphia International Cricket Festival will be held in May, with matches at Merion Cricket Club and Haverford College as well as Major League Cricket in New York and other cities. And, in June, several World Cup matches will be held in the U.S. for the first time.


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