Friday, January 20, 2017

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Jan. 20

The Daily Numbers: 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump takes the oath of office today.

58th inaugural day in nation’s history

11,000 people expected to take part in the inaugural parade.

1809, first parade, which feted new President James Madison

1.7 mile route down Pennsylvania for the parade.

2 people from Collingdale facing charges in cruelty case involving horrific abuse of a dog.

40 years of service at Delaware County Community College for Dr. Jerry Parker, who will retire at the end of the school.

year. He will be replaced by longtime Texas educator Dr. L. Joy Gates Black.

26, age of Darby Township man now facing charges that he delivered drugs that ended in fatal overdose.

14,000 stolen from man attempting to make deposit at ATM in Media.

4 generations of 1 Delco family that will take part in Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.

4 more months for Pa. to comply with federal Real ID Law.

11 Pennsylvanians who had drug, weapons sentences commuted by President Obama.

3rd in All-Star voting for Joel Embiid. He was not named to starters.

64-53 win for Glen Mills over Chichester in high school hoops.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Joel Embiid is not an NBA All-Star, at least not yet. He likely will be added to the team when reserves are named next week.

I Don’t Get It: Hard to read what happened to Dolly, a put bull puppy that was victim of abuse in Collingdale.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Donald Trump. It’s his day. Enjoy it, then get to work.

Quote Box: “She’s scared but she’s not shown any bit of aggression. She just wants you to love and per her.”

- Russ ‘Wolf’ Harper, on rescued pit bull Dolly.

We'll have live coverage of the Trump Inauguration

This is the day almost no one - in particular those of us in the media - even thought would actually happen.

Donald Trump will be sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States.

Yes, we elected a billionaire real estate mogul and erstwhile reality TV show host as the commander-in-chief.

I don't know why anyone should be surprised.

This is who we are as a country. We post all of our most intimate moments on social media, clamoring for what Andy Warhol warned us about a few decades back - our 15 minutes of fame.

Trump himself is a social media czar, blasting out 140-character updates on Twitter at all hours of the morning.

Yesterday Trump pledged, for the umpteenth time, to make America Great Again.

I hope he does.

In the meantime, we will be offering all-day live coverage of what is going on in D.C., as well as who from Delco is making the trip.

One of those will be state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, of Ridley Park. The state legislator is a member of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, which will be taking part in the inaugural parade.

Reporter Rick Kauffman will spend the day in D.C., capturing the day in words and photos, and looking for anyone from Delco who has made the jaunt down I-95.

We also will be getting live Tweets from two Delaware County college students who are in D.C. for the day. Blaine King, from Upper Darby,a nd Justin Miller, from Springfield, will be live-Tweeting all day. In addition, state Rep. Steve Barrar, R-160, of Concord, providing reports from the ground as well as one of tonight's big Inaugural Balls. You can follow our live coverage on DelcoTimes.com starting at 7 a.m. here.

A new start for two troubled Harrisburg offices

All eyes no doubt will be on Washington today as Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

But there are a couple of key new faces taking over in Harrisburg as well.

Both Joe Torsella and Josh Shapiro are facing the problem of restoring the public's faith in their offices after they were rocked by scandal.

Shapiro is the new attorney general, trying to restore the luster scarred by the tempestuous reign of Kathleen Kane.

Likewise, Torsella, as the new state treasurer, is trying to wipe away the shadows of his predecessor, Rob McCord.

Both are off to impressive starts.

Torsella in particular this week did something a bit out of the ordinary for a Capitol inauguration day.

What did he do?

You can read the editorial here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Jan. 19

The Daily Numbers: 24 to 48 years in prison for Shannon Matthews in murder of 2-year-old Mason Hunt.

1 year less a day and immediate parole for her boyfriend, Daniel Grafton.

3 years probation and 300 hours of community service for him as well.

227-198 vote last week in the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with Delco Rep. Pat Meehan joining Republicans in pushing for repeal.

900 dollar deductibles that are now increasing to $1,500 before insurance kicks in, according to Meehan.

13 ACA programs in Pa. at one point. Meehan now says those have dwindled to just 8.

79, age of Clifton Heights man who had guilty verdict against him in child sex abuse case vacated.

5 Chester officers promoted to rank of detective.

8 cadets from Philadelphia Academy will be joining city patrols.

182 deaths in the county linked to opioid abuse.

94 heroin-related deaths.

121 heroin/fentanyl related deaths.

28 deaths in which the case is still pending but could be linked to opioids.

3.2 billion dollars in revenue at Pa. casinos in 2016.

1.25 percent boost from the casinos’ take in 2015.

4.30 percent dip in table game revenue at Harrah’s for the year.

16.53 percent plunge in table games play in December.

65,296,774 dollars taken in via slots at Harrah’s in 2016. That’s down from $68,233,315 in 2015.

12 percent gain in table games play at Parx in Bucks County.

22.95 percent increase shown at Sugar House in Philly.

230,151,256 dollars in table games at Sands Bethlehem, tops in revenue in the state.

2nd location opening for popular Upper Darby pizza joint Pica’s. They are opening restaurant on West Chester Pike in West Goshen.

7 wins in 9 games for the Sixers.

94-89 win last night over first-place Raptors.

26 points for Joel Embiid

3 new members of Baseball Hall of Fame: Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Another day, another win for the Sixers, this time knocking off the best team in the Atlantic Division.

I Don’t Get It: Still mourning the death of little Mason Hunt. His mother was sentenced to a long prison term in connection with his murder.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Pat Meehan for offering his rationale for making changes to the Affordable Care Act.

Quote Box: “I wake up on the mornings that I can sleep with a heartache that no medication can take away. I have a hole in my heart that will never heal.”

- Paul Hunt, father of Mason Hunt, at sentencing of the boy’s mother in connection with his death.

Meehan: Think 'rescue & repair' for Affordable Care Act

Rep. Pat Meehan has heard you.

The Delaware County congressman was the target of more than 150 protesters Sunday who took to the streets outside his district office in Springfield to voice their displeasure with his vote in the House to start the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Yesterday Meehan, R-7, of Chadds Ford, was doing an event in Upper Darby to talk to senior citizens about Medicare eligibility - and he used the occasion to address the protests - and where he stands on Obamacare.

Meehan is no stranger to the opposition to the new federal health care program. He has often voiced his displeasure with several parts of the plan. But he stressed Wednesday that the latest repeal push is only part of a process, and it is his hope that several key parts of the program will remain.

In particular, he noted that he supports the measure allowing dependent children to stay on their parents' coverage until age 26, and also assurances for people with pre-existing conditions.

"It's an authorization. It allows us to begin the process," Meehan stated of his vote in joining Republicans in the 227-198 push to repeal Obamacare last week. "It changes nothing unto itself but it allows the committees the begin the process of looking at what I call the rescue and repair of the issues that have been affected from the Affordable Care Act."

He also stressed that the escalating costs of the program have to be addressed.

Meehan said deductibles have increased in some cases from $900 to $1,500 annually before the insurance kicks in. He also lamented that more and more insurers are getting out of the program. At one point there were 13 ACA programs in Pennsylvania; now there will only be eight, according to the congressman.

So it's not repeal and replace.

Think rescue and repair.

You can read the full story here.

Taming the social media beast

Call it the dinosaur in me.

I am becoming increasingly distrustful of technology and social media.

This has nothing to do with "Fake News."

It has everything to do with "Too Much Information."

In short, I think we're all overloaded. We're all plugged in entirely too much. We all feel free to divulge even our most private thoughts, thinking that people are interested in these intimate details.

Hey, it worked for the Kardashians.

And Donald Trump rode this "reality" train all the way to the White House.

In less lives, such as mine and a lot of other people, it can be a bit more problematic.

I think Antonio Brown might understand.

The star wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers apparently was not content to bask in the glow of last weekend's big divisional playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Instead - of course - he took to social media and used Facebook live to literally broadcast live the Steelers' post-game locker room celebration.

In doing so he fractured a long-held sports maxim: what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room.

He also did something else once considered a 'No-No' in sports: He provided billboard material for this weekend's opponent, Bill Belechick and the New England Patriots. That's because Brown's insistence on being a social media star broadcast to the world some less than complimentary comments about the Pats made by none other than his head coach, Mike Tomlin.

As you might imagine, Tomlin was less than pleased.

Wednesday, Brown apologized.

Yeah, right. Until the next time.

To be honest, I know how he feels. I know how easy it is to think that you are the center of the universe, that you - and what you have to say - are important.

Social media is a big part of my job these days. For the most part, I spend inordinate amounts of time every day posting material on Twitter and Facebook, sharing both personal and business items.

I would be lying to you if I said I did not post things that I later regretted.

It is now part of what I do every day. And it's one I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with.

I know, that's my problem. Not yours.

But I think we will continue to see instances like the one Antonio Brown found himself snarled in this week pop up more and more often.

As a person who edits material every day, I can tell you every writer, every person who puts information out to the general public, needs a good editor. They are the writer's best friend - another set of eyes. Not just to catch the more than occasional typo that can ruin a good piece. But to operate as a filter, someone who might question what you are about to lay bare before the rest of the world.

The problem with social media is that in all too many instances, there are no editors. Everyone with a phone, tablet or laptop is a publisher.

That's a powerful title.

I know. I perform those dual duties almost every morning.

Today, too often not much of anything that happens in any of our live stays private. We have social media to blame for much of that, and what I will simply refer to as the 'Kardashian' effect.

Starting tomorrow, the nation will be led by a commander-in-chief whose preferred method of communication comes in burst of 140 characters.

Yes, the Donald is a Twitter master.

But I wish every once in awhile he would take a deep breath before hitting that send button.

The same breath I sometimes wish I had employed before firing off that email, before posting on Facebook.

Look for less of me online in the near future.

And feel free to do likewise if you feel the same way.

The world will continue to spin, even if the 'spin' on social media declines.

At least I think it will.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Jan. 17

The Daily Numbers: 1st ever district-wide day of service held yesterday in Radnor School District to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. day of service.

10,000 dollars raised in the ‘Hoops From the Heart’ annual fundraiser held by Community Action Agency. The money goes to the Life Center for Eastern Delaware County.

10,000 meals packed to help the needy during an event held at Haverford Middle School.

20 people evacuated from their homes for a short time yesterday by a natural gas leak in Brookhaven.

4 crosses proposed for new pedestrian bridge over Lancaster Avenue at Villanova University that are being questioned by some in the community.

4 feet, 7 inch tall crosses slated for the bridge.

25 percent cut in tuition for students at Immaculata University in Chester County.

6-packs, what you can now buy at Pa. beer distributors.

4 local Democratic members of Congress who indicate they will boycott the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th president.

14, age of Grace Packer, the Montco teen who was brutally tortured, raped and killed, allegedly at the hands of her adoptive mother and her boyfriend. The teen’s troubled life was memorialized yesterday by friends.

82, age of astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. He died this week.

6 wins in their last 8 games for the Sixers.

113-104 win over the Bucks yesterday.

22 points for Joel Embiid.

28 minutes per game, all Embiid is being allowed to play as the team monitors his recovery from several injuries. 9 game losing streak to the Bucks snapped by the Sixers.

9 million dollar, 1-year deal between the Phillies and slugging outfielder Michael Saunders.

24 homers, 57 RBI and .253 batting average last year for Saunders with the Blue Jays.

48 million people, number of viewers watching the Packers-Cowboys NFC Divisional Playoff game.

37.4 million watching the Steelers-Chiefs. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Six of eight for the Sixers and Joel Embiid. He is the man.

I Don’t Get It: Still not sure I am ready for a president who likes to Tweet, usually bashing those who criticize him, at all hours of the night.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who took part in MLK activities yesterday. Now the key is to put those sentiments into action every day, not just the one day that marks his holiday.

Quote Box: “As we celebrate Dr. King, let’s celebrate him by passing it on.”

- Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland.