Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 23

The Daily Numbers: 15 years in jail for a Chester woman convicted of human trafficking in females for prostitution.

5,000 donated to Springfield Area Education System by Cole Hamels Foundation.

182 students in Upper Darby who have learned their ACT test scores are missing.

1,100 doctors in the Crozer-Keystone Health System who may soon have a new partner. The health system yesterday indicated it is exploring possible mergers.

25, age of man charged in a stabbing after an altercation on the El spilled outside.

46, age of man who pleaded guilty to indecent exposure for masturbating in his car while parked in a supermarket parking lot.

1 pedestrian victim of a hit-run in Norwood Sunday night.

69, age of former Tinicum police officer found guilty of stalking his wife.

23 rounds fired by a Sharon Hill officer at a suspect in a confrontation after a traffic stop. The officer testified yesterday at the man’s trial that he feared for his life after the suspect pointed a gun at him.

8 to 16 years in prison for a Chester man in the sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy.

70, as in Committee of 70, the civic watchdog group in Philly that has a new leader. Welcome David Thornburgh.

6 states, including Pa., that will be involved in new monitoring of travelers arriving from sections of Africa affected by Ebola virus outbreaks.

1 man nabbed after jumping the fence at the White House last night. It’s the 2nd such incident in the past few weeks. This guy didn’t make it inside.

153 point nosedive for the stock market yesterday.

2 dead - a soldier and the gunman - in an attack on Parliament in Ottawa, Canada, yesterday. It’s being tied to ISIS.

1-1 deadlock in the World Series after the Royals rolled to 7-2 win last night.

5-3 win for the Flyers over the Pens in Pittsburgh.

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

How can the Flyers look that bad in Chicago in getting spanked 4-0, then turn around the very next night and beat the Pens in Pittsburgh. Ah, the vagaries of the NHL.

I Don’t Get It: An incident on the El involving trash thrown at a baby stroller quickly escalates into a confrontation out on the platform. One man is charged, another is stabbed. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Cardinal O’Hara High School, which hosted an anti-bullying session at the school yesterday.

Quote Box: “No matter where you go, this problem is taking lives.”

- Dr. Claudio Cerullo, leader of Teach Anti-Bullying Inc., to students at O’Hara yesterday.

A live session with Tom Wolf

We’ll have Tom Wolf live this afternoon.

Last we week we put Gov. Tom Corbett on the hot seat.

This week it’s Democrat Tom Wolf’s turn.

We’ll have a live session with the Democrat who wants to turn out Corbett.

You can catch a live-stream of the interview with members of the Digital First Editorial Board at 1 p.m. at DelcoTimes.com You calso can take part in a live chat via Scribble.

If you have a question for Wolf, email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com.

Then tune in as we put Tom Wolf on the spot in the governor’s race.

We’re live at 1!

The politics of debating

Tom McGarrigle is a different kind of Republican.

Just ask Gov. Tom Corbett.

McGarrigle, the Republican chairman of County Council who is running in the increasingly heated battle for the 26th District state Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Ted Erickson against Democrat John Kane, makes no bones about his differences with the governor.

And no apologies.

McGarrigle wants a 4 percent tax on gas drillers in the state's Marcellus Shale region, with all the money going to education. That puts him at odds with the guy at the top of the GOP ticket.

Don't look for McGarrigle and Corbett to appear together anytime soon.

And don't look for McGarrigle and Kane to go mano a mano in a debate either.

That's the other thing that separates McGarrigle from the norm here in Delco, long ruled for the most part by the Republican Party. From very early in the campaign, McGarrigle has been pushing Kane for a debate.

The first overture was rejected by Kane because McGarrigle suggested it be hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, which already has indicated they are backing the Republican.

Then someone suggested me as the moderator. I agreed, so long as the two sides agreed and set the grounds rules. I suggested the two appear on our 'Live From the Newsroom' show. I had hoped to do this last night, but Kane indicated he had a scheduling conflict.

McGarrigle offered to show up alone and talk about the issues. I declined, in part because I'm not sure it would have been fair to offer a completely one-sided debate.

But I also understand the frustration McGarrigle feels. My guess is he probably feels the way so many Democrats in the county have felt for years. They always asked their Republican foes for a debate, usually having that request fall on deaf ears. Instead the two sides would usually wind up on stage together for a League of Women Voters meet the candidates night.

The temperature in the 26th state Senate race has been building to a boiling point. A nearly non-stop barrage of TV ads from both sides is making this perhaps the most expensive state Senate race in history.

McGarrigle has been labeled a tax cheat and a "millionaire."

Kane has been ripped for taking money from another labor union that faces some serious issues, as well as his healthy salary as the business manager for Plumbers Union Local 690. Kane insists the $270,000 figure the GOP ad cites is misleading, that some of that salary is retirement fund dollars he borrowed to put his kids through school.

Yesterday the thermometer inched even higher when a woman who claims to be Kane's daughter from a previous relationship took issue with his commercials portraying himself as a family man.

I'm still hoping to see McGarrigle and Kane together talking about the issues. I'll let you know when it happens. I'm not holding my breath.

'Live From the Newsroom' talks Election 2014

Tom Corbett vs. Tom Wolf.

Tom McGarrigle vs. John Kane.

Vince Rongione vs. Jamie Santora.

We're just two weeks out from going to the polls to elect a governor, members of Congress, a state senator and state representatives.

We're taking our 'Live From the Newsroom' live-stream internet show back out on the road tonight to talk politics.

We'll back on the campus of Widener University in Chester to talk about the issues and maybe make a few predictions on the key races. It's our monthly visit to Freedom Hall, where we take advantage of the school's sparkling new TV studio. Students handle much of the production for the show.

Can Tom Corbett erase a huge deficit and win another four years in Harrisburg. Who will emerge victorious in what has been perhaps the most expensive state Senate race in history in the heated battle to replace Republican Sen. Ted Erickson. This one also is important because control of the state Senate is hanging in the balance.

And the 163rd state House race is important if only for the fact that someone not named Micozzie will represent those folks in Harrisburg for the first time in more than three decades.

I'll be joined by Widener political science professor Wes Leckrone, as well as my featured columnist Chris Freind.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask the panel? Email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com.

Then tune into to DelcoTimes.com tonight at 7.

Join the conversation!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Oct. 22

The Daily Numbers: 11 months, age of tot saved from drowning in a bathtub by 2 first responders in Ridley.

1 suspect shot by police after a holdup and chase that started in Clifton Heights and ended in Upper Darby last night.

5,000 dollar reward now being offered for information on the suspects who held up the Chickie’s and Pete’s in Upper Darby Sunday.

16,400 dollars, along with 283 bucks from the manager, along with her handbag and a wedding ring valued at $5,000.

15, age of student alleged to have engaged in sex with a Garnet Valley teacher. The teacher has now resigned his post while facing charges.

19, age of former lacrosse start at the Haverford School who yesterday admitted his role as a ringleader in a Maine Line pot ring.

2 possible sightings of Eric Frein, the man wanted in fatal ambush shooting of a state trooper. Schools in the Poconos were closed in the area of the search yesterday.

2 million dollars in new funding delivered to Fair Acres by Gov. Tom Corbett this week.

30,000 dollars raised for Navy SEAL Foundation by McKee Builders.

17, age of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was honored with the Liberty Medal last night in Philly.

1 million prize won by a Temple nurse in a contest to come up with a new flavor of potato chip. Her winner? Wasabi Ginger.

5 football coaches at Sayreville High in New Jersey suspended in a hazing flap.

19. age of Main Line teen charged in a fatal heroin overdose of a friend.

5 years in prison for former Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius in the shooting death of his girlfriend in South Africa.

1 American being held in North Korea freed; 2 others remain in captivity.

93, age of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee who died yesterday.

31 states where unemployment fell last month.

7-1 win for the Giants in Game 1 over the Royals in K.C. last night.

2 run homer in 1st inning for former Phil Hunter Pence.

4-0 loss for the Flyers on the road in Chicago last night.

32 saves for Blackhawks’ goalie Antii Raanta filling in for starter Corey Crawford.

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

Yes, it stung last night for Phillies fans to watch as Hunter Pence homered in the 1st inning as the Giants smoked the Royals in Game 1 of the World Series.

I Don’t Get It: The NRA now can sue local municipalities over local gun control laws. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Woodly firefighters Cory McCans and Jamal Page. Their quick actions are being credited with saving the life of a 10-month old toddler who fell into a bathtub.

Quote Box: “I really can’t put it into words, just thank you so much.”

- John Carbonaro, father of the tot.

A salute to Ben Bradlee

Every day I get phone calls from irate readers who challenge some of the material that appears in the newspaper or our website.

They insist we've been unfair, that we have an ax to grind or hold some other bias against them, or that we just flat-out got our facts wrong.

I almost almost reply the same way: We stand by our story.

Those who feel victimized by our reporting vow to sue, inevitably adding their opinion of the newspaper. "Rag" is usually their word of choice. One aggrieved reader once told me the only reason he still got the newspaper was for hygiene facilities after he went to the bathroom, if you get my drift.

The people who work for me need to know that I stand behind their work.

The truth is I'm a pretty small fish in this business.

Ben Bradlee was not.

Bradlee was the iconic editor of the Washington Post who led their investigation of the Watergate break-in, which eventually brought down a president, and raised journalism to a new level.

A lot of people didn't believe the Post's reporting on the "third-rate burglary" that led to the office of President Richard Nixon.

Even people in this business had their doubts. It didn't really make any sense. Nixon was pretty much assured re-election. Why would he do it? But Bradlee and the Post persevered.

Ben Bradlee died yesterday at the age of 93. He was suffering from dementia.

Anyone who works in this business, or appreciates the role of a free press, is in his debt.

It is said that the Watergate story, in particular the way the Post covered it, spurred a lot of people to go into journalism. I was one of them.

I've never had the kind of pressure applied here that Bradlee faced as the powers that be put the squeeze on the Post to back off their Watergate coverage.

Bradlee never flinched.

Every time I get a nasty phone call, I think of Bradlee and the turmoil he faced in chasing that story. I know how easy it would have been for him - and the paper - to cave and pull the plug on Watergate.

This likely would not be the same country if they had.

And journalism - as troubled as it is these days - would have been forever diminished.

Thanks, Ben Bradlee.

You can put a -30- on that story now.

The answer to your Crossword questions

A long time ago, the man who hired me to work at this newspaper gave me a sage bit of advice.

"Never mess around with the comics or puzzles."

The truth is he didn't use the word 'mess.' I've sanitized it a bit, the word that is, not the message.

I think back at that bit of advice every time we tinker with the content of the print edition.

If you haven't noticed, we recently rolled out a fairly distinctive new redesign.

I have talked to scores of readers who wanted to weigh in on the change.

A couple of themes have developed. Many readers - especially young ones - like the design. They think it's better organized and a quicker read, something they need what with the manic pace we all live our lives in this technology turbo-charged world of information we swim in these days.

Our older, loyal, longtime readers have been pretty consistent in thinking that the type is too light and too difficult to read.

That is not, however, the item that has drawn the most scorn in our readers' reviews our our new look.

I took great care to note that we "saved" all of our regular features, including our popular comics and all our puzzles.

There are very few readers of the newspaper who are as devoted and loyal as those wordsmiths who every day - and Sunday - cross wits with our Crossword Puzzle.

For the last two Sundays, we have let them down.

Not because we didn't include the Sunday Crossword. It's been right there. But the answer to the previous week's puzzle has been nowhere to be found.

Readers let me know it - loud and often. They needed that answer like I need coffee in the morning.

I am happy to announce that we have retrieved the errant answer and it appears on P. 38 of today's print edition.

And we will anchor it starting this Sunday so that those readers who are so inclined are not left scratching their head wondering where the answers are.

What's a four-letter word for editor?

Uh, never mind.