Friday, February 24, 2017

Make way for Mariner East 2

Sunoco Logistics wasn't kidding.

They're not wasting any time getting to work building that massive pipeline that will ferry Marcellus Shale products all the way across Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook.

After getting the green light from the state Department of Environmental Protection for several key permits, then hearing a judge decline appeals to that order, they are already at work here in Delaware County clearing the way for the pipeline. And they had a little other news as well.

Their plan, as they had indicated, is actually to build two pipelines simultaneously. That will produce a huge infusion of ethane, butane and propane rushing through those pipes to the former Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook.

You can get all the details in our lead story here.

As our front page, indicates: HERE IT COMES!

Welcome back, Jodine

One of the things I hear all the time is that our featured columnists lean heavily to the right.

It's true. No one is ever going to accuse Chris Freind or Christine Flowers of being a liberal.

Despite Republicans' belief that we still tilt overwhelmingly to the left, the fact is that we have lacked a liberal voice in our columnist position since Jodine Mayberry stepped aside when I first introduced our three new columnists to replace Gil Spencer.

Jodine had some health issues, as well as increased work duties that made producing her weekly column a little more than she wanted on her plate.

Well, I've got news: She's back.

We welcome back Jodine as the third member of her troika. Her column will appear on Page Six every Friday.

She jumps back into the fray today after attending that meeting on the Affordable Care Act in Media Wednesday night. And not surprisingly, she is wondering where U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan was. You can read her column here.

As it turns out, we also are addressing that issue on today's editorial page. Sooner or later, both Meehan and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey are going to have to face their constituents. You can read the editorial here.

80 degrees in February?

All together now:

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Did you manage to get outside yesterday? If not, you're in luck. Mother Nature is planning an instant replay today as our weird February weather continues.

It's not exactly a secret that I hate winter. But even I have to admit that if this is winter, I'll take it.

After hitting 73 yesterday, falling 2 degrees short of the record set back in 1874, our friends at AccuWeather actually are saying we could hit 80 degrees today.

That's right, 80 degrees.

80 degrees on a Friday in February.

Gee, I wonder how absenteeism will stack up at offices across the region today.

Probably some correlation with fact that golf course will be mobbed.

Get the full forecast here.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Feb. 23

The Daily Numbers: 71, expected high temperature today.

10 a.m., how long dense fog advisory is in effect.

2 women charged in strong-arm robbery of Harrah’s players in the parking garage of the Chester casino.

2 day strike March 5-6 being threatened by nurses at DCMH if they don’t get a new contract.

10,000 dollar fine slapped on Chester funeral home and director by state board for operating without a license.

200 people who showed up at town forum in Media on the Affordable Care Act last night.

8 million dollar line of credit for Cheyney University put up by the state.

48-game home win streak for Villanova at the Pavilion snapped last night.

74-66 loss to Butler, 2nd time this year Butler has gotten better of ‘Cats.

7 point lead for ‘Nova with 10:30 remaining.

18 point run that powered Butler to win.

4-1 loss for Flyers last night vs. the Caps.

33 saves for Caps goalie Brayden Holtby

59-39 loss for Interboro boys to Shanahan in District 1 hoops.

74-59 win for Chester Clippers.

102 straight wins for UConn women.

90-45 rout of Temple women.

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

Kind of a tough night. Losses for Flyers, Villanova, Saint Joe and Temple.

I Don’t Get It: At some point I think the Pa. Pats - Meehan and Toomey - will have to sit down in a town hall style meeting with constituents.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the latest member of the Lansdowne Police Force. Welcome to Chapek, a K-9 officer.

Quote Box: “For our patients, we must win a fair contract that will ensure safety for the Delco community.”

- Angela Neopolitano, nurse at DCMH, where unionized workers are threatening 2-day strike if they don’t get a new deal.

Voices raised with ACA concerns are not going away

The debate over the Affordable Care Act - and Republicans’ vow to repeal it - rages on.

Town hall meetings are being held across the country as citizens realize what is at stake.

Last night several hundreds people turned out for a discussion of the ACA in Media sponsored by a group called Organizing for Action.

They wanted to hear from U.S. Rep. Pat. Meehan. He was invited - they even had a chair for him - but he did not attend. Some Republicans are trying to pass off these events as blatant political events being organized by progressive groups opposed to Republican policy.

I don’t doubt that some of those in attendance were in fact political operatives.

But not all of them. Probably not even most of them.

Instead what you are hearing is citizens, many of whom dealing with life-threatening illnesses, who are scared to death that they are going to lose their health benefits.

Meehan, like many moderate Republicans, has toned down the rhetoric on the health care debate. He’s now talking about ,”rescue and repair,” as opposed to “repeal and replace” when it comes to Obamacare.

But Republicans have yet to put forth their idea for a replacement plan.

Those voices out there wondering about the future of their healthcare are only going to get louder.

You can read our coverage of last night’s hearing here.

TIME TO FIX THE REDISTRICTING MESS

Speaking of Rep. Meehan, have you looked at a map of the 7th District lately.

It looks like one of your kids was turned loose with the fingerpaints.

The 7th District, which includes most of Delaware County, now also zigs and zags its way into Montgomery, Berks and even Lancaster counties. It spans parts of five counties altogether.

Yes, it’s a mess.

Two Pennsylvania legislators - one Democrat and one Republican - want to fix it before the next census is due in 2020. You can read our editorial on the issue here.

Roundtable on abortion bills today at Swarthmore

The heated debate over a controversial abortion bill making its way through the state Legislature is headed to Delaware County today.

State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161, of Swarthmore will host a roundtable discussion on Senate Bill 3 at Swarthmore college at 2 p.m. Among those attending will be Gov. Tom Wolf.

Senate Bill 3 would change the existing abortion laws in the state, banning elective procedures after 20 weeks, instead of the 24-week limit now in place. It passed the Senate, with both Delco senators splitting along party lines. Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, and Sen. Tom Killion, R-9, voted in favor; Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, and Sen. Anthony Williams, D-1, voted against.

State Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren/Crawford/Forest, introduced a companion bill in the House on Tuesday. House Bill 77 mirrors SB 3 in being one of the most restrictive abortion ban in the country.

Krueger-Braneky and Wolf will hear testimony from medical professionals, midwives, high-risk OBGYNs and individuals with personal stories relating to abortion from Delaware County.

The roundtable is slated for 2 p.m. in Bond Memorial Hall at Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave.

We'll be there to cover it.

Heavy fog hits region overnight

You will need extra time for the morning commute.

I just drove into the office and I can tell you there is a heavy fog out there.

The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory for the entire region until 10 a.m.

The roads also are wet, meaning the morning commute should be fairly eventful.

Plan on it taking longer to get where you are going.

The good news? Not only is it not snow, but it's not even all that cold. The warm temps are what is responsible for the heavy layer of fog that descended on the region overnight.

Later this morning the fog is expected to burn off and we're actually headed for a spring-like 71 degrees later today.

Get the full forecast here.