Friday, July 21, 2017

Aqua still interested in Chester Water Authority

Remember a couple of months ago when behemoth local water company Aqua America sets its sights on the Chester Water Authority.

At that time the Chester Water Authority board rejected the offer.

But the popular thought was that they would not be going away.

They were right.

Aqua continues to be interested in the firm, but so far Chester Water Authority continues to resist.

You can read the latest here.

I have a person stake in this story. Sort of.

Take a close look at the bottled water on the tables during yesterday's meeting of the Chester Water Authority Board at Neumann University.

Yes, that sparkling water is the pride of the Octoraro Reservoir. I am guessing most people in Delaware County don't know that. They don't realize that when they turn on their spigots that beautiful water that flows out comes from right outside my home town of Oxford, Pa. I've done a lot of things in that water, including being chased out of it on any number of occasions.

Come to think of it, today would be a great day to cool off while fishing and swimming in the water I spent a lot of time in back in my youth.

I feel a sick day coming on.

One more salute to Officer Chris Dorman

Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman was back in uniform yesterday.

But he wasn't on patrol.

He was in a Delaware County courtroom to see justice delivered to the man who shot him in the face.

He wasn't alone.

We talk about Dorman on our editorial page.

And if you're interested in the sentence meted out to the man who shot him seven times and then fired at other officers, you can find that here.

It's Fry-Day!

Welcome to Fry-Day!

I can remember actually using that headline on the front page of the paper back in the day.

One thing you can usually count on when we get into one of these kinds of heat waves.

You know it's going to end with a bang.

We're almost at 80 already before 6 a.m., and later today we'll be back in the broiler with a high 95.

We are under an excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service until 8 p.m.

The actual real-feel temperature this after will soar well over 100 degrees.

You have to think that at some point we are going to get hit with some nasty thunderstorms to break up all this heat. But right now it looks like we'll stay in the soup through the weekend.

You can get the full forecast here.

Me? I'll be smiling. I love this weather.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

More voices calling for halt to pipeline work

The voices calling for a halt to construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline are growing.

First it was Chester County Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, who spoke up after drilling disturbed several residents' wells in Chester County.

Then there were two more incidents in Delaware County, tied to a leak of 1,500 gallons of bentonite into a tributary of Chester Creek.

That was enough for Republican state Rep. Chris Quinn, R-168.

Now he's being joined by a voice from across the aisle. State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161, of Swarthmore Wednesday called for a moratorium on construction.

They're not alone. Several environmental groups, including the Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association Inc. and Delaware Riverkeeper Network all have done likewise.

You can get the latest update here.

Meanwhile, on our editorial page today, we note that it is now up to Sunoco to take action to ease the growing concerns in the community. If they don't it might be time for legislators to force their hand.

Chris Dorman will see justice delivered today

Chris Dorman is getting what he wants.

No, he had no interest in coming face-to-face with evil - and a gun - when he was shot during a call last summer in Folcroft.

But today he will be there when justice is delivered to the man who shot him.

Dorman will not deliver his victim impact statement himself. He will write out his thoughts and allow Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Mallon deliver his remarks.

Dorman will be accompanied by a throng of Delaware County law enforcement as Island is sentenced.

We'll be there to deliver all the details.

For now, you can read about Dorman's thoughts on the past year in our Cop Shop column.

Yep, that's me with the windows down

I'm getting use to the odd stares on the ride home.

No, my car air-conditioner is not on the fritz.

I have the windows down on purpose.

You see, I like this weather.

The more people I tell this to, the more weird looks I get.

Now I'm beginning to wonder why.

Is it because I'm thin (although my gut is decidedly bigger than it used to be) and am almost always cold?

One thing I know is that for the most part I do not care for air-conditioning.

Yes, I don't mind it in the office, so long as my fingers don't turn into popsicles, which they almost always do all summer. You can find me taking a casual stroll around our new neighborhood here on South Chester Road most days trying to thaw out.

Here's a tip: Want to cool off today? You don't need to go to the local swimming pool.

Go grocery shopping.

Every week I forget that Wegmans has to be the coldest place on earth. Many parts of the store are just plain freezing.

That said, I realize this is a decidedly minority opinion. We're under an excessive heat warning until 8 p.m. Friday. Today's high is expected to push north of 95, with a heat index (can anyone tell me what the hell that is?) somewhere around 105.

Here's the full forecast.

I'll be the guy smiling on the ride home - with the windows down.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

More problems with Mariner East 2 construction

The biggest economic project in the region is making headlines again - but probably not the kind its proponents want to see.

There were two more incidents involving the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Middletown this week - one on Monday and another related to it Tuesday.

First, about 1,500 gallons of bentonite, a non-toxic, clay-like muddy substance used in the drilling process, leaked into a tributary of Chester Creek.

Then on Tuesday, runoff from groundwater at the site overflowed a retention pond, flowing onto hay bales set up in the area. A video of the runoff was widely circulated on social media.

It's not the first time a bentonite spill has become an issue. Back in May a similar leak occurred in Brookhaven.

And of course the project has been halted in Chester County after problems popped up with several residents' wells.

Now a group of community activists and even a state representative is asking for construction to be halted here in Delaware County.

Look, drilling for pipeline construction is not a pretty business. Anybody who has seen what is going on along Route 452 here in Delaware County, or out on Boot Road in Chester County, can attest to that.

But is there any danger in these spills?

Sunoco insists that's not the case, stressing that bentonite is commonly used during drilling operations, and that it is non-toxic. Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said the company has had no reports of any impact on private wells or the public water supply here in Delaware County.

That has not stopped state Rep. Chris Quinn, R-168, of Edgmont, who represents the area where the spill occurred, to call for a halt to pipeline construction.

Quinn said he wants to be sure all the proper safeguards are in place to protect the environment and local residents. "What is occurring here is unacceptable," Quinn said in a statement.

That follows word from state Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, that he was sending a letter to the state Department of Environmental Protection asking that all horizontal directional drilling be halted in Chester County after the problems with residents' private wells popped up.

Middletown Coalition for Community Safety, one of the groups who have been most vocal in their opposition to the pipeline, is seeking a moratorium on pipeline construction.

They also want their Middletown Township Council to get involved, asking them to back the moratorium call and set up a meeting between residents and Sunoco.

Council meets Monday night.

Should be interesting.