Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hart of the matter for Chester kids

One of the things I am acutely aware of is how this newspaper represents the city of Chester.

There are a lot of people who wonder if we have it in for the city, that we are always looking for a way to take a shot at them, to portray the city and its citizens in a bad light.

For those I ask them to please take note of today's front page.

Yes, Chester is plastered all over it again today.

But this is not the usual treatment.

Instead we feature a lot of fresh you faces - and yes, a few politicians - having the time of their lives yesterday at the Sun Center Studios in Chester Township.

Oh, and of course there is one other non-Chester person in that photo.

That would be Philly native and Hollywood star Kevin Hart, who is filming some scenes for his upcoming movie 'Untouchable,' along with Bryan Cranston.

Hart took some time to meet the students, who were getting a tour of the facility.

Make sure you check out this Chester story here.

And we're going to give you more about this great group of kids on Sunday.

Watch for it.

Brace yourself for reassessment

It's one of the scariest words in real estate.

And if you own a home - especially an older home that has likely risen in value - you especially don't want to hear it.

So brace yourself, Delaware County. It's coming.

Reassessment.

Delaware County Judge Charles Burr this week ordered a reassessment of every property in Delaware County - more than 200,000 of them.

Yes, it will likely cause some angst for homeowners.

But it was the right thing to do.

We explain it on our editorial page.

StoneMor finds a partner

Call them the Odd Couple.

A lot of people were not happy when the Archdiocese of Philadelphia got in bed with the private firm StoneMor to run the operations at its cemeteries, including SS. Peter & Paul in Marple.

Among those most irked were local funeral directors, who said the private company was using misleading tactics in selling some of the services at the cemeteries.

StoneMor dismissed the complaints, saying the local guys simply did not like the competition.

Since then, StoneMor has struggled, including now facing a lawsuit from shareholders.

So news that broke yesterday that StoneMor is now partnering up with another company probably shouldn't comes as a surprise - except for who it is.

StoneMor announced an agreement with the well-known Donohue Funeral Home to provide funeral services for its customers in the archdiocese.

You can read the story here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Putting a 'Dent' in health care debate

Are you still hoping that our elected representatives in Washington can put a "Dent" into the mess that Republicans made out of the health-care debate?

Well, you might be in luck.

Charlie Dent is a Republican who represents northeastern Pennsylvania in Congress.

Unlikely so many of his GOP counterparts, including Delco's own Rep. Pat Meehan, Dent did not hedge his bets when it came to the American Health Care Act.

He did not have to read any tea leaves. He did not consult and seers or soothsayers. Most important, he did not wait to see if this thing was actually ever going to go to a vote.

Dent went on the record before the House vote was delayed and before the bill was pulled by President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

He would not support the bill, and he was not going to hide that fact.

He took some heat for his stand - especially from fellow Republicans. But it was the right thing to do, and a breath of fresh air in a town where too many people have been playing it safe.

We talk about Dent on today's editorial page.

Attention Media Borough: Can you please fix this pothole?

Here's a note to Media Borough - and a warning for anyone driving through the county seat.

Watch out of the great Baltimore Pike pothole.

Actually, this isn't even a pothole.

I believe it's the result of some road work where crews were forced to dig up the road. They then filled it in and everything is hunky-dory, right?

Uh, not exactly. As often happens, the fill settled. Only in this instance, it REALLY settled, leaving a nasty pothole as you head east down the hill after passing the Court Diner. I think that's the intersection with Edgemont Street.

Every morning as I ride through the borough, I manage to hit this hole, which is threatening to loosen a few of my decades-old fillings.

Every time I remind myself to move over far enough to the right to miss it, and every morning in the early-a.m. darkness I manage to hit this thing.

I'm surprised I have not blown out that front left driver's side tire on that thing.

So here is my request? Can someone with the borough please go back and fill this thing in again?

Anyone else have the misfortune to hit this monster?

Jeff Lurie wants us to be patient

I have been a die-hard Eagles fan since I fell out of the womb.

I was at one time an Eagles season ticket holder and proud denizen of the 700 Level at Veterans Stadium.

In September, as the Birds kick off another season, I will be 62.

I have never seen the Eagles raise the Lombardi Trophy, emblematic of being Super Bowl champions.

Oh, I've seen them play in a few, the first when Ron Jaworski decided to make Oakland Raiders linebacker Rod Martin his favorite receiver for the day, throwing three interceptions in a brutal loss for Dick Vermeil.

It took decades for the Birds to get back, and then Andy Reid apparently forgot to look at the time block as he watched his team methodically march down the field against the Patriots, eating up the clock despite being down by two scores. At one point, Patriots coach Bill Belichick actually had to ask if the scoreboard was correct, if his team was actually trailing the Eagles, who seemed intent on running out the clock.

Last night, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie met the media at the NFL meetings in Phoenix.

Lurie has owned the team for 23 years and has zero Super Bowl championships to show for it, despite his insistent mantra of making the Birds the 'gold standard' of the NFL.

He asked the fans to be patient.

Patient.

Really?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Meehan sticks to middle ground in health care debate

The first thing you notice is his size.

He's well over 6 feet tall, a commanding presence.

Then there's that distinctive shock of silver hair.

Pat Meehan is in the house.

The congressman who represents the bulk of Delaware County paid a visit to our new office in Swarthmore Tuesday. He and his aide, John Elizandro reached out over the weekend, said they were going to be in the area, and wondered if they could drop by. I said sure - but with one caveat.

I wanted the session to be on the record.

I did not hear back from Elizandro until they showed up at the front desk.

I inquired again. Elizandro looked at his boss and asked him if he was alright with that. Sure, Meehan said.

What happened next was a 45-minute conversation in which Meehan laid out his stance on health care in the wake of last week's disastrous GOP decision to pull their American Health Care Act instead of facing a sure loss in the House vote.

Meehan talked about his move to push the bill out of the House Ways and Means Committee and out to a House vote as a way to move the legislative process forward.

But he said even then he had serious reservations about it. Those no doubt were reinforced by the weekly protests outside his office that drew hundreds opposed to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Meehan played this one right down the middle politically. It's a place he finds himself often.

Before the vote, he said he was undecided, still inspecting the legislation and talking to constituents.

Only after the bill was pulled did he put out a statement saying that he would have opposed the measure.

Yesterday in our office, he said that he actually had his mind up to oppose the measure on Thursday. Too bad he didn't feel the need to tell his constituents that until after the bill was pulled.

Now he will no doubt hear from Dems who will point to his vote in committee to move the bill forward.

But he didn't actually have to vote, sticking instead to his familiar, safe middle ground.

Don't take my word for it.

You can hear Meehan himself talk about it.

We have a podcast of the bulk of the interview.

You can listen to it here.