Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Sept. 2

The Daily Numbers: 2.4 billion, what it cost to build Revel Casino in Atlantic City, which shut its doors this morning.

6 a.m., when they closed the place up.

35 minutes earlier, when they started shooing the last gamblers away from the tables.

3 A.C. casinos that are shutting down. Showboat also closed this weekend. Trump Plaza is expected to close in a few weeks.

2,814 employees at Revel in July.

5,700 job losses from shutdowns at Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza

27 years, how long Showboat operated on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

2 years, the short run for Revel.

27-23 majority for Republicans in the Pa. Senate. One of the reasons so much focus will be placed on the 26th state Senate district race pitting Republican Tom McGarrigle vs. Democrat John Kane to replace the retiring Sen. Ted Erickson.

740,840 dollars to $418,477 advantage in fund-raising so far for McGarrigle.

3 students at Council Rock South High School in Bucks County killed in SUV crash over weekend.

1 swimmer killed in Lancaster County when he was struck by lightning.

2 Babe Ruth championships heralded by Broomall Newtown with a parade on Sunday.

0 hits surrendered by Phillies starter Cole Hamels.

107 pitches for Cole, who exited after 6 innings.

3 Phillies relievers - Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon who combined to finish off the no-hitter.

7-0 win for the Phillies over the Braves.

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

Raise your hand if you were psyched to hear that the Phillies were tossing a no-hitter, only to be bummed to find out that it was being shared by 3 pitchers. Yeah, me toom.

I Don’t Get It: Still trying to figure out how Revel could fail after only 2 years in business on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all the kids from Broomall-Newtown, who turned the place into Title Town by winning 2 Babe Ruth World Series titles.

Quote Box: “He’s certainly not running as part of a ticket that includes Gov. Corbett.”

- Widener political science professor Wesley Leckrone on Tom McGarrigle’s run for the state Senate.

Another losing bet in Atlantic City

“Everything dies baby that’s a fact

But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”

‘Atlantic City,’ Bruce Springsteen.

*

I spent much of Labor Day with that song playing in my head.

Atlantic City was dead. They thought legalized gambling was going to bring it back. It did, for awhile.

Now it is dying again.

The Showboat Casino closed its doors over the weekend.

This morning, incredibly, they are shuttering the newest casino in this struggling shore town. Revel Casino, which cost upwards of $2 billion to build, has gone belly-up. It will fall silent this morning.

It all brings to mind another Bruce song.

"Troubled times have come to my hometown."

Summer weather finally arrives

Go ahead and hate me if you want (You're certainly not going to be alone in this county!)

It took almost all summer to get here, but summer finally arrived this weekend - just in time to mark the unofficial end of the season.

Labor Day was my kind of summer weather - hot and humid. I spent much of the day sitting on the deck, listening to the hum of the air conditioners as they droned on in the neighborhood.

Every once in awhile my wife would stick her head out the door and check on me. Each time I invited her to join me was met with a look that screamed, "Have you lost your mind?"

You could probably make the argument that I have.

It looks like this late-summer steambath is going to stick around most of the week.

Look for me on the deck, the Phillies game on the radio, a cold beverage in hand.

Life is good.

It took far too long to get here, but I'll take it.

One last burst of no-hit glory for Phillies

It was Labor Day perfection.

I was sitting on the deck, listening to the sounds of summer as the cicadas and crickets provided a constant hum, when I realized one sound was missing.

In my rush to luxuriate in the last real day of summer, I had totally forgotten that the Phillies were playing a special Monday afternoon game in Atlanta on the holiday.

I was actually running an errand in the car when it hit me. The radio as usual was tuned to 94-WIP sports talk radio, which also broadcasts the Phils.

When I turned on the engine, the radio came on and alerted me to what I missed.

The Phillies were three outs away from a no-hitter.

My heart started pounding.

I knew that Cole Hamels was the starter on Monday, and a no-hitter by the Phils' ace was going to be big news.

I started racing back home when I got a few more details, which promptly threw cold water all over the big effort by the Phils.

Hamels was long gone. He exited in the sixth inning after throwing 107 pitches. In a season when he often has been unhittable, he did not have his best stuff vs. the Braves on Monday.

What he did have, however, was a no-hitter through six innings.

Then a fairly amazing thing happened. Three successive Phillies relievers - Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon all held up their end of the bargin, retiring the Braves without a hit. Dennis Deitch has all the deails here.

It is the first time in the history of the Phillies franchise that pitchers have combined on a no-hitter.

But for some reason it just didn't hold the same magic for me as it would have if Hamels had gone the distance.

Still, on a year when so much has gone wrong, it was a nice later-summer interlude.

Now, the Phillies can exit the stage and make way for Eagles season.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day in Atlantic City

“Everything dies baby that’s a fact

But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”

‘Atlantic City,’ Bruce Springsteen. *

Nobody expected it to die again, however. The panacea of legalized gambling that was supposed to resurrect a down-on-its luck shore town more than 30 years ago has gone bust.

Other states, including Pennsylvania, introduced casinos, siphoning off the lifeblood of the new Atlantic City - gamblers.

They have had better Labor Days in Atlantic City.

Showboat Hotel and Casino closed its doors over the weekend.

Today, Revel Casino, a $2 billion albatross, shuts down after being in operation for a little more than two years.

The closures, with another one looming at Trump Plaza, will put more than 6,000 people out of work. It is being described as no less than an economic disaster.

Gambling was supposed to save Atlantic City.

Instead, once neighboring states started to lure away its customers, it’s turned into a losing bet. It cost more than $2 billion to build Revel. It was supposed to be the logical extension of the upscale, glitzy Atlantic City symbolized by the success of Borgata, only on the boardwalk.

It didn’t turn out that way.

*

“Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty,

and meet me tonight in Atlantic City.”

Didn’t work out that way, Boss. They tried to fix Atlantic City. It worked - for awhile.

Maybe it will come back again.

Or maybe they’ll just meet at the unemployment office.

Marking a milestone

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my birthday.

When I was a kid, it was always a harbinger to summer's end.

Now that I'm and adult (allegedly) I'm faced with another dilemma. This is likely the last birthday I will 'celebrate.'

Oh, I guess they will still roll around each year. But this is the last time I really want to blow out any candles. Today I turn 59. I have no interest in being 60. I explain in my print column today.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Aug. 29

The Daily Numbers: 12-3 win for the Broomall-Newtown 13-15 Babe Ruth team to take the national title last night.

2 Babe Ruth Little League championships coming home to Broomall-Newtown. Their 13 team won a title last week.

11 walks, 7 errors, 3 wild pitches and 1 hit batter by team from Lumber River, N.C., that helped paved the way for Broomall-Newtown last night.

300 residents who packed a meeting in Brookhaven last night to discuss a proposed development for the last piece of open space in the borough.

25 acres of the 55-acre Chester Water Authority ground at Coebourn and Edgmont that is targeted for a new shopping center.

15 years with the Springfield School District coming to end as Superintendent James Capolupo is planning to leave. He will not accept a contract extension.

9 years as leader of Marple Newtown School District Merle Horowitz, who announced she is retiring.

42, age of Concord man nailed on child porn charges by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

3.5 million dollar renovation of the Neumann University Library that was officially unveiled this week.

1 year of probation for former Interboro High athlete who pleaded guilty in an attack on a Ridley football player.

330 volunteers who showed up recently to help create a new playground at Evans Elementary School in Yeadon.

500,000 more low-income residents of Pennsylvania who will get health care after the feds accepted the state’s plan to accept Medicaid expansion money.

20,000, how many cases of Ebola virus outbreak are being predicted.

42 point dip for the stock market yesterday.

298,000 people who filed for unemployment benefits last week, that’s down 1,000 from the week before.

3 field goals booted by Eagles kicker Cody Parkey last night in his bid to unseat Alex Henery as the team’s kicker.

54, 53 and 25 yarders converted by Parkey.

22 of 34 for backup QB Matt Barkley as the Birds rolled over the Jets, 37-7.

1 play for Michael Vick to start the game in front of the Philly fans before he was lifted from game by Jets.

37-7 win for Temple over Venderbilt to open the season. Hoot, Owls!

1, where Garnet Valley is sitting on the 1st edition of Matt Smith’s Delco Football Super 7.

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

If I was Alex Henery, I might start packing my bags. It will be hard for Chip Kelly not to go with Cody Parkey after his performance last night.

I Don’t Get It: We apparently set some kind of record for a cooler than normal summer. So much for global warming.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Broomall-Newtown Babe Ruth. They took not 1 but 2 Babe Ruth World Series crowns.

Quote Box: “The attraction and charm of Brookhaven will be lost.”

- Resident Jesse Walker, speaking against development of large tract of open space.