Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The day that changed the world

It is the day that changed the world.

The "day that will live in infamy."

One thing I learned a very long time ago in this business is that you can do a lot of things, but not taking time to mark the anniversary of Pearl Harbor is not one of them.

On our editorial page today, we talk about the importance of the day, and how some of the lessons derived from that horrific day still reverberate in a very special place in Media.

Read it here.

It's time for another season of All-Delcos

It's a very special time of the year.

Not just because of the holidays, but because as one high school sports season ends and another begins, that means it's time for another showing of Delco's best and brightest.

Today we kick off the Fall All-Delco teams.

The parade is headed by Lizzie King of Strath Haven, our All-Delco Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

You can get all the details here, as well as seeing all the rest of the All-Delco Girls Soccer Team.

Here's our schedule for the rest of the week.

Thursday: Cross country

Dec.13: Boys Soccer

Dec.14: Field Hockey

Dec.15: Volleyball

Dec.16: Football

'Golden Rhule' finds greener pastures

We have a winner in the least surprising sports news of the week.

No, not that some Eagles dogged Sunday while getting their lunch handed to them by the lowly Cincinnati Bengals.

Matt Rhule is leaving Temple.

Raise your hand if you saw this one coming.

As the wins piled up over the past two seasons, Rhule would constantly be asked of his future plans, and if he had his eye on a bigger job with a bigger school.

Every time he said the right thing, that he was happy at Temple coaching these kids and had no plans to leave. Right up until Tuesday morning.

That's when he called Temple officials and informed them he was taking the job at Baylor.

Actually, the news first popped up on the Baylor website.

Rhule will not be coaching the Owls when they face Wake Forest in the Military Bowl in Annapolis in a few weeks.

He's be busy putting together a staff and starting the process of rebuilding a Baylor program that is in shambled after a sex assault scandal embroiled the team and the entire university.

We don't hold it against Rhule. Just like we didn't hold it against Al Golden or Steve Addazio.

This is what happens at schools like Temple. As soon as a coach builds a winning program, bigger schools came calling.

Rhule probably held out longer than most.

Apparently he could not resist the lure of Baylor.

Get all the details here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Dec. 6

The Daily Numbers: 6-0 vote, with 1 abstention, by Swarthmore Borough Council to reject the appeal by neighbors to use of a borough home by the HEADstrong group as a temporary residence for cancer patients.

14 people who could be housed at the sprawling home on South Chester Road.

7 cancer patients and 1 caretaker for each of them who would be accommodated.

700,000 dollars, how much HEADstrong paid for the home.

600 dollars in cash and coins taken during an armed heist of an Upper Darby laundromat during which a worker was terrorized and locked in a storage closet.

2 suspects are being sought in the heist.

1 driver being sought after going the wrong way on I-95 to elude police and a possible speeding ticket before slamming into another car, and then fleeing on foot.

40, age of Aston man charged with having sex with a 16-year-old girl who was a victim of sex trafficking.

1 person fatally shot in broad daylight just before 3 p.m. at an Upper Darby intersection.

9 heroin overdoses reported in the Kensington section of Philadelphia over the weekend.

19,216.24, record closing for the Dow Jones yesterday.

45.82 point spike yesterday for the markets.

3.8 billion dollar crude oil pipeline in North Dakota that has been halted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

2 billion dollars invested in the nearly completed project by Sunoco Logistics of Newtown Square and its parent company Energy Transfer Partners.

106-98 loss for the Sixers to the Nuggets last night.

7 straight losses for the 76ers.

7 points for Chester High product Jameer Nelson for Denver.

34, age of the all-time Chester great, who played 30 minutes last night.

1, as in No. 1, back on top of the college hoops polls for Villanova.

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

Doug Pederson admitted at his day-after presser Monday that maybe not all of his players gave 100 percent effort in that dreadful loss to the Bengals Sunday. No kidding.

I Don’t Get It: Nine people are believed to have lost their lives to heroin overdoses in one notorious section of Philadelphia over the weekend. Bucks County also is reporting a spike in ODs. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the HEADstrong group and those who battled to be able to use a Swarthmore home as a temporary residence for cancer patients. Council voted 6-0 to reject an appeal against the use by some neighbors.

Quote Box: “Until you hear the words, this is just historic, it’s monumental, it’s for Nick and it’s for everybody who follows in his footsteps.”

- Cheryl Colleluori, after the 6-0 vote by Swarthmore Borough Council in HEADstrong’s favor.

HEADS Up! A win for HEADstrong in Swarthmore

One of the challenges we face in putting together our print edition every day is something we call our 'black line.'

That's how we refer to our lead headline on Page One.

If you're a fan of 'The Paper,' the Michael Keaton movie based on a New York City tabloid newspaper, you'll remember they refer to it as 'The Wood.'

Both terms are part of old-time journalism lore. Today, in the face of breaking news online, posting on Twitter and Facebook, we still take a lot of time in crafting our front page presentation every day.

For tabloids like us, which do not use text or stories routinely on their front page, as opposed to our broadsheet print counterparts, that means we often are left trying to deliver what can be very complicated stories and breaking them down to just a few precious words to deliver the story with as much impact as we can.

I think we did just that again this morning.

Today's front page delivers the result of last night's much-anticipated Swarthmore Borough Council meeting with just two words: HEADS Up!

That, of course, is a reference to the HEADstrong Foundation's push to use a sprawling old home in Swarthmore Borough as a temporary residence for cancer patients and their families who are receiving treatment in the region.

It is the legacy of Nick Colleluori, a former star athlete at Ridley High who conceived of the organization as he was battling the non-Hodgkins Lymphoma that eventually took his life.

After they got the initial OK from the borough's Accommodations Board, the HEADstrong request was met with opposition from a group of neighbors.

Last night Swarthmore Borough Council voted to reject their appeal and allow the use by HEADStrong.

The story has probably generated more response and interaction on social media than any story we've done in recent memory.

Give a big part of the credit for that to Cheryl Colleluori, Nick's mom and the head of HEADstrong.

She probably put it best, describing herself as a "mom on a mission."

You can get all the details here.

The link between North Dakota and Delco

We used our editorial page today to draw a parallel between what is happening out in North Dakota and right here in Delaware County.

What is the connection?

Pipelines.

In North Dakota, members of the Standing Rock Sioux are claiming victory in getting the Army Corps of Engineers to halt construction on the Dakota Access pipeline and indicate they would seek to re-route the project away from the tribe's sacred burial grounds and water source.

Here in Delco, a lot of people might be like-minded. They're not wild about the proposed path of Mariner East 2, a pipeline that would deliver hundreds of thousands of barrels of chemicals such as ethane, butane and propane from the state's Marcellus Shale regions to Marcus Hook.

The path of the pipeline would bring it within a few feet of a local elementary school in Middletown, just one of the reasons many residents are opposed to the project.

There is another common theme as well. Sunoco Logistics, the company behind Mariner East 2, also is deeply involved with Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access pipeline.

You can read the editorial here.

The connection between 'It's a Wonderful Life' & 'The Quiet Man'

File this one under the ever-growing file of "Things I Didn't Know.'

In my Monday print column I talked about my annual holiday mission - to embrace the holiday spirit.

It's a little inside joke I share with my daughter, whose sense of the holidays is second to none.

We call it getting 'imbued,' or instilled with the special spirit of Christmas and the holidays.

She is in charge of alerting me to our ritual of watching holiday movies and TV specials.

That is how I came to be on the couch Saturday night watching 'It's a Wonderful Life.'

A quick confession. I'm not the biggest 'It's a Wonderful Life' fan. Don't hate me. It's just a tad heavy on the schmaltz and syrup for my liking, although I can admit I still get a little misty-eyed at the end as George Bailey hugs his daughter and says, 'Atta boy, Clarence,' content in the knowledge that he has helped his friend "earn his wings."

Actually, I much prefer another Jimmy Stewart holiday movie my wife - the resident old black and white movie expert in the family - turned me on to. It's called 'The Shop Around the Corner.' It was actually on TCM Friday night, the night before we watched 'Wonderful Life' for the millionth time. I highly recommend it.

But I digress.

It was while we were watching 'It's a Wonderful Life,' and me noting that I don't especially care for it, that my wife informed me it something in common with one of my absolute favorite movies ever. If I ever actually sat down and created a Top 5 Favorite Movies list, 'The Quiet Man' would be right up, along with 'High Society.'

What I did not know is that the great John Wayne-Maureen O'Hara Irish epic shares something in common with 'It's a Wonderful Life.'

Any idea what it is?

That would be one Ward Bond.

He played Bert the cop in 'It's a Wonderful Life.' In fact, a lot of people believe they used that name, along with Ernie the cab driver, as the namesakes for Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street.

I've heard that a million times.

Here's something I did not know.

Ward Bond also played Father Peter Lonergan, parish priest, in 'The Quiet Man.'

I still can't believe I never made that connection.

Ward Bond had a prolific career, often teaming with John Wayne, who he met while they were students at USC, and director John Ford. He appeared in 26 Ford films.

He has appeared in seven of The American Film Institute's 100 Greatest American Movies.

But it is his role as Father Lonergan that captures my heart. He was at the center of the plot cooked up to get Will Danaher to allow the marriage of his sister Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara) to Wayne, who had gone home to the town of his birth in Ireland after killing a man in the ring in America, only to make a mortal enemy of Danaher by buying his childhood home, which stood right next to Danaher's property.

For me, it is pure Irish movie magic.

Now if I could just figure out why exactly Bert the cop thought it was a good idea to open fire on George Bailey in the middle of that crowded street in what was by that time Pottersville, instead of Bedford Falls.

Oh, that's right, it's the movies.

I will likely continue to grit my teeth as I sit through 'It's a Wonderful Life.'

But I will do so now with a smile on my face every time I see Bert the cop.

Merry Christmas.

Hope this adds to your sense of being 'imbued.'

I think we all could stand to be a bit more 'imbued' these days.