Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, April 17

The Daily Numbers: 32, our low temperature overnight. Nice sense of humor, Mother Nature.

2 different fires that struck homes in Ridley and Folcroft yesterday.

1 hour of deliberations, how long it took a jury to acquit a Chester man charged in a gun incident outside Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

7,661 in additional funding set in Middletown Township to attack pothole-scarred roads.

58 percent increase in cost of college education, target of hearing yesterday at Cheyney University.

77 million dollars, price placed on auction block for Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. 67.9 million dollars brought in on table games at Pa. casinos last month. That’s up 1 percent from the same month last year.

6,964,862 in slots play at Harrah’s in March. That’s down from last year’s number of $7,265,244. And that’s with more tables in play this year, 126 as opposed to 121 last year.

4.2 percent overall decline in revenue at casinos in March because of a continuing slide in slots play.

3 children in her car when a New Jersey woman drover her van into the Delaware River. She now faces attempted murder charges. All 4 were rescued.

1,500 dollars worth of vandalism being investigated at Rowan University.

60 age of Montgomery County man who faces charges of supplying booze for a Sweet 16 party.

7.5 million in upgrades being given the OK by the PATCO transit board.

8 arrests on weapons and other charges for a woman who now faces charges in connection with death of her son. She left a loaded gun in her home that was used in shooting death of 2-year-old.v 290 still missing after a ferry packed with students capsized off Korea

162 point spike for the stock market yesterday.

2 wins to end the season for the Sixers. They started the season going 3-0.

20 points for Thaddeus Young.

13 strikeouts for Cliff Lee last night. He still go the loss despite tossing a complete game.

1-0 loss as Lee was outdueled by Braves pitcher Julio Teheran.

3 hits for the feeble Phils lineup.

1 as in Game 1 tonight as the Flyers face the Rangers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. 8 straight losses for the Flyers in Big Apple.

28 appearances for Ray Emery, who will get the start for the Flyers with Steve Mason on the shelf. 9-12-2 mark for Emery, with a 2.96 goals against average.

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

Cliff Lee was mediocre on opening day and escaped with a win in a slugfest. He was great last night, striking out 13 Braves, and lost, 1-0. That’s baseball.

I Don’t Get It: What is with all the random gunfire in Chester. People are telling us it is now an everyday occurrence?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the good people at Apple Pie Day Care Center in Chester. They are raising money for the funeral of little Karder Hardy, who was struck and killed by a car last weekend.

Quote Box: “I couldn’t imagine losing a child like that.”

- Brookhaven resident Ray Delfera, while writing out a check to help the effort.

Focusing on gunfire in Chester

UPDATE: I'm starting to get some reaction to my call for citizens to sound off about gunfire in Chester. Here's what one resident emailed me:

"Seriously terrified. My in-laws refuse to move out of the city! My husband WORKS in the city. I pray for their safety. It makes me sick that someone can't declare Marshall Law and go in and clean house in Chester. It's always the warmer months that you see more action. The cockroaches stay indoors in the winter months."

And one more, with the often-heard response that the few give a bad impression for the rest of the city:

"I am a former city resident. I know there are many, many good people who live there. Of course I am concerned about the shootings; but I am also concerned for the good people in the city because they are getting short shrift because of these happenings. I think it's wonderful that you are doing a story on this. I read your post this morning in Heron's Nest and liked the focus of it. It sounds to me like you are also trying to make the point that many city residents are very concerned about this. That angle alone may help to change the perception of Chester's people as a whole Thank you. This is an important story."

This just in:

My mom and step dad just moved onto Clover Lane in Chester and they have heard gunshots five times in three weeks in their location. They met the man Derrick who was an innocent victim in the fatality a week prior to his wrong place wrong time. He was a barber down the street and even offered to cut their dogs hair for free because he knew they were broke and down on their luck. They heard those gun shots that unfortunately took his life, and when they found out it was the guy they met right after moving in, they felt so sorry for him and his family's loss. They visited his memorial and the day he was buried his poor 4-year-old son got hit by a van and died from his injuries. That's just one story, imagine all the thousands. They stay inside and close shade and lock windows afraid for their lives every day. You can't even walk up the street in broad daylight without fearing for your life.

"It's so sad. Broken homes, hurt families, poverty-stricken and broke. This city was once an OK place many years ago. Our local church is helping with Ninth Street youth ministry, and CitiTam but this city needs more than a few helping caring people. It needs a complete clean up and out and renovation to save these poor children from cycling the same lifestyle. It's so sad for them, they don't have any hope or a chance hardly. Get the word out. People need to help, officials, government etc."

Here's one more:

" I am 48 years old and I have lived in the City all of my life. It hasn’t been until this year that I have thought about moving out of the city. It’s just ridiculous any more, it seems like every other day there is an incident, and someone said when it gets warm the cockroaches come out?? That is not true, we have heard gun shots all winter so the cockroaches do not have a favorite season! My biggest concern used to be raising my children to be productive, thoughtful, God-fearing citizens. Now my biggest concern is my youngest making it off of the school bus stop without getting shot at or shot. Something has got to give the city cannot hold any many more teddy bear memorials.

I'll keep publishing them. Keep sending them to me!

It's easy to take potshots at the city of Chester.

Actually somebody is doing just that. Lots of people are firing guns in the city.

We're getting calls here in the newsroom that gunfire is now a routine occurrence in some parts of the city.

Earlier this week we reported on a random shooting where gunshots hit a truck driver as he drove down a city street. A recent homicide is believed by police to be a situation where an innocent victim was caught in the crossfire.

Of the 15 homicides recorded this year in Delaware County, seven of them have occurred in the city of Chester.

A Facebook post on a board hosted by a group of city residents complained about the situation in the William Penn Projects.

I have had one county law enforcement official indicate to me concern is growing about the situation.

This is the message that was delivered to me, after this person also joined a Facebook posting board for Chester residents:

"I've noticed that there are a lot of posts from Chester residents concerning people shooting guns all hours of the night in residential neighborhoods," this source said "Just reading the posts makes me afraid for the safety of the children and good people living in the city. It may be the usual break in the weather or something else going on. But, people are not safe and they are afraid.

"I know many Delco residents don't care about the people living in Chester, but I do. My organization has been trying to help as have others. We all try in our way to be a positive influence, especially for the children. Please keep reporting on Chester. I can only hope that things will change."

I'd like to think the newspaper can be part of the solution.

But first I want to detail the situation. If you'd like to go on the record and discuss the gun situation in the city, send me an email to editor@delcotimes.com.

We're planning a story focusing on the increase in gunfire in the city.

Is it just a sign of warmer weather? Is this different than other situations? Is it being blown out of proportion? I'd like to hear from the people who live there and have to deal with the 'pop-pop-pop' that sometimes seems like the soundtrack to their lives.

The secret behind the Wawa Way

Yesterday, Wawa threw itself a shindig to celebrate the 50th anniversary of opening its first store, on MacDade Boulevard in the Folsom section of Ridley Township.

The free coffee was a nice touch.

But Wawa has proved to be more than just a convenience store.

It's become part of our lives.

Ask anyone who has moved out of the area what they miss most and inevitably one of the first replies is, "Wawa." In our editorial today, I take a look at the secret behind the Wawa Way.

Another rough day for Philly sports

On opening day, the Texas Rangers knocked Cliff Lee around pretty good. The Phils' left-handed ace gave up eight earned runs on 11 hits while going just 5 innings.

And he got the win.

Last night Lee pitched a gem, hurling a complete game and giving up just one run while striking out 13. And he got the loss.

That's because the Phils' feeble lineup managed just three hits against Braves starter Julio Teheran.

Hey, at least we were not treated to another miserable showing from the Phils' bullpen. This time it was the bats that went AWOL.

You know you're in trouble when one of your three hits is Ryan Howard beating out an infield single.

The Phillies now stand at 6-8 and continue to gasp for air.

So about those Sixers! They ended their season the same way they started it, by beating the defending champion Miami Heat.

The 76ers won their first three games of the season, and their last two. It's probably best to simply forget everything in between.

And the Flyers? Those are storm clouds forming above Madison Square Garden, where the orange and black have not won in their last eight appearances.

Tonight they go into their Stanley Cup playoff opening series without their starting goaltender, Steve Mason. He's out with an upper body injury. Ray Emery will be between the pipes.

All in all, just a swell day on the Philly sports front.

Next you'll tell me the Eagles released DeSean Jackson, getting nothing in return for a Pro Bowl receiver.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, April 16 (The Wawa Edition)

The Daily Numbers: 50 years in business today at Wawa.

1, as in Store No. 1 for Wawa, on MacDade Boulevard in the Holmes section of Ridley.

640 stories today.

25 new stores per year for the next 5 years, the company’s growth goal.

6 states where you can find a fix for ‘Gotta havva Wawa,’ including new stores in Florida.

380 of them that offer gasoline.

6,000 items you can buy at the Delco-based convenience stores.

22,000 employees

400 million customers annually.

195 million cups of coffee brewed each year.

60 million hoagies made annually.

1803, when Wawa started as an iron foundry in New Jersey.

1902, when Wood family started dairy farm processing plant in Wawa, Pa.

6 core values of the chain laid out in new book, ‘The Wawa Way.’

0, what it will cost you today to get a coffee at Wawa. They are offering free java all day as part of the celebration. 3.5 minutes, the time it takes most people to get in and out of the store.

5,000 dollar donation being made today at the original Ridley store to the Ridley United Soccer Association.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan. Look on the bright side. The Phils got rained out last night. We didn’t have to watch through our fingers when Ryne Sandberg went to the bullpen. And even better, the Sixers play the last game of their miserable season tonight. They should have made admission free.

I Don’t Get It: All those losses and the Sixers still don’t necessarily get the top pick. They don’t have as many ping-pong balls as the Milwaukee Bucks.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Wawa on 50 years of serving Delco and the region.

Quote Box: “Wawa has become more than just a retailer, it’s become part of our community and a part of our customers’ lives.”

- Howard Stoeckel, vice chairman of the Wawa Board of Directors and author of ‘The Wawa Way.’

'Live From the Newsroom' tackles Flyers' chances in Stanley Cup Playoffs

There is good news, better news and some bad news on the sports front today.

The good news? The Phillies game vs. the Braves got rained out last night, so we were not treated to another gruesome look at what constitutes the Phils' bullpen these days.

The better news? The Sixers will play their final game in this God-forsaken season tonight at the Wells Fargo Center vs. LeBron James and the Miami Heat. If they had a conscience they'd make admission free. If they wanted to make money, they'd make the people then pay to get out.

And the bad news? Brace yourself Flyers fans.

We used our 'Live From the Newsroom' show last night to preview the Flyers first-round matchup in the Stanley Cup playoffs vs. the Rangers.

All three of our sports writers, Flyers beat writer and sports editor Rob Parent, Matt DeGeorge, who just covered the Frozen Four, and Bob Grotz like the Rangers.

Most believe the Flyers will fall in either six or seven games.

The key likely will be whether the Flyers can muster a win in Madison Square Garden, where they have dropped eight straight games.

It was left to me to stick up for the locals. I'm picking the Flyers in seven. And yes, I have my fingers and toes crossed.

If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

Celebrating 50 years of 'Wawa runs'

In a lot of places, they might visit their local convenience store.

Hit the 7-Eleven.

Slurp a slurpee.

In the Philly area, we don't do that.

We make "Wawa runs."

We've been doing it for 50 years.

In fact, it was 50 years ago today, that the store with the funny name first opened the doors to their original store on MacDade Boulevard in the Folsom section of Ridley Township.

And today they're throwing a party to celebrate. And that includes free coffee at all Wawa locations.

The party will kick off at 6 a.m. at what is referred to as Wawa Store No. 1.

Visitors will step back in time - a half a century in fact - to get the feel and experience of what it was like on April 16, 1964. There will be 50th anniversary decorations, photos and the original signage for the store. Officials also will unveil the original pole sign. Store workers will be dressed in vintage store uniforms.

Former Wawa President and CEO Howard Stoeckel will pour the ceremonial first cup of coffee to kick off the day.

Wawa Chairman Dick Wood will re-enact the first-ever store transaction and unveil a special plaque dedicated to Wawa founder Grahame Wood.

Customers also will have a chance to check out a Wawa parade through the ages retrospective, showcasing visual milestones of the past 50 years.

Stoeckel also will autograph copies of his book, "The Wawa Way." In it he talks about how the business came to acquire its funny name and he lays out the six core principles that have led to its success.

The event will conclude with a special ribon-cutting to commemorate Wawa's half-century in business.

And of course all day customers will be rewarded with free coffee at all Wawa stores.

Later this morning, a similar celebration will be held in Philly at the 17th and Arch location from 8-8:30 a.m. "Wawa Day" will conclude with a special reception at the Convention Center and announcement of The Wawa Foundation, a new entity founded by Wawa to support the company charitable giving and philanthropic activities.

All of this to celebrate a story with a funny name. Yes, Wawa is the American Indian name for the Canadian goose native to this area.

That single store on MacDade Boulevard has grown into a convenience store behemoth with more than 640 stores that stretch beyond the Philadelphia region down into Maryland, Virginia and now even Florida. The company has more than 22,000 employees.

Today's "super" Wawas feature gas pumps and a dazzling array of food inside.

But it's still the people - and their interaction with loyal customers - that remains at the heart of the "Wawa Way." It also helps when you have your own personal Wawa. At the Daily Times, we've been lucky to have one of those quaint old stores withing walkin distance just a block away.

That's why today, as we've been doing for 50 years, most of the region will be making a "Wawa run."

Happy 50th, Wawa.