Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 30

The Daily Numbers: 2 people who fled flames as they roared through twin homes in Marcus Hook.


19, age of Chester man who has now been returned to Delaware County Prison after being mistakenly released back in August.


40, age of West Chester man arrested at his high school reunion over the weekend after he allegedly punched a state trooper.


2 Philadelphia men charged in a series of armed robberies in Upper Darby and surrounding towns.


97 years after its founding, the Aldan Women’s Club is closing its doors.


15 percent spike in sales seen on ‘Cyber Monday,’ with sales expected to go over $1 billion.


59, age of man in South Jersey who died after falling off his roof while putting up Christmas lights.


4 months, age of tot left alone in a car in Delaware while his father went into a store to return a holiday gift.


271,101,291 dollars the U.S. says it is owed by New Jersey after they canceled a rail tunnel between Jersey and New York City.


16, age of teen in Philly charged with killing his mother and then leaving her body under debris in the backyard.


17.5 percent tax hike being mulled in Royersford.


10 million dollars bestowed in a gift to the University of Delaware by an alum.


83,000 Pennsylvanians who could see their unemployment benefits expire this week.


250,000 dollars believed ripped off in a fraud scheme by a Pa. man in connection with his scam against wealthy N.J. investors.


50,000 lottery prize that is still unclaimed in Pa.


17 persons killed in accidents on Pa. highways over the Thanksgiving holiday.


18 percent of TVs that were tuned into the Eagles-Bears game Sunday, with a 32 share (32 percent of all TVs in use at the time locked into the game.) That makes it the highest rated NFL game on any network this year.


25,000 dollar fine for Houston Texans star wide receiver Andre Johnson, but he will not be suspended for Thursday night game vs. Eagles.


5 children believed hidden from society, in squalid row house in York, Pa., without heat or electricity 20 hours after losing to Bears, Eagles were back on practice field. They play the Texans Thursday night.


*


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.This is one time when Andy Reid’s silence is probably golden. The coach is not talking about what happened in the locker room after Sunday’s loss to the Bears. It has been reported that Reid went ballistic, ripping into his team and singling out DeSean Jackson.


 


*


I Don’t Get It: Two men have entered pleas to lesser charges after they were charged with leaving kids in the car outside Parx Casino in Bucks County. I don’t get it.


*


Today’s Upper: Let’s hear it for the annual Salvation Army/Daily Times Merry Christmas Fund. Our goal again this year is $50,000. I’m sure Delco will come through once again.


*


Quote Box: “DeSean, that’s my guy. That’s my right hand man. He’s going to be fine.”


- Michael Vick, in the wake of reports that Coach Andy Reid and he had words with the wide receiver.

Taxing situation in Sharon Hill

Should be an interesting night tonight in Sharon Hill.

Borough council will hold a special meeting to vote on a proposed 1 percent earned income tax.

It is not being especially well received in town, as if any tax hike ever is.

But this one comes as council continues to bicker over the budget and borough finances.

We’ll be there to tell you what happens.

In the meantime, it looks like residents will be forking over more of their hard-earned dough.

The town hopes the levy will raise $750,000.

Trouble for America's (new) team

It was just a couple of weeks ago that a lot of people – this one included – had the suddenly rejuvenated Eagles led by Michael Vick pointed toward the Super Bowl.

Now, after a struggle against the New York Giants and a disappointing loss to the Chicago Bears, it seems like the Eagles are busy pointing fingers at themselves.

Star wide receiver DeSean Jackson is unhappy. He’s not talking, at least publicly, about the fact that he has been pretty much reduced to a decoy the last couple of weeks. It has not gone unnoticed that Jackson is looking for a new contract. He’s also looking to stay healthy, and some believe he has been, how should we say, a bit reticent about going over the middle.

Andy Reid has noticed Jackson, and apparently not in an especially good way. Depending on who you talk to, a visibly angry Reid aired the team out after Sunday’s loss in Chicago, and specifically targeted No. 10.

Reid is not talking either, saying “what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.”

Stuck in the middle of all this is Vick, who is looking to play peacemaker and downplay reports of any rift between the team and its star wideout.

Just another day at Eagles practice. That’s right, we’re talking about practice. The Birds did not get their normal day off yesterday because they face a short turnaround in facing the Houston Texans Thursday night.

Houston will arrive in town with its own star receiver, Andre Johnson, who was fined, but not suspended, for his role in a wild find with Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

The game just happens to be ticketed for The NFL Network (it will be broadcast locally by Channel 17). Don’t think that entered into the decision not to suspend Johnson, do you?

One thing is clear, and at least one entity is happy about the Eagles.

That would be the NFL. They must be ecstatic over Vick and the story of the year in the NFL.

Sunday’s Eagles-Bears game was the highest rated NFL game on any neetwork this season, drawing an 18.0/32 rating. That means 18 percent of all homes with TV tuned into the game, and that 32 percent share marks the homes with TVs turned on at the time.

A little Jackson-Reid tiff only adds spice to the stew.

Michael Vick. Andy Reid. DeSean Jackson.

Meet America’s team.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 29

The Daily Numbers: 5 times the Eagles got inside the red zone yesterday.


And they have 1 TD to show for it.


1 interception thrown by Michael Vick so far this year. But it was a killer, at the end of the first half, and completely turning around yesterday’s game vs. the Bears. Instead of being in the lead at half, they were down 8.


4 years, how long since Vick has thrown an interception. Of course, for


2 of those he was in prison.


238 passes attempted by Vick between those interceptions.


4 TD passes for Jay Cutler leading the Bears to a 31-26 win.


29 of 44 for Vick for 333 yards.


8 catches for Jason Avant; just 2 for DeSean Jackson, who is now taking some heat for seeming reticent to go over the middle and take a hit. He didn’t give much effort on what could have been a TD throw over the middle in the end zone.


4 field goals for David Akers.


1 percent earned income tax causing controversy in Sharon Hill.


7 residents who offered questions to Upper Darby officials during a public hearing on their budget, and a $95 tax hike.


50.3 million dollars at the box office on the holiday weekend for the new Harry Potter movie, leading the list.


84, age of Leslie Nielsen, the veteran character actor and star of ‘Airport.’ He died in his sleep.


1, as in the busiest travel day of the year yesterday. Little or no problems were reported on the roads, rails and at airports.


18, age of Del. man who turned himself in to face charges of fatally shooting a 10-year-old boy.


96,824 dollars, cost of the items in the Christmas classic ‘The 12 Days of Christmas.’


10.8 percent increase from last year.


6,924 dollars for 9 ladies dancing, the most expensive item on the list.


12 bucks for a partridge, the cheapest item.


5 children believed hidden from society, in squalid row house in York, Pa., without heat or electricity


26 pounds of cocaine worth $1.2 million seized in car in Bensalem, Bucks County.


4 teens rescued from cave in Berks County 20 feet, how far a fan fell from a ledge at Soldier Field in Chicago during yesterday’s Eagles game. He did not survive.


* A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Is anyone ready to jump off the Michael Vick bandagon? Not me. I still think he’s the Eagles best bet.


Call me a Phanatic:


 


*


I Don’t Get It: If I didn’t get Black Friday, I certainly am not going to get Cyber Mondya.


*


Today’s Upper: Let’s hear it for Homes for the Holidays, our annual holiday photo package, which is back in its spot on P. 2 of the print edition for the holidays.


*


Quote Box: “It’s going to be tough to put this one on the back burner.”


- Michael Vick, after yesterday’s Eagles loss to the Bears.

Nielsen gone? Surely, you can't be serious

If you share my sense of humor (and yes, I know I have a tendency to veer toward the sick side), you cannot hear the word “surely” used in a sentence without the obvious follow-up.

“And don’t call me Shirley.”

Which is my way of saluting Leslie Nielsen, who died in his sleep overnight.

That line is from “Airport,” one of the funniest movies ever made, and launched Nielsen, who up to that point had been a journeyman character actor, to newfound fame.

“Surely” you remember the scene. An airline passenger on the suddenly pilot-less aircraft is responding to Nielsen’s statement that they need to find someone on the jet to fly it.

“Surely you can’t be serious,” the passenger informs Nielsen.

“I am serious,” Nielsen responds. “And don’t call me Shirley.”

Nielsen, who had a role as the ship captain in “The Poseidon Advenure,” went on to be a comedic lead as detective Frank Drebin in “The Naked Gun” movies.

Rest in Peace, Leslie Nielsen. Thanks for the laughs.

Shirley, we will not see that kind of deadpan comedic brilliance again.

Here comes Cyber Monday

Brace yourself for “Cyber Monday.”

Don’t look for me, though. I didn’t bother to go out there at 4 a.m. on Black Friday to join the mad rush into Wal-Mart, so I suppose I also will sit out today while everyone logs on to the Internet in search of even more holiday deals.

Actually, this whole thing is a bit of an anachronism.

“Cyber Monday” is already a bit of a throwback. It harkens back to the time a few years ago when most people did not have high-speed Internet at home.

They would get to the office on the Monday morning after the Thanksgiving holiday, fire up their office PC, and then do some “shopping” on the company’s dime.

Just about everyone today has high-speed Internet access at home. Alogn with laptops, iPads and smart phones. We are literally drowning in technology.

That won’t stop people from tickling the keyboards from the office today in search of those elusive holiday bargains, regardless of what they are.

Count me out.

I usually don’t start holiday shopping for another couple of weeks. Luckily, my wife does the bulk of our holiday purchases.

That’s a good thing. She actually gets things done. I wait a couple of weeks, throw my hands up, and once again surrender to the shopping gods.

To her it’s an art form. To me it’s drudgery.

Cyber Monday? What does that make tomorrow? Tech Tuesday?

Carved-up Thanksgiving Birds

No doubt some will point at Michael Vick for the Eagles’ deflating loss yesterday at Soldier Field.

Maybe he doesn’t have an ‘S’ emblazoned on the T-shirt he wears under that green Eagles No. 7 after all. Vick again was just a tad off, as for the second week in a row teams managed to bottle him up in the pocket.

And for the second straight week, Vick missed a wide open receiver early in the game on what should have been a sure TD. Tight end Brent Celek was running clear right down the seam, but Vick’s throw sailed long.

Others will point to the crushing interception thrown by Vick at the end of the first half. It was the first pick thrown by Vick this year.

Worse, after being returned to the 45-yard line, it took the Bears only six plays to cash it in for a touchdown. Instead of taking a 20-14 lead, the Birds went to the locker room down 21-13. The ball was deflected at the line of scrimmage and wobbled right into the Bear’s hands.

It was representative of the Eagles’ struggles in the red zone all day.

They got inside the 20-yard line five times, but managed just one TD.

Instead, much like last week, they stocked up on David Akers field goals. Last week they managed to overcome that and still beat the Giants. They couldn’t repeat that magic against the Bears.

Still other green-faced Eagles zealots will complain about the skating rink called Soldier Field they played the game on. Eagles players spent much of the afternoon looking like they were on roller skates, slipping all over the messy playing surface. Chalk that one up to the home field advantage. The Bears were playing on the same surface, but didn’t seem nearly as prone to pratfalls.

All of the above go into the explanation of why the Eagles lost, to fall to 7-4 and back into a tie with the Giants atop the NFC East.

I will not point to any of them.

Instead, I will point the finger of blame directly at the Eagles defense. And yes, once again at defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. I thought the Eagles had righted their shaky defensive ship in the past few weeks. Not from what I watched yesterday.

Those carcasses left over from Thanksgiving meals all over the Delaware Valley were not the only ravaged Birds from this holiday weekend.

The Eagles defense yesterday in Chicago was atrocious.

It’s now clear how much Asante Samuel means to this team. My guess is no one will be complaining about his lack of tackling after seeing his replacement, Joselio Hanson, get carved like a Thanksgiving turkey. With Hanson in the starting lineup, that moved Trevor Lindley into the nickel package. Don’t know him? He was No. 35, who spent most of the afternoon chasing Bears wide receivers.

The Eagles tackling wasn’t much better, as they consistently got gouged for big plays.

The Eagles made Jay Cutler, normally a turnover machine, look like Peyton Manning, throwing 4 touchdowns.

A lot of people this morning are griping about Vick and receiver DeSean Jackson, who suddenly seems reticent about going over the middle and catching the ball in a crowd (including in the end zone) since suffering that devastating hit and concussion.

They should instead be looking at the other side of the ball.

So which way does this team go? They only have a few days to right the ship and brace themselves for a Thursday night game at the Linc against the Houston Texans.

Hopefully Samuel will be back in the lineup.

Of the many questions now swirling around the Eagles, there is this: Who is more important to this team, Samuel or Vick?

And can Sean McDermott get his squad back into form on a very short week?

What seemed like a sure playoff spot a few weeks ago is now a little more murky.

Now we’ll get to see what these Birds are made of. Hopefully, they won’t resemble the Thanksgiving turkey they appeared to be at Soldier Field.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The dreaded Saturday Eagles pick

The Eagles and Michael Vick certainly have proven themselves worthy of prime time. The Birds posted back-to-back wins, first thrashing the Redskins on Monday night, then following that one up with a comeback win over the Giants last Sunday night.

It's another national showing Sunday for Team Vick, since this tilt vs. the Bears has been pushed back to 4:15 to be Fox's national TV game.

The Eagles will be in the middle of short weeks, coming off the night game, and facing a Thursday night game next week.

But first there is the Bears, and this will be no easy task, especially on the road.

This game will not be won by Michael Vick, but instead by the Eagles' defense, which must make things miserable for Jay Cutler, who has a tendency to turn the ball over. That will not be easy, considering the state of the Eagles' banged-up defense. Asante Samuel and Juqua Parker have not practiced all week, and Antonio Dixon also is ailing.

This is the kind of game Samuel could be the difference in, feasting off the often errant throws of Cutler, especially when he's under pressure.

Vick will have his hands full with the tenacious Bears defense, led by Brian Urlacher. Vick would be wise to start sliding when defenders are closing in, rather than consistently subjecting himself to nasty hits. Those have a tendency to add up over a season.

It will be up the Eagles defense to give the ball to Vick and the Birds offense with a short field. No one is going to make a living trying to drive the length of the field against Chicago.

Vick does his usual thing, providing just enough offense to lift the Birds to another key win.

Make it Eagles 23, Bears 16.

Last Week: I was on the money again as the Eagles rallied from behind to beat the Giants. Show of hands: How many people think the Eagles would have won that game with Donovan McNabb as their quarterback? Thought so.

Season Record: I am cruising along at 7-3, the same mark as the Eagles as they look to pad their lead in the NFC East.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 24

The Daily Numbers: 700,000 people who will go through Philadelphia International Airport over the next 6 days.


4, as in the 4th busiest day, that would be today at the airport.


1, as in No. 1 busiest day? That was last Sunday.


20 mile backups expected at the toll plaza on I-95 in Newark, Del., because of construction projects.


5,900 workers at Boeing in Ridley Township. One-third of those who work on the V-22 program, which is again facing possible cuts in Washington.


43 families in Upper Darby who got a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to students at 2 elementary schools.


55,000 fine for former Radnor Township Manager David Bashore for violations of the state Ethics Act.


4 teens in Upper Darby charged in an assault on a pedestrian.


5, age of child left alone in his apartment in Upper Darby. He was discovered when he called for help from a third-floor window.


2 cases of sexual assault being investigated at Temple University.


2 cases of women being attacked after they get out of taxis after a night out being probed in Philly’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.


6 to 12 years in jail for a 21-year-old Philly man charged with slamming into 2 police officers in a DUI crash.


2 strangulation deaths of women in Kensington that police now believe were committed by the same person.


3 point lead with 3.5 seconds left for the Sixers last night in D.C.


They lost anyhow.


40 feet from the basket, how far John Wall was when he was fouled by Jrue Holliday as he heaved a shot at the hoop. He sank all 3 foul shots to send the game to overtime.


15 point 4th quarter lead blown by the Sixers.


4 times Michael Vick has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, including this week.


23-3 loss for the Temple Owls to Miami of Ohio last night. The Owls end up 8-4.


*


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Best line of the day about the demolition of the Spectrum, via Twitter, after several attempts with the wrecking ball didn’t put much of a dent in the building: Maybe they should just have Andre Iguodala shoot jumpers at it. Ouch!


 


*


I Don’t Get It: Black Friday. Never got it, never will. Have fun.


*


Today’s Upper: Loans from the state are now available to those who suffered damage from Tropical Storm Nicole on Sept. 29.


*


Quote Box: “Every day my daughters aske me if we can get a dog. I can’t get a dog for my kids.”


- Michael Vick, speaking to students in New Haven, Conn., on the evils of dogfighting.

Reasons for thanks?

And now, one of my many reasons for thanks on this day before Thanksgiving.


I don’t have to travel today. Actually, I have my hands full just trying to drive home.


My sympathies to all those on the interstates, jammed into train stations, or having their “junk” groped at airports.


I do, however, have a Thanksgiving rant. What holiday would be complete without one.


In my print column Monday, I lamented the fact that Thanksgiving is becoming an afterthought, a bump in the road before we hurtle out to the box stores and malls to begin the Black Friday madness.


Wal-Mart is opening at midnight. Toys R Us is beating them, opening their doors at 10 p.m.


Then I saw an ad on Sunday for Old Navy. Some 700 Old Navy sites are open from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday for something they are calling their Gobble Palooza site. They will then close for a few hours before reopening at 3 a.m. Black Friday.


Somewhere in there I fear is the true meaning of the holidays.

Finally, some good news for parochial schools

There was some good news this week – for a change – concerning parochial education in Delaware County.

They announced first thing Monday morning at Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop high schools that their mission of single-sex education would continue for at least another year.

In other words, Bonner will remain open for boys, Prendie for girls.

The schools’ future was clouded by the same problems that hang over so many archdiocesan schools in the struggling eastern end of the county, rising costs and declining enrollment.

That’s when alumni got involved. Facing a $300,000 deficit and a challenge from the archdiocese to raise $500,000, the schools’ backer came through.

I don’t know if the single-sex model can be maintained down the line, but it’s nice to see it last at least another year. Parochial schools have taken enough hits in recent years.

It was nice to be able to report some good news for a change.

Speaking of parochial schools, make sure you pick up a copy of our special giant Thanksgiving Day edition for a look at a very special holiday tradition. That is the annual collision between the youth football teams of St. Dorothy’s and St. Bernadette’s in Drexel Hill.

Each year thousands start their Thanksgiving celebrations by attending this clash of CYO powerhouses.

Check it out tomorrow.

The two faces of Michael Vick

Call this one the two faces of Michael Vick.

No, I am not tired of talking about the comeback quarterback. I find his case one of the most fascinating stories to come down the pike in years.

Consider the diametrically opposed positions the Eagles starting quarterback found himself in yesterday.

His face graces the cover of Sports Illustrated that hit newsstands yesterday. The headline reads “The Enigma: What Michael Vick Tells Us About Ourselves.”

In it Vick talks for the first time about the ill-fated birthday party last summer in Virginia Beach that almost short-circuited his comeback after a person was shot.

In reading the story you get the impression Vick now realizes - maybe - just how close he came to throwing his comeback away before it even got started.
I will be even more interested to see if he has finally learned that he simply can’t put himself in those kinds of situations.

Vick also learned yesterday that he is the leading vote-getter among quarterbacks for the NFC All-Pro team, and trails only Peyton Manning among all QBs.

Contrast all that to the face of Vick that appeared at two high schools in New Haven, Conn. Vick made the appearances in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States. Vick spoke openly about his past and the evils of dogfighting.

Maybe the most compelling is what he told these kids about the conversations he has with his own children.

Yes, Vick served 18 months in federal prison in conjunction with the dogfighting operation he ran. But he continues to pay a price.

“Nowadays, every day my daughters ask me if we can get a dog,” Vick told the kids. “I can’t get a dog for my kids.”

Vick is barred from owning animals as part of his probation.

That is a different face from the one that appears on SI, and certainly different from the one we see on Sunday.

And finally there is this when it comes to Vick. It’s among the many things that fascinate me about this case, even if it’s one I’m not exactly thrilled to admit.

My dilemma is this: If Vick were doing what he is doing now for the Eagles, only in the uniform of the Dallas Cowboys or any other NFL team, would we be nearly as forgiving?

I think I know that answer to that. I’m not proud of it, but I do not think I’d be alone in looking at the situation a whole lot differently, and with a much less forgiving attitude.

Like I said, just a fascinating story. I know many of you disagree, that you are tired of Vick, that you are tired of the media constantly throwing him in your face, that you have not forgiven what he did.

Better get used to it. The Eagles Sunday game against the Bears has been bumped back to 4:15. It will be the Fox national game, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth.

The story goes on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today's Daily Numbers - Nov. 23

The Daily Numbers: 1 more year, at least, of single-sex education at Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School. They got the green light to continue through at least 2012.

300,000 dollar deficit, what the schools were facing.

500,000 dollars in pledges, what they had to raise. They didn’t get it all, but got enough to ensure the tradition will continue.

9 people facing charges after a series of drug sweeps in Upper Darby.

5.8 million in revenue from table games at Harrah’s Chester Casino in October.

1, as in No. 1 in the state, where Harrah’s ranks in terms of table games revenue.

2,000 dollar performance bonuses for 5 Upper Darby School District employees.

1.7 percent cost of living pay increases in line for state legislators and judges.

3,000 dollar reward for info in the strangulation of 21-year-old Elaine Goldberg in the Kensington section of Philly. The pols’ pay starts at

$78,315 and will go to $79,623.

50 people who plan to gather at Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday on the busiest travel day of the year to protest invasive security measures.

2 members of the Temple University football program being investigated on a rape complaint by a female student.

300 dollars in items believed stolen from classrooms in the Bensalem School District by a janitor. He now faces charges.

2 burglaries of homes in Doylestown that now have neighbors and police up in arms.

1 flu-related death reported in Pa. It took the life of a man in Lehigh County.

3 to 7 years in jail for a former Temple student in a hit-run accident that left another student critically injured.

400,000 believed ripped off from investors by a Bala Cynwyd called the “Bernie Madoff of Montgomery County.”

3-2 win for Flyers over Canadiens last night, even though they trailed 2-0 in first period.

2 weeks, how long Flyers winger Danny Carcillo is expected to miss with knee injury.

4, as in 4th ranked defense for Chicago Bears, who await the Eagles this Sunday.

*

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

Michael Vick appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. What was that about a curse?

*

I Don’t Get It: Remember those much-hyped plans for PhillyLive, the entertainment and shopping complex that will replace the Spectrum.

They’re another victim of the economy, being seriously scaled back, at least to start.

*

Today’s Upper: Remember the kitten that a couple of unthinking teens put in a microwave oven and then tossed out a window in Philly? The kitten is doing better and now has been adopted.

*

Quote Box: “The reason we came here was to graduate from Bonner, not graudate from a coed school.”

- Chad Hudson, on word that Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast will continue their tradition of single-sex education for at least another year.



A Spectrum memory

If you’re a Philly sports fan, or a lover of pop music, a little piece of you is going to die today.

They will start knocking the Spectrum down at noon.

The legendary sports palace will give way to something called PhillyLive, an entertainment-nightlife-shopping center. And proving true to the Spectrum’s heritage, the size of the development is already being scaled down, with developers struggling along with everyone else in this economy.

The Spectrum is the place where Kate Smith belted out 'God Bless America' propelling the Flyers to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. In the process they changed a city’s image forever.

We weren’t losers anymore.

It is the place where the Sixers won a world title.

It is the place where Duke star Christian Laettner hit the “shot heard ‘round the world’ after a full-court pass to beat Kenturkcy in the final seconds in the 1992 NCAA Tournament in what many believe is the greatest college basketball game ever played.

But for all its lofty sports heritage, I’ve been surprised at how many people I’ve talked to whose most vivid memories are the concerts.

Me, too.

Maybe it’s a generational thing. It’s where we grew up. It was one of the first places we went on our own, without our parents tagging along.

It is the place where we embraced our music heroes, Springsteen (even after he was booed as the opening act for Chicago in 1978), Billy Joel. It was where The Allman Brothers Band would come in each holiday season for their annual Eat a Peach Jam. It was where it seemed like Foghat opened every show.

My greatest Spectrum memory? No problem.

It was a concert, but probably not one you would expect. I got the tickets for my wife for a birthday present, although I can admit I was the one who really wanted to go.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It certainly wasn’t going to be the same crowd – or atmosphere – I had associated with my “glory days” at the Spectrum a couple decades before.

I was bummed when we first got into our seats and I noticed a lot of empty seats. Not to worry, it was simply the thing to do, arriving fashionably late.

By the time the lights started to dim, the place was packed. I noticed a buzz in the crowd, no, not the one that had been a mainstay of so many concerts when I was a kid. This was different. I was an an adult, in my late 30s, a parent of two young kids.

The place was electric.

Then a single spotlight was cast on the entrance and the seemingly small man in a tuxedo slowly sauntered to his spot on the stage. He would prove true to his reputation. He was a giant.

The place erupted.

It is one of a handful of times in my life when I can honestly say I felt the hair stand up on my arms.

Frank Sinatra was that big. And on that night, celebrating his 75th year with his Silver Jubilee Tour, he was that good.

The best concert I have ever seen.

I have a lot of memories of the Spectrum, but only one is “A No. 1, top of the heap.”

Thanks for the memory, Frank.

A big win for Harrah's

 Talk about a big win, Harrah’s is literally in the money again.


The Chester casino has been battling a downturn in its slots revenue for about a year.


Enter table games. And guess who is sitting on top of the heap in Pennsylvania when it comes to poker, roulette and craps? That’s right, Harrah’s Chester Casino.


Figures released by the state Gaming Control Board show Harrah’s was No.

1 in the state in October for table games revenue.


They took in $5,800,755, which put them above Parx Casino in Bucks County, which was a close second with $5,793,303.


Of course, Harrah’s has a bit of an advantage in all this. They have 40 more tables in play than Parx, 99 in Chester as compared to 57 at Philly Park. But they also raked in more dough than the Sands, in Bethlehem, which has 89 tables, and Mohegan Sun, with 90 tables.


You can check out Alex Rose’s full report on the latest gaming action here.

Is Vick cursed?

This week Michael Vick just might be facing the biggest challenge of his splendid comeback from convicted dog-fighting ring boss to maybe the best quarterback in the NFL.

No, it’s not his date Sunday afternoon in the Windy City against another one of the best defenses in the league with the Chicago Bears.

Vick now will see if he can break the legendary Sports Illustrated curse. The Eagles’ QB is set to appear on the cover of the sports weekly this week.

There are those who believe such a lofty perch is actually cursed, that gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated is usually followed by some kind of hex, often an injury.

Let’s hope that’s not the case with Vick. This is just starting to get interesting.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 22

The Daily Numbers: 7-3, Eagles record after beating the New York Giants last night, as they take over sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East.

15,000 individuals served by the Loaves and Fishes Pantry last year in Prospect Park. Local pantries are finding themselves overwhelmed by the need.

30,000 in jewelry and cash stolen from home in Marple during home invasion

1 percent earned income tax being eyed in Folcroft Borough.

1 more day before they take a wrecking ball to the Spectrum in South Philly on Tuesday.

350,000 square feet, planned Philly Live development on site of Spectrum. That’s now been scaled back to about 45,000 square feet.

51, age of man fishing on charter boat off N.J. coast, who fell and hit his head. He later died.

1 person – and his dog – who fled a fire in his Frankford home by jumping out of a window Sunday night.

3,000 dollar reward for info in the strangulation of 21-year-old Elaine Goldberg in the Kensington section of Philly.

2.3 million dollars worth of heroin seized in drug raid in Philly.

2:23.37, how long it took the winning man to run the Philly Marathon yesterday. The woman checked in at 2:40.32.

1 shot dead, 1 busted after carjacking near the Penn campus.

4 are students, including one from Haverford College, named Rhodes Scholars.

3.03, average price of gas in the Philly region. That’s up from $2.97 a week ago, and $2.72 this time last year.

3 U.S. hikers who face trial in Iran. That trial now has been set for Feb. 6.

50 yard TD run on a crucial 4th and 1 for LeSean McCoy to propel the Eagles to a win over the Giants.

24 of 38 passing for Michael Vick. He also ran for 34 yards and a TD.

*

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

The Eagles should have blown the Giants out last night. They obviously did not. But this is exactly the kind of game they used to lose. Not this year.

*

I Don’t Get It: I wish I could figure out exactly what the NFL is trying to do in terms of violent hits. That is a part of the game, one it has always showcased. Now all of a sudden it’s a penalty.

*

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Loaves and Fishes Pantry in Prospect Park and all the other places that are serving a vital need in the county these days.

*

Quote Box: “He has put the hard work and the preparation in. He’s getting a lot of attention right now and he’s earned it. Now he has to do it the right way here. First of all, he’s got uncommon talent. We all know that. But then he’s put the hard work physically and he’s put the preparation in mentally.”

- Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, on Michael Vick.

Still talking about Michael Vick

It’s pretty clear the jury is still out on Michael Vick.


Not on the field. That jury is in. Vick is playing out of his mind.


I’m talking about the people who still have doubts about why the Eagles have him on the field in the first place.


I get the calls and e-mails every day from people who continue to seethe over what Vick did, and the fact that the Eagles were the team to offer him the vehicle to get back in the league.


They will never get past the reprehensible actions that landed him in federal prison for two years for running a dog-fighting operation.


They will have nothing to do with Vick – or the Eagles – as long as he is with the team.


More than that, they believe the media is for some reason making this guy out to be a hero.


If anyone has that view, let me do what I can right here to change your mind.


Michael Vick is not a hero. I have never said he is. What he did was absolutely reprensible. But I believe he deserves a second chance, just like anyone else does. He just happens to be able to do things that not many people can do. Michael Vick doesn’t drive a cab, or work in a factory. He’s not a teacher, or a newspaper editor either. He is a superstar athlete. A lot of people think he for some reason should forfeit the right to do that because of his conviction. I do not agree.


And I said as much Saturday when I had a chance to join Daily Times columnist Jack McCaffery, who was hosting a show on 97.5FM The Fanatic sports talk radio in town.


The Vick question dominated the three hours Jack was on.


It appears as if Delco fans are starting to change their minds about Vick. You can see what some of them had to say here.


We might as well get used to it. Michael Vick is not going anywhere.

He’s going to continue to be in the headlines every day.


And we will continue to discuss what he did, what he’s doing now, and where he and the Eagles very well could be going.


A win is a win is a win

This was exactly the kind of game the Eagles always used to lose.

All the telltale signs were there.

If the first half, they kept settling for field goals instead of jamming the ball into the end zone. They even had trouble doing that, getting a kick blocked near the end of the second quarter. They had thoroughly dominated the Giants, yet went into the locker room up just 13-3. It just as easily could have been 28-3.

Even Michael Vick seemed to be just a tad off in the first half. Then again, compared to what he did the week before against the Redskins, almost anything he did would be viewed as a bit of a letdown.

But Vick hit Jason Avant dead in the hands with one pass, which the normally sure-haded receiver just flat dropped all alone in the back of the end zone.

Vick also overthrew a wide open DeSean Jackson.

It didn’t take long for these omissions to catch up with the Birrds. The Giants rallied in the second half for two straight touchdowns to seize a 17-16 lead.

You could go to bed cursing all the missed opportunities, the dumb penalties, the dropped passes. We’ve seen it all a million times.

Then something odd happened. The Eagles rallied for 11 straight points to post an improbable 27-17 win.

They now sit alone atop the NFC East with a 7-3 record.

And finally, there is this. Don’t ask me why, but I don’t think the Eagles win this game with Donovan McNabb on their team. I’m not even sure Andy Reid goes for it on the crucial fourth down play turned into the go-ahead touchdown late in the game.

The Vick dimension allows Reid that kind of option.

Vick was not great in this game. But he was good enough.

Suddenly, so are his teammates. They made lots of mistakes, but the Giants made more, including a fumble late in the game by QB Eli Manning.

The Michael Vick express rolls on.

Next stop: Chicago.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The dreaded Saturday Eagles pick

It's back-to-back prime time performances for the Eagles.

And is anyone more ready for prime time than Michael Vick? We spent most of the week showering superlatives on the Birds QB, and it still does not do justice to just how good Vick was Monday night.

He'll need to be every bit as good Sunday night when the Giants arrive for the first of these two classic rivals' knock-down, drag 'em out affairs. This one is at what will be an electric Lincoln Financial Field, despite Jeff Lurie's alternative energy move.

This team is energized by Vick, who has come back from a two-year hiatus in federal prison for his role in a dog-fighting operation to climb the mountain and once again stand as the league's 'Ultimate Weapon.'

This game comes down to Vick vs. the Giants defense. While I don't think Vick will put up the numbers he did last week, I think he will do enough to get the Birds the win. Watch for Vick to win this game with his feet, as he, LeSean McCoy and James Harrison unleash a ground attack not seen by Eagles fans since the days of Wilbert Montgomery.

It will be another stellar night for Vick, and Eli Manning will make just enough mistakes to tilt the game the Eagles' way. Look for Manning to toss a late interception as the Birds prevail and take over solo first place in the NFC East.

The win also will put the Eagles at the top of the list of potential Super Bowl teams from the NFC. A reason for thanks? Michael Vick is an Eagle. Every team in the NFL had a shot to sign Vick on his return to the league. Every team but one took a pass. Now Vick is passing them all, and carrying the Eagles along with him.

Make it Eagles 26, Giants 20.

Last Week: I expected the Eagles to beat the Redskins. I didn't not expect the spanking they delivered, humiliating Washington and former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb just hours after he signed a contract extension that had most people in Philly shaking their heads.

Season Record: I am cruising along at 6-3, the same mark as the Eagles as they look to separate themselves from the Giants.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 19

The Daily Numbers: 1 of 2 teams still standing. They may not have a school anymore, but the St. Joe’s CYO team is playing in their own Super Bowl tonight! Kudos to them!


5 feet tall, bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. unveiled in Chester yesterday.


1 of February, date of special election to fill the seat of the late Pa. Rep. Robert Donatucci in the 185th District.


300 counts of possession of child porn filed against an Aldan man.


2 deer hunts set for Ridley Creek State Park on Dec. 2 and 9.


182,930, annual salary for Rose Tree Media Superintendent Dr. Denise Kerr. She will retire at the end of the year.


11 percent tax hike being considered in Montgomery County.


5 million deficit in Chester County.


0 tax hike in Delco, while 250 longtime employees look at taking early retirement offer.


8 people shaken up when a SEPTA trolley collided with an SUV last night in West Philly.


900 pot plants seized on a raid on a pot-growing operation in northeastern Pa. 5 men from New York City were arrested.


80 spiral-shaped turbines to be affixed atop the rim of Lincoln Financial Field as it moves to alternative energy for a power source.


7 goals not enough for the Flyers last night, they lost 8-7 to the Lightning.


*


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


Jeff Lurie missed the boat in his hunt for an alternate energy source. He should have turned to Michael Vick. The guy’s electric.


*


I Don’t Get It: A 14-year-old was picked up in Ridley after he appeared to be under the influence. Turns out he was drinking one of those alcohol-energy drinks. I don’t get it.


*


Today’s Upper: Kudos to the LCB for deciding against a plan to increase handling fees that would have increased prices. I still they it should be blow up.


*


Quote Box: “Our hope is that everyone assembled here today will spend some time here in the facility to reflect on the teachings of Dr. King and what he meant to us as a teacher.”


- Monir A. Ahmed, master of ceremonies at yesterday’s unveiling in Chester of a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Brain drain at the courthouse

There’s something of a brain drain going on at the Media Courthouse.

Or you could just sum it up we did on yesterday’s front page: Exodus.

No, Charlton Heston is not leading workers out of the courthouse.

But make no mistake, there is a seismic shift going on amid county workers.

That’s because 250 of them, many department heads and other longtime employees, are taking the county up on their earlier retirement offer.

The lure is five years of paid medical benefits. Anybody who works in the private sector will tell you that is a great deal. I don’t blame any of them for taking it and running for the exit.

But there is a concern for the kind of experience and savvy workers that are being lost with all these senior workers heading for the doors.

After raising taxes more than 7 percent last year, County Council certainly didn’t want to be in the same position again this year. So instead they decided to toe the line on taxes and seek savings elsewhere. Hence the early retirement plan.

A look at some other suburbs confirms a troublesome sign of the time, revenues are down, expenses are up. That translates to tax hikes or cuts.

Montgomery County is looking at a 11 percent property tax hike. Or they just might slash 140 jobs. Chester County is looking at a $5 million deficit, and that is after whittling to the bone.

Town after town across the county has been struggling with the same sea of red ink.

Delco government will have to soldier on without some of its leaders. No one likes it, but even less like the alternative – tax hikes.

The truth about Michael Vick

Jeff Lurie made a big splash yesterday with his announcement that the playpen where Gang Green – the zealots who back the Birds – gather on Sunday afternoons is going to be even greener.

Lurie brought in NFL boss Roger Goodell and other luminaries for the announcement that Lincoln Financial Field would convert to alternative energy sources.

They will erect a bunch of wind turbines on the top of the stadium, and also will utilize solar panels and a cogeneration plant.

There will be 80 of the spiral-shaped turbines ringing the top of the stadium, and another 2,500 solar panels on the outside.

I could have saved him the trouble.

If he’s looking for an alternate energy source, he should have just plugged into his new superstar QB, Michael Vick.

The guy is electric.

The ratings for Sunday night’s prime time matchup between the 6-3 Eagles and 6-3 Giants are likely to provide some juice as well.

Vick is no longer just a big story in Philly. He’s the biggest sports story in the nation.

Get used to it. If he stays on this run, the story is only going to get bigger.

I want to make something clear here. I have heard the voices of the critics, those who do not share my feelings for Vick.

I have not forgotten what Vick did, and why he was away from the game for two years.

It was reprehensible, and I don’t blame anyone who simply can’t get past that fact and decides to turn their back on the Eagles for their decision to bring Vick on board.

I do not consider him some kind of hero, and I have never said I do.

Having said that, I do find the story of one man’s search for redemption compelling, maybe as compelling as any sports story to come down the pike in years.

I know that is not a unanimous opinion.

I hope Vick stays on the straight and narrow. Should, however, he veer off track again, I will not hesitate to point it out. And very likely write him off forever.

But, for now, count me in. It’s a riveting story, one everyone can relate to, a man who had everything, threw it all away, and is now enjoying a kind of comeback none of us has ever seen before.

Yes, I’m an Eagles fan, and I am beyond happy at this sudden turn of events. What was once considered a rebuilding year now may be much more.

But this isn’t just about football. Those who revile Vick would agree with me, but for a different reason.

In this case I think we’ll just agree to disagree.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 18

The Daily Numbers: 250 county employees who have applied for the buyout program being offered by county council.


5 years of health benefits for those 55 and older with 20 years of service, under the offer.


12.5 million dollars in savings, if all 250 workers take the buyout.


4 counts of bank robbery, what the man dubbed the “Mummy Bandit” pleaded guilty to yesterday in federal court.


23,000 pounds of food collected by kids at Penncrest High to aid Philabundance.


90 dollar tax hike likely for Lower Chi residents under the township’s proposed 2011 budget.


0 tax hike planned by Chester Heights in their spending plan.


500,000 dollars, how much the city of Philadelphia will sell the building that houses the local Boy Scouts to the organization to settle a flap over their policy to exclude gays.


3 bucks, average price for gas in the Philadelphia region, according to AAA.


17 of October in 2008, last time gas prices hit the $3 mark.


45 mph wind gusts that caused serious damage across the region early yesterday.


2 teens hospitalized after they were attacked by a gang of youths on a SEPTA concourse under Broad Street at the Chestnut Street entrance.


2 teens in custody after they allegedly fired shots at security guards who were trying to stop them for a shoplifting check in the parking lot of Christiana Mall.


25 percent of Pennsylvanians who have a 2nd job, according to a new survey.


1 in 5 have lost jobs, or seen hours cut.


11.7 percent dip in home construction starts in October.


5 skating rinks in Philadelphia to be renovated thanks to a $13 million gift from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.


2-10, Sixers record after they blew a lead, and the game, to the Raptors last night.


*


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Who’s the happiest guy in Philly about the resurgence or Michael Vick.


 


Maybe Doug Collins. No one is paying any attention to the Sixers and their 2-10 start.


*


I Don’t Get It: Two students are being disciplined at Lehigh University after they showed up at a Halloween party in blackface. I don’t get it.


*


Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Delaware County Community Foundation, which has named an annual award for late sportscaster Gary Papa. It will go to attorney Joseph Del Raso Saturday night.


*


Quote Box: “It was a very difficult decision to make when you have a loyalty to the court and the county and a passion for the work.”


- Phil Damiani, executive director of the Delaware County Courts, talking about his decision to apply for the county buyout offer.

Winning hand for Chester from legalized gambling

Much has been said – and written – about whether or not the expansion of legalized gambling has been good for the city of Chester.

No doubt the arrival of Harrah’s gave the city and county a much-needed shot in the arm.

But its detractors point out that not enough of that benefit has trickled down to the citizens of Chester, those who likely could use it most.

Instead, they maintain that Chester citizens make their way to the casino to plunk down their money, but are sometimes an afterthought when it comes to the benefits. One particular sore spot has been the stringent background checks for jobs in the casino, something that blocks a lot of people in Chester from working there.

But there is no arguing one very important benefit derived from Harrah’s that came to fruition this week. It is something that will have a direct, tangible effect on young people in the city.

This week Mayor Wendell Butler and Chester Upland School Board President Wanda Mann signed off on a deal that will allow the troubled district to join the list of “sponsoring” school districts with Delaware County Community College.

The deal will be paid for with a 1 percent cut of the take from the arrival of table games at Harrah’s.

Being a sponsoring district means that kids in Chester, and the other towns in the Chester Upland School District, can attend Delaware County Community College at a much-reduced price. City kids will now pay $97 per credit hour at DCCC, as opposed to the $194 tab they have been staring at.

A little simple math (even a newspaper editor can handle that one, I think) shows their costs just got cut in half.

The argument over gambling in Pennsylvania – and Chester – no doubt will continue.

But I think we can now end the talk about what city residents are getting out of the deal.

Just ask any Chester kid who wants to attend DCCC. For them, the high costs of a college education just got lower. And they can thank Harrah’s and legalized gambling. That strikes me as a winning hand for the city.

Vick now wears target

It is becoming increasingly clear that there is one key to beating these super-charged Philadelphia Eagles.

Defuse Michael Vick.

After his electrifying performance on Monday Night Football, Vick has become the darling of the national media. Everywhere you turn there is another story hailing his saga as one of the all-time great comeback stories in the annals of sports.

But that comeback could be short-circuited if the New York Giants have their way.

Yesterday the Giants were talking about the NFL’s resurgent superstar.

Coach Tom Coughlin told the New York media that watching Vick demolish the Washington Redskins gave him indigestion. When asked how he would try to defense Vick, Coughlin joked about putting a 12th man on the field.

Some of his players had some other thoughts. They’re actually thinking about one less player on the field. On the Eagles side of the ball. The guy wearing No. 7.

Giants safety Deon Grant reminded that Vick is not Superman, that he in fact was squished by two Redskins in the first encounter between the two teams, a collision that put him on the shelf for several weeks.

He sounds like the Giants wouldn’t mind a repeat of that scenario.

That comes as no real surprise. Vick has been playing as if he’s wearing Superman’s cape.

Now he’s wearing something else. A target.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 17

The Daily Numbers: 17, age of teen found in possession of loaded handgun after spending 24 hours in the Delco Juvenile Dentention Center.

7 million dollar increase in Delco 2011 budget, which will be accomplished without a tax hike.

10 percent hike in taxes in the city of Philadelphia, under their budget plan.

2 strangulation deaths and a 3rd sexual assault under investigation in the Kensington section of the city. Police are mulling whether they are dealing with the ‘Kensington Strangler.’

20 Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse restaurants that are closing, but not the one in Springfield.

250 bucks, proposed new fine for businesses in Philly that sell tobacco products to underaged kids. That’s up from $100.

100 stores in the King of Prussia Mall that are looking to hire season help for the holiday season.

7, as in No. 6, Michael Vick’s Eagles jersey number, which is going to be one of the hottest holiday sports items this year.

9-0-1 streak for Flyers snapped as they fell to the Canadiens last night.

0 goals for the Flyers, who were playing back-to-back nights.

41 saves for Montreal goaltender Carey Price in shutting out the orange & black.

17 points for Thaddeus Young vs. the Cavs, but the Sixers lost again.

4 straight losses for the seriously struggling Sixers.

31-23 loss for the Temple Owls last night to Ohio in football. It was the 2nd straight year the 8-3 Owls got tripped up by Ohio.

17 points to Maalik Wayns to lead No. 6 Villanova to an easy win over Maris.

2 straight losses to open the season for Saint Joe’s, who fell to Penn State, 66-57.


*

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

With all the hoopla surrounding Michael Vick, we almost overlooked Roy Halladay being the unanimous choice for the NL Cy Young Award. Pardon me, Roy!

*

I Don’t Get It: A kid with a loaded gun inside the Juvenile Detention Center. I don’t get it.

*

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Harwood House in Upper Darby, which is performing miracles in dealing with people battling drug and alcohol addictions.

*

Quote Box: “Somewhere, protocol was broken.”

- Phil Damiani, executive director of the Delaware County Courts, on news that a teen was in possession of a loaded gun in the juvenile detention center.




 

Locked & Loaded

We’ve got a bizarre story leading the newspaper today.


A teen gets picked up in Upland for drug possession. He’s sent to the Juvenile Detention Center out in Middletown.


Somehow, he manages to go through both of those processes while concealing a loaded weapon.


This kid actually spent 24 hours in the youth lockup with a loaded gun in his possession. Thus our lead headline today: Locked & Loaded.


Check out Rose Quinn’s full report on the situation here.



Call me royally confused

I like to consider myself a pretty astute judge of news. I make the decision every day as to what the lead story in the newspaper is going to be.

Having sad that, can someone explain to me the hysteria surrounding the announcement that Prince William is engaged?

Yes, I put it on our website as soon as it was announced yesterday.

But it did not appear on today’s front page.

Yet there I was last night flipping through the channels, simply stunned to see that the news of Willie and Kate Middleton tying the knot was leading the network news, as well as at least one local channel.

I have to admit that I just don’t get it. Yes, I realize that all of this is simply another way to dredge up still one more story on Princess Diana.

I just don’t see the relevance here.

Then again, I was reminded Monday afternoon that I perhaps am not always the best judge of such things.

That came to me soon after I took a glance at what the top stories on our website were on Monday.

Care to take a guess?

That would be the nuptials of our very own Delco girl and “Survivor” contestant Stephenie LaGrossa to Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick. Almost 7,000 people took a gander at that one site.

I'd like to say I told you so, that I knew it would draw that many eyeballs. The truth is I didn't have any inkling it would be that popular.

Live and learn. Hey, at least the LaGrossa story has a local angle.

What's up with the royals? Is it the British version of celebrity news? Someone give me a clue.

More on McNabb and Vick

Talk about adding insult to injury.

It now looks like Donovan McNabb might not be getting as rich as we thought on that contract extension that was announced just hours before his Redskins were humiliated on Monday Night Football by the Eagles.

Initial reports indicated that the extension, which was reported at five years for $78 million, guaranteed McNabb as much as $40 million.

That number raised a lot of eyebrows, considering that he had been benched by Coach Mike Shanahan in the final minutes of the Redskins loss to the Lions just two weeks before.

Turns out those numbers aren’t exactly the case. McNabb’s agent Fletcher Smith shed some light on the issue yesterday, indicating that the Redskins actually can release McNabb at the end of the year and only owe him $3.5 million. That’s a little different than $40 million guaranteed.

It’s unlikely the Skins will release McNabb. At this point they don’t have an alternative.

In the meantime, Michael Vick picks up his second NFC offensive player of the week award after his electrifying performance Monday night.

All of which leaves one wondering just how much Vick is now worth, and how high the Eagles will want to go to keep him. Do they do it now, or do they dare allow Vick to test the free agent waters at the end of the season.

And what does all this mean for Kevin Kolb. Remember him? He was supposed to be the starter this year.

Not anymore. This is now Vick’s team. I, for one, plan to sit back and enjoy the ride.

I’m not ready to make the Birds the favorite in NFC just yet, but I reserve the right to change my mind depending on what happens Sunday night.

One thing that is already apparent about Vick, which makes him so much different than the guy who is now playing in D.C. This guy turns it on when the spotlight is on him. I think that is in part due to what he’s been through.

Watching him Monday night, it’s simply hard to fathom that he spent two years away from the game, sitting in a federal prison for his role in a dog-fighting operation.

Michael Vick has scaled the NFL mountain once already, and he’s also been at life’s lowest valley. Now he’s ascending the hill once again. It’s been a hell of a hike.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Michael Vick Edition

The Daily Numbers (The Michael Vick Edition): 20 of 28 for 333 yards for the Eagles sizzling starting QB.


4 TD passes for Vick on the night, including an 88-yard strike on the game’s first play from scrimmage.


2 rushing touchdowns for Vick, who rumbled for 80 yards on eight carries.


28-0 led built by the Birds in a first quarter in which they humiliated the Redskins at every turn.


35-0 Eagles lead after the first play of the 2nd quarter.


59-28 final score in a Monday Night Massacre.


10 straight completions to start the game for Vick.


592 total yards in the game for the Eagles, a team record.


45 points in the first half, also a new team mark.


4-0, Eagles record when Vick starts and finishes the game. He got knocked out of first game with Washington earlier this year that the Redskins won at the Linc.


17 of 31 for the man who used to be the Birds’ quarterback. Donovan McNabb also threw 3 interceptions, including 2 early when the game was still in doubt, and 1 late that was returned for a TD by Dmitri Patterson.


5 year, $78 million dollar extension for McNabb before the game. How much does that make Vick worth?


1 player in NFL history to throw for 300 yards, rush for at least 50, 4 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs. That would be Mr. Vick.


0 interceptions this year for Vick.


*


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.What else can you say at this point about Michael Vick. Bring on the Giants.


 


*


I Don’t Get It: What exactly are the Redskins thinking by giving McNabb that extension, with at least $40 million guaranteed. They should talk to Eagles fans about the way McNabb plays in big games.


*


Today’s Upper: Aside from everything else, Vick is one of the truly remarkable comeback stories in sports history.


*


Quote Box: “I’ve had some great games in my day. But I don’t think I’ve had one quite like this one.”


- Michael Vick, after obliterating the Redskins on Monday Night Football.

Vick, Eagles looking 'Super'

Welcome to the Michael Vick Experience.

Any questions?

Just hours after the Washington Redskins showered their struggling quarterback, Donovan McNabb with a five-year extension and a guarantee somehwere in the vicinity of $40 million, it was Vick who turned out to be money.

In a word, Vick was electric in leading the Eagles to a humiliating 59-28 flogging of the Deadskins.

The game had plenty of hype leading into it, a rematch of the longtime Eagles Pro Bowl QB and his predecessor. The words that tumbled from McNabb’s mouth after Washington beat the Birds (minus Vick, who left the game in the first half with busted ribs) still growled in the Eagles’ stomachs.

“Everybody makes mistakes in their lifetime, and they made one last year.”

That was McNabb talking about the decision by Andy Reid and the Birds’ Brass to trade him to division rival Washington on Easter Sunday.

Then the Redskins decided to add some pepper to this tantalizing stew late yesterday afternoon by announcing a contract extension for McNabb, who had been benched by Coach Mike Shanahan in the final minutes of a loss to the Lions two weeks ago. Shanahan managed to clumsily explain the decision by intimating McNabb either didn’t know the playbook, or wasn’t in shape.

Finally, there was Redskins safety LaRon Landry and his pals, who thought it would be proper pregame etiquette to mock Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and his concussion problems.

Jackson and Vick answered on the first play of the game, connecting with an 88-yard TD. The Eagles never looked back in humiliating the Redskins in front of their own fans.

The rout was on.

In the blink of an eye, Vick and the Birds left tire marks all over the ‘Skins en route to a 28-0 first quarter, the first time in more than 60 years that an NFL team had taken such an early bulge on the road.

After the game, a once again sullen McNabb summed it up in one word: Embarrassing.

For Vick, you can sum this up in another word. Money. And lots of it, if not from the Eagles than from someone else. It’s hard at this point to see the Eagles allowing that to happen.

Don’t look now, but Vick and the Eagles may have just moved into front-runner status to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. They can claim that mantle Sunday night when they face the Giants at the Linc. It will again test the mettle of Vick and his dazzling offensive weapons.

For now, there is this. The Vick story has to go down in history – I’m talking sports history, not just Philly sports – as one of the great comeback stories of all time.

This guy spent two years away from the game, in prison for his role in a dogfighting operation.

When the Eagles signed him last year, there were howls of protest. There are many who continue to boycott the Birds because Vick is now their leader. They vow not to come back until Vick is gone.

Hope they’re not holding their breath.

The Michael Vick Experience is just getting warmed up.

The Eagles are now 6-3 and tied for first in the NFC East. The big question is not whether or not this offensive can keep up this pace, but rather what defense can stop them.

I imagine there were a lot of jaws dropping up the Jersey Turnpike as the Giants watched that show Vick put on last night.

Michael Vick is the Lazarus of the NFL. He’s come back from the dead. And he’s taking the Eagles with him.

What many thought was going to be a rebuilding year, now might turn out to be something special.

In fact, you might call it “Super.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hollywood in Delco

 


Who needs Hollywood when you've got Chester Township?


The stars came out to Stanley Kester's burg yesterday for the first big event to be held at the new film studio built on the site of the old Sun Center in the township.


Among the notables who showed up were actor Danny DeVito and his 'it's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' co-stars Rob McElhenny and Kaitlyn Olson.


Always sunny in Philly? Maybe, but that's definitely the case these days in Chester Township.


 

Check out our story and two videos of all the glitterati who turned out as Delco went Hollywood for the day.

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 15

The Daily Numbers: 3 stars of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ who took part in a special program at a new film studio in Chester Township yesterday.


2 masked gunmen who held at Jake’s Hamburgers on Route 202 in Concord.


1 man being sought for robbing a bank early Saturday in Aston.


0.33 jump in expenditures in the Upland budget. The borough is still managing to avoid a tax hike.


6 percent hike in taxes coming under the proposed budget in Upper Providence.


87 dollar hike in taxes for the average resident under the Marple spending plan.


100 daily commuters expected to use the Wawa station once SEPTA’s Media line is extended from Elwyn. But neighbors are raising concerns about increased traffic and trains rolling through their residential area.


31, age of Pa. game officer slain in a wild shootout with a man suspected of poaching in a rural area outside Gettysburg.


2.97, average price of gas in the Philly region, according to AAA.


That’s up 6 cents from the week before.


20 million dollar award upheld for the family of a Marple woman who died as a result of complications from liposuction.


19,000 defendants who skipped court years ago who the state is now simply dropping the charges against.


4 people dead after a man went on a rampage in Erie. He killed the woman he was living with, her 2 kids and then turned the gun on himself.


25, age of man in South Jersey charged with smothering his baby because the tot would not stop crying.


1 person killed in a fire in a house in South Philadelphia Sunday night.


7 vehicles involved in a nasty crash that shut down the Roosevelt Boulevard Sunday afternoon.


800 dealers who now have a new contract with Harrah’s in Atlantic City.


22, age of woman who told police she was slipped a date-rape drug during a night out at TLA in Philly, then taken to a motel in Cinnaminson, N.J., and sexually assaulted.


1 game behind the New York Giants, where the Eagles find themselves going into tonight’s Monday night rematch with the Redskins. A win put the Eagles into a tie for first in the NFC East.


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Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.How hard did you find it yesterday to be rooting for the Cowboys to take down the Giants. Yeah, I know….


 


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I Don’t Get It: A man in South Jersey has been charged with smothering his 4 week-old son. The baby’s fault? Apparently the child would not stop crying. I don’t get it.


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Today’s Upper: Thanks, Mother Nature. That was a gorgeous fall weekend.


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Quote Box: “I used to come up here (Philadelphia) all the time and just eat meatball sandwiches.”


- ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ star Danny DeVito, during ceremonies yesterday to honor Philly at new film studio in Chester Township.


 

A little political drama in Harrisburg

There are a lot of folks headed back to Harrisburg today with their tails between their legs.

Most of them would be House Democrats, in particular their leadership.

After basically getting their heads handed to them in the mid-term elections, in the process losing control of the House, Democrats decided to call it a day, and not take any votes in the lame-duck session.

This despite the fact that several crucial pieces of legislation, including one that offers a potential solution to the state’s burgeoning public pension plans, were on the agenda.

House leaders did not like the language in some of the bills, which they apparently saw as a way of watering down their power, and decided to simply close up shop instead.

This did not sit well with voters, who made their feelings quite clear.
And it did not sit well with some of the Democrat rank-and-file members.
Many of them wrote a letter to their leaders asking them to reconsider, return for the session, and take the key votes. Among them were Delco Dem state Reps. Greg Vitali and Thaddeus Kirkland.

Amid a statewide revolt, Democrat leaders gauged public opinion and took a U-turn.

Hence they are back in Harrisburg today and a vote on the public pension bill could come this week.

Among the biggest victims in this political squabble could be Rep.
Dwight Evans, the Philadelphia rep who has chaired the powerful House Appropriations Committee for years.

That means Evans ran the state budget, and was in a position to deliver lots of money for Philly projects.

With the House shifting over to GOP control, Evans already had lost the majority post. Now he’s facing a challenge from within his own party to be minority chair.

Evans has held the leadership position for two decades.

Part of this is an anti-Philadelphia backlash by lawmakers who operate under the belief that the city gets too much aid as it is.

But the rank and file also were less than thrilled by the move by Evans and others to call off any votes in this lame-duck session.

All of which will make for a very interesting week in Harrisburg.

A little political drama in Harrisburg

There are a lot of folks headed back to Harrisburg today with their tails between their legs.

Most of them would be House Democrats, in particular their leadership.

After basically getting their heads handed to them in the mid-term elections, in the process losing control of the House, Democrats decided to call it a day, and not take any votes in the lame-duck session.

This despite the fact that several crucial pieces of legislation, including one that offers a potential solution to the state’s burgeoning public pension plans, were on the agenda.

House leaders did not like the language in some of the bills, which they apparently saw as a way of watering down their power, and decided to simply close up shop instead.

This did not sit well with voters, who made their feelings quite clear.
And it did not sit well with some of the Democrat rank-and-file members.
Many of them wrote a letter to their leaders asking them to reconsider, return for the session, and take the key votes. Among them were Delco Dem state Reps. Greg Vitali and Thaddeus Kirkland.

Amid a statewide revolt, Democrat leaders gauged public opinion and took a U-turn.

Hence they are back in Harrisburg today and a vote on the public pension bill could come this week.

Among the biggest victims in this political squabble could be Rep.
Dwight Evans, the Philadelphia rep who has chaired the powerful House Appropriations Committee for years.

That means Evans ran the state budget, and was in a position to deliver lots of money for Philly projects.

With the House shifting over to GOP control, Evans already had lost the majority post. Now he’s facing a challenge from within his own party to be minority chair.

Evans has held the leadership position for two decades.

Part of this is an anti-Philadelphia backlash by lawmakers who operate under the belief that the city gets too much aid as it is.

But the rank and file also were less than thrilled by the move by Evans and others to call off any votes in this lame-duck session.

All of which will make for a very interesting week in Harrisburg.

As Donovan turns

Welcome to D-Day, the sequel.

The Eagles took Amtrak to the nation’s capital yesterday, not for the lame-duck session of Congress, but for what very well may be the lame-duck term of Donovan McNabb as quarterback of the Washington Redkins.

When last seen, McNabb was doing one of his classic sulks on the sideline after being pulled in the final minutes of a brutal loss to the Lions.

Since then, all hell has broken loose in Washington, with Coach Mike Shanahan trotting out all sorts of explanations for his dubious move in yanking the guy he traded several high draft picks to get, then showered with praise on his arrival in D.C.

First he said McNabb wasn’t familiar enough with the Redskins’ playbook to run the two-minute drill. Then he trotted out something about his quarterback’s cardiovascular shape not being up to snuff.

It’s been almost comical to watch all this play out after everything McNabb and Eagles fans went through over the past decade. Donovan and Gang Green always had something of a love-hate relationship. Fans wanted a Super Bowl championship that Donovan could never deliver. McNabb always felt unloved because his selection was booed by Eagles fans at the NFL Draft and he never got over it.

McNabb always seemed to be ready to point to all the success the Eagles had over the years with him at the reins, but never quite seemed to get over the hump.

Now it appears McNabb might literally be playing for his job tonight in a nationally telecast Monday night matchup with his old team.

McNabb exalted in beating the Birds at the Linc back in Week 4. A lot has changed since then.

One thing has not. McNabb remains a conundrum, a soap opera regardless of what jersey he happens to be wearing.

Don’t be surprised if he you see him again, standing on the sideline looking glum, with that “woe is me” look plastered all over his face.

How 'bout 'dem Cowboys!

Philadelphia Eagles fans were treated to a very rare sensation yesterday.

Cheering for the Dallas Cowboys.

Yes, I know it seems unfathomable. But if you’re anything like me, you actually found yourselves rooting on the ‘Boys yesterday. It doesn’t have anything to do with liking those hated guys with the stars on their helmets. This dilemma was one of NFL expediency.

The Eagles trail the New York Giants by a game heading into tonight’s prime time rematch with Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins.

The Giants were hosting the Cowboys. A loss by the Giants and a win tonight by the Birds would lift the Eagles into a first-place tie.

Hence, cheering for the Cowboys.

And new Dallas coach Jason Garrett and the ‘Boys did not disappoint. They looked a whole lot more like the team that many predicted before the season was going to the Super Bowl before getting off to a rocky 1-7 start that cost Wade Phillips his job.

The Giants did not look anything like the team that looked like the cream of the NFC crop in getting out to a 6-2 start.

Now all the Eagles have to do is take care of Redskins tonight and they will be sitting at 6-3, tied for first place in the NFC East.

It also would put them among a handful of teams with Super Bowl aspirations in the NFC. The Falcons are 7-2, and the Eagles have already thumped them. New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Chicago and Green Bay are all 6-3.

All together now Birds fans: How ’bout ’dem Cowboys.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The dreaded Saturday Eagles pick

Anybody forget Donovan McNabb's comments in the locker room minutes after his new team, the Redskins, put away the Eagles a few weeks back?

You can bet no one in green and silver has.

McNabb exalted in how "everybody makes mistakes, and they (the Eagles) made one last year."

Things haven't got so well for McNabb and the 'Skins since then. His problems came to a boil in the final two minutes of a brutal loss to the Lions two weeks ago. McNabb watched those final moments from the sidelines, pulled by Coach Mike Shanahan. He did not look especially happy.

Things have sort of mushroomed since then, with the Redskins and the Shanahan-McNabb duel getting more ink that President Obama and the mid-term elections. Shanahan ham-handedly tried to explain his decision as anything from Donovan not being in shape, to not knowing the playbook. He has even been accused by some in the media of using racial coding in his comments about his quarterback.

Factor into all this a national, prime-time telecast. The eyes of the nation will be on D.C. Monday for Monday Night Football and a game that has more sub-plots than a John Grisham novel.

Bottom line? Michael Vick is playing extremely well; Donovan McNabb is not. I don't see that changing. I do see another change for the Redskins, with Shanahan again pulling the string on a struggling McNabb, and setting off still one more soap opera.

The Eagles roll in their rematch with their once Pro Bowl QB.

Make it Eagles 29, Redskins 13.

Last Week: I have to admit I did not see the Eagles beating the Colts. And yes, I think that means we can start talking about the playoffs with this team. With Vick at quarterback, they are very damgerous and will provide nightmares for defensive coordinators. The Birds' biggest problem will be with their own defensive coordinator and if Sean McDermott is up to the job. Can't argue with what he and his unit did against Peyton Manning.

Season Record: I am still above water at 5-3, even after the loss on the Colts' game. Meanwhile, the Eagles are sitting at a similar 5-3 and being talked about as one of the better teams in a watered-down NFC.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 11

The Daily Numbers: 6 smash-and-grab break-ins at convenience stores that local police believe are the work of the same two guys.


51 straight years that Media has hosted the annual Veterans Day Parade.


Stop by and thank a vet.


19, age of custodian at Chester Community Charter School who has been charged with punching a student, 8, in the mouth during an altercation.


17,674 bags of heroin seized in drug bust in Wilmington, Del.


21 homicides in Chester so far this year. The latest, a 21-year-old man, occurred Tuesday night.


2.5 percent tax hike being considered in Lansdowne.


1 person killed in fire overnight in Tinicum, Bucks County.


650,000 dollars swindled from two elderly men by a 23-year-old con woman and her accomplice in North Jersey.


18,000 people in Philadelphia looking at the prospect of losing their unemployment benefits, which are about to expire.


83,000 people across the state who are looking at a similar crisis.


50 million dollars in unspent funds at the Delaware River Port Authority. A board member now wants to freeze the funds.


15 points for rookie Evan Turner, but the Sixers fell to Oklahoma City last night, 109-103.


4 more days before the Eagles get another shot at Donovan McNabb and the Redskins on Monday Night Football.


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Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan apparently is not yet ready to sign off on Donovan McNabb as his quarterback for Monday night. Shanahan says McNabb is still being bothered by hamstring problems. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to keep McNabb out of the lineup. How long he stays out there Monday night is up to Shanahan. Anyone think he’d pull Donovan again if he struggles?


 


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I Don’t Get It: A custodian at a local charter school is charged with socking a student in the jaw during a confrontation. The student is 8. Nice.


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Today’s Upper: A sincere thank you to all those who served the country in uniform. Happy Veterans Day!


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Quote Box: “It was important to name the detachment in his name and important to have the exhibit because he is not known to many.”


- Tom Tanner, on move to name Newtown Square vets detachment for Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Smedley D. Butler of Newtown Square.

A simple thank you to vets

Here’s a novel idea for today, Veterans Day.


Find someone who has served the country and offer a simple thank you.


We often think such things, we don’t always express them verbally. Today would be a good day to do just that.


Click here for today’s coverage of Veterans Day in Delco.


And remember that the big event in the county is the 51st annual Delaware County Veterans Day Parade in Media. It starts at 11:30 a.m. on State Street.


If you can’t get there, come back to delcotimes.com later today. We’ll post our video from the parade.



Another episode of 'As Donovan Turns'

While the Eagles quietly go about their jobs getting ready for the Redskins, it’s much more fun to check in with today’s installment of “As Donovan Turns.”

Yes, the QB last seen standing on the Redskins’ sidelines after being pulled in the final two minutes of a loss against the Lions two weeks ago, went back to work yesterday.

Sort of.

Actually, according to the man who yanked the Pro Bowler off the field in favor of journeyman Rex Grossman, McNabb is still battling his way through hamstring injuries.

Mike Shanahan says McNabb is “improved, but by no means is he full speed yet.”

You might remember Shanahan cited those ouchy hammies as one of the reasons he pulled McNabb, setting off still one more firestorm surrounding the quarterback. Does anyone think Shanahan would actually consider not starting McNabb against his old mates Monday night? Nah, not even Shanahan would try to pull that one off. Would he?

McNabb is scheduled to meet with the D.C. media today. Should be interesting.

We’ll keep you posted.

By the way, what do you think all the national pundits will be talking about on their pre-game shows on Sunday?

Yep, just another Redskins-Eagles tilt in front of a prime-time audience Monday night.

Are you ready for some football?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Daily Numbers - Nov. 10

The Daily Numbers: 59, age of secretary in D.A.’s office now charged with leaking information in case involving her grandson.

46 acres known as Mineral Hill on the Media-Middletown border off Baltimore Pike that will be home to the 12th county park.

1 person slain and 1 injured in street shooting in Chester last night.

15, age of teen charged in a burglary at the Acme in Folsom, Ridley Township.

29, age of man charged with leading police out in Bethel on a wild chase that ended with him striking another car before fleeing on foot. He was captured not far away.

58, age of state Rep. Robert Donatucci, who died in his sleep early Tuesday. Although most of his district sits in Philadelphia, he also represented several towns in eastern Delco.

4,500 passengers on a stranded Carnival Cruise line off Mexico for whom the vacation of their dreams turned into a nightmare.

63, age of grandmother who got a black eye and stitches after a violent encounter in her home with 3 armed suspects in Millville, N.J.

1 teen killed and several other people injured when fire roared through a home in Allentown early last night.

56, age of Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose case was being argued again in federal court yesterday in the murder of Philadelphia police Officer Danny Faulkner in 1981.

23 of November, when they will start tearing down the Spectrum at the South Philly sports complex.

5 more days before the Eagles get another shot at Donovan McNabb and the Redskins on Monday Night Football.

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

The Donovan McNabb Show continues unabated down in Washington. And to think we left all this behind. Yesterday McNabb was fending off reports that he was not as familiar with the Redskins’ playbook as he should be. Donovan called the reports “hilarious.” No word yet from Coach Mike Shanahan.

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I Don’t Get It: Hundreds protested outside court yesterday seeking freedom for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Why I have no idea.

The evidence plainly shows he’s guilty.

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Today’s Upper: Kudos to state Rep. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield.

Yesterday he was named majority chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

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Quote Box: “Using a public position to shield family members from criminal prosecution and then making false statements to investigators about those acts is an inexcusable breach of the public trust.”

- Attorney General Tom Corbett, on charges filed against secretary in Delco D.A.’s office.

A troubling case inside D.A.'s office

 


It is the one complaint you hear over and over again from police and law enforcement officials.


They constantly lament the lack of cooperation they too often get from the community. They arrive at crowded crime scenes only to be greeted by zipped lips. Nobody saw anything.


The street code of “no snitching” remains entrenched in many communities.


One of the reasons people are reluctant to come forward is because they do not trust the system to protect them if they do.


Which is why the case splashed all over today’s front page is so troubling.


Vera Carroll, 59, was a secretary in the district attorney’s office. She was assigned to Chester District Court.


But today she is looking at the law from the other side of the table. Carroll was charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with leaking information – including the witness list – in a criminal case against her grandson. She's also charged with perjury for allegedly lying to an investigative grand jury in Montgomery County.


You can probably make an argument that this was simply a case of a caring grandmother looking out for her grandson. But it strikes at the heart of the justice system, and underlines why so many people are reluctant to come forward.


Carroll’s alleged actions could have put people at risk, people who were scheduled to testify in the case against her grandson.


Attorney General (and Governor-elect) Tom Corbett called it “an inexcusable breach of the public trust.”


We couldn’t agree more.

More heat on Four Loko

The heat continues to be turned up on Four Loko.

The energy drink that is a potent concoction of alcohol and stimulants is drawing increasing questions from those who question its safety in the wake of several incidents involving young people who got sick after consuming the beverage.

Yesterday it was the organization representing Pennsylvania beer distributors echoing a call that came earlier in the week from the state Liquor Control Board seeking a voluntary halt to sales of the drink.

All of which is coming as music to the ears of Chester activist Rocky Brown. Last summer he first started issuing warnings about the Four Loko, and questioned its potential role in the wave of violence among young people in the city.

Brown, who lost a bid for the state House to longtime Chester Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, also serves as chairman of the Law Enforcement Chaplains of Delaware County. He knows of what he speaks when it comes to street violence.

Phusion Projects, which makes Four Loko, said it was disappointed in the beer distributors’ request and that it does everything possible to ensure its products are consumed safely and not by anyone under the legal drinking age of 21.

They’ll likely have a hard time convincing Brown of that.

Keep an eye on this one. Right now all the calls for the halt to sales are voluntary. It will be interesting to see if anyone looks to push a more formal halt to sales.