Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 31

The Daily Numbers: 3 sons of Darby who were killed in the Vietnam War who were honored by having streets renamed in their honor in Darby Borough on Memorial Day.

79, age of Larry Weathers Jr., who was one of 160 Middletown residents with the unveiling of a World War II honor roll.

2 elderly Chester residents injured when fire swept through their home on Madison Street early Monday. Their pet dog perished.

2 brothers, the Gillon boys from Ridley, who are in service in Afghanistan. A 3rd brother has already completed a tour of duty.

3, age of child who drowned in the swim club at St. Albans in Newtown Square on Saturday, the first day the pool was open.

14, age of teen killed when his dirt bike collided with another motorcycle operated by a 16-year-old in Newark, Del.

2 people stabbed after an altercation in a Northeast Philly rooming house.

1 person killed and 1 jailed after a game of beer pong erupted into a stabbing in Cherry Hill, N.J.

25 percent cut in aid that continues to loom over Temple University and other state-affiliated colleges in Pa. That’s actually down from the 50 percent cut first considered.

15 gravestones toppled over causing $5,000 in damages in a cemetery in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

3 foot alligator captured in Monocacy Creek in Bethlehem.

1 dead, 6 injured after a boat explosion in Erie.

4 runs on 10 hits over 7 innings yesterday for Roy Halladay, who clearly did not have his best stuff, but still gutted out a win.

3 home runs surrendered by the Phils ace.

11-1 record for Halladay in his career vs. the Nationals and Expos.

999 career RBIs for Raul Ibanez, who homered.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Gotta love the way Phillies fans travel. They literally took over Nationals Park yesterday.



I Don’t Get It: A woman on a bicycle faces a DUI charge after colliding with another vehicle in Philly. She plowed into a police cruiser. I don’t get it.


Today’s Upper: Go ahead and complain if you want. Not me. I love the heat. Bring it on.


Quote Box: “Dennis is a hero. We’re here to honor heroes.”

- Jack Rhodes, boyhood friend of Dennis James Murphy, one of three Vietnam War vets honored Monday in Darby Borough.


About that new look Daily Times

I braced myself for the worst for the worst when I opened the door to my office bright and early this morning and saw my old nemesis.

That would be the flashing red light on my phone that alerts me that I have voice-mail messages.

I girded myself, then glanced at the display. Eight messages. I was pretty sure they weren’t all there to wish me a happy Memorial Day.

Actually, I pretty much knew why they were there. After all, I can’t say I didn’t ask for it.

We unveiled our new sleeker design on Monday. I wrote about it in yesterday’s column.

I asked readers to let us know what they thought about the new look. They did not disappoint.

I was actually pleasantly surprised. And that goes for myself as well as the readers. I kind of like the new, smaller format. It’s very easy to hold, and I am thinking it could soon be taken to heart by commuters packed onto trolleys, buses and trains.

Most of the readers seemed to agree.

Here’s a sampling: “I like the new paper. Four pages of comics.”

That’s something that almost everyone I talked to noticed, that we added a comics page instead of simply eliminating strips and forcing them onto three pages.

One woman did lament what she perceived as a bit of a squeeze on her favorite part of the comics, the cryptogram.

“Very nice job with the new paper,” she started with a compliment before getting down to business. “Except for one thing. My cryptogram. It’s gotten smaller. Please make it bigger. I’m 80 years old,” she said.

Believe it or not, we have not shot it down. It might look a little smaller simply because it’s on a smaller page.

Several readers did take notice that we had a slight problem on Monday with our new baseball agate page. Yeah, you might say that. It was actually the wrong page. We downloaded and ran the agate page from the day before. Readers were not amused.

And, of course, not all readers are thrilled about the new format. And of course they were not shy about telling me exactly how they thought.

“Dear Phil.. .Let me add my name to the myriad of complaints you are sure to receive over the "new format" of the Times.

You are kidding, I hope. When an oldster like me has to use a magnifying glass to read this miniscule edition, then perhaps it's time to discontinue my daily delivery, and switch to a more comprehensive Philadelphia edition. And God forbid a very small ink blur would make the Times totally unreadable?

And- you did tell me recently that the sports results would start re-appearing in your paper. Hasn't happened yet, as you continue to print "results too late" for today's edition. Didn't use to be that way. Your attempts at improving the paper seem to be going in reverse. I think you should return all the way back to square one and start giving us the paper we enjoyed so much better .




He was not alone.

"It's official - my iPad is bigger than your print edition."

" Mr. Heron: I like the length of the new Daily Times, it is about an inch shorter, easier to handle and read, similar to those old Life and Saturday Evening Post magazines. "

I'm flattered to be in such good company.

But even the compliments were not without caveats. One reader feared a sinister force lurking in the future.

"I will say I like the new, improvised version. Now there is always a motive behind anything that is done ,what is the Daily Times motive? Is it to cost more? Phil, I hope not.

There is of course one other thing that was "new" about the new look Daily Times. As part of our redesign, we have new logos to run with all our columns, along with all the banners and other graphics in the paper. With less space to deal with, we are trying to be a lean, mean fighting machine.

We got the mean part right, in at least one area. As I said we shot new photos to run with all of our local columnists. That would include mine, which appeared on Page Six.

Yes, I can admit it was one of the first things I turned to when I picked up the paper. Ouch! Let's just say I vaguely resemble that old guy in the photo.

Hey, you can't like everything about the new format, right?

It's not too late to weigh in or let us know your thoughts. We will take all such suggestions under consideration as we continue to tweak the new format.

Let me know what you think.

Road trip for Phils Phans!

The Phillies played an unscheduled home game yesterday – in the nation’s capital.

Maybe in honor of Memorial Day, Phillies nation made the jaunt down I-95 and took over Nationals Park on a muggy, sun-soaked holiday afternoon.

The announced crowd for the Phillies-Nationals game was 34,789. It only seemed as if 30,000 of them were wearing Phillies pinstripes.

At no point was this more in evidence than in the bottom of the seventh inning. Phils ace Roy Hallady, who had already been touched for an uncharacteristic three home runs, was facing off against our old pal Jayson Werth. The Phils were clinging to a one-run lead, but the Nats had Werth at the plate with two men on.

The place erupted when a gritty Halladay, who clearly did not have his best stuff, struck out Werth. And the throng of Phillies Phaithful were on their feet two innings later when Ryan Madson recorded the save, preserving a 5-4 victory.

If it’s within driving distance, Phils fans will get there. These days games in New York, Washington and even Pittsburgh mean only one thing: Road trip.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 27

The Daily Numbers: 47, age of former manager of Brookhaven Diner who was nabbed as he re-entered the country in New York. He faces sex charges here in Delco.

28, age of John Joe Thomas, who waived his hearing yesterday on charges he beat Murray Seidman to death with a rock in a sock in his Lansdowne apartment.

3 women who saw their preliminary hearings put off yesterday on charges they abused an elderly resident at the Quadrangle in Haverford. One of them showed up without a lawyer.

4 Delco high schools among 17 in Philadelphia Archdiocese where teachers have authorized a strike if they fail to bargain a new contract.

1.9 million price tag for renovation of Rose Tree Tavern. It is now the new home of the Brandywine Convention and Visitors Bureau.

2 percent tax hike in Southeast Delco School District, under the budget OK’d by the board.

5 people charged in a plot to sell a baby in Potter County, Pa.

7 U.S. soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan.

1, as in No. 1, ranking for Wildwood among Jersey residents for best beach destination.

2 children killed after a hit-run driver struck them in Wilmington.

544 days in prison for Eagles QB Michael Vick. He spoke to graduating students at a Philly high school and told them of the difficulties of life behind bars.

2 hits and 3 RBI for Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee yesterday.

8 innings for the Phils starter in getting the win.

1 home run for Chase Utley, who went yard for the first time this season against the Reds.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.A know a lot of people still have no time for Michael Vick. His message yesterday to a group of grads at a school for troubled students in Philly is a valuable one.


I Don’t Get It: A group of people in western Pa. are under arrest for attempting to sell a baby. Swell.


Today’s Upper: Mother Nature is cooperating. It’s Memorial Day Weekend.

Welcome Summer. Hey, we survived another winter.


Quote Box: “What did you think was going to happen today?”

- Magisterial District Jude Lisa Lacianca, to suspect in elderly abuse case in Haverford after she showed up without an attorney.

The reason for the weekend

The reason for the weekend

Something well worth remembering as we kick off the unofficial start of summer.

That’s not the purpose of this weekend.

Neither is a sale at the mall, a trip to the shore, or a three-day weekend.

Seven U.S. soldiers were killed yesterday when a bomb exploded in a field that were patrolling by foot.

That is the reason for this weekend. It is Memorial Day, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Never forget.

Life's a beach, welcome summer!

Well, we’ve survived another winter.

Time to kick off the socks and shoes, don the flip-flops and raise a cold one to the arrival of summer.

Along those lines, brace yourself for a non-stop assault of the TV news types standing on the boardwalk down at the Jersey shore. It’s the standard Friday-of-Memorial-Day-weekend story.

I also notice that a survey of New Jersey residents again has determined that Wildwood is the best Jersey beach destination.

I have been in Wildwood exactly twice in my life. Once was a weekend jaunt with a bunch of guys in my unruly youth. It was during that weekend that I experienced the single loudest noise that has ever assaulted my ears in my 55 years on this globe. That would be an Aerosmith concert at Wildwood Convention Hall. I obviously loved it.

The last time was a few years back when I stood my normal summer routine on its head and actually joined my wife’s family for a week at the beach. The opposite is normally true. My family each summer holds something of an impromptu reunion at the shore.

I remember two things about Wildwood. One day when it poured down rain overnight I awoke to realize that we were stranded in our apartment. The street was literally flooded.

The other is the beach. I had been warned by the people at work about the long haul to the water. They weren’t joking. I schlepped up to the boardwalk, hauling my chair, cooler, umbrella and other beach necessities.

Then I glanced at an expanse of sand that would put the Sahara to shame.
It was almost as if the water was a mirage out on the horizon. It’s the biggest expanse of sand I’ve ever seen this side of Vegas.

Me? I’m a Delaware guy. I’ve been going to Rehoboth Beach, Del., since I was a kid, when we would take day-trips. Yes, it’s a long haul. And it’s worth every second of it. We never thought twice about driving down and back to Rehoboth. The first time I took my wife, a devotee of the Jersey shore, to Rehoboth, we were approaching Dover when she politely asked where in hell we were going and what month we expected to arrive.

You can have New Jersey. I have nothing against it. But I will remain forever a Rehoboth guy.

See you at Grotto’s.

Welcome summer.

Lee delivers 2 ways for Phils

The Phillies signed Cliff Lee because they were in love with arm.

Yesterday they learned his bat’s not bad, either.

Lee had two hits and pitched eight innings to lead the Phils to a 10-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

The win came just a few hours after the bizarre 6-plus hours contest that saw the Phils edge the Reds in a game that ended after 1 a.m. Thursday.

The Phillies needed a big outing from Lee. He was not at his best, but he delivered the goods, both from the mound and the batter’s box. Lee pitched eight innings on a day when Charlie Manuel did not have much in the way of a bullpen after using eight pitchers the night before.

But Lee also was clutch in terms of hitting, doing something some of his teammates have struggled with this year, delivering a huge double with the bases loaded to put the Phils back ahead after the Reds had scratched back to tie the game.

CLICK HERE for Dennis Deitch's take on the game.

OR HERE for Jack McCaffery's take on the weary Phils.

The Phils now move on to the Big Apple and a weekend series with the Mets.

If they need a pinch-hitter, they likely could do worse than Lee.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Daily Numbers (Phillies 19-inning special edition)

The Daily Numbers (Phillies Marathon Edition): 19 innings, what it took for the Phils and Reds to decide their game last night.

6 hours, 11 minutes, the length of the game, which started at 7:05 and ended after 1 a.m.

9 pitchers used by Phils manager Charlie Manuel, ending with second baseman Wilson Valdez on the hill. He got the win.

7 pitchers used by Dusty Baker and the Reds.

2000, last time a position player got a win in a Major League ballgame.

13 hits for the Phils in the marathon encounter.

7 innings for starter Roy Halladay, who was trailing when he left the game.

5 shutout innings in relief pitched by the Phils Danys Baez.

0 for 7 for Reds third baseman Scott Rolen.

1 for 8 for Phils Placido Polanco.

1:05, when the teams return this afternoon for a Businessperson's Special.

Call me a Phanatic: Raise your hand if you were still awake for the end of the game? Thougth so. Don't feel bad. It didn't make the print edition of the newspaper either.

I Don’t Get It: People who don't understand baseball. As Richie Ashburn once said, every night you come to the park and just might see something you've never seen before.

Today’s Upper: To Wilson Valdez, the winning pitcher for the Phils last night.

Quote Box: “It was funny, but he got it done."

- Ryan Howard, on the effort on the mound by Valdez.

A night with the mayor

For a guy with a very tough job, Wendell Butler is very much a gentle man.

And every inch a gentleman.

The mayor, along with Chester Police Chief Darren Alston,  was our guest last night on our 'Live From the Newsroom' live-stream Internet broadcast.

I got the distinct feeling when the mayor first got here that he was not especially thrilled about doing the show. But once we got rolling he certainly warmed to the task.

If you missed the replay, you can watch it here.

We pressed the mayor on his plans for the city this summer in light of recent shooting incidents. While there will be a curfew in effect starting June 1 from 9 p.m.-6 a.m. for those 17 and under, the mayor made clear he does not envision another state of emergency as was put into effect last summer.

Butler got emotional when he spoke of the series of shootings that led to his decision last summer to enact a strict curfew for all residents in five crime-plagued sections of the city, as well as a ban on public gatherings. A lifelong friend was wounded in one of the shootings.

The city is not without its success stories, and Butler is quick to point them out. When I asked him if the city's image issues are created by the way it is often presented in this newspaper, he just smiled and again stressed the good things that are going on in the city.

Always the gentleman.

Thanks again to the mayor and chief. By the way, there is an open invitation for other public officials in the county. If you want to join us for a future 'Live From the Newsroom,' give me a call at 610-622-8818 or email me at editor@delcotimes.com.

We're also working on a plan for some live town hall style meetings. If you'd like your town to host us, let me know.

Marathon Men: Phils win in 19 innings behind Valdez

Here's everything you need to know about last night's epic baseball game at Citizens Bank Park: Wilson Valdez was the winning pitcher.

Carlos Ruiz was at third base. Placido Polanco was at second.

The Phils played 19 innings before finally prevailing, 5-4, over the Reds.

The game, which started at 7:05, ended after 2 a.m. It took 6 hours, 11 minutes to play. Raul Ibanez hit a long fly to center that scored the winning run at 1:19 a.m.

Amazingly, the place was still rocking as Valdez put down the Reds in the top of the 19th inning to get the win. Chants of 'Let's go, Wilson,' could be heard in the raucous stadium.

The first Reds batter to stand in against Valdez? That would be Joey Votto, the reigning NL MVP. Charlie Manuel had already used eight other pitchers.

Fans got to see the longest game ever played at Citizens Bank Park.

And here's the kicker. They have to be right back there for a Businessperson's Special at 1:05 this afternoon.

If you were there, we'd like to here from you. Email me at editor@delcotimes.com with your stories of an epic night at the Bank and we'll add them to our coverage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 25

The Daily Numbers: 42, age of Morton businessman Sean Burton, who will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of his ex-wife’s lover.

70 stab wounds suffered in the fatal attack by James Stropas.

1,883, the bed cap at Delaware County Prison. County Council yesterday OK’d a move to reduce the prison population.

3.76 to $3.99, range of prices for gas across Delaware County.

400,000 people in the area who say they will travel at least 50 miles over the weekend.

90 million dollar budget approved last by the Haverford School District.

4,184 dollars, average tax to be paid by homeowners in the district.

13 weeks of extended unemployment for 135,000 jobless Pennsylvanians OK’d by the Pa. Senate.

200 Red Cross workers in the region who are on strike.

58 percent of those in recent poll who would like to see stricter controls on teen driving, including limits on passengers with teen drivers.

2,443 dollars per student, the cut in state funding for Chester Upland School District, according to state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland.

27.3 billion dollar budget approved by Pa. House last night. It now goes to the Senate.

13 people now dead in still another round of storms in the Midwest.

75 million dollars, how much more funding the School District of Philadelphia wants from the city to balance its budget.

3 runs surrendered in the 9th inning by Ryan Madson as the Phils fell to the Reds.

1 hit for Chase Utley in his 2nd game since returning to the Phils lineup.

45,740 fans packed into Citizens Bank Park last night.

163 consecutive sellouts for the Phils in South Philly.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Note to Juan Samuel. You can actually hold up runners at third base instead of simply waving every guy through. Jimmy Rollins didn’t have a prayer of scoring last night from second on hit by Chase Utley after he got a very late break on the bloop single.



I Don’t Get It: The manager of a fast-food joint in Bucks County is now charged with groping a slew of teen female employees. Nice.


Today’s Upper: To the Pa. House for restoring some of the funds cut from education by Gov. Tom Corbett. Now the budget plan goes to the Senate.


Quote Box: “He didn’t just stab him, he didn’t just kill him, he mutilated him, right here in his own vehicle.”

- Assistant District Attorney, at sentencing for Sean Burton in murder of James Stropas.

Do you have a question for the mayor of Chester?

I once heard Chester Mayor Wendell Butler say his city would always have an image problem in the eyes of many county residents until people became convinced they could travel into the city, go about their business, have a good time, and return home without worrying about their safety.

I plan to ask him how the city is doing in that regard tonight when he is our guest on our ‘Live From the Newsroom’ live-stream Internet broadcast.

We will be joined by Chester Police Chief Darren Alston.

I know I have some questions for Butler. But I want to ask him your questions as well.

What would you like to ask the mayor of Chester? Email your questions and I’ll put them to the mayor and chief as the city struggles to overcome its persistent problems with crime and street violence.

You can also log in live tonight at 7 to the show at DelcoTimes.com and take part in the live chat.

See you at 7 with the mayor and chief!

School budget blues

 The Pennsylvania House signed off on a spending plan last night, passing a $27.3 billion spending plan.

It returns a lot of money for education that had been stripped out by Gov. Tom Corbett in his austere original spending plan. The measure now goes to the Senate, where it likely faces a little more scrutiny.

Rep. Bill Adolph, who told us during a visit to our Primos office last week for our ‘Live From the Newsroom’ show that changes would be made to help with the education cuts, was on the money.

“I understand the line items out there that mean an awful lot to the individual districts that we represent,” said Adolph, who is the Majority Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “We listened, and we put together a responsible budget that did not put a tax burden on our families and businesses.”

The spending plan does not increase taxes.

That is not making Democratic state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester, any happier.

Kirkland says the spending plan will hurt state children, especially those in impoverished districts such as Chester Upland.

Kirkland said the plan would result in a per student cut of $2,443 per student in Chester Upland.

Kirkland and other Dems want $1 billion in additional revenue sitting in reserve funds to be used to offset the cuts.

Don’t look for the Senate, also controlled by the GOP, to do that.

We’ve been chronicling the problems facing Delaware County school districts and their budgets all week in our series, “Schools of Hard Knocks.” Today's installment looks at the concerns of teachers' unions. Click here to read it.

Don’t look for the problem to go away anytime soon.

Remember, Phils are in first place

Repeat after me: The Phillies are in first place; The Phillies are in first place. The Phillies have the best record in the National League.
The Phillies have the best record in the National League.

Feel better?

I didn’t think so.

The Phils frustrated another packed house at Citizens Bank Park and their legions of radio/TV fans last night with another perplexing performance in a 6-3 loss to the Reds.

Once again the Phils got very spotty hitting, and just for good measure they decided to throw in some reckless base running. Mix in a sub-par performance from up until this point spotless closer Ryan Madson, and you have the perfectly frustrating loss.

Jimmy Rollins was the culprit in the base-running faux pas. Rollins was on second base when he got a very late break on a bloop single to center by Chase Utley. But Rollins and third base coach Juan “Green Light”
Samuel decided to go for it. Rollins was out by a mile and didn’t even bother to slide. He was a dead duck getting tagged out standing up.

In the 9th Madson did not help himself by fielding a bunt and promptly throwing it into right field. Madson gave up three runs for the loss.

Madson had converted nine consecutive save opportunities, but got pinned with the loss after failing to preserve the tie.

Just remember, the Phils are in first place. The Phils are in first place.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 24

The Daily Numbers: 3.6 trillion dollars, how much the federal government spent last year, despite the fact that is has no budget. Sen. Pat Toomey believes that’s a travesty and wants to change it.

10 years, how long it would take to balance the budget under the Toomey plan. His plan differs from that being proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in that he does not want to deal with Medicare reform until the following decade.

13 suspected members of the Philly mob indicted by the feds yesterday, including suspected mob boss Joe Ligambi.

9 people arrested on drug charges in Newtown.

54, age of man charged with assaulting a female child in Edgmont.

7 people injured yesterday in crash on I-95 in Chester.

1 new supervisor added to the board out in Newtown. Ed Partridge, who just won the GOP Primary, was appointed to fill the seat created by the death of former Supervisor Bob Slawter.

7 straight days on which the region recorded measurable rainfall, starting on May 14.

1.41 inches that fell during that period. Yeah, I know, it seems like a lot more.

17.5 inches of precipitation so far this year. That’s about 1.12 inches above normal, but 2.75 inches below where we were last year.

78 bucks, how much more residents in Garnet Valley will be paying under the budget of $82.4 million given an initial OK by the board.

5,000 dollars, value of dress purchased in Philly bridal shop – with a stolen credit card.

21 of October, when the Rev. Harold Camping now says the end of the world is due. He said a miscalculation accounted for the fact that the world did not end this past weekend.

17 and 23 months, ages of victims shot when gunfire erupted on Philly street yesterday.

46,000 dollars scammed from a Bucks County man in an online dating scam.

96 mph, speed a 24-year-old Delaware man was believed to be going before he slammed into a house. He faces DUI charges.

13.8 percent decline in revenue in first quarter of 2011 for Atlantic City casinos.

3 men charged with sexual assault on 15-year-old girl in South Jersey.

27.3 million budget that could be approved by the Pa. House today.

59 percent of those responding to new poll who believe the federal budget can be balanced without changes to Social Security. In the case of Medicare it’s 54 percent.

0 hits for Chase Utley last night in his return for the Phils.

10 runs on 14 hits pounded out by the Phils to welcome Utley back.

7 runs in the third inning for the Phils, their best single inning output this year.

45,841 fans packed into Citizens Bank Park last night, a regular season record.

162 consecutive sellouts for the Phils in South Philly.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.So Chase Utley didn’t have a hit last night. It’s impossible to ignore the effect just his presence had on the team. Now the question becomes how Utley’s knee holds up and how often he will be able to play. Welcome back, Chase.



I Don’t Get It: The Rev. Harold Camping says it was all a miscalculation. The end of the world was not going to happen on Saturday. Actually, it is now due on Oct. 21. Don’t hold your breath.


Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sen. Pat Toomey, who is taking some heat for his own party but is sticking to his guns on his proposal to balance the federal budget in 10 years.


Quote Box: “I think it’s a travesty that the federal government spent

$3.6 trillion last year and we have no budget.”

- U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-)a.

'Bent Finger' busted again

‘Bent Finger’ is in trouble again.

That would be Louis Monacello, last seen in these parts pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to both a corrupt organization and committing perjury.

The charges were related to a wisespread probe into illegal gambling operations believed linked to organized crime in Delaware County.

The group headed by Monacello was dubbed the Delco Nostra by the authorities.

Monacello was busted again on Monday, and this time he had some illustrious company.

The feds fired off a body shot against organized crime in Philly, indicting suspected mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi and 12 others on racketeering and gambling charges.

The common theme here? Gambling, in particular video poker machines.

Yep, they’re still around. You’d think that with all the legal action you can handle just down the road at Harrah’s that interest in these one-armed bandits would wane. Apparently not.

Monacello was believed to run gambling operations for Ligambi in Delaware County.

Not anymore.

“Bent Finger” was sentenced to serve 11 and a half months in Delaware County Prison on his local convictions.

He and the others charged by the feds Monday are looking at a lot more time if convicted this time around.

Don't forget our live chat at 1 on school budgets

Don’t forget to take part in our live chat this afternoon to talk about school budgets.

Alex Rose, Danielle Lynch and John Kopp, the writers who put together our “Schools of Hard Knocks” series this week, will be live online at DelcoTimes.com at 1 p.m. to chat and answer your calls about the financial crisis swirling around Delaware County schools.

Have a question about layoffs? Program cuts? Tax hikes? How the districts put together their spending plans? Join us online today at 1.

Mr. Toomey comes to Primos


We had a visitor here at the Daily Times yesterday. And we decided to use the technology we are now swimming in to bring him to you as well.

New Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey was in the county, and he managed to squeeze in a session with our editorial board, which we live-streamed on our website. If you missed it you can catch the replay here. Toomey was no his way back to D.C. for votes on the Patrio Act, but stopped in Primos along the way.

Toomey has been making news in Washington, and for a very familiar reason. He believes our government’s spendthrift ways areleading us on the path to a financial Armageddon. And he did not need Rev. Camping to tell him that.

For Toomey, the Rapture is all about our national debt and the government’s inability to curb its appetite for spending and running up massive deficits.

Toomey even rubbed a few folks in his own party the wrong way when he rolled out his own budget resolution last week.

I have to admit I never thought I’d see the day when Pat Toomey, the man who took on Arlen Specter because he said the Republican senator was not conservative enough, was being criticized from within his own party as not being far enough right on the budget.

The fire was coming from those backing the plan put out by U.S. Rep.

Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which would balance the budget in 20 years, inlcuding an overhaul of the Medicare system.

Toomey wants to do it in 10, but believes Medicare should be handled after that, in the second decade. For that he got a fairly heaping portion of conservative scorn.

I have to admit I like Toomey. The guy knows what he’s talking about, especially when it comes to economics.

And he knows that the country is on the road to ruin, at least financially. Now he needs to get the rest of Washington to listen to what he’s saying.

You can read the full story on Toomey’s visit here.

Welcome back, Chase Utley

The roar started immediately after Jimmy Rollins singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning last night at Citizens Bank Park.

The ovation was not for Rollins, however. It was for the guy stepping into the batters box.

Welcome back, Chase Utley.

The second baseman appeared in his first game of the season last night, after missing all of spring training and the team’s first 46 games with a cranky right knee.

Utley promptly went 0-for5. But he was followed by Placido Polanco, who lifted a ball into the leftfield seats for a two-run home, sparking the Phillies’ biggest offensive night since last season.

In fact, Utley was the only Phils’ starter who did not record a hit, but his presence was felt everywhere in the jammed park as the Phils shook off the doldrums that have silenced their bats for weeks.

The Phillies pounded out 10 runs on 14 hits. The 7-spot they dropped on the Reds in the third equaled their output in the previous week’s worth of games.

So how much did Utley’s presence mean for the Phils, especially after he took an 0-fer? Don’t look for me to knock it.

You can read Ryan Lawrence’s take on the game here.

And columnist Jack McCaffery believes the guy offering the biggest sigh of relief may have been GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

Check out Jack’s column here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 23

The Daily Numbers: 2.92 percent tax hike on tap in Springfield School District.

116 bucks, how much more it would cost the average homeowner if the spending plan is adopted. That would bring the total tax tab in the district to $4,079, up from $3,963.

0 property tax hike being proposed in Rose Tree Media as part of their proposed budget, this despite a loss of $1.2 in state funding.

5,330 dollars, average tax bill in Rose Tree Media.

9 Delaware County schools, out of 144 statewide, that would qualify for expanded voucher programs under Senate Bill1, which is pushing the school voucher issues.

730 million dollar price tag on the program for the first 4 years.

2 charter schools currently in place in the county, both of them in Chester.

2,700 students at Chester Community Charter School, making it the biggest in the state. Another 300 students attend grades K-5 at the Widener Partnership Charter School.

1 person killed in a crash in Southwest Philly Sunday following a police chase that started in Tinicum.

35 acre tract along Springfield Road in Darby Borough that is being targeted for development as a shopping center.

15 million dollars, what a Bensalem blackjack player says he’s taken in winnings from Atlantic City casinos.

9 people shot in gunfire outside a North Philly club.

112 jobs being axed by Liberty Resources in Philadelphia.

109 jobs in the region being dropped by JC Penney, including shuttering an outlet store at Franklin Mills Mall.

144 million dollars up for grabs in the Wednesday night Powerball drawing.

54 percent of those asked in national poll who believe it is possible to balance the national budget without cutting Medicare; and 59 percent who believe you can do it without cutting Social Security.

0 runs again for Phils, who got shut out by the Rangers.

5 hits, all singles, for the Phils on a futile Sunday afternoon.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Ready or not, here comes Chase Utley to the rescue. The veteran All-Star is expected to be back in the lineup at second base tonight when the Reds come to town.



I Don’t Get It: Police believe two men used a little girl as a lookout as they held up a gas station in New Jersey. I don’t get it.


Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who took part in Saturday’s Walk for the Wounded in Rose Tree Park. As we near Memorial Day, what could be more meaningful.


Quote Box: “We have a lot of choice in Chester Upland School District.

Having said that, parents have a right to make a decision about what they want to do in terms of educating their children. Our hope is that they will continue to choose Chester Upland.”

- Superintendent Joyce Wells, on charter schools in her district.

Give us your questions for Sen. Toomey

If you haven’t noticed, a lot of people are talking about the national debt and efforts to balance the budget.

New Pa. Sen. Pat Toomey is right in the middle of it.

This afternoon we will host the senator here in our offices for a live-stream session with our editorial board. You can tune in at 1:30 p.m.

Do you have a question concerning the budget, talk of extending the debt limit, or the deficit?

Are you wondering whether your Medicare benefits might be in jeopardy as legislators wield their ax in an effort to tame all this runaway red ink?

Now’s your time to ask Sen. Toomey. You can email your questions to editor@delcotimes.com, or log on to our live-stream this afternoon and take part in the live chat focusing on the federal budget.

Toomey is a firm believer that now is the time for budget reform. He has proposed a plan of his own, which he unveiled last week, and we will ask him to explain exactly what he’d like to see happen.

He wants to balance the federal budget by 2020, in the process reducing our debt to about 52 percent of our GDP by 2021.

This was the crucial plank the Toomey campaigned on in his victory over Democrat Joe Sestak to replace the venerable Arlen Specter.

The newly minted senator indicates this might be the last chance of correcting this runaway deficit train. He has said he would support raising the debt limit, but only if there are real spending caps in place. He also makes it clear he does not believe those who claim that a failure to extend the debt limit would spark a default and cataclysmic economic collapse.

This is probably the single most pressing issue facing the country, at least on the economic side.

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Get involved. Take part in our live-stream with Sen. Toomey. Send in your questions. We’ll try to get answers.

Live chat on education funding

 We’re now on Day 2 of our series on education funding here in Delaware County.

We’re calling it ‘Schools of Hard Knocks,’ and if you’ve seen any of the budget numbers being kicked around this year, you know why.

Today we examine the explosion of charter schools, in particular in the city of Chester, and their effect on school finances.

We want you to take part in this series as well. We will be hosting a live chat Tuesday at 1 p.m. with the reporters who researched and wrote the series.

Do you have a question concerning education funding? Don’t stay on the sidelines. Get in the game.

You can click here to take part in our live chat.

Utley to the rescue?

Here comes the cavalry!

That was a familiar face sitting on the Phillies bench yesterday. Yes, that was none other than Chase Utley. With nine game remaining on his Florida rehab, the Phillies have decided they can’t wait that long.

It is likely Utley will be activated and in the lineup tonight when the Phils open a series against the Reds.

And after watching this team yesterday, it’s hard to argue with the decision.

The Phils collected all of five hits – all singles – in the process of getting shut out by the Rangers. Hey, take heart, the Phils still won the series, they still lead the NL East with the best record in the National League and the second best in all of baseball.

But make no mistake, this team has deep offensive problems. They are where they are for one reason. Their starting pitching has been excellent. That’s not exactly surprising when you trot out Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt as your Phab Phour rotation. Yesterday it was Oswalt’s turn to be the hard-luck starter. He scattered eight hits and gave up just two runs. These days that’s one more than it usually takes to be the Phils. Yesterday it was two more.

The key to Utley will not be tonight. He no doubt will return to much fanfare. But crunch time will come tomorrow night, and whether he’s able to go on that cranky knee.

And it also won’t solve the Phils’ other offensive problems.

But it’s a start. Utley hit .281 with one homer during his stint in Clearwater. If he provides a spark and gets the Phils' bats to come alive, he will be a most welcome addition.

But if he takes an 0-fer, the Phils get shut out again, and then he can't go tomorrow night, where does that leave the Phils?

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 20

The Daily Numbers: 3 Upper Darby teens being credited with saving the life of a woman who set herself on fire. Kudos to them.

5 suspects charged in series of pickpocket incidents in Springfield.

27 marijuana plants nabbed in raid on home by police in Marcus Hook.

1,500 members of the Class of 2011 who picked up diplomas at Delaware County Community College commencement last night.

8,000 dollars that went up in smoke while in custody of Upper Darby police. An investigation is now under way.

49, age of Chester man who pleaded guilty in the brutal stabbing and axphyxiation death of woman he was living with last year.

105,000 dollars in scholarships handed out by the Taylor Foundation.

68 percent of school districts in Pa. that indicate they are planning to cut staff.

86 percent that are considering increasing class size.

3 robberies in 3 weeks at the same 7_Eleven store in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia.

3 school buses torched in a vandalism incident in Bordentown, N.J.

4 percent hike in SEPTA operating budget; but 0 fare hike.

20,000 jobs added to Pa. payrolls in April, leaving jobless rate at 7.5 percent.

1,000 jobs that could be lost in newspaper industry under proposal to change legal advertising laws.

40 years old, that would be Jason Giambi, who hit 3 home runs last night as the Rockies crushed the Phils.

7 runs accounted for by Giambi in the 7-1 win.

6 hits and that 1 run, all the Phils managed to muster.

2 more Phils likely headed to DL today, Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Charlie Manuel might regret that move to use Shane Victorino as a pinch-hitter so he could lay down a bunt Wednesday night. Victorino appears headed for the disabled list today, and that at-bat means his stint on DL will not be able to be back-dated.



I Don’t Get It: All this nonsense about the end of the world on Saturday. Spare me. But if there’s no Sunday paper, you’ll know why.


Today’s Upper: They are saying the sun might actually return and it could stop raining this weekend. Honest.


Quote Box: “I think their actions and everything they did was heroic.”

- Mike Chitwood, Upper Darby top cop, on actions of three young men to save a woman who had set herself on fire.


'School of Hard Knocks' coming Sunday

It’s not exactly a state secret that these are tough times for local schools.

The news did not get any better yesterday. A surve released in Harrisburg indicated 68 percent of districts are considering layoffs of instructional staff.

We’ve heard the same, sad refrain from just about every school district in Delaware County.

On Sunday, we will kick off a weeklong series on the budget crisis facing local schools.

We’re calling it “Schools of Hard Knocks,” and we’ll examine the forces that have combined to put local school boards in a vise, considering a toxic concotion of job cuts, reduced curriculum and tax hikes.

Don’t miss it.

In the meantime, here’s some more sobering statistics from yesterday’s survey of 263 Pennsylvania school districts:

86% are considering increasing class size.

75% are considering eliminating or reducing extracurricular activities, including sports programs.

68% are considering layoffs of instructional staff (compared with 11%)

64% are considering eliminating or reducing tutoring.

51% are considering eliminating summer school.

31% are considering raising property taxes by more than the inflation rate.

31% are considering eliminating full-day kindergarten.

26% are considering closing schools.

8% are considering operating at a deficit.

Fighting for jobs in Harrisburg

If you said that a proposal was likely to cost 1,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, that would raise more than a few eyebrows.

But if those jobs happen to be in the business I toil in – the newspaper industry – would there be the same concern?

I hope I don’t have to find out.

I was part of a large contingent of newspaper executives, editors, business and AARP officials who trekked to Harrisburg yesterday to make known our opposition to House Bill 663, which would allow municipalities and other public organizations to place legal ads online rather than in the newspaper.

You can read the full story of the day here.

Here’s the deal. Yes, I have read the comments that were posted on our recent editorial opposing this bill. Yes, there is unquestionably a financial stake – and not a small one – for newspapers here.

But the real danger of this law is multi-fold: First, it will be costly and basically mimic something that is already in place. Second, there are all those jobs at stake. Third, and maybe most important, it will less the transparency and move toward more open government in the state.

Regardless of what you hear, a lot of people, in particular senior citizens, do not have Internet access. That includes a large chunk of the core, loyal readership of this newspaper.

House Bill 633 is not only not needed, it’s just a bad idea.

Adding insult to injury for Phils

Jason Giambi 7, Phillies 1. That's pretty much all you need to know about last night's Phils' game. Raise your hand if you had a bad feeling as Giambi worked a long count against Kendrick in the first, then launched a moon shot into the upper deck? Thought so.

The Phils put up their normal 1-spot last night, while Giambi put the Rockies ahead to stay with one swing of the bat in the top of the first inning.

Kendrick got the emergency start after scheduled starter Joe Blanton’s ailing elbow flared up during his warmups. Blanton appears headed for the disabled list today. He likely will be joined by center fielder Shane Victorino.

It was insult added to injury soon after when Giambi proved a one-man wrecking crew. The 40-year-old slugger hit three home runs and drove in all 7 Colorado runs.

In the meantime, the Phils offense continues to hibernate. They managed just six hits.

The team will have to make some moves today. One move they might regret is having Victorino pinch-hit so he could bunt Wednesday night. That means they cannot back-date his stint on the DL to last week. Instead he could be out of the lineup for as much as two weeks.

That won’t help their offense. At this point I’m not sure what will.

It might be Dom Time, as the call could go out today for Domonic Brown, especially with the gaping hole in the outfield left by the Victorino injury.

Roy Halladay goes to the hill tonight as the Phils open a series with the World Champion Texas Rangers. Halladay might want to be perfect again. The way the Phils are swinging the bats, it’s about the only shot they have to win these days.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Road Trip

 I'm off to Harrisburg today for a road trip with editors and publishers across the state to make known our opposition to a state law that would allow municipalities to post legal notices online rather than in the newspaper.

If you're reading this blog online, you might think this is a good idea. We don't. And this editorial that we ran on Sunday will explain why.

'Live' with Adolph & Davidson

 We had a great session last night talking about the state budget and education funding with state Reps. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield, and Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, on our 'Live From the Newsroom' live-stream Internet broadcast.

If you missed it, you can catch the replay by clicking here.

Adolph seems at ease in his new role as the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. His fingerprints will be all over the spending plan that is eventually adopted. For that reason he will have a huge say in how much of the money Gov. Tom Corbett is proposing be cut from education can be restored.

One thing is clear after talking to both Adolph and Davidson last night. No one is especially enthused about that austere spending  plan proposed by the governor, especially when it comes to education cuts.

Both the House GOP and the governor agree on a number, $27.3 billion, for the budget, but they get there via different routes. Adolph and his Republican brethren would rather take a look at some savings in the welfare budget; Davidson and the Dems have other ideas.

Adolph also seemed ready to indicate that the Legislature should have a spending plan in place by July 1, which is mandated by state law, and which never happened under eight years of Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.

Speaking of education funds, make sure you pick up the Sunday Times and check DelcoTimes.com starting Sunday for a special weeklong series looking at school budgets across the county. We're calling it "Schools of Hard Knocks," and that's more appropriate this year than almost any I can remember.

You'll also have a chance early next week to take part in a live chat with the reporters who have been working on the series.

It's your chance to take part in the process. Don't miss it.

Phils's bats still MIA, but they get win

The Phils had an offensive outburst - for them - Wednesday night. They doubled their normal output. Yep, they scored two runs.

But it was enough for them to get the win, in large part because of another pitching gem from starter Cole Hamels, and they remain in first place with the best record in the National League, second best in all of baseball.

Line of the day goes to Dennis Deitch, subbing for beat writer Ryan Lawrence at last night's game.

You can read it here. It's a gem.

The weird thing about all this is the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the offensive woes of a team that remains in first place.

Don't look for it to stop anytime soon. It just might be the essence of being a Philly fan. So where is that Domonic Brown, anyhow?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The DAily Numbers - May 18

The Daily Numbers: 13 percent of those eligible who bothered to vote yesterday.

25,744 votes for Christine Fizzano-Cannon, top vote-getter on the Delco ballot.

3 Democrats who will remain on ballot for seats on the bench in the November race.

2 Republicans who locked up judgeships. In addition to Fizzano-Cannon, Nathaniel Nichols also was a big winner.

169-94 loss for Paula Brown in race for Dem nod for Darby Borough Council.

1,744-478 setback for Linda Houldin in GOP battle in Newtown.

507-421 vote to reject sales of booze in the borough of Swarthmore.

445-407 defeat for Jim Devenney in Springfield GOP fight.

35,248 votes for T. Milton Street in Philly mayoral race. He was crushed by Mayor Michael Nutter.

10 votes that separate 2 GOP candidates seeking to oppose Nutter. That one will be contested for awhile.

2 long-term incumbent pols dumped in Philly because of fallout from controversial DROP program. Those would be Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr.

and City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione.

3, age of toddler killed when he fell into grease trap behind restaurant in Voorhees, N.J.

1 dollar hike from $3 to $4 coming on Delaware Memorial Bridge. On same day, July 1, toll on Commodore Barry goes from $4 to $5.

1 run again for Phils, who lost their 4th straight last night.

7 runs on 17 hits over those 4 games for Phils.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.No change for the Phils, unless you count another injury. Swell.



I Don’t Get It: Not exactly a big turnout yesterday on Primary Day.

Experts are calling it about 13 percent. Just an embarrassment.


Today’s Upper: At some point it likely will stop raining. When is what is in question. Hey, it’s good for flowers and plants.


Quote Box: “People do have a tendency to blow off primaries. But where you really should vote is a primary.”

- Jim Lake, assistant committeeman in Newtown.

On to November

So much for the preliminaries.

Now it’s on to November.

But the show will go on without Paula Brown. The longtime activist and Darby mayor came up short in her race for a Democratic nomination for Darby Borough Council.

The same goes for Linda Houldin in Newtown Township. The longtime GOP power became a victim of the Republican in-fighting that has marked the township for the past couple of years.

And don’t look for Jim Devenney to be back on the Springfield commissioners. After being ousted in a flap over pool privileges at the township country club, it looks like he lost a bid to regain his old seat.

In the only contested countywide race, Democrats managed to fend off the slate of Republican judicial candidates who cross-filed for seats on the Count Court of Common Pleas.

Probably the biggest story of the day, however, is that voters stayed away in droves.

Sure you could blame the rain. But is it too much to ask for people to exercise their franchise in light of what was at stake.

We have heard a loud hew and cry over the state budget and its effect on local school budgets. So where was everybody when it comes to the people who are going to make those decisions?

It’s inexcusable.

We're talking state budget tonight

We’ll be back on the air tonight with another Internet live-stream show.

Tonight we focus on the biggest issue in Pennsylvania. No, not the Phillies lack of offense.

Instead we will zero in on the state budget, which is causing no small amount of concern from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.

Our guests tonight will be Republican state Rep. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield. He just happens to be the power Majority head of the House Appropriations Committee. Also with us will be freshman Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby.

Both of them have strong views about the budget, and neither of them especially agrees with all the cuts being proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett.

Have a question you want us to ask? Email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com

Also make sure you join the conversation tonight by logging on to DelcoTimes.com and taking part in our live chat.

We go “Live From the Newsroom” tonight at 7.

Be there.

A great night at Crozer, and for EMS in Delco

Joe Zelnick was just a little bit before my time at the Daily Times. Actually, I suppose I should say Chester Times, our proud predecessor and where Zelnick wielded a powerful pen for years.

I owe you one, Joe.

Last night I had the good fortune of representing the Daily Times at the 2011 EMS Week Dinner and Celebration at Crozer Chester Medical Center.

The theme of the evening was 1970s: The Decade of Change. The Daily Times was given a special certificate of merit for a series of editorials penned by Zelnick advocating for change and improvements in emergency medical services in Delaware County.

I can think of no higher honor for a community newspaper than effecting meaningful change.

The program at Crozer is now a national model and wins acclaim across the globe. People from all over the United States travel there to learn how they got it right.

My thanks to Fran Hildwine, who just happens to be a former member of one of our Community Advisory Boards, for the invitation and the honor.

The press and emergency services personnel don’t always see eye to eye. Our jobs often clash, especially in the most tense circumstances imaginable.

It was a pleasure to hear from so many experts in the field of EMS services in the county, people like Ben Mitchell and Frank Poliafico who really form the backbone of such service here, that they valued what the newspaper did. And does.

That is the highest compliment we can receive.

Not a recording: Phils have problems

This is not a recording. The Phils scored one run again last night.

And lost. Again. That’s fouir straight losses. They went 305 on this latest road trip. They have scored all of seven runs in their last four games.

Make sure you check out Ryan Lawrence’s game story today. CLICK HERE to read Ryan's story. This is damning stuff. Ryan sees this team every day. And he now proclaims them to be about as watchable as the Washington Nationals.


Could the Phils’ vaunted home sellout streak be in jeopardy.

Will Ruben Amaro take action to reverse the team’s Phlailing Fortunes?

It’s kind of hard to remember at this point that they still lead the National League East and have the second best record in baseball.

But make no mistake, the Phils have problems.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A response from Eddystone

5:45: That comment from Eddystone has drawn a response:

"The lunch tickets for seniors are given out after they vote, regardless of who they vote for! These new people are really something ... This is an Eddystone tradition spanning 30 years! And by the way, its perfectly legal."

So there!

The blow-by-blow from Newtown

4:55: Gil Spencer catches up with the combatants out in Newtown.

CLICK HERE for the blow-by-blow

The quote of the day

4:35: This voter in Philly seems to pretty much sum up the day: "I hate to say it, but this election seems kind of pointless," said registered Democrat Corinna White, 50, as she shook off her umbrella before heading into a downtown drugstore on her lunch break. "I'll try to get to the polling place after work but I might just skip it."

She won't be alone.

Sloshing to the polls

4:00: Staff writer Jeff Wolfe spent the day sloshing through the rain visiting polling places. Here is his early report.

Controversy in Nether Prov?

3:50: Sounds like there might be a mini-controversy brewing in Nether Providence.

Not everyone is happy with a push to keep police officers at least 100 feet from polling place. This person just happened to note that two candidates running for school board just happen to be police officers. And they're Republicans. We'll check it out.

Quiz time

3:20: Quiz time: Can you name any of the candidates seeking vacancies on the state Superior and Commonwealth Courts? I didn't think so.

Big turnout in Newtown

2:45: We have some early returns, and it appears Newtown Township is easily the home of the most heated race in the county.

Staff writer Jeff Wolfe visited several spots in the county and learned that Precinct 1 in Newtown had 235 voters as of 1:30.

Newtown is where there is a GOP fight between incumbent Republican Linda Houldin and GOP challenger Edward C. Partridge.

The turnout in Newtown dwarfs most other spots in the county.

In Springfield, Wlfe said the workers at the polling place at Springfield Fire Department on Saxer Avenue were looking for things to do. Only about 30 people had checked in as of 11 a.m.

It was the same story in Darby Borough, where they had clocked 30 voters by around 10:30 a.m.

More heated comments in Eddystone

1:45: I told you it was feverish in Eddystone. Here's one comment posted on Blogger: 'Did you ask the Republican that was handing out Free Lunch Vouchers, why he thought that was legal?'

Just another election in Eddystone.

Election fever in Eddystone

1:25: One place where there's no shortage of election day fervor is Eddystone. These people have been going at it hammer and tong now for months, with both sides ripping each other in the comments sections of the online edition of DelcoTimes.com

You would think that the election would cure some of that problem. I kind of doubt it. I've never seen a tiny town create such hostility. Except for maybe Colwyn.

And the readers chime in

12:40: And the readers chime in: " It is so discouraging to know that there are so many people no matter what the party who seem to want to feather their own nests either momentarily or for power or both rather than working and voting in a fair and equitable manner for the people who voted them into office.

"But, the main problem is KNOWING who to vote for and how to know they are telling the truth about what they say, and how to hold them ACCOUNTABLE if they do not stand behind what they say.

"Do you realize that it is very hard to know who to vote for on Primary day and judges are up for election? We don't see any info about their records only rhetoric about how good they are for us!"

Well said.

Still raining

12:30: And the rain continues to fall, and people continue to stay away from the polls. Do you think everyone is waiting for the mad rush after work? Neither do I.

A familiar face in Darby

11:30 a.m.: There is a very familiar name on the ballot in Darby Borough. Yes, former Mayor Paula Brown is back, and she's seeking the Democratic nomination for a seat on borough council. Paula is running for the 2nd Ward council seat.

No doubt Mayor Helen Thomas and Council President Janice Davis are thrilled.

How wet is it out there?

11:00 a.m.: How wet is it out there? Well at least one poll worker out in Lower Merion was taking no chances, huddling under an umbrella while also covering up his campaign signs. This is likely happening all over the county today. Thanks to our friends at sister paper Main Line Times and photog Pete Bannan for this shot.

About that D.A. race

10:40 a.m.: Interesting thing about the county race for D.A. The Republicans are running County Councilman Jack Whelan. He likely will oppose Democrat Kendall Brown in the fall. Both are running unopposed.

First, it's nice to see the Dems actually put up a candidate in the D.A. race. They haven't done that in awhile.

Second, about that Whelan run. It's nothing about him. He's got the credentials for the job. It's the town.

For years the D.A.'s job has been the province of Drexel Hill and Upper Darby GOP boss John McNichol. Mike Green, Pat Meehan, Bill Ryan all where Drexel Hill guys.

When I asked county GOP Chairman Andy Reilly about this the other night on our 'Live From the Newsroom' show, he reminded me that his dad was a Republican D.A., and he was from Middletown.

Cross-filing to eliminate the competition

9:50 a.m.: There are eight names on the ballot seeking five openings to be a judge in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

In fact, it is the only county-wide race being contested.

But it might not be for long. That is because the five Republicans, topped by county D.A. Mike Green and County Council Chairman Christine Fizzano-Cannon, have all cross-filed. The Democrats have not.

Should the Republicans win both ballots today - not out of the question on a day when only the party faithful likely will make it out to the polls - the Republicans will effectively eliminate the Dem opposition.

Is this any way to elect judges? We'd like to see the state move to merit selection. But allowing judicial candidates to cross-file is kind of like dirty pool. But you can't blame the pols for taking advantage of the way the rules are set up.

Ironically, none of the Democrats have cross-filed. They might regret that by the end of the day.

Over/under on Milton Street

9:00 a.m. Polls have how been open for two hours. In Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is being challenged in the Democratic Primary by 72-year-old T, Milton Street. He found a spot on the ballot after doing some time in federal prison for not filing his taxes. What do you think the over/under is on votes for Street. Remember that he was endorsed by a couple of unions. I say he has trouble breaking into five figures.

Two races to keep an eye on

8:20 a.m.: Look for two towns to have heated races today. Out in Newtown Supervisor Linda Houldin is being challenged from within her own party in a GOP fight. The township board has been bickering for months over competing developments in town, and now the brouhaha over several township employees charged with theft in connection with use of the township FedEx account for private purposes.

Houldin is being challenged by Ed Partridge, who is giving up a seat on the Marple Newtown School Board. No one is running on the Dem side, meaning that whoever wins today likely will be your winner in November as well.

And in Springfield, there is a rare whiff of Republican discord with the reappearance of Jim Devenney. He was ousted in a spat over use of the township swim club by some of his family members. Now he is mounting a comeback, and taking some shots at the party along the way.

Keep your eye on these two today.

Staying away in droves

7:50 a.m.: I am always amazed at how much people complain about local issues, and how they then stay away in droves when they have an opportunity to do something about it. We have run story after story on school budgets, cuts and tax hikes. Yet today, with a chance to vote on who will make those decisions, an overwhelming number of people won't bother.

Last night we were in Upper Chichester, where they packed a school board meeting at which the Chi board voted to approve a budget that will once again hike taxes. My guess is that there were more people at that meeting than will vote in some Chi precincts today. I don't get it.

Send us your election day pix, videos

7:30 a.m.: Still raining. I'm beginning to wonder whether or not some polling places will be able to break into three digits. Let us know what is happening out there. If you have pictures or video of what's going on in your neighborhood, email them to editor@delcotimes.com.

The polls are open!

7 a.m.: And we're off! Yes, the polls are now open. Here's a request for some help. We can't be everywhere in Delaware County today, although we're certainly going to try. If you have an anecdote you'd like to share, post a comment to this post or send me an e-mail. My guess at this point is it's going to be a very quiet day at the polls. Turnout was going to struggle to hit 15 percent, and that was with good weather. With this monsoon, we might struggle to hit 10 percent.

But don't let that stop you. Join the conversation on DelcoTimes.com. Offer your election thoughts. It's going to be a long, wet, sloppy jaunt to 8 p.m.

20 minutes until the polls open

6:40 a.m. Still 20 minutes to go before the polls open. For some reason I don't think there's going to be a stampede to the polls. Last time I looked it was pouring out. That is not going to be doing anything for turnout. In politics, rain is a four-letter word. At best turnout was expected to be maybe 15 percent. That might be pushing it at this point.

The Daily Numbers, Primary Election Day edition

6:00 a.m.: Welcome to Primary Election Day 2011. We’re still about an hour before the polls open, so we’ll kick off today’s special election day blog with a Primary Day version of the Daily Numbers.

The Daily Numbers: 15 percent, expected turnout. That might be optimistic given this wet, miserable weather.

7 a.m., when the polls open across the region. They close at 8. If you are in line at 8 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

5 seats on the county bench up for grabs in Delaware County. Eight candidates are seeking 5 judgeships. All 5 Republicans have cross-filed, meaning they could eliminate their competition early if they win the Democratic primary. None of the Democrats cross-filed in the GOP primary.

3 seats on County Council up for grabs. There will be 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans who likely will clash again in November.

2 candidates for county district attorney. It’s very likely that Republican County Council chairman Jack Whelan will wind up facing Democrat Kendall Brown.

5 Republicans seeking 4 nominations for council in Glenolden.

15 candidates vying for nominations to the Southeast Delco School Board in Tuesday’s primary election.

9 candidates seeking 5 positions on the elected school board in Chester Upland.

610-874-8780, number to call if you experience problems at a polling place.

1 seat on the Newtown board of supervisors up for grabs, and it could be the key in a long battle over competing developments in the township.

1 challenger for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter as he seeks another term. T. Milton Street is also on the Democratic ballot.

100 candidates who will appear on ballots across the region.

2 statewide judicial races on ballots, as voters select nominees for seats on both Commonwealth and Superior Courts.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Raise your hand if you’ve seen this before. How ‘bout we vote on a shakeup for the Phils’ struggling lineup.



I Don’t Get It: People complain all the time about local issues. Then they stay away on Primary Election Day when they have the opportunity to actually do something about it.


Today’s Upper: To all those who will trudge through the rain today for the opportunity to cast their ballots and take part in the democratic process.


Quote Box: “It’s a low-interest election to begin with …. So certainly the weather is going to have an effect on the turnout.”

- County GOP chairman Andy Reilly, on expected 15 percent turnout on primary day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 16

The Daily Numbers: 3 of 4 homeless shelters run by the Community Action Agency of Delaware County that may have to be closed due to budget cutbacks.

1,000 people who could be affected by the closings.

256,000 dollars needed to keep the Wesley House in Chester and Life Center in Upper Darby open.

88,158 deficit staring at the Life Center.

84,469 meals provided to the needy by the Life Center Feeding Program, which also is in jeopardy.

40 Cappies handed out last night at the annual gala honoring high school theatre; 36 schools from across the region participate in the program.

15 candidates vying for nominations to the Southeast Delco School Board in Tuesday’s primary election.

9 candidates seeking 5 positions on the elected school board in Chester Upland.

2,000 graduates who picked up degrees at Villanova University Sunday.

299 graduates from Haverford College.

3,579 Pa. state workers who earn six figures, according to a new survey.

72, age of T. Milton Street, who is challenging Mayor Michael Nutter in the Philly Democratic primary.

2 Philly police officers injured when their cruiser was slammed by a driver going the wrong way in Brewerytown Sunday night.

1,260 teacher jobs that could be cut in Philly, sparking an education protest Sunday in Mount Airy.

5 million dollars being donated by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by former Eagles owner Norman Braman.

250 Ocean Spray jobs in New Jersey that are being moved to site in Lehigh Valley.

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

That’s unchanged from last week. It was $2.96 a year ago.

3.96 a gallon, the national average.

3 runs on 8 hits given up by Roy Halladay, who went distance against Braves.

3-2 loss for the Phils, the 2nd straight series they’ve lost to Atlanta.

4 hits, all the Phils’ anemic offense could muster.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Say what you want about how good their pitching is, the Phillies lineup has problems. Might be time to call up Domonic Brown for a spark.



I Don’t Get It: Thieves made off with all the loot from a wedding in South Jersey over the weekend. They broke into a private bridal room at a reception and made off with everything. I don’t get it.


Today’s Upper: Kudos to the slew of local grads who got degrees over the weekend. Now it’s out into the workplace.


Quote Box: “We’re hoping to find a way to keep them open. If the budgets aren’t made whole, the facilities will have to consider closing.

- Community Action Agency boss Ed Coleman, who fire financial straits that could result in 3 of 4 facilities for homeless they operate closing their doors.

It's of Primary importance

Tomorrow is Primary Election Day.

Here’s a pop quiz:

Name one person running for your local school board.

Name one of the Democrats running for County Council.

Name one of the two candidates running for county District Attorney.

Name a candidate for statewide appeals courts on the ballot.

How’d you do?

I thought so.

You haven’t been reading, have you?

Sure, the primary is almost always a snooze. Many times people simply sit out the primary in the belief that they will cast their ballot in November.

But the primary is what literally sets the table for the November ballot. Candidates are running for the nomination of their party to various offices.

In the case of judgeships, candidates often are cross-filed. So if they win both the Republican and Democratic races, the race is basically over, long before you ever go to the voting booth in November.

Keep that in mind if you’re planning to sit this one out.

Trouble on the Conchester

The Conchester Highway is living up to its reputation this morning.

Avoid it all costs.

A tractor-trailer has overturned on the busy connector road that links
I-95 in Chester with Route 1, shutting down traffic in both directions.

Traffic is halted between Baltimore Pike in Concord and Foulk Road.

No word yet on any injuries.

Drivers should consider Concord Road as an alternative.

Confessions of a newspaper editor

 Ever wonder about the decisions I get to make every day as editor of a daily newspaper?

Some days it’s more interesting than others.

And only one thing is certain. Nothing is ever certain. Take two Sunday nights ago as an example.

Check out my print column.

Phils continue to be offensive

The Phillies are apparently going to insist on doing this the hard way.

After years of never having enough pitching, the Phils wernt out in the off-season and assembled the best staff in baseball.

And now their bats have gone dead.

This isn’t new; we saw it a lot last summer. And it proved fatal in their NLCS loss to the Giants.

But now it’s getting downright aggravating. The Phillies squandered another exceptional pitching effort from Cy Young winner Roy Halladay yesterday in Atlanta.

Last year it was Cole Hamels who was the hard-luck member of the staff.
It seemed every time Hamels took the hill, the Phils bats went to sleep.
This year the Phils offense is proving an equal opportunity sedative.

Halladay was victimized for the second straight outing yesterday, going the distance and limiting the Braves to three runs on eight hits. But he surrendered a home run to Dan Uggla in the bottom of the eighth that gave the Braves a 3-2 win and their second straight series win over the Phils.

The headline on the Back Page of today’s print edition pretty much tells you all you need to know.

“Losing Uggla.”

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Yeah, I know. It’s hard to argue with a team that is 25-14 with a two-game lead over the Marlins, especially with the slew of injuries the Phils have battled through.

But despite having the second-best record in baseball, there is something about this lineup and the Phils’ offensive woes that we have seen before.

This lineup needs a spark, some juice. Or maybe just a change.

Can you say Domonic Brown? Let’s give him a shot in right field and platoon Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanzez in left.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Daily Numbers - Mary 12

The Daily Numbers: 14 years, how long they’ve been honoring fallen law enforcement officers at the annual Delaware County Law Enforcement Memorial in Rose Tree Park.

600 people who packed a public hearing last night on the Upper Darby School District budget.

2.7 percent tax hike on tap in the district.

65 positions being eliminated, with a savings of $5.7 million.

69 dollars more, what the average resident will pay in taxes next year, bringing the total tax tab to $2,634.

3 more locations being opened by the Jake’s Wayback Burgers food chain, including one in Springfield.

194,820 dollars a year. Annual salary for obstetricians and gynecologists in Philly region, top-paying jobs in the area.

65 feet, how far a trolley traveling 25 mph needs to stop.

38-12 vote in Pa. Senate yesterday to OK a bill that would make it easier for public school districts to fire teachers.

60 percent favorability mark for President Obama, according to a new poll taken after U.S. troops killed Osama bin Laden.

100,000 dollar donation by Citizens Bank to the National Constitution Center.

148-43 vote in Pa. House to beef up regulations of abortion clinics in the state.

2 run single in the ninth inning last night by Jimmy Rollins to lead Phils to come-from-behind win over the Marlins.

27 consecutive innings for Cliff Lee in which the Phils have failed to score a run for him. He was lifted after 6 last night, trailing 3-0.

14 game hitting streak for Shane Victorino, who homered.

5 Flyers who have undergone surgery so far in this offseason. Defensemen Chris Pronger will join the list today, with a procedure on his back.

19,178 people who jammed PPL Park for Union’s 1-1 tie with Galaxy last night, a record crowd for the stadium.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Exit Brian Schneider. Re-enter Carlos Ruiz. Schneider blew out a hamstring running the bases last night. Ruiz will play a rehab game with Clearwater tonight, catching Roy Oswalt while Chase Utley is due to play second base. Ruiz is likely to be back behind the dish Friday night when the Phils hit Atlanta.



I Don’t Get It: Ever notice how quickly the price at the pump skyrockets when gas prices are going up, but when it’s announced that prices are set to decline, it take forever.


Today’s Upper: To the 600 Upper Darby residents who packed a public hearing last night on the school budget. That’s called getting involved.


Quote Box: “Our industry and company are already taxed heavily compared to other industries in the United States.

- Jim Mulva, DEO of ConocoPhillips as he prepares to join other oil industry execs in hearing before Senate today.

School of hard knocks in Upper Darby

 Think people aren’t concerned about the possible education cuts that are popping up in almost every school district across the region.

Take a look at what happened last night in Upper Darby.

The school board held a public hearing on the spending plan, which includes the same toxic mixture of jobs cuts, program rollbacks and tax hikes that are playing out in so many other towns.

But an interesting thing happened in Upper Darby. More than 600 people turned out for the hearing. Most spoke out against cutting jobs and diminishing education programs.

CLICK HERE to read the full story from last night's meeting.

That’s the way it usually works. Not many people come forward to say what they want to cut, however.

That is the predicament so many districts find themselves in these days.

Riding to the rescue, at least in part, is a new budget proposal unveiled this week by state Rep. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield and his colleagues in the House.

They are looking to restore some of the funding stripped out by new Gov.

Tom Corbett. That’s right. Republicans in the House are differing with their new governor.

Right now Upper Darby is planning to eliminate 65 positions, both professional and non-professional staff, in a move to save $5.7 million. They already are planning a 2.7 percent tax hike.

That means the average taxpayer in the township, with a home assessed at $83,000, will pay an additional $69 next year, a total of $2,634, to cover the 31.73-mill tax levy.

How desperate is the situation? Several taxpayers actually came forward and suggested raising taxes in order to keep up education standards in the district.

School of hard knocks indeed.

Take a bow, Chester!

Anyone else remember all the snickers and raised eyebrows that accompanied word that there were plans to build a soccer stadium in Chester for a Major League Soccer team that would play its games there.

A lot of people doubted the wisdom of what would eventually become PPL Park.

And a lot of that had to do with the fact that the stadium was being built in Chester.

Last night a record crowd of 19,178 packed the place, which sits in the shadow of the Commodore Barry Bridge, hard by the Delaware River.

That’s right, 20,000 came into the city of Chester, enjoyed a lovely spring evening, watched a professional soccer game, and returned home.

All without incident.

Take a bow, Chester!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 11

The Daily Numbers: 4 officials in Newtown – including the chairman of the board of supervisors – charged with theft for using the township Fed Ex account to mail personal packages.

21.45, the bill for the Fed Ex package allegedly sent by Supervisor George Wood.

35 packages allegedly sent by Toyzer. Her tab came to $1,086.57.

47 senior citizens age 100 or more who were feted at a special luncheon yesterday by County Council.

86 pot plants found growing in a marijuana operation discovered in an abandoned building in Chester.

2 females, a schoolgirl and a woman, who were targets of an attempted abduction and suspicious incident at an Upper Chichester apartment complex.

10 people running for 5 open seats on the Upper Darby School Board.

1 million dollars in scholarship for students at Widener University set up by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

225 million dollar gift for the University of Penn for its medical school from a Philadelphia philanthropist.

250,000 dollars a year, how much a former friend tried to extort from a Campbell Soup heiress in Chester County. The ruse was that she was threatening to write a tell-all book about her.

9, age of girl who was found abducted and killed in Souderton, Montgomery County.

24, age of neighbor charged in her murder.

25 years of marriage shattered with the separation of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.

200 people who rallied at the state Capitol yesterday in favor of gun rights.

10,000 dollar reward posted for info in disappearance of New Jersey teen. Her car was found near a lake in Burlington County.

15 percent dip in table games revenue for Atlantic Casinos last month from same month last year.

0 runs scored by the Phils after they loaded the bases in the second against the Marlins. They lost 2-1.

5 hits surrendered by Roy Halladay. He gets the loss and falls to 5-2.

13 consecutive wins vs. NL East teams snapped with the loss last night.

21-14 start for the Marlins, their best in franchise history.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Lack of timely hitting doomed the Phils last night. Haven’t we seen that act before?



I Don’t Get It: The 9-year-old girl who was abducted and killed – allegedly by a 24-year-old neighbor in Souderton – apparently had a previous run-in with the man. It was determined that no crime took place.


Today’s Upper: Kudos to all the Delco Centenarians who were honored at a special luncheon yesterday.


Quote Box: “These are people with impeccable reputations and that’s the best you’ve got? It’s not only ludicrous. It’s outrageous.”

- Mike Mallloy, lawyer for Newtown Supervisor George Wood, one of 4 township employees facing theft charges.

“We can’t just selectively prosecute people and single out Ms. Toyzer.

We believe these are chargeable offenses.”

- Assistant District Attorney Eric Parham.

We're talking Delco Primary politics tonight on 'Live From the Newsroom'

Our live-stream Internet show, “Live From the Newsroom,” returns tonight, and we’ll be talking politics.

Yes, I know, the primary election is usually a snoozer. This year doesn’t seem to be much different. There are not a lot of contested battles.

But it does set the table for the fall campaign. In Delaware County, several seats on County Council will be up for grabs, along with a couple seats on the county bench, and for the first time in ages, an actual race for the district attorney’s job.

County GOP boss Andy Reilly will be in the office tonight to join us and talk some serious politics. I am hoping that we will be joined by Reilly’s counterpart, Dem chief David Landau. He’s trying to juggle some things so he can appear.

Do you have a question you’d like to see Reilly or Landau address?

Email me at editor@delcotimes.com and I’ll put it to the party bosses.

You also can log on to delcotimes.com tonight at 7, log in and join the live online chat.

This is your chance to sit in the front row of Delco political theatre.
Don’t stay on the sidelines. Get involved.

We’re ‘Live from the Newsroom’ tonight at 7. Be there!

Trouble comes in small packages in Newtown

George Wood must have known he had a problem when accusations started to fly against township administrative assistant Gwen Toyzer.

The word was that she had been using a township Fed Ex account to mail items for her personal business.

At least one supervisor was calling for her to be fired.

The problem for Wood, who is the supervisors chairman in Newtown, is that he knew he had a problem in this area. He had apparently done the same thing.

On Monday the county district attorney filed charges against Toyzer, Wood and two other township employees.

Most of this is being dumped in Toyzer’s lap. Wood’s infraction amounted to a loss of $26.

That’s right, you read it correctly. Twenty-six dollars.

Don’t blame the D.A. They could hardly come down on Toyzer and not do the same for others involved.

And now Wood’s case will join the others in working its way through the legal system.

Among the questions that will have to be answered is, if Wood enters a plea or is convicted, will he be able to retain his seat.

Ironically, at the time the D.A. was releasing the information, the Newtown supervisors were supposed to be holding a hearing to review candidates for an opening on the board due to the death of a supervisor.

They might have another opening. All over a $26 Fed Ex bill.


Phils come up short for Halladay

The scoreboard will tell us the Marlins scratched out a run against Roy Halladay in the bottom of the eighth to win a pitching duel last night, 2-1.

Don’t be fooled.

The Phils lost this game in the second inning, when they had Marlins’
ace Josh Johnson on the ropes but suffered a malady that no doubt looked familiar to Phils fans.

The Phillies simply could not get a big hit when they needed one, and that includes after they loaded the bases with no one out in the second, after Ryan Howard spotted them a 1-0 led with an opposite field home run.

That’s when Johnson struck out two and got Jimmy Rollins to ground out to end the inning.

It was not the best of nights for the Phils’ shortstop. It was his throwing error in the eighth that opened the door for the Marlins’
winning run.

It still likely would not have mattered if they had been able to cash in back in the second.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Daily Numbers - May 10

The Daily Numbers: 1 teen fatally shot and another wounded in the latest street shooting in Chester.

1 arson fire at an auto body shop where a car found near the shooting that may be related to the shooting.

4 officials in Newtown, including 1 township supervisor, charged with theft.

9:25 p.m., time D.A.’s office sent out press release to announce the charges.

1 dog rescued from Marcus Hook Creek Monday after it got stuck in water up to its neck.

1.4 percent tax hike that was approved by Wallingford Swarthmore School Board in an 8-0 vote.

19, age of teen from Clifton Heights charged in the latest online child porn sting.

4, age of tot found crying and wandering in 69th Street Terminal. His father, 29, faces drug and child endangerment charges. He was found unconscious in a men’s room.

1 of 3 armed men in an Upper Darby home invasion that netted thieves $25,000 in cash and a cache of jewels who has been ID’d.

1 million dollars in scholarship for students at Widener University set up by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

10 million dollars, what it could cost Pa. to institute a voter ID law that passed a House committee.

9, age of girl who was found abducted and killed in Souderton, Montgomery County.

18, age of girl who is missing and the target of a search in Burlington County, N.J.

1 person shot and killed for his motorcycle in an altercation near the Temple campus. The victim was visiting his girlfriend. He’s a student at Penn State.

22, age of victim in fatal hit-run early Monday in North Philly.

90 days in jail and $300 fine, possible sentence for state senator from Berks County who was found guilty of displaying gun to another motorist on I-78.

3.5 years in jail for a former decorated Philadelphia police officer who pleaded guilty to robbing suspected drug dealer to resell the drugs for cash.

50 table games workers being laid off by the Borgata in Atlantic City.

4 double-plays that helped the Phils win behind Joe Blanton over the Marlins last night.

1 for 7 for Chase Utley in his second extended spring training game. He played just 4 innings in the field.

66 pitches for Joe Blanton in his first start since coming off the DL. He gave up 8 hits but left with a 6-3 lead.


Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Gee what a surprise. Are you ready for this. The Flyers need a No. 1 goaltender. Have we heard this before?



I Don’t Get It: An 8-year-old girl was apparently abducted while playing outside her Souderton home last night. Her body was found wrapped in a blanket and dumped in a trash bin. I don’t get it.


Today’s Upper: Like this weather? Get used to it. It’s supposed to be like this all week.


Quote Box: “After decades of watching our leaders try everything else, the only effective change-maker I can name is competition.”

- Gov. Tom Corbett, addressing school choice convention yesterday.