Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Daily Numbers for Feb. 28

 

The Daily Numbers: 1 more day as pontiff for Pope Benedict XVI. He flies off in his copter at 2:30 to a life of prayer and seclusion.

 

 

18 people busted in the latest dragnet from 'Operation Bulldog' in Collingdale, focusing on drug dealing in the borough.

 

279 bags of cocaine,  hundreds of pills and 2 guns seized.

 

$50,000 Camaro being broken down in a chop shop operation discovered during the raids.

 

8 people still being sought

 

5,000 dollars in funds from the Chichester Little League that is missing and now believed stole by a fomer police officer.

 

2 bald eagles who have take up residence at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, and now 1 of them is 'on the nest.'

 

16, age of the 4th teen girl to enter a plea in connection with the vicious videotaped beating of a mentally challenged woman in Chester.

 

500,000 dollar Pilot payment to the city of Chester made by Keystone Sports and Entertainment, parent company of the Philadelphia Union.

 

6 weeks, age of tot allegedly beated by her father in Upper Darby.

 

3 to 6 years in jail for a Parkside man on a child porn rap.

 

9.7 million dollar speding gap in Upper Darby School District that has sparked series of 4 community engagement meetings as they put their budget together.

 

350 dollars, how much a Norristown teen was killed for, according to cops out in Chester County who made the arrest.

 

20 stab wounds suffered by the victim, whose body was found after it was set on fire in a Chester County apartment.

 

78, age of piano superstar Van Cliburn, who died this week.

 

1 goal on the year for Simon Gagne. Of course this one came for the Flyers as they beat the Caps, 4-1. Gagne was reacquired in a trade this week.

 

22-33 mark for the sinking Sixers.

 

0-for-9 skid for young Phillie Darin Ruf in Clearwater.

 

70-53 loss for Saint Joe's vs. St. Louis last night.

 

48-42 loss that eliminated Glen Mills from PIAA state tourney action.

 

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

 

Doug Collins is still coach of the Sixers. Better check again after tonight's game vs. the Bulls.

I Don’t Get It: Stealing funds from a Little League operation. I don't get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the crimebusters involved in 'Operation Bulldog' in Collingdale. They racked up 18 more arrests yesterday.

 

 

Quote Box: “Our goal is to make this area safer."

- DA Jack Whelan, on yesterday's Operation Bulldog arrests.

 

'Live From the Newsroom' celebrates family & Chinese New Year with the Kuos

I have to admit I went into last night’s ‘Live From the Newsroom’ a bit sheepishly.

Or maybe I should just say I felt like a snake.

The Year of the Snake, that is.

We had planned to do a show celebrating the Chinese New Year back in the beginning of February. The official holiday actually fell on Feb. 10. But as often happens in this racket, news got in the way.

Last night we finally had a chance to do the show, and I learned several important things.

We took the show on the road to meet Margaret Kuo and her family at their restaurant in the Wayne section of Radnor Township. If you missed it you can catch the replay here.

If the name is familiar, it is not by accident.

Margaret Kuo may very well be the pre-eminent ‘first lady’ of the Delco restaurant scene. In partnership with her husband, Warren, their Chinese restaurants form something of her very own empire here in Delaware County. Later this summer Kuo will mark 40 years - that’s four decades - with her original Peking restaurant in Granite Run Mall. Owners have come and gone at Granite Run, but Peking remains. Kuo proudly points out they were there on Day 1 when the mall opened, and are still there today, despite some very tough times at the shopping mecca. The restaurant remains the sole family-owned business that was there from the start.

In those 40 years they have added another restaurant in Media, becoming part of the renaissance in the county seat focused on State Street restaurants, as well as the facility in Wayne we visited last night, along with Wayne Mandarin, which is a bit farther out on Lancaster Pike.

I learned several important things last night.

First and foremost, the Kuos’ reputation is richly deserved. I got to meet most of the Kuo family, including her husband Warren,  their son Mark, a chef himself who now runs Mandarin, and his lovely daughter Hui-Yi.

After correcting my mangled attempt at wishing everyone a Happy New Year in Chinese, Margaret Kuo assured me we really weren’t late at all, that the traditions associated with this very important holiday are celebrated for weeks and months.

Again and again, Margaret Kuo stressed the importance of family in the Chinese New Year tradition, and it was obvious in the comments of both her son and her granddaughter that the respect for family and tradition clearly is being carried on.

Warren, a noted wine expert, pointed out that in China, all business actually comes to a halt while families gather to ring in the new year.

“It’s kind of like New Year’s, Christmas and Thanksgiving all wrapped up in one,” he said.

Of course, a huge part of the celebration is food. And the Kuos did not disappoint. They walked us through the traditional Chinese Royal Banquet, with a dazzling display of dishes featuring everything you could imagine, from a full roast duck, to pork to dumplings and pork. It was exquisite.

My thanks to the Kuo family for their enormous hospitality.

And also for reassuring us that we really were not late to the party for the Chinese New Year, that the Year of the Snake is celebrated all year long.

And, most of all, for reminding me of the importance of family.

 

Dom Brown enters Wally World

When I watched that video of Dominic Brown crushing a baseball over the centerfield wall in a Grapefruit League game earlier this week, one name came to mind: Daryl Strawberry.

Then I actually looked at the video again. Brown's swing not only resembled the former Met great's, he actually looked like him. Brown looks taller, thinner, than I remember.

Actually, what Brown really looks like so far this sprig is a player transformed.

Yeah, I know, you’ve heard it before. We’ve been waiting for years for Brown to live up to the hype that has so often surrounded his name.

This year it might be different. Brown spent most of his off-season in Florida and struck up a friendship with one of the new Phillies hitting coaches, Wally Joyner. You’ll remember Joyner as having one of the smoothest left-handed strokes in the majors in a career that spanned nearly two decades.

Joyner did some adjustments with Brown’s hands.

So far, the results have been pretty impressive.

Yeah, I know. This is the last day of February. Talk to me in April, right?

Maybe this will finally be Dom Brown’s year.

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Daily Numbers for Feb. 27

 

The Daily Numbers: 19, age of Takia Edwards of Chester. She entered a plea yesterday to the vicious beating of a Chester woman that was captured on video and posted to the Internet.

 

 

2 Upper Chi residents, a 54-year-old mom and her 20-year-old son, facing charges for selling drugs from their home.

 

250 students, what a charter school operator would like to see in a facility they want to open in the former St. Joe's School in Collingdale. The Southeast Delco School Board will vote on it tonight.

 

19, age of Upper Darby man who faces charges in an alleged attack on an Upper Darby High teacher with a hammer. He's now been charged with attacking a robbing a 16-year-old student in a local park.

 

3 Upper Darby High students arrested after an assault in the school cafeteria.

 

28 dogs taken from animal rescue operation in Marcus Hook now up for adoption at the PSPCA.

 

3rd Street Dam/Bridge plans are back to square one after a judge's ruling. The 3 parties involved now need to go back to the table and craft a new plan.

 

30,000 dollar loss in tax revenue because of assessment changes in Chester Township.

 

1,000 dollar prize snagged by woman from Havertown on the 'Millionaire' game show yesterday.

 

2 dogs fatally shot in Chester County in a case that now has some pols looking at possible changes in state law.

 

12 billion dollar cut in pension benefits under pla being proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett.

 

2 months old, age of baby killed in an incident in Horsham. Her father now faces murder charges. He said he tripped while drunk with the child in his arms and fell on her.

 

1 more day in the reign of Pope Benedict XVI. He is making his final public appearances today.

 

30 dollar reduction in unemployment checks received by 2 million long-term unemployed that could be slashed if sequester cuts go into effect on Friday.

 

2 cars stolen in Philadelphia by fake valets. Be careful out there.

 

 

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

 

Doug Collins seems like he's at the end of his rope with this Sixers team. That would give him something in common with fans.

I Don’t Get It: Apparently that videotape does not show everything that was going on in that confrontation that ended with a Philly cop slugging a woman. Could have fooled me.

 

Today’s Upper: Kudos toKelly Straub of Havertown. She won $1,000 on the 'Millionaire' show yesterday.

 

 

Quote Box: "She feels like she got beat on again."

- Attorney for Aida Guzman, who was punched by Philly officer after last year's Puerto Rican Day Parade in Philly. Yesterday the ex-cop was acquitted of assault charges.

Tale of the Tape

Maybe I’m missing something here. It would not be the first time. I have seen the now infamous cell-phone video of then-Philadelphia Police Lt. Jonathan Josey’s altercation with a woman last September after the city’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.

It looks for all the world to me like a guy slugging a woman. Josey was charged with assault and lost his job.

But yesterday a judge acquitted him of the charges.

The judge made a point of saying that while he was “troubled” by the actions on the video, there were other things going on at the time, and castigated the media for sensationalizing the video by playing it endlessly in coverage of the event. Judge Patrick Dugan said the video “did not the whole story.”

Of course.

Look, I was not there. I certainly understand that it is very likely the entire context of what was going on was missing from the tape. There were allegations of beer being thrown at the police.

I don’t see how any of that changes what is seen on the video, and that is Josey taking a couple of steps toward Aida Guzman, who happens to be from Chester, and then smacking her with a right hand, sending her tumbling to the street.

In court, Josey’s explanation was that he was trying to knock something out of Guzman’s hand. Just for good measure, after he knocked her to the ground, bloodying her lip, Josey arrested her. Those charges later were tossed.

I don’t have anything against Guzman, or cops. I know these cases captured on videotape pose some specific legal problems.

Every time we see another one, we hear the same warning: The tape does not tell the whole story.

I thought this one did.

I guess I was wrong.

'Live From the Newsroom' celebrates Year of the Snake with Margaret Kuo

‘Live From the Newsroom’ will take viewers on another epicurean delight tonight with one of the true icons of the Delaware County restaurant scene.

We will visit Margaret Kuo’s Mandarin in Wayne for a very special belated Chinese New Year celebration. Kuo, who also runs locations on State Street in Media, and in Granite Run Mall, will walk us through a traditional Chinese New Year menu in celebration of the Year of the Snake.

Kuo will serve up a Chinese Royal Banquet, complete with chopsticks and a gong to open the meal.

At the same time, she’ll offer an insider’s view into the importance of the Chinese New Year celebration. Kuo has been one of major players on the region’s restaurant scene for decades. Mandarin is celebrating its 25 years. Her mainstay at Granite Run Mall is celebrating 40 years.

Kuo has a tremendous background in business in addition to her restaurant empire.

Join us tonight at 7 on DelcoTimes.com for a special Chinese New Year celebration.

If you have questions about the new year or Chinese, fare, email them to me at editor@delcotimes.com, and I will put them to Margaret Kuo. Then take part in our live chat during the show tonight.

Join us for a night with a Delco business icon!

Collins, Sixers out of answers

Doug Collins is out of answers. But the that won’t stop the questions. And it won’t stop the absolute disaster this Sixers season has turned into.

Collins gave one of the all-time post-game interviews after last night’s debacle of a loss to the lowly Magic as boos rained down from the few fans who remained in the Wells Fargo Center. You can see some of the video here.

Make no mistake, this is not Andy Reid.

Collins isn’t interested in “doing a better job.”

He’s laying this one squarely at the feet of his players.

Collins called last night’s effort “mind-numbing” in a 10-minute post-game monologue that laid out a franchise bereft of answers. The embattled coach said he did not see last night’s effort coming, although he did notice that several starters had not even worked up a sweat before tip-off.

Collins said he’s exhausted every avenue in looking for answers in this season that has been framed by the haunting absence of what was expected to be their focal point, center Andrew Bynum, who has yet to make a single practice because of balky knees.

Unfortunately, Collins might have been a little too candid. Yes, I realize those words are hard to hear after 14 years of Andy Reid. But Collins intimated he didn’t know what else he could do to turn things around. That’s his job. If he doesn’t have any ideas, it’s a safe bet the team owners will soon be looking for someone who does.

Doug Collins' starters didn’t work up a sweat last night.

It’s their coach who might be sweating at this point.

Collins is a good guy. He deserves better than this.

So do the fans.

If the owners had any heart, they would hold a press conference today and announce they are releasing Bynum and giving Collins a vote of confidence.

That’s probably not the way it will work.

Collins is out of answers. His team is out of hope. It’s likely he’ll soon be out of a job.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday Feb. 26

 

The Daily Numbers: 4 of July, when an Upper Chi man was run down on State Road in Springfield. He died earlier this week. Yesterday, on the day of his burial, a man was charged in the case.

 

 

29, age of Upper Darby suspect charged in hit-run death of Thomas Quercetti.

 

3 school girls whom an Upper Darby man 'flashed,' according  to police. The man already has  a conviction for exposing himself.

 

3 days until those nasty, across-the-board budget cuts go into effect.

 

2 unanimous votes to reject applications for charters schools by the William Penn School Board.

 

5, age of student from Widener Partnership Charter School was was dropped off at bus stop a couple hours early, with no one there to pick him up.

 

2015, when the region will host the Roman Catholic Church's World Meeting of Families and a possible visit by the new pope.

 

1.8 billion dollars, how much high school dropouts cost the economy every year.

 

216 point nosedive for Wall Street yesterday.

 

2 blizzards in matter of days hammering the Midwest.

 

15 inches of snow reported in western Missouri.

 

100 LCB supporters who packed a meeting room yesterday for hearing on plan to privatize state booze sales. They are against it.

 

20, as in Top 20, as opposed to Top 10 priority, where Sen. Dominic Pileggi is ranking his move to change the Pa. electoral system.

 

31-25 win for O'Hara Girls over Archbishop Wood to capture Catholic League crown.

 

4-2 loss for Flyers against Maple Leafs last night.

 

2 shutout innings for Phils starter Cliff Lee yesterday.

 

2 hits for Ryan Howard off left-handed pitchers yesterday.

 

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

 

Looks like you can bank on the Eagles switching to a 3-4 defense or a variable of it. Yesterday the team continued to remake its defense by releasing veterand tackles Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins.

I Don’t Get It: I wonder at what point the folks we send to Washington, D.C., will get the message and take action to avoid these nasty sequester cuts. Talk about not getting it!

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Springfield police, who stayed with it and finally announced an arrest in the hit-run case of Thomas Quercetti on State Road last July 4. Quercetti died last week and ironically was buried yesterday, the same day charges were announced in the case.

 

 

Quote Box: “I want to apologize to the family. I was scared when it happened."

 

- Pacurie Huymh, in court charged in the hit-run crash last July 4 on State Road.

Did we make too much of 'Silver Linings' & the Oscars?

Here’s a confession and recap on the Academy Awards:

First and foremost, there are some people who questioned the amount of space and coverage we gave to ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’ To them, I say, ‘Get Over It.’ A movie that was filmed largely right here in Delaware County is nominated for Best Picture and seven other Oscars, including nominations in all the major acting categories. I’m not sure how you define it, but in my book that is big news. And yes, it probably is a bit parochial for us to lavish such attention on a movie. A couple people have sniffed that other locales, such as New York, would never react that way.

No kidding.

I don’t live in New York. And I don’t edit the New York Times. I'm sure the readers of the Times are forever grateful for that. I edit the Delaware County Daily Times, which formed the backdrop of the movie, even if it was passed off as being in Philly. We knew better. We immediately recognized those neighborhoods. We knew that was Archbishop Prendergast Monsignor Bonner High School. And, of course, we knew that was the legendary Llanerch Diner.

We covered the movie while it was being filmed here, we gave it a big spread when the flick opened, and then we were right back with two more days of coverage last weekend to tie into the Oscars and the local parties - including one at the Llanerc - to mark the occasion.

Now here’s my confession: I didn’t like the movie all that much. I thought it was good, not great. Enjoyable, but not exactly worthy of Best Picture. From everything I’ve heard and read, me and Big Daddy Graham are the only people who feel that way.

I have heard some people say ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is the best movie ever set in Philadelphia (or Delaware County for that matter). Excuse me? I seem to remember a little movie about a down-on-his-luck Philly club fighter a few years ago. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ should not be mentioned in the same sentence as ‘Rocky.’ At least that’s one man’s (a lowly editor, not a film critic) opinion.

Finally, there is the Oscar telecast himself. Was I the only one screaming at the TV during that endless opening skit to get on with it and give out the damn awards? Of course, I have a deadline to meet every night, one that we missed badly Sunday night. But how silly would we have looked had Jennifer Lawrence snagged that statue, taken her little spill on the steps up to accept her award, and no mention of it made in the newspaper where the movie was filmed. Here’s another confession. While I wasn’t especially enamored with the movie, I was even more put off by Jennifer Lawrence’s character. I just didn’t think she was particularly likeable.

As far as the rest of the show goes, I have come to this conclusion. This is all about the women - and their gowns. The Red Carpet has now become some of the Super Bowl of fashion, as the ladies stop, preen and are then questioned about who they are wearing. Men? Sorry, guys. We’re just an afterthought in this. Second fiddles. No one asks whose tux you’re wearing.

On the other hand, each woman is judged, along with her attire.

Which leads me to this conclusion, which comes courtesy of my wife.

If there is a better looking woman on the planet than Halle Berry, I have yet to set eyes upon her. My wife does not usually talk about other women. But she is in awe of Berry, who seemingly would look regal if she was wearing Bradley Cooper’s infamous trash bag get-up from ‘Silver Linings.’

So there you have it.

Delco should take pride in its role in ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’ Its daily newspaper certainly did. And it will apologize to no one for doing exactly that.