Monday, October 31, 2016

Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct 31 (Eagles Edition)

The Daily Numbers: 29-23 killer OT loss for the Eagles in a game they had in their hands and let slip away.

29-24 Cowboys, my pick in The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick. No, it doesn’t make me feel any better.

0 plays for the Eagles in overtime. The Cowboys took the kick and drove down the field for the winning TD.

5 yard TD pass from Dak Prescott to old Eagles killer Jason Witten for the win.

10 point lead blown by the Eagles in the 4th quarter.

1 more crucial 4th quarter fumble by Eagles running back. This time it was Wendell Smallwood.

19 of 39 for 287 yards for Prescott.

32 of 43 for 202 yards for Carson Wentz.

11 catches for Jordan Matthews. For 65 yards.

15 carries for 86 yards for Darren Sproles.

16 straight field goals for Caleb Sturgis.

2 straight from 55 yards to close the 1st half after the Cowboys called a timeout.

53 yard kick he was not asked to make in the 4th quarter. Pederson instead decided to punt.

9th TD pass for Wentz. That’s a new Eagles record for rookie QB.

96 yards rushing for Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott.

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

Put this one right there next to the Lions game, a contest the Eagles should have won, but did not

I Don’t Get It: The Eagles have to leading the league in pass plays that actually lose yardage

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Carson Wentz, who is persevering despite a complete lack of offensive weapons.

Quote Box: “We’re going to learn from it, and we’re going to be better.”

- Eagles Coach Doug Pederson, after the loss.

Eagles' offense provides some Halloween frights

And now for the prescient pigskin prognosticator award.

The final score from last night's, late-night, prime time, heart-breaking loss for the Eagles in Dallas:

Dallas 29, Eagles 24.

Your Heron's Nest Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick prediction:

Dallas 29, Eagles 24.

No, I didn’t have it going to overtime. Don't expect me to feel any better about it.

That's now how this works, especially when you're back in the office after getting about three hours sleep.

At the same time I was crafting that 'Dak's All, Folks!' front page just after midnight, I was already torturing myself, as I'm sure lots of Birds' faithful are this early a.m.

The truth is this is a game the Eagles easily could have won. They had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

They were driving toward a killer score, maybe driving a final dagger into the Cowboys' hearts, with a little more than seen minutes left in regulation. They had the ball at the Dallas 30. Then an odd thing happened, something that happened more than once last night.

Doug Pederson dialed up a pass play that actually lost yardage.

A swing pass to Darren Sproles was sniffed out by the 'Boys' defense. He was spilled for a six-yard loss. Then Doug Pederson, who has been very good so far this year, and who actually had a pretty good night last night for much of the evening, decided to get conservative. It may have cost him the game.

Instead of letting red-hot kicker Caleb Sturgis attempt a 53-yard field goal (remember he closed out the first half with not one but two perfect 55-yarders after the Cowboys iced him with a timeout), Pederson opted to punt and pin Dallas deep in their own end.

Instead of putting points on the board, Pederson opened the door to the Cowboys. They promptly barged through it and went on to win in overtime.

If there is one overriding thought that you will hear again and again today it is the complete lack of weapons in Carson Wentz's arsenal.

He was again very good last night, but threw almost everything in the 10-yard and under range. The Eagles simply don't have a playmaker at wide receiver, anyone who can put the least bit of a scare into defenses, Halloween or no Halloween.

Jordan Mathews? He had 11 catches last night. You would think that was a pretty good night. On those 11 catches he managed to gain all of 65 yards.

Nelson Agholor continues to be a nightmare for the Birds. Halloween came a day early as he started the game by missing a key block, then dropping another pass.

Dropped passes are the trademark of this receiving corps.

That and the sudden disappearance of the Eagles tight ends, including Zach Ertz. No, it does not appear that this is going to be the year Ertz breaks out. Keep waiting, fans. It's going to happen one of these years. Isn't it?

All of which hearkens back to something Pederson said last week, when rumors were swirling that Howie Roseman and the Birds might be in the market for a wide receiver.

Pederson took pains to downplay those reports, saying he was "thrilled" with his receiving corps.

That makes one of us.

Carson Wentz deserves better than this.

Last night he again showed he can be very accurate. He was 32 of 43 with a handful of dropped balls. But for all that work he only amassed 202 yards. It is now a pattern. Unfortunately it's not a deep one. The Eagles don't have a receiver who goes long.

Nothing boo-tiful about it

Happy Halloween!

Unless, of course, you happen to be an Eagles fan.

Or a SEPTA rider.

Or someone who is tired of political ads.

Or a newspaper editor.

Here's a quick confession. Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. Somewhere along the line, I lost my taste for dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating. Oh, I used to like it when the kids were little. I would usually take the day off. My wife and I would split the duties, one of us would squire the kids around the neighborhood, the other would man the fort and hand out 'treats.'

But once the kids stopped taking part, the charm quickly wore off.

Yes, I am including my job description on this year's fright list.

It goes with the territory that Trick-or-Treat precedes by a few days another treat - voters going to the polls.

For me that means complaints, usually coming from both sides, that we are tilting in the other direction.

The Dems here in Delco are convinced that we are in the pocket of the local GOP.

Of course the Delco GOP says we do everything in our power to paint them as the villain and rarely ever print anything critical of the Democrats.

I guess they have never heard of The Kane Scrutiny.

I use my Monday print column to talk about it.


That would be the Halloween kind, not the kind usually embraced by leather-lunged Eagles fans.

But don't expect a lot of chipper folks in the workplace this morning.

We are tired, from a killer OT Sunday night prime time loss by the Eagles.

We are worried that the city's transit system could be halted by a labor strike, making getting anywhere in the city a real problem.

And we continue to count down until the election, now just eight days away.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Welcome to the new NFC East. In what could be a preview of the next decade, the two best young quarterbacks in the NFL will clash in prime time Sunday night when Carson Wentz and the Eagles invade Dallas to tangle with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys.

Suddenly, the NFC East, something of a doormat the last few years, is the toughest division in football again.

And Messrs. Wentz and Prescott are the reason why.

The Eagles, who looked terrible two weeks ago in the nation's capital, reversed their fortunes with a most impressive win against the unbeaten Vikings. They made their old pal Sam Bradford's day miserable. Doing the same to Prescott won't be easy. That's because Prescott will prove much more elusive than Sammy Sleeves, plus he has the NFL's top rusher in Ezekiel Elliott to tote a lot of the load. Add in the return of Dez Bryant and Prescott has a lot more weapons to turn to than Wentz.

That's why the key to this game again could be Jim Schwartz and the Eagles defense. They will need first and foremost to be diligent in making sure their Wide 9 gaps and scheme don't get gashed the way the Redskins' offense carved them up, rolling to 230 yards on the ground. A repeat performance could be a killer for the Eagles.

There will be some points scored in this one, and both Wentz and Prescott will further establish their cred as the new young stars of the league.

But Prescott has more bullets in his arsenal than Wentz. Hope I'm wrong. Again. I don't see it.

The Pick: Make it Cowboys 29, Eagles 24.

Last Week: The Eagles shook off a very bad performance against the 'Skins and dominated the Vikings. No, I didn't see that one coming. And it means I've officially hit the skids in this prognostication game. Then again, if it holds up it also might be good for the Eagles, since they seem intent on doing the opposite of my pick. After starting 2-0, I'm now dragging at 2-4, having misfired on my last 4 picks,m while Doug Pedersonn and his Birds are feeling good at 4-2 and ready for an NFC East showdown with the Cowboys.

Game by Game: Eagles 29, Browns 10 (My Pick: Eagles 19, Browns 13)

Eagles 29, Bears 14 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Bears 16)

Eagles 34, Steelers 3 (My Pick: Steelers, 26, Eagles 23)

Lions 24, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Lions 10)

Redskins 27, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Redskins 23)

Eagles 21, Vikings 10 (My Pick: Vikings 26, Eagles 13)

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 28

The Daily Numbers: 4.3 million dollars in revenue for the county now in jeopardy because the Legislature failed to address casino host agreement tax deals.

10 million on the hook in Chester.

4 to 5 million dollars in additional revenue the county could wind up receiving with an expansion of Internet gaming. That’s also on hold now.

7.3 million dollars awarded to former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary in his defamation case against Penn State in connection with the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

3 men who continue to be held in connection with a brutal attack on a mailman in Morton.

35 years in the slammer for a Glen Mills on child porn and sex raps involving a child.

2, as in Strike 2 for convicted sex offender now guilty in another attack on a child.

265 million dollars, how much Amtrak will pay to settle claims from deadly rail crash in Philly last spring.

8 people killed when the train roared off the tracks.

200 others injured.

280 jobs now in danger with closing of cigar factory in Limerick.

900,000 dollar fine against Peco for gas blast that leveled home in Coatesville.

5-4 loss for the Flyers to the Coyotes last night in South Philly.

3, as in Game 3 of the World Series, which sees the Cubs playing their first home Series game in 71 years.

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

Sunday night’s Eagles-Cowboys clash promises to be a look at what could be the next great rivalry: Carson Wentz vs. Dak Prescott, two of the best young rookie QBs to come into the league in years.

I Don’t Get It: The Pennsylvania Legislature. Enjoy your break, folks.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the arrival of six-pack sales at your local beer distributor.

Quote Box: “I’m going to get the bigger bottle of Pepto-Bismol until Thanksgiving.”

- County Councilman John McBlain, on shaky status of casino funds for the county and city.

Crying in their beer in Pa.

Before we raise a glass to the notion of being able to buy a six-pack of beer at our local beer distributor, maybe we should temper the celebration just a bit when you consider what else happened in Harrisburg this week.

Actually, that might be better phrased what did not happen.

So while we welcome the slow, drip-drip-drip of changing the Keystone State's archaic rules when it comes to sales of alcohol, we remain flummoxed as to how little else actually gets done in the state Capitol.

But first, a toast.

Gov. Tom Wolf says he will sign the bill currently sitting on his desk that marks another big change to the way beer is sold in the state. It will clear the way for beer distributors to sell six-packs. We know, if you happen to be visiting from another state you are wondering what all the fuss is about. Take our word for it. It's a big deal.

You can now buy a six-pack at your local beer distributor, where for decades they have been limited to selling beer only by the case. Back in the summer, the laws were relaxed to give them the same freedom that many supermarkets were enjoying in selling 12-packs. Now the same will apply for six-packs.

It's certainly worthy of a toast.

Less so is the stagnant, snail's pace of so much other critical work that was left undone in Harrisburg. It might be a good time to review just what we are getting for one of the biggest, most expensive legislative bodies in the nation. First and foremost is the critical funding that municipalities derive from their host agreements with those new, legal casinos the Legislature created.

The state Supreme Court knocked down those formulas, agreeing with one of the smaller, boutique-style casinos that they were in effect being taxed at an uneven rate.

That means big bucks here in Delaware County - to the tune of a cool $4.3 million for the county, and an even bigger chunk of change for the city of Chester, which derives $10 million, almost a quarter of its operating budget, from the deal with Harrah's on the city's waterfront.

After an early indication that Harrisburg was going to OK a temporary fix, that solution veered off the tracks in the usual back-and-forth horse trading that is the defining quality of how our state capital operates.

The Senate signed off on the deal, but the House then decided to toss in a move to usher in even more legal gaming, clearing the way for internet gambling and fantasy sports regulation. The Senate balked at those changes.

The Legislature did what it routinely does when an impasse brings progress to a standstill. They hit the road, leaving town to go home to campaign for the jobs they hold so dear. In the meantime, host communities such as Delaware County and Chester are looking at huge holes in their budgets. The timing could not be worse for the county, which is in the process of putting together their spending plan, due to be unveiled next week.

It now looks like the matter will not be addressed until the next session in January.

Not exactly what you would call a sense of urgency.

Then there is perhaps the state's biggest fiscal problem, the massive sea of red ink that is threatening to plunge the state, along with a slew of school districts into financial chaos. That would be the growing deficit in the state's two underfunded public employee pension plans.

For years many have believed that a critical first step would be to dump that bloated, expensive defined benefit plan for all future hires and instead put them in 401-k style plans utilized by most of private industry. Of course legislators instead said they were simply out of time this week and any action on pensions would have to wait until the new year.

That ticking sound you hear is what many experts believe is a ticking time bomb in the state's budget - a pension fund deficit that is now being counted in the billions.

The measure, really only a starting point in meaningful reform, would save the state and school districts $2.6 billion over 32 years. But it's not going to happen, at least not now.

And you will love this little nugget: Current legislators - yeah, the folks voting on this plan - would be exempt and instead would keep their much heftier benefits.

It's the Harrisburg way.

Speaking of inaction, you can sound "Taps" for House Bill 1947.

That is the historic legislation that would have ended the statute of limitations for criminal charges in cases of child sexual abuse, as well as extending the window of time for victims to bring civil suits to age 50.

But a lingering dispute over whether to make the language retroactive deep-sixed any action on the bill. The measure had been overwhelmingly approved 180-15 by the House last spring, but then changed in the Senate after a full-court press to block the retroactive language by the Catholic church and the insurance industry. The Senate took the retroactive language out, then passed the measure. That meant it got kicked back to the House, where it died this week.

House Bill 1947 never made even made it to the floor for a full House vote, which might not have been the worst news for legislators this week. Many of them had been under intense pressure from the church for their votes, and likely did not relish the idea of taking another stand a week before standing in front of voters asking for their votes.

So go ahead and raise a glass to one more baby step out of the dark ages when it comes to way this state sells booze. And then cry in your beer for the way this Legislature continues to avoid tackling the critical issues facing the state.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 27

The Daily Numbers: 51,000 videos and images seized from Marple teen at center of upskirt controversy.

19, age of Vincent Kane, who now faces a slew of charges.

1947, as in House Bill 1947, which never made it to the House floor for a vote yesterday.

10 days, how long after he was initially charged and placed on leave, before John Nagl was reinstated as headmaster at the Haverford School.

1 of October, when SEPTA’s unions are vowing to hit the bricks, sidelining all bus, trolley and subway service. The Market-Frankford El also would go down, but regional rails would remain in service.

350 million dollar budget still being put together by Delco officials, who are trying to figure out what to do about $4.3 million in casino revenue that might not be replaced.

34 dollar tax hike in the works out in Chester County.

1 woman and 2 pets who died when fire hit her home in Birmingham Township.

1 person killed in fire in a Lansdowne apartment.

401-k style retirement plan for new state employees under considered in Harrisburg. The House never took action on it.

2.6 billion dollars over 32 years, how much the plan was predicted to save in the state’s public employee pension crisis.

845 dollars in restitution and probation for woman linked to Philly D.A. Seth Williams who slashed the tires on several city cars.

15 percent boost in profits at Comcast.

3 percent decline in the company stock.

50,000 SEPTA workers in the city who could go on strike Oct. 1.

0 buses, trolleys and subways that would operate in the city. Market-Frankford El also would go down. Suburban service and regional rails also would keep running.

103-97 loss for the Sixers in their opener to the Thunder.

20 points in 22 minutes in a spectacular debut for Joel Embiid in the loss.

32 points and 12 rebounds for Russell Westbrook to lead the Thunder.

3-1 loss for the Union in playoff tilt vs. Toronto last night, ending their season.

win for the Cubs over the Indians in World Series last night.

1-1 deadlock as the Series heads to Chicago.

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

Joel Embiid had a great night, but everyone is talking about the pre-game rendition of the National Anthem, who sang it , who did not, and why. Swell.

I Don’t Get It: Another ugly scene from a fan at court side last night who decided to give Westbrook a double-finger salute. Nice.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Haverford School, for doing the right thing and reinstating headmaster John Nagl.

Quote Box: “I am not quitting.”

Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, after another setback for House Bill 1947, to give victims of sex abuse their day in court.

No day in court for victims of abuse

Forget House Bill 1947.

The measure that would give victims of sex abuse the opportunity to meet their accusers in court never made it to the House floor for reconsideration yesterday.

You can get all the details here.

You might remember the quite controversial history of this bill, which astoundingly was passed 180-15 last spring by the House, with the support of many in the Delco delegation, after still another extremely troubling grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children in the Johnstown-Altoona diocese, along with another subsequent massive cover-up.

The bill included controversial language in an amendment from state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, that would not only expand the window for victims to file civil suits from age 30 to age 50, it would allow victims from decades ago to come forward with civil suits now.

That did not sit well with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the National Catholic Conference and the insurance industry. They turned up the heat as the Senate considered the bill. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote a letter that was read or handed out at every parish urging the faithful to contact their legislator to vote against the measure, warning of dire consequences for churches, schools and social work if it were to become law. He called it no less than an attack on the church. Several Delco legislators felt serious heat from the archdiocese. Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, of Ridley Park, actually had his name casually dropped into the parish bulletin with a reminder that he had supported the bill. Rep. Jamie Santora, R-163, of Upper Darby, said the archdiocese's actions came dangerously to electioneering.

The Senate eventually passed the bill - but without the controversial retroactive language.

That meant it had to work its way back through the Legislature again.

Not going to happen.

Rozzi yesterday admitted it was not even going to make it back out onto the House floor, let alone get a vote.

Rozzi ripped several Harrisburg leaders he believes are unduly influenced by opponents of the bill.

But he vows he's not going away. He says he will be in the new year, with a new effort to push the bill through, complete with the retroactive legislation.

As for the victims, they continue to wait for their day in court.

A good ending for John Nagl

Every once in awhile, a sad story we report has a good ending.

That appears to be the case with John Nagl. He's the headmaster at the prestigious Haverford School on the Main Line.

Nagl was charged with a misdemeanor count of simple assault after an altercation with his son.

The school placed him on leave after what all involved labeled a "deeply personal" situation. One, of course, that made its way into the news.

But the Delaware County District Attorney's Office reviewed the case and decided to withdraw the charges.

Now Nagl is getting his job back.

He's return to his role as headmaster Friday.

Good for him.

Get all the details here.

A 'wintry mix' Halloween fright

Our fearless local weather forecasters are offering their own version of a Halloween fright this morning.

And they are sprinkling it with a certain four-letter word. No, not the one that starts with the same letter as "flurries."

I'm talking about snow.

Apparently there is a chance of a 'wintry mix' this morning.

In the Poconos.

Which of course is about 2 hours and change from here.

But if it means a chance to jump the gun on winter weather, that means they have now become part of the Philly suburbs.v I guess I can now add it to the list of why I hate winter. Now that I think of it, I'm not all that keen on Halloween either.

It's dark when I drive into the office. Now it's practically dark when I leave. It's cold. I am struggling to honor my annual pledge not to don a winter coat before Thanksgiving.

It is expected to rain here this afternoon. That won't exactly brighten the mood.

But, hey, it could be worse. It could be a 'wintry mix.'

I think we'll survive without stocking up on bread and milk.

How many days until Memorial Day?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Oct. 26

The Daily Numbers: 34 degrees when I got in the car this morning. Frosty!

28 years in prison for former volunteer firefighter for inducing kids to pose for porn.

1 person killed when fire hit a home in Birmingham, Chester County, last night.

4,000-square-foot addition set for Paxon Hollow Country Club in Marple.

10 million dollars, how much Chester stands to lose under court ruling that knocked down host tax agreements with Pa. casinos.

4.3 million, how much Delaware County stands to lose.

4 percent tax across the board, what one of the smaller casinos would like to see put in place.

47-1 vote by Senate to extend the current deal until the spring.

4 years, how long a Darby lawyer has had his license suspended for by the state.

25,000 dollars in renovations at the Darby Library unveiled yesterday.

1, as in the nation’s first library, dating back to the 1700s, right there in Darby.

50,000 Lego pieces rolled out as part of new Legoland park in Plymouth Meeeting Mall.

24-hour, 7-day a week beauty channel being rolled out by QVC out in West Chester.

17, age of teen charged in shooting on Rittenhouse Square.

401k style retirement plan being pushed for future state hires.

45,000 dollars in merchandise ripped off from Boyd’s in Philly by smash-and-grab burglars.

754,000 dollars paid for the childhood home of Grace Kelly in the East Falls section of Philly by her son, Prince Albert on Monaco.

1,537,778 dollars for 19,134 violations for unpaid tolls on the Pa. Turnpike.

24 companies that owe more than $20,000 in unpaid tolls, according to Pa. Turnpike Commission.

678,483 dollars owed by Green Coast Logistics of South Plainfield, N.J.

15 billion dollar settlement in VW emissions scandal.

4-3 win for the Flyers over the Sabres after they trailed, 3-0.

20 minutes, how much Joel Embiid is expected to play in tonight’s Sixers opener.

6-0 win for Indians over the Cubs in Game 1 of the World Series

9-0 record for Indians manager Terry Francona in World Series games.

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

How ‘bout that Terry Francona. The former Phils’ skipper is unbeaten in 9 World Series, including 2 sweeps with the Red Sox.

I Don’t Get It: Frost. I don’t get it. Anyone know where I put my scraper?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the residents who came to the aid of an Upper Darby police officer. We saluted them on our editorial page.

Quote Box: “We would be in a very delicate and detrimental situation to lose any dollars from Harrah’s.”

- Chester Chief Financial Officer Nafis Nichols.

No joke: Daylin Leach is funniest guy in Harrisburg

Who says no one in Harrisburg has a sense of humor?

Obviously they have not met our own Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, who represents parts of Haverford and the Main Line.

Leach took top honors when it comes to the funnybone in a poll done by the Pennsylvania Legislative Services. His Republican couunterpart Rep. Jeff Pyle of Armstrong County also was honored.

Each year the legislative online research and media service firm polls the folks in Harrisburg and comes up with a list of "the best of Capitol."

Here are the winners of this year's polling, which took place over several weeks at the end of September and early October, highlighted by a day of in-person voting in the Capitol’s Main Rotunda:

Most effective legislator: Representative David Reed

Best legislator to work with (Democrat): Senator John Yudichak

Best legislator to work with (Republican): Representative Bryan Cutler

Best debater (House): Representative John Maher

Best debater (Senate): Senator Jake Corman

Best sense of humor (Republican): Representative Jeff Pyle

Best sense of humor (Democrat): Senator Daylin Leach

Best House staffer to work with (Republican): Karen Coates

Best House staffer to work with (Democrat): Miriam Fox

Best Senate staffer to work with (Republican): Joe Pittman

Best Senate staffer to work with (Democrat): Stephen DeFrank

Most effective executive branch staffer: Nate Spade

Most effective lobbying/PR firm: Greenlee Partners

Most effective private lobbyist: TIE! Andrew Ritter & Stan Rapp

Most effective association lobbyist: Gene Barr

Rising star: Noah Karn

Best dressed: Representative Jim Christiana

Best hair (Man): Representative Flo Fabrizio

Best hair (Woman): Katrina Anderson

Best session day hangout in Harrisburg: McGrath’s Irish Pub & Restaurant.

A salute to Drexel Hill residents

There's been no shortage of confrontations between communities and their police forces in recent months. The nation has been scarred by a series of fatal shootings between police officers and citizens, leading to questions of deadly force and a lack of mistrust between law enforcement and the people they are expected to protect.

This week that story got stood on its head in Upper Darby.

It's not every day you get to report on a group of citizens coming to a struggling officer's aid - let alone doing it with a golf club.

But that's what happened during a violent struggle between an Upper Darby officer and a suspect on a Drexel Hill street. We think that kind of action deserves a salute.

And we did so on today's editorial page.

Chill out, fans: How 'bout that Terry Francona!

Here's something to chew over while you're trying to figure out where you left the scraper.

Yes, that substance on your windshield this morning is frost. My dashboard thermometer checked in at a less than toasty 34 degrees this morning. One of these days I will go through with my threat to simply keep driving until I hit Key West. Call me on Memorial Day.

In the meantime, anyone else remember Terry Francona?

Yep, he used to manage the Phillies. Back then the team was a perennial loser.

But after he left Philly, 'Tito' hooked up with the Boston Red Sox, where he led the Sox to their first World Series title in years.

Now he's doing his magic with Cleveland. That's right. Our old pal is now the Indians' skipper. All they did last night was toss cold water all over that Cubs Karma with a 6-0 win in Game 1 of the World Series.

It was quite a night in Cleveland. Just up the street the LeBron James and the Cavaliers kicked off the NBA season by rolling out their championship rings and unfurling a banner in the rafters.

As for Francona, last night's win pushes his World Series record to a perfect 9-0. That includes sweeps by the Red Sox over the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Then a win in last night's opener with the Indians.

Stay warm Philly fans.

Geez, bring on Dallas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Oct. 25

The Daily Numbers: 10 to 23 months in county prison for former Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

75,000 bail she later posted to get out of the slammer while she appeals her conviction.

4 years ago, when she became the 1st woman and 1st Democrat ever elected top law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania.

4 tractor trailers in crash blocking all lanes of the northbound Northeast Extension of the Pa. Turnpike this morning.

4 Drexel Hill residents honored for coming to the aid of an Upper Darby police officer during a violent scuffle with a suspect.

5,000-square-foot Wawa with 50 parking spaces and 8 gas pumps coming to Baltimore Pike and Jackson Avenue in Clifton Heights.

2,500 dollar reward still up for grabs for information on suspect in home invasion in Ridley Park.

64, age of Chester man charged with criminal homicide in stabbing death of a friend in Upper Chichester.

4 teens charged in flash mob attack on groups of Temple students.

52nd annual Halloween Parade on tap Saturday in Media.

6 packs could be sold by beer distributors under bill passed by state Senate Monday.

2nd debate between Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty in bitter U.S. Senate race last night.

4 percent taxing host agreement now being proposed by Mount Airy Casino to settle legal issue with the state.

4.3 million dollars, how much Delco is missing from their budget without the host agreement revenue.

0 meetings between SEPTA and workers who might strike next week.

5,000 SEPTA bus, trolley and subway workers who could hit the bricks. Regional rails would not be affected.

3-1 loss for the Flyers last night in Montreal.

1st playoff appearance in 5 years for Union.

1st World Series game on tap tonight in Cleveland pitting Indians vs. Cubs.

50,000 dollars and up, what box seats to a game at Wrigley Field are going for.

174 combined seasons, how long it’s been since Cleveland and Chicago’s Cubs have made a World Series appearance.

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

MVP of the Eagles big win over the Vikings. I’ll cas a vote for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

I Don’t Get It: That’s a long, ugly fall for Kathleen Kane.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those four Drexel Hill residents who came to the aid of an officer in trouble while struggling with a suspect.

Quote Box: “Your willingness to get involved and come to the aid of an Upper Darby police officer in a struggle with a defendant saved this officer from serious injuries.

- Upper Darby Mayor Tom Micozzie.

4.3 million reasons Delco needs action from Legislature

We used our editorial page today to note that Delaware County has a very big problem.

In fact, you might say they have $4.3 million of them.

That's how much revenue is now missing from the Delaware County budget. That revenue stems from the 'host agreement' between Harrah's Casino down in Chester and the city and county.

A recent state Supreme Court ruling KO'd the agreement, agreeing with smaller, boutique-style casinos who argued that the host agreements in effect set up unequal playing fields in terms of taxation.

Funny, that never seemed to bother the state or the courts when it comes to education funding, but that's another story. In the meantime, Delaware County Councilmen John McBlain and Mario Civera took a road trip to Harrisburg last week to testify before a House committee and express just how dire the situation is.

The county uses that money to fund a lot of very good social programs, and that money is now MIA.

Adding to the problem is the fact that the Legislature has only a couple more days left to address the problem.

You can read the editorial here.

Kathleen in Cuffs: The final chapter in the Kane Scrutiny

It's the final chapter of the Kane Scrutiny.

You don't need words. All you need is the picture that appeared on the front page of today's paper.

Yes, that is Kathleen Kane, the one-time top law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania, leaving a Montgomery County courtroom in handcuffs.

Despite a plea from family - including her kids - and friends for leniency, Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy sentenced the one-time rising star of Democratic politics to 10 to 23 months in county prison.

Kane, the first woman and first Democrat ever elected attorney general in Pennsylvania, was whisked from the courtroom to prison, where she was booked. She was later released on $75,000 bail while she appeals.

The judge acknowledged the pleas for leniency, including an impassioned plea from Kane herself to stay out of the slammer, then dropped the hammer on the former A.G.v Kane wiped away tears as she told the judge she could not imagine being separated from her sons.

Demchick-Alloy was not swayed, noting that Kane was not thinking of them when she placed her hand on the Bible and lied to a grand jury.

None of this had to happen.

The reason it did was because of Kathleen Kane, and her hellbent push for revenge against a former prosecutor she believed was responsible for leaking a story that portrayed her in a light considerably less glowing that what she had become used to in her meteoric rise to power.

Along the way she created what one former aide described as a 'terror zone' inside the attorney general's office. It was left to Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steel to remind Kane - and all of us - of a simple rule.

"Nobody is above the law."

Not even Kathleen Kane.

Get all the details here.

Toomey again feels the elephant in the room

They held the second debate in the contentious Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race last night.

Pat Toomey went toe to toe with Katie McGinty - and her running mate.

Yes, once again the incumbent Republican found himself boxed in on the elephant who was not in the room - but was on the mind of everyone who was.

Toomey once again was asked point-blank if he will support his party's nominee, Donald Trump.

And once again Toomey squirmed in what is clearly an uncomfortable position for him.

He repeatedly tried to link McGinty with the "failed programs" of the Obama Administration.

But they don't have the same sticking power as the one question he failed to answer: Doesn't he think his constituents have the right to know if he is going to vote for Trump.

He's in a no-win situation. He needs ever Republican vote he can get, and a bunch of ticket-splitters in order to keep his seat in a state that is increasingly tilting Democratic.

Toomey originally wanted four debates, but McGinty only agreed to two.

It might not be the worst thing that ever happened to Toomey not to have to keep answering the only question anyone wants him to answer. I don't think he's going to answer it anytime soon.

You can get all the details on last night's debate here.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 24 (Eagles Edition)

The Daily Numbers: 5-0 record sported by the Vikings when they arrived at the Linc yesterday?

5-1 when they left.

4-2 mark now for Eagles.

21-10 win over Sam Bradford and the Vikings for the Eagles.

19 hits the Eagles laid on their old pal Bradford, who was harassed into a miserable day.

6 sacks of their former starting QB for the Birds’ defense.

1 interception for Bradford, his first of the year.

2 lost fumbles.

24 of 41 for 224 yards for Bradford.

16 of 28 with 2 interceptions for 138 yards for Carson Wentz.

52.4 QB rating for Wentz.

5 consecutive series in 1st quarter in which the teams traded turnovers.

98 yard TD return on kickoff for Josh Huff.

2 straight weeks Eagles have had kickoff return for TD.

1st time in franchise history they’ve done that in consecutive weeks.

86-26 margin for the Eagles in second half scoring so far this year.

1 catch for Zach Ertz for the 2nd straight week

20 sacks for the Eagles so far this year.

14 straight field goals made by Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis.

3-0 record for the Eagles at the Linc this year.

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

Make Jim Schwartz the MVP of this ugly game. His scheme and defense rallied from a horrible effort vs. the Redskins to hound Bradford mercilessly. Schwartz went to blitz constantly to keep Bradford off stride.

I Don’t Get It: That was a 5-0 team? The Vikings could have fooled me.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Eagles. Their vision in flipping this team and installing Carson Wentz as their starter and future continues to look good.

Quote Box: “I thought we played embarrassing in two phases. I’m very disappointed in the performance.”

- Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

The final chapter of the Kane Scrutiny

Almost exactly four years ago, Kathleen Kane was a rising Democratic superstar.

Today she will be in a Norristown courtroom trying to stay out of jail.

The convicted former attorney general is due in court to be sentenced for lying to a grand jury concerning materials she leaked in a bitter, personal vendetta against a fellow prosecutor.

It's hard to believe that just four years ago Kane received more votes in Pennsylvania than Barack Obama. In the process she became the first woman and first Democrat ever elected attorney general. People were talking about her as possible gubernatorial or U.S. Senate candidate.

It didn't take long for all that to collapse in a wicked stew of petty, personal feuding.

Kane was irate about a story that made her look bad. And she blamed her longtime foe and fellow prosecutor Frank Fina for it. She plotted her revenge, leaking material to the Philadelphia Daily News on a Fina investigation of then Philly NAACP leader Jerry Modesire.

It didn't seem to matter much to Kane that Mondesire was never charged with any wrongdoing. She only saw a venue to attack Fina. It didn't matter to her that Mondesire was damaged in the process.

Kane is asking the court not to send her to prison for her offenses. The prosecution begs to differ. They want significant jail time for the disgraced former attorney general.

We'll be there to bring you all the details on one of the most stunning falls from grace in Pennsylvania political history.

It's the race to watch in Delco

I've been thinking about those new voter registration numbers that were released last week.

The numbers show Democrats are expanding their lead over Republicans here in Delco in terms of registered voters. The Dems, who for decades looked up at the mighty Delco GOP and what at one time was a nearly 3-1 voter registration edge, have more than turned the tables.

There are now 16,000 more registered Democrats here in Delaware County than Republicans.

Excuse me if I'm not impressed.

In fact, I said as much in today's print column.

Here's what would impress me. I'd like to see the Delco Democrats win a tough local race. Here's one to watch. Keep your eye on the 161st state House race. That's the one where incumbent Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky is being challenged by Patti Rodgers Morrisette.

Krueger-Braneky won the special election for the seat that was held after Joe Hackett hit a few potholes in Harrisburg and decided it was time to return home to Delco.

Republicans endorsed local labor leader Paul Mullen in the race. That did not sit especially well with Tea Party conservative Penn-Delco School Board member Lisa Esler. She ran a very effective third-party race, in the process costing Mullen and the Republicans just enough votes to swing the election to Krueger-Braneky.

That won't be the case on Nov. 8. It will be Republican Rodgers Morrisette vs. the Democrat Krueger-Braneky. Democrats have had success in this district before, most notably with Bryan Lentz.

The district accounts for Brookhaven, Aston, Nether Providence, Swarthmore, Rose Valley and parts of Ridley.

Win this one--on-one battle and maybe I'll start believing there is something to these numbers.

Dems already have several built-in advantages in this race, most notably that it is coming in a presidential year when turnout is expected to be heavy. If Dems continue their recent pattern of winning the county in statewide and presidential races, that means Rodgers Morrisette will need a lot of ticket-splitting to get the win.

As we said on Sunday's front page, as far as Delaware County goes, this is the race to watch.

Tough day for the Sam Bradford Fan Club

And now a message from the president of the Sam Bradford Fan Club.

Well, that was ugly.

The Eagles jumped all over Bradford and his undefeated Minnesota Vikings Sunday, leaving the former Eagles' signal caller battered and confused en route to a 21-10 Eagles win at the Linc.

You know Bradford wanted nothing more than to be able to stick it to Howie Roseman, Jeff Lurie and all the others who kicked sand in his face repeatedly during his stormy stay in Philly.

Instead, it was Jim Schwartz's defense that did the kicking, harassing Bradford into a 24 of 41 day passing, including his first interception since donning purple.

Schwartz dialed up a mix of blitzes that constantly put pressure on Bradford. He was sacked six times, and banged around seemingly every time he dropped back to pass. The Eagles defense focused on the guy who just a few weeks ago was their leader and starting QB, knocking the ball out of his hands and leaving Bradford looking thoroughly confused and not particularly interested.

So harassed was the Vikings' signal caller that he was forced to offer up a classic Andy Reid-style dink and dunk attack in the fourth quarter, unable to throw the ball down the field, using up valuable clock while the Vikings were two scores down.

For those who hammered away at Bradford's preference for constantly checking down and throwing to his underneath receivers, this was validation.

The Vikings, coming off their bye, seemed to suffer the same malaise as the Eagles did after their week off, sleepwalking for most of the first half. This was the most mediocre 5-0 team I've ever seen.

Unfortunately, the Eagles were not a lot better.

The Vikings' defense certainly played better than their pathetic offense, hounding Carson Wentz into another mediocre day. The rookie signal caller did not help matters a lot by making a couple of bad first-half decisions, leading to two more interceptions.

At one point, it got so ugly that the teams traded turnovers on five consecutive possessions.

This morning, no one remembers any of that.

What they remember is that the Eagles dominated Bradford and the Vikings, dumping them from their perch as the NFL's last undefeated team.

So what if Wentz and the Eagles' offense was equally inept. Wentz is a rookie and is going to have games like that. What is Bradford'd excuse.

The president of the Sam Bradford Fan Club hereby resigns his position. I wish him well. I hope he takes the Vikings deep into the playoffs. But his performance yesterday, as well as his team, only reinforced what his detractors had been saying all along. There is, however, this final thought.

Given all that has happened in the last few weeks, remember that if Teddy Bridgewater's knee does not explode, none of this likely occurs.

Bradford is the Eagles' starting QB, checking off and dinking and dunking away. Would the Eagles be 4-2 under Bradford? Maybe. Probably not. Carson Wentz would not even have made an appearance if things had gone according to the Eagles' plan. Veteran Chase Daniel would be the backup. Wentz would be holding a clipboard.

Hard to believe that was just a few weeks ago.

This is now Wentz's team, and his town.

It was never really Sam Bradford's.

Yesterday only confirmed that.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

If I had told you back in the summer what awaits at the Linc Sunday, you would have rightly thought I had lost my mind.

It wasn’t that long ago that Sam Bradford was penciled in as the Eagles starter. Carson Wentz? He was supposed to be on the sidelines holding a clipboard this season.

Then Teddy Bridgewater’s knee exploded, radically changing the course of two franchises. Sam Bradford was shipped to Minnesota, in the process Howie Roseman got back the No. 1 pick he traded away in order to move up to get Wentz.

Then he and rookie head coach Doug Pederson went all-in. They decided to bypass backup Chase Daniel and install Wentz as the starter. The Birds got off to a sizzling 3-0 start, including a most impressive, dominating win over the Steelers, who some experts had ticketed as the AFC rep in the Super Bowl.

Then came the bye, and the Birds’ mojo went bye-bye as well. They stumbled in Detroit, losing a game they should not have - and could not afford to - to the Lions. Then they got dominated in Washington last Sunday.

Suddenly, Wentz looks mortal behind an offensive line that is without its best player, right tackle Lane Johnson.

Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled mightily right from the Birds’ first snap, setting a tone the Eagles never did shake.

And hold off on all those head coaching offers for Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. His Wide 9 defensive alignment suddenly is looking a lot like the system that was repeatedly gashed under old coach Jim Washburn. The Redskins rumbled for 230 yards on the ground, and failed to get much in the way of pressure on QB Kirk Cousins.

On the other side, things could not look much better for Bradford and the Vikings. Even without All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, ‘Sammy Sleeves’ has guided the Vikings to a perfect 5-0 start.

Bradford is playing well, and the Vikings’ defense is among the best in the league.

The Eagles will have their hands full on both sides of the ball. Maybe the Vikes will suffer the same malady the Eagles did coming off the bye. I’m not going to bet on it.

Bradford no doubt would like nothing better than to shove another loss down the throat of Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie. The guess here is that there may have been a bit more to his hurt feelings when the Eagles moved up to get Wentz, in the process discarding a lot of picks that could have been used to help Bradford’s offense.

Wentz is now saddled with the same issues Bradford faced. The Eagles have little in the way of weapons or anything that is going to scare the Vikings.

The scariest thing about this game is what the Vikings might do to the Wentz and that porous offensive line. Better learn how to duck, kid.

I’d love to see the Eagles pull out another improbable win here. I don’t see it. This one could get ugly.

The Pick: Make it Vikings 26, Eagles 13.

Last Week: Actually when I think about it, this is probably about where I thought this team was going to be. Then again, the Lions game could be passed off as a bad week; the Washington game cannot. The Eagles got manhandled, beaten physically on both sides of the ball. That’s a problem. Of course, I never foresaw the whole Bradford-Wentz monumental shift, the Eagles’ 3-0 start including the stunning thrashing of the vaunted Steelers, nor the loss they had no business losing to the Lions, and finally an always tossup NFC East game against the Redskins, which they lost. That brings Doug Pederson and his Birds 3-2 and facing a very tough task against the Vikings.

Game by Game: Eagles 29, Browns 10 (My Pick: Eagles 19, Browns 13)

Eagles 29, Bears 14 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Bears 16)

Eagles 34, Steelers 3 (My Pick: Steelers, 26, Eagles 23)

Lions 24, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Lions 10)

Redskins 27, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 242, Redskins 23)

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 21

The Daily Numbers: 100 people who packed Brookhaven Municipal Building last night for debate between Leanne Krueger-Braneky and Patti Rodgers Morrisette.

161st state House race, that’ the one to watch in Delco.

23, age of Aston woman charged with illegal straw gun purchases. Cops say she then turned the guns over to her boyfriend,who was prohibited from such purchases.

50-round drum magazine that was purchased for one of the guns.

1st place for Upper Darby Police Department in yesterday’s SWAT competition at the county Emergency Services Training Center. 1 misdemeanor count of simple assault withdrawn against the headmaster at the Haverford School.

10 Novbember, when Springfield residents will get a look at the plans for their new high school.

118 million dollar price tag for the school, and that’s the low end.

3, as in Day 3 of the strike by professors at state universities. The two sides are expected to return to bargaining table today.

4 of 22 corruption convictions against former Congressman Chaka Fattah tossed by judge.

50 years of Flyers celebrated last night before team’s home opener with honors for late owner Ed Snider.

3-2 loss by Flyers to Coyotes.

1 for 7 for the Flyers 1st line power play unit.

3-2 lead for Cubs over Dodgers in the NLCS after they beat L.A. last night.

1908, the last time the Cubs won a World Series.

17 seasons in the NBA for Sixer Elton Brand. He announced his retirement yesterday.

3 TD passes for Aaron Rodgers as Packers beat the Bears on Thursday night NFL action.

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

Hey, at least those wrist bands the Flyers handed out last night stayed in the stands.

I Don’t Get It: Did Donald Trump think his quip about respecting the elections results if he wins was funny? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who packed the Brookhaven Municipal Building last night for the 161st state House public forum. Democracy in action.

Quote Box:
“We know that the vast majority of illegal guns on the streets used for violence and crime are a result of straw purchase.”

- D.A. Jack Whelan.

The race to watch in Delco

We interrupt the Donald & Hillary show to let you know that there are other important races to consider on the November ballot.

As usual, the entire Pennsylvania House will be contested, and that brings us to perhaps the most interesting race in Delaware County. In fact, we're labeling this one as "the race to watch."

It's the 161st House district, which has flip-flopped wildly back and forth the past few years. Democrat Bran Lentz wrested the seat from decades of GOP control, only to see it fall back into the GOP's grasp when he decided to seek higher office. Then Republican Joe Hackett tired of life in Harrisburg and decided to pack up his things and head home to his old job with the Delco D.A.'s office.

That set up a special election. The Dems put up Leanne Krueger-Braneky, while the GOP countered with labor leader Paul Mullen. But the GOP did not count on Lisa Esler, a third-party Tea Candidate who was not happy with the process that led the party to Mullen's door.

She ran a vigorous campaign, and siphoned off enough votes from Mullen to open the door for the Democrat Krueger-Braneky to win the special election.

Now she's back on the ballot in her first run for re-election to the seat, which covers Aston, Brookhaven, Nether Providence, Rose Valley, Rutledge and Swarthmore.

But this time she will not be getting any help from a third-party in her contest against Republican challenger Patti Rodgers Morrisette.

And it could be seen as a bellwether for the changing demographics in the county, where Democrats have now opened a 16,000-voter edge in registrations.

Will this be a sign of the times, and a sign that Delaware County Democrats now are truly a force to be reckoned with, including local races here in the county where they have continued to struggle against the mighty Delco GOP?

Or, now that they no longer have Esler nipping at their heels, will the Republican ground forces do what they have done so well for so long: Get their people to the polls and deliver the goods.

Last night Krueger-Braneky and Rodgers Morrisette met in a voter forum that drew more than 100 people to the Brookhaven Municipal Building.

Keep an eye on this one. In Delco, it just might be the race watch.

Good for John Nagl

In this job, I'm not supposed to take sides. I'm supposed to play it down the middle.

Of course, if you asked Democratic and Republican leaders here in the county, they would tell you I fail miserable at that task most days. They are convinced - as are many readers - that I'm in the tank for the opposition. Just this week in Sound Off the newspaper was excoriated for being "in the pocket" of the GOP. That might come as news to Andy Reilly and Mike Puppio.

But I can admit that there are some times when I do feel a rooting interest in the stories that wind up splashed all over the front pages of the newspaper, as well as finding a permanent home online at

I'm not an iceberg. I feel for the people involved in these stories. And yes, sometimes I feel bad about what happened to them. I sometimes refer to it as the 'wince factor.' I guess that's as opposed to our newest Philly sports foible. That would be the Wentz Factor.

The 'wince factor' is my reaction when a story first crosses my radar. Sometimes I question the actions. Sometimes I question the facts. And sometimes I just feel bad for the people involved.

That brings me to John Nagl. He was the headmaster of the prestigious Haverford School on the Main Line.

Nagl found himself in the pages of the newspaper, as well as popping up on all the local TV news shows. Let's just say it was not in the best of circumstances. No, this was not a profile on the tremendous things that are done at the private school.

This was a story about a most private incident involving Nagl and his son.

As police laid out the story, Nagl found some pot in his son's backpack and decided to discipline him by taking away his cell phone. The next day Nagl apparently caught his son using the cell phone and a tussle ensued. The son called 911. Nagl was eventually charged with a misdemeanor count of simple assault.

That' how Nagl made the paper. He was placed on leave by the school.

I'm a man. And a father. I am lucky in that my two kids never gave me much in the way of worries, certainly not the hell I routinely put my parents through.

To put in plainly, I felt bad for Nagl.

That's why I was glad to hear the news yesterday that the Delaware County District Attorney's Office is dropping the charges against Nagl.

You can read all the details here.

I hope he gets his job back.

My feelings are not unanimous. Several readers complained that Nagl was getting a break because of his status. I don't see it.

Go ahead. Tell me I'm biased. Again.

I think Nagl had a very private moment that exploded into something very public.

I hope now that everyone can put this behind.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 20

The Daily Numbers: 3rd and final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last night. Can I get an ‘Amen.’

28 years, how long Bill Adolph has represented the 165th legislative district in the state House. He’s retiring.

14 to 28 years in prison for an Eddystone man in fatal shooting of his friend.

2 Bill Clintons? Yes, that was Upper Providence’s Bill Clinton mugging with President Bill Clinton during a campaign event in Ardmore.

2002, when Upper Darby Officer Dennis McNamara was gunned down on duty. A portion of a Drexel Hill road will be named in his honor.

1st strike ever by members of the union representing faculty at Pa.’s state universities.

14 state schools affected.

110,000 students across the state affected.

22, age of Delco man who was shot when a Craigslist transaction in Philly turned violent.

44 people nabbed in a crackdown on underage human trafficking in Philly.

17, age of suspect being sought in the shooting of a Good Samaritan who intervened in a robbery in Rittenhouse Square.

10-2 win for Cubs over Dodgers last night in the NLCS.

2-2 deadlock in that series.

3-10 win for Indians over the Blue Jays. They take the ALCS and head to World Series.

50 years of Flyers history on display at Wells Fargo Center as team kicks off home opener tonight.

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

Sam Bradford was all smiles yesterday as he talked to the Philly media. Being 5-0 will do that for you.

I Don’t Get It: Donald Trump says he will not necessarily go along with the will of the voters. No one should be surprised.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Bill Adolph, who is hanging it up after 28 years in Harrisburg.

Quote Box: “I must admit it feels a little strange up here.”

- Bill Adolph, taking to House floor to say farewell to his colleagues.

He's not standing 'Pat' on Trump

Pat Meehan is not standing "pat" on Donald Trump.

A couple of weeks ago the incumbent Republican 7th District congressman called on the man leading the GOP ticket to get out of the race after a decade-old video surfaced of Trump making lewd, vulgar remarks about women.

Trump is sticking around, but he's not going to get Meehan's vote.

In an interview with the Inquirer's editorial board, Meehan indicated he would cast his vote for Trump's running mate, writing in the name of Gov. Mike Pence.

Meehan represents the bulk of Delaware County, along with slivers of Chester, Montgomery and even Berks counties in the bizarre jigsaw the encompasses the 7th District. It is often seen as Exhibit A in the pitfalls of redistricting. Once considered a toss-up district, it is now believed to be solidly Republican, thanks to its new shape, formed to take advantage of Republican strongholds.

Meehan is being opposed by Democrat Mary Ellen Balchunis, a retired La Salle College professor.

Meehan was vocal in his disgust for Trump's comments about women.

“This sort of vile talk is appalling, it’s offensive, and there’s no place in public or private for it," Meehan said. "It’s simply wrong.”

He said Trump was "not the right leader" for the GOP.

“Millions of Americans oppose Hillary Clinton’s liberal, progressive agenda, but it’s clear that Donald Trump is not the right leader for the fight against it,” Meehan said in the interview.

“For the good of the country, the Republican Party, and his family, I hope he’ll step aside and end his candidacy for president so that we can come together as a party and defeat Hillary Clinton,” Meehan said.

Meehan becomes the first member of the Pennsylvania delegation to indicate that he will not vote for his party's nominee, instead writing in the name of running mate Mike Pence.

End of an era for Bill Adolph

There is an interesting twist on this year's election ballot.

Bill Adolph's name is not on it.

The veteran legislator who has represented the 165th legislative district for more than two decades is not seeking re-election. Instead Republican Alex Charlton and Democrat Elaine Paul Schaefer are vying to go to Harrisburg to represent residents in Springfield, Marple and parts of Radnor.

Adolph becomes the latest setback when it comes to wielding clout in Harrisburg. You can reel off the names of longtime veteran legislators who are no longer trooping out the Pennsylvania Turnpike looking out for Delaware County. Mario Civera, Nick Micozzie, Ted Erickson were all familiar names who have stepped aside.

Harrisburg is not unlike most other centers of power. It is accumulated with age. The longer you stick around the more power you wield. And in the case of money, the loss of these longtime legislators means less clout - and less money for Delaware County.

That's especially acute for Adolph, who rose to the Majority Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. In other words, Bill Adolph had his fingers on the purse strings. He was the key man in putting together a budget plan each year.

Obviously, that has not been without its challenges, especially when voters elected a Democrat, Tom Wolf, to the governor's mansion. A standoff between Wolf and Legislature went on for months.

Yesterday Adolph took to the House floor to say farewell to his colleagues.

For 28 years Bill Adolph has been looking after the interests of his constituents - and really all of Delaware County - in Harrisburg.

He will be missed.

The return of Sam Bradford

Play it again, Sam.

There will be a familiar face wearing purple on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Yes, that will be Sam Bradford back behind center as the undefeated Vikings storm in South Philly fresh off their bye week.

Yesterday, Bradford had a conference call with the Philly media, and talked about his reaction when he went from the Eagles' starting quarterback just a week before the season opener, to being shipped to Minnesota for a 1st round draft pick in the aftermath of the knee injury that shelved Vikings' starter Teddy Bridgewater for the season.

The deal seems to have worked out for both teams.

The move opened the door for the Eagles to install Carson Wentz as their starter. Remember, the original plan was for Wentz to do little more than carry a clipboard on the sidelines as he watched during his first season. Bradford was the starter, and veteran Chase Daniel was the backup. Wentz would watch and learn, and wait his turn.

That timetable got tossed out the window when Bridgewater went down and the Vikings went on the market looking for a QB. That brought them to Howie Roseman, who managed to get back the 1st found pick he dealt away in order to move up and take Wentz.

And it's going pretty well for Bradford in Minnesota as well. He's blended into the Vikings' offense seamlessly, and led the team to an undfeated mark, even without standout running back Adrian Peterson, who has missed several weeks with an knee injury.

Bradford certainly seemed in good spirits while talking about the whirlwind of change he's experienced this year.

I admit to being a Bradford fan. I've even joked about being the president of the Sam Bradford Fan Club.

I think he got a raw deal, first from the injury gods, after he blew out his knee not once but twice, and still rehabbed and came back.

Then he was dealt by the Rams to the Eagles. He wasn't a particularly good fit in Chip Kelly's frenetic offense.

I had high hopes for him under Doug Pederson's more measure attack, which allowed him to huddle, come up to the line and make adjustments, and even call an audible. Those are the same things we see Wentz doing now for the Birds.

I said I thought Bradford would lead the Eagles to the NFC East crown and into the playoffs.

Now, I think he has a shot of leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl.

I hope he has a great day Sunday - in a losing effort!

Here's what "Sammy Sleeves" had to say yesterday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

One more chance for the Chester waterfront

Do you remember that $500 million development that was supposed to surround the soccer stadium on Chester's waterfront?

Yeah, so do we.

In fact, that promise of a spectacular waterfront, something akin to Delco's version of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, was one of the reasons this newspaper enthusiastically endorsed a bond issue floated by County Council, despite the cries from many that public money should not be funneled into a boondoggle such as a sports facility.

That was back in 208.

The $30 million bond issue passed, over the objections of Republican County Councilman Andy Lewis, who did something unheard of on County Council - he voted not on the plan.

The stadium was built.

But little else was.

Shortly after construction started on the stadium, the economy went off a cliff. Buccini-Pollin, the developers who had such grandiose plans for the Chester waterfront, including hundreds of townhomes, retail, restaurants and entertainment venues, even a convention center, put all that on hold.

Eight years later, not much has changed.

But now there is renewed talk of developing the waterfront. It's being pushed by a firm that has made Chester their home. Power Home Remodeling led the charge back into Chester when they moved their corporate headquarters in to the redeveloped Wharf at Rivertown as one of the first signs of a turnaround in Chester.

Now they have entered into a naming rights deal with the Philadelphia Union, the city's entry in Major League Soccer, for their training facility.

And there is once again talk of what could be on the Chester waterfront.

We talk about the possibilities on today's editorial page.

A must win already for Pederson, Birds?

As the president of the Sam Bradford Fan Club, I can confirm that I am looking forward to the visit of the Vikings to Lincoln Financial Field this weekend.

Yes, that is Sam Bradford leading the undefeated Vikings back into the same South Philly turf where he was given his walking papers by the Birds just a week before the start of the season.

Remember the plan? Bradford was the starter, Chase Daniel was the backup and Carson Wentz was expected to hold a clipboard all season.

Then Vikings' QB Teddy Bridgeford's knee exploded.

Then the Eagles' plans did likewise. Bradford was dealt to the Vikes, allowing Howie Roseman to reacquire the first-round draft pick he dealt away in order to move up and take Wentz.

Then Roseman and Doug Pederson stunned everyone by naming Wentz the starter.

The Birds got off to a sizzling 3-0 start, but have stumbled after their bye week, losing to a team they should have beaten in the Lions, then getting pushed all over the field by the Redskins in a game that was nowhere near as close as it should have been.

Meanwhile, Bradford has the Vikings hitting on all cylinders.

So, yes, I am excited about this matchup.

Sorry, Sam. I will be rooting for the Eagles.

But not even I am ready to put it in the terms of our Eagles beat writer, Bob Grotz.

My man Bob is already talking about a 'must' win for Doug Pederson.

That didn't take long.

Read all about it here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Oct. 18

The Daily Numbers: 2 suspects being sought in an armed home invasion Sunday in Ridley Park.

3 in the afternoon, when the 2 men entered the home on West Ward Street.

3 suspects detained in a drug investigation in Collingdale overnight.

97.1 out of 100 score for Springfield High in the latest Pa. School Performance Profile testing. That’s tops in the county.

15.9 point jump for Springfield High from last year’s mark.

18.3 point jump for Interboro High, checking in with score of 85.8, up from 67.5.

34 Brookline Blvd. in Havertown, site of the iconic Brookline Theater. A plaque now marks the spot of the locally famous movie joint.

1st debate between incumbent Republican Pat Toomey and Dem Katie McGinty in their U.S. Senate battle.

24 of October, date of the 2nd debate.

1 more day until a possible walkout by professors at the 14 state-owned universities, including West Chester and Cheyney.

53 million dollars in revenue reported in 11 weeks of operations by Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services in Philadelphia.

28 percent increase coming for those with Independence Blue Cross policies under the Affordable Care Act.

1,500 acres of open space preserved in Chester County in deal between Natural Lands Trust and Bryn Coed Farm.

4 people shot to death in 10-hour span in Philly.

2.5 sacks allowed by Eagles rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, replacing suspended starter Lane Johnson.

3 straight opponents now for Birds who will be coming off their bye week, Vikings, Cowboys and Giants.

5-0, 5-1, 3-3 records of those next 3 foes.

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

Just when we thought the Eagles were headed to the Super Bowl, we’re confronted with the question of if they will win another game this year. Only in Philly.

I Don’t Get It: A home invasion at 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday in Ridley Park? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Tavia Isaac. Our ‘Chopped Jr.’ champion is going places. Keep an eye on her.

Quote Box: “Where is the money?”

- Suspect to home owner in Ridley Park home invasion

Two against one in the McGinty-Trump debate

It was a tag-team match at the first debate between Pennsylvania's two U.S. Senate candidates yesterday.

It was Republican incumbent Pat Toomey on one side.

On the other was Democratic challenger Katie McGinty. And her running mate. That would be Donald Trump.

It did not take long for McGinty to pounce on what has been the non-stop drumbeat of her campaign, link Toomey to Trump and hammer the incumbent for his refusal to divorce himself from the guy at the top of the Republican ticket.

The very first question focused on whether the candidates supported the leaders of their prospective tickets.

McGinty leaped at the chance to say she backed Hillary Clinton, then set the tone for the affair by attacking Toomey, using the Trump Card to beat him over the head.

For his part, Toomey countered that unlike his opponent, who cannot get past her partisan sentiment, he can admit that he has serious disagreements with Trump and has said so repeatedly.

I wrote about Toomey and his Trump problem in my Monday print column.

Clearly this is not going to go away.

Toward the end of yesterday's debate, Toomey was asked if at some point he would tell his constituents if he planned to vote for Trump, and he replied that he likely would. Whether or not that comes before the election remains to be seen.

For now, this race is two against one.

Most experts still consider this race a dead heat. It already has set records as the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the country. Don't look for McGinty to stop linking Toomey to Trump anytime soon.

You can read about the debate here.

The new political landscape in Delco

It didn't come as a surprise that Democrats have not only held on to their newfound majority when it comes to voter registration in Delaware County.

The margin did, however.

Dems nearly doubled their edge over their Republican counterparts in Delco.

There are now 19,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans here. That's a long way from the one-time nearly 3-1 voter registration edge routinely enjoyed for decades by the local GOP.

So what does it mean.

We talk about it on our editorial page.

Tavia is still a champion

There's nothing I like better than a good success story.

Yes, I know that might sound a bit odd to those who gaze at the mayhem that tends to dominate our front page every day.

I always remind people that there are other stories in the paper besides crime.

Take Tavia Isaac, for example.

The Chester youth became one of my favorite stories - and front pages - of the year when she snagged the title on the Food Network's 'Chopped Jr.' reality cooking show.

The young chef and her beaming countenance popped up on one of my favorite front pages of all time.

It simply showed her great smile and a single word: 'Champion.'

That was about a month ago.

We wondered what Tavia has been up to since becoming something of a local celebrity, and, of course, the pride of Chester and Delaware County.

Peg DeGrassa caught up with Tavia for an update. Make sure you read the story here.

Tavia's story is important for several reasons. For me, it's personal. It take a lot of heat for the way the city of Chester is often presented in the pages of the Daily Times and on So, yes, I can admit that I will go out of my way looking for good news coming out of the city.

You'll look a long time before you find a better story that Tavia Isaac.

Keep an eye on this whiz kid. She's going places.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 17 (Eagles Edition)

The Daily Numbers: 2 straight losses for the Eagles.

27-20 loss to the Redskins.

0 touchdown scored by the Eagles offense.

1 kickoff return for TD.

1 interception return for TD.

2 field goals for Caleb Sturgis.

5 sacks of Carson Wentz by the ‘Skins defense.

0 sacks of Kirk Cousins by the Eagles.

13 penalties against the Eagles for the 2nd week in a row.

114 yards those penalties cost the Birds.

2nd week in row Fletcher Cox was whistled for critical roughing the passer penalty when the Eagles defense could have stopped their opponents.

53-3, what the Eagles had outscored their foes by in the 3rd quarter before yesterday’s loss in D.C.

3 plays for Carson Wentz and Eagles offense in 2nd quarter, not counting that knee-down to end the half.

3 of 8 for 28 yards for Wentz passing in the 1st half.

11 of 22 for 179 yards for the game.

9 rushes for 60 yards for Ryan Mathews.

230 yards piled up on the ground by Redskins on 33 rushes.

239 total yards for Eagles offense.

89 yard kickoff return for TD by Wendell Smallwood.

64 yard pick 6 for Malcolm Jenkins.

4 straight wins of the Redskins after losing their 1st 2 games of season.

4 straight times the Eagles have now lost to the Redskins.

5-0 record for Sam Bradford and the Vikings, who come to the Linc next Sunday.

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

This one falls on Doug Pederson. His decision to go with untested rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai rather than shuffle his offensive line was a disaster.

I Don’t Get It: Can someone please take the Eagles defenders aside and let them know no one wants to see them preen after making a play when they are being pushed all over the field!

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Carson Wentz, who managed to survive. He should have known what was coming when his jersey was almost ripped off his back on the Birds’ first play from scrimmage.

Quote Box: “We never got in a rhythm.”

- Carson Wentz

Now we get to see what Doug Pederson is made of

For 7 weeks, Doug Pederson was better than anyone could have hoped.

In fact, he was perfect.

He ran the table on the Eagles preseason schedule, beating all four opponents on the Birds' summer tour, then ran off three straight wins to kick off the season, including an improbably - and very impressive - thrashing over the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team many had listed as one of the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Pederson was riding high.

Then came the bye week, an unfortunate bit of timing for the red-hot Eagles.

The Birds came back from the bye and promptly said goodbye to their good fortune, sleepwalking through the first half of a game against a team they were expected to handle easily in Detroit.

A furious second-half comeback was derailed by a crucial Ryan Mathews' fumble and wunderkind rookie QB Carson Wentz's first interception.

But there were some other troubling signs as well, including a plethora of dumb penalties that seemed to stymie the Birds at ever corner.

Then the Eagles learned they will have to survive without starting right tackle Lane Johnson, who will miss the next 10 weeks after his second suspension for a PED violation.

Suddenly some of the cracks became fissures.

Then the roof caved in yesterday in Washington.

Let's start with the absence of Johnson. This did not exactly come as a surprise to Pederson and his staff. They knew for more than a month that Johnson likely was going to miss some key time. Yet they did nothing to address the situation.

Then Pederson made the kind of decision that sets off fire alarms all over Eagles nation. The coach said that he did not want to shuffle his offensive line, affecting two positions, which is what would have happened if he had shifted left guard Alan Barbre to right tackle. So instead he decided to stick untested rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai into the fire at right tackle.

In the process he self-immolated, setting his offense - and possibly the Eagles season - on fire.

It was a fire drill as Redskins defensive end Ryan Kerrigan used the overwhelmed Vaitai as a fire drill.

Pederson had a huge coaching decision to make when he first learned of the Johnson suspension. At this point you can only say that he botched it. Perhaps equally questionable is that despite all evidence to the contrary, Pederson never moved to address the situation during the game.

The Eagles offense never really got on track, failing to score a touchdown for the first time this season. The Birds' scores came on a kick return, interception return and two Caleb Sturgis field goals.

Jim Schwartz's defense did not help. They also got beaten physically at the point of attack by the Redskins, giving Kirk Cousins way too much time to throw, and allowing crater-like holes for the 'Skins backs to romp through.

Penalties also remain an issue. For the second straight week, the Birds were flagged 13 times. Sure, some of them were questionable. One of them - a crucial one - was not. That was when for the second week in a row Fletcher Cox extended an opponent's drive by a needless roughing the quarterback call.

Now we will get to see what Doug Pederson is made of.

For three weeks, his team looked like a very well-coached unit. They did not make silly mistakes. They did not waste timeouts. They all appeared on the same page.

That was two losses ago.

The Birds are now 3-2.

The debate is if they are even that good.

Sam Bradford and the undefeated Vikings will arrive at the Linc next Sunday.

Pederson and the Eagles can only hope the bye week has the same effect on the Vikes as it had on the Eagles.

Those 3-0 Birds? They're nowhere to be found.

Why Toomey can't dump Trump

Democrat Katie McGinty and incumbent Pat Toomey clash in the first of their two scheduled debates in one of the nation's most hotly contested - and most expensive - U.S. Senate races.

How heated is the rhetoric in this dead heat?

Both sides have resorted to tagging their foe with nicknames. McGinty has been labeled 'Shady Katie' by the Toomey forces, while she has responded by pegging him as 'Fraidy Pat.'

That stems from the constant in this race, the shroud that hangs over everything in U.S. politics these days.

That, of course, would be Donald Trump, the GOP candidate for president.

McGinty has been hammering away at Toomey for not telling the voters whether he will vote for the guy at the top of his ticket.

Toomey has been trying desperately to swim to the center on this topic. He has said many times that Trump would not have been his choice, and he has condemned many of the outlandish things Trump has said.

But he has not offered an endorsement, nor has he said he will not vote for Trump.

Don't expect one to be coming at today's debate, or in the weeks leading up to the election either.

While many other Republicans, such as U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, have decided to cut their ties with Trump, Toomey has not. I am guessing Toomey would like nothing better than to dump Trump. His problem is he doesn't have that luxury. He's running a statewide race in which he will need every Republican vote he can get, and then some.

I talk about it in my weekly print column.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

It's Crunch Time, Eagles fans.

The Eagles head south down I-95 to kick off their NFC East schedule with a date against the Redskins, and they should be going with a bad taste in their mouth.

They lost a game to the Lions they had no business losing. They slept through the first half, then saw a couple of key turnovers kill their comeback chances.

Looking for a bright spot? Carson Wentz continues to play very well, despite tossing his first interception. Wentz continues to display all the signs of being a top-flight NFL quarterback. He will need all those skills today when he gets his first taste of what a real NFC East rivalry is.

Wentz also will likely be peering a bit out of his right eye at the tackle spot. Lane Johnson will be MIA for the next 10 games courtesy of that PED violation. That means rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai (can't wait to hear Merrill Reese have fun with this one) will be manning the key spot on the right end of the line. If he can't keep the Redskins D-line off Wentz's back, it could be a long day.

But I'm looking for the Eagles' defense to actually set the tone for this game. Whatever the reason Nigel Bradham was not in the starting lineup, nor on the field much of the first half should be long gone. They should be able to pressure Kirk Cousins and create a key turnover that will be the key to the win.

Doug Pederson's play-calling continues to be on the money, and his should be able to use Wentz again to continue to control the tempo of the game, something that is very important when on the road.

The Eagles lost a game they should not have last week. They don't want to compound it this week. Their schedule turns decidedly tougher now. They need every win they can get.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 24, Redskins 23.

Last Week: The Birds looked like a team that had been off for a week in the first half against the Lions. Their excellent second half was sabotaged by some seriously questionable officiating, a brutal Ryan Mathews fumble, and the first pick of Carson Wentz's interception. If they miss the playoffs by a game, this is the one that did them in.

The loss knocked me down to the .500 mark at 2-2, while Doug Pederson continues to preach calms as the Birds sit at 3-1. We'll see how he feels after his first trip to D.C.

Game by Game: Eagles 29, Browns 10 (My Pick: Eagles 19, Browns 13)

Eagles 29, Bears 14 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Bears 16)

Eagles 34, Steelers 3 (My Pick: Steelers, 26, Eagles 23)

Lions 24, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Lions 10)