Friday, April 29, 2016

Shining spotlight on good things kids do

I got that rare opportunity last night - at least for a newspaper editor.

I stood in a banquet room at the Drexelbrook packed with more than 600 people - almost all of whom were showering praise on the newspaper.

Unless you do what I do for a living, you don't know just how unusual that is.

The occasion was the annual Partners in Education Dinner, put on by the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union and Delaware County Intermediate Unit.

At the banquet, the All-Delco Hi-Q team is honored, as well as all the great kids who take part in the nation's oldest scholastic quiz competition. That would include the Garnet Valley High School Hi-Q team. They weren't satisfied with winning the county crown. They went on to take the national title as well.

Also honored are the 19 teachers honored with the Excellence in Teaching Awards.

We had featured the two groups in the newspaper on Sunday and Monday, including the lead spot on our front page.

As I do almost every year, I planned to talk about one of the biggest struggles I have in this job, that being this notion of good news and bad news.

So of course the very first person I encounter when I walk into the room was Ridley Superintendent Dr. Lee Ann Wentzel, who was chatting with Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union boss John Unangst.

Nothing like putting my words into practice.

I wondered what kind of reaction I was going to get from Dr. Wentzel. After all, Ridley had found itself on the front page of yesterday's newspaper, and not in a positive way.

As usual, Dr. Wentzel could not have been nicer. She even quipped that we used a different photo of the high school than the last time we visited this story.

"We knew what day it was, we knew it was coming," she said. Wentzel understands what many people do not, that I have a job to do, and that includes showing both the good and bad in our communities.

During my speech, I also talked about last week's incident at Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School, in which several student wound up facing drug charges, and a loaded gun was found inside the school.

The following day, I wrote an editorial saying the story actually had a silver lining, that being the actions of a student who informed school officials that the student had returned to the building - with the gun.

Later that afternoon, I got a call from a parent, a Bonner alum and a father who would be sending his daughter to Prendie next year. He had a very interesting question. First, he suggested we used the wrong word when referred to "several" students facing drug charges after contraband was found in their lockers. There were in fact two.

Then he mentioned something that I can admit I had not thought of.

He wondered why the story focused on the two lockers where drugs were found, instead of the fact that nothing was found in the rest of the student lockers after a sweep by police and K-9 crews.

It's a good question. The answer is one a lot of people don't like to hear. When people are doing what they are supposed to do, that isn't news. It becomes when they do something they aren't supposed to do.

But I respected his opinion, and it certainly gave me food for thought.

So did last night.

It's one of my favorite nights of the year.

I will forever be grateful to Unangst and Harry Jamison, the longtime head of the Delaware County Intermediate Unit. They are the ones who first approached me 12 years ago with the idea of an All-Delco Hi-Q team fashioned after the popular All-Delco teams we name after every high school sports season.

There are good stories out there. You just have to look for them.

I met about 600 of them last night.

Democracy in action in Marple

On our editorial page today, we talk about this notion of democracy, what is involved, and what citizens' responsibility to take part in the process is.

Yes, a lot of people showed up at the polls Tuesday. That is a good thing.

But it does not mean much if citizens don't follow up with action in their communities.

Kind of like what happened last night in Marple.

Eagles get their man, but what about Bradford?

Let the Carson Wentz era begin.

Right after the end of the Sam Bradford Era.

Only problem is, Bradford is still here.

The Eagles rolled the dice and got the guy they apparently want, with the blue-chip quarterback prospect from North Dakota State. But the Eagles still have not reconciled just what they are going to do with Bradford, who has indicated he wants a trade and will not report for the team's voluntary workouts.

So far Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson are sticking to their story, that Bradford is the Birds' starter and Wentz is the face of the franchise in waiting.

If that sounds familiar - especially to Pederson - it should. It was exactly the same situation then-QB Pederson faced back in 1999, when he was the Birds' starter while Donovan McNabb carried a clipboard on the sidelines.

That lasted all of nine games.

I don't expect the Bradford saga to last that long.

Don't be surprised if Bradford gets traded today.

As for the draft, here's what Bob Grotz had to say.

And at least one other person is trying to figure out exactly what the Eagles are doing. That would be columnist Jack McCaffery.

The Daily Numbers for Friday, April 29

The Daily Numbers: 86 people in custody, 20 more still being sought in massive drug raid in Darby Borough.

7 teams of 20 officers each that fanned out across the borough before dawn Thursday.

188 undercover purchases made by officers.

61 suspects with marijuana.

43 with heroin.

38 with crack cocaine

14 with pills.

48,000 dollars, values of drugs seized.

61 townhouses eliminated in revised plan for proposed Cardinal Crossing development in Marple. Also gone are plans for a rec facility and hotel, replaced by 145,000-square-foot office building

9 acres on the 213-acre tract slated for a recreation complex.

2 baseball fields in the plans, as well as 2 mini field, 6 developmental fields, refreshment stand and parking for 150 vehicles.

5-10 years in prison for an 39-year-old Eddystone man convicted in the rape of a girl 10.

2 more V-22 helicopters whose funding may be restored, according to U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan.

260 new jobs in Glenolden with opening of new ShopRite supermarket.

2 fatal gunshots fired before church service last Sunday in Montgomery County. The shooter was charged with voluntary manslaughter.

3.55 billion price tag for DreamWorks, which was bought by Comcast yesterday.

2, as in the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, used by the Eagles last night to select QB Carson Wentz, from North Dakota State. 3-game sweep of the Nats for the Phillies.

2 games over .500 for the Phils, who now stand a 12-10.

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

Carson Wentz and a 3-game sweep of the Nats. Not a bad night for Philly sports fans.

I Don’t Get It: I think it’s time people came to grips with the notion that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all the students and teachers honored at last night’s Partners in Education Dinner at the Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill.

Quote Box: “Our gang is bigger than your gang.”

- Darby Borough Police Chief Bob Smythe, issuing a warning to those who want to sell drugs on the town’s street corners.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cardinal Crossing on agenda tonight in Marple

No doubt it will be another full house tonight in Marple as the township once again digs into the proposed Cardinal Crossing development.

A revised plan for the development being planned for the site that was home for years of the Don Guanella School - and one of the largest open tracts remaining in the county - will be on the agenda.

The initial plan earned a thumb's down from both the township and county planners.

Developer Goodman Properties has an agreement of sale for the property with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for the 213-acre tract. Their original proposal would have turned the wooded site into a huge development of retail, residential and office uses. It would include a new Wegmans supermarket, as well as a movie theater, convenience store/gas station and in the rear part of the tract, as many as 237 townhomes and age-related carriage homes.

As you might expect, this is not sitting all that well with a lot of neighbors and township residents.

Make no mistake, not everyone is opposed to this development, but those opposed certainly have been louder, packing township meetings and even forming their own group, Save Marple Green Space.

The group has gone so far as to seek the intervention of Pope Francis in a letter to the editor this week. They believe the sale of the property by the archdiocese and the planned development runs contrary to the beliefs professed by the pontiff in his encyclical 'Laudato Si," in which the pope argued against over-development of resources.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at Marple Newtown High School.

We'll be there to bring you full coverage. We don't think we'll be alone.

What's going on with Upper Darby High's drumline?

Something is going on with the national champion drumline at Upper Darby High.

I'm just not sure what.

We initially got word that changes were in the works, with some people actually suggesting that the group was being disbanded.

But when our reporter Kevin Tustin took that information to the school district, they put a different spin on it.

District spokesperson Dana Spino denied that rumor, and instead said the program actually was being expanded, becoming part of a new percussion ensemble program that will allow more kids to take part in the award-winning group.

Anything that sounds like a "cut" causes waves in Upper Darby, where a few years ago parents were in full revolt when the district mulled the elimination of much of the music program because of budget cuts.

Drumline actually is funded by the Upper Darby Band and Orchestra Parents organization.

So all is well, right?

Maybe not.

Late last night I received an email from a reader who noticed the story we posted online yesterday afternoon.

He suggested we take another look at the story, insisting the group - at least in its present form - is being eliminated. He suggested the new group is more of a percussion ensemble, but it is not competitive drumline that won a world championship just three years ago. He also mentioned that this year the drumline went to the national championships held every year in Dayton and took first-place honors, beating out 43 other bands.

He believes there isn't a single member of the drumline who is in favor of this new organization.

So which is it?

We'll try to find out today.

The biggest winner in Tuesday's Primary Election

We used our editorial page to point out the real winners of Tuesday's Primary Election.

Oh, sure, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had pretty good nights.

As did Pat Meehan, Mary Ellen Balchunis and Margo Davidson here in Delaware County.

Katie McGinty certainly had reason to smile at the end of the night, less so for our home boy Joe Sestak.

But none of them was the biggest winner?

So who was that title reserved for?

You'll have to read our editorial to find out.

Forget Carson Wentz - how 'bout dem Phils!

We interrupt Carson Wentz mania and the circus-like atmosphere of the NFL Draft to bring Philly sports fans this public service announcement.

Check your calendars.
Then check the Phillies' record.

The Phils are over .500 on April 28. Raise your hand if you did not think that was going to happen. Thought so.

The Phils got another impressive starting pitching performance from Jeremy Hellickson, who allowed just two hits over seven innings. A Carlos Ruiz home run provided the offense and the Phils' bullpen slammed the door, with Jeanmar pitching a perfect ninth inning for his sixth save.

The last time the Phillies were over .500 was April 11 of last year. They were 2-2 when they beat the Nats. That streak lasted all of one game. They did not get back to the .500 mark all season.

To find the last time the Phils were over .500 this late in the season, you have to go back to May 4, 2014.

The Phils now sit at 11-10.

A win tonight would give the Phils a sweep over the first-place Nats and leave the Phils just 3.5 games out of first place in NL East. Go ahead, pinch me.

OK, now we can go back to NFL Draft mania.

How 'bout that Sam Bradford!!!!

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, April 28

The Daily Numbers: 2, as in the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft tonight for the Eagles. They are expected to take a QB, likely Carson Wentz of North Dakota State.

1, where California QB Jared Goff is expected to go to the L. A. Rams.

8:20 p.m., when Eagles should be on the clock for their pick.

79, where the Eagles will take their next pick, in the 4th round. They traded 2nd and 3rd round picks in the deal with the Rams.

52, age of Ridley High teacher and coach Gregory Stanczuk, who faces trial on charges of having sex with a former student.

60, age of Villanova professor Chris Haas, who faces trial on child porn charges.

13 million dollar bank fraud scheme, what former ‘Nova and Archbishop Carroll hoops star Barry Bekkedam and an associated were convicted of in federal court.

20 percent showing from Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, which likely cost Joe Sestak any shot at the Dem nomination in the U.S. Senate race.

46,500 vote deficit for Sestak to Katie McGinty in Philadelphia didn’t’ help.

2 cities, Philly and Pittsburgh, proved fatal to Sestak.

15 months in prison for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, convicted in a hush money scam to cover up child abuse allegations.

3-0 win for the Phillies over the 1st place Nats last night in D.C.

2 straight wins for the Phils over Washington. They go for the sweep this afternoon.

2 hits, all that starter Jeremy Hellickson surrendered.

3.81 ERA for Hellickson.

6 saves for Jeanmar Gomez.

5 wins in 6 games for the Phils.

11-10 record for the Phils. Last time they were over .500 was April 11 of last season.

4 of May in 2014, last time they had a winning record this late in the season.

18 straight games in which Odubel Herrera has been on base.

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

Forget Carson Wen

tz. How ‘bout those Phillies! I Don’t Get It: Dennis Hastert. The guy was House Speaker, 3rd in line for the presidency, is going to jail for 15 months after pleading guilty to a cover-up scam connected to abuse of children.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to voters who jammed the polling places on Tuesday. Now don’t go away. Stick around for those less meaningful elections.

Quote Box: “A serial child molester.”

- How judge described Dennis Hastert.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Joe Sestak lost

There is only one thing that Joe Sestak - often described as the 'ultimate political outsider' - did not count on.

Another outsider.

Sestak, who once again thumbed his nose at his own party in seeking the Democratic nomination and a rematch against incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, was trounced by a party insider, Katie McGinty.

But it was hulking outsider John Fetterman, the 6-foot, 6-inch mayor Braddock who may have cost Sestak this election. McGinty, the former state Department of Environmental Protection czar, one-time gubernatorial candidate and chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf, rolled to a convincing win.

This despite the fact that she consistently trailed Sestak in polling until the final week of the campaign, even while being propped up by none other than President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with other state Democratic heavyweights such as former Philly mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell, Gov. Wolf and the state's other senator, Bob Casey.

McGinty got 42 percent of the vote, to just 33 percent for Sestak.

But the real eye opener in this race was the strong late surge put on by Fetterman, who was the choice of 19 percent of Democratic voters across the state.

How ironic is it that Sestak, who infuriated party officials by rejecting their pleas to step aside six years ago and make way for party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter, to be toppled in part by another anti-establishment candidate, clearing the path to victory by a classic insider in McGinty.

Sestak dug in his heels six years ago, swimming against the tide of Democratic party leaders. He ended Specter's career with a stunning primary win, only to lose a close race to Toomey in the general election in the fall.

Those party leaders did not forget. They all shunned Sestak, who basically started running for the seat the day after his loss to Toomey. They put their names - and their money - behind McGinty.

Still, McGinty's campaign seemed to be sputtering, failing to connect with voters, as Sestak consistently held double-digit leads in polling.

Then two things happened. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made appeared in ads pushing the McGinty candidacy. A late big-money push also helped McGinty.

But it was the presence of Fetterman, who looks like anything but a candidate for U.S. Senate, who connected with a lot of voters as someone who understood their plight, based on his background on what he did for the struggling town of Braddock.

That late combination turned the tide in this fight, and proved fatal to Sestak's hopes for a rematch.

Meanwhile, McGinty and Democrats will now turn their sights on the incumbent, Toomey, who was unopposed in the GOP Primary. That means Toomey is sitting on a huge war chest, which no doubt will be used on an avalanche of TV ads.

Toomey, however, could be vulnerable on a number of fronts. First, there is his allegiance with Republican leaders in the Senate in denying President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, a hearing. That is the kid of obstruction that is rubbing Pennsylvania voters - the kind that backed Sestak and Fetterman - the wrong way.

But Toomey's biggest hurdle may appear at the top of both tickets.

He may be running on a Republican ballot with Donald Trump as it presidential candidate, and no one yet knows how Trump is going to play in a general election.

Then there is the likely Democratic nominee. McGinty will be aligned with the possibility of making history, electing the first woman to the White House.

In this race, it could be Pat Toomey who finds himself the outsider.

The Eagles Soap Opera: As Sam Turns

Well, now that we have that trifling issue of selecting the candidates for president out of the way, we can get on with the serious news of the week.

That, of course, would be the NFL Draft.

Which brings us to the Eagles. As usual, they are a mess.

All of this is centering around Sam Bradford, who has made a mess of things by indicating he wants to be traded in the wake of the blockbuster move by Howie Roseman to move up in the draft, sending a boatload of draft picks to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the No. 2 pick in the draft. They are expected to use that pick to select their quarterback of the future, Carson Wentz, the wunderkind from North Dakota State. That is, of course, if the Los Angeles Rams play nice and, as expected, take Jared Goff of California, the other highly prized QB in this draft, No. 1.

All of which has, as you might surmise, rubbed Bradford the wrong way.

He claims to have been blindsided by the Eagles' move to move up in the draft. He says the team never bothered to tell him of their plans. I'm not exactly sure where it is written that they have to.

Where Bradford might have a better argument is in his belief that all those draft picks Roseman just shipped off to the Rams could have gone a long way toward helping Bradford - and making the Eagles a more logical playoff contender - this year.

I like Bradford. I think he has the talent to be a great quarterback, yes, even a franchise quarterback.

But I really hope he's not holding his breath waiting on a groundswell of public support rallying around him and his cause.

I think mine has been the only voice to speak up in his favor.

And now he's pushing his luck.

I think Bradford is a very good QB who could lead the Eagles back to the playoffs.

But he has not done that yet. He hasn't done much of anything. His time with the Rams was littered with blown-out ACLs. He struggled at the start of last year before playing very well down the stretch. Unfortunately, that came too late to salvage the Eagles' season. Bradford was an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He could have gone anywhere. He didn't go to Temple, but he did decided to return to the Eagles, I am guessing because he was not blown away by offers from other teams.

Bradford signed a two-year deal, believed to be worth $35 million, with $22 million guaranteed.

Then he watched Roseman go out and sign backup Chase Daniel to a longer deal, for a lot more money than is usually shelled out to journeyman QBs.

Then came the convulsive deal in which the Eagles moved up to the No. 2 pick in the draft.

The Eagles insisted - in fact Roseman is still insisting - that Bradford is their starter this year. That isn't assuaging Bradford's hurt feelings. He says he would like to be traded to a team where his future is secure.

This is not going to end well. I see a Draft Night deal coming, maybe sending Bradford to the Broncos. I still find it hard to believe John Elway is going to go into a season with Mark Sanchez as his starting QB.

But here's what I really think about this whole thing.

Yes, the Eagles probably were less than forthright with Bradford about their plans. So what? This is football. Grow up. Go out there and compete. Show everyone what I happen to think, that you're a very good quarterback, a franchise QB that can lead a team deep into the playoffs. Make the Eagles so damn uncomfortable that they have no choice but to keep you in their plans.

But here is my overriding thought on this latest Eagles soap opera.

Just once in my life I would like someone to offer me $22 million dollars to do anything. For some reason, I don't think I'd be turning my nose up at such an offer.

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, April 27 (Election Edition)

The Daily Numbers: 5 wins in 5 states for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. A sweep.

4 wins for Hillary Clinton.

1 win for Bernie Sanders, in Rhode Island.

57 percent of vote in Pa. for Trump.

22 percent for Ted Cruz.

19 percent for John Kasich.

56 percent for Hillary Clinton.

44 percent for Bernie Sanders.

41,104 votes for Trump in Delaware County.

22,155 votes for Kasich.

12,699 votes for Cruz.

42,950 votes for Clinton.

28,766 votes for Sanders.

43 percent of votes for Katie KcGinty.

33 percent for Joe Sestak.

19 percent for John Fetterman.

47 percent of vote for Josh Shapiro in Dem Attorney General race.

37 percent for Stephen Zappala.

16 percent for John Morganelli.

64 percent of vote for John Rafferty in the GOP A.G. vote.

76 percent for Pat Meehan in GOP race in 7th District U.S. House race.

24 percent for Stan Casacio.

74 percent for Mary Ellen Balchunis in Dem 7th House race.

26 percent for Bill Golderer.

3,599 votes for 164th District Pa. Dem House Rep. Margo Davidson

3,031 for Dem challenger Sekela Coles.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Toomey casts a vote for Ted Cruz

11:30 a.m. Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has cast his vote for fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential primary. "He's a solid conservative," Toomey told the Morning Call in Allentown after voting in Zionsville. "We don't agree on everything, but having served with him in the Senate, I know Ted pretty well and I think he's got a real, real viable shot of beating Hillary Clinton in the fall." The Toomey voted prompted a reaction from a possible foe, Democrat Katie KcGinty: “Pat Toomey has spent the past six years in Washington looking out for the special interests, and his vote today for Ted Cruz is a stark reminder of the anti-middle class record Toomey’s built in Washington. "Together, Toomey and Cruz shut down the government so that Americans couldn’t access quality health care. Toomey and Cruz would both change Social Security and Medicare as we know it, drastically cutting benefits for Pennsylvania seniors. Both Toomey and Cruz have supported generous tax cuts for corporations that ship jobs overseas and paid for by the hard working middle class. “These policies may be good news for Toomey’s friends at the Club for Growth, which also backs Ted Cruz, but they hurt Pennsylvanians. It’s time for a champion like Katie McGinty, who will be a voice for the middle class and stand firmly opposed to the misguided policies of Pat Toomey, Ted Cruz and the rest of the special interests allies.”

10:30 a.m. We're starting to see pix of first voters. Mary Ellen Balchunis is seeking the Dem nomination in the 7th District U.S. House race.

9 a.m.: Polls have been open two hours and we have reports of heavier-than-normal voting for Primary Day all across Delaware County. Have you voted yet? Tell us what conditions are like at your polling place. Join our live blog by using the Twitter hashtag #vote 2016.

8 a.m.: Polls now have been open for about an hour. Sounds as if predictions of heavier than normal turnout are going to be on the mark. So I'll set the over under at 40 percent. I'm going over for the GOP, under for the Dems. What's your prediction for voter turnout. Tweet it at #vote2016 and join our live blog.

Join our coverage of Primary Day - use hashtag #vote2016

On our editorial page today, we have discovered something about Donald Trump for which we are more than willing to give the brash one credit.

No one can say we are going to sleepwalk through this primary.

Say what you will about him, but Trump has energized voters - both pro and con - and is driving people to the polls in record numbers. Read our editorial here.

Turnout could go as high as 50 percent in some places. As you might guess, Republicans numbers, with the sizzling debate surrounding Trump at the head of the ticket, is leading the charge.

Now we want you to join our primary day coverage.

Tell us what is driving you to vote. Describe the scene at your polling place. Are you standing in a long line? Take photos. Email any tips to me at editor@delcotimes.com.

And push your tweets into our live blog by using the hashtag #vote2016.

You can follow our live blog here.

Welcome to Primary Day 2016

The time for talking is over. Thank God.

The ads are almost over.

Maybe we can even stop hearing Donald Trump describe John Kasich's eating habits. Yes, we've gotten to that point.

We are now less than 30 minutes away from the opening of polls in Pennsylvania.

Voters here in Delaware County will be casting votes both for candidates for president, as well as the crucial delegates tied to each candidate.

Democrats also will be selecting among three candidates in a battle to face incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. Among the trio is former 7th District Congressman Joe Sestak, who lost a close vote to Toomey six years ago.

Also on the ballot will be races contests on both the Democratic and Republican ballots for candidates for state attorney general, to replace troubled Kathleen Kane.

There are two races in Delco that should be noted.

Voters in the 9th District actually will be electing a new state senator. Republican Tom Killion, a longtime state rep, faces Democrat Marty Molloy, in a battle to fill the seat vacated by Dominic Pileggi, who left the Senate and won a seat on the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. The two then will tangle again in the fall general election. Don't ask why, it's just the way it is.

If you're looking for maybe the most hotly contested race in the county, keep an eye on Upper Darby, where incumbent state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, is facing another challenge from her own party. Upper Darby Councilperson Sekela Coles is looking to knock out Davidson and advance to the November general election.

We'll be following what is going on all day long.

You can get in on the action as well by using the hashtag #vote2016.

Tell us what you see out there.

Sam Bradford calls audible on Eagles' QB plans

Sam Bradford is doing something he was never allowed to do under Chip Kelly. He's calling an audible.

With the Eagles now holding the No. 2 pick in Thursday's draft and saying they have every intention of selecting their quarterback of the future, Bradford says he's not so sure he wants to be included in that plan.

Back into the confessional: I'm a Bradford fan. I think he has the potential to be good. Very good.

I think he demonstrated that in the second half of last season as the quarterback seemed to take control of the Eagles' offense, as well as a leadership role in the locker room.

Bradford's numbers in those last seven games tell me he was playing as well as any quarterback in the league. Then again his detractors will tell you that Bradford has never led a team to the playoffs and continues to be haunted by two ACL injuries that made him miss almost two full seasons. While his knees held up last year with the Eagles, Bradford did miss games with concussion and shoulder issues.

Apparently the Eagles see it another way.

First, they declined to sign Bradford to a long-term deal, instead opting for a two-year pact that really amounts to a one-year, "show us what you can do" kind of offer. Don't feel too bad for Bradford. He still stands to make $18 million this year.

Then Howie Roseman went out and signed Chase Daniel to an eye-opening deal, supposedly to be Bradford's backup.

But the real heat got turned up last week when Roseman pulled off one final blockbuster coup in this interesting off-season, sending a treasure trove of draft picks to the Browns to move up and snag the No. 2 pick in the draft.

It is widely expected that, once the Los Angeles Rams take Jared Goff with the No. 1 pick, the Eagles will follow suit by taking Norther Dakota State wunderkind Carson Wentz at No. 2.

None of which is exactly putting a smile on Bradford's face.

After an initial report that he was "mad," another report surfaced early yesterday that he would be in camp for Eagles' workouts and determined to show the team what he can do.

That apparently changed.

Now his agent is indicating Bradford wants a trade, to be moved to a team that wants him and is planning on him as part of their future.

"He wants to go someplace and be there and know that he's going to stay as long as he plays well and his situation now in Philadelphia is different," agent Tom Condon said on Sirius XM NFL Radio.

Bradford has indicated he will not be attending this week's non-mandatory workouts.

As I said, I like Bradford. But he's making a mistake.

This is football. NFL football. Competition is part of the game. Bradford knew that when he signed that two-year deal. I think we can safely assume that Bradford and Condon surveyed the league and were not exactly overwhelmed with offers, thus settling for that two-year deal with the Birds.

Bottom line? You heard it here first: Sam Bradford holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy, wearing a Denver Broncos jersey.

I could be wrong. It will not be the first time. But I don't think the Eagles are going to want this kind of festering sore lingering and souring the locker room for first-year coach Doug Pederson.

Aside from everything else, football remains a business. A big business.

Bradford knows that. So do the Eagles.

My best guess is that we're about to see the end of the Sam Bradford Era, seemingly before it had a chance to really develop.

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, April 26 (Primary Day Edition)

The Daily Numbers: 5 states, 5 candidates seeking nods in presidential primary today.

3,500 people who jammed into Hollinger Field House at West Chester University to hear Donald Trump.

4,500 who could not get in, left standing outside.

71 delegates up for grabs for Republicans in Pa.

189 delegates on the Dem side.

7 a.m. to 8 p.m., hours for polling in Pa.

610-891-4659, where to call in Delco if you are having a problem at polls.

4 other states voting today: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island.

4 Democrats seeking Dem nod to oppose U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

3 star admiral Joe Sestak, the former Delco congressman, among that trio, along with former DEP boss Katie McGinty.

2nd Congressional District, where Chaka Fattah is fighting for his political life while he awaits trial on corruption charges.

164th House District in Pa, here in Delco, where Rep. Margo Davidson is facing a heat challenge in Dem Primary from Sekela Coles, a member of Upper Darby Council.

1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination.

846 delegates right now for Donald Trump.

544 for Ted Cruz.

149 for John Kasich.

2,382 delegates needed for the Dem nomination.

1,444 for Hillary Clinton.

1,207 for Bernie Sanders.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Monday, April 25

The Daily Numbers: 4 p.m., time of Trump rally in West Chester today.

40 percent turnout being forecast for the Tuesday primary.

846 delegates now held by Republican Donald Trump.

1,237, what he needs to lock up nomination.

1,444 delegates for Democrat Hillary Clinton, to 1,207 for Bernie Sanders.

2,383 needed for the Dem nomination.

2 GOP candidates, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who are teaming up to deny Trump the nomination.

18 winners of the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Awards today.

20 All-Delco Hi-Q kids featured in the Sunday paper.

1 person shot to death at a Montgomery County church event Sunday.

79, age of Frolic Weymouth, head of the Brandywine Conservancy, who died.

81, age of Philly soul singer Billy Paul, who also died this weekend.

1-0 shutout loss for the Flyers to the Caps, as they are eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoffs.

1:55 of two-man advantage for Flyers, but they still could not beat Caps goalie Brayden Holtby.

0 goals in the series for Flyers Captain Claude Giroux.

103 of 105 shots stopped by Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth in the series.

8-5 loss for the Phils in Milwaukee.

2 of 3 wins in the series for the Phillies.

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

The Flyers now have an interesting question atop their off-season decisions: Who is their starting goalie? Steve Mason or Michael Neuvirth?

I Don’t Get It: We now have arguments in church breaking out into gunfire. Swell.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to this year’s All-Delco Hi-Q students, as well as the winners of the Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Quote Box: “Without always realizing it, I know I’m a role model for the boys.”

- John Pattinson, winner of Excellence in Teaching Award.

Focus on great kids and educators

It is a big week for news here in Delaware County and the rest of Pennsylvania.

Maybe you've heard, there's a little event tomorrow called a Primary Election.

Hell, it's gotten so big that none other than Donald Trump has decided to pay us a visit.

But you won't find an election story as our lead story on Page One today.

The same as you would not find them there yesterday in the Sunday paper.

Oh, we still covered the election. We ran down all the crucial races in the Sunday paper.

But we reserved out lead spots both days for two very special stories that we do each year.

On Sunday we listed the 2016 members of the All-Delco Hi-Q team. Each team that takes part in the oldest scholastic quiz competition in the country selects one member to be named All-Delco, based on our popular teams that we select after every high school sports season.

Then today we came right back with profiles on this year's winners of the Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Both groups will be feted Thursday night at the annual Partners in Education Dinner at the Drexelbrook.

I will be there to explain just how important these stories are to us.

Important enough to knock The Donald off Page One.

Trump does West Chester

One more day.

One more day of non-stop political advertising, robocalls and pressing of the flesh.

Things are likely to hit a crescendo today as Trumpapalooza hits the region.

The Donald is doing a rally at 4 p.m. on the campus of West Chester University. You can get all the details here.

In the meantime, word is filtering out that his GOP rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich, are joining forces in a bid to keep Trump from wrapping up the Republican nomination before the convention in Cleveland.

We'll have live coverage as Trump does West Chester.

Some student groups already are talking about protesting the appearance by the real estate mogul and reality TV star.

Sestak still at war with his own party

I used my print column today to talk about one of the crucial battles on tomorrow's Primary Election ballot.

It involves our old friend Joe Sestak, the retired admiral who deposed 20-year incumbent Curt Weldon from his 7th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sestak then set his eyes on bigger fish - namely the U.S. Senate.

He thumbed his nose at his own part in refusing to stand aside so Dems could crown party-switching Republican Arlen Specter to run against Pat Toomey.

Sestak won that battle, but then lost the war with Toomey.

Sestak has never stopped campaigning, constantly criscrossing the state, including walking the length, to keep his name out there with voters.

Now he's looking for a rematch with Toomey.

And he has his own party's brass right where he wants them.

All lined up against him.

You can read my print column here.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pop's sad dirge calls another icon

David Bowie. Glenn Frey. Merle Haggard. George Martin. Maurice White. Lemmy Kilmeister. Natalie Cole.

Call it the year of the dirge.

Pop music's sad song continues unabated.

Confession. I was never much of a Prince fan.

Then I watched his Super Bowl halftime performance. I can think of only one word: Mesmerizing. I still think it was the best halftime show I've ever seen, light years better than most of the stuff they pass off these days.

A lot of words are being bandied about in the wake of Prince's passing: Icon, genius, prodigy.

I learned several things in the past 24 hours. I did not know, for instance, that he was self-taught when it comes to music, pretty impressive when you realize there is really no instrument he could not play - and master.

What struck me when I heard of his passing was not all the great music, or the incredible live performances.

It was a number.

Prince was 57. That makes him three years younger than me.

I am guessing there are a lot of people like me who are feeling especially mortal today. This was not supposed to happen.

We all hoped "we'd die before we get old," as Roger Dawtrey would remind us in full-throated roar.

It was kind of humorous 40 years ago. Not so much today.

Prince defied any kind of musical category. Instead he was something of a savant, a master of all trades.

Most important, he was a huge part of our youth.

And now he's gone, and he's taken another chunk of that youth that we all shared with him.

* For an appreciation of Prince by our rock music columnist Michael Christopher, click here.

* An obituary: Portrait of Prince, an artist without peer.

A learning experience at Bonner-Prendie

They went back to class at Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast High School Thursday.

But they went back knowing all too well what happened the day before.

That's when police swept the school after a report that a student went into the school with a weapon. The gun had been flashed during a drug transaction outside the school.

Bonner-Prendie is not immune to the kinds of problems that show up in every other area of our society.

Drug and gun issues do not respect any borders or demographic model.

They are everywhere.

But there is an important lesson that can be taken from what happened at Bonner.

Call it a learning experience, one we hope that a lot more people will mimic.

It's on our editorial page.

The Daily Numbers for Friday, April 22

The Daily Numbers: 57, age of Prince. The pop icon died Thursday, continuing a staggering loss in the music world so far in 2016.

2 brothers who are missing in Chester.

2 Philly men who admitted their roles in a string of Delco burglaries.

2 more Gates Scholars feted yesterday in the Chester Upland School District.

26, age of former teacher’s aide at Conestoga High School charged with having sex with a male student.

11 million dollar fine slapped on Uber by the Pa. PUC.

16, age of female student who died after a fight in the bathroom of a high school in Wilmington, Del.

710,000 price tag for the Loch Aerie Mansion in Chester County after it was sold at auction yesterday.

165,000 Pa. voters who switched their registration before next week’s Primary Election.

68 Kmart stores due to be closed.

10 Sears stores also on the chopping block.

3-1 deficit for the Flyers as they try to keep their season alive tonight in D.C. vs. the Caps in Game 5.

0 hits given up by Jake Arrieta who notched the year’s 1st no-hitter last night.

16-0 spanking of the Reds by the Cubs. Guess they didn’t really need that no-hitter.

3 QBs now on Eagles roster. Will they keep all 3?

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

Raise your hand if you think the Flyers season comes to an end tonight in D.C.? Thought so.

I Don’t Get It: There seems to be no end to the steady stream of pop icons. RIP Prince.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Autumn Ney and Edward Nelson. The Chester Upland students have been named Gates Millennium Scholars. Well done.

Quote Box: “I ain’t gettin’ out.”

- GOP presidential hopeful Gov. John Kasich, at town hall meeting at Penn State Brandywine in Middletown yesterday.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not a good day at Bonner-Prendie

I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast High School.

No, I am not an alum.

But a few years ago this newspaper went to bat for the Catholic high school on the hill in Drexel Hill when the archdiocese recommended both schools be closed.

I still remember that Friday morning. It was Jan. 6, 2012.

The pastors of all the affected parishes and school leaders were huddle at Neumann University in Aston to get word of the recommendations from a special archdiocesan panel that reviewed schools across the region.

Most expected the two schools - Prendie for girls and Bonner for boys - would be told to drop their long tradition of single-sex education and be merged into one high school. They already shared common staff.

No one expected what happened next.

I had been tweeting updates all morning. When I posted an item that an expected breakfast meeting to brief local legislative leaders had been cancelled was not a good sign, I actually received a tweet back from then school Principal Bill Brannick. He said he understood I had a job to do but asked me to please be careful what I posted because the entire school was following my Twitter account.

What happened next proved it.

Just before noon we got the tip from a priest who was in the meeting. The schools where not going to be merged. Instead, it was the unthinkable. The recommendation was that both schools be closed.

It was that day I learned the power of social media. My Twitter account exploded.

In the next few months, this newspaper detailed the struggle to save the schools. I wrote columns and editorials. The paper covered every event and constantly publicized the fund-raising effort at the center of the crusade.

It worked. Not only did the Bonner-Prendie boosters save their school, they saved several others at the same time. Their method was picked up by other boosters and adopted by the archdiocese.

On the front page of the Daily Times on Saturday Feb. 25, 2012, a little more than a month after the archdiocese said both schools would be closed, we hailed word that they had been saved.

The front page contained one word: Amen!

Bonner and Prendie are back on the front page today, although not for the same reason, and likely not a page that anyone at the school is terribly fond of.

It also contains a single word: Busted.

It details a police operation that led to the arrest of five Bonner-Prendie students. You can read the story here. Students face drug and weapons charges. A loaded gun was found in one student's locker.

If there is a silver lining in this story, it is this. All of this was precipitated by a student who did the right thing. He witnessed a student brandish a gun during an alleged drug deal and notified school authorities. They in turn called police and the school was placed in lockdown and searched. That's when the drugs and gun was discovered.

I always make a point to tell people who are interested in getting stories into the Daily Times that it is a two-edged sword. Yes, we are interested in the good things that people in the county are doing. But I always warn them that it is entirely possible that a day will come when we will be calling them in not the best of circumstances.

Yesterday was one of those days at Bonner-Prendie.

I don't take any great joy in splashing that story on our front page. I don't back away from it either.

Bonner-Prendie will go on, just as they did when they were threatened with shutting the doors.

They have the same problems every other school has.

They are the problems young people are dealing with all across Delaware County.

It's my job to chronicle those stories, both the good and the bad.

Howie lookin'? I'm still a Bradford guy

Count me among the naysayers.

Remember, I'm a Sam Bradford guy.

Apparently that group does not include Howie Roseman.

Yes, I am aware that the Eagles boss stepped in front of a bank of microphones yesterday and said flatly that Bradford is the Eagles starting quarterback this year.

I'm not so sure.

Unless you've been in a coma, you may have missed the fact that Roseman and the Eagles shook up the football world yesterday by pulling off a blockbuster deal to move up in the draft, sending a boatload of draft picks to the Browns for the No. 2 pick in the April 28 NFL Draft.

The accepted wisdom is that the Rams will use the No. 1 pick on their favored QB, Jared Goff of California, clearing the way for the Birds to scoop up North Dakota State wunderkind Carson Wentz at No. 2.

So where does that leave Bradford? Behind center as the Eagles starter, at least for this year, according to Roseman.

I'm not so sure.

The Eagles have invested a ton of money now in the quarterback position, having signed Bradford to a two-year deal for $35 million and then inking backup Chase Daniels to a three-year, $31 million deal. Now they're going to pay multi-millions to Wentz to hold a clipboard for a couple of years.

If you say so, Howie.

v Keep your eyes on the Broncos. I'm not for a second believing they plan to go into the season with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. Bradford and Sanchez may wind up as teammates once again.

I'll reiterate something that no one else seems to want to talk about. For the last half of the season, Bradford was playing as well as any QB in the NFL.

According to ESPN, he's not exactly thrilled about this latest move by Roseman.

I can't say I blame him.

I'll give Roseman credit for this: He believes QB is the key to long-term success in the NFL. And they obviously believe Wentz is a better long-term option than Bradford.

In away, this is something of a sequel for movie-maker owner Jeff Lurie.

In 1999 he had a new coach, Andy Reid, and snagged a franchise quarterback in the draft when the Birds snapped up Donovan McNabb. Now he's hoping history repeats itself with Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz.

There is no small irony in the guy the Eagles rolled out there as their QB for those first eight weeks before handing the mantle over to McNabb?

And who might that have been? Why none other than Pederson, of course.

Will lightning strike twice? Possibly.

But remember where you heard this. Don't be surprised next year if the Denver Broncos repeat as Super Bowl champions. And right there holding the Lombardi trophy is the quarterback who filled the void left by the retirement of Peyton Manning.

His name is Sam Bradford.

The Daily Numbers: 5 students facing charges after a lockdown and search at Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast High School in Upper Darby.

1 gun found in a student’s locker.

2.5 hours, how long the school was on lockdown as police swept the building.

2 men acquitted of murder and related charges in a Chester shooting.

39, age of 7-year veteran of the Haverford Police force William Albertus, who passed away after a sudden illness.

150 students who took part in a ‘Take Back the Night’ event at Neumann University to stand up against sexual assault.

90 day license suspension and $257 fine for nun convicted of driving under the influence.

1 event with Gov. John Kasich in Delco today.

1 event with Bernie Sanders in Montco today.

2, as in the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft acquired by the Eagles in a blockbuster trade with the Browns.

5 picks sent by the Birds to the Browns - 1st rounder this year and 2017, plus 3rd round pick this year, 4th rounder this year, and 2nd rounder in 2018.

1 of 2 QBs likely targeted by Birds, Carson Wentz of North Dakota State, or Jared Goff of California.

35 million dollar deal for Sam Bradford, who Howie Roseman insists will be the Eagles starter this year.

21 million dollar deal for backup Chase Daniel.

3-1 deficit for the Flyers after they posted 2-1 win over Caps last night to stay alive in Stanley Cup playoffs.

5-4 win for Phils over the Mets on an infield hit in the 11th inning.

8th, where Phils pitcher Jeremy Hellickson batted in Pete Mackanin’s lineup.

12 home runs for the Mets in this series. That’s more than the Phils have hit so far this year.

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

Don’t blame me if this does not work out. I’m a Sam Bradford fan.

I Don’t Get It: No, Catholic schools are not immune from the same kinds of problems all other schools face.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Bonner-Prendie student who tipped police to the student who had a gun. See something, say something.

Quote Box: “The student who gave it all up certainly should be applauded and commended.”

- Upper Darby top cop Mike Chitwood, on tip that led to high school raid.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What is the answer to problem Philly fans?

The Flyers - and their fans - return to the scene of the crime tonight.

The Flyers will try to stave off elimination in a do-or-die effort against the Capitals after being blown out of their own building, 6-1, Monday night.

The fans? Yes, they also will shuffle back into the House That Ed Built, just two days after disgracing the legacy of the team's late founder and owner by showering the ice with bracelets given out as part of a special celebration to honor Ed Snider.

The embarrassing situation landed Philly fans in a familiar spot - in the national spotlight for less than sporting behavior.

We used our editorial page today to add our voices to those chiding such ugly behavior. We were joined by no less a voice than Snider's daughter, who tweeted that her father would have termed those who threw wristbands 'a disgrace.'

I am wondering how many of the people walking sheepishly into the Wells Fargo Center tonight are the same people who took part in Monday night's debacle.

And it also seems to be that part of what allows for such goonish behavior is the knowledge by fans that their actions for the most part will take place in relative anonymity.

Which leads me to the question, why is that? Why not identify those who threw wristbands on the ice, make them public, and isolate them from the other 20,000 fans who were in the place and did not take part in such childish actions.

I wonder if the Flyers have video covering the stands and if it captured people in the act. And I wonder if the Flyers would take action - such as revoking a season ticket or perhaps banning a person from the building, should they be identified as someone who threw a bracelet on the ice - and even some at opposing players.

As a longtime Eagles season ticket holder who spent many a Sunday afternoon in the 700 Level of the Vet, I know all about Philly fans. I know all about our passion. I was there when Wilbert went off tackle. I was in the stadium when Phillies fans literally got inside Burt Hooton's head and booed him off the mound.

But I've also seen more than my share of things I wish I hadn't.

It's one of the reasons, to this day, I tell people it is not a great idea to wear gear of the opposing team to Philly sports events. I don't know what the answer is. I'm pretty sure alcohol plays a big role in a lot of these incidents. And there are those who are going to abuse the 'atmosphere' at the sports complex hours before a big event.

But I think identifying people who are causing problems, and banning them from the arenas, might be a start.

It's our moment at the center of the political universe

Now it's our turn.

As expected, front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won the New York Primary.

Now all eyes turn to the Keystone State, where voters will go to the polls next Tuesday. Here's what you can expect: Non-stop political ads and robocalls.

Republican John Kasich will be here Thursday for a town hall meeting at the Penn State Brandywine campus in Middletown.

Pennsylvanians also will be selecting a Democrat to go up against incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. For Delco Congressman Joe Sestak continues to lead in the polls over Katie McGinty, who has the backing of most of the party brass, and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. Sestak took a hit yesterday when the state high court ruled Joe Vodvarka, who had been booted off the ballot after a Sestak challenge to his petitions, should be put back on.

We'll also nominate candidates for a new state attorney general to replace the beleaguered Democrat Kathleen Kane.

In case you missed it, in the presidential race, one of the keys is how you vote for delegates, and who they will represent when they arrive in Cleveland and Philadelphia for their conventions this summer. But a glance at the ballot will not tell you who those delegates are committed to.

We reviewed that process Sunday. Make sure you check it out here.

In the meantime, brace yourself.

The politicians are coming.

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, April 20

The Daily Numbers: 4-20, the day connected to cannabis consumption. So naturally we have a story on our front page noting the passage of the medical marijuana bill in Pa.

5, age of boy police say an Upper Darby man sexually molested.

60, age of Paoli man who entered a plea in connection with sexual assault of a minor girl.

12 million dollars in bonds being looked at by Springfield School District in connection with a new high school.

4 million dollars being borrowed by Marple for capital improvements.

10,000 square foot Walgreens that opened yesterday in Lansdowne.

57 fiberglass donkeys that will be on display around the region tied to this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

4 candidates now on Dem primary ballot for U.S. Senate. Joe Vodvarka won a court ruling yesterday putting him back on the ballot.

40,000 square feet being leased by Urban Outfitters in the King of Prussia Mall.

2 big wins for front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in New York Primary. Now it’s on to Pa.

1,434 delegates for Clinton. She needs 2,383.

845 delegates for Donald Trump. He needs 1,237

33.5 million dollars, how much Atlantic City is suing New Jersey for, funds city officials say they are owed.

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

The Flyers will look to stave off the inevitable tonight, down 0-3 to the Capitals. Anyone else think this team might have been better off not making the playoffs?

I Don’t Get It: There are still some people trying to explain away fans’ behavior Monday night at the Flyers game. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Flyers for condemning the actions of their own fans.

Quote Box: “Flyers fans are the best in sports. However, last night a number of individuals behaved in an unacceptable manner.”

- Flyers statement after fans threw wristbands onto the ice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Another embarrassing night in Philly

This is probably not what Ed Snider had in mind.

On a night when the Flyers chose to honor the legacy of their founder and chairman, their fans added another ugly chapter to their national reputation.

As part of the pre-game ceremonies honoring the man who brought the National Hockey League to Philadelphia, the Flyers gave out wrist bands that would actually light up. It created a beautiful moment in a darkened Wells Fargo Center. The ceremony paying homage to Snider was pure class. Then the game started. With the Flyers getting waxed in the third period, fans of the orange and black added another black and blue mark on the image of Philly fans by tossing the bracelets out on the ice.

There is no excuse for this kind of behavior.

Yes, it likely will be played again and again on ESPN and every other national outlet.

And it's all richly deserved.

Even Flyers longtime public address announced Lou Nolan was moved to admonish fans, urging them to "show some class. This is Philly," before the Flyers eventually were slapped with a two-minute minor penalty for delay of the game because of the actions of their fans. That's the problem. This is Philly, at least a small portion of it.

Is it unfair that 20,000 fans are tarnished by the actions of maybe 50-75 who tossed wrist bands on the ice? Absolutely. It doesn't change the fact that it happened. And once again Philly fans are being vilified nationally. This time - for those who took part in these ridiculous actions - it is well-deserved.

Nolan was right. We're better than that. At least most of us.

Unfortunately, that's not going to stop that minority of fans from dominating the view of Philly fans as beer-fueled visigoths. The game actually started on a bright note. Perhaps inspired by the ceremony honoring Snider, the Flyers jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Michael Raffl just 57 seconds into the game.

That's about the end of the highlights for the Flyers.

What followed - especially in the third period - was a collection of lowlights that will be burned into the memory for a long time. The Flyers were getting smoked and the expected bad penalty and brawl ensued.

Fans showed their displeasure at the penalties called by tossing the wristbands on the ice.

In the process, they sullied the memory of a great man.

Ed Snider was every bit as tough as the fans who love his team. But he would have simply been embarrassed by what happened in the Wells Fargo Center last night.

Bottom line? The Flyers, who dedicated their push for the playoffs and post-season run to their owner, are one game away from being eliminated.

Eliminating the latest stain on Philly fans will take a lot longer.

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, April 19

The Daily Numbers: 50-75 wristbands meant to honor late Flyers owner Ed Snider that were tossed on the ice by fans in the third period of last night’s ugly Flyers loss to the Caps. Just shameful.

10.47 billion dollars in state education aid Delco legislators want Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf to sign off on.

6.3 million dollar bump for 15 Delco school districts included in the package.

1.7 million in additional funding for Upper Darby schools alone.

2 Democrats from Delco who voted in favor of the plan.

200,000 dollars that created a new playground at Primos Elementary School in Upper Darby for autistic children.

7 month old Shepherd Pit Bull Terrier that had suffered terrible abuse in a Delco home that has found a new home with a Delaware family.

33 to 66 years in prison for an Upper Chichester man described as the ringleader of a prescription drug ring.

2 Delco men indicted by the feds on child porn charges.

35, age of Chester man shot on the street over the weekend.

14 previous arrests for Philly man charged with shooting a police officer during a confrontation.

200,000 dollars being paid by the city to Occupy Philly protesters to settle a lawsuit.

1 week from today, when Pennsylvania goes to the polls on Primary Day. Republican John Kasich will hold a town meeting Thursday at Penn State Brandywine campus.

4 people fatally shot and 12 injured by gunfire in Philly over the weekend.

78 homicides in the city since Jan. 1

17 percent jump from the same point last year.

44 percent increase in the number of shooting victims, 228 last year at this time to 329 this year.

6-1 loss for the Flyers to the Caps last night.

3-0 the Flyers trail the Caps in the series, 1 more loss from elimination.

57 seconds into the game, Michael Raffl got the Flyers on the board and a 1-0 lead.

5 power play goals for the Capitals.

0 points for Claude Giroux in this series.

2 home runs for David Wright as the Mets beat the Phillies across the street, 5-2.

7 strong innings for Phils starter Jerad Eickhoff.

2 runs on 5 hits with 9 strikeouts and 2 walks.

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

Shameful showing by some Flyers fans who tossed those bracelets meant to honor Ed Snider on the ice in the third period. And we wonder why Philly fans have the national reputation they do.

I Don’t Get It: Anyone else think alcohol played a part in last night’s debacle at the Wells Fargo Center. Yeah, I thought so.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Flyers for providing a first-class ceremony before the game to honor their late owner Snider.

Quote Box: “Show some class.”

- Flyers PA announcer Lou Nolan, to fans tossing bracelets on the ice.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Getting things done in Harrisburg

Yes, it took Gov. Tom Wolf and the Legislature more than nine months to put a new state budget in place.

And even then, it came through the back door, with Wolf simply holding his nose and not signing the budget, thus allowing it to go into effect.

All of which makes what happened yesterday in Harrisburg that much more incredible.

There was Wolf, surrounded by lawmakers and citizens, all united behind a piece of common sense legislation.

Pennsylvania is now the 24th state in the nation to allow use of medical marijuana.

First things first. This is now pot that is smoked.

Instead, this is a pill, lotion or ointment that will alleviate debilitating pain for people dealing with serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.

You can get all the details here.

Kudos to Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, who represents parts of both Delaware and Montgomery counties. We often have to chuckle at some of the issues pushed by Leach, but he was right on the money with this one.

Leach teamed with a Republican, Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, and worked tirelessly to deliver help for families in need.

The occasion was not lost on Leach.

"Let us pause to reflect on what actually happened here, in this place, because it does not happen often enough," Leach said at Sunday's bill-signing ceremony in Harrisburg. "We stopped being Democrats and started being caregivers. We stopped being Republicans and started being patients. We stopped being liberals and started being problem solvers. We stopped being conservatives and started being compromisers. We stopped being politicians and started being human beings. "This is what government is supposed to look like."

Yes, it is.

Well done - and well said - senator.

Now about that Liquor Control Board ....

Ed Snider: He made us winners

Something will happen tonight in South Philly that has never happened before in Philly sports history.

No, hopefully not another 110-foot goal surrendered by Steve Mason.

The Flyers will play a game in the house he built without Ed Snider as their leader.

It will undoubtedly be an emotional evening as the Flyers look to dig out of a 2-0 hole in their playoff series against the Washington Capitals.

I used my weekly print column today to talk about Snider. For me this one was pretty simple. In '73-'74 I was a freshman in college.

All I had ever known in a lifetime of passionate rooting for Philly sports teams is the agony of defeat.

Snider and the Flyers changed all that.

He made us winners.

Read the column here.

The Daily Numbers for Monday, April 18

The Daily Numbers: 1 Philadelphia police officer wounded by suspect early Monday.

24-year-old has been on the force 2 years.

2 candidates to replace Dominic Pileggi as the state senator in the 9th District who met in a public forum yesterday.

1.86 million a year for Delaware County, from runway expansion project at Philadelphia International Airport.

20 year agreement for the deal, which is now on the back burner, according to the new woman heading things at the airport.

20, age of Chester County man who will go on trial this week in Lancaster County for the murder of his girlfriend, a Chadds Ford woman, at Millersville University.

24 states - including Pennsylvania - that now offer legal use of medical marijuana. Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Sunday to put the program into effect here.

2 Dem presidential candidates - Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton - who will be campaigning in Pa. this week.

8 days until the Pennsylvania Primary on April 26.

9.8 cent per gallon hike at the gas pumps last week.

60 vehicles seized by police in Philadelphia in crackdown on illegal ATVs in the city.

4, age of girl fatally shot in Philadelphia. Police first believed her 5-year-old brother. The girl’s father eventually admitted he accidentally fired the gun.

3 people slain by shotgun blasts inside a Philly home, leading to a standoff with police.

1 out of 3 for the Phils in their weekend stint with the Nats.

3-2 walkoff win as they rallied vs. their old teammate Jonathan Papelbon yesterday.

5 for 5 in save chances this year for Papelbon before blowing yesterday’s game.

6 home runs this season for Bryce Harper.

6 straight games at Citizens Bank Park in which he also has homered.

2 players who have accomplished the feat in Philly. Ernie Banks did it in 1955 in Philly.

6-7 record for the Phils.

9-2 mark for the Nationals.

0-2 deficit for the Flyers as they host the Capital in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup series at the Wells Fargo Center tonight.

0 games in their history the Flyers have played without Ed Snider as their owner.

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

I sat on my front porch yesterday and listened to the Phillies game on the radio. There really is nothing better.

I Don’t Get It: Anyone still want to argue if there are too many guns on the streets of Philadelphia?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, for his work in delivering a medical marijuana bill.

Quote Box: “This is what government is supposed to look like.”

- Sen. Daylin Leach, on passage of medical marijuana bill.

Friday, April 15, 2016

RIP Granite Run Mall

It's not every day you get to see history disappear right in front of your eyes.

Every night on the ride home, I drive past the Granite Run Mall.

Don't ask me why, but for some reason in the morning I drive all the way down West Chester Pike to where the old Dairy Queen used to be, hang a right on Providence Road, and then make my way to the Media Route 1 Bypass.

At night I change the route, I take the Bypass out to Granite Run and then get up on Route 352. That takes me right past what used to be the J.C. Penney's store.

We've been chronicling the slow, arduous process as the mall converts to what eventually will be a town-center style development. Boscov's and Sears will remain.

I figured a few weeks back when the fencing went up that things were about to get serious.

Still, I was not really prepared for what I saw this week. It was hard to see that old facade come down, literally brick by brick. In a way, it's more painful, as opposed to what they did to the Spectrum and other great local sites that share a special place in our memory.

What is happening at Granite is more like a slow, agonizing death. Here's our latest story on the demolition.

The facade seems to be coming down brick by brick.

Last night the interior of Penney's was exposed for all to see.

Farewell, Granite Run.

We'll always have the memories.

The Daily Numbers for Friday, April 15

The Daily Numbers: 2 local Catholic parishes that will both be able to stay open under a ‘partnership’ after undergoing study by the archdiocese.

2 candidates in the special election to fill the Pa. Senate 9th District seat who will meet in a public forum Sunday.

200 million dollars more in education funding on way to schools under the new fiscal code now in front of Gov. Tom Wolf as part of that budget deal.

38-11 veto-proof margin in the state Senate for the plan.

119-45 vote for it in the House.

428 districts that will see an uptick in funding under the plan.

13 districts in Delco that would have lost money under the plan put forth by Wolf.

2 districts, William Penn and Chester Upland, would have gotten boosts.

15 school districts that will get more under this plan.

2 million for Chester Upland compared to $14 million under the Wolf plan.

6.3 million total in increased funding for Delco districts.

2 Chester men awaiting their fate as jury mulls murder case against them.

60 extra days in prison for a Havertown man jailed in Chester County who was found using heroin inside the jail.

1.7 million cups of coffee given away yesterday by Wawa to celebrate their anniversary.

66, age of former Manson cult member Leslie Van Houten, who was approved for parole in California.

2-0 loss for the Flyers to the Caps in the opener of their Stanley Cup playoff series.

19 shots stopped by Caps’ goalie Braden Holtby.

16 strikeouts for Phils’ phenom Vince Velasquez.

0 walks surrendered.

25 strikeouts he’s racked up in 2 starts. That’s most for 1st 2 starts by Phils pitcher since Jim Bunning in 1964.

0 walks vs. the Padres yesterday.

5-5 record for the Phils.

4 prime time games for the Eagles.

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

I call it The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of Philly Sports. It’s Vince Velasquez, the Flyers, and the Eagles Scheduled. It says here the Eagles are 8-8. They’ll need to steal one more win to take a lousy NFC East and make the playoffs.

I Don’t Get It: Say goodbye to the Granite Run Mall. It’s doing a slow-motion demolition, seemingly disappearing brick by brick.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the kids at Garnet Valley. After winning the Delco Hi-Q crown, the went on to snag the national title as well.

Quote Box: “It gives both parishes a chance to be vibrant and work together. I think it’s a very good idea.”

- John Farrell, deacon at Saint Charles Borromeo in Drexel Hill, which will enter partnership with Sacred Heart in Clifton Heights.

The Good, Bad & Ugly: Velasquez, Flyers & Eagles Schedule

Call it the Good, the Bad & the Ugly.

In other words, just another day in Philly sports.

Unfortunately, we have to start with the bad. The Flyers are down 1-0 in their Stanley Cup Playoff series after being shut out by the Caps last night in D.C. Not only did the Flyers fail to light the lamp in getting blanked, 2-0, but they also may have lost a crucial player. Sean Couturier looks like he might miss the rest of the series after being slammed into the boards.

Rob Parent has all the details on the game, and Jack McCaffery notes the Flyers once again will need to dig themselves out of a hole.

The Good? That's easy. I can say it in two words.

Vince Velasquez.

It's hard to believe the Phillies got a bunch of players in addition to Velasquez in that deal that sent closer Ken Giles to the Astros.

Velasquez was simply on fire in his second start yesterday in a sun-splasahed Business Person's Special at Citizens Bank Park. He struck out 16 Padres en route to a complete game 3-0 win.

Velasquez is now 2-0 on the young season. He's pitched 15 innings and has not yet surrendered a run, while striking out 25. He did not walk a batter yesterday.

In the process, the Phillies scratched their way back to the .500 mark, evening their record at 5-5.

How dominant has Velasquez been? There have only been two other pitchers since 1913 to strike out 16 and not walk a batter in a game. Maybe you've heard of them, their names are Dwight Gooden and Kerry Wood.

Pete Mackanin continues to get dominant pitching, but things will get more interesting tonight, when the 1st-place Nationals arrive for a weekend set.

Raise your hand if you saw this coming after the Phils got off to an uninspiring 0-4 start? Yeah, me too.

The Ugly in Philly sports. Well, I don't know how ugly it is, but it is the knee-jerk reaction that comes with the arrival of the Eagles 2016 schedule.

Why should I be any different? Here's how I see the Birds after one glance at their schedule, which includes the usual sprinkling of prime-time games:

WIN in opener vs. Browns.

WIN vs. Chicago on Monday night Sept. 19.

LOSS vs. Pittsburgh at home.

BYE WEEK, and yes, it's entirely too early for the bye week. Thanks, NFL.

WIN on road in Detroit.

WIN in Washington.

LOSS at Minnestota.

LOSS at Dallas in prime time Sunday night.

LOSS at NY Giants.

WIN at home vs. Atlanta.

LOSS at Seattle.

LOSS at Green Bay.

LOSS at Cincinnati.

WIN at home vs. Washington.

LOSS at Baltimore

WIN vs. NY Giants at home Thursday night before Christmas.

WIN on New Year's Day at home vs. Dallas.

That puts them at 8-8.

Somehow they need to steal one more game to get to 9-7, which I think will win the division and get them into the playoffs. That is your challenge, Doug Pederson. Now get to work.

Remember you heard it here first.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Daily Numbers for Thursday, April 14

The Daily Numbers: 1 black female police chief in Delaware County history. Welcome to Delco, Chief Price!

11 applicants for the job of top cop in Darby Township.

30 years of police experience in Florida for the new chief.

17th annual vigil last night for Parents of Murdered Children.

1, as in No. 1 for the kids on the Hi-Q team at Garnet Valley High. They took the national crown in competition yesterday.

27 people sent to local hospitals after a CO leak at an office complex in Tinicum.

0, what it will cost for coffee at Wawa today. It’s free. All day.

645 Wawa stores in 6 states, including Florida.

23 states that now allow use of medical marijuana. Pennsylvania is about to become the 24th.

28 percent of women on the Penn State main campus who responded to survey that they have experienced some form of sexual assault.

6 percent of men who said the same.

4-5 record for the Phils after a 2-1 win over Padres last night.

9 strikeouts in 7 strong innings for starter Jerad Eickhoff.

2 RBI for Maikel Franco on homer and double.

2.50 ERA for Phillies starters.

72 losses for the 76ers, against just 10 wins. They lost to end the season last night.

73 wins for the Golden State Warriors, setting a new NBA record.

60 points for Lower Merion grad Kobe Bryant to finish his Hall of Fame career with the Lakers.

50 shots he took to get there.

1, as in Game 1 for the Flyers as they open the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight in D.C. vs. the Caps.

1st game in their history they will play without Ed Snider. The owner passed away this week.

21 April, when Flyers will honor Snider with a public ceremony at the Wells Fargo Center.

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

Another win and more great starting pitching for the Phillies. They are now in 2nd place in NL East and 1 game under .500 Gotta love that.

I Don’t Get It: I thought it was pretty cool this morning when I heard Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his finale. Then I heard he took 50 shots to get there.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the kids at Garnet Valley High School who captured the national Hi-Q crown after taking the Delco title.

Quote Box: “I’m very proud to be part of Darby Township now.”

- Regina Price, after being sworn in as police chief, the 1st black female chief in county history.

Welcome to Delco, Chief Price

It's official.

They made history in Darby Township Wednesday night.

The township swore in the first black, female chief of police.

But the most impressive thing about Regina Price was her clear concern for the community.

It was not lost on Price that these are difficult times for law enforcement, especially when it comes to relationships with the community. She put that at the top of the list of things she wants to work on, getting out into the community and strengthening her local ties.

You can read all about her big night here.

Price comes to Delco after a 30-year career in law enforcement in Florida.

Welcome to Delco, chief.

Don't be a stranger.

It's free coffee all day at Wawa!

Here's the question of the day: Our friends at Wawa - you know, the company named for the goose that calls Delco its home - is giving away free coffee all day as part of their anniversary celebration.

That's right, you can snag a free coffee all day at Wawa.

Every day at lunch I walk over to the Primos Wawa, conveniently located just a block away, and grab a 12-ounce coffee.

Today, I admit I will get a large. I might even wander over there a little early so I can savor that Wawa brew all day.

So the question is this: Since all coffee is free at Wawa today, why would anyone get a small?

Wawa estimates it will give away 1.7 million cups of coffee across its convenience store empire, which of course started with a single store on MacDade Boulevard in the Holmes section of Ridley Township, and now stretches all the way to Florida.

Wawa now operates 645 stores in Pa., New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

You know you're from Delco if you know that Wawa is the Native American word for the Canada goose, as well as the village out on Baltimore Pike where the original Wawa family farm was located.

Take that, Sheetz!

Phillies now just 1 win away from .500 mark

I stand corrected.

And apologies to Pete Mackanin and his Fightin' Phils.

And I do mean Fightin'.

When the Phils squandered two great starting pitching efforts in their first two games, then fell to 0-4 with two more losses, I wondered in this space if this team would ever sniff the .500 mark again. It seemed like the season might be over before it even began. Silly me.

Baseball is a marathon. I should know that.

Today the Phillies will take the field under brilliant sunshine at Citizens Bank Park. The weather should match the team's - and their fans' mood.

With a win the Phillies will climb back to the .500 mark at 5-5.

Last night they got another great starting pitching effort out of Jerad Eickhoff, along with two clutch hits by young slugger Maikel Franco, who homered and doubled to drive in both wins, to post a 2-1 win over the Padres. Get all the details here.

This is exactly the kind of game many expected the Phillies to lose, especially when their bullpen looked like a nuclear meltdown in the first week of the season.

But after Eickhoff struck out 9, the Phils got more strong relief, including another save from Jeanmar Gomez. That's his fourth in four tries.

Don't look now, but this Phillies team has a chance to make this summer very interesting.

Count me in.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, April 12

The Daily Numbers: 213 acres on the site of the former Don Guanella School in Marple that is slated for development.

696,650 square feet of retail space in the original plan.

1 Wegmans supermarket.

100,000 square feet of office space.

65,000 square foot hotel.

50,000 square foot movie theater.

5,585 square foot convenience store with gas pumps.

28 of April, when planners will take up a revised plan.

166 parking spaces on 1.5 acres coming to Swarthmore College lot after getting OK from the borough.

24 to 60 months in prison for Chester man who attempted to lure a teen boy into a sexual tryst via text messaging.

42-7 vote in Pa. Senate to approve use of medical marijuana in the state. It now goes back to the House.

23 other states that now have medical marijuana laws on the books.

180-15 vote by the Pa. House to allow victims of sexual abuse and prosecutors more time to bring legal actions.

30, the current age at which those efforts expire. The new law would increase the age limit to 50.

25,000 dollars, value of 2 huge mausoleum doors stolen from a Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philly.

39,000 Verizon workers who went on strike this morning.

3 wins in last 4 games for the Phils.

3-0 shutout win over the Padres last night.

6-plus strong innings from starter Charlie Morton last night.

3 hits allowed by Morton. He walked 4 and struck out 7 in 6 2/3 innings.

3 saves in 3 tries for Jeanmar Gomez.

10 straight Phillies retired by Padres’ starter Robbie Erlin to start the game.

71 losses for the Sixers, with 1 more game tonight.

3, where Kobe Bryant stands on all-time NBA scoring list. He will play his last game tonight.

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

Don’t look now but the Phillies continue to get very good pitching, and now the bullpen is rounding into form. Could be an interesting summer.

I Don’t Get It: Brace yourself for an avalanche of political advertising. Yes, the primary election looms in less than 2 weeks.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Regina Price, who tonight will become the first black woman police chief in Delaware County history. It is believed there is only one other in the state.

Quote Box: “Count me out.”

- GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, again ruling himself out as a presidential candidate.