Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Aug. 31

The Daily Numbers: 7 million dollars-plus, how much Bruce Goodman wants from Marple Township after his Cardinal Crossing development was rejected.

213 acre tract that used to be home to the Don Guanella School that is at the heart of the suit.

47 million dollar agreement of sale between Goodman and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which owns the tract. That fell through after Goodman could not get the OK for his plans.

269 page lawsuit filed by Goodman against Marple Monday.

318 townhouses, part of the original plan that was shot down. Goodman then offered a revised, slightly scaled-down plan. That also was opposed.

1 million square feet of retail and business space.

5 million dollar non-refundable deposit he paid to the archdiocese. He also says he spent an additional $2 million drafting his plans and for studies on the tract.

4.4 percent tax hike in Lower Merion School District that a judge has ordered rescinded, saying the district has a huge fund reserve while telling the public it faced a deficit and needed to raise taxes.

8 million dollar deficit, what the district said it faced each of the last few years.

40 million dollar surplus, what the judge said they actually had.

1 year to the day after he was shot, Ridley Park Cpl. Marc Hanly was on the stand testifying against the man accused of shooting him.

1 person fatally shot, another wounded in separate shootings in Chester.

26 homicides so far this year in Chester.

17 of them have taken place in the city of Chester.

20 years ago, when the first event was held at what is now known as the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly.

13, age of boy who accidentally shot himself and 112-year-old girl while playing with gun in Philly home. He now faces charges.

3 people in western Pa. who face charges after dumping the body of a man who overdosed.

15 billion in back taxes owed by Apple to Ireland.

5 innings of no-hit baseball tossed at the Phils last night by Max Scherzer of the Nationals.

3-2 win for the Nats.

20th home run for Ryan Howard.

11 strikeouts for Scherzer.

8 straight wins vs. Phils for the Nats.

7-1 mark for the Nats at Citizens Bank Park this year.

5 hits, 3 earned runs off Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff over his 6 innings of work

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

Can anyone give me a good reason why the Eagles are playing another preseason game against the Jets Thursday night. The NFL should either expand the regular season or nix this fourth game. None of the starters play. And if they do, everyone holds their breath hoping no one gets hurt.

I Don’t Get It: Chris Brown. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Marc Hanly. The Ridley Park police corporal was on the stand one year to the day testifying in the trial of the man charged with shooting him. Hanly is alive thanks to his bulletproof vest.

Quote Box: “This case should not be argued in the newspaper. Please read the complaint - it is truthful and accurate.”

- Developer Bruce Goodman, who is suing Marple Township over rejected plans for his Cardinal Crossing development.

The battle of Cardinal Crossing rages on

The battle of Cardinal Crossing is heating up.

As he hinted he would do, developer Bruce Goodman is hauling Marple Township into court after his plans to develop the former longtime home of the Don Guanella School of Sproul Road were shot down by the township.

You can get all the details here.

Reading between the lines, it's not too hard to see why Goodman is upset.

In his suit, Goodman tries to make the case that township commissioners were all in favor of his plan to convert the 213-acre tract into a massive town center-style development, complete with hundreds of townhouses, retail and entertainment venues.

He alleges the commissioners did not oppose - until the plans became pubic and a huge groundswell of community opposition erupted, putting heat on officials to oppose the development of the pristine woods, one of the last big open chunks in the middle of the county.

In short, Goodman thinks the township pulled the rug out from under him, caving to public pressure to oppose his plans. Unfortunately, by that time he says he had already invested more than $7 million in the plan.

Now he wants his money back.

The 269-page lawsuit details a series of meetings in which Goodman says he was encouraged to move forward with his plans. Of course, township commissioners have a slightly different take on Cardinal Crossing. And they're not too happy with Goodman's lawsuit, not the things he is alleging in it.

Yesterday afternoon they released a statement blasting Goodman and the suit.

"Yesterday, attorneys for developer Bruce Goodman filed a salacious lawsuit against Marple Township that was filled with inaccurate characterizations of committee meetings, complete fabrications, and bold face lies," the statement reads. "At no point did the Board of Commissioners convey to the developer that his development would be approved and his characterization of the tone of discussions and meetings with township representatives are completely inaccurate and outrageous.

Commissioners had no prior knowledge of Goodman’s intent to make a $5 million non-refundable deposit to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.In fact, no reasonable person would ever expect that an experienced developer would put down a $5 million non-refundable deposit with no contingencies prior to having the required zoning for a development in place. It defies common sense and good business practice.

"It is ridiculous that Marple Township is being sued and targeted with a meritless complaint full of unwarranted and unsubstantiated statements of fact. The commissioners did our job and worked to ensure that the interests of Marple Township taxpayers and citizens were protected. We will vindicate ourselves and our township in the courts with the expert legal counsel assigned to us by the township’s insurance company."

This one could get real interesting.

In the meantime, the fate of the Don Guanella tract remains unclear.

After Goodman failed to get the final OK for his plans, the archdiocese pulled their agreement of sale. They are on record as saying they still want to sell the site and have put it back on the market.

One of the grassroots groups that opposed the plan, Save Marple Greenspace, has been putting intense pressure on Delaware County Council to preserve the tract. They want the county to put a question on the November ballot to see if the public would support a bond issue to buy the land.

The county is not planning to do that, but they are forming a group to look into the issue of open space, and have had some talks with the archdiocese.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how much collateral damage falls out from Goodman's lawsuit against Marple Township. You might say hell hath no fury like a developer scorned.

Overdose Awareness Day: It's time to act

Today is International Overdose Awareness Day.

The abuse of heroin and opioids continues to take a horrific toll on Delaware County and the region.

The use of Narcan, a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose, is saving lives here in Delco, which was the first county in the state to ensure that Narcan kits were in every police car.

But there is an increasing concern about what happens after a person is revived, and what can be done to keep that person from a relapse, and possibly another overdose.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood is among those who have been vocal in the need for more treatment for people dealing with the grip of heroin, especially those revived after an overdose.

Today the county, as part of Overdose Awareness Day, will highlight the work of certified recovery specialists, part of a program launched in April that attempts to connect overdose survivors with treatment.

The county is looking to get the word out because what they are discovering it that it is usually family and police who are making the call for services.

In addition to mark the day, several vigils will be held across the region tonight.

Here in Delaware County, members of GRASP (Grief Recovery After Substance Passing) will hold a vigil at Siloam Methodist Church, 3720 Foulk Road in Garnet Valley at 8 p.m.

In Chester County, a vigil will be held at the New Garden Municipal Building, 299 Starr Road in Landenberg, at 7 p.m. Organizers are Lynne Massi and Jacki Smiro.

“Time to remember to act,” is the theme for the global event.

“All over the world, there will be vigils on that day, at the same time,” said Massi, who was a driving force behind the passage of David’s Law, named in memory of her late nephew.

You can read more about her and her push for this legislation here.

According to the International Overdose Awareness website, “Overdose Day spreads the message that tragedy of overdose death is preventable.” The site encourages supporters to wear something silver.

The great Colin Kaepernick debate: What do you think?

We used our editorial page today to weigh in on the Colin Kaepernick debate.

In case you missed it, the 49ers quarterback made waves by announcing he would not stand for the traditional playing of "The National Anthem" before the team's games. Instead he has decided to take a stand against what he believes is racial oppression by staying seated.

Guess what?

That is his right.

It's the one guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Yes, even NFL quarterbacks have rights.

Of course, everyone else does, too.

You don't have to like Kaepernick's "stand." In fact, many of you do not.

We don't particularly care for it either.

One person who clearly doesn't is our featured columnist Chris Freind.

He's calling for the Niners to dump Kaepernick. You can read Chris here.

Our editorial is here. Why not join the conversation. What do you think. Post a comment and let us know.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Love conquers hate in Havertown

No one would have blamed Esther Cohen-Eskin is she had lashed out in anger after finding a disturbing message of hate scrawled on her trash container.

Instead, she lashed out - with a paint brush. In the process, the Havertown woman - along with her neighbors - showed us that there is only one thing that can conquer hate. That would be love.

Cohen-Eskin transformed that symbol of hate into a lovely flower.

Soon her neighbors joined in. The movement took off and was picked up as far away as Canada and Ireland.

And it all started right here in Delaware County.

We salute Cohen-Eskin on today's editorial page.

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Aug. 30

The Daily Numbers: 36, age of Darrel Burt, who goes on trial today for the shooting of Ridley Park Officer Marc Hanly.

9, age of Drexel Hill girl who got a spot on the Food Network’s ‘Star Kids’ show.

25, age of man killed in motorcycle crash on Springfield Road over the weekend.

2 men being sought in connection with armed holdup of Springfield Pharmacy in the Olde Sproul Shopping Center Monday. A 3rd person is believed to have been involved and may have driven the getaway car.

39 years, how long Bill Benson was at the helm of CADES. He retires this week.

800,000 dollars in special education services for 13 students in the Springfield School District.

2 suspects who led police on high-speed chase from Yeadon into Philadelphia last night.

3 rabid raccoons discovered in Haverford.

3 teen boys shot in Philly. All survived.

1 bullet that hit 2 kids in accidental shooting involving gunplay in South Philly.

28 Latin American mothers denied asylum and detained in Philadelphia.

4 alarm fire that destroyed a West Philadelphia church yesterday.

7 decent innings delivered by Phillies starter rookie Jake Thompson last night.

2 1st inning runs, all he surrendered while scattering 7 hits.

0 more snaps for rookie QB Carson Wentz in the preseason. He will not play Thursday night.

100 percent healed for 1 rib, but a 2nd is only 60 percent healed, meaning he will sit.

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

An Eagles linebacker has thought better of joining 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick in sitting for the National Anthem. Good call.

I Don’t Get It: Colin Kaepernick. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Bill Cades, who is retiring this week after 39 years at the helm of CADES.

Quote Box
: “This is a very emotional day for me.”

- Benson, at a party held in his honor.

New school year, old issues in Upper Darby

The new school year is one day old in Upper Darby.

They led the county putting a lid on summer and heading back to the classrooms, even beating the traditional early start at Ridley, where kids head back to school today.

I asked readers yesterday to send me some pictures of their kids as they returned to their classrooms. They did not disappoint. Many thanks for those who contributed.

Of course, there are still some outstanding issues in Upper Darby.

People are still trying to determine just why the district parted ways with Superintendent Rick Dunlap. After being on leave since July 21, the district recently announced Dunlap will retire on Sept. 7.

Not many people are buying that Dunlap is simply hanging it up and calling it a career.

Most believe there were some serious differences between Dunlap, and the school board and township officials over a plan to rebalance some district elementary schools, both in terms of class size and racial makeup.

Now some people believe the district could face an investigation by the Justice Department.

In the meantime, most lips in the district remain zipped.

We'll let you know what we are able to find out.

Here's where things stand right now.

Colin Kaepernick's stand

Colin Kaepernick has decided to make a stand.

By sitting down.

Kaepernick has indicated he will remain seated as "The National Anthem" plays before San Francisco 49ers games because of the oppression people of color face in the United States.

That is certainly his right.

He certainly is right to bring up an important issue facing the country.

And he is well within his First Amendment rights.

But I don't have to like it.

I don't.

I don't agree with his stance.

But I will defend his right to make it.

That right is the same First Amendment right that gives us the ability to print this newspaper, and for you to post comments on Facebook and Twitter.

To be honest, I don't go to Colin Kaepernick for his take on the important social issues facing the country.

He is paid millions of dollars to play quarterback in the NFL.

There are not a lot of people who have the talent to do that. It is a very small fraternity of elite athletes.

Having that status too often gives these unique individuals the delusion that anyone should care what they think about other issues.

It is part of the celebrity status that we are in love with in this nation.

It is why I sat here at my desk week after week and said to myself about the Republican candidate for president: "They're not really going to do this are they?"

Yes, they did.

Being a millionaire real estate developer and reality TV host now counts as part of the resume of commander-in-chief.

So why are we surprised that we pay attention to everything the Kardashian family does.

Or that we now look to an NFL quarterback for advice on important social issues.

In a way I admire Kaepernick. I'm sure he must have known what we was setting himself up for. And yet he took a stand.

Good for him.

But I'd be lying if I said I was not more interested in whether or not he's going to be the starting QB for the Niners this year. And yes, also that it kind of delights me that this controversy falls into the lap of new coach Chip Kelly.

The Chipper was not the biggest fan of the media.

He must love Kaepernick these days.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Aug. 29

The Daily Numbers: 5 million dollar health care fraud to which a Broomall podiatrist entered a guilty plea.

1 person killed in motorcycle crash over the weekend in Springfield.

3 September, ChesterFest coming to city’s waterfront.

47, age of woman described as a one-time girlfriend who has been charged in connection with slashing of tires on vehicles outside home of Philly D.A. Seth Williams.

3 undocumented immigrants arrested in Philly by feds after being released by local officials.

23 months old, age of tyke struck and killed by car when he darted out into the street in Philly Sunday night.

150 students in freshman class at Cedar Crest College in Allentown who will go as a group to Brazil during their sophomore year.

5th woman now reporting being groped by man riding a bike in Philly.

17 of 20 with 2 TDs for Sam Bradford Saturday night vs. the Colts.

3-0 mark for Doug Pederson in his 1st preseason as head coach.

5 strong innings from Phils starter Vince Velasquez as the Phils took the finale vs. the Mets, 5-1

1 run on 5 hits is all Velasquez gave up, but he didn’t get the win.

5 pitchers used by Phils, all handled by new catcher A.J. Ellis.

2 wide receivers, Rueben Randle and Chris Givens, among Eagles cuts.

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

You heard it here first. Monster year on tap for Sam Bradford.

I Don’t Get It: Colin Kaepernick doesn’t want to stand for the National Anthem. That’s his right. It’s also our right as fans to ignore him.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delco Councilman Dave White, who managed to get country superstar Tim McGraw to sing at this daughter’s wedding Saturday.

Quote Box: “It’s one thing if you sleep deprive yourself as an adult, but as a child you’re at a really sensitive developmental state, a lot of really important things are acquired during childhood.”

- Dr. Mathia Basner, on sleep-deprives students.

Dave White's wedding surprise

Last week I posted a message on the Facebook page of Delaware County Councilman Dave White.

I noticed that his daughter was getting married on Saturday.

I told him to enjoy the day. Having gone through it myself, I can tell you that being the Father of the Bride was one of the best days of my life.

White apparently wasn't taking any chance.

He had a little surprise cooked up for his daughter as Lisa White tied the knot with Paul Getz.

White somehow managed to get country superstar Tim McGraw to perform as his daughter and her new husband took their first dance. McGraw sat in with Jellyroll for several songs at the reception at Vie downtown.

The McGraw family has some Delco connections. Tim's father, Tug, the late, great Phillies relief pitcher, lived here in Delco for years when he was with the Phils.

White managed to keep his surprise a secret, no one at the reception knew it was coming but him.

My daughter refused to reveal what song she had selected for our dance. I was all smiles when she was awaiting me on the dance floor as the first notes of Frank Sinatra's 'Summer Wind' emanated from the sound system. She knows I'm a huge Sinatra fan.

But having Tim McGraw sing 'My Little Girl' as you and your daughter hit the dance floor?

Well done, Dave. Well done.

A fine whine

Call it a fine whine.

Or an editor's lament.

I used my print column today to throw a little cold water on the celebration marking the arrival of wine in some local supermarkets. Yes, it's a big step for Pennsylvania.

But it's still not all that convenient.

If you've been buying beer in the supermarket, you know what I mean. You have to visit a separate part of the store and pay for the beer there. You can't simply pop it into your cart and pay for it along with the rest of your groceries.

So, while you're not doing it in your car, you are still making an additional trip.

Me? I'm with Sen. Tom Killion. The Republican visited a local winery last week to note another part of the new law that is updating sales of alcohol in Pennsylvania. While at Grace Winery out in Glen Mills to mark one of the first shipments of wine to a consumer's home - something you could not do in Pa. before this change - Killion noted he's still in favor of privatization, getting the state out of the booze business.

I'll raise a glass to that.

You can read my column here.

Monster year on tap for Sam Bradford

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind all Eagles fans that I am the sitting president of the Sam Bradford Fan Club.

No, we don't meet in a phone booth.

But I've been singing Bradford's praises for awhile now.

Yes, I am well aware of the hype that exploded last preseason after Bradford lit up the Green Bay Packers, going 10 for 10 and tossing 2 TDs. The regular season didn't really work out that well.

So I understand if many of you are reluctant to get on board the Bradford bus. That's OK. I'll carry the load for now.

All Sam did Saturday night was masterfully execute Doug Pederson's offense, dissecting the Colts' defense along the way. Bradford went a smooth 17 for 20 for 167 yards and 2 touchdown tosses.

One of those incompletes came on his first attempt of the night, a ball that was perfectly placed in troubled second-year wide receiver Nelson Agholor's hands. Of course it bounced off of them and into the hands of a Colt for an interception. Don't blame Bradford for that one. Another incomplete came on a ball that was wrested from the mitts of tight end Brent Celek.

Bradford, now completely healthy for the first time in years, seems in command of the Birds' offense. There have been a lot of questions about the Birds' offense this summer. Bradford went a long way toward answering many of them Saturday night.

You heard it here first. Bradford is going to have a monster year. Yes, I know it comes with a huge asterisk. That is he has to stay healthy, which he has had trouble doing.

But if he stays on the field, Bradford could easily lead the Eagles to the NFC East crown and a playoff berth.

Dallas QB Tony Romo is down again with a broken bone in his back.

No one is really sure when he'll return.

Is anyone really all that scared by either the Redskins or Giants?

Of course, all of this has a downside. We wouldn't be Eagles fans if it didn't.

Let's say Bradford is lights out this season, maybe in the running for NFV Offensive MVP.

Then what do the Eagles do, now that they have committed the future to Carson Wentz.

Just remember you heard it here first.

Sam Bradford is going to be the best quarterback in the NFC.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Aug. 26

The Daily Numbers: 23 and 25, age of man and woman now facing charges in brutal home invasion in Chester.

4 year tentative contract for Garnet Valley support staff.

260,000 dollar deal with a consultant firm backed by outgoing superintendent now being looked at by Upper Darby board.

7.5 to 15 years in prison for former strip club manager John Pettit in the beating death of Jimmy Koons of Upper Darby.

14 state-owned universities facing threat of strike by professors in Pa.

6,000 members of the union.

2 nuns slain in Mississippi.

170 stores operated by Royal Farms. They are adding a Norristown location.

3 hours, 52 minutes, how long Bruce Springsteen performed in first of 3 shows at MetLife Stadium.

1st night of high school football in Delco tonight.

17 seasons in the Phillies organization for Carlos Ruiz.

11 seasons in the majors.

.261 batting average for Ruiz this year.

3 home runs, 12 RBI for the man known as ‘Chooch.’

.266 with 68 homers over his career.

4 no-hitters caught by Ruiz, including Roy Halladay’s perfect game and playoff no-hitter.

1 player left on Phils’ roster from 2008 World Series champions. That would be Ryan Howard.

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

Farewell to ‘Chooch.’ Do us a favor. Win another World Series out in L.A. with Chase.

I Don’t Get It: Hate graffiti. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Esther Cohen-Eskin, who took a negative when her trash can was vandalized by hate graffiti, and turned it into a positive - and a piece of art.

Quote Box: “Nothing conquers hate more than love.”

- Chris Kellett, neighbor of Esther Cohen-Eskin.

Love Conquers Hate

I got inundated with bad news every day.

It can get pretty depressing, handling one negative story after another.

When I got a call last week from Esther Cohen-Eskin, I thought I was in for one more.

She was dismayed to learn that her trash can had been vandalized, spray-painted with an all too familiar symbol of hate.

That's when the story took a great twist. Instead of simmering with anger, Cohen-Eskin too a different tack, and turned a negative story into a positive.

Encouraged by some neighbors and friends, she took out some paints and turned the graffiti on her trash can into a piece of art. The ugly swastika was transformed into a beautiful flower.

Now comes the best part. The story doesn't end there.

When her Havertown neighbors learned what had happened, they started painting their trash cans as well.

Bottom Line: It's one thing to say "not in our neighborhood." It's another to take action - not lashing out in anger, but with love. The goal was to "take an ugly message and make something beautiful out of it," according to one neighbor, Sonya Klimuk.

You can read about the results here.

We love a great story. And we love how Eskin-Cohen and her friends and neighbors handled this situation.

Love conquers Hate.

Maybe more of us should adopt that attitude.

Thank you, Esther Cohen-Eskin.

A fine wine for grape lovers

We used out editorial page today to talk about what has been a pretty good week for wine lovers in Pennsylvania.

First, you can now buy wine in some supermarkets. The Acme at Granite Run was the first in Delaware County to offer wine sales. Others soon will follow.

The next day state Sen. Tom Killion, R-9, was at the Grace Winery in Glen Mills to kick off another new aspect of the wine biz in Pa., direct shipments of wine to customers' homes.

That's something state residents have been unable to do up to this point, instead being forced to go through their local state store. Both are welcome developments.

But we concur with Killion, who noted the state still has a long way to go when it comes to how it regulates the sale of alcohol. We're emerging from the Dark Ages, slowly.

But this remains a far cry from what most people in other states take for granted.

You can read our editorial here.

'Chooch' chugs out of town

And then there was one.

'Chooch' is no longer a Phillie. The team dealt popular catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers Thursday, granting Ruiz's request to go to a contender and take one last swing at a playoff run.

That leaves Ryan Howard as the last remaining Phillie still on the squad that won a World Series crown in 2008.

Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels? All gone.

Now the familiar chant of "Chooooooch" will also fall silent at Citizens Bank Park.

It's easy to overlook Ruiz's contribution to those great Phils' teams, but he was at the heart of all of them.

He caught four no-hitters, including Roy Halladay's perfect game and playoff no-hitter.

And, of course, there will always be the image of Ruiz embracing Brad Lidge, who had dropped to his knees after sealing the final out vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, delivering the Phils their first World Series crown in more than 25 years.

Ruiz was hitting .261 in 48 games with the Phils this season, relegated largely to a backup role. He will likely perform the same duties with the Dodgers, where he will be reunited with his World Series buddy Utley. He had three home runs and drove in 12. Over his 11 major league seasons, Ruiz sported a .266 batting average with 68 home runs.

I have a simple philospophy when it comes to these 2008 Phillies. I will never boo them. That includes Howard, who has become the target for some boo birds as his contribution declined.

I don't care if they left town and now wear another team's jersey. You won't hear me raise my voice against them.

Why? The reason is simple.

They gave us that rarest of Philadelphia celebrations.

They gave us a parade.

Take care, Chooch. Here's hoping you and Chase captured another title in L.A.

We'll be cheering for you back home.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Aug. 25

The Daily Numbers: 75, age of man tied up during violent home invasion in Chester.

49, age of his daughter who was beaten during the attack.

1st bottle of wine shipped from a local winery directly to a resident, another feature of new state law.

39 permits to sell wine directly to consumers will be approved by the state.

200 businesses applied for the permits.

35,962 foot supermarket coming to the site of the old Pathmark in Ridley.

2 to 4 years in prison for a Marple teen charged in an armed home invasion

50,000 dollar budget each year for the Upper Darby High School drumline. The money is raised by the Upper Darby Band and Parents Organization. The school board is wrestling with the future of the drumline.

150 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled yesterday at the Walnut Street Elementary School in Darby.

28 instances of animal cruelty lodged against a Montco small animal dealer involving gerbils, chinchillas, hamsters, guinea pigs and a rabbit.

40 feet, how far a woman fell from a zip line attraction in Delaware.

4 women who say they have been groped by a man riding a bicycle in Philadelphia.

8 million dollar tax fraud admitted by charter school operator.

247, death toll now in devastating Italian quake.

5-3 win for the Phils over the White Sox.

17th home run for Tommy Joseph.

2 runs on 4 hits for starter Jerad Eickhoff.

2-1 win for the Union over the Crew in MLS action.

6 month suspension for U.S. women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo for calling the Swedes “cowards” after losing to them in shootout in Olympics.

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

Josh Norman is begging the Eagles to get in a spitting war after trash talking Birds QB Sam Bradford. The Eagles are smart to ignore him.

I Don’t Get It: Stealing bikes and equipment from the Wounded Warriors? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Pa. for allowing direct wine sales to consumers. It’s about time.

Quote Box: “Pennsylvania has been in the stone ages when it comes to liquor.”

- Sen. Tom Killion.

The biggest dilemma in Delco

It's going to take someone a lot smarter than me to figure this one out.

Attention, Solomon, we could use some of your wisdom on this conundrum.

You might say this dilemma is in the pipeline.

Literally.

No one can argue the potential economic boost the county stands to cash in on should Sunoco get the go-ahead to build its Mariner East 2 pipeline plan.

It could Marcus Hook into the energy hub of the northeastern U.S.

To say nothing of salvaging the entire lower end of the county from the edge of the abyss we all peered into when the refinery business hit the rocks.

Then again, it's pretty easy to see the concern of residents who don't necessarily want a pipeline moving into their neighborhood. We talk about it in today's editorial.

My guess is that this pipeline plan is going to happen. There's too much money involved.

If that's the case, then it's incumbent on our elected officials - and residents - to make sure Sunoco is transparent as possible, and held to the highest safety and inspection standards.

You can read the editorial here.

Don't fall victim to IRS scam

It's an old scam, but it's back again with a vengeance.

As usual, the targets are senior citizens. This time they aren't getting a knock on the door by someone looking to distract them while a co-conspirator rummages through the house. Nor are the being fleeced by shady contractors looking to rip them off for home repairs such as a new roof or coating the driveway.

In this instance, all they have to do is pick up the phone.

That's when, according to this canard, they encounter a stern voice informing them they are with the IRS and there is a problem with their account.

A recently received a phone call from a perplexed reader who wanted to make sure people - especially senior citizens - are aware of this crank call, and the fact that the IRS NEVER reaches out to you by phone.

She said her mother received not just one call, but several, each one ratcheting up the pressure to divulge details about her account. Luckily, the woman arrived at her mom's house just as she was preparing to hand over important information, such as a Social Security number.

If you get one of these calls, simply hang up. Better yet, inform the caller that you are contacting police about their unscrupulous tactics.

You can also file a complaint with the Treasury through this web page.

Don't be a victim. Let's make sure none of our loved ones falls victim to these shady characters. Pass the word.

Oh, deer!

You've been warned.

The critters are back. Actually, they've proabably never left, but this morning they seemed to be hiding behind every tree and bush.

I am talking, of course, about my early-morning friends, the deer who seem to mock me as I negotiate my car along the roads, always with one eye out for that distinctive glint off their eyes in the distance, the tell-tale sign that another herd lies ahead.

This morning I spotted no fewer than seven or eight deer, including the fellow who stood in the middle of the road wondering why I was intruding on his domain.

Maybe it was that sudden shift to cooler temperatures that brought them out, munching on anything they can reach along the side of the road.

Here's a tip from a veteran deer swerver. If you happen to see a deer dart across the road out in front of you, don't relax and think you've managed to avoid another collision. Hit the brakes and prepare to stop. I can guarantee you several more will be following their pal - and running right in front of you if you don't slow down.

Be careful out there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Daily Numbers: 3 stores that have applied to sell wine in Delaware County.

1 where you can buy a bottle right now. That’s the Acme at Granite Run.

84 wine permits sold so far to stores in Pa. to sell wine.

3 liters of wine, the max you can buy during any 1 purchase.

23 units planned for apartment complex on State Street in Media.

350 miles across Pennsylvania, length of the proposed Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline.

17 counts it will traverse, including Delaware County.

2,700 private properties where Sunoco will need easements.

30 day delay in Middletown on vote to allow the pipeline, which is drawing opposition in the community.

27, age of Clifton Heights man gunned down outside his grandmother’s home in Darby Borough.

1st homicide of 2016 in Darby Borough.

24 homicides so far in Delaware County.

44, age of woman found dead in her Folcroft apartment. It is being labeled ‘suspicious.’

2 state reps, including Delco’s Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, of Ridley Park, who want to free tuition at state universities for 5 years.

25 years, how long a Philly man spent in jail for a rape and jury a new jury now says he did not commit.

0 time in jail for a former aide who testified against U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. He could have gotten 3 years in jail.

1 million dollar bail for South Jersey man charged in the punching death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

96 page high school football preview inside today’s Daily Times.

9-1 crushing loss for the Phillies at hands of White Sox.

4th start for Jake Thompson, who gave up 7 runs on 8 hits, along with 4 walks.

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

The Phillies are in danger of throwing out all that goodwill they built up at the start of the year. These blowout losses have to stop.

I Don’t Get It: A man in South Jersey forced his girlfriend’s 2-year-old sox to box him because he was upset that she did not get the groceries he wanted. The boy died. Nice.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Pennsylvania, where you can now buy a bottle of wine at the same place you buy your groceries. You just can’t pay for them at the same time. Ugh!

Quote Box: “I think it is a good thing. It actually makes shopping so much more convenient.”

- Emmanuel Sheppard, checking out the wine sales at the Acme at Granite Run.

It's a fine wine for Pennsylvania

Fast forward a few months.

The first big winter storm is bearing down on the Delaware Valley. The salivating folks on local TV have gone into hype overdrive. They're predicting the Storm of the Century.

Again.

So, of course, we're being regaled with the obligatory story that takes place the day before, with a brave correspondent sent out to fined the hordes of panicked residents descending on their local supermarkets.

What are they buying?

Milk? Check!

Bread? Check!

Eggs? Check!

Wine?

Oh, yeah.

Now you have a glimpse of what I was thinking when I put together's front page.

Yes, you can now buy a bottle of wine in the supermarket in Delaware County. This week the Acme store at Granite Run unveiled wine sales, ushered in by the new law pushed through the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf a few months back.

You can get all the details on how it works here.

And that's not all.

Today Sen. Tom Killion, R-0, will hold a press conference at the Grace Winery in Glen Mills to ring in another Pa. first as they ship the first bottle of wine directly to a local consumer.

All of this is part of Act 39, which in addition to letting supermarkets that already have licenses to sell beer to add wine to their offerings, also opens the door for state residents to have wine shipped directly to their homes.

We'll be there to give you all the details.

Wonder if you can have wine shipped directly to your office?

A gold medal effort from 2 women who conquered Pacific

We used our editorial page today to pay homage to some outstanding athletes.

Yes, we just completed the Summer Olympics, and the efforts of Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and the rest of the U.S. team, along with Usain Bolt, were stuff of the ages.

But they're not who we are talking about.

Instead we decided to focus on what Vicki Otmani, of Media, and her friend Megan Biging accomplished.

They recently crossed the Pacific Ocean.

In a boat.

Powered by their own rowing.

Think about that for a minute.

Two women alone in a boat, crossing the Pacific Ocean.

Simply put, we're in awe.

Not only did the duo cover the 2,400 miles from Monterey, Calif., to Hawaii, they did it in record time of 57 days, 13 hours and 30 minutes.

They may not have been in Rio, but they're gold medalists in our book. You can read the editorial here.

In today's Daily Times: Our monster 96-page high school football preview

You know summer is coming to an end when our annual high school football preview rolls around.

This year we have something special in store for local gridiron junkies.

Sure, for years readers of the Daily Times have gotten accustomed to our sports pages as "Delaware County's Sports Authority."

But this year we've upped the ante.

We decided to team with our sister papers in the Philly suburbs to preview every team in District 1, as well as our local Catholic League teams.

The result is a monster, 96-page high school football preview. And it's inside every copy of the Daily Times today.

Make sure you pick one up. You'll want to keep it on hand and refer back to it all season long.

It is jammed with previews, photos, complete team schedules and each team's key players to watch on offense and defense.

You won't want to kick off the high school football season without it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Aug. 23

The Daily Numbers: 29, age of suspect from Glenolden in the fatal hit-run crash that took the life of a disabled female veteran in a wheelchair in Philadelphia.

6, age of latest victim of gunfire in Chester. A boy was shot in the hand, another innocent victim caught in the crossfire.

4 acre parcel on Palmers Mill Road in Marple that is stirring another controversy development in the township.

44.9 adjoining acres already owned by developer Steve Sudhop, who plans to build a continuing care retirement community on the site.

40, age of man killed in crash on the Blue Route Monday morning.

882,000 dollars in grants for Aston Township from Pa.

3 kids under age 4 left at a hotel in Pittsburgh for up to 3 days.

14,900 more emails found by the FBI probing Hillary Clinton’s accounts.

4 sponsors who have dumped swimmer Ryan Lochte after his latest shenanigans at the Rio Olympics.

14 billion dollars, how much Pfizer will pay for the cancer biotech company Medivation.

260,000 dollars, how much a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2016 will need to cover their future health care, according to a new study.

6 percent boost over the numbers from last year.

27 people that had to be evacuated from a roller coaster at Hersheypark when the ride stopped after a malfunction.

58, age of Michael Brooks, former college hoops star at La Salle, who died of a massive stroke.

31, age of middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, signed by the Eagles yesterday.

3 million dollar deal for the aging defender.

1.75 milllion guaranteed.

7 of January 2017, when Penn State men’s hoops will host national power Michigan State and Tom Izzo at the Palestra.

1 more day until we deliver our massive 96-page look at high school football.

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

Stephen Tulloch has arrived to shore up the Eagles linebacking corps, but I hope that he does not usurp playing time from Jordan Hicks.

I Don’t Get It:
Don’t look now but there may be another development controversy brewing in Marple Township.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Aston Public Library, which is now loaning out laptops for residents to use to gain access to the Web.

Quote Box: “It’s an opportunity for me to get to know the students personally.”

- Widener President Julie Wollman, who met with several groups of students this week.

Pa.: The gift that keeps on giving

Pennsylvania, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

That's particularly true for elected officials.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is now saying he takes "full responsibility" for the $160,000 in gifts that he failed to report.

It's not clear yet whether he broke any law.

In Pennsylvania, it's hard to tell because there is no law, no ban on public officials accepting kids. In fact they can pocket as much as they want, so long as there is no indication that there is an expectation of some type of action in their jobs in exchange for the financial lures.

It's the old "quid pro quo."

That needs to change.

It's on today's editorial page.

More on the Greatest Generation

Maybe we're all just nostalgic, yearning for the past, a sense of security, or just a simpler time.

I have to say I was a bit taken aback by the reaction to my recent blog and Monday's column saluting my parents and "The Greatest Generation."

It generated more comments and reactions than anything I've written in a long time.

I don't like to think of myself as clinging to the past, but there is no doubt that I yearn for the much simpler life I enjoyed as a kid.

This has nothing to do with growing up, getting married, starting a career, having kids.

Real, serious commitments and responsibilities.

This has more to do with how we lived, how we dealt with each other, both as families and communities.

What we placed our priorities on, and the effect that has had on us as individuals and a society.

The reason we dwell on it, I believe, has to do with the fact that I don't think we can ever go back.

As I wrote on Monday, it was a different time, a different world.

For instance, do you realize that our children will never know the glory of a world without cell phones?

Think about what that means, and the ramifications it has for us, both as individuals and as a society.

It is now the first - and last thing - I do every day. Check my email. It rarely leaves my possession. I get slightly panicky on the rare occasion when I leave the house and realize I don't have my phone with me.

We have a fixation on being "plugged in."

As a member of the media I feed that desire. Yes, it's a two-edged sword.

I am saddened that my kids never had the opportunity to grow up in the kind of world I did. They have no conception of a world where, if you wanted to change the channel on the TV, you actually had to get up, walk over to the TV, and change the dial.

Don't laugh. It happens to be my opinion that the TV remote control might just be represent the single biggest technological change ever confronted by our society.

It fundamentally changed the way we live. For instance, it turned the advertising world on its head. TV was a captive audience. Why do you think local news was such a big deal. Because the most popular newscasts delivered that audience to the network news that followed, because people simply did not have the desire to get up and change the channel. You were forced to look at - or at least sit through - the commercials. Now a commercial usually is greeted by reaching for the clicker and seeing what else is available.

The other dominant thought I've had since the reaction started pouring in was that we can never go back. No one is going to give up their phones. We're not going to change the pace at which we live, our frenetic, 24/7 "connected" lifestyles.

That's why I was so impressed by one comment left on Facebook about my column. A reader reminded that while our parents may have indeed been what we refer to as The Greatest Generation, "We are the greatest generation to the younger ones now. We must teach them about the good old days. There's some food for thought."

I've always tried to do that with my kids. Much to their disdain at times. We are all products of the past. While we live in the present, we need to impress that sense of tradition and values with those who will become the next Greatest Generation.

A sure sign that summer is waning

59.

No, that was not my most recent golf score. (Not even for the front 9!)

That was what the thermometer in my car read when I climbed behind the wheel this morning.

Once I headed out onto the road for the drive to the office, it actually dipped to 53.

No doubt a lot of people are rejoicing at the end of our heat wave and the oppressive, thick air that clung to the region for more than a week.

Don't count me among them.

I actually like that kind of weather. Don't hate me, but the thicker the air, the more I like it.

It's conducive to one of my favorite things to do. Sit.

Of course, I usually have a newspaper or a book in my hand. OK, these days that could even include a phone.

I take my outdoor sitting pretty seriously. I have a series of outdoor spots arranged that allow me the choice of being in the sun or not. That's a small concession to my dermatologist, who, aware of a family history of skin cancer, takes one look at my face and grimaces. It's not the latest outbreak of zits (I'm going to be 61 in two weeks, I know my face is going to clear up any week now).

It's the effects of the sun.

"Nice tan," he grimaces, following up by again urging me to at least use sunscreen.

I do.

But I have no intention of giving up my summer pursuit.

Unless, of course, like last night. When I noticed something distinctly different when I got home.

A chill in the air.

The first thing I do when I get home (aside from stuffing my hand into the biggest bag of potato chips I can find), is get out of my shirt and tie, toss on a favorite pair of shorts, don my newly acquired University of Colorado T-shirt, and head outside. The hotter the better.

Humidity? Bring it on.

Last night was like a cold slap in the face.

Not only did it remind me that the heat wave was over, it foretold of something far more serious. Summer's days are numbered. Soon the kids will be back in school. The Eagles will be playing. I've already noticed it getting darker much earlier. I long for the days when there was still a sliver of light after 9 o'clock. Now I struggle to read outside a little after eight.

I call it the autumn creep. It's started.

So I will not join the TV newscasters who this morning are salivating over this cool break in the weather.

Thankfully, it's supposed to heat up again this week.

You can catch the full forecast here.

Am I the only one who loves humidity?

Let me know what you think.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Aug. 22

The Daily Numbers: 2 women who conquered the Pacific Ocean.

2,400 miles, how far Vicki Otmani and Megan Biging rowed from Monterey to Hawaii.

57 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes, how long it took them, a record time in the Great Pacific Race.

6 meetings in executive session for the Upper Darby School Board in their discussions concerning the status of Superintendent Richard Dunlap.

29, age of Glenolden man charged in the fatal hit-run of a pedestrian in Philadelphia.

2 people now charged in the death of a Penn State professor who police say was pushed off a cliff.

5 people injured in a house fire in Philly.

3 more churches closed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

7.8 cent per gallon jump in price of gas this past week.

2.27 average price per gallon.

2 local fans hit by foul balls over the weekend at Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park.

9-0 loss for the Phillies to the Cards yesterday.

5 runs on 7 hits over 5 innings for Phils starter Vince Velasquez.

6 extra base hits for the Cardinals.

14 straight games with at least 3 extra-base hits.

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

Freddy Galvis is ticked that the Phillies have not extended the netting to protect fans from foul balls.

I Don’t Get It: Kathleen Kane has no regrets. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Megan Bicking and Vicki Otmani, who rowed across the Pacific Ocean, Monterey to Hawaii, in record time. Well done.

Quote Box:
“The only color we saw was blue - blue water, blue sky - so coming back and seeing all these colors is overwhelming.”

- Vicki Otmani, after rowing across the Pacific.

More on the Greatest Generation

I used my Monday column to revisit something I put here in the blog last week. That would be our parents, and the notion of the Greatest Generation.

I was thinking about it because Thursday would have been my mother's 102nd birthday. Saturday was my wife's dad's birthday. Sandwiched in between I went to a funeral for a Friday that reminded me of the importance of family.

That was paramount to my parents - and I am guessing to many of their generation.

They worked hard. And partied just as hard.

They were fiercely loyal to faith and family. They always had each other's backs.

What they lived through, survived and continued to thrive makes many of our tribulations today seem fairly trifling.

They knew real success, real heartbreak, good times and bad.

It never bent their resolve.

For those - and for many more - they were in fact the Greatest Generation.

You can read my Monday column here.

Raising Kane on the radio

My thanks to Sunday columnist Christine Flowers, who again invited me to join her on her Sunday night gabfest on The Big Talker, WPHT-1210 AM. We talked about Pennsylvania's attorney general, or former attorney general Kathleen Kane.

I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback the day after her conviction on two counts of perjury and seven other counts of abusing her public office, when Kane told a reporter she had "no regrets."

In fact, it led me to write this editorial.

I was not the only one fairly stunned at Kane's reaction. Ernie Preate knows a little bit about where Kane is right now - and where she might be headed.

In case you don't remember, Kane is not the first attorney general to be convicted of criminal wrongdoing. Preate went down back in 1995 in connection with campaign contributions. He went to jail. He emerged a better person and rebuilt his life, once again practicing law.

Preate simply can't believe Kane's blithe attitude when it comes to her conviction.

He pointed out that it would likely serve her well to start singing a different tune. Kane will be sentenced in October by Montgomery County Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy.

Preate says a sense of humility, and of acknowledging your wrongdoing, is the key to a lenient sentencing.

We'll see if Kane can manage to pull that off. If she does, it will be the first thing she has gotten right in a long time.

It's still hard to believe how fast Kane rocketed to fame, and how quickly she fell, for the most part because of a purely personal vendetta against a rival prosecutor she believed was responsible for a less than flattering news article about her.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The real public servants

It would be all too easy to look at the sad saga of Kathleen Kane and simply shrug your shoulders at the sight of one more public servant running afoul of the law.

She's hardly alone. She's not even the first attorney general to be convicted. Remember Ernie Preate?

But there is another view of public service that does not get nearly the attention.

It was on display this week in Folcroft.

You can read all about it on today's editorial page.

It's one more reason to thank Chris Dorman - as well as all the officers who rallied to his side.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Aug. 18

The Daily Numbers: 3 Folcroft officers who received Commendations for Valor and Heroism last night, among them wounded Officer Chris Dorman.

7 bullet wounds survived by Dorman.

1,000 people who showed up at a fundraiser for Dorman last Friday night.

70 feet, 11 inches, how far Darrell Hill heaved a shot put to make the U.S. Olympic team. The Darby Borough native and Penn Wood grad goes for the hold in Rio today.

2 cigarette heists in Primos and Lansdowne Wawas believed to be the work of the same man caught on surveillance video.

40 county employees moved out of a building in Chester because of wiring problems.

5 to 10 years in prison for a West Chester attorney convicted in the death of his father.

12.5 million dollars bond deal that got a final OK from Haverford commissioners.

3 Delco supermarkets that now have the green light to sell wine by the bottle.

160,000 in gifts showered on Philly District Attorney Seth Williams that he previously did not report.

68, age of former Philly police Chief John Timoney, who died of cancer.

2 people, a psychiatrist and his office manager, charged with selling prescription drugs.

1 million dollars, how much authorities now say the duo pocketed.

7-2 win for the Dodgers over the Phillies.

2 home runs for Adrian Gonzalez.

5 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks for Phils starter Jake Thompson in his 3rd major league start.

0 for 5 on the night for Chase Utley.

2, as in the 2nd exhibition game tonight for the Eagles as they travel across the state to play the Steelers.

1 quarter, what the starters are expected to play.

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

The Phillies cooled off Chase Utley. Too bad they couldn’t do the same for Adrian Gonzalez.

I Don’t Get It: Convicted Attorney General Kathleen Kane says she has no regrets. Wonderful.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Darrell Hill, the Darby Borough product and Penn Wood High alum goes for gold in the shot put in Rio today.

Quote Box: “God did a miracle.”

- Folcroft Police Chaplain Drew Alexander, in speaking about how Officer Chris Dorman survived shooting incident.

The Greatest Generation

They were indeed the Greatest Generation.

I didn’t know it then. That comes as something of a surprise, because, of course, I knew everything then.

And nothing.

My parents were pretty plain folks. They grew up pretty hardscrabble, my father in southwest Philly and my mother in Darby Borough. Don’t ask me how, but somehow they managed to wind up in a tiny town out in the farthest corner of Chester County. Our high school yearbook once said this about Oxford, Pa.: Live there for awhile and you get to know the place pretty well. It was a different time, a different place. Indeed, a different world.

You literally knew everyone in town. Your car doors were never locked. The door to the house never closed from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

My father ran a store, two of them actually.

One in North East, Md. Then he opened a second in Oxford. They were basically sandwich shops that also sold patent drugs. I still remember how my father would wrap “women’s products” in white paper so a lady would not have to carry them out of the store. Like I said, it was a different time.

Both stores featured glorious, long counters, behind which sat the secret to their success - the soda fountain.

It was there, in both North East and Oxford, that I discovered the magic of the fountain soda. How to make any number of extravagant concoctions with basic Coke syrup. I quickly mastered the Cherry Coke, Lemon Coke, yes, even Chocolate Coke.

All while dad perused the important news of the day. That, of course, would be the entries and results from the local horse tracks. Yes, dad loved the ponies. I always thought he was a very popular guy in town. Every Saturday morning, a line of gentlemen would arrive at the house to kibitz with dad. It was only later that mom informed me they were there to find out who he “liked” that day at the track.

I learned how to read the Racing Form from my dad.

I learned pretty much everything else from mom.

While dad was camped south of the Mason-Dixon line in North East, mom held forth at the store in Oxford.

Heron’s was right down the street from the high school. And it quickly became a popular local hangout.

It was where kids would gather every day after school, where guys would meet up to settle their differences, sometimes with their fists. When a guy sneered at you in the school hallway, “Meet me after school at Heron’s,” you pretty much knew what it meant.

Of course, I arrived to work at the store after school for a few years not in the dungarees, sneakers and casual shirts sported by my peers. I instead drew daily gawking at why I wore dress blue pants, a starched white shirt and blue tie to school. The ABVM logo should have been a giveaway. I rode a bus 10 miles to school every day to St. Mary’s, or Assumption BVM School, in the next town down, West Grove. For years, I was always different. How I yearned to be just like every other kid in town.

I think kids back then used to think our family had money because we owned a store. The truth is, my parents, like so many others at that time, very likely lived week to week.

Like I said, I didn’t know it then. I do now. There’s a lot of things I was sure I knew then.

I was sure my mother ran the ship in our house. She ruled with a firm hand, and she wasn’t shy about using it. I think she learned that form the same place I got it. Yes, she was the product of an education imparted - sometimes with a brass ruler - of nuns. My mom and dad were not exactly savvy business persons. But they were part of the fabric of a small town, and an attitude that is long gone - and missed.

Every day after school, kids who took part in sports or other after-school activities would walk to my mother’s store and do something unheard of today. They would use the phone - the business phone - to call home to alert their parents they could pick them up. At Heron’s, of course.

Today I think mom and dad could have retired if they had only had the foresight to put in a pay phone. But that wasn’t their way. It wasn’t a lot of people’s way back then.

After awhile, the writing was on the wall for tiny little mom and pop stores like Heron’s. The geniuses who ran companies that delivered the ice cream that made those divine sundaes and the meats that went into those hoagies decided little operations like Heron’s weren’t worth their while. They started insisting on minimum orders. Mom had the answer to that. She partnered with several other similar stores in town to place orders, then split them up among them.

Maybe she was more savvy than I thought.

More than anything else, mom loved the kids and the other loyal customers who came into that little store every day. She knew them all by name. She knew their parents. She even knew which parents did not especially care for their kids going into Heron’s, because of its reputation as a teen hangout.

My mother would have been 102 today.

She was the first thing I thought of when I woke up. The truth is I think about her - and that generation - more and more all the time.

I wonder at how they lived, and how they worked. They did not have many of the things I now take for granted. The truth is as I look back on it I am sure they often wondered how they were going to pay the bills.

They raised five children, and I think they enjoyed every minute. They lived with a confidence, a zest that often seem lacking now. I think some of that comes from where they lived, in a small town, with relatives and family close by, where everybody knew your name.

They laughed - often. And I suppose they sometimes cried, but they never showed that to their children. They loved a party, but somehow managed to get up and go to work the next day. That is what they did. I guess living through the Great Depression, when they literally had nothing, steels you somewhat to the other aggravations of life. All I know is this. I find myself more and more longing for that life, that simplicity, that time when things seemed more, for want of any other word, normal.

They were the Greatest Generation. For a lot of reasons.

For a guy who knew it all, it took me a long time to realize that.

Happy Birthday, mom.

Darby to Rio

How far is it from Darby Borough to Rio?

Don't laugh, it's not as far as you might think.

A lot of people in the tiny town will have their eyes on Rio - and maybe brushing away a few tears - as one of their own goes for the gold today at the Rio Olmpics.

Darrell Hill is the pride of Darby Borough and Penn Wood High. After a sterling high school track and field career, Hill went on to star at Penn State.

Today the shot putter will be looking for a gold medal at the Rio games.

He has not been forgotten in his home town.

Check out the local reaction as Darby remembers a favorite son who today will be on an international stage.

A simple question in Upper Darby

We now know that Superintendent Richard Dunlap is planning to retire from the Upper Darby School District on Sept. 7. Until then he will be on vacation. For the past several weeks, he has been on paid leave.

That's all good to know.

But we used our editorial page today to ask a fairly simple question.

Why?

Why is that Dunlap and the district are now parting ways, just a year after the school board offered him glowing performance reviews and rewarded him with a five-year contract extension and a pay hike.

We think the taxpayers - yes, those folks who pick up the tab for Dunlap's $194,000 annual salary - have a right to know.

You can read the editorial here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Aug. 17

The Daily Numbers: 7 of Sept., date of retirement of Upper Darby Schools Superintendent Rick Dunlap. He’ll be on vacation until then.

21 of July, when Dunlap went on paid leave. He hasn’t been seen in the district since.

5 year contract extension given to him by the school board last September.

194,866, dollars a year, Dunlap’s annual salary.

0, the number of people talking about why Dunlap is leaving the district.

37,000 dollars in bikes and equipment stolen from the Wounded Warriors group when a trailer was stolen outside a Tinicum hotel.

6,692 dollars stolen from a woman who had a good day at Harrah’s by a man who followed her to her Secane home. He pleaded guilty.

21 to 48 months in prison for Gary Taylor.

18, age of Upper Darby teen corralled in May 23 incident in which a gun was fired during an incident in Upper Darby.

4 people wounded in shootings in Chester over the weekend.

1.6 billion price tag for the RCN cable group, which was bought by TPG Capital.

1 day after her conviction on perjury and obstruction charges, how long it took Kathleen Kane to resign her post as state attorney general.

89, age of former talk show host John McLaughlin, host of ‘The McLaughlin Report,’ who died.

2 home runs -including a grand slam - for Chase Utley in his 1st game back at Citizens Bank Park in a Dodgers uniform.

1.5 minutes, length of standing ovation Utley received as he led off the game for the Dodgers.

15-5 rout of the Phils by Utley and his Blue Crew.

2 times Utley was called out of the dugout after his homers for a curtain call.

4-game win streak snapped for Phils.

6-5 and 240 pounds for Dorial Beckham-Green, wide receiver acquired by Eagles from Titans for lineman Dennis Kelly.

323 passes for 549 yards and 4 TDs for Beckham-Green yesterday.

4.4 speed in the 400-yard dash for the wideout, making him a big target and deep threat the Eagles have lacked.

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

Chase “Bleeping” Utley. Pardon my French.

I Don’t Get It: Stealing bikes from the Wounded Warriors? Does it get lower than that?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Kathleen Kane. She got one right. She’s resigning.

Quote Box: “Just because Dr. Dunlap was silenced today, his vision will live on for the people who live, work and go to school here in Upper Darby.”

- State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, on the ‘retirement’ of Superintendent Rick Dunlap.

End of the Rick Dunlap Era in Upper Darby schools

So much for the Rick Dunlap Era in Upper Darby schools.

Ending weeks of intrigue surrounding the superintendent's status, the Upper Darby School Board announced last night that Dunlap will retire from the district Sept. 7.

Until then he's on vacation. He apparently had been on paid leave since he was last seen in the district July 21. His resignation, according to the board, was submitted just prior to last night's school board meeting, which is why it was not listed on the boards' public agenda.

What we don't know, frankly, is a lot.

We don't know why Dunlap is leaving, or if this is of his own accord.

At least one person is not buying the district's story. That would be state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164. The Upper Darby Democrat was at the meeting last night and made it clear she has her doubts.

"I don't have much to add other than the fact that Dr. Dunlap's voice was effectively silenced today, and I'm troubled that his so-called 'resignation' and so-called 'vacation' was lauded as a matter of personnel," she told the board during the public comment portion of the meeting. "I find it convenient that the board hides behind personnel decisions when members of the board themselves said he was on administrative leave.

"Dr. Dunlap's vision was to honor a diverse community where all students achieve. I tell you today, as long as I live and breathe, I will continue to fight for that vision. Just because Dr. Dunlap was silenced today, his vision will live on for the people who live, work and go to school here in Upper Darby."

The board offered no other comment on the situation.

Dunlap likely will not be talking, no doubt so as to not endanger any severance package with the district as well as any possible future employment.

So we're left to wonder what went wrong? Why was the guy who was given glowing reviews - and a five-year contract extension - suddenly leaving the district?

A lot of people believe it had to do with a plan to address racial and class size imbalances in district schools. That plan is believed to have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

Dunlap is gone, but the problems he apparently wanted to address are not. Maybe the school board should keep that in mind as they look for their next superintendent.

This Kane not Able

We used our editorial page today to pen what we thought would be the final chapter in the sad, ugly saga we've coined The Kane Scrutiny.

Wrong again.

A few hours after we wrote the piece, the convicted Pennsylvania attorney general announced she would step down, resigning her position effective at the end of the day Wednesday.

She made the right choice.

It's one of the few things she's gotten right since her spectacular rise to power - and equally stunning fall from grace. In the process, she becomes the latest in a long, seemingly unending string of Keystone State officials who have been convicted of wrongdoing.

Kane was taking kickbacks. Or stealing from the state coffers.

Her downfall was more personal, rooted in a personal vendetta, a vow to get even with a former prosecutor in her office and rival she felt had done her wrong.

It led her to leak confidential grand jury information about the prosecutor, Frank Fina, to a newspaper for a story she hoped would even the score for what she believed was a leaked story from Fina that led to the first taste of bad publicity for the woman who recorded more votes in her first run for statewide office than President Obama got in his re-election run.

Kane blamed Fina for a story that suggested she killed a sting operation that showed several elected Democratic state representatives taking cash and gifts. She called the investigation - headed by Fina - ham-handed and even suggested a possible racial overtone in those targeted in the sting.

She was livid when the story hit the paper - and vowed revenge.

She ended up shooting herself in the foot - and blowing up a promising career.

They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

In The Kane Scrutiny, that appears to be tragically the case.

Kane simply wasn't able to let a perceived slight go. Instead, she set in motion a series of events that makes you wonder how she was elected in the first place.

In the end, Kathleen was no longer able to raise Kane. All she could do was raise the white flag, the first woman and first Democrat ever elected attorney general was now the first woman and first Democrat elected attorney general ever convicted of a felony. Kalamity Kane, perhaps.

You can read the editorial here.

Chase Utley: Still the man

Turns out Chase Utley is still the man.

The popular former Phillie played his first game back in Citizens Bank Park in South Philly since being traded to the Dodgers last year.

He did not disappoint.

Utley received a thunderous minute-and-a-half standing ovation before he stepped into the batter's box to open the game. But one of the all-time most popular Phils - and one of the keys to the 2008 World Series champions - had some fireworks of his own in store.

Utley homered in the fifth inning, then managed to outdo himself in the seventh, when he strode to the plate with the bases loaded and promptly launching a pitch deep into the seats.

Ironically, Utley's first hit as a Phillie was also a grand slam, albeit in the cavernous old Veterans Stadium.

Somewhere, Harry Kalas was smoothly warbling, "Chase Utley, you are still the man."

Each time Utley homered, he was showered with a most atypical Philly fan reaction - standing ovations for a player on the opposing team. On both occasions, Utley was required to off a tip of his cap to quell the cheers.

Signs lauding Utley dotted the Bank's stands.

After the game, Utley called the ovation before his first at-bat a testament to the legendary passion of the Phillies fans and something he will never forget.

The feeling is mutual, Chase.

Check out columnist Jack McCaffery's take on Utley's magnificent return here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Aug. 16

The Daily Numbers: 9 counts on which Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane was convicted by a jury. That’s all the charges filed against her.

4.5 hours, not counting dinner, how long it took a jury to reach their verdict.

5 days of testimony.

0 witnesses called by Kane’s defense.

213 acres of Don Guanella targeted for development in a plan that fell through when Bruce Goodman could not get the zoning changes he needed.

7 million dollars, how much he was considering seeking from the township. A judge put a big roadblock in that plan yesterday.

47, age of man who entered a guilty plea yesterday to charges that he took upskirt photos of several women in the Radnor Library.

7:30 when the Upper Darby School Board meets tonight. Parents’ groups are vowing to be there to get answers concerning status of Superintendent Richard Dunlap, who continues to be on paid leave.

1 body found in a wooded area off Baltimore Pike out in Glen Mills yesterday afternoon.

3-6 years in prison for a 22-year-old Chadds Ford man for the sexual assault of a teen.

5 people killed in murder-suicide in Berks County. Yesterday the D.A.’s office said the husband, a former Delco man, killed his wife, 3 kids, then himself.

148 jobs being axed by drug manufacturer Merck in Montco.

78, age of woman pedestrian struck and killed by car in center city Philadelphia yesterday.

7 people injured when SEPTA bus collided with car in North Philly.

9-1 win for Key’s Chicks N Sticks over Lefty’s in Champs ‘N’ Charity coed title game.

16-14 win for new men’s slow pitch champs Old State Tavern.

40,000 dollar goal, same as last year, how much we hope we raised in the softball tourney.

785,000 dollars raised in the 33 years we’ve hosted the tournament. That’s not counting this year’s haul.

1st game back in Citizens Bank Park since being traded comes tonight for Chase Utley.

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

Welcome home, Chase Utley.

I Don’t Get It: Kathleen Kane. I don’t get it. The woman scorned is now a woman convicted.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who helped our fight against cancer by supporting the Champs ‘N’ Charity Classic this weekend in Marcus Hook.

Quote Box: “Today is a sad day for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

- Gov. Tom Wolf, commenting on conviction of Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Sorry ending for The Kane Scrutiny

Rack up another first for Kathleen Kane.

The star of the 'Kane Scrutiny' was widely hailed as a rising star in the Democratic Party after becoming the first woman - and first Democrat - elected to be Pennsylvania's top law enforcer.

Now she's also the first woman and first Democrat to be convicted for her actions as attorney general.

It took a jury just four and a half hours last night to convict Kane on all charges, including perjury and obstruction. She's vowing to appeal. That did not stop the calls - including from the state's Democratic governor - that she step down immediately.

Her top aide, former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor, who she hired to be her second in command after it became clear that she would face trial, has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference to discuss her status.

Kane consistently tried to explain her actions as the result of some kind of conspiracy to keep her from releasing a treasure trove of pornographic emails that apparently were part and parcel of the A.G.'s office before she arrived. They were discovered during her investigation of how her predecessor handled the investigation into Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State.

The jury saw through that charade and concurred with prosecutors who simply painted her as a woman scorned, seeking revenge on a former co-worker who she blamed for an unflattering story about her.

It was not the first misstep by Kane, but surely it was the one that sealed her fate.

She campaigned and won office largely on a promise to dig into how then-Attorney General and then Gov. Tom Corbett's office handled the Sandusky affair. It took a couple of years but a special panel concluded there was no effort by Corbett or others in his office to delay the investigation.

Then the new attorney general proclaimed she would not defend the state's Defense of Marriage Act. Apparently she must have believed she also was elected to the bench, deciding unilaterally that she would decide which laws she would enforce and which she would simply ignore.

But it was her actions to seek a pound of flesh against former lead state prosecutor Frank Fina that finally deposited her on the other side of the law.

She leaked information to a newspaper reporter in an effort to make Fina look bad.

The she doubled down by lying to the grand jury about it, and trying to cover it up. All the while she managed to titillate the state with her stories of the pornographic emails.

But the final chapter is that the state's sitting attorney general is now a convicted criminal. The jury returned guilty verdicts on all nine counts against her, including perjury, obstructing administration of law, official oppression, false wearing and conspiracy. The curtain has come down on The Kane Scrutiny, and what was once a promising political career.

Hell may have no fury as a woman scorned. But Kathleen Kane has learned that a woman blindly seeking revenge, described as 'unhinged' by her co-workers, soon becomes a woman convicted.

More intrigue swirls in Upper Darby superintendent saga

It appears no formal action will be taken by the Upper Darby School Board concerning their missing schools superintendent tonight.

That does not mean that the status of Dr. Richard Dunlap will not be very much the elephant in the room.

Several groups of parents have taken to social media to urge others to pack tonight's school board meeting to get some answers as to Dunlap's status.

The superintendent has been on paid leave since July 21.

The situation got a little murkier today as we reported on a letter by a district administrator that seems to question some of the school board's actions when it comes to Dunlap. You can get those details here.

Rumors have been swirling around the district for weeks that Dunlap, who apparently was pushing for changes in enrollments to better balance the district schools, had been terminated or resigned his post.

We'll be at tonight's meeting to bring you the details of the public comments on the superintendent's status.

Some real sports champions

Yes, Chase Utley is returning to Citizens Bank Park tonight for the first time since being the beloved second baseman was traded to L.A. by the Phillies.

And the intrigue surrounding who knew what and when continues to swirl around the expected suspension of Eagles starting right tackle Lane Johnson.

They're both big Philly sports stories.

Neither one of them graces the lead on our Back Page today, where we routinely promote out top sports story of the day. Instead, we reserve that spot for a bunch of softball players.

Yes, you read that right.

If it's mid-August, then the Daily Times is back in Marcus Hook for our annual Daily Times/Sunoco Logistics Champs 'N' Charity Softball Tournament.

Last night Key's Chicks N Sticks won the co-ed title by downing Lefty's/IES 9-1.

In the men's slow pitch title tilt, Old State Tavern dethroned E.J. HOsbach/UBBIBC.

But we all know who the real winner was in the Hook last night.

It was the fight against cancer.

For the 33rd year, the Daily Times brought together the best softball players in Delaware County to fight a common foe, the dreaded disease that has affected so many of us.

The Daily Times has not been immune to losing members of our family to this heinous killer. That gives us something else in common with so many of the people connected to this tournament.

It is one of the best things we do every year.

We take a lot of pride not only in hosting the tourney and reporting all the game details, but in the amount of money we've raised over the past three decades.

Last year we raised nearly $40,000, bringing the total over 33 years to $785,000.

Our goal again this year was another $40,000.

Looking for champions? Forget the pros. Just check out today's back page.

All these people are champions in the war on cancer.

We could not be more proud of our role in this battle.