Monday, February 19, 2018

The Congressional maps: Will Delco get the short straw?

For years - actually since 2011 - Democrats have been raising holy hell about the blatant partisanship demonstrated by their Republican colleagues in redrawing the state's Congressional maps.

It's called gerrymandering - stacking the deck to favor your side.

The state's congressional map is redrawn every 10 years based on the results of the latest census.

This year judges agreed with that claim, ruling that, yes, the maps were partisan, and they favored Republicans.

Democrats, including those here in Delaware County, rejoiced.

They have been on the upswing. Buoyed by their newfound edge in voter registration, and a general anti-Trump turnout, they posted serious gains in the November election, capturing the two contested seats on Delaware County Council as well as all three county row offices up for grabs.

Then they set their sights on the 2018 mid-terms, targeting local Republican incumbent congressmen.

Nowhere was that more evident than in the 7th District, which just happens to be Exhibit A when it comes to the wonders of gerrymandering. What was once a district that basically covered the bulk of Delaware County was twisted and contorted into a bizarre shape. The two large chunks actually touched five different suburban counties. It made what was once a tossup district into solid red turf, the comfy home of incumbent Republican Congressman U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan.

After winning office in 2010, Meehan routinely rolled up huge margins in three successive re-election victories, raking in 60 percent of the vote.

This time around it was expected that Meehan would face a sterner test, in part because of the anti-Trump backlash, as well as very unpopular moves to roll back the Affordable Care Act and the Republican tax cut package.

Then the 7th was shaken by the blockbuster story of Meehan using taxpayer dollars to settle a sex harassment claim by a former staffer. Meehan indicated he would not seek re-election.

Democrats suddenly looked like the Cheshire cat as they eyed the prize of the 7th District.

So you can imagine their dismay when they got a look at some of the versions of the new maps ordered by state Supreme Court in tossing out the old, gerrymandered versions.

Delco Democrats very possibly have won the battle, while losing the war.

The new maps look like they stake out a congressional district for each suburban county.

Except for one.

Want to take a guess?

Yep, that would be right here in Delco.

The new map shift most of the 7th District into Montgomery County. Delco would be covered by about equal parts in the 6th District, held by Rep. Ryan Costello, and the 1st, which will be up for grabs because Dem powerbroker and longtime 1st District Congressman Bob Brady also is not seeking re-election.

What's even more bizarre is who is behind this slap in the face to Delco voters.

Et tu, Gov. Wolf?

That's right. This is not the handiwork of Republicans, but rather the version submitted to the court by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The state Supreme Court is expected to issue the version of a new political map today.

Delaware County Democrats should brace themselves.

They may find themselves on the outside looking in.

And this time they have no one but other Democrats to blame.

How do we stop the bullets?

I have to admit that I knew it was coming.

There are three topics guaranteed to spark an intense debate.

Race and Religion are two of them.

Guns is the third.

I went after guns in Sunday's editorial. You can read it here.

It was a plea for something more than the requisite calls for "thoughts and prayers" after the latest mass shooting, this time costing 17 lives in Parkland, Fla.

The editorial is the newspaper's position.

Here's mine.

Save your breath arguing that this is the first move toward taking away your Second Amendment rights - or your guns.

It's not going to happen - nor should it.

Yes, that right is guaranteed by the Constitution.

But that does not mean it cannot be limited.

Even one of the staunches conservatives ever to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia, admitted as much.

Here's where I'm at.

The AR-15 semi-automatic weapon, the same one used in Florida, has to go.

It has no reasonable purpose, outside the battle field. Other than to kill people.

What this mentally troubled kid was doing with one is almost beyond comprehension. Right after you come to grips that while he could not legally buy a drink in a lot of states, he could - and did - buy an AR-15.

Would he have gotten another kind of gun or perhaps made a bomb and went to the school anyhow? Possibly. But he would not have killed with anywhere near the ease he did in firing off 150 shots in a matter of minutes.

We have limitations on lots of privileges, the ability to drive a car for one. It's time for some reasonable limitations on gun ownership.

Sunday's editorial set off a huge response online. I kind of figured it would. Most of the responses were reasonable. A few, naturally, could not resist stooping to the lowest common denominator. It goes with the territory. A few readers asked why I do not block such comments. That's not where I'm at. You'll wait a long time before you see me become a censor. These people's comments speak for themselves.

But I did find one suggestion - one that I have long opposed - begin to take on new meaning.

That was a call to have armed kids in schools.

That does not mean arming all teachers. But perhaps it's time for an armed security force patrolling schools.

Is that my wish? No. But that is reality.

That or we continue to bury our children.

I guess this blog item will kick off a whole new round of debate today.

Well, let's have at it.

As I said in the editorial, "thoughts and prayers" are nice, but they do not stop bullets.

And right now, I'm not sure anything else matters.

Johnny & Me

I'm still trying to wrap my head around how long it took me to make the connection I have with Johnny Weir.

He's the former Olympic men's figure skater and how one of the best analysts in the business, teaming with another former Olympic medalist, Tara Lipinski.

I knew that Johnny had local connections, with the usual references being to growing up in Coatesville in Chester County, along with Quarryville in Lancaster County, and training at the University of Delaware.

But it literally was not until I saw his family a few years back on the "Today" show that it finally clicked.

I was literally staring at the TV when I blurted out, 'That's Patti Moore.'

That would be Johnny's mother.

That's when it finally hit me. Patti married John Weir. We all grew up together and went to high school together out in Oxford.

Johnny Weir was their son.

Some days, you just have to love the way life works.

Go, Johnny, Go!

It's in my weekly Letter From the Editor print column today.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The great gerrymandering debate

It's Friday morning - do you know what Congressional district you live in?

Relax, it's fairly like you still reside in either the 7th or the 1st Districts.

But those who live on the margins of the grotesquely gerrymandered 7th District very likely could find themselves in a new district.

The court-imposed deadline for Pa. to submit new Congressional maps after the old ones - created in the redistricting process back in 2011 and which was tossed as being unconstitutionally gerrymandered - was last night.

Now everyone is getting into the act.

Republicans in the state Legislature submitted a new map last Friday. That was rejected by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. Now both the governor and Democrats in the state Senate also have come up with maps, as well as a new group of Republican activists.

It's very likely going to be up to the state Supreme Court to figure this mess out.

You can get the latest update here.

Snow & 70s in the same forecast

Like those mild temperatures out there this morning? You ain't seen nothing yet.

I almost had to check the calendar when I walked out of the house.

It's one of those 'ahhhhhh' moments when you open the door and are not confronted with another miserably cold early morning.v But this is nothing compared to what is coming next week. They're actually talking about 70s.

Unfortunately, sandwiched in between there is going to be another bout of snow this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm advisory for the region from 7 p.m. Saturday through Sunday morning.

Don't panic. This is not a monster storm. We're likely only going to get a inch or two, with more promised in the infamous 'northern and western suburbs.'

But by Sunday morning it will already start to taper off and traveling on the roads should not be a problem.

Then we can brace for a little bit of spring come Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs in the 70s are in the forecast.

For today, we'll have clouds and on-again, off-again rain, but with a mild high of 56. Tomorrow will be cooler, with snow moving into the region about 7 p.m.

Get the full forecast here.

An 'alarming' trend from Phils' new skipper

Gabe Kapler might be on to something.

The new Phillies skipper has already faced a bit of scrutiny because of his somewhat unorthodox training and fitness methods.

This guy doesn't look like most managers. He's cut - the result of lots of time in the weight room. Yep, he's right in there with his players.

Some of the stuff Kapler espouses seems over the top.

But I have to admit I was intrigued by one thing he has already introduced as the Phillies kick off their training camp once again in beautiful, sunny Clearwater.

Kapler has pushed back the start of the Phillies morning workouts.

And you know why?

He doesn't want players to have to wake up to the rude jolt of an alarm clock.

Instead Kapler believes the body should get you up when it feels right.

The guy never would have survived under the nuns who drilled us every morning at 8 a.m.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough

Spare me the thoughts and prayers, OK.

That does not mean my heart does not ache for one more slaughter of the innocents.

It means I am tired of hearing about these mass shootings. I'm tired of reporting them. I'm tired of counting the dead and wounded.

All while waiting for something to be done.

Because the truth is nothing is going to be done. Nothing is going to change.

It's clear we do not have the moral fiber to stop this carnage.

If Newtown taught us anything, it should have been that.

A troubled young man with access to guns calmly walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire. Before he took his own life (and you won't get his name here), he killed 20 innocent children.

Kids.

They were 6 or 7 years old.

He also killed six adult staff members.

That was 2012, five years ago.

We offered "thoughts and prayers" then, too.

And did nothing.

Then came San Bernardino. And Orlando. And Las Vegas.

Wednesday, a kid described as "troubled teenager" who had been posting disturbing thoughts on his social media feeds joined the list of this nation's mass shooting villains.

He entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., outside Fort Lauderdale, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades, a semi-automatic weapon and multiple magazines of ammo, and unleashed his fury.

Seventeen dead, several dozen injured.

The suspect, who had been expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, is now in custody.

Since 1997, when three students were gunned down and five wounded at a high school in West Paducah, Ky., there have been no less than a dozen mass school shootings.

It's been 18 years since two teens killed 12 classmates at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

And still we do nothing.

I am not going to argue why this kid in Florida had access to a gun. Or why any private citizens should need such a weapon. Or what kind of background check he - or whoever purchased it - had to go through to acquire it.

Because nothing is going to change.

We've proved that - again and again.

Instead I will simply wait.

For the next time.

We all know it is coming.

And we all know what will happen afterward.

Thoughts and prayers.

Another win for pipeline foes - & 2-party rule

Rack another victory for the foes of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

And, in a way, a huge step for two-party rule here in Delaware County.

Yesterday, Delaware County Council voted 3-1 to seek bids for a risk assessment study on the massive, $2.5 billion project of Sunoco Pipeline. When it's up and running, the company plans to deliver as many as 250,000 barrels a day of ethane, butane, and propane liquid gases across the entire width of Pennsylvania, from the Marcellus Shale regions, to a distribution center at the site of Sunoco's former refinery in Marcus Hook.

Opponents don't think this is an especially good idea, citing the potential for dangers, including a route that takes the pipeline through densely populated neighborhoods, literally right past schools and senior centers.

Unions, lots of elected officials, the chamber of commerce all support the potential economic benefits of the pipeline, including hundreds of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs. Sunoco insists the pipeline is being constructed - and will be operated - to the highest standards in the industry.

But the state Department of Environmental Protection shut down all construction on the project for more than a month after finding persistent, "egregious" problems during construction, as well as one incident where the company was found to be using a controversial technique known as Horizontal Directional Drilling in an area where it was not permitted to do so.

Last week it was announced Sunoco Pipeline would pay a $12 million fine; in return the state lifted the ban on construction. Opponents clearly are not satisfied.

Earlier this week officials out in Uwchlan Township in Chester County announced they would enforce their local zoning laws in an attempt to halt construction.

The 350-mile pipeline will traverse about 25 miles across the heart of the center Chester County, as well as another 11 miles across western Delaware County as it snakes its way toward Marcus Hook. The path is basically contiguous to Mariner East 1, Sunoco's old original oil pipeline, which has been retrofitted and is already delivering much of the same materials across the region.

Here in Delaware County, critics have been showing up at County Council meetings for the last month, pushing officials to do a risk assessment study.

Council had given an initial OK several weeks ago, before getting bogged down in the details of the study, as well as a little politics.

Remember, this is a new era of government at the Media Courthouse. After their victories at the polls in November, two Democrats now sit on the county's ruling body, something that has not happened since the mid-'70's.

Amazing what a little bipartisan rule will do.

Wednesday the citizens who oppose the pipeline got their wish.

Republican Council Vice Chairman Colleen Morrone joined Democrats Brian Zidek and Kevin Madden in approving the move to seek bids for the study. Republican Michael Culp voted against. Council Chairman John McBlain abstained, noting he did not want there to be any appearance of a conflict since his law firm has done some work for Sunoco Pipeline, although McBlain himself has not.

Now Council very well may have signed off on the risk assessment study without those two Democrats sitting at the table. But I kind of doubt it.

Then again, Morrone lives in Concodrd, near the heart of much of the unrest centering on the pipeline. A grassroots organization, Middletown Coalition for Community Safety, has been holding rallies and protesting the pipeline for more than a year.

I still think the pipeline is going to happen. It's too far along and there is too much money at stake to stop this thing now.

But I've been wrong before. And make no mistake, those who oppose it are not going to go away.

Having said that, I think the risk assessment study is a good thing.

And the process used by Delaware County Council to approve it is even better.

Two-party rule.

What a concept.

Pa. enters the medical marijuana era - it's about time

Let's cut through the haze when it comes to medical marijuana.

No, we're not going to cue up any old scenes from "Reefer Madness."

This isn't about any kind of Cheech & Chong induced euphoria.

This is about medicine.

Helping people - both adults and children - with serious pain and other medical maladies.

Today we get a preview of the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in the region. It's located on Lancaster Avenue out in Devon. Eventually, there will be two dispensaries here in Delaware County, in Upper Darby and Yeadon.

On our editorial page, we discuss why this is long over due - and the right thing to do.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A night in Chester

I spent last night in Chester.

I was invited by Butch Slaughter, who heads up the Chester Made initiative looking to light a spark under the renaissance taking root in the city, for a panel discussion on "Media in Chester." We gathered in the MJ Freed Theater on the Avenue of the State in the middle of the city's downtown.

I have to admit I was a tad apprehensive about the invitation.

Look, I know there are a lot of people who believe that a part of Chester's image problem is the way it is often portrayed in the pages of its daily newspaper. Yes, that would be the newspaper that I edit every day.

Of particular concern is the way - and the events - that land Chester on the front page.

I will be the first to tell you there is some truth is what our critics say.

At the same time, as I said last night, I always urge people to judge the newspaper and website in total.

How so? Take this test, which I actually did yesterday afternoon before heading down to the city.

Go to our website, DelcoTimes.com, type in the word Chester in the search engine. See what comes up.

You will see lots of community news. You will see the story we did last week on the new food initiative rolled out by Chester Eastside Ministry. You will lots of listings from our Friday religion pages. You will see several stories on the new Stormwater fee that is causing so much controversy in the city.

And yes, you will also see crime stories.

We had a great discussion about the media, Chester, and how the two intersect. I was joined on the panel by an old friend, and one of the best things that came out of an experiment we tried several years ago. We offered citizens the opportunity to write blogs. Stefan Roots took us up on the offer - and he's still going strong. You can read his Stefan Roots Blog here. It's always a good read.

Bill Nix once served on one of Community Advisory Panels. He's a lifelong Chester residents with a passion for his city.

And we got some fascinating perspectives from an outsider. Eric 'Brother Shomari' Grimes offered a great look at what sells when it comes to media, and what price we often are making for those decisions.

I thoroughly enjoyed the night.

And I'm looking forward to keeping the discussion going.

Thanks for the invite, Butch.

If you want to see the replay, it's available on the Chester Made Facebook page here.

This state rep's heart is taken

It's Valentine's Day.

The day for matters of the heart.

My friend state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, has that covered.

The Republican had been tinkering with the idea of running for the GOP nomination for the 7th District seat on Congress being vacated by Rep. Pat Meehan.

Turns out his heart wasn't in it. Instead he will seek re-election to the Legislature.

Actually, we now know his heart is somewhere else.

It belongs to Rachel Schwalm.

She's a legislative assistant in the office of state Rep. Steve Barrar, R-160, of Upper Chichester.

Miccarelli and Schwalm will tie the knot Saturday when they exchange vows Saturday at St. Rose of Lima Church in Eddystone. Happy Valentine's Day to Nick and Rachel!

Read all about their plans here.

Valentine's & Ash Wednesday: The combo plan

The calendar offers an odd convergence today.

It's Valentine's Day. And Ash Wednesday.

The day of romance and love. And the start of 40 days sacrifice, penance and self-reflection.

Geez, sounds kind of like marriage.

Just joking, my lovely bride.

She has put up with me - and the insane schedule I keep - for going on 35 years now. I'm hoping she does not kick my sorry behind to the curb for at least a few more years.

The truth is I have a lot of making up to do. A ton of things I missed or was torn away - all because of work.

I usually make Ash Wednesday resolutions. You know the old Baltimore Catechism routine. You give up something you like as part of the sacrifice of Lent.

Every year I do the same things. I try to cut down on cursing. That usually last about 45 minutes, tops.

I also give up my favorite food - potato chips. That's right. I'm a Herr's man from way back. That guy up on the billboard smiling with Mike Quick? Friend of mine. Yep, I went to high school with Ed Herr.

I have this bad habit of charging into the house at night, blowing right by my wife who has been sitting alone waiting patiently for me to arrive - late as usual - and making a beeline for the snack drawer, where I go immediately up to my elbow in a nice bag of Herr's ripple chips. Don't even bother to take off my coat.

This year I'm going to try something different.

No, I haven't lost my mind. I'm not planning to give up coffee. I was forced to do that for two days back in the summer when I endured a bout of kidney stones. I thought I was going to die - not from the stones. They passed without much problem. But the headache from caffeine withdrawal is probably the worst I've ever endured.

I even considered giving up social media and "unplugging," but work has a tendency to get into the way of that.

So instead I plan to work on achieving some level of balance in my life. I have for decades went overboard on work. It takes its toll - on a lot of things.

Time for that to change.

And what better time than Ash Wednesday, and the start of the Lenten season.

I just hope my better half has not had similar thoughts of combining the two days, and decided to tell me to "kiss my ash goodbye."

Hey, I write headlines for a living. It's an hold habit. Probably should give that one up for Lent as well.

Map Quest: It's business as usual in Pa.

A Wolf in sheep's clothing?

We'll see.

There is a potential political and constitutional showdown brewing in the state Capitol.

It's all about redistricting - basically the shape of the state's 18 Congressional districts.

The current maps got tossed out by the court, which found them to be a classic case of partisan gerrymandering, that being when politicians bend and twist the borders of a district to benefit their own party.

Our legislators - both Republican and Democrat - wouldn't do that, would they?

You bet they would.

Now it has to be fixed.

That's going to be easier said than done.

Republicans managed to beat a deadline late Friday when they submitted their plan to Gov. Tom Wolf, as ordered by the court. But Gov. Wolf Tuesday rejected the new GOP maps, saying they were just as 'gerrymandered as the ones that caused the problem in the first place.

Now the two sides are lobbing accusations at each other.

In other words, pretty much business as usual in Harrisburg.

You can get the latest details here.

In the meantime, the nation's eyes will soon be riveted on Delaware County and what promises to be one of the most high-profile - and expensive - Congressional races in the 2018 mid-terms.

That would be the battle for the 7th District seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Rep. Pat Meehan, who opted not to run again after being embroiled in controversy over the use of taxpayer money to settle a sex harassment complaint filed by a former staffer.

There is no shortage of people lined up seeking both parties nominations. Now all we need to know is what shape the district they are supposed to represent in D.C. will be.

It's on our editorial page.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

7th Heaven? Hardly

I fully expected to wake up this morning and see the smiling face of Clare Putnam Pozos on the front page of today's newspaper beside the headline, "She's the One."

That didn't happen.

Pozos quit her job as an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia to seek the Republican nomination for the 7th District seat in Congress being vacated by incumbent Republican Pat Meehan.

That is not because the Delaware County GOP has soured on her. I still think she will be the GOP candidate.

The problem is no one is quite sure just what the 7th District is going to look like. It's at the heart of a redistricting dispute in which the state's Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps. Republicans submitted their plan last Friday. Democrats still don't like it. Gov. Wolf has until Thursday to accept it and submit it to the court. If there is no plan, the court has indicated they will draw up one of their own - all in time for the May primary.

So last night the Delaware County Republican Party did not offer an endorsement. Instead they heard from a handful of candidates, including Pozos.

Here's why I think Pozos is the front-runner.

It's the year of the woman. The #MeToo movement has blown the lid off a longstanding problem among our elected representatives at just about every level. Our "representative" government is not nearly representative enough. Especially when it comes to women.

The sexual harassment saga is pushing a new political movement among women to get involved in the process. The 7th, which has rested comfortably in the hands of the GOP and Meehan since the last redistricting in 2011, already was going to be a much sterner test in the 2018 mid-terms. An anti-Trump push powered by women hit home last November, when Delco Democrats did something they have been talking about - but failing to do - for decades. They elected a person to Delaware County Council. Not only that, but they won both seats, as well as all three row offices up for grabs.

The anti-Trump movement in a county that bucked the state trend and voted for Hillary Clinton was expected to create problems for Meehan's re-election.

Then the incumbent had his own #MeeToo moment. Call it #MeehanToo.

Word broke that he used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment claim of his own filed by a former staffer. While he was sitting on the Ethics Committee in judgment of others. He denied any wrongdoing, calling the payment a severance package. He did a series of disastrous interviews trying to explain his side of the story. The next day he indicated he would not seek re-election.

Several women are seeking the Democratic nomination.

I full expected the local Republicans - who did not get where they are by being deaf and dumb when it comes to what's in the political wind - to follow suit. That's where Pozos, who only announced her candidacy Saturday, comes in.

Then there is the shape of the 7th District itself. It is considered Exhibit A in the dangers of gerrymandering and redistricting. Its contorted shape - two large chunks of turf that are bent and twisted to include GOP strongholds - is so bad it is routinely mocked as "Goofy Kicking Donald Duck." The Republican version of a new 7th shows a much more contiguous district.

For now, everything is on hold until the shape of the 7th District is etched in stone.

Look for Pozos to carry the GOP banner, very likely against a woman leading the Democratic field.

In the meantime, on today's editorial page, we talk about what could wind up being the Year of the Woman in local politics.

Philly is on a serious roll

Don't look now, but something wild - & wonderful! - is happening in Philly sports.

Do you realize that since the Eagles won the Super Bowl a week ago vs. the Patriots, that no Philly pro sports team has lost?

The Flyers have won four straight. The Sixers have done the same, winning their fourth straight last night against the Knicks and getting a triple-double off the bench from T.J. McConnell. It's the first team in team history a bench player has ever thrown in a triple-double (that's double figures in points, assists and rebounds).

The Flyers scorched Vegas, 4-1, in a town where road teams have struggled all season. Tonight they host the Devils.

8-0. Now that's what I call a Philly Special.

It's enough to make an old, died-in-the-wool Philly sports fan wonder about the power of karma.

Phillies pitchers and catchers report for spring training later this week. Think they can go undefeated?

Yep, I'm old

Here's today's version of, 'Wow, Do I Feel Old!'

If you're of a, how should I say, certain age, you no doubt remember The Monkees.

They had a hit TV show in the '60's. Basically what they did was recruit some young guys to become part of a pop band. They had a string of hits, including "Last Train to Clarksville", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", and "Daydream Believer."

I can still remember their names: Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork.

Well, brace yourself.

Today is Peter Tork's birthday.

He's 76.

That's not a typo.

Peter Tork is 76.

Yep, I'm old.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Throwback Monday: For one day, print was king again

This one is personal.

I could not hide my smile last Monday.

Yes, it had something to do with the football game that was played the night before.

Maybe you've heard about it. They call it the Super Bowl.

The Eagles won it this year.

But that's only half the store.

What happened Monday was something that had me looking like the proverbial Cheshire cat all day.

I fielded one phone call, email, Tweet and Facebook post after another.

All these people were using the technology we swim in every day to find something of a throwback.

They all wanted to know where they could find a copy of that day's print edition of the newspaper.

It wasn't easy.

We printed thousands more copies of our special "Phinally!" front page celebrating the Eagles win.

And it wasn't enough.

For one day, print was king.

Again.

It's in my Monday Letter From the Editor.

My connection to Johnny Weir - & the Olympics

Now what do we do?

I'm usually a big Olympics buff, but I'm having trouble getting into it this year.

Call it a Super Bowl hangover. We're all still walking on air following the Eagles astounding Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

I'll probably settle into the Olympics this week.

Part of the reason is my wife. She has banned me from watching the ice skating. It's too nerve-racking for her, fearing the skaters will end up on their back side during one of their daring jumps.

She thinks I kind of wait for the spills. She might be right.

But there is another reason I look forward to the skating.

It gives me a chance to check in with an old friend.

Well, sort of.

I love Johnny Weir.

But not for the reason you might think.

Johnny teams with Tara Lipinski to form one of the best breaths of fresh air to come along in sports announcing in a long time. Both are former champion skaters. Both do not hold back when it comes to being critical of poor performance. And neither is a cheerleader for the USA.

None of which forms the reason for my joy every time I see Johnny's face.

That's because when I look at Johnny, I see his mom. He's a dead ringer for the girl I used to know as Patti Moore.

That's right, I have a connection with Johnny.

And that connection is none other than good old Oxford, Pa.

That's where his mom and dad grew up.

Me, too.

We went to school together.

The then Patti Moore and John Weir were a year or two behind me.

Actually, Patti and I knew each other long before I finally made it to Oxford High. Remember, I didn't attend public school until the day I walked into Oxford High. For eight years I got on a bus and traveled 10 miles down old Route 1 to Assumption BVM School in West Grove.

But Patti's family and mine knew each other from church. Hell, we sat just a few pews away every Sunday at the old Sacred Heart Church.

The truth is I still knew most of the kids in town because I worked most days after school at my parents' store, just a block down the street from the high school.

The Moore's lived just a few blocks away.

I played football with Patti's brother Mark. And her future husband, John. That's right. Johnny Weir's dad was a football player, and a damn good lineman at that.

Every time I see Johnny on TV, it's like a trip home - and to my childhood all those long years ago in Oxford.

Oddly enough, I drove through town this weekend on my way to visit my kids in Washington, D.C. I always like to go through town on my way to pick up I-95.

I always make a visit to the cemetery, and drive down Wheeler Boulevard past our old house. And finally I drive by the corner where Heron's was down the street from the high school.

I think back fondly of those days. Life was a lot simpler back then.

As always, thanks for the memories, Johnny!

The thrill of watching it - again & again!

I have now watched the Eagles' win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots two more times.

I can't get enough.

Yes, I know exactly what happens.

I know when the 'Philly Special' is coming.

I'm still not sure if Corey Clement got both feet down.

I have no idea what constitutes a catch, but I know that Zach Ertz tumbled into the end zone, breaking the plane of the goal line in the process.

And I again begged for someone on the defense to make a play, seconds before Brandon Graham managed to knock that ball out of the hands of Brady, thus nearly sealing the deal for the Birds.

And yes, I still had a few twinges in the pit of my stomach when Brady launched that final desperation 'Hail Mary in the vicinity of Rob Gronkowski in the end zone, finally exhaling once again when it again bounced off the turf.

I'll be honest, there is a part of me who has been disappointed so many times in the past who was fully expecting Gronk to haul in that pass on one of the replays.

I first watched the DVR of the game when I got home Friday night.

Then, after driving home from a visit with the kids Saturday in D.C., I was trying to figure out what to do on a thoroughly miserable, wet Sunday. (Hey, I'll take it over snow any day!).

So I flipped on the game again, starting with the second half kickoff.

I can't tell you how many times I might wind up watching the replay.

I'm setting the over-under at five.

And I'm taking the over.

Super Bowl Champions!

Still can't believe it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

A very special day in Philly sports history

Wow! Just Wow!

I would have loved to have been down on the Parkway yesterday. As usual, work intervened.

That doesn't mean what happened this week means any less.

I have been trying now for several days to get my head around what happened Sunday night in Minneapolis, and then what happened here, especially Saturday in Philadelphia.

I tried to put my thoughts on this very special Eagles team and their run to a Super Bowl title into words.

They appear on today's editorial page.

I hope you agree.

A curious time for a major news announcement

I'm a newspaper editor.

I get paid to be cynical.

So I can admit it didn't take long for my eyebrows to go up yesterday morning when we got word that the state Department of Environmental Protection and Sunoco Pipeline had settled their differences.

First the details. Sunoco Pipeline will pay $12 million for the series of "egregious" problems that have plagued construction of the massive Mariner East 2 pipeline. The work has been marked by a number of spills and discharges, and in one instance out near Harrisburg the company got caught using its controversial Horizontal Directional Drilling technique in an area where it was not permitted to do so.

In return for forking over that cool $12 million, Sunoco Pipeline will get the green light to restart construction on the line, which for the most part has been shut down since the DEP halted work back on Jan. 3.

None of which is what I find suspicious.

It's the timing that I find just a bit convenient.

Gov. Wolf, DEP and the PUC have been under intense heat from residents and environmental groups for their handling of the Mariner East 2 project. Residents continue to ask both the state and their local governments to do independent risk assessment studies on the project.

They had to know this deal - which allows Sunoco to restart construction and puts Mariner East 2, already months behind schedule - to get closer to reality was not going to be especially popular with residents.

So what better time to push out a press release announcing the settlement than the morning of the biggest event in Philly history.

Sunoco Pipeline is not on today's front page. That, of course, is owned by the Eagles.

The story is, however, on our "second" front, inside the paper after our special Super Bowl Parade section.

You can argue about our news judgment if you like.

What I don't think you can argue is that this deal was pushed out on a day when a lot of state officials no doubt were hoping it would fly under the radar.

For some reason, I don't think that's going to happen.

The people opposed to Mariner East 2 are not going away.

Even those who live and died with the Eagles.

A day to remember

Now what do we do?

Well, if you believe Doug Pederson, we get used to it.

The Eagles head coach has a message for long-suffering Philly fans. Get used to parades.

"This is the new norm," Pederson told his players, and in effect the fans as well.

We can't wait for next season.

But first, a few things about what happened yesterday.

How about a huge thumb's up for SEPTA, which took a lot of grief during the parade planning but delivered the goods - and hundreds of thousands of fans - to and from the city with hardly a hiccup. Well done, folks.

And to the fans. This one is simple. They are the best fans in the world, and proved it again yesterday.

Make sure you pick up a copy of our print edition today. It's another special collector's edition with a special section detailing the Eagles Super Bowl Championship Parade. It also has one more color centerspread saluting the City of Champions. Plus, it's at our regular daily price of $1.50, a bargain.

Finally, there is Jason Kelce. I love his passion. I love the underdog spirit. But truth be told, I could have lived without the profanity. I'm not a prude. I can cuss with the best of them. But there is a context and setting that needs to be taken into consideration.

We lament all the time how much coarser our society is becoming. I know I do. Now we know why. The crowd roared as Kelce dropped F-bombs. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

I still love Kelce. As much as anyone he embodies the underdog spirit that carried this team - and this city - to its first Super Bowl championship.

A day to remember? You bet.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A day like no other

This is the day we've been waiting for - after Sunday night of course.

Some of us have been waiting longer than others.

For me? Well, the Eagles won their last championship in 1960. I was 5 years old. That was the pre-Super Bowl Days.

I don't think anyone is quite prepared for what is going to happen today.

I'm sure the rest of the nation isn't.

There were hundreds of people who spent the night outside the Art Museum just so they could have a prime spot for today's Super Bowl Parade.

Hundreds have been standing in line at regional rail stations before light.

All to celebrate a football team.

But not just any football team.

Our Iggles.

Who have finally helped us shed our loser's image forever.

Enjoy the day.

The wait is over.

We're Super Bowl champions.

* * *

If you can't make it downtown, you have follow our live stream, with complete coverage of everything going on for the parade. CLICK HERE.

And if you happen to be out of town but still want in on the action, we'll have a live stream of parade as well. CLICK HERE.

No word yet on whether Chase Utley will make an appearance.

So let me offer this.

We are World Champions. What? You expected one more word? Hey, this is a family publication.

Savor every minute of it!

Thrill of Victory; Agony of getting to the Parade

We're calling it the Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of getting to the parade.

This basically breaks down to a numbers game.

There are going to be a lot more people headed into the city for the massive Eagles Super Bowl Parade than SEPTA can possibly hope to handle.

The transit agency learned some painful lessons during the 2008 Phillies World Series Parade. Regional rails trains filled up quickly, and then simply blew by thousands of fans waiting at stations farther east on the lines.

For that reason, SEPTA limited the stations it will use on the lines today, and decided to sell 50,000 discounted Indpendence passes for use on the rails. Those sold out in hours.

It's a reminder of the importance of investing in mass transit. And in infrastructure.

Thousands of people were already in line at 6 a.m. this morning waiting for trains.

We talk about it on today's editorial page.

Nick Foles Keepsake Page; Special Parade Section coming tomorrow!

Welcome to Parade Day.

First things First.

Make sure you grab a copy of the print edition of the Delco Times both today and tomorrow for more special coverage of the Super Bowl Champion Eagles.

In today's centerspread, we have another Nick Foles centerspread keepsake page. This is the shot of Nick we used on Monday's "Phinally" front page.

Then make sure you grab a copy of tomorrow's Friday edition, which will include a special section full of stories and photos on today's epic parade in Philly.

Remember what happened Monday. Those special day-after copies of the Daily Times disappeared from stores and racks in minutes. Make sure you get one tomorrow!

And ours will still only be our regular price of $1.50. We're not raising the price for these special editions.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Those special SEPTA rail passes are a very hot item

Call it the thrill of victory, and the agony of trying to get to the parade.

SEPTA yesterday released its detailed transit plan for those looking to head into the city Thursday for the Eagles Super Bowl Parade.

Officials learned some tough lessons back in 2008 when the Phillies held their World Championship Parade. SEPTA wasn't prepared for the mass of people looking to get on their regional rail lines to head into the city. Trains filled quickly at the outermost stations and once at capacity, they simply zipped into the city, blowing by hundreds of fans left stranded at stations farther east across the county.

They put the lessons they learned into effect for the pope's visit.

One of the key they announced yesterday was limiting the number of stations on Delaware County's two rail lines - Media/Elwyn and the Wilmington line.

Trains on Media/Elwyn will stop only at Elwyn, Media and Primos on the way into the city.

On the Wilmington line, stops will include Wilmington, Marcus Hook and Ridley Park.

But SEPTA also announced that all riders would need a special pass to use the regional rails Thursday. They went on sale for $10 yesterday afternoon and quickly became the hottest item in the region.

We've had reports of stations running out of the special passes and people waiting in lines for hours last night in Paoli in an attempt to get them.

Here's the problem. It's simply numbers. SEPTA GM Jeff Knueppel was on TV this morning to explain the predicament. The system can shuttle 500,000 people into the city at capacity. They are expecting upwards of 2 million at the parade. You do the math. SEPTA indicated they would try to get more passes out to the stations today.

Then again if you can get to the 69th Street Terminal, the Market-Frankford line is going to be running free all day. Or you could drive into the city and take your chances finding a parking spot.

All the parade details & a salute to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson

The party keeps rolling for Eagles fans - and we're going along for the ride.

First off we have another keepsake centerspread page. Today we're honoring the man who led these Eagles all season long. That would be Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. Make sure you pick up a copy of our print edition to snag one.

On Thursday we will have another version of our classic "Phinally" front page image of Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles in our centerspread position.

And on Friday you'll want to pick up a copy of the print edition for a special keepsake section covering the massive Super Bowl Parade planned for downtown Philly Thursday.

If you're planning to head downtown for the parade, we've got a checklist of all the things you need to know.

Your early morning report from the roads

I don't often have praise for my work schedule.

Today is one of them.

I just got into the office here a few minutes before 5:30.

I can tell you I just drove through blowing and drifting salt and brine.

In other words, nothing is happening out there.

Yet.

But we're told it is coming.

Actually, the biggest problem I had was getting stuck at one point behind a salt truck and having my car showered with salt pellets.

As I approached Granite Run Mall I started to notice a few drops on the windshield, and it appeared the roads were wet. Then it stopped again.

None of this is stopping schools from proactively reacting to the forecast. Many are operating on a two-hour delay, including Upper Darby, Garnet Valley and Penn-Delco so far.

This is supposed to start as a period of wet snow and icing, before changing over to steady rain amid rising temperatures this afternoon. We could get drenched this afternoon. The morning rush could be a mess. If you can get out now you won't have a problem.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory until noon for a nasty mix of snow, ice and rain. We're likely only going to get a coating here, but the ice could make getting around dicey.

You can get the full forecast here.

It is the only thing that can chase the Eagles off the lead on all the local TV news.

The Eagles have realized their "gold standard." In the TV news business they actually have the "white standard."

That means snow.

Brace yourself.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sometimes, sports transcends everything else

Super Bowl Champions.

Still seems weird to say that and Eagles in the same sentence.

One of the great things about sports is that it is a shared experience.

We all watch it together.

At the same time.

We clap, we scream, we bite our nails in unison.

It is handed down from father to son. From moms to. And to their daughters as well. It becomes part of the fiber that weaves its way through generations.

Sunday night was one of those moments.

For long-suffering Eagles fans, maybe the best moment.

I will not deny that I shed a few tears.

But the thing about his job, is that big stories often don't hit me until a week or so later. That's because the immediacy of what we do in delivering news now has a tendency to consume us. We put our head down and plow into the job. We don't always think about the magnitude, the importance of what just happened.

There are other, serious stories out there today.

The stock market is in a freefall.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Pa. high court that the state's congressional maps must be redrawn.

None of that matters.

At least not for the next few days.

As you may have heard me say a few times recently, these are dire days for the newspaper industry. Our readers increasingly are getting their information online - on their phones and tablets.

We are a portable society these days, requiring the headlines be delivered instantly, to match our attention span.

Print is considered an antique, something our parents once did.

Except for yesterday.

We printed an extra 8,000 copies of Monday's special edition hailing the news that at long last the Eagles were Super Bowl Champions. The front page contained a single word.

Phinally.

Good luck finding one. Stores quickly sold out. People arrived at our offices seeking a copy. The phones were swamped with people wanting to know if they could still order a copy.

People who no longer live in the area reached out to me via email, Twitter and Facebook seeking something they could not find on Amazon or anywhere else online - something they could hold in their hands, confirming what they had just witnessed.

For one day, I was a pretty popular guy.

The party will continue.

We continue to exalt in our newly acquired - and most unusual - status.

We're winners.

It's on our editorial page.

Get your Nick Foles Super Bowl MVP keepsake page

We're keeping the party going.

The parade is set for Thursday.

In the meantime, we offer our very own salute to Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with another keepsake centerspread power page.

The team came home yesterday, touching down at Philadelphia International Airport and welcomed by a throng of several hundreds rabid fans.

Foles, meanwhile, was at Disney World with his family as the Super Bowl MVP.

If today's print edition is anything like yesterday's, it's going to be pretty hard to find.

Yeah, that special "Phinally" edition proved pretty popular yesterday.

Just call it Eagles Fever

Forget the flu. The region has a serious case of Eagles Fever.

As you might have heard, they planning a little party Thursday in Philly.

With about 3 million people invited.

The Eagles Super Bowl Championship Parade will be held Thursday.

Wednesday is going to be a mess weather-wise, with a mix of snow changing to rain just about all day, so city officials decided Thursday would be the day.

Here in Delaware County, several schools are closing for the day. So far Upper Darby, Ridley, Springfield and Penn-Delco all plan to shut down Thursday so students and staff can take in what promises to be the Mother of All Parades.

City schools already had decided to shut down, and all archdiocesan schools - both in the city and the suburbs - will close for the day.

This morning SEPTA will lay out its plan. That should be interesting. If you remember the last time we did this, after the Phillies World Series Championship in 2008, there were problems on the regional rails. Basically, if you did not get on the train at one of the first stops at the western end, you were out of luck. Trains filled quickly and once full, simply zipped past huge crowds waiting at stations farther east on the lines. People were not happy.

We'll have all the details from SEPTA later today.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Phinally!

I only needed one word to sum up the feelings of Eagles Nation this morning.

As usual, I had been thinking about just what I would say on our front page for the past week.

I had a pretty good idea.

We've been waiting a long time for this.

For some of us, more than half a century.

I think this front page pretty much sums up how we feel.

Phinally!

Yep, seems about right.

Feeling like winners

I spent a lot of time this weekend trying to figure out just what it would mean if the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

I put my thoughts into Sunday's editorial.

And then I revisited it in today's Monday Letter From the Editor print column.

I thought about my dad, the man who preferred to listen to the games on the radio than watch them on TV.

I thought about my father-in-law, who accepted me into his family from my future wife and I's first date, hours after the Eagles lost a playoff game. We commiserated, and this longtime Eagles season ticket holder loved the idea that his daughter was dating a fellow longtime Iggles fan.

I thought about my brother Dennis, my cousin Tom and our group of guys who spent all those years up in the 700 Level of the Vet. I talked to my son and daughter, both of whom spent many years tiptoeing around their old man on Sundays, knowing just how important this was to him.

It was not until last night that I realized the acorn did not fall far from the tree. My son was speechless as the Eagles delivered. He didn't have to wait nearly as long as his dad and his beloved 'Pop-Pop' did.

I was stunned at how calm I was as I watched the game, and Tweeted through the night.

I wish I could say the same for my wife, who knows the game better than most any guy I know. She was a basket case.

When that last desperation pass from Tom Brady finally fell incomplete in the end zone, I hugged my wife. I couldn't really speak. I hope she knows what it meant to me.

I hope all of you do.

At 10:17 p.m., the Underdogs became Top Dogs.

We're not losers any more.

We're Super Bowl Champions.

I was beginning to wonder if this was ever going to happen.

When it finally did, I wasn't quite sure how to react.

The truth? It feels pretty damn good.

Ice-ing on the cake: Lots of icy spots this morning after all our celebrating

Call it the Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of getting around the next morning.

Here is your early a.m. report from the roads.

Be careful out there. There are lots of icy spots, especially in your neighborhood. Getting out of the development and onto the main roads could be a challenge this morning.

Actually, just getting into your car might be a bit of a task.

There is ice covering just about everything this morning. Plan some extra time to get the car cleared off.

Then expect slow going. There are already reports of several accidents, including one 13-car fender-bender over in South Jersey.

You can get the forecast here. And the full traffic report here.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick (Super Bowl Edition)

The Eagles, we all know, have been to two Super Bowls. Won none. As in zero.

They last won a world championship in 1960, when I was 5.

Perhaps it’s fitting that no one saw this one coming. No one saw Doug Pederson turning into a coaching savant. No one saw the sudden ascension of Carson Wentz into an MVP-caliber quarterback. And most assuredly, no one saw Nick Foles riding to the rescue after Wentz went down for the season with a knee injury.

But here we are.

Eagles vs. Patriots.

Super Bowl LII.

Foles vs. Brady.

Well, maybe we shouldn’t focus on that last one. Let’s make it Brady vs. Cox instead. That is the battle that will decide this game. The Eagles’ stellar defense, led by All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, must disrupt Brady early, get him off his game, make him move his feet, make him uncomfortable in the pocket, knock him down a few times.

This is exactly the reason the Eagles gave Cox that massive contract in the off-season. Now he needs to deliver. He’s been very good in the playoffs so far. Now he needs to put this team on his back on the biggest stage in sports.

The pressure also will be on the Eagles linebackers, in particular Mychal Kendricks, who likely will spend much of the day in their nickel package, defending the Patriots’ multiple tight end formations. Brady will try to pick the Birds’ apart with throws to his favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski and his shifty running backs.

On the other side of the ball, don’t look for a repeat performance from Foles of the magic he displayed vs. the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Foles’ job Sunday will not be to win the game, but rather not to lose it. He can’t turn the ball over, meaning he can’t hold on to it forever and risk sacks or fumbles. And he can’t throw interceptions.

This game could belong to Jay Ajayi. The Eagles should be able to run the ball on the Patriots. Look for the Birds to mirror the kind of attack Andy Reid and the Chiefs used to demolish them back in the season opener, attacking the edges. Pederson knows that offense well. He used to run it for Reid.

The game could come down to special teams, and a battle of field goal kickers.

We’ve been waiting 58 years.

I think the wait is over.

Who would have thunk it.

Super Bowl Champions.

Phinally!

THE PICK: Make it Eagles 23, Patriots 17. Jay Ajayi pounds out 115 yards on the ground as the Eagles control the game, while Cox and his mates harass Brady into an uncharacteristic off-kilter performance in the big game. Cox walks away with the MVP Trophy.

LAST WEEK: I thought the Eagles would beat the Vikings, but no, I never for a second saw that demolition coming. Ironically, Minnesota fans then had to turn around a week later and welcome their conquerors into their town for a Super Bowl they had hoped would feature their own home town Vikings.

The Eagles went 13-3 in the regular season and have won two straight playoff games behind Nick Foles and a ferocious defense. I finished the regular season with a 12-4 mark, and have split in the playoffs. I actually had the Birds losing to the Falcons, but I thought they would handle the Vikings.

GAME BY GAME: Eagles 30, Redskins 17. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

Chiefs 27, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Chiefs 33, Eagles 17)

Eagles 27, Giants 24. (My Pick: Eagles 23, Giants 17)

Eagles 26, Chargers 24. (My Pick: Chargers 27, Eagles 17)

Eagles 34, Cardinals 7. (My Pick: Eagles 29, Cardinals 24)

Eagles 28, Panthers 23. (My Pick: Panthers 26, Eagles 17)

Eagles 34, Redskins 24. (My Pick: Eagles 31, Redskins 19)

Eagles 33, 49ers 10. (My Pick: Eagles 24, 49ers 10)

Eagles 51, Broncos 23 (My Pick: Eagles 23, Broncos 19)

Eagles 37, Cowboys 9 (My Pick: Eagles 29, Cowboys 17)

Eagles 31, Bears 3 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Bears 13)

Seahawks 24, Eagles 10 (My Pick: Seahawks 23, Eagles 17)

Eagles 43, Rams 35 (My Pick: Rams 33, Eagles 29)

Eagles 24, Giants 29 (My Pick: Eagles 23, Giants 19)

Eagles 19, Raiders 10 (My Pick: Eagles 27, Raiders 17)

Cowboys 6, Eagles 0 (My Pick: Eagles 23, Cowboys 16)

NFC Divisional Playoff

Eagles 15, Falcons 10 (My Pick: Falcons 23, Eagles 13)

NFC Championship Game

Eagles 38, Vikings 7 (My Pick: Eagles 16, Vikings 13)

Friday, February 2, 2018

A delay for pipeline risk assessment study

There is a new snag in the push to have Delaware County undertake its own risk assessment study of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

Those who oppose the project and who have been imploring officials to get on with the risk study were back at Delaware County Council Wednesday.

They left disappointed.

After signalling last week they were ready to put out proposals for the study, council could not agree on how they wanted to proceed with the project.

And of course it pretty much broke down on partisan grounds.

They will try again next week.

That's a good thing. Because the residents deserve this risk assessment study. They didn't ask for this project to show up in their neighborhoods. They deserve answers to their questions - and concerns.

You can read our editorial on the issue here.

All Eagles All the Time

The Eagles bandwagon rolls on - just two more days until Super Bowl LII.

That gives you plenty of time to pick up a copy of today's print edition so you can devour our special 28-page Super Bowl Preview section.

It has predictions from lots of our staff members. including me. Here's a hint: I actually think the Birds are going to win. In the meantime, check out the story of Chris Romanelli of Havertown. The longtime Eagles season ticket holder won an NFL contest and is now on his way to an all-expenses paid weekend in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl.

And just for good measure, there is another Nick Foles Color Keepsake Centerspread Power Page inside the paper today.

If you're ready to celebrate (and you couldn't make it to Wing Bowl) head to Media. The county is throwing an Eagles pep rally at the courthouse at noon.

Who needs Punxsutawney when you have Wing Bowl?

The only thing that could make this day complete is if Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow wearing an Eagles jersey with a chicken wing in his mouth.

Yes, the revelry out at Gobbler's Knob is taking a back seat this morning. We've got coverage of Phil here. Six more weeks of winter?

Who cares? We're trying to get through two more days until Super Bowl LII.

And if it's the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday, that can mean only one thing.

Something so "Philadelphia" that it kind of defies description.

Yes, it's Wing Bowl.

Where fat men are cheered on by a beer-swilling throng while lots of Wingettes clad in little more than thongs lead the festivities.

Is this a great country or what?

This is the 26th year for Wing Bowl. Even the Mummers pale beside this madness.

CLICK HERE if you're interested in a live stream of the madness form the Wells Fargo Center.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A salute to those who serve - & the price they pay

There was a certain bit of sad irony when Philadelphia Police Officer took the witness stand earlier this week to lay out the horrific details of his run-in with pure evil.

Hartnett, sometimes through tears, told the jury how a man in a long, flowing white garment walked up to his police cruiser, produced a gun and opened fire.

Hartnett's testimony came one day before the solemn anniversary of another similarly tragic incident.

It was 16 years ago that Upper Darby Officer Dennis McNamara stopped to check on a suspicious vehicle. A member of an outlaw biker gang approached him and shot him point-blank in the head. McNamara did not survive to tell his tale. He was the first Upper Darby officer to die in the line of duty.

We salute Hartnett for what he did.

And sadly remember Officer Dennis McNamara.

You can read our editorial here.

Get your Zach Ertz centerspread keepsake today!

There's no letup in us as we continue to beat the drum for the Eagles with the Super Bowl now just three days away.

Today we're right back with another in our Eagles Keepsake Centerspread Power pages. Today we're featuring tight end Zach Ertz, who no doubt will be a key figure in Sunday's game.

But remember you have to pick up a copy of today's print edition to get one.

Also we'll tell you how local Philly Pretzel Factory is turning the "underdog" spirit of the Eagles into special dogbone-shaped pretzels, with a part of the proceeds going to an organization to help find shelter for homeless animals. Get the details here.

In Sports, Bob Grotz continues his coverage from Minneapolis, and tells how Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is calling on an old buddy to rev up his team. Pederson will have Packers legend and former teammate Brett Favre talk to the team Sunday morning before the game.

Wawa offers free coffee all day Sunday before the Super Bowl

Welcome to February!

Want to know one of the best things about this most improbably run to the Super Bowl by the Eagles?

It made January just a little more tolerable.

Now just two more months to go.

And of course, what happens Sunday will go a long way toward just how miserable February will be.

And to help us get through what no doubt will be a nail-biting Sunday, Wawa is stepping up big time to help our frayed nerves and boost our Eagles Fever.

Our favorite convenience store, which of course started right here in Delco and is still based here, is offering free coffee at all their stores in the region Sunday, right up until kickoff of the Super Bowl at 6:30 Sunday night.

Yep, no doubt we'll all need more than a little jolt of caffeine, and the folks at Wawa are coming to our rescue.

You can get all the details here.