Updated: 8 min 45 sec ago
On our editorial page, we talk about a crucial problem with our elections. You might not be aware of it, but your voice - your vote - is being lessened, and it has nothing to do with you selecting the candidates you want to support.Instead, it has everything to do with them selecting you, or at least selecting voters who likely will return them to office. It's called gerrmandering, and it is politics at its worst.We have the poster boy for the gerrmandering issue right here in Delaware County, with the bizarre shape of the 7th District, which now not only covers the bulk of Delaware County, but now also zigs and zags its way through five suburban counties.You can read our editorial here.
Last night was one of the best nights of the year. No, it doesn't have anything to do with the NFL Draft, even though it was right here in Philly, filling the Ben Franklin Parkway with thousands of Eagles fans.I was a few miles away, doing something a newspaper editor almost never gets a chance to do.I was standing in a ballroom packed with nearly 600 people - almost all of whom were saying nice things about the newspaper. Believe me, it's a rarity.It was the annual Partners in Education Dinner at the Drexelbrook, where the members of the All-Delco Hi-Q team and the winners of the Excellence in Teaching Awards are handed out.My thanks to Rick Durante and the good folks at the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union once again for the opportunity. As I stood on that stage and handed awards to 22 students and 19 teachers, I realized the importance of showing good stories that profile kids and educators doing positive things.In my remarks I told the audience of my struggle to do that. No, I can't promise we're not always going to see eye to eye on stories. But I can promise to strive to offer a balanced view.The view last night was excellent. Take my word for it.
Go ahead. Call us homers. Philadelphia once again finds itself in the international limelight.First it was the pope. Then came the Democrats.Now things are really getting serious.The NFL is in town.Tonight the city becomes the epicenter of the sports universe, hosting the three-day NFL Draft on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway - and of course the most famous steps in the universe.Yes, those very same steps traversed by that underdog film hero Rocky Balboa, tonight play host to a slew of other athletes, No. 1 picks in the NFL Draft.A massive stage has been constructed atop the Rocky steps.There are those who believe shutting down a big part of Center City for this type of event is overkill.Yes, it does have its downside.But it is absolutely worth it.We can give you about 80 million reasons why. That's how much the event likely will contribute to the region's bottom line - a cool $80 million bucks.But it's more than that.It's one more reason for the region to shed its inferiority complex and embrace our new role as a world-class city that routinely handles big events.Sorry, Rocky, we're not underdogs anymore.It's on our editorial page.
We're on a bit of a roll this week when it comes to featuring good kids. That brings a smile to this editor's day, because it gives me ammunition to one of the biggest complaints I hear every day about our coverage, especially when it comes to young people."How come there is so much bad news in the Daily Times?"The easy answer is because that's what people read.But that's not enough.That's one of the reasons I am always looking for a way to feature kids doing good things.Just last Sunday, we devoted the lead of our front page, as well as four pages inside to our annual All-Delco Hi-Q team. These are our best and brightest, one member from each team that participates in the nation's oldest scholastic quiz competition, Hi-Q.Those kids, along with the 19 educators selected for the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Awards, will be honored tonight at the Partners in Education gala at the Drexelbrook. It will be my honor to represent the Daily Times there as one of the sponsors.It's not every day I get to stand in a room of 600 or more people who for the most part have nice things to say about the newspaper. Then yesterday we used two more pages to feature the young people who have been selected to receive scholarships from the Taylor Foundation. You can read all about them here.It's easy to run stories about kids doing bad things. It takes a little more effort to make sure that image is not skewed, to make sure you are presenting a balanced image of young people.I think we have done that this week.
The Daily Numbers: 55, age of man labeled sexual predator as he was sentenced yesterday in Media Courthouse. He didn’t like the tag. 4 buildings at Cardinal O’Hara that are home to nuns’ convents that will be ‘repurposed’ by the archdiocese into housing for international students attending archdiocese high schools. The nuns will need to find a new home. 37, age of Delco man under arrest in Hatfield after getting into an ugly confrontation with the mother of his 3 children.16, age of Ridley teen held after an online threat was made against the high school.16 students are the recipients of this year’s Taylor Community Foundation awards.105-84 vote in the Pa. House for a plan to lease and eventually sell off the state store system.2.9 percent tax hike sought in Lower Merion, just a week a judge told them to roll back last year’s increase.25, age of 3-year veteran of Philadelphia police force who faces child porn charges232 point spike for Wall Street yesterday. Your 401k is happy.1,200 jobs being cut by Coke.1 more day of hype until the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night. I can hardly contain myself.14, where Eagles will pick in the 1st round.Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Please just make the damn selections and quit talking about the NFL Draft. I Don’t Get It: Mock drafts. Can someone explain the importance of these to me. Today’s Upper: Kudos to the kids who snagged Taylor Foundation Awards. Well done. Quote Box: “I never carried a knife or gun in my life.”- Michael Richie, to judge in arguing against being labeled sexually violent predator.
We have written pages and pages of stories about the insidious scourge of the opioid-heroin epidemic in this region. None of it has had the impact of the piece that appeared on our op-ed page Tuesday.Ginny Paul is a Springfield mom. She knows all too well the dangers inherent in this new evil.She lost her son Doug to heroin.It took a tremendous amount of courage for her to write the moving, personal piece on the loss of her son and her struggle to come to grips with it.She should be hailed for taking a stand, for not standing in the shadows.There is a new saying in journalism, which finds itself under siege these days.It says, "Democracy dies in darkness."So do kids.Too many people continue to remain silent - even as the death toll from heroin and opioid abuse continues to rise. Ginny Paul decided to take a different route. She decided to bare her soul - and her son's struggle - for every reader of this newspaper and our website to read.We are all better for it.Thank you, Ginny.
On our editorial page today, we note that residents who are opposed to Sunoco Logistics' plans to construct a massive pipeline through their neighborhood are not going away. Neither are their concerns.Make no mistake. It almost a sure bet that Mariner East 2 - which will ferry hundreds of thousands of barrels of gases such as propane, butane and ethane across the entire width of Pennsylvania, from the Marcellus Shale regions to Marcus Hook - is going to be built.It has a huge upside, the potential to be an economic blockbuster that could convert Marcus Hook into the energy hub of the entire Northeast U.S.But it is not without serious concerns, for neighbors and property owners.That's why the Rose Tree Media School District and Sunoco officials did not do themselves any favors by not allowing the media or members of the community to attend a recent "safe school summit" that focused on pipeline issues and the plan should something go wrong.This project needs all the transparency it can get.You can read our editorial here.
It was one of those 'slice of life' moments that can't help but bring a smile to your face. At least it did to mine.I was doing my normal maniacal early-morning drive into the office this morning, zipping along the back way I have discovered along Ridley Creek Road that allows me to avoid any traffic driving through Media. I was running late, and I was in a hurry. Nothing exactly new about that.Usually it's not a problem. I'm usually early enough where traffic isn't an issue.But as I said, I was driving a little later this morning, and I encountered a car creeping along. I could feel the blood rushing to my head and resisted the urge to cut loose with my normal string of profanities. Not exactly the way I wanted to start the day.Then the driver in front of me did something that stopped me in my tracks.I saw his arm extend out the window and ... no, he didn't flip me the bird. He did, however, flip a newspaper onto the driveway to our left.I just had to smile.He creeped along a bit, and then pulled off a perfect toss up over the top of his car and perfectly placed on the driveway on our right.My man!Thanks for your efforts!As an old paperboy - even one who made his appointed rounds delivering 44 Evening Bulletins on his bike each day - I enjoyed the effort - and I also noticed the paper was perfectly wrapped.People still like the feel of a printed newspaper in their hands.And some people still get up at an ungodly hour to deliver all those newspapers.I salute you, my friend
They brought out the heavy hitters for yesterday's Delaware County Youth Leadership Academy at Neumann University. Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan and County Council Vice Chairman Colleen Morrone were on hand to offer their young charges some important views of leadership in today's community.Not sure why, but they also once again invited a certain newspaper editor. I hope I didn't bore the kids to death.The three-day program gives high school sophomores across the county a chance to network and learn team building with various county and business leaders. One thing I can certainly suggest they NOT do. I discovered once I got back to the office that I had split the back of my pants. I am certainly hoping that occurred AFTER I got back from the conference, that I wasn't walking around all day with a less-than-pleasant rear-view mirror.I can report that the county is in very good hands. I met some terrific kids. They're smart as whips and ready to go out there and lead. One thing I was dismayed at, however. I think it's a troubling sign of our times.Only one student all day had an inkling why I consider it so important and such a seminal moment in my life that I attended classes for two years at Lincoln University outside my home town of Oxford.Anyone want to fathom a guess as to why?I can tell you this: I urged all those kids yesterday that if they ever get the opportunity to have this experiences they should grab it with both hands. I use the lessons I learned at Lincoln every day.So why was it so important?
We spend a lot of time detailing things that have gone wrong in Delaware County. Crime, fires, a whole host of what most people would conclude is "bad news."That's especially true when it comes to young people. Readers are always reminding me that we never write stories about young people doing good things.It's the question I get more than any other since I assumed this job longer ago than I care to remember."Why is there so much bad news in the Daily Times?"It's a good question.I have what I feel is a good answer, although I admit it's one a lot of people don't want to hear.That's what people read.Still, it's incumbent upon me to try to balance that sometimes skewed vision of our communities.That's just one of the reasons we presented to very special stories this weekend.On Sunday we presented the 22 kids who are members of our annual All-Delco Hi-Q team.Monday we gave similar treatment of the 19 educators selected for the Excellence in Teaching Awards.Each story dominated our front page, and spanned four full pages inside.Why did we do it? Many readers - and even some of my staffers - would argue this was not the most important thing going on this weekend, which is what we usually reserve the front-page coverage for.Granted, neither of these stories probably fit that bill.We decided to feature them anyway.We talk a little bit about that decision on today's editorial page.
It's one of the very few weekends of the year where I hope absolutely nothing is going on. No major crimes, no big fires.No news?Not exactly.Yes, I understand it's a little odd for a newsman to be hoping for no news.But that's always the case this one weekend of the year.It's because this is the weekend when we devote much of our coverage to two very special stories.The first, which appeared Sunday, is the selection of the All-Delco Hi-Q team.Patterned on our very popular All-Delco high school sports teams, this squad looks to deliver a little much-needed attention to those kids who excel - not on the athletic field - but on the scholastic side of the ledger.One player from each team that takes part in the annual Hi-Q Scholastic quiz competition is selected to represent his or her team on the All-Delco Hi-Q team.It's our honor to give coverage to these great kids, literally our best and brightest.Today we follow that up with the winners of this year Excellence in Teaching Awards.Nineteen educators are nominated by their peers for this prestigious honor.Both of these squads, along with all the kids who take part in Hi-Q, will be honored Thursday night at the Partners in Education Dinner at the Drexelbrook.It's one of the best nights of the year.I'll be there, looking to offer some positive press to kids who excel in the classroom, and the teachers who so inspire them. You can read about the Hi-Q kids here.And the Excellence in Teaching Award winners here.
You can make the argument that very few people know more about Delaware County sports that Harry Chaykun. And perhaps even more important, you also can make the argument that perhaps no one in Delaware County is more responsible for shedding light on women's sports than the man affectionately known around these parts as 'Pop-Pop.'Harry Chaykun wrote for this newspaper for the better part of five decades. He is literally a walking encyclopedia of Delaware County sports history.Offer a name and Harry will immediately spit out that person's stats.How good is Harry's memory? When he learned that I had attended Oxford High, he immediately reminded me of perhaps one of the lowlights of Oxford Area High School sports history. I was a member of the original Oxford High football team when the sport was revived in the late '60s. For our very first varsity game, our coach, Fred Green, could not resist bringing his young charges back to his old stomping grounds and challenging his former high school coach, the legendary Tony Apicella at Chichester High. It did not go well.We lost 72-3. I was part of that 3 points. I held the ball for a Chuck Peterson field goal. We actually had to do it twice. The first kick was nullified by a penalty.It was the year after Billy Johnson graduated, long before he would become known in the NFL as "White Shoes." All I know is that day all we saw were the shoes of a kid named Joe Miller running all over us. He returned the opening kick for a touchdown and it was all downhill from there. I think he scored 5 or 6 TDs.Harry delighted in finding little nuggets involving the Oxford Hornets and dropping them into his 'Today in History' Delco sports reports.No one knows more about Delco sports than Harry.And no one is more responsible for coverage of women's sports. It was Harry who first noticed the vast gulf between the way newspapers covered men's and women's events. It was through Harry's dogged determination that women finally started getting equal coverage. I'm proud to say the Daily Times was a big part of that revolution.I'm even prouder to say I worked with Harry Chakyun.Yesterday Harry was honored with the Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fames' 2017 Robert Finucane Award. It's named for another outstanding Delco journalist.They picked the right guy.Read about Harry here.
Is there anything more inane, a bigger waste of breath, than the constant blathering about whom the Eagles are going to select in the NFL Draft. Don't get me wrong. The event is a big deal, being held this year on the steps of the Army Museum on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Center City. Yes, it's causing some traffic issues and has become the bane of tourists who for a few weeks will not be able to make like Rocky and race up those famous steps. But it once again puts Philly in the national spotlight.What I can live without is this non-stop talk about what the Eagles will do with the 14th pick in the 1st round. Will they trade up? Or move down? Will they select a corner. Will they roll the dice on running back Joe Mixon and his checkered past? There's enough hot air surrounding this annual event to blow dry Mel Kiper's hair.It's been talked about for weeks. And in the end it doesn't mean a thing. The Eagles hopefully will get a player Thursday night who can step in and help them right away. Hopefully they will not have a repeat of a few years back when they actually moved up to select Jon Harris or Danny Watkins.In the meantime, is anyone paying attention to the Phillies? They just swept the Braves, thanks to a very strong outing from starter Zach Eflin and back-to-back-to-back homers. The evens their record at .500. They're 9-9 and just three and a half games behind the Nats in the NL East.In other words, we're almost a month into the season and the Phillies are still meaningful.At least a helluva lot more meaningful than who the Eagles will pick Thursday night.
OK, you can call me a Grumpy Old Man. I happen to agree with Springfield Police Chief Joe Daly.He's issuing a stern warning to kids - and their parents - about some of the hijinks that kids in the township are engaging in. It is not a unanimous opinion.I have heard from readers who are coming to the kids' defense, asking why the township does not provide more for them to do. And yes, I am among those who are always whining that kids never seem to lift their faces up from their phones.Now they go out, and everyone comes down on them for it.I am lucky, as I freely admit to anyone who asks.I grew up before the Internet age. I have total deniability as to the myriad of knuckle-headed things I did as a kid. There is - to the best of my knowledge - no video evidence. There are no Google links, no proof that sticks out on Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. It's one of the things I thank God for every night when my head hits the pillow.Believe me, I did plenty, and caused my parents no shortage of grief.But I still stand with Daly, and his warning to kids about some of the things they are doing.We take up the chief's cause on our editorial page today as well.
The NFL thinks Carson Went and the Eagles are ready for prime time. The Birds have no less than five prime time matchups this season. The NFL released the 2017 schedule Thursday night and the Eagles kick things off Sunday, Sept. 10 against the Redskins and wrap up the season on New Year's Eve against the hated Cowboys.In between they will be in the spotlight, with a bunch of prime time appearances, including a home game on Christmas night, a Monday night contest vs. the Raiders.They don't play their first home game until Sept. 24 vs. the Giants, another 1 p.m. Sunday game.They hit prime time Thursday, Oct. 12 vs. the Panthers.Here is the complete schedule.So grab your pencils and do the wins & losses.Don't look now, but Doug Pederson's ears may be ringing as the Eagles drop their first three games, against the Skins, Chiefs and Giants. They should rebound from there, but I still see this as a fairly challenging schedule.Me? I would love to spit out what I spit out every year. That would be 10-6 and a playoff spot. I don't see that happening with this schedule. The Eagles will have their hands full just trying to play .500.Feel free to disagree.That's part of the fun of being a fan.Here's the full schedule:Sun., Sept. 10: at Redskins, 1 p.m., FOX Sun., Sept. 17: at Chiefs, 1 p.m., FOX Sun., Sept. 24: vs. Giants, 1 p.m., FOX Sun., Oct. 1: at LA Chargers, 4:05 p.m., FOX Sun., Oct. 8: vs. Cardinals, 1 p.m., FOX Thurs., Oct. 12: at Panthers, 8:25 p.m., CBS/NFLN/Amazon Mon., Oct. 23: vs. Redskins, 8:30 p.m., ESPN Sun., Oct. 29: vs. 49ers, 1 p.m., FOX Sun., Nov. 5: vs. Broncos, 1 p.m., CBS Sun., Nov. 12: BYE Sun., Nov. 19: at Cowboys, 8:30 p.m., NBC Sun., Nov. 26: vs. Bears, TBA, FOX Sun., Dec. 3: at Seahawks, 8:30 p.m., NBC Sun., Dec. 10: at LA Rams, 4:25 p.m., FOX Sun., Dec. 17: at Giants, 1 p.m., FOX Mon., Dec. 25: vs. Raiders, 8:30 p.m., ESPN Sun., Dec. 31: vs. Cowboys, 1 p.m., FOX
The Daily Numbers: 4/20. Yes it’s today’s date. It’s also a big day for pot smokers, National Weed Day, something of a high holiday for marijuana users. 8 states where recreational marijuana use is now legal. 375 nurses and techs at Delaware County Memorial Hospital who have a tentative agreement on a new deal with the hedge fund that now owns the Crozer system.2 day strike done by the nurses back in March in their attempts to get a new deal.75 firefighters who responded to massive fire in a Chester mattress warehouse.5 juveniles arrested in Eddystone after series of clashes.2.50 case price for base SEPTA fares, up from $2.25, under the proposed budget.2 bucks for those using the new Key card system.3 percent hike in taxes in the Rose Tree Media budget.0 resident comments on the budget as it was adopted Monday night.100 people who took part in series of discussions leading up to the budget.173 dollar tax hike for average home in the district.23 months in jail plus 1 year of probation for a Chester man for his role in the cover-up of a fatal beating in Chester.2 home runs for Jay Bruce in leading Mets over Phillies last night.5-4 loss for the Phils.5 hits, 3 runs off Phils starter Vinny Velasquez, who pitched much better last night.3 runs he surrendered were all courtesy of the 1st Bruce dinger.4 runs on 8 hits for the Phils.20 weeks pregnant for Serena Williams. That means she was likely 2 months pregnant when she won the Aussie Open. Wow! Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Tip to Pete Mackanin. Consider pitching around Jay Bruce. I Don’t Get It: Am I the only one wondering why Bill O’Reilly getting canned is such a big deal? Today’s Upper: Kudos to Springfield Police Chief Joe Daly, who is reading kids - and their parents - the riot act after a series of incidents involving young people in the township. Quote Box: “It’s never been this bad. Enough is enough.”Chief Daly, after posting stern message to kids and parents on Facebook.
This one is too good to pass up. I noted in a blog item this week that not everyone was especially thrilled with Monday's print column, the one in which I admitted a couple of vices, namely potato chips and a somewhat salty vocabulary.Yesterday I received this email taking me to task for my blue streak. I thought I might share it with readers, just in case you were under the impression that everyone loves what I write. I assure you that is not the case."Mr. Heron - too much info! Dropping F-bombs isn't something to be proud of but obviously you feel it is acceptable. No wonder our society has stooped to the lowest level of civil discourse. As editor of the paper, I would expect a higher standard from you. Please stop mentioning your Catholic upbringing, you are an embarrassment to the nuns. With all due respect, next year during Lent, why not discontinue the foul language and eat all the Herr's potato chips you like. Recently in the news, a construction site posted a sign "no foul language here"! Correct this personal failing, it is a bad habit that needs to be stopped and it is very unprofessional."I loved the sign-off as well:Immoral TimesI am guilty as charged. Actually the reader is right. I'm not proud of my outbursts and I will work to curtail them. I do, however, appreciate the suggestion that I not forego potato chips next year. Excellent advice.
We have something in common with President Trump. We're not kidding. We have Georgia on our minds. We're talking politics on our editorial page today. Specifically, the lack of sizzle as we approach the spring Primary. Especially when you compare it to that special congressional election in Georgia that sparked national attention as a refendum on the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.Still, there are a lot of important things that will be decided in this primary. Make sure you voice is heard.Why?We explain it on today's editorial page.
Serena Williams won another grand slam title back in January. Ho-hum. It was her 23rd Grand Slam tennis title. But this one was a little different.She wasn't alone.Wednesday the tennis superstar announced that she is pregnant, and in fact was pregnant at the time she won that crown.Let me repeat that: Serena Wiliams said yesterday she is 20 weeks into her pregnancy. She won the Australian Open a little less than 12 weeks ago. In other words, she was two months pregnant at the time.I think we can close the discussion on the greatest female athlete in history now.You go, Serena.
The Daily Numbers: 2 alarm fire that raged through warehouse in Chester Tuesday night. 2 alarm fire that hit vacant house in Lower Chi last night.59 million lawsuit slapped on Monroe Energy by BP amid oil woes at Trainer refinery.3rd DUI charge nets a house arrest sentence for Lansdowne councilman.10 homicide in the county so far this year. All 10 have been recorded in Chester.9 of them a result of gun violence.4 new members added to the Catholic school hall of fame.29 of April date for Loyalty Day in Springfield.22 of April is Delaware County Community Day.88, age of Dorrance ‘Dodo’ Hamilton, Main Line philanthropist and heiress to the Campbell Soup fortune. She died this week.0 wins for the Union so far this year. GM Earnie Stewart says he’s not considering a shakeup.6-2 win for Phils over the Mets in 10 innings.4 runs scored in the 10th to propel Phils to win.2 runs for Mets in 1st inning, nothing after that. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Here we go again. Freddy Galvis may have cost the Phillies a chance to beat the Mets in regulation last night when he failed to run out a popup that drifted into fair territory. He was on first instead of second, and failed to score on a double later in the inning. I Don’t Get It: Donte Island isn’t going anywhere. A Delco judge has rejected his request to move his trial for shooting Officer Chris Dorman. Today’s Upper: Kudos to the gang from ‘Delco Proper.’ Looks like the comedy set in Delco may be picked up by Comedy Central.Quote Box: “The atmosphere in Delaware County, your honor, is so toxic that this defendant cannot get a fair trial on his side of the state and that is why we’re trying to move it.”- Attorney for suspected cop shooter Donte Island, charged with shooting Officer Dorman.