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Updated: 7 min 57 sec ago

The Daily Numbers for Friday, July 31

Fri, 2015-07-31 08:00
The Daily Numbers: 2 small children and a distraught mother taken out of a Marcus Hook home after a tense standoff yesterday.

1 count of driving under influence that earned a man time served to 6 months in jail in the crash that took the life of popular college athlete Dante DeSimone.

6,565 payment to Crime Victims Compensation Assistance PRogram, $1,100 in costs and fines for Jonathan Vanderhorst in the case. 80 hours of community service.

1.35 million dollar grant to Norwood for water infrastructure projects.

522,910 dollar grant being sought for the Delco Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

100th anniversary for Aldan Union Church, which was recognized by borough council.

3 killed and 1 hurt in drag racing incident in Philadelphia.

5, age of girl in Philly taken from her home and brutally beaten in the yard.

4-1 win for the Phillies over the Braves last night.

10 wins in 12 games for Phils since All-Star break.

12 hits banged out by Phils last night.

8 year, $66 million extension for Flyers Jake Voracek.

143 mph, how fast police say New York Jets defensive end was driving.

2-0 series lead for Aston Valley over Narberth in Delco League semis.

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

It’s not official yet, but don’t expect any reversal on the Cole Hamels deal. He’s going to Texas.

I Don’t Get It: Anyone driving 143 mph, let alone a star NFL defensive lineman. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Southeast Delco Tactical response team for defusing what could have been a very ugly scene in Marcus Hook yesterday.

Quote Box: “Every day we are left with pain in our hearts and emptiness in our home.”

- Rita DeSimone, at sentencing for man involved in crash that took life of her son Dante.
Categories: Pennsylvania

So who will win the 161st?

Fri, 2015-07-31 07:08
People keep asking me who I think is going to win the hotly contested special election in the 161st state House race.

That's one of the good things about this kind of race - they have the stage to themselves.

Republican Paul Mullen is focusing on going door-to-door pushing his message. He's facing Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky and the woman who has really made this race interesting, conservative Republican write-in candidate Lisa Esler.

Esler, a popular Penn-Delco School Board member, and others in the conservative wing of the party were irate at party leaders and the process used to make Mullen the endorsed Republican.

That's what happens when you back a labor leader who has been vocal in his support for Democrats, including Barack Obama, Bob Casey Jr., Joe Sestak, and perhaps most seriously John Kane in his recent knockdown, drag-out war with Tom McGarrigle for the 26th District state Senate seat.

There were a lot of unpleasantries exchanged between labor unions and Republicans. Not everyone, it appears, is willing to forgive and forget. Esler and her group certainly remember, and they've been screaming bloody murder to anyone who will listen that Mullen does not engender what they believe are the true beliefs of the party.

Our op-ed pages continue to be dominated by letters staking out their sides in what has turned into a barn-burner. All of that aside, the key to this race is the same key to any election, especially here in Delaware County.

It's all about turnout.

That tends to run in the Republicans' favor. Their loyalists are more likely to get to the polls, especially in a mid-summer special election that falls during one of the most popular vacation weeks of the year.

And while Dems now actually outnumber Republicans across the county, that does not hold true in the 161st. Republicans still have the edge. If Mullen and the GOP gets the faithful to the polls, he should persevere.

But Esler remains the X-factor. It's entirely possible she could siphon off enough votes to open the door to a victory for the Democrat Krueger-Braneky.

So who wins?

I still say it's Mullen, but much closer that anyone thinks.

Just don't put the house on it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Don't fall for bogus papal rail pass deal

Fri, 2015-07-31 06:49
Well, that didn't take long.

I kind of figured there would be no shortage of scammers looking to take advantage of the massive interest in the pope's visit to our area in late September.

I wasn't wrong.

There are reports this morning that an item has popped up on Craigslist touting "early access" to those prized papal passes SEPTA is using for the regional rail system for those two days on Sept. 26-27.

Don't but them. It's bogus.

SEPTA spokesman Jerry Williams assures that no sales will take place until the lottery kicks off at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. Those interested in the passes will have until 11:59 Monday night to put their name into the lottery.

Everyone has an equal chance of hitting the lottery - and scoring the prized ducats.

In the meantime, the region seems to be dealing with a case of high anxiety when it comes to the visit by Pope Francis.

And don't forget to pick up a copy of the Sunday Times for a complete rundown on SEPTA's plans for the regional rails in Delco for the papal visit. We'll tell you everything you need to know.
Categories: Pennsylvania

No official word on Cole; Phils continue to win

Fri, 2015-07-31 06:40
Cole Hamels is still a Phillie.


In what has to be the longest-unfolding trade in MLB history, there still has been no official word on the deal that will send him to the Texas Rangers.

In fact, Jake Diekman, the left-handed reliever who is also in the deal, was actually in uniform last night.

That does not mean Hamels will be on the hill for the Phils tonight. Expect press conferences in both Arlington and South Philly.

In the meantime, those confounding Phillies continue to win. Last night they posted a 4-1 win over the Braves.

Every Phillie in the starting lineup managed at least one hit to support Aaron Harang, making his first start since coming off the disabled list. He managed to snap a losing streak that stretched back through his last eight starts.

Jack McCaffery notes the key to the mega deal for Hamels for the Phillies can be found in just how The Phils are now 10-02 since the All-Star Break.

Guess the Eagles will just have to wait.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Silence not golden in 161st race

Thu, 2015-07-30 06:47
We used our editorial page to talk about the "Sounds of Silence" being heard in the special election for the 161st state House seat being vacated by Joe Hackett.

I say that because the endorsed Republican, Paul Mullen, has decided to skip two public forums. The League of Women Voters actually scrapped their event after Mullen said he would not be able to make it. Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky was confirmed as a participant. Write-in candidate Lisa Esler was not invited because that League has a long policy of not inviting anyone who is not on the ballot.

I'm willing to give Mullen the benefit of the doubt on this one. The date got shuffled a couple of times, and Mullen says he actually shifted his schedule once only to find out the event had been moved to another night.

The League says Mullen didn't reply to several overtures they made.

On Sunday a group called Delco Debates will hold a forum for all three candidates. Again Mullen says he won't be able to make it.

I get the distinct feeling this has a lot more to do with Esler than any scheduling conflict Mullen might have. This is basic politics.

Mullen is the endorsed Republican. That decision angered a group in the GOP who didn't like the fact that the party was now getting into bed with a longtime labor leader and a guy who had backed Barack Obama, Joe Sestak and even John Kane in his contentious scrap with Republican Tom McGarrigle for the 26th District state Senate seat.

Those people found a candidate in Esler, a popular member of the Penn-Delco School Board.

Mullen does not want to give any sense of credence to the Esler campaign. In effect, he's running against both the Democrat and the write-in.

The GOP fear is that Esler could siphon off enough votes from Mullen on the GOP ticket to open the door for Krueger-Braneky to eke out a win.

So it's likely there will be an empty chair at Sunday's event where Mullen could be sitting.

As we said in today's editorial, the silence is deafening.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Thanks, Cole: Hamels made us winners

Thu, 2015-07-30 06:12
OK, we can start the Eagles season.

Cole Hamels is no longer a Phillie.

Several reports overnight indicate the Phillies have dealt their ace left-hander to the Texas Rangers for a slew of prospects. Jake Diekman also is heading to Texas in the deal.

The deal is expected to be announced officially Thursday morning.

Everyone knew it was coming; that doesn't make it any less jarring.

An era is ending. An era when we were champions.

And make no mistake, Hamels is the reason why. Without him there is no World Series championship in 2008. No parade. No end to our long championship drought. And no infamous Chase Utley 'World Bleeping Champions.'

The Phillies did not win a title with Roy Halladay. Or Cliff Lee. They did with Cole Hamels.

He was ridiculed for the way he talked, belittled for his "California cool."

But he went to the mound every five days and almost always gave the Phillies a quality start, even when all too often the Phils' bats fell silent every time he took the mound.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that Philly fans were deprived of giving Hamels the kind of send-off he deserved, especially after he put an exclamation point on his Phillies career by tossing a no-hitter at the Chicago Cubs last Saturday night in Wrigley.

He was supposed to be on the mound tonight when the Phils returns to Citizens Bank Park. That had already been pushed back to Friday night, but most expected Hamels to be dealt before the 4 p.m. trade deadline.

It would have been nice to see one more packed house in South Philly offer a final salute to Hamels.

I have a standing rule about those guys who formed the heart of that 2008 team. I will never boo Hamels, nor Chase Utley or Ryan Howard. I know they all make ridiculous amounts of money, and that, in the case of Utley and Howard, their best years are clearly in the rear-view mirror.

But they gave us something we hungered for for years. They gave us a parade.

They made us winners.

It's been awhile since we felt that way.

Thanks, Cole.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, July 29

Wed, 2015-07-29 07:25
The Daily Numbers: 24 hours, how long you will have on Monday to sign up for the lottery to win 1 of those prized SEPTA regional rail passes for the weekend of the visit by Pope Francis.

175,000 passes being sold for each day. 250, how many SEPTA sold before their computers melted down under the demand last week.

10 bucks per ticket, with each ‘winner’ of the lottery being eligible to buy 10 tickets.

6 of August, when the winners will be notified by email that they are eligible to buy tickets.

24,000, how many riders usually use the regional rails on a typical Saturday.

18,750 on Sunday.

66,500 on most workdays.

75 cents per pass sold for TicketLeap, the Philly company that is handling the lottery for SEPTA.

110,000 dollars, how much SEPTA paid CapTech, the firm that designed the system that imploded last week.

750,000 3-day passes for subways, trolleys and buses good for Sept. 26-28. Riders also can use tokens and regular passes for the rest of the system, but not the regional rails. You must have one of the special papal passes to use the rails that weekend.

16,000 dollar theft that earned a former county probation officer 11 1/2 to 23 months in prison.

27, age of shooting victim in Chester clinging to life.

10 shootings in Chester in the last 4 days.

36 inch by 28 inch replica of a Picasso painting on display in Media stolen.

36, age of longtime nurse at the Pocopson Center, the Chester County retirement center, charged with stealing morphine and pills.

2 new hands for boy who lost both his to an infection, with the operation being done at Children’s Hospital.

30 years, how long Jonathan Pollard spent in prison for selling secrets to Israel. He’s being paroled in November.

17 saves in 17 opportunities this year for Jonathan Papelbon, who the Phillies traded to the Washington Nationals last night.

342 career saves for Papelbon, who happens to hold the Phils’ all-time saves mark with 123.

7-6 record for the guy the Phils got, 22-year-old Nick Pivetta.

3.02 ERA in 18 games, including 17 starts.

9-1 mark for the Phils since the All-Star break, after 3-2 win over Toronto last night, with Ken Giles in closer role.

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

Papelbon is gone, look for Cole Hamels to be next out the door. But the Phils are still winning.

I Don’t Get It: Jonathan Papelbon. A great closer? Absolutely. Am I glad he’s gone. Absolutely.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to SEPTA for the notion of the lottery to buy special papal passes for the regional rails. Probably the fairest way to do it.

Quote Box: “Everyone has the same chance of being chosen.”

- SEPTA spokesperson Jerry Williams, on lottery for special papal rail passes.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Do you have a prayer of hitting SEPTA's lottery?

Wed, 2015-07-29 06:32
You have about as much chance of scoring one of those prized papal passes for the regional rail system as you do of hitting the lottery.


SEPTA yesterday rolled out Plan B when it comes to selling tickets for the regional rails for the two-day visit of Pope Francis Sept. 26-27.

Actually on Monday they're not selling any tickets at all. They learned that lesson the hard way. They tried online sales last week, only to see their computers melt down under the demand.

Yesterday they informed the public that they will have all day on Monday - from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. - to get in on a lottery for the opportunity to buy tickets.

SEPTA says there is no need to jump on the computer seconds after midnight to get your application in. You will have the same chance no matter when you put your application in, so long as you get it in sometime during that 24-hour period.

SEPTA has hired a private outfit to run the lottery, including vetting all the entries for duplicates and people looking to game the system.

The winners will be notified on Thursday if they're one of the lucky winners.

SEPTA still plans to sell 175,000 tickets for each day, at $10 a pop. Those who hit the lottery can purchase as many as 10 passes. So how long do you think it will take them to show up on eBay and how much do you think they will be going for.

Don't forget to pick up a copy of the Sunday Times for a full rundown on SEPTA's plans for Delaware County for the momentous visit by Pope Francis, which will culminate a week of activity tied to the World Meeting of Families.
Categories: Pennsylvania

News, sports & The Brady Factor

Wed, 2015-07-29 06:00
Cole Hamels is still a Phillie - for now. Jonathan Papelbon is not.

The Phillies traded their disgruntled, All-Star closer to the Washington Nationals yesterday for Double A pitcher Nick Pivetta, who has managed to compile a 7-6 record, with a 3.02 ERA in 18 games, including 17 starts. He’s slated as a possible No. 3 or 4 starter.

Lost in all that is the fact that the Phillies won again last night - getting another solid start from lefthander Alex Morgan against a powerful Toronto Blue Jays lineup stacked with right-handed hitters that had been devouring southpaws all season.

Morgan learned just how powerful pretty quickly. Leadoff hitter Devon Travis hit the second pitch Morgan offered out of the park.

Morgan also escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second, and then tamed the Jays' bats.

Ken Giles, the newly anointed closer, slammed the door on Toronto to preserve a 3-2 win.

And yet, none of this is what captured my attention from the world of sports as I drove home last night.

Instead, I was fascinated by this.

KYW Newsradio 1060 now does a simulcast of the CBS Evening News at 6:30. Last night the lead story was not the Iran nuke treaty, not parole for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, not even Donald Trump.

The lead story on the network news last night was Tom Brady.

Such is the power and allure of the NFL.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced yesterday the four-game suspension of the Super Bowl MVP QB of the Patriots was being upheld. Brady is planning to appeal through the NFL Players Association.

Brady seems intent on trying to clear his name, to remove the stigma of "cheater" that now shrouds all of his accomplishments. I guess real news will just have to wait.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, July 27

Tue, 2015-07-28 08:09
The Daily Numbers: 5 bank robberies under investigation in Delco.

2 times in several weeks the Santander bank in Yeadon has been hit.

1 forum nixed and 1 that will feature only 2 of 3 candidates in the special state House 161st District election.

41, age of John Cooke, new president at Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast High School in Upper Darby.

11 acres site on Highland Avenue in Chester that will be new home to Chester Charter School for the Arts.

500 students who are currently attending classes at warehouse in Chester Township.

200 special papal rail passes sold by SEPTA. They cancelled a press conference yesterday afternoon to announce when they would resume.

83, age of true crime author Ann Rule, who died yesterday.

2 killed, 7 injured in another violent night in Philadelphia.

2 states involved in chase of vehicle that went from South Philly to New Jersey and back again last night.

5 days until Eagles report for Training Camp on Sunday.

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

Are you ready for another Eagles season? Or do you want to savor the sudden rebirth of the Phillies?

I Don’t Get It: SEPTA first announced a press conference to talk about restarting ticket sales for the regional rails for the pope visit, then cancelled it. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to John Cooke, the Drexel University official who ahs been tapped as the new president of Bonner-Prendie High School. He has big shoes to fill in the Rev. James Olson.

Quote Box: “I want to honor the traditions of the past and carry the state forward as one.”

- John Cooke, new boss at Bonner-Prendie.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Sounds of Silence in 161st race

Tue, 2015-07-28 07:27
In my Monday column, I joked about the possibility of holding a special election and nobody coming out to vote.

It was in reference to the special election set to fill the 161st state House seat vacated by Joe Hackett.

Maybe I asked the wrong question.

What if they held a debate and nobody came?

Well, that's true for at least one of the candidates.

In case you haven't been paying attention, here are the three candidates: Republican Paul Mullen is facing Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky and write-in candidate Lisa Esler.

We have learned that Mullen, citing scheduling problems, has indicated he will not attend either of two candidate forums this week. You can get all the details here.

The League of Women Voters actually scrapped their forum, which would have featured Mullen and Krueger-Braneky, after failing to hear back after repeated overtures to Mullen. The League says they do not invite candidates who are not on the ballot. Since Esler is running a write-in campaign, she was not included in their event.

But a group called Delco Debates is holding a public forum on Sunday for all three candidates.

Mullen says he won't be able to make that one either.

The guess here is that Mullen wants no part of sharing a stage with Esler, since her write-in campaign is very likely to cost him votes.

That prompted the Krueger-Braneky camp to fire off a press release yesterday challenging Mullen to a debate.

Despite Democrats now outnumbering Republicans in the county, in the 161st District the GOP still holds the advantage. I'm sure Mullen is simply banking on the Party being able to get their faithful to the polls and deliver a win, no muss, no fuss. And certainly no debating.

I hope Krueger-Braneky is not holding her breath waiting for a response.

For the Mullen camp, the "Sounds of Silence" could stand as their campaign jingle.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Another tough day for SEPTA

Tue, 2015-07-28 06:50
I have to feel for Jerri Williams. Yesterday probably wasn't her best day.

I first got to know Jerri years ago when she worked in communications with the FBI. She was our contact as we followed cases through the court system.

These days she runs media relations for SEPTA.

You might remember that last week the transit giant initially rolled out their plans to sell special passes for the regional rails to be used on the two days of the visit by Pope Francis in late September.

The tickets are only being sold online. Minutes after the website went online, it imploded under an avalanche of people trying to access the site. After about an hour, SEPTA pulled the plug on the site and said they would work on it to get rid of the glitches. Only about 200 of the 175,000 tickets that will be available each day actually were sold.

Yesterday morning, SEPTA announced a 3 p.m. press conference to detail their plans to restart the online sales. They had promised to give the public at least 24 hours notice before putting the prized ducats back on sale. But about an hour later they announced that the press conference was off, that they were still tying up some loose ends, and they might be ready to announce their plans later in the week.

This whole thing has been a bit of a PR nightmare, and I'm sure Williams has had better days.

At the same time, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was holding a press conference downtown to refute several maps that have turned up online purporting to show fences or other security perimeters tied to the pope's visit. Nutter assured everyone those plans have not yet been finalized.

I guess that gives him something in common with SEPTA.

Things seem to be getting a bit harried in terms of the planning for that big weekend on Sept. 26-27.

Maybe it's time for everyone to take a deep breath and relax.

That would include you, Jerri. I'm thinking of you.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A beautiful new intersection

Tue, 2015-07-28 05:56
I did something this morning I have not done in several weeks.

I drove through the new intersection of Providence Road and Route 252 in Upper Providence.

Even in the pre-dawn darkness, I can tell you it's really beautiful.

Now, of course, I realize that all that blacktop is probably not a lot of people's cup of tea.

But for someone who maneuvers that section of road every morning, it was a joy.

It's part of the huge project to redo Route 252 along Rose Tree Park and up through Rose Tree Road and the Media Bypass. It's now four lanes wide, along with a fifth, middle turn lane.

The 'V' where Providence Road split off from Route 252 had been closed for several weeks to redo the intersection. Yes, I can admit I "sneaked" through Springton Lake Middle School a couple of days before altering my route.

As you approach Route 252 on Providence Road, you can no longer use that little cattle chute that forced you to merge into oncoming traffic. Instead now you come to a light, complete with turn lanes, that allows you a much easier access to Route 252.

I'm not an architect nor a traffic expert, I'm just a harried editor who appreciates it when a long-awaited job is completed.

A huge thumb's up to PennDOT and all those involved in this project.

Oh, lest I forget, how did I come to learn that my normal route into work was open again? Why, I read it in the newspaper, of course, courtesy of our correspondent Susan Serbin and her report from the Upper Providence supervisors meeting that was in the Monday paper.

Now, if someone wanted to resurface the rest of Providence Road out to Route 3, I would not complain a bit.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, July 27

Mon, 2015-07-27 08:21
The Daily Numbers: 2 suspects being sought in armed holdup of Aston CVS store.

26, age of man facing charges as ‘one-man crime wave’ in Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby.

3 candidates looking to fill the 161st District state House seat given up by Republican Joe Hackett.

4 of Aug., when voters in 161st go to polls.

7 suspects busted as ‘travelers’ - suspects who travel in order to have sex with children - by the Delco Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

37.4 million trips recorded on regional rail lines by SEPTA in fiscal 2015, that’s a record.

2 percent uptick over 2014.

22, age of Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, who died Sunday.

1 dead, 1 injured in hit-run crash in Juniata Park section of Philadelphia Sunday.

11-5 win for the Phillies over Cubs Sunday to complete another series sweep.

3 straight series the Phils have won.

8-1 mark compiled since the All-Star break.

17 hits for the Phils.

0 hits allowed by Cole Hamels on Saturday night.

13 strikeouts and 129 pitches for Hamels in recording his 1st career no-hitter.

13th no-hitter in Phillies’ team history.

1st win recorded by rookie Aaron Nola.

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

The Phillies are cooling the jets of Eagles fans waiting for the start of training camp next weekend.

I Don’t Get It: Paul Mulllen apparently is not interested in appearing on stage with write-in candidate Lisa Esler in the 161st state House special election. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the staff at the Media-Upper Providence Library, as well as local firefighters, who are showing how to retain services while your building is being knocked down and a new structure put in place.

Quote Box: “It is just being a good neighborand helping neighbors and working together.”

- Scott Price, President of Media Fire & Hook & Ladder Co., on helping out the local library with a temporary home.
Categories: Pennsylvania

How SEPTA plans to get 10,000 people on board trains at Primos Station

Mon, 2015-07-27 06:56
This week we will be taking an in-depth look at SEPTA's plans to get people from Delaware County in and out of Philadelphia for the two-day visit of Pope Francis in September.

I think I can safely sum it up in two words:

Brace yourself.

The Daily Times will be at ground zero for his massive project, because our plant literally sits next to the Media-Elwyn regional rail line, just a block from the Primos Station.

It also will be one of the few stops actually open on the line those two mornings.

SEPTA spokesman Frank Kelly says SEPTA expects as many as 10,000 people to board trains at the Primos stop. They envision 1,000 people getting on each train starting at 5 a.m.

SEPTA will be using lessons learned from the Phillies championship parade back in 2008, when many trains on the regional rail lines filled up very early at western stops and literally blew right past many stations where throngs of fans were waiting to board.

This time they will limit the number of stations being used. Primos will be one of them. There will be two sessions - early and late - for people to use to go into the city Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The Daily Times will become something of an island, with both Mildred Avenue, the street that goes back to our plant from Providence Road, and Cottonwood Lane, which gets you to us from Oak Avenue, being shut down.

In fact, our front parking lot could wind up as a command center for SEPTA and police overseeing the situation. What SEPTA has in mind is something of a cattle chute for the huge crowds that will descend on the site. What they ideally would like is for people to be dropped off on Providence Road at Mildred. They would then walk up Mildred, past our plant, turn right on Cottonwood and board the trains there.

The prized parking spots along Cottonwood that are snapped up early each morning by commuters won't be available. SEPTA is urging people not to be dependent on parking here in Primos, but instead have someone drop you off.

There also could be road closures on Oak Avenue, likely at Providence and somewhere near St. Eugene's Church.

Then there's 69th Street Terminal, which will be a whole different challenge.

We'll have all the details this week.

I'll resist saying that I hope it goes better than the effort to sell those special rail passes for SEPTA. Those are expected to go back on sale again sometime this week.

Remember, you will not be able to board the trains those two days without the special passes.

Stay tuned.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Things are heating up in the 161st race

Mon, 2015-07-27 06:28
Paul Mullen and Delco Republicans have a problem.

And it's not necessarily Leanne Krueger-Braneky, the Democrat seeking the 161st state House seat vacated by Joe Hackett. Mullen is the endorsed Republican.

He certainly is worried about Krueger-Braneky, who lost to Hackett last November.

But he has another - maybe even bigger - problem.

Her name is Lisa Esler.

I talk about it today in my print column.

The election is a week from tomorrow, Aug. 4, smack dab in the middle of one of the biggest vacation days of the year. Key to this race will be getting people to the polls to vote.

Is it possible that Esler could siphon off enough votes to swing the race to Krueger-Braneky.

This will be a very interesting week in the 161st.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Forget the Eagles; how 'bout dem Phils!

Mon, 2015-07-27 06:03
We interrupt the start of Eagles training camp for this breaking news alert: It's still baseball season.

And the local team is starting to look like they can play this game.

Sure, Gang Green is hyperventilating over next weekend's start of Eagles training camp.

But the Phillies have decided to reclaim part of the spotlight.

They've been on fire since the All-Star break, posting a 8-1 record in the second half.

And then Cole Hamels provided an exclamation point on Saturday night by tossing a no-hitter at the Chicago Cubs.

Yesterday it was Aaron Nola's turn, taming the Cubbies as the Phils bats suddenly turned into Murderers Row.

Now all eyes will be on the front office as Ruben Amaro Jr., Pat Gillick and Andy MacPhail entertain offers for Hamels. Saturday night's no-no could not have come at a more opportune time for the Phils, especially since Hamels had looked horrid in his previous two starts.

His value will never be higher.

I hate to see Hamels leave, he's probably the single biggest reason we had a parade here back in 2008. Remember, that team did not feature either Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee. It was Hamels who was the stud, snagging MVP awards in both the World Series and NLCS.

The Phils can't afford to make the same mistake they've made before, allowing this hot streak to cloud their thinking. This team still needs a shakeup. They need to get the max deal for Hamels. Jonathan Papelbon has to go. If they can get someone to take on Ryan Howard's contract, they should do it.

But suddenly baseball is fun again in Philly.

The Eagles will have to wait.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, July 23

Thu, 2015-07-23 07:23
The Daily Numbers: 50,000 dollar reward for information on the death of Nadia Malik, posted by her brother.

18 months since the Marple woman’s body was found in a car parked in downtown Philly.

300 jobs being filled by Aldi for their new store in what used to be the Bottom Dollar site in Lansdowne.

61, age of Wayne woman charged with heroin sales on the Main Line.

250 baggies of heroin police say they purchased from her in a sting operation.

0, what it costs Chester residents to use the community pool at Memorial Park this summer. The city is waiving fees.

4-3 vote in Media to waive permit fees for construction of new library.

27 million dressers from Ikea that the company will provide brackets so customers can attach them to walls.

2 children, including a boy from West Chester, have been killed in incidents in which the dressers tipped over.

1, as in No. 1, where Wawa sits in national poll of convenience stores.

16, age of teen clipped by train in Darby borough last night. He is expected to be fine.

12 stab wounds for a Philly prison officer in confrontation with inmate.

3 people fatally shot in Philly last night.

10 innings, how long it took Phils to get a win over the Rays.

2 straight series the Phils now have won.

5-1 mark for the Phils since the All-Star break.

2 scoreless innings for Jonathan Papelbon to get the win.

2 straight games missed by Maikel Franco.

2-1 loss for U.S. in CONCACAF Gold Cup play.

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

Whatever the Phillies did on the All-Star break is working. They’ve been on fire since.

I Don’t Get It: A 61-year-old Main Line woman has been charged as a heroin dealer. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Upper Darby’s 69th Street and the latest arrival, the Studio Movie Grill.

Quote Box: “Somebody’s got to know something.”

Khaled Malik, brother of Nadia Malik, on his sister’s mysterious death.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Sestak about to go back in the underdog role

Thu, 2015-07-23 06:39
Joe Sestak has Pennsylvania Democrats right where he wants them.

Lining up against him.

No doubt Bob Brady and party leaders are congratulating themselves for apparently successfully completing their 'Anybody But Sestak' campaign.

After failing to coax several folks into the race for the nomination to challenge the former Delco congressman in the primary for the right to face Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, it looks like they have their woman.

Katie McGinty, chief of staff for Gov. Tom Wolf, yesterday resigned her post. It is expected she will announce her intention to seek the Democratic nomination in the Senate race.

The Dem bosses should take heed of that old saw, "be careful what you wish for."

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with McGinty, even if she did do a quick El Foldo in her race for the Dem nomination for governor, left in the backwater wake behind Wolf's bold, early $10 million television campaign.

But Democrats have been down this road with Sestak once before.

They wanted him to step aside when longtime Republican Sen. Arlen Specter read the writing on the wall, realized he was going to lose a Republican primary to the conservative Toomey, and promptly switched parties.

He was welcomed with open arms by party leaders, including President Barack Obama, his old Senate buddy Vice President Joe Biden, and Philly powerhouses Gov. Ed Rendell and Brady.

There's only one thing they didn't count on.

Joe Sestak.

The retired admiral dug in his heels and spit in the eyes of the party brass. He knocked off Specter in the primary before falling to Toomey in a very close race.

Now he'll tangle with McGinty.

One thing's for certain. The cost of finding a Democratic challenger to Toomey just went up.

And that could be a problem for Sestak.

The guy who showed longtime Delco Republican Congressman Curt Weldon the door is lagging in terms of fundraising. On Wednesday he reported he had raised $727,729 in the period April 1 to June 30, and has $2,165,861 on hand in his war chest. In the meantime Toomey raised $2.2 million in the quarter and is sitting on more than $8 million.

In other words, Toomey raised more in the quarter than Sestak has in total.

That's not a good sign, and underscores Dem leaders' belief that Sestak has trouble raising money.

It also means Democrats will spend a ton of money just deciding on a candidate next spring, let alone going up against that Toomey war chest in the fall.

None of that is likely to deter the admiral.

He used to bucking the odds.

And his own party.

He's got 'em right where he wants 'em.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Wawa is No. 1, except in beer sales

Thu, 2015-07-23 06:12
This weekend I will be in Martinsburg, W. Va., to help my son move into a new place.

In other words, I'll be in Sheetz country.

I'll try not to snicker.

In case you missed it yesterday, Delco's own Wawa was named the No. 1 convenience store in America.

That's correct. The folks who started out with that little farm in Chester Heights, and a single store in the Folsom section of Ridley Township, is not top dog when it comes to convenience stores.

The competition between Wawa, kings of the road in the eastern part of Pa., and Sheetz, which dominates in parts out in Harrisburg and farther west, is intense.

Customers are loyal.

Ask anyone who has moved away from the area and the one thing they all will tell you they miss is Wawa. Guess people take that 'Gottahava' slogan pretty seriously.

Ironically, the one item I depend on Wawa to deliver actually wound up in a tie in that survey of 7,000 consumers done by market Forfce Information.

Sheetz and Wawa tied for the No. 1 spot when it comes to coffee.

You can have Dunkin' (my wife's favorite) as well as Starbucks (with that burned taste, a although I do like their new blonde offering), I will always be a Wawa guy when it comes to my java. Nothing fancy. I don't need any latte or frappacino or iced this or that. I just want a black 12-ounce coffee with two sugars.

Of course, I occasionally want something a bit stronger, and that's where Sheetz has a decided edge.

The first time I visited my son in West Virginia, the first thing I did when we got into town was walk into the Sheetz store. I wasn't looking for coffee.

I was looking for something a bit stronger.

Yes, most of the Sheetz stores out there have a walk-in cooler with cold six-packs of beer.

You don't have to go into a separate part of the store. You don't have to pay for it at a separate register. You can grab a six-pack, along with anything else you might want in the store, walk up to the cash register and pay for it all at the same time.

Wawa is looking to stick its toe into the waters in the increasingly competitive area of beer sales here in Pennsylvania.

They have applied to sell beer at their store on Naamans Creek Road out in Concord. The hearing was supposed to be this week but was delayed until Aug. 4.

Of course, this being Pennsylvania, Land of Giants, it still won't be what I would call "convenient."

Just as the supermarkets that are now selling beer, Wawa will have to construct a separate part of the store for the beer sales. Gottahava?

Sure, but with the normal bureaucratic bungling that is the nameplate of Pennsylvania.

For now Wawa says it plans only to sell beer at this one site, but it's not hard to read between the lines. If it's successful there (anyone want to bet against it) Wawa indicates they will consider expanding sales to other stores.

In terms of the state, the battle to privatize the sale of wine and alcohol seems to be bottled up in the ongoing budget standoff between Gov. Tom Wolf and Republicans in the state Legislature.

Hey, at least we can brag that Wawa is No. 1. They are a Delco business icon, and part of the landscape of the Delaware Valley. Sheetz, your goose is cooked, courtesy of that Canadian goose that calls Delco home.

Categories: Pennsylvania