Updated: 3 hours 24 min ago
There is no place left to hide for Pat Meehan and his fellow moderate Republicans. They can thank President Donald Trump for that. Rep. Meehan, R-7, of Chadds Ford, has been riding the fence concerning the Republican push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the GOP American Health Care Plan. As late as Wednesday afternoon, the Delaware County Republican indicated he had still not made up his mind and was continuing to hear from constituents and review the legislation. It was the smart political move. Meehan is not likely to show his hand on health care until he absolutely has to; it's a no-win situation for the moderate. He's guaranteed to take fire regardless which way he votes. He'll earn the scorn of Trump and conservative Republicans with a no vote; be crucified by many constituents who do not want to see the ACA overturned should he cast a vote in favor. Those folks have been a steady presence in protests outside his Springfield office. They were back out there again yesterday and already are vowing to show up again today. So he stayed in the middle, despite his longtime opposition to ACA, and his vote in favor of moving the GOP plan out of the House Ways and Means Committee. At first yesterday, it appeared Meehan and others riding the fence might get a break. Republican leaders said they were delaying the vote, a sure indication they did not have the votes for passage. That wiggle room has now evaporated. President Trump last night issued an ultimatum - he wants an up or down vote this morning or he is moving on to other issues. So what will it be, Congressman Meehan? We're about to find out.
His was the voice that roared. Often.But there was a method behind the bombast.Dallas Green knew what was inside the 1980 Phillies. He just had to find a way to get it out of them, to shake up a complacent bunch of under-performing superstars.Luckily, Green had just the tool he needed.A voice that could peel paint off the wall.Dallas Green was a no-nonsense baseball man.Maybe that's why he had such a connection with Philly fans. They unabashedly loved him.And maybe that's why his passing this week, just as the Phils prepare to head north for another season, hits us so hard, similar to the way we felt about other Phillies icons Harry Kalas and Whitey Ashburn.We used our editorial page today to pay homage to a local hero.Why?That one's easy.Dallas Green made us winner.
The Daily Numbers: 82, age of legendary Phillies manager Dallas Green. 6 decades, how long Green spent in baseball, almost all of them in Philly. 1980, year Green willed a bunch of under-achieving Phils to their 1st World Series championship.1 color gown for all grads to wear, what Haverford High School students are petitioning for.500 dollar shopping spree won by an Aston man.10 million dollar deficit still looming in Upper Darby School District budget.150 cities being visited by SAP in their Reimagined Tour.3 teens who had been on the run after fleeing a juvenile detention center 300 miles away.1st Steps Treatment Center now up and running at Crozer-Chester Medical Center to help in the war on opioid abuse.215 votes needed by Republicans in the House today to pass their repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replace it with their own American Health Care Act. Right now it looks like they still don’t have votes.87, age of ‘Gong Show’ creator Chuck Barris, who died this week. 2 rival female teen gangs that engaged in a nasty street fight in West Philadelphia, including 1 girl having her hair set on fire. 35th triple double for Kevin Westbrook in leading the Thunder to easy win over the 76ers last night.0 shots missed by Westbrook, the so-called ‘perfect’ triple doubleCall me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Joel Embiid is now scheduled for knee surgery. Two months after first injuring his knee. Yep, the Process is still working. I Don’t Get It: I’m betting the House never votes today on the GOP health care plan. They don’t appear to have to votes in their own ranks to get it passed. Today’s Upper: Kudos to the memory of a person who truly was larger than life - Dallas Green. Quote Box: “The Phillies didn’t fire Danny Ozark, you guys did.”Green addressing the Phils after taking over for the departed skipper Ozark.
It was the voice the Phillies heard in their dreams - or maybe their nightmares. No, not Harry Kalas.Harry's dulcet baritone likely eased the players into lullaby land. But it was the booming bravado of Dallas Green that jarred them from their reverie.The person who coined the saying that some people are larger than life probably had Dallas Green in mind.Green was a giant - figuratively and literally - on the Philly sports scene.He took a team of chronic underachievers, stuck his boot firmly in their posteriors, and dragged them kicking and screaming to the team's first World Series championship.For that - meaning his no-nonsense approach to the game and demand that his players bust it every night - he earned the undying respect of Philly fans. That parade in 1980 wasn't bad either.Green, who made his home for years on a farm in West Grove out in Chester County, died Wednesday at 82. Green made it clear when he took over for the fired Danny Ozark late in still one more disappointing season in 1979 that things were going to be different."The Phillies didn't fire Danny Ozark," Green told his troops. "You did."Green stood 6 feet, 5 inches tall, and his voice matched his physique.He coddled no one, from superstars like Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose, to the last guy on his bench.The players hated him for it. But eventually they turned things around, caught fire in September 1980 after another legendary Green torching, and delivered the city its first championship since the Flyers captured back-to-back Stanley Cups in the '70s. Green spent six decades in baseball, all but a few of them as part of the Phillies organization. He came out of Delaware as a pitcher and compiled a 20-22 record. That led to one his classic quips: "I'm a 20-game winner, it just took me five years to do it."But he made his real mark on Philly off the field, where he coached and managed in the minors, then took over the team's farm system, delivering home-grown talent such as Schmidt and Bowa to his mentor, Phillies GM Paul Owens.When Owens and Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter decided to make a change late in that 1979 season, they turned to Green.The Phillies likely heard him coming long before they saw him.Green's voice shook up a Phillies clubhouse that badly needed it.But it did more than that.It made them - and us - winners.Thanks, Dallas. * CLICK HERE for a look at Dallas Green's legendary career.CLICK HERE for Jack McCaffery's look at the man who reshaped the Phillies.
It's crunch time - and arm-twisting time - in Washington. The Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act may or may not come to a vote in the House.Whether or not President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have the votes to pass their American Health Care Act remains in question, despite some serious pressure being applied by the president.Mr. Trump has made it clear that he will be keeping score when it comes to the vote, and those who don't toe the party line likely will face his wrath.It's unlikely that any Democrats will vote in favor, so this is something of a Republican showdown. Conservatives continue to fume that the GOP plan is not what they campaigned on, and not what they promised voters. In short, they see it as Obamacare Lite, far short of the repeal they promised voters.And some GOP moderates have indicated they cannot support the changes and the hardships the GOP plan would place on many of their constituents.Here in Delaware County, U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Chadds Ford, who voted in favor of the measure in passing it out of the Ways and Means Committee, said yesterday afternoon he remains undecided as he continues to review the legislation.One thing you can count on: If Ryan and the Republican leadership feel they don't have the votes, don't look for this thing to make it to the floor.That could take Meehan and others riding the fence off the hook and not have to take a stand one way or the other.You can read our editorial here.
Nobody knows better than I do the feelings of the residents of Chester, many of whom believe the Daily Times is always picking on their city. I heard it again this week after we published a story with data from a Pittsburgh lawyer indicating Chester was the most dangerous city to live in Pennsylvania.What we did not hear from was Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland. We did not get a response when we asked for reaction to the label while working on the story.Of course, I heard from the mayor after the story hit the street Tuesday morning.As you might imagine, the mayor was not pleased. And as I always do in these instances, I offered him the opportunity to respond.You can read that response on our op-ed page today.There is a lot of good things happening in the city of Chester.It has a vibrant arts scene that is sparking a renaissance in the downtown sector. It has a majestic waterfront, home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, where 20,000 fans routinely come and go without incident.It is very easy to get a skewed image of the city.That's why I am always looking for positive stories from the city. This week we published a story about a job fair being held at City Hall. We pay close attention to what is going on in the city's arts scene. Our Friday religion pages are filled with events at Chester places of worship.I strive to present a balanced view. I'm sure there are a lot of people who believe I fail miserably at that job.To them I make the same offer. I am an equal-opportunity publicist. Write a letter and I'll run it on our op-ed page.
The Daily Numbers: 3 applications from Delaware County submitted to the state for operations under the state’s new medical marijuana law. 2 marijuana-growing facilities in Aston & 1 dispensary in Sharon Hill. They now await word from the state.20, age of Sam Jenkins, a popular Swarthmore College student who died of injuries he suffered in a skateboard accident on campus.3 foot pole used to assault a SEPTA bus driver near 69th Street, according to police.3.5 million dollars in Community Development Block Grants received in Delco last year. Those are on the chopping block in the Trump budget.15 percent boost in median price of homes sold in Delco in February.2 percent dip in total of homes sold.100,000 dollars worth of gifts and lavish trips accepted by Philly D.A. Seth Williams, according to federal indictment.175,000 dollars a year, how much Williams made as Philly’s top law enforcer.23 count indictment lodged against him by the feds yesterday.2 liters and 12-packs of Pepsi being eliminated from Philly by the soda giant in wake of new tax on sugary drinks.3.7 billion dollars tied to Marcellus Shale liquids such as ethane and propane that will travel through that controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline, according to report released by Gov. Wolf.Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Looks like another year out of the playoffs for the Flyers. They lost last night. And the finger-pointing is starting. I Don’t Get It: Looking for downside to Route 322 construction? How long do you think it’s going to take to get through that light at Cherrytree Road now? Today’s Upper: Kudos to Chris Domes. The longtime Wisconsin educator will be arriving in Delaware County to succeed Dr. Rosalie Mirenda as the president of Neumann University. Quote Box: “I’ve always been of the mindset that trailblazers are what we need.”- Sharon Hill Mayor Harry Dunfee, on his support for proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary in the borough.
Call it the cloud that accompanies every silver lining. I was struck by the reaction of many readers to news that after decades of talk, the state is finally starting work to fix what is often referred as the "Killer Conchester," the stretch of Route 322 that runs from I-95 in Chester to Route 1 in Concord.Yes, most residents were relieved that this white-knuckle ride, which is still two lanes in a couple of sections despite the high volume of traffic and number of big rigs that rumble down that expanse every day.Still, several readers sounded a couple of downbeat notes.First, I talked to two older residents who took umbrage to tagging the route as the "Killer" Conchester. They wanted to point out that the Conchester doesn't kill anybody; reckless drivers usually do.It's a little bit like the class gun-control argument, that guns don't kill people, people do.The other lament was about what you'd expect.While they welcome fixing Route 322, many readers openly shuddered at what traffic in this already clogged route is going to look like once they start shutting lanes down.Actually, from the sounds of it, much of the work will be done in off-hours and will take place off the main route.But, yes, I can imagine that there are going to be delays built into this two-year process.Should do wonders for the long wait to get through that light at Cherrytree Road.If that's not the worst traffic light in Delco, I'm not really sure what is.Anyone have any other suggestions?
On our editorial page today, we note that Greg Gerson informed the residents of Chester something they have known for a long time. They live in a very dangerous city. In fact, according to research Gerson has compiled, they live in the most dangerous city in Pennsylvania.It's time for that to change.The residents of Chester deserve better.Read our editorial here.
The winter of our discontent continues. Even into the first week of spring.No, I'm not talking about the weather - for once.I'm talking sports.The Flyers lost last night in Winnipeg, leaving them 7 points out of the playoffs with 10 games to play. Yeah, it does not look good. And things got even worse after the game when goalie Steve Mason appeared to question the effort of some of his teammates.The big story surrounding the Sixers these days is Joel Embiid's commercial for Jolly Ranchers. Yeah, that pretty much gives you an idea of where how their season is winding up, despite the development of Richaun Holmes and the recently acquired Justin Anderson.Even the Delco high school season is now barren.With that loss Monday night by the O'Hara girls, there are no Delco teams still alive in the PIAA hoops playoffs.The Phillies can't start soon enough
I am guessing there are more than a few people in Delaware County who took one glance at yesterday's front page and said, "Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it." Believe it.They are finally fixing the Killer Conchester.I know, you've been hearing about them doing this for decades. This time it's for real. Work started yesterday.I actually had a call from one reader taking me to task for our description of the road.The 85-year-old woman was more than willing to tell me she disagreed with our characterization of the road that stretches from I-95 in Chester and Route 1 in Concord."The road is not the problem," she informed me. "The Conchester is not the killer. It's the drivers." She's right, of course.But that doesn't change the fact that a road that became obsolete not long after the day it was opened is finally going to be fixed.It's on our editorial page today.
You never really know in this job how you are going to connect with readers. Yesterday, in my weekly Letter From the Editor print column, I wrote about a recent visit to the Flight 93 Memorial outside Shanksville. I wrote specifically about the sky, how it seemed different in this vast expanse of open space, how it seemed so much closer, almost constricting.That did not surprise one reader and she should know.She grew up in that area.And she wanted me to know that I was exactly right about the sky.She related a story about how her parents grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and that even after they moved away as he father looked for work, they would return for a week each summer to visit relatives.She talked about those visits warmly, clearly relishing a trip down memory lane.You could almost hear the joy in her writing as she described sitting on the porch of a house, sandwiched between her mom and her aunt, staring up at the wondrous sky. She would be cloaked in a blanket, because even on the most scorching summer days, it always cooled off at night.Then she talked about the real reason she emailed me, the same thing that I came away with after my visit.The sky."We felt like we could reach the sky, along with the millions of stars we would see so close and bright," she said "We would stretch our arms thinking we could touch the moon to give it a hug. Every sense I have, but especially a smell, could bring back memories flooding my mind and heart, of my Aunt Mary and all our family. Her house had a smell I still long for and when I smell it, I wish I could bottle it. "Anyway, you are correct! That sky in Western Pennsylvania, seems like you can touch it. As a kid, I thought I did many times."I'm not sure I've ever received a nicer compliment.
I'm on a mission. I'm looking for good news. Upbeat stories, ones that can provide balance to the stream of often troubling headlines that pour out from our website and the pages of the newspaper.That doesn't mean I'm giving up reporting on these so-called "negative" stories. Unfortunately, as I tell everyone who asks, that's what people read.But a gentleman who called me yesterday to tell me how much he liked my column on my visit to the Flight 93 Memorial got me thinking. He was clearly touched by what I had written and went out of his way to not how it differed from the usual fare he encounters in the newspaper.Granted, you might make the argument that the reasoning behind the Flight 93 Memorial is hardly upbeat, but I assure you there is something very positive and uplifting about the site.For today, well, it doesn't get much more update than this story.A Haverford couple decided to throw a luncheon to thank the local EMS guys who came to their aid and helped deliver their baby. Yep, I think that classifies as upbeat.Kudos to all involved. Read the story here.
The Daily Numbers: 6:29 a.m., when we officially bid winter goodbye and welcomed spring. 35 degrees, chilly start to spring.4 lanes, what Route 322, the Killer Conchester, will be in each direction after improvement plan, which starts today.20,000 vehicles that use the span from I-95 in Chester to Baltimore Pike in Concord.3.6 mile stretch of road that has a reputation as being one of the most dangerous roads in the county.90 million dollars, what the project will cost.2 years, how long the work will take.5 hours a month, what a group of social activists want those who attended the Take Action, Give 5 Fair to donate to their communities.6 to 12 years in state prison for Chester man for sex crimes he committed as a teen.245,000 people who visited the Philadelphia Flower Show this year. That’s down from the 2 previous years, due in part to the large storm that hit the area Tuesday.88, age of Jimmy Breslin, legendary New York columnist.10 percent boost in defense spending under President Trump’s proposed budget.5.9 percent uptick in veterans spending.6.8 percent boost for Homeland Security.31.4 percent cut for the EPA16 percent cut for Health and Human Services.1 and done. Villanova, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney, was shown the door Saturday by Wisconsin.105-99 comeback win for the Sixers over the Celtics4-3 win in OT for Flyers over Hurricanes.65-61 loss for Chester High to Abington Heights in PIAA tourney. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Villanova is out of the Big Dance. Bring on baseball season. I Don’t Get It: Spring is here. Raise your hand if you don’t’ want to eat water ice on a 40-degree day. Can I get a rain check for July? Today’s Upper: Kudos to word that after many, many years, work is expected to start today to fix the Killer Conchester, Route 322. Quote Box: “Proposed cuts in the budget blueprint to programs that have a lasting, positive impact on our communities and that my constituents value are unacceptable to me.”- U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello
It's one of those things I think about every time a big storm is in the forecast. Especially when the forecast turns out to be not quite on the money - and we get considerably less snow than expected.It happened again last week, when the nebulous "snow-rain line" did what is always seems to do. It shifted, or "wobbled" as one local forecaster insisted on telling us.Bottom line? We got a lot less snow, and more sleet and freezing rain. It was still a mess, but it was not the major snow storm that had been forecast that could have paralyzed the region.v That did not stop many operations from shutting down. Schools closed, county government went dark in Media.I always envision myself as a bar or restaurant owner, especially when these things are forecast for a Friday or Saturday night. I can only imagine what they are thinking when they flick on their TV and the only thing they hear all day is, "All we can say is that if you don't have to go out, don't."Of course not, stay inside and watch TV - and our non-stop coverage of reporters sticking rulers into the snow.As I suspected, there is a real cost in terms of the hit to the regional economy in such instances.Reporter Alex Rose talked to some experts about what all this weather mayhem actually costs.
I was standing in the middle of nowhere, in a field in western Pennsylvania. And all I could do was stare at the sky. And imagine the horror that unfolded in this very place those many years ago.Standing at the Flight 93 Memorial outside Shanksville, Pa., is a moving experience.I wrote about it today in my weekly Letter From the Editor.
Congratulations! We survived another winter. Welcome to the first day of spring. Actually, I'm jumping the gun just a tad. Spring doesn't officially arrive until 6:29 a.m. As winters go, this was not all that bad, but I could still live without it. We did not get any big, paralyzing snow storms, despite our local TV stations forecasts.But for some reason, the last couple of weeks I have been even more cold than normal.There is something you should know. I am always cold. It's one of the reasons I detest winter. Maybe we got lulled to sleep by the fairly mild winter, but these last few weeks I have been shivering with the best of them.Now if we could just get rid of this nuisance snow. Yes, it's pretty when it first arrives, blanketing everything in a fluffy layer of white. That's especially true when we get just enough snow to cover all our imperfections, but not enough to keep us from getting around.Unfortunately, that only lasts a couple of hours. One thing I noticed yesterday is how ugly snow is after it sits around for a couple of days.The combination of salt, road grit and stuff that has been plowed into large mounds makes for an ugly spectacle.It's going to take awhile for the snow to disappear. While we are supposed to warm up a bit today, pushing close to 50, what we really need is a couple of 70-degree days and a nice rain to wash away all this grit.You can get the full forecast here. For now, I will rejoice in having survived another winter. No, I will not rush to Rita's for a free water ice today.But I'll be smiling anyhow.Bring on Summer!
The protesters were back at U.S. Rep Pat Meehan's Springfield office yesterday, just as they have been every week since President Donald Trump was sworn in and Republican made clear they intended to make good their vow to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. But things got a little more serious this week then House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Republicans finally rolled out their replacement, the American Health Care Act. Meehan voted in favor of it in moving it out of the House Ways and Means Committee.Yesterday he talked about it - and where he stands when it comes to health care.The man who said he was much more in favor of "rescue and repair," as opposed to "repeal and replace," likes some aspects of the new plan, like the way it keeps several key provisions, such as allowing dependents to stay on their parents' plan until age 26, and assuring those with pre-existing conditions are not denied coverage. But he still has his concerns, and wants to stress that this is going to be a long process, and that more changes in the bill are no doubt on the way.You can read the story - and the reaction of local protesters - here.
The legend of the 'Delco Legend' continues to grow. Even if Chris Dorman wishes it would not.About the only thing the Folcroft police officer wants is for his life to return to its normal routine.'Routine' is a funny word when it comes to police officers and first responders.People - including some of us in the news racket - have a tendency to refer to 'routine' police calls.Those who know and love cops - their family and friends - know there is no such thing.That's why they grimace just a bit every time they hear it. They are all too aware that when their loved one leaves the house every day, there is no guarantee that they will return home safe and sound.Dorman was responding to just such a 'routine' call last summer for a report of drug activity behind a local apartment complex when he encountered something that was anything but routine.Dorman scuffled with a suspect, then was knocked to the ground. That's when he found himself staring down the barrel of a gun. He was shot several times, clinging to life when he was rushed to the hospital by a fellow officer, while still another confronted the suspect and exchanged gunfire with him.Amazingly, Dorman left the hospital just a few days later, albeit with the scars of his life-threatening encounter still visible fater taking bullets to his face, back and legs.Thus was born the 'Delco Legend.'This week Dorman, his fellow Folcroft officers and many others were honored at a very special dinner by a group supporting law enforcement in Philadelphia. There were 29 law officers who had been wounded in the line of duty, including East Lansdowne native Josh Hartnett, who was shot point-blank in an ambush by a man who fired into the window of his police cruiser.You might say it was anything but a 'routine' night.Just like the calls these officers answer every day.You can read our editorial here.
On our editorial page today, we take a look at the Republicans' new health care bill and the challenge it poses for many moderates in Congress, including Delco U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan. Meehan has made no secret of his desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But instead of "repeal and replace," he was mouthing words like "rescue and repair."The American Health Care Act rolled out by House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn't made anyone happy. The conservative right are ridiculing it as "Obamacare Light." The left are pointing to Congressional Budget Office calculations that indicate it would leave 24 million people uninsured over the next decade, while increasing costs for seniors and offering huge tax breaks to the pharma and insurance industries.That's what Meehan, who already voted in favor of the plan in moving it out of the House Ways and Means Committee, and other Republicans now have to sell to their constituents.Those constituents have not been shy about voicing their opinions, in particular when it comes to health care legislation. They have been holding weekly picketing sessions and rallies outside his Springfield office.Today they are planning an all-day affair outside the office at 940 West Sproul Road.You can read our editorial here.