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Heron's Nesthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14660975576038978211noreply@blogger.comBlogger7027125
Updated: 5 hours 17 min ago

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, May 26

15 hours 41 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 90, age of World War II veteran West Mullen, who was keynote speaker at the Ridley Park Memorial Day celebration. Mullen is a survivor of the Normandy Invasion, hitting Omaha Beach on D-Day and living to tell his story.

100, age of Margaret Gleason, who pays a visit to Arlington Cemetery every Memorial Day. This year was no exception.

2013, when the contract with the Interboro School District support staff expired. They’ve been working without a deal since.

4,234 new residents of Delco since the last census was taken in 2010.

425 new residents in Haverford, tops among growth spots in the county.

4.1 percent growth spurt for Chester Township.

5,000 rollercoaster rides being celebrated by a man out in West Mifflin, Pa., over the holiday.

12 people missing in Texas after heavy rains caused record-setting flooding.

6-3 loss to the Mets for the Phils.

6 strikeouts for the Phils, 5 of them looking, including Ben Revere, Freddy Galvis and Chase Utley all in a row.

5 losses in last 7 games for the Phils after they won 6 in a row.

18 losses in last 23 games vs. the Mets for the Phils.

2 straight wins for the Union.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Just when you thought the Phils might be turning this thing around, they go right back into the tank again. Let’s face it, this team is what it is: Thoroughly mediocre.

I Don’t Get It: Still not sure where all those flag-waving patriots who celebrated Memorial Day were a few days earlier when the polls were empty on election day.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Wes Mullen, who is a piece of living history, telling his tale of survival from D-Day.

Quote Box: “They’re the only heroes I know, the heroes that gave up their lives so that we could be here.”

- West Mullen, talking about his World War II compatriots who did not survive the D-Day invasion.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Some like it hot

16 hours 19 min ago
Go ahead and hate me.

Bring on the heat.

I actually like this kind of weather.

The hotter the better.

Humidity? Where have you been, my old friend.

I'm not sure why I enjoy thick, steamy weather. Maybe it's because I'm always cold. I have an extreme dislike for air-conditioning. Don't hold your breath waiting for me to turn it on at home.

I'm always the one sitting outside on the deck sweltering while my family sits inside in air-conditioned comfort. Every once in awhile they would peek out the door to see if I'm still upright.

This is going to be my kind of week.

The forecast calls for it to be hot, humid, with highs in the 90s all week.

Now if only we can keep those pesky thunderstorms away.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Marcus Belgrave, pride of Chester

16 hours 31 min ago
A shout-out today to my friend and longtime, loyal reader Eleanor Nealy of Trainer.

She left me a voice-mail to alert me to something that was in the paper on Monday.

Since it was the Memorial Day holiday, many people might have missed it. I'll repeat it here for a couple of reasons. One, we always take note when a prominent person passes away.

And Marcus Belgrave certainly was that.

But the famed trumpeter also was a native of Chester. You can read his full obit here.

Eleanor reminded me of something that happens all the time in this crazy business:

Just how many things revert back to Chester.

Even this newspaper, the Daily Times, can trace its roots back to the Chester Times.

Eleanor told me Belgrave was a protege and student of the great Robert E. Vaughan, the legendary Chester music teacher who spent 35 years in the music programs in Chester schools.

Eleanor also pointed out that Belgrave also played with her sister in the band that performed at the Salvation Army.

She also noted something else that is too often forgotten, the common theme that runs through all of these stories:

Education.

It's that important, and that's why is remains at the heart of so many of Chester's problems.

"This is just another case of education coming through," Nealy said.

I think Marcus Belgrave and Robert Vaughan would agree.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, May 22

Fri, 2015-05-22 07:24
The Daily Numbers: 19 guns stolen from the Suburban Armory gun shop in Collingdale.

3 or 4 men being sought. Police say they smashed out a front window and ripped off the guns.

8.3 million dollars in cuts to support staff in recent years in the Upper Darby School District. Officials yesterday made a pitch to Gov. Tom Wolf to restore funding.

1.7 million dollar deficit in the latest budget, which will mean a tax hike.

70 different languages spoken in the diverse Upper Darby School District.

13,000 dollars spent per student in Upper Darby, one of the lowest rates in the county.

8,000 to $10,000 annual school property tax tab for the average homeowner.

1,400 students who picked up diplomas at Delaware County Community College yesterday.

8,800 feet of trolley tracks being replaced in Aldan Borough.

591 bags of heroin seized during drug sting in Dover, Del.

6 Baltimore police officers indicted in the death of Freddie Gray.

7,700 gallons of oil now sullying the beaches in California after a pipeline ruptured.

7-3
loss for the Phillies in Colorado to wrap up their road trip.

.395, what Ryan Howard is hitting over the last 9 games played at Coors Field.

2 home runs in 2 games for Howard.

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

Just 2 losses for the Phils in their last 9 games. They will get a bit sterner test starting tonight at Citizens Bank Park when the Nats show up to kick off a weekend series.

I Don’t Get It: 19 guns in the hands of people who should not have them after a heist at the Suburban Armory in Collingdale. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to former Rep. Nick Micozzie, honored for getting the legislation passed that led to the way for improvements at Secane Station. Deservedly so.

Quote Box: “There are 18 weapons that are now on the street, that weren’t on the street yesterday.

- Collingdale Chief Bob Adams, after heist at local gun shop.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A fitting tribute to Nick Micozzie

Fri, 2015-05-22 06:40
If you're one of those harried folks who scramble every morning to arrive early and snag a precious parking spot at the Secane Station to start your commute into the city on the Media/Elwyn line, you owe a debt of gratitude.

There are 60 brand new parking spots at the transit stop this week.

They are there for one reason: Act 89. That is the massive transportation package that was passed by the Legislature. It is providing critical funding for infrastructure and transit work across the Commonwealth.

Act 89 happened in large part because of one man.

That would be former state Rep. Nick Micozzie. The longtime Upper Darby Republican, who retired last fall after representing Upper Darby in Harrisburg for more than three decades, deftly shepherded this crucial piece of legislation through the mine field known as Harrisburg.

Make no mistake, Act 89 was not a particularly popular piece of legislation, especially among Republicans. The GOP folks from the middle of the state very often turn a deaf ear to packages they believe are tilted to giving aid to the southeaster portion of the state. Add in what many believe were thinly disguised tax hikes, and they consider it something akin to anathema.

It was left to Micozzie to pick up the ball and run with it for Gov. Tom Corbett.

Few people know the intricacies of how Harrisburg works - and how legislation gets passed - better than Mizozzie. He not only managed to get the crucial funding through his Transportation Committee, he got it passed and onto to Corbett's desk.

The result is a lot of critically important projects such as the one unveiled at Secane Station this week.

That's why it was particularly poignant to see a phalanx of local and SEPTA officials gather at the station this week to cut the ribbon and show off their new toy.

And to honor the man who made it possible.

There will be a road sign at the station marking it 'Nick Micozzie Way.'

It was a nice gesture for a nice man.

A guy who was not afraid to reach across the aisle to get something done, whether it be more funding for local schools, or important infrastructure projects.

The moment also comes with a tinge of sadness.

Delaware County has no idea how much they will miss Nick Micozzie looking after their interests in Harrisburg.

That's a lot of clout that just left town.

But Act 89 - and the projects it will fund - will remind us just how important Nick Micozzie was.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Welcome to the Memorial Day Weekend - & summer!

Fri, 2015-05-22 06:21
Congratulations! You made it. We have survived another winter.

Despite some very chilly weather this morning, there is no doubt about it. We have made it to the unofficial start of summer - the Memorial Day Weekend.

It's my favorite weekend of the year, if only because it opens the door to another summer.

Here's some info for you in terms of what you need to know this Memorial Day Weekend.

Enjoy!

If you’re heading to the beach and want to check the traffic, CLICK HERE.

For a full look at the forecast, CLICK HERE.

If you’re looking for something to do or a way to commemorate the holiday, CLICK HERE.

Mother Nature looks like she is ready to cooperate.

After a cool start this morning, we’ll warm into the 70s with lots of sunshine. It will be a tad on the cool side Saturday morning, then heat will gradually build through the weekend and by the holiday on Monday, it will actually feel like mid-summer.

Here’s the latest on the holiday weekend forecast from the National Weather Service:

Friday: Increasing clouds, with a high near 75. Breezy, with a west wind 9 to 14 mph increasing to 16 to 21 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 48. Northwest wind 9 to 17 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 69. North wind 7 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 52. Southwest wind 3 to 6 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61.

Memorial Day: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 91.

Don’t forget the real reason for the holiday. This is the weekend we set aside to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Thank a veteran this weekend.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, May 21

Thu, 2015-05-21 07:23
The Daily Numbers: 4 million dollars, how much the Delco SPCA is spending to improve its facilities. They got the ball rolling yesterday by unveiling a new shelter services building.

1,279-214 margin by which voters in Lansdowne backed a push to OK sale of alcohol at the historic Lansdowne Theatre.

70 percent of registered Democrats who skipped the hotly contest mayoral Primary in Philadelphia.

85 percent of those eligible to vote across the suburbs failed to show up.

300 million dollars, how much SEPTA is spending on improvements to the Media-Elwyn regional rail line, including yesterday’s unveiling of the new parking lot at Secane Station.

60 added parking spots at the station.

16.2 million dollar renovation of the entire station that is in the works.

5,000 dollar reward still out there for information on the suspect who held up an employee of Chickie’s and Pete’s in Drexel Hill and fled with $2,300.

3,000 dollars, how much authorities say former Marcus Hook Mayor Jay Schiliro pockets from an account of the Knights of Columbus.

25 years of experience, what Debra Brillante brings to her new job as superintendent of elementary schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

9 miles of fouled beach after oil spill off the California coast.

33 years as host of the Late Show for David Letterman, who did his last show last night.

6,028 broadcasts for the comic.

7 wins in 8 games for the Phillies.

8 home runs for Ryan Howard, that puts him on pace for 30-homer season.

3 hits for Howard in leading Phils to 4-2 win over Rockies.

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

Did we throw dirt on Ryan Howard too soon? He’s heating up, and is a big reason Phils are turning this thing around.

I Don’t Get It: Still astounded at the turnout numbers from the Primary Election. Just shameful.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those involved in the new ‘Chester Made’ video. It’s a story that needs to be told.

Quote Box: “When we met in the Rose Tree Firehouse last August, I got a lot of skeptical looks we could build this. But here we are.”

- SPCA Project Manager Bob Linn
Categories: Pennsylvania

Gov. Wolf brings education funding push to Upper Darby

Thu, 2015-05-21 06:37
It's no secret that Gov. Tom Wolf wants to make big changes in the way education is funded in Pennsylvania.

He's pushing for a new severance tax on gas drilling in the state, as well as a major budget shakeup that would swap a break in property taxes with hikes in both the income and sales taxes.

It's a tough sell.

The governor will bring his message to Delco this morning, making a stop at Stonehurst Hills Elementary School in Upper Darby.

The governor will discuss the impact increasing funding for education can have as part of his "Schools That Teach" roundtable and tour. We'll be there for full coverage.

You can follow reporter Kristina Scala on Twitter @Scala_Kris for live updates from the school.
Categories: Pennsylvania

What is 'Chester Made?'

Thu, 2015-05-21 06:25
A few weeks ago we took our live-stream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom,' down to Open Mike's Internet Cafe on Avenue of the States in Chester to talk about the hot new vibe surrounding the city's arts scene.

A big part of it is something called 'Chester Made.'

It's a huge push to focus on things created in the city, by Chester residents.

Don Newton is one of the people at the heart of this movement. He's connected with a program called Chester Arts Alive. They're putting the arts at the center of the renaissance going on in the city.

This video explains it a lot better:

Categories: Pennsylvania

The voters have spoken - at least a few of them

Thu, 2015-05-21 06:08
I am still astounded at the numbers surrounding Tuesday's Primary Election.

No, not the winners and losers, but rather how few people actually made those decisions.

Take a look around you in the Wawa or at your workplace today.

If there are four people there, it's likely three of them did not vote.

Making it even more galling is the holiday we are fast approaching.

I brought that up in today's editorial.

We need to do better.

We complain all the time about our elected officials. But they are the ones who are making the effort to get involved.

If you don't take the time to exercise your constitutional rights, you should also forfeit your right to whine.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, May 20

Wed, 2015-05-20 07:24
The Daily Numbers: 10 percent voter turnout in Delaware County for Primary Election. Shameful.

15 percent of Republicans got to the polls.

8 percent of Democrats.

27 percent turnout in Philly, where Democrats were essentially electing the next mayor.

1 term and done for Chester Mayor John Linder.

1,000 vote margin for state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, who now will face former Republican Mayor Wendell Butler in the fall.

6,829 write-in votes cast in Delco, where Dems are looking to get on the fall ballot for County Council.

250 votes, what they need to acquire. We should know today.

5 candidates will battle for 3 seats on County Court of Common Pleas in the fall.

4 Dems who got the nod in the troubled Colwyn Borough Council races.

2 incumbents who lost in Colwyn.

3,500 Phillies games for longtime employee Tony Valerio of Ridley.

2 engineers in every Amtrak train, what the union wants after the deadly Philly rail derailment.

3, where the Sixers will pick in the NBA Draft.

6-game winning streak snapped for the Phillies last night in Denver, where they lost 6-5.

3 more hits for Maikel Franco.

1 crucial error for the third baseman that led to 3 1st inning runs.

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

OK, Sam Hinkie. It would appear the tanking worked. You are in line to draft Deangelo Russel. Now you need to win.

I Don’t Get It: People stayed away from the polls in drove. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those who made the effort and exercised their constitutional rights. You are patriots

Quote Box: “We’re going to get things done. We’re going to bring our city back and we’re going to do it with experience.”

- Thaddeus Kirkland, claiming victory in the Chester Dem Mayor’s race.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Chester voters show Linder the door

Wed, 2015-05-20 06:55
It's one and done for John Linder.

The incumbent Democratic mayor of Chester will not be getting a second term.

He wasn't toppled by Republicans, but instead by his own party.

The fractured Chester Democratic Party is now solidly standing behind longtime state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, who rolled to a big win over Linder in yesterday's Primary vote.

Unofficials results show Kirkland leading Linder by 1,000 votes.

The Dem feud split the city, with both Linder and Kirkland fieling their own slate of candidates for City Council and other city positions. Kirkland's team, which includes incumbent city council members Nafis Nichols and Elizabeth Williams, won big.

Kirkland will now tangle with a very familiar face in November.

Former Mayor Wendell Butler will top the Republican ticket as he seeks his old job.

Kirkland served 12 terms in Harrisburg, but it's not exactly been a secret that he's had his eyes on the mayor's office for some time. His differences with Linder focused on the police department. Kirkland was critical of one of Linder's first moves, demoting Darren Alston and bringing in veteran Joe Bail. Kirkland ripped the move and said Linder and Bail were out of touch with the community. As usual, Linder was a class act in accepting defeat.

"If this is what the citizens want, then so be it," he said. "I'm all right with that."

I liked John Linder.

But I'm not sure he was cut out for politics.

For one thing, he always told you exactly what was on his mind. Believe me when I tell you that's not something that happens all the time.

Linder was a longtime educator. He likely just learned a fairly tough political lesson.

I hope he stays involved.

Chester needs more people like John Linder.
Categories: Pennsylvania

So much for Mayor Anthony Williams

Wed, 2015-05-20 06:31
Forget that call for a new state senator for eastern Delaware County.

Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, D-8, isn't going anywhere.

He got waxed yesterday in his bid to become the next mayor of Philadelphia. Williams, despite doing well in in his West Philly stronghold, lost just about every other section of the city as he got walloped by former city councilman Jim Kenney in the Democratic Primary.

Kenney held a 2-1 margin over Williams with almost all city votes counted.

Of course, with the Dems' 7-1 voter registration edge in the city, that pretty much means Kenney will be the next mayor. That's not a slap at newcomer Republican Melissa Murray Bailey. To say she will be a longshot is aking to saying the Phillies will win the World Series. A Republican has not been elected mayor in Philadelphia since the 1940s.

Instead of heading east to City Hall, Williams will continue to go west, back to serving his constituents - including a lot of Delco folks - in Harrisburg.

Williams' 8th District Senate seat includes parts of Collingdale, Colwyn, Darby Borough, Darby Township, Folcroft, Lansdowne, Norwood, Sharon Hill and Yeadon.

Williams became the front-runner early in the race, pushing for changes in education and backed by some serious big-buck benefactors, suburban guys who were pushing school choice and charter schools.

But Williams seemed to back away from that stance during the campaign and never really identified who he is or what he stands for. In the meantime, he got lost in the backwash of a very smart campaign run by Kenney, who stunned a lot of people by winning the backing of several influential leaders in the African-American community.

It might herald the start of a new era of post-racial voting in the city. A white candidate had never topped a black candidate in as many minority communities as Kenney managed to do on Tuesday.

Kenney took 55 percent of the vote, compared to just 26 percent for Williams.

Former D.A. Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Doug Oliver and Milton Street lagged far behind in single digits.

Williams expected to roll up huge wins in African-American neighborhoods. It didn't happen. Kenney won almost every neighborhood in the city.

Perhaps the fatal flaw in the Williams' campaign came late, when the senator announced he would dump Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who just happens to be the most popular figure in the city.

Now Williams will limp back to Harrisburg. He's already lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor. Now he can add a failed mayoral run to his resume.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, May 19 (Primary Election Day Edition)

Tue, 2015-05-19 07:00
The Daily Numbers: 15 to 20 percent turnout expected today in Delco for Primary Election. Just shameful.

3 seats up for grabs on Delaware County Council. 3 Republicans are on ballot; 3 Democrats will try to get on November ballot by write-ins after their nominating petitions were tossed out.

2 Democrats in race for Chester mayor. Incumbent Mayor John Linder is being challenged by longtime state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland.

3 seats available on the state Supreme Court.

6 Democrats and 6 Republicans seeking nominations for those seats.

1 seat being contested for state Commonwealth Court.

1 seat on state Superior Court.

6 Democrats battling for Democratic nomination for mayor in Philadelphia.

2.5 million dollars pumped into campaign of Jim Kenney by labor groups.

6.8 million dollars poured into Anthony Williams’ coffers by group backing school choice and charter schools.

1 Republican for mayor on the ballot.

36, age of the GOP standard bearer Melissa Murray Bailey, who will face an uphill quest in the fall with the huge Dem majority in the city.

7-1 Dem voter edge in the city.

169,376 registered Dems in Delco, to 164,649 registered Republicans.

7 a.m.-8 p.m. hours that polls will be open in Pa.

610-344-6410, number for Delaware County Election Bureau to report any problems at the polls.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.We pack sports stadiums and yet we can’t manage to get out and vote. It doesn’t add up.

I Don’t Get It: Almost 43 of every 4 registered voters in Delco will fail to get out to the polls. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those who exercise their constitutional rights today.

Quote Box: No more campaign quotes. It’s time to vote.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Welcome to Primary Election Day 2015

Tue, 2015-05-19 06:07
Welcome to Primary Election Day 2015.

No, they haven't transferred voting to London.

Yes, it is foggy out there. We're looking at a moist, muggy day for voting here in Delaware County.

So have you cast your ballot yet? Well, if you have, unless you cast an absentee ballot, I'd like to know how, since the polls don't open for another hour.

It does not look like people will be breaking down the doors to vote, despite the fact that three seats on Delaware County Council are up for grabs and both parties are fielding trios of candidates.

There also is a big race in Chester, where incumbent Mayor John Linder is being challenged in the Democratic primary by longtime state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland.

Still, both party leaders are expecting voters to stay away in droves.

We will have a live Election Day blog up and running later this morning - and we want you to join our coverage.

We want to know if you voted and why. How many people were at the polls when you showed up. Any problems? Shoot a photo. Take a video. Then Tweet it with the hashtag #Delcovote. We'll collect all those items in our live Election Day blog.

Start the countdown.

Polls open in about 55 minutes.

Make sure you vote. Then tell is about it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, May 18

Mon, 2015-05-18 07:27
The Daily Numbers: 5:53 a.m., when 1st train left 30th Street Station in Philly for New York City, after last week’s fatal Amtrak derailment.

8 people killed, 200 injured in the horrific crash.

20 victims remain in local hospitals with injuries suffered in the crash.

200 million dollar cap on damages that Amtrak will have to pay stemming from lawsuits tied to the crash.

2 seats on Chester City Council where incumbents are facing challenges.

5 seats up for grabs on the Southeast Delco School District.

6 Democrats and 6 Republicans seeking nominations for three seats on the state Supreme Court

6 Democrats seeking Dem nomination for mayor in Philadelphia.

1 Republican who will face that Democrat.

7 a.m. Tuesday, when polls open. They close at 8 p.m.

55th commencement exercises held Sunday at Cabrini College.

5,000 reward posted in armed holdup of employee from Chickie’s and Pete’s.

13,000 dollars swiped from a casino patron after he was followed home from SugarHouse Casino in Philly.

2,300 dollars taken in the holdup.

2nd time the female employee has been the target of robbers.

9 bikers killed in a shootout between rival motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, on Sunday.

5 straight wins for the Phillies.

6-0 win over the Diamondbacks to close out the home stand yesterday.

2 hits - including triple and his 1st homer - for Maikel Franco.

6 shutout innings from Sean O’Sullivan.

22,123
who went through turnstiles at Citizens Bank Park.

3-1 deficit wiped out by the Houston Rockets, who came all the way back and eliminated the L.A. Clippers yesterday.

1-0 win for the Union over D.C. United

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

Five straight wins? Break up the Phillies. Maybe the summer won’t be total loss after all!

I Don’t Get It: Gunfire erupted between 2 motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, Sunday, leaving 9 people dead. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the feds for ordering Positive Train Control installed on the northbound tracks where a train derailed last week, killing 8, before it could reopen this morning.

Quote Box: “Though you are about to graduate, you aren’t done fulfilling your commitment to Cabrini College. You have a promise to keep.”

- Cabrini President Donald B. Taylor to graduates.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Darby comes together to stop violence tonight

Mon, 2015-05-18 06:51
In Darby Borough, they will start the process of reclaiming their streets tonight.

Actually, that work started last week, when police made an arrest in a recent homicide.

The tiny borough has been rocked by another uptick in violence, at one point suffering four shootings in five days.

It was after an altercation on a crowded playground escalated into gunfire - with children playing - that the community decided 'enough is enough.'

Officials will convene a public meeting tonight at 7 o'clock in the Community Center to address the increase in violent crime and outline the borough's plans to quell the incidents.

Police Chief Bob Smythe has made it clear that his department needs the support of the community to eradicate the problem. A good sign came last week when the public provided information that led to the arrest of a 17-year-old on murder charges after a man was gunned down outside his apartment.

That's the kind of thing Smythe stresses will be needed to take back the streets.

"You can't have it both ways here," the chief said. "If you want your street back, we'll be happy to take it back for you, but we need people to come forward.

That process starts tonight.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Trains resume on Northeast Corridor

Mon, 2015-05-18 06:31
5:53 a.m.

That's when life returned to normal on the Northeast Corridor, or at least the stretch between Philadelphia and New York City. Six days after a horrific derailment that claimed eight lives and injured more than 200, Amtrak resumed service on the busiest stretch of rail in the world.

An Amtrak train just rumbled through the curve at Frankford Junction at 6:25 a.m., accompanied by a throng of media and overhead cameras capturing every move.

Clearly the train this morning was going much slower than the ill-fated Train 188 that was going more than 100 mph as it approached the curve.

There was something else different this morning.

Amtrak has installed the Positive Train Control software on the stretch, which gives the ability to slow down a train that is going too fast, overriding the engineer of some kind of mechanical error.

That system was not in place last week.

It was supposed to be in place across all passenger and freight rail lines by the end of the year.

It's a hell of a price to pay for not getting installed in time.

We still don't know why Train 188 was going that fast.

We do know it took a horrible toll to get those safety features installed on the train.

Maybe we should be asking why on that question as well.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Break up the Phillies

Mon, 2015-05-18 06:18
Maybe the summer won't be a total loss after all.

Take heart, Phillies fans.

You're team is hot.

The Phils - led by newcomer Maikel Franco - won their fifth straight game yesterday, blanking the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-0.

Franco had two hits - a triple and a homer - and actually came inches away from two homers.

Franco tripled to the deepest part of Citizens Bank Park, rattling a ball off the wall near the 409-foot sign in left-center. His next at-bat he reached the seats in left.

It's good to see Franco put up some numbers after being recalled from his very hot start at Triple A at Lehigh Valley. He hasn't cooled off any on the trip down the Northeast Extension. That's a good sign, because in previous end-of-season callups, as well as in spring training, Franco has struggled against big league pitching.

In the meantime, is this five-game stretch a mirage or the seeds of good things to come.

Unfortunately, the Phils have dug themselves a huge hole.

Winning five straight games still only lifts their miserable slate to 16-23. They're still six and a half games back of the Mets in the NL East.

But there are good signs surrounding Ryne Sandberg's team. Columnist Jack McCaffery lists some of them.

In the meantime, the popular opinion here was that the Phillies might be out of it before Memorial Day.

As the Phillies head to Colorado to start a road trip tonight, and with Memorial Day weekend lurking at the end of the week, it's pretty clear that won't be the case.

It's not much. But for now it will do.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, May 15

Fri, 2015-05-15 08:38
The Daily Numbers: 8 victims now ID’d from derailment of Amtrak Train 188.

243 on board the train now accounted for.

150 patients treated at 7 local hospitals.

44 people admitted.

25 still in hospital.

7 in critical condition.

70 mph to 100 mph surge by the train in the seconds before the derailment.

17, age of teen charged in Darby homicide last week.

46, age of Haverford man facing child sexual abuse charges.

3rd of 5 defendants in brutal Darby child abuse case who copped a plea.

5 seats on the Penn-Delco School Board up for grabs.

7 candidates seeking 2 seats on the Millbourne Borough Council.

6 Philadelphia narcotics officers acquitted on all charges in a corruption case.

4-2 win for the Phillies over the Pirates.

.353 batting average for shortstop Freddy Galvis.

3 for 3 with 2 runs scored for Galvis in yesterday’s win.

6 strikeouts for Aaron Harang, who gave up just 5 hits and 0 runs in a strong 8 innings.

10-8 win for Ganet Valley in boys lacrosse.

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

Anyone starting to believe in Freddy Galvis? He’s now over 100 at-bats and is batting over .350.

I Don’t Get It: Another teen charged as an adult in a homicide. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those biking to work this morning. You are lean, clean green machines.

Quote Box: “This guy at 17 is a cold-blooded murderer. He shot and killeda a 60-year-old handicapped man.

- Darby Police Chief Bob Smythe, after arrest of teen on murder charges.
Categories: Pennsylvania