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Updated: 2 hours 7 min ago

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 24

12 hours 20 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 800 doses of Narcan ready to go into police cars in the county on Nov. 29 when new law goes into effect allowing first responders to deliver the drug to someone experiencing a heroin overdose.

19, age of Main Line teen facing charges in heroin overdose death of a friend.

1st degree murder conviction against a Chester man in the July 2010 shooting of a man outside a city business.

70th anniversary for Media Fellowship.

54, age of Community Service supervisor charged with groping two women assigned to his work detail. He will face trial.

36 years in Haverford schools coming to an end. Superintendent Dr. William Keilbaugh is retiring.

182 students at Upper Darby High School who will get a free ACT test after the first one they took got lost in the mail.

59 and 22, ages of men who now face charges in connection with an incident that led to a lockdown at Malvern Prep High School.

2,000 dollar Tiffany bracelet, what the former top judge in Philly Traffic Court is accused of taking from a businessman. She now faces bribery charges.

52, age of former Philly mob boss Joey Merlino, who has been summoned to court this morning for a hearing to see if he violated his parole agreement.

216 point boost for the stock market yesterday.

3.92 percent average rate for a 30-year mortgage.

33, age of doctor in New York City who has tested positive for Ebola virus.

50 percent hike in earnings reported by Comcast. That comes to a cool $16.8 billion.

2 final football games of the season that have been cancelled at Central Bucks West High School amid reports of hazing.

109-103 loss for the Sixers in their final exhibition game to the Pistons.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.The Sixers played their final exhibition game last night. Why do I get the feeling their entire season is going to be an exhibition?

I Don’t Get It: Hazing among high school athletes has entered an entire new area.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those who gathered last night in Upper Chi to remember those lost to heroin and opioid addiction.

Quote Box: “This is not a club we wanted to join.”

- Tricia Stouch, at last night’s vigil for to remember those who died of addiction.
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Live From the Newsroom' talks some serious politics

12 hours 59 min ago
It looks like I might have to go down with the ship alone.

The Tom Corbett ship, that is.

I was one of the very few people in this state who has gone on the record as saying that Tom Corbett would be re-elected. I did that in part because Pennsylvania has never - never - voted out an incumbent governor.

Instead we usually flip-flop parties every eight years. In other words, eight years with a Democrat, followed by eight years of a Republican in the governor's mansion.

But judging by the conversation on last night's 'Live From the Newsroom' show, that may be about to change.

During our monthly visit to the sparkling new TV production facilities at Widener University, Corbett is in serious trouble.

If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

I started out by noting that Corbett has been paring what once was an overwhelming lead in the polls for Democrat Tom Wolf. But neither of my guests, Widener political science professor Wes Leckrone, nor columnist Chris Freind believes Corbett is going to win.

We also discussed what is likely the second most high-profile race in the state. That would be the battle for the open state Senate seat in the 26th District, where Republican Tom McGarrigle and Democrat John Kane are doing battle. It's going to set a record for being maybe the most expensive state Senate race in Pennsylvania history. And it's gotten increasingly nasty.

This one looks like it could go down to the wire. Although Democrats are widening their newfound registration edge in the county, the GOP still has more voters in the 26th District. This one likely will go down to the wire.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Wake up the echoes: Hazing claims another high school football season

13 hours 30 min ago
The football season is over at Central Bucks West High School.

In a stunning move Thursday, the school superintendent scrapped the final two games of the season, citing reports of hazing during pre-season rituals. Kids apparently were forced to go into the showers with a towel draped over their face. They are referring to this as something akin to waterboarding. Crotches were grabbed.

While the shock waves roll over the CBW community, they are no doubt also being felt across the region.

This is now the second incident of hazing that has stopped a high school football team in its tracks. The first was Sayreville in North Jersey, which also saw its season wind up on the ash heap after reports hazing. Five coaches were suspended and criminal charges are pending against seven players.

I imagine there are a lot of nervous players and coaches across the Delaware Valley today.

In other words, my guess is that things have not changed a lot in the more than 40 years since I last donned a football uniform.

Yes, we were knuckleheads. We did a lot of dumb things.

Before the season, we would go away for a week for "summer camp." Hell might have been a better description. We practiced four times a day.

I have no idea where we got the energy, but after dark we still managed to get in more than our share of hijinks. I would guess those would include something that today might be described as hazing, including invading the cabin of a group of younger players and generally raising hell.

In that week, a special bond was created among the young men who played on those teams.

I'd be willing to bet that has not changed in the decades since either.

I always tell people that I learned almost as much playing on a high school football team - even for someone who barely weighed 110 pounds soaking wet - as I did in many classrooms.

You learned about adversity, how to get along with people of different backgrounds, and maybe most importantly, how to bond, unite behind a common goal. The bonds that formed during those weeks at summer camp remain today.

We weren't very good. We went 0-10 my senior year. I was the quarterback. That sort of explains what kind of team we had. I got hurt in both my junior and senior years. In my junior year I blew out my shoulder and spent a night in the hospital in Coatesville. I returned my senior year only to break my collarbone in week four. So I'm only responsible for four of those 10 losses.

I feel today for the kids at Central Bucks West. As an adult, I don't condone what they did. But I can certainly imagine how it happened.

Should the coaches have intervened? If they knew, absolutely. But coaches aren't everywhere.

This kind of thing is not new. How we react to it is.

The football fields at Central Bucks West will be quiet today. Eerily quiet.

But the message sent could not be louder.

It's being heard in every locker room, and every practice field, across the Delaware Valley.

It's even heard in 40 year-old memories of another time.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 23

Thu, 2014-10-23 07:59
The Daily Numbers: 15 years in jail for a Chester woman convicted of human trafficking in females for prostitution.

5,000 donated to Springfield Area Education System by Cole Hamels Foundation.

182 students in Upper Darby who have learned their ACT test scores are missing.

1,100 doctors in the Crozer-Keystone Health System who may soon have a new partner. The health system yesterday indicated it is exploring possible mergers.

25, age of man charged in a stabbing after an altercation on the El spilled outside.

46, age of man who pleaded guilty to indecent exposure for masturbating in his car while parked in a supermarket parking lot.

1 pedestrian victim of a hit-run in Norwood Sunday night.

69, age of former Tinicum police officer found guilty of stalking his wife.

23 rounds fired by a Sharon Hill officer at a suspect in a confrontation after a traffic stop. The officer testified yesterday at the man’s trial that he feared for his life after the suspect pointed a gun at him.

8 to 16 years in prison for a Chester man in the sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy.

70, as in Committee of 70, the civic watchdog group in Philly that has a new leader. Welcome David Thornburgh.

6 states, including Pa., that will be involved in new monitoring of travelers arriving from sections of Africa affected by Ebola virus outbreaks.

1 man nabbed after jumping the fence at the White House last night. It’s the 2nd such incident in the past few weeks. This guy didn’t make it inside.

153 point nosedive for the stock market yesterday.

2 dead - a soldier and the gunman - in an attack on Parliament in Ottawa, Canada, yesterday. It’s being tied to ISIS.

1-1 deadlock in the World Series after the Royals rolled to 7-2 win last night.

5-3 win for the Flyers over the Pens in Pittsburgh.

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

How can the Flyers look that bad in Chicago in getting spanked 4-0, then turn around the very next night and beat the Pens in Pittsburgh. Ah, the vagaries of the NHL.

I Don’t Get It: An incident on the El involving trash thrown at a baby stroller quickly escalates into a confrontation out on the platform. One man is charged, another is stabbed. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Cardinal O’Hara High School, which hosted an anti-bullying session at the school yesterday.

Quote Box: “No matter where you go, this problem is taking lives.”

- Dr. Claudio Cerullo, leader of Teach Anti-Bullying Inc., to students at O’Hara yesterday.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A live session with Tom Wolf

Thu, 2014-10-23 07:34
We’ll have Tom Wolf live this afternoon.

Last we week we put Gov. Tom Corbett on the hot seat.

This week it’s Democrat Tom Wolf’s turn.

We’ll have a live session with the Democrat who wants to turn out Corbett.

You can catch a live-stream of the interview with members of the Digital First Editorial Board at 1 p.m. at DelcoTimes.com You calso can take part in a live chat via Scribble.

If you have a question for Wolf, email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com.

Then tune in as we put Tom Wolf on the spot in the governor’s race.

We’re live at 1!
Categories: Pennsylvania

The politics of debating

Thu, 2014-10-23 06:54
Tom McGarrigle is a different kind of Republican.

Just ask Gov. Tom Corbett.

McGarrigle, the Republican chairman of County Council who is running in the increasingly heated battle for the 26th District state Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Ted Erickson against Democrat John Kane, makes no bones about his differences with the governor.

And no apologies.

McGarrigle wants a 4 percent tax on gas drillers in the state's Marcellus Shale region, with all the money going to education. That puts him at odds with the guy at the top of the GOP ticket.

Don't look for McGarrigle and Corbett to appear together anytime soon.

And don't look for McGarrigle and Kane to go mano a mano in a debate either.

That's the other thing that separates McGarrigle from the norm here in Delco, long ruled for the most part by the Republican Party. From very early in the campaign, McGarrigle has been pushing Kane for a debate.

The first overture was rejected by Kane because McGarrigle suggested it be hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, which already has indicated they are backing the Republican.

Then someone suggested me as the moderator. I agreed, so long as the two sides agreed and set the grounds rules. I suggested the two appear on our 'Live From the Newsroom' show. I had hoped to do this last night, but Kane indicated he had a scheduling conflict.

McGarrigle offered to show up alone and talk about the issues. I declined, in part because I'm not sure it would have been fair to offer a completely one-sided debate.

But I also understand the frustration McGarrigle feels. My guess is he probably feels the way so many Democrats in the county have felt for years. They always asked their Republican foes for a debate, usually having that request fall on deaf ears. Instead the two sides would usually wind up on stage together for a League of Women Voters meet the candidates night.

The temperature in the 26th state Senate race has been building to a boiling point. A nearly non-stop barrage of TV ads from both sides is making this perhaps the most expensive state Senate race in history.

McGarrigle has been labeled a tax cheat and a "millionaire."

Kane has been ripped for taking money from another labor union that faces some serious issues, as well as his healthy salary as the business manager for Plumbers Union Local 690. Kane insists the $270,000 figure the GOP ad cites is misleading, that some of that salary is retirement fund dollars he borrowed to put his kids through school.

Yesterday the thermometer inched even higher when a woman who claims to be Kane's daughter from a previous relationship took issue with his commercials portraying himself as a family man.

I'm still hoping to see McGarrigle and Kane together talking about the issues. I'll let you know when it happens. I'm not holding my breath.
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Live From the Newsroom' talks Election 2014

Thu, 2014-10-23 06:18
Tom Corbett vs. Tom Wolf.

Tom McGarrigle vs. John Kane.

Vince Rongione vs. Jamie Santora.

We're just two weeks out from going to the polls to elect a governor, members of Congress, a state senator and state representatives.

We're taking our 'Live From the Newsroom' live-stream internet show back out on the road tonight to talk politics.

We'll back on the campus of Widener University in Chester to talk about the issues and maybe make a few predictions on the key races. It's our monthly visit to Freedom Hall, where we take advantage of the school's sparkling new TV studio. Students handle much of the production for the show.

Can Tom Corbett erase a huge deficit and win another four years in Harrisburg. Who will emerge victorious in what has been perhaps the most expensive state Senate race in history in the heated battle to replace Republican Sen. Ted Erickson. This one also is important because control of the state Senate is hanging in the balance.

And the 163rd state House race is important if only for the fact that someone not named Micozzie will represent those folks in Harrisburg for the first time in more than three decades.

I'll be joined by Widener political science professor Wes Leckrone, as well as my featured columnist Chris Freind.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask the panel? Email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com.

Then tune into to DelcoTimes.com tonight at 7.

Join the conversation!
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Oct. 22

Wed, 2014-10-22 08:22
The Daily Numbers: 11 months, age of tot saved from drowning in a bathtub by 2 first responders in Ridley.

1 suspect shot by police after a holdup and chase that started in Clifton Heights and ended in Upper Darby last night.

5,000 dollar reward now being offered for information on the suspects who held up the Chickie’s and Pete’s in Upper Darby Sunday.

16,400 dollars, along with 283 bucks from the manager, along with her handbag and a wedding ring valued at $5,000.

15, age of student alleged to have engaged in sex with a Garnet Valley teacher. The teacher has now resigned his post while facing charges.

19, age of former lacrosse start at the Haverford School who yesterday admitted his role as a ringleader in a Maine Line pot ring.

2 possible sightings of Eric Frein, the man wanted in fatal ambush shooting of a state trooper. Schools in the Poconos were closed in the area of the search yesterday.

2 million dollars in new funding delivered to Fair Acres by Gov. Tom Corbett this week.

30,000 dollars raised for Navy SEAL Foundation by McKee Builders.

17, age of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was honored with the Liberty Medal last night in Philly.

1 million prize won by a Temple nurse in a contest to come up with a new flavor of potato chip. Her winner? Wasabi Ginger.

5 football coaches at Sayreville High in New Jersey suspended in a hazing flap.

19. age of Main Line teen charged in a fatal heroin overdose of a friend.

5 years in prison for former Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius in the shooting death of his girlfriend in South Africa.

1 American being held in North Korea freed; 2 others remain in captivity.

93, age of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee who died yesterday.

31 states where unemployment fell last month.

7-1 win for the Giants in Game 1 over the Royals in K.C. last night.

2 run homer in 1st inning for former Phil Hunter Pence.

4-0 loss for the Flyers on the road in Chicago last night.

32 saves for Blackhawks’ goalie Antii Raanta filling in for starter Corey Crawford.

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

Yes, it stung last night for Phillies fans to watch as Hunter Pence homered in the 1st inning as the Giants smoked the Royals in Game 1 of the World Series.

I Don’t Get It: The NRA now can sue local municipalities over local gun control laws. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Woodly firefighters Cory McCans and Jamal Page. Their quick actions are being credited with saving the life of a 10-month old toddler who fell into a bathtub.

Quote Box: “I really can’t put it into words, just thank you so much.”

- John Carbonaro, father of the tot.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A salute to Ben Bradlee

Wed, 2014-10-22 07:52
Every day I get phone calls from irate readers who challenge some of the material that appears in the newspaper or our website.

They insist we've been unfair, that we have an ax to grind or hold some other bias against them, or that we just flat-out got our facts wrong.

I almost almost reply the same way: We stand by our story.

Those who feel victimized by our reporting vow to sue, inevitably adding their opinion of the newspaper. "Rag" is usually their word of choice. One aggrieved reader once told me the only reason he still got the newspaper was for hygiene facilities after he went to the bathroom, if you get my drift.

The people who work for me need to know that I stand behind their work.

The truth is I'm a pretty small fish in this business.

Ben Bradlee was not.

Bradlee was the iconic editor of the Washington Post who led their investigation of the Watergate break-in, which eventually brought down a president, and raised journalism to a new level.

A lot of people didn't believe the Post's reporting on the "third-rate burglary" that led to the office of President Richard Nixon.

Even people in this business had their doubts. It didn't really make any sense. Nixon was pretty much assured re-election. Why would he do it? But Bradlee and the Post persevered.

Ben Bradlee died yesterday at the age of 93. He was suffering from dementia.

Anyone who works in this business, or appreciates the role of a free press, is in his debt.

It is said that the Watergate story, in particular the way the Post covered it, spurred a lot of people to go into journalism. I was one of them.

I've never had the kind of pressure applied here that Bradlee faced as the powers that be put the squeeze on the Post to back off their Watergate coverage.

Bradlee never flinched.

Every time I get a nasty phone call, I think of Bradlee and the turmoil he faced in chasing that story. I know how easy it would have been for him - and the paper - to cave and pull the plug on Watergate.

This likely would not be the same country if they had.

And journalism - as troubled as it is these days - would have been forever diminished.

Thanks, Ben Bradlee.

You can put a -30- on that story now.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The answer to your Crossword questions

Wed, 2014-10-22 07:34
A long time ago, the man who hired me to work at this newspaper gave me a sage bit of advice.

"Never mess around with the comics or puzzles."

The truth is he didn't use the word 'mess.' I've sanitized it a bit, the word that is, not the message.

I think back at that bit of advice every time we tinker with the content of the print edition.

If you haven't noticed, we recently rolled out a fairly distinctive new redesign.

I have talked to scores of readers who wanted to weigh in on the change.

A couple of themes have developed. Many readers - especially young ones - like the design. They think it's better organized and a quicker read, something they need what with the manic pace we all live our lives in this technology turbo-charged world of information we swim in these days.

Our older, loyal, longtime readers have been pretty consistent in thinking that the type is too light and too difficult to read.

That is not, however, the item that has drawn the most scorn in our readers' reviews our our new look.

I took great care to note that we "saved" all of our regular features, including our popular comics and all our puzzles.

There are very few readers of the newspaper who are as devoted and loyal as those wordsmiths who every day - and Sunday - cross wits with our Crossword Puzzle.

For the last two Sundays, we have let them down.

Not because we didn't include the Sunday Crossword. It's been right there. But the answer to the previous week's puzzle has been nowhere to be found.

Readers let me know it - loud and often. They needed that answer like I need coffee in the morning.

I am happy to announce that we have retrieved the errant answer and it appears on P. 38 of today's print edition.

And we will anchor it starting this Sunday so that those readers who are so inclined are not left scratching their head wondering where the answers are.

What's a four-letter word for editor?

Uh, never mind.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A blast from the past for Phils' fans

Wed, 2014-10-22 07:03
It didn't take a long for a little salt to be poured into Phillies fans wounds as they hunkered down to watch the World Series.

Yes, that was our old pal Hunter Pence blasting a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to propel the San Francisco Giants to an early lead in Game One of the Fall Class against the upstart Kansas City Royals.

The Giants never looked back as they rolled to an easy 7-1 win.

Looking back is just about all Phillies fans do these days. In particular they have to wonder what the team was doing when they gave up on Pence so quickly.

He lasted just a year with the Phils.

They haven't had an answer in right field since.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Oct. 21

Tue, 2014-10-21 07:49
The Daily Numbers: 16,400 dollars ripped off by 2 armed men who held up Chickie’s and Pete’s in Drexel Hill early Sunday. Police believe it was an inside job.

1 dog shot by police and a 2nd that had to be put down during a vicious attack in Upper Darby.

17 of November, when Concord Planning Commission will vote on the controversial plan to develop part of the beloved Beaver Valley tract.

230 acres of the 318-acre tract that is targeted for development.

5,500 signatures on a petition that opposed the initial plan to develop the entire tract, including 314 single-family homes.

160 houses in the revised plans.

124 acres that would be retained as open space.

3.2 miles of the 8 miles of hiking and biking trails on the tract that would be preserved.

2 million dollars in state funding for the Fair Acres Center, delivered yesterday by Gov. Tom Corbett.

10 Plant Tower demolition last Saturday at the former Sunoco Refinery that did not go as planned and has Lower Chi commissioner fuming. The demolition created a large plume of dust.

1 body found along Bishop Drive in Chester Heights.

19 million dollar profit for Delta Airlines Monroe Refinery in Trainer.

9 gas stations in western Delco sporting prices under $3 a gallon.

5 Sears stores that will close in Pa. None of them are in Delco. The King of Prussia store will be converted into a Primark retail store.

7 percent, all that separates Tom Corbett from Tom Wolf these days.

234 emails either sent of received by Justice Seamus McCaffery that have earned him a suspension from the state high court.

140 dollars a month, how much Philadelphia teachers would have to pay for their health care after the School Reform Commission axed their contract. A judge has now halted the move, at least temporarily.

41, age of Monica Lewinsky, who spoke to the Forbes Under 30 confab in Philly yesterday about the pitfalls of ‘shame’ and cyberbullying.

25 dollar fine now in place in Philly for possession of small amounts of pot, as opposed to criminal charges. 7 women slain in Indiana, it’s believed to be the work of a serial killer.

30-23 win for the Steelers over the Texans in Monday Night Football.

10 point deficit near the end of 1st half that the Steelers turned into an 11 point lead in just 1 minute.

2 key offensive linemen, Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis, who are making progress as they look to return from injuries.

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

The Eagles should be getting Mychal Kendricks back at linebacker on Sunday when they resume the season in the desert vs. Arizona. That’s good news.

I Don’t Get It: Monica Lewinsky. She was speaking out against cyber-bullying at the Forbes Under 30 conference.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Shane Victorino. The former Phillie paid a visit to the parents of ‘Bucket List Baby’ Shane Haley over the weekend. Class act.

Quote Box: “It is a gift we will treasure forever.”

- The Haley family, on the Phillies jersey with Shane stenciled on the back delivered by Victorino.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Another reason to like Shane Victorino

Tue, 2014-10-21 07:07
I always liked Shane Victorino.

And that was before the Phillies won a World Series in 2008.

Victorino donated a ton of money to build a playground in Philly. He went out of his way to become part of the Philadelphia community.

He has not forgotten us, even after he was dispatched by the Phils and wound up with the Boston Red Sox.

Last weekend Victorino was back in the area, paying a visit to a local family and paying homage to another person named Shane. Shane Michael Haley was born On Oct. 9. He died a few hours later. His parents, Jenna Gassew and Daniel Haley Jr., of Upper Darby, had created a Facebook page called 'Prayers for Shane' after they learned their unborn son suffered from a rare illness that made left it little chance of surviving outside the womb. They created a 'bucket list' of their favorite places they wanted to visit while Shane was still developing in his mother's stomach.

Victorino visted the family during a luncheon they held at Casey's Restaurant & Saloon in Drexel Hill on Saturday. He gave them a Phillies jersey with 'Shane' stenciled on the back.

Victorino has always been a class act. His actions in thinking of Jenna and Dan in the wake of the death of their newborn only make that even more apparent.

It's enough to make Phillies fans mimic a fairly famous movie and make a pitch to the Phillies organization: Come back, Shane.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Judging the judges: It's ugly stuff

Tue, 2014-10-21 06:49
In my Daily Numbers column that I compile each day, I have an item I refer to as "I don't get it."

I guess at this point you could include the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in that category.

Last night the high court suspended Justice Seamus McCaffery for his role in the ugly porn email scandal that is roiling Harrisburg and much of state government.

McCaffery already has apologized for sending or receiving 234 emails with sexually explicit content. He called it a "lapse of judgment."

Ya think?

Maybe McCaffery thought he was still presiding over Eagles Court. Yes, this is the same Judge McCaffery who gained quite the local and national acclaim by lording over the court set up in the basement of Veterans Stadium to deal with drunken Eagles fans.

In the meantime, there is a virulent political overtone that hangs over this story.

First, a lot of people believe all of this is a political witch hunt being pushed aggressively by Attorney General Kathleen Kane. She uncovered the cache of racy emails during the course of her investigation of how then-Attorney General - now Governor - Tom Corbett handled the Jerry Sandusky investigation.

It already has cost several state officials their jobs.

McCaffery believes the case against him is just the latest in his high-profile disagreements with Chief Justice Ron Castille. Both are from Philadelphia. Both are former Marines. McCaffery is a Democrat, Castille a Republican.

McCaffery was quick to apologize for his conduct, but could not resist firing back at the person he believes is behind airing all this dirty laundry in public.

He made hsi feelings for Castille clear last week when he offered his apology. He was still at it last night, blasting Castille for a "vindictive pattern of attacks" against him.

His attorney, Dion Rassias, noted that "today's action should surprise no one, given Chief Justice Castille's relentless crusade to destroy his career and reputation."

A third justice, Michael Eakin, was drawn into this quagmire last week, accusing McCaffery of threatening him with another cache of emails tied to Eakin. Eakin says McCaffery wanted him to put pressure on Castille to back off his attacks, and alleged that McCaffery made it clear he would go public with the emails on Eakin if he did not help out. McCaffery vehemently denies making any such threat.

At this point, you almost have to stand back and remind yourself that these are the robed men who sit on the highest court in Pennsylvania.

What the hell are these guys thinking?

There are a couple of things that come to mind here. One, don't they understand the kind of perception this is going to deliver to the public. Dirty laundry has never been raunchier.

Second, there is the whole idea of doing this kind of stuff on state computers, and on the taxpayers' time. Sure, some of it was done on personal computers, but what does it say about these judges that they would even consider doing this at all.

And maybe most important, how are women who work in these offices and often appear before these judges supposed to feel knowing of their predilection for porn.

It's ugly stuff.

One more reason to proudly proclaim: Pennsylvania, Land of Giants.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 20

Mon, 2014-10-20 07:41
The Daily Numbers: 16,000 dollars believed ripped off from the Chickie’s & Pete’s in Drexel Hill yesterday morning.

2 armed, masked men being sought in the heist.

11-1 margin by which the Boeing union approved a new contract deal.

10,000 dollar ratification bonus included in the deal.

10 percent pay hike for union workers at the top of the pay scale.

9 percent Boeing contribution to a new 401K plan being instituted in 2017. That’s followed by 8, 7 and 4 percent in subsequent years.

12 percent kick-in for their health care for union members starting in 2016, up to 14 percent in 2019.

6 p.m. meeting tonight in Concord on proposed development of Beaver Valley tract.

23, age of suspect arrested in fatal stabbing in Upper Darby bar.

5 mile chase from the Wawa at 84th and Bartram near the airport to Lansdowne, where theft suspect crashed his car.

6 people killed in fire in home outside Pittsburgh.

48 health care workers cleared in Dallas after they were monitored for possible Ebola contamination.

6-1 mark for the Cowboys, 1 game better than idle Eagles.

7 straight games to start the season that DeMarco Murray has rushed for 100 yards. That’s new NFL record.

128 yards and 1 TD on 28 carries for Murray as the Cowboys beat the Giants, 31-21.

5-1 mark for the Cardinals, who are next for the Eagles.

24-13 win for Bruce Arians over the Raiders.

253 yards and 2 TDs passing for Carson Palmer.

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

A crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon and no Eagles game to worry about. Who else spent the day outside instead of camped in front of the TV?

I Don’t Get It: One of the suspects who held up the Chickie’s & Pete’s in Drexel Hill was wearing a sweatshirt with the eatery’s logo on it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Goodwill program in Upper Darby School District, which is providing a great opportunity to disadvantaged young people.

Quote Box: “Bar none, I think it’s the best.”

- Local 1069 United Aerospace Workers Union President Chris Owens.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Change comes to the 163rd state legislative district

Mon, 2014-10-20 07:08
Something almost beyond belief will happen next January.

Someone not named Micozzie will represent the people of the 163rd legislative district.

Nick Micozzie has served in Harrisburg for more than three decades. Before that he was an Upper Darby councilman.

I use my print column this week to salute this public servant, and remind people of what we will miss as Micozzie steps away to start a richly deserved retirement.

The absence of people like Micozzie, Sen. Ted Erickson and Mario Civera means a loss of clout for Delaware County. And that translates into money.

Don't believe it? Just ask the folks in Upper Darby. They were ready to storm the school board meeting and run them out of town on a rail because of staff cuts and curriculum changes that endangered their beloved art and music programs.

It was Micozzie, along with Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, who found the money to avert the cuts.

No one knew the system - how it worked and where the money was - better than Micozzie.

He will be impossible to replace.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A little frost on the pumpkin - and the windshield

Mon, 2014-10-20 06:56
Brace yourself.

Here's a word I haven't thought of in awhile. Actually, not quite long enough.


Yes, as in ice scraper.

That was a fairly substantial frost on my windshield that greeted me this morning. Instead of trying to figure out where I put the scraper. I just juiced the windshield. Of course, most of that froze on contact. But after a couple more squirts, I was good to go. But not before firing up the heater and the defrost.

My temperature gauge on my odometer was registering 31 degrees this morning when I left the house. Of course, that's early.

Right now just before 7 a.m. it's 41 degrees. We're only going to hit 61 today.

Frost on the pumpkin? Yeah, fall has arrived.

Which of course mans winter is right behind.


Call me in April.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Cowboys go a game up on Eagles

Mon, 2014-10-20 06:40
Don't look now but the Eagles are suddenly looking up at the Cowboys.

Courtesy of their bye week, the Birds did nothing but watch yesterday as they fell a game behind the surging Cowboys, who pounded the Giants behind the record-setting effort of running back DeMarco Murray.

All he did is become the first running back in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of his team's first seven games.

Murray rumbled for 128 yards and a TD in the Cowboys' 31-21 win over the Giants. The win propels the 'Boys to 6-1, while the Eagles remained at 5-1.

The schedule now turns decidedly tougher for the Eagles. They get back in business with the late 4 o'clock game next Sunday in the desert against former Temple coach Bruce Arians' Arizona Cardinals. They now sport the same 5-1 mark as the Eagles after they beat the hapless Raiders 24-13 on Sunday.

This Cowboys team looks like they might be for real, in large part because they are banking on Murray, as opposed to putting the game in the hands of Tony Romo, who managed to create crucial turnovers in so many of those opportunities, including a game last year against the Eagles when an interception foiled what looked like a winning drive for the Cowboys.

Better make plans to have the Thanksgiving turkey a little early this year. Mark this one on the calendar. The Eagles will be in Dallas for the annual holiday treat on Nov. 27.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 17

Fri, 2014-10-17 08:24
The Daily Numbers: 0 tax hike in this year’s proposed Delco budget.

3 straight prior years in which taxes have gone up.

5.604 mill tax rate in the budget.

752.05 tax tab for average house assessed at $134,200.

1st degree murder conviction for Chester man in July 2013 shooting death of another man in the city.

2,000 passengers who travel through Philadelphia International from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, center of Ebola outbreak.

3.19 price per gallon for gas at Wawa this morning. Wonder if it will dip below $3.

100 people who showed up at a forum in Upper Darby last night to address cyberbullying.

2 million dollar Ponzi scheme fraud charged by the feds against a West Chester woman.

1.4 million dollar grant for Chester Boys and Girls Clubs as part of a federal job training program.

19 million profit for Monroe Energy refinery run by Delta Air lines in Trainer in 3rd quarter.

8 percent boost in revenue for Delta, due in large part to the refinery.

630 million dollars in impact fees and @2.2 billion in corporate income and franchise taxes being paid by natural gas drillers, according to GOP pols who held press conference yesterday at the courthouse.

234 pornographic emails linked to Pa. Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery. He apologized yesterday, and then attacked his boss Chief Justice Ron Castille.

3,000 people who turned out in Philly yesterday to protest School Reform Commission move to ax teachers’ contract.

111-91 loss for the Sixers.

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

So what are your plans for Sunday, since there is no Eagles game? Might be time to introduce myself to my wife, “Hi, I’m Phil.”

I Don’t Get It: The cable news outlets have sunk their teeth into the Ebola story and they’re not letting go. Keep this in mind. Ebola is not transmissible through the air. You have to have close contact with spit, feces, vomit, urine or some other infected material to be infected.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delco Council for holding the line on taxes this year.

Quote Box: “You need money to govern sometimes. When you raise taxes, you get criticized for it.”

- County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, noting this year, as opposed to last 3 years, Delco will not raise taxes.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that no-tax-hike budget

Fri, 2014-10-17 07:28
First the good news, then the interesting news. Or at least it is to me.

Delaware County residents this morning are being greeted by the front-page headline that there will not be an increase in county taxes this year.

The initial budget proposal will keep the levy at 5.604 mills. That means is you have the average home assessed at $134,200, you will once again pay $752.05 in taxes.

This year's county budget process reverses a trend that saw taxes increase in each of the last three years. Last year residents took a 2.8 percent hike, largely because of increases in costs tied to the funding cuts from the state for operation of the Fair Acres Geriatric Center, as well as increased costs at the county 911 Center.

Now the interesting part.

The announcement that the county was not raising taxes was made by council at a public meeting in Springfield. That just happens to be the home of Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, who is in a heated race for the vacant 26th District state Senate seat against Demcocrat union leader John Kane.

The county has to present their preliminary budget at least 60 days prior to the end of the year.

That always puts them precariously close to election day.

In years past - in particular when taxes are going up - council has not exactly gone out of its way to make the news public. We usually have to pester them about it and when the initial numbers are going to be available.

Not so this year.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence, right?

At any rate, note that the news is plastered all over our front page.

That's what we did the past few years when taxes were going up. We couldn't very well bury the news inside when council is holding the line on taxes.

I wonder if next year, should the numbers go south and another tax hike is required, if council will be quite as forthcoming with the news.
Categories: Pennsylvania