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The Daily Numbers for Monday, Jan. 16

Mon, 2017-01-16 07:26
The Daily Numbers: 150 people who took part in a protest outside Rep. Pat Meehan’s office Sunday to vent about his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

100 people who took part in similar protest outside Temple University Hospital in Philly.

6-pack of beer, which you’ll be able to buy at your local beer distributor this week.

87, age of former Philly mob boss Nicodemo Scarfo, who died in prison

70, age of Philly singer Richie Ingui, a founding member of the Soul Survivors.

2.63 a gallon average price for gas at the pumps last week. No change from week before.

2.5 cent per gallon decline nationally.

2.34, average national price.

52 cents per gallon higher here than this time last year.

21.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

34-31 win for Packers over Cowboys in a classic NFL playoff game.

18-16 win for the Steelers over Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.

51-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to win it for Packers.

2 times, he had to kick it, since the Cowboys tried to ice him by calling time out just before the snap on the 1st attempt.

36-yard pass to Jared Cook from Rodgers to set up the game-winning kick.

356 yards passing for Rodgers, along with 2 TDs.

302 yards passing for Dak Prescott.

6 field goals for Steelers kicker Chris Boswell, who scored all Pittsburgh’s points.

12 straight wins by home teams in playoffs snapped by the Packers’ win.

2 point conversion that would have tied the game for the Chiefs that was called back by holding penalty.

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

Eagles fans should not gloat too much with the Cowboys’ loss. They are light years ahead of the Birds.

I Don’t Get It: Andy Reid didn’t have any timeouts left at the end of the game? Yeah, we’ve seen that before.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Aaron Rodgers. What a pass!

Quote Box: “You fight all year, you fight all game, for it to end like that with the ref literally taking it out of our hands, that hurts. You try to play the game with integrity, to the end of the whistle, and when the refs want to take over the game and make it their own platform, there’s nothing you can do about it. That wasn’t a hold on my guy.”

- Chiefs Travis Kelce, complaining about crucial holding call that negated 2-point conversion that would have tied game.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Still chasing King's dream

Mon, 2017-01-16 06:57
Today is the day we set aside every year to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As we all know, King spent considerable time right here in Delaware County, attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland. King had a dream for America, one rooted in the simple belief that the country would some day rise up and embrace the notion of judging a person not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

We thought maybe that day had arrived eight years ago, when the nation elected Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United State. We re-elected him four years ago.

But it's clear that eight years of Obama have not cured the racial divide in this country. In some ways you could make the argument that things today are worse.

In our editorial today, we talk about Dr. King, his dream, and the reality of race in today's America.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A tale of 2 men: Obama & Trump

Mon, 2017-01-16 06:38
In a matter of a few hours last week we got a chance to see the way we were, and the way we are about to become.

President Barack Obama offered his farewell address in Chicago Monday night. Tuesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump met the media.

The juxtaposition could not be more glaring.

None of this is going to change what happened.

On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

I hope he's a terrific president. I really do.

That would make me different than the way Republicans reacted eight years ago to the notion of President Obama. They did everything in their power to simply block him - and his agenda - at every turn. They did not care about the country, or the people who could be helped. They only saw politics, and stopping a second term. Yes, I have my doubts about Mr. Trump.

His performance in that press conference, just hours after watching Obama offer some final thoughts on his presidency, as well as some advice for the man about to pick up the mantle, did not ease my concerns.

I am taking bets on the number of times the president-elect proclaims something as "great" in the next week.

I'll set the line at 50. I'm taking the over.

I talk about the glaring differences between the two men in my print column.

Yes, my man - er, woman - lost the election.

Call it sour grapes if you so choose.

I hold no ill will against Trump.

I just find him really aggravating.

Someone needs to tell him that in a few days he will be the most powerful man in the world. I suppose he probably think he already is. Most narcissists feel that way.

It's not all about you, Mr. Trump.

It's about the country. And the people. Especially those people who are not as well off as you or I. That is the true backbone of our government. That we take care of those who have fallen on hard times.

I hope you remember that as you take the oath of office.

You can read my print column here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

How 'bout dem Cowboys!

Mon, 2017-01-16 06:05
I know this is going to make me appear incredibly small, but "How 'bout dem Cowboys!"

There is a proud tradition among Eagles fans.

We root for the Birds - and whoever is playing the Cowboys.

Dallas, led by two rookies - QB Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott - rolled to a 13-3 regular season record.

But they were one and done in the playoffs, falling Sunday in the divisional game in a classic to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, 34-31.

Rodgers connected on an other worldly 36 yard pass to Jared Cook along the sidelines with seconds remaining. Somehow, Cooke managed to drag his feet inbounds while hauling in a perfect pass from Rodgers.

That put the Packers in field goal range, and Mason Crosby did not miss, even though he had to actually kick it twice when the Cowboys called time out to freeze him just before the initial snap.

There was only one thing missing from this glorious scene.

I wanted to see Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones' face as that fall sailed through the uprights. Unfortunately, the Fox TV crew failed to deliver the good, although they did have a shot seconds earlier when the Cowboys kicked a field goal to tie the game.

Yes, I know it seems petty, especially given the year the Cowboys had, as opposed to the Birds. Hey, I'll take my satisfaction where I can get it in the NFL these days.

Speaking of satisfaction, did someone say that Andy Reid was out of timeouts at the end of the Chiefs' excruciating 18-16 loss to the Steelers.

Yeah, some things don't change.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Jan. 13

Fri, 2017-01-13 07:32
The Daily Numbers: 13, as in Friday the 13th. Be careful out there today.

3 big stars who could be at the Sun Center Studios in Chester Township to film some scenes for a major motion picture.

1980 murder of ‘Avon Lady’ Emily Leo. The conviction of the man charged in the crime is now being reviewed.

37 years, how long Leroy Evans has been in jail for the crime.

2 DUI charges in 2 years for a Lansdowne councilman.

40, age of dad who will face a minor charge in connection with leaving his 1-year-old little girl unattended in his running SUV, which was then stolen.

28, age of one of Delaware County’s Most Wanted, who was picked up in Chester.

52, of Tennessee man charged with sexual assault with an alleged incident that took place in Upland back in 1999.

42 million dollar loss for Delta’s Monroe Energy refinery in Trainer.

125 million dollar loss for all of 2016.

1.5 percent uptick in revenue for Atlantic City casinos last year, their 1st increase in a decade.

2.6 billion dollars in revenue for casinos in 2016.

2006, the last time revenue in A.C. went up, just before Pa. entered the casino craze.

47 million in revenue for the Borgata, tops in A.C.

3 rate hikes predicted in 2017 by the boss of the Philadelphia Fed.

8 people shot, 2 of them fatally, overnight in Philly.

4 writers laid off by Philadelphia Magazine.

5-4 shootout win for the Flyers over the Canucks.

4.35 million dollar deal for Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis

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

The Sixers & Joel Embiid are the talk of the town. Who’d a thunk it?

I Don’t Get It: Leaving a toddler in the back of a running car while you duck into a store, even for just a few minutes. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sun Center Studios, which will have us seeing “stars” with the arrival of some A-listers to shoot scenes for a major new flick.

Quote Box
: “We’ll have a fresh set of eyes and if we see anything that deserves a second look, we’ll do so.”

- Acting Chester Police Commissioner Otis Blair, on review of ‘Avon Lady’ murder case and conviction of Leroy Evans.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that Mariner East 2 coverage

Fri, 2017-01-13 06:46
Well I guess we must have our coverage of the Mariner East 2 debate just about right.

Both sides are unhappy with us.

As you might expect, the company is not especially thrilled with how much coverage we've given the concerns raised in the community about the pipeline that will run from Ohio, through West Virginia, and finally span Pennsylvania, including 11.7 miles across Delaware County. It will deliver hundreds of thousands of barrels of Marcellus Shale byproducts such as ethane, butane and propane to Marcus Hook.

In short, I get the impression the company believes all this unrest in the community is being trumped up by a few fairly vocal opponents. They point out that the company's old original Sunoco pipeline system already is delivering the same materials to Marcus Hook now. And they are pushing a study that was done after concerns were raised out in West Goshen that supports the company's claims.

Now the local activists are ticked because we ran a story detailing the company's side of the issue - after we had run a dozen or more stories detailing the community opposition. They believe it was little more than a puff piece of good PR for the company.

Today we also weighed in on our editorial page.

I will make the same statement I have been making now for months. I think Mariner East 2 easily could be the most important economic story in the region.

The proposal has a huge upside, with the potential for hundreds of good-paying jobs. It could make Marcus Hook, which was on its death bed when Sunoco shut down its refinery, the energy hub for the entire Northeast.

That said, I don't think I'd want it running through my back yard, or within a stone's throw of my kid's elementary school.

If you think that's middle of the road, there's a reason for that. It is.

Middeltown Township council likely next week will approve a new study to look at the impact of the pipeline. I think it's a good bet some public hearings will be held as well.

Get used to hearing about it. This story is not going away anytime soon.

Read the editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

My kind of winter

Fri, 2017-01-13 06:25
If this is winter, I'll take it.

It was 51 degrees when I got in the car this morning.

And it actually went up a few ticks in the last couple of hours.

I post the weather report on social media at 6 a.m. most mornings. I just posted our AccuWeather pic that shows it being 56 degrees at 6 a.m.

Here's the weird part. That's also going to be the high for the day. Temperatures actually will drop through the afternoon, and our high later today will only be 48. Compare that with the 66 degrees we reached yesterday.

Now brace yourself, we could see some scattered snow showers around the region Saturday. And it will be a lot more seasonable - in other words, cold!

But after a chilly weekend we could be back in the mid-50s next week.

When did we move to North Carolina?
Categories: Pennsylvania

Cursing linked to honesty

Fri, 2017-01-13 06:01
Here's the best news I've heard all week.

A new study suggests people who curse are more honest, an expression that they are expressing their genuine feelings.

If that's the case, as anyone who works with me in the newsroom can attest, I must be the most honest guy around.

Honestly (pardon the reference), it's not something I'm especially proud of; actually it's merely the lazy man's way out.

Instead of offering some more refined thought or bit of writing, it's so much easier to simply unload a few F-Bombs and be on your merry way.

You can read about the study here.

What do you think?

Is this study on the money. Or do they not have a blanking clue?
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Jan. 12

Thu, 2017-01-12 09:00
The Daily Numbers: 100,000 dollars earmarked by Middletown Council for a new study on the Mariner East 2 Pipeline plan.

0 deaths and 2 injuries connected to liquid pipelines in Pa. in the last 20 years, according to Sunoco Logistics.

70 percent of releases from the pipeline have occurred on company property, not the public right-of-way.

100 years of selling Girl Scout Cookies about to kick off here in Delco and across the nation.

123-54 vote by Chester teachers union members to reject tentative contract offer.

3 years since the last deal expired.

5 years since teachers in Chester Upland have had a pay increase.

100 years young and going strong for Catherine Basile, who was feted on her special day with a celebration at Interboro High School.

6 VW employees indicted in that emissions testing scandal.

4.3 billion dollar fine slapped on the company.

1.8 million dollar settlement between Pa. Attorney General’s office and lawyers who handled probe into porn emails.

4.2 percent spike in rent costs in Philadelphia . That’s 2nd highest spike in nation.

900 fatal ODs recorded in Philly in 2016.

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

Raise your hand if you’re having fun watching this Sixers team.

I Don’t Get It: 900 opioid overdoses in Philadelphia in 2016. Yep, might be time to do something about that heroin problem.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Girl Scouts as they prepare to kick off their 100th year of Girl Scout cookie sales.

Quote Box: “Sunoco Pipeline understands our responsibility to protect the public.”

- Jeff Shields, Sunoco Logistics
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Great Mariner East 2 Debate

Thu, 2017-01-12 07:15
It now appears the battle lines are drawn.

Call it the Battle of Mariner East 2.

For weeks we have been detailing the grumbling in the community over Sunoco Logistics' plans to build a new pipeline to carry hundreds of thousands of Marcellus Shale byproducts such as ethane, propane and butane across the state, through an 11-mile swath of Delaware County, to the former Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook.

The plan has a huge economic upside, including the prospect of hundreds of good-paying jobs, as well as reversing the economic fortunes of the lower end of the county, which was driven to its knees when the company decided to get out of the refinery business and shutter its iconic refinery.

On the other side there is a clear distress among some in the community on a number of factors, including safety and property values. They also are less than thrilled that some municipalities and school districts entered into agreements with Sunoco Logistics without much in the way of public comment, or at least what they would have liked.

They mobilized, even forming a grassroots group to oppose the plan, in particular the idea of allowing a new pipeline to be built just a stone's throw away from Glenwood Elementary School off Pennell Road in Middletown.

The township now seems poised to spend a good chunk of money on a new quantitative risk assessment study of the proposal.

Today, the company responded.

They discounted many of the concerns and defended their plan - and Sunoco Logistics' record.

I've said it before, and I will say it again here.

This is the most important economic story in Delaware County - and maybe the entire region.

It has a huge economic upside.

But it also has sparked legitimate concerns.

Don't look for this discussion to end anytime soon.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Welcome back, Juan Baughn

Thu, 2017-01-12 06:45
We used our editorial page today to welcome back a very familiar face to the Chester Upland School District.

Juan Baughn was named interim superintendent, taking over for the departing Gregory Shannon.

Baughn will be staring at some familiar problems: the district is still plagued by poor test scores; teachers are still waiting for a new contract and their first raise in five years - they rejected the district's latest offer.

But without question the biggest hurdle he faces is the same one every Chester Upland boss has faced in recent memory. The district continues to swim in a sea of red ink.

We welcome back Juan Baughn. And wish him luck.

He's going to need it.

You can read the editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Three days later, & 43 degrees warmer? Deer me!

Thu, 2017-01-12 06:32
43 degrees.

That's the difference between what my dashboard thermometer registered when I climbed in Monday morning, vs. the spring-like conditions that greeted me this morning.

It was a bone chilling 7 degrees Monday. This morning? Hello, April! The car checked in at a balmy 50 degrees.

Of course, that means only thing.

Deer. Lots of them.

It didn't take me long to encounter my early-morning pals. I was barely out of the driveway when I noticed two full-grown adult deer standing in my neighbor's front yard. They looked as perplexed as to what I was doing up at that hour as I was to see them casually munching on the shrubbery.

There were more to come.

I usually to swerve around the deer on my morning commute. I almost always encounter a couple along the sides of the road.

Not this morning. I was forced to slam on the brakes and come to a complete stop while a full family of deer slowly ambled across the road. They did not seem terribly worried that I might slam into them, leaving one of them the latest carcass to decorate the side of our roads. They didn't clamber out of the way. They merely continued to slowly walk across the road directly in front of me, seemingly content in my decision to stop. Several followed along from the side of the road once they saw I had no intention of tangling with them. They eyed me warily as they traversed the highway.

Actually, I consider myself lucky. There are not a lot of good things I can say about the hours I keep. But without question one of them is that for the most part I have the road to myself, along with my four-legged friends.

Yesterday I blogged that I encountered only a single slick spot on my morning commute. Of course, a couple of hours later, all hell was breaking loose on the roads as the morning commute kicked in. Unfortunately, especially out in Chester County, those crashes claimed a couple of lives.

In the meantime, we're looking at a bizarrely warm day for Jan. 12.

You can get the full forecast here.

And keep an eye out for those deer.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Jan. 11

Wed, 2017-01-11 07:36
The Daily Numbers: 150 new jobs coming to SAP HQ in Newtown Square.

2,800 employees for SAP in the county.

242 new jobs for a new facility being developed by SAP in Pittsburgh.

1.7 million dollars in funding assistance and tax cuts for the Pittsburgh project.

122,274 square foot facility in the works in the Burgh.

137 vests being purchased for Upper Darby police to protect them in ‘active shooter’ situations vs. gunmen with rifles.

37,000 dollars, how much the vests will cost.

3 officers across the nation killed so far in 2017.

140 on-duty deaths in 2016.

38, age of Rodney Shelton, who was held for trial yesterday after preliminary hearing on charges he fatally shot trucker Thomas Childs in Yeadon.

36, age of man who died after being struck by car in Upper Darby.

1.8 million received by Middletown for easements for proposed Sunoco Logistics pipeline.

40-60,000 dollars, expected costs of a proposed safety study on the matter being sought by some residents.

7, age of youth left on school bus by his driver in Philly while the man went shopping.

46 straight wins for Villanova at the Pavilion, tying school record.

79-54 win over No. 15 Xavier.

20 points for Kris Jenkins in the rout.

13-3 mark for Wildcats in games involving Top 25 teams in 30-year history of their building.

4-1 loss for Flyers in Buffalo.

899-68 loss for No. 1 Baylor last night.

75-67 loss for Saint Joe to George Mason.

61-53 win for Chester over Penn Wood.

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

Joel Embiid is almost as much fun off the court as he is on the hardwood.

I Don’t Get It: Still trying to get my arms around the fact that Donald Trump is going to be president of the United States in a week.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to SAP, which is emphasizing its commitment to Delco with 150 new jobs at their Newtown Square HQ.

Quote Box: “This just shows more of their commitment to Delaware County.”

- Trish McFarland, president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, on news that SAP is adding jobs.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Trump, Obama & big economic news for Delco

Wed, 2017-01-11 06:55
It was quite the night for news.

President Obama was bidding us adieu after eight years in the Oval Office with an emotion farewell address in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the man who will be moving into the Oval Office in a week was fending off an explosive new report that suggests the Russians have some compromising information on him. Donald Trump is dismissing the reports as 'fakes news." Of course, he did so on his preferred method of communication, Twitter. The government of Vladimir Putin also is denying they have any such files.

As it turns out, Trump is scheduled to hold his first formal press conference in weeks today. That should be interesting.

Back here in Delco, the region got a jolt of good economic news yesterday.

It was just a few months ago when there was some concern about the future of SAP in Delaware County.

The world's largest software maker makes its North American headquarters right here in Newtown Square. Yesterday they announced they will be adding jobs here in Delco - and making a huge economic commitment o

n the other side of the state as well.

SAP will add 150 new jobs in Newtown Square, while also building a new facility in Pittsburgh that will employ another 242 people.

Get all the details here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Let's protect cops - and help them out as well

Wed, 2017-01-11 06:24
Police in Upper Darby are getting some extra protection.

On our editorial page today we note they also could use something else: Some information and cooperation.

Township officers are going to be outfitted with special, heavy duty vests for instances when they are dealing with an "active shooterk" type situation. The vests have special front and back plating made to withstand blasts from rifles and automatic weapons.

But there is another problem they are dealing with that needs a bit more human touch.

In our editorial today, we note how two recent incidents show what police officers all too often deal with: A lack of cooperation from the public.

In one incident, a township teen was wounded in a shooting that occurred near a crowded intersection with lots of witnesses. But no one - not even the victim - is willing to talk to police.

The other is even more exasperating. After making an arrest of a Philadelphia man in a series of thefts from cars, police in both Upper Darby and Haverford lamented that this was made possible by the fact that in almost every instance the cars were not locked.

You can read the editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Your early morning report from the roads

Wed, 2017-01-11 04:53
I must live in the northern and western suburbs, wherever that is.

Yes, I did encounter one icy spot on my early morning ride into the office.

But aside from that it was smooth sailing.

The temperature on the car dashboard registered 38 degrees when I left the house. For the most part, all I saw were wet roads. But as I headed down one hill toward a stop sign not far from the house, I felt that ugly feeling in my stomach as the car started to skid. Luckily, I was far enough from the intersection that I managed to get the car stopped in plenty of time.

The good news is that was the only slick spot I encountered.

Yes, we will be told all morning on radio and TV about the possibility of ice in the "northern and western" suburbs, but this is the only spot I hit.

Temperatures are actually going to get even warmer, although we aren't going to see a lot of sun.

Tomorrow we're actually going to see temperatures in the 60s. You read it right. The mid-60s in early January. The downside? It likely will be accompanied by showers

I'll take it.

Get your full forecast here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Jan. 10

Tue, 2017-01-10 08:00
The Daily Numbers: 25 year old Philly man tabbed a “1-man crime machine” in a series of thefts from cars in Upper Darby and Haverford.

3 former officers and members of Colwyn Fire Co. who will stand trial Feb. 13 with looting the company’s coffers.

1 person of interest now being sought in connection with the fatal shooting of Penn Wood High football player Zion Vaughan.

52 dollar hike in taxes facing residents in Morton Borough.

22, age of man charged in carjacking in which a car was stolen in Marple, with a 1-year-old girl still in the back seat.

10 years, how long Jyoti Natural Foods has been on Chester Pike in Sharon Hill. It was visited by Gov. Tom Wolf and his ‘Jobs That Pay’ tour Monday.

45 employees at the company, which specializes in Indian food.

41, age of man struck and killed as he tried to cross MacDade Boulevard in Ridley Monday morning.

65 points rung up by Haverford High in winning the latest round in the Hi-Q competition.

50 pound dumbbell that smashed through the windshield of a man driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. He was critically injured.

4 cent hike in price of gas at the pumps in Philly region last week.

46.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

21 cents a gallon higher than a month ago.

1 second left on the clock when Clemson scored last night, beating Alabama and seizing the mantle of No. 1 college football team in the nation.

3, as in No. 3, where Villanova men’s hoops now resides after their 1st loss of season last week.

1 Eagles wide receiver who has ever caught a TD pass in the Super Bowl. That would be Greg Lewis, fired yesterday as wide receivers coach.

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

So the Eagles canned wide receivers coach Greg Lewis. Yeah, that will certainly turn this team around. v I Don’t Get It: I’m going to hear all day that last night’s Alabama-Clemson classic was one of the greatest college football games of all time. Sure wish I had remained awake long enough to see more than the first few plays of the game.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to police in Upper Darby and Haverford for the millionth time reminding drivers that the best way to stop car break-ins is to lock your doors. Amazing how many people simply refuse to do that.

Quote Box: “I preach this at ever commissioners meeting. People have to lock their vehicles.”

- Haverford Police Chief John Viola
Categories: Pennsylvania

A farewell from President Obama: What a difference eight years makes

Tue, 2017-01-10 07:22
Eight years ago, I really thought America had turned a corner on race relations. The nation had elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama.

Eight years later, I'm not so sure.

Tonight the president will deliver what amounts to his farewell address, offering a review of his tumultuous two terms in office, a look at the future, and a healthy dose of advice for the man who will soon reside in the White House.

A year ago, many experts were still passing off Donald Trump as a joke, a billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV host who so liked the idea of being the center of attention that running for the presidency piqued his interest, despite his seeming complete lack of credentials to do the job.

Then, toppling one Republican foe for the GOP nomination at a time, he connected with a lot of Americans who saw him as the answer to their prayers. They felt marginalized, ignored, spoken down, disrespected, maybe even a bit reviled by the powers that be and elites who have ruled the country - sometimes in anonymity - for much of the last generation.

In other words, I think maybe they felt a bit like Barack Obama and many African-Americans felt eight years ago.

That commonality did not last long. Politics cured that.

Republicans made it clear that above all else, their objective after the election of Barack Obama was to insure the re-election of Barack Obama would never happen.

They set the tone that was picked up by right-wing talk radio, and soon crackled across the nation.

It too often bubbled to the surface, at least to my way of looking at it, in ugly ways.

I think a lot of what has happened over the past eight years is fairly easy to explain. I think there are a lot of Americans who simply were less than enamored at what many of us believed was going to be an historic change of course for the country - its first black president. Instead I'm not sure it simply did not reinforce how far we still have to go.

Make no mistake. I do not agree with everything President Obama did. He often spoke first, perhaps without fully digesting how his words would be interpreted, such as when he chimed in that police acted "stupidly" in stopping a Harvard professor.

Of course, as with just about everything that happened in his administration, those words and actions would be viewed in black and white - literally.

His signature program, the Affordable Care Act, almost routinely ridiculed as Obamacare, remains wildly popular with the country, if not with Republicans in Washington. It has offered health care to 20 million Americans who were not covered before. And yet it remains in the crosshairs, the first Obama relic scheduled to be dismantled when the new Republican Congress, replete with a veto-proof White House, takes control in a week.

I will listen intently tonight as Barack Obama signs off as 44th president of the United States.

I would be lying if I did not admit I am somewhat fearful of what lies ahead with the 45th president.

We have turned the keys to the county over to a man who seems incapable of responding via Twitter to every perceived slight, be it someone in his own party, a 'Saturday Night Live' skit, or Meryl Streep's speech at Sunday night's Golden Globe awards. In that Tweet, the Donald, with his characteristic, 140-character caustic blast, belittled Street as a "Hillary Clinton flunky" and the "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood."

We can only hope that Trump is a better president than film critic.

I really hope Donald Trump is a terrific president.

I fear that will not be the case.

I fear the damage his unchecked trigger finger - on things much more important than a phone or tablet tapping out a Twitter response - may inflict on the country.

Trump promised to "drain the swamp" in Washington. And immediately surrounded himself with the same kind of insiders he spent the majority of his campaign ridiculing.

I hope that Mr. Trump is listening tonight. Most expect President Obama to offer a healthy dose of advice.

I doubt Trump and his GOP pals will be listening.

They stopped listening eight years ago.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Trying to explain the unexplainable

Tue, 2017-01-10 06:25
We used our editorial page today to try to explain what appears to actually be unexplainable.

That would be the story from Bucks County involving 14-year-old Grace Packer.

I've been doing this job for more than 35 years. Usually I don't let these kinds of stories get to me. Once thing I learned early in this business is that it helps to develop a fairly tough exterior.

Of course, that is mostly a defense mechanism, something we do to get through the day.

We joke and smile in the face of horrific details, to mask the fact that we are crying on the inside.

But this case, in which a mother, Sara Packer, and her boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, are now both charged in Grace's murder, described as some sort of rape-murder fantasy by prosecutors, almost defies explanation.

You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Eagles have found their receiving corps problem: Greg Lewis

Tue, 2017-01-10 06:04
We now know what was wrong with the Eagles this season.

Greg Lewis.

The team parted ways with its wide receivers coach yesterday after a season in which intense focus was placed on the lack of production from the team's wide receiver corps.

The lack of playmakers like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, decisions made long before G-Lew joined Doug Pederson's staff, doomed the Birds.

The truth is Lewis did not have a lot to work with. He was saddled with a steady but not great slot receiver in Jordan Matthews, a No. 1 pick who has proved to be anything but in Nelson Agholor, and an at times seemingly disinterested Dorrial Green-Beckham, brought in mid-season.

There isn't an All-Pro in the group. Not even close. But none of them showed much in the way of improvement under Lewis' guiding hands.

Maybe that's what it's all about - hands.

Greg Lewis had them. In fact, he did something that none of the members of this desultory Eagles wide receiver corps is likely to do: He caught a TD pass in a Super Bowl for hte Eagles.

But something had to be done in light of the Eagles wide receiver problems this season. And as they say, it's a lot harder to fire the players.

Good luck to whoever gets the job of turning around this group.

Bob Grotz has all the details on move here.
Categories: Pennsylvania