Chester County Ramblings - 3 hours 49 min ago

Memories are sometimes but little fragments, like looking through a kaleidoscope.

Sometimes a song triggers a memory. You hear a song and you stop and remember where you heard it first. Yesterday I heard Vacation by the Go-Go’s. That song always reminds me of the Jersey shore, my friend Karen and her friend Ellie. I heard that song and in my mind’s eye saw us as our late teenage selves when we didn’t worry about tanning and were spending summer in flip flops with sand on our feet. I swear I could almost smell the Bain de Soleil Orange Gelèe.

Other memories and like shards of glass. Fragments that pop into your head in that stage between sleeping and waking, which fall away when you wake up. I had that happen the other day when I first started thinking about writing this post. But I didn’t write it down, and the memory was fleeting.

This morning is September 1st. I woke up with memory of the many years my friend Pam would leave all of her friends “rabbit, rabbit” messages the day the old month ended to remind us to say rabbit, rabbit the first day of every new month. Saying rabbit, rabbit as your first words of the new month is supposed to bring you luck all month long. I still say it.

Today is also Labor Day. As a kid, in spite of the true origination of the holiday , you knew it was the last “official” day of summer vacation. An in between day when you are packing up and coming home from summer vacation. Maybe at a neighborhood barbecue. You wake up and even the air is different. Change is coming, a fresh start in a new school year. And the dreaded thought of homework.

Labor Day marks our transition of summer towards fall. It will feel like summer a few weeks yet, but soon it will be time for hay rides and corn mazes.

Enjoy the day.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Labor Day in Atlantic City

Heron's Nest - 7 hours 57 min ago
“Everything dies baby that’s a fact

But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”

‘Atlantic City,’ Bruce Springsteen. *

Nobody expected it to die again, however. The panacea of legalized gambling that was supposed to resurrect a down-on-its luck shore town more than 30 years ago has gone bust.

Other states, including Pennsylvania, introduced casinos, siphoning off the lifeblood of the new Atlantic City - gamblers.

They have had better Labor Days in Atlantic City.

Showboat Hotel and Casino closed its doors over the weekend.

Today, Revel Casino, a $2 billion albatross, shuts down after being in operation for a little more than two years.

The closures, with another one looming at Trump Plaza, will put more than 6,000 people out of work. It is being described as no less than an economic disaster.

Gambling was supposed to save Atlantic City.

Instead, once neighboring states started to lure away its customers, it’s turned into a losing bet. It cost more than $2 billion to build Revel. It was supposed to be the logical extension of the upscale, glitzy Atlantic City symbolized by the success of Borgata, only on the boardwalk.

It didn’t turn out that way.


“Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty,

and meet me tonight in Atlantic City.”

Didn’t work out that way, Boss. They tried to fix Atlantic City. It worked - for awhile.

Maybe it will come back again.

Or maybe they’ll just meet at the unemployment office.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Marking a milestone

Heron's Nest - 8 hours 22 min ago
I've always had a love-hate relationship with my birthday.

When I was a kid, it was always a harbinger to summer's end.

Now that I'm and adult (allegedly) I'm faced with another dilemma. This is likely the last birthday I will 'celebrate.'

Oh, I guess they will still roll around each year. But this is the last time I really want to blow out any candles. Today I turn 59. I have no interest in being 60. I explain in my print column today.
Categories: Pennsylvania

clydesdales come to west chester!

Chester County Ramblings - Sun, 2014-08-31 08:20

On Friday, August 29 the thunder of hooves and the jingle of harnesses could be heard as Budweiser’s fabulous Clydesdales made special beer deliveries throughout downtown West Chester, PA. Thanks to my friend Lee Ann and my friend Peggy, I can share these photos with you:

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Salvo for August 29, 2014 - "Wet Behind the Ears"

The Daily Salvo - Sat, 2014-08-30 16:45
The Daily Salvo for August 29, 2014 - "Wet Behind the Ears"
Why accept the "Ice Bucket Challenge" when you're already wet behind the ears??? From: The Daily Salvo Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 01:00 More in News & Politics

peach and ground cherry galette

Chester County Ramblings - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:06

I purchased a pint of forgotten fruit at the farmers market yesterday. Ground cherries. They were in little papery husks almost like a tomatillo. They are a very old-fashioned fruit that you see once in a blue moon at farmers or local organic markets.

Preheat your oven to 400°F

Get out your frozen two sheet package of puff pastry – Pepperidge Farm or whomever and allow it to thaw at room temperature. If it’s really frozen it can take over half an hour.

First make the Frangipane (almond cream):

In a large mixing bowl whip together with your mixer the following:

3 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted

One large egg

1/3 cup granulated white sugar

One half teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract

One half a cup of almond flour or almond meal (I order mine from

1 tablespoon of regular white flour

Beat together until fluffy and set aside.

In another bowl, put your ground cherries (after removing the little husks from them) in with a 1/3 cup of light brown sugar and a couple dashes of cinnamon. (I had purchased a pint’s worth of this fruit.) To this I add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. I then take a hand potato masher and macerate slightly the ground cherries and the sugar and cinnamon and lemon juice.

Next take out a jellyroll pan – otherwise known as a cookie sheet with an edge and line it with parchment paper

Take one sheet of puff pastry and gently unfold it and put it in the center of the pan on the parchment paper.

Next take an icing spreader or spatula and spread the almond cream/Frangipane evenly on the bottom layer of puff pastry.

Next slice two to three medium size peaches in thin slices. Arrange neatly on top of the cream. Next spoon the ground cherry mixture evenly on top of the peaches.

Take the other sheet of puff pastry and unfold it and lay evenly on top of the fruit mixture. Crimp the edges of both sheets of puff pastry together all the way around.

Cut quite a few vent holes in the top of the path pastry. You can do it in a pattern if you want. Take one egg yolk and add a tablespoon and a half of water and whip it together. Use a pastry brush and brush the egg yolk lightly over the top of the pastry. Dust this with sugar. (egg yolk acts like a glue for the sugar)

Bake at 400° for about half an hour. My oven wasn’t doing something right today so I might have even taken longer baking. This is something you have to keep an eye on or you will burn it.

When everything is all golden and caramelized brown pull it out of the oven. It will also smell really amazing!

Cool before moving to a serving platter. I have a large round plate I picked up at a church sale years ago that I love for desserts that are a different than normal size.

You can serve this warm or cold. A little dollop of whipped cream should accompany each serving.

Refrigerate the leftovers.

Categories: Pennsylvania

#PAGov Meltdown: Corbett Campaign Manager Accuses Terry Madonna of “Unfairly Influencing This Election With Bad Polls”

Keystone Politics - Fri, 2014-08-29 09:25
Tom Corbett’s campaign manager Mike Barley got a bit salty on the Twitters earlier because F&M isn’t skewing their polls to favor Republicans, and accuses Terry Madonna of...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Aug. 29

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2014-08-29 08:56
The Daily Numbers: 12-3 win for the Broomall-Newtown 13-15 Babe Ruth team to take the national title last night.

2 Babe Ruth Little League championships coming home to Broomall-Newtown. Their 13 team won a title last week.

11 walks, 7 errors, 3 wild pitches and 1 hit batter by team from Lumber River, N.C., that helped paved the way for Broomall-Newtown last night.

300 residents who packed a meeting in Brookhaven last night to discuss a proposed development for the last piece of open space in the borough.

25 acres of the 55-acre Chester Water Authority ground at Coebourn and Edgmont that is targeted for a new shopping center.

15 years with the Springfield School District coming to end as Superintendent James Capolupo is planning to leave. He will not accept a contract extension.

9 years as leader of Marple Newtown School District Merle Horowitz, who announced she is retiring.

42, age of Concord man nailed on child porn charges by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

3.5 million dollar renovation of the Neumann University Library that was officially unveiled this week.

1 year of probation for former Interboro High athlete who pleaded guilty in an attack on a Ridley football player.

330 volunteers who showed up recently to help create a new playground at Evans Elementary School in Yeadon.

500,000 more low-income residents of Pennsylvania who will get health care after the feds accepted the state’s plan to accept Medicaid expansion money.

20,000, how many cases of Ebola virus outbreak are being predicted.

42 point dip for the stock market yesterday.

298,000 people who filed for unemployment benefits last week, that’s down 1,000 from the week before.

3 field goals booted by Eagles kicker Cody Parkey last night in his bid to unseat Alex Henery as the team’s kicker.

54, 53 and 25 yarders converted by Parkey.

22 of 34 for backup QB Matt Barkley as the Birds rolled over the Jets, 37-7.

1 play for Michael Vick to start the game in front of the Philly fans before he was lifted from game by Jets.

37-7 win for Temple over Venderbilt to open the season. Hoot, Owls!

1, where Garnet Valley is sitting on the 1st edition of Matt Smith’s Delco Football Super 7.

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

If I was Alex Henery, I might start packing my bags. It will be hard for Chip Kelly not to go with Cody Parkey after his performance last night.

I Don’t Get It: We apparently set some kind of record for a cooler than normal summer. So much for global warming.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Broomall-Newtown Babe Ruth. They took not 1 but 2 Babe Ruth World Series crowns.

Quote Box: “The attraction and charm of Brookhaven will be lost.”

- Resident Jesse Walker, speaking against development of large tract of open space.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Score one for those looking to stop straw gun purchases

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2014-08-29 07:54
Staci Dawson, meet Brad Fox.

If only she could.

Fox is the Montgomery County police officer who was shot with a gun he acquired via a straw purchase.

Dawson this week became the first person convicted under the new law enacted in Fox's name, enacting a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence for anyone who engages in the practice of straw gun purchases.

Delco District Attorney Jack Whelan sounded a warning for others, if you engage in this practice, you are looking at serious jail time.

If the Brad Fox Law keeps even one person from considering buying a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to possess one, it will be well worth it, and a tribute to the legacy of Brad Fox.

Here is our editorial.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Title Town! Broomall-Newtown takes 2nd Babe Ruth World Series crown

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2014-08-29 07:31
Forget Broomall. And Newtown.

Just call them Title Town.

They did it! The Broomall-Newtown 13-15 Babe Ruth team captured an amazing second national title Thursday by beating a team from Lumber River, N.C., 12-3 out in Longview, Washington.

You can read all the details here. Unfortunately the game ended too late to make it into our print edition.

It caps off an amazing run for Broomall-Newtown Babe Ruth. Last week their 13 team took a World Series crown.

Scott Hahn was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

They will celebrate with a parade and a party on Sunday. We'll be there.
Categories: Pennsylvania

It's Football Friday!

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2014-08-29 07:01
Fall starts today.

That's because it's Football Friday - the first big day of the Delco high school football season.

And we have our game face on already. Make sure you pick up a copy of the print edition today for our special high school football preview, including a weekly schedule that has the entire season for every team at a glance.

Our popular Football Friday package is back today as well, including the first edition of Matt Smith's Super 7. Want to guess who's sitting on top of the heap as we kick off the high school football season. You'll find that and a lot more at our home for high school sports, GameTimePa.

Harry Chaykun has his popular Instant Replay package, with snippets from games 10, 20, 30 and 40 years ago. And our intrepid staff will hold forth with their first round of predictions for Week 1.

If all that's not enough, we have Bob Grotz and Jack McCaffery weighing in from last night's Eagles exhibition finale. Has Chip Kelly found a new kicker. All eyes were on Cody Parkey - and he delivered with three field goals - including two from more than 50 yards out. Alex Henery's days might be numbered. We'll find out soon. The Birds and other NFL teams have to be down to 53 players by Saturday at 4 p.m.
Categories: Pennsylvania

#PAGov: Doing Medicaid the Corbett Way Imposes Hefty Corruption Tax on PA Taxpayers

Keystone Politics - Thu, 2014-08-28 16:38
While it’s certainly great news for the hundreds of thousands of poor and middle class people who no longer need to live in fear that a random accident will destroy their finances all...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

PA Working Families Makes its First Endorsement

Keystone Politics - Thu, 2014-08-28 13:06
New-to-Pennsylvania progressive organization Pennsylvania Working Families has been quietly plugging away this year, collecting signatures to put a local education control question on the ballot...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Poll: Corbett at Lowest Polling Yet Against Wolf

Keystone Politics - Thu, 2014-08-28 08:39
  This race has been boring since the primary ended. Four in five respondents heard the Corbett attack ads and didn’t change their opinion. Corbett’s numbers actually got worse....
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Keystone Politics: Emerged From Darkness

Keystone Politics - Thu, 2014-08-28 08:29
I suppose I owe everybody an explanation for why this site basically went dark for a couple months this summer. After a long freelance journalism nightmare, I’m basically doing my dream job... ...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Aug. 28

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2014-08-28 08:03
The Daily Numbers: 5 years in prison, what a 22-year-old Chester woman is facing after becoming the 1st person convicted under new law named for slain Officer Brad Fox to beef up penalties for those involved in straw gun purchases.

2 guns Staci Dawson is believed to have purchased for her ex-boyfriend.

3 hours, how long it took jury to convict Dawson, this after and earlier jury failed to reach a verdict on these charges while acquitting Dawson on lesser offenses.

2 days of picketing at Crozer-Chester Medical Center planned for next week by nurses who continue to seek a new contract.

600 Crozer nurses who are members of Pennsylvania Association of Nurses and Allied Professionals.

103,000 dollar average annual salary for the Crozer nurses.

51 months in prison for a Brookhaven man convicted on federal ID theft charges.

100 counts of rape filed against Folcroft man suspected in sexual attacks on a teen girl.

3 Delco GOP powers who took Dem gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf to task for not releasing his tax returns.

49-24 edge for Wolf over Gov. Tom Corbett, according to new F&M Poll.

25 percent of voters remain undecided.

2 men whose bodies were found bound and tied and then dumped in Schuylkill River in Philly. A 3rd was stabbed but escaped. Police believe the case is drug-related.

193,000 phony invoice issued by former aide to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who pleaded guilty yesterday.

17,122,01 close for the Dow Jones yesterday.

3rd straight record high for S&P.

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

How sweep it is. The Phillies just took 3 from the 1st place Washington Nationals.

I Don’t Get It: Tom Wolf should put an end to this game of hide-and-seek and release his tax returns, as a series of GOP leaders, including several in Delaware County, are urging him to do.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Broomall-Newtown Babe Ruth 13-15 team. They won last night and now are just 1 win away - tonight - from a national title. The Broomall-Newtown 13 team already win their Babe Ruth World Series. What’s in the water out there in Broomall-Newtown? Well done!

Quote Box: “There are no negotiations by this office with regards to these cases. If you’re going to engage in the illegal exchange of firearms in this county, we are going to prosecute you and you are going to spend a substantial amount of time in a penitentiary.”

- Delco D.A. Jack Whelan, after 1st conviction in county under new Brad Fox Law, which enacts 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for straw gun sales.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A heated discussion about Covanta in Chester

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2014-08-28 07:27
Shelia Hyland does not mince words when she talks about the Covanta trash-burning facility in Chester.

"You're killing us," she stated matter-of-factly.

John Waffenschmidt doesn't see it that way. He believes the plant, which recently won approval from Chester City Council to erect two buildings that will allow it to bring in trash shipments from New York City, operates safely and is not responsible for many of the health maladies that afflict the residents of Chester.

That was the 'heated' debate last night as our live-stream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom,' examined the hottest story in Chester. Literally.

We also were joined by Mike Ewall of the Energy Justice Network, an environmental group that disputes Covanta's contention that they are not increasing the amount of trash coming into the Chester facility.

They think otherwise, and vow to continue the fight to shut the plant down.

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

My thanks for Waffenschmidt, Ewall, Hyland and her daughter Hope for a great discussion.

I especially like the way the show ended, with Waffenschmidt offering to meet Hyland and any other concerned residents to talk about the plant, safety and health conditions in Chester.

Hyland's ire was not solely directed at Covanta, however.

She also made clear she and Chester residents are irate at the way Chester City Council handled the matter.

"They sold us out," she said. "We don't want this."

Why do I get the feeling these groups might wind up meeting again - in a courtroom?
Categories: Pennsylvania

In memory of Brad Fox

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2014-08-28 07:12
Somewhere, Officer Brad Fox is looking down and smiling today.

Fox, a policeman in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County, was gunned down in the line of duty - by a man who had acquired the gun in an illegal straw purchase.

The resulting uproar resulted in passage of the Brad Fox Law in 2013. It mandates a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone convicted of engaging in a straw gun purchase.

Yesterday, a Chester woman became one of the first people to feel the wrath of those still mourning the loss of Brad Fox. Staci Dawson was the first person charged - and convicted - in Delaware County under the law.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan made his office's position clear.

"There are no negotiations by this office with regards to these cases," he said after the verdict, which came after an earlier trial in which the jury failed to reach a verdict and acquitted Dawson of lesser charges. "If you're going to engage in the illegal exchange of firearms in this county, we are going to prosecute you and you are going to spend a substantial amount of time in a penitentiary."

No doubt Brad Fox would concur.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The return of Michael Vick; & a special Eagles preview section

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2014-08-28 06:47
There will be a familiar face at Lincoln Financial Field tonight.

Even if he is wearing an unfamiliar name.

Michael Vick will return to the turf where he resurrected his career. Vick was a pariah when he arrived, fresh off a two-year stint in federal prison for his role in bankrolling a vicious dog-fighting ring.

But from the day he appeared at a press conference with then-Coach Andy Reid and his mentor Tony Dungy, Vick said and did all the right things.

In a word, he was impressive.

That didn't change even when he was released by the Eagles, and he has not sounded a sour note since learning he will be a backup to Geno Smith with the Jets.

I for one will cheer Vick when he takes the field tonight.

I hope I'm not alone.


For Eagles fans, this is a very special day.

Not because it marks the end of the preseason, but because today's Daily Times includes a spectacular, 48-page Eagles preview section.

In it you'll find everything you need to get ready for the opener vs. Jacksonville on Sept. 7.

Eagles beat writer Bob Grotz offers is view of the season, along with his predictions.

Columnist Jack McCaffery gives you a very special look at the Birds A-Z.

And we'll also have a great retrospective look at the history of this proud franchise.

Of course in the centerspread we feature a full-color 2014 Eagles schedule that you can hang on your fridge and plot the Birds' progress week by week.

Make sure you get one today.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Broomall-Newtown 1 win away from 2nd Babe Ruth crown

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2014-08-28 06:29
You know something big is brewing when a come-from-behind 8-4 win by the Phillies - capping off a sweep of the 1st-place Washington Nationals - is not the biggest baseball story in Delaware County.

The Taney Dragons and their parade down Broad Street?

Nah! Meet the kids from Broomall-Newtown.

Yes, they did it again.

The Broomall-Newtown 13-15 won again last night, and now stand just one win away from a Babe Ruth World Series title. Amazingly enough, they won't be the first. That's because the brothers-in-arms, the Broomall-Newtown 13 team, has already captured a national Babe Ruth crown.

Unfortunately, the 13-15 kids are competing on the West Coast, in Washington state. Tonight's title game starts at 10:05 our time, meaning it will end too late for our print edition.

Check back to first thing tomorrow for the result.

If you want to follow along live with the game tonight, you can do so at

The town is planning a huge parade and celebration for the two teams on Sunday. Here are all the details. We'll be there for full coverage.
Categories: Pennsylvania