Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, July 27

Heron's Nest - 11 hours 14 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 29, age of Upper Darby man gunned down outside the Stonehurst Court Apartments.

23 homicides in Delaware County this year.

5 of them in Upper Darby.

42 minutes, how long Bill Clinton took to talk about his wife, Hillary, last night.

1st woman ever nominated for president by major political party.

1st man, what the former president will be if Hillary beats Donald Trump in November.

125 people who packed a meeting in Upper Chi to talk about issues with the CSX train line.

36, age of man charged in the shooting of a police officer who responded to an incident in Norwood. Darrel Burt is planning an insanity defense.

425,000 dollar price tag for a lot on East Chester Pike sold by Ridley School District.

194,866 annual salary for Upper Darby schools boss Superintendent Richard Dunlap. He’s been placed on administrative leave.

2012 conviction of Philadelphia Monsignor William Lynn that has been overturned. The Pa. Supreme Court has indicated the conviction was flawed and rejected prosecution appeals.

3 years in prison, how long Lynn has served behind bars for his conviction on a single count of endangering the welfare of a child.

3 Penn State grads that are opening a craft beer business in Malvern.

1 more season for Andy Talley at the helm of Villanova football.

5-0 loss for Phillies to Marlins last night.

1 run on 5 hits over 7 strong innings for Phils starter Jared Eickhoff.

105 Russian athletes banned from Rio Olympics in doping scandal.

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

The Phillies continue to get great starting pitching - and very spotty offense to support it. They got shut out again last night.

I Don’t Get It: The Bernie or Bust people need to get over it. They lost. Was it fair and square? Maybe not. Doesn’t change fact that they lost.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Lansdowne native Tom Hall and others who took action to counter the hateful message of the Westover Baptist Church members who were protesting at the Democratic National Convention.

Quote Box: “We just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.”

- Hillary Clinton, after she was formally nominated by Democrats last night.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Finding the Delco connection

Heron's Nest - 12 hours 5 min ago
One of the challenges of covering a big regional/national event such as the Democratic National Convention that is taking place just a few miles away at the Wells Fargo Center in the South Philly sports complex is not losing sight of our mission - covering Delaware County.

That's why we always look for the local angle as we cover these major stories.

Yesterday we noted that a couple of well-known Delco guys, Rocco Polidoro and Bob Dimond, were part of the color guard the opened the convention.

Today, staff writer Kathleen Carey profiles a Lansdowne man was taking part in a protest to counter a showing by a group from the Westboro Baptist Church.

Always count on us to find the Delco connection.

We still bring you the headlines - Hillary crashing through the glass ceiling and becoming the first woman ever nominated for president by a major political party; former President Bill Clinton singing her praises; and the continuing acrimony and sore feelings being voiced by several Bernie Sanders backers, but the truth is we'll always put Delco first.

That is one of the reasons the lead on today's front page is tied to a murder in Upper Darby.

I realize a lot of people likely will disagree with that decision, but it's one I'm willing to stand by. If you disagree, let me know. I can take it. I assure you that you will not be the fist to tell me I don't have a clue.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Libertarian justice for all?

Heron's Nest - 12 hours 32 min ago
We used our editorial page today to chime in on the flap that flared up when some a local Libertarian candidate and his supporter were told to stop soliciting signatures in the county's Rose Tree Park in Upper Providence.

Pat Sellers is trying to get on the ballot in the 7th District Congressional race.

He needs 3,000 signatures to do so.

But his efforts were not helped by this conflict with the county.

It comes down to basic First Amendment rights, and we'll stand with Sellers on this one.

While the matter seems to be resolved, Sellers points out that he is still working on the task of collecting those signatures. It would be a shame of missing those key dates at Rose Tree, which of course is host to the county's annual insanely popular - and FREE - Summer Festival means the difference between his getting on the ballot or not.

You can read our editorial here. And of course if you disagree feel free to write me a letter of you own. I'll be more than happy to share our op-ed page with you.
Categories: Pennsylvania

More on that fighter jet mystery

Heron's Nest - 12 hours 48 min ago
Well, at least I know I'm not losing my mind. At least not yet anyhow. I know that may come as a surprise to some readers.

I was not the only one fascinated by the fighter jet that was buzzing the skies over Chester County at the same time a nasty storm was rolling in Monday night.

I saw as I was just about home just before 7 p.m. It was one of the loudest sounds I've ever heard.

I posted on Twitter and it immediately sparked similar Tweets.

One reader emailed me overnight to assure me I was not hallucinating.

But J. Massucci went one better. He actually got a photo of the jet framed against that foreboding sky.

He said the jets was "flying very low and agile. Making multiple turns."

He also mentioned something noticed by several other readers - a small plane that was also in the sky at the same time and he wondered if that was connected.

Let's keep this conversation going and get to the bottom of the "Top Gun Mystery."

If you have information to share on what that jet was doing in the skies of Chester County and where it may have come from, email me at editor@delcotimes.com.
Categories: Pennsylvania

why you garden

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2016-07-26 10:50

A friend of mine gave me a cache pot that belonged to her grandmother. It’s a beautiful pot and it makes the perfect vehicle for summer flower arrangements. All of these flowers are out of my garden.

This is why gardening is so worth it. With the help of Mother Nature you can create such simple beauty and enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, July 26

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-07-26 07:31
The Daily Numbers: 1st lady making a pitch for 1st woman president last night as Michelle Obama says of Hillary Clinton: “I’m with her.”

2 Delco veterans, Rocco Polidoro and Bob Dimond, who were part of color guard opening the Democratic National Convention yesterday.

54 people slapped with citations during as thousands of protester descended on the city for the convention.

600 people left without power yesterday in Ridley when power lines sagged during morning storm, then were entangled with a truck on South Avenue.

3 utility poles that came down.

108, yesterday’s heat index.

96, official high recorded at the airport. That tires record set in 1999.

95, expected high today, but with less humidity.

29 people injured during collision between SEPTA bus and jeep in Yeadon.

37,000 dollars for a feasibility, or $28,000 for wrestling mats. That’s 1 of the vexing fiscal questions hanging over the Interboro School Board.

1 million dollars per license, what the state wants casinos to pony up to be able to serve alcohol between 2 and 6 a.m. Not many are jumping at chance.

40 years in prison for Montco man guilty in the fatal stabbing of his wife 3 years ago.

1 as in Day 1 for Eagles Training Camp.

1 as in the No. 1 quarterback, where Sam Bradford is firmly entrenched.

4-0 win for the Phillies over the Marlins.

1 hit over 6 innings of shutout ball for Phils starter Jeremy Hellickson, who again dazzled the scouts as trade deadline looms.

4 year deal for Flyers forward Brayden Schenn

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

All other sports now cease and desist. The Eagles are starting their training camp

I Don’t Get It: The world in 140 characters. Michelle Obama is right. I don’t get it either.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Philly, which is once again in the national spotlight with the Democratic National Convention.

Quote Box: “I’m with her.”

- First Lady Michelle Obama, speaking about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy last night. 1st lady
Categories: Pennsylvania

I know how you feel, Michelle Obama

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-07-26 06:48
I know exactly how Michelle Obama feels.

The first lady electrified the crowd at the Democratic National Convention last night, concluding with a great line when it comes to this year's presidential sweepstakes:

"I'm with her."

It's a bit of history, what will happen tonight when Democrats make Hillary Clinton the first woman formally nominated to head a major party ticket for president.

Unfortunately, that's not the line I'm talking about.

Instead something else the first lady said that stuck in my head.

She wisely did not refer to Donald Trump by name - something I wish more political partisans did - but clearly was referring to him when she mentioned the social media reality we all now dwell in.

It's a Twitter world, and Donald Trump is adept at it.

I know all about Twitter. It seems like I'm on it 24 hours a day.

But the first lady cautioned that the issues facing the country "cannot be boiled down to 140 characters."

Tell me about it. I've been trying to convince people of that for years.

They tell me I'm a dinosaur. That the times - or is that the Times, this newspaper where I have toiled for more than three decades - has passed me by.

I am a prolific Tweeter. I find it very useful in delivering breaking news quickly.

But it is a dangerous thing as well. Too many people Tweet much too quickly - myself included - before all the information is available.

There's an old saying in this business. Speed kills. That's why we spend as much time as we do checking facts and getting them right before going public with information.

But it is a different world.

It's a Twitter world.

To many people, 140 characters is more than enough to detail the pressing issues we face.

I just don't happen to be one of them.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Top Gun, the Chester County version

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-07-26 06:23
I encountered something on the ride home last night I have never seen - or heard - before.

And it has nothing to do with the fact that for the first time in 34 years, I was making the back end of the commute from Swarthmore (which is actually in Springfield) instead of Primos.

But as I rolled along Route 352 and West Chester Pike it looked I was driving directly into Armageddon. You just knew that as hot and humid as it had been, the storms that followed would be epic.

The sky grew increasingly dark as I kept driving, until it was nearly pitch black. That's when I realized I was still wearing my sunglasses. Taking them off only increased visibility a tad.

That's when it happened. It was bad enough that it looked like the sky was going to open up and consume my car, I suddenly hear a dull roar that seemed to be getting closer.

At first I thought it was thunder, but it kept getting louder. And louder. That's when I really started to think my time might be up, that maybe a meteorite or something was about to fall out of the sky and consume my car.

Just as the roar seemed right on top of me, I realized what it was - at about the same time I saw what gave every indication of some kind of military fighter jet zipping across the Chester County sky. There was just enough light dispersed through the clouds to make it out. But there was no mistaking that flight pattern. Small planes don't make that kind of noise. And big passenger planes don't do the kind of maneuvers this jet was doing, executing sharp turns and flying on its side.

Then, just as soon as it showed up and zipped back and fort across the sky a couple of times, it was gone.

Where did it go? Where did it come from? The Dover Air Force Base maybe? But what was it doing this far north? I thought maybe it was connected to the security for the Democratic National Committee, but it was just that one jet seemingly doing maneuvers on its own.

Anyone else see or hear that jet?

Please don't tell me I was hallucinating.

Maybe they're making a sequel to 'Top Gun' and didn't bother to tell anyone.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Timing is Everything: Conestoga High School reporters on alleged sodomy charges & victim’s residency dispute

In today’s Spoke, Conestoga High School’s newspaper is the article, “Sodomy allegation followed victim’s residency dispute with TESD” by Andy Backstrom, former Co-Editor-in-Chief (2015-16) and Caleigh Sturgeon, Manager Web Editor. Backstrom is a 2016 graduate of CHS and will be attending Boston College in the fall and Sturgeon is a CHS senior. Backstrom and Sturgeon […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

just doing god’s work?

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2016-07-25 09:28

After the Inquirer article appeared on the ruin of Ebenzer AME in Frazer, I contacted  Rev Dr Mark Tyler via e-email with a few interested folks on the e-mail including local historians.

Three times.

Why email? Because also included was information to help them make an informed decision. I stupidly thought maybe if they could see what we’ve been looking up, and see photos of the spot over the past few years, they would be interested in working together to clean this place up. 

When not even a simple acknowledgment of what had been sent to him was received after three attempts, I took to Twitter. Why did I take to Twitter? Because I learned that they respond to Twitter. 

But the lesson I learned again is there not particularly nice about anything if you aren’t one of their “flock”.

So I will call the good pastor but I’m not expecting much. Because the continued message I received from any level of this church is they aren’t interested in preserving their history. They also aren’t interested in communicating or speaking with me. 

They can pony up the money for fancy bicentennial celebration which must have been super expensive to put on, but they can’t clean up one small church yard and secure one small ruin?

I don’t even know where to go in my head with this. 

And what a horrible thing to think about any church. It’s so terribly sad. They all want to speak about and preach about their marvelous history, yet when their marvelous history needs saving they don’t want any parts of it?

I guess they might not want to respond in writing because then they have wiggle room for potential deniability down the road or something? 

Wow, what a take away lesson.

I do not like to think the worst of anyone, let alone a religious organization, but it’s been over three years at this point of my trying to get this place saved and it just gets more disappointing for everything of effort I expend.

The phone number is 215-925-0616.

I just phoned and I left a detailed message and who I was and why I was calling. I don’t expect a call back. I don’t expect an acknowledgment.

I really want to save this place but at this point in time I am just thoroughly disgusted.  I thought doing God’s work meant you tried to save places like Ebenezer AME. You do it for future generations, you do it for ancestors living today, do it for the history and the fact it’s a sacred place, and you do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Apparently I have been operating under a misapprehension all these years. Is no wonder that people step away from organized religion.

No I’m not disappointed in God, just the people representing him.


Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dems are coming! The Dems are coming

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-07-25 05:34
The Democrats are coming! The Democrats are coming.

Actually, they're already here - and we have them covered.

Stay with the Daily Times and DelcoTimes.com for breaking news out of the Democratic National Convention, including live daily updates.

We'll have a live blog up and running each day as we track the historic gathering at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly that will culminate Thursday night in Hillary Clinton accepting the party's nomination for president, thus becoming the first woman ever to head the ticket for a major party.

We were in Philly yesterday, fanning out to cover the arrival of the delegates, as well as the first protests.

Stay with us as we cover the Dems - and of course all the local angles you won't get anywhere else - all week.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Goodbye 19018; hello 19081

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-07-25 05:25
Goodbye 19018; hello 19081.

In other words, the Daily Times has a new home.

We closed the doors on our longtime office on Mildred Avenue in the Primos section of Upper Darby Friday, and today we set up shop in Swarthmore.

Yes, it was emotional.

There were a lot of things going through my mind as I walked out of the office for the last time Friday, carting as many memories as I could fit into the trunk of a Honda Accord.

After all, I have been walking through those doors for 34 years.

It was a very strange week in Primos, kind of like seeing a little piece of your life taken apart brick by brick, or maybe filing cabinet by filing cabinet.

Those of us who were there late Friday afternoon gathered on the front steps of the office one final time for a photo. It appears here with my blog.

It's ironic that we would leave Primos for Swarthmore, and not just for the same numbers being involved in the zip codes.

There is something else about these abodes that I have been telling people for years. Primos doesn't really exist.

Now we've moved to a place that is not actually in Swarthmore.

I explain it all in today's print column.Please feel free to stop in and say hello to us in our new digs. Right now they appear a bit sterile to be a newsroom. My guess is that will not last long.
Categories: Pennsylvania

yuck.

Chester County Ramblings - Sat, 2016-07-23 13:19

Why does the world need digital billboards the size of drive in movie screens?

The hit crinkled guard rail just adds to the allure, doesn’t it?


Categories: Pennsylvania

westtown: developers’ paradise

Chester County Ramblings - Sat, 2016-07-23 12:18

In Westtown they used to grow stuff other than plastic McMansions…..no more and with Crebilly and who knows what other parcels being planned for development, my goodness it just boggles your mind…sad…


Categories: Pennsylvania

the song remains the same

Chester County Ramblings - Fri, 2016-07-22 18:06

This photo was taken the day many of us were interviewed for the Philadelphia Inquirer article. We had brought the reporter Kristin Holmes out to see the state of the site herself.

Well as lots and lots of people know, The Philadelphia Inquirer covered the story of Ebenezer A.M.E. that was once located at 97 Bacton Hill Road in Frazer, East Whiteland Township, Chester County, PA.

Interestingly, a  couple of fairly powerful and influential members (or so I was told) of the A.M.E. Church were interviewed : Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown, executive director of the national denomination’s department of research and scholarship and Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly Tyler, senior pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia.

I had contacted Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown in the past and it kind of got nowhere. I have contacted the A.M.E. Church Elder Rev Charles H. Lett and that was late December, 2015. He never responded after we had a brief telephone conversation where he instructed me to write to him.

Most recently because of the Inquirer article, I contacted Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly Tyler, senior pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia.  Three times. I have not even received an acknowledgement of my efforts to reach him.

So either the A.M.E. Church cares very little about honoring their history and their dead or they don’t want to hear from a woman who is not of their faith and is not related to anyone buried at Ebenezer AME in Frazer.

How sad and too bad, I am not giving up. The A.M.E. can’t just talk the talk of their history, they need to walk the walk of their history.  And if they could afford a giant bicentennial celebration in the city of their faith’s birthplace, surely they can afford one cleanup of one small old and sacred and historic place, right?

Here is the article before I tell you who I wrote to today for help:

As it crumbles, seeking the mystery owner of old Ebenezer A.M.E. Church

Updated: JULY 17, 2016

by Kristin E. Holmes, Staff Writer

Tia Manon trudged through the swampy cemetery of the old Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, looking for two names belonging to one man. (SLIDESHOW)

Perry Ringgold was a slave who escaped the South on the Underground Railroad. James Williams was the free man he became after he was harbored by a Quaker family in Exton.

According to family lore, this relative of Manon’s helped found the East Whiteland church in 1832, but none of the stone markers bore a trace of him, by either name. She did come across one name she recognized, a Reason – William Reason. Could he have been an ancestor of her late husband, George Reason?

….”It makes you feel very, very sad,” said Manon, 47, of Paoli, a student at Immaculata University.

She is among a group of neighbors and history buffs who want to clean up and preserve the two-acre tract on Bacton Hill Road. Officials of the Chester County township said that they will coordinate the effort, but that they first need permission from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which they believe owns the property….

The 2.5 million-member A.M.E. Church, founded in Philadelphia by Bishop Richard Allen in 1816, is the oldest independent Protestant denomination established by African Americans. It currently has 7,000 congregations, but the number that sprang up over the centuries and then vanished is unknown.

Chester County is filled with the ghosts of churches past. Like Ebenezer, they grew in concert with pre-Civil War black communities in locations such as Uwchlan and Downingtown, said Renee Carey, a Chester County history enthusiast and South Coatesville borough councilwoman who has researched black churches and cemeteries.

 

I have only included an excerpt of the article, please read it in it’s entirety.  I worked for close to a year alone to get that article placed, and I am grateful to Tia for agreeing to be part of it.

So anyway, today I decided to read a biography from the Mother Bethel website of this senior pastor  Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly Tyler. I got the bio off a Google cache truthfully because the Mother Bethel website is down more than it is up. I noticed he had been interviewed by a gentleman I believe to be the foremost authority today on African American history, Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates of Harvard University. A lot of you would recognize him as the brains behind the PBS Series Finding Your Roots.

So I decided to e-mail Dr. Gates, it can’t hurt. Here is part of what I said:

Dr. Gates,

You don’t know me but I am a huge fan of your work. I watch your shows on PBS.  I live in Chester County, PA, and I am desperately trying along with others including the people on this e-mail to get the A.M.E. Church to save a 184 year old church ruin and cemetery.

The Church is named Ebenezer AME and land was deeded by a Quaker named Malin around 1831 and the church was completed in 1832. It was one of the earlier black churches out here and there is a graveyard too. In the graveyard there are USCT Civil War soldiers and freed slaves.  It is because of one of the Civil War soldiers I became interested in the first place. His name was Joshua Johnson. Ebenezer A.M.E. is still located even as a ruin on 97 Bacton Hill Road, Frazer, PA (East Whiteland Township, Chester County, PA)

I am a blogger and a native Philadelphian who moved to Chester County, PA a few years ago.  I have been trying for a few years now to get help.

All records indicate the AME Church still owns the land.  We just really want to get this place saved.  And I am hoping the reason I am ignored by the AME church doesn’t have to do with the fact it’s not my church and these aren’t my ancestors. To you, I respectfully submit these ARE the ancestors of people in the area, and there are more in addition to Tia who was in the article I placed with Kristin Holmes recently in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

I think you might be surprised by the people who wish to help get Ebenezer cleaned up before it is too late.  The A.M.E. Church needs to spearhead the initial clean-up as we all believe land is STILL owned by the AME Church and merely not owned by a church congregation that no longer exists. But there are people interested in helping the church after that as in volunteering their time.  The boy scouts always want service projects, in addition. And there is a history with local scouts and this place.

The A.M.E. Church just finished hosting their bicentennial in Philadelphia.  This is part of the history they celebrate this year.

I have been routinely ignored by the A.M.E. Church for three years now.

I am not the only one.

I am a realist, and not every sacred and/or historical place can be saved. But this place is special, truly special.

I also promised the poet A.V. (Ann) Christie before she died this spring of breast cancer I would keep working with others to save this.  I want to keep my word.

Most recently I contacted someone you interviewed not so long ago, Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly Tyler of Mother Bethel in Philadelphia. He was interviewed in the Inquirer article.  I alone have now sent him 3 emails with information to try to get Ebenezer saved. He has not even acknowledged receipt of the e-mails.  I can’t tell you how discouraging it all is.

I know you are so incredibly important a person and busy, but I thought maybe if someone like you expressed an interest, the A.M.E. church would actually respond to us.  We just want them to help us get it cleaned up.  It is so badly overgrown, we can’t just go onto their property and clean it up. We need their permission, and we need them frankly to pay for the initial clean-up.  After that we feel we can get volunteers organized and with the permission of the A.M.E. church hopefully keep it cleaned up going forward.

But we are at a critical juncture, and we need to get the A.M.E. Church moving now before all is lost forever.

I am not asking you for any sort of financial input, but I am asking you to help us because of your unique academic and celebrity position.   You are the one who teaches us how to find our roots and the importance of our personal histories.  You are also the foremost authority on African American History in this country today.  The people buried at Ebenezer are part of that history. Plus there  are local residents and not so local residents interested in honoring their ancestors buried here.

I hope you can help us.

 

So we will see if that helps, or if Dr. Gates responds. He is kind of famous, so maybe he won’t. But I hope he does.

Here are some e-mail addresses for any of you out there interested in getting Ebenezer saved:

The pastor at Mother Bethel interviewed in the Inquirer is Mark Kelly Tyler.  Markkellytyler@gmail.com

Rev Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, The 20th Editor,
The Christian Recorder — Since 1852
“The Official Newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church”

www.the-christian-recorder.org
Office: 615. 714-0986
chsydnor@bellsouth.net

Other emails I found to add to emails:

Dr. Richard Lewis Richlew1@aol.com

journeyministry@aol.com

cio@ame-church.com

info@stpaulsamecmalvern.org – Unfortunately note that the Malvern folks have never replied to anything. Ditto for Info@MotherBethel.com

Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown teresa.brown@emory.edu or AMECHistoryintheMaking@yahoo.com

Bishop Ingram  BishopIngram@firstdistrictame.org and alternate e-mail for First District AME is Clinton@FirstDistrictAME.org

Click HERE for a Google Cache of organizers of the A.M.E’s bicentennial.

Be polite but please consider writing to these folks to get them to help save the ruins and graveyard of Ebenezer AME Church on Bacton Hill Road in Frazer, East Whiteland, Chester County.

If you are a member of an AME congregation please tell them and the location of your church. If you have ancestors or think you have ancestors buried at Ebenezer, tell them that as well. I would also suggest including a link to the Inquirer article.

Seriously, just because they don’t respond to me it doesn’t mean they won’t respond to you- the MORE emails they get the more likely they will pay attention.

In closing, yes the song remains the same, but we can hope the more people talk about Ebenezer, the better our chances to save it and what remains of the graves.

#ThisPlaceMatters

The only photo I have ever seen from a book by Chester County Historian Catherine Quillman (History of the Conestoga Turkpike)


Categories: Pennsylvania

Farewell to Primos

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-07-22 05:27
This is going to be a very strange day at the Daily Times.

Because it is going to be our last one - at least here in beautiful downtown Primos.

We're moving to new digs in Swarthmore, actually it's in Springfield Township. I'll have more on that little oddity in my Monday column.

In the meantime, we are busy packing and salvaging decades of memories from the place most of us have wistfully called "the miracle on Mildred Avenue."

The Daily Times first arrived here in this little corner of Upper Darby Township back in 1976. I arrived here in 1982. I have been walking through the doors here for 34 years.

I won't try to recount the memories here, the stories, and some of the in-house intrigue that this old place has housed. Let's just say that some of the things that happened in here - which did not make the newspaper - were as interesting as the stories that did.

Among the many things we will miss will be our own personal Wawa - yes, I still hold a spot in my heart for those old stores that did not have gas pumps and all the other amenities. I have always enjoyed the fact that we could walk a block away to the Wawa, thus missing the most dangerous place to drive in Delco - a Wawa parking lot.

Most of all I will miss all the people who have come through this building.

They were, simply, the best, people who cared deeply about what they did and the product we delivered every day.

Now it's on to Swarthmore.

So long Primos. Thanks for the memories.

For a place that doesn't really exist, you were a great "home."

Categories: Pennsylvania

More on the great open space debate

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-07-22 05:10
Speaking of the archdiocese, they are back on the editorial page today.

They seem to be the "silent partner" in this grand debate we're having in the county about open space.oday.

The fact is the county does not own the Don Guanella tract. Neither does Marple Township, nor the activists such as Save Marple Greenspace, who want to preserve it, to make sure they don't pave paradise.

It's owned by the archdiocese, and the last we heard, they have not wavered from their stated position - they want to find a buyer and maximize their financial opportunity.

You can read the editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that sex abuse editorial

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-07-22 05:00
I always tell people I have "an" opinion.

Not "the" opinion.

That's the good thing about readers. They're not shy about telling us when they disagree.

Take yesterday's editorial on Rep. Mark Rozzi and House Bill 1947. Rozzi is vowing to put language back in the bill that would allow victims from decades ago to file civil suits against their molesters and their employers.

As you might expect, the Catholic Conference and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are not big fans of that language.

That's why they lobbied hard to have the language removed when the bill was taken up by the state Senate.

They were successful.

Rozzi is not amused, and vows to put the language back in the bill in the fall.

The editorial focused on that - and the very delicate position that likely will put several Delaware County House members in, possibly voting on the bill at the same time they are running for re-election. The archdiocese has not been shy about reminding the faithful which legislators voted in favor of a bill that characterize as a "blatant attack on the church."

But I received a letter of protest yesterday from Amy Hill, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, for something the editorial did not say.

She took us to task for failing to point out the belief by many that the retroactive language included in Rozzi's version of the legislation is unconstitutional. In fact, Solicitor General Bruce Castor testified to just that at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She's right.

But that was not what this editorial was about. Both the paper, our editorial page, and my own columns and blogs have mentioned the constitutional issues many times. I happen to agree with them. I'm not sure that language will ever pass constitutional muster.

But this was more about the fact that Rozzi is not about to let this issue die off, and the position the Delco delegation likely will find themselves in the fall.

In the meantime, you can expect to see Hill's letter on our op-ed page soon.

If you can't wait that long, I'll include it here:

Your editorial of July 21 failed to discuss the key reason the retroactive lawsuit language was removed from House Bill 1947 and it has nothing to do with the Catholic Church: It is unconstitutional.

Don’t take my word for it. Look at the legal opinion submitted by the Office of Attorney General. You can read it online here.

“House Bill 1947, if enacted into law in its current form and without amendment will, in our opinion, violate the Remedies Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution,” wrote Solicitor General Bruce L. Castor Jr. Several legal experts and law professors echoed the opinion of the Office of Attorney General at a Senate hearing.

Despite the various legal opinions that the bill was unconstitutional, you chose to focus on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s efforts to inform its parishioners how this legislation targets the Catholic Church and could result in the closing of parishes, schools and charities. You briefly mentioned that the Archbishop questioned the constitutionality of the bill, but omitted any mention of the testimony of legal experts.

Whether you were unaware of the testimony or decided to leave it out, you did not give your readers a true picture of why the retroactive language was amended.

No matter the final resolution with the legislation, the Catholic Church will honor its sincere commitment to the emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals who have been impact by the crime of childhood sexual abuse, no matter when it occurred.

Sincerely,

Amy Hill

Director of Communications

Pennsylvania Catholic Conference

*

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, July 21

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-07-21 07:20
The Daily Numbers: 20 million dollars, how much County Council wants a new Open Space Task Force to find to buy open property, including possibly that Don Guanella tract.

47 million dollars, amount of the deal for the Don Guanella tract that fell through when developer Bruce Goodman could not get his plans approved.

213 acres in question surrounding the old Don Guanella School in Darby Township.

200 people who gathered at St. John Chrysostom Church in Nether Providence to promote anti-violence.

30, age of Michael David Hardy, now in custody in an Upper Darby shooting in which he’s alleged to have fired 20 rounds at another man, hitting him 9 times.

4,000 dollars in crack cocaine seized in arrest by police in Darby Township.

7 months, age of tiny Hamza Ali, whose body was never found. His suspected killer Ummad Rushdi, is due in court for a hearing today.

12 cars that had their tires slashed in Darby Borough.

10 million dollars being donated to Villanova University to establish a center for contemporary global issues.

3,000 dollars worth of coffee that officials believe a woman stole from Wawa stores across the region. She steals the packages of coffee, then takes it to another store and returns it for cash.

62 billion dollar deal that will unite drug giants Dow and DuPont.

3-1 edge in fundraising for Sen. Pat Toomey over his Democratic foe Katie McGinty.

3.25 million raised by Toomey through June 30. He has $7.7 million on hand.

2.9 million raised by McGinty. She has $2.4 million on hand.

3,383 fatal opioid overdoses in Pa. last year. Yesterday the state OK’d new parameters for distributing and prescribing opioids.

1 run on 5 hits over 8 innings for Phils starter Jeremy Hellickson.

4-1 win for the Phils, snapping a 3-game losing streak.

0-for-16 slump snapped by Tyler Goeddel, who had a homer and 3 RBI.

26th save in 29 tries for Jeanmar Gomez

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.No doubt all those scouts in attendance last night liked what they saw from Jeremy Hellickson, who likely will be trade bait up until the trade deadline next week.

I Don’t Get It: Ted Cruz. So much for endorsing your nominee.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those involved in the great debate over open space at yesterday’s Delco Council meeting.

Quote Bo
x: “It’s natural to want to be able to preserve that open space.”

- County Councilman John McBlain, on push to preserve the 213-acre Don Guanella tract.
Categories: Pennsylvania

State reps will be in 'Spotlight' this fall on House Bill 1947

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-07-21 06:23
On our editorial page today, we noted that while the key language of House Bill 1947 - which would allow victims of child sexual abuse from decades ago to bring civil actions against their tormentors now and up until they turn 50 - may be gone, the man pushing the issue is not.

Not by a long shot.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-126, of Berks County, held a rally on the steps of the Basilica SS. Peter & Paul in downtown Philly this week. He was there to deliver a message to Archbishop Charles Chaput and church leaders: He is not going away.

In fact, Rozzi is vowing to put the crucial retroactivity language back into HB 1947 this fall when it comes up again in the house.

House members rather stunningly backed the measure in a 190-15 vote, sending it to the Senate. That's when the archdiocese put on the full-court press. They unleashed the lobbyists in Harrisburg. Chaput sent a letter that was read or handed out at every Mass in every church in the archdiocese, blasting the legislation as a blatant attack on the church and urging the faithful to contact their senators to oppose it.

Some state reps, including several here in Delco who backed the measure, felt some heat from their local parishes. State Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, even found himself singled out in the church bulletin in his parish, St. Rose of Lima in Eddystone, with a gentle reminder to parishioners that he had voted in favor of the bill.

The Senate passed the bill, which will also lift the statute of limitations on criminal charges in child abuse cases, but only for future cases. They stripped out Rozzi's language that would allow past victims of abuse a new opportunity to file against their accusers now, sometimes decades later.

Rozzi's vow to revisit the issue in the fall will put state representatives in a tough spot.

Remember, these guys run for office every two years. Every state rep will be on the ballot in November, meaning just about the same time they could be taking another vote on House Bill 1947.

Don't expect the archdiocese to be silent on the issue.

They've made their position clear.

It will be interesting to see how many state reps continue to stand with Rozzi and the victims of abuse.

The movie 'Spotlight' put the issue of child sexual abuse in the national headlines. House Bill 1947 will put our representatives in the 'spotlight' this fall.

We'll be watching. So will the rest of the state.
Categories: Pennsylvania