#PASen: NRSC Slams Joe Sestak for Transportation Funding Idea Supported by Republican Bill Shuster

Keystone Politics - 2 hours 58 min ago
The NRSC is running some billboard ads against Joe Sestak, over his stated support in his book for a vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) fee to replace the gas tax. Reasonable people can debate whether it...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Time to vote in the 161st

Heron's Nest - 6 hours 12 min ago
It's time to stop talking and start voting in the special election to fill that vacant 161st District Pa. House seat. And that likely will be the deciding factor in this hotly contested, three-way race.

Just how many people will actually get to the polls?

Will write-in conservative Lisa Esler siphon off enough votes from Paul Mullen to possibly open the door for a win by Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky.

Turnout in off-year elections is almost always dismal. So what can we expect in a mid-summer special election for a House seat.

The guess here is that people will stay away in droves.

But there is the X-factor in this race. And that is Lisa Esler. The popular Penn-Delco School Board member has put a jolt into this race, and put a major fear factor into Paul Mullen and the Republicans.

And now for a confession.

As anyone who has been watching this race know, there has been a lot of talk about candidate forums, who showed up - and who didn't - and why.

The League of Women Voters actually cancelled their forum when the endorsed Republican, Mullen, said they changed the date and he could not accommodate them on his schedule.

Then a group called Delco Debates set up a forum for all three candidates on Sunday. Again Mullen was a no-show. I joked about what would happen if they held an election - let alone a candidate forum - and nobody showed.

Well the joke may have been on me.

What if they held a candidate forum, and Mullen was not the only one who did not show up?

That other party would be us.

Yes, the Daily Times missed the forum. We had a scheduling mixup and we missed it. It's my fault and I will take the hit for it. Never should have happened. Actually, our photographer did get to the event, but our reporter did not. I wish that was not the case.

Actually, what I really wish is that this election were not being held today. I wish ex-Republican state Rep. Joe Hackett had realized his heart was not in Harrisburg earlier - like last fall - and had stepped aside then.

Instead it's likely a miniscule number of people will be deciding this race.

My suggestion to those in the 161st: Make sure your voice is heard.

Vote today.

Endorsed Republican Paul Mullen is facing Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky, with write-in candidate Lisa Esler providing some much-needed spice to the race.

Krueger-Braneky lost to Hackett last November.

Mullen is a longtime labor leader whose past support for Democrats infuriated some in the local GOP and spawned the write-in challenge from Esler.

It should be a fun day.

Check back tonight as reporter Kristina Scala will be the first with the results.

Then again, depending on just how close this race is and how many write-votes and absentee ballots there are, there is a chance we might now know tonight.

Stay tuned.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Let's give J-Roll a standing ovation

Heron's Nest - 6 hours 30 min ago
Call it the Homecoming.

Jimmy Rollins will be back in Citizens Bank Park tonight. But he will be wearing Dodger blue.

Raise your hand if you think he still looks odd in that uniform? Almost as odd as Cole Hamels looked in those Texas Ranger duds Saturday night.

I hope Philadelphia takes this opportunity to show what we're made of as sports fans. Rollins was part of the core that delivered a World Series title and the rarest of Philly events - a championship parade - to a city that has suffered more than its share of losing.

And in the process, they may have laid the groundwork for SEPTA averting a complete meltdown on the regional rails for the papal visit.

SEPTA officials indicate they are using much of what they learned during the debacle when packed trains blew right through many stations - leaving Phillies fans trying to get downtown for the parade - in the lurch.

At any rate, the nation will be watching tonight.

Let's show them we are more than the city that KO'd a traveling robot.

I believe an extended standing ovation is in order.

Who's with me?
Categories: Pennsylvania

requiescat in pace, rob lukens

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-08-03 13:42

Rob Lukens was one of those people whom I wanted to get to know. But sadly, although we shared many friends and acquaintances in common, cancer has taken him away from his family and Chester County and I will never get that opportunity. Rob Lukens was President of the Chester County Historical Society.

He did many fabulous and amazing things when it comes to the history of where we live, Chester County, PA. I always enjoyed his articles which would appear on the Chester County Historical Society website and in the Daily Local.  The last one was this past May.

Rob lost his battle with cancer on August 1st.  As a cancer survivor, it always touches a very sad chord within me when someone else loses their battle.  As a survivor of breast cancer, I know I lead a charmed life, but this news just made me so sad and not just because of what Rob meant to the Chester County Historical Society and historic preservation here in Chester County, but because of his family. Rob leaves behind him a beautiful wife and equally beautiful children. To them I send my most heartfelt condolences.

If you admire people like Rob Lukens, I hope you will continue to support organizations like the Chester County Historical Society.  Every membership helps.

I will close this post with what the Chester County Historical Society released overnight:

It is with deep regret and a profound sadness that we inform you of the death of our President, Rob Lukens, PhD, August 1st, following a long fight with cancer. 

Rob became our President in 2011, although his association with the Chester County Historical Society began in 1993, over twenty years ago when Rob helped catalog, pack, and move museum objects as a volunteer during his undergraduate studies. Later, he was an intern at CCHS and then became our Collections Manager in 1998. Rob left CCHS in 2003 to become the Head of Collections at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. His career then took him to Historic Yellow Springs and the United States Capitol Visitors Center before bringing him back to the Historical Society, ready to lead the institution that he loved so much. 

Rob brought passion and a commitment to share Chester County’s history with the community beyond the walls of CCHS. He initiated a regular column in the Daily Local News, a weekly radio program on WCHE, and the extremely popular History on Tap series. His leadership brought much needed upgrades to our facilities and continuing plans for their improvement. Throughout his illness he remained committed to CCHS, especially in developing plans for our new permanent exhibition. 

George Zumbano, Chair of the CCHS Board of Trustees, spoke for all of us when he said that “Rob Lukens made an indelible mark on the Chester County Historical Society. It was a pleasure and an honor to work with him. His enthusiasm for our region’s history was contagious, and he brought a level of professional expertise that helped us move forward in innovative ways.” 

Rob was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Becky, his two children Abbie and Finn, and his entire family during this difficult time. 

Mr. Zumbano announced that David B. Reinfeld, who has served as Acting President of CCHS for the last two years, has been named Interim President. “David has done a remarkable job throughout this difficult time, and we are confident that CCHS remains in good hands.” 

The Chester County Historical Society Board of Trustees, staff members, and volunteers are grateful for the time that we had with Rob, and we will miss him dearly. His work, which is our work, will continue. 

Chester County Historical Society will post funeral details on its website when they are available.




Categories: Pennsylvania

chester county day turns 75 this october!

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-08-03 13:15

From the time I was a girl, Chester County Day is something my family just always did every October. It is always a gorgeous day and well, who needs a better excuse to travel through Chester County when fall foliage is exploding? Pack a picnic lunch and have a splendid day.

This year the tour launches at the Radnor Hunt Club and heads into the Borough of West Chester. If you have never taken the time to do this tour, I do not see any better year to start a new tradition on the 75th anniversary of a fine Chester County tradition!

See press release below.  Tickets should be ordered early and in advance.

Longest Running House Tour in the Nation – Chester County Day – Celebrates 75 Years

West Chester, PA – Chester County Day originated in 1936, when Mrs. William A. Limberger and her fellow members of the Women’s Auxiliary to Chester County Hospital hosted “West Chester Day,” a house tour that for $1.00 allowed admittance to 22 homes. Now the longest running house tour in the United States, Chester County Day has benefited Chester County Hospital from the start.


Over its 75 years, the tour has been designed to feature the four quadrants of Chester County with each section taking turns being featured on “The Day.” However, this year, the event planners are returning to its 1936 roots and focusing their attention on the Borough of West Chester. With hundreds of years of history, the Borough is the perfect spot to celebrate the 75th year, and everyone is welcome to celebrate the anniversary of this Chester County tradition on Saturday, October 3.


The Day begins with the pageantry and excitement of a fox hunt. The Radnor Hunt will set off promptly at 9 am on its beautiful grounds. Afterward, a short drive to the Borough of West Chester will lead you to the start of the 75th Chester County Day tour. Located on West Chester’s oldest road, High Street, visit the oldest inhabited structure in the Borough, which was built in 1712 and then renovated by a well-known author in the 1920’s. Stroll through the neighborhoods of the north section of West Chester to visit charming mansions where your imagination can take you to a bygone era of the Great Gatsby lifestyle. Stop by the home of former builder Henry Price, and then see how a newly constructed home fits into the historic mix on East Marshall Street. Listen for the sound of the horse-drawn carriages as they make their way through the shaded and wide streets of the north end of town. Swing by the West Chester Public Library, one of the Borough’s most impressive public buildings, built in 1888 in Queen Anne style.


Continue your tour on South New Street and tour a historic bank barn and manor house, where you will be enchanted by the magnificent trees, pond, historical buildings and serene atmosphere, all while refueling yourself with one of Arianna’s Gourmet Café’s boxed lunches. From there, visit a nearby horse farm, a spectacular house and restored mill overlooking Crum Creek. See Historic Sugartown, a rural crossroads village dating from the late 18th century. Stop by the General Store, Carriage Museum and a book bindery. If you arrive hungry, Arianna’s offers a second refreshment stop here with additional delicious boxed lunches.


Whether you begin with the first house on the tour or start with the final home in the tour – your day will be full and filled with the beauty and history of Chester County hundreds of years in the making.


WHEN:    Saturday, October 3, 2015 @ 10 am-5 pm

WHERE: Borough of Chester County

TICKETS: On sale from September 2-29 by mail, online, or at the satellite locations listed on our website.

  • $40 purchased via web, phone or in person
  • $100 VIP Tickets, which includes a VIP Reception and Preview Cocktail party at historic Vickers Restaurant on Sunday, September 27 and a private tour of a special VIP house with a gourmet boxed lunch served by White Horse Tavern.

CONTACT: 610-431-5328

MORE INFO: Organized by The Women’s Auxiliary to the Chester County Hospital, Chester County Day is a 75-year autumn tradition. Proceeds from the tour benefit the Women’s Auxiliary pledge for the Cardiac Catheterization Lab project, a $4.8 million replacement project for Interventional Laboratory 3. This room is used for complex ablation cases, laser peripheral vascular intervention and other complex peripheral vascular procedures. Learn more at one of the free public preview lectures throughout the county. For a list of dates and locations, or to download a podcast visit:

Categories: Pennsylvania

SEPTA kicks off lottery for papal regional rail passes

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-08-03 05:48
And they're off.

SEPTA's website is up and running, taking entries for their online lottery for those prized papal regional rail passes for the visit by Pope Francis in late September.

The sign-ups in the lottery went online at 12:01 a.m. and SEPTA reports no problem. The word from SEPTA early this morning? So far, so good. About 2,500 people had signed up by 5:30 a.m. Those interested in scoring the chance to purchase the passes have up until 11:59 p.m. to put in their request.

The Ticketleap page posted to will remain open until 11:59 Monday night.

A reminder: There is no need to rush onto the site. SEPTA assures that all submissions that are put in today have an equal chance of winning the passes that riders will need to use the system on Sept. 26-27.

After the deadline passes tonight, SEPTA will review the submissions to delete duplicate entries and possible scammers. Those selected will be notified by email on Thursday.

SEPTA is still planning to sell 175,000 of the special passes for each day. They cost $10 a pop and winners will be eligible to buy 10 passes.

Of course, SEPTA went to this lottery plan after their first online foray into ticket sales did not go so well. SEPTA's computers crashed minutes after they went online and sales opened. Eventually SEPTA shut down the system and took a week to devise the lottery system.

In the meantime, we reviewed some of SEPTA's planning here in Delaware County on Sunday.

In my Monday print column, I noted that we here at the Daily Times will be at something of ground zero for the event, since the Primos Train Station, one of only two stations that will be utilized on the heavily used Media-Elwyn line, is literally in our back yard.

There is one thing that I have been wondering about, however.

Amid all the hoopla and mania surrounding this event, it's easy to forget that we have done this before.

That's right, there were more than a million people on the Parkway back in 1989 when Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass.

I know, we live in a different world. Security is everything.

I think we're about to find out just how different.
Categories: Pennsylvania

summer dinner

Chester County Ramblings - Fri, 2015-07-31 11:43

  It’s been a brutally hot week and I’m having people for dinner. We will start with Mutabbal which is basically Egyptian baba ghanouj and pita.

Next to accompany a marinated roast we will be grilling we will also be grilling marinated veggie shish kebabs, lentil salad, and for dessert a simple summer trifle.

Guests may have sparkling water, ice tea, a lovely rosé wine or glass of Sancerre.

vegetables marinating for veggie shish kebab. Marinade marinade made with an Arabian spice blend known as Baharat


Lentil salad made witjh red and regular lentils, for grated carrots, one purple onion, one small purple bell pepper, halved grape tomatoes, Italian flat leaf parsley and fresh basil diced, a simple vinaigrette made with lemon juice lemons asked, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, cumin


Mutabbal- two cans drained canned chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil, one roasted white egg plant and one roasted red pepper, half an onion, three cloves of garlic, a few dashes of Tabasco, Stonington sea salt, a little fresh parsley, juice of one large lemon and zest as well, paprika, cumin, couple dashes of Ras el Hanout. Purée and refrigerate and serve with pita.

Summer trifle made with rasberries, blueberries, lady fingers, lemon and coconut puddings

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, July 31

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-07-31 08:00
The Daily Numbers: 2 small children and a distraught mother taken out of a Marcus Hook home after a tense standoff yesterday.

1 count of driving under influence that earned a man time served to 6 months in jail in the crash that took the life of popular college athlete Dante DeSimone.

6,565 payment to Crime Victims Compensation Assistance PRogram, $1,100 in costs and fines for Jonathan Vanderhorst in the case. 80 hours of community service.

1.35 million dollar grant to Norwood for water infrastructure projects.

522,910 dollar grant being sought for the Delco Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

100th anniversary for Aldan Union Church, which was recognized by borough council.

3 killed and 1 hurt in drag racing incident in Philadelphia.

5, age of girl in Philly taken from her home and brutally beaten in the yard.

4-1 win for the Phillies over the Braves last night.

10 wins in 12 games for Phils since All-Star break.

12 hits banged out by Phils last night.

8 year, $66 million extension for Flyers Jake Voracek.

143 mph, how fast police say New York Jets defensive end was driving.

2-0 series lead for Aston Valley over Narberth in Delco League semis.

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

It’s not official yet, but don’t expect any reversal on the Cole Hamels deal. He’s going to Texas.

I Don’t Get It: Anyone driving 143 mph, let alone a star NFL defensive lineman. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Southeast Delco Tactical response team for defusing what could have been a very ugly scene in Marcus Hook yesterday.

Quote Box: “Every day we are left with pain in our hearts and emptiness in our home.”

- Rita DeSimone, at sentencing for man involved in crash that took life of her son Dante.
Categories: Pennsylvania

So who will win the 161st?

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-07-31 07:08
People keep asking me who I think is going to win the hotly contested special election in the 161st state House race.

That's one of the good things about this kind of race - they have the stage to themselves.

Republican Paul Mullen is focusing on going door-to-door pushing his message. He's facing Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky and the woman who has really made this race interesting, conservative Republican write-in candidate Lisa Esler.

Esler, a popular Penn-Delco School Board member, and others in the conservative wing of the party were irate at party leaders and the process used to make Mullen the endorsed Republican.

That's what happens when you back a labor leader who has been vocal in his support for Democrats, including Barack Obama, Bob Casey Jr., Joe Sestak, and perhaps most seriously John Kane in his recent knockdown, drag-out war with Tom McGarrigle for the 26th District state Senate seat.

There were a lot of unpleasantries exchanged between labor unions and Republicans. Not everyone, it appears, is willing to forgive and forget. Esler and her group certainly remember, and they've been screaming bloody murder to anyone who will listen that Mullen does not engender what they believe are the true beliefs of the party.

Our op-ed pages continue to be dominated by letters staking out their sides in what has turned into a barn-burner. All of that aside, the key to this race is the same key to any election, especially here in Delaware County.

It's all about turnout.

That tends to run in the Republicans' favor. Their loyalists are more likely to get to the polls, especially in a mid-summer special election that falls during one of the most popular vacation weeks of the year.

And while Dems now actually outnumber Republicans across the county, that does not hold true in the 161st. Republicans still have the edge. If Mullen and the GOP gets the faithful to the polls, he should persevere.

But Esler remains the X-factor. It's entirely possible she could siphon off enough votes to open the door to a victory for the Democrat Krueger-Braneky.

So who wins?

I still say it's Mullen, but much closer that anyone thinks.

Just don't put the house on it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Don't fall for bogus papal rail pass deal

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-07-31 06:49
Well, that didn't take long.

I kind of figured there would be no shortage of scammers looking to take advantage of the massive interest in the pope's visit to our area in late September.

I wasn't wrong.

There are reports this morning that an item has popped up on Craigslist touting "early access" to those prized papal passes SEPTA is using for the regional rail system for those two days on Sept. 26-27.

Don't but them. It's bogus.

SEPTA spokesman Jerry Williams assures that no sales will take place until the lottery kicks off at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. Those interested in the passes will have until 11:59 Monday night to put their name into the lottery.

Everyone has an equal chance of hitting the lottery - and scoring the prized ducats.

In the meantime, the region seems to be dealing with a case of high anxiety when it comes to the visit by Pope Francis.

And don't forget to pick up a copy of the Sunday Times for a complete rundown on SEPTA's plans for the regional rails in Delco for the papal visit. We'll tell you everything you need to know.
Categories: Pennsylvania

No official word on Cole; Phils continue to win

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-07-31 06:40
Cole Hamels is still a Phillie.


In what has to be the longest-unfolding trade in MLB history, there still has been no official word on the deal that will send him to the Texas Rangers.

In fact, Jake Diekman, the left-handed reliever who is also in the deal, was actually in uniform last night.

That does not mean Hamels will be on the hill for the Phils tonight. Expect press conferences in both Arlington and South Philly.

In the meantime, those confounding Phillies continue to win. Last night they posted a 4-1 win over the Braves.

Every Phillie in the starting lineup managed at least one hit to support Aaron Harang, making his first start since coming off the disabled list. He managed to snap a losing streak that stretched back through his last eight starts.

Jack McCaffery notes the key to the mega deal for Hamels for the Phillies can be found in just how The Phils are now 10-02 since the All-Star Break.

Guess the Eagles will just have to wait.
Categories: Pennsylvania

the fox chase inn lives again!

Chester County Ramblings - Thu, 2015-07-30 20:00

File under longer letter later but I just had to share: I was invited to tour an AMAZING adaptive reuse by the new owners of the historic Fox Chase Inn on Swedesford Road in West Whiteland just before the intersection of Ship Road.

I have written about the Fox Chase Inn and its  equally gorgeous neighbor the Benjamin Jacobs House before. Both are being restored. Both are being restored by people who care enough to do it right and who reside there.

I will post more photos at a later time but I just wanted to say WOW!!!! It is a beautiful restoration!  Every township manager and supervisor in Chester County should look at what is happening in West Whiteland. Actual historic preservation and adaptive reuse.

Fox Chase Inn

The Fox Chase Inn on Swedesford Road was the first licensed public house in West Whiteland township, acquiring its first tavern license in 1786. Prior to that time, it had been a family home and, briefly, from 1775 to 1778, the home and workship of Eli Bentley, a well-known clockmaker. John Quinn  was the owner by 1783 and after securing his license for the tavern, continued to run the public house until his death in 1793. David Williams was the new owner and he rented the inn to Thomas Cummins who ran it until 1800. After that time, no further petitions for license were filed for the Fox Chase.

Categories: Pennsylvania

This is not Ferguson, Los Angeles or Baltimore … it’s Berwyn, Pennsylvania in 2015

This post is about an upper middle class family who live in the Berwyn Estates community of Easttown Township, where house values average in the $1 million+ category. The parents, the father a vascular surgeon and the mother an attorney, have twin teenage sons.  The 15-year old boys, both boy scouts, attend Friend’s Central School […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Head of Tredyffrin Republicans is now in the T/E School Board race!

The twist and turns of local politics … Replacing Dr. George Anderson (who withdrew from the TE School Board race last week) is the current Chair of the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee, Neill Kling.  Neill sent the following note this morning regarding his candidacy for the TE School Board: Pattye: Just a quick note to […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Silence not golden in 161st race

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-07-30 06:47
We used our editorial page to talk about the "Sounds of Silence" being heard in the special election for the 161st state House seat being vacated by Joe Hackett.

I say that because the endorsed Republican, Paul Mullen, has decided to skip two public forums. The League of Women Voters actually scrapped their event after Mullen said he would not be able to make it. Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky was confirmed as a participant. Write-in candidate Lisa Esler was not invited because that League has a long policy of not inviting anyone who is not on the ballot.

I'm willing to give Mullen the benefit of the doubt on this one. The date got shuffled a couple of times, and Mullen says he actually shifted his schedule once only to find out the event had been moved to another night.

The League says Mullen didn't reply to several overtures they made.

On Sunday a group called Delco Debates will hold a forum for all three candidates. Again Mullen says he won't be able to make it.

I get the distinct feeling this has a lot more to do with Esler than any scheduling conflict Mullen might have. This is basic politics.

Mullen is the endorsed Republican. That decision angered a group in the GOP who didn't like the fact that the party was now getting into bed with a longtime labor leader and a guy who had backed Barack Obama, Joe Sestak and even John Kane in his contentious scrap with Republican Tom McGarrigle for the 26th District state Senate seat.

Those people found a candidate in Esler, a popular member of the Penn-Delco School Board.

Mullen does not want to give any sense of credence to the Esler campaign. In effect, he's running against both the Democrat and the write-in.

The GOP fear is that Esler could siphon off enough votes from Mullen on the GOP ticket to open the door for Krueger-Braneky to eke out a win.

So it's likely there will be an empty chair at Sunday's event where Mullen could be sitting.

As we said in today's editorial, the silence is deafening.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Thanks, Cole: Hamels made us winners

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-07-30 06:12
OK, we can start the Eagles season.

Cole Hamels is no longer a Phillie.

Several reports overnight indicate the Phillies have dealt their ace left-hander to the Texas Rangers for a slew of prospects. Jake Diekman also is heading to Texas in the deal.

The deal is expected to be announced officially Thursday morning.

Everyone knew it was coming; that doesn't make it any less jarring.

An era is ending. An era when we were champions.

And make no mistake, Hamels is the reason why. Without him there is no World Series championship in 2008. No parade. No end to our long championship drought. And no infamous Chase Utley 'World Bleeping Champions.'

The Phillies did not win a title with Roy Halladay. Or Cliff Lee. They did with Cole Hamels.

He was ridiculed for the way he talked, belittled for his "California cool."

But he went to the mound every five days and almost always gave the Phillies a quality start, even when all too often the Phils' bats fell silent every time he took the mound.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that Philly fans were deprived of giving Hamels the kind of send-off he deserved, especially after he put an exclamation point on his Phillies career by tossing a no-hitter at the Chicago Cubs last Saturday night in Wrigley.

He was supposed to be on the mound tonight when the Phils returns to Citizens Bank Park. That had already been pushed back to Friday night, but most expected Hamels to be dealt before the 4 p.m. trade deadline.

It would have been nice to see one more packed house in South Philly offer a final salute to Hamels.

I have a standing rule about those guys who formed the heart of that 2008 team. I will never boo Hamels, nor Chase Utley or Ryan Howard. I know they all make ridiculous amounts of money, and that, in the case of Utley and Howard, their best years are clearly in the rear-view mirror.

But they gave us something we hungered for for years. They gave us a parade.

They made us winners.

It's been awhile since we felt that way.

Thanks, Cole.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, July 29

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-07-29 07:25
The Daily Numbers: 24 hours, how long you will have on Monday to sign up for the lottery to win 1 of those prized SEPTA regional rail passes for the weekend of the visit by Pope Francis.

175,000 passes being sold for each day. 250, how many SEPTA sold before their computers melted down under the demand last week.

10 bucks per ticket, with each ‘winner’ of the lottery being eligible to buy 10 tickets.

6 of August, when the winners will be notified by email that they are eligible to buy tickets.

24,000, how many riders usually use the regional rails on a typical Saturday.

18,750 on Sunday.

66,500 on most workdays.

75 cents per pass sold for TicketLeap, the Philly company that is handling the lottery for SEPTA.

110,000 dollars, how much SEPTA paid CapTech, the firm that designed the system that imploded last week.

750,000 3-day passes for subways, trolleys and buses good for Sept. 26-28. Riders also can use tokens and regular passes for the rest of the system, but not the regional rails. You must have one of the special papal passes to use the rails that weekend.

16,000 dollar theft that earned a former county probation officer 11 1/2 to 23 months in prison.

27, age of shooting victim in Chester clinging to life.

10 shootings in Chester in the last 4 days.

36 inch by 28 inch replica of a Picasso painting on display in Media stolen.

36, age of longtime nurse at the Pocopson Center, the Chester County retirement center, charged with stealing morphine and pills.

2 new hands for boy who lost both his to an infection, with the operation being done at Children’s Hospital.

30 years, how long Jonathan Pollard spent in prison for selling secrets to Israel. He’s being paroled in November.

17 saves in 17 opportunities this year for Jonathan Papelbon, who the Phillies traded to the Washington Nationals last night.

342 career saves for Papelbon, who happens to hold the Phils’ all-time saves mark with 123.

7-6 record for the guy the Phils got, 22-year-old Nick Pivetta.

3.02 ERA in 18 games, including 17 starts.

9-1 mark for the Phils since the All-Star break, after 3-2 win over Toronto last night, with Ken Giles in closer role.

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

Papelbon is gone, look for Cole Hamels to be next out the door. But the Phils are still winning.

I Don’t Get It: Jonathan Papelbon. A great closer? Absolutely. Am I glad he’s gone. Absolutely.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to SEPTA for the notion of the lottery to buy special papal passes for the regional rails. Probably the fairest way to do it.

Quote Box: “Everyone has the same chance of being chosen.”

- SEPTA spokesperson Jerry Williams, on lottery for special papal rail passes.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Do you have a prayer of hitting SEPTA's lottery?

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-07-29 06:32
You have about as much chance of scoring one of those prized papal passes for the regional rail system as you do of hitting the lottery.


SEPTA yesterday rolled out Plan B when it comes to selling tickets for the regional rails for the two-day visit of Pope Francis Sept. 26-27.

Actually on Monday they're not selling any tickets at all. They learned that lesson the hard way. They tried online sales last week, only to see their computers melt down under the demand.

Yesterday they informed the public that they will have all day on Monday - from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. - to get in on a lottery for the opportunity to buy tickets.

SEPTA says there is no need to jump on the computer seconds after midnight to get your application in. You will have the same chance no matter when you put your application in, so long as you get it in sometime during that 24-hour period.

SEPTA has hired a private outfit to run the lottery, including vetting all the entries for duplicates and people looking to game the system.

The winners will be notified on Thursday if they're one of the lucky winners.

SEPTA still plans to sell 175,000 tickets for each day, at $10 a pop. Those who hit the lottery can purchase as many as 10 passes. So how long do you think it will take them to show up on eBay and how much do you think they will be going for.

Don't forget to pick up a copy of the Sunday Times for a full rundown on SEPTA's plans for Delaware County for the momentous visit by Pope Francis, which will culminate a week of activity tied to the World Meeting of Families.
Categories: Pennsylvania

News, sports & The Brady Factor

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-07-29 06:00
Cole Hamels is still a Phillie - for now. Jonathan Papelbon is not.

The Phillies traded their disgruntled, All-Star closer to the Washington Nationals yesterday for Double A pitcher Nick Pivetta, who has managed to compile a 7-6 record, with a 3.02 ERA in 18 games, including 17 starts. He’s slated as a possible No. 3 or 4 starter.

Lost in all that is the fact that the Phillies won again last night - getting another solid start from lefthander Alex Morgan against a powerful Toronto Blue Jays lineup stacked with right-handed hitters that had been devouring southpaws all season.

Morgan learned just how powerful pretty quickly. Leadoff hitter Devon Travis hit the second pitch Morgan offered out of the park.

Morgan also escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second, and then tamed the Jays' bats.

Ken Giles, the newly anointed closer, slammed the door on Toronto to preserve a 3-2 win.

And yet, none of this is what captured my attention from the world of sports as I drove home last night.

Instead, I was fascinated by this.

KYW Newsradio 1060 now does a simulcast of the CBS Evening News at 6:30. Last night the lead story was not the Iran nuke treaty, not parole for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, not even Donald Trump.

The lead story on the network news last night was Tom Brady.

Such is the power and allure of the NFL.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced yesterday the four-game suspension of the Super Bowl MVP QB of the Patriots was being upheld. Brady is planning to appeal through the NFL Players Association.

Brady seems intent on trying to clear his name, to remove the stigma of "cheater" that now shrouds all of his accomplishments. I guess real news will just have to wait.
Categories: Pennsylvania

PA Dems so far hanging tough with Wolf against GOP veto override

Keystone Politics - Tue, 2015-07-28 10:26
(Hangin’ tough, in a funky way) To override Tom Wolf’s veto of the fifth Tom Corbett budget Republicans have presented to him, Republicans need to get two-thirds of lawmakers in both...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics