save the date: westtown to hold inaugural westtown day september 17th!

Chester County Ramblings - 2 hours 33 min ago

Just the type of event I like to promote, and considering the development news I do NOT like coming out of Westtown Township, it is really nice to be able to tell you about something positive and involving historic preservation.

Westtown Township is holding the very first ever Westtown Day at Oakbourne Park on Saturday September 17th from 10 am to 2 pm. The location is  1014 South Concord Rd. Westtown, PA.

Learn about Westtown’s rich past, notable residents, and historic events since its inception in 1685. There will also be family-friendly events and games for children. Come and meet your neighbors! All ages are welcome.

Westtown schools, businesses, and individuals will showcase their pride in the township. Events include:

  • Civil War re-enactors
  • a presentation about the Civil War POW camp right here in Westtown called Camp Elder
  • a brief play about an ordinary Westtown resident, a free black farmer named Isaac Winters, who fought bravely in the Civil War,
  • petting zoo
  • tours of the Oakbourne Mansion and community garden.
  • children’s games
  • live music
  • food and beverages.

For more information visit  Rain date September 18.

I will tell you I would go just to see the mansion and coolio water tower!

Categories: Pennsylvania

tempest in an en blanc teapot

Chester County Ramblings - 8 hours 50 min ago

Years and years ago when I was working in New York, there was a party held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island on Bellevue in one of the old “cottages” (mansions) called Newport Night in White. I want to say it was maybe held at Belcourt Castle at the time, but it has been way too long (we are talking early 90s).

Anyway, it was not the Newport White Party held today which was held this past Saturday on August 27th in Rhode Island. Newport White Party is a different white  event which started in 2011. It also benefits non-profits, which Newport Night in White back in the 90s did too. The event I attended for two or three summers was held in the summer some weekend after the Gatsby Ball (or Gatsby Society Ball, I forget what it was called precisely.).  This was the first white party I ever attended and it was such an amazing event I still remember it. You dressed in all white cocktail attire to black tie.  There was dinner and dancing and it was held in this amazing mansion. And it was FUN.

Then white parties sort of petered out except in certain locations where they will always have white summer event like Provincetown, the Hamptons, and so on, and have had a general renaissance due to people discovering Dîner en Blanc de Paris as it grew from a man’s white picnic in Paris in the late 1980s.  Now of course, it is this huge thing, held world-wide and licensed. The irony is Dîner en Blanc de Paris was going on when Newport Night in White was, but I never heard of it back then. Who knows if the event organizers did back then, I didn’t know them personally, they just threw a heck of a summer party.

When I first heard about Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia (also known as DEBPhl or DEB) I was delighted.  I do like white parties and the idea of white parties even if dressing head to toe in white is hard to wear and hard to pull off. But white makes you think of summer, right?  The first Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia had well over 1000 people. A lot of my friends went.

I did not want to go. Why? Because August in Philadelphia outside is gross in my opinion a lot of the time because it is a major metropolitan city with lots of concrete and density.  Heat and humidity are bad enough without adding a city to it. I also did not want to go because while I loved the idea of white and a theoretical “white picnic”, already at over 1000 the event was too large for me. And you had to schlep furniture. I also do not like being in huge crowds. I do not like stadium sized events, even sports or rock concerts. It’s just not me and never has been. I find crowds of a couple of hundred too much at times. If you know me, you know I have always been this way.

Ok so those are my opinions, right? Nothing earth shattering.  They are not a damnation of Dîner en Blanc, it’s how I feel about events that are HUGE. And since its debut in Philadelphia, that event has grown to over 5000 people. I am not so sorry, but no, getting crammed in with 5000 other people in white like lemmings at an outdoor event in August in a big city is not for me. My opinion. Personal choice. Should be no big deal to express said opinion.

But no. That is criticism of Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia. And critics are not welcome. My goodness the hubbub over Brian Hickey’s article after the most recent event was not to be believed.

Philly Voice AUGUST 19, 2016

Dîner en Blanc Philly is the worst and I hope it never goes away

BY BRIAN HICKEY  PhillyVoice Staff

This is America, and in America, you can spend $45 (or $93 a couple) on anything you want without fear of repercussions, provided it’s legal and all that.
This is America, and in America, you can damn well judge anybody who spends that kind of money for the right to prepare their own dinner, carry their own tables and utensils, don white clothing from head to toe and wave sparklers in the air after usurping a public space in the name of pretentious exclusivity.
Welcome to the morning after the fifth annual Dîner en Blanc Philly, the pop-up dinner picnic in a secret location.

Read the whole article. It is wonderfully written. And captures precisely right or wrong how  a lot of people feel about the event.

But no, drama ensued, serious drama. There was even a rebuttal from a writer attending the event as a journalist:

Philly Voice AUGUST 22, 2016

Dîner en Blanc: Philadelphians coming together, in a sea of positivity


In response to critics of his unfair, and sometimes silly, takedown-attempt of Thursday’s Dîner en Blanc, Brian Hickey suggested that, instead of tweeting at him, the pro-DEB crowd could submit their own commentary to Philly Voice.
It was a taunt: as if none of the event’s 5,000 attendees would be capable of writing 600 coherent words defending it. Well, I had an extra 45 minutes this weekend.
I attended DEB as a journalist (I cover Philadelphia and the rest of the country for a number of publications, including Washington Post, USA TODAY and Travel + Leisure).

Read the whole piece. “Takedown”? Seriously? What is this a mob hit? Seems to me Brian Hickey wrote an opinion piece.

And then there is this, anointed a “must read”  by  @DEBphl

Defending DEB By Jacqueline Rupp In Arts and Culture Aug. 24, 2016 Philadelphia Weekly

It’s cool to hate on Diner en Blanc, but is it necessary?

…Part of the cri­ti­cism is that this is elit­ist, pre­ten­tious and ob­nox­ious. Yet, at $45 a seat, it’s a far cheap­er night out than most black tie galas that run every oth­er week­end. And, if you look at the crowd, you’ll see these are far from just so­ci­ety reg­u­lars that pop­u­late those old-money events. This DEB crowd isn’t bring­ing out the an­tique jew­elry, it’s shop­ping on Etsy.

And among the big so­cial events of the city, DEB hap­pens to be the most di­verse. Far from be­ing the white­wash that many of the pop-up beer gar­dens and Fishtown fest­ivals tend to be, DEB ap­pears widely pop­u­lar among black at­tendees and oth­er minor­it­ies. And where else do you see people from vari­ous races and eco­nom­ic back­grounds din­ing el­bow to el­bow, fine china next to dixie cups and Tup­per­ware?

Ok that is the author’s opinion.  I do not quite see the event as a great equalizer, but she loves it and it’s her opinion.

But, you are not allowed apparently to have a negative or even a different opinion even if it is not particularly negative, just honest.

And yo’ Philly, birthplace of America and our freedom, do you remember the First Amendment regarding opinions?

First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Land sakes do you people think this is the first person to write about these events in less than glowing terms??? Or to mock any social event?

(Queue Washington Post)

The Washington Post: Why do people hate Diner en Blanc? The word ‘pretentious’ keeps coming up.

By Maura Judkis August 26 , 2016

It is very, very easy to hate Diner en Blanc. The annual event, which returns to Washington on Saturday night, brings thousands of people to a surprise location, where they arrive dressed in head-to-toe white, eat gourmet picnics and drink champagne in full view of the uninvited masses. Those who are out and about this weekend may see a parade of them on the Metro, toting tables and chairs and china. And depending on your outlook, you’ll either wish you were one of those lucky 3,500 or loathe them with every fiber of your being.

“No event has ever made me want to plan a paintball rampage like this one,” said Tom Bridge, editor emeritus of We Love DC. He’s kidding, kidding, he promises! But he is not alone…..But no foodie trend seems to raise hackles quite like a very public, invitation-only party with a dress code and a $45 admission fee.

“The whole process is so unbelievably pretentious it seems to me to be a complete waste of effort,” Bridge said. “Pretentious” is a word that comes up a lot around Diner en Blanc. Is it the French name? Peut-être!

Again, read the whole article. They event mention the Philadelphia tempest in an en blanc pot.

Now here is another article on the Philadelphia event:

AUGUST 19, 2016

Diner en Blanc diner says event is a wasted opportunity


For better or for worse, I’ve been a participant of Diner en Blanc for the past two years. My special lady friend’s mother enjoys it, therefore my special lady friend enjoys it, so I must enjoy it. Such is the law; I didn’t write it.

Before I ever attended, I found the amount of hatred the general public held for this gala to be entertaining, but didn’t think much about it. As an outsider, it struck me as just another us vs. them debate, in a city that is literally defined by us vs. them debates. Like all such debates, I figured there was some merit to the criticism, but felt pretty sure that it couldn’t be as bad as it was made out to be.

Now that I have two of these events under my belt, I can confidently say that it is…Its indulgence defined, and the true cost isn’t simply $93 per couple (plus the requisite two bottles of Cab Franc per person). It’s the wasted opportunity that comes and goes when 5,000 Philadelphians who have the time and money to do better with both, get together and waste it on taking drunk selfies on a Thursday….An estimated 5,000 people got together, and spent almost a quarter of a million dollars to do it. And no one – not one of us, not one citizen in the city that hosted it, is any better for it.

Let’s do this differently next year. Please. I’d like to be hungover because I helped someone, not (just) because I’m an entitled prick.

Again read the whole article. Of course the response of one of the originators of Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia, was a little Marie-Antoinette-let-them-eat-cake  because they said “all” of “Philly” benefits.

There has been so much breast beating back and forth over this event on social media that it is somewhat crazy. People saying they will “unfriend” other  people for criticizing the event.  Seriously?

OK I get the picture, people love the event. But others don’t . And then there are others like myself that love to look at the event photos but have absolutely no desire to go to the event. My reasons for not wanting to go, my personal choice for choosing not to go also by the standards set by these people makes me a Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia hater. Alrighty then, pretzel logic.

I do like events that benefit charities.  I especially like events that benefit charities that do not take themselves so seriously and don’t (for example) call themselves “balls” when by definition they are not.

I grew up in Society Hill and on the Main Line. I went to a private school. I did the cotillion for the Charity Ball all in white. I did years and years of traditional non-profit events and traditional volunteering like my mother.

I stopped doing most of it after 9/11 by personal choice. I felt that most of those people on those committees and who attended those events would always need people like me more than I would ever need them.  I also felt bigger picture, there was more to life that was more important. Also, let’s get real: these parties are expensive and a new dress for every event adds up.

But I do like white parties and I do appreciate non-profit events that do good for legitimate local charities.  So when a friend suggested Brandywine in White and described it to me, I thought “why not”?

It is an absolutely lovely event.  It has a charming host and slew of people who put it together. While not a non-profit per se, part of the proceeds benefit a local charity. In 2015 it benefitted the Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington, DE.   This year they were donating  to the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County to help save Barnard’s Orchard.

Also this year held on the same evening of August 27th was the inaugural  WC Summer Soirée . This event had a non- profit formed first and benefitted three local Chester County Charities: St. Agnes Day Room, Chester County Food Bank, and Chester County Family Academy.

We went to WC Summer Soirée this year. Not because we didn’t love Brandywine in White, but because we thought we would be able to do both and both events ended up being on the same evening, and by the time we figured it out, the tickets for WC Summer Soirée were already purchased. (But a small donation did go to Brandywine in White as well.)

Both of these Chester County / Brandywine Valley events are summer white or en blanc parties. But they do not try to be Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia. They are white parties yes, but the feel is different.

These are lovely events that are more laid back. You have fun and it is a few hundred people versus a few thousand. You don’t schlep your furniture you buy tables and service tables or eat at communal tables. You do set up your tablescapes in white and dress in white, but your back drops, the settings are completely different. And yes they choose non-profits as event partners. To me that is more appealing.

And the people whiles mostly strangers to me at these events are so nice. People mingle and table hop and enjoy checking everyone’s tablescapes out.  I love to entertains, cook, and everyone knows I love vintage dishes and linens, so I totally have fun at these Brandywine Valley/ Chester County events.

We had a blast at WC Summer Soirée ! It was held at the American Helicopter Museum and there were even helicopter rides. People had fun! Dress code wise it was slightly more casual than Brandywine in White, but that’s fine as it was never intended to be a clone of Brandywine in White or a  Dîner en Blanc.

While at WC Summer Soirée I noticed people whose business promotes Philadelphia and the Brandywine Valley were at Brandywine in White and they would be tweeting live. How nice I thought for Brandywine in White. Next thing you know they post a selfie with the following “Nice event here at #brandywinwhite but it’s no @DEBphl.”

I thought the damnation by faint praise to be shall we say, ignorant and totally unnecessary. If they thought it was a nice party, why couldn’t they just say that? It is not supposed to be  Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia so why toss that in? White party yes, but DEB, no. And sorry not sorry, but DEB did not originate the concept of white parties or place a patent on them, they have revived an entertaining trend.

I responded to those people that I would rather support good causes in Chester County then to be among the 5000 lemmings dressed in white, in Philadelphia. You know what this is boys and girls ? Opinion and personal choice. I was never kept off a guest list for this thing, I chose not to go for valid reasons already discussed.

So then these people decided to follow me on Twitter .  I decided to back them because if you know social media and you know Twitter you know the next thing is a flat out Twitter war over whose opinion matters more. I didn’t want that, so I chose not to engage.

Next thing you know, the person I am told is the paid publicist for DEB Philadelphia pops up in 140 characters or less. How I am attending an event that almost “entirely copies DEB AND are rude about it. #goodbye #copycat”

Oh snap! I guess he schooled me, right? I also think that technically DEB Philadelphia (license or not) can be considered a copycat of other larger  established DEBs around the world and other white parties, yes? After all DEB Philadelphia did not originate the idea of a white party in general, did they?

I admit I told him to have a hissy fit other than at me and it was bourgeois that he did not realize not everything is trying to be DEB. Sorry not sorry, my opinion. Knowing a Twitter feud would definitely spring from this one, I blocked him. I shouldn’t have engaged in the first place, and chose not to engage further.

So his response to blocking was twofold. First was on Twitter – if I am going to criticize I am supposed to “stand behind my comments. Not block everyone. #coward”

Then he rolls up on my blog’s Facebook page and continues about how I blocked him. (wahhhhhh!) and how his comment was directed at me for being “rude”. And because he wasn’t limited to 140 characters, he goes on to say  that I couldn’t stand up for my comments and hid them from everyone and continues  “…it is clear you lack facts and just want to be hostile. First, that event was started and called Brandywine in White after DEB. And if you had half an education of course our event is based on Paris- who do you think started the idea and licensed it.”

He goes on to call me a troll. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre. He neglects to say he blocked me back which I find hysterical, so what is his very important point about blocking people again, I forget? And I guess he “encouraged” the “official”  @DEBphl  Twitter handle to block me too? ( Totally mature, totally amusing, totally cracks me up and do they think that means I can’t see what they post anyway? All you have to do is not be signed into Twitter to view it if you want to- so not difficult if it is a public versus private Twitter-feed. )

I mean seriously he is a publicist being paid to promote this event?  And part of the job description is being the DEB Philadelphia ankle biter? And my goodness, do the people who run Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia think this is acceptable behavior out of what amounts to someone they employ to positively promote their event? And as a professional publicist this person thinks their version of playing well with others is acceptable behavior?

Right or wrong, if I were hiring a publicist and saw this out of a publicist they would be the last publicist I ever hired. And seeing a publicist doing this even if not directed at me personally would mean if I didn’t want to go to something in the first place, I would never even ever reconsider the event or recommend it to others. And if I did want to go, I would choose another party because who wants to go to something represented by someone like that anyway? I guess this guy thinks that the White Party in Provincetown the past 30 years is also a “copycat” of DEB Philadelphia?

People were criticizing DEB events in 2013 too :

Le Diner en Blanc: The Great Doucheby


Hey New Orleans — here’s a dinner deal for you!

First you pay $35, then you bring your own food, utensils and your own goddam table.

You don’t know where you’re going, but you must wear white from head to toe. Oh, and there’s a three-step process for application and a waiting list (“Best of luck in your registration!”), because, you know, the experience of paying a stranger for the privilege of staging your own dinner party is not just for everyone, darling.

And you can’t cancel. Period…

We don’t need to pay to attend a dinner party and be told to bring “a picnic basket comprised of quality menu items and a china dinner service including proper stemware and flatware.”

Are we really turning into this, New Orleans? I hope not. Because this whole thing makes me feel like putting on an old Saints jersey and licking roast beef po-boy gravy off my forearm while doing the Cupid Shuffle.


And then there is this from Vancouver, Canada:

Side Dishes: The little black event

More from Mia Stainsby
Published on: August 23, 2016 | Last Updated: August 23, 2016 3:17 PM PDT

Last year, it was a crack at cheekiness.

Ce Soir Noir was expected to rouse a few dozen people, dressed in black, to picnic at Crab Park, in a polar opposite to Diner en Blanc. It drew 1,500, enough for the organizers, artists Graeme Berglund and George Vergette, to crank it up again. And so, on Aug. 30, there will be the second, possibly annual, Ce Soir Noir from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. “A barely organized, family-friendly, free, community picnic at Crab Park,” according to their press release. Just wear all black, bring food, non-boozy drinks, a blanket and friends.

I will note that the Brandywine in White folks also host a fabulous and fun Brandywine in Black.  They have been. And I doubt you would see them roll up on Twitter to call the folks in Vancouver, Canada “copycats” for doing Ce Soir Noir, right?

I do not believe a lot of the DEB Philadelphia aficionados really knew that alternative white parties existed until this year.  So you did have some of these people cross-pollinating and early photos for Brandywine in White show me some people who are more the DEB crowd at Brandywine in White.  Will they be excommunicated from DEB Philadelphia I wonder for cheating on DEB?  Only time will tell. My personal opinion is they get to see how nice other kinds of white parties are.

I was also amused to see a former society editor who takes event photos and sells them off a website along with paid advertising was also at Brandywine in White.  No they are no longer media who represent a media presence, they are just trying to make a living. So the smaller Chester County events are catching on. That is terrific as it means more money for the charities chosen, right?

So to re-cap:  Disliking or criticizing DEB Philadelphia is a serious offense punishable by Twitter blocking and ostracizing on the part of those you have never met and never particularly want to.

If you are a person in the traditional media, they will only go so far in their “take-down” of you BUT if you are a regular person or a blogger they will hunt you to the ends of the Twittersphere and Facebooklandia, give you a tongue lashing that includes criticizing you for DARING to block them (because DRAMA must persist!), and then they turn around and block YOU (and you are definitely NOT supposed to laugh!)

I started out liking the concept of DEB Philadelphia but  CHOOSING not to attend because of the size and the schlep factor.   But these people do not get that nuance and have probably now moved me to the event specific dislike column because of the behavior of these Keyboard Cowboys defending the honor of the event. Why? Because if this is the way people behave “supporting” this event, goodness they can keep it. But according to their pretzel logic this is the way the world is supposed to be.  And yes, I know that events like this are expensive and so on, but somehow the white parties other than DEB Philadelphia manage to cover those costs AND raise money for charities.

Will I still attend other white parties or en blanc parties? Yes because the other parties don’t preen with self-importance, nor do they take themselves quite so seriously.  They do good with the events by picking charities to help, and the parties are fun and the attendees pleasant.  White parties are supposed to be FUN and the Chester County/Brandywine Valley parties are just that …and they are beautiful in great settings as well.

And if you want to block me on Facebook and Twitter because of my opinions, have at it.  I don’t want to know people who behave like that anyway. There are more important things in be concerned about.

To each their own. Not every event is for everyone and that is OK.  If that were the case we would either all be bobble headed Stepford Wives or attending Sheeple en Blanc. White parties come and go, they are entertaining trends for the most part in my opinion and that’s OK too.

I understand the knives and scissors time will now commence as they dissect and comment on this post, even if they may or may not do so publicly.  That is fine.  That is their opinion, just like this is mine.

Three cheers for the glorious birthplace of American freedoms.  Maybe if they ever do a DEB Philadelphia at Independence Hall they could hand out little copies of The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and so on and so forth.

Just a thought.

Enjoy the last days of summer.  Fall is upon us. No more white. (Phew!)

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Aug. 29

Heron's Nest - 13 hours 24 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 5 million dollar health care fraud to which a Broomall podiatrist entered a guilty plea.

1 person killed in motorcycle crash over the weekend in Springfield.

3 September, ChesterFest coming to city’s waterfront.

47, age of woman described as a one-time girlfriend who has been charged in connection with slashing of tires on vehicles outside home of Philly D.A. Seth Williams.

3 undocumented immigrants arrested in Philly by feds after being released by local officials.

23 months old, age of tyke struck and killed by car when he darted out into the street in Philly Sunday night.

150 students in freshman class at Cedar Crest College in Allentown who will go as a group to Brazil during their sophomore year.

5th woman now reporting being groped by man riding a bike in Philly.

17 of 20 with 2 TDs for Sam Bradford Saturday night vs. the Colts.

3-0 mark for Doug Pederson in his 1st preseason as head coach.

5 strong innings from Phils starter Vince Velasquez as the Phils took the finale vs. the Mets, 5-1

1 run on 5 hits is all Velasquez gave up, but he didn’t get the win.

5 pitchers used by Phils, all handled by new catcher A.J. Ellis.

2 wide receivers, Rueben Randle and Chris Givens, among Eagles cuts.

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

You heard it here first. Monster year on tap for Sam Bradford.

I Don’t Get It: Colin Kaepernick doesn’t want to stand for the National Anthem. That’s his right. It’s also our right as fans to ignore him.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delco Councilman Dave White, who managed to get country superstar Tim McGraw to sing at this daughter’s wedding Saturday.

Quote Box: “It’s one thing if you sleep deprive yourself as an adult, but as a child you’re at a really sensitive developmental state, a lot of really important things are acquired during childhood.”

- Dr. Mathia Basner, on sleep-deprives students.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Dave White's wedding surprise

Heron's Nest - 14 hours 3 min ago
Last week I posted a message on the Facebook page of Delaware County Councilman Dave White.

I noticed that his daughter was getting married on Saturday.

I told him to enjoy the day. Having gone through it myself, I can tell you that being the Father of the Bride was one of the best days of my life.

White apparently wasn't taking any chance.

He had a little surprise cooked up for his daughter as Lisa White tied the knot with Paul Getz.

White somehow managed to get country superstar Tim McGraw to perform as his daughter and her new husband took their first dance. McGraw sat in with Jellyroll for several songs at the reception at Vie downtown.

The McGraw family has some Delco connections. Tim's father, Tug, the late, great Phillies relief pitcher, lived here in Delco for years when he was with the Phils.

White managed to keep his surprise a secret, no one at the reception knew it was coming but him.

My daughter refused to reveal what song she had selected for our dance. I was all smiles when she was awaiting me on the dance floor as the first notes of Frank Sinatra's 'Summer Wind' emanated from the sound system. She knows I'm a huge Sinatra fan.

But having Tim McGraw sing 'My Little Girl' as you and your daughter hit the dance floor?

Well done, Dave. Well done.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A fine whine

Heron's Nest - 14 hours 14 min ago
Call it a fine whine.

Or an editor's lament.

I used my print column today to throw a little cold water on the celebration marking the arrival of wine in some local supermarkets. Yes, it's a big step for Pennsylvania.

But it's still not all that convenient.

If you've been buying beer in the supermarket, you know what I mean. You have to visit a separate part of the store and pay for the beer there. You can't simply pop it into your cart and pay for it along with the rest of your groceries.

So, while you're not doing it in your car, you are still making an additional trip.

Me? I'm with Sen. Tom Killion. The Republican visited a local winery last week to note another part of the new law that is updating sales of alcohol in Pennsylvania. While at Grace Winery out in Glen Mills to mark one of the first shipments of wine to a consumer's home - something you could not do in Pa. before this change - Killion noted he's still in favor of privatization, getting the state out of the booze business.

I'll raise a glass to that.

You can read my column here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Monster year on tap for Sam Bradford

Heron's Nest - 14 hours 28 min ago
I'd like to take this opportunity to remind all Eagles fans that I am the sitting president of the Sam Bradford Fan Club.

No, we don't meet in a phone booth.

But I've been singing Bradford's praises for awhile now.

Yes, I am well aware of the hype that exploded last preseason after Bradford lit up the Green Bay Packers, going 10 for 10 and tossing 2 TDs. The regular season didn't really work out that well.

So I understand if many of you are reluctant to get on board the Bradford bus. That's OK. I'll carry the load for now.

All Sam did Saturday night was masterfully execute Doug Pederson's offense, dissecting the Colts' defense along the way. Bradford went a smooth 17 for 20 for 167 yards and 2 touchdown tosses.

One of those incompletes came on his first attempt of the night, a ball that was perfectly placed in troubled second-year wide receiver Nelson Agholor's hands. Of course it bounced off of them and into the hands of a Colt for an interception. Don't blame Bradford for that one. Another incomplete came on a ball that was wrested from the mitts of tight end Brent Celek.

Bradford, now completely healthy for the first time in years, seems in command of the Birds' offense. There have been a lot of questions about the Birds' offense this summer. Bradford went a long way toward answering many of them Saturday night.

You heard it here first. Bradford is going to have a monster year. Yes, I know it comes with a huge asterisk. That is he has to stay healthy, which he has had trouble doing.

But if he stays on the field, Bradford could easily lead the Eagles to the NFC East crown and a playoff berth.

Dallas QB Tony Romo is down again with a broken bone in his back.

No one is really sure when he'll return.

Is anyone really all that scared by either the Redskins or Giants?

Of course, all of this has a downside. We wouldn't be Eagles fans if it didn't.

Let's say Bradford is lights out this season, maybe in the running for NFV Offensive MVP.

Then what do the Eagles do, now that they have committed the future to Carson Wentz.

Just remember you heard it here first.

Sam Bradford is going to be the best quarterback in the NFC.
Categories: Pennsylvania


Chester County Ramblings - Fri, 2016-08-26 13:49

This IS Chester County:

Crappy development and letting historic resources rot is not:

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Aug. 26

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-08-26 07:19
The Daily Numbers: 23 and 25, age of man and woman now facing charges in brutal home invasion in Chester.

4 year tentative contract for Garnet Valley support staff.

260,000 dollar deal with a consultant firm backed by outgoing superintendent now being looked at by Upper Darby board.

7.5 to 15 years in prison for former strip club manager John Pettit in the beating death of Jimmy Koons of Upper Darby.

14 state-owned universities facing threat of strike by professors in Pa.

6,000 members of the union.

2 nuns slain in Mississippi.

170 stores operated by Royal Farms. They are adding a Norristown location.

3 hours, 52 minutes, how long Bruce Springsteen performed in first of 3 shows at MetLife Stadium.

1st night of high school football in Delco tonight.

17 seasons in the Phillies organization for Carlos Ruiz.

11 seasons in the majors.

.261 batting average for Ruiz this year.

3 home runs, 12 RBI for the man known as ‘Chooch.’

.266 with 68 homers over his career.

4 no-hitters caught by Ruiz, including Roy Halladay’s perfect game and playoff no-hitter.

1 player left on Phils’ roster from 2008 World Series champions. That would be Ryan Howard.

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

Farewell to ‘Chooch.’ Do us a favor. Win another World Series out in L.A. with Chase.

I Don’t Get It: Hate graffiti. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Esther Cohen-Eskin, who took a negative when her trash can was vandalized by hate graffiti, and turned it into a positive - and a piece of art.

Quote Box: “Nothing conquers hate more than love.”

- Chris Kellett, neighbor of Esther Cohen-Eskin.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Love Conquers Hate

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-08-26 06:27
I got inundated with bad news every day.

It can get pretty depressing, handling one negative story after another.

When I got a call last week from Esther Cohen-Eskin, I thought I was in for one more.

She was dismayed to learn that her trash can had been vandalized, spray-painted with an all too familiar symbol of hate.

That's when the story took a great twist. Instead of simmering with anger, Cohen-Eskin too a different tack, and turned a negative story into a positive.

Encouraged by some neighbors and friends, she took out some paints and turned the graffiti on her trash can into a piece of art. The ugly swastika was transformed into a beautiful flower.

Now comes the best part. The story doesn't end there.

When her Havertown neighbors learned what had happened, they started painting their trash cans as well.

Bottom Line: It's one thing to say "not in our neighborhood." It's another to take action - not lashing out in anger, but with love. The goal was to "take an ugly message and make something beautiful out of it," according to one neighbor, Sonya Klimuk.

You can read about the results here.

We love a great story. And we love how Eskin-Cohen and her friends and neighbors handled this situation.

Love conquers Hate.

Maybe more of us should adopt that attitude.

Thank you, Esther Cohen-Eskin.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A fine wine for grape lovers

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-08-26 06:16
We used out editorial page today to talk about what has been a pretty good week for wine lovers in Pennsylvania.

First, you can now buy wine in some supermarkets. The Acme at Granite Run was the first in Delaware County to offer wine sales. Others soon will follow.

The next day state Sen. Tom Killion, R-9, was at the Grace Winery in Glen Mills to kick off another new aspect of the wine biz in Pa., direct shipments of wine to customers' homes.

That's something state residents have been unable to do up to this point, instead being forced to go through their local state store. Both are welcome developments.

But we concur with Killion, who noted the state still has a long way to go when it comes to how it regulates the sale of alcohol. We're emerging from the Dark Ages, slowly.

But this remains a far cry from what most people in other states take for granted.

You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Chooch' chugs out of town

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-08-26 05:52
And then there was one.

'Chooch' is no longer a Phillie. The team dealt popular catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers Thursday, granting Ruiz's request to go to a contender and take one last swing at a playoff run.

That leaves Ryan Howard as the last remaining Phillie still on the squad that won a World Series crown in 2008.

Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels? All gone.

Now the familiar chant of "Chooooooch" will also fall silent at Citizens Bank Park.

It's easy to overlook Ruiz's contribution to those great Phils' teams, but he was at the heart of all of them.

He caught four no-hitters, including Roy Halladay's perfect game and playoff no-hitter.

And, of course, there will always be the image of Ruiz embracing Brad Lidge, who had dropped to his knees after sealing the final out vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, delivering the Phils their first World Series crown in more than 25 years.

Ruiz was hitting .261 in 48 games with the Phils this season, relegated largely to a backup role. He will likely perform the same duties with the Dodgers, where he will be reunited with his World Series buddy Utley. He had three home runs and drove in 12. Over his 11 major league seasons, Ruiz sported a .266 batting average with 68 home runs.

I have a simple philospophy when it comes to these 2008 Phillies. I will never boo them. That includes Howard, who has become the target for some boo birds as his contribution declined.

I don't care if they left town and now wear another team's jersey. You won't hear me raise my voice against them.

Why? The reason is simple.

They gave us that rarest of Philadelphia celebrations.

They gave us a parade.

Take care, Chooch. Here's hoping you and Chase captured another title in L.A.

We'll be cheering for you back home.
Categories: Pennsylvania

gas pipeline road closures in east whiteland to last weeks

Chester County Ramblings - Thu, 2016-08-25 16:13

Yes….thank goodness for my sources….here is a new one:


August 25, 2016


Transcontinental Gas Pipeline to Install New Main in East Whiteland Township, Chester County

Yellow Springs Road to Close September 6 to September 19


King of Prussia, PA – The Transcontinental Gas Pipeline will close and detour Yellow Springs Road  between Route 29 and North Valley Road in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, beginning Tuesday, September 6, for the installation of a new gas main, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced. The road will be closed Monday, September 19.


During construction, Yellow Springs Road through traffic will be detoured over Route 29, Swedesford Road and North Valley Road. Local access will be maintained up to the construction zone. Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the area.


Transcontinental Gas Pipeline will complete work under a PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit.


Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras.


511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.


For more PennDOT information, visit Follow Local PennDOT Information on Twitter at, and follow the department on Facebook at and Instagram at


MEDIA CONTACT: Charles Metzger, 610-205-6801


Yes….we get inconvenienced as residents, get threatened with eminent domain and other nasty stuff if as residents we resist the gas companies requesting easements.  Wells get polluted, wildlife threatened (and worse), environment threatened (and worse). And if you look at this from a purely economic perspective, these pipelines are only profitable for companies putting them in – residents get a paltry one time fee. No annual “rent” check, and  these gas companies can trade easements like bubblegum trading cards of our childhood and every new successor gas company that comes in pays affected landowners NOTHING. But hey NONE of this will affect our property values, right? (Sorry being sarcastic because how can this NOT affect property values? Who in their right mind wakes up one day and says “Oh goody let’s put in a gas pipeline for XYZ Gas Company, it will be FUN?!”)

Chester County municipalities just seem to roll over for these companies….leaving residents holding the bag.

(You can read more on pipelines on this blog eastbootroad and in any number of newspapers and websites. Please note the Chester County Community Coalition appears to be defunct. Make sure you check candidates’ donor lists this fall to see who is being supported by big gas and big oil.)

And great news! As per this man’s letter to the editor August 16th, we can put ALL the Chester County pipelines in his back yard, right?


Here is some interesting reading of a few days ago:

HUFFINGTON POST: The Truth about Pipeline Companies and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Communities, Senators and Members of Congress Speak Out

On a routine workday in early summer, 2014 — one month before the consortium of gas companies called PennEast, LLC. officially went public to announce their intention to build a 118 mile pipeline to transport fracked gas
from the Marcellus Shale in Western Pennsylvania beneath the Delaware River through farms, wetlands, bedrock and preserved land to a terminus in near Trenton, New Jersey — Susan Dodd Meacham received a phone call
from her daughter.

“My daughter told me that a man had stopped by,” says Dodd Meacham. “He gave her his card and asked if he could look around the property.

(see The Truth about Pipeline Companies)


Michigan Radio: Should pipeline companies be able to use eminent domain for natural gas liquids? By JULIE GRANT AUG 2, 2016

There’s been a big push to build new pipelines to move natural gas from well heads, to the people who need it. If it’s considered in the public interest, pipeline companies can get the power of eminent domain. That allows them to route their lines through people’s land, whether the landowner likes it or not.

But what happens when they’re carrying other products – like propane, butane, or ethane – byproducts of natural gas production?

The quiet hills of eastern Ohio have become a popular spot for oil and gas development. Organic farmer Mick Luber says recent years have brought a compressor station and multiple well sites so close, they wake him up at night…..

Then pipeline companies, like Kinder Morgan, came knocking on Luber’s door.

“They wanted to come right down through this main field, and go up over the top of that hill. There’s a spring right up there. That’s the most fertile part of this farm,” he says.

Another company, Marathon, made a deal with Luber’s neighbor, and is already building a pipeline on the southern border of his 65-acre farm. Shell is also planning a line here.

So when Kinder Morgan showed up, Luber said no – no pipeline, not even a survey. “I told them I didn’t want it,” he says.

Kinder Morgan sued.

One of the main arguments in Luber’s defense: the contents of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline. Not natural gas for home heating, but ethane to make plastics for the Canadian company NOVA Chemicals. Ethane, along with propane, and butane, are known as natural gas liquids……They’re byproducts of natural gas that’s being fracked in the region. Increasingly, landowners are arguing that they shouldn’t have to give up their property rights for companies to transport these liquids to make plastics, especially if they’re being sent to other countries….

“FERC has no authority to regulate natural gas liquids in the United States,” says Rich Raiders, an attorney representing about a dozen Pennsylvania landowners in an eminent domain case brought by Sunoco Logistics. “FERC’s authority is strictly limited to natural gas.”

Raiders says when FERC has authority—as it does for siting typical natural gas pipelines—landowners are part of the routing discussions.

“That’s an all-public, eyes-open discussion,” Raiders says. “Whereas for a natural gas liquids line, that’s between the individual landowner and the pipeline company, and no government entity is involved at all.”

And that means eminent domain issues are getting sorted out by courts….

Sunoco would not agree to an interview for this story. But in an email, the company says the Mariner East project will also provide propane for heating fuel to markets in Pennsylvania. In addition, Sunoco says the pipeline is already considered a utility under a 1930s certification granted by the Public Utility Commission for its original pipeline.

In July, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court agreed with the company’s stance, granting eminent domain power in all 17 counties in the pipeline’s path. Sunoco says it has come to an agreement with the majority of landowners. But some residents are still bringing eminent domain fights to the courts.


We need to STOP the EMINENT DOMAIN.  We work our entire lives to live in our homes, please tell me why we are supposed to just roll over for companies like Sunoco? Yes a semi rhetorical question because of course the answer is we are NOT supposed to. Only our elected officials do not seem to get that in a lot of cases.

Living in a private property rights state like Pennsylvania means jack sh*t when it comes to these pipelines.  Time to stop the whoring in our communities when it comes to pipelines and big gas. Seriously, a simple thing like seeing which candidates accept campaign donations from big gas and big oil can be very illuminating and it creates a simple choice: do you support politicians who do not support and protect you?

Thanks for stopping by.




Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Aug. 25

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-08-25 07:45
The Daily Numbers: 75, age of man tied up during violent home invasion in Chester.

49, age of his daughter who was beaten during the attack.

1st bottle of wine shipped from a local winery directly to a resident, another feature of new state law.

39 permits to sell wine directly to consumers will be approved by the state.

200 businesses applied for the permits.

35,962 foot supermarket coming to the site of the old Pathmark in Ridley.

2 to 4 years in prison for a Marple teen charged in an armed home invasion

50,000 dollar budget each year for the Upper Darby High School drumline. The money is raised by the Upper Darby Band and Parents Organization. The school board is wrestling with the future of the drumline.

150 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled yesterday at the Walnut Street Elementary School in Darby.

28 instances of animal cruelty lodged against a Montco small animal dealer involving gerbils, chinchillas, hamsters, guinea pigs and a rabbit.

40 feet, how far a woman fell from a zip line attraction in Delaware.

4 women who say they have been groped by a man riding a bicycle in Philadelphia.

8 million dollar tax fraud admitted by charter school operator.

247, death toll now in devastating Italian quake.

5-3 win for the Phils over the White Sox.

17th home run for Tommy Joseph.

2 runs on 4 hits for starter Jerad Eickhoff.

2-1 win for the Union over the Crew in MLS action.

6 month suspension for U.S. women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo for calling the Swedes “cowards” after losing to them in shootout in Olympics.

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

Josh Norman is begging the Eagles to get in a spitting war after trash talking Birds QB Sam Bradford. The Eagles are smart to ignore him.

I Don’t Get It: Stealing bikes and equipment from the Wounded Warriors? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Pa. for allowing direct wine sales to consumers. It’s about time.

Quote Box: “Pennsylvania has been in the stone ages when it comes to liquor.”

- Sen. Tom Killion.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The biggest dilemma in Delco

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-08-25 06:45
It's going to take someone a lot smarter than me to figure this one out.

Attention, Solomon, we could use some of your wisdom on this conundrum.

You might say this dilemma is in the pipeline.


No one can argue the potential economic boost the county stands to cash in on should Sunoco get the go-ahead to build its Mariner East 2 pipeline plan.

It could Marcus Hook into the energy hub of the northeastern U.S.

To say nothing of salvaging the entire lower end of the county from the edge of the abyss we all peered into when the refinery business hit the rocks.

Then again, it's pretty easy to see the concern of residents who don't necessarily want a pipeline moving into their neighborhood. We talk about it in today's editorial.

My guess is that this pipeline plan is going to happen. There's too much money involved.

If that's the case, then it's incumbent on our elected officials - and residents - to make sure Sunoco is transparent as possible, and held to the highest safety and inspection standards.

You can read the editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Don't fall victim to IRS scam

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-08-25 06:33
It's an old scam, but it's back again with a vengeance.

As usual, the targets are senior citizens. This time they aren't getting a knock on the door by someone looking to distract them while a co-conspirator rummages through the house. Nor are the being fleeced by shady contractors looking to rip them off for home repairs such as a new roof or coating the driveway.

In this instance, all they have to do is pick up the phone.

That's when, according to this canard, they encounter a stern voice informing them they are with the IRS and there is a problem with their account.

A recently received a phone call from a perplexed reader who wanted to make sure people - especially senior citizens - are aware of this crank call, and the fact that the IRS NEVER reaches out to you by phone.

She said her mother received not just one call, but several, each one ratcheting up the pressure to divulge details about her account. Luckily, the woman arrived at her mom's house just as she was preparing to hand over important information, such as a Social Security number.

If you get one of these calls, simply hang up. Better yet, inform the caller that you are contacting police about their unscrupulous tactics.

You can also file a complaint with the Treasury through this web page.

Don't be a victim. Let's make sure none of our loved ones falls victim to these shady characters. Pass the word.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Oh, deer!

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-08-25 06:06
You've been warned.

The critters are back. Actually, they've proabably never left, but this morning they seemed to be hiding behind every tree and bush.

I am talking, of course, about my early-morning friends, the deer who seem to mock me as I negotiate my car along the roads, always with one eye out for that distinctive glint off their eyes in the distance, the tell-tale sign that another herd lies ahead.

This morning I spotted no fewer than seven or eight deer, including the fellow who stood in the middle of the road wondering why I was intruding on his domain.

Maybe it was that sudden shift to cooler temperatures that brought them out, munching on anything they can reach along the side of the road.

Here's a tip from a veteran deer swerver. If you happen to see a deer dart across the road out in front of you, don't relax and think you've managed to avoid another collision. Hit the brakes and prepare to stop. I can guarantee you several more will be following their pal - and running right in front of you if you don't slow down.

Be careful out there.
Categories: Pennsylvania

It's a fine wine for Pennsylvania

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-08-24 07:01
Fast forward a few months.

The first big winter storm is bearing down on the Delaware Valley. The salivating folks on local TV have gone into hype overdrive. They're predicting the Storm of the Century.


So, of course, we're being regaled with the obligatory story that takes place the day before, with a brave correspondent sent out to fined the hordes of panicked residents descending on their local supermarkets.

What are they buying?

Milk? Check!

Bread? Check!

Eggs? Check!


Oh, yeah.

Now you have a glimpse of what I was thinking when I put together's front page.

Yes, you can now buy a bottle of wine in the supermarket in Delaware County. This week the Acme store at Granite Run unveiled wine sales, ushered in by the new law pushed through the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf a few months back.

You can get all the details on how it works here.

And that's not all.

Today Sen. Tom Killion, R-0, will hold a press conference at the Grace Winery in Glen Mills to ring in another Pa. first as they ship the first bottle of wine directly to a local consumer.

All of this is part of Act 39, which in addition to letting supermarkets that already have licenses to sell beer to add wine to their offerings, also opens the door for state residents to have wine shipped directly to their homes.

We'll be there to give you all the details.

Wonder if you can have wine shipped directly to your office?
Categories: Pennsylvania

A gold medal effort from 2 women who conquered Pacific

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-08-24 06:40
We used our editorial page today to pay homage to some outstanding athletes.

Yes, we just completed the Summer Olympics, and the efforts of Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and the rest of the U.S. team, along with Usain Bolt, were stuff of the ages.

But they're not who we are talking about.

Instead we decided to focus on what Vicki Otmani, of Media, and her friend Megan Biging accomplished.

They recently crossed the Pacific Ocean.

In a boat.

Powered by their own rowing.

Think about that for a minute.

Two women alone in a boat, crossing the Pacific Ocean.

Simply put, we're in awe.

Not only did the duo cover the 2,400 miles from Monterey, Calif., to Hawaii, they did it in record time of 57 days, 13 hours and 30 minutes.

They may not have been in Rio, but they're gold medalists in our book. You can read the editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

In today's Daily Times: Our monster 96-page high school football preview

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-08-24 06:19
You know summer is coming to an end when our annual high school football preview rolls around.

This year we have something special in store for local gridiron junkies.

Sure, for years readers of the Daily Times have gotten accustomed to our sports pages as "Delaware County's Sports Authority."

But this year we've upped the ante.

We decided to team with our sister papers in the Philly suburbs to preview every team in District 1, as well as our local Catholic League teams.

The result is a monster, 96-page high school football preview. And it's inside every copy of the Daily Times today.

Make sure you pick one up. You'll want to keep it on hand and refer back to it all season long.

It is jammed with previews, photos, complete team schedules and each team's key players to watch on offense and defense.

You won't want to kick off the high school football season without it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

reject the mariner 2 east pipeline

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2016-08-23 17:12

Reject the Mariner East 2 pipeline! (click on hyperlink to go to Sierra Club initiative)

Normally I do not pass these things on. But I hate Sunoco (and am not enthralled by the other gas line companies either, but they are more polite to deal with if you have to call and ask questions like I did today). Out here we are on wells and they put us, our families, our pets, our neighbors, our wildlife, our environment, our drinking water and more at risk.

Sunoco thus far seems to bully, lie, and intimidate their way through Chester County and elsewhere, raping the landscape as they go.

None of use should  want them stealing any more land belonging to anymore individuals thru their B.S. Eminent Domain practices because they are not doing any of this for us….ever. With big oil and big gas, it is always and always will be….about them.

They put toxic, highly flammable, and highly combustible products too close to homes, and they are NOT protecting water sources or wildlife, let alone people.

This is NOT about us and our energy supply. They are just stealing it for other people. They don’t even adequately compensate people for what they do if you want to make it solely about money and it is so much more than that. And thus far the majority of local officials just bend over and give it up without much of a fight.

In the past two days I have had conversations with people from East Goshen and West Goshen Townships who both do not know each other and their experiences as related to me were virtually identical.

They were threatened with eminent domain and they felt they had no choice but to give them an easement; and both hired attorneys that cost many thousands of dollars!

They feel the worst is yet to come as they haven’t started the pipeline invasion yet. They have heard that townships may give them rights to work 24 hours a day, which if true is insane!

So much for East Goshen and West Goshen townships… These folks both tell tales of strange men and women with Texas and Louisiana car plates on their properties TRESPASSING before they even had legal easements.

It just isn’t right and the elected officials are of no help at all.

One said to me (and I quote):

What many don’t know is how in the end our property values will be affected and it is my belief that my property value ( and all on the pipeline path) will go down because of the easement… But the same monies will be needed to support the town budget so everyone else’s taxes will go up to provide the same tax base . We are all losers.


We are all losers.  Yup.  I received a pamphlet recently from Spectra Energy about pipeline safety.  I have not previously received any pipeline info before where we currently live.  So I called.  I spoke with a very nice man named Don in Gas Control.  And wow, we do not have a gas line on our property or in our immediate neighborhood, but wow, pretty darn close.
Another election year issue on a national scale.  Please sign the above petition and add your voice.  And for those of you tired of trespassers, call Andy Dinniman’s office in West Chester .  There should be rules as to when they can access easements and they should provide advance notice.

Anyway, that’s it. I hate pipelines and I hate what they are doing to our area.  And for what?

Categories: Pennsylvania