oh those golden rams!

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2015-11-24 20:39

Photo borrowed from WCU Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band Facebook Page

Ok how cool is this? West Chester University’s Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band has been chosen to be one the marching bands in the….wait for it…Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. THAT is just cool!

The magic time is 11:44 AM, when they hit the reviewing stand and will be ON TV. As in NBC10 locally. NBC airs the parade nationwide.

Total performance time that we’ll see is about 1 minute 15 seconds.

See it or not.  Don’t blink.

I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and this is a Chester County marching band! I know no one in this band but am just plain excited for them!  What an honor! According to Macy’s they were last in the parade in 1986.

Marching off to Macy’s parade from West Chester Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer

Last updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 1:08 AM

Sparkling blue flags waved and 600 feet stepped in time as the West Chester University marching band sent a holiday tune into the darkening November sky.

With drums and flutes, trumpets and clarinets, the students last week turned a campus blacktop into the winter wonderland they hope to create near New York City’s Herald Square on Thursday.

That’s when the college musicians will have 75 seconds to dazzle tens of millions of viewers with “Winter Wonderland.”

The band is one of 10 high school and college bands nationwide selected to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which typically generates huge television ratings and draws thousands to New York’s streets….”I’ve been watching the Macy’s parade since I was little,” said drum major Jacqueline Cotto, a fifth-year music education and performance major from New York City who joined her first marching band in eighth grade. “I always wanted to march in it. That was always a dream.”


The Incomparable Golden Rams played in the Thanksgiving spectacle once before, in 1986. This year, WCU is sending the only group from Pennsylvania.

The band plans to play popular tunes as it marches during the three-hour parade. When band members reach 34th Street, the Macy’s building, and NBC’s cameras, they will break into “Winter Wonderland.” ….The band is scheduled to rehearse once on the site before the parade – at 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Hours later will come the moment Ross and Platt said they were most looking forward to. They are due to arrive at 34th Street at 11:44 a.m. to perform before millions….



Ok, seriously? How can you NOT be SO excited for them????

CBS Philly: Local University Marching Band To Perform In Macy’s Parade

By Justin Udo 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local university’s marching band is set to perform this Thursday in New York at one of the season’s most beloved parades.


Out of 138 colleges that applied, the West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band was one just of four selected to perform at this year’s Macy’s thanksgiving day parade.

Categories: Pennsylvania

here we go again in tredyffrin

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2015-11-24 13:05

I haven’t written about Tredyffrin in eons. But the news out of Tredyffrin is disturbing if true.

In July of 2012, then Township Manager Mimi Gleason resigned.  In 2014, Tredyffrin relieved then Public Works Director Scott Cannon of duties. In more blunt terms, Tredyffrin fired him.

Tredyffrin Township released a statement at that time (TT Press Release 2014 02 10 ) which said in part:

In his capacity as Director of Public Works, Mr. Cannon engaged in conduct, himself, and directed vendors and subordinates to engage in such conduct, involving two instances of the improper disposal of materials on Township property in a manner prohibited by Pennsylvania’s environmental laws. Since the areas affected are not easily accessible to the public and, as addressed in more detail below, since no immediate danger was identified by DEP, we cannot disclose the locations until that agency’s investigation is complete.


Well apparently Mr. Cannon was arrested and is facing criminal charges on chemical dumping (MDJReport Tredyffrin Cannon ).

Tredyffrin issued a statement over the past few days (Tredyffrin Press Release Nov 2015 ) which states in part:

Former Public Works Director, Scott Cannon turned himself over to the Tredyffrin Township Police Department for processing on Friday, November 20, 2015.

The charges brought by the State Attorney General’s office arise from facts that were disclosed publicly in February 2014 during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors following the Township’s own internal investigation. The Township is unaware of any allegations of violations other than those disclosed in February 2014.


Walt Hunter at CBS3 was the first media to cover this story. Walt quotes Cannon’s lawyer on the charges:

In response to a CBS 3 inquiry, Cannon’s attorney, A.J.Chotkowski, emailed a statement that reads in part:

“Mr. Cannon was surprised and disappointed to learn that charges were filed against him today… the charges occurred less than a year after Mr. Cannon initiated a civil action against Tredyffrin Township stemming from his termination as the Director of Public Works… Mr. Cannon denies that he, or any other employee under his supervision, violated any law or caused any environmental harm. The substance alleged to have been released is magnesium chloride, which is merely a common salt product used to treat roads.”


Ok but according to the state, aren’t chemicals like this supposed to be disposed of properly?  As in not just dumped on Tredyffrin Township owned property and allowed to spill into the Valley Creek?

Yes, the Valley Creek. You know where Tredyffrin had raw sewage issues? Remember groups filed suit against Tredyffrin this time last year over violations of the federal Clean Water Act? 

To quote Penn Environmental at the time :

Last December 2014, Tredyffrin agreed to a costly clean up settlement in the raw sewage case .

And now this. The Philadelphia Business Journal says in their article:

Scott Canon, 56, of Glen Mills, is facing four counts of unlawful conduct and a count of prohibition against other pollutions for opening a large tank containing magnesium chloride, and releasing 1,000 gallons of the chemical into the township’s public works facility, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

Main Line Media News has a story today on this as well and the comments are as interesting as the actual article.

Political chess anyone? Mimi Gleason (so much for that pretty quote of “a job is not a life”, eh?) went to West Whiteland and Bill Martin came out of the polluted Bashore era in Radnor Township via problematic Bridgeport, correct? Is there culpability when it comes to Tredyffrin’s former Public Works guy and the current and former Township Managers of Tredyffrin when it comes to this case? Has anyone contacted Mimi Gleason in West Whiteland for her thoughts? Did she hire this Scott Cannon?

I can’t help but wonder what else will surface in the always politically charged muck and mire of Tredyffrin Township. Because can it said nothing there is ever simple?

But at the end of the day what disturbs me the most are Tredyffrin’s pollution problems. It’s bad enough when it’s a specific company in a certain municipality and all of this has been well, municipally caused has it not? First raw sewage, now this?

And how have these issues affected Tredyffrin residents as well as their municipal neighbors?

To all the sewage add a 1000 gallons of Magnesium Chloride.

What the heck, Tredyffrin Township? Well only time will tell where this case will go , especially given all the problems in the attorney general’s office in Pennsylvania.

Sign me glad not to live in Tredyffrin but I sure wish they would clean up their act (and pollution problems).




Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Nov. 24

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2015-11-24 07:14
The Daily Numbers: 696,000 dollars, how much a man admitted to stealing from the Collingdale firm where he worked to fuel his gambling habit.

399 checks that Jeffrey McElwee admitted making out to himself over a period of 13 years.

3 Delco senators who all voted no on Senate Bill 76, which would have eliminated property taxes across the state and increased the sales and income taxes to make up the difference.

24-25 vote to nix the measure, with Lt. Gov. Mike Stack casting the tie-breaking vote.

5 month state budget standoff that could go on now that a deal is said to be “in peril,” according to Gov. Tom Wolf.

1 cat rescued from a house fire in Sharon Hill yesterday afternoon.

1 man shot in an ambush attack outside an Upper Chichester tavern over the weekend.

855 dollar tax bill for Springfield residents, that includes a tax hike this year.

0 tax hike planned in Ridley Park.

515 workers in Montgomery County who are looking at layoffs for the holiday season.

2 people found shot to death inside a home in Philadelphia.

160 billion dollar deal in which drug firms Pfizer and Allergan will merge.

0-for-November slump snapped for Philly home teams with Flyers win last night.

3-2 overtime win for the Flyers over the Hurricanes.

24 seconds into OT, when rookie Shayne Gostisbehere lit the lamp for the winner.

34 goals through their first 20 games for the Flyers.

24 of October, last time a home team won, also the Flyers.

15 straight losses for Sixers to start season.

100-95 loss in Minnesota last night.

32 points for Andrew Wiggins in the win.

25 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks for Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor.

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

Is Chip Kelly’s voice bothering anyone else? That staccato deliver of his is getting old.

I Don’t Get It: Rack up another victim of legalized gambling. A man yesterday admitted stealing $700,000 from the firm where he worked in Collingdale to fuel his gambling habit.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the firefighters who rushed into a house in Sharon Hill yesterday and rescued a family’s cat in a fire.

Quote Box: “It relies far too heavily on sales tax to replace the property tax.”

- State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, on why he opposed bill to eliminate property taxes.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A coat? No thanks, at least not yet

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2015-11-24 06:38
It should come as a secret to no one that I'm not exactly a fan of winter.

This from a guy who holds a degree from the University of Colorado. But as anyone who has ever spent a winter in the Rockies will tell you, the cold out there is not the same as what we get here.

I know it sounds weird but take my word for it. It has to do with how dry the air out there is. You dress in layers. Every day the sun comes up and makes it fairly enjoyable out. Plus, winter sports - namely skiing - is huge out there, and the sun glare off the snow can give you a sunburn that easily rivals a day at the beach in the summer here.

Don't ask me to explain one of the many oddities about my stint in Colorado, such as the fact that I had never been on skis before I went out there, skied my brains out for the three years I spent out there, but have never been on skis since I came back to the East Coast.

What can I say? I hate winter, at least the East Coast version of it.

That's why I was hard-pressed this week to keep my own personal pledge.

It is my way of hanging on to the last vestiges of summer.

I refuse to don a winter coat until Thanksgiving.

Yeah, I know, it's weird.

I knew I was in trouble when I walked out of the office yesterday for my daily lunchtime sojourn to the local Wawa for a coffee and realized I was freezing. When I left the office last night I was seriously doubting my decision. Then this morning, I donned a blazer and bravely headed out to the car. The thermometer registered a not exactly toast 24 degrees. The heater could not kick in fast enough.

Luckily, the forecast calls for a warmup through Thanksgiving.

Looks like the streak is intact.

Mission accomplished.

Now if only I could fast-forward until May 1.

Endless Summer? I can only dream about it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A home win, and Chip digs in his heels

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2015-11-24 06:19
Our 0-for-November is over.

The Flyers won in overtime last night at the Wells Fargo Center.

It marked the first time a pro sports team in our fine city managed to win on their home turf since Oct. 24, when the Flyers stopped the Rangers.

The Sixers once again had a lead last night, but of course they coughed it up and fell to the T-Wolves.

And the Eagles. Well, you might have heard they are having a few problems of their own.

Of course, if you're Chip Kelly, you can simply stand up their in front of the microphones and rattle off those rapid-fire, staccato responses that just drip of a guy who has nothing but contempt for the gathered media, or the fans either for that matter.

Kelly is slowly learning what it took more than a decade for Andy Reid to realize.

That arrogant attitude is all well and good when you're rattling off 10-6 seasons and going to the playoffs.

But when things go the other way, such as Kelly's less than impressive 4-6 Eagles are after a brutal loss to Tampa Bay, it doesn't fly.

Kelly isn't budging. He has no plans to make any lineup changes, and thinks everyone else is in a panic simply because the Birds lost two in a row.

I hope he's right.

I don't think he is.

This is a fundamentally flawed team, one not especially suited to Kelly's offense.

Chip constantly preaches that his system works regardless of who is running it.

His team is proving him wrong.
Categories: Pennsylvania

christmas crafting

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-11-23 13:54


I have been on the hunt for a larger soft form folk art Santa, and I haven’t been able to find one.

So I decided to make one and here he is!

For my first attempt at a craft like this I don’t think I did a bad job! I used things I had around the house. 

Recently we had gotten some new pillows I saved the old ones for crafting – the beard and the body is stuffed with one of the old pillow’s stuffing.

Buttons I always save I think it’s a habit that comes from my mother and grandmother because both of them sewed. So I reused some buttons. 

Some red cotton lace trim I had picked up at a fair years ago has had many uses and this time Santa was able to have festive suspenders by using a couple short lengths of it.

Santa’s actual head comes from one of those flannel cotton shoeshine mits  you get in hotels. His clothing was made from old pajama tops and bottoms. And that includes his little plaid boots.

Buttons were used for his eyes and I painted them a little in the center so he didn’t look so bride of Chucky. His glasses were made from red florist wire and he has a little yarn mouth.

His mittens were actually thumbs from old knit gloves that had holes in them. And I formed his body and his legs from one of those grocery store-type  recycled, reusable “fabric” bags.  The bag I used actually was a giveaway in Ardmore, PA  a few years ago and it was off-white so it worked perfectly for these purposes.

I handstitched him together and made him a cap and gave him a yarn tassel at the end of his cap. I created his nose and some depth in his face by bunching the fabric and the stuffing and stitching it down in places.

I can make wreaths and things but this is my first time ever trying to make something like this. I didn’t have a pattern I just had an idea in my head of what I wanted him to look like. He’s about 3 feet tall. I had wanted a Santa likes this to sit on a chair at Christmas.

Move over Martha Stewart because I think my Santa is pretty cute! Have a great day!


Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Nov. 23 (Eagles Edition)

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-11-23 08:11
The Daily Numbers: 45-17 embarrassing loss by the Eagles to the Bucs yesterday.

5 TD passes thrown by Bucs’ rookie QB Jameis Winston.

3 interceptions, including a Pick-6, for Eagles QB Mark Sanchez.

235 yards rushing for Bucs running back Doug Martin.

2 yards shy of single-game record vs. the Eagles.

283 yards on ground surrendered by Eagles defense.

84 and 58 yards runs for Martin.

5-5 record for the Bucs.

4-6 mark for the Eagles.

19 of 29 for 246 yards for Winston.

26 of 41 for Mark Sanchez.

10 of 16 3rd down conversions for Tampa Bay.

3 days until the Eagles play again, vs. 3-7 Detroit on Thanksgiving.

39 yard catch and run by Josh Huff on 1st series of game to stake Birds to 7-0 lead.

4th most points every given up by a Chip Kelly-coached Eagles game.

10 TD passes given up by Eagles defense in last 3 games.

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

No Philly pro team has won a home game in November.

I Don’t Get It: So much for all those people clamoring for Mark Sanchez to start over Sam Bradford.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the fans who stuck in there a lot longer than most towns would before flooding out of the stadium.

Quote Box: “It was embarrassment. Let’s get ready for Thursday.”

- Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Tax plan could scuttle budget deal in Harrisburg

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-11-23 07:05
Remember that 'broad framework' for an agreement to end the six-month-old Pennsylvania budget stalemate.

Not so fast.

The deal is predicated on an increase in the state sales tax to fund property tax relief.

Now, it turns out Republican leaders don't think they have the votes to deliver the tax hike. And this comes after Gov. Tom Wolf's hopes for a hike in the income tax, as well as a new levy on natural gas operations in the state.

Neither one of those are included in the new budget deal.

Now it turns out there may not be the stomach in the Legislature to increase the sales tax, from the current 6 percent to 7.25 percent. The sales tax is probably the most regressive tax, and usually takes a much bigger toll on those who can least afford it, the poor.

All of this comes at the same time the Senate today may vote on a bill that would eliminate property taxes altogether. The hook for that plan is increases in both the sales and income taxes in exchange for elimination of the property tax.

I don't think that is going to happen either.

Which leaves us right where we've been for months in Harrisburg.


We'll keep you up to the minute in the latest budget shenanigans.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Draining the life from Philly fans

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-11-23 06:43
The only thing that amazes me about today's print column is that I wrote it BEFORE yesterday's Eagles' debacle vs. the Bucs.

It's something I have been wondering about for the last couple of years. It hit home last week while I squandered a gorgeous afternoon sitting in front of the TV watching the Eagles stumble and fumble their way to another loss.

But actually it's more than that. I've been wondering why we expend so much emotion on our sports teams, especially when the losses seem to bother us - the fans - much more than the players.

Don't believe it? Did you happen to catch any of the Eagles players yukking it up with the Bucs yesterday while they were getting their backsides handed to them.

The fans live and die with these teams. In Philly these days, we only die. A Philly pro team has not won a home game in November. That's right, we're sitting on an 0-fer.

Yesterday afternoon and again this morning, my stomach was turned by what I saw on that field yesterday.

I wonder how many players feel the same way?

Nick Nolte's character from the classic football movie 'North Dallas Forty' was right.

Time to put away childish things.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Have the Eagles quit on Kelly?

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-11-23 06:31
This is no longer about wins and losses with the Eagles.

This is now about effort.

And the idea that what was put forth out on that ragged turf at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday matched the sod - raggedy.

It is one of the worst things you can say about a team, and a coach.

But it is one I was left wondering while watching a fairly mediocre Tamp Bay Buccaneers team dismantled the squad Chip Kelly put together.

Have the Eagles quit on their coach.

You could hear the whispers back when Kelly doubled down on his controversial decision to jettison DeSean Jackson and part ways with the team's all-time leading rusher, LeSean McCoy.

In return Kelly got linebacker Kiko Alonso. How has that worked out?

There was talk that Kelly did not deal well with today's athletes.

Then came a standoff with offensive lineman Evan Mathis, who soon found himself outside looking in after Kelly released him. There is nowhere else for Kelly to look to explain what has happened with this team than in the mirror. He won that offseason power struggle for full control over personnel in the Birds' front office.

You have to wonder what Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman are thinking now.

Yesterday's 45-17 loss to the Bucs strikes at the heart of this Eagles team. Their defense, heretofore one of their strong points, was shredded. At the same time, it did not look like Kelly's players seemed especially upset at what was transpiring on the field.

At several points in the game, they could be seen yukking it up with Bucs players when play was halted.

Kelly dismantled a 10-6 team - albeit one that collapsed late last year, with three consecutive losses keeping them out of the playoffs, including a disturbing one to the Redskins that mirrored what happened yesterday, with an Eagles team that simply failed to show up.

I thought Kelly needed to send a message to his team last week, maybe by releasing wide receiver Miles Austin, who appeared to give less than full effort on several plays.

Instead, we got nothing but that aggravating staccato-style Kelly speech after the game.

Yesterday, the Eagles finally fully imploded. Billy Davis' job should be jeopardy after that effort by his defense. Mark Sanchez decided for some reason to call out Darren Sproles, the one person on this team that seems to give complete effort.

I'm not the only one wondering openly whether Kelly has lost this team.

Columnist Jack McCaffery offers similar thoughts.

Our front page pretty much sums up what has happened with this Eagles team:

Chip Wreck.
Categories: Pennsylvania

nighttime in the village

Chester County Ramblings - Sat, 2015-11-21 23:41


Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Heron's Nest - Sat, 2015-11-21 05:45
There’s a part of me that understands exactly what Mark Sanchez was trying to do on that fateful play in the red zone last week against the Dolphins.

Second down at the Dolphins’ 8-yard line. Still 4:32 on the clock in the 4th quarter.

That’s when Sanchez reverted to his M.O. - the killer turnover. Sanchez tried to force the ball into Miles Austin in the end zone, rather than two safer throws.

If nothing else, I believe Sanchez is on a mission to wipe out that label that hangs around his neck - turnover machine. And of course, any memory of the infamous butt fumble.

He wanted to prove that the can deliver in the clutch. Instead, he delivered another killer turnover. I can’t blame him for that.

However, I will admit that up until that point, there is no doubt that the Eagles offense looked much more like the up-tempo blitzkrieg of the last two years, as opposed to the slower version installed for Sam Bradford.

There is also the plain fact that Chip Kelly’s run-option offense simply doesn’t fit Bradford. No one believes for a second that he is going to pull the ball back and run it. It negates the key aspect of Kelly’s attack. Defenses simply ignore Bradford and crash down on the running backs. All Bradford had to do once or twice a game is pull the ball back and wander around end. No one pays any attention to him.

That’s a moot point now. Bradford will miss Sunday’s contest vs. Tampa Bay, and maybe the Thanksgiving game in Detroit as well, nursing concussion symptoms and a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder.

Welcome to ‘The Sanchize, the Sequel.’

For some reason, I think the Eagles rally around Sanchez. He looked sharp when he came on for Bradford, if he could just stop tripping over DeMarco Murray.

The Eagles defense should be able to contain rookie QB Jameis Winston.

It won’t be pretty, but it should be a win. And yes, I realize that makes 10 straight weeks I have picked the Birds.

If the Eagles lose Sunday, their season could be in jeopardy of going down the tubes. I don’t think that will happen.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 17, Buccaneers 16. Get ready, Caleb Sturgis. You will win this one, booting a 43-yard field goal as time expires. At least I hope so. Please don’t tell me he misses it.

Last Week: The Eagles came out on fire, then watched a 16-3 lead slip away, while Sam Bradford, who had very good first half, went down in the third quarter.

Season Record: 4-5. Yeah, I didn’t expect this either, not for my prognostications and certainly not for this time. They’ve been a disappointment. And yet, with a win today, they could take the lead in the NFC Least. Hard to believe.

Game by Game: Falcons 26, Eagles 24. (My Pick: Eagles 37, Falcons 26)

Cowboys 20, Eagles 10 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 26)

Eagles 24, Jets 17. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Jets 23)

Redskins 23, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

Eagles 39, Saints 17. (My Pick: Eagles 23, Saints 13)

Eagles 27, Giants 7. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Giants 16)

Panthers 27, Eagles 16 (My Pick: Eagles 26, Panthers 23)

Eagles 33, Cowboys 27 OT (My Pick: Eagles 23, Cowboys 13)

Dolphins 20, Eagles 19 (My Pick: Eagles 33, Dolphins 16)
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Nov. 20

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-11-20 07:22
The Daily Numbers: 170 people being held hostage inside a Mali hotel that was stormed by gunmen early this morning. Early reports indicate 3 people have been killed.

5 ethics charges stipulated to by Chester Magisterial District Judge Dawn Vann

2nd woman who was bitten by a rabid cat complained about a delay in warning the public during the Upper Darby council meeting.

2 more free rabies vaccination clinics being set up by Upper Darby authorities.

1st degree murder conviction for an 18-year-old Darby man who fatally shot a 600-year-old man in a confrontation.

880 turkeys needed by CityTeam in Chester for their annual Thanksgiving dinner for the needy.

3 year contract OK’d by Radnor Township School Board and its teachers.

5-11 years in state prison for a man who pleaded guilty in the armed robbery of an Upper Chichester woman in the driveway of her home.

3.25 percent tax increase being looked at in Haverford.

1.756 percent hike in taxes in Upper Providence.

110-86 vote in the House to sell off the state liquor stores and privatize sales in the state.

289-137 vote in the U.S. House to put up new hurdles to curb Syrian refugees from entering the country.

1-0 loss for the Flyers in OT to the Sharks.

34 saves made by Sharks goalie Martin Jones in shutting out the orange and black.

6 straight home losses for the Flyers.

0 wins in November so far for all Philly teams.

3 big high school football playoff games tonight, with Upper Darby, Marple Newtown and Academy Park in action.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.It looks like we’re about to hand the season over to Mark Sanchez.

I Don’t Get It: Christmas music 24 hours a day. On Nov. 19. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Nether Providence teachers whose quick action likely saved the life of fellow Dragon Boat enthusiast when he passed out on the river.

Quote Box: “He chose the easiest mark that he could find.”

- Assistant District Attorney Sean McNabb, summing up the case against Rashon Sargent on murder charges.
Categories: Pennsylvania

One more step on road to privatization of liquor sales in Pa.

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-11-20 06:47
Mike Turzai is moving up on my list of things that I'm thankful for this year.

Several months ago, the Republican state House Speaker sat in our conference room and all but guaranteed me that privatization of the state's antiquated liquor laws would be part of any budget deal with new Gov. Tom Wolf.

We're not there yet, but we're getting closer.

Yesterday the House passed a privatization bill. It would basically blow up the Liquor Control Board; selling off the 600 state stores and turning sales over to private enterprise.

That's the good news.

Now it goes over to the Senate.

Here's the bad news. If I had to place a bet, I would say this is going to be amended to death.

I think some version of privatization winds up a part of the final budget deal.

But I kind of doubt we're going to see the all-out privatization passed by the House yesterday.

But I will put it on top of my Christmas wish list.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Jingle all the way: Christmas music arrives

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-11-20 06:36
So much for Thanksgiving.

The Christmas season arrived yesterday.

At least the music did.

The folks at More 101.1 FM in Philly have gone all Christmas classics.

I like Christmas music as much as the next guy. To prove my point, I can tell you that the greatest Christmas song ever recorded is Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas."

Go ahead, slam me for not going with Andy Williams.

But the fact is I don't need Christmas music in the middle of November yet. We haven't even hit Thanksgiving yet.

What's next, a double-feature of "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," and a "Charlie Brown Christmas"?

I have the same argument with my wife on this notion of rushing into the holiday.

I happen to have grown up in a house where the tree did not appear until magically showing up on Christmas morning.

Now we put it up in early December.

I'll offer the same response on the early carols:

Bah! Humbug!
Categories: Pennsylvania

The greatest moment in Philadelphia sports history

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-11-20 06:20
I refer to is as the single greatest moment in Philadelphia sports.

I was reminded of it when I watched the ESPN '30 on 30' piece on former Eagles owner Leonard Tose. I highly recommend it.

Columnist Jack McCaffery wrote about it yesterday.

As I watched it, I started to well up, as I do every time I think of that one specific moment in time.

I know the Flyers have won two Stanley Cups.

I know the Phillies have won World Series championships. As have the Sixers.

I attended the first Phillies parade in 1980.

But for me, nothing will ever compare with Jan. 11, 1981.

Maybe it was because I was there, a longtime season ticket holder in the infamous 700 Level.

It was as cold as I've ever been in my life.

And it was - in my humble opinion - the single greatest moment in Philadelphia sports history.

I can describe it in four simple words:

Wilbert off right tackle.

At that moment, we knew something we had not experienced in a long time. We were winners. If you there, you'll know why I consider it the apex of Philly sports.

The Eagles still have not delivered a Super Bowl title, let alone a parade.

But we'll always have this one moment.

It was electric. Just listen to it:

Categories: Pennsylvania

To fence or not to fence — Valley Forge Middle School fencing saga continues

On Wednesday, Nov. 18 the public was invited to attend a community meeting at Valley Forge Middle School with the District’s safety consultant from National School Safety and Security Services (consultation fee: $15,500). Chesterbrook resident Doug Anestad attended the fencing meeting and provided the following update of the meeting for Community Matters: The Valley Forge […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

a great thing: plaid pajama project

Chester County Ramblings - Thu, 2015-11-19 17:38

So my friend Pamela had this idea born of her own Christmas memories and family traditions. In her own words:

Every Christmas for as long as I can remember, my sister and I were allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve. We received a new pair of pajamas from Nonnie and Poppie and wore them that night. During our teen years we had some funny pajamas opening experiences as it was humorous to see what they would choose for us.

You’ll still find us laughing till we cry when recounting pair I got during my freshman year of college which were purchased slightly too large. How large you ask? Large enough for Kristina and I to fit in them- together! As you can see, these pajamas played a huge part of our family Christmas memories.

My parents, Mema and Pepa, carry on this tradition and give pajamas to our children each year, and even when we aren’t together it’s the only gift they open on Christmas Eve.

I wanted to take this tradition one step further, to give pajamas to local children in need this year. And while I could do this alone I thought I’d give my family and friends the option to give, too. I have a few connections working to find children for me so if you are here and there isn’t anyone left to sign up for please check back. I’ll keep adding children as I get donors! 

If this tradition touches your heart and you would like to contribute by choosing a child to buy for, or if you would like to contribute towards our wrapping supply costs you may sign up here.

Plaid Pajamas Project is just a nice thing we can do for kids at Christmas. And these are kids here in our area.  Participation is as easy as a click of a signup button on  Classes have been sponsoring classes, families have been sponsoring children who share a name or a size and when no names are available, all sizes are given to shelters where comforts of home are always in short supply.
All pajamas must be brand new with tags attached and not contain any branded characters or wording. While the temptation and intentions are wonderful, Plaid Pajamas Project asks that no additional gifts be sent with the pajamas. 

Plaid Pajamas Project also accepts cash donations to support delivery, wrapping and other expenses. Pajamas and donations can be mailed to Plaid Pajamas Project, PO Box 186, Berwyn, PA 19312. Pajamas can also be dropped off at Lulu’s Casita in Ardmore or Creative Clubhouse in Havertown.  Signups have come from across the area and one name in particular stood out for my friend Pamela.

“I check the list every day and one day I saw my Nonnie’s name on the list and I welled up with love and pride,” said Pamela.  “She’s given me and my family so much in our lives and now she’s reaching out to help me bring her tradition to others. I guess that’s what the holidays are all about.

Pamela is one of my earth angels as well as a friend. She gives so much and has such a big heart. So not only have I donated to the cause, I am paying it forward and asking you my readers from near and far to help if you can.

To learn more about Plaid Pajamas Project, visit

To sign up to participate CLICK HERE.

  • All pajamas must be brand new with tags attached.
  • Pajamas should not contain branded characters, or any wording.
  • Only one set of pajamas should be sent per child chosen, nothing additional (i.e.: slippers, socks, bathrobe, etc.)
  • All pajamas should be sent to Pamela’s home address, she will make the drop offs to the recipient families. After you sign up you will receive an email with the mailing address. You are welcome to order online and have your order delivered to me. In the shipping area please use one of the address fields to indicate the first name and age of the child you are buying for.
  • PO Box 186 Berwyn PA 19312
  • Email with any questions!

A private pajama wrapping party will be held in December.  Media will be invited to attend.

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Nov. 19

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-11-19 07:28
The Daily Numbers: 56 deaths related to heroin in Delaware County in 2014, according to new numbers from the DEA.

4th highest in the state.

77 deaths in the county attributed to heroin overdoses so far this year.

655 overdose deaths in Philly in 2014 to top the state.

307 for Allegheny County.

158 in Montgomery County.

118 in both Delco and York counties.

4 firefighters who suffered minor injuries battling blaze in Darby Borough last night.

76 senior who took part in Job Fair at Williamson School yesterday.

2nd raid by agents from the county D.A.’s office at the Colwyn Fire Co. yesterday.

4 new prosecutors who took the oath as assistant district attorneys under Jack Whelan.

.5 mill tax hike on tap in Clifton Heights budget.

3rd major expansion in state gaming in 6 years that passed a House committee vote yesterday.

10:30 last night, when workers at the Philadelphia International Airport walked off their jobs.

18 dollars a month that the Delaware River Port Authority is considering returning to those who use their 4 bridges at least 19 times a month.

29,000 people expected to be eligible.

6.4 million dollars, what it could cost the authority.

2 dead and 7 in custody after gunbattle between French authorities and suspected terrorists.

12 straight losses for the 76ers.

112-85 blowout loss to the Pacers.

31 tunovers for the Sixers.

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

Anyone think the Sixers will win a game in 2015?

I Don’t Get It: The debate over killing off the property tax could be a problem in terms of getting a new budget in place.

Today’s Upper:
Kudos to Williamson College of the Trades, where students yesterday were offering their talents at a Job Fair to employees who were eager to sign them up for good-paying jobs.

Quote Box: “I got here when I was 17, and when I left at 20, I was ready for work.”

- Ed DeLeon, project superintendent for Mara Restoration in Oreland, Pa., and a Williamson alum.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A new wrinkle in the state budget battle

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-11-19 06:53
Don't pop the corks on that state budget deal just yet.

There's a new wrinkle in the process.

I know, you're stunned. Remember, this is Harrisburg we're talking about here.

The new twist is one more push behind legislation that would eliminate property taxes and replace it with a combination of increases in both the state sales and income taxes.

We've been reporting this week how Sen. Tom McGarrigle, $-26, of Springfield, who was an early backer of the plan, has now pulled his support.

We take note of the new dilemma on today's editorial page.

So what's the big deal with the budget? It's all in the numbers.

The "broad framework" of a budget deal announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican leaders in the Legislature banks on an increase in the state sales tax. But it does not touch the income tax, which would put it directly at odds with the Senate and House Bill 76, the so-called Property Tax Independence Act.

A vote on the push to kill off the hated property tax is set next week.

Don't look for a state budget before then, despite Wolf saying he hoped to possibly sign something next week, before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hey, it's Pennsylvania, we should be thankful these guys are still at work. Isn't it time for them to take another vacation?
Categories: Pennsylvania