do you own an old stone house in chester county? then DIY network wants YOU!

Chester County Ramblings - 4 hours 24 min ago

NOTE: this is a beautifully restored old stone house. I took the photo recently, and it doesn’t need DIY network :)

Ok do you have an old stone house you own that is in need of something? The Jeff Devlin and Stone House Revival  are looking for you!

Stone House Revival is an awesome show if you haven’t seen it (I record the episodes so I do not miss any!!) One reason I like this show is the way Devlin works with these old houses is awesome – he doesn’t try to make them what they are NOT and his renovations fit with the homes he is working on. And his is also not a beige, beige world. He is not afraid to use color, but there is a subtlety. He practices historic preservation and adaptive reuse and I think that is terrific!

Anyway if you are interested here are the details: 

Stone House Revival Now Casting DIY Network is searching for current or soon-to-be owners of historic, stone homes in Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester County, Pennsylvania A new home renovation show is now casting outgoing and fun homeowners who have a historic, stone house that is in need of some restoration work in a few rooms. For example, do you have a room that is severely outdated or has a horrible layout? Or some living spaces that need to be restored? If so, we would love to hear from you! If you would like to be considered for our show, please submit your information as soon as you can! To submit, please email – NO LATER than August 1, 2016  with the following information: -Your contact info (including city and county of residence) -Photos of the house and your family

-A description of the rooms in need and of your family

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, June 29

Heron's Nest - 11 hours 20 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 4 minutes, how long a computer was down at the county 911 Center during Friday’s shooting incident in Folcroft.

800,000 dollars, how much the county paid for the new system from Zetron just last May.

1, as in the No. 1 man at the Secret Service. Joseph Clancy, a Havertown native, paid a visit to wounded Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman yesterday.

22.5 to 45 years in prison for a Folcroft man for the murder of his girlfriend in Philly.

43, age of Upper Darby man, a former guard at Graterford Prison, convicted of sexual assault on a prisoner. But he will not be labeled a predator.

1947, the key bill that would allow more time for victims of child sexual abuse to bring legal action, that saw some important changes yesterday.

9-4 vote by Senate Judiciary Committee took out the retroactive language that would allow those abused decades ago to bring legal action now. The bill now would only affect future victims after the law is in effect.

30 years old, age at when victims have to bring an action in Pa. The new measure would expand that to 50 or possible remove it altogether. It also lifts the criminal statute of limitations for abuse cases.

50,000 in legal fees being racked up by Pa. House subcommittee that will now seek subpoenas in the investigation of Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

132-68 vote in the House to pass a GOP spending plan for Pa. Gov. Wolf said he is not backing the spending plan because it’s not balanced.

31.6 billion dollar spending plan, that’s a 5 percent boost, but less than what Wolf was seeking.

200 million dollars more for education, a 3 percent boost

250 million, what Wolf was seeking.

34 million to fight the opioid epidemic

114-85 vote by the Pa. House to allow online casino-style gaming in airports and websites.

8 million dollars, what a license for an online gaming site will cost.

23 cent hike in gas at the pumps in New Jersey that could arrive as early as Friday.

50 new stores that are coming to King of Prussia Mall.

700 new workers at the mall, which already boasts a workforce of 7,000

40-39 percent razor-thin edge for Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey over Dem challenger Katie McGinty in latest poll.

36 dead, more than 140 wounded and the death toll likely will rise in wake of terrorist attack at Istanbul airport.

2 straight wins for the Phils.

4-3 comeback win over the D-Backs.

1 time all season - last night - that the Phils rallied for a win after trailing in the 8th inning.

16-18 of May, the last time the Phillies won a series.

85, age of Eagles coaching icon Buddy Ryan, who passed away yesterday.

46, the groundbreaking defense for which he was known.

45-35-1 record as coach of the Eagles.

0 playoff wins for Ryan.

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

No, he didn’t win a playoff game. But Buddy Ryan will always be a Philly sports icon. That’s because Buddy was one of us. RIP, Coach Ryan.

I Don’t Get It: The county 911 system went down at the precise 4 minutes that Officer Chris Dorman was in a life-or-death struggle in Folcroft. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Joe Clancy, a Havertown native who rose to head the Secret Service. He paid a visit to Officer Dorman in Folcroft yesterday.

Quote Box: “This can never happen again.”

- County Council Chairman Mario Civera on the 911 glitch.
Categories: Pennsylvania

It's chilling tale of the tape at county 911 Center

Heron's Nest - 12 hours 21 min ago
The audio is chilling.

"I'm shot. I'm shot. I'm shot."

The voice belongs to Folcroft Police Officer Chris Dorman, involved in a life-and-death struggle with a drug suspect last Friday morning.

Perhaps almost as chilling is the knowledge that while Dorman was fighting for his life after being shot seven times, no one at the county 911 Center heard his plea for help.

That's because a computer glitch in the new system installed at the County Emergency Communications Center in Lima had failed, leaving dispatchers in the dark, unaware of the violent struggle playing out on the streets of Folcroft.

Luckily, his fellow officers heard his plea, and were able to respond.

But for four crucial minutes, that was not the case for the county's 911 dispatchers.

A severely wounded Officer Dorman staggered into the arms of another officer, who rushed him to nearby Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. But Folcroft Sgt. Bill Bair indicates his efforts to reach the 911 Center were unsuccessful.

A second officer was fired upon after arriving on the scene and confronting the suspect, and again the 911 Center initially was unaware. Luckily, he was not by any bullets.

Obviously, the same cannot be said of Dorman. He was hit seven times in the violence encounter, taking bullets in his face - including one that entered one cheek and exited the other - neck, groin and shoulder. Three other bullets, two in his chest and one in his back, were stopped by his bulletproof vest. Doctors later indicated that vest likely saved his life.

Now it's essential that the county figure out why another essential lifeline for police and firefighters in the field failed at an essential time when they were needed most.

The outage last only four minutes. But they were four crucial minutes when the heartbeat of emergency communications in the county was unaware of what was happening in Folcroft and unable to deliver assistance.

"In this situation, four minutes is really like four hours," said County Council Chairman Mario Civera Monday as officials began to review what happened.

The county recently plunked down $800,000 to upgrade the county 911 radio system. Wednesday representatives of the firm that installed the system, Zetron, planned to have a representative here in Delco to investigate the glitch.

Initial indications are that for some reason the computer being used by the dispatcher rebooted while he was talking to officers in the field. The dispatcher was forced to move to another computer.

Zetron noted they are in the initial stages of their investigation, reviewing the computer-based logs of Friday morning's radio communications.

It appears the county also will seek an independent review of the 911 system. County Executive Director Marianne Grace said the county was contracting with an industry expert to conduct a separate investigation of the incident.

Civera sounded the single note that everyone has in the aftermath of this kind of glitch.

"This can't happen again," he said.

You can say that again.

The hunt for the suspect who shot Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman was concluded quickly.

We hope the same can be said for the investigation into why a glitch knocked down crucial communications at the county 911 Center at the same time.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Retroactivity in sex abuse cases isn't going to happen

Heron's Nest - 12 hours 59 min ago
To the surprise of absolutely no one, it does not appear as if the victims of child sexual abuse from decades ago are going to get justice.

Or at least their day in court.

Opponents of House Bill 1947, which would extend the window to victims to file legal actions from age 30 to age 50 - and more importantly allow those abused decades ago to seek civil redress now - have been successful in derailing the measure.

A state Senate committee yesterday moved the bill forward - they even lifted any time restraint on when a sex abuse victim could file suit - but they stripped out the crucial language that would allow victims to do so retroactively.

Again the key aspect was a fear among many, including Delco Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Haverford, the minority chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the measure was unconstitutional.

The Judiciary Committee voted 9-4, with four other Philly area senators dissenting, to send the revised bill to the full Senate. It's a clear victory for the opponents of the retroactive language, the Catholic Conference, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the insurance industry. All feared a tidal wave of costly lawsuits if the retroactive measure had become law.

The bill had passed the House, 180-15, with the support of several Delco state reps. Several of them, including Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, and Rep. James Santora, R-163, said they took heat from the archdiocese for their votes in favor. Miccarelli even had his name casually dropped into the church bulletin at his home parish, St. Rose of Lima in Eddystone, as a reminder to parishioners that he had voted in favor of 1947.

Leach said he struggled with the issue.

"This has been a very difficult issue for me," the senator said. "I really want to keep retroactivity in there. I just don't feel I can," the lawyer said.

If approved by the full Senate, the bill would allow victims to bring action until they reach the age of 50, but only for future cases after the bill is signed into law.

One of the House's biggest backers of the retroactivity language, Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, himself a victim of abuse years ago, said it was merely one more time that "pedophiles and the institutions … they have gotten another free pass.”

Gov. Tom Wolf had indicated he would have signed the original bill. It has long been supported by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

You could make the argument that the question of whether or not the bill is constitutional is not the Legislature's job. They should vote on the measure and then let the courts determine whether it's constitutional or not.

It doesn't appear as if that's going to happen.

And it looks like those Delco state reps put their necks on the line for nothing.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Why we loved Buddy Ryan

Heron's Nest - 13 hours 31 min ago
Buddy Ryan never took the Eagles to the Super Bowl, the way Dick Vermeil did.

He didn't win as many games as Andy Reid.

In fact, Ryan never won a single playoff game.

Yet he remains among the most beloved coaches every to step foot in Philly, let alone sit in the hottest seat in town, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The answer is pretty simple.

Buddy Ryan, the master defensive innovator and the man who created the '46'defense, was one of us. He likely would have been just as much at home in the 700 Level of the Vet as pacing the Birds' sideline on that frozen, nasty turf that opposing teams hated.

It's at least in part because his teams - in particular his defense - matched that plastic surface. They were nasty, unforgiving and took no prisoners.

Ryan was a brash swaggart, but he connected with fans because he knew what made us tick.

He referred to his boss, the man who hired him and signed his checks, as "the guy in France." Norman Braman bristled at the reference, but the fans loved it.

Buddy disparaged the replacements brought in when the NFL regulars went on strike, and even belittled front office workers who put the squad together.

That move won him the undying loyalty of his players, and also the fans, working-class, blue collar union folks who lived and died with the Birds.

Buddy Ball was a hit in the neighborhoods.

Perhaps never more so than on Oct. 25, 1987. Two weeks earlier, the hated Dallas Cowboys and their equally hated head coach, Tom Landry, had pummeled the Eagles replacement players during the NFL strike with a squad that contained a lot of regulars. Ryan clearly thought Landry had left his stars in the one-side affair too long, running up the score in the 41-22 blowout.

Buddy Ryan did not forget. Two weeks later he got his revenge in a bizarre situation that was classic Buddy Ryan.

To me, it is the single moment when Buddy Ryan cemented his beloved status with Philly and Eagles fans. The Eagles, with the strike settled and their regulars back in the lineup, were beating the Cowboys as the clock counted down.

But Buddy was not done. He had one final flair in mind, an in-your-face retort to Landry and the Cowboys.

It will forever be known simply as the fake kneel-down.

Instead of running out the clock, Ryan ordered quarterback Randall Cunningham to fake the usual end-of-game maneuver and instead throw a long pass to wideout Mike Quick. Pass interference was called on the play, which caught the Cowboys unaware. On the next play, again instead of running out the clock, Ryan sent Keith Byars crashing into the end zone.

It was Buddy Ryan's personal message to Landry and the Cowboys.

In that moment, Buddy became a Philadelphian. He hated Dallas as much as we did.

RIP, Buddy. Philly still loves you.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, June 28

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-06-28 07:18
The Daily Numbers: 4 days after being shot, Officer Chris Dorman returned home to Folcroft to hero’s welcome.

7 bullets he took in confrontation with a drug suspect.

17.50 an hour, how much Dorman makes as a part-time officer in Folcroft.

33,261 dollars, who much had been pledged to a GoFundMe account to benefit Dorman’s medical expenses Monday afternoon.

4 minutes, how long dispatchers at the county 911 center were cut off from communicating with officers during the shooting ordeal in Folcroft. Officers could still talk to each other, they just couldn’t be heard at the 911 center.

800,000 dollars, how much the county spent installing a new system at the 911 center.

48, age of longtime Upper Darby firefighter and 911 dispatcher Mike Morgan, who died this weekend.

1.5 to 3 years for a California man for his role in a scam that targeted Toys R Us stores, including one in Middletown.

2 workers in Philly burned in a flash fire.

31 billion dollar GOP spending plan that got an OK from the Pa. House Appropriations Committee yesterday.

23 cents a gallon increase in gas in N.J. set to go into effect this Friday.

5-3 ruling by which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law.

29 million dresser units being recalled by Ikea after the deaths of 3 children when the units tipped over.

260 point decline for the Dow yesterday, on top of the 600 point plunge on Friday. Futures are looking better today, however.

14 billion dollar settlement for Volkswagen for diesel vehicle emissions scandal.

7-0 win for the Phils over Arizona late last night.

5 strong innings for Vince Velasquez in his 1st start since coming off the DL.

6 years, how long Flyers great Eric Lindros waited to get into the NHL Hall of Fame. He got the nod yesterday.

64, age of Tennessee coaching legend Pat Summitt, who died of Alzheimer’s overnight.

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

Our salute to another round of All-Delco selections that start today, with Sam Tomasetti of Garnet Valley kicking things off with the All-Delco softball team.

I Don’t Get It: The county 911 radio system went down at the exact time Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman was being attacked. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the hundreds who showed up Monday in Folcroft to welcome wounded Officer Dorman home.

Quote Box: “Chris is 100 percent Folcroft.”

- Folcroft Officer Thomas Kesser, who has known Dorman for 10 years.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Welcome home, Officer Dorman

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-06-28 06:16
We used our editorial page today to talk about a Delco legend.

Actually, THE #DelcoLegend.

That, of course, would be Chris Dorman. He's the Folcroft cop who was shot seven times after responding to a report of drug activity.

It's still hard to believe that three days later, Dorman was headed home again.

Chris Dorman's story tells you a lot about Delaware County. But it also tells you the value of community service.

That's all Dorman has ever wanted to do. He was a volunteer firefighter and was seeing his dream of being a policeman come true.

We almost lost that in a hail of bullet last Friday.

But at the same time we gained something we too often lose sight of, an honest-to-god hero.

Welcome home, Officer Dorman.

You can read our editorial here.

For our complete coverage of the way Folcroft turned out to welcome Dorman home, including videos and a slideshow of images, click here.You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Sam Tomasetti leads charge for another round of All-Delcos

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2016-06-28 05:54
My wife will probably be miffed.

I happen to be married to the world's biggest Eric Lindros fan.

Yesterday was a big day for the guy Flyers' faithful used to call 'Big E.'

After a six-year wait, Eric Lindros is headed to the NHL Hall of Fame. But that did not land him as the lead on today's Back Page. No, today he got trumped by Sam Tomasetti.

She happens to be a standout softball player at Garnet Valley High School.

And today she is gracing our lead sports package as we kick off another round of All-Delco selections.

Sam Tomasetti is the All-Delco Softball Player of the Year.

After every high school sports season, our sports staff, in conjunction with high school coaches, select an All-Delco team. The spring teams will run this week, with Sam Tomasetti leading the charge.

You can read all about Sam's exploits here. The rest of the All-Delco Softball Team is highlighted here.

I hope Eric understands. I kind of doubt my wife will.

We covered Eric as well. You'll find Rob Parent's report here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

playing with color in shade gardens

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2016-06-27 14:20

When I looked out into my rear shade gardens a few weeks ago I knew I had too much green and I had to break it up. The great thing I’m learning about shade gardening since I never did it to this extent before is that there are so many choices of foliage colors that you can get your color in your shade gardens that way.

When I inherited my garden from the prior property owners, due to illness in the house and age the gardens had gotten quite overgrown. As a peeled back layers of predictable but overgrown shade plantings I started to get a vision in my mind.

From where the backyard needs our woods there is a definite area, but it’s an area that needs to stand out yet transition to woodland nature completely. Realizing grass was never going to grow the way we want it in an almost completely shady area, we wood chipped a lot of the back. And that’s the handy thing about having what’s on your property that are hardwoods – when you need tree trimming done your arborist cuts some for firewood and ship some for mulch. I am picky about my mulch and this way I know exactly where it’s coming from.

So the first couple years we were here I worked with the native hostas that were here and slowly started adding more fun varietals found through nurseries. But the thing about hostas is that periodically need to be split and I had been avoiding the inevitable.

One morning recently  I looked out back from upstairs and all I could see with the green green native hostas. No variety in their leaves— nothing –— it was just too green.I stood out there for a few days just staring at the spot I wanted to improve going back-and-forth in my head with what I could do. And in the end I decided I would stick with what works and I knew grew back there – because parts of it got dappled sun but a lot of it is very shady. So I decided on a bunch of different heuchera cultivars, ferns that had some variation to them, and one luck would have it a garage sale that was also a plant sale gave me the opportunity for some fabulous variegated hostas.

This past weekend  I dug out the plain green native hostas, and re-homed them behind the planting area I was redesigning as a way to break up pachysandra ponds.  So many people, my mother included, adore pachysandra. Pachysandra adores this property but it gets overwhelming so I need to break it up.

With the native hostas out of the front part I was redesigning,  I now had room to put in the variegated hostas and  heuchera.  It will take a couple weeks before it starts to fill in properly but looking out on the curve by the birdbath I am now much happier with the color arrangement and flow.  While I was on a roll I also split solid native hostas out of other planting beds and relocated them around the back.

And I also introduced heuchera this year to one of my permanent pots back there. I like planting permanent planters with at least some perennials to give me a foundation. In another planter I have little miniature hostas tucked in between beautiful variegated ivy. I love the way it looks I had found this absurdly heavy Victorian wrought iron standing planter and I cleaned up the planter and planted it with miniature hostas and variegated ivy. In my mind it is also somewhat period accurate to the planter.This year I also decided to tuck  Caladiums into a couple spots with hostas in another bed in the back to add an extra bit of leaf color pop. And in other planters I also will use Coleus and polkadot plant with perennial ferns and daylilies. I am not a big fan of Caladiums and coleus as houseplants, but I have new respect for their ability to break up the density of greeness in the shade garden.

I will also admit I love the look of ostrich and other large ferns planted in these areas. They are so pretty and delicate when their fronds are unfurling in the spring, and then they add to scrape loose of airy greenness that different throughout the summer. And I even have to Boston ferns which I overwinter that I put on a double shepherds crook in the back as well.

Gardening in part is an experiment every season. I have some things that have worked and some things that haven’t worked. It’s trial and error. But I’m really happy with the way my back yard is starting to look. I wanted a more natural looking oasis that was pretty but not contrived. And it has taken a few summers but it’s starting to flow.

This is the first time I have really had a dedicated shade garden. Other places I have lived in the past had more sun. So this was kind of hard for me to get the knack of at first, but every year I learn a little bit more. And I get to have a sun garden in the front so I think I have the best of both worlds.

And a final word because someone had to remind me hostas are originally Asian by origin. Hostas are cultivated in the US no matter their origin, as are many plants. Plenty of plants are non-natives originally that now grow as natives, so not actually incorrect. Take Chinese Sumac ( ailanthus altissima), known to most Philadelphians as stink weed. The tree was first brought from China to Europe in the 1740s and to the United States in 1784. It was introduced in Philadelphia because people thought silkworms would eat it. Then for a while it was planted as a street tree. It is now considered an invasive.

I am speaking of the ordinary green leaf variety of medium size with purple flowers that basically now grow wild around here when I say “native”.  I also have miniature hostas that pop up wild in the back at the edge of the woods – different spots every year. I transplant them. The medium hostas that I call native are everywhere. Like ferns, if you have woods, chances are you have them. Like the plain old orange daylilies people refer to as natives. They hail from China originally as well, yet here they are— everywhere. Hemerocallis fulva, I do believe. So plant and ecology experts might disagree with my explanations, but anyway.

Enjoy the day. Thanks for stopping by.

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, June 27

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-06-27 07:32
The Daily Numbers: 7 bullets that hit Folcroft police Officer Christopher Dorman.

2 attempted murder charges against the suspect, who also opened fire on a 2nd officer.

6 minutes, how long the county emergency radio system was having problems at the time of the shooting.

2 dozen residents who strolled the woods of the site of Don Guanella School in Marple Saturday morning. Their fear is that the area is going to be developed.

30 years, how long Deputy Chief Michael Morgan served Upper Darby in various capacities, including a long stint with Garretford-Drexel Hill Fire Co. He passed away over the weekend.

6 regional rail lines that were out of service for about an hour Sunday afternoon.

4 working days for our representatives in Harrisburg to come up with a new budget deal.

31.9 billion dollar spending plan being pushed by Democrats.

31.5 billion dollar plan suggested by Republicans.

1.2 cent per gallon dip in price of gas at the pumps last week.

2.41 a gallon, average price of gas on Philly region.

7 people stabbed at a political rally in California.

3 times the Phillies rallied from deficits, only to fall on walk-off hit by the Giants in bottom of the 9th.

8-7 loss for the Phils.

28 hits combined for the 2 teams.

800th win for Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

9 of June, last time Vince Velasquez pitched. He’ll be back on the hill tonight in Arizona to start a new series.

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

Maybe we should all rally around the Union and MLS play until the Eagles head to training camp. Going to be a long summer.

I Don’t Get It: Christopher Dorman took 7 bullets and today is being released from the hospital. The guy is a walking miracle.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who rallied around the injured Folcroft officer. The best of Delco.

Quote Box: “It just has to be the power of prayer, that and his bulletproof vest.”

- Jeanne Dorman, mother of Officer Chris Dorman.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that front page photo

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-06-27 06:14
That is a very special photo that appears on the front page of today's print edition of the Daily Times.

But I have a confession to make.

It wasn't supposed to appear today. It actually was supposed to be on Sunday's front page.

It depicts wounded Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman offering a thumb's up from his hospital room in Penn Presbyterian Hospital in Philly, where he continues to recover after being hit by seven bullets when he was ambushed after responding to a call about drug activity in the borough.

The photo was given to us by Folcroft police. I had planned for it to grace Sunday's front page as the county continued to offer relief that Officer Dorman was going to make a full recovery.

Why it did not is one of those editor's nightmares that take place in the news business today that never would have happened a few years ago. Let me just say it was a combination of technology and communications issues that led to the snafu.

My heart sank early Sunday when I fired up the laptop and checked the electronic version of the paper, only to see that another photo had been used on the front page.

I was not the only one disappointed. A lot of people around Folcroft were expecting to see that photo on the front page. That's only one of the reasons we decided to use it today.

First and foremost, we're also happy that Dorman is not only recovering, but actually is expected to be released from the hospital today. We'll offer full coverage if and when he does, including the special homecoming they have planned to welcome him back on his home turf in Folcroft.

All you need to know about Delaware County and the people who live and work here was on display in the hours following Dorman's shooting. Saturday night, several hundreds people gathered at the Folcroft Municipal Building for a vigil to honor Dorman.

Let me be the first to say, 'Welcome home, Chris.'

Delco could not be prouder.

And the Daily Times is proud of the photo of you on today's front page.

Even if it took us a day longer than we originally planned.
Categories: Pennsylvania

I know how you feel, Kenny Chesney

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-06-27 06:00
It's one of those things that maybe only a newspaper editor can understand.

It's something you simply can't get wrong.

It's why my hair long ago took on a fretful shade of gray.

It's why - yes even after three decades doing this - you still occasionally wake up at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat.

We all make mistakes. Maybe that's why I'm always reluctant to jump on someone who has just made one.

Kenny Chesney made a pretty big one Saturday night.

It's the one - especially now when we deliver news in a heartbeat via Twitter and Facebook - that I'm still very leery about.

The country superstar gave a shout-out to wounded Folcroft Police Officer Chris Dorman during his sold-out show at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night.

Dorman is a huge fan who actually was supposed to be at the show. But that was before he was hit by seven bullets in an ambush attack after he responded to a call for drug activity behind a Folcroft apartment complex Friday morning.

Saturday morning Dorman reached out to Chesney via social media, asking the country star 'not to forget me.'

It started trending as people all over the area urged Chesney to remember Dorman at the show.

Chesney did just that, but he made a critical error.

He told the crowd that Dorman had passed away.

Folcroft officers quickly jumped on social media to indicate that was not the case, that Dorman was still very much alive.

Chesney explained that he simply got caught up in the moment and misspoke. I know how he feels. Hey, Kenny, it's even worse when it winds up in print and lasts forever.

"I think the emotions got the best of me, and I wasn't as clear as I could've been," Chesney said in a statement. "The idea that a hero like that, with seven bullets in him, would even think about me ... I heard about right before I hit the stage and it stopped me in my tracks."

A lot of people reacted with outrage over Chesney's error. Granted, it's not something you want to do. I know that better than anyone. I also know how easy - especially today - it is for something like that to happen.

I'm inclined to give Chesney the benefit of the doubt, especially after what he did Sunday morning.

Chesney personally called Dorman in his hospital room to apologize for the error, and to extend an offer to take in an Eagles game and share a beer with the wounded officer.

Dorman and his family members actually joked about it. "It didn't bother man," Dorman told our Rose Quinn in a brief phone interview Sunday. "All things considered it could have been a lot worse."

Kenny Chesney and Christopher Dorman.

A couple of class acts.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Our annual salute to grads

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-06-27 05:45
It is one of life's seminal moments.

More importantly - at least to me because of what I do - it could be the only time a young person's name appears in the newspaper.

Graduation from high school is one of those special moments that defines much of what our communities are about, the conclusion of a 12-year journey, and in many ways the end of one part of a young person's life and the start of another.

That's one of the reasons we treat the occasion in a very special manner.

We call it the Grad Tab.

It's something we do every year for as long as I can remember.

We don't make a lot of money on it. There isn't all that much advertising in it.

But it's something I hope families will keep for years as part of their family histories.

I talk about why this is important in my weekly print column this week.
Categories: Pennsylvania


Chester County Ramblings - Sun, 2016-06-26 20:00

Every time a developer promises glory, remember photos like this. This is what we fight to preserve, this is what more people should want to preserve. Once views like this are plowed under for development they never rise again. Views like this is why we need to slow down development.


Categories: Pennsylvania

the water tower and the view

Chester County Ramblings - Sun, 2016-06-26 19:41

Water tower on Granogue

Climbing up the steps of the water tower on Granogue is so super cool. It has (I think) essentially the best view of the Brandywine Valley. And I have been fortunate enough to do it twice in my lifetime. This most recent time I had a camera with me.

When you reach the top and climb out onto the top, it’s like you can reach out and touch the sky. The wind whistles around your head, it’s not for the faint of heart. But oh, the view. There is nothing like it.

It’s on private property. So I am sharing some photos with you.

Thank you to my friends who made this possible. I loved every minute of it ….again.



Categories: Pennsylvania

dear a.m.e. church, this is your history, your members’ ancestors, what is wrong with you people? honor your dead!

Chester County Ramblings - Sat, 2016-06-25 10:49

This is what the ruin of Ebenezer A.M.E. church and graveyard looks like THIS week as in right now. You see, some of the East Whiteland Public Works folks went by this week to see if there was anything they could do to help those of us interested in saving this piece of history before it is too late. They were so nice to even consider doing this.

They asked how to get permission from the A.M.E. Church (national) to do this.

Good freaking question since the A.M.E. church elders are not overly communicative is a substantive way when you contact them.

Oh the irony that here they are all ready to celebrate their bicentennial in Philadelphia right after July 4th and this is how they value their history and pay tribute to their dead. What a bunch of holy hypocrites.

A.M.E. Church can you hear me now?  People are willing to help and you still don’t seem to give a good god damn about these people buried here! Historically important yet everyday people.

What would Bishop Richard Allen who founded your church think? What would Bishop Richard Allen who founded your church do? Personally I think he would have come out himself to help clear the weeds. I also think he would be ashamed and disappointed in you for not being better stewards of history and of the departed.

Shame on you A.M.E. Church, shame on you .

Categories: Pennsylvania

it takes a village

Chester County Ramblings - Fri, 2016-06-24 19:18

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

I have been writing about the ruins of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church and Graveyard for a few years now. I wrote two posts in May of this year alone:

private joshua johnson and the other old souls at ebenezer on bacton hill road in east whiteland

remembering soldiers on memorial day that a.m.e. church doesn’t care about.

Lately I have been really bummed out about the whole thing.


Because I do not get how the A.M.E. Church as a national organization about to celebrate themselves and their bicentennial in Philadelphia July 6 to July 13th as in right after  4th of July this year doesn’t seem to care about this historic and sacred place on land they still own!

I have a file of e-mails and attempted contact. National A.M.E. church leaders, regional leaders, local ministers.  Some give an initial acknowledgement of my outreach, some have wasted my time with pleasant platitudes and a complete lack of action and I wonder if they really care, but most? Most just blow me off.

There are bits of newspaper articles here and there, including this one from the 19th century with horrible language that was sadly acceptable and not considered offensive back then:

It is maddening.  These aren’t my ancestors, this isn’t my religious history per se, but this place speaks to me. It speaks to me of our country’s history and the important part these brave individuals buried there played.  Freed slaves, free people of color, black Civil War soldiers. They matter. #ThisPlaceMatters — yet it rots.

Then, all of a sudden people have started to connect with me again about this place:

One of my friends…. lives in Malven Borough. She and her brother went o try and locate that headstone but weren’t successful.  I’ve never been back to the site myself but would love to go once the poison ivy is gone. I don’t know the exact it at the corner of Bacton Hill and 401 or Bacton Hill ? I don’t want to trespass. Their family has been around forever. Her father was a minister and there were a large number of siblings but all are gone. Thanks


And then this from another local historian I just met:


I recently had a lady reach out to me who’s looking for information on their relatives that were supposedly buried at that Ebenezer Church. I was hoping I would be able to find more information when I went there but everything was so grown over that we couldn’t even find the gravesite…The people that she is looking for is a James Williams, but he also went by the name Perry Ringgold. He bought his freedom in 1851 and lived in this area as a circuit preacher in the AME churches. He had a daughter who we do not have any records of and that is who I’m looking for. The daughter also had a daughter and then passed away shortly after the baby was born leaving the child to a Sophia Lane, who we do not know the relation of them to the baby. I think it may have been a sister-in-law


And then a lady named Tia contacted me. She is looking for family buried there. She is looking for the family the historian told me about above. She shared wondrous documents with me. The original deed, and a few other gems. I do not know where the originals of these documents are, but I was so happy to receive her e-mails.

It will take a village to save this.  I would love to get the weeds hacked back so we can see the graves. It has been a couple of years.  I heard the boy scouts will do this, but the gentleman I messaged who suggested it never responded.

If anyone from the A.M.E. church sees this, I really wish they would give a damn.  We are talking about cleaning up and maintaining a historic sacred place. Is it as exciting as Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia? No, but it is JUST as important.  A lot of the history of these churches is being lost, not just here. Records were haphazard, a lot of the history oral.

Here is the text Tia sent me from the deed:

Deed of Trust

James Malin to Samuel Davis et al.


This indenture made the eleventh day of the sixth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one between James Malin of the Township of East Whiteland in the county of Chester and state of Pennsylvania, yeoman of the one part  and Samuel Davie, Ishmael Ells, Charles Kimbul all the said county of Chester, Trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to erected in the Township of East Whiteland in the said County of Chester, of the other part.   Witnesseth that the said James Malin as well for and in consideration of the trusts, hereinafter mentioned, created & declared for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar, lawful money of Pennsylvania, to him in hands paid by the said Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells & Charles Kimbul, the receipt of which one dollar is hereby acknowledge, hath granted, bargained, sold, aliened, enfeoffed, released and confirmed and by these presents doth grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff, release & confirm unto the said Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells and Charles Kimbul, their heirs and assigns a certain lot or piece of land situate lying and being in the Township of East Whiteland aforesaid, beginning at a  post or stone thence by land late of Doctor John Jacobs, deceased, north sixty degrees, east eight perches to a post or stone, thence by other land of the said James Malin, North thirty one degrees and an half, West nine perches to a post or stone, thence by same and land sold to Charles Kimbul, South sixty degrees west eight perches to a post or stone, thence by land late of John Jacobs now of Joseph B. Jacobs, south thirty one degrees and an half, East nine perches in the place of beginning, containing seventy two perches of land which Joseph M Paul by deed of Indenture dated the eighth day of the fourth month on thousand eight hundred and sixteen and recorded in the recorder’s office in and for the County of Chester in book M3, page 245, granted and conveyed unto the said James Malin, his heirs and assigns forever.  Together with all & singular the ways, rights, liberties, privileges, improvements, hereditaments & appurtenance whatsoever thereunto belonging on or any wise appertaining and the reversions and remainders, rents issues and profits thereof, and also all the estate eight title interest use /codeftion property claiming demand whatsoever as well at law as in equity otherwise housover of him the said James Malin of in to and out of the same.  To have and hold the said described lot or piece of land, hereditaments and premises hereby granted or mentioned or intended so to be with the appurtenances unto the said Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells and Charles Kimbul and their heirs to the use and behoof of the said Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells & Charles Kimbul their heirs & assign and the survivors and the survivor of them and the heirs and assigns of such survivors and survivor forever.  In trust nevertheless and to the use, intents & purposes herinafter mentioned, expressed & declared that to say that the said lot or piece of land hereby granted and conveyed shall be appropriated as a place & spot of growing whereon to build and erect a church to be called and styled the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Township of East Whiteland in the County of Chester for the members of said church to meet in and at, for the purpose of performing divine worship and for the erecting other necessary guildings for the conveniency and accommodation of the members of said church and for the purpose of a burial ground to bury and inter their dead and to and for no other use, intent or purpose whatsoever.  And the said James Malin for himself his heirs, executors or administrators doth covenant, declare & agree to and with the said Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells & Charles Kimbul & their  several & respective heirs & assigns in manner following that is to say that upon the death of any one of them the said Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells and Charles Kimbul or upon their or any of them being mindful or desirous to quit him or themselves of the said Trust, or upon their or any of them being expelled from religious membership by the discipline of said Church, it shall & may be lawful to & for the majority of the members of said Church in meeting assembled as often as occasion may require to make choice of another or others to manage and & requite the said Trust in the room and stead of such as shall depart this life, be desirous of parting him or their selves  of the said Trust, or being expelled from religious membership as aforesaid.  And the said Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells and Charles Kimbul and the survivors and survivor of them and the heirs and assigns of such survivor shall at the request of the majority of the members of the said Church in meeting assembled as aforesaid convey the said lot or piece of land with the appurtenances agreeably to the Trusts, uses intents and purposes aforesaid to such person & persons and their heirs & assigns as shall be by the majority of the said meeting in that behalf chosen, nominated & appointed in order to keep on foot and in continuance the said Trust estate for the uses and purposes aforesaid.  And also that the Samuel Davis, Ishmael Wells & Charles Kimbul or any or either of them shall not, nor will not at any time or times hereafter assign or convey over his or their said trust estate of or in the said dasonibet lot or piece of land and premises or any part therof unto any person or person or persons so as to make a tenancy in common or otherwise to sever the joint tenancy on the premises hereby created or intended so to be or in any other manner whatsoever buy shall stand and be (?) of the premises with the appurtenances to and for the uses, intents & purposes aforesaid, and to have no other use intent or purpose whatsoever. In witness whereof the said James Malin have hereunto set his hand and seal dated the day, month & year first above written.  James Malin. Seal.  Sealed & delivered in the presence of us John Rogers, James Dilworth, before me the Subscriber, one of the Justices of the peace in and for the County of Chester cam the above named James Malin and acknowledged the above written Indenture of Trust to be his ad & deed to the intent the same as such might be recorded according to law.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hands and seal the eleventh day of the sixth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one.  James Dilworuth. Seal

Recorded Febry 18, 1832



Troop 65 Research

Property Dimensions

Ok local history buffs, have I whetted your appetites yet? Come on, it took a village to get this far, what can the extended village do to save it?

And again, if anyone from the A.M.E. church is reading, please please step forward.  Don’t just talk the talk, actually HELP.

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, June 24

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-06-24 07:10
The Daily Numbers: 2.9 percent tax given the OK by Interboro School Board.

20 jobs being furloughed.

5-4 vote by the board.

89 dollar hike in average tax bill.

dollars, what average homeowner will pay.

6.5 million dollar shortfall in Upper Darby.

0 tax hike enacted by the board.

100 years being celebrated this year by St. Andrew the Apostle parish in Drexel Hill.

1 as in Uno, and also the 1st ever national chain restaurant that opened its doors in Chester.

24, age of Chester man convicted of an assault on a police officer.

3 people indicted for a home invasion in Marple.

4, age of girl shot and killed in a home in Philly.

1, as in the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. That would be Ben Simmons, taken by the Sixers.

0 trades pulled by the Sixers after taking Simmons.

24 and 26 picks, they took two shooters.

5 RBI for Freddy Galvis to help the Phils snap their skid and prevent the team from losing 10 in a row for the first time in decades.

7-3 win for the Phils to avoid being swept in Minnesota. Now they head for the West Coast

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

We got Ben Simmons, but the Sixers did not make any other moves. They still need a point guard.

I Don’t Get It: After all that talk in D.C., still no action on gun control in D.C.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Upper Darby School Board, for holding the line on taxes and giving taxpayers a much-needed lift.

Quote Box: “These are not easy decisions to make, but we have a responsibility, fiscally.”

- Interboro Superintendent Bernadette Rieley, on budget that calls for tax hike and job cuts.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A tale of two school districts

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-06-24 06:24
Call this one "A Tale of Two School Districts."

Actually, that's exactly what we did on today's front page.

Like most school districts across Pennsylvania, both Upper Darby and Interboro found themselves facing a budget crunch. You might say it's just one more argument why our system of funding education is in need of a massive shakeup.

What is interesting is the tack taken by these two school boards to address their fiscal problems.

In Interboro, the board reluctantly decided to hike taxes and cut a few jobs.

Taxes will increase 2.9 percent. Twenty jobs also will be slashed.

In Upper Darby, they are instead tightening their belt and dipping into their fund balance instead of taxpayers' wallets.

As legislators struggle with their own budget woes in Harrisburg as the clock ticks toward a July 1 deadline to have a new budget in place, we hope our representatives keep Upper Darby and Interboro in mind.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A conversation with Gov. Tom Wolf

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2016-06-24 06:16
It must be budget time.

What else could explain the phone call I got yesterday.

Yes, that was Gov. Wolf calling to say hello and talk Pennsylvania dollars and cents. Always nice to chat with the governor, who makes it a habit to reach out to newspaper editors.

I started the conversation by joking about something that I noted on our editorial page, wondering if they were putting something in the water out there in Harrisburg.

The Legislature, after a torturous nine-month budget standoff last year, actually is getting a few things done.

They delivered much-needed changes to the state's archaic laws regulating the sale of alcohol to the governor's desk, and he signed it. They are working on pension relief.

And most indications are that the two sides are quietly making progress in budget talks taking part for the most part behind closed doors.

I asked Wolf about his seeming change of heart in abandoning another push for hefty tax hikes to pay for a new spending push, and he admitted he wasn't sure if he had been completely understood. He stressed that he was never married to those increases in both the sales and personal income taxes. When he was convinced that he could achieve his budget goals without the tax hikes, he decided to move on.

That's no doubt music to the ears of Republicans in the Legislature, who immediately turn up their nose at even the slightest hint of a tax hike.

The governor also sought to assuage the belief by some that this means he is abandoning his call for a steep increase in basic education funding. The governor noted that with the last budget and the one he is now proposing, education funding would be up $450 million.

Wolf also said he was certainly willing to entertain the notion passed by the House this week, a push for legalizing online gaming, as a source of new revenue. But the governor insisted he'd only do it as part of a wider budget agreement.

Finally, I asked him if he thought he and the Legislature would be able to meet the July 1 deadline to have a new spending plan in place. We all know how that worked out last year. We were still asking where the budget was at Christmas time.

Wolf seemed optimistic, but also cautioned it could go a few days past the deadline.

"Nobody wants another nine-month impasse," the governor said, clearly indicating that the process he and the Legislature endured last year might be "a lesson learned."

But he also took clear pride in noting some of the things that both he and the Legislature have been able to accomplish in the past few months.

Call anytime, governor.

Now that I will be able to buy a bottle of wine in the supermarket, how about privatizing the whole system?

Maybe I shouldn't push my luck.
Categories: Pennsylvania