BREAKING: hit and run driver sought for knox covered bridge in valley forge park

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-07-06 20:12

A friend of mine posted this photo above a little while ago on her Facebook page! YES! Unbelievably it happened again! Some IDIOT hit ANOTHER one of our beautiful Chester County Covered Bridges! If you recall, a truck driver with a giant tractor trailer destroyed the Rapps Dam Bridge in East Pikeland in 2014. The damages were estimated in media reports at $500000, and a repair contract wasn’t awarded until this past April.

So this beautiful bridge known as the Knox Covered Bridge is in Valley Forge Park. I have taken it’s photo easily dozens of times and walked the bridge. It’s beautiful. It is 252 on one side along the creek and Yellow Springs Road on the other.

Here is one photo I have of it that I took (I think this one is circa 2008):

So someone according to my friend and others (including two television stations) did a hit and run on this beautiful bridge!

What kind of jerk does this???

As per PennDOT this bridge (The Knox Covered Bridge) is now structurally unsound and closed as of today. No estimates on repairs.  This is in Tredyffrin Township Police Department’s jurisdiction, here is hoping they and Tredyffrin Township in general are as diligent and thorough as East Pikeland was with Rapp’s Dam and bringing that truck driver to justice.

This bridge, the Knox Covered Bridge was just recently part of an award of monies for repairs:

Three county covered bridges to be rehabilitated

By Candice Monhollan, cmonhollan@, @CMonhollanDLN on Twitter (Pete Bannan photos)

People will be able to take a drive through history once again after PennDOT rehabilitates three covered bridges in Chester County.

PennDOT awarded a $3.2 million contract to Eastern Highway Specialists, Inc., who will set to work on the Rapps Dam covered bridge in East Pikeland, the Speakman covered bridge and West Marlborough and the Knox covered bridge in Valley Forge National Historic Park in Tredyffrin Township.

“The ideas to rehabilitate the bridges came from a variety of sources — from the county, from PennDOT, from the historic preservation community and from legislators, such as myself,” said Sen. Andy Dinniman. “PennDOT is trying to rehabilitate as many bridges on the funds that we have approved. The historic covered bridges are still being used..

Good thing that money is there, right?

Unbelievable.  If anyone out there knows anything or saw anything, please please please call Tredyffrin Police or Valley Forge Park or PennDOT. It is hard to see who is taking tips as early media reports indicate that Tredyffrin Police are sort of referring this along right now.  This apparently happened this afternoon around 2 pm but there is nothing on the Tredyffrin Police Department Website yet.

I found an email on that site that is and this other information:

Tredyffrin Township Police Department

Anthony Giaimo, Superintendent of Police
Taro Landis, Lieutenant – Administrative Division
Joseph Glatts, Lieutenant – Operations Division
Organizational Chart [PDF]

Contact the Police Department
Tredyffrin Township Police Department
1100 DuPortail Road
Berwyn, PA 19312-1079

Business Number: 610-644-3221
Dispatch Number: 610-647-1440
Emergency Number: 911
Fax Number: 610-644-5394
Email Address

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm

Please…if you know anything, or you say saw a damaged vehicle driving away from this direction this afternoon, PLEASE call police. This bridge is part of our heritage and our history and a lot of people still use this bridge daily. Accidents happen, but a hit and run like this is not right.  The bridge is painted white so a vehicle could have all sorts of white paint on it and hopefully Tredyffrin will do their bit and see if any automobile paint is on the damage. yes, yes I know a little Nancy Drew meets CSI but this is such an awesome bridge!

Here is the media I have discovered thus far on this:

Car Strikes Covered Bridge In Tredyffin The bridge, located in Valley Forge National Historical Park, has suffered structural damage and is closed indefinitely. By July 6, 2015

Authorities are seeking a driver who reportedly struck a covered bridge in Tredyffin Township Monday afternoon.

Knox Bridge, located where Yellow Springs Road crosses Valley Creek in Valley Forge National Historical Park, was hit by an unknown vehicle at approximately 2:30 p.m. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) spokesman Gene Blaum, the only information currently known about the vehicle is that it was ”large.”

The bridge remains closed indefinitely pending a PennDOT investigation….

Later, in a PennDOT statement, Blaum reported that ”nearly an entire stone-masonry wing wall adjacent to the bridge” had been damaged along with a 20-foot-long section of its timber siding….

Originally built in 1865, the Knox Bridge has rehabilitated twice, in 1996 and again in 2006.

Asked for comment, a representative for the Tredyffin Police Department referred all questions to Valley Forge National Historical Park, where an official in turn said any new information would come from PennDOT


CBS3:   Covered Bridge In Valley Forge National Historical Park Closed Due To Damage 

6ABC Action News (has video) TRAFFIC Covered bridge struck in Chester Co.; driver sought


Categories: Pennsylvania

Republican End-Run Around DEP Drilling Regs Probably Doomed

Keystone Politics - Mon, 2015-07-06 14:18
Despite Tom Wolf’s veto the first time around, legislative Republicans are vowing to try once again to use the Fiscal Code to carve conventional oil and gas drillers out of the official process...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

the case for open space

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-07-06 13:27

See this photo above? The one I am opening this post with? Gorgeous view and vista, right? That is what conserved and protected open space looks like.  That is part of the 571 gloriously preserved acres on Stroud Preserve, which we all have to visit thanks to the Natural Lands Trust. This is one reason why I am so in awe of this non-profit.  They are amazing.

Now look at the next photo. Also taken by me from the air a couple of years ago and notice the difference:

Next is another shot- both of these were taken over Chester County . 

Recently we attended a party out near or in West Vincent. We got turned around on the way and ended up in a development I never knew existed.  I think it may have been off Fellowship Road, I am not sure, because it was one of those times where you just get all turned around. 

Anyway, we ended up in this development that had rather large houses so crammed together you felt as if you were in one of the houses and stuck your arm out the window that you could basically touch the neighbor’s house.  Don’t misunderstand me, it was a pretty, well-kept neighborhood but it looked so incredibly phony, almost like a movie set. Or a life sized model. And it was also very odd because it was a neighborhood no one was outside. Not even to walk a dog. It was eerie.

Every day we hear about more and more developments happening. Just this weekend somebody posted the following photo taken  in West Vincent:

If I have the location correct it is on Birchrun Road and has passed through a couple of developers’ hands? Like Hankin and now Pulte maybe?  Anyway soon this will be a crop of plastic houses. And it seems like Chester County keeps sprouting  more and more crops of densely placed plastic houses.

You would think that Chester County would have learned from the mistakes of Montgomery and Delaware Counties.

Just look at what once was Foxcatcher Farm or the DuPont estate in Newtown Square at Goshen and 252? How is any of that attractive? And look at the beautiful natural habitat that was literally bulldozed under. I said before I’m a realist, I didn’t expect when an estate like that was broken up it would remain pristine and intact, especially given the history and events of recent years.  However, it still shocks me that none of the land was truly conserved. In my opinion, the only land that has not been built upon is land they couldn’t build upon easily.


The two photos you’re looking at above I took this spring. Giant manor sized  houses so close together .  And they are going up lickety-split in all of  their Tyvec glory.

I think it’s horrible. I think it’s horrible especially since I have seen what nonprofits like the Natural Lands Trust are able to accomplish and achieve in land preservation. But did Newtown Township ever wanted to preserve any of it given the projects that have almost but not quite happened on the former  Arco/Ellis school site in recent years? 

However there are many opinions when to comes to development. Recently my blog posts about Foxcatcher, which are in some cases years old, were brought up again on a  Facebook page about Newtown Square.


Ok so this Nathan above  is entitled to his opinion even if he is somewhat ignorant in his approach.  I never called Newtown Supervisors  “commissioners” are we will start with that. And if he wants to go pointing fingers, there are several villains in these plays.  At the top of my list are  local municipal elected officials, state elected officials, and developers.

We’ll start with the local elected officials. These are the people that have temporary elected stewardship over our communities. I think they have an obligation to represent us all equally and not just select factions or special interests. But the reality of politics even on the most local level is that is whom they cater to exactly.  Are we talking about real or theoretical payola  here? Doesn’t matter because at the end of the day they get sold a bill of goods and they know better than the rest of us. When you challenge a local municipality on development most of the time they will throw up their hands and say “Wecan’t do anything. All our codes are based on the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.”

Then there are the state elected officials. These are the guys whose  campaigns are supported by not only local elected officials but people with big check books  like developers. Our politicians on the state level could reform and update the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code but they don’t want to deal with it.
 They also don’t want to deal with the building and development lobbyists. And it’s those lobbying groups that killed a very interesting bill that was proposed in Pennsylvania a few years ago.

This was known as HB904 in the seission of 2007:

AN ACT 1 Amending the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), entitled, 2 as amended, “An act to empower cities of the second class A, 3 and third class, boroughs, incorporated towns, townships of 4 the first and second classes including those within a county 5 of the second class and counties of the second through eighth 6 classes, individually or jointly, to plan their development 7 and to govern the same by zoning, subdivision and land 8 development ordinances, planned residential development and 9 other ordinances, by official maps, by the reservation of 10 certain land for future public purpose and by the acquisition 11 of such land; to promote the conservation of energy through 12 the use of planning practices and to promote the effective 13 utilization of renewable energy sources; providing for the 14 establishment of planning commissions, planning departments, 15 planning committees and zoning hearing boards, authorizing 16 them to charge fees, make inspections and hold public 17 hearings; providing for mediation; providing for transferable 18 development rights; providing for appropriations, appeals to 19 courts and penalties for violations; and repealing acts and 20 parts of acts,” adding provisions to authorize temporary 21 development moratorium. 22 The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 23 hereby enacts as follows: 24 Section 1. The act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known 25 as the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, reenacted and  1 amended December 21, 1988 (P.L.1329, No.170), is amended b.

This act stayed around a couple of years until it was just made to disappear. it was last referenced in a 2009 article:

Philadelphia Inquirer: A home-building ban in an economic crisis? By Diane Mastrull

Amid an economic disaster that has brought the home-building industry to its knees, a Pennsylvania lawmaker intends to resume his push for building moratoriums.
A building ban? When federal-stimulus proponents long for a resumption of the construction cacophony of hammers and electric saws?
The moratorium advocate, State Rep. Robert Freeman (D., Northampton), insists he’s not hard-hearted when it comes to builders.
“It’s important for us to stimulate our economy, so I’d be glad to get the home builders back to work,” Freeman said in a recent interview.
He just wants to ensure that when the orders for new houses start pouring in again, communities have a way to temporarily stop the bulldozers if they do not have adequate growth plans and ordinances in place.
“It gives the opportunity for those folks who have been feeling the pressure from development to take a breather,” Freeman said of moratoriums.
Municipalities currently have the right to reject a development proposal if it does not meet local land-use requirements. But they cannot simply declare that no building can occur if in fact there is room to accommodate it. Freeman wants to give them the temporary right to do so – but only if a town determines that it is overwhelmed by development and that its growth plans, ordinances, and zoning are inadequate to address that crush.

That bill was a great idea. It would’ve allowed communities to hit the pause button for a brief amount of time.

As individuals and residents  in these communities facing wanton development our culpability partially lies in the fact that we keep electing these people to public office. And once these people are in elected office, not many are willing to hold their feet to the proverbial fire are they?

I also do not feel it is as simple as saying people should just put up the money to buy all the open space. 

Ordinary people don’t often have the means to match what developers will pay so they can put up hundreds if not thousands of houses.  Even on small building sites, often regular people cannot match what developers will offer to buy a house as a tear down because the lot or neighborhood is desirable for them to build on . I saw that happen a few years ago when someone was trying to buy a house and they ended up bidding against a developer. They just walked away from it. They couldn’t compete.

But as for people like this Nathan, I am not going to just zip my lip as so eloquently stated. We need to speak out about these monster developments in order to preserve our very way of life. It’s not just open space, it’s more complicated than that. It’s what makes us want to live in a specific area in the first place. We are trying to preserve our communities. Our sense of place.

People who are extraordinarily pro-development for whatever reason will immediately label people like myself as being completely “anti-development”. But that isn’t it .

What we are looking for is yes, preservation and land conservation, but also moderation.  And when is the last time in recent years that you have seen moderation in any kind of development?  The ironic thing is that shortsighted on the part of the developers. If they exercised moderation once in a while they would get a lot farther with their plans.

But it is as if development is revving up to warp speed once again.  It makes me wonder if that is why people in Chester County can’t save their oak tree – seriously, it’s in the Daily Local:

Chester Springs family works to save 270-year-old oak tree 

By Virginia Lindak, For 21st-Century Media

Chester Springs resident Jim Helm has spent the last several weeks trying to save a historical estimated 270-year-old oak tree on his property from being destroyed by utility companies. The tree, which stands on the border of his property, extends into power lines which run along the road, making it vulnerable for unwarranted trimming and cutting by Verizon and PECO…Recently the Helms discovered Verizon crews cutting off branches of the oak tree and halted engineers as best they could, as the police were called in to regulate the situation and ordered the Helms back to their house. West Vincent Township officials have told the Helms they want to help save the tree but progress has been slow. 
Helm noted that between the trimming conducted by Verizon and West Vincent Township, 25 percent of the tree’s canopy is now gone….Perhaps a larger question continues to loom; as modern development continues to grow at a rapid rate in Chester County, who will advocate on behalf of the few, rare old trees left and save them from being cut down?

We need open space. We also need just basic land and community preservation. Every plastic McMansion, “Carriage House” and townhouse development that comes along further detracts from what makes where we live special. It lines the pockets of developers and creates a sea of plastic houses that are ridiculously close together.  Also, what do we as communities really get out of these developments except traffic jams and a change in our overall ecological profile?

From one end of Pennsylvania to the other we need land development reforms. We desperately need to re-define what suburbs and exurbs are. Having the ability for our communities to have temporary moratoriums on development is not a bad thing, either. And in order to get these things we have to put better people in elected office from the most local level through to the Governor’s mansion. 

We also need to better support land conservation groups. If we don’t, open-space will merely become an antiquated term with no practical or real applicability.

Thanks for stopping by.

Categories: Pennsylvania

We're in love with a Jersey girl

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-07-06 06:35
Bruce Springsteen summed up the sports world for us today.

We're in love with a Jersey girl.

Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick as the United State women exploded early and rolled to a huge win over Japan to capture the women's World Cup soccer title.

Lloyd, of course, is the pride of Delran, N.J.

I am not nearly the soccer zealot that my son is. I will occasionally tap into it during the huge events, such as the World Cup.

There is always a lot of debate whenever one of these events rolls around and interest in the sport skyrockets. We are told how soccer is now a dominant sport among kids, with youth leagues exploding at the seams.

But it occurred to me while I was watching the second half of yesterday's gold medal game why soccer is always going to have trouble translating to a TV audience, and it's not for the reason you might think.

It has nothing to do with what some clumsily refer as the almost un-American fact that players can't use their hands

. It's not the paucity of scoring, although you'd be hard-pressed to prove that by yesterday's game.

It's much more mercantile than that.

Soccer will struggle to find a huge TV audience for one very good reason.

There are no commercials.

I know, this is going to sound odd. We whine about the ads interfering with the pace of play, and extending baseball, football and hockey games forever.

But the truth is those ads happen to pay all the bills.

They also provide breaks in the action.

Without those, as you witness in the continuous, non-stop clock of the two 45-minute halves of a soccer game, for long periods of time not a lot is happening.

And there also is no break for those most time-honored sports viewing traditions - grabbing a snack or cold beverage from the fridge, or even paying a visit to the bathroom.

Without a TV timeout, we are captives on the sofa, watching and waiting for something to happen.

None of that, of course, diminishes what Lloyd and her mates accomplished.

All hail the conquering U.S. women.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Freedom & Grace

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-07-06 06:17
We just spend the weekend in our annual paean to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I thought a lot about these topics. In fact, I devoted my weekly print column to it.

It seems to me the two topics - freedom and grace - are not always intertwined. We would all be better off were that not the case.

We got a couple of examples of how both work.

In other words, it was quite a couple of weeks for the nation. And one American in particular.

Amazing, you might even say.
Categories: Pennsylvania

happy 4th of july!

Chester County Ramblings - Sat, 2015-07-04 08:21


Categories: Pennsylvania

Late budget

PA Watercooler - Fri, 2015-07-03 16:27
Hey, Republican legislature…
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Wolf Vetoes Republicans’ End-Run Around DEP Drilling Regulations

Keystone Politics - Fri, 2015-07-03 12:26
Along with the Republican proposals for alcohol reform and pensions, Tom Wolf also vetoed the Republicans’ plan to use the Fiscal Code to carve conventional oil and gas drilling out of...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics


Chester County Ramblings - Thu, 2015-07-02 15:41


Categories: Pennsylvania


Chester County Ramblings - Thu, 2015-07-02 15:39


Categories: Pennsylvania

Why Can’t All Wawa’s Sell Beer?

Keystone Politics - Thu, 2015-07-02 08:40
One Wawa in Pennsylvania will soon sell beer, in Chadd’s Ford. Acme, Whole Foods and Wegmans already have approval to sell beer in the area. A decision is expected on July 21. Wawa...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, July 2

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-07-02 07:38
The Daily Numbers: 2 anchor stores with exterior entrances all that remains of the iconic Granite Run Mall. They locked the doors for the last time.

41 years, how long the shopping mecca stood at Baltimore Pike and Route 352 in Middletown.

125 retail spaces in the mall in its heyday.

24 million dollars, what the mall sold for, going to BET Investments. Most of the existing mall will be razed and replaced with a town center development of residential and retail.

20 million dollar renovation planned for the 58 acres site.

25 bucks, what it will cost you if you want to pick up a Pope Francis bobblehead ahead of his visit to the region in September.

4th suspect in Marple home invasion captured in North Carolina.

95 mph winds in a confirmed EF-1 tornado that touched down in Honey Brook, Chester County, on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

190,000 dollar salary for the new super in Springfield.

2.18 percent tax hike coming in Marple Newtown.

14 nursing homes operated by Golden Living being sued by the state attorney general.

138 point uptick for the stock market yesterday.

9-5 loss for the hapless Phillies to the Brewers.

8 straight losses for Aaron Harang.

8 runs on 14 hits given up by the Phils’ starter.

6.94 ERA for Harang.

27-53 record for the Phils, worst in baseball.

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

The Phillies are the worst team in baseball. And it’s not really close.

I Don’t Get It: Still trying to figure out why anyone is surprised by the budget stalemate in Harrisburg.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the new top cop in Ridley Township. That would be Scott Willoughby, new police captain.

Quote Box: “I remember when Granite Run first opened. It was a destination. It’s sad to see it close.”

- Krby Rhodes, on the end of the line for the iconic mall.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Wawa makes its case for beer sales

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-07-02 07:02
UPDATE: Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday afternoon vetoed the bill that would privatize sales of wine and alcohol in Pa. * You have to love Wawa's sense of timing.

Or, I guess, you might say: Gottahava sense of timing.

That is the sentiment we delivered on our front page Wednesday, with a lead headline exclaiming, ‘Gottahava Brewski,’ when our very own iconic Delco convenience store chain went in front of the folks out in Concord and made their case to sell beer in their store on Naamans Creek Road.

It is the first time Wawa has considered beer sales in the ever-changing landscape of booze sales in Pa.

While they sell beer in stores in Virginia and Florida, it marks the first such effort in Pennsylvania.

And it comes on the same day that the state Senate also for the first time in history passed legislation privatizing the sale of alcohol in Pa. Right now that bill is sitting on Gov. Tom Wolf's desk, no doubt likely to wind up part of the ongoing budget talks that have blown past the July 1 deadline.

For now, Wawa is saying this is a single-store consideration, but if you read between the lines, it's not hard to see this quickly expanding to other stores. The company says similar beer sales at other locations would depend on the success of the new facility in Concord. What does that tell you?

Make no mistake. This is still not going to be quite the experience you get in other states. Wawa is literally planning to build a completely separate part of the state to handle beer sales.

And you have to love the name. They're calling it the Wild Goose Cafe. No doubt after the company's namesake Canadian goose, which is indigenous to the section of Delaware County where it was founded, out in Chester Heights and Middletown.

Wawa is planning to construct a 400-square-foot space within the store for beer sales, as well as seating for 30. It will have its own register, separate from purchase in the rest of the store.

That's also the practice at several local supermarkets that have entered the fray in beer sales, such as Wegmans. You can't just snag a case of beer, put it in your cart with the rest of your groceries and pay for it all at the same register before exiting. Beer sales are confined to a separate section for the store, and you must pay for them at a separate register. You also are confined to buying two six-packs at a time, the same as will hold for this Wawa plan.

If you want a case, you will still have to head to your local beer distributor. Or simply make another trip back into the Wawa or supermarket and grab two more six-packs.

Under the Senate bill, beer distributors and supermarkets would be able to buy a license to sell wine and booze. I guess the problem for the mom-and-pop operators would be where they would put all this stuff. If the plan is signed by Gov. Wolf, I'll be interested to see just how many beer distributors enter the wine and spirits biz.

I'm also very interested to see if any of the huge discount liquor operations such as Total Wine just over the line in Claymont try to stick their toes in the Pa. waters.

This is about as close as Pennsylvania has ever gotten to blowing up the LCB and getting the state out of the booze business. It's not hard to see a day when beer sales at Wawa will be commonplace, just as they are in convenience stores in most other states. After all, isn't that part of the 'convenience?'
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Phillies hit bottom

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-07-02 06:31
Phillies fans got a glimpse of cold, hard reality this week.

Friends, we are fans of the worst team in baseball.

After all the hoopla surrounding the emergence of the new face of ownership in John Middletown; and the new boss of operations, Andy MacPhail; and the new interim manager for the rest of the season, Pete Mackanin; unfortunately they still have to play the games. The Phils entered this series within spitting distance of the equally inept Milwaukee Brewers.

It has not gone well.

The Phils have dropped three straight to the Brewers. They now sit at an atrocious 27-53, 17 1/2 games in back of the NL East-leading Nationals, who toyed with the Phils last weekend.

In the meantime, the Brewers have put some daylight between themselves and the bottom rung in baseball, where the Phils currently reside.

After three straight wins at Citizens Bank Park, the Brew Crew are at 32-48.

Milwaukee bludgeoned troubled Phils' starter Aaron Harang last night. After a promising start to the season, Harang has gone off a cliff. It was his eighth straight loss, and clearly his worst outing of the season. Harang surrendered eight runs on 14 hits in five-plus innings.

The Phillies .338 winning percentage puts them at the bottom of the baseball heap.

And deservedly so.

There is really only one interesting thing left about this team. That would be who Cole Hamels will be dealt to, and for whom.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, July 1

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-07-01 08:10
The Daily Numbers: 1 Wawa store where the Delco convenience store icon wants to sell beer.

400 square foot addition to the store that would be created for beer sales.

4-foot-high wall that would separate the area, known as the Wild Goose Cafe, from the rest of the store.

2 6-packs, how much customers can purchase at 1 time.

7 a.m.-2 a.m. sales Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-2 a.m. on Sunday.

690 Wawa stores in 6 states.

0 in Pa. that currently sell beer. The Naamans Creek Road store, at the intersection with Route 202, would be the 1st. 100 Wawa locations in Virginia and Florida that sell beer.

113-82 vote in Pa. House to privatize sale of alcohol in the state.

27-22 vote in the Senate.

0 Democrats who voted for the plan.

40 years, how long it’s been since a Pa. governor has vetoed an entire budget plan, as Gov. Tom Wolf did last night.

16 percent hike in taxes being sought by Gov. Wolf.

1 man found fatally shot in a car in Chester.

15 homicides recorded so far in Delaware County.

10 of those have been in Chester.

85 years, how long the Mar-Win Market has been in operation in Lansdowne. They are closing their doors forever.

2.45 percent tax hike given the OK by Springfield School Board.

10.56 inches of rain recorded in June back in 2013. That’s all-time record.

7 inches, how much rain we had this June, approximately.

1 possible tornado that touched down yesterday in Honey Brook, Chester County. The National Weather Service is investigating.

10,000 without power at height of storm last night in Lehigh Valley.

23 point spike for the Dow Jones, 1 day after a 350-point plunge.

2-0 win for the USA woman over Germany to advance to championship game in World Cup on Sunday.

2-1 win for the Union over D.C. United.

46 minute weather delay as rain and lightning pounded PPL Park in Chester.

4-3 loss for Phils to the Brewers.

27-52 mark for the Phils, worst in MLB.

0 wins for Cole Hamels in the month of June. He has not won since May 23.

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

The USA woman will go for the World Cup title on the July 4 weekend. Get used to hearing chants of ‘USA, USA!’

I Don’t Get It: Raise your hand if you’re surprised that the budget talks have hit a stalemate in Harrisburg. Thought so.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Pa. Senate for voting for the 1st time ever to get the state out of the booze business.

Quote Box: “This is a budget that doesn’t work. It simply doesn’t work. The math doesn’t work. It’s not balanced and it doesn’t address the challenges that Pennsylvanians face.”

- Gov. Tom Wolf, as he vetoed GOP spending plan.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Republicans Not Backing Off on Undoing Environmental Policy Through the Fiscal Code

Keystone Politics - Wed, 2015-07-01 07:57
Despite Tom Wolf’s veto, House and Senate Republicans aren’t backing off trying to undo the Department of Environmental Protection’s drilling regulations by amending the fiscal code...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Pa. inches closer to getting out of booze business

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-07-01 07:22
Something happened in Harrisburg yesterday that has never happened before.

No, not Gov. Tom Wolf vetoing the GOP budget plan. Nothing new about that, even if it hasn't in about 40 years.

Folks, raise your glasses.

The Senate voted to get Pennsylvania out of the booze business.

Yes, both the Senate and House passed legislation to privatize the sale of wine and alcohol in Pennsylvania.

So what does it all mean?

Well, for right now, it doesn't mean a thing. That's in part because Wolf opposes privatization. But last night he said he would not immediately veto the privatization plan, along with a GOP-backed pension bill.

I'm interested in what exactly the privatization bill does.

In short, if you're waiting for super stores to rush into Pennsylvania, you might be disappointed.

I know that I have been the state's primary proponent of getting Pa. out of the booze business for years. I used to joke with former state Rep. Ron Raymond, who headed the liquor control committee, that I would volunteer to push the plunger to blow up the hated LCB system and the idea of state stores.

What I have always wanted is simply what consumers in other states have - convenience. I want to be able to go to one place - preferably at the same time I am buying my groceries - and buy my beer, wine or spirits.

I want to be able to duck into the local Wawa on the way home and grab a cold six-pack.

I'd like to see stores such as Total Wine just over the border in Claymont offer their spectacular variety here in Pa.

I'm still not sure this bill will do that.

Here are some of the things it will do:

* If they so desire, beer distributors can add wine and liquor to their offerings, making the idea of one-stop shopping a possibility. But they won't be able to sell six-packs. Instead they will still be limited to selling cases and the recently won right to sell 12-packs. For a six-pack you will still have to go to a bar or deli, or a supermarket that sells beer.

* Speaking of those supermarkets, those that have beer licenses now would be able to add liquor and wine to their offerings.

* The bars and taverns that sell takeout would be able to add liquor and wine.

* The current state stores won't necessarily go out of business. They likely will remain until the state determines that an area is being adequately served by private enterprise. Profitability of the state stores also will be taken into consideration.

* Also, state stores will not start selling beer, which in a way would also have resulted in one-stop shopping.

I am guessing that, in terms of the supermarkets, some of the current problematic logistics would stay in place. You will still have to visit a separate part of the store and pay for your items there, as opposed to simply putting the items in your cart and paying for them with the rest of your groceries.

The ball is now in Gov. Wolf's court.

I am guessing all of this becomes a pawn in the state's budget war. I find it interesting that Wolf - who has long opposed privatization - did not immediately veto it last night.

That tells me he might be willing to give in on something the GOP clearly wants, perhaps in return for them giving in on some of his budget plans.

I'll hold off on a toast for now, but it's closer than Pennsylvania has ever gotten to getting out of the booze business.

Sip, Sip, Hooray!
Categories: Pennsylvania

We told you so: Stalemate in Harrisburg

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-07-01 06:48
You had to see this one coming.

The only thing missing in Harrisburg is the distinctive voice of Michael Buffer:

"Let's get ready to RUMMMMMMBLEEEE!"

You can call this one the main event, and it was set in motion last winter when newly minted Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf rolled out a budget that called for a massive hike in spending, funded by hikes in the personal income and sales taxes, along with a new levy on natural gas extraction in the state.

Republicans who control both the state House and Senate warned him his budget had no chance.

He fired back that he would veto any GOP budget that did not address what he considered the crucial problems facing the state, including finding more money for education.

So what happened?

Pretty much exactly what I figured would take place.

The Republicans passed their own spending plan, crowing that it was on time - just as former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett had done for four straight years - and that it contained no tax hikes.

Wolf didn't blink. Late last night he announced he would veto the entire spending plan.

The deadline for the state to have a spending plan in place was midnight last night.

Guess what? The deadline came and went.

So what happens now.

Well, Wolf at least is inviting legislative leaders to meet today.

This is now a heavyweight bout. The lack of a fiscal plan won't really have an effect right away, although a stalemate could wreak havoc with our elected representatives' July 4th plans.

Stay tuned. This one could get very interesting.
Categories: Pennsylvania

That was one wet June

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-07-01 06:21
I think we can safely say we won't be dealing with the word drought this summer.

June went out with a bang - and more rain.

Exactly one week after a wicked combination of storms and straight-line winds pummeled the region and cut off power to hundreds of thousands across the region, the skies again turned an ominous black over the region yesterday afternoon.

For the most part, Delco simply got hammered with heavy rain.

Out in Chester County, they are trying to determine if a tornado touched down in Honey Brook.

Here in Delco, there was flooding reported on I-95 from the airport to Route 420, turning the afternoon rush hour into a crawl.

And it was even more unfortunate for some drivers who tempted the fast-rising waters on Route 420 in Prospect Park. Several vehicles became trapped in the water about 5 p.m., as you can see in this photo. No serious injuries were reported.

If you thought June was wet, you weren't wrong.

Yesterday's downpour topped off the more than 6 inches that had already fallen in June, making it tied for the 14th wettest June since they started keeping tabs on these things back in 1872.

We could easily push close to the top five wettest Junes on record.

In case you're wondering, the wettest June ever occurred back in 2013, when we racked up 2013 inches of rain.

Just call me Noah.
Categories: Pennsylvania

storm clouds overhead a few minutes ago….

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2015-06-30 15:56


Categories: Pennsylvania