It's official: Summer is over

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-09-05 05:38
Everything is different today.

Actually, I started to feel this way last week.

OK, I'll be totally honest.

I got the first twinges back in early August when I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw Rehoboth Beach facing into the background.

Summer is over.

The kids who did not start school last week head back today, in the traditional post-Labor Day return.

School buses will once again clog the roads. Traffic patterns will be different.

I noticed something this year that seemed a little different this year.

Is it just me or does the sun now seem different. It seems lower in the sky than it was back in June and July. The shadows from the trees seem to form earlier in the day. My deck, which usually gets full sun much of the day, was in shadows even yesterday afternoon, with a bright sun overhead.

Not helping matters was the unseasonably cool temperatures we endured last week.

Yes, I know many people actually enjoy them.

Not me. I like it hot and humid. We're supposed to get a little reminder that it is still technically summer today, with muggy conditions and temperatures hitting at least the mid-80s.

But then it will turn cold again.

Summer is over.

I talk about my feelings in my weekly print Letter From the Editor.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Delco opens its heart

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-09-01 05:25
I've set it a million times: When the chips are down, nobody delivers like Delco.

Yesterday we ran a story on Proaction Restoration in Ridley, where owner Mike McIntyre announced he and one of his crews would head to Harvey-ravaged Houston to deliver some much-needed goods and offer their services in the cleanup and restoration.

They didn't expect what happened after the news hit the street.

Their neighbors and other Delco folks overwhelmed them with donations to take to Houston.

You can read the story here.

And the Providence Animal Center also is getting involved. They are driving to Houston to pick up animals in shelters there to make room for the many animals displaced in the hurricane.

That story is here.

It's just a reminder of the very special people that live here in Delaware County, who are always ready to open their hearts - and their wallets - in times of need.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Concerns linger over Mariner East 2

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-09-01 05:18
If you thought that settlement reached between Sunoco and environmental groups eased residents' concerns about Mariner East 2, think again.

That would be especially true if you took part in any of three events this week here in Delaware County.

At the Rose Tree Media School board meeting, the Middletown commissioners meeting, and a special telephone town hall set up by a local state rep and state senator, residents' concerns came through loud and clear.

Don't expect them to go away anytime soon.

Then again, don't expect Mariner East 2 to go away either.

We're going to have to live with it.

At least we can keep close tabs on it to ease residents' concerns.

Read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

62 isn't much better than 60

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-09-01 04:58
Turning 40 didn't faze me a bit.

Same for 50. Half a century? No sweat.

But I found 60 to be a bit of a different animal. It just sounds so much older than 59.

Two years later, 62 is no treat either.

Yes, that is actually me in that picture. I am guessing I am all of 23 or 24 in that shot, taken in the pool at my aunt's home in Hollywood, Fla., when we trekked down there for my cousin's wedding. That's mom next to me.

How cheap am I? I took the train down there. Stayed up all night in the bar car.

I guess those are the things you do when you are 23 or 24.

Certainly not at 62.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Get ready to pay more at the pumps

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-08-31 06:18
Here is the number of the day:


That's the price of gas at the Wawa out on West Chester Pike in Westtown.

Get used to it.

One of the fallouts from Harvey is going to be a serious uptick in gas prices.

Locally, the price has jumped as much as 20 cents per gallon in just the past few days.

Several major refineries in Texas have been forced to shut down, and explosions are being heard coming from some facilities there this morning.

Bottom line: They are not likely going to be back online any time soon.

Yes, prices are skyrocketing just in time for the Labor Day holiday.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Delco, nation rallies behind Houston

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-08-31 06:03
It's always the one thing you can count on in times of crisis.

People opening their hearts - and wallets - to help out.

Today's paper is full of their stories.

Kathleen Carey talked to Mike McIntyre, owner of Proaction Restoration Inc. in Ridley. He and a team of workers are headed to Texas to help in any way they can. On our editorial page, we review how you can help, and the other things the county is doing if they call comes seeking help. Even Chris Christie is getting into the act.

We'll never be accused of being the biggest Christie booster.

But while the New Jersey governor was reminded that Sen. Ted Cruz and others blocked an aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, he is not looking for revenge now.

He is urging Congress members from New Jersey and New York not to block any aid efforts targeting the devastation in Houston.

"I now help that the people of New Jersey and New York are willing to let bygones be bygones and vote for relief for Texas.

That does not mean he does not remember the actions of Cruz and others.

Christie called the Texas senator a hypocrite and mocked Cruz's claim that too much of that aid bill back in the aftermath of Sandy was loaded with pork that had nothing to do with emergency aid.

"The disgraceful part of that, the truly disgraceful part of what we just saw was that he (Cruz) is not telling the truth, standing in a recovery center, where people are suffering," Christie said.

"He should just stand up now and say, 'You know, I was wrong. I was wrong in 2012. It was the wrong thing to do." Good for Christie.

And good for all those who are rallying behind the effort to help those devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Categories: Pennsylvania

RIP, 'Daddy Mass'

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-08-31 05:46
It is the one word that was always synonymous with Rollie Massimino.


The Villanova Family today is mourning the loss of 'Daddy Mass,' the man who led one of the most improbably sports stories in Philadelphia history when his Wildcats, the tiny school from the Main Line, slew the giant, Patrick Ewing, John Thompson and the Georgetown Hoyas, to capture the 1985 national championship.

Massimino died at age 82 in Florida.

Eventually Massimino would leave Villanova; but he would never leave his family.

Rollie was there in 2016 when his one-time assistant, Jay Wright, led the 'Cats to their second national championship.

After leaving Villanova, Massimino had coaching stints at UNLV, Stony Brook and Cleveland State. His last stop was at Keiser University in Florida.

Many in the Philadelphia hoops scene continue to hold a grudge against Massimino and Villanova, blaming him for Villanova's focus shifting away from the Big 5 and on to bigger things in the Big East.

But Massimino remained part of the "family."

"He's going to live in all the players he coached, all the coaches that coached with him," Jay Wright said. "We are all products of him."

No one has covered the Villanova story as closely as Terry Toohey over the past couple of decades. Make sure you read Terry's remembrance of the man they called 'Daddy Mass.'
Categories: Pennsylvania

Delco responds to Harvey

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2017-08-30 06:20
Never let it be said that Delco does not respond in a crisis - even when it's halfway across the country in Texas.

Delaware County officials yesterday gave us a look at some of the equipment they say is ready to roll to help in the Hurricane Harvey relief effort in Houston as soon as they get the call.

You can read about it here.

And, as we've been warned, prices at the pump are starting to creep up because so much refinery production in the Houston area is shut down.

I went past a Wawa on the drive in this morning where gas already had zoomed to $2.69 a gallon.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Nick-ed up QB spurring talk of Kaepernick with Birds

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2017-08-30 05:47
Never has so much been written - and talked about - for a guy who hopefully does not take one snap for the Eagles this year.

No, not Jon Dorenbos.

We're talking about the guy who is always the most popular guy in town - the Eagles backup quarterback.

This year that would be Nick Foles, the one-time prodigy - anyone else remember 27 and 2- that would be touchdown passes vs. interceptions in his eye-popping season with the Eagles back in 2013.

Foles was dispatched to the Rams in a deal that brought Sam Bradford to the Birds.

This year Foles is back, expected to stand on the sideline and hold the clipboard while Carson Wentz hopefully blossoms into an NFL superstar.

But there's problem with that - actually a couple of them.

First, and of course we hope this never happens, quarterbacks in in the NFL have a tendency to get hurt and miss time. They are the focus of every team's defense, and Wentz certainly will draw the attention of every Eagles opponent. Stop him, you stop the Eagles.

But more problematic is the fact that Foles has yet to play a down in the preseason.

He's been nursing a sore elbow that team officials insist is no big deal. As always, they say they're simply being cautious.

Maybe a little too cautious for fans' liking. Foles missed practice again yesterday.

His status for the final exhibition game Thursday up the N.J. Turnpike vs. the Jets is not clear.

Yesterday's illness is not supposed to be related to the elbow problem.

All of this has people talking about a certain unemployed quarterback and wondering if he would be a good fit for the Eagles.

That, of course, would be social activist Colin Kaepernick.

Keep an eye on this one.

If Foles does not play, and perhaps starts the season on injured reserve, look for the Kaepernick chants to get louder.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A great way to kick off school year in Upper Darby

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2017-08-30 05:29
On our editorial page, we lament the end of summer.

Yes, for many Delco students, school is back in session.

Upper Darby led the charge this week - and in the process they did something very special.

Stonehurst Hills Elementary School took part in a national project called the Million Father March.

The whole idea is to get dads - or at least a father figure - more intimately involved in their children's education.

It's a great way to start the year.

Even if it does mean summer is over.

You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

helping those who do god’s work in houston, texas get through harvey

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2017-08-29 13:03

Reader submitted photo- Hurricane Harvey havoc – Saint Thomas’ Church and School, 4900 Jackwood St Houston, Texas, TX

This is a story that started in Chester County when earlier this summer we sad goodbye to a friend of ours from high school who had been one of the clergy at Good Samaritan in Paoli. He received a new calling and was headed to Texas, to a beautiful church and school in Houston – St. Thomas’ Church and School  Our friend is an associate rector and chaplain at this lovely church and school.

They have been devastated by Harvey. Our friend has barely been settled in but a minute.

The above photo came with a message:

The school and community have been devastated. If you’d like to donate to St. Thomas Episcopal Church & School, you can do it at You can also give through the Greater Houston Community Foundation, where our friend Renee Wizig-Barrios is Chief Philanthropy Officer, at Thank you so much for your prayers and support. 

We made a donation to our friend’s church and school.  We know that we are donating to a legitimate cause. Be sure to check out any place gathering donations for Harvey.

For other ways to give check out the ASPCA website, the Best Friends Disaster Relief Fund, and the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey .

Use GuideStar , or Charity Navigator to check out non-profits you are interested in. Remember that legitimate charities are not going to cold call you for money.

I chose to help my friend’s church and school.  People who really do God’s work for the right reasons, deserve it.

Categories: Pennsylvania

The staggering numbers from Harvey

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-08-29 05:13
As you dodge raindrops around here today, try to come to grips with the devastation that is raining down on Texas.

It started raining last Friday.

It is still raining.

Now they are saying Harvey may actually be coming back for a second shot at the Houston area.

The numbers are staggering.

Experts say before it's over, Harvey may dump as much as 50 inches of rain on the region.

Everything is under water.

At least 10 people have lost their lives. More than 2,000 people have been rescued. There are more than 30,000 people being housed in makeshift shelters.

And it is still raining.

If you want to help, the best way is always cash.

You can read our editorial for the info you need to know on how to help those devastated by Harvey.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Our shared experiences

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-08-29 04:55
I guess you never know how people are going to react to something you've written.

Or maybe we really are a community of shared experiences.

I've been somewhat taken aback at the reaction to my Monday print column. I wrote about one of the rites of parenthood, taking your kids off to college. It was on my mind all week while we covered many local 'move-in' days at local colleges. But I couldn't shake the notion that Michelle Roberson was supposed to be doing the exact same thing this week.

She was supposed to be taking her precious daughter Bianca off to start college at Jacksonville University in Florida.

She will never get that chance, because Bianca was gunned down in a moment of madness on Route 100 in Chester County.

I still really can't quite grasp the fact that you can now lose your life over a traffic incident.

A lot of people called, commented on social media and emailed me to say that this particular column struck home.

I know all about the trauma of watching your child walk into a dorm - and in a way out of your life. It's one of those moments when you realize that your children are no longer children - that they are adults and no longer under your protective wing. That can be an unsettling experience.

But it's one Michelle Roberson had taken away from her in a moment of madness.

Let's all keep Michelle Roberson and her family in our thoughts and prayers this week.
Categories: Pennsylvania

harvey havoc: as seen near/in houston, texas

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2017-08-28 14:50

A friend of mine who is a Pennsylvania transplant to Houston, Texas posted this photo a few minutes ago.

She posted with the following caption:

A street not a river. But today a river not a street

And a shout out to the lovely management company in charge of an apartment complex in Houston called La Maison in River Oaks: your tenants need help, and apparently the water company in the City of Houston needs to buy a clue in an emergency:

And another photo from another Pennsylvania transplant in Houston:

Categories: Pennsylvania

harvey havoc

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2017-08-28 07:17

The #reality of #Harvey. I have a very dear friend who literally just bought herself a house outside of Houston Texas after moving there a couple of years ago.

Emphasis is on just moved in. She was evacuated last night. We had hoped because she lives in a place that’s higher than most spots that she would be OK. She reminded me yesterday via text that a lot of people forget around Houston is a lot of bayou.

Above is what appeared on her Facebook feed last night. Her name and face are blocked out to protect her privacy but I wanted people to see what this was all about – this is no joke.

She has a son who live near NASA who was evacuated yesterday, and I have two other friends in the path of the storm. I don’t know if they are still sheltering in place or have been evacuated — they are actually Chester County PA transplants.

The other two photos are from my friend in Houston who is more in the thick of it in the city.

So while our president tweets BIG words, this is where this country actually needs him to BE presidential- not just tweet as the president.

Prayers for all in the path of the storm, including first responders. If my friends in Texas send me more updates and or photos, I will post them.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Summer is over

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-08-28 06:12
Summer is over.

Don't pay any attention to the calendar, which tells us that Labor Day is still a week away. Or that summer actually will be with us until Sept. 22.

Summer is over.

Don't believe it? Ask any of the kids or families in the Upper Darby School District. They are heading back to school today for the first day of classes.

This year Upper Darby supplants Ridley School District, which traditionally is the first district to return to school in the county.

There are several special events set in Upper Darby to mark the beginning of another school year.

At Stonehurst Hills Elementary School, dads and others will take part in the Million Father March, taking part with their kids in delivering them to school and committing themselves to their child's education.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A trip Michelle Roberson will never make

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-08-28 05:53
It is one of those rites that mark the end of summer.

Parents pack up their kids - along with all their offspring's earthly possessions - and haul them all off to college.

It is a rite I cherished for many years hustling my kids up the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to their schools.

But this year as we marked another round of 'move-in' days, I have not been able to get someone else out of my head.

I have been thinking about a woman who will not be taking part in this cherished rite as she expected.

My heart breaks for Michelle Roberson.

It's in my weekly Letter from the Editor.
Categories: Pennsylvania