Remembering Roy Halladay

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2017-11-08 08:09

It was a word that described Roy Halladay on and off the field.

It was also one of the first words that came to mind when our worst fears were confirmed yesterday afternoon.

It started with eerie word that a plane that he owned had gone down in the Gulf Of Mexico off Tampa, Fla. Then, about 4:30 came confirmation from police. And just like that Roy Halladay was gone.

The two-time Cy Young winner only spent four seasons with the Phillies, but it seemed longer.

"Doc" seemed like one of us.

He made history by hurling the second perfect game in team history. He followed that up with another bit of history on Oct. 6, 2010.

He tossed a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of the National League Division Series.

That is the other word that came to mind when I thought about Halladay.

Of course, I have a bias. I write headlines for a living.

I immediately thought about the special commemorative page we designed to note Halladay's no-hit playoff gem.

It's a play off his name.


I thought it was a fitting salute.

It still is.

RIP, Roy.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Election 2017: Referendum on President Trump as Democrats upped their game in Tredyffrin and TE School District races

The “Trump Effect” sweeping the nation found its way to our local municipal and school board elections. Every local election can be seen as a referendum on President Trump as voters came out in mass and cast their votes overwhelmingly in support of Democratic candidates, ousting sitting Republicans in the process. In the Tredyffrin Township […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Citizenship demands participation

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-11-07 07:12
Citizenship is not free.

It comes with a price.

It is called participation.

That is why it is essential that voters not sit out today's election.

No, there is no race between Donald and Hillary today.

Instead the focus will be on local races.

There are two seats on Delaware County Council up for grabs, along with a seat on the county Court of Common Please bench, and three row offices.

There is a very important ballot question on property taxes.

A slew of statewide judicial positions are on the ballot.

As well as numerous local municipal and school board seats.

This is not the time to take the day off.

Citizenship demands participation.

And that starts today.

Read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Bye Week cools off the red-hot Eagles

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-11-07 06:52
Go ahead, Eagles fans.

Pinch yourselves.

Yes, the Birds are really 8-1.

Yes, they very well might be the best team in the NFL.

Yes, they dismantled a pretty good Denver Broncos team Sunday at the Linc.

Yes, they ran the ball down the throat of that vaunted No. 1 defense. Call it a reverse Orange Crush.

Sunday it was the Eagles defense that shined, imposing their will on Brock Osweiler and the scuffling Denver offense.

The Eagles put their foot on the Broncos' neck and never let up.

So what is their for dedicated Eagles fans to complain about?

How about this? Raise your hand if you hate the Bye Week.

Yes, that's right. The red-hot Birds will be cooled off this week by the NFL schedule makers.

After winning seven straight games, the green and white get a week off, courtesy of the Bye Week.

They now will not play again Nov. 19 when they tee it up in prime time in a nationally televised Sunday night prime time matchup vs. the Cowboys in Dallas.

Doug Pederson has been masterful in handling every issue confronting this team so far this year. So there is no reason to think the Birds will lose their edge on the bye week.

And remember, he served at the side of a coach who was expert in having his team ready to roll after the bue. That would be Andy Reid.

Bring on the Cowboys.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Politics & Government Start at the Local Level: Vote For the Person, Not the Political Party

Politics and government start at the local level – Election Day 2017 is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 7. The local 2017 campaign season has taken a toll.  It has been difficult (and disheartening) to watch as friends and neighbors turned on each other; sometimes over important campaign issues and other times with unfounded personal attacks. (From […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Yes, again. So how do we make it stop?

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-11-06 07:16

Just one word. That's really all I have to say this morning.


It happened again.

To be honest. I don't want to hear any explanations. I don't want to argue about gun rights. I don't care if it's terrorism or not. I don't care what the suspect looks like.

I just want it to stop.

This morning 26 people are dead, and another couple of dozen are injured after a man walked into a church in a small Texas town and started shooting.

That's what we know.

It is becoming what once would have been unthinkable. It's become routine. Expected. We now wait for the inevitable next one.

That's what we know.

What we don't know is how to make it stop.

Any ideas?
Categories: Pennsylvania

One more day

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-11-06 07:03
One more day.

That's the theme I used in my print column, my weekly Letter From the Editor.

As usual, these local elections can be bruising affairs.

That certainly was true this year.

And I have the lumps to prove it.

Nobody seemed especially happy with our coverage as Democrats attempt to end four decades of complete Republican control in the Media Courthouse.

The prize up for grabs tomorrow is two seats on County Council.

Republicans have not exactly been enamored of our coverage of the Democrats' claims against incumbent Councilman Dave White. They think we would like nothing more than to knock them off their perch.

On the flip side, those long-trodden county Democrats no doubt consider us little more than a tool of the Republican Party. Those ads that litter the front page of the paper as well as our website - which I don't control by the way - probably don't help.

For all this talk, my guess here is that maybe a quarter of those eligible to vote will actually make it to the polls tomorrow. The numbers tell us if both parties get their people to the voting booth, this long run of Republican supremacy should end. Democrats have a 16,000-vote edge in voter registration. They actually passed the GOP a few years back, ending decades of what was at one time a 3-1 Republican domination in voter registration.

But that's the thing. Registration is one thing. Voting is another.

Will this be the year the Dems finally break through?

I'll believe it when I see it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Eagles have their fans feeling 'Super'

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-11-06 06:46
He is now 'The Show.'

Forget Brady vs. Manning.

It's now Carson Wentz vs. the rest of the NFL.

Yes, he is that good.

And the rest of the team was not bad yesterday either in dismantling a Broncos team at the Linc.

Much was made before the game of Denver arriving with the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL. Things got even more interesting before the game when the Eagles announced tight end Zach Ertz, Wentz's favorite target and red zone security blanket, would miss the game with a sore hamstring.

Didn't much matter.

Again, the Eagles and Wentz simply imposed their will on the Broncos.

Wentz again was spectacular, looking more like a 10-year veteran than a kid in his second season in the NFL. He went Wentz 15 for 27 and threw four TD passes. That's becoming his calling card. It's the third time in recent weeks he has tossed four TDs in a game. On the other side of the ball, the defense simply dominated - again.

Brock Osweiler, getting the start as the Broncos tried to inject some life into their struggling offense, was simply overmatched. And don't forget Doug Pederson. The Eagles head coach again drew up a masterful, creating game plan. This is what we all thought Chip Kelly was going to be.

Pederson rotates his running backs - including newly acquired Jay Ajayi - in waves.

He's expertly mixing the run and pass to keep defenses off balance.

And Wentz is simply sparkling.

The Eagles are now 8-1, the class of the NFL.

It almost makes you wish they were not heading into their bye week. No one wants to see this streak stop.

Looming head is a matchup with the Cowboys in two weeks. Who knows what Ezekiel Elliott's status will be.

The road in the second half gets tougher. There are two trips to the West Coast, to play Jared Goff (yes, the guy who was picked ahead of Wentz who also is playing very well) and the Rams, as well as a trip to Seattle the next week. The Eagles likely will stay on the West Coast for that week.

You'll have to forgive us if most fans are thinking instead of Minneapolis. That's where they're playing the Super Bowl this year. No, that is not a joke.

Don't take it from me. Listen to columnist Jack McCaffery.

This Eagles team is that good.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Heron's Nest - Sat, 2017-11-04 05:00

Go ahead, Eagles fans. Pinch yourselves.

So far this team has blown away all expectations, lifting Carson Wentz into the MVP-talk atmosphere and shattering all those questions about Doug Pederson's abilities.

But the road gets decidedly tougher in the second half. And that will start Sunday at the Linc.

Yes, I know the Broncos come in 3-4 and are making a quarterback switch, going back to Brock Osweiler in attempts to get some kind of offense going.

That won't be the Eagles problem.

This just might be the biggest test of Carson Wentz's young career.

Led by Von Miller, the Denver defense might be the best he's faced. They are the No. 1 ranked defense in the league. Yeah, I know, you haven't heard that much about that this week. The Broncos are No. 2 against the rush, and No. 6 against the pass.

Don't look for a lot of offensive fireworks in this one. Wentz's No. 1 job will be to protect the ball, not turn it over, and not hold on to it forever and take sacks. This could be a big day for kicker Jake Elliott. Good thing, too. So far he's been more dependable on 50-yard field goals than extra points. He missed two more last week.

There's also the karma thing. Will the mid-season addition of Dolphins All-Pro back Jay Ajayi upset the Eagles apple car. That will be another test of Doug Pederson's coaching skills.

I see the Eagles getting a win, if only because of the schedule. The Broncos had to go on the road to play Monday night in Kansas City. Then they went back to Denver and now fly across the country for a date in Philly. That's a big advantage for the Birds.

THE PICK: Make it Eagles 23, Broncos 19. Look for a nasty, smash-mouth affair with once again the Eagles swarming defense providing the difference. We'll get a feel for just how good Carson Wentz is going against one of the NFL's best defenses. But with Brock Osweiler back in at QB for the Broncos, I see a couple of key turnovers turning the game the Eagles way.

LAST WEEK: This was exactly the kind of game so many Eagles have lost in the past. A winless team comes in on a miserable, rainy day. Yes, the Birds struggled at the start, but Doug Pederson managed to get his team back on track and the Eagles' defense completely shutdown C.J. Beathard and the Niners. Another impressive win puts Doug Pederson's Birds at a stunning, NFL-best 7-1 mark. I was on board with another win and raised my personal mark on the year to 6-2.

GAME BY GAME: Chiefs 27, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Chiefs 33, Eagles 17)

Eagles 30, Redskins 17. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

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

Eagles 26, Chargers 24. (My Pick: Chargers 27, Eagles 17)

Eagles 34, Cardinals 7. (My Pick: Eagles 29, Cardinals 24)

Eagles 28, Panthers 23. (My Pick: Panthers 26, Eagles 17)

Eagles 34, Redskins 24. (My Pick: Eagles 31, Redskins 19)

Eagles 33, 49ers 10. (My Pick: Eagles 24, 49ers 10)
Categories: Pennsylvania

More intrigue over Chester Water Authority

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-11-03 06:52
You kind of knew this wasn't going to go away.

The sharks are circling in the waters of the Chester Water Authority again.

The private entity that supplies all that glorious water from the Octoraro Reservoir outside my old home town of Oxford once again will have to fend off those looking to sell the entity.

There is a special meeting of the board of the utility this afternoon at Neumann University.

This time it sounds like the fate of another of the icons of Delco industry might be more tied to the fiscal status of the city of Chester than necessarily being swallowed up by a mega firm like Aqua America, which has already made a $250 million bid for the firm. You can get all the details here.

That bid was rejected back in May, as town after town here in Delco, as well as the Chester County Commissioners all weighed in, urging CWA to reject the bid.

But you just knew this was not going away.

Not it looks like the city of Chester and their financial overseers might be interested in revenue from a possible sale of the company to help them climb out of the Act 47 distressed city status they've been mired in for years.

Sounds like everyone might put their cards - or water bottles on the table - this afternoon as the future of Chester Water Authority hangs in the balance.

We'll be there to tell you what happens.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Helping cops, and hearing all voices

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-11-03 06:35
A lot has been made about Narcan and the effort to save those in the midst of an opioid overdose.

Not nearly as much has been made about the increasing danger police and first responders find themselves in trying to handle these cases. The drugs out there on the street are increasingly cut with dangerous materials such as the powerful painkiller fentanyl and even the elephant tranquilizer carfentanil.

Even getting a little bit on their skin or inhaling it puts cops and first responders in danger of an overdose.

This week the county took action to protect these public servants.

You can read about it on our editorial page.

You can read something else on our op-ed page.

I have come under pretty unrelenting criticism this campaign season of supposedly "favoring" Democrats. That will no doubt come as news to the person who sent me an email last night complaining that our letters to the editor have tilted toward the Republicans.

Today we present one of each.

One is written by former Congressman Joe Sestak.

The other was penned by one of my most vociferous critics.

Yes, we allow all voices to heard here.

Despite what some readers believe.
Categories: Pennsylvania

2 memorable events

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-11-03 06:13
Couple of notes this morning:

First, don't forget to "fall back" this weekend. Turn the clocks back an hour before you go to bed Saturday night. We return to Standard Time at 2 a.m.

For some I guess it means an extra hour of sleep, or perhaps carousing (by the way, is carousing not a great word?), but to me it means something else.

It's the dread of it getting dark at 5 p.m.

Yes, I hate it. I now get to drive to work in the dark, and return home after sundown as well.

The other note is a bit of nostalgia, at least if you're of an age to remember. I certainly am.

Something momentous happened on this date, Nov. 3, in 1956.

It marked the first broadcast of "The Wizard of Oz" on commercial TV.

I remember when it was televised once a year, and it was an event on par with the Super Bowl.

They even used to have a disclaimer on before the movie, warning people not to try to adjust their color TVs, that the first 20 minutes of the movie were in black and white, before Dorothy touched down in Oz and was so memorably greeted by the Munchkins grateful that she had landed on the Wicked Witch.

We would sit mesmerized in front of the TV.

It was a time before Netflix, before VCRs, before VHS tapes, before DVDs, before On Demand.

Hell, you had to actually get up and walk over to the TV if you wanted to change the channel.

I think I liked things better back then.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Groundhog Day, Harrisburg-style

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-11-02 06:26
Remember "Groundhog Day?"

No, not the day in February when he party with the state's famous prognosticating rodent.

I'm talking about the move starring Bill Murray as a hapless TV weather man who is sent to Punxsutawney to report on the hoopla.

Murray winds up in a nightmare in which he repeats the same day - Groundhog Day - over and over again.

Welcome to "Groundhog Day" - the Harrisburg edition.

Yes, our esteemed elected representatives have finally come up with a funding plan for the $32 billion budget they passed four months ago.

Gov. Wolf doesn't like it, but he signed it. Most people seem to think it will solve the state's current $2 billion deficit. Where's the money coming from?

That's easy. Where it always comes from.

The state will borrow big bucks and expand legal gaming in the state.

But it won't resolve the state's ongoing fiscal woes. There is not much in the way of recurring revenue. Expect another budget crunch next summer.

The same thing over and over again.

Like we said, Groundhog Day.

You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

RIP, Jimmy Tayoun - pol, power broker - & journalist

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-11-02 06:01
I met Jimmy Tayoun exactly one time in my life.

And I still remember it.

The legendary Philly pol died this week at 87.

Most will remember the longtime dealmaker and Democratic powerbroker - he served in the state House of Representatives as well as Philadelphia City Council - for the fact that he went to prison on a corruption probe. He even wrote a book about it, chock full of advice to other pols who might find themselves staring at a stint behind bars. Given the city's penchant for elected officials running afoul of the law, it's a wonder his tome, aptly titled "Going to Prison?", wasn't a best-seller.

If there was a big political deal being made in the city, Jimmy Tayoun's fingerprints were all over it. He was one of those larger than life, Philly originals.

But that's not why I will remember him.

Besides being a raconteur, politico and consumate dealmaker, Tayoun was something else.

A journalist.

He had a journalism degree from Temple and actually worked at the Daily News.

After he got out of prison, he did something every journalist dreams of - but very few actually do.

He started his own newspaper, The Philadelphia Record.

That's what brought him to the event I was attending at Widener University.

It was a seminar for business people on how best to use the media.

Tayoun was there and actually sought me out. He told me he was familiar with my work and admired what I did.

I was flabbergasted.

He also was fascinated by my plunge into new aspects of the media, including social media, and in particular the new-fangled thing I had been dabbling.

That would be this blog, the Heron's Nest.

As a newly minted publisher, he wanted to pick my brain on the business and the struggles we all faced. I ate it up.

I told him to feel free to reach out if there was every anything I could do.

I'm doing that now, honoring a true Philly original.

RIP, Jimmy Tayoun.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Good for the Astros

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-11-02 05:40
Good for Houston.

After being deluged by Hurricane Harvey, the Texas city has spent the last two months trying to get back on its feet. As usual, sports helps, taking the mind away from some of life's other problems.

Last night they put a crown on the city's comeback - a World Series crown.

The Astros beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles to take the deciding Game Seven.

There is a lesson here for Phillies fans.

No, I don't think we're going to be hit by a hurricane.

But it was just a few years ago that the Astros lost 100 games three years in a row.

The Phils have never been that bad, but it was close.

And don't forget that there is a Phillies connection to this Astros team.

Anyone remember Ed Wade?

Yeah, the same guy who got run out of town here in Philly wound up in Houston, where first he broke down the Astros, then started the job of rebuilding them.

Make no mistake. A lot of those guys celebrating last night had Wade's fingerprints on them.

Too bad he did not get to stick around to see his early work come to fruition.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The worst assignment I can give a reporter

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2017-11-01 06:27
I'm always astounded by the way people react when they are in the midst of the worst circumstances life can deliver.

Yesterday we reached out to the widow of Brad Hayes, the man who was found beaten to death in his car on a Darby street last week.

I asked reporter Rose Quinn to look up Vanessa Hayes after I saw her speaking on TV. It's one of the worst assignments I can give a reporter. Literally you knock on a person's door, identify yourself, and ask if you can talk to them or if there is anything they would like to say.

In this instance, Vanessa Hayes was still trying to get her arms around what happened to her husband, Brad.

I think the reason I am so often surprised by what happens is because I think I know how I would react in the same situation.

At least I think it's the way I would react. I would mutter something about "how heartless can you be?" and then likely slam the door in the person's face.

Instead, again yesterday, Vanessa invited Rose into her home to talk about the man she lost.

She brought out the family photos.v One of them appears on our front page.

She has a simple request.

"Somebody had to see something," she said.

Now she wants those people to come forward.

Ironically, this is not the first time tragedy has visited Vanessa Hayes. Her first husband also was killed.

You begin to wonder how much one woman can take.

And you admire the way she holds up in the face of the worst life can dish out.

Here's hoping police quickly find those responsible for Brad Hayes' death.

You can read the story here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A heartfelt thank you for a second chance

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2017-11-01 06:13
They are the lucky ones.

They are some of the 921 lives saved - brought back from the brink of an overdose death - by the miracle drug Narcan.

Last week they gathered for a very special luncheon. They were able to thank the officers and first responders who literally saved their lives with this overdose-reversing drug. But they also stood testament to just how bad the opioid crisis is - both here in Delaware County and across the nation.

More than anything else, they represented the value of a second chance.

You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Two magic words: Game Seven

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2017-11-01 05:49
They are the two most magical words in sports.

Game Seven.

Doesn't matter if it's hockey, basketball, or in this case baseball.

The Dodgers beat the Astros last night to force a Game 7 in L.A. tonight.

And of course Chase Utley, on the ninth anniversary of his "World Bleeping Champions' moment during the Phils' 2008 World Series championship celebration, was right in the middle of it.

Utley did what he always seems to do - took one for the team.

Utley stood still as Justin Verlander bounced a pitch that hit him in the foot. It was the 200th time in his career that Utley was HBP. He scored a run and made a great play in the field.

Now it comes down to one night. Why do I get the feeling Utley will be right in the middle of things again tonight?
Categories: Pennsylvania

Yes, we have a gun problem

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-10-31 06:36
On today's editorial page, we note still one more gathering of elected officials and lawmen in the city of Chester after another very violent weekend.

We applaud the $500,000 that is going to be used to beef up the Delaware County Gun Violence Task Force. It certainly is much-needed, in Chester and several other towns as well.

But it is not going to resolve the fundamental problem.

We have a gun problem.

And until we note that, and take concrete steps to stop the flow of guns into the city of Chester, and into the hands of people who should not have them, we will continue to have these kinds of daily reports of gun violence.

You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania