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A salute to Ben Bradlee

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2014-10-22 07:52
Every day I get phone calls from irate readers who challenge some of the material that appears in the newspaper or our website.

They insist we've been unfair, that we have an ax to grind or hold some other bias against them, or that we just flat-out got our facts wrong.

I almost almost reply the same way: We stand by our story.

Those who feel victimized by our reporting vow to sue, inevitably adding their opinion of the newspaper. "Rag" is usually their word of choice. One aggrieved reader once told me the only reason he still got the newspaper was for hygiene facilities after he went to the bathroom, if you get my drift.

The people who work for me need to know that I stand behind their work.

The truth is I'm a pretty small fish in this business.

Ben Bradlee was not.

Bradlee was the iconic editor of the Washington Post who led their investigation of the Watergate break-in, which eventually brought down a president, and raised journalism to a new level.

A lot of people didn't believe the Post's reporting on the "third-rate burglary" that led to the office of President Richard Nixon.

Even people in this business had their doubts. It didn't really make any sense. Nixon was pretty much assured re-election. Why would he do it? But Bradlee and the Post persevered.

Ben Bradlee died yesterday at the age of 93. He was suffering from dementia.

Anyone who works in this business, or appreciates the role of a free press, is in his debt.

It is said that the Watergate story, in particular the way the Post covered it, spurred a lot of people to go into journalism. I was one of them.

I've never had the kind of pressure applied here that Bradlee faced as the powers that be put the squeeze on the Post to back off their Watergate coverage.

Bradlee never flinched.

Every time I get a nasty phone call, I think of Bradlee and the turmoil he faced in chasing that story. I know how easy it would have been for him - and the paper - to cave and pull the plug on Watergate.

This likely would not be the same country if they had.

And journalism - as troubled as it is these days - would have been forever diminished.

Thanks, Ben Bradlee.

You can put a -30- on that story now.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The answer to your Crossword questions

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2014-10-22 07:34
A long time ago, the man who hired me to work at this newspaper gave me a sage bit of advice.

"Never mess around with the comics or puzzles."

The truth is he didn't use the word 'mess.' I've sanitized it a bit, the word that is, not the message.

I think back at that bit of advice every time we tinker with the content of the print edition.

If you haven't noticed, we recently rolled out a fairly distinctive new redesign.

I have talked to scores of readers who wanted to weigh in on the change.

A couple of themes have developed. Many readers - especially young ones - like the design. They think it's better organized and a quicker read, something they need what with the manic pace we all live our lives in this technology turbo-charged world of information we swim in these days.

Our older, loyal, longtime readers have been pretty consistent in thinking that the type is too light and too difficult to read.

That is not, however, the item that has drawn the most scorn in our readers' reviews our our new look.

I took great care to note that we "saved" all of our regular features, including our popular comics and all our puzzles.

There are very few readers of the newspaper who are as devoted and loyal as those wordsmiths who every day - and Sunday - cross wits with our Crossword Puzzle.

For the last two Sundays, we have let them down.

Not because we didn't include the Sunday Crossword. It's been right there. But the answer to the previous week's puzzle has been nowhere to be found.

Readers let me know it - loud and often. They needed that answer like I need coffee in the morning.

I am happy to announce that we have retrieved the errant answer and it appears on P. 38 of today's print edition.

And we will anchor it starting this Sunday so that those readers who are so inclined are not left scratching their head wondering where the answers are.

What's a four-letter word for editor?

Uh, never mind.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A blast from the past for Phils' fans

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2014-10-22 07:03
It didn't take a long for a little salt to be poured into Phillies fans wounds as they hunkered down to watch the World Series.

Yes, that was our old pal Hunter Pence blasting a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to propel the San Francisco Giants to an early lead in Game One of the Fall Class against the upstart Kansas City Royals.

The Giants never looked back as they rolled to an easy 7-1 win.

Looking back is just about all Phillies fans do these days. In particular they have to wonder what the team was doing when they gave up on Pence so quickly.

He lasted just a year with the Phils.

They haven't had an answer in right field since.
Categories: Pennsylvania

GOPers Want You to Focus on the One Democrat in the 50+ GOPer Circle Jerk Scandal

Keystone Politics - Wed, 2014-10-22 07:00
Yes, Seamus McCaffrey is a Democrat, yes he was in on the circle jerk porno scandal, but I fear that the sideshow between Ron Castille and McCaffrey has been turned into a purposeful distraction to...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

The Daily Salvo for October 17, 2014 - "Big Boobs"

The Daily Salvo - Tue, 2014-10-21 15:29
The Daily Salvo for October 17, 2014 - "Big Boobs"
Whether it involves food, medicine or breast implants, product scarcity is often the sign of a population overrun by a bunch of big socialist boobs. From: The Daily Salvo Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 01:00 More in News & Politics

from blue dress infamous to social activist

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2014-10-21 14:51

From blue dresses and White House scandals before there was the television show Scandal, to a line of failed (?) purses (see article in New York Magazine from a few years back), to social activist, Monica Lewinsky has spent years being an unfortunate household name stemming from poor choices made literally as a kid while a White House intern.

She opened up about the blue dress years and the aftermath of being a fallen star in the Clinton universe in the June 2014 edition of Vanity Fair. It was her article and it was fairly well written and interesting, I must admit.

Like millions of others at the time I remember thinking “What was she thinking and why can’t this politician keep his pants zipped?” (Face it, Clinton might look like the grand papa bear of Democrat politics today, but the man has had his issues with the ladies à la Pennsylvania’s own Ed Rendell, right?)

I don’t have the moral code that is able to justify cheating, or justify why a very bright young woman couldn’t stay away from a married man who happened to be the President of the United States, except I am guessing that was exactly why she couldn’t stay away.  However, after the first few weeks of hearing about her and that, I felt as if it was enough already.  There were after all, far bigger issues going on in the Clinton administration, weren’t there?

So now Monica is what? About 40 years old give or take? And she made a whopper of a mistake and has spent almost 20 years paying for it.

Yesterday she spoke in Philadelphia  on the subject of cyber bullying.

I have to give her props for stepping out onto the stage at the Forbes Under 30 Summit.  That took guts, all things considered. I am sure she was amply compensated for her time but her topic was of personal interest to me. Her topic was cyber bullying and that is also apparently now her personal cause.

I listened to the replays of her speech and could totally understand when she said “It feels like a punch in the gut.”  After all, cyber bullying = abuse.

That isn’t the first time I have heard a similar description applied to being cyber bullied. Of course those who perform the cyber bullying always blame their victims. Much like abusers who tell their victims it’s their own fault they had to beat them.

I make no bones about the fact that I have perverse admirers, otherwise known as cyber bullies. In part, when you become a writer or a blogger it sort of comes with the territory.  It shouldn’t, but it does. Only my main bully doesn’t bully me because I am some random blogger she doesn’t like, for her it’s personal. She used to know me, and used to be in my life.

It is odd to think about this late middle aged woman from several states away being so angry and so hateful because well she was someone very supportive of  me when a few years ago now, my ex abandoned me and his old dying dog quite literally and then a year or so after that when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and isn’t that strange? How can someone go from being caring to being pathologically angry and hateful when there was no fighting or anything like that?  This person chose to leave my life so what was I supposed to do? It was her choice and I tried to respect it. It’s like she had this weird unrequited crush on me and I am being punished for ignoring that, and her. It’s truly bizarre.

It came as a shock when I realized I not only had cyber bullies, but they had been essentially stalking my life.  I am not a public figure. I am just an ordinary woman living my life.  Yes, I write, and I am not just a blogger given my published bylines here and there (albeit local and regional), but I am just a regular person. I write more about my recipes and gardening these days than anything else. I share my photography, as well. Apparently and ironically, it is very upsetting to people when you are happy. And apparently it’s all my fault they have to bully me because I am happy in my life and they are miserable and stuck. Bullies like other forms of abusers have a limited sense of personal accountability, have you noticed?

Since this cyber bullying and cyber stalking began shortly before my 50th birthday I have been fascinated by the people who have supported the efforts.  People I have never known or spoken to. And why do they cheer on negative and spurious activity that there are laws against? I guess because at some point in time I wrote something they didn’t agree with and isn’t that so bizarre coming from “adults”?

But as far as adults go, I have seen a lot of strange behavior. Especially recently.  Take for example parents of teenagers who not only support their teen’s scorched earth bullying behavior, but in essence bully other parents themselves and how crazy is that? People who are parents and who you know love their children but who can’t see right from wrong on their own?

People spend so much time hating and why put all that negativity out there? Its not so much a Zen or spiritual thought as it is  that I just don’t get people of any age who wake up with the intent to be mean or malicious. Life is a precious gift and having survived breast cancer I know full well we are all on borrowed time on this earth so why not try to be better human beings, not worse?

Cyber bullying is as pervasive and invasive as physical bullying.  And there is a certain disconnect from reality with it on the part of the bullies.   These bullies seem to think in their minds their behaviors are justified, and that they are invincible, which of course couldn’t be farther from the truth.   They also only have power if you allow them to have power because the truth of it is, bullies are cowards. They only accept their version of reality as the ultimate reality and get totally tweaked if you mess with their perception of how it should all be. With mine I marvel at how literally crazy and unbalanced they are and pity them at the same time.  This hatred is all they have to do all day, and that is truly and incredibly sad.

Cyber bullying is something, however, that not enough people take seriously even if it is illegal. So if Monica Lewinsky wishes to use her unfortunate celebrity to shine a light  down the dark rabbit hole of bullying, I am all for it. After all, bullying happens most often to the less obvious in this world: ordinary people both adult and kids.

Monica Lewinsky being a social activist will take some getting used to. Of course she was immediately trolled after doing this. In addition to the article excerpts below, follow this LINK and check out an interesting perspective in the Washington Post and another CNN article.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Lewinsky makes emotional plea to end cyberbullying

By Dan Merica, CNN updated 6:46 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014

(CNN) — Monica Lewinsky told an audience in Philadelphia on Monday that her new mission in life was to end cyberbullying. Her speech — and her goal — come as the former White House intern steps into the public eye after years of trying to live privately.

“Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too,” she told the audience at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 summit. “I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past.”

Lewinsky, who as an intern in 1995 had an affair with President Bill Clinton, said she was “patient zero” of online harassment.

“There was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram back then,” she said. “But there were gossip, news and entertainment websites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded. Of course, it was all done on the excruciatingly slow dial up. Yet around the world this story went. A viral phenomenon that, you could argue, was the first moment of truly ‘social media’.”

Forbes:  Monica Lewinsky Speaks: ‘It’s My Mission To End Cyberbullying’

Clare O’Connor Forbes Staff

Monica Lewinsky has broken a decade-long silence to announce her campaign to end cyberbullying and today’s toxic culture of internet shaming.

In her first ever public address, the former mistress of President Bill Clinton revealed her plan to launch a “cultural revolution” against the sort of online harassment she experienced firsthand in the late 1990s…..Lewinsky described her life since the 1998 sex scandal that resulted in Clinton’s impeachment by the House of Representative and subsequent acquittal by the Senate as one marred by a deep sense of shame and even suicidal thoughts….She intends to share her story with victims of cyberbullying and online harassment. There are many of them: almost 54% of young Facebook users describe being bullied or harassed online.

Forbes:Full Transcript: Monica Lewinsky Speaks Out On Ending Online Abuse

(Click on hyperlink above to go to the Forbes website and read the full transcript.)

Categories: Pennsylvania

Wynnewood's William Penn Inn listed among endangered historic Philadelphia properties

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 14:09
The potential loss to development of Wynnewood’s William Penn Inn is sending out ripples beyond Lower Merion Township.
Categories: Lower Merion

Update: Ex-Haverford School student admits being ringleader of Main Line Take Over Project

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 14:06
NORRISTOWN – He grew up on the affluent Main Line, attended The Haverford School, obtained a lacrosse scholarship and once worked for a local investment firm.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion police arrest woman, find thefts from 3 other Suburban Square stores

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 13:41
Lower police arrested a Wynnewood woman in connection with several alleged retail thefts in Lower Merion. Police say the investigation is continuing because additional items found in her possession may have been stolen in other jurisdictions.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lafayette College student, drug dealer admits role in Main Line Take Over Project

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 13:33
NORRISTOWN – Once a college student with a promising internship with an investment firm, a Connecticut man appeared in court and admitted to playing a part in a pot peddling ring as a member of the so-called “Main Line Take Over Project” in Montgomery County.
Categories: Lower Merion

'Visible City' by Tova Mirvis is 2014 One Book One Lower Merion selection

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 13:14
Since 2005, the Lower Merion Library System’s One Book One Lower Merion program has been bringing people together as a community of readers.
Categories: Lower Merion

Preserving viewshed driving factor in Pennswood Road development

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 13:14
In a precedent-setting decision, there is a resolution in the proposed subdivision of a prominent Bryn Mawr property that has stirred controversy in its neighborhood in recent months.
Categories: Lower Merion

Cricket Lot construction in Ardmore won't begin until after holidays

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 13:14
The Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners voted Oct. 15 to once again extend several key deadline dates in its agreement with Dranoff Properties for redevelopment of Ardmore’s Cricket Avenue parking lot.
Categories: Lower Merion

Ex-Haverford School student admits being ringleader of Main Line Take Over Project

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 11:21
NORRISTOWN – A former lacrosse player at The Haverford School has admitted to being one of the ringleaders of a pot peddling operation, dubbed the “Main Line Take Over Project,” that targeted area high schools and colleges.
Categories: Lower Merion

Recent Ardmore, Merion and Wynnewood Obituaries

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-10-21 10:43
Find recent death notices for people with ties to Ardmore, Merion and Wynnewood.
Categories: Lower Merion

It's National School Bus Safety Week: Do You Know Pa.'s Bus Laws?

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-10-21 10:08
Failure to follow these laws can result in a $250 fine, a 60-day license suspension and 5 points on your license, PennDOT said.
Categories: Lower Merion

Cricket Lot construction in Ardmore won't begin until after holidays

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 10:04
The Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners voted Oct. 15 to once again extend several key deadline dates in its agreement with Dranoff Properties for redevelopment of Ardmore’s Cricket Avenue parking lot.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion School District officials mull fences for some elementary schools

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-10-21 10:04
Lower Merion School officials Thursday morning discussed adding fences and gates on some of its elementary school properties as an enhanced security feature. The issue is also expected to be discussed at Monday night’s meeting of the Board of School Directors which begins at 8 p.m. in the Lower Merion School District Administration Building.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montgomery Avenue Home for Rent in Wynnewood

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-10-21 09:11
Find nearby rental homes from our partners at Zillow.
Categories: Lower Merion

Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Oct. 21

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2014-10-21 07:49
The Daily Numbers: 16,400 dollars ripped off by 2 armed men who held up Chickie’s and Pete’s in Drexel Hill early Sunday. Police believe it was an inside job.

1 dog shot by police and a 2nd that had to be put down during a vicious attack in Upper Darby.

17 of November, when Concord Planning Commission will vote on the controversial plan to develop part of the beloved Beaver Valley tract.

230 acres of the 318-acre tract that is targeted for development.

5,500 signatures on a petition that opposed the initial plan to develop the entire tract, including 314 single-family homes.

160 houses in the revised plans.

124 acres that would be retained as open space.

3.2 miles of the 8 miles of hiking and biking trails on the tract that would be preserved.

2 million dollars in state funding for the Fair Acres Center, delivered yesterday by Gov. Tom Corbett.

10 Plant Tower demolition last Saturday at the former Sunoco Refinery that did not go as planned and has Lower Chi commissioner fuming. The demolition created a large plume of dust.

1 body found along Bishop Drive in Chester Heights.

19 million dollar profit for Delta Airlines Monroe Refinery in Trainer.

9 gas stations in western Delco sporting prices under $3 a gallon.

5 Sears stores that will close in Pa. None of them are in Delco. The King of Prussia store will be converted into a Primark retail store.

7 percent, all that separates Tom Corbett from Tom Wolf these days.

234 emails either sent of received by Justice Seamus McCaffery that have earned him a suspension from the state high court.

140 dollars a month, how much Philadelphia teachers would have to pay for their health care after the School Reform Commission axed their contract. A judge has now halted the move, at least temporarily.

41, age of Monica Lewinsky, who spoke to the Forbes Under 30 confab in Philly yesterday about the pitfalls of ‘shame’ and cyberbullying.

25 dollar fine now in place in Philly for possession of small amounts of pot, as opposed to criminal charges. 7 women slain in Indiana, it’s believed to be the work of a serial killer.

30-23 win for the Steelers over the Texans in Monday Night Football.

10 point deficit near the end of 1st half that the Steelers turned into an 11 point lead in just 1 minute.

2 key offensive linemen, Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis, who are making progress as they look to return from injuries.

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

The Eagles should be getting Mychal Kendricks back at linebacker on Sunday when they resume the season in the desert vs. Arizona. That’s good news.

I Don’t Get It: Monica Lewinsky. She was speaking out against cyber-bullying at the Forbes Under 30 conference.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Shane Victorino. The former Phillie paid a visit to the parents of ‘Bucket List Baby’ Shane Haley over the weekend. Class act.

Quote Box: “It is a gift we will treasure forever.”

- The Haley family, on the Phillies jersey with Shane stenciled on the back delivered by Victorino.
Categories: Pennsylvania