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Yes, they are fixing the Conchester

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-03-21 06:16
I am guessing there are more than a few people in Delaware County who took one glance at yesterday's front page and said, "Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it."

Believe it.

They are finally fixing the Killer Conchester.

I know, you've been hearing about them doing this for decades. This time it's for real. Work started yesterday.

I actually had a call from one reader taking me to task for our description of the road.

The 85-year-old woman was more than willing to tell me she disagreed with our characterization of the road that stretches from I-95 in Chester and Route 1 in Concord.

"The road is not the problem," she informed me. "The Conchester is not the killer. It's the drivers." She's right, of course.

But that doesn't change the fact that a road that became obsolete not long after the day it was opened is finally going to be fixed.

It's on our editorial page today.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Memories of the southwestern Pa. sky

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-03-21 06:08
You never really know in this job how you are going to connect with readers.

Yesterday, in my weekly Letter From the Editor print column, I wrote about a recent visit to the Flight 93 Memorial outside Shanksville. I wrote specifically about the sky, how it seemed different in this vast expanse of open space, how it seemed so much closer, almost constricting.

That did not surprise one reader and she should know.

She grew up in that area.

And she wanted me to know that I was exactly right about the sky.

She related a story about how her parents grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and that even after they moved away as he father looked for work, they would return for a week each summer to visit relatives.

She talked about those visits warmly, clearly relishing a trip down memory lane.

You could almost hear the joy in her writing as she described sitting on the porch of a house, sandwiched between her mom and her aunt, staring up at the wondrous sky. She would be cloaked in a blanket, because even on the most scorching summer days, it always cooled off at night.

Then she talked about the real reason she emailed me, the same thing that I came away with after my visit.

The sky.

"We felt like we could reach the sky, along with the millions of stars we would see so close and bright," she said "We would stretch our arms thinking we could touch the moon to give it a hug. Every sense I have, but especially a smell, could bring back memories flooding my mind and heart, of my Aunt Mary and all our family. Her house had a smell I still long for and when I smell it, I wish I could bottle it. "Anyway, you are correct! That sky in Western Pennsylvania, seems like you can touch it. As a kid, I thought I did many times."

I'm not sure I've ever received a nicer compliment.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Oh, baby! Some more positive news

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2017-03-21 05:48
I'm on a mission.

I'm looking for good news. Upbeat stories, ones that can provide balance to the stream of often troubling headlines that pour out from our website and the pages of the newspaper.

That doesn't mean I'm giving up reporting on these so-called "negative" stories. Unfortunately, as I tell everyone who asks, that's what people read.

But a gentleman who called me yesterday to tell me how much he liked my column on my visit to the Flight 93 Memorial got me thinking. He was clearly touched by what I had written and went out of his way to not how it differed from the usual fare he encounters in the newspaper.

Granted, you might make the argument that the reasoning behind the Flight 93 Memorial is hardly upbeat, but I assure you there is something very positive and uplifting about the site.

For today, well, it doesn't get much more update than this story.

A Haverford couple decided to throw a luncheon to thank the local EMS guys who came to their aid and helped deliver their baby. Yep, I think that classifies as upbeat.

Kudos to all involved. Read the story here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

the delaware riverkeeper sends the pa dep’s hatzell a letter…about bishop tube!

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2017-03-20 20:41

Today just got seriously more interesting….a Dear DEP letter…..and a random act of DEP legal notices too?


Photographer unknown – found on community page – Bishop Tube 2017

Categories: Pennsylvania

east whiteland reporting bishop tube site is OFF planning agenda for 3/22

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2017-03-20 18:41

Someone asked me about half an hour ago which meeting in East Whiteland was featuring Bishop Tube this week.  I said I thought only the Planning Commission and they asked me WHERE it was on East Whiteland’s Planning Commission  agenda.


So I looked and lo and behold there is an AMENDED agenda…and Bishop Tube is postponed until the April 26th meeting.

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Maybe it is just me, but could it be the shiny spotlight of public attention and outcry caused this?????? Or is it just a scheduling thing?

Recently we had Maya K. van Rossum opine in her professional capacity as the esteemed Delaware Riverkeeper. She has been a powerful and unexpected blessing to the concerned residents of General Warren Village.  She showed up at East Whiteland Zoning a couple of weeks ago and then last week.  (Other post found here “calling erin brocovitch”)

Interior of Bishop Tube 2017 – photographer unknown – found on a community page

Over the weekend Maya contacted residents to encourage them to write Dinniman and Milne’s offices ASAP (see instructions here.)

So as residents are busy writing letters and calling the PA DEP and so on, East Whiteland Planning Commission pulls Bishop Tube from the agenda? (Bishop Tube was discussed at recent Supervisors’ meeting – CLICK HERE.)


We may never know but keep writing those letters and making those calls, right?

I have to be honest that while I have issues with the density of the development plan (even if it wasn’t being built on a toxic waste dump of a land parcel), where the issues never abate and concerns continue to grow is with the Pennsylvania DEP.  They are the constant from day 1 with Bishop Tube, and I think they concern me most of all (they are being so Limerick here aren’t they?)

So that being said, residents need to keep on going to meetings and call the DEP (717) 783-2300 is the main number in Harrisburg.    (484) 250-5900 is the number to the Southeast regional office in Norristown.  And keep calling State Senator Dinniman’s and State Rep Duane Milne’s offices too.

Bishop Tube is a site that could be redeveloped, but in my personal opinion with much less density AND after MORE remediation than is currently being discussed because of those buried vats or whatever that the former employees talk about and who can argue with that???


I am guessing it is stay tuned on Bishop Tube, yes? But apparently Wednesday, residents get the evening off.  For any questions of why they are no longer on agenda please call East Whiteland Township.  

Final questions to leave everyone with: what does the EPA think of this site ?  You would think they knew all about it, right?  And what role or roles does politics play here and not merely local, but shall we say a larger scale?

Interior of Bishop Tube 2017 – photographer unknown – found on a community page

Interior of Bishop Tube 2017 – photographer unknown – found on a community page

Somewhere on Bishop Tube site  2017 – photographer unknown – found on a community page


Read this old Washington Post article about what TCE and other contaminants did to a town years ago:



Categories: Pennsylvania

Manayunk Bridge Opens Monday After 6 Straight Days Of Closure

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 16:21
Despite beautiful weather over the weekend, the Manayunk Bridge Trail remained closed for six straight days.
Categories: Lower Merion

Elmwood's 'Trail of the Jaguar' Opening Date Set; Vote On Names For The Cubs Here

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 13:02
What should the new jaguar cubs be called? A list of the top names have been narrowed down, and you can vote here.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montgomery County Planning Commission Issues 2016 Report

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 12:53
Walk Montco, Bike Montco, and the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership were some highlights of 2016.
Categories: Lower Merion

Tree Removal Affecting Wynnewood Road This Week: PennDOT

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 12:34
The work is scheduled for all day Wednesday, so plan for longer commutes or consider another route.
Categories: Lower Merion

One Lower Merion Library Is Reopening, Another Wins A $500K Grant

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 11:56
Good news for the Lower Merion Library System!
Categories: Lower Merion

Main Line School Hosting Discussion On Kids Sports For College Or For Fun​

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 09:24
A Villanova professor and long-time coach will discuss potential dangers of focusing on kids playing sports for college, not fun.
Categories: Lower Merion

Check out the Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch Calendar

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 08:55
Check the Patch calendar to see what events are happening around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood and when they get underway
Categories: Lower Merion

Foreclosures New to the Market in Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2017-03-20 08:38
Foreclosures for sale are still being listed regularly all across PA, including in Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood...
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Monday, March 20

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-03-20 06:59
The Daily Numbers: 6:29 a.m., when we officially bid winter goodbye and welcomed spring.

35 degrees, chilly start to spring.

4 lanes, what Route 322, the Killer Conchester, will be in each direction after improvement plan, which starts today.

20,000 vehicles that use the span from I-95 in Chester to Baltimore Pike in Concord.

3.6 mile stretch of road that has a reputation as being one of the most dangerous roads in the county.

90 million dollars, what the project will cost.

2 years, how long the work will take.

5 hours a month, what a group of social activists want those who attended the Take Action, Give 5 Fair to donate to their communities.

6 to 12 years in state prison for Chester man for sex crimes he committed as a teen.

245,000 people who visited the Philadelphia Flower Show this year. That’s down from the 2 previous years, due in part to the large storm that hit the area Tuesday.

88, age of Jimmy Breslin, legendary New York columnist.

10 percent boost in defense spending under President Trump’s proposed budget.

5.9 percent uptick in veterans spending.

6.8 percent boost for Homeland Security.

31.4 percent cut for the EPA

16 percent cut for Health and Human Services.

1 and done. Villanova, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney, was shown the door Saturday by Wisconsin.

105-99 comeback win for the Sixers over the Celtics

4-3 win in OT for Flyers over Hurricanes.

65-61 loss for Chester High to Abington Heights in PIAA tourney.

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

Villanova is out of the Big Dance. Bring on baseball season.

I Don’t Get It: Spring is here. Raise your hand if you don’t’ want to eat water ice on a 40-degree day. Can I get a rain check for July?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to word that after many, many years, work is expected to start today to fix the Killer Conchester, Route 322.

Quote Box: “Proposed cuts in the budget blueprint to programs that have a lasting, positive impact on our communities and that my constituents value are unacceptable to me.”

- U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello
Categories: Pennsylvania

The economic 'forecast:' Those calls for big storms cost money

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-03-20 06:28
It's one of those things I think about every time a big storm is in the forecast.

Especially when the forecast turns out to be not quite on the money - and we get considerably less snow than expected.

It happened again last week, when the nebulous "snow-rain line" did what is always seems to do. It shifted, or "wobbled" as one local forecaster insisted on telling us.

Bottom line? We got a lot less snow, and more sleet and freezing rain. It was still a mess, but it was not the major snow storm that had been forecast that could have paralyzed the region.v That did not stop many operations from shutting down. Schools closed, county government went dark in Media.

I always envision myself as a bar or restaurant owner, especially when these things are forecast for a Friday or Saturday night.

I can only imagine what they are thinking when they flick on their TV and the only thing they hear all day is, "All we can say is that if you don't have to go out, don't."

Of course not, stay inside and watch TV - and our non-stop coverage of reporters sticking rulers into the snow.

As I suspected, there is a real cost in terms of the hit to the regional economy in such instances.

Reporter Alex Rose talked to some experts about what all this weather mayhem actually costs.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A haunting sky

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-03-20 06:14
I was standing in the middle of nowhere, in a field in western Pennsylvania.

And all I could do was stare at the sky.

And imagine the horror that unfolded in this very place those many years ago.

Standing at the Flight 93 Memorial outside Shanksville, Pa., is a moving experience.

I wrote about it today in my weekly Letter From the Editor.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Congratulations, we survived another winter

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2017-03-20 05:41
Congratulations! We survived another winter.

Welcome to the first day of spring. Actually, I'm jumping the gun just a tad. Spring doesn't officially arrive until 6:29 a.m. As winters go, this was not all that bad, but I could still live without it.

We did not get any big, paralyzing snow storms, despite our local TV stations forecasts.

But for some reason, the last couple of weeks I have been even more cold than normal.

There is something you should know. I am always cold. It's one of the reasons I detest winter. Maybe we got lulled to sleep by the fairly mild winter, but these last few weeks I have been shivering with the best of them.

Now if we could just get rid of this nuisance snow. Yes, it's pretty when it first arrives, blanketing everything in a fluffy layer of white. That's especially true when we get just enough snow to cover all our imperfections, but not enough to keep us from getting around.

Unfortunately, that only lasts a couple of hours. One thing I noticed yesterday is how ugly snow is after it sits around for a couple of days.

The combination of salt, road grit and stuff that has been plowed into large mounds makes for an ugly spectacle.

It's going to take awhile for the snow to disappear. While we are supposed to warm up a bit today, pushing close to 50, what we really need is a couple of 70-degree days and a nice rain to wash away all this grit.

You can get the full forecast here.

For now, I will rejoice in having survived another winter. No, I will not rush to Rita's for a free water ice today.

But I'll be smiling anyhow.

Bring on Summer!
Categories: Pennsylvania

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood's Top Stories Last Week

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2017-03-19 21:00
"Hamilton" is coming to Philly; a local baby goes on national TV; a man is killed outside of Lower Merion.
Categories: Lower Merion

cold-calling kids

Chester County Ramblings - Sun, 2017-03-19 13:57

The telephone rang a few minutes ago. The caller ID said “College Admissions”.

Here we go again, I thought.

Our son is a junior in high school and in addition to the expected inundation of college literature via US Mail that makes election season junk mail look like nothing, even though we requested no college cold calls, we are getting them anyway. And then there are the hundreds of email solicitations.

So yes, back to what I am not comfortable with: these colleges and universities are cold calling minors.

They come in at odd times, like just now. Like other types of cold calls they are not particularly welcome and this latest invasion is enough for us to check out https://www.nomorobo.com/ as suggested by friends.

Lately we have had India generated robo-calls from McAfee, predatory credit card companies calling about who knows what services  (they ask for people that don’t live here and never have- they must have a script that tells them to ask for random first names), bogus breast cancer charities, bogus veterans’ charities and my new favorite to tell me I am pre-approved for a “MedAlert” or medical alert device. The MedAlert people have called so often I filed a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission.)

But colleges and universities cold calling is a brave, new, and somewhat unwelcome telemarketing world for me. Most schools have current students who call. Take Temple University for example. They called a couple of weeks ago. The student sounded bored out of his tree, could NOT pronounce even our son’s first name, and mumbled to the point he was unitellagable.  So much for good first impressions, right?

But today, Marquette University in Wisconsin took it to a whole new level I take issue with. They are paying for a professional telemarketing firm (they called themselves a professional research firm but it is the same thing) to cold call prospective students.

Yes, that’s right, a telemarketing firm calling on behalf of Marquette University wanting to speak to our child. We as parents have not given them permission to call, the child they are calling doesn’t want to talk to them. And I am sorry, even if Marquette was on any list they wouldn’t be now because of this.

And as a marketing idea, come on do these schools even know teenagers today? They communicate primarily via text and social media, so are they trying to call kids via Snap Chat as well?  Kids today barely speak on the phone with family members, so why on earth do these schools think they are going to speak to their cold-callers?

I might get these calls occurring after a kid takes a campus tour, but as a preemptive strike?  Not so much.

As a trend this is bothersome and borderline creepy.  Every once in a while I ask these callers for their home phone numbers so I can return the favor and bother them.

Sign me tired of all unwanted solicitation calls.

Categories: Pennsylvania