Feed aggregator

pileated woodpecker…

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2014-04-22 11:05

Here is the pileated woodpecker that has taken up residence in the woods.  I know this is blurry, but he goes way high up in the trees!


Categories: Pennsylvania

Attorney General Warns of Widespread 'Electricity' Scam

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-04-22 11:01
Scammers are threatening that electricity will be shut off if the consumer does not obtain a green dot card or wire money.
Categories: Lower Merion

2014 Philadelphia Science Festival Ventures to Haverford with Fun for the Whole Family

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-04-22 10:53
The Philadelphia Science Festival, a citywide collaboration that brings together nine exciting days filled with events that showcase science and technology in everyday life, returns this year and is coming to Haverford.   To enjoy some
Categories: Lower Merion

Showers and Thunderstorms a Threat Tuesday Afternoon

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-04-22 10:53
A series of disturbances will move through the region Thursday on through Monday.
Categories: Lower Merion

main line problems

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2014-04-22 10:42

Sometimes it is just so nice to be like a bird flying above the trees and fields.  You can watch and observe, and stay above the fray.

I called the Main Line home for most of my life.  It was a fun place to grow up, and well the Main Line of the past is certainly not the Main Line of today.  Ironically, a lot of people I grew up with and enjoyed as people now call Chester County home.

But yesterday was like fun x 2 = Main Line Problems.

And it makes me ever so grateful to not be there any longer.

First up let’s visit Radnor Township.  Radnor almost became a true victim of back room Delco politics until former Township Manager Dave Bashore got his and Radnor’s dirty laundry aired in public.  A lot of this public airing was because of a few brave individuals including a woman I respect a great deal named Christina Perrone.

When Bashore got fired as Radnor’s Township Manager a lot of things swirled into motion. Commissioners who were problematic ran away, Radnor’s solicitor at the time evaporated (and eventually resurfaced as innkeeper/owner of a bed and breakfast in the New York finger lakes district), a few supervisory and managerial types from the Bashore regime ended up as employees in some Chester County municipalities, and a few even ended up at other Chester County businesses.  It was like a political bubble burst and they scattered like raindrops. (Or ants leaving the picnic, whichever you prefer.)

However, not all of the politicians of this era disappeared.  There is one, who has been entrenched for easily 30 years.  He is like a cat with nine lives and then some.  His name is Bill Spingler, and he is the subject of the first ethics hearing in years on the Main Line this week in Radnor.

One would think Spingler would just retire. But people in Radnor say he is waiting for pet projects to go through.  You might think his ethics hearing had to do with is 2013 campaign shenanigans  ( see what got him into hot water here, here, here – all copied by Radnor employees on the taxpayer clock.)

Or maybe it would be the eternal question of where this guy really lives? After all the deeds don’t lie and this guy has purchased a new pad in Tredyffrin at Paoli Pointe, right? So that is a neat trick if he can be a Radnor commissioner by day and commute home whenever to Chester County, right?

But no, apparently it is his “work” at Villanova basketball games and something about pay to play at little league games.  And once again, it is brave Christina Perrone who has stepped forward to do the right thing. Truly, you can’t make this stuff up:

Ethics complaint against Radnor Commissioner Spingler amended again; Hearing set for Thursday

By Linda Stein Main Line Media News
lstein@mainlinemedianews.com Published: Monday, April 21, 2014

An ethics complaint filed against Radnor Township Commissioner John Spingler over his work at Villanova’s home basketball games has been amended again prior to a hearing set for April 24.

In the previously amended complaint Radnor resident Christina Perrone alleged that Spingler’s ushering work at the games for Event One constitutes a violation of the township’s code of ethics. In several interviews with Main Line Suburban Life, Spingler contended that since he’s donated his earnings to the Radnor-Wayne Little League, his work over several decades at the games is not a conflict of interest.

This issue arises in the context of Spingler casting one of the deciding votes on March 31 to approve the Comprehensive Integrated College Development (CICD) zoning, which will permit Villanova University to build ….That ordinance also affects Cabrini College and Eastern University.

Perrone obtained copies of a spreadsheet from the little league that shows that Spingler received various payments from that organization. When asked about those checks, Spingler said that he was required to bring 13 volunteers to the games and when he could not find that many who would work for free, he was forced to pay people to usher…..

“These admissions by Commissioner Spingler cannot be construed as anything other than business transactions,” Perrone wrote in her amended complaint. These “statements demonstrate that Commissioner Spingler is even more conflicted on Villanova University issues, including the CICD, than previously believed, due to the applicability of Radnor Code Section 39-5[A].”

That section states: “No elected or appointed official of the township…shall solicit or accept directly or indirectly any gift, favor, service, commission or other consideration that might reasonably tend to influence that official or employee in the discharge of the duties of office.”…



Of course where this gets even more interesting is now people have learned that the current township solicitor, John Rice, will be representing this politician? How is it the township solicitor is working for other than the good of the residents of Radnor? Does the solicitor in fact not work for the people, but just for the politicians? Doesn’t Commissioner Spingler know any more lawyers? (Asking a quasi- redundant question.)

And oh yes, this open meeting scheduled for April 24th at 6 pm (this Thursday) is now possibly going to be held as a secret, non-public meeting?  I know the lawyer representing Christina Perrone.  His name is Dan Sherry and he is very bright.

If this old politician had any style left he would simply resign and retire. but then again if the ethics charges stick, it could keep him from then retiring and moving onto Chester County politics, right? But the thing is this: is the whole system in Radnor rigged in a nice Main Line way?

And now for the news that really makes me glad I am off the Main Line: two graduates of The Haverford School for boys have been arrested for masterminding a drug ring that can only be described as “Breaking Bad” meets “Weeds”.  One guy was living on Barrett Avenue in Haverford. That is a lovely street with lots of children.  He is like 25 or 26.  The other ringleader is just 18 years old and lives with his parents in Villanova.  How do you put your family at risk like that?

These guys had a network and had minions working for them at Haverford School, Haverford College, Harriton High School, Lower Merion High School, Conestoga High School, Radnor High School, Lafayette College and I think even Gettysburg.

It even made the national network news and Wall Street Journal this morning:

Wall Street Journal: US News: Eleven Charged in Drug Ring on Philadelphia’s Main Line

April 21, 2014 7:29 p.m. ET

Prosecutors said Monday they had broken up a marijuana and cocaine trafficking ring allegedly run by two graduates of a suburban Philadelphia prep school and centered on the affluent area known as the Main Line.

Authorities announced charges against nine adults and two juveniles as part of an investigation that resulted in the seizure of drugs and three guns.

The two alleged leaders referred to the distribution ring as the “Main Line take over project,” according to court records, which quoted text messages in which they discussed plans to dominate marijuana sales at schools in the Philadelphia suburbs.

“They tried to infiltrate our schools, not for educational purposes, but to make money and to drag others into the downward spiral that their lives had become,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said in a statement. The seizure of guns and a variety of drugs showed that the operation posed a “significant danger” to the community, she said.

The two alleged leaders—25-year-old Neil Scott of Haverford, Pa., and 18-year-old Timothy Brooks of Villanova—are graduates of the private Haverford School, where both played lacrosse, according to an affidavit of probable cause. This year’s upper school tuition is $34,800.

“We’re appalled and shocked and horrified,” said Haverford School Headmaster John Nagl, adding that the all-boys school was “determined to learn from this and build a better school and a better community that understands the risks to boys and helps them make better choices.”



I have to feel sorry for the headmaster quoted above.  John Nagl is the new headmaster and these guys arrested came up through this elite private school under the former headmaster Joseph Cox.

To be honest, I have not much positive to say about the Haverford School of today.  I lived for years in one of the neighborhoods that had the misfortune to call this school a neighbor.  They treated their neighbors poorly and it was a top down approach starting with the now former headmaster.  I found him to be a huge jerk.

Throughout the years I have had many friends who graduated from Haverford School.  As did their fathers and uncles and brothers.  They weren’t this kind of graduate.  I also know people who have kids in lower school, middle school, upper school, and those who have graduated. A lot of these people basically indenture themselves so their boys can have the advantages of going to a school like that.  It’s just crazy.

These dealers are young.  They have tanked their lives, and to what end? A misplaced sense of entitlement and easy cash?  And the effect their selfish actions will have on all of their families is another sad thing to comprehend.  After all, it’s the Main Line so people might stop talking to your face about what your kid did, but the whispers will never go away.

I keep thinking how bright these young men must be and how different their lives could have been if they just worked for things legitimately. It is a sad commentary on the culture of the Main Line today.  The whole culture of misplaced sense of entitlement.

I sound like an old fart, and I don’t mean to.  This just is blowing the mind of everyone I know who not only grew up on the Main Line but who went to one of these schools. Not that drugs and the Main Line have never been uttered in the same sentence.  As one friend of mine said : “Both public and private schools are involved in this. And it’s not like this situation is new, it’s been happening in these schools for decades. Choose your decade, choose your drug of choice.”

This however, is pretty big.  And it is scary. We can educate our children and try to steer them to make the right choices, yet things can go wrong, majorly wrong.

Makes me glad I am not on the Main Line any longer. These problems are everywhere, don’t misunderstand me, its just that this is the situation which will destroy lives and families.  And for what? Being able to keep up with the Main Line Jones more easily? Sad.

Main Line Media News/Pottstown Mercury: Prep school drug ring busted; 11 arrested (photos)

By Richard Ilgenfritz, rilgenfritz@21st-centurymedia.com
POSTED: 04/21/14, 12:45 PM EDT | UPDATED: 10 HRS AGO

Prosecutors say two former Main Line students at the Haverford School set up an elaborate drug ring in an attempt to take over the Main Line drug trade at several area schools and colleges. The schools included some of the most privileged public and private schools in the region.

Authorities announced Monday the arrests of Neil K. Scott, 25, of Barrett Avenue in Haverford and Timothy Brooks, 18, of Cedar Lane in Villanova as the main suppliers.

Daniel McGrath, 18, of Glenolden; John Rosemann, 20, of Weston, Conn.; Christian Euler, 23, of Villanova; Garrett Johnson, 18, of New York; Reid Cohen, 18, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; Willow Lynn Ore, 22, of Philadelphia; Domenic Curcio, 29 of Philadelphia and the two juveniles have been identified as the sub-dealers.

The ring was dubbed the “Main Line take over project,” because, authorities say, the group was trying to take over the drug trade at several area schools.

Schools including Lower Merion High School, The Haverford School, Harriton High School, Conestoga High School, Radnor Township High School, Gettysburg College, Lafayette College and Haverford College have all been identified as the target schools.

So far eight adults have been taken into custody while another adult is being sought for arrest. Two juveniles, one a student at Lower Merion and the other a student at Radnor, have also been charged….Information from the Main Line Times, www.mainlinemedianews.com


Note to the Main Line of today: you reap what you so and how sad is that?  You see it’s not all grand houses, fancy cars, and designer clothes.  With affluence (or an affluent society) there should come a sense of greater good and doing the right thing.  But unfortunately, that was the Main Line of years ago, wasn’t it?



Categories: Pennsylvania

Netflix Planning to Raise Prices

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-04-22 09:39
Netflix reported strong earnings as it continues to add millions of streaming customers.
Categories: Lower Merion

TempleU – Billionaire Private Corporation Financed by Millions of The Forgotten Taxpayer Money

The Liberty Blog - Tue, 2014-04-22 09:38

TempleU   TempleU’s new Science and Technology Building

Millions of Taxpayer Dollars to Billionaires?  What sense does that make?

Temple University’s annual budget is $3.1 Billion Dollars

In order to pay for the Pension Spike, I propose to eliminate  to eliminate Welfare to Wealthy including $139, 917,000 that The Forgotten Taxpayer is forced to give to TempleU.

Giving millions to billionaire private corporations which are both tax-exempt and legally non-profit seems without merit or even against common sense.

Very glitzy and glamorous billionaire, TempleU, is it not? Whoopi Goldberg is an invited guest.

Does TempleU look like it needs more taxpayer  money?

The president’s salary alone is $450,000 and total compensation includes benefits. It is difficult to see why struggling taxpayers should be forced to finance the salary of the 1%.  The non-profit and tax-exempt TempleU hospital is paying some breathtaking salaries, too.

“[TempleU] is trying to build its football program into a nationally known brand and there are even plans to build a new on-campus football stadium.”  Exactly why is The Forgotten Taxpayer financing football?

Giving millions to billionaire private, tax-exempt corporations,  very profitable non-profits technically and legally non-profits, seems without merit or even against common sense.


Categories: Pennsylvania

Bryn Mawr Film Institute will celebrate grand reopening April 27

Main Line Times - Tue, 2014-04-22 09:04
The “Lights” and “Camera” phases have taken nine years and more. Now it’s time to say “ACTION!”
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, April 22

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2014-04-22 08:18
The Daily Numbers: 2 grads of the prestigious Haverford School charged with running a huge drug ring with the aim of taking over the illegal drug trade in high schools on the Main Line as well as several local colleges.

25 and 18, age of the suspected kingpins, both of whom were lacrosse players at Haverford and then dropped out of college.

9 others, including 2 juveniles, busted as their sub-dealers, who would push drugs in the high schools.

35,000 a year, how much it costs to attend Haverford School.

8 pounds of marijuana found during a search of the suspects’ homes.

3 grams of hash oil.

23 grams of cocaine.

11 grams of MDMA.

11,000 dollars in cash.

3 guns, including an AR-15 rifle.

0 rate hike being sought by SEPTA in their general operating budget for next year.

20 percent increase in ridership on Media/Elwyn regional rail line, one of the reasons it’s being targeted for upgrades by SEPTA.

11,000 passengers who use the line every day.

75 counts of harassment filed against a part-time Colwyn police officer charged in connection with stalking his ex-fiancee.

3.85 million dollar sale price for the landmark Upper Darby Professional Center on Market Street.

25,000 dollars in damages done by vandals on the Penn State York campus.

40.71 point hike for the stock market yesterday.

1 or 2 dollars a month fee hike being considered by Netflix.

3 straight starts for Ray Emery, who will be back between pipes tonight for Flyers, subbing for injured starter Steve Mason.

7-0 win for the Phillies behind Cliff Lee last night vs. Dodgers.

10 strikeouts recorded by Lee, who retired 21 of last 22 batters he faced through 8 innings of work.

38 strikeouts so far this year for Lee, with just 2 walks.

5 home runs for Ryan Howard, who went yard again last night.

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

Anyone know exactly what an “upper body injury” is. Whatever it is, it is keeping Steve Mason on the sidelines for the Flyers. It’s up to Ray Emery now.

I Don’t Get It: Not exactly sure what these Main Line hotshots were thinking in terms of running this drug enterprise. What? They didn’t think anyone would notice?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Montco D.A. and law enforcement for taking down this preppie drug magnates.

Quote Box: “We will crush it. Once you go tax free it’s hard to go back.”

- Suspected Main Line drug ring leader Tim Brooks, in text to his partner.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A Delco guy meets the president

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2014-04-22 07:24
One of the things I like the most about social media is the ability to make connections I otherwise would miss. It also allows me to 'connect' with people and places from my past.

That's how I 'connected' with Tina Zuzek. It turns out she grew up in the same little town I did out in Chester County. But she now lives here in Delco. Her son, a football player, attends the Naval Academy. We connected last year when she alerted me to her son's appearance in the Army-Navy game. Joe is a standout offensive lineman.

Here is a small confession. One of my great laments in my life is that I did not pursue the chance to go to the Naval Academy. We had a congressman, John Ware, who actually lived in our town and likely would have written a letter of recommendation. But I was a young knucklehead, and didn't think it was 'cool' to be a midshipman. What a dunce.

But I've always been a Navy fan, at least in part out of that missed opportunity, and the fact that my dad was a sailor.

Tina noticed that I was often wrote about Oxford in my column and blog, and we connected. That's how we wound up doing a story on her son.

Last week she contacted me again.

Joe was making news again.

That's him with President Obama in the picture accompanying this blog.

The Naval Academy team visited the White House and met with President Obama on Friday to accept the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the ninth time in 11 seasons.

A couple of other Delco guys, Mike Huf from Drexel Hill, and Lonnie Richardson from Chester, also were on hand for the event. His family and friends apparently call Joe 'Jake.'

I hope he doesn't mind if I do as well.

He did Delco proud.

As well as his mom's - and a certain newspaper editor's - home town.

Well done, Jake.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Flyers, Steve Mason & dreaded "upper body injury"

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2014-04-22 06:28
What exactly is an "upper body injury?"

Inquiring minds - probably belonging to Flyers fans - want to know.

Starting goaltender Steve Mason will not be between the pipes again tonight when the Flyers return home to face the Rangers in Game 3 of their opening Stanley Cup playoff series. The Flyers, behind Ray Emery, evened the series and wrested home-ice advantage from the Rangers with a gutty come-from-behind 4-2 win on Sunday.

Immediately after the game the talk turned to who would be in goal when the series resumed tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.

We didn't have to wait long. Mason announced Monday that he would not be able to go. Here's Rob Parent's report.

But exactly what is ailing the goaltender is not exactly clear.

As is their custom, the Flyers are keeping this kind of information top secret, announcing only that Mason is in fact suffering from the aforementioned "upper body injury."

Mason got involved in a pileup and banged his head on the ice during the last week of the regular season.

Is he suffering a concussion?

We don't know. No one is saying. Not the Flyers. Certainly not Mason.

There is the temptation to simply say that he is, then let the team deny it if they want.

Flyers fans are among the most passionate around. They simply live and die with this team. Year in and year out they fill the Wells Fargo Center, playoffs or no playoffs.

Seems like a lousy way to treat them when it comes to injuries.

The truth is they deserve better than what the Flyers are giving them.

For now, they will be to settle for the dreaded "upper body injury."
Categories: Pennsylvania

EV Charging Now Available at Two Turnpike Service Plazas

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2014-04-22 00:01
Bowmansville Service Plaza in Lancaster County located eastbound at milepost 290 and King of Prussia Service Plaza in Montgomery County located westbound at milepost 328 now have Blink Level II Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations available.
Categories: Lower Merion

Suburban schools no longer a safe haven from illegal drugs

The use of drugs in suburbia is a growing epidemic – it’s not just on the streets anymore, it’s in suburban neighborhoods.  The drug epidemic has pulled cocaine and heroin out of the dark shadows of American cities and into our suburban schools. Today’s drug bust headlines mark a sad day for many of the […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Autistic Maryland Boy Wants Charges Dropped Against 'Friends' Who Tormented Him

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2014-04-21 20:06
An autistic boy was forced by two classmates to engage in a sex act with the family pet, walk on an ice-covered pond that gave way and held at knifepoint, police allege.
Categories: Lower Merion

Phillies Tickets Among Most Expensive in the Country, Report Says

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2014-04-21 18:58
At a cost of $37 on average per ticket, the Phillies are among the five most expensive professional baseball teams to see live.
Categories: Lower Merion

UPDATE: 11 arrested in connection to Main Line schools drug 'take over project'

Main Line Times - Mon, 2014-04-21 18:09
Prosecutors say two former lacrosse players at The Haverford School set up an elaborate drug ring in a self-described attempt to take over the Main Line drug trade.
Categories: Lower Merion

UPDATE: 11 arrested in connection to Main Line schools drug 'take over project'

Main Line Times - Mon, 2014-04-21 18:05
Prosecutors say two former lacrosse players at The Haverford School set up an elaborate drug ring in a self-described attempt to take over the Main Line drug trade.
Categories: Lower Merion

This week on #TheStump – Josh Maxwell and Josh Young

Keystone Politics - Mon, 2014-04-21 17:25
As you may have read last week, we have initiated a new feature here at Keystone Politics, and we call it The Stump. Instead of allowing opposing candidates to remain in their own little bubble...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

These Are Pennsylvania’s Emptiest Areas

Keystone Politics - Mon, 2014-04-21 17:09
Idiots sometimes wonder why, if so much land area of Pennsylvania is Republican, why do Republicans have so much trouble winning statewide elections. The answer is that big swaths of central PA are...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Questions resurface over Revolutionary War soldier graves at Gladwyne Methodist Church; hearing postponed

Main Line Times - Mon, 2014-04-21 16:57
A conditional use hearing on plans to adapt and preserve Odd Fellows Hall and Gladwyne Methodist Church schedule to resume April 22 has been postponed again, as questions that the graves of two Revolutionary War soldiers may lie in a part of the church property have resurfaced.
Categories: Lower Merion