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another reason why I love chester county

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-08-24 14:31


See that? Fresh pears and apples soon to become fruit butter! (the chicken bag was made for me by my friend Sara – it was perfect to load fruit into when I was up on a ladder picking!)

One of my awesome neighbors invited me to share the bounty of their fruit trees!

How cool is that?

Categories: Pennsylvania

Chase Utley Thanks Philly In Full-Page Ad

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2015-08-24 10:03
Beloved second baseman, traded last week, thanked his teammates, team executives and fans in Inquirer message
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Aug. 24

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-08-24 08:11
The Daily Numbers: 1 p.m., when both sides in the battle over special education reimbursement will be in front of Delco Judge Chad Kenney.

40,000 dollars per student, what Chester Upland currently reimburses charter schools for special education students.

16,000 what the state wants that number reduced to.

23 million dollar deficit, what the district is currently facing.

10,000 volunteers who will be enlisted for the visit by Pope Francis.

2 bodies found in a home in Upper Darby.

2 field on Furey Road in Upper Chi that have been repaired in a year-long project.

4 regional rail line train stations that were selling those special papal passes for use on regional rails during the Sept. 26-27 visit by Pope Francis.

17 miles of roads being repaved this week, covering 11 Delco municipalities.

200 protesters who showed up Sunday to oppose 114 mile pipeline that would move natural gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.

32, age of off-duty Philadelphia police officer who was killed when his car struck a tree Saturday night.

1 percent of Pa. tax revenue that comes from taxes and fees generated dkirectly from the extraction of oil and natural gas.

19 people sickened by fumes in a dorm at Kutztown University on Sunday.

2 people stabbed after a dispute among groups at N.J. amusement park bubbled over.

3 Americans saluted as heroes for taking down a gunman on a packed train in France.

2 big hits taken by Sam Bradford during his debut as Eagles QB Saturday night vs. Ravens, including a low shot on that twice-rebuilt left knee. He got up both times.

3 of 5 passing for Bradford in his first action of the season.

2 straight impressive wins for the Eagles in exhibition play.

8 shutout innings tossed by Aaron Nola in a sparkling display vs. the Miami Marlins Sunday.

3 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts for the Phils’ rookie.

50-74 record for the Phils, which moves them into tie with Miami for worst record in Major League Baseball.

3 straight wins over the Marlins in a sweep for the Phils.

21-12 mark for the Phils since the All-Star break.

10th save in 13 chances for Ken Giles, who pitched the 9th.

5 shutouts for the Phillies this year.

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

Sam Bradford took a cheap shot on his rebuilt left knee in his very first series after coming back from surgery. And he survived.

I Don’t Get It: Yes, that is Labor Day and the end of summer staring off in the horizon. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Wallingford-Swarthmore officials, who reviewed parents’ complaints about the new school dress code and came up with an alternate plan.

Quote Box
: “I am hopeful that Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, which will be such an extraordinary event in the life of the city and indeed a once-in-a-lifetime moment for most people, will be an opportunity for us to reflect upon some of the most important fits which God has given us: Life, family, faith.”

- The Rev. William Donovan, the Delco priest who has played an integral part in the planning for the event.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Battle of Chester Upland goes to court today

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-08-24 07:14
All eyes in the Pennsylvania education community will be riveted on a Delaware County courtroom today.

That's where officials with the state Department of Education will face state their case in the latest financial recovery plan for the seemingly perpetually ailing Chester Upland School District.

Unveiled last week, the state's plan includes a forensic audit of the Chester Upland books, and the appointment of a financial turnaround specialist.

But those are just the preliminaries.

The real battle that will play out in front of Delaware County Judge Chad Kenney involves the reimbursement Chester Upland makes for special education students in the district who attend charter schools.

Right now Chester Upland pays more than $40,000 for every special education student who attends a charter school. State officials are flabbergasted at that figure and want the judge to OK a plan that would slash the reimbursement to just more than $16,000.

Coupled with changes in reimbursement for students attending cyberschools, the state says the move could wipe out the district's $23 million deficit.

Without the changes, they say it's possible the district will not be able to open their doors in September. And if they do, they cannot guarantee how long they'll be able to stay open. That $23 million in red ink is expected to grow to more than $40 million if nothing is done.

Charter school backers are not impressed. They believe they are simply going to be made the scapegoat for decades of state control and financial mismanagement that have failed to put Chester Upland on a sound financial footing.

Late Friday afternoon, I had a conversation with A. Bruce Cawley. He represents Chester Community Charter School, the biggest brick and mortar charter school in the state, and the brainchild of political heavyweight Vahan Gureghian.

Cawley doesn't understand why the state is making headlines over the situation in Chester Upland, but is saying nothing about similar reimbursements in more well-to-do districts.

Cawley says gone are the days when charter schools were considered "interlopers" in public education. In fact, nearly half of Chester Upland students sit in charter schools. While the district has been successful in drawing some students back into the public schools, charters are no longer a novelty.

Cawley says the state move is a direct attack on charter schools, as well as a move to limit choice for parents and families who for years have been saddled with a school district that failed their children.

And it's not just the for-profit Chester Community Charter School. Widener University also has a big stake in the charter school business with its Widener Partnership Charter School.

"We think this is a direct attack on charter schools," said Widener spokesman Dan Hanson.

We'll be in court today for the latest in this heavyweight education bout.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Lincoln men

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-08-24 06:40
I used my print column today to offer a salute to a Lincoln man.

It's not widely known that groundbreaking civil rights leader Julian Bond, who died last week, had close ties to Lincoln University.

His father, Horace Mann Bond, was the first African-American president of the historically black university.

Bond lived in the Oxford area during his youth, long before he started a lifetime of work in civil rights by being a campus activist at Morehouse University in Georgia.

I shared something in common with Bond.

We were both Lincoln men.

I explain it here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Sam Bradford takes a hit - and gets up

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-08-24 06:29
Sam Bradford had talked for weeks about his desire to get back on the field, take a hit, and then get on with his NFL career.

What happened Saturday night in his first NFL action in more than a year probably wasn't what he had in mind.

After a routine handoff, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs zeroed in on the Eagles QB, and his twice-reconstructed left knee.

That gasp you heard from one end of Eagles nation to the other was Birds' fans holding their breath, waiting to see if Bradford would get up.

He did. And he offered a few choice comments to Suggs, who was flagged for a rare roughing the quarterback penalty on a running play.

A couple of plays later, Bradford took a massive - and legal - hit from another Ravens D-lineman.

Bradford seemed stunned, but he got back to his feet and led the Eagles to a TD on his only series of the game.

Bradford went 3-for-5 in his abbreviated debut, but it's hard to underestimate just how big this moment was.

It was what everyone was wondering since Chip Kelly sent Nick Foles and a draft pick to the Rams for the oft-injured former No. 1 draft pick.

Could Bradford stay healthy? Would his left knee hold up under the rigors of the barely controlled mayhem that is NFL Football. We didn't have to wait long to find out.

The Suggs' hit was a classic shot to the knee, the kind that often results in a QB writing in pain on the ground with his arms holding his lower leg.

Bradford seemed to at least see Suggs coming and was able to brace himself for Suggs as the linebacker went airborne and came in low on the Eagles QB.

For his part, Suggs defended the play, and reminded people that this was a real, live NFL game. He said that if the Eagles planned to exspose Bradford and his knee to hits in a read-option offense, that's not his problem. No red shirt for Bradford here. The only red here was the ire of Bradford, his teammates and Eagles fans at what seemed like a cheap shot.

It won't be the last time that happens this year.

Make no mistake, the fact that the Eagles bulldozed the Ravens for the second straight impressive preseason win was not the most important thing that happened at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night.

Sam Bradford got hit. Right on that troublesome left knee. And he got up.

You can exhale now, Eagles fans.
Categories: Pennsylvania

In Case You Missed It: State Expands Health Coverage For Children

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2015-08-23 10:19
Changes bring state into compliance with Affordable Care Act
Categories: Lower Merion

'Pope Bot' Offers Philadelphia Area A Shot At Redemption

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2015-08-23 09:01
Pope Bot wants to prove to Pope Francis - and the rest of the world - that the Delaware Valley deserves a better reputation.
Categories: Lower Merion

Report: Seth Williams Under Investigation

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2015-08-22 16:01
Probe concerns potential campaign finance violations, Inquirer says
Categories: Lower Merion

Watch Phish's Magnaball Festival Saturday at Ardmore Music Hall

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2015-08-22 09:02
Magnaball Festival will stream Saturday starting at 3:30 p.m.
Categories: Lower Merion

In Case You Missed It: Yangming Shuttered After Code Violations

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2015-08-22 09:02
Presence of roaches indicates Yangming will stay closed for awhile
Categories: Lower Merion

Rally Sends Off Pennsylvania Team To Little League World Series In Style

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2015-08-21 18:31
Red Land plays the Midwest region champion in the first round of the tournament Friday night. Here's what you should know.
Categories: Lower Merion

pickled and put up

Chester County Ramblings - Fri, 2015-08-21 15:29


So I channeled my inner Pennsylvania German grandmother and pickled some stuff today.

I had a really fresh baby seedless watermelon in my CSA box, and I remembered how my grandmother used to pickle watermelon rind in the summer.

So I cleaned the rind (you remove the tough outer green shell and scrape out as much as the pink as possible left over from chunking up a watermelon) and cut it up into pieces of about an inch to 2 inches along with slicing up my remaining half bag of jalapeño peppers which also came from the CSA box. I brined both in salt water in the refrigerator overnight, bringing out today and draining and rinsing with clear water.

I brought to a boil a little over 3 cups (give or take) of a 1 to 3 part ratio of cider vinegar and white vinegar and sugar and spices. I had some white vinegar I wanted to use up, or I would’ve used all cider vinegar.  This is a sweet pickle so I had easily a cup and a half of sugar, mustard seed, pickling spice, dill, cinnamon sticks in the spice and sugar category. 

I cooked this mixture just shy of five minutes and then added first the watermelon rind, then about five minutes later I added the jalapeños and 4 sliced up medium carrots – slices of carrot no more than a half inch thick. 

Finally I added  slices of  1 large red onion. I cooked this until the watermelon rind reached a translucent stage, then removed everything from heat and ladled into preserving jars.

I did not put these in a hot water bath as I am going to store them in the refrigerator. They should last a few months that way.  It’s sort of an icebox pickle.

They will need to cure a couple weeks before trying them.

Categories: Pennsylvania

2 masked men get nothing in attempted Penn Wynne armed robbery

Main Line Times - Fri, 2015-08-21 14:58
Lower Merion police are investigating an attempted armed robbery when two men wearing masks attempted to holdup a seven-day-store in the Penn Wynne section of Lower Merion Township Aug. 17.
Categories: Lower Merion

Officials find many more code violations at Yangming restaurant

Main Line Times - Fri, 2015-08-21 12:59
Radnor >> Inch-long cockroaches, both living and dead. Dripping pipes. Outdated electrical wires and plumbing. Ancient and moldy food. Mouse and rat traps.
Categories: Lower Merion

VIDEO: Mama bear, 5 cubs beat the heat in New Jersey family’s pool

Main Line Times - Fri, 2015-08-21 12:16
ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. >> A mama bear and her five cubs decided to beat the heat in a New Jersey backyard pool.
Categories: Lower Merion

Cash, Cigars Stolen From Rittenhouse Deli In Ardmore

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2015-08-21 10:41
Robbery comes two years after Hymie's deli was robbed
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion School District officials mull options for papal visit

Main Line Times - Fri, 2015-08-21 09:51
ARDMORE >> Lower Merion School District officials are considering a couple of options including the possibility of shortening the school day prior to the pope’s visit and starting late the morning after he leaves in an effort to help students, families and staff members in dealing with the crowd and traffic impacts.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion Police Reports: Burglary at the Rittenhouse Deli

Main Line Times - Fri, 2015-08-21 09:39
Burglary at the Rittenhouse Deli>> Police are investigating a burglary at the Rittenhouse Deli on Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore that occurred between Aug. 9 and Aug. 10.
Categories: Lower Merion