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More marching band news: Kudos to Marple Newtown

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-11-19 06:21
It turns out Delco is chock full of big-time high school marching bands.

The past few days I have been noting the accomplishments of the Sun Valley Marching Band, which took a state crown at the Cavalcade of Bands in Hershey over the weekend.

Reader - and proud grandmother! - Bette-Jo Readinger wanted to remind me that Marple Newtown has a spectacular marching band as well. And they also won a cavalcade last weekend.

I'm learning more about this notion of the marching band competitions, thanks to readers like Readinger and longtime Chichester band promoter Marci Malinowski.

As Bette Jo pointed out, marching band no longer means "march down the field and play." Today it's all about the "shows."

Marple-Newtown is in the Yankee Open Division, which held its championships Sunday afternoon in Downingtown. That apparently is a different competition from the one Sun Valley competed in out in Hershey. According to Readinger, Marple Newtown's marching band, 85 members strong, won the competition with a score of 96.65, an historic high. That makes the second straight year they've won.

And she believes their front performer deserves special kudos for performing with a broken rib and bruised ribs from an injury in the last official practice.

One of the things I did a few years ago was link from our site to a blog to allow band advocates to post information about their bands and the competitions. It's called Marching Band 411. You can check it out here.In the meantime, sweet music from Marple Newtown. Kudos to all involved.
Categories: Pennsylvania

When will the Sixers win a game?

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-11-19 06:02
They have to win sometime, right?

I'm beginning to wonder.

The Sixers lost their 12th straight game to kick off the season last night, and it might have been their worst performance of the young season, although it's hard to tell at this point.

Chris Vito has all the details here.

The Sixers were doomed by 31 turnovers.

The question now becomes two-fold: When will they win a game, and how long can management allow this to continue without sending some kind of message in terms of coach Brett Brown's job status.

Granted, this is not a great roster. And Brown does not have Tony Wroten and Robert Covington.

But you would think they'd be able to win at least one game.

All they have to do is get the ball down low and let rookie standout Jahlil Okafor do his thing.

Something has to happen.

For some reason, more than 11,000 decided to go to the Wells Fargo Center to check out the game. I don't think they were all there to see the Pacers.

Attention Sam Hinkie. Attention Sixers owners. We've been patient. We understand 'the process.' We know Joel Embiid threw a kink into the works when it turns out he needed a second surgery and will miss another full year.

But you've got to be better than this.

Win a game already.
Categories: Pennsylvania

it was just a day for quiche

Chester County Ramblings - Wed, 2015-11-18 21:44

I just felt like making a quiche and I had made a ham a few days ago, so I pulled out one of my Smithfield Barn vintage pie plates and away we went. And by the way, spend the money to make your quiche with Swiss and Gruyere cheeses…it makes a world of difference.

Here is what I made (my recipe):

Quiche with Ham and Portobello Mushrooms

6 large eggs

¾ cup evaporated milk

1 large shallot

1 small onion

1 8 oz package of baby Portobello or crimini mushrooms sliced thin

2 tablespoons butter

1 deep dish pie plate and one pie crust (I make my own crust or buy refrigerated pie dough in a pinch – don’t like frozen pie crusts)

2 ½ cups shredded cheese – half Swiss and half Gruyere

About 2 cups of minced up ham

Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Sauté onion, shallot, mushrooms and ham in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add milk and mix well. Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.
  5. Place sautéed mixture into pie crust. Then cheese. Finally pour milk and eggs mixture over top.
  6. Place quiche on a baking sheet and bake on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes at 400°, and then reduce heat to 350° and bake another 30-32 minutes.

When toothpick or knife comes out of quiche clean, it’s done. Allow to cool at least 25 minutes before serving.




Categories: Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Airport Workers To Strike, Reports Say

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-11-18 19:36
Workers at seven airports around the nation are reportedly planning a coordinated walk-out. Will it affect Thanksgiving flights?
Categories: Lower Merion

Update from Paris: Main Line couple observe life in Paris after terrorist attacks

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-11-18 15:44
Main Line Times staff ARDMORE>> Karen Aydt and Dave O’Connell of Gladwyne were traveling in Greece, with plans to fly to Paris for a four-day visit, when news of the terrorist attacks in France’s capital city rocked the world.
Categories: Lower Merion

Need Turkey Help, Ardmore? There's A Hotline For That

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-11-18 15:31
For more than 30 years, the hotline has been fielding tens of thousands of questions each holiday season.
Categories: Lower Merion

PA State Rep Warren Kampf provides update to constituents on budget compromise

The Pennsylvania budget stalemate has drug into its fifth month but information has now emerged about a possible compromise.  State Rep Warren Kampf provided an update via email yesterday which contained the following budget highlights: The plan is reported to contain $350 million in new education funding.  What that would mean to Phoenixville, Spring-Ford or […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Police: Clerk exchanged customer's $100 bill with fake one

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-11-18 15:08
Lower Merion police arrested and charged a clerk at an area 7-Eleven store with theft and related charges after they say he exchanged a customer’s real $100 bill with a $100 counterfeit bill, telling the man he couldn’t take the fake bill.
Categories: Lower Merion

gotta have a wawa? ok but why so many east whiteland?

Chester County Ramblings - Wed, 2015-11-18 13:08

Someone I met with yesterday who lives farther out in a more rural and straight farming community in Chester County said to me when we met up in Malvern Borough “I don’t like to come this way much any longer. It’s too congested and is getting over-developed.”

Yup. That is exactly how I felt about the Main Line when I left and I still do.

When I was little I remember distinctly the separation of city into green that one felt when traveling from Philadelphia to the suburbs known as the Main Line.  In the heat of the summer, the temperature would drop quite a bit once you got back to suburbia because of the trees and the green. The farther west you headed the cooler it got. Until you go to say Lancaster County. Lancaster was always hot and humid. Too far from water I suppose.

But as I grew up that temperature differential dropped as development occurred.  I remember the first development as a kid that I saw as a death knell to a way of life was what they call Oak Hill in Penn Valley.  I remember when there was farm there and lots of open space. When you drove by one corner you could see the remains of a silo and a spring house down in a little valley.

I love Chester County but I fear for Chester County because the planning is all pro-developer from municipality to municipality.  It’s not about us, the residents. It’s not about open space and protecting our farming and agricultural traditions and our history. It’s about the ratables and the lore that business taxes will cure all woes. Will they? When our school districts get full to busting at the seams and no plans were made for them, will that be curing all woes? Or will that just make those taxes go up as the school districts scramble to catch up in the ever-growing land of plastic houses?

Great Valley is one school district I wonder about in the land of disconnect.  And that is because of East Whiteland.

East Whiteland recently released a list of development in the works, and I do not believe that is all of it (read East Whiteland Development List Township Release Fall 2015 ). I find this list terrifying because well, I want to live in Chester County, not the next King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, or Conshohocken.  The development is all designed and planned so that developers can cram in as much per square foot as possible. It’s about calling all lemmings, your Tyvec wrapped monstrosities are ready.

And a lot of this is apartments. Apartments. When did the country become about apartments? And hey, is what is built already really filling to capacity?

That is O’Neill’s building on the other side of Worthington. The Royal Worthington which I find well, royally unattractive. Sorry.  It has as much appeal as a Lego Tower only not as colorful. Lego towers are fun to build as kids, but do you want to live in one? With a “royal” view of highways? Imagine going out on their lovely Juliette balconies and hearing the whir of 202 and other major highways? Yeah, that’s Chester County living alrighty.

And then skip over to the Borough of Malvern. Eastside Flats. I love Chirstophers and the little boutiques, Kimberton Whole Foods and Malvern Creamery. But the buildings? The design? It says nothing about where they are placed, they are just a monument of in-your-face development left by the developer who sold the project and moved on. I know little of the new Eastside Flats owners other than trucks going there and equipment are always blocking King Road. And the apartments at night do not appear to have full occupancy.

Only Patch seems to be noticing all the development from media land, and what they post is only peripheral given I doubt the Malvern  Patch editor actually comes to the Malvern area which is more than a borough. One article talks about brining “thousands” to the area.


King of Prussia and worse here we come if people don’t wake up.

I drove by Linden Hall the other day. The land has been raped and scraped and pillaged in advance of those townhouses that are coming. I keep hearing about all the “restoration” that is supposed to occur to Linden Hall, which is quite historically significant, but I see nothing. Except broken windows on the side when I drive by. If the house is left open to the elements and construction much longer, how will that affect the actual ability to save Linden Hall? There is after all, nothing that guarantees that building’s preservation.

Let’s talk about historic preservation. East Whiteland has a historical commission pretty much in name only because you never hear about what they do, what they have saved, what they are planning to save. They don’t post their meeting agendas, they don’t post their meeting minutes.  The last minutes and only minutes one can find posted are from 2009, and it isn’t much. Here is a screen shot from just now:

So now let us go to the impetus for this post: WaWa. WaWa is like the new RiteAid wanting to gobble up as many commercial spaces as possible. East Whiteland has three in close proximity. Two in the Route 29 area (Swedesford off 29 and near route 30 on 29), and one on Planebrook and 30 (first photo in this post). Now there are plans for another WaWa in East Whiteland.  Umm there already is a WaWa, PA,  East Whiteland.

According to Patch this next WaWa is going in at the Haven at Atwater – another ridiculously pretentious name for a land of plastic which even Patch describes as “massive”. If that one gets built will it also be a pick up spot for day jobbers?

Response is mixed. I believe a lot of people don’t want another WaWa but some are of the mind set  more is good and how WaWa will keep taxes down and let municipal services grow. I do not quite get that logic because if municipal services have to grow, all taxpayers have to pay. And what about people on fixed incomes?

I know the jingle of “Gotta have a WaWa” but  there is no accounting for taste and one would *hope* people would want better for East Whiteland than gobs of plastic townhouses, limited historic preservation in a very historic area, and oh yes plastic chain stores to serve the plastic townhouse set?  Given the Wegmans and Target and existing WaWas and other things, I would say the 29 corridor is pretty well served already.

Time will tell.  Personally, I like my own coffee better.

Thanks for stopping by.



Categories: Pennsylvania

East Bradford man gets jail sentence for assault of ex-wife

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-11-18 12:41
WEST CHESTER >> An East Bradford man who had been accused of choking and sexually assaulting his ex-wife in their former home has begun serving a brief prison sentence for his crimes, according to Common Pleas Court documents.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montgomery County High School Locked Down After Threat

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-11-18 12:01
The district became aware of the threat on Wednesday morning.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Woman Stands Trial For Burning Cop's Home To The Ground: Report

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-11-18 10:58
A witness reportedly said Tuesday that the suspect was in a "downward spiral" leading up to the incident.
Categories: Lower Merion

Syrian Refugees In PA: Who Are They, And Where Do They Live?

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-11-18 10:34
The stories and map (see below) show where and how some of the approximately 161 Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania have settled.
Categories: Lower Merion

Southbound Pennswood Road closed Wednesday night

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-11-18 09:50
The southbound lane of Pennswood Road between Montgomery Avenue and San Marino Avenue, Bryn Mawr, will be closed, Wednesday night, November 18th, 2015 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. (Thursday morning) to retire an old gas regulator station. Police will be onsite for traffic control.
Categories: Lower Merion

Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day in Ardmore

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-11-18 09:01
Check out this list of Main Line restaurants that are serving Thanksgiving dinner.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Nov. 18

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-11-18 07:32
The Daily Numbers: 2 dead and 7 arrested as French authorities raid apartment looking for suspects in deadly terror raid this morning.

54 students who take part in the Sun Valley Vanguards Marching Band. They took the top prize at a statewide Cavalcade of Bands last weekend.

3-6 years in prison for a Springfield man who fired a shot at a police officer during a confrontation at his home.

46 million people expected to pile in their cars and drive at least 50 miles this Thanksgiving holiday.

1 less backer of a bill to kill off school property taxes. Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, has removed his support.

14 billion dollars in school property taxes being collected by Pa. schools this year.

1 person shot in Chester Monday night.

12 to 16 months, how long the screening process takes for refugees to enter the country, according to Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf.

2,497 drug deaths in Pa last year.

9th, where Pa. ranks in U.S. in drug deaths per capita.

1,080 in Philadelphia, Delco and other suburban counties.

80 percent of the victims are white.

2/3 are male.

2/3-plus are over age 30.

50 million dollar fine being sought against the ride-service Uber by some Pa. judges for the PUC.

10 refugees to be admitted to the U.S., according to the Obama Administration.

3-2 loss in shootout for the Flyers last night to the L.A. Kings.

9 losses in their last 11 games for the Flyers.

38 saves for Steve Mason.

55.7 seconds left in regulation, when the Kings scored to tie the score.

87-63 win for Villanova over Nebraska last night.

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

Brace yourself, Eagles fans. It’s time for a sequel of ‘The Sanchize’ as all signs point to Mark Sanchez starting for injured Sam Bradford Sunday vs. Tampa Bay.

I Don’t Get It: Yes, we should make sure our vetting process is secure when it comes to refugees. No, we should not turn out backs on the American ideal

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sun Valley Band. Good show!

Quote Box: “This is a moment where it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.”

- House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging a ‘pause’ in allowing refugees to enter country.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The refugee question

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-11-18 06:51
It is the topic that is on America's tongue.


President Obama wants to continue to allow Syrian refugees to settle in the United States.

An increasing number of governors and other elected officials stand opposed, at least until the feds can prove they have shored up their vetting programs before admitting anyone from Syria.

All of this comes in the superheated horror of the France terrorist attacks, and the knowledge that at least one of the terrorists entered the nation with a group of refugees.

House Speaker Paul Ryan wants a 'pause' on any new refugees until security can be increase. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, feels the same way. He is sounding concern that at this time we can't guarantee the vetting process.

It is a legitimate concern.

But it should not mean slamming the door closed.

Here is our editorial. For a contrasting opinion, check out columnist Chris Freind.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Sweet music at Sun Valley

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-11-18 06:39
Yesterday in this space I noted that we don't always afford the same type of coverage to high school kids who take part in band and some other extracurricular activities, as compared to what we do for kids who excel in athletics.

I did this while noting that the Sun Valley High School Vanguards Marching Band had captured a state title at the statewide Cavalcade of Bands Championship at Hershey Stadium over the weekend.

I also did something else.

I promised that, in addition to my blog, I would make sure we did a feature in the print edition to note this great accomplishment. Today we delivered the goods.

Again, huge kudos to the kids from Sun Valley, and in fact to all those unsung kids who put in long hours honing their craft.

Your accomplishments don't always make the paper, but we want you to know we are proud of you.

You can read today's story on Sun Valley band here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Here comes 'The Sanchize, the Sequel'

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-11-18 06:27
Brace yourself, Eagles fans.

It's time for a sequel. Here comes 'The Sanchize, Chapter Two.'

Yes, it appears Mark Sanchez will be behind center when the Birds face the Tampa Bay Bucs Sunday in South Philly.

Of course, no one at the NovaCare Compound is saying that. It's a state secret.

Sam Bradford was at practice yesterday, but did not participate. He suffered a concussion and shoulder injury in Sunday's debacle of a loss against the Dolphins.

It's the concussion that appears to be keeping him off the field. He probably could play with the injury to his left shoulder, but he's enmeshed in the NFL's concussion protocol. I would not be surprised if Bradford also misses the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit.

Here's the good news: I will admit that the Eagles' tempo picked up with Sanchez running the show after he entered the game for Bradford in the third quarter.

Sanchez is a serviceable NFL quarterback. But he has a fatal flaw. That is his penchant for the killer turnover. It popped up again with 4:30 left in the game Sunday. Sanchez had looked sharp in marching the Eagles down the field and had them in position for no less than a field goal that would have given them the lead.

But on second down - that's right, second down, when he still had another play in his pocket - he tried to force a pass into Miles Austin and got it picked off. That's been the story of Sanchez's career, going back to the infamous 'Butt Fumble' play with the Jets. The guy is a turnover looking for a place to happen.

He didn't get any help on the play from Austin, who did not exactly distinguish himself on Sunday. In fact, if Chip Kelly wanted to deliver a message to his team that he is tired of the mistakes and sloppy play that has been their hallmark this year, he could have released Austin on Monday. Instead the coach tried to tell us his wideouts are just fine, that the game plan was to featured the tight ends.

The Eagles should beat the Bucs on Sunday. Yes, just like they should have beaten the Dolphins.

But here is what I really want. I want Mark Sanchez to complete a game without a turnover. No botched snaps. No interceptions. No butt fumbles. If he does that, the Eagles win and - incredibly - take over first place in the NFC Least.

If he does not, then we'll know 'The Sanchize, Part Two,' is just a remake of the same old story.
Categories: Pennsylvania