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Devon Horse Show opens this weekend

Main Line Times - Mon, 2015-05-18 11:31
EASTTOWN >> The 119-year tradition of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair continues with opening day set for Thursday. The show grounds are busy now with preparations for the eleven days of equestrian action, shopping, socializing, and family fun.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion to Honor Veterans for Memorial Day

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2015-05-18 09:21
The township's annual parade will kickoff with a ceremony at Lancaster and Argyle roads and end at St. Paul's Cemetery.
Categories: Lower Merion

Court deems former Montgomery County Republican Chairman Robert Kerns a sexually violent predator

Main Line Times - Mon, 2015-05-18 08:48
COURTHOUSE >> The former head of the Montgomery County Republican Committee who pleaded no contest in November 2014 to charges of indecently assaulting a woman who worked at his law firm was deemed a sexually violent predator by the court on Friday.
Categories: Lower Merion

Amtrak Crash: Montgomery County officials discuss disaster preparedness

Main Line Times - Mon, 2015-05-18 08:48
NORRISTOWN >> In the aftermath of the tragic derailment of Amtrak train 188 Tuesday night in Philadelphia, local public safety officials discussed Montgomery County’s preparedness for a potential mass-casualty event.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Monday, May 18

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-05-18 07:27
The Daily Numbers: 5:53 a.m., when 1st train left 30th Street Station in Philly for New York City, after last week’s fatal Amtrak derailment.

8 people killed, 200 injured in the horrific crash.

20 victims remain in local hospitals with injuries suffered in the crash.

200 million dollar cap on damages that Amtrak will have to pay stemming from lawsuits tied to the crash.

2 seats on Chester City Council where incumbents are facing challenges.

5 seats up for grabs on the Southeast Delco School District.

6 Democrats and 6 Republicans seeking nominations for three seats on the state Supreme Court

6 Democrats seeking Dem nomination for mayor in Philadelphia.

1 Republican who will face that Democrat.

7 a.m. Tuesday, when polls open. They close at 8 p.m.

55th commencement exercises held Sunday at Cabrini College.

5,000 reward posted in armed holdup of employee from Chickie’s and Pete’s.

13,000 dollars swiped from a casino patron after he was followed home from SugarHouse Casino in Philly.

2,300 dollars taken in the holdup.

2nd time the female employee has been the target of robbers.

9 bikers killed in a shootout between rival motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, on Sunday.

5 straight wins for the Phillies.

6-0 win over the Diamondbacks to close out the home stand yesterday.

2 hits - including triple and his 1st homer - for Maikel Franco.

6 shutout innings from Sean O’Sullivan.

who went through turnstiles at Citizens Bank Park.

3-1 deficit wiped out by the Houston Rockets, who came all the way back and eliminated the L.A. Clippers yesterday.

1-0 win for the Union over D.C. United

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

Five straight wins? Break up the Phillies. Maybe the summer won’t be total loss after all!

I Don’t Get It: Gunfire erupted between 2 motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, Sunday, leaving 9 people dead. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the feds for ordering Positive Train Control installed on the northbound tracks where a train derailed last week, killing 8, before it could reopen this morning.

Quote Box: “Though you are about to graduate, you aren’t done fulfilling your commitment to Cabrini College. You have a promise to keep.”

- Cabrini President Donald B. Taylor to graduates.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Darby comes together to stop violence tonight

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-05-18 06:51
In Darby Borough, they will start the process of reclaiming their streets tonight.

Actually, that work started last week, when police made an arrest in a recent homicide.

The tiny borough has been rocked by another uptick in violence, at one point suffering four shootings in five days.

It was after an altercation on a crowded playground escalated into gunfire - with children playing - that the community decided 'enough is enough.'

Officials will convene a public meeting tonight at 7 o'clock in the Community Center to address the increase in violent crime and outline the borough's plans to quell the incidents.

Police Chief Bob Smythe has made it clear that his department needs the support of the community to eradicate the problem. A good sign came last week when the public provided information that led to the arrest of a 17-year-old on murder charges after a man was gunned down outside his apartment.

That's the kind of thing Smythe stresses will be needed to take back the streets.

"You can't have it both ways here," the chief said. "If you want your street back, we'll be happy to take it back for you, but we need people to come forward.

That process starts tonight.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Trains resume on Northeast Corridor

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-05-18 06:31
5:53 a.m.

That's when life returned to normal on the Northeast Corridor, or at least the stretch between Philadelphia and New York City. Six days after a horrific derailment that claimed eight lives and injured more than 200, Amtrak resumed service on the busiest stretch of rail in the world.

An Amtrak train just rumbled through the curve at Frankford Junction at 6:25 a.m., accompanied by a throng of media and overhead cameras capturing every move.

Clearly the train this morning was going much slower than the ill-fated Train 188 that was going more than 100 mph as it approached the curve.

There was something else different this morning.

Amtrak has installed the Positive Train Control software on the stretch, which gives the ability to slow down a train that is going too fast, overriding the engineer of some kind of mechanical error.

That system was not in place last week.

It was supposed to be in place across all passenger and freight rail lines by the end of the year.

It's a hell of a price to pay for not getting installed in time.

We still don't know why Train 188 was going that fast.

We do know it took a horrible toll to get those safety features installed on the train.

Maybe we should be asking why on that question as well.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Break up the Phillies

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2015-05-18 06:18
Maybe the summer won't be a total loss after all.

Take heart, Phillies fans.

You're team is hot.

The Phils - led by newcomer Maikel Franco - won their fifth straight game yesterday, blanking the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-0.

Franco had two hits - a triple and a homer - and actually came inches away from two homers.

Franco tripled to the deepest part of Citizens Bank Park, rattling a ball off the wall near the 409-foot sign in left-center. His next at-bat he reached the seats in left.

It's good to see Franco put up some numbers after being recalled from his very hot start at Triple A at Lehigh Valley. He hasn't cooled off any on the trip down the Northeast Extension. That's a good sign, because in previous end-of-season callups, as well as in spring training, Franco has struggled against big league pitching.

In the meantime, is this five-game stretch a mirage or the seeds of good things to come.

Unfortunately, the Phils have dug themselves a huge hole.

Winning five straight games still only lifts their miserable slate to 16-23. They're still six and a half games back of the Mets in the NL East.

But there are good signs surrounding Ryne Sandberg's team. Columnist Jack McCaffery lists some of them.

In the meantime, the popular opinion here was that the Phillies might be out of it before Memorial Day.

As the Phillies head to Colorado to start a road trip tonight, and with Memorial Day weekend lurking at the end of the week, it's pretty clear that won't be the case.

It's not much. But for now it will do.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Who's Running for Office in Lower Merion?

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2015-05-17 22:41
Take a look at the unofficial ballots for the May 19 primary.
Categories: Lower Merion

Message from Chesterbrook resident Doug Anestad, “Stop the TE School Board!”

The fencing situation at Valley Forge Middle School remains in a word – unsettled. Many Chesterbrook residents showed up for the Facilities Committee meeting on Friday with the hope that the matter would finally be resolved. Although there has been some progress including no fencing directly behind the Green Hills homes and no fencing through the […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Drug Overdoses in Pennsylvania Rise 20 Percent

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2015-05-17 16:26
A report from the Pa. State Coroners Association says seven people died every day of heroin or prescription drug overdoses in 2014.
Categories: Lower Merion

Neal Colligan vs Tredyffrin Easttown School District in Right-to-Know Case: Follow-Up

On April 23, 2015, Neal Colligan was notified that he won his appeal with the PA Office of Open Records (OOR) in the Colligan v. Tredyffrin-Easttown School District case, Docket No: AP 2015-0442.  If you recall, Colligan’s appeal stemmed from the District’s denial in his right-to-know request regarding the five closed meetings of the TE […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

in the garden

Chester County Ramblings - Sun, 2015-05-17 11:58

I haven’t done a gardening post for a while. I have been putting my garden back together after another difficult winter.

In my gardening group people have been talking about how a lot of plants starting later than normal. All very true. But if you scratch the bark and there is no green underneath or it hasn’t budded or leafed out, chances are it’s a goner. I had a few of those, and I took the plants out. To some that sounds mean, as if I am wasting plants in my garden, but the simple truth is I don’t have space for plants that aren’t working.

That includes butterfly bushes. I used to have a Buddleia that was easily forty or fifty years old. It came with the house. But two springs ago, it never came back. I did not want a dead perennial centering a bed, so out it came. And its roots didn’t hold on when I pulled it out, it was dead. I turned the soil over in this smaller planting bed and began again.

The garden has a cycle of life like everything else and sometimes in spite of best efforts, plants die. I don’t like that, but I look at it as an opportunity to try something new. There are also many times where I have cut the dead off plants to the point of cutting them back to the ground where a shrub or even tree has then come back.

Such is the case of a dogwood we thought was dead last year so we cut it back to a 6′ stump that I plunked a birdhouse on. The birdhouse is now home to Carolina Wrens and the tree sent up new growth from the roots. A twelve foot giant old fashioned viburnum that we thought was a goner after the 2014 ice storm because it was all but flattened came back this year full of beautiful snowball like flowers (photo below).

The garden is like a blank canvas. What do you want your canvas to look like? I like color, but my jumble of color is complimentary. I don’t take “color challenges” I plant what pleases my eye. I live partially in the woods, so my sun is limited and I am learning more every year about woodland gardens. Now I have a little help with that as I am fortunate to have some of my late mother in law’s shade and woodland garden books. I love to go through them for inspiration and have learned quite a bit from reading the notes she left in the books.

 Shade and woodland gardens can have color all their own. Varying shades of green, reds, purples. Hecheuras have grown on me and I love hostas and ferns. The hostas for me take extra work and routine spraying with Deer Out.

I have discovered many plants that have variegated cultivars. Like Solomon’s Seal (polygonatum biflorum). I purchased a wonderful variegated form from Yellow Springs Farm in Chester Springs PA. I planted mine with a white peony.

 When I plant my baskets, pots, and beds I like to mix it up. The end result is often decidedly old fashioned, but how they are planted reflect me, not some landscaping service.

Pots and baskets I approach differently. For the sunny areas you will find my pots planted with herbs, scented geraniums, and even red lolipop onions. I use the herbs in my cooking and to me, visually,  I like it. My hanging baskets this year are sage, thyme, and oregano.

In the rear, my pots are more shady as the woods are what drives designing a garden back there . Caladium, coleus, variegated ivies, hostas, ferns, and even a compact growth hydrangea.


As I live with a woodland garden, I experiment more every year. I go through lists of both shade tolerant and deer resistant plants. I have a lot of spring bloomers (azaleas, daffodils, and so on), so I have to look for plants with interesting and different colored foliage for summer and fall. It has taken a couple of years but the shade and woodland gardens are finally getting some depth to them.

Weeds. Weeds are a problem. Weeds are always a problem. I don’t use weed killers much, so weeding is a constant chore. I can’t keep the woods weed free, so I weed to a point and then I leave it up to Mother Nature. Except poison ivy and poison sumac. I will spray poison ivy killer.

In the front where I have sun is where you will find old fashioned annuals like zinnia and lisianthus. And my english roses and fancier hydrangeas, Miss Kim Lilacs, miniature lilacs (smaller leaves, smaller blooms, more comact growth habits), viburnum, bee balm, herbs, variegated red twig dogwoods, sedums, day lilies, and more. I have a buddleia with a variegated leaf I put next to a variegated red twig dogwood last year and I love the way it looks.

Sometimes my garden frustrates me because it is not doing what I envisioned, so I rearrange plants. Like a bed on the side on a hill off the deck. There were some abelia and things I planted that didn’t do well or really survive the winter, so I yanked the stuff out. In their place I substituted different colored milkweeds and grasses down the slope and hydrangeas at the top. It’s my next experiment there so we will see. Just a bunch of smallish plants right now. 

Part of the simple joy of gardening is connecting to the earth. Now that does mean critters like toads and snakes, not just chipmunks, squirels, foxes, birds, and so on. I do share my garden with a giant garter snake. I am not a huge snake fan and you can always tell when I run across him because he always startles  me and I always let out a squeal. Then it sort of just looks at me and slithers off under a bush.

We can ask fellow gardeners for advice and input, but at the end of the day, how you learn is just getting into the dirt and starting to plant things. If you use a landscaping or gardening service for bigger projects my best advice is to research plants that interest you first and make sure what you are paying them to do reflects your vision. It’s like interior decorating – if you don’t offer up what you are thinking, your house ends up looking like it was planned for someone other than yourself.

Also, take advantage of local plant sales and plant swaps. It’s not only a great way to experiment, but also to get plants which are right for where you live. Among my favorites a? The sales put on by local arboretums and gardening clubs.

Gardening is also a great stress reliever! Happy Sunday!

Categories: Pennsylvania

2015 Primary Elections: Campaign finance issue in some LM races

Main Line Times - Sat, 2015-05-16 20:54
ARDMORE >> With controversy simmering over billboard and newspaper ads and contributions from a donor with ties to two major institutions in the township, campaign finances in some of the 2015 primary races for seats on the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners are getting unusually intense scrutiny.
Categories: Lower Merion

after the rain

Chester County Ramblings - Sat, 2015-05-16 20:05


Categories: Pennsylvania

Amtrak Derailment in Philly Kills 8 People: The Week in Review

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2015-05-16 16:41
Plus, a Wells Fargo Banks was robbed in Bryn Mawr, according to Lower Merion police.
Categories: Lower Merion

2015 Primary Elections: Campaign finance issue in some LM races

Main Line Times - Sat, 2015-05-16 14:03
ARDMORE >> With controversy simmering over billboard and newspaper ads and contributions from a donor with ties to two major institutions in the township, campaign finances in some of the 2015 primary races for seats on the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners are getting unusually intense scrutiny.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Senator's Medical Marijuana Bill Passed In Pennsylvania

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2015-05-16 08:36
A victory for "morals", says bill sponsor, Montgomery County Senator Daylin Leach.
Categories: Lower Merion

It's party time in Havertown, as Haverford Spring Fest Music and Arts Festival kicks off Sunday

Main Line Times - Fri, 2015-05-15 14:23
HAVERFORD >> After a successful debut in May 2014, the Haverford Spring Fest Music and Arts Festival returns to rock the streets of Havertown Sunday.
Categories: Lower Merion