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The Daily Numbers for Thursday, March 19

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:40
The Daily Numbers: 3-1 vote by which Concord supervisors gave the OK for development of a big chunk of the Beaver Valley tract.

160 homes planned on 230 acres of the 318-acre site.

500,000 pledged by the township in an effort with local conservation groups to preserve the land.

250,000 dollars more being kicked in by Delaware County, bringing the total to $750,000.

95 acres that is already targeted as open space on the tract in question.

300 citizens who showed up for the vote. Most were opposed.

30 days, how long opponents have to appeal the township’s decision.

6 people charged in a daring daylight burglary while a woman was home in side her Secane residence.

2 people in Upper Providence being sought for iPhone thefts in the township.

90 million dollar deal for an Eddystone firm with U.S. Navy.

30 of April, new window for people to sign up for health care to avoid the fine.

41 percent of those who still do not have insurance who were unaware of the fine.

3 billion dollars a year, how much Tom Wolf thinks he can rake in by expanding items that would fall under sales tax.

45 different categories that are now exempt that would start paying the tax, including real estate transactions.

1-2 inches of snow in the forecast for Friday.

52, high temperature seen on Saturday.

1 more day of winter. Spring arrives Friday, despite that forecast.

6:50 p.m. tipoff for Villanova and Lafayette in NCAA Tourney.

94-83 win for Sixers over Pistons.

4 game losing skid snapped by 76ers.

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

Over-under on Villanova win vs. Lafayette. I’ll put the line at 15. I’m taking the under.

I Don’t Get It: Rack up another big parcel of open space in Delco about to go by the boards. Concord last night OK’d development of a big chunk of the Beaver Valley tract.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the township and Delaware County for trying to put up the money to buy the tract and save it from development. I wouldn’t hold my breath, however.

Quote Box: “This is a unique tract of land. Once it is gone, it is gone.”

- Concord Supervisor Kevin O’Donoghue, after voting against development of Beaver Valley.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Want to meet some great college kids? Follow me

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:57
If you only read the headlines, you might think America’s college campuses are going to hell in a hand basket.

A frat at the University of Oklahoma decided it was cool to chant atrociously racist messages. It wasn’t.

Now Penn State is back in the news, with a frat there accused of taking photos of women who had visited their house and were, how should be say... in various states of undress - and consciousness - and posting them on a private Facebook page. That story also is making national headlines.

The story I covered at Widener University last night was not. That's a shame.

We took our 'Live From the Newsroom' show to the Chester campus for our monthly visit with the great kids in Professor Tim Scepansky's communications class. They do all the heavy lifting, working the cameras and sound. If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

Our very special guests were several cadets involved in the Widener ROTC program, proud members of the Dauntless Battalion.

Haley Photis is a senior nursing student; Lloyd Flores and Alex McCarthy are both juniors. Flores wants to take up political science and sees his future in the military, preferably running an armored division. McCarthy is majoring in environmental science and is planning to do great things making this Earth a better place. Photis wants to see the world as a nurse. It's one of the hallmarks of the Widener ROTC program. It consistently cranks out high-caliber nurses. In fact, in 2006, 2007 and 2010 Widener produced more U.S. Army nurses that most other schools in America.

Our thanks to battlion leader Lt. Col. Matthew Ignatovig, and Keith Karbel, who is in charge of recruiting and enrollment. Both explained the attraction of ROTC, and the commitment it requires. Anyone can take the course in the first two years, but then most students must make a choice to become either an enrolled cadet or contracted cadet. As you might guess, the key is 'contracted.'

Students are literally making a 'contract' with the government and are required to do eight years of service upon graduation. Usually only four of those are in active duty.

There is also a serious scholarship opportunity, as in full tuition and other costs.

One word kept coming up again and again throughout the night. Both Ignatovig and Karbel mentioned it.

But it was also the first word out of these three kids' mouths.

The word was 'leadership.'

It's what they pride themselves in, what they strive for.

I could not have been more impressed.

In the wake of what is going on around the nation, these kids could prove a beacon, and more importantly, leaders.

That's what they're all about.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Petition battle is of 'Primary' importance in Delco

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:26
What if they threw an election and nobody showed up?

We're not talking about voters. They do that all the time. Citizens likely will once again stay away in droves when the primary rolls around in May.

We're talking about candidates, specifically the Democrats running for County Council.

There is a dispute centering around their nominating petitions. A challenge has been filed because Richard Womack, Jack Evans and Christine Reuther failed to file the required financial statements with the county clerk. You can read all the details here.

As you might expect, the leaders of the county Republican and Democratic parties don't exactly see eye to eye on this. Republican Chairman Andy Reilly is calling it a 'fatal defect.'

His counterpart, David Landau, says the challenge to his candidates' nominating petitions lacks any merit. More to the point, he believes this is a perfect example of what happens when you have one-party rule, as has been the case in Delaware County government for decades.

He believes the system is tilted toward the party in power.

"They make the rules and they know them," Landau told me in a phone call after the story hit the paper. "It's not designed to be user friendly for Democrats."

You can say that Landau is not exactly a fan of the current system, and says the whole thing was botched by the people working in the county courthouse.

Still, I would think that someone should have been making sure all these candidates' papers were correct, that all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed. What? They didn't think the GOP would sniff out even a faint whiff of a problem.

It's not like the Dems have never filed these kinds of petitions before, even if they have failed to win a single county-wide seat for County Council since the Home Rule Charter was passed back in the mid-'70s.

In the meantime, Reilly could not resist a jab, wondering if they had this much trouble with their nominating petitions, how would the Dem hopefuls fare running the county with a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars and subject to a maze of complex state and federal regulations.

Ouch! I think the Democrats can expect to be hearing that one for awhile.

For now the while thing will go before a judge.

And if that ruling goes against his candidates, Landau is vowing to take the issue all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Only in Delco.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Will Mother Nature 'Spring' a surprise?

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-03-19 06:58
Tomorrow is the first day of spring.

You don't want to hear the forecast.

It's enough to make me start spouting four-letter words.

Yes, snow is in the forecast. Guess I picked the wrong year to give up cursing for Lent. Again.

Spring officially arrives at 3:46 p.m. Friday, just in time for one last winter blast from Mother Nature.

Snow is expected to move into the region sometime around rush hour on Friday. At times it will mix with rain. In short, a pretty miserable way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

I kind of doubt that, with that much wetness in the air, that the roads should be much of an issue. The ground might get covered again.

On the bright side, Friday looks like a winner, with temperatures breaking 50 and lots of sun.
Categories: Pennsylvania

How much money do you think changes hands on the NCAA Tourney?

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-03-19 06:06
Here's a question that is on my mind this morning.

Just how much money do you think changes hands on the NCAA men's hoops tournament. That's right, they call it March Madness for a reason. Actually, maybe they should call it March Madne$$.

Staff writer Tim Logue took up the challenge of why the bracket pool has become one of the signatures of March.

At the same time, Kathleen Carey talked with some experts about just how much productivity in the office and workplace is lost as people obsess over the tournament and their brackets - and why that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Those are just two of the stories you will find today in our special 32-page March Madness NCAA tournament preview tab.

You'll also find out 68 things you need to know about the Field of 68, courtesy of columnist Jack McCaffery, who also runs down the 10 greatest NCAA Tournament games involving Big 5 teams.

We'll also have a couple of special keepsake items honoring the 30th anniversary of Villanova's 1985 championship team, including a poster page.

This is one any hoops fan will want to get their hands on. Make sure you pick up a copy of the print edition of today's Daily Times.
Categories: Pennsylvania

WEATHER ALERT: Possible Snow, Wind Gusts On Spring's First Day In Pennsylvania

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-03-18 14:22
The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook and a Special Weather Statement for much of the region.
Categories: Lower Merion

KRAFT RECALL ALERT: Metal Pieces Prompts Massive Mac and Cheese Recall

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-03-18 11:07
Approximately 6.5 million boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese are affected by the voluntary recall.
Categories: Lower Merion

'Live From the Newsroom' examines ROTC

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-03-18 09:34
Our live-stream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom,' will be back on the Widener campus tonight, examining a little-talked about aspect of college life.

We're talking about the cadets who take part in the ROTC program.

Lt. Col. Matthew Ignatovig, Battalion Commander of the Dauntless Battalion of the Widener Army ROTC, will be our guest, along with several cadets from the Widener program.

They will talk about ROTC, what life is like for cadets, and the role of ROTC in today’s military.

Widener’s Army ROTC program also serves several other colleges and universities in the area including Villanova, Penn State-Abington, West Chester University, Cheyney University, Penn State-Brandywine, Neumann University and Immaculata University.

The name of the battalion is also the title of a John Phillip Sousa song that he wrote in honor of the Pennsylvania Military College Cadets years ago.

Join us live tonight at 7 on DelcoTimes.com.

If you have a question you'd like answered about ROTC, email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com, and I will include it in the show.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, March 18

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-03-18 08:09
The Daily Numbers: 2 teens from Downingtown killed in crash in which other driver, a Delco man, has been charged with DUI. He waived his preliminary hearing yesterday.

3 Delco Dem candidates for County Council at center of dispute over whether they needed to file financial disclosure statements. A hearing will be held.

20, age of Ridley Township man charged with molesting series of children. His parents served as foster parents for the kids.

3 to 23 months in prison for a Folcroft man charged with possession of child porn.

1 person injured when fire roared through a Chester home Tuesday night.

1 person stabbed while he was walking on a Collingdale street in an attempted robbery.

50,000 dollar prize for an Upper Providence woman who collected all the pieces in a special giveaway at the Granite Run Acme. 1 year suspension for Penn State frat where members apparently set up a private, invitation-only Facebook page that featured pictures of nude women.

59-32 win for Archbishop Carroll over Eric Cathedarl Prep to advance to PIAA AAA title game.

2 teams, Hampton and Ole Miss, who won play-in games to get into NCAA Tourney last night.

24, age of Chris Borland, standout linebacker for the 49ers. He’s retiring because he fears head injuries.

4-1 loss for the Flyers last night in Vancouver.

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

Philly sports fans should gets on their knees and hope for a long run from Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. Once they’re done, it is going to be a long time until the Eagles report to training camp.

I Don’t Get It: A frat is in hot water again. This time it’s at Penn State and it involves photos of nude women posted on a Facebook page. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the former frat member who came forward and blew the whistle on what was going on at the Kappa Delta Rho house.

Quote Box: “The evidence offered by the FAcebook postings is apalling, offensive and inconsistent with the univesity’s expectations.”

- Damon Sims, Penn State vice president of student affairs.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Not exactly what Penn State needed

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:30
This is about the last thing Penn State needed.

Not, not the professor from Penn State Abington who went on a bizarre rant and was ushered off a flight in Miami.

This one is much more serious, and again paints State College as someplace less than Happy Valley.

While still trying to extricate itself from the shadow of Jerry Sandusky, Penn State now finds itself in the midst of another sex scandal.

This one involves a frat that apparently set up a private, invitation Facebook page where they displayed photos of nude and partially nude women.

It doesn't take an honors student to figure out what was going on.

It gives every appearance that someone connected to the frat was taking advantage of women who had visited the house.

Look, I was in college once. I attended more than my share of frat parties. I have a pretty good idea what was going on here.

But once again, today we live in a different world, one that involves social media, Internet postings and images that never go away. Capturing those images and then posting them on Facebook, including shots of women who appeared to be passed out or sleeping, is just one more facet of the technology we swim in every day.

Now the frat has been suspended, and some people may actually wind up facing criminal charges.

Authorities are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim to come forward so they can be identified and help in the investigation.

It also doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out some of those victims might be less than enthused about coming forward. Several have indicated they simply want the images taken down.

In the meantime, it's just one more ugly splotch on Penn State.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Don't miss our special NCAA March Madness section on Thursday

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-03-18 06:29
Attention Villanova fans, and anyone with even a passing interest in the hysteria otherwise known as 'March Madness.'

If you suffering from an incurable case of bracket mania, We have the cure.

You are going to want to be sure you pick up a copy of the Thursday Daily Times. In it you will find a special, 32-page section with everything you need to know about the NCAA men's hoops tournament.

It will be a special treat for Villanova fans, with a poster page honoring the 30th anniversary of the Wildcats' stunning win over Georgetown to capture the 1985 national championship.

We'll include the story we wrote on that classic game, and you might recognize yourself in some classic photos of the celebration after the 'Cats big win.

We’ll also run down the 68 things you need to know about the Field of 68, and review the 10 greatest NCAA Tournament games involving Big 5 teams.

This one is a keeper for any hoops fan.

Don't miss it. Snag a copy of this keepsake edition on Thursday.
Categories: Pennsylvania

spring is coming!

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2015-03-17 14:28

The pussy willows are showing their catkins!!!

My garden to me is a hot mess,  however. 

The frost heaving has wreaked havoc here and there, and the deer have already been making the rounds as they are very hungry right now. Tops of parts of my hydrangeas on a side bank are all partially eaten down. It might be too early but I sprayed some deer stuff in a couple of places today. 

And everything in general is alternately terribly muddy or still frozen like a rock.

I have seen the tops of some daffodils starting to peek through – just the leaves. I think my roses made it through the winter but it’s a little too early to tell.

I am itching to get into the garden but it’s really too early.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Penn State Frat's Secret Facebook Pages Show Passed Out, Naked Women: Investigators

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2015-03-17 11:50
Kappa Delta Rho has been suspended by the university after officials learned of two secret Facebook pages with pictures of naked women.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion High School Screens Israeli Military Doc

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2015-03-17 10:35
"Beneath the Helmet" chronicles the lives of five Israeli military recruits as they prepare to defend their country.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, March 17

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2015-03-17 07:49
The Daily Numbers: 17, as in March 17. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

21, age of man from Bear, Del., who faces charges of DUI after slamming his truck into a home in Upper Chi.

17 million dollars in property tax relief for Chester Upland residents under Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan.

9.8 million in new taxes.

9.7 million dollars in tax relief for Chi, but $9.5 million in new taxes.

5.9 million in relief in Penn-Delco, but whopping $9.16 million in new taxes.

1 million dollars bail for man charged with shooting his neighbor in Upper Darby after a dispute.

5 to 10 years in prison for a 32-year-old Chester man after pleading guilty to attempted homicide.

7000, as in Theatre 700, the new theater arts program on 69th Street in Upper Darby.

47,000 dollars in snow removal costs racked up by Aldan Borough.

50,000 dollar check collected by woman from Media in a game offered by Acme supermarkets.

2 Chester County teen siblings who were killed in DUI crash. A Media man faces preliminary hearing on the charges today.

228 member hazardouns materials unit in Philly that is ready to respond to any oil train disaster.

4 oil trains that have derailed in Pennsylvania in the last 15 months.

50 billion dollar debt in Pa., pension systems that looms over Harrisburg as the state budget is put together.

462 million dollars in fees collected by Pa.’s courts in fees, fines, court costs and restitution in 2014

59, age of Mike Porcaro, the bass player for the rock band Toto. He died this week.

2058, year when American women can expect to gain equal pay with men, according to new study.

228 point jump for Dow Jones yesterday.

60 day disabled list for Cliff Lee, whose left arm is still ailing. This is not good - either for the Phillies or for Lee’s career. He still might have surgery, which could end his playing days.

16-4 loss for Phils to Orioles yesterday as Cole Hamels was among those roughed up.

8 of 14 batters he faced got hits off Hamels, including 3-run homer for Chris Davis.

108-89 loss for Sixers in Boston.

5 straight wins for streaking Celtics.

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

Looks like Cliff Lee is done. If that wasn’t sad enough, Tim Tebow also was in town.

I Don’t Get It: Green beer. Never got it. Still don’t.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Theatre 7000 as the new arts center continues the amazaing turnaround on 69th Street in Upper Darby. Quote Box: “I’m going to kill you.”

- Driver of car involved in road-rage incident while terrorizing family in Upper Chichester.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The original Quiet Man

Heron's Nest - Tue, 2015-03-17 06:27
I'm not really much for green beer.

I really don't care for corned beef and cabbage.

And I really can't stomach "Irish potatoes." It always struck me that you might as well pour sugar and cinnamon in your mouth.

I take my cue for celebrating St. Paddy's Day from my mother.

And yes, John McBlain, it is always Paddy's, not Patty's. I’ve had an annual debate with the very Irish county councilman over this usage. I'm married to a Patty. She is decidedly Italian. Patty is a woman's name. She will never be confused with her husband, who is a confirmed Paddy, derived from the Irish version of Patrick, which is Padraig. The belief that Paddy is some kind of slur founded in the belief that so many making merry on this day wind up in the 'Paddy' wagon is unfounded.

Don't believe me? Visit this website. I rest my case.

My mother always was dismayed at the way St. Patrick's Day was celebrated. She said that in Ireland, it was much more of a spiritual holiday.

I used to take my cue from her and try to attend Mass on March 17. I haven't made it the last couple of years. As usual, work gets in the way.

I will honor my Irish heritage in a couple of special ways. While I don't dress up in green from head to toe, I do wear a very special tie that I wear only one day every year.

It belonged to my father, and I believe he got it from his father. It was made in Scotland - and no doubt worn proudly by several generations of Herons. It is a wool Tartan green plaid. It connects me to my father, who died 37 years ago.

My father was a man of very few words. It prompted my mother - who more than made up for his silence - to tag him as the original Quiet Man.

In doing so she gave me another tradition I try to honor every year. At some point in the next few days, I will watch 'The Quiet Man.' It remains one of my favorite movies.

My children never met their grandfather. They believe, however, that the acorn did not fall far from the tree. On more than one occasion they have referred to me as the 'quiet man."

It's a badge I wear proudly. I don't need green beer to prove my heritage. Actually all I have to do is gaze in the mirror. Once look at the 'schnozz' that so prominently defines my face leaves all doubt behind as to my gene lines.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

And dad, your tie still looks great.
Categories: Pennsylvania

VF Middle School chain link fencing closing in on Chesterbrook residents (literally!)

The saga surrounding the TE School Board’s decision to ‘mark its boundaries’ at local schools continues. Although the District withdrew its application to Tredyffrin Township’s Zoning Hearing Board, to seek a variance for 6-ft. chain link fencing, the Board remains determined to see the proposed fencing go up as a means to mark the school […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

women’s lib barn malvern 2015

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-03-16 12:17

Categories: Pennsylvania

west king road east whiteland

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-03-16 12:15

This is West King Road in East Whiteland.

Now I know this road is not unique. The roads in multiple counties around Pennsylvania  are in deplorable condition after this winter. The frost heaves alone are incredible.

But if you don’t constantly point out to PennDOT what roads are in deplorable condition, nothing gets fixed. I am also putting this out so State Representive Duane Milne’s  office sees more photos. I emailed them about this recently and once again they never even acknowledged the email.  

I am still finding that the communication between elected officials and regular residents out here leaves a little to be desired at times. I also informed State Senator Andy Dinniman’s office. 

Both the honorable State Representive and State Senator should be glad I am not writing a dissertation on the deplorable conditions of Route 100 and the constant PennDOT construction project there. That road is dangerous and treacherous at this point in places. 

If you know of roads that are in really bad shape and Chester County feel free to post photos and comments on the Chester County Ramblings Facebook page.

Categories: Pennsylvania

shoehorn development

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2015-03-16 12:00

I hadn’t been down towards the Main Line in a while again until yesterday. Since I moved a few years ago now, I rarely get below Wayne which I still love. 

But I rarely go down near where I used to call home in Lower Merion. It just makes me too sad that where I grew up and lived a lot of my adult life is getting crammed full of ill advised  development plans and what can only be described as shoehorn development.

This photo is from my old neighborhood in Haverford and is in  Lower Merion Township. This house being constructed is way too large for the lot it is sitting on – it was an empty lot for almost the entire 15 years I was living there. Prior to that it had been this large yellow and white Victorian which had burned to the ground two days before Thanksgiving one year. The former structure that burned had been subdivided into two student rentals and at the time it was your typical slumlord deal. I would definitely say this new structure is shoehorned in. The old house that was once there was once a part of a much larger land parcel that had been subdivided decades before it burned down. 

Where I used to live and where I grew up was I thought at one time very beautiful. Now every time I drive through I am hit with how shabby everything looks and overdeveloped. 

Remarkably, yesterday was the first time I had actually been through my old neighborhood that I left to come to Chester County for a few years ago.

So when I occasionally write about development and how I feel Chester County needs to have a care, this is why.

Categories: Pennsylvania