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Funeral Wednesday for Dennis J. Sharkey

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-08-12 08:41
Dennis J. Sharkey, the longest serving mayor in history of Narberth Borough, passed away Aug. 6, 2015. A funeral will be Wednesday (see below).
Categories: Lower Merion

Why Paul Mullen lost

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-08-12 07:49
Delaware County Republicans are still scratching their heads trying to come to grips with their stunning defeat in the special election for the 161st state House seat.

A lot of fingers have been pointed at county Republican Chairman Andy Reilly. And he no doubt will have to wear this loss as a bit of ignominy for the once all-powerful Delco GOP.

But a closer look at several other issues reveals some other root causes of the Mullen loss. And they're both located in Ridley Township.

Most people I've talked to believe the Mullen choice was the Ridley GOP's call. They turned to him after the unexpected thunderbolt provided by state Rep. Joe Hackett in announcing - just weeks after taking the oath for his second term - that he was leaving Harrisburg to return to Delaware County and his true love in law enforcement.

That put the Ridley GOP and leader Bob Willert in a bind. I've been told there was a fear that John Kane, the union official who lost a nasty race to Tom McGarrigle for the 26th District state Senate seat, would seek the 161st House seat.

The local GOP turned to Mullen. They got the ward leaders united behind him and took him as their candidate to the county organization. The county offered their imprimatur, setting off a firestorm of protest from the more conservative members of the party.

That sparked a write-in campaign by Penn-Delco School Board member Lisa Esler, representing conservative Republicans who were furious with the Mullen choice given his backing of various Democrats, including Kane. The GOP knew Esler was going to be a serious issue. They knew she would drain votes. They knew they needed a big showing from the GOP-rich Ridley to turn back twin challenges.

A look at the numbers on election day shows the other problem in Ridley. The GOP didn't get the turnout - and the votes - they needed.

Mullen needed huge numbers in Ridley. He didn't get them.

Yes, he won the township easily, pulling 1,581 votes to just 739 for Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky and 208 for Esler, according to unofficial results.

It was one of only two towns that Mullen won. He also prevailed on his home turf in Aston, where he took 1,284 votes to 605 for Krueger Braneky and 287 for Esler.

Krueger-Braneky was the top vote getter everywhere else, including Brookhaven, Nether Providence, Rose Valley, Rutledge, Springfield and Swarthmore.

Mullen needed a big turnout - maybe 3,000 votes - in Ridley to hold off the expected Dem surge in Swarthmore and Nether Providence. He didn't get it.

Turnout just didn't happen in a special election in one of the biggest vacation weeks of the year. Krueger-Braneky crushed Mullen in Swarthmore, 1,179 to 141. She also cruised in Nether Providence, where she got 1,525 votes to 619 for Mullen.

Would Mullen have prevailed if Esler was not in the race? Maybe. I've had people tell me it's not necessarily so - that many of these hard-core Republican voters may have skipped the election entirely rather than cast their ballot for Mullen.

The final unofficial county count was 4,791 votes for Krueger-Braneky, 4,268 for Mullen, and 988 for the write-in Esler.

That's a difference of just 523 votes. Add a little more than half of the write-ins for Esler to the Mullen tab and he keeps this seat in Republican hands.

Republicans knew that Esler was in the race and, unlike many write-ins, she was going to be a big factor in the race, drawing votes from their guy.

They needed to offset that with votes in Republican-rich Ridley to offset that and Krueger-Braneky's strongholds. They didn't get them.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Some gorgeous herons - we have the same legs

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-08-12 07:10
I don't usually make personal endorsements. But this one is different because I am taking a starring role.

Actually, it's my namesake.

Please check out our blogger Mary Ann Fiebert's Delco Top 10 Blog today. She paid a visit to Bombay Hook refuge down in Delaware and has a spectacular group of photos.

Among them are some of my distant cousins. Yes, Mary Ann managed to snag various Herons.

My wife and I are increasingly collecting these stately birds.

I tell everyone it must be in the genes. We have the same legs.

Thanks for the pix, Mary Ann.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Phils' rebirth suffers a serious hiccup

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-08-12 06:40
The Phillies resurgence has hit a serious pothole in Phoenix.

Last night the Phils got blown out for the second straight night by the Diamondbacks. This one got ugly fast, and at the center of it was starting pitcher David Buchanan.

Saying Buchanan was not good is something akin to saying interest is building in the visit by Pope Francis. In this instance, Buchanan and the Phillies didn't have a prayer.

The Phils starter got shelled for 11 runs in the second inning on the way to a humiliating 13-1 loss. It's hard to believe the Phils actually got out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. It was all downhill from there.

In his defense, Buchanan was not helped by defensive gaffes by Darrin Ruf in misplaying a line drive in left, and Chase Utley, who failed to handle a bounced toss at second from shortstop Freddy Galvis.

But he did give up 10 hits in the second inning, including a grand slam to David Peralta, one of two Buchanan surrendered.

He did not get out of the second, but not before becoming the first Phillies pitcher to allow 11 or more earned runs since 1947.

The Phillies were a gaudy 12-5, the best record in baseball, coming off the All-Star break. But they have now been torched two straight nights in Phoenix, and in each case the problem has been pitching. Remember, they don't have Cole Hamels to trot out there every fifth day anymore.

Aaron Harang was blasted Monday night, and Buchanan was absolutely pyrotechnic last night.

Adding injury to insult was an injury to slugger Maikel Franco, who had to leave the game after being hit on the wrist by a pitch. An MRI came up negative but Franco is nursing a sore hand. It's not sure if he'll be in the lineup today when the series wraps up with an afternoon game in the desert.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Ardmore is looking for "ART OUT OF BOX"

Ardmore Initiative - Tue, 2015-08-11 18:11
Repurposing durable metal newspaper boxes into creative street sculptures filled with cultural news and/or objects!!

2015 Ardmore Initiative Leadership Breakfast and Annual Meeting

Ardmore Initiative - Tue, 2015-08-11 18:11
Ardmore Initiative Leadership Breakfast and Annual Meeting Presentations


Ardmore Initiative - Tue, 2015-08-11 18:11
Sharing Dranoff Properties statement providing additional clarity on the One Ardmore Place project. Reminder that the Board of Commissioners will meet tonight (12/10) to discuss and vote on a variety of issues surrounding the project at 6:10pm in the Lower Merion Township Building (75 E. Lancaster Avenue).

Ardmore Initiative Reauthorization

Ardmore Initiative - Tue, 2015-08-11 18:11
The Ardmore Initiative is a Business District Authority that must be periodically reauthorized by its stakeholders. 2013 is a Reauthorization year for the Ardmore Initiative. Click here for more information on our proposed plan, meeting dates and more.

Lower Merion police: 1 critically injured Tuesday morning in Bala Cynwyd crash

Main Line Times - Tue, 2015-08-11 14:51
Lower Merion police say one man was sent to the hospital following a one car crash near Montgomery Avenue and Cynwyd Road Tuesday morning.
Categories: Lower Merion

Man Critical After Montgomery Ave. Accident

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2015-08-11 14:29
A car struck a utility pole on Montgomery Avenue during wet conditions Tuesday morning, police said.
Categories: Lower Merion

rainy day mind ramblings

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2015-08-11 13:01


 I woke up this morning listening to the rain on the roof and it falling all around us. We had the windows open last night, so the rain patter sounds were all around us.  In the pre-dawn stillness of when even the birds aren’t awake yet, it reminded me of being little at the beach in the rain.

I am sure some of you have memories of  rain at the beach? When the air is just full of that salty grey almost puffy fluffy heaviness? The air is not only wet and heavy but the mist seems to have a life of it’s own. But it isn’t an unpleasant heaviness as it was often a break from land breezes and end of summer hot and humid weather. 

When it rained at the beach it was like the sea and air met as one. I remember going as a little girl to the then tiny and old Avalon, NJ library. Not the new library that stands today, but the little old dark one which still stood in the early 1970s. When you went up the stairs and opened the doors they gave that old creaky and heaving sound. Inside the library was dark and had that beach smell of sand and mildew. I remembered picking out well worn copies of Nancy Drew books to take home and read. Or maybe we would go to the Paper Peddler and buy a book or a copy of Mad Magazine (which my mother hated).    

 Also when it was a rainy day, it was the perfect time to go down to the Avalon Pier. On the beach at 29th street it was a movie theatre and shops, and I also remember Skee Ball. I also remember a tiny cedar shake shingled general store down around 7th or 8th street that had penny candy. Once when we were really little a friend of our parents and their friends named Weezy gave us each $1 and told us to go blow our minds. Root beer barrels, Charleston Chews, Mary Janes, those little colored sugar dots on white paper, caramels, and more.

Rainy or overcast days also remind me of the annual photo taking of my sister and I at the beach. They seemed to have been taken towards the end of summer after my mother had doused our hair throughout the summer with lemon juice (and peroxide ) to give us blonde highlights (and strict instructions not to tell anyone, especially our father that she was doing this.) 

In those days, Avalon had really tall dunes and the island began at 7th street. The first few blocks of Avalon washed away before I was born. That was the famous Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, which was truthfully a Hurricane Sandy-like storm. But the only a block of houses were swallowed by the sea at that time – 6th street. Below that had never been developed because of tides. This 1962 storm was what caused the Avalon Hotel to be moved to 8th street. As a little girl I remember looking out over those beaches down by 7th street and wondering what the swallowed block of houses looked like? Was it a perfect bunch of houses just underwater like the fictional Atlantis, or a jumble of destruction? 

 The dunes were so huge when I was little. I remember going through the twisty beach paths with mountains of sand and dune grass and scrubby pines and even some old beach (probably rugosa) roses. This is where I first fell in love with black eyed Susan’s and beach daisies which grew in and on the edges of the dunes along with other wild flowers and cacti. In the summers when I was little too you could often see the sea turtles come ashore and lay their eggs and then wait for them to hatch and see all the little turtles head for the sea.  

Rainy days and winter days like this were always my favorites on the beach. You would come through the dunes to the wide open and empty beaches. All you saw was the wildness of the ocean as it churned and sea gulls and sand pipers and other shore birds. A day like today would have been a perfect day for finding shells and beach glass and drift wood.

  Days like today also remind me of a cabin owned when I was little by family friends. It was in Avalon on 13th street. It was originally owned by Woodrow Wilson when he was at Bryn Mawr College. I found it listed on the Internet today and was delighted to see that not only is it still standing but it is remarkably unchanged except for updated appliances from when we were kids! I remember the sound of rain when you were on the front porch and when you were upstairs in one of the two bedrooms under the eaves of the house. 

It’s funny how certain kinds of days just take you back in time. I don’t go to Avalon any longer. I stopped years ago when it really got built up. Ironically, we went to Ocean City when I was really little and my sister was a baby. I think she was 3 or 4 when we moved to Avalon. We used to stay down in the Gardens when we went to Ocean City. It was a marvelous section of Ocean City, and yes, there were lawns and gardens. And Mimosa trees. 

I was pretty little when we went to Ocean City so I don’t remember everything, I remember more like snapshots here and there in my memory. When I was a little kid I loved Avalon. Probably because I loved that it was more open and the dunes were so magnificent. But I haven’t been to Avalon in years, or Ocean City except for a day trip a few years ago to see friends. Both towns are too built up now for me, but I still love Cape May and Cape May Point.

Anyway thanks for taking a trip down rainy day memory lane with me!


Categories: Pennsylvania

Lower Merion Public Access Station To Broadcast In Sept.

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Tue, 2015-08-11 12:55
The Township’s Board of Commissioners approved the issue at a meeting last week.
Categories: Lower Merion

Replay: *Racial Conservative* John Morganelli Slams “Illegal Aliens”

Keystone Politics - Tue, 2015-08-11 12:51
Rerunning this as the John Morganelli for AG trial balloon has unfortunately surfaced once again, and must be popped as quickly as possible. Whether you like it or not, there are about 12 million...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Tom Wolf is Winning the #PABudget Fight the Ed Rendell Way

Keystone Politics - Tue, 2015-08-11 12:26
Mark Dent’s attempt at grading Tom Wolf’s budget performance thus far contains a useful error I see a lot of journalists making, which is worth flagging because it’s really the...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Pa. Attorney General Kane arraigned

Main Line Times - Tue, 2015-08-11 09:49
NORRISTOWN >> Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was greeted by a horde of media members on Saturday as she turned herself into Montgomery County detectives over allegations that she violated grand jury secrecy laws and lied to an investigating grand jury to cover up her actions.
Categories: Lower Merion

2015 Elections: Hanjani files as Independent in Ward 2 race

Main Line Times - Tue, 2015-08-11 09:49
GLADWYNE >> It will be a three-way race in November’s special election for the Ward 2 seat on the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners.
Categories: Lower Merion

Rendell: Candidates Who Run Against Sestak for #PASen “Do So At Their Own Peril”

Keystone Politics - Tue, 2015-08-11 09:25
Wonder if he still thinks this: “Anyone who thinks Joe Sestak will be easy to beat in a primary is crazy. Joe has worked extremely hard the last four years,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics