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Will Kelly play Sam? He's not saying

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2015-08-21 07:06
There's nothing simple about Chip Kelly.

The man who has acquired the title "genius" enjoys the mental gymnastics he plays with the media and fans.

Last week Kelly threw cold water all over fans' anticipation of seeing Sam Bradford - and his twice-reconstructed left knee - in the Eagles' preseason opener vs. the Colts.

Kelly assured everyone that there was nothing wrong with Bradford, that this was simply his call and he was being cautious with the guy he has anointed his franchise quarterback.

Bradford was disappointed, giving him something in common with fans, and both Kelly and Bradford pointed to tomorrow night's Game 2 of the exhibition season for Bradford's debut.

There's just one problem with that.

Yesterday, Kelly would not confirm that Bradford will in fact play on Saturday night. The coach told the media he still hadn't decided whether to put Bradford in some live action.

Bradford is not wearing a brace. He has not missed a practice or workout. He is champing at the bit to get in, take that first hit, get back up and restart his promising career that has kept him off the field for most of the last two years.

Remember, this guy was the No. 1 pick in the draft.

The only thing keeping him off the field right now is his coach.

And Chip Kelly isn't saying.

I think Bradford will start Saturday night's game, and it would be nice if Kelly would simply tell everyone if that's the case.

But there is nothing simple about the Birds' boss. And he seems to like it that way.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Phils Win A Triumph Of Good Over Evil As Utley Says Farewell To Philly

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2015-08-20 16:14
The Phils had galactic fate on their side, easily handling baseball's hottest team on Wednesday, which was 'Star Wars Night' at the park.
Categories: Lower Merion

More Trouble For Yangming

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2015-08-20 09:17
More code violations found at top restaurant, which police say is not close to reopening
Categories: Lower Merion

Watch This Weekend's Phish Festival at Ardmore Music Hall

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2015-08-20 09:09
Magnaball Festival will stream Saturday starting at 3:30 p.m.
Categories: Lower Merion

Officials find many more code violations at Yangming restaurant

Main Line Times - Thu, 2015-08-20 07:34
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

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Aug. 20 (Chase Utley Edition)

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-08-20 06:49
The Daily Numbers: 13 seasons as a Phillie for Chase Utley, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night.

2003, when Utley broke into the Phils’ lineup at 2nd base.

.282 career batting average.

233 home runs.

916 Runs Batted In.

1,623 hits.

.301, what Utley hit during 5-year span when Phils took NL East crowns from 2005-2009.

29 homers and 101 RBIs, what he average during that span.

.262 postseason batting average.

5 home runs vs. the Yankees in the 2009 World Series.

.217, what Utley was hitting this season.

.484, what he was hitting after returning to the team after a stint on the disabled list because of a sore ankle.

5 NL East titles, 2 NL pennants, 2 World Series appearances.

1 World Series championship over they Rays in 2008.

1 hellacious championship parade 2 days later.

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

There are now just two players left from that 2008 World Series championship team, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz.

I Don’t Get It: It’s the way sports works, the fall after the rise to great heights. It doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.

Today’s Upper: Utley’s style of play and his quiet way of doing it is what cemented his reputation with Philly fans.

Quote Box: “World Bleeping Champions.”

- Utley, famously summing things up during World Series Championship celebration in 2008.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Why we loved Chase Utley

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2015-08-20 06:27
And then there were two.

Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are all that remains of the greatest era in Philadelphia Phillies history.

That's because Chase Utley is no longer a Phillie.

The greatest second baseman in team history - his current .217 batting average notwithstanding - is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, ironically reunited with his running mate for all those years, shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

After weeks of rumors on whether they would deal Utley, including a statement just Wednesday morning from G.M. Ruben Amaro Jr. that Chase likely would be with the team for the rest of the season, the Phils pulled the trigger on the deal that sends the face of the franchise to the West Coast in return for two players and cash considerations.

Utley was the most popular Phillie on a team that steamrolled to five straight National League Eastern Division crowns, and of course that unforgettable 2008 World Series championship.

Late last night, after the Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays with Utley safely ensconced on the bench, listening to Utley you got a feel for why he was so beloved in this town.

The iceman, the quiet guy who did most of this talking on the field, opened up - just a bit - about what the city that took him to heart meant to him.

It was clear the feeling was mutual.

"I'm not necessarily an emotional guy," Utley said minutes after he tipped his cap to the crowd in his final appearance in a Phillies uniform. "This city's meant a lot to me over the years ... I feel pretty fortunate to be a part of this organization during this special time."

It was the way Utley played that solidified his relationship with the fans.

This was a head-first, run-through-the-wall guy. A lunch pail, blue collar ball player.

In other words, tailor-made for Philadelphia.

Utley paid a price for the way he played the game. His career no doubt was cut short by nagging injuries, in particular balky knees that drastically reduced his effectiveness the last few years.

None of that dims what he meant during that five-year span when he was hitting .301, averaging 29 homers and 101 RBIs in the five-year span from 2005-2009. That includes those five division crowns, two National League pennants, and of course, a parade to remember after the Phils beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2008 World Series championship.

It was Utley's daring play, faking a play at second then firing home, that helped cement the win.

It was classic Utley, a heady, gutsy play.

Two days later, the city erupted in joy, gleefully kicked that 'loser' tag to the curb, and united on Broad Street, a million strong thanking Utley and his teammates for making us winners.

It was left to Utley to deliver one of the most famous - and decidedly off-color - quotes in Philadelphia sports history. He declared us world champions, separated by a word that cannot appear in newspapers.

The crowd loved it. They loved Utley. They stood by him even when his legs failed him, when the bottom fell out of his body - and his his stats. We loved that team - Utley, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, and their down-home manager Charlie Manuel. They made us winners. They gave us a parade. If case you haven't noticed, those are a pretty rare thing in these parts.

Utley never got onto the field last night, offering a simple tip of his cap after joining his teammates in celebrating the win, then heading for what he knew would be his final press conference as a Phillie.

That's actually incorrect. Chase Utley will always be a Phillie.

In the words of Harry Kalas, Chase Utley, you're still the man.

He'll always be a World Bleeping Champion to us.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Lower Merion Tops Among Pennsylvania Schools That Succeed Despite Inequality

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-08-19 19:31
As a companion to the overall national ranking, Newsweek released a list of 500 schools that excel despite economic and other obstacles.
Categories: Lower Merion

EPA’s Proposed Methane Rules Underscore the Need for State Action

Keystone Politics - Wed, 2015-08-19 17:34
Big news in the natural gas world yesterday as the EPA released their methane reduction proposals under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The proposed federal rules aim to cut methane...
Categories: Pennsylvania, Politics

Officials find many more code violations at Yangming restaurant

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-08-19 16:58
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

Nationally recognized Yangming temporarily shut down over 'active infestation'

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-08-19 16:58
RADNOR >> Radnor Police responded Friday at lunchtime to a phone call from Yangming Restaurant about a customer dispute.
Categories: Lower Merion

Malvern Prep guidance counselor charged with sexual assault, corruption of minors

Main Line Times - Wed, 2015-08-19 16:54
The 40-year-old director of College Counseling and a swim coach has been charged with allegedly sending sexually charged texts and emails to a 16-year-old student even after the male student rebuffed her advances.
Categories: Lower Merion

Harriton Senior High School Named 188th Best In U.S.

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-08-19 10:08
Newsweek releases annual public high school rankings
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion High School Named 64th Best in Country by Newsweek

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2015-08-19 09:32
See what schools were ranked among the best in the Keystone State.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Aug. 19

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-08-19 08:12
The Daily Numbers: $23 million dollar deficit in the Chester Upland School District.

45 million dollars, how much the state says the district overspent between 2003 and 2012.

75 million dollars in additional funding sent to Chester Upland by the state in the last 5 years.

24.7 million dollars in savings proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf by slashing reimbursement for charter school students.

40,000 dollars and change, what Chester Upland currently pays for every special education student that attends a charter school.

16,131.77, what they would pay under the Wolf plan.

5 of Delco’s 15 school districts who held press conference yesterday urging Gov. Wolf and the Legislature to settle their differences and pass a new state budget.

5,500 dollars, how much a woman admitted ripping off from the Susan G. Komen cancer organization in sham fundraising drives. 9 to 23 months in prison for Jennifer Wasco.

1 driver shot and killed on a Chester street. He slammed into several cars before being taken to the hospital.

1 person shot late last night on Upper Darby street.

5,000 dollar reward posted for information on suspect in robbery of CVS store in Springfield.

100,000 dollars personal recognizance bail for U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who entered not guilty plea to corruption charges in federal court.

4 weeks, how long Maikel Franco is expected to be out of Phillies lineup with a broken wrist. He could miss the rest of the season.

1-5, Phils record without Franco in the lineup.

8-5 loss for the Phils last night vs. the Blue Jays.

5-3 lead for the Phils that went up in smoke in a brutal bullpen showing from Jeanmar Gomez.

4 runs on 4 hits surrrendered by Gomez.

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

Maikel Franco was supposed to be back in the lineup for the Phillies last night. Instead he’s going on the DL. The Phils are 1-5 in his absence. It is not a coincidence.

I Don’t Get It: Using the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which has raised millions in the fght against breast cancer, as a front for a scam in which you pocketed the money? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Gov. Tom Wolf for attacking the problem of charter school reimbursements in Pennsylvania. Yes, it is an acute problem in Chester Upland, but it affects many school districts across the Commonwealth. It’s time to deal with this issue.

Quote Box: “This has been a sad tale of 25 years of failure.”

- Gov. Tom Wolf, talking about the history of financial woes in Chester Upland.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Tom Wolf vs. the charters

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-08-19 07:17
They should sell tickets to this one.

Forget the MMA.

This could wind up being Pennsylvania's own version of a steel-cage match.

On the line is the future of the Chester Upland School District.

The battle pits Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vs. one of the state's biggest contributors to Republican campaign coffers.

That would be Vahan Gureghian, who manages Chester Community Charter School, the largest in the state and one that until recently had lured more than half the students in the Chester Upland School District.

Yesterday Wolf, along with Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, rolled out the latest plan to salvage the perennially broke Chester Upland School District.

And the key to the plan is a push in Delaware County Court to reduce reimbursements to charter schools.

I had a chance to talk to Wolf, and he made it clear his belief that without drastic action, schools in Chester may not open their doors in September.

And even if they are able to open, Wolf questioned their ability to stay open without change.

Key to that change is reducing the reimbursements to the charters, which amounted to 46 percent of district expenditures.

The district, which has been under state control - and under water financially - for years, is currently staring at a deficit in the neighborhood of $23 million.

Wolf says changing the reimbursement for charter school students could actually wipe out the deficit, providing a savings of $24.7 million in the 2015-16 school year.

In particular, Wolf is zeroing in on the cost of special education students, which make up a large number of the charter students. Right now Chester Upland pays more than $40,000 for every special education student that attends a charter school. Wolf's plan banks on the recommendation of a bipartisan state funding education commission, which would realign the reimbursement to a little more than $16,000 per student.

As you can imagine, this isn't sitting especially well with charter school proponents.

The moves was blasted as "a blatant first step in killing charter-school operations at the expense of children," according to the Pennsylvania Coalition on Public Charter Schools.

Actually, it won't be up to Wolf or the charter schools. The move will be ruled on by a Delaware County judge, where the state filed the financial recovery plan on Tuesday.

The plan also includes a forensic audit of the district's finances, and appointment of a turnaround specialist.

But make no mistake. This is a fight over the growing presence - and financial implications - of charter schools.

For a long time, many Chester residents wondered if the state plan actually was to slowly strangle the public school district and eventually turn over all the district schools to the charters.

The Chester Upland School District has been under some form of state control since 1990.

This might be their last stand.

Call it Tom Wolf vs. the Charters. Sell tickets. They could probably make a big dent in the Chester Upland deficit with the proceeds.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Feds join the war on heroin

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-08-19 06:39
We used our editorial page today to note the troubling new uptick in heroin-related deaths in the county.

Last week District Attorney Jack Whelan noted that the county had suffered nine heroin-related deaths in just the last week.

There is no area of the county that has gone unscarred in this new surge of heroin use.

It is affecting all areas of the county, men and women, and anywhere from teens to adults.

One of the most troubling aspects of the heroin scourge is statistics that show groups that traditionally were not included in this kind of drug use now falling into its clutches.

There is help on the way, however.

The federal government announced a new attack on the heroin problem. For the first time aligning law enforcement with health officials in a combined effort to tame the heroin-opioid epidemic.

Here's our editorial.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Glow coming off of Mackanin's Philllies

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2015-08-19 06:10
Some of the glow is coming off these Pete Mackanin-led Phillies.

Things got worse yesterday - and that was before the Phils' bullpen imploded, blowing a lead and the game last night to the Toronto Blue Jays.

After blazing out to a 16-5 burst after the All-Star break, the Phils once again are playing like the worst team in the league. They have now lost four straight.

Not surprisingly, they are 1-5 since rookie sensation Maikel Franco went down after being plunked on the left wrist by a pitch in Phoenix.v Yesterday it was revealed that, contrary to the original belief, Franco suffered a broken wrist. He was placed on the disabled list and will likely miss at least four weeks. The rest of his season - as well as the Phils' - is now in jeopardy.

Jack McCaffery talked to Franco about what lies ahead last night.

Jack also notes that no one should hold their breath waiting for the Phillies to trade Chase Utley. Despite everything that seems to indicate that Utley should be gone, he remains a Phillie. And the injury to Franco means he now likely will remain a fixture at second base. Cesar Hernandez, who seemed to replace Utley as the Phils' everyday second baseman, will shift across the diamond to fill Franco's slot at third.

That hissing sound you hear is the last bit of air going out of the Phillies balloon.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Nationally recognized Yangming temporarily shut down over 'active infestation'

Main Line Times - Tue, 2015-08-18 15:56
RADNOR >> Radnor Police responded Friday at lunchtime to a phone call from Yangming Restaurant about a customer dispute.
Categories: Lower Merion

the highs and lows of community involvement

Chester County Ramblings - Tue, 2015-08-18 14:15

I used to be a community activist. Really. It’s not so grand sounding, I think people just get to a point in their lives when they see change needs to occur and they seem to either choose activism or politics.  While I am fascinated by politics, I would never want to be an elected official, so I chose activism.

It all started innocently enough.

Prior to 9/11 I did mostly traditional volunteer work.  But there comes a time in your life when you can’t sit at the dinner table and murmur “that’s too bad.”

I come by my love of old houses and community by way of genetics. My late father was involved in every community we lived in starting with the early days of the Society Hill section of Philadelphia.

My personal entré into all of this started with my old neighborhood when the first of many developers sought to create infill development where I then lived. This developer was renovating an old factory/warehouse building which no one objected to.  But the ingress/egress onto our street where it was literally 12 feet wide we did object to.

Then, on the heels of that at the time my alma mater The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr wanted to tear down historic Beechwood House in Bryn Mawr  for a parking lot. I became part of a group headed by a fellow alumnae named Heather Hillman which raised the funds necessary to completely restore the house and give it a practical adaptive reuse in today’s world. The 9100 square foot home was an architectural gem designed by prominent late 19th century architect Addison Hutton. We did so well, the architects even won awards on the renovation. (A synopsis of what occurred can be found here.)

Then came the fateful night when I went to my friends’ restaurant in Ardmore and found the wife in tears.  “They want to take our building” she said.

That was my introduction to eminent domain and how I came to be part of a 501(c)(4) civic action organization called the Save Ardmore Coalition. The group was comprised of many people from different walks of life as well as different political parties. We came together because we felt positive change was needed. Instead local politicians (of course) labeled us as being obstructionist.

Eminent Domain in Ardmore, Lower Merion Township was a long and horrible process.  We went to Washington DC and stood beside people from all over the country including Long Branch, NJ, Camden NJ (Cramer Hill), Philadelphia and got to know  a lady from New London CT named Susette Kelo who became the symbol of the anti-eminent domain movement all across this country. (See Kelo vs. City of New London).

In Ardmore we were lucky and we were able to defeat eminent domain for private gain and at the time unseat half of the board of commissioners in Lower Merion (there are the ridiculous number of 14) . I was part of a group of wonderful people who learned that once in a while ordinary people could be right and it was worth fighting for what you believed in.

But all of this came at a personal cost.  We were labeled and tarred and feathered by developers and politicians and their cheerleaders and even paid publicists in Lower Merion Township. I was personally  subject to craziness like a letter to the editor by two then business owners like it was all my fault and I was wrong to have an opinion.  It was a crazy and angry time which lasted years and is still in fact going on. And people were and are nasty.

And nasty for what? Caring about where we lived? It was crazy, and I watch it still happen today and still think it is crazy. As residents I still believe that we need to be a much larger part of how our local governments decide things.

Essentially, I think a lot of communities need to taken back by residents before we are over-taxed, over-governed, and developed away. We  need better historic preservation on local and state levels. It has to mean something or people won’t do it.  We need the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code updated as well.

We need many things.  But people need to be involved more where they live.  It doesn’t matter if you are the loudest voice or the most quiet voice, just be a voice.

What started me on this post today? One word: Ardmore.

Once again Ardmore is embroiled in controversy over development. Carl Dranoff’s hideous behemoth of a project to be precise. Ardmore needed a train station and what it has suffered through now for way too many years is the emperor’s new clothes of ill advised development projects and plans. And developer driven zoning overlays.  And lots and lots of question over the use of public funds. In a nutshell, Lower Merion Township continues to be a shining example of what not to do (and the need for term limits in local government.)

So the new litigation was filed after the developer settled with business owners over other issues with “One Ardmore Place”. This litigation centers around the use of state funds known as RACP funds ( Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program ).

The new litigation has been filed by the successor citizens involved with the Save Ardmore Coalition.

August 17, 2015 Civic group files suit over Ardmore redevelopment: Save Ardmore Coalition claims project is missappropriation of public funds

By Sharon Lurye
PhillyVoice Staff

A civic group has filed a lawsuit against the governor of Pennsylvania, the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority and Lower Merion Township over a redevelopment project in Ardmore, saying that it is a “misappropriation of millions of dollars of public funds” for private use.

The Save Ardmore Coalition announced last week that it was filing suit in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. The issue at hand: $10.5 million in state grant funds set aside for One Ardmore Place, a proposed mixed-use development with apartments, retail and public parking.

Currently, the site is a parking lot. The civic group argues that the grant funds were supposed to be used for the Ardmore Train Station.

“We testified many times before the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners and we were mocked. We brought petitions signed by residents only to see them disregarded,” said SAC President Philip Browndeis

I am no longer part of Save Ardmore Coaltion or in the executive branch of the group.  I resigned in the spring of 2011 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And then when that was all over with I moved. To Chester County.

So to say I had no idea this was going to happen next is an understatement.  When this news broke my phone and email started going crazy. “Why is this happening?” “What is going on?” “Why are you doing this?”

ME????

News flash: Alice doesn’t live in Ardmore any more. There is a new crew of people with some original folks doing this.  Contact Save Ardmore Coalition President Philip Browndeis at 267.250.2121 or email him at comments@saveardmorecoalition.org if you have questions.)

Of course, human nature being what it is, within days of the litigation being filed, a few anonymous cowards also and predictably rolled up on the Main Line Media News website to  drag me into this. The paper has since removed the comments and will continue to do so because I have nothing to do with this. I am sitting on the sidelines watching like everyone else and darn grateful not to be ensnared by this nonsense as I realized it is the same old rhetoric and whatnot rearing up again.

My personal opinion is I understand why new Save Ardmore Coalition has done this, but what I don’t understand is the timing of it. Why wasn’t this done a few years ago? And of course there is the other thing: residents can do whatever they think necessary to preserve their community but will they ever truly achieve their goals if they do not change the faces of who govern them? As in when are they going to vote the bums out?

I was in Ardmore a few weeks ago for a funeral viewing. I had not been in easily over a year.  The town looks run down and shabby and the public trash cans in front of the township were overflowing with trash.  It all looked welldepressed. And that is the effect of all the grand plans of developers, politics, and local government: inertia.

Something needs to happen in Ardmore.  I still don’t think it is “One Ardmore Place” because it is way out of touch with the reality of a small main street oriented town. It lacks human scale and design and if it gets built  it’s 8 stories in small building main street downtown Ardmore will make Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough look good.

People like to say I am anti-development. I am actually anti bad plans.  And every plan no matter where it is located looks the same these days. Homogenous and out of place and scale. The plans are presented where they look like they are situated in the Elysian Fields.

What is going on in Ardmore is going on all over Pennsylvania. Who knows when the madness will stop. Which is why I would rather cook, garden, treasure hunt and photograph butterflies. But I still believe people should be more active where they live.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 


Categories: Pennsylvania