Feed aggregator

Eagles prediction: A monster year for Bradford

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-08-11 06:04
Brace yourself, Iggles fans, the Doug Pederson Era debuts tonight.

Will he be the second coming of Andy Reid? Or leave us pining for Chip Kelly?

As for the Carson Wentz era? Well, you'll have to wait for that, at least until the second half.

Pederson has made it clear this is still Sam Bradford's team. And the former No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft will be behind center when the Birds kick off the preseason against the Buccaneers tonight at 7 at the Linc. Bradford likely will play only a series or two, and he will be followed by Chase Daniel. Wentz, who the Birds moved up to take with the No. 2 pick in the draft, will get the bulk of the workd in the second half.

Keep your eyes on Bradford. No, I'm not going to relive the hype that exploded after Bradford's stirring 10-for-10 performance vs. the Packers last preseason. That didn't mean much. Bradford struggled at the start of the season. But he turned that around and was playing as well as any QB in the league in the last seven games of the season.

Last year I went out on a limb and predicted Bradford - if he could stay healthy - would be the NFC Offensive Player of the Year. I was off by a year. Again this is all predicated on Bradford's ability to stay on the field, but if he does, it says here he has a monster year, leading the Eagles to the NFC East crown with a 10-6 record.

At the same time, he will put the Pederson, Howie Roseman and the Eagles brass in a bit of a predicament. They have made it pretty clear that Wentz in the team's future.

So what do they do after Bradford lights it up this year?

We're about to find out.

For another view of what to expect tonight and this season, check out beat writer Bob Grotz's column.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Check out the Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch Calendar

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 21:29
What's going on? Check the Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch calendar for what's happening in town.
Categories: Lower Merion

New to the Market: Home Listings in and around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 21:24
Looking for a home? Or do you just like looking at what homes are on the market? Either way, here are the latest homes for sale in and around Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood...
Categories: Lower Merion

another development east whiteland?

Chester County Ramblings - Wed, 2016-08-10 18:01

I actually have photos of 99 Church Road but don’t have time to dig through them (but I will later).  This property (photo above off Google or Bing) is up for discussion tonight in East Whiteland:

Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan – 99 Church Road – APG – Proposed construction of 43 new single family residential units and the restoration of one existing historic home on the east and west side of Church Road. The property is zoned R-1 Residential and is approximately 41.5 acres and a motion to adopt Resolution No. 23-2016 granting approval of the Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan.

 

 

Come on, East Whiteland.  I know you can’t stop every development, but 43 new “residential units”  on 41.5 acres? Lord above people, can’t you find any developers who will develop large lots to conserve some open space?

Oh and the house on it is apparently a “Class 1, historic property which dates to pre-Revolutionary time” (See 5/14/2015 East Whiteland Supervisors’ Minutes)

From the May 14, 2014 East Whiteland Supervisors Meeting

So it is being marketed with information on the local schools , so the potential is to add 43 new households with kids here, right? Add that to all the OTHER development in various stages of planning in East Whiteland and elsewhere in the Great Valley School district and is someone going to say with a straight face that these developmnents will NOT impact the schools, will NOT impact our infrastructure, and will NOT affect things like police and first responder coverage?

Here is the listing info I found on the internet:

Marketed as a “development opportunity” by these folks as per broker cloud:

These folks captioned above are locals? And apparently a couple of these folks above are part of the family that owns the National Bank of Malvern? That is what an article in The Hunt Magazine said circa 2009. Heavy sigh. These folks are legendary in equestrian circles, so one would think they would be able to market this property to other than a developer who wants to build quite so many homes on this parcel?

Some will say it’s “only” 41.5 acres.  Well if you can do basic math, all the acres add up.  Who knew when I wrote my development post earlier, I would be following it up with yet another East Whiteland Development project.

It’s too late to fight city hall on this one unless there are bog turtles or Revolutionary War Soldiers buried there, or something similar, but Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ East Whiteland hit the pause button somewhere, anywhere.

And speaking of the Revolutionary War, how does anyone know this potential development site is clean of artifacts given it’s proximity to other places?

from the February 11, 2015 East Whiteland Supervisors Meeting

Every time you turn around somewhere in Chester County is yet another GD development being proposed. And once again you have one where the “promise” to restore the historic asset. Umm East Whiteland, we are still waiting for the developer who “promised” to restore Linden Hall to make good on said promise.  And we all know that if push comes to shove they can’t make these developers do anything, correct? So telling them they have to do something basically doesn’t mean squat, does it?

So we are seeing the slow death of more open space. Fabulous.

Here is the report from Chester County in the fall of 2015 regarding this plan.  FYI only because this plan is essentially another done deal.

Again I state that we should really pressure all state level elected officials to do a comprehensive update of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code

After all, the MPC is the bible that guides planning and zoning across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Maybe if it was updated to protect and enhance our communities with more control over development and help for historic preservation and land conservation we would all stand a fighting chance?

Just a thought.

Thanks for stopping by.  Sign me development depressed.

Oh and before I close off this post, here is this little something concerning Linden Hall:


Categories: Pennsylvania

Newsweek’s Top Public High Schools 2016: 30 In Pennsylvania Ranked

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 15:51
Breaking: Newsweek’s annual ranking of public high schools has just been released, and 30 in PA made the cut. Find out which ones here:
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Teen Charged With Murdering Mother, Boyfriend: DA

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 14:54
A teenager has been arrested for the murder of his mother and her boyfriend in a Montgomery County apartment on July 31.
Categories: Lower Merion

LM Board rescinds vote to move misplaced power transformers on O'Neill riverfront property

Main Line Times - Wed, 2016-08-10 14:45
Lower Merion Township commissioners last week voted to order O’Neill Properties to move two large transformers recently installed on a portion of what was to be a public space at the end of Righters Ferry Road in Bala Cynwyd.
Categories: Lower Merion

the fairy tales of development

Chester County Ramblings - Wed, 2016-08-10 14:30

Is this the future you want for Chester County?

BusinessPhillyDeals With cash on hand and apartments going up, town gets top AAA credit rating

Updated: AUGUST 9, 2016 — 4:34 PM EDT

by Joseph N. DiStefano, Staff Writer @PhillyJoeD

EXCERPT:

New stores and apartments are boosting tax collections, and have given Chester County’s West Whiteland Township (pop. 20,000) a rare distinction: Yesterday Moody’s Investor Service boosted its credit rating to AAA, a rare distinction shared locally with Tredyffrin, Whitpain, Upper and Lower Merion, and Whitpain townships…..”We didn’t used to be known as developer-friendly,” Soles told me. “The current board has changed that. We want to attract development. We are a retail-based township. We have to stay ahead of the curve.”

The township’s presentation to Moody’s lists more than 1,000 new apartments, including 410 units approved for Main Street Apartments, 276 for Parkview at Oaklands (where residences are replacing office/industrial zoned space), 240 at Marquis at Exton; plus 108 “new carriage homes” (rowhouses) at Glenloch (where the township fought to keep out a trailer park), plus 86 at Waterloo Gardens, and several smaller developments….”Those develoments are going to have minimal impact on the school district,” Soles promised. “The primary market that developers are going for is the millennials and the empty nesters.”

 

Mmm O.K. That is a really nice BUT regular residents don’t want townships to be so “developer friendly” – we as normal, everyday residents of Chester County are in fact looking for BALANCE and RESPECT for open space and the county’s agricultural heritage. And some historic preservation. And community preservation.

Exton in 1937 courtesy of the Guernsey Cow

I learned something very amusing the other day. An executive of a large developer active in local township meetings where they live doesn’t exactly live in one of the developments that supports their salary, does he? Does he not in fact own a lovely property that is private and part of the beautiful rolling hills of Chester County? If even the developers and their employees don’t live in these cram plans, why should we want them in our communities?

Aerial shot of Exton 1974 courtesy of The Guernsey Cow

All of these developments have an impact on every single resident and that also means they do have an impact on the school districts.

Aerial shot of Exton off of Paramount Realty Website – not sure how old, but current times to be sure.

They can’t say in West Whiteland (or elsewhere since it is a common mantra) every single one of these units being built is going to go towards millennials and empty-nesters.  And as for that younger generation just starting out out of college they don’t necessarily want to be all the way out here – they want to be closer to an urban area because they’re single and social.  That behavior pattern extends to empty nesters and retirees too – not all of them want to be so far out. And a lot don’t want to be so far out living in cheaply constructed projects.

Areial shot from Pennsylvania Real Estate INvestment Trust

Come on, these projects are plastic city and built for the masses to do ONE thing: show a profit for the developer.  These developers shove in as many projects as possible and move on to the next area. These developers are not building for posterity, only their own prosperity. They get in, and they get out.

IMHO Steve Soles (the article calls him Rick, quite amusingly – see screen shot.) owes his constituents better. Of course given his day job as a lawyer lawyer for a hedge fund, I never would have voted for him in the first place if I lived in West Whiteland.

And so we know who is who in West Whiteland (and do not forget the Township Manager is the former Township Manager of Tredyffrin who was just going to “retire”, Mimi Gleason), here is a screen shot of the supervisors:

Now if you do a quick flash back to the most recent election, you will recall a very interesting Daily Local article:
West Whiteland supervisors race getting nasty

POSTED: 10/27/15, 10:59 AM EDT

WEST WHITELAND >> Democratic challenger Rajesh Kumbhardare is running against Republican incumbent Steven Soles for his position on the township’s board of supervisors.

Kumbhardare launched several accusations against Soles that both Soles and fellow Democratic board member Joe Denham claim are false.

West Whiteland board supervisors serve six-year terms. One member of the board is up for re-election every two years.

In a phone interview, Kumbhardare criticized the township’s financial practices, saying township funds were “running into the red.”

He also mentioned the $31.2 million price tag for the township building….

Soles said during his tenure, the township greatly increased its transparency and kept taxes low.

“We have a fiduciary duty to our residents, I think we’re on the right track,” Soles said. “We are working for the residents of West Whiteland Township.”

Really?  Seems to me that West Whiteland Township has ambitions to become another King of Prussia. (But what do I know, I am a mere mortal and a female and not a lover of malls.)

We are starting to drown in development from one end of Chester county to the other. It’s ridiculous. I also do not believe that the economy can in the end support so much development and remember there actually is an ample housing supply already. Sure there are lots of retail and minimum-wage jobs, but those people are not going to be affording these developments. This is the whole emperor’s new clothes story of the New Urbanism fairy tale of development.

My photo. Views like this will continue to disappear by the day if we do not act as Chester County residnets

There are all sorts of things that no one thinks about when salivating over ratables as an elected official.

They definitely don’t think of the impact on the schools and they don’t take that into consideration. Mostly because school districts are autonomous from local governments and they don’t play well with one and other.

Also elected officials are NOT telling you another reality of getting rid of more and more farmland: it will drive your food costs up.

It’s a snowballing effect. We have lots of housing but we simply don’t take care of it. Our elected officials just approve more and more projects.

Someone said to me yesterday “I’m not really sure if a lot of local officials have the capacity to comprehend all of this and see the future and think about ecosystems etc.”

I think that is correct.

We have the power to change this and we need to pressure state elected officials to comprehensively update the Municipalities Planning Code to PROTECT us and actually plan wisely, not just literally give away the farm to developers.

It is an election year, which means we do have the opportunity to be heard by exercising our right to vote. We need to make our open space and agricultural heritage a huge election issue in Chester county and elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

And remember Moody’s is issuer paid. Municipalities get what they pay for and given the hot mess Lower Merion Township is due to developers (and is Tredyffrin with all it’s issues and the mother of all open space killing developments Chesterbrook from time to time far behind?) I wouldn’t be so bragging that my municipality was right up there with them as AAA. But again, a municipality is getting what they pay for.  And what will it mean when developments empty out because they are older and falling apart?

And I love when local elected officials in Chester County  brag about stopping mobile home parks. I do not think anyone really gets how many of those are in Chester County, or that they are kind of one of the few sources of truly affordable housing for what defines affordable housing. They approve building of huge projects with zero truly affordable housing.   Or a developer will toss out there that they will make a few units of something affordable, only it’s never truly affordable for say the family of four or six or even larger that might actually NEED affordable housing.

Now see what I think would be a great idea is if these developers who are salivating over Chester County’s open space would actually restore some of the actual run down housing supply that exists in areas that suffered downturns when factories and manufacturing left their towns.  Think Phoenixville, Downingtown, and Coatesville and any of the number of small cross roads towns you find scattered throughout Chester County.  Heck if they did this more in Phoenixville and Downingtown they would probably see a positive result fairly quickly given how hard these two places have been working to rejuvenate their towns and business districts already. But it takes talent and patience to restore older homes or do an adaptive reuse of a mill or factory, doesn’t it?  And again, these developers aren’t about communities, they want to get in and get out.

But that is another idea: if elected officials and county level planning commissions pushed for an overhaul of Municipalities Planning Code that could be made part of the approval process legally: if developers want in, then they need to contribute more than traffic signals.  Let them contribute a certain amount of rehabilitated existing housing as a condition of approval.  Come up with a formula that for every new unit they want to add, they have to restore a certain amount of existing units in areas that could use the help, thereby actually helping provide actual affordable housing.

But that’s the other thing  – Pennsylvania does not make it attractive for people to preserve anything.

 

In other states there are many more avenues of tax credits and what not when it comes to saving things for environmental concerns and saving things as historic assets. However what local officials do you have the power to do is to try to work with developers to reduce the footprint or encourage them to donate big chunks of land where they’re developing for conservation…..And in my opinion most don’t.  I get that PA is a private property rights state so this is really tough, but it  is like the whole tale of Crebilly Farm in Westtown possibly going Toll — does anyone believe that NO ONE in that township knew anything?

Here are the Westtown Supervisors again:

Again, of special note is the Chair, Carol R. De Wolf.  How ironic is it that she works for Natural Lands Trust as the director of the Schuylkill Highlands???? Are residents asking her some tough questions?  Has she tried to get any of the land that is Crebilly conserved?

Ok and when you are speaking of development you need to consider the Herculean efforts some put into land preservation.  I have a friend who put four years of his life into obtaining Federal land conservation. He got a  USDA Easement on his farm. The easement is a conservation easement for the preservation of a thriving bog turtle colony. It’s locked up in perpetuity  I think that is wonderful.  His name is Vince Moro, and you will now read about him in this article on ChaddsFord Live:

 

Pop-up gala joins fight to save orchard Posted by Kathleen Brady Shea on August 9th, 2016 As the area’s open space continues to shrink and conservancies fight an uphill battle, a Pennsbury Township resident is offering an assist.

Vince Moro said he has been distressed by recent headlines showing that development is continuing to swallow up open space in the area. For example, Toll Brothers not only plans to put 91 homes on the 86-acre Tigue tract off Route 52 in East Bradford Township, but it also envisions more than 300 on the Crebilly property at Routes 202 and 926 in Westtown Township.

So when Moro heard that The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County was working with the Barnard family to place an agricultural conservation easement on its beloved orchard in Newlin Township, the project seemed like a perfect match for Brandywine in White, an elegant, pop-up gala that raises funds for area nonprofits and will be held on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Gwen Lacy, TLC’s executive director, said the conservancy needs to raise the remaining $27,000 of the project’s $901,000 cost before the fall to qualify for matching grants. She said if the conservancy reaches its goal, Barnard’s Orchard and “its 74 beautiful and productive acres” would be saved permanently from development.

 

Read the rest of the article, but you get the point.  Here is more on the orchard at risk:

Help The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County (TLC) save Barnard’s Orchard, a fourth generation family farm in Chester County!

Project Update: TLC is working to conserve Barnard’s Orchard and its 75 beautiful and productive acres. To date TLC has raised $863,000 toward the $901,000 total project cost, leaving a balance of $38,000 (less than 5% of the total project cost). Securing these funds now will successfully conclude this important land conservation project and keep  intact a 1,200+ acre corridor of vital lands. Here’s what is at stake, and once plowed under, irreplaceable:
  1. 74.3 acres of important agricultural soils across two parcels
  2. Fourth generation family owned farm established in 1862
  3. Orchard and orchard store are a community staple with generations growing up visiting the property
  4. 32 varieties of apples
  5. Apple cider
  6. Pumpkins
  7. Snapdragons and freesia
  8. Peaches
  9. Additional fruits and veggies grown on site
  10. Produce donated to the area food cupboard when possible and collection taken at the counter
  11. Hosts school groups at no cost to educate children about the orchard
  12. Rural vista along Rt. 842 for public enjoyment with ½ mile of road frontage
  13. Protects prime agricultural soils and keeps them in active agriculture via the agricultural easement
  14. Protects portion of a first order stream and wooded, steep slopes
  15. Protects the groundwater recharge abilities of the woods
  16. Maintains the existing riparian buffer to protect the watershed
  17. Protecting the stream corridor benefits downstream neighbors-over 500,000 people depend on the Brandywine Creek watershed for public and individual water supplies
  18. Protected woodlands are part of an unbroken corridor extending north onto Cheslen Preserve
  19. Stream corridor and woods are home to multiple endangered and threatened plant species
  20. Farmland and open space benefits everyone – keeping the costs of community services under control: For $1 of tax revenue from farmland, only 2-12 cents of community services are required. Residential costs are $1.33 for every $1 of tax revenue.
Be a part of the solution by helping conserve Barnard’s Orchard for future generations! Donate online here OR send check payable to TLC to: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County 541 Chandler Mill Road Avondale, PA 19311

TLC also accepts Gifts of Stock; for details click here or contact

610-347-0347.  All donations are 100% tax deductible. If you have questions about this project,  please contact TLC today. Thank you, Gwendolyn M. Lacy, Esq. Executive Director (610) 347-0347 x 107 (610) 268-5507 (c) Email TLC Website Chester County residents it’s do or die time. What do you want where you call home to look like? Here is another very telling image taken by a friend of mine August 1st in West Vincent: Do we really think anyone is cleaning up the ruins of a decrepit old gas station or whatever for historic preservation? And speaking of West Vincent, remember Bryn Coed.  It is TWICE the size of Chesterbrook. In my opinion, it is not a question of IF the land will be developed, but WHEN. And I am not, believe it or not, completely anti-development.  Small and thoughtful projects that demonstrate careful planning are not problematic to me, but you do NOT see that today.  Developers come in and rape and pillage. It is nothing, ever about where WE call home, only how much money they can make. They don’t care about fitting their developments in with our existing surroundings or employing human scale in infill developments in towns (think East Side Flats in Malvern. I am all about supporting the local and small businesses there but talk about not fitting the surroundings.) After all, take “Linden Hall” on Route 30 in East Whiteland.  The actual Linden Hall is NOT yet restored and what do we see? This: Is that about our community betterment or just about lining a developer’s profits? Again, I remind everyone that development should darn well be an election issue out here. Look at your candidates and what they stand for.  We need less who are proud of being “developer friendly” and more who are willing to preserve where we call home.  From the local township, borough, and so on to the State House and State Senate vote for Chester County. If a candidate can’t go on the record about what they will actually DO or an actual PLAN for preserving Chester County, it’s open spaces, agricultural and equestrian heritage, say bye bye to them. I think Chester County’s future is worth more than crammed in developments of front end loaded plastic houses on postage stamp sized lots where there is not even enough room to garden let alone enjoy being outside.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Most Important Part Of Planning Your Awesome Local Event?

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 14:09
Letting People Know About It; Here's How To Notify Your Community on Patch
Categories: Lower Merion

Chester County's Phillip Dutton Wins Bronze as Team USA's Oldest Olympian

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 13:43
Congratulations to local hero Phillip Dutton!
Categories: Lower Merion

Ardmore Man, Broadcast Producer, Adjunct Professor, Dies At 64

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 12:13
Ardmore's Michael Ferguson traveled the world shooting commercials. He passed away after a courageous fight with brain cancer.
Categories: Lower Merion

Officials seek answers to gun violence problem

Main Line Times - Wed, 2016-08-10 11:41
CHESTER >> A visit from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey to Chester City Hall on Tuesday was focused on the trend of gun violence in urban areas.
Categories: Lower Merion

Chester man, 28, gunned down on city street

Main Line Times - Wed, 2016-08-10 11:41
CHESTER >> A 28-year-old man was fatally shot early Friday morning, becoming the city’s 17th homicide victim this year.
Categories: Lower Merion

Dueling experts delay trial of accused baby killer

Main Line Times - Wed, 2016-08-10 11:41
MEDIA COURTHOUSE >> The trial date for accused baby killer Ummad Rushdi will have to be pushed back as defense attorneys secure a new expert witness to evaluate their client.
Categories: Lower Merion

Calling Ardmore Small Business Owners: Get Your 15 Minutes of Fame on Patch

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 11:00
Want to tell others about your cafe, tax services, salon or snow plow company? Email us to be featured in our free Small Business Spotlight.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Man Busted By Police Trying To Meet 14-Year-Old Boy For Sex: Attorney General

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-08-10 10:34
A Montgomery County man arranged to meet with who he thought was a 14-year-old boy for a sexual encounter.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Aug. 10

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-08-10 08:00
The Daily Numbers: 17 homicides in the city of Chester so far this year.

28, age of latest shooting victim in the city.

24 homicides overall in Delaware County.

1010, the House bill looking to increase background checks in Pa. It’s not getting a lot of traction.

20 million dollars being put into a Open Space Fund by the county.

10-25 years in the slammer for a Chester man involved in a wild robbery and chase.

21, age of man who accidentally shot himself at a gun range in Philly.

10 game suspension possibly facing Eagles starting right offensive tackle Lane Johnson, in a new PED saga.

9-3 blowout loss for the Phils in Los Angeles last night.

1st, as in first place in NL West for the Dodgers.

15 games over .500 for L.A.

9 runs on 11 hits surrendered by Phils’ starter Vince Velasquez.

26 medals for the U.S., tops at the Rio Olympics so far.

9 gold medals, also the most. China is 2nd with 8 golds.

2 more golds for swimmer Michael Phelps.

21 now in his illustrious career.

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

Lane Johnson is facing a suspension over PED use. He just got a big extension from the team in the offseason.

I Don’t Get It: PED use. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sen. Robert P. Casey, who came to Chester to push gun safety yesterday.

Quote Box: “Chester can be and will be a safe community.”

- Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Shining a 'Spotlight' on newspaper woes

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-08-10 07:08
I get asked all the time to explain the problems facing the newspaper industry.

It struck me again as I sat near tears in a movie theater watching the Oscar-winning move "Spotlight," which detailed the investigative team from the Boston Globe and their work in uncovering the massive problem with predator priests abusing children in the Boston Archdiocese.

The sadness for me was two-fold: First, as a Catholic, the move could not possibly have painted the church in a worse light, one by the way I believe was richly deserved. Much like what took place here in Philadelphia, the church's reaction and policies concerning child sexual abuse by priests was abhorrent.

But I felt another sadness as well, one that stems from more than four decades in the newspaper business.

The move clearly showed what we are in danger of losing in this racket, our mission of being a watchdog on what is going on in our towns and schools.

Much of it is not especially sexy. Township supervisors' meetings rarely are.

It may not get 'clicks,' the mantra of today's online journalism, but it is very important.

Maybe most important is the idea of what can happen when that 'spotlight' - literally shedding light on the governmental process, goes dark.

Bad things happen.

Things that may never see the light of day.

That is what community newspapers do - and part of what we strive to do here at the Daily Times every day.

In that vein, I have a new hero.

His name is John Oliver. I had never seen his show until this past week. I was vacationing in Colorado and was channel surfing when our hosts suggested his show, "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver."

Oliver is British, and he offered up one of the best explanations of the problems facing today's journalism I have ever seen.

You want to know about the problems I face as a newspaper editor every day?

I highly suggest you watch this.

It's not so much what we are doing, but what increasingly we are in danger of no longer being able to do.

Thank you, John Oliver.

Check out his piece here.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Some Rocky Mountain highs

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-08-10 06:46
Having just returned from a week in Colorado, I have a few observations, comparisons - and recommendations - about life here in Pennsylvania.

- It's nice to see green again. No, not Eagles green. I mean as in green grass. Unless you water religiously, you do not get much that's green in Colorado. Remember, you're a mile high, and not just from legal marijuana (more on that later).

- I had to chuckle at people in the Mile High City complaining about the heat. Yes, it has been in the 90s much more than normal out there this summer. But the truth is that 92 degrees in Denver is like 80 here in Pennsylvania. Plus, there is no humidity out there. Of course, I would not be the best judge of that since I happen to like the humidity.

- We like to joke here in Pa. that if you don't like the weather, just wait 15 minutes and it will change. Out in Colorado, they mean it. I was sitting in gorgeous sunshine enjoying a scenic lunch at the spectacular Red Rocks Amphitheater one second, and the next it was raining after a storm blew in over the foothills.

- You get used to showers out there. Every afternoon about 4 or 5 o'clock, you get those puffy white clouds rolling in, then they turn darker and offer a shower. Then 15 minutes later the skies turn blue again. Weird.

- I have a new favorite ballpark. I'm a huge fan of Citizens Bank Park, but I have to admit that Coors Field in Denver is a better experience. And here's why, something I've always said should have been done here in Philly. Coors Field was built in downtown Denver, and it's the centerpiece of a huge development in the downtown area. Downtown Denver is packed on game nights, with tons of restaurants and nightspots reaping the rewards. Sorry, but Xfinity Live down at the South Philly sports complex just doesn't cut it. I always thought the Phillies new ballpark should have been downtown. A trip to Denver only reinforced that belief. They got it right.

- Here's a suggestion for our representatives in Harrisburg, who are constantly looking for new revenue streams - while not raising taxes. Take the high road. Literally. I'm talking about legalized marijuana. As you may or may not know, Colorado now has legalized pot. It's sold in dispensaries and it seems as if there is one on ever street corner. Here's the important part. Weed is taxed in Colorado. We're talking about a cash crop that is pumping millions into the Colorado revenue stream. Much of that money is being funneled into education. Sound familiar, Gov. Wolf? This sounds like an issue tailor-made for our own Sen. Daylin Leach.

- No, I did not partake in the legal version of being 'Rocky Mountain High.' I'm afraid those days are long gone, merely a mirage in the rear-view mirror. Oddly enough, I did not get even a single whiff of weed on the streets as I traversed the state last week.

- I did, however, develop a new appreciation for the state's famous beverage. Yes, I'm once again a Coors man. Granted, the Rocky Mountain suds does not have the same mystique as it did back in the '70s, when you could not get it east of the Mississippi. And here's an even weirder note. I've never been a light beer guy. If you've ever seen me, you'd know that weight is not exactly an issue for me. For some reason the Coors Lite bit me big time out there. Unfortunately, a planned tour of one of my old stomping grounds, the Coors factory in Golden, Colo, never happened. I love Coors - and the notion of the free samples at the end of the tour - but a two-hour wait? We decided to pass.

- I still have not found a prettier campus than the University of Colorado at Boulder, and this comes from someone who has a bit of a fetish when it comes to college towns. I will go out of my way when it comes to getting a chance to check out another campus, and of course another stadium. Nothing can touch Boulder, which sits majestically at the foot of the Flatirons.

It took me 38 years to get back to Colorado. A lot of things have changed out there. One has not. The state is drop-dead gorgeous. Even the notorious brown cloud, which often hung over Denver like a shroud when I was out there in the mid-'70s, seems to have improved.

Here's hoping it doesn't take four decades for me to get back out there again.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Life in the fast 'Lane' for Eagles

Heron's Nest - Wed, 2016-08-10 06:16
Call it life in the fast 'Lane.'

This is probably not what new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson had in mind two days before his Birds take the field for their first pre-season game.

There are numerous reports this morning that starting right tackle Lane Johnson will be suspended for 10 games after testing positive for PEDs.

Yes, this is the same Lane Johnson who the Eagles gave a big money contract extension to in the off-season.

And if Pederson is less than thrilled, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie just must be doing backflips.

Pederson has been working hard to put his own stamp on this Eagles team. So far his training camp could not possibly be more different than what was run the last couple of years by Chip Kelly.

So far Johnson and his agent are denying any suspension.

Bob Grotz has all the details here.

But going 10 games without Johnson would be a huge blow to the Birds. One of the top priorities of this team is to keep starting quarterback Sam Bradford upright. The often-injured QB now is looking at possibly playing most of the season without his starting right tackle.

Oh, and just in case you missed it, starting left tackle Jason Peters, the guy who protects Bradford's blind side, is on the shelf right now. He will not play in the preseason opener Thursday night.
Categories: Pennsylvania