A salute to Lower Chi officer for thwarting attack
A look at the week that was, the issues and people who made headlines, and a few darts and laurels for those who deserve them.
LAUREL: To Lower Chichester Patrolman Tim McBride. His quick reaction on hearing the screams of a woman inside a local business thwarted a sexual assault and very well may have saved the woman’s life. Well done.
DART: Kind of makes you scratch your head wondering what this suspect was doing back on the street to begin with. He has a 62-page rap sheet dating back to the late ‘90s and had in fact just gotten out of prison on his most recent arrest on a robbery charge.
DART: It’s to overlook some of the good things in Chester. Take Widener for instance. Stand in the quad on the middle of that gorgeous campus and it’s hard to imagine you’re in the middle of an urban location. Widener remains one of the city’s linchpins. LAUREL: To the active shooter drill held this week at Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School. A small phalanx of officers took part in the daylong drill to simulate the response to a mass shooting in a school setting. Here’s hoping it’s never needed.
DART: Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. The idea for the day of training actually was rooted in the charges that were filed against a transfer student who made threats to shoot up the school. Be careful out there. LAUREL: Speaking of law enforcement, there are lots of old faces in new positions in the borough of Folcroft. Former Chief Bob Ruskowski is now retired and sitting on borough council. William Bair is the new chief; Chris Eiserman is deputy chief. The borough also swore in several new full-time officers, including the borough’s first full-time female officer, Leslie McLean. Daniel White was elevated to corporal.
DART: The wheels continue to turn surrounding the controversial plans to develop the former longtime home of the Don Guanella School off Sproul Road in Marple. Developers this week pushed their “by-right” plan to build more than 200 homes on the site. This is not what Carlino Development actually wants to build, but another proposal has met with some opposition. They are getting the OK for this plan as a backup plan. The problem is the “by-right” plan would see almost the entire tract developed, while the preferred plan would preserve a huge chunk of open space. Let’s hope a deal can be reached. Commissioners want an extension on the time to review the application.
DART: Talk about the high cost of education. They continue to let the contracts for the new Springfield High School. And so far the price tag is approaching $130 million.
LAUREL: To Upper Darby Township. They recently rolled out a proposed budget that does not include a tax hike, nor any increase in municipal fees. DART: To the state Senate. They still have not taken any action on the proposal to offer past childhood victims of sexual abuse a window to file civil suits against their attackers retroactively. The Senate has only a few precious days left in this session. They should take action now, not just to eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for such future offenses, and expand the window to sue for those victims, but to offer a path to justice for those who have been waiting for LAUREL: To two Delco senators, Sen. Tom Killion, R-9 of Middletown, and Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26 of Springfield. Both have indicated they would support opening the two-year window. Now the bill just has to be pushed out onto the floor for a vote by the Senate.
LAUREL: And another one to McGarrigle for his work in getting education requirements changed in Pennsylvania. The measure was passed unanimously by the state House and is now back for final approval in the state Senate. It allows those students who might not excel in testing another means to their high school diploma.
DART: It’s been a tough week for crime down in Chi. First we had the brutal attack on a store worker in Lower Chichester that was thwarted by an alert officer. Then we had a nasty knife attack in Upper Chichester. The suspect then assaulted police officers. A reminder of the dangers these men and woman face every day out their on patrol. LAUREL: To the very realistic mass casualty drill they held this week at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester. Nursing students from Widener University teamed with first responders and the region’s hospitals for a realistic simulation of a mass disaster drill. Let’s hope they never have to put this crucial training to use in a real incident.
LAUREL: Speaking of Widener, here’s a tip of the cap to a Chester icon. They gathered around Old Main this week to mark its sesquicentennial. 150 years of education excellence, dating back to the Pennsylvania Military College days. Here’s to 150 more. DART: To Gov. Tom Wolf. We understand why he does not want to offer any more opportunities to debate to his Republican foe, former state Sen. Scott Wagner. Wolf is comfortably ahead in the polls as well as in fundraising. He has nothing to gain. But the voters do. The only gubernatorial debate turned into the Alex Trebek show. Pa. voters deserve better.
DART: To Mother Nature. The scenes from the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Michael are simply devastating. Entire communities were flattened by the storm’s wrath - packing 150 mph winds.
LAUREL: OK, summer is finally over. Looks like we have finally put that stretch of sticky, humid, summer-like weather behind us and will get our first real taste of fall this weekend. Ahhhhhhhhh! DART: To the Eagles. That’s more like it. All the Birds needed to right their fortune was a date with the lowly New York Giants. The result? A 34-13 thrashing of the G-Men. The Birds are now 3-3 after Thursday night’s prime time encounter with the Giants. That’s good enough to put them back in first place in the lowly NFC East.
DART: To the Flyers. They spent an inordinate amount of time before the home opener this week rolling out their new mascot, Gritty, which looks for all the world like an orange Abominable Snowman. Turns out Gritty was the best thing about the night as the Flyers got blown out by the Sharks. There were lots of boos emanating from the Wells Fargo Center stands, and they were not directed at Gritty.