SB 76 Fails To Ease Tax Burden Says Lisa Esler

SB 76 Fails To Ease Tax Burden — Lisa Esler, who is one of our favorite people and is a Penn Delco school director, had a 14-minute interview, today, Nov. 30, with Gunther Rewind concerning SB 76. The proposed legislation would prohibit homes from being taxed to fund schools.

Lisa notes that this reform does not solve the tax burden issue and that  state legislature is not interested in taking the simple, commonsense steps necessary to do so.

She says the prevailing wage mandate increases construction and maintenance  projects between 10 and 30 percent and should be simple to repeal with an honest government. She notes unnecessary state mandates such as paid teacher sabbaticals. She points out the crushing $70 billion-and-rising pension shortfall. She mentioned how the right to strike by teachers inevitably means tax increases.

And while nobody should be taxed from their home, Lisa is 100 percent correct that  Harrisburg is not serious about fixing things.

You can find Lisa’s interview here.

SB 76 Fails To Ease Tax Burden

SB 76 Fails To Solve Tax Burden Problem

Of Sound Mind Looms

Of Sound Mind LoomsOf Sound Mind Looms — Of Sound Mind by local author and former County Press (Pa) sports editor Jim Waltzer is being promoted by Medallion Press. The book will be available in April.

It’s a revision of Jim’s thriller Sound of Mind which has already appeared in French and English.

It is set in Philadelphia and concerns audiometry technician Richard Keene who possesses abnormally acute powers of hearing which leads him into trouble.

It’s an excellent noir thriller and Keene is one of the most unique characters to appear in recent fiction.

Of Sound Mind Looms

Bill Rhoads Engineering Feat

Bill Rhoads Engineering Feat
The hammer beams and uprights tight against the wall at Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church in Ridley, Pa. The stone outcrop upon which the wooden structure is resting is called a corbel.

Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church is now in service in Ridley and a hero whose story deserves to be sung is Bill Rhoads of Rhoads Plumbing and Heating of Springfield.

The former, and historic, Leiper Presbyterian Church  at 900 Fairview Road was acquired by the Ukrainian Catholic Archepachy of Philadelphia in May 2014 for $525,000 to be the new home for the congregations of Saints Peter and Paul of Clifton Heights and Holy Ghost of Chester.

Leiper closed in January 2012. The existing building was erected in 1850 a year after a fire destroyed the original one built in 1819, the cornerstone for which can still be seen in an inside hallway.

Anyway, when the Archepachy acquired it, it was in bad shape. The hammer beams that supported the arches that supported the ceiling had pulled  from the wall.  The gaps were obvious. Consultants were advocating expensive and unattractive solutions which included removing the beautiful but heavy slate roof and replacing it with an ugly commercial, metal one.

Rhoads, who had done work for Saints Peter and Paul and who was picked to guide the process of upgrading the kitchen and HVAC at the new facility, had a notion that the beauty of the structure could be saved along with much money.

He researched the architecture and learned that the original builders neglected to install the necessary bolts fastening important uprights to the wall. These uprights connected the hammer beams to the interior corbels hence  they supported the entire roof.

Rhoads realized that all that may be needed was jacking the beams back against the wall and installing  bolts. He ran his idea by engineers and the Ridley code enforcers and got a green light.

Hence it was done, and a church and history were saved.

Along with a lot of money.

Maybe the Springfield School District ought to have a talk with Mr. Rhoads.

What could have been a bland, utilitarian building is now warm place of worship and one of Delaware County’s most beautiful churches.

Eastern Catholics are self-governing  churches in full communion with the Pope. Roman Catholics can fully participate in Eastern Catholic services just as Eastern Catholics often attend Roman Catholic services. This of course means the mutual reception of the Holy Eucharist.

Holy Myrrh-Bearers address is at 900 Fairview Road, Pa.  Swarthmore 19081. It will have Masses 10 a.m., Sundays.

The church is named for the women who went to anoint the body of Jesus after his crucifixion and found the tomb empty, along with Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who prepared the Lord’s body for burial. The women who found the empty tomb are Mary the Mother of God, Mary Magdalene and Martha, who were the sisters of Lazarus; Mary, the mother of James and Joses; Mary, the wife of Cleopas; Joanna, the wife of Chuza; Salome, the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee; and Susanna.

Bill Rhoads Engineering Feat

Jim Waltzer Book Of Sound Mind

Local author and former County Press (Pa) sports editor Jim Waltzer has revised his thriller Sound of Mind and has a new publisher, Medallion Press. Jim Waltzer Book Of Sound Mind

The books which has been published in French along with English is set in Philadelphia and is excellent.

The new title will be Of Sound Mind.

A movie deal had been in the works, although Jim says things are going slow on that front.

Jim Waltzer Book Of Sound Mind

Greg Cox, Foul Deeds Will Rise

Call it a guilty pleasure but we got for Christmas a Star Trek book by best-selling Chester County author Greg Cox that was quite a pleasure.

Greg cox Foul Deeds Will RiseThe book, “Foul Deeds Will Rise,” involves the franchise’s original line up (Kirk, Spock, McCoy etc.)

The plot concerns the Federation via The Enterprise mediating a peace treaty between two warring planets and features Leonore Karidian –an old love and nemesis of Captain Kirk — as the wrinkle.

The story would have made an excellent episode in the original series. Kudos Greg Cox.

Greg lives in Oxford and is officially a New York Times bestselling author. He was Richard Matheson’s  last editor.

Greg Cox, Foul Deeds Will Rise

Bill Tyson Profile

Bill Tyson

Bill Tyson Profile

Bill Tyson, who is the director of marketing and communications for Penn State University, Brandywine Campus is the subject of the July 29 Delaware County News Network’s Profile of the Week by the always interesting Susan L. Serbin.

You can read it here.



Frank Videon Jr. R.I.P.

Frank Videon Jr. R.I.P.Frank Videon Jr.

Frank C. Videon Jr. died June 12 at his home in West Chester following a long battle with stomach cancer. He was 70.

He was the proprietor of Videon Chevrolet in Newtown Square and was known for the friendly advertising rivalry with his brothers Wayne and Steve who had Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealerships in Newtown Square.

The ads would be full page on the back page of the County Press and often feature headshots of the other brothers on top of farm animals or childhood photographs of them.

As the advertising space rotated among the dealerships, Frank Jr. would find himself the subject of retaliation.

Frank ran the Chevy dealership until 2009 when General Motors forced him to close as part of the Obama restructuring.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Carol; his mother,  Edna; daughters Tara, Tracy and Tami; and seven grandchildren.

His father, Frank Sr., died in 2011.

Visitation will be 12:30 p.m., Sunday, June 22, at Newtown Square Presbyterian Church, 3600 Goshen Road, which will be followed by a funeral at 2 p.m.

Donations may be sent to Newtown Square Presbyterian Church or the American Cancer Society, Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.


American Liberty Tours

Carris Kocher of Concord, Pa. is   embarking on a new venture this summer called American Liberty Tours. The tours will explore our legacy of liberty and faith.

The first tour, Philadelphia’s Foundation of Faith, is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, and Saturday, July 12.

The second tour, Philadelphia’s Legacy of Liberty, is scheduled for Saturday, July 26, and Thursday, July 31.

Each tour concludes with an evening dinner featuring a guest speaker and a  question and answer session.

Cost is $125 per person. For information visit American Liberty Tours online at


American Liberty Tours

American Liberty Tours to be held this summer.

Springfield Jootz Supply MTV Swag

Springfield Jootz Supply MTV Swag Springfield (Delco) Pa.-based Jootz is supplying some of the swag given the nominees and presenters at tonight's MTV Movie Awards. Jootz' contribution is a unique Christmas tree ornament named Bijoux designed by Judy McGrane which will placed in the red carpet tote bags.Springfield (Delco) Pa.-based Jootz is supplying some of the swag given the nominees and presenters at tonight’s MTV Movie Awards.

Jootz’ contribution is a unique Christmas tree ornament named Bijoux designed by Judy McGrane which will placed in the red carpet tote bags.

Jootz is run by Judy and her sister Lynn, a retired Bloomingdales vice president.

Springfield Jootz Supply MTV Swag

Gertrude Louise Wooten Donnelly (1922-2013)

Gertrude Louise Wooten Donnelly, of Springfield PA, who, long before the Mad Men years, helped perfect the execution of radio and early television advertising campaigns, died on Monday May 20th at the VITAS Hospice at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in Darby, PA.

Born in Philadelphia on April 22, 1922, Ms. Donnelly was the second of six children of Harry and Helen Wooten. She grew up in East Lansdowne and graduated with the first Marple Newtown High School Class in 1940.

After a brief stint as a telephone operator at Bell of PA, Ms. Donnelly joined the Al Paul Lefton Company in 1941 as Executive Secretary to its eponymous CEO/President and founder. Ms. Donnelly handled contracts and logistics for a number of key clients including RCA and Schmidt’s Beer. The days of live television brought special challenges. On a given day she might serve as engineer and psychologist, prying open a stuck refrigerator door while calming the nerves of the celebrity attempting to demonstrate the appliance. Managing contractual obligations sometimes involved real time emergency schedule shuffling to avoid adjacent scheduling of competing beer vendors’ ads.

The lone Irish woman in the firm at the time, she was known as Mickey. In an early manifestation of “taking it back” she chose to interpret the name as a reference to her love for baseball and Mickey Mantle. She kept it; friends and neighbors were often surprised to hear her called Gertrude .

By 1957 she was growing bored and considering a move to a larger NY agency. Fate intervened when she broke her tooth on a stale Chicklet. She visited a handsome young dentist, a WW II veteran and Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve, Francis Donnelly. They were  married and at 38 she had her first child, Kim; a second, Lynn, followed 6 years later.

She reared her children and completed her Associate’s Degree. She became a teacher’s aide at St. Francis of Assisi. When her beloved Fran died at 60, in 1983, she returned to advertising, this time at the Springfield Press where she coordinated advertising and classifieds. She remained a key resource at the Press for 27 years until her position was finally eliminated as a result of mergers and downsizings.

Forced into retirement at 88 she kept busy with her favorite hobbies. She was a voracious reader and an avid gardener.

She is survived by her daughters Kim (Kurt Gluck) of Piscataway, NJ and Lynn of Springfield, PA, by grandchildren Jonathan and Joshua Gluck and Kristina Brotzman, by her brother Rick (Tory) Wooten, and by numerous nieces and nephews. She was a powerful influence on generations of children, particularly stressing education. To the end her strength and independence was a marvel.

A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi in Springfield on May 29th at 11am. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be directed to the Springfield Township Library, 70 Powell Road, Springfield PA 19064 or to VITAS Community Connection, 225 E. 5th St., Suite 2600, Cincinnati, OH 45202.


Gertrude Louise Wooten Donnelly (1922-2013)