Seems Gil gets around

Yes, at this late hour I sift around the net for things that interest me about Delaware County. Just do a Google search on “Gil Spencer Delaware County” and you”ll get some interesting results.

F. Gilman Spencer

Polk Career Award Winner

F. Gilman Spencer has done much more than preside as editor over major newspapers around the country — he also inspired and encouraged a generation of journalists and raised tabloid journalism to new heights. In his wake, he left a trail of top journalism honors won by the newspapers he edited, having won his own Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing while editor of The Trentonian in 1974. He went on to become editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, from 1975 to 1984, and editor of the New York Daily News, from 1984 to 1989. He served as editor of The Denver Post, from 1989 to 1993 and received a Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Colorado in 1994. This brief history, however, hardly begins to describe the journalist who helped ignite the careers of many reporters, columnists and editorialists and energized news coverage in the cities his newspapers served. Some comments, excerpted from letters by those who worked with him over the years, shed more light on his accomplishments.

“Spencer is a writer’s editor, also an editor’s editor. Much of his career was spent on tabloids, and he was a genius at jumping on local news stories, covering the local sports teams, reaching out to the reader with grab-ya headlines, provocative editorials and terse chiseled prose. But unlike some tabloid editors, he never tried to pass off rumor as fact, and he liked substance and specialized in making it readable. Here’s an example: an obscure University of Pennsylvania scientist won the Nobel Prize. And the [Philadelphia] Daily News served it up to its readers in sports-crazy Philadelphia under this headline: ‘Phillies Fan Wins Nobel.’”

Gene Roberts, former managing editor of The New York Times, former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and now professor of journalism at the University of Maryland.

“The Philadelphia Daily News, where I followed him as Editor, exists today because of Gil. He battled the ownership when it imagined a Joint Operating Agreement that would have driven the News out of business. More importantly, he created a formula — blending serious journalism with provocative opinion and pure fun — that kept readers and talented young journalists coming to the newspaper. All these years later, when the Philadelphia Daily News does something right, I attribute it to Gil.”

Zachary Stalberg, Editor, Philadelphia Daily News

“Gil was the mythic kind of editor who stands behind his people and also prods them to go into the difficult places that enlighten the readers while inevitably creating headaches for management. Gil never dodged the headaches: he also made sure the staff never noticed when he got them.”

Gail Collins, Editorial Page Editor, The New York Times

“In the mid-1980s, Gil led the New York Daily News to something of a golden era. He took over a demoralized paper that had been starved for resources by a distant corporate owner, restored its confidence and built it into the city’s dominant voice. Among the hallmarks were aggressive local coverage, unflinching editorials and an unparalleled stable of columnists.

“A tumultuous and high-energy city room became a Petri dish for talent. The alumni and alumnae include Marilyn Thompson, the Washington Post’s Pulitzer prize-wining projects’ editor; Gail Collins, The New York Times editorial page editor; columnists and commentators Jimmy Breslin and Jack Newfield; and Debbie Krenek, who rose to become editor of the News and now serves as Newsday’s presentation and multi-media editor.”

Arthur Brown, Editorial Page Editor, New York Daily News

“I would walk through fire for Gil Spencer. Hell, I would even cover a zoning board hearing for Gil Spencer. Gil is the kind of editor who inspires reporters and editors, who gets more out of a staff by turning them loose to do their best work.”

Richard Aregood, Editorial Page Editor, The Star Ledger

“If you were romanced by newspapering, then you were drawn to Gil Spencer, for his cocky self-assuredness, his style, his perfect wit…. Spencer was one of the titans of his era and, absolutely, the best tabloid editor of the last 50 years…. He was an editor of great consequence in two of the nation’s most important cities. The newspapers he ran performed with great distinction. And he did all of that in an enchanting manner. Gil Spencer is the stuff of greatnesss and worthy of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

So what’s the “F” stand for?

I Totally Agree with Vito

Re-posted from The Haverford Blog

Vito Corleone

Idiot Unsafe Drivers
« on: Jun 2, 2004, 8:39pm »

I didn’t know what thread this would fit into, so I decided on the “Hall of Shame”

It concerns me that I see numerous situations of very dangerous driving within the township. People blowing stop signs with blatant disregard (even w/kids present on the street) speeding all over the place (I’ve seen vehicles as of late on Darby Rd before the Skatium reaching 50 mph in a 35 zone) drivers ignoring one way streets (as my street is w/kids present)

I know that our police dept is quite busy writing up drivers quite frequently but there is a real need for more aggressive enforcement.

At the rate of being flamed (I really don’t care though, this is the truth) I see quita lotot of “Housewives” driving around in over sized SUV’s and family vans who are on cell phones gabbing away and are completely distracted from what’s going on with the road in front of them (some even have 3 or 4 kids in the car and a dog while still gabbing on the phone!) yet they gab away on the cell phone and are not fully aware of what they are doing behind the wheel.

How about this, anyone else care to get in on the horrible drivers in and around Haverford Twp? There are plenty of them, all accidents waiting to happen.

I can relate to the Soccer Moms barreling down the road gabbing on their “cell phones”. As an electrician based in Havertown, (Bellemead AveToto be exact)I get so pig biting mad at these women. Furthermore, just try to pull into the WAWA at Darby & Manoa Rds. They cut in front of you, are rude, and best of all they think their hot shit and that they have a bigger vehicle than you attitude. Basically what I’m saying is Women driving SUV’s should be BANNED from the road. Give em’ a Ford Taurus or something!

In Defence of the ladies, I came across this:

Today, in two or three minutes of your reading time, we will cover the resentment and rage of soccer-mom drivers; the resentment between stay-at-home moms and moms who work outside the home; the resentment of divorced moms; the resentment of small-car drivers against SUV drivers; and we will consider the advice of one woman reader, who told me to get the book, “The Bitch in the House,” and get a clue.

This all started last week when I wrote about a driving experience that is more and more common: Meeting up with a soccer mom, or maybe it’s a baseball or basketball mom, who’s driving that minivan or 2 and a half ton SUV.

I told about having one such mom honk her horn at me at a four-way intersection stop because I hadn’t moved fast enough. When the road changed from one to two lanes, she gunned it and screeched past me. A few blocks later I saw the very important destination. She was going shopping at a supermarket.

What’s the deal? Is a one-second delay such a big thing? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that between 1975 and 1998, the number of women in fatal crashes increased by 60 percent. It’s true that the number of women drivers went up, but a 60 percent increase in fatal crashes? And this while the number of men in fatal crashes dropped 11 percent.

Here is Laurie Wick, a Bellevue mom whose soccer-driving days are over now that her daughter is in college. Want some reasons why that soccer mom is honking her horn?

“While I don’t condone self-indulgent, immature, angry behavior, I believe these women are stressed to the max. A typical day is non-stop rush-rush-rush until they collapse into bed totally exhausted,” Laurie told me. “Why aren’t the dads doing more of the schlepping kids to their various after-school and evening classes and sports? Or picking up more of the load of running a household, like constant housecleaning, laundry, shopping, cooking?”

Which brings us to that book, “The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage,” (William Morrow & Co., 2002).

Editor Cathi Hanauer put it together after late-night Internet chats with other women who’d tell her things like, “I’m fine all day at work, but as soon as I get home, I’m a horror.” I’m sure you guys will be rushing to order that book on, because guys love reading about how women really feel.

A divorced mom e-mailed this: “Next time you write about soccer moms and road rage, write about their kids being orphans … victims of divorce … ”

Here is Ann Smith of Graham, another former soccer mom, divorced, who has an extended family at home. She remembers what it was like “trying to survive on my meager salary, always one step ahead of the bill collectors.”

Aggressive driver? Ann said that’s her. Now she’s helping raise her grandkids. “With football practice, missed buses, picking up and dropping off friends, and grocery stops, I find myself always in a hurry. So when I get behind some guy in his pick-up truck, going the speed limit, with nowhere to go except to work, I find myself passing him at the first opportunity!” she said. “The most irritating are guys in the morning, driving like they have all day to get there.”

You know, I’ve met Ann, and she’s a very nice, seemingly calm woman. I also happen to own an old pick-up, and I do drive the speed limit, so I’m planning to get to know Ann’s driving schedule and stay out of her way.

Let’s continue with our resentment list.

Here’s a Mill Creek woman reader with her explanation about the soccer mom’s hectic schedule, and the ensuing road rage:

“I also believe that Society’s Working Moms put pressure on the Stay At Home Mom to prove that she’s actually ‘doing something’ during the day and not just sitting around watching soap operas and eating bonbons.

“Thumb your noses at these Working Moms! They’re just jealous that they’ve chosen not to do the same because they want more expensive clothes and a ‘better’ lifestyle. Don’t burden us with your guilt!”

Oh, the resentment, the resentment.

“You really don’t get it, do you?” a mom/software developer asked me. It’s all about power trips, she said, and by printing comments from SUV owners, “you, my friend, help fuel it by providing these arrogant snobs with an arena in which to show off.”

She had a few more things on her mind about SUV women drivers: “Nevermind that these moms are busy, even though most of them are elite members of that perfect ‘stay-at-home’ group. We who drive modest cars and actually have a job AND kids (so I guess I have two full-time jobs, uh?) are a whole lot busier, but we somehow manage to go about our busy day without mowing down everyone else on the road.”

I started thinking that maybe I should start taking the bus everywhere. Then I heard from a bus driver. He told me about merging onto the freeway when a woman in her SUV accelerated so the bus wouldn’t get in front of her.

“This woman went totally out of control by swerving from lane to lane, flipping me off, and this from a woman who appeared in her 30s,” the driver said.

So, that’s today’s traffic report, which concludes with this question for you drivers, men and women:

What’s wrong with a little peace, love and understanding? On the highways, plenty, I guess.

And it’s only Monday!

More on Toomey

So, Still collecting money for an election that has been a few months old? You lost so take down the donation page…

Federal election law requires political committees to use best efforts to report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. An individual may not contribute more than a total of $2000 per election to the committee. Federal law prohibits contributions to the committee from the general treasury funds of a corporation, labor organizations or national banks (including corporate or other business entity credit cards), from any person contributing another’s funds, from a Federal government contractor, or from a foreign national who lacks permanent resident status. Contributions are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes.

What to do about this

Last week (Sunday 06/14/2004)I bought an AFX SEMI on ebay. I paid via paypal and waited for it. After 2 days I e mailed the seller (supes1) about shipping it. No reply. E mailed 4 more times, no answer. Then I receive an e mail about a plate and feedback, (Or so in my delusional state of mind I think I did)Now realize that it was a sent e mail, one that I posted months ago.

So I reply with my yahoo e mail account in a nasty way.

See Below.

First of all, I am, not “Lisa”. Second of all, I never
received my item “The AFX Semi” that I fucking paid
you for 7 days ago. Now, lemme tell you something
about me. I have a popular web site that deals with
dead beat rip offs.. Want to join the list?

Either respond to this e mail and ship me what I paid
for or I’ll make your name EBAY Id mud. Piss me off
enough, and I’ll visit you in person.


Where the fuck is MY positive feedback? i paid your
sorry ass 16 minutes after the auction ended….

Your a CON artist.
YOU have 24 hours to make good or your feedback will
point to my web site with a lengthy slamming of you
with the ability of others joining in.


Lisa, Could you provide some positive feedback for me?
I hope the plate was what you expected.

Happy Holidays 🙂
Fran Ward
ebay id: antiques_and_other_stuff

Ok. now me thinking that I just e mailed the seller who in my mind ripped me off a good nasty letter, I receive this e mail:



Sent via the KillerWebMail system at

Now, wondering if I really screwed up or this is also a con I checked out the mail headers and it seemed to come from the Lewes Police Dept. (BTW, I love the ferry.) So, being that I have egg on my face and do not have long distance calling and also seemed to be a little intimaded myself by the letter I sent this:

Patrolman Schiazza, This was a misunderstanding. I’ll
explain. I bought an AFX SEMI through ebay over a week
ago. Paid in Full through paypal. I repetedly e mailed
the seller to ship me the item and NEVER got a reply.
Then I receive this email out of the blue about a
plate. I belived that was the one
who ripped me off. I was wrong. Tell her that I am
sorry for the confusion.

Apparently I had either sold her or she bought
something off of me on and I got her e mail
address confused with the con artist. I am not in the
business being mean to people, I hope she understands

Fran Ward

Well I sent it and Yahoo replied with an “Undeliverable” reply. So now what? Will the jackboots come crashing through my door and arrest me on being stupid? Do I call this guy from work? Ignore him? The person I sent the e mail to by misteak bought a royal copenhagen plate off of me called “The Stag”. back in December of 03.

Comments about this are more than welcome..

An asteroid is going to hit the Earth

I here one is coming on June 27th.

Will an asteroid hit the Earth?

A number of recent movies have been about this subject. It is important to remember that they are just movies and often times do not represent good or true science. Sometimes, however, there is a tiny seed of truth behind a movie, although it may be hard to tell what is true and what is fiction. This is the case for the movies about asteroids hitting the Earth.

Let us say right away that at this moment, we know of nothing currently on a collision course with Earth. Last year, it was announced in the news that an asteroid was on a collision course with Earth and would hit in the year 2028. We now know that the calculations were in error and that asteroid will miss the Earth completely. You can read more about this at

Keep in mind that the Earth has been hit before by asteroids and will be again someday. We don’t know when, but we do know it is not in the immediate future.

Why are the chances of us being hit small?
Our solar system is very big compared to the size of the Earth, which means that the chance that the Earth will be hit by another solar system object such as an asteroid is very small. Once in awhile, it happens. But not very often.

Think about this, most of the asteroids in our solar system are located in the asteroid belt. Yet we have been able to send spacecraft such as Voyager I and II, as well as others, through this belt without any problems. Why? There is more “empty space” in the belt than asteroids!

How often do we expect the Earth to be hit?
The asteroids capable of causing a global disaster if they hit the Earth are extremely rare. They probably would need to be about a kilometer or more in diameter. Such bodies impact the Earth only once every 100,000 years on average. Other objects of a similar size, such as comets, impact even less frequently, perhaps once every 500,000 years or so.

If we discover an object that will collide with Earth’s, what could be done about it?
If astronomers find such an object, there would be plenty of time to track it, measure its orbit precisely, and plan a system for deflecting it from its current orbital path. There would be no great hurry and no great panic. It would be a project for all the world’s nations to take part in. Because we will have found it long before it actually intersects the Earth’s orbit, it probably would take only a small push (perhaps from chemical rockets we land on the surface of the asteroid) to divert it from a threatening path.

Who is watching the skies?
There are agencies, NASA among them, which realize that although the Earth is in no immediate danger, an asteroid impact is something that will pose a problem sometime in the future. It is in the world’s best interest not to ignore this, but to be watchful in ….