January 26, 1988 |
Wedged among the stone-faced homes of suburban Wynnewood, there is a secret garden where a rooster still rules the barnyard and old-fashioned boxwood frames the perennial beds. This is the Toland family farm, where three generations of Tolands continue to homestead and where, as recently as a decade ago, cows grazed in the open pasture. "Not that many places around here, or anywhere, have stayed the same this long," said Polly Toland, who lives next door to her daughter and her daughter's family in a home that backs onto the four-acre tract.
February 5, 1996 |
He just turned 82. He has served in Pennsylvania's Senate longer than anyone else in the state's 314-year history. And now he's running for another four-year term. State Sen. Clarence D. Bell, a Republican representing parts of Chester and Delaware Counties, has clearly mastered the art of political survival. The key, he says, is to avoid fights you can't win. In his words: "I've learned not to go around kicking iron dogs with open-toed shoes. " That applies to the big issues such as abortion and school choice - he says he seeks to learn his constituents' wishes, and then votes their way - and it applies to the little things in life.
March 8, 1996 |
On International Women's Day, my thoughts turn to a little girl named Eggy who lives halfway around the world, smack on the equator. Eggy was born in 1988 during one of my anthropological trips to West Sumatra, Indonesia. She was named after me (without the P) soon after I left to return home - a way of keeping me there, her mother explained. Six years later, when Eggy went to school and needed a more formal name, she was renamed Peggi Sandi. I was flattered and honored, glad for the misspelling because it made Eggy both unique yet part of me. Eggy is a member of the Minangkabau ethnic group, among the most populous in Indonesia.
February 23, 1987 |
It started about four years ago with a little wooden birdhouse. Today Jesse Sturgis' front yard, near 42nd Street and Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, is a gallery of the gaudy, a place where the cheap and the discarded have found a new home and a new purpose. Either suspended from or set upon more than a dozen spindly poles - many 6 to 8 feet high - Sturgis has assembled a garden of sunflower-shaped windmills, a plastic menagerie of brightly colored birds, a collection of toy cars, a plastic shark, a disembodied plastic hand and a string of home-grown gourds hollowed out and awaiting some urban flock seeking a nest.
June 20, 1991 |
A raid at a Chester County mobile home netted six ounces of cocaine and 10 roosters believed to be used in cockfights, according to state police at the Avondale barracks. Evangelina Garcia and Carlos Santos Torres, both 37, were arrested at the home on the east side of Route 796 in the Kelton section of Penn Township at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The pair, charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, and conspiracy, were arraigned before District Justice D. Richard Muth in West Chester and were sent to Chester County Prison after failing to post $150,000 cash bail each.
February 12, 1993 |
Forty-eight cockfighting roosters will lose their lives if their owners do not step forward to claim them within the next 20 days. Vineland Municipal Judge John Kaspar ruled yesterday that the birds were abandoned Saturday night when police raided a cockfight in progress. Kaspar said that animal-welfare officials had the right to euthanize the birds if the owners did not claim them by March 3. Seven men were arrested and 67 others are being issued summonses for betting on fighting cocks in the basement of the rural Vineland residence of Benjamin Cardona, 43. Cardona and the 73 other men were charged with gambling and cruelty to animals, police said.
April 1, 1991 |
Owners of animals seized by police or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are entitled to a hearing before their pets are destroyed, the state Superior Court has ruled. The court said that 23 roosters seized as fighting cocks in 1987 should not have been destroyed for humane purposes until the owner was permitted to challenge "the necessity of the destruction. " Once a pet is destroyed, Judge Frank J. Montemuro said in an opinion handed down last week, filing a civil suit in protest wouldn't mean much to the owner.
May 20, 1986 |
Inside the house, a bloodstained fighting pit lay unassembled on the floor. In the basement was an "isolation" room for pre-fight training. There were treadmills, scales, drugs and detailed training and performance reports. Outside, each one chained to a round concrete slab, were 11 pit bull terriers, most with scars on their heads and bodies. Cages containing 40 fighting cocks were scattered in the 10 acres of woods. Several dead roosters were also found. Police and animal-cruelty agents in Bucks County say that was the scene Saturday night during a raid at the home of Edward M. Stevenson, who is suspected of running illegal cock and dog fights at his house on Farm School Lane in Bedminster Township.
July 26, 1994 |
Thirty-three cock fighting birds were confiscated Sunday night and later destroyed after enforcement officers from the New Jersey SPCA raided a North Camden home and arrested the man who trained the birds. Rafael Bettecourt, 61, of the 900 block of North 20th Street, was taken into custody by SPCA officials and by investigators from the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, who served a search warrant on the home. The arrest is just "the tip of the iceberg," according to an SPCA spokesman, Lt. Sy Goldberg.
September 11, 2007 |
Seagulls are common on the Delaware River, but the untimely deaths of 189 of them 18 months ago formed the basis yesterday for a most uncommon prosecution. Appearing before Municipal Court Judge Deborah Shelton Griffin for a summary trial, Daniel Gallagher, 50, admitted that he drove into a flock of seagulls at the Packer Marine Terminal on the night of Feb. 18, 2006. But, describing a scene seemingly out of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, he asserted it was an accident. Gallagher took the stand in his own defense after Assistant District Attorney Bill James mounted a prosecution that included three dozen photographs, a videotape, and a witness list that included city, state and federal officials and a self-taught seagull expert.