July 21, 2016 |
Jerry Balter, 94, of Philadelphia, a public interest lawyer who represented poor and minority communities seeking redress from environmental pollution, died of heart failure Saturday, July 16, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Mr. Balter became a lawyer at age 55, relatively late in life, after a career as an industrial engineer in Rochester, N.Y., designing supermarkets. While there, he also became interested in community activism. From that experience, he said, he learned that lawyers skilled at arguing cases in court were often clueless when it came to talking with citizen activists.
June 10, 2016
By Forrest J. Remick Nuclear power has been a major achievement of American technology. It has been used, with extraordinary results, to boost productivity and improve the quality of life. Despite this success, the U.S. fleet of nuclear power plants has been shrinking during the past four years due to competition from cheap natural gas and subsidized wind and solar power. Since 2012, 11 nuclear plants around the country have either been shut down or scheduled to be prematurely retired within the next few years.
April 24, 2016 |
Just how clean - or dirty - is the air we're breathing? For 17 years, the American Lung Association has been issuing State of the Air, an annual report card on the air of the nation's major metropolitan areas. It focuses on two common pollutants: ozone and particulate matter. The latest report, based on air monitor readings and other data from 2012 through 2014, was released Thursday. The news for our region - including Southeastern Pennsylvania and portions of central and South Jersey - was both good and bad. In short, the air quality is improving, but it's still not good enough.
January 3, 2016
Asthma rates among U.S. children have quieted down after a decades-long increase, a government study found, and researchers are trying to pinpoint reasons that would explain the trend. A possible plateau in childhood obesity rates and declines in air pollution are among factors that may have helped lower cases in kids, the 2001-13 study suggests. Overall, average asthma rates among those ages 17 and younger increased slightly, then leveled off and declined by the study's end, when 8.3 percent of children were affected.
December 16, 2015
CHINA Courthouse thugs are a smiley bunch The tough guys wore smiley face stickers, but they weren't there to spread good cheer. Scenes of pushing, shouting, and shoving outside a Beijing courthouse this week were orchestrated by plainclothes security officers identified by a sticker familiar around the world - the yellow decal identified since the 1970s with the slogan "Have a Nice Day. " Their attempts to intimidate journalists, foreign diplomats,...
September 9, 2015
Implement EPA plan The Heritage Foundation's Nicolas Loris asks Congress and state officials to reject the EPA's recently released regulations to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants because they would adversely impact the poor and minorities ("Low-income most harmed by power plan," Aug. 27). To the contrary, Pennsylvania and other states must quickly implement President Obama's Clean Power Plan to protect the most vulnerable members of society. According to scientists, we need to keep Earth from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
July 15, 2015
ISSUE | PUBLIC ART Casino project should be community-based It is an interesting idea that SugarHouse Casino would seek permission from the Art Commission to use the filmmaking talents of Sam Katz to satisfy the casino's public art requirement ("SugarHouse seeking a new spin on public art," July 2). Certainly the accomplishments of Katz's company in making documentaries connected to our region makes it a great choice if this endeavor moves forward. However, maybe a daily film on the property crime in Fishtown and Northern Liberties would have more societal benefits.
July 2, 2015 |
Sometimes to get people to listen, some would say, you need a mother's touch. And a child's smile doesn't hurt, either. Trisha Sheehan knows this. On a sunny day last month, Sheehan arrived at a Paulsboro park by the Delaware River with her 5-year-old son, Liam, as environmentalists gathered to lambaste the state's proposed contamination settlement with ExxonMobil Corp. The boy offered a quiet hello from his mother's arms before she spoke against the deal. "It's their future planet that we need to be protecting," Sheehan, 35, said recently at her Wenonah home, where Liam ran about in a red shirt bearing the name of Moms Clean Air Force.
April 14, 2015 |
NICOLE JONIEC'S biggest regret, five years after moving into a century-old rowhouse in South Philadelphia with her husband and their two cats, is that she didn't zoom out a little more when she had checked out her new address on Google Maps. Joniec, 37, who works at the Free Library, said she now feels "silly" that she didn't realize how close they would live to the ancient, sprawling refinery on the banks of the Schuylkill, then owned by Sunoco and which today - with a new owner, Philadelphia Energy Solutions - is booming with crude oil fracked in North Dakota.