February 7, 2013
GOV. CORBETT presented his proposed budget to the Legislature on Tuesday and boasted that he was making an "historic investment" in public education. The only thing that may be historic is how disingenuous this claim is. The governor's budget calls for a 1.7 percent increase in the state's $5.4 billion basic subsidy to education, raising it by $90 million statewide. Philadelphia's share would be $16.2 million. To put that in perspective, consider the recent past. In his first budget as governor in 2011, Corbett proposed cutting higher education by 54 percent.
April 19, 2012 |
On May 10, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant welcomed more than 180,000 visitors to the opening day ceremonies of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. Grant pulled a lever of the gigantic new Corliss engine, which powered the 800 other machines at the exposition. With the first hiss of steam, the crowd shouted and threw their hats into the air; guns roared, and church bells pealed. The fair was officially opened, and Philadelphia had secured its place as the "Workshop of the World.
August 22, 2010 |
Last weekend, I bet my husband that Philadelphia Housing Authority czar Carl Greene would resign by Friday. Stories of his personal financial failings, I predicted, signaled the beginning of his end. My timing is off - as of this moment, Greene remains on vacation from his $306,370 job at the state-chartered, federally funded public housing agency - but at least I'm out only $10. PHA employees were relieved of far more, if tales of weekly payroll deductions...
August 4, 2010 |
A study released yesterday reveals that the city is on the hook for an additional $258 million in pension costs due to the expense of the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan. That's no chump change. Now, the $258 million figure - roughly $22 million per year - has a lot of strings attached to it. It's an estimate, it's spread out over 30 years, and even if the city had it, much of the money would likely go to prop up the failing pension fund. But that doesn't mean we can't dream about how we want to spend it. So here goes: These are the Daily News ' best ideas on how we'd spend $258 million, if we should ever be so lucky.
February 1, 2010
HOW STUPID IS Bryant McKinnie? By now, everyone knows the Vikings offensive tackle didn't play in last night's Pro Bowl because the league threw him off the NFC team for three unexcused absences at practices. McKinnie, depending on who you listen to, said he didn't practice because he had the flu, or because he was too sore. It was soon discovered, however, the former Woodbury (N.J.) High star is a nit-twit. He couldn't practice during the day, but - according to his Twitter account (bigmacvikings)
July 21, 2009 |
I sure wish the Honorable Ronald J. Buckwalter had presided over the trial of my client, former Philadelphia City Treasurer Corey Kemp. As it was, despite my best efforts, another federal judge sentenced my client to a decade in prison for what can fairly be characterized as chump-change chicanery. In return for the likes of a free deck on his house and Super Bowl tickets - that's right, Super Bowl tickets - Corey has become a 10-year guest of the taxpayers. In contrast, Judge Buckwalter recently sentenced former State Sen. Vince Fumo to 55 months in prison for his conviction on 137 counts of fraud, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, and related offenses.
April 21, 2009
WITH billions of dollars being tossed around like so much spare change, it's time for somebody to suggest a real stimulus package that could change the face of America. Change was the dominant theme last year - yet we now seem to be getting a lot more of the same. Americans want change because that's what has always made America the place to be - all those people who came here in the last 100 years and changed their lives, then changed the world. So what would real change look like?
August 22, 2007
FIRST, LET me say that Michael Vick is an amazing talent when it comes to football. But I feel sick in my stomach to think of how those animals were treated. I am an animal lover, especially dogs. I grew up with a dog, got my first dog, Midnight, a black lab, when I was first married. I had 15 wonderful years with that dog. When we lost her due to her age and illness, it was like losing a child. The hole in my heart has never fully healed, and I don't suspect it will anytime soon.
May 13, 2004
IS THERE any reason that the Daily News is not covering the U.N. Oil for Food program scandal where Kofi Annan and the "sacred" U.N., France, Germany and Russia got billions of dollars in kickbacks from Saddam Hussein that was for feeding the people of Iraq? Is it to perpetuate the myth that George Bush alienated the whole world in his war on terrorism - even though those countries that strongly opposed it weren't doing it for humanitarian reasons? They opposed it because they were taking money that was supposed to help poor and starving Iraqis while Saddam was building dozens of palaces.
January 23, 2004 |
Time travel is tricky business. If you go back a decade or so - let's not even think about hundreds of years - and tinker ever so slightly with the fabric of events, the course of human history can change. Say you return to 1980s L.A. to leave that coffee-shop waitress you had a crush on a $50 tip, instead of the chump change you'd originally given her. Well, she could decide to run across the street on her break to buy a blouse at the very moment that the talent agent who was set to discover her enters the eatery.