December 6, 2014 |
A summer jobs program for teenagers appears to cut the rate of violent crime, according to a new study by a University of Pennsylvania researcher. And not because the youths were too busy working to break the law. Those who were randomly chosen to get the eight-week positions were arrested for violent offenses 43 percent fewer times than their peers, and most of that difference occurred during the 13 months after the jobs were finished. The findings by Sara B. Heller, an assistant professor of criminology at Penn, are reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
November 21, 2014 |
Given local authorities' secrecy about the violent deaths of New Jersey political fixture John Sheridan and his wife, Joyce, the reported involvement of state investigators is reassuring. Beyond helping determine what happened to the couple - who died Sept. 28 after being found amid a deliberately set fire in their Skillman home - the Attorney General's Office should make information about the crime and the investigation available in accordance with the public's legitimate interest and state law. The Inquirer reported Wednesday that a team of investigators from the Attorney General's Office has been participating in the investigation, which is being led by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.
November 20, 2014 |
From his barbershop at Seventh and Bigler Streets, Darin Capo has seen all the concrete giants rise - the Wells Fargo Center in 1996, Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, Citizens Bank Park in 2004 - and worried how each would affect the neighborhood. When a customer stopped by Tuesday to say a new neighbor, a $425 million casino, had just gotten the go-ahead to move in, Capo was struck with déjà vu. But also with hope - that it would be good for business despite the mixed response from the men who sit in his barber's chair.
November 8, 2014
ISSUE | ROADWORTHY Pothole heroes Last winter was one for the record books. The storms and prolonged cold wreaked havoc on our roads. This long-overdue letter is to thank all the local, county, and state workers who tirelessly worked this summer to repair all the roads. |James T. Dodaro, Furlong, Jamestdodaro@aol.com ISSUE | MUMIA LAW Free speech jailed I find it difficult to understand how the totally unrelated activities of someone imprisoned for years - after being convicted of a serious murder - can perpetuate the crime and cause its victims to "relive that terror over and over again" ("Legislation will help relieve trauma of crime victims," Oct. 24)
November 1, 2014 |
City Council unanimously approved a measure on Thursday that would make it a crime to harm someone because of sexual orientation, gender identity, or disabilities. The proposal was triggered by the Sept. 11 assault on a gay couple in Center City. In that case, police arrested three people but could not charge them with a hate crime because neither state law nor the city code makes it a crime to harm someone because of sexual orientation. The measure approved Thursday, expected to be signed into law by Mayor Nutter, calls for up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for crimes committed against a person because of sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
October 23, 2014 |
Philadelphia could soon have laws that define attacks on gay and disabled people as hate crimes, ban the sale and possession of realistic-looking toy guns, and increase the penalties for selling BB guns to minors. Following a nearly three-hour meeting, City Council's Committee on Public Safety approved three bills and sent them for a vote to the full Council. The hate-crime addition to the City Code, triggered by the Sept. 11 assault on a gay couple in Center City, is expected to be approved by Council, and Mayor Nutter has been sympathetic to issues concerning the LGBT community in the past.
October 22, 2014 |
Philadelphia City Council's Committee on Public Safety will decide Tuesday whether to move forward with a bill that would make assaults on gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered people a hate crime. The legislation, triggered by the Sept. 11 assault on a gay couple in Center City, would add a hate crime chapter to the city code. The code currently regulates ethnic intimidation and institutional vandalism. Several people are expected to testify in support of the bill, including police and advocates.
October 8, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Spurred by the attack on a gay couple last month in Philadelphia, legislation to broaden Pennsylvania's hate crimes law to include sexual orientation took a first step toward becoming law. The House Judiciary Committee, acting with unusual speed, approved the bill Monday by a vote of 19-4, sending it to the House floor with just five days left in the legislative session. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (D., Phila.), urged GOP leaders to bring up the bill for a vote before the session ends next week.
October 3, 2014 |
THE ATTACK on a gay couple in Center City last month spurred the House Democratic Policy Committee to change topics before a hearing at the Kimmel Center yesterday afternoon. "This was originally scheduled to be about nondiscrimination in sports," said state Rep. Brian Sims, D - Phila., whose district encompasses the site of the alleged assault, at 16th and Chancellor streets on Sept. 11. "But when the hate crime happened, we switched it over so we could make it about hate crimes in general," he said.
September 27, 2014 |
More than 300 people gathered at LOVE Park on Thursday to call for an expansion of the state's hate-crimes law to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation. The rally, spurred by the Sept. 11 assault of a gay couple near Rittenhouse Square, drew a slew of local and state leaders, who expressed sympathy for the victims and stressed the need to expand current legislation. State Rep. Brian Sims (D., Phila.) organized the rally. Speakers also drew attention to issues in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including violence against transgender individuals and bullying in schools.