July 31, 2013 |
The Philadelphia region is home to some well-respected municipal-bond-investing experts, among them David Kotok, chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors in Vineland, N.J., and Tom Kozlik, of Janney Montgomery Scott in Center City. We checked in with them to find out the skinny on investing in munis right now, after Detroit's bankruptcy filing sounded a wake-up call across the market. In recent days, Kotok has been advancing a war of words with the Cassandra of muni bonds, Meredith Whitney, who famously appeared on 60 Minutes in 2010 predicting an avalanche of bankruptcies across American cities.
July 6, 2013
A dramatic drop in Philadelphia's homicide rate for the first half of the year is a welcome sign that a comprehensive strategy using all three legs of the local criminal justice system is working. That doesn't mean the police, courts, and prosecutors can rest on their laurels. Rather, they must continue their good work to ensure that the success so far isn't short-lived. For the first six months of the year, there have been 115 homicides, a 38 percent drop from the same period last year and the lowest midyear total in nearly half a century.
August 3, 2012 |
Pennsylvania State University officials should have blown the whistle on former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's child sexual assaults, with or without the mandate of a federal law that requires reporting any serious crime that occurs on a college campus. Had school administrators put a higher priority on complying with the Clery Act, however, they likely wouldn't be in trouble now for their gross mishandling of the Sandusky allegations. Indeed, the scathing report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that brought down legendary coach Joe Paterno pointed to shortcomings in the university's compliance with the federal law as "a contributing factor" in failing to unmask Sandusky, who was convicted in June by a Centre County Court jury of sexually assaulting 10 boys.
April 2, 2012 |
The 39-year-old man shot to death in Chester on Thursday was the city's fifth homicide victim of 2012, and another sign that Delaware County's most beleaguered community can be a dangerous place. "Your chances of being a victim of violence while living in Chester are astronomically higher than if you live in Philadelphia," said Andrew Schiller, founder of Location Inc., a data-mining firm that markets to real estate companies and that last month listed Chester as the country's second-most dangerous city.
March 29, 2012 |
NEGOTIATORS for SEPTA and transit police are to meet for a second straight day of bargaining Thursday, after three hours of talks Wednesday. The strike by 219 transit police enters its eighth day Thursday. Meanwhile, as negotiators met privately at the Ballard Spahr law firm that assists SEPTA in labor talks, the transit agency and its police traded accusations over the strike's effect on public safety. SEPTA challenged claims by the striking cops that crimes have increased at SEPTA stations and vehicles during the strike.
September 20, 2011 |
Despite a grinding recession, reported crime in the United States continues to fall, the FBI said Monday. Violent crime was down 6 percent in 2010 - the fourth consecutive yearly decline, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. Property crime dropped for the eighth year in a row, down 2.7 percent in 2010. In Pennsylvania, violent crime fell 3 percent and property crime ticked down 0.5 percent. New Jersey and Delaware reported small drops in violent crime, but increases in property crime.
June 14, 2011
ACCORDING to crime statistics, there have been more than 128,000 murders in the U.S. since the Iraq war began in 2003. That's an average of more than 16,000 a year. In that same period, the number of our soldiers killed in Iraq: 4,454. (By comparison, the number of service members killed in the six-month naval and ground fighting during World War II at Guadalcanal - 7,100 - in one battle.) I understand that every life is precious, but when men and women voluntarily raise their hand and swear to do whatever it takes to protect this country, including dying, why does that relatively small number of deaths get more attention than the number of people whose lives were taken from them right in front of our eyes?
May 12, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - It was a dramatic scene, even for Congress: Three Peace Corps volunteers raped while serving overseas, plus the mother of a fourth who was murdered in Benin, complaining to lawmakers about one of the government's most revered agencies. Their theme was similar: The Peace Corps, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, did little to train its workers about how to avoid or deal with violent attacks. And it reacted insensitively and unhelpfully in the aftermath of the crimes, they said.
June 12, 2010 |
As a teen, Craig R. McCoy read I.F. Stone's Weekly, a little publication acclaimed for challenging the power of government. McCoy's father, a political science professor, subscribed to Stone's muckraking newsletter to find out the truth behind the official version. Recently, McCoy, now an investigative reporter at The Inquirer, got a call from Robert H. Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, informing him that he had been awarded the 2010 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence.