March 17, 2015
ELECTING JUDGES has been a bad idea for a long time. Now, it is getting to be ridiculous. Voters going to the polls on May 19 to vote for mayor will first have to make their way through a long roster of state and local judicial candidates for everything from the state Supreme Court to Philadelphia's Municipal Court. As of yesterday, there were 10 candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the three state appellate courts - Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth. There were 57 candidates running for the Democratic nomination for 12 vacancies on Common Pleas Court, in Philadelphia, which handles major civil and all felony cases.
March 6, 2015 |
Could it be Happy Valley is happy again? Ever since the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal roiled Pennsylvania State University, dozens of candidates have vied each year for the three open alumni seats on its board of trustees. A record 80 or so candidates ran in spring 2012, a few months after Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, was indicted in the abuse of young boys, and President Graham B. Spanier and football coach Joe Paterno were ousted. This year is different.
March 3, 2015 |
With their candidates picked and their rank and file energized, Montgomery County Republicans are preparing to mount their biggest electoral battle since 2011. The odds remain stacked against them. "Voters should get their popcorn and beverage of choice ready because it's going to be a barn burner of a campaign," party chairman Mike Vereb pledged. The party's convention last week was more upbeat than it has been in years, with little mention of the infighting, scandals, and electoral losses that have plagued county Republicans.
January 29, 2015
SHOULD the School Reform Commission be dissolved in favor of an elected school board? Newly elected Gov. Wolf supports the idea. So does a group of vocal education activists in the city. Some mayoral candidates are on board with the idea. The teachers union would vastly prefer an elected board to the governance system we have now - especially after the School Reform Commission's recent attempt to cancel union contracts, a move blocked last week by Commonwealth Court. Despite support from some quarters, it's not a sure thing.
January 28, 2015 |
Despite the daunting weather forecast, voters in the Sterling Regional and Paulsboro School Districts will cast ballots on school construction projects Tuesday. The Sterling question calls for improvements to Sterling High School, including roof replacement, heating and air-conditioning replacement, new security doors, and improvements to athletic and performing arts facilities. The total project cost is $10,423,215 and it would be eligible for $4,578,678 from the state. In Magnolia, the owner of a home assessed at the average of $147,021 would see a $63.88 tax increase.
January 18, 2015 |
They might not like Yuengling. But the Teamsters evidently are drunk in love with Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. A day after State Rep. Mike Vereb (R., Montgomery) said that Wolf's inauguration planners were excluding Yuengling, the Pottsville-based brew, from his inaugural celebration, the leader of Teamsters Local 830 sent out a news release praising the incoming governor - and teeing off on the brewery's president, Richard Yuengling Jr., whom the union has long described as "anti-worker.
December 15, 2014 |
While Arab countries are struggling to redefine themselves amid violence, Israel is poised to wrestle with its own identity crisis - at the polls. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to call an early ballot in March has precipitated a most unusual election season, with stark implications not only for Israelis, but also for the Middle East and the United States. Under Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister since its first, David Ben-Gurion, this basically centrist country has drifted steadily rightward.
December 9, 2014 |
THE DAY AFTER his election Saturday as president of the Philadelphia NAACP branch, Minister Rodney Muhammad said that one of his first goals would be "the healing of our organization. " He said yesterday that he plans to meet with the new board of officers after he is sworn in to office next month to determine how to invigorate the branch, which has been divided by feuds over its finances. Before he can heal the branch, however, Muhammad, head of Mosque No. 12 in North Philadelphia, first may have to face formal challenges to the election.
November 20, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Gov.-elect Tom Wolf filled out his transition steering committee Tuesday, adding executives and officials from academia, law, nonprofits, and the government. "I look forward to working with these individuals to address the steep fiscal and economic challenges ahead," he said in a statement. Joining the team are Philadelphia lawyer Shanin Specter - son of the late Sen. Arlen Specter - as well as Nilda Iris Ruiz, president and chief executive officer of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, and Joseph Meade, government affairs director for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Other newly named members include Neal Bisno, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state's largest union of nurses and health-care workers; David Barasch, former U.S. attorney in Harrisburg and Pennsylvania's consumer advocate in the 1980s; Aradhna Oliphant, president and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.; Mark Nordenberg, longtime chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh; State Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D., Luzerne)
November 13, 2014 |
Newly elected U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross plans to make jobs and the economy his priority, he said Wednesday, including working to extend long-term unemployment benefits. House Republicans did not vote on an extension of benefits this year, but in a call with reporters, Norcross said the measure was essential for residents of New Jersey and other states. "There are many, many people who need that lifeline," he said. Norcross, a Camden County Democrat, last week defeated Republican former Eagles player Garry Cobb for the First Congressional District seat with 57 percent of the vote.