December 17, 2014 |
The hostage crisis at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney, Australia, unfolded in a way impossible a decade ago. Much of it played out on Facebook and text messaging (already there as of 2004), and on YouTube, Twitter, and other social media as yet unborn in 2004. To be a hostage-taker or hostage as of 2014, it seems, you need good social-media skills. "There's an unprecedented degree of immediacy to such crises now," says Lawrence Husick, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and codirector for the Center for the Study of Terrorism.
December 4, 2014
I REALLY HAD NO intention of writing about this ever again. I'd said most of what I needed to say in print, on Facebook, on the radio and on television, and was getting tired of going around in circles about the phrase "statute of limitations. " There were other things to think about during my birthday week, like how many Starbucks gift cards I was likely to get and whether actually asking for a bottle of Sambuca with a bow on it was declasse. But then, someone said something that, like a red flag in the face of a bespectacled 5-foot-1-inch bull, made the steam flow.
December 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - In a case that could further define the limits of free speech online, the Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in the appeal by an Allentown man who claimed First Amendment protection following his arrest for threatening on Facebook to kill his wife and an FBI agent. A U.S. District Court jury sitting in Philadelphia convicted Anthony Elonis in 2011 of violating a federal law barring threats over the Internet, mail, or telecommunications systems. Elonis claimed that his posts were a means of self-expression and that he was entitled to the same license employed by rap musicians using violent images in their recordings.
October 6, 2014 |
Is Albert Whitehead a compulsive critic seeking revenge against Sundance Vacations for an old slight, a man who deserves to be summoned repeatedly to Luzerne County for legal proceedings, have his e-mail records subpoenaed, and pay $12,991 toward Sundance's legal costs to shut him up - or go to jail if he can't? Or is Whitehead a selfless whistle-blower suffering because he can't afford to counter Sundance's lawyers - a man unfairly in the crosshairs of the Wilkes-Barre lodging-package marketer, which he says uses legal loopholes to lock unwitting customers into costly, long-term contracts?
October 6, 2014 |
Oh, golly, yes, social media have changed the face of retirement. " So says Donna Held, 61, of Salisbury Township. She is retired and a big proponent of social media. Like Held, an increasing proportion of retired people use social media for connection, support, education, even business (call it "retirement lite"). "It sure has changed retirement," says Howard Levin, 85, of Cherry Hill. "Of course, it can become addictive - not a big problem if you're retired. " For more and more seniors it offers, in the words of Judy Shepps Battle, 71, of Kendall Park, N.J., "an experience that just wasn't there before.
September 22, 2014 |
It is the biggest municipal project ever in Haverford Township, and in a town with a history of contentious politics, it already has broken new ground - in acrimony. A $23.5 million plan approved last week calls for constructing a new municipal building and police station and renovating or rebuilding the library. Officials in the Delaware County township say it is long overdue. But the project, which is expected to increase real estate taxes by more than 5 percent, or about $55 per household, has also been a source of heated debate.
August 24, 2014 |
STONE HARBOR - Wawa Flo is on a break. A cig break, is what the @WawaFlo Twitter feed would say. That's not actually Flo's Twitter feed, but one run by her fans. Of which there are many. They also call her Florence of Wawa. She's worked at the Stone Harbor Wawa for 25 years with a growly voice, a default phrase of "Oh, OK," and a not overly chipper friendliness spun over decades. It's a Wawa with a wide clientele: borough workers, celebrities, year-round skateboard rats, and that old Stone Harbor summer mansion standby - the kids sent from their parents' big Shore house to get dinner at the Wawa.
July 10, 2014
THE HEARTBREAKING and alarming news that one in five high school students is involved with either DHS or the juvenile justice system should be a wake-up call for systemic change. Even though we should never abandon these students or give up hope, the intervention that has the best chance of saving them must happen as early as possible. Blaming their dysfunctional homes as an excuse not to fund early intervention programs only exacerbates the problem. Meanwhile, many teachers apply for positions in urban schools at all levels for the purpose of making a difference.
July 8, 2014
WHEN I READ the article about Mrs. Krewson it made me sick. These two uniformed officers failed to take action because they didn't have a police radio. I'm sure both of them had cellphones. They probably were in court getting paid time and a half. They should be identified and disciplined for neglect of duty and cowardice. They put Krewson in danger. As for Lt. Sanford saying it was wise for the officers not to confront the suspectm, what's wrong with him? Somebody should tell him what real cops do. I recently retired from the Police Department after 44 years spending my last 28 years in homicide.
July 6, 2014 |
There's a Glee -focused twerp out there who likes to hack into Facebook pages of Glee stars and cause havoc. Friday morning, Lea Michele seemingly announced she was with child . . . but later, her rep said no, she's unpreg, she got hacked. Thursday it was Chris Colfer 's turn, with his Facebook page telling the world he was fired from Glee for personal reasons. Lies. Overeating on the Fourth A SideShow belch goes out to Joey "Jaws" Chestnut , winner of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island.