April 21, 2016
I HAD TO RESPOND to Stu Bykofsky's column of April 15 the city's Deferred Retirement Option Program, or DROP. I have been a city employee for 26 years. I am so tired of you columnists writing one-sided articles. You want City Council to end DROP for everyone except police officers and firefighters? Why? They don't collect Social Security because they don't pay into Social Security. You didn't mention that in your article. You also did not mention that the unionized employees who utilize the DROP program have never returned to city employment.
April 10, 2016 |
WHEN WE at Pet Connection say "fat cats," we're not talking Wall Street bankers. The percentage of cats considered to be overweight (10 to 19 percent greater than ideal weight) or obese (20 percent or greater than ideal body weight) has reached a whopping 58 percent, according to a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. That makes excess weight the No. 1 nutritional disorder in cats. Carrying too many pounds is linked to a number of feline health problems. Obese cats are more likely to suffer a liver disease called hepatic lipidosis; feline urinary tract disease; diabetes; lameness; complications from anesthesia; and non-allergenic skin conditions.
August 20, 2014 |
The Democrats left, and the Carpenters union came back. With an inflated "fat cat" figure, a sound system, banners, and signs, about 50 carpenters protested outside the Convention Center on Friday afternoon, pressing the state authority that runs the venue to let them back in. The scene served as a noisy reminder of lingering labor issues in the city less than 24 hours after the team scouting Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention...
May 8, 2013
ALTHOUGH we at IBEW Local 98 appreciate Signe Wilkinson highlighting our newly created Rat-Mobile in a political cartoon, she missed a key point in the narrative. Rather than depicting unions as distributing political contributions - a tired old cliche - Signe should have depicted us doing the city's job: Collecting unpaid taxes, permit fees and license fees from unscrupulous developers and contractors. Exposing these cheats in order to help our cash-strapped city collect desperately needed revenue is our mission.
November 16, 2012 |
If you watch a lot of TV - and, hey, who doesn't? - you may have noticed that your life has suddenly improved. You're no longer facing a ceaseless barrage of political ads sponsored by groups with innocuous-sounding names like Restore Our Future, American Crossroads, and Priorities USA Action. They're blessedly gone, as are the fat cats who helped bankroll the priciest election season in history. There's more good news: Most of them wasted their money on losers. To update Winston Churchill, never have so many expended so much for so little.
November 16, 2011
The Occupy Philly protesters have worn out their welcome at their tent-city encampment on Dilworth Plaza in Center City. For the Occupy movement nationally, it's also time to reassess its strategy to bring about economic, governmental, and social change. Americans struggling to emerge from a devastating recession don't see how the Occupy camp-outs are making any difference. With their numbers in Philadelphia swelled by the homeless, reports of a weekend rape in a tent, the arrest Tuesday of two men who police say punched others at the site, and with what city officials view as a growing public-health threat from unsanitary conditions and fire hazards, it's clearly time for the Occupy Philly contingent to move on. Beyond the obvious fraying of conditions at the loosely organized protest, the local Occupy folks are standing in the way of a $50 million makeover of the plaza due to start this month.
September 19, 2011
EVERYBODY remembers where they were on 9/11, but it was the day after that I remember most. I worked the night shift on 9/11 after watching TV all day. On 9/12, there was no noise, nobody running for the bus, no children going to school, no airplane noise. People were walking around in a daze, some crying. It reminded me of the day JFK was killed when I was a kid. My father used to tell me about Pearl Harbor, and what Americans felt. I understand now, because on 9/12, I felt the same way. I wanted to go to war and make the people who did this pay. We all felt so helpless.
September 14, 2011 |
HICH Side Are You On?" is a song written in 1931 by Florence Reece, the wife of an organizer for the United Mine Workers. But the lyric "It seems like it's illegal to fight for the union anymore" feels very current as even the right to collective bargaining is under attack by many state governments. Unions are a very important part of our history, yet it's a topic rarely taught in schools. Given all that's going on these days with organized labor and jobs, especially public-sector unions, maybe it's time to reflect on who we are, and what we stand for. When "Which Side Are You On?
March 22, 2011 |
GOV. CORBETT has been criticized for not engaging the media early in his term. Well, if he acted like a silent movie star before announcing his first budget, then his actual budget address and his recent interview with me have been treated with the fanfare of a big- budget Hollywood blockbuster. In his budget address, Corbett struck the theme that the commonwealth is facing a $4 billion hole, and what he calls the "education industry" shouldn't be insulated from helping to fill it. This has led to proposed cutbacks in state funding for local school districts, but the most controversial cutbacks involve Pennsylvania colleges and universities that receive significant state funding.