August 9, 2016
ISSUE | UNIONS A matter of respect In "Coping with a union workforce" (Philly.com, Wednesday), Team Clean president Donna Allie dismissed some of her employees, saying, "Some people don't want to do anything. Then they run to the union for protection. " I've been a cleaner for 16 years and a proud member of Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ for 11 years. We work hard and take pride in our work. Our hard work makes Team Clean and many other businesses profitable.
May 27, 2016
ISSUE | MINIMUM WAGE Working hard for a better living An article about fast-food worker and activist Shymara Jones effectively described her rationale for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and her significant effort to achieve that goal ("A voice for change," Sunday). She has a high school diploma and some college credits, but her labor-organizing activities have demonstrated initiative, leadership, and the potential to succeed in a more lucrative occupation. It appears she would be better off diverting that effort to focus on getting a higher-paying job. She indicated that increased income would make her happy and more independent.
May 14, 2016 |
The world stopped making sense for Theresa Drebes a few years back. Because of crushing medical bills, she and her husband couldn't afford enough food, yet were unable to receive food stamps because the federal government said they brought in too much money. "I'm not in poverty, but I am poor," said Drebes, 60, who lives in Lansdale, Montgomery County. "Just pray to God you don't fall into a situation like ours. " To be poor is to live in a whirlwind of want, unsettled and insecure.
October 23, 2015 |
A Bucks County man who has spent decades filing lawsuits that allege discrimination over his physical disabilities - he once argued that his service dog needed food stamps - has admitted lying about his impairments. James George Douris, 60, pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court on Wednesday to felony perjury. The charge stemmed from a court proceeding last year at which Douris claimed he was unable to walk, hold a glass of water, or sign his own name. Detectives proved otherwise, catching him engaged in various forms of physical activity, such as standing on a ladder, pushing a wheelbarrow, and using an electric saw. "This is our best bet at putting it all to an end," prosecutor Jonathan Long said after Douris' plea.
October 23, 2015 |
Leave it to a Canadian to put a positive spin on SNAP (a.k.a. food stamps), a program whose ungainly full name is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program . "We don't have food stamps in Canada. A lot of Americans don't appreciate that the program is actually really cool and effective," says Leanne Brown , author of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day (Workman). She'll discuss the book and sign copies Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Free Library of Philadelphia . The book has become an unlikely phenomenon, and the interest in it started before it was officially published in July.
June 27, 2015 |
Bent on making fresh fruits and vegetables available to more Americans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent one of its top officials Thursday to the Clark Park Farmers Market to tout its efforts at doing just that. "We're trying to nudge low-income households to eat more nutritious foods," U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said in an interview before talking to the merchants and shoppers about ways to get more healthy foods in their diets. Americans on food stamps spent a record $18.8 million at farmers markets and local farm stands last year, a roughly sixfold increase since 2008, according to Concannon.
June 17, 2015
AS CLERGY, our lives revolve around the religious calendars. For our Jewish brothers and sisters, September's Yom Kippur is a time of quiet reflection and atonement, followed by the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Christians follow the familiar rhythms of the liturgical calendar, celebrating Christmas every December and Easter every spring. And nearly every spring for the last three years, clergy from across Pennsylvania sent urgent pleas to Harrisburg to stop predatory payday lenders who are seeking permission to charge usurious, triple-digit interest rates in the Keystone State.
June 11, 2015
WHAT'S THE worst non-capital crime there is? Child abuse? Rape? Public corruption? According to at least one of our state lawmakers, the worst crime you can commit is possessing enough drugs to warrant a felony conviction . . . which, in this state could be a small amount of marijuana, or a second offense for possession. Rep. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, wants to impose a lifetime ban on food stamp and Temporary Aid to Needy Families benefits to anyone convicted of a felony drug offense.
April 23, 2015 |
Pennsylvania will eliminate the asset test for food stamps as of Monday, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services announced Tuesday evening. The controversial test, initiated by then-Gov. Tom Corbett in 2012, ties federal food-stamp benefits - now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP - to people's bank accounts and car ownership. Corbett saw the test as a way to cut down on fraud and waste. During the campaign for governor, then-candidate Tom Wolf called the asset test "another example of how [Corbett]
April 16, 2015
MENTION the phrase social-welfare programs to a conservative and he winces in pain. To him, these billions paid for health care, food stamps, child-care support and other such programs do nothing but promote laziness and dependency on government handouts. Every Republican budget proposal in the last eight years has combined steep cuts in safety-net programs with tax breaks for the wealthy. But there's another way to look at these safety-net programs that the Republicans hate. What they really do is subsidize businesses that help their bottom lines by paying low wages to their workers.