June 7, 2013
By Heather McDanel Everyone knows the School District of Philadelphia is facing significant challenges. Everyone also knows that the students are the largest casualty of the doomsday-budget scenario, as they face a school year that could be devastating. We can all point fingers and scream and shout, but in the end it is the students we must care most about. Our youths deserve the exhilaration that comes with being part of something that is larger than themselves. They deserve the opportunity to sing and dance on stage, to create visual art, to be part of an athletic pursuit that teaches them important life lessons, and to become all they are meant to be. It is clear that the School District cannot supply all these experiences on its own. As individuals, leaders of corporations, and stewards of the city, we are not powerless and cannot afford to be. If we give up on our youth, we give up on our future.
May 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama has called for creation of a governmentwide strategy "to address any gender pay gap in the Federal workforce," focusing on how salaries are set when employees are hired and when they are promoted. "While salary ranges in the Federal workforce are generally determined by law, the fixing of individual salaries and other types of compensation can be affected by the exercise of administrative discretion," said a presidential memo issued Friday. "Such discretion must be exercised in a transparent manner, using fair criteria and adhering to merit system principles, which dictate that equal pay should be provided for work of equal value.
May 13, 2013 |
DETROIT - Detroit may be broke but it will soon have a first-rate motor pool, featuring 23 new ambulances and a fleet of 100 new police cars. Some city parks also are getting tender loving care. New fruit trees and shrubs have been planted, and mowing crews are beginning to make the rounds to keep the green spaces tidy. One of the surprising things about Detroit's descent toward insolvency - so dire that a state-appointed emergency manager recently took over - is that public services haven't collapsed as completely as some might have expected.
May 1, 2013 |
Today on PhillyDailyNews.com: Check out this interactive graphic looking back at the three times since 1971 that all four of Philly's pro sports teams have been left out of the playoffs. SO, FOR THOSE keeping score at home, it goes like this: 1971-72, 1991-92, 2012-13. Those are the three seasons that all four pro sports teams in Philadelphia missed the playoffs. As it turns out, we were a year late this time. Twenty years. Twenty-one years. It is a blessing, in some ways, that it happens only once a generation.
April 25, 2013 |
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - If you can stand straight with your knees together and see a space between your upper thighs, you have what thousands of teenage girls are willing to starve themselves for. The thigh gap, as it is known, is a small space with a huge following on social media. You can follow supermodel Cara Delevingne's thigh gap on Twitter or peruse thousands of thigh gaps on Tumblr with images of ultrathin women in bikinis, hiked-up skirts, and lingerie, all baring thighs so thin they don't touch.
April 19, 2013 |
DISTRICT Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Thursday he was not crying wolf as he told the School Reform Commission and a packed house of the "dire" budget situation. If funds aren't secured to fill the Philadelphia School District's $304 million budget gap in 2013-14, the district could face "massive layoffs" and the elimination of programs such as art, music, extracurricular activities and sports, Hite said. And unlike last year - when the district borrowed $300 million to pay the bills - no money will be borrowed this time.
April 18, 2013 |
I try to buy produce locally and cook it seasonally. But there comes a time in late winter-early spring when I can't bear to roast another Brussels sprout, bake another sweet potato, or massage another leaf of kale into submission. That's when I buy broccoli grown who knows where and transported to my friendly neighborhood Whole Foods Market. Call it a bridge to the days of peas and asparagus. Once I get it home, I usually douse it with curry powder and roast it, or microwave it and finish it under the broiler.
April 7, 2013
America's Coming Demographic Disaster By Jonathan V. Last Encounter Books. 237 pp. $23.99 Reviewed by Paul Jablow Nancy Willard, a poet and novelist best known as a children's author, is generally credited with the saying: "Sometimes questions are more important than answers. " Jonathan V. Last's book bears out the truth of that statement: His answers range from obvious to insightful to perhaps crackbrained. But there's no escaping his big question: Since the United States' "total fertility rate" - a better measure than crude birthrate - is sharply declining, what can we or should we do about it?
March 29, 2013 |
DISTRICT OFFICIALS stressed "shared sacrifices" Thursday as they presented a preliminary budget for the coming fiscal year to the School Reform Commission - a plan with a $304 million deficit that officials expect to bridge by slashing district payroll and requesting additional funds from City Hall and Harrisburg. The $2.66 billion budget proposal, approved by the four SRC members in attendance, seeks an additional $60 million from the city and $120 million more from the state. The district also wants $133 million in "personnel contract negotiations" from union and nonunion employees, said district Chief Financial Officer Matt Stanski, who presented the budget.
February 14, 2013 |
Cherry Hill school officials said this week that they planned to close an anticipated $650,000 budget shortfall by freezing spending, which would eliminate a need for staff cuts. The freeze, in place across the district, will allow the district to carry over enough money from the current $171 million budget to fill the hole, officials said at a board meeting Tuesday night. "We are pretty confident, with our numbers, we will be in relatively good shape by the end of the year," assistant superintendent Jim Devereaux said.