July 5, 2014
What better occasion than Independence Day to reflect on a political movement whose adherents insist its essence is embodied in one of the seminal events of this country's birth, the Boston Tea Party? The spirit of protest is what today's tea-party patriots refer to as they liken themselves to those early Americans who, in 1773, hurled an East India Company cargo into Boston Harbor rather than pay a tax levied by the British Parliament with no colonial representation. With names like the Berks Sons of Liberty, Northeast Pennsylvania Spirit of 1776, Defenders of Freedom, and Tea Party Time Network, today's purported scions of the colonial rebels try to incite the passions of Americans who believe government looms too large in their lives.
July 2, 2014 |
Three environmental groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, contending that it improperly approved a Pennsylvania plan aimed at addressing haze pollution. They say the plan fails to limit emissions of haze-causing chemicals from major facilities in the state, and that iconic parks and wilderness areas - from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey and then to as far as Acadia National Park in Maine - suffer because of it. "The law on the books says we need to deal with the pollution choking our national parks," said Matt Elliott, the Pennsylvania and Delaware program manager with the National Parks Conservation Association, one of the groups that sued.
June 21, 2014 |
TRENTON - State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Thursday that he would give Rutgers University 90 days to change its governance structure, based on an internal university report, or he would move forward with controversial legislation to expand its governing board. If the board of governors and board of trustees do not act, Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said, he would deliver the legislation to the Assembly. "The proposition is simple: Rutgers has a chance to reform itself or the state will reform Rutgers," Sweeney said in a statement about an hour after the Senate passed the bill on a 22-13 vote.
June 4, 2014 |
TRENTON - The ongoing fight between Rutgers University and New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney flared again Monday as a legislative panel backed his controversial proposal to expand the school's board of governors. The bill would increase from 15 members to 19. Twelve would be political appointees - 10 by the governor, one by the Senate president, and one by the Assembly speaker. The 59-member board of trustees would continue to appoint the seven remaining members of the board of governors.
May 13, 2014 |
When a former staffer to Gov. Christie appeared last week before the legislative panel probing the George Washington Bridge controversy, her testimony went beyond the question of who ordered the September lane closures. Lawmakers questioning Christina Renna also struck at a broader issue: To what degree had Christie's reelection campaign infiltrated the functions of government? Tuesday's hearing shed light on the inner workings of the governor's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, an outreach office where staffers tasked with assisting mayors also worked last year to secure the mayors' endorsements for Christie's reelection.
April 22, 2014
IN A CITY where it's hard to find agreement on anything, we seem to be united in our disgust at the owners of the 100,000 tax-delinquent properties in the city. Coming up a close second is the history of noncollection of those taxes by the city - both forces leading to a dangerous decline of buildings, neighborhoods and values. Turns out that being a tax deadbeat is not the lowest you can go after all. No - that position is reserved for the officials at the Board of Revision of Taxes, who are ever-so-slowly moving their way through property-tax appeals, not because the appeals are complicated but because they don't think they need to work any faster until they get a pay raise.
April 18, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA The 18-story city office building at the foot of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, formerly the headquarters for Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania, will be closed through the weekend as contractors try to repair the building's elevators, damaged by water from a broken pipe. Mayor Nutter said Wednesday that the 1,900 workers assigned to various departments inside the building should check with their supervisors to see if they should report to alternate work locations for essential services Thursday.
April 11, 2014 |
ACCORDING to a Wall Street Journal report about his new book, Memphis coach John Calipari has the metaphor exactly right when he says that the NCAA is like the old Soviet Union in its final days: "It was still powerful. It could still hurt you. But you could see it crumbling, and it was just a matter of time before it either changed or ceased to exist. " This is correct. Here is the proposal: That the NCAA put itself out of business. What would replace it would not be a large umbrella organization but a series of individual sports/sports group organizations.
April 7, 2014 |
Last week, thousands of Pennsylvanians who complained that their power prices had jumped unexpectedly this winter - sometimes doubling or tripling their bills - got something all too unusual in today's marketplace: help, if a bit belated, from a government agency. The Public Utility Commission essentially warned the state's competitive electricity suppliers that they won't be able to pull the same stunt next winter, even if their own costs rise more than expected - at least not by burying crucial warnings about potential price spikes in the fine print of customer agreements.