July 22, 2014 |
With four years separating Medford Township from a fiscal crisis that nearly put it in default, not to mention an embarrassing sex scandal involving its former mayor, town leaders are preparing to host the latest in a series of workshops called the Local Government Institute designed to educate residents about how local government works. Starting in September, elected officials, board members, emergency management leaders, and others will discuss the workings of their boards and agencies in biweekly sessions open to the public.
July 10, 2014 |
Mayor Nutter's office said Tuesday that it had established six centers where residents will be able to get help applying for a host of government benefits, including food stamps, Medicare, and tax breaks. "Every year, eligible Philadelphia residents leave millions of dollars on the table by not enrolling in critical benefits programs," said Eva Gladstein, who heads the mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. In response, the city has established BenePhilly, a program that aims to place counselors trained in benefits at existing social-service agencies, including Project HOME and Catholic Social Services.
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.