May 16, 2013
I'VE GOT an idea. I'm calling it "The One-Thing Rule. " It works like this: Every year, our Legislature focuses on only one thing. It can't be an enormous thing, such as the overall economy. Too much of that is driven by national/international trends and events. It can't be an impossible thing, such as ending poverty or promising equal-opportunity public education regardless of ZIP code. That's like promising peace in the Middle East. And it has to be Pennsylvania specific.
April 25, 2013
Bob Edgar represented Pennsylvania for six terms in Congress, but his influence in the region and the country well exceeded his time in office. Edgar, who died of a heart attack Tuesday at the age of 69, was a man of seemingly endless energy, enthusiasm, and compassion. He headed the good-government group Common Cause, and earlier had served as president of the Claremont School of Theology in California, as secretary-general of the National Council of Churches, and as a Methodist minister.
February 18, 2013
One fall a decade ago, New Jersey's Democrats had themselves a problem. U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli had effectively exploded in the waning weeks of a reelection campaign, catapulting rich-guy Republican Doug Forrester from long shot to favorite as fast as you can say "severely admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee. " Not to worry: The Democratic bosses hatched a plan to clean up the mess. They got recently retired Sen. Frank Lautenberg (their third or fourth choice) to agree to replace his old nemesis "Torch" on the ballot, and the state Supreme Court, in Trenton's answer to Bush v. Gore , actually let them do it. And so Lautenberg, the unlikely white(-haired)
February 12, 2013
THERE ARE SILVER linings in Gov. Corbett's playbook. Namely, he has a new/old player on his side, and Pennsylvania is Pennsylvania. Allow me to explain. Forget for a moment Corbett's 26 percent approval rating. Polls are snapshots. It's a long way to 2014. Incumbents not named Rick Santorum are hard to unseat. And, critically for Corbett, Pennsylvania is "The Land of Low Expectations. " It's a place where pols call the passing of an annual budget on time an "achievement.
November 18, 2012
With more and more roads leading back to Pennsylvania's transportation funding crisis these days, Gov. Corbett and Harrisburg lawmakers should be finding their way to a solution - and soon. They have one possible route already: Corbett's own advisory panel last year charted a nearly painless course of raising driver fees and the wholesale gas tax to bring in $2.5 billion more for highways, bridges, and mass transit. The governor is on record as well that something must be done to meet deferred maintenance, which has left the state with crumbling roads, deteriorating bridges, and SEPTA and other mass transit systems across the state having to scale back on key upgrades.
November 1, 2012 |
IN THE END, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not the NBA, had the final say about the Brooklyn Nets' home opener at their new arena. The highly anticipated regular-season opener Thursday between the Nets and the New York Knicks at the $1 billion Barclays Center was postponed because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, Bloomberg announced Wednesday. "Mayor Bloomberg informed us this afternoon that after further analysis of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that he felt it was in the best interests of the city of New York, the teams and our fans that we postpone the Knicks-Nets game scheduled for Thursday night," NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
November 1, 2012 |
By Frank Kummer With the exception of New Jersey Transit, most local mass transit systems are beginning to run smoothly after days of shut-downs and delays from Sandy. SEPTA ( www.septa.org ) is up and running, as is its regional rail line. The Trenton Line trains, which saw significant delays this morning, are running on or close to schedule. Riders on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line should till expect delays of up to 15 minutes due to signal problems - but that's down significantly.
September 14, 2012 |
Americans would love to have more public transit. Unless they have to pay for it. A survey released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a Washington environmental-advocacy group that is pro-transit, found Americans favored more local government spending on buses, trains, and light rail by a wide ratio: 68 percent to 25 percent. The support was even higher in the Philadelphia suburbs: Pollsters found Bucks and Montgomery County respondents favored more local spending on transit by a ratio of 82 percent to 13 percent.
September 13, 2012 |
Americans would love to have more public transit. Unless they have to pay for it. A survey released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a Washington environmental advocacy group that is pro-transit, found that Americans favored more local government spending on buses, trains and light rail, by a wide margin: 68 percent to 25 percent. The support was even higher in suburban Philadelphia. Pollsters found Bucks and Montgomery County residents favored more local spending on transit by a margin of 82 percent to 13 percent.
April 17, 2012 |
High gas prices and the changing habits of young people are driving a shift toward mass transit that could influence budget battles in Washington and state capitals. Nationwide last year, buses, subways, and trains had their second-highest ridership since 1957 - behind only 2008, when the price of gas topped $4 a gallon. Locally, SEPTA, NJ Transit, and PATCO all report increased ridership. Amtrak, which last week said it carried 3.7 percent more passengers in the six months that ended in March than in the same period a year earlier, appears headed for its ninth national ridership record in 10 years.