April 23, 2011
Bracelet ruling appealed The Easton Area School District yesterday appealed a judge's ruling that prevents the school from banning breast cancer fundraising bracelets that say "I (heart) boobies!" In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin said the district cannot ban the rubber bracelet because it is not lewd, vulgar or distracting to the school day. That ruling came after two middle school students who had been suspended for wearing the bracelets filed a free-speech lawsuit against the district in November.
August 25, 2010
Commuters and businesses can't afford for legislators to ignore Gov. Rendell's call to raise at least $1 billion more for roads, bridges, and mass transit. The state's transportation network is badly underfunded. Pennsylvania has the most structurally deficient bridges in the nation - 5,646. About 10,000 miles of state roads are also in poor condition, and many capital-improvement projects have been postponed at dozens of mass-transit agencies across the state. Deficient roads and bridges pose a public-safety hazard, and they cost car owners for wear and tear on their vehicles.
May 4, 2010 |
HARRISBURG - Gov. Rendell on Tuesday urged a special session of the state legislature to raise enough money to fix the state's crumbling highways and bridges and underfunded mass transit agencies. Rendell said lawmakers needed to find at least $500 million a year to replace anticipated funds that were blocked by a federal rejection of a state plan to place tolls on I-80. The governor said the legislature should be much more ambitious and raise about $3.5 billion a year to pay for broader transportation needs.
May 2, 2010 |
Pennsylvania's battered highways and bridges and its underfunded mass-transit systems need about $3 billion more each year than they currently receive, according to a state advisory panel. That would mean a 50 percent increase over the current $6.1 billion. And local roads and bridges need an additional $432 million, the report says. The report, a copy of which was obtained by The Inquirer, urges state lawmakers and Gov. Rendell to raise taxes, increase fees, or place new tolls on highways to generate the needed funding.
April 8, 2010 |
The Federal Highway Administration's rejection of Interstate 80 tolling this week calls for some hard decisions by Pennsylvania's government. We'll soon find out if our leaders are up to the challenge. Three years ago, in response to a looming crisis in transportation funding, Pennsylvania's General Assembly passed Act 44, a forward-thinking piece of legislation that balanced support for highways and mass transit. But the legislature balked at raising needed revenue through taxes and user fees.
March 11, 2010 |
The Keystone State is a critical crossroads for freight and passenger traffic. Now we are at a political crossroads as we await a decision on how we can finance the commonwealth's transportation and mass-transit needs. The Federal Highway Administration is evaluating whether to allow the state government and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to collect tolls from long-distance motorists on Interstate 80. The state legislature approved tolling of this major interstate as part of Act 44, which provided a workable means for funding mass transit and transportation throughout the commonwealth.
November 10, 2009 |
Transportation strikes are not new to Philadelphia; SEPTA workers have gone on strike nine times since 1975. The latest example, which ended yesterday, was anything but a fight for the working class. The union's demands were well beyond the means of SEPTA and state taxpayers. The typical SEPTA union employee earns $52,000 per year - $15,000 more than the median annual salary of Philadelphia workers. The city's unemployment rate reached 11 percent in September, and the number of jobless residents had almost doubled since December 2007.
November 5, 2009
AS COMMUTERS and students enter the second day of having to ask themselves how to get where they need to go - with no clear idea of how long the ordeal of the SEPTA strike will last - maybe we should be asking another question: Is it time to considering subjecting SEPTA to binding arbitration? This would mean that transportation workers would forfeit their ability to strike in exchange for arbitration, currently used in contract negotiations for police officers and firefighters, who are barred by state law from striking.
October 20, 2009
A new report that claims tolls would hurt the economy of the I-80 corridor shouldn't derail Pennsylvania's effort to win federal approval to do that. Two years ago, the legislature approved tolling I-80 to help pay for transportation costs. But opponents of the plan recently aired a study that they are using to support their concerns. The report, produced by an associate economics professor at Grove City College, concluded that tolls would harm businesses in that region, including manufacturers and farms.
June 17, 2009 |
At least a half-dozen phony "Notice to the Public" signs were slipped into display cases on trains of the Frankford-Market El, SEPTA confirmed yesterday. One or more hoaxsters - or jokesters - started posting the signs as early as last week, SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said. Soon, pictures of the official-looking posters were showing up on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. The messages broadly lampooned the transit system and its riders, so SEPTA had the notices removed. "We do find the message very offensive in general," not just the anti-SEPTA parts, Busch said.