July 29, 2014 |
What started out as a shared goal of improving academic standards to prepare students for college and the workforce has collided with ideological differences over states' rights and rigid opposition to President Obama. Caught in the middle is Gov. Christie, a possible presidential contender in 2016 who has made education reform a pillar of his tenure but who must be careful not to alienate potential conservative supporters now denouncing the standards as federal encroachment on the classroom.
February 10, 2014
Pennsylvania's judiciary has produced a breathtaking run of scandal, from the highest court to the lowest (Philadelphia's Traffic Court); from kids sentenced for cash, the subject of a new documentary, to tickets fixed for crab cakes (Traffic Court again). It's small consolation, but consolation nevertheless, that it wasn't all for naught. As of July, the state's judges will be governed by a substantially strengthened Judicial Code of Conduct in line with national ethical standards. While the overhaul can't correct all the judiciary's flaws - especially the elections at the root of its problems - the new standards address many of the shortcomings revealed by the scandals of recent years.
January 2, 2014 |
When Jim McLaughlin first learned about federal efficiency standards for lightbulbs - and that incandescents would change or go away - he had but one thought: Stockpile! Two years ago, the Broomall resident bought cases of bulbs. Wednesday, as the final phase of standards kicks in, his inventory has lessened. But at age 71, he figures - and hopes - his bulbs will outlast him. "We have none of the new-generation bulbs in our house, and I plan to keep it that way," he said, adding not quite facetiously, "I'm a grumpy old man. I don't want anyone telling me what to do. " In nearby Wallingford, energy efficiency aficionado David Director is ecstatic about the new bulbs.
June 8, 2013 |
Mayor Nutter and Licenses and Inspection Commissioner Carlton Williams are to announce new proposed demolition standards and controls for the city. The move comes two days after six people were killed and 14 others injured when a Center City thrift store collapsed during the botched demolition of a building next door. The mayor, Williams and other city officials are to outline the proposed standards and controls at a 2 p.m. news conference at City Hall.
April 25, 2013 |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans a hearing Wednesday in Philadelphia on an Obama administration proposal to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions, one of only two public sessions nationwide on the so-called Tier 3 standards. The rules, which mandate cleaner fuels and some new vehicle technologies, are aimed at reducing soot, sulfur, and nitrogen oxide emissions. "We're looking at automobiles and fuels as a system," said Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
March 29, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will unveil a proposal Friday to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions, a step that officials say will result in cleaner air across the nation and slightly higher prices at the pump. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the rule to reduce sulfur in gasoline and tighten emissions standards on cars beginning in 2017 could increase gas prices by less than a penny per gallon and add $130 to the cost of a vehicle in 2025. But the agency says it will yield billions of dollars in health benefits by slashing smog- and soot-forming pollution come 2030.
February 12, 2013 |
Pope Benedict XVI's decision, announced Monday, that he would step down as spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church may prove the signature moment of his eight-year pontificate. His credentials as a theological conservative and church traditionalist have allowed him to take a nearly unprecedented step that a more moderate Pope might not have dared: to hand over the scepter of papal infallibility to someone yet to be chosen, and then do recede into the background as no pope has done for centuries.
January 28, 2013
Gov. Christie deserves applause for quickly announcing tough new building standards for the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. The rules are based on new federal flood-plain maps, which are not expected to be made final for at least 18 months, so the risk assessments may change. But Christie said he deliberately set high standards so property owners can decide now whether to rebuild or move on with their lives. Those who choose to rebuild now will receive guidance on constructing and elevating their homes and businesses.
January 16, 2013 |
The federal government has agreed to drop its new rule that would have required high-efficiency furnaces in Northern states, a victory for critics who warned that the costly standard could backfire and drive urban homeowners to less efficient heating methods. The U.S. Department of Energy and the American Public Gas Association (APGA) on Monday asked the U.S. Appeals Court in the District of Columbia to vacate the rule and to restart the process of devising new furnace efficiency standards.