April 27, 1999 |
During the Goode and Rendell administrations, Philadelphia has steered a gradual but steady course toward privatization of its prisons. Presumably to save taxpayers money, the prisons went private with food and health-care concessions. The latest step, but arguably the most significant yet - is exporting prisoners to Delaware County, a penal system run by a private for-profit company. Philadelphia's beleaguered jails are already overcrowded, thereby necessitating exportation of prisoners to other Pennsylvania prisons with cells to rent.
August 2, 1986 |
Just over a week ago, I was in San Francisco atop a 22-story building that was under construction. Earlier in the day, I watched a number of hardhats using a crane to lift heavy sections of concrete which formed the building's "skin. " The building is called The Portman and is just across from The Donatello, one of America's great hotels. Fascinated, I watched the workers and discovered in myself a strong desire to join in, or at least to examine the frame they had constructed.
February 9, 1999 |
Andy Hackstaff is eagerly looking forward to the day when he can work at a real job and bring home a paycheck for his efforts. The 24-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and mild retardation, spends his days in the adult day-care center at Brian's House Enterprises - the newest facility of Brian's House Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides services to people with developmental and/or physical disabilities. The center opened in early December but will hold its official grand opening tomorrow.
July 31, 2001 |
OK, kids, so you can't shoot a rubber band farther than the 99 feet that Leo Clouser shot one in Wyomissing in 1999. And you can't grow a pumpkin heavier than the one Gerry Checkon grew in Altoona that weighed 1,131 pounds. And your shoes aren't bigger than the 28.5 size worn by Matthew McGrory. Don't despair. You, too, can get into the "Guinness Book of World Records. " All you have to do is join in on the creation of a 25-by-32-foot logo for the X Games, coming here Aug. 17-22, using Lego blocks.
August 12, 2010 |
Reviewing the news from the last two weeks during which I was enjoying a Cape Cod vacation, I've been gripped by the story of 10 medical aid workers murdered last week in Afghanistan. This human tragedy provides some insights that may surprise you about the prospects for progress in the Afghan war. The aid team, six of whom were Americans, was attacked while returning from an arduous trip to a remote area of northeastern Afghanistan where they provided medical services to Afghan villagers.
June 19, 2013
BAD NEWS for Pennsylvania: The payday-lending industry, which we warned early this spring was making a return to the halls of Harrisburg, trying to gain entry into the state and thus the bank accounts of residents, is making progress. Predatory loans - characterized by high fees and interest rates, as well as a tendency for lenders to ensure repayment by gaining access to a borrower's bank account, rather than considering his ability to repay - are not currently allowed in Pennsylvania.
June 30, 2008
Using an outrageous loophole in state law, many wealthy New Jersey communities have for years avoided providing more affordable housing by paying off poorer towns to shoulder the responsibility. The practice has shamefully made New Jersey one of the most economically segregated states in the country, with high concentrations of poverty in its urban centers. Thankfully, the Legislature took a step toward changing that last week by approving an overhaul of New Jersey's housing policies.
December 18, 2009 |
Pennsylvania's top moneymaking casino just got bigger. Crowds braved the morning chill - with some venturing out in the predawn hours to be among the first to walk through Parx Casino's glass double doors for its 6 a.m. grand opening today. The $250 million facility is a larger and fancier version of the old PhiladelphiaPark Casino and Racetrack on Street Road in Bensalem, next to which it sits. "It's beautiful," said retiree Andrea Malloy, 60, one of the first to gamble at the Parx this morning.
August 21, 1987 |
The International Olympic Committee is considering a proposal that would open the Olympics to all competitors, including professionals, by the 1992 Games in Barcelona, Spain. Such an action conceivably would make NBA players available to the United States for international basketball competitions such as the Olympics and the Pan American Games. But before you get carried away by the thought of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan laying waste to the Soviet Union and Cuba, be advised that the United States Basketball Federation is opposed to the inclusion of pros on national teams.
August 25, 1989 |
I was chatting on the phone with Oleg Bernov, a Soviet actor friend of mine who's visiting Los Angeles, when it suddenly hit me that our conversation was revolutionary. It had nothing to do with what we were saying. The astonishing part was that we were talking at all. Bernov, 25, a member of the small, relatively new Harlequin theater troupe in Moscow, is traveling around America on his own. Until very recently that would have been impossible. Soviet citizens need official permission to travel abroad, and most used to journey only in groups.