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 29, 2010
Gov. Christie should sign the legislation passed Monday in the state Senate that would allow schools to charge fees for summer classes. This bill is a smart way to generate financial support for summer school programs that would otherwise be cut, and give kids a second chance. Facing a major budget crunch, many New Jersey schools are no longer able to support summer school programs. If Christie doesn't sign this emergency legislation, many schools won't be able to offer summer school.
June 6, 2010 |
In January 1976, Philadelphia Daily News staffer Pete Dexter reported that the Philadelphia Gay News had just published its first edition, with a "lavender-colored front-page story about Dr. Walter J. Lear. " The headline: "Philadelphia health official comes out. " The new monthly newspaper reported that Dr. Lear, who was 52, only recently "came out of the closet . . . to emphasize the need for better medical treatment for gays. " Dr. Lear, living in Powelton Village with his partner of 22 years, was the regional health commissioner for the Pennsylvania Health Department.
April 29, 2010 |
Feature animation had an explosively great year in 2009, so it's startling to be reminded in "Waking Sleeping Beauty" that it was all but dead 20 years ago. This inside documentary (made by animators) about the fall and the rise of the House of Disney starts in the early 1980s, when once-mighty Disney bombed with "The Black Cauldron" and corporate bean counters talked about junking the white-elephant animation division to free up money for Bette Midler movies. New chairman Michael Eisner, though, was a believer in animation (or at least in the power of its brand)
April 14, 2010
THE NATIONAL Broadband Plan mandated last year by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - and unveiled last month by the Federal Communications Commission - would, in the next 10 years, greatly extend Americans' access to the Internet while increasing its speed. But even if all the plan's provisions passed Congress over the strenuous objections of some industry lobbyists (and when was the last time that happened?), the plan would leave the United States well behind other industrial nations, because it would not increase competition enough to lower prices.
February 7, 2010 |
Looking for a rare Russian River red from California? Or a taste of Egg Harbor's finest, a 2006 Renault Winery Cynthiana? To pick up their favorite wines, New Jersey residents soon may have to go no farther than their front door. A state Senate committee last week endorsed a bill to permit the shipment of wine directly to consumers from in-state and out-of-state wineries. An identical bill has been introduced in the Assembly, and Gov. Christie is reviewing the issue, a spokesman said.
February 5, 2010 |
"Who wants to be first?" Howard Herbert asked the men gathered before him. Eugene Gaynor accepted the slab of wood and tape measure. He calculated the dimensions, then read them off: three-quarters of an inch thick, 9 inches wide, 9 7/8 inches long. He was wrong, Herbert said - off by an eighth of an inch. It was an important difference, the instructor reminded his class in the shop room of Burlington City High School. Once imprisoned for burglary and theft, the 48-year-old Gaynor joined 10 other men this week in a newly expanded city program called Vision of Hope that trains and provides subsequent employment in the construction trades for ex-offenders struggling to reenter society.
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.
September 6, 2009 |
Here are some of the things a blown save overshadowed last night: The end of the Phillies' deep offensive malaise. A lineup that overcame the loss of Chase Utley, out with a bruised foot. A quality start by Joe Blanton. Brett Myers' effective return from hip surgery. No matter what the Phillies do during closer Brad Lidge's bad games, their efforts are always marred by his struggles. With last night's 5-4 loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, Lidge has squandered 10 save opportunities this season.
September 6, 2009 |
Those new smart meters Peco Energy Co. and other utilities will install soon are being touted as money-savers that will give customers more control over their electric bills. But for the utilities, the meters' real worth lies in the information generated, including details that some customers might prefer remained secret. Already, Peco is analyzing daily readings to spot thieves who intermittently bypass the meters and steal power. And experts looking at meter data can discern the telltale signs of illicit activity, such as a marijuana "grow house.