February 27, 2014
IN AUGUST 1988, Jay Paterno was a 19-year old reserve quarterback on his father's Penn State football team. Jay stood near his dad in the New Orleans Superdome during the Republican National Convention as Joe Paterno delivered a spirited seconding speech for the presidential nomination of George H.W. Bush. I was there, too. I remember a Pennsylvania lawmaker spent $150 on buttons touting JoePa for governor. When I asked the coach about it, he said, "He sure wasted $150. " Fast-forward 26 years and the question facing 45-year-old Jay Paterno is whether his Democratic campaign for lieutenant governor is a waste or a winner.
January 3, 2014 |
WILLIAM MARTIN had a way of strolling into a room, cool and confident, master of all he surveyed. He would usually have a wisecrack to break the ice. Some of those he greeted might not have been amused, but you couldn't help but be charmed by this happy guy. "He had the ability to make you crack a smile even if you preferred otherwise," his family said. Because of his cheerful, outgoing manner, Bill was a natural as a greeter at New Covenant Baptist Church, where he made parishioners feel that they had come to the right place for spiritual sustenance.
January 2, 2014 |
NORTHEAST PHILA. The scent of burning wood wafted over a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood Tuesday as firefighters continued to monitor mulch piles that had burned out of control for more than a day. The blaze began about 2 a.m. Sunday at the waste-wood site operated by Northeast Philly Mulch on Tomlinson Road near Roosevelt Boulevard in the Somerton section. Fire Department Capt. Clifford Gilliam said crews used heavy equipment to break apart the towering stockpiles of mulch before they could attack the blaze.
October 31, 2013 |
GRANTED, it isn't the worst - it has golf courses, after all, and plentiful April tee times - but there is a special place in hockey hell for teams that waste the kind of goaltending the Flyers currently are wasting. The truth is that, if Steve Mason continues to play at the level he is playing, the Flyers should be a playoff team. History says it, as does common sense. The slow start should not matter, the fired coach should not matter, none of it should matter if Mason stays within the top handful of goalies in the NHL. That is where he is today, even as the team around him slinks around the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
October 11, 2013
I MOVED TO South Philadelphia a little over a year ago. During that time, at the corner of my street, the sewer drain has been fixed almost once a month, as it is crushed by trucks (usually a city sanitation truck) that cannot navigate the left turn without hitting the curb/drainage entry. In fact, a crew of about five men was just there last week fixing it, and yesterday it was destroyed/crushed again. Seems to me like a complete waste of city/taxpayer money. One would think that after doing this for this long, someone in charge of this senseless repair should know better and come up with a better solution.
August 16, 2013
THERE are many ways that the U.S. government can save money, and one of them is to cease the disposing of medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes and other equipment that could be recycled to nursing homes and other such facilities. The V.A. Hospital at 38th and Powelton disposes them in Dumpsters, and that is a disgrace. If any employee attempts to salvage any of this equipment, they will be fired and at times prosecuted. I feel this is a disgrace, and something should be done to alleviate this practice.
July 31, 2013 |
A FORMER EMPLOYEE of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed a whistle-blower suit accusing the agency of failing to properly train officers and failing to report the theft of controlled substances. Michael Houck Sr., who was hired as assistant director of humane law enforcement in September, claims he took his concerns to top officials at the nonprofit several times but was rebuffed. Houck was fired in May, allegedly for making racist and sexist comments, but the suit claims it was in retaliation for his speaking out. In the complaint Houck, a retired Philadelphia police sergeant, alleges that the agency failed to file a police report in March when vaccines, drugs and rabies tags taken from the agency were found by West Chester police.
July 19, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - A federal watchdog agency says the U.S. military is endangering the health of troops and civilians working at the main Marine Corps base in Afghanistan by burning solid waste in open pits even as two of the base's four incinerators - built for $11.5 million - go unused, and the other two are running below capacity. The federal Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says in a new report that the open burning at Camp Leatherneck, in Helmand province in the far south of the country, violates Pentagon regulations and poses long-term health risks for camp personnel, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
July 9, 2013
FRIENDS, YOU CAN'T make this stuff up. Just when you think your opinion of Pennsylvania politics has hit rock bottom, our "leaders" drill down to find new levels of ineptitude and wastefulness. I'm talking about the Legislature that ended its annual budget season by doing nothing, nothing and nothing, then left until late September, now returning to Harrisburg to finish the budget we were told was done. Why? Oh, you missed it over the holiday break? You were distracted by lawmakers and top-of-the-pyramid (or, to critics, bottom-of-the-barrel)
June 12, 2013 |
Gov. Christie's speed-of-light special election scheme to fill the late Frank Lautenberg's U.S. Senate seat is shrewd, yet clueless. The special primary is set for Aug. 13, when most voters are engaged in, say, sunbathing, and the special general is scheduled for Oct. 16. That's a Wednesday, the time of the week when going to the polls is common in South Korea and the Netherlands. The elections that few New Jersey voters are likely to know or care about will each cost $12 million.