Karen HellerA roundup of Tuesday's Philadelphia Inquirer headlines:
“Ethics board opens sting inquiry: The case of four Pa. legislators allegedly recorded taking money is to be scrutinized.”
“Judges’ fate is now in jury’s hands: Ex-Traffic Court jurists accused of fixing tickets.”
Our quote of the day comes from none other than Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.
After a long contentious battle over school funding, where Philadelphia Democrats begged Harrisburg to enact a $2-a-pack tax that would be levied only against city smokers, a no-brainer in any other political climate, the House finally passed the measure late Wednesday. This came after Corbett said over the weekend, "I would encourage the delegation, the Democrat delegation, from the city of Philadelphia ... to give the votes to get a pension bill done so they can get a cigarette tax done so they can get additional funding for the school district of Philadelphia," adding "It's in their hands." The statement was met with outrage and derision by the Philadelphia delegation and Mayor Nutter.
A Camden-based blog called Local Knowledge continues to attract thoughtful, impassioned posts about the city's past and future.
Two recent contributions in particular -- one from a person identified only as "SB," the other from educator Keith Benson -- have given rise to an online conversation about the shortcomings of Camden's approach to redevelopment. The posts were sparked by the recent announcement of an $82 million, state tax credit-funded practice facility for the 76ers that will rise on the Camden Waterfront.
Benson, who teaches in the city and is studying for his Ph.d in education at Rutgers-Camden, says those in power seek to attract "outsiders" to Camden while ignoring the needs of longtime residents. "SB" is less troubled by so-called gentrification, but lambastes the typical Camden development as an oversubsidized "smoke and mirrors" exercise.
Behold Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' on a Rutgers-New Brunswick syllabus.
All the single ladies (all the single ladies)/All the single ladies (all the single ladies)/All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
As my Inquirer colleague Jonathan Lai writes, the megaplatinum hip-pop singer and her lavish video oeuvre are the focus of a three-credit undergraduate course called Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyonce.
Historic perspective never hurts. We may think an issue has never been worse, only to discover the problem is older than we are.
A terrific trio of student journalist editors continue to battle with the Neshaminy School District over the outdated, misguided and offensive-to-many name of the football team, the subject of Sunday's column. That name is shared by the NFL team in Washington, D.C., where many fans would also like to see the name changed -- even the U.S. Patent and Trademark office -- but not owner Dan Snyder, the poobah that makes all the others look good.
Emails being sought as potential evidence in a federal probe of the Delaware River Port Authority have gone missing, alas, as a new epidemic rooted in history spreads from Washington, D.C. to Camden.
My colleague Paul Nussbaum's Inquirer story about the seemingly elusive digital correspondence of DRPA staffer John A. Rogale offers a reminder of how digitally pratfall-prone are the powerful. When it comes to understanding technology, Rogale candidly tells Nussbaum, "I'm a zero."
The DRPA's contract compliance director is not alone. Consider onetime IRS impressario Lois Lerner, some of whose email correspondence is said to have succumbed to a computer crash. A similar calamity may have befallen a former Environmental Protection Agency staffer, agency chief Gina McCarthy informed skeptical members of a House oversight committee Wednesday.
Joseph A. Gambardello
Sightings of what is believed to be an over-sized weasel known as a fisher have been reported in South Jersey - primarily Pennsauken - in recent weeks, but there's been no conclusive evidence.
Indeed, wildlife officials have gone on record as saying the presence of a fisher is unlikely.
We wonder what they might say now that there is evidence that at least one fisher is on the prowl in the most urban setting of the Bronx, of all places.
Camden's newest next big thing will be an $82 million waterfront practice palace for the 76ers.
I'm glad that many folks in this rather sad old town are thrilled to have landed a brand-name development. But I'm troubled by the resiliency of the myth of the megaproject.
Consider the Commerce Building, an eight-story landmark at Broadway and Federal. Vacant for decades (the bustling ground-floor pizzeria is pretty much the sole slice of life), the building was once hailed as the salvation of downtown. And the notion that buildings alone can rebuild a community has stubbornly endured.