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City Life

POSTED: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 3:42 PM
Filed Under: City Life
TOM GRALISH / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Philly schools Superintendent William Hite is proposing a cyber public school.

Let’s get this straight: Philadelphia Public Schools have dismal literacy rates, graduation rates (64 percent) and many students lack to the motivation and skills to make substantial progress.

So what does the school district propose? Cyber schools, The Inquirer’s Kristen A. Graham reports.

Right, because the charter cyber schools are doing such a great job.

Karen Heller @ 3:42 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, April 15, 2013, 1:53 PM
Filed Under: City Life | Crime & Punishment
Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his lawyer, William Brennan, talks to DN reporter on Monday, March 8, 2010. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer) (Daily News/Inquirer)

In the last week, the story became why the national press isn’t covering the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion clinic and the alleged horrors that occurred within.

Gosnell is charged with eight homicides, the deaths of seven newborns and 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, a healthy Nepalese refugee who came to Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Center seeking an abortion and died from a drug overdose.

A lot of mea culpas and hand-wringing occurred in the national press while covering one of its absolute favorite subjects: itself. Theories abounded to the point that The Atlantic.com catalogued a possible list of 14 as to why the networks and larger newspapers weren't covering the story.

Karen Heller @ 1:53 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, April 8, 2013, 12:19 PM
Filed Under: City Life
Tom Corbett's in the championship!

Although Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was seeded 9th in Progress Now's "March Badness," a rogue's den of conservatives, he has miraculously advanced to Monday's championship.

In doing so, Corbett has bested the likes of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Minnesta Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, no slouches on the court of outrageous opinion.

The liberal group picked "the sixteen most outrageous, radical, out of touch right-wingers who over the past year have proven that, for one reason or another, they belong in this year’s Not-So-Sweet 16."

Karen Heller @ 12:19 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 4, 2013, 12:44 PM
Filed Under: City Life

Curious that every time someone is named to a new government position with a super title, the official is dubbed a “czar,” be it for sustainability or public safety.

It’s like we’re living in Imperial Russia. On steroids. Why have one czar when you can have many?

In February, Mayor Nutter balked at AFSCME District Council 47 President Cathy Scott’s suggestion that, given the city’s pathetic history in getting deadbeats to pay their fare share, he name a Revenue Collection Czar.

Karen Heller @ 12:44 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 4, 2013, 10:46 AM
Filed Under: City Life
Sheryl Sandberg (right), Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and best-selling author of "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead," speaks to a packed house at a Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Arts & Business Council breakfast meeting at The Hyatt at the Bellevue Thursday morning. At left is moderator Tamala Edwards from 6ABC. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

The Bellevue ballroom early Thursday morning, the scene of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s only scheduled local event sponsored by the Free Library, resembled the region’s smartest, most successful sorority, with 1,000 women in attendance.

Instead of lean in, it was rise up.

To be fair, there were some men in attendance.

Karen Heller @ 10:46 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 3:18 PM
Filed Under: City Life

Let’s get this straight: Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice Wednesday only after videos of his abusive, violent behavior and homophobic slurs went viral.

And those videos surfaced, in part, because Rice had not renewed the contract of Eric Murdock, a former NBA player the coach had hired to be director of player director.

Rutgers officials reviewed the videos and knew about Rice’s behavior last fall. Officials chose to suspend the coach for three games, penalize him with $75,000 in fines and lost salary, The Inquirer’s Jonathan Lai reports, and ordered him to undergo anger management counseling.

Karen Heller @ 3:18 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, October 15, 2012, 11:31 AM
Filed Under: City Life

(Updated at 1:20 p.m.)

Sunday's column -- about tears and sneers over apparent dog abandonment in Haddonfield -- contained a line about a homeowner taking out a $500,000 reverse mortgage on a house valued at just $245,000.

I used the word "puzzling" to describe the disparity. This morning, a reader provided some clarity.

Monica Yant Kinney @ 11:31 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 11:25 AM
Filed Under: City Life

After wondering when - or if - anyone from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry would respond to the growing cries the unemployed, jobless readers got a twofer this week.

First, Labor secretary Julia K. Hearthway penned a defensive letter-to-the-editor blaming President Obama and former Gov. Ed Rendell for the nonstop busy signals and inexplicable denials Pennsylvanians encounter when they try to connect with the unemployment system.

Here is the truth about the state's unemployment compensation system, she wrote. The recession, $30 million in funding cuts from the Obama administration, and the Rendell administration's failed unemployment compensation policies left us with a mess. These failed policies resulted in even more calls to resolve hastily and erroneously processed claims.

Monica Yant Kinney @ 11:25 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
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Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Karen Heller, Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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