Archive: October, 2010
Sizing up the firefighters' arbitration award - which, by any standards is generous to the brave men and women who run into burning buildings - former Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick sees a bleak future for Mayor Nutter's administration.
Ferrick concludes, and it's pretty much on target, that the city failed to get the personnel and benefit cost controls it needed in the pact. After all, in a time of near-zero inflation, the city's 2,200 firefighters can look forward to three threes -- that is, three percent raises in each of three years.
One of the nation’s most closely watched congressional races is in Bucks County, where former Republican lawmaker Mike Fitzpatrick seeks the seat he lost in 2006 to Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy.
Fitzpatrick, a former county commissioner, is well-versed on the issues and has a strong record on the environment. But he hasn’t made a persuasive case for throwing Murphy out of office.
The Eighth District is home to many moderates, and Murphy is a good fit for the district. The Inquirer endorses PATRICK MURPHY.
Murphy was one of the first Democratic officials to support Barack Obama’s candidacy for president, yet Murphy has not been a rubber-stamp. His voting record generally has been centrist, rather than liberal.
In 2006, the Iraq war veteran rode to victory with the help of antiwar sentiment and voter fatigue with the presidency of George W. Bush. This year, the campaign is all about jobs, and Murphy can point to solid efforts he’s made to bring employers to his district.
The incumbent voted for the TARP fund to bail out banks, and later for the economic stimulus bill. He rightly argues that both votes were worth it to spare the nation from a deeper recession.
Despite the “pure fun” slogan used by SugarHouse Casino, a Cinnaminson man early Saturday got a huge gash on his head and the scare of a lifetime when he was accosted by armed thugs who stalked him from the Philadelphia casino to steal his winnings.
After being open only a matter of weeks, the city’s first casino has lived down to expectations in this respect: Along with gamblers who are blowing the rent money at the unbelievable rate of nearly $5 million a week, the casino attracted these unsavory would-be thieves.
Two men are being sought by police, along with a third, for a caper in which they followed the patron from SugarHouse after he had cashed in winnings of $2,000. Two were armed, and one struck the victim with a gun butt -- while the other urged him to shoot the gambler. The men fled only after the terrified victim cried out for help.
The mounting casualties of brain-injured National Football League players - Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson joined their ranks Sunday - is an almost weekly reminder that the league still hasn't taken the necessary steps to make the game safer.
That may change, finally, with leaque officials announcing Tuesday that they will impose suspensions on players for delivering devastating helmet-to-helmet hits.
The pros, whose style of smashmouth play is emulated by younger players, can't move soon enough on player safety concerns that have long taken a back seat in a violent game.
Jackson suffered a concussion that he doesn't even remember following a vicious hit that sidelined both him and an opponent, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson. How bad was it? An Eagles teammate described the Falcons' Robinson "rolling his eyes in the back of his head."
The risk of playing football at all levels were driven home over the weekend when a Rutgers University player was paralyzed from the neck down in a game Saturday.
For a second-story man who's been caught stuffing a stereo in a duffel bag, the proposed overhaul of a key Philadelphia court procedure requiring crime victims to appear in court at preliminary hearings may not seem like good news.
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City Hall retirees shouldn’t be the only Philadelphians worried about the latest report outlining the sorry state of funding for municipal pensions. Anyone who relies on city services has to be just as concerned that the mounting pension debt eventually will hit them where they live.
With a growing chunk of the city budget going to fund pensions, there will be fewer tax dollars to put police on the street, keep firehouses open, pick up trash, and other key services.
That’s why pension reform can’t be put off any longer. Mayor Nutter, City Council members, and the city’s municipal unions have to meet the challenge — or risk the city’s continued fiscal decline.
Economists at Northwestern University and the University of Rochester depict a pension system here and in several other major cities as a runaway train. In only a few years, nearly 20 cents of every $1 Philadelphia raises in tax revenue will go toward annual payments to keep pension benefits flowing, according to the economists’ report issued last week.