How great to read a story bringing attention to the challenges of accessible health care ("More health coverage, but fewer doctors," June 2).
And while there is a growing shortage of primary care physicians, fortunately there are growing numbers of advance practice nurses who will be able to meet the demands.
These nurses are trained to diagnose simple and common illness, and to manage chronic disease. They are ideally situated to meet primary care needs. They work in collaboration with other health-care providers, including physicians, to insure that patients have the best outcomes.
The proposition that judges, being our official embodiments of impartiality, should not hire their wives and kids would not be considered revolutionary in many places. Alas, Pennsylvania is not one of them. So let us now praise the Pennsylvania Bar Association for recommending that the state's rules of judicial ethics prohibit nepotism for the first time.
The proposed reform is part of an overdue, wholesale strengthening of the state's weak, outmoded Code of Judicial Conduct, which governs the behavior of judges. The new code was recommended by a Bar Association task force and recently approved by the bar.
On the subject of hiring, the current judicial code advises that judges "should exercise their power of appointment only on the basis of merit, avoiding favoritism." That could be interpreted as discouraging the hiring of relatives, but the state's judiciary clearly hasn't read it that way. The new proposed code, in contrast, states unequivocally that judges "shall avoid nepotism and favoritism."
Gov. Corbett's liquor privatization plan doesn't make fiscal sense. I accept that our public education system is underfunded and that $1 billion pledged from privatizaton would provide great relief. However, this plan is irresponsible because it only offers one lump sum - while the State Store system generates millions in revenue annually. It's also estimated that privatization will boost State Police enforcement spending.
That being said, the current State Store system does need to be fixed. By staying open later at night and opening more one-stop shops - such as smaller outlets inside grocery stores - the state can increase revenue as well as convenience. This type of modernization is all that the current system needs to satisfy Pennsylvanians.
What I suspect is that Corbett's plan wasn't made to help Pennsylvania. Rather, it's rooted in an overly conservative agenda that puts corporate needs over those of the more than 5,000 State Store employees who would lose their jobs if privatization goes ahead.
It's several years too late to moan about the "loss of rights" indicated by the perfectly legal request by the Justice Department for Associated Press phone records. We willingly gave up most of our rights when the Patriot Act was passed in 2001.
In exchange for "safety," we gave up most of what we fought for during the last 200 years. Remember that the next time a president pushes through a rights-robbing law. This is not the president who did that.
Nancy W. Rosman, Schwenksville
Despite its unquestioned success, Central High, like all public schools in Philadelphia, is in a precarious position.
Years of budget cuts have taken a toll on its dedicated staff, physical plant, and operations.
For next year, the School District has presented what has been called a doomsday budget that would result in Central having no money for assistant principals, supplies, books, counselors, nurses, the arts, sports-indeed all that would be left in the school would be a principal and a reduced group of teachers, and 2,400 children.
Although the anniversary of one of the worst disasters in U.S. Navy history passed this month largely unobserved, the near-sinking of the USS Stark off the coast of Saudi Arabia in 1987 killed 37 sailors and wounded 21 others. Two Exocet missiles fired by an Iraqi fighter jet had slammed into the Stark hull. In what was surely a night of hell forever seared into their psyches, crewmembers fought gallantly to extinguish the inferno that consumed their ship and threatened to send her to a watery grave. The Stark listed back to port and somehow survived.
The tragedy occurred during the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, said to claim more than 1 million lives. The United States, naturally, had to pick a side - and it went with Iraq, whose brutal dictator our government eventually would go to war with twice, sacrificing billions of dollars and thousands of brave souls to topple him.
Saddam Hussein said he was sorry that his military mistook the Stark for an Iranian tanker. Although a U.S. guided-missile frigate and an Iranian tanker are about as similar in appearance as Christie Brinkley and Chris Christie, Hussein's apology was accepted and all was forgotten. But we Navy veterans will always remember - and so should all Americans.
It's time to reexamine the 1990 federal Immigrant Investor Program that grants special status to foreign investors, whose loans are being sought by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Concerns reach beyond the troubling concept of selling residency or citizenship to wealthy bidders and issues of vetting the sources of such financial windfalls. Concern also focuses on the $20 million in fees that turnpike advisors stand to get from "trade secret and confidential proprietary information," as the commission reported.
Noted financial journalist Jane Bryant Quinn once told me in an interview that if you don't understand a financial instrument, don't buy. So i
Capitalism needn't necessarily mean greed. Is t should be possible for our creative financiers to be more transparent, and for public works projects still to be conceived and implemented in the interest of the public.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane's settlement with the Hershey Trust was a disappointment to many who helped elect a woman who campaigned with the promise of "no more business as usual in Harrisburg" - touting her determination to get rid of the "good old boys" ("Settlement ends Hershey Trust probe," May 9).
Disappointingly, Kane reached a settlement which exonerated the former trust board, then chaired by former Attorney General Leroy Zimmerman. Aside from outlandish pay packages for themselves, the board diverted millions of dollars away from the trust's stated purpose of educating low-income children. Instead, they made questionable real estate deals, funded a golf course and a clubhouse, and made lavish hotel improvements.
Kane has demonstrated a remarkable willingness to forget campaign promises and continue doing deals the same old way in Harrisburg. Rather than kick them out, she settled right in with those good old boys.