Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, June 2, 2014, 11:50 AM
The National 9/11 Flag is unfurled during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial in New York Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The ceremony Wednesday marked the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. After the flag was refolded, firefighters marched it into the museum. The flag was flying from a building near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. It was later found shredded in the debris of ground zero. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The National Liberty Museum is seeking nominees for its Awards of Valor ceremony, which takes place on October 1.

The Awards of Valor, presented by the local Chevrolet dealers, honors extraordinary living police and firefighters from the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas who protect us all with their bravery, valor, and spirit. The Awards of Valor recipients have stories that are gripping and inspirational, representing the very best of what Chevrolet considers “Everyday Heroes.” 

The community is invited to share the stories of their local heroes so that they have a chance to be recognized at the ninth annual Awards of Valor ceremony. To nominate a police officer or firefighter go to www.libertymuseum.org. The deadline for nomination is July 22.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 11:50 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 29, 2014, 1:06 PM
Hold off on celebrations for the PGW sale, as opposed to these airmen at their recent graduation in Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

For low-income Philadelphians, the proposed sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works is one of the most important decisions City Council has been called to make in many years, so Council should resist any call to move  forward before all the facts are in (“Don’t let a ‘fix’ nix PGW sale,” May 29).

The publicly-released PGW sale agreement provides no assurance that the city’s most vulnerable families will not be harmed by the potential sale of PGW. Its only specific terms addressing existing programs for low-income families are confusing at best. At worst, the agreement commits the buyer, UIL Holdings, and the city only to include existing programs in their initial filings with state regulators, rather than a guarantee that existing programs will be maintained.

Unaffordable PGW bills will have a ripple effect, since families struggling to maintain service will do so at the cost of other necessities. A loss of essential heating service creates an immediate health risk, and resorting to unsafe fuel jeopardizes the safety of others. Housing abandonment further impacts neighborhoods struggling.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 1:06 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014, 3:28 PM
KYW Newsradio anchor Carol MacKenzie in the studio. One analyst says KYW suffers from a stale format, and that many people are getting their traffic and weather news from other sources. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)

Rumors of KYW’s and the industry’s demise are greatly exaggerated and misleading ("KYW ratings plunge," May 15).

It is not accurate to suggest that our numbers “went right through the floor.” On the contrary, the drop off from winter to spring is quite normal, seasonal and well within our historical range. Listening to news and talk radio is always driven by weather and current events.

There is no question that the Delaware Valley sustained unusually severe weather this year and as a result, KYW’s ratings went up; in fact, we enjoyed the highest share of audience of any major market news radio station in the United States.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:28 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014, 9:54 AM
Michelle and Jim Kehoe , whose daughter was a friend of the boy who died, talk with son Jimmy, 3, at Jackson Elementary, which has had to cut back the hours of its full-time nurse. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

I am a parent of a kindergartner in the Philadelphia public school system. I have lived and worked in Philly since 1994, am a Rutgers-Camden graduate, currently work for Penn, and my husband owns a small Philadelphia business and teaches at his alma mater, Temple. My plea to city and state leaders is straightforward: You cannot continue to do nothing about the school situation.

There are no nurses, guidance counselors, classroom aides or special education teachers. No security guards. No vice principals. Never mind basic supplies, libraries, or other extras. Some of us know this, but as of this morning and the reaction to the news about Jackson's First Grader, it is becoming clear that not every citizen knows the real situation.

McCall Elementary has a nurse they rehired after money was raised by parents, likely politicking, and who knows what else. But she also serves as: the late desk check-in, the lunch aide, the recess aide, a guidance counselor, volunteer coordinator which has to be a staff member so they can track background checks, and now that they took away the security guard in April (an awesome person that loved the students and his job and provided stability and safety), Nurse Benjamin has to do all that he did, too. Fire drills, emergencies, visitor security, hallway monitoring. She does this in partnership with the principal, who has no vice principal or assistant.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 9:54 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 4:04 PM

With a comprehensive new study in hand that sets out the challenges faced by the beautiful but balkanized 2,000-acre heart of Fairmount Park flanking Boathouse Row and the Schuylkill banks, city leaders and park lovers alike have a to-do list for years to come.

If this core of Philadelphia’s sprawling park system is to be an even greater asset to the city, steps must be taken to combat speeding traffic along its drives, substantially improve transit links, and find ways to bridge its natural barriers (a broad river and steep slopes) and manmade impediments (freight rail lines and an expressway) to make the park’s bucolic trails, meadows, and woodlands more accessible. Of course, finding funding is essential.

With its generous sponsorhip of this latest park study, the William Penn Foundation sets an example for needed philanthropic support, as has the Fairmount Park Conservancy. But the region also needs to explore a stable source of taxpayer-provided funding for this and other treasured parks.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 4:04 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 1:42 PM
William G. Bowen, a former Princeton president, called the Haverford protest of former Berkeley chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau as speaker "immature" and "arrogant." (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

As members of the Haverford College faculty, we were disappointed by William G. Bowen’s remarks at Sunday's commencement.

Dr. Bowen’s condescending speech marred an otherwise celebratory occasion. In our view, in raising questions about the conferral of an honorary degree on ex-UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau, the students whom Dr. Bowen sought to shame at Commencement took a principled stand on police brutality and the defunding of public education.

Unlike finger-wagging from a lectern bearing an institutional seal, engaging in activism is a messy and challenging business. It has no built-in resources, and it has to discover its methods as it goes along. As the debate about Birgeneau proceeded over the past few weeks, the students did a marvelous job of refining their articulation of their views while maintaining the passion of their commitment. We were inspired by their work, and in many cases, by their eloquence.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 1:42 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 15, 2014, 4:20 PM
Darrell Clarke. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)

What kind of game is City Council President Darrell Clarke playing?

He has failed to gain any traction on his proposal to scrap the legislatively approved 1-percent sales-tax extension that would provide $120 million for city schools and a smaller amount to the city's decimated pension fund. But he won’t give up on his idea to give half the new sales-tax revenue to the schools and half to the pension fund.

Instead, Clarke is proposing that the 50-50 split be delayed and its implementation spread out over several years.

Harold Jackson @ 4:20 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 6:35 PM

As a teacher of Middle Eastern History, I am astonished by the ugly irony of the Congress voting unanimously to deny a visa to the potential Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid Aboutalebi.

Because he was a translator during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, we are expressing “righteous indignation” about his nomination. We must be suffering from historical amnesia.

That very same embassy in Teheran, that was stormed by Iranian students in 1979, was the very den of spies from which the 1953 CIA coup d’etat was staged to overthrow the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 6:35 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

The Inquirer Editorial Board's Say What? opinion blog showcases the work of the editors and writers who produce the newspaper's daily and Sunday opinion pages.

Find out more about The Inquirer's Editorial Board here.

The Inquirer Editorial Board
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected