Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 3:38 PM
The Lombardi Trophy is raised during celebrations after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

While I miss Annette John-Hall’s provocative, insightful columns, I do enjoy Karen Heller and generally find something that touches an emotional chord.

Last week, I laughed and felt a common bond as I read about her “Pining for a pen-and-ink past” (Jan. 26). My emotional index took a direct turn days later (“The Richest nonprofit and its golden Bowl,” Jan. 29) when I read that the National Football League stands to gain $9 million dollars from the Super Bowl, which is supposed to be the biggest sports event of the year, and the only people who can afford to go are the “most entitled, thin-skinned, nimble-fingered men imaginable,” and the only person who seems to care that the NFL gets huge tax breaks is a senator who is about to retire. Not that it t matters anyway, because the NFL spends its billions lobbying politicians to assure those tax breaks.

Am I the only one who is outraged at the massive amounts of money the NFL takes in? Am I the only one who is sad and depressed at the fact that our arts and culture organizations and our schools are hurting so badly for money and the entitled football hot shots live like royalty? Am I the only one who thinks something is badly wrong with our society when tax breaks for the rich seem to be more important than school books for all of our children? I wish it were not so.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:38 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 11:22 AM
Nancy Boyle, mother of slain Police Officer Danny Boyle, holds a Police Academy graduation photograph of Danny Boyle on Jan. 24, 2014. Earlier this month, a judge vacated the death sentence of the man who killed Danny. ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

Inquirer coverage of the appeals surrounding a death-penalty sentence for an officer's killer has played on the emotion of the family of slain Officer Daniel Boyle.

A horrible crime was committed. A young officer died. This obviously is a good family and it’s understandable that they would be upset over the judges vacating the death penalty. I just find it odd that the same people who are pro-death penalty are anti-Supreme Court.

The ruling is clear. We, as a nation, do not put mentally ill people to death. It’s the law.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 11:22 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, February 3, 2014, 11:14 AM

Inquirer reports of Comcast’s improved customer service are premature if my experience is any guide.

On Jan. 4, I subscribed to Comcast, requesting 2 DVR-capable boxes and that I keep my phone number. The  installer showed up with no notice and only one non-DVR-capable box.  A second installer showed up several days later with one DVR box (I am being charged for two). Most significantly, Comcast had not transferred my phone number nearly one month later. If this represents an improvement over the past, I can understand why Comcast previously lost more than two million customers.

V.J. Gorman, Fort Washington, vandjgorman@yahoo.com

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 11:14 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 3:30 AM
Principal Linda Wayman and federal prosecutor Rob Reed stand in front of Strawberry Mansion High School, which they helped keep open. (Gabriela Barrantes / DAILY NEWS STAFF)

When I read the editorial, "Schoolchildren are the victims," I was only half surprised at the fact that public high schools under the School District are losing its counselors. J

ust last year, I had graduated from the Creative and Performing Arts. Even before then, this issue had been one of the top concerns of many students, faculties and I, who protested against the budget cuts.

However, this is not the only concern that ravish among those concerned. For example, the incentive of bonuses for teachers to attain more knowledge so that they could teach it to their students is being taken away. Extracurricular classes that children benefit from are being taken away. Some teachers are being replaced with substitutes to cut costs. Even the nurse attendants' schedule is lessened to cut costs and an elementary girl died from asthma as a result of a missing professional to attend her needs.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:30 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 3:30 PM
FILE - In this July 4, 2013, file photo, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords talks to supporters before she and husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, take part in a parade in Northside, a suburb of Cincinnati. Giffords and Kelly are co-founders of the gun violence prevention group Americans for Responsible Solutions. On the eve of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Giffords is challenging Washington leaders not to ignore gun violence.(AP Photo/Tom Uhlman, File)

I read with interest the recent commentary by John R. Lott, Jr. -- and I share his concern about the ramifications of anyone being able to use a 3D printer to make a gun from scratch. I disagree, however, with the direction the article takes after this point.

The logic for the balance of his piece focuses on the nightmare scenarios that have been presented to us again and again recently of mass shootings all across the United States. While these events are truly terrifying, the number of people killed bears a careful analysis.

USA Today reports that over 900 people have been killed in these events over the last seven years -- an average of roughly 130 people a year. In each of those years, however, some 30,000 people a year have died from guns. In other words, less than 1 percent of people who die from firearms are killed in these mass-shooting episodes. The rest die as a result of suicide, one-on-one violence, drive-by shootings, accidental shootings, and other reasons. It's questionable whether having even more guns in circulation would have prevented many if any of these other casualties.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:30 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 3:47 PM
State welfare chief Beverly Mackereth and panelists fielded comments on the Corbett health plan in Philadelphia, which would not expand traditional Medicaid. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

Nearly 18,000 Pennsylvanians who had applied for the Affordable Care Act benefits were recently found ineligible for the Act's private insurance exchanges. However, the people were found eligible for and enrolled in the existing Medicaid/CHIP programs. These 18,000 people had been eligible for Medicaid/CHIP because their incomes are so low.

This shows what adequate outreach can achieve. These people would have received Medicaid's health care services even before the Affordable Care Act's recent enactment. These 18,000 had wanted health care but did not know they could have been receiving it.

It serves the interests of the Commonwealth to ensure that eligible people receive health care - whether Medicaid or exchanges.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:47 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 2:01 PM
File- This Feb. 25, 1984, file photo shows folk singer Pete Seeger performing in a one-man benefit concert in Berkeley, Calif., at the Berkeley Community Theater. The American troubadour, folk singer and activist Seeger died Monday Jan. 27, 2014, at age 94. (AP Photo/Mark Costantini, File)

The indelible, irreplacable Pete Seeger, who died today at the age of 94, was the soundtrack of our living room, and family road trips in faulty red station wagons.

My mother was known to play records into the ground, over and over, afternoon after afternoon on our old KLH stereo. There was the year of The Man of La Mancha. There was the year of Hair. There was the interminable year of Jacques Brel.

But there were decades and decades of Pete.

Karen Heller @ 2:01 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 1:57 PM
State Rep. J.P. Miranda, 28, and his sister, Michelle Wilson, were each charged with conflict of interest, perjury and criminal conspiracy.

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards this year is “American Hustle,” a movie loosely based on the 1980s Abscam scandal, in which an undercover FBI sting operation led to the corruption convictions of three Philadelphia City Council members, the mayor of Camden, six congressmen, and one U.S. senator.

Revised laws against entrapment would likely make it difficult for a federal informant to similarly pose as the representative of an Arab sheik and tempt public officials with kickbacks today. But recent news stories suggest the climate for such illegal activity might be just as ripe, which is sad when you think of the efforts made by Mayor Nutter and others to make this town less corrupt.

This past week saw the indictment of State Rep. J.P. Miranda for allegedly paying a “ghost employee,” whose job was to cash state payroll checks so part of the money could be funneled to Miranda’s sister. The Justice Department is investigating whether federal funds allocated to a gun-buyback program run by Raymond T. Jones were misspent. Jones, a former aide to Congressman Chaka Fattah, paid himself nearly $350,000. Meanwhile, a former Philadelphia Traffic Court worker pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to being part of a ticket-fixing scheme involving the judges who were his bosses, bringing to four the number of convictions in that case.

Harold Jackson @ 1:57 PM  Permalink | 0
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