Archive: April, 2010
A federal judge has wisely advised the Lower Merion School District to settle a racial bias case in order to avoid a court ruling that it might not like.
But what on the surface appears to be an argument with a simple solution actually has links to one of the most controversial decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
The Lower Merion district was sued last year by black parents who alleged that it had unfairly targeted African American students to be bused past closer Lower Merion High School to Harriton High to achieve greater racial diversity there.
Mayor Nutter and City Council continue to negotiate which taxes they should raise to balance the city budget. They should be spending as much effort looking for ways to reduce spending and improve efficiency.
Consider the recent budget hearings regarding the so-called elected row offices, which include the sheriff, register of wills, and city election commissioners.
A report last year by the Committee of Seventy correctly called for eliminating these offices, as well as the municipal courts’ clerk of quarter sessions.
In making its recommendations Monday, Gov. Christie’s red-tape review panel had the good sense not to halt implementation of a rule requiring new homes to have fire sprinkler systems in New Jersey.
The life-saving regulation was one of dozens temporarily stayed during a 90-day review conducted by a panel chaired by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. The panel gave the go-ahead for implementing the requirement for sprinklers in newly-constructed one- and two-family dwellings, effective in January 2012.
Since the review wasn’t supposed to stall any rule that had public-safety implications, it was pretty clear from the start that the sprinkler regulation – putting New Jersey in the forefront nationally – shouldn’t be delayed. Lives could be at stake.
The sheer volume of Web-cam photos snapped by the Lower Merion School District to track school-issued laptops indicates how oblivious school officials were to students’ privacy rights.
An investigation by the district found that nearly 56,000 images were taken after tracking software was turned on, usually when a computer was reported missing.
Henry E. Hockeimer Jr., the attorney hired by the district to lead the inquiry, said the photos did not capture students in embarrassing poses.
The recent court challenges by the city GOP against its own committee candidates have all the earmarks of the classic Philadelphia election story: potential fraud, party infighting, and voting by dead people.
The temptation is to chuckle, shrug, and move on. What’s new here?
Well, for starters, the district attorney, Seth Williams, who campaigned last year on changing his predecessor’s pass-the-buck approach to political corruption in Philadelphia. Instead, his office is investigating the matter, as it should.
That’s because it appears that fraud was committed. Determining who was responsible and deciding on the appropriate punishment shouldn’t be left to political insiders.