Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 3:00 AM
Bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman isn't what Philadelphia needs. (LUCY PEMONI / Associated Press)

Philadelphia authorities have to do a better job when issuing Get-Out-of-Jail cards, but needed reforms in the bail system are more complex than merely putting Dog the Bounty Hunter on the case.

Given the controvery surrounding the recent freeing of a man jailed on a gun charge, the court system’s handling of bail can be anything but fail-safe. The suspect in a 2011 murder and an associate were arrested Tuesday for allegedly killing a witness to the earlier murder last week.

Indeed, an Inquirer investigation in 2009 revealed widespread problems with court defendants who failed to show for trial, with the number of fugitives once climbing to 47,000. With a no-show rate for court defendants that in itself is criminal, the disclosures triggered reform efforts by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, as well as a separate panel of experts put to work by the state Senate.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:00 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 2:00 AM

President Obama is right to put more pressure on colleges and universities as well as the states to make a college education more affordable. A nation that keeps telling its children they need more than a high school diploma to succeed in this increasingly high-tech world shouldn’t make it so hard for them to pay for college.

Obama wants to boost the Perkins federal loan program from $1 billion to $8 billion and change the formula for how the money is distributed. Colleges that fail to reduce costs will lose federal aid, an aggressive incentive for the schools to find practical ways to reduce the cost of an education.

The president’s plan also calls for a $1 billion grant competition that would reward states that keep college costs down. Another $55 million would be earmarked to help colleges find ways to increase their productivity.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 2:00 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 5:00 AM

Each day, the Inquirer Editorial Board posts a new poll on its Say What? blog, as well as in that day's printed edition of the newspaper. Just since the summer, more than 100,000 votes have been cast by phily.com readers. To the right is our latest poll.

Cast your vote now.

And see earlier polls here

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 5:00 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012, 9:52 AM
On a State College bookstore mural, someone gave Joe Paterno a halo. Inquirer reporter and PSU graduate Diane Mastrull doesn't think the halo is appropriate. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

On a mobile phone? Click HERE to join the chat!

To read Diane Mastrull's Sunday column on Penn State, CLICK HERE.


Inquirer Editorial Board @ 9:52 AM  Permalink |
POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012, 4:30 AM

Each day, the Inquirer Editorial Board posts a new poll on its Say What? blog, as well as in that day's printed edition of the newspaper. Just since the summer, more than 100,000 votes have been cast by phily.com readers. To the right is our latest poll.

Cast your vote now.

And see earlier polls here

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 4:30 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012, 3:05 AM

By Chris Christie

This issue that our state is exploring — whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions — should not be decided by 121 people in the State House in Trenton.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:05 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012, 3:00 AM

Gov. Christie’s typically bellicose demeanor, which has made him the subject of both endearment and scorn, means he is unlikely to back down from his position against gay marriage. But were the governor to exhibit the type of thoughfulness that is requisite for anyone who truly aspires to one day be president of an entire nation, and not just the citizens who agree with him, then he would change his position.

Many had hoped the 2006 law allowing civil unions in New Jersey would satisfy the needs of homosexual couples who want to share households and have all the accompanying legal rights provided to married heterosexual couples. But the law has proved to be inadequate.

A report by the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission said that “while marriage is universally recognized … civil-union status must be explained repeatedly to employers, doctors, nurses, insurers, teachers, soccer coaches, emergency-room personnel, and the children of civil-union partners.”

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:00 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Sunday, January 29, 2012, 3:00 AM

Redistricting, the decennial process of adjusting legislative districts to account for population shifts, sounds sober enough. But Pennsylvania’s latest effort, as represented on a color-coded map, could be described as psychedelic. Rather than grouping constituents sensibly along municipal and county lines, the districts sprout unpredictable appendages that split small towns and sweep across vast regions.

From the standpoint of meaningful democratic representation, the map continues a long march into hallucinatory incoherence. That’s because protecting the ruling party’s incumbents has been the chief goal of most redistricting efforts for many years. Only the degree of disregard for the voters has changed.

But something else changed last week: The state Supreme Court, normally no stickler for good government, took the bold and unprecedented step of throwing out the map. Its 4-3 ruling departed from the high court’s four-decade history of rubber-stamping increasingly politically driven redistricting. Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, a Republican, crossed partisan lines to vote with the court’s three Democrats against a map designed to favor GOP incumbents.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:00 AM  Permalink | 0
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