We don’t mean to be overly snarky here, but we were listening to NewsWorks’ interview with Pa. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman this morning when something remarkable happened — he said something nice about Philly. Read more »
Police have arrested a Montgomery County man they say videotaped dozens of women and girls in changing rooms at King of Prussia Mall. Sean Moses is charged with 86 counts of invasion of privacy and one count of child pornography. Read more »
Amid growing concern about the transportation of oil by train through Pennsylvania — and through Philadelphia, to the city’s refineries — environmental groups have released a report (below) suggesting that “millions” of residents live in “evacuation zones” likely to be affected if an accident happens.
According to a report by the environmental advocacy groups PennEnvironment and FracTracker, more than 3.9 million state residents live within the federally recommended half-mile evacuation zone of rail routes. Their data was based on all active freight lines in the state.
“Considering the burgeoning volume of oil train traffic and the rate of accidents, this is a very serious issue warranting heightened transparency, communications, and safety enhancements,” said Brook Lenker, FracTracker’s executive director.
PublicSource, a nonprofit news agency, released its own report Monday. Their analysis was based on data provided by railroads to federal regulators found that 1.5 million state residents are at risk.
The presidential task force on 21st century policing led by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has issued its “interim” report. Ramsey will hold a press conference on the findings this morning with Philly media.
In a report released Monday, Obama’s task force on police reform did not embrace proposed policies like requiring police officers to wear body cameras or linking federal funding for local police departments to requirements all of their officers undergo racial bias training.
The 11-person task force, chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, a professor of criminology at George Mason University, instead recommended less sweeping changes.
Its “overarching recommendation” was for Obama to create a so-called National Crime and Justice Task Force to suggest more ideas. The report also urged, as civil rights leaders have long demanded, that police departments collect more precise data about the race and other demographic characteristics of people who are stopped and arrested.
If he had been shaken by the events of the last 24 hours, Bill Green wasn’t showing it when he appeared late Monday afternoon at Philadelphia School District Headquarters. He was all smiles and handshakes as he entered a meeting where students were being asked to weigh in on an issue — the district’s budget woes — that adults haven’t been able to fully resolve.
There wasn’t even an awkward moment when Matthew Stanski, the district’s chief financial officer, referred to Green as “Chairman Green” during public comments. Green — for now, anyway — is no longer the chairman of the School Reform Commission. Gov. Tom Wolf announced Sunday that he was replacing Green with fellow commissioner Marjorie Neff. Green has said he will seek a court ruling challenging Wolf’s authority to do so.
He told Philly Mag that events started rolling on Saturday. Read more »
Now we know for sure: There is no good way to govern Philadelphia schools — because all attempts to do so will end in tears.
Today, those tears belong to Bill Green, who gave up a council seat last year to make a longshot bet that he could lead Philadelphia schools into a new, brighter era. Now he’s apparently lost that bet, pending the outcome of a legal challenge — but the issues exposed by his untimely fall from grace have not. The Philadelphia School District is all but ungovernable.
A central issue: One underlying assumption of the state takeover of the Philadelphia school district — lo these many years ago — was that the state would speak with something like one voice. Yes, the governor gets to choose three of the School Reform Commission’s five members, and three people can generate disagreement on any topic. But the direction from Harrisburg, at least, was supposed to be somewhat consistent.
Not so. Read more »
Patrick D. Harker, president of the University of Delaware, is stepping down to become president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He leaves his current post July 1.
“While I am excited about my new role with the Philadelphia Fed, I will miss working on this beautiful campus with the best students and the most dedicated faculty and staff in American higher education,” Harker said in a statement released to the university community.
Harker had been under fire on campus in recent weeks for a Feb. 5 op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which he called for reforms to the traditional model of university education, to lower rising costs . “The system is teacher-centric,” he wrote then. “We need to become learner-centric.” Read more »
We’ve honestly not been sure how much attention to give the following item, because it’s just a little odd.
But here goes: Comcast is being sued. By Byron Allen. (Older folks will remember him from the show Real People; younger folks might recognize him from his syndicated celebrity interview show, Kickin’ It With Byron Allen.) For racial discrimination. And the proof of that racial discrimination? Well … Comcast has Al Sharpton on the payroll.
Yup. Read more »
Following Sunday night’s surprise news that Gov. Tom Wolf has dumped Bill Green as chair of the School Reform Commission, new Chair Marjorie Neff this morning has just issued her first official statement through the school district.
“The governor has asked me to serve as chair of the SRC to help realize his vision for public education,” she said in a statement. “I am hopeful that my background and experience as an educator and a parent will be useful to the task at hand.” Read more »