Penn State and Pittsburgh Steeler legend Franco Harris has launched a crusade to rehabilitate his former coach Joe Paterno, who was left stained by the Jerry Sandusky scandal, along with the school itself.
He is the front for a group of 15,000 PSU alumni called Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship who say the guilty party is not Penn State but Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile; State College police; Centre County Children and Youth Services; and the state Department of Public Welfare.
Well, the group has a point. It is about time that someone started making noise about the lack of an investigation by the appropriate authorities — including missing D.A. Ray Gricar — into the 1998 report of a molestation by Sandusky. And while JoePa was certainly no hero, he is not a villain either, and it is quite inappropriate to make him the face of the tragedy. Why would one be upset about an aging football coach’s failure to investigate when those charged to do investigations failed to investigate, especially considering that Paterno did pass on the report of the crime?
Penn State’s institutional role, however, can’t be ignored. School administrators all the way up to former President Graham Spanier covered up Sandusky’s crimes and the The Second Mile was certainly well-connected with PSU.
Even more damningly Spainer appears to have pointedly ignored at least one other accusation of child molestation involving a school celebrity — namely special education teacher John T. Neisworth.
Still, we are glad Franco’s group is stirring the pot and shining the light on the ignored heart of the scandal. Something really stinks in Happy Valley.
House Republicans recently unveiled a legislative package aimed at reforming charter and cyber charter school funding in Pennsylvania, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)
The package includes bills that would: • Create a commission to address inequities in the special education funding formula and determine how to fund charter and cyber charter special education students. • Allow deductions for school district pension payments prior to calculating payments to cyber charter schools. This proposal could save $165 million for school districts over the next five years. • Change the cyber charter funding formula for non-special education students by permitting school districts to deduct 50 percent of the costs of any cyber program they offer to their own resident students. It also would make additional deductions in calculating their payments to cyber charter schools based on costs that occur in a brick-and-mortar setting, such as extracurricular activities and district pupil services. • Permit the Commonwealth to directly pay charter and cyber charter schools, as opposed to school districts. This is intended to address concerns made by charter and cyber charter schools about the timeliness of their payments. • Lengthen the charter terms for predictable financing. The current three years initial term of a charter and five years for a renewal will be lengthened to five years for an initial term and 10 years for renewals. This will allow charter schools to more easily secure predictable financing for their operations.
The Independence Hall Tea Party Association will be among the participants in a “Workout with Dom” 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 at the AFC, 601 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 19004, featuring WPHT talk show host Dom Giordano.
For information call 610-664-6464.
The group will also be participating in peaceful demonstration to protect the right to keep and bear arms, 10 a.m., Feb. 8 at the State Capitol, 125 W. State St., Trenton, N.J. sponsored by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society.
As a first step in the annual budget process, Governor Tom Corbett will present his proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year before a joint session of the General Assembly tomorrow, Feb. 5, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)
The governor is expected to roll out plans for funding transportation and pension reforms in conjunction with the budget proposal.
Lawmakers will make it a priority to adopt an on-time, fiscally responsible budget for the third consecutive year.
In the weeks following the budget address, both the House and Senate Appropriations committees will hold hearings to closely examine the details of the spending plan. House hearings begin the week of February 18, with the Department of Revenue and the Independent Fiscal Office among the first to testify.
The Defense Department is expected to rule that military families living more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility or base closure site will no longer be allowed Tricare Prime, which is the military’s managed health care option, reports VFW magazine.
Tricare Prime participants pay an annual enrollment fee of $269.28 for an individual or $538.56 for a family.
About 171,000 retires and dependents will be affected. They will have to move Tricare Standard under which there is no enrollment fee but participants must cover 25 percent of allowable charges along with a $150 deductible for individuals or $300 for families. Out-of-pocket cost are capped at $3,000 per family.