SEPTA’s Going To Party Like It’s 7-1-2010

SEPTA’s fare hike took effect today with the the price of a token rising ten cents to$1.55; a weekly transit pass jumping from $20.75 to$22; and transfers for subway, bus and trolleys being hiked 25 centsto $1.

Also off-peak discounts were ended for regional rail.

Base fares on buses, subways and trolleys remain $2.

Meanwhile it has been revealed that SEPTA officials have been enjoying thousand-dollar company lunches at places like Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City.

The trolley and bus drivers are generally pretty decent people who work honest hours for what they get but has it occurred to anyone else that management has no real incentive to grow the largely tax-funded authority. In fact, it seems, that if ridership were to significantly increase they would, well, have to work harder, and why would they want to do that if they are taking lunches at swank restaurants now?

They are clearly not trying to grow. How much marketing do you see for SEPTA? Maybe a rewritten press release in the dino media but not much. If you should have moved into the area, did you ever get a direct-mail piece describing what SEPTA could do for you and how to use the system and get discounts? Maybe free passes to sample the service?

Of course not.

More riders would mean more people to deal with which would mean more headaches. It’s much easier to be able to leave the cell phone off at catered affairs.

Passed Pa. Budget Defines Deficit Spending

The General Assembly, yesterday, approved a $28.05 billion general fund budget that is about a billion dollars less than what Gov. Rendell wanted but is still about $3 billion more than the state receives in revenues  as pointed out by Nate Benefield of Commonwealth Foundation.

The vote was 37-13 in the Senate. The only Democrats among the dissenters were LeAnna Washington of the 4th District, Jim Ferlo of the 38th District, and Daylin Leach of the 17th District, which includes Haverford and Radnor townships in Delaware County.  The county’s GOP senate contingent supported the bill, however, as Dominic Pileggi of the 9th District and Ted Erickson of the 26th District voted aye.

The vote was 117-84 in the House with Chelsa Wagner of the 22nd District being the only Democrat dissenter. Republicans supporting the bill included Bill Adolph of the 165th District and Nick Miccozie of the 163rd District, both of which are in Delaware County.

Rendell is expected to sign the bill.

The general fund, btw, is less than half  of what the state will actually spend.

Pa. Daily Blames State Budget Crisis On Bush

The Delaware County Daily Times in suburban Philadelphia, today, squarely placed the blame on Harrisburg’s inability to pass a budget on the shoulders of George W. Bush. It said:

Of course, it doesn’t help that the country was plunged into economic disaster by the previous administration. When George W. Bush took office in 2001, he inherited a budget surplus of more than $200 billion. In 2009, he left the country with a $1 trillion deficit and projected deficits of $8 trillion or more.

The Times‘ reasoning appears to be that if Washington didn’t have such fiscal headaches they’d be able to shovel more money to Pennsylvania and nobody would be upset about state political hacks making  300 Gs  even when they retire. Nor would people be expressing ire at the compensation of the members of the teachers union for whose pensions Harrisburg is largely on the hook .

Of course, one wonders why it might not have occurred to the editorial writers that places like California and New York and Michigan with even greater budget headaches might not get first dibs in the fed loot money which would obviously include a chunk taken from Pennsylvanians.

Now regarding the former president, while one is not inclined to defend the domestic spending that occurred under his watch, we can’t recall the Daily Times objecting to Dubya’s creating a Medicare drug entitlement that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade, increasing federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation or being the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs.

And we certainly don’t see the Times objecting to President Obama’s drastic acceleration of those programs.

Of course, a lot of conservatives did and do.

And with regard to that  $1 trillion deficit and the projected $8 trillion deficits, well, Bush’s final budget projected a $408 billion deficit for fiscal year Oct. 1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2009. The TARP fiasco, strongly supported by a certain young senator from Illinois, spent nearly $300 billion  more — hey Daily Times what reforms do you advocate for Freddie and Fannie?  Then, Obama tacked on another $113 billion in “stimulus” spending,  and the economic downturn caused a drastic shortfall from the tax revenue that had been projected.

Obama’s first all-by-his-lonesome budget, btw,  calls for a $1.17 trillion deficit.

The problem with the old media isn’t that it criticizes and scrutinizes Republicans but that it fails to do so with Democrats. Stop drinking the Flavor Aid and start thinking for yourselves. 

Blood From Stones In Springfield

Here are two of the four homes for sale in the 100 block of West Springfield Road, Springfield, Pa. Note, that’s just in the 100 block. The tax pain suffered by the people of this state can be laid solely at the feet of government corruption;  mostly by Democrats but the Republicans are far from innocent bystanders. It’s only going to get worse and, no, the pending reform  is not going to help.Enshrine this in gold: it is every bit as decent and moral to cut  a  public employee’s pension as it is to force someone to sell their home to pay for it.
Springfield residents, btw, are now receiving their school tax bills and it’s starting to dawn on many of them that they are merely renting their homes from the government.
The good news? The thrift shop at the Church of Redeemer, which is also in that block, is now open on Tuesdays as well as Saturdays. 

Snapper Saved In Springfield

 Snapper Saved In Springfield
Snapper Saved In Springfield
Lisa from Delaware County Animal Control removes a snapping turtle from beneath a truck on Windsor Circle, Springfield, Pa. about 5:40 p.m. today, June 28, 2010.  The out-of-element reptile will be released in one of the bodies of water in the county she said. In back is Kristina Brotzman who reported the troubled animal. As noted, wildlife is thriving in this Philadelphia suburb.

Dan Desiderio Happy Birthday For Delco’s Maestro

Dan Desiderio Happy Birthday For Delco's Maestro
With premier accordionist Desiderio is premier journalist William Lawrence Sr.

Long-time Springfield, Pa. resident Daniel J. Desiderio, now of Middletown Township with a Media address, was feted for five hours this afternoon, June 26, in honor of his 80th birthday at Sam’s Restaurant & Saloon on MacDade Boulevard in Glenolden.

The event featured fine food, heartfelt testimonials and superb music.

Desiderio, one of Delaware County’s hidden jewels, is among the premier accordionists in the world. He conducts the Accordion Pops Orchestra  but is known for compositions and has performed throughout the world including Carnegie Hall and the Academy of Music.

He was the Air Force Band’s first accordionist and was a featured soloist during his military service.

He was trained by Pietro Deiro Sr. 

 Dan Desiderio Happy Birthday For Delco’s Maestro

The Lights Are Back On

Power returned to the Rolling Road/Springfield Road section of Springfield, Pa. about 12:30 p.m. today ending a 21-hour outage that was the longest for the neighborhood in memory.

A fast-moving storm with hail and hurricane-force winds hit the Philadelphia region about 3:30 yesterday afternoon toppling trees, shutting down commuter rail lines and knocking out power to 215,000 PECO customers about half of which were in Delaware County.

Pa. Congresskook Defends Massive Bank Bill

Congressman Paul Kanjorski (DPa11) defended at a June 17 conference committee hearing  the pending massive regulation of American financial institutions by saying it will help people suffering from the “longevity of this recession” and  “they’re not minorities and they’re not defective and they’re not all the things you’d like to insinuate that these programs [are] about, these are average, good American people.”

Being reconciled are similar thousand-plus page bills passed by the House on Dec. 11  and the Senate on May 20.  The regulation would not touched the government-sponsored enterprises Freddie Mac  and Fannie Mae, to which our economic turmoil can be traced, and will likely open the door to rampant crony capitalism. 

Kanjorski is in a tight race with Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta

Springfield Murder Motive Reportedly Love Triangle

The murder that occurred Monday, June 21, between the Olde Sproul Village Shopping Center and Smedley Park in Springfield, Pa. was reportedly motivated by a wife’s threat to leave a husband for an old lover.

The victim, of Norristown, was a wounded Army calvary scout who had served long-deployments in Iraq and was reportedly the old boyfriend of the wife of the accused killer. The wife had kept up a correspondence with him and was allegedly preparing to leave her husband for him.

The woman has children from a first marriage who are reportedly close to the accused — an immigrant from Jamaica who owns a small business in Morton. Her relationship with the victim is reportedly the cause of the dissolution of the first marriage.

The crime was initially reported at 10:50 a.m. as an assault occurring in a white Jeep Cherokee at the parking lot of the shopping center. County detectives investigating a different matter happened to be on the scene and followed the Jeep down Baltimore Pike into the heavily wooded park where it stopped and the accused was captured after a short chase.

Inside the vehicle was the victim’s bloody body. The accused is claiming self defense.

CF Ask: Are All Lawmakers Crooks?

Commonwealth Foundation, today, itemized the recent charges, convictions and investigations of current and recent Pennsylvania state legislators and boldly claimed the crime rate in the state Capitol to be higher than our worst cities.

The CF’s Nathan Benefield pointed out that State Rep. Mike Veon, who had served as PA House Democrat Whip, has been sentenced to 6 to 14 years for his role in Bonusgate while trials are pending against former speakers of the house Bill DeWeese and John Perzel as well as former representatives Brett Feese and Steve Stetler. Note that Perzel and Feese are Republicans while DeWeese and Stetler are Democrats.

Benefield also points out that on the Senate side former powerbroker  Vince Fumo has been convicted, Sen. Jane Orie  has been indicted, and the feds have raided the homes and offices of Democratic Leader Bob Mellow  and Sen. Ray Musto. Here, Ms. Orie is the lone Republican and I’ll grant you that my suspicion is that when all is said and done the scandal will be the behavior of the prosecutor, who happens to belong to a powerful Democrat family, rather than that of the Senator.

Still it is the reasonable person that will think that the Pennsylvania is run by thieves and this would of course explain our chronic budget crisis and bloated pension plans
Don’t forget that those in trouble aren’t  backbenchers felt by their colleagues to be dirty, but men whom their peers elected to led them i.e. two speakers of the house, a Democrat house whip and a Democrat senate leader.

Yes, Pennsylvania, you are run by thieves.

One solution Commonwealth Foundation broached to bring a level of quasi-honesty to Harrisburg is term limits. To that I say dead on.