Gov. Ed Rendell was among those sending a letter to U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter praising convict Vince Fumo and urging an easy sentence.
Who says there is no honor among thieves?
It didn’t do that much good. Buckwalter gave Fumo –who was ranking the Democrat on the state Senate Appropriations Committee until his indictment in February 2007– 55 months today for his conviction on 137 federal corruption charges.
Hey, it’s still half-a-year less than what his predecessor as the people’s representative from South Philadelphia’s 1st Senatorial District — Buddy Cianfrani — got in 1978. Take heart, Vince. Buddy was out in 27 months.
Also sending a letter of support for Fumo was former State Supreme Court Judge Sandra Schultz Newman, a Republican.
For an interesting explanation of Pennsylvania politics read the book by former Delaware Countian and judicial reformer (and martyr) Bob Surrick: “Lawyers, Judges and Journalists: The Corrupt and the Corrupters”. Free chapters can be found here: surrickbook.com/free.htm.
Mrs. Newman’s son Jonathan chaired the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for 4.5 years until January 2007. He actually did a pretty good job.
Will Ed Still Write To Vince?
Marple Newtown School District is going to start charging students a fee to participate in after-school activities. The idea is to save tax dollars.
So rather than going after the special interests that wildly inflate the cost of education, the powers-that-be figure on going after a group they feel won’t raise a fuss they can’t handle — namely students who’d rather play a sport or music or take the stage than goof off in front of a TV or an X-box, and their parents.
Granted taxes can’t be raised — especially property taxes in this economy.
So what should a school board do?
Well they can ask the faculty and administration for give-backs (cue laughter). Ask the teachers to coach and direct without the extra-curricular pay, for instance, sort of like Little League coaches. (cue more laughter).
What else? How about passing a resolution demanding our legislators exempt school districts from the prevailing wage law for construction and renovation? (cue more laughter)
The prevailing wage requirement and other construction mandates hike costs up to 40 percent — IIRC — over what a business owner would pay.
Quick quiz MN math students: What’s 40 percent of the $65 million slated to go to your new high school?
And if you really want to control spending — and remove the not-so-good -teachers that afflict every district — start demanding that the state change the law to let school boards replace teachers when their contracts end. More than enough money would be found to cover after-school activities.
And education would improve.
Joe “Soundwaves” Szczechowski who has been covering music for almost 30 years — much of with the Press papers of Delaware County– wrote of his rare miscues in the July 8 edition of Press Focus, one of which was using Wikipedia to get the real name of guitar legend Carlos Santana.
Joe said that Wiki still lists Santana’s full name as Carlos Augusto Santana Alves when it should be Carlos Humberto Santana de Barragan.
Check Wiki again Joe. It looks like somebody brought your concern up.
Joe’s website is http://sound-waves-column.blogspot.com.
Joe “Soundwaves” Szczechowski
Care facilities in Pennsylvania – citing English Common Law — have been suing the children of parents unable to pay the debts they incurred for services they provided.
If only the health care facilities that treated the late Ann Dunham — President Obama’s mother — had been aware of this.
Ms. Dunham would not have had to fear the inability to pay her bills — as Barack “My Son, the Harvard Grad” Obama, so advertised during his campaign — and young couples in Pennsylvania and other states would not have had to feel guilt over Ms. Dunham’s plight.
Investor’s Business Daily noted that physician-owned hospitals are endangered by the various medical-care reforms being considered in D.C.
According to IBD, traditional hospital groups last week reached a deal with the Obama
administration and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus,
D-Mont., to reduce their Medicare and Medicaid payments by $155 billion
over 10 years with the stipulation that physician-owned hospitals be required to have a Medicare provider agreement — necessary to see Medicare patients — retroactive to last Jan. 1.
There are about 200 physician-owned hospitals in the country with 110 under-construction.
Traditional hospitals claim that competition from physician-owned
rivals is unfair since they don’t have to take money-losing Medicaid or
So it seems the object of health-care reform is to stop physicians from providing health care.
While doing some clean up today at the old Garnet Valley Press office in Concord Township (Pa.) Fred Mitchell stopped by thinking the office remained open and looking for a recent paper with a story about him written by Eileen Shomo.
Fred revealed he had been a 17-year-old sailor manning an anti-aircraft gun aboard the destroyer USS Drexler which was sunk by a kamikaze plane on March 27, 1945 off Okinawa. Out of crew of 336 there was 158 dead and 52 wounded, one of whom was Fred.
Fred said he nursed an enduring hatred for the Japanese to the dismay of his wife and parents. He said he wished we had dropped three atom bombs on the country.
His wife noted he said the Lord’s Prayer at church and wondered if he wasn’t being a bit hypocritical when it he said the part about “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others”.
Fred said he caught a documentary on TV regarding three Marines who fought on Iwo Jima and had, had the same hatred with regard to the Japanese. He caught them questioning whether they wanted to die with that hatred. He said the Marines decided to try to meet with Japanese who fought them there. They found three and they met on the island where they had been trying to kill each other. What died was their hatred. The Japanese also confessed to fear dying with hate.
Fred said before a reunion of Drexler survivors his group had been contacted by a Japanese-American woman who made documentaries and wanted to interview them. The ensuring film led to a visit to Japan for the survivors and their wives sponsored by the Japanese business community.
The hatred died.
Fred said they were treated like movie stars, and ever a sailor, was quite taken with the loveliness of the Japanese hostesses.
Fred said he plans to return.
Fred was also quite complementary of the health care he was receiving in the VA medical system.
Kamikaze Survivor Visits Us
In mid-June there was a flurry of reports about President Obama’s firing of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin without regard to a legally mandated waiting period after Walpin found financial shenanigans with the organization highly favored by Obama.
There hasn’t been much since.
I guess the media gate-keepers figured the priority was Michael Jackson’s death.
Of course, if he hadn’t died, I suspect another priority would have been found.
Inspector General Obama Fired
Gov. Ed Rendell has challenged Republican lawmakers to come up with a budget that doesn’t require a tax hike. How about just pass last year’s budget? Granted a lot of state workers won’t get the raises they expected. OTOH, did you last year?
Or how about this: eliminate the laws requiring governments to pay for legal advertising (which is being done); eliminate the prevailing wage requirement which hikes the cost of state and local construction projects by at least 10 percent; and return to school boards the right not to hire back teachers and other public school union members when their contracts end. Since 1970, school districts have not not been able to replace union members upon the expiration of their contract which means they keep paying them without being able (practically) to discipline them when they fail to perform to standards.
If this was done, the state could end a goodly bit of municipal and school subsidy and let the windfall the locals get from the reforms cover it.
But that would mean a lot of angry drones and they are Rendell’s constituency.
I just got back from the Springfield Fourth of July celebrations. I missed the parade but caught the party at Memorial Park. There was a fire juggler, a jazz band, pony rides and lots of friendly people and friendly dogs.
And it was great to see a lot of flags flying at homes on Springfield Road.
Once things were pink for the Aston Republican Party. Joe Possenti was captain and his first mate was the always entertaining Keith Crego.
But things change. Joe has now followed in the footsteps of Arlen Specter and become a Democrat, and Crego, well, I really don’t know what he’s been up to.
I’m sure Possenti’s reasoning was solely a matter of principle and sour grapes for his losing the GOP chairmanship had nothing to do with it.
Nor did the end of his tenure as President of the Board of the Aston Commissioners in December.
I’m certain it was principle. He must have seen the light about global warming and came to understand that the infliction of economic suffering on those not connected to the power structure is only way to appease the anger of Gaia.
Possenti, who remains Third Ward commissioner, took Second Ward commissioner Jeffrey Pilla to the Dem side with him.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, Sarah Palin stepped down as governor saying that since she wasn’t running for re-election it was in the best interest of her state that there not be a lame duck in the office.
Some people want to hold office for the power and ego. Others want to serve.
Joe Possenti Aping Arlen