RSS Feed from The Phoenix Reporter and Item: The latest news from The Phoenix Reporter and Item: website: all stories The Phoenix Reporter and Item Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:13:28 -0500 60 <![CDATA[We can't let our leaders ignore climate change]]> In mid-November, President Obama struck an historic deal with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in which both countries pledged to substantially reduce their greenhouse emissions over the next decade.

While crucial details need to be worked out, this is still a great step forward. We need bold action now if we hope to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change and leave behind a planet where future generations can enjoy the same quality of life that we have now.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:03:01 -0500 2014-12-18T20:03:01-05:00 2014-12-18T20:03:03-05:00
<![CDATA[Paid Family Leave: An employee benefit that benefits employers as well]]> The holiday season can be a time of great joy. But for many working parents, the holidays are also a stark reminder of how tenuous their employment and benefits are.

When you have paid time off, spending time with family is joyous, but what if you were forced to take time off to care for yourself or a family member?

By one estimate, 23 percent of Americans have either lost a job or been threatened with the loss of their job for taking time off to care for themselves or another family member.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:16:27 -0500 2014-12-18T19:16:27-05:00 2014-12-18T19:16:29-05:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: A Cup of Christmas Tea]]> "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

--C.S. Lewis

One of the staple, cold drinks of Lebanon and Lancaster counties, Pa., is mint tea or, as it is sometimes called, meadow tea. Amish, Mennonites and other people in Pennsylvania Dutch Country enjoy this iced tea from spring all the way through to the fall frost.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:02:52 -0500 2014-12-18T18:02:52-05:00 2014-12-18T18:02:54-05:00
<![CDATA[From ashes of firebird vandalism, Phoenixville provides example to other communities]]> Last Saturday, I woke up to a phone call at 7:30 in the morning from photographer and Phoenixville area staple Barry Taglieber.

When I get a phone call that early on a Saturday from Barry, I know it's important. He knows Saturdays are for sleeping in after the paper goes to press the night before and hates to wake me.

Sat, 13 Dec 2014 13:27:33 -0500 2014-12-13T13:27:33-05:00 2014-12-13T13:27:35-05:00
<![CDATA[Zogby: Time for Wolf to end the 'blame game' and govern]]> No amount of feigned astonishment at a pending $1.9 billion budget deficit will erase the fact that this situation has existed for years and will only worsen without needed reforms.

When Gov. Corbett took office, he faced a $4.2 billion deficit -- largely based on the use of one-time federal stimulus money to fund operational expenses.

Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:01:43 -0500 2014-12-10T18:01:43-05:00 2014-12-10T18:01:44-05:00
<![CDATA[DIY Fame: Phoenixville should invest in its burgeoning music scene]]> I've been hanging around Phoenixville for over 10 years and living here for a month, and if there's one thing that defines the town, it's music.

From The Pickering Creek Inn to Steel City, musicians can find any place hungry for fresh, new talent. This town offers young musicians a fighting chance to promote themselves and their art, and there's no time like the present to do so!

The industry has changed over the last decade, shifting the balance of power away from major label suits in suites, counting money and devising the next hit.

Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:16:53 -0500 2014-12-10T17:16:53-05:00 2014-12-10T17:16:54-05:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: The Good Old Days]]> "We get so soon old and so late smart."

--Pennsylvania Dutch Saying

When people talk about the "good old days," have you ever wondered how good they really were? The farther we all get from the past, the harder it is to separate fact from fiction. For as Doug Larson said, "Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.

Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:53:09 -0500 2014-12-10T16:53:09-05:00 2014-12-10T16:53:11-05:00
<![CDATA[Reporter Frank Otto sums up life in the news business]]> Journalism is the only life I've known as an adult. I started at the Delaware County Daily Times as a full-time intern when I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2011. Just a few months after that summertime internship ended, I found myself at 24 N. Hanover St., sitting in the newsroom desk closest to the door.

Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:04:24 -0500 2014-12-09T11:04:24-05:00 2014-12-09T11:04:26-05:00
<![CDATA[Teachers' Unions: The common roadblock to reform]]> From Philadelphia to York to the Pittsburgh suburbs, parents and taxpayers are looking to improve public education without breaking the bank. But there's a common roadblock standing in their way: Teachers' unions are consigning students to some of the worst-performing schools in the state -- all to retain their iron grip on power.

Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:20:22 -0500 2014-12-09T10:20:22-05:00 2014-12-09T10:20:24-05:00
<![CDATA[Voters call for clarity: IRS should listen]]> Nonprofit political activity is at a crossroads. Nonprofits have come under criticism from some on the left for spending too much dark money to influence politics, while some on the right critique the IRS for subjecting certain groups applying for nonprofit status to increased scrutiny based on their names.

Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:20:19 -0500 2014-12-09T10:20:19-05:00 2014-12-09T10:20:21-05:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: Celebrating Christmas Traditions]]> "Some businessmen are saying this could be the greatest Christmas ever. I always thought the first one was."

-- Art Fettig

Every year as we enter the month of December, we step into the world of Christmas traditions. These unique behaviors at this time of the year help us celebrate what Christmas means to us, but they also help us celebrate what we mean to each other.

Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:08:17 -0500 2014-12-02T15:08:17-05:00 2014-12-02T15:08:20-05:00
<![CDATA[The Black Friday Blues -- tax inversion and holiday shopping]]> Shoppers will be lining up at the crack of dawn on "Black Friday" for spectacular deals. What they don't know is that the best bargains have already been taken -- not by other shoppers, but by some of America's largest corporations.

Wal-Mart, the biggest corporation in America, with revenues of almost half a trillion dollars, gets a $1 billion tax break each year on average by exploiting federal tax loopholes, according to a Did you know that ducks do not have teeth? They do, however, have small grooves inside their bills to help them chew their food.

But like all birds, they have gizzards, which are those weird organs that have gravel in them. Birds pecking at gravel therefore knocks around their food, breaking it down into small pieces so they can swallow it.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:58:36 -0500 2014-11-26T11:58:36-05:00 2014-11-26T11:58:37-05:00
<![CDATA[Vote to dissolve Rec Board silences community voices]]> This past October, Phoenixville Borough Council voted 7-1 to repeal a borough ordinance that established the formation of the Recreation Board; none of the members voting in favor of the motion had ever attended a Recreation Board meeting or knew what the board does. This vote begins the process of dissolution of the Recreation Board.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:45:48 -0500 2014-11-26T11:45:48-05:00 2014-11-26T11:45:50-05:00
<![CDATA[Revictimization Relief Act a way for victims to have their day in court]]> As with so much else surrounding Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Revictimization Relief Act has been distorted to suit the needs of an egocentric killer and his deluded followers.

Simply put, the new law allows victims and their survivors to seek a court hearing -- complete with facts and arguments from both sides -- when their assailant crosses the line from free speech to sick taunt.

Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:13:17 -0500 2014-11-19T10:13:17-05:00 2014-11-19T10:13:19-05:00