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 Sat, 30 May 2015 08:06:39 -0400 60 <![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Pennsylvania pension time bomb: Tick, tick ...]]> The ticking time bomb that is tucked inside the Pennsylvania budget has not detonated - yet.

But that does not mean the crisis circling around the state's two major public employee pension plans is going away, or that it is not having a huge effect on people's lives.

Across the region school boards are singing the same, sad song.

Fri, 29 May 2015 11:43:37 -0400 20150529114337 2015-05-29T11:43:37-04:00 2015-05-29T11:43:37-04:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: Play it by ear]]>

"I love the winning; I can take the losing; but most of all I love to play." Boris Becker

If you read my column regularly you know that I love baseball. I grew up playing it. The smell of the glove, the crack of the bat, the feel of the ball, all bring back countless childhood memories.

Sun, 24 May 2015 02:00:00 -0400 20150521173032 2015-05-24T02:00:00-04:00 2015-05-21T17:30:32-04:00
<![CDATA[THINK ABOUT IT: Trust your crazy ideas]]> "It's easy to come up with big ideas. Just think of something that everyone agrees would be 'wonderful' if it were only 'possible' - and then set out to make it possible." -- Armand Hammer

There are still a few more thoughts I learned from Dan Zadra, the writer, and Kristel Wills, the editor, in their book "Where Will You Be Five Years from Today?" that I would like to share with you.

Sun, 17 May 2015 02:00:00 -0400 20150514234033 2015-05-17T02:00:00-04:00 2015-05-14T23:40:33-04:00
<![CDATA[THINK ABOUT IT: Two Great Musicians: Crosby and Jackson]]> I grew up singing the old hymns. I loved them then and I still love them today. Just hearing the melodies of some of them instantly transports me to places and times long past. Some keep reminding me of times of great victory and others bring back some of the darkest seasons of my life.

Actually, I could probably tell you my life story through the messages of those old hymns and where I was and what I was doing when they became permanent fixtures in my soul.

Sun, 10 May 2015 17:50:05 -0400 20150510175005 2015-05-10T17:50:05-04:00 2015-05-10T17:50:05-04:00
<![CDATA[From the Editor's Desk: Farewell Phoenixville, or rather, see you around]]> It's with mixed emotions that I write this final column and put one more issue of The Phoenix Reporter & Item to bed.

After a very memorable two years with Digital First Media, I have accepted a position with a publishing company in Philadelphia. Beginning this week, The Phoenix is transitioning into the hands of other editors within this company.

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:18:47 -0400 20150429201847 2015-04-29T20:18:47-04:00 2015-04-29T20:18:47-04:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: The Copy Machine Study]]> As we were growing up, I think all of us heard the words "just because." To our questions of why we should eat our vegetables or take a nap or study math, the answer all too often was simply "just because." Without a clear rationale, it is hard to muster up the motivation to do the right thing.

However, when there is a clear "because," everything changes.

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:18:38 -0400 20150429201838 2015-04-29T20:18:38-04:00 2015-04-29T20:18:38-04:00
<![CDATA[Valley Forge Road bridge closing creates traffic nightmare scenario]]> We all knew it was coming.

The past few months, especially, were filled with confused looks, furrowed brows and general disdain at the mere mention of Valley Forge Bridge closing on Route 23 in Schuylkill Township. Deemed structurally deficient for some time, the replacement of the unsafe bridge was inevitable, and so was the major traffic upheaval for 20,000 commuters who rely on driving over the bridge daily.

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:18:33 -0400 20150429201833 2015-04-29T20:18:33-04:00 2015-04-29T20:18:33-04:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: Learning Something New]]> For quite some time now I have known about the famous song "Let It Go" from the movie "Frozen," which was released in 2013. Whether it was Idina Menzel singing the Oscar-winning song or it was a host of imitations of little girls on YouTube, most of us have heard it over and over.

I knew about that song and I knew it was important in that movie, which now is the highest grossing animated film of all time and one of Disney's top franchises, but what I didn't know was where that song fit in the movie and what was really being "let go.

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:59:01 -0400 20150423135901 2015-04-23T13:59:01-04:00 2015-04-23T13:59:01-04:00
<![CDATA[Wolf's budget has unintended consequences]]> Kermit Bell is worried about his 90-year-old mother, Louise.

Like many seniors, Louise Bell sold her house when she moved to a Palmyra nursing home and lives on a fixed income. But if the proposed sales tax expansion contained in Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal becomes law, her nursing home costs will jump by $3,000 -- essentially adding a 13th month to her annual bill.

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:58:29 -0400 20150423135829 2015-04-23T13:58:29-04:00 2015-04-23T13:58:29-04:00
<![CDATA[Hydrogen fuel cells are the future of renewable energy storage]]> In the run-up to a solar eclipse on March 20 of this year, European tabloids had a Y2K-style field day.

In the middle of a bright, sunny day, European solar panels together produce about as much electricity as 90 large nuclear power plants. Germany, with the largest solar commitment, obtains as much as 50 percent of its electricity from the sun during the sunniest hours.

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:45:47 -0400 20150423134547 2015-04-23T13:45:47-04:00 2015-04-23T13:45:47-04:00
<![CDATA[Wolf's homecare order a money grab, puts personal care choice at risk]]> For the past 25 years, Don Lambrecht and David Smith have teamed up to allow Dave, a homebound quadriplegic, to lead a productive and fulfilling life -- and they've formed a close friendship in the process. But earlier this year, a little-known When Doris and Don Fisher opened their small retail store in 1969, they each put up $21,000 in savings and, without even discussing it, paid each other the same salary. That's how equal partnerships work.

Today, you know the Fishers' company as Gap Inc. Following Doris and Don's lead, the company continues to pay the women and men who work there dollar for dollar for the same day's work -- from sales associate to senior executive and every level in between.

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:42:44 -0400 20150417104244 2015-04-17T10:42:44-04:00 2015-04-17T10:42:44-04:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: Just Did It]]> Robert H. Schuller was a force. When he died recently at 88 years of age, I felt as though I had lost a friend. Although I never shook his hand, his influence in my life was profound.

His leadership journey really took a huge step forward in 1955 when he began a church in a drive-in movie theater in Garden Grove, California.

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 02:19:28 -0400 20150417021928 2015-04-17T02:19:28-04:00 2015-04-17T02:19:28-04:00
<![CDATA[Guest Column: Say thanks to your township supervisors]]> You may read about them in the newspaper or see them along local roads, plowing snow in the winter or patching potholes in the spring.

They're your township supervisors and staff, and while you may not know them personally, these public servants show up each and every day with one goal in mind: to build a better community for you, your family and your neighbors.

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:34:34 -0400 20150410113434 2015-04-10T11:34:34-04:00 2015-04-10T11:34:34-04:00
<![CDATA[Wal-Mart's small wage increase not enough for employees, taxpayers]]> You don't need a Wal-Mart front-door greeter to find the flaw in the company's recently announced boost in worker wages: it's not enough. Not enough to pull its lowest-paid workers out of poverty, and therefore not enough to get American taxpayers off the hook for subsidizing the giant retailer's low-wage payroll.

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:23:07 -0400 20150410112307 2015-04-10T11:23:07-04:00 2015-04-10T11:23:07-04:00