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, 28 Feb 2015 19:28:27 -0500 60 <![CDATA[Think About It: Addicted to Snow]]> "The very fact of snow is such an amazement."

-- Roger Ebert

There are very few people I know who are neutral about snow. There are those who love it and they can never get enough of it. Others, when they see their first winter snowflakes, they begin counting the days until spring.

Some months ago, Isaac's family moved to Pennsylvania from Florida so his parents could begin working at the University of Valley Forge.

Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:29:05 -0500 2015-02-27T11:29:05-05:00 2015-02-27T11:29:05-05:00
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Pa. Legislature sitting on $161M of taxpayer money]]> You have to give Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature points for chutzpah.

GOP leaders constantly lecture state agencies, municipalities and school districts on the need for cost cutting.

Tighten the belt.

Hold the line on tax increases.

Cut pension costs.

Do more with less.

Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:29:02 -0500 2015-02-27T11:29:02-05:00 2015-02-27T11:29:02-05:00
<![CDATA[Community Reinvestment Act can boost energy efficiency, funding for low-income schools]]> One in five Americans spends his or her days in our nation's 140,000 K-12 schools. Those schools spend close to $8 billion a year on energy costs, the second-largest line item in a school budget after personnel costs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 25 percent of the energy used in schools is wasted.

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:11:41 -0500 2015-02-25T12:11:41-05:00 2015-02-25T12:11:41-05:00
<![CDATA[Pa. government should do less so we can do more]]> Prosperity or ruin? In theory, it's a simple choice with an obvious answer. But in practice, complicating factors make the decision anything but easy.

In the political world, appeasing special interests with new programs and promises of more government spending is often an easier choice than spending responsibly.

Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:49:14 -0500 2015-02-20T10:49:14-05:00 2015-02-20T10:49:14-05:00
<![CDATA[Wolf's so-called 'moratorium' on death penalty holds no water in Pa. courts]]> Governor Wolf did not impose a "moratorium" on Pennsylvania's death penalty.

He has no such authority and he knows that. The Governor was properly advised by Judge Timothy K. Lewis, former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, that there exists no authority in the Office of Pennsylvania Governor to declare a moratorium or suspend the death penalty.

Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:49:07 -0500 2015-02-20T10:49:07-05:00 2015-02-20T10:49:07-05:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: Thoughts on Leadership, Part I]]> Last week I shared six "Thoughts on Leadership - Part I." Today I would like to share six more.

7 Service: The Jordan River Dies at the Dead Sea. Although the Dead Sea is rich with mineral content, it cannot sustain marine life because everything flows in and nothing flows out. We admire leaders who serve.

Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:30:12 -0500 2015-02-18T14:30:12-05:00 2015-02-18T14:30:12-05:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: Thoughts on Leadership, Part I]]> "A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them."

-- M. D. Arnold

Every now and then I like to bring up the subject of leadership in this column. Before I begin, I want you to know that I am a fellow leadership-discoverer. I am definitely not an expert, but rather a simple farm boy who has picked up some things along the way.

Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:12:27 -0500 2015-02-12T15:12:27-05:00 2015-02-12T15:12:27-05:00
<![CDATA[The real 'dark money' in Pennsylvania politics]]> January marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United v. FEC decision, which lifted many restrictions on corporate spending in politics. President Obama highlighted the anniversary with a statement "It is not often that nations learn from the past, even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it."

- Henry Kissinger

Former Sens. Walter Mondale (D-MN) and Gary Hart (D-CO) hope they can buck that trend. During this past week the two former Senators have taken a lead in speaking out on an issue that has reached front burner status for many organizations and individuals.

Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:55:44 -0500 2015-02-12T14:55:44-05:00 2015-02-12T14:55:44-05:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: The Prophetic Fire of Ida B. Wells]]> "None of us alone can save the nation or world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so."

-- Cornel West in "Race Matters" (1994), p. 109

I don't agree with everything Cornel West says or all of the ways he says it, but when he speaks, he always makes me think.

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:34:18 -0500 2015-02-04T13:34:18-05:00 2015-02-06T13:12:32-05:00
<![CDATA[A free and open internet makes an innovative and competitive economy]]> If you're reading this online, thank net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet content must be delivered equally. This article shouldn't be transmitted more slowly than another one. Your cat video shouldn't be given priority over a TED Talk. More importantly, your small business' website shouldn't be loaded slower than Amazon's.

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:34:11 -0500 2015-02-04T13:34:11-05:00 2015-02-04T13:34:11-05:00
<![CDATA[Long-term problems are big opportunities for change in Pennsylvania]]> Pennsylvania added nearly two dozen new lawmakers in November, and there's a new face in the Governor's Mansion. Indeed, that face will look very new, as Tom Wolf is the first Pennsylvania governor with a beard in more than a century. Unfortunately, the big problems facing taxpayers haven't changed in years.

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:34:04 -0500 2015-02-04T13:34:04-05:00 2015-02-04T13:34:04-05:00
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Pa. needs a strong shield law for journalists]]> Apparently, shooting the messenger is much more appealing to a statewide grand jury than actually investigating how the information was leaked in the first place.

"The state-side investigating grand jury investigating alleged leaks of grand jury information by Attorney General Kathleen Kane is asking state legislators to narrow Pennsylvania's Shield Law that protects journalists from revealing confidential sources.

Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:27:20 -0500 2015-01-29T17:27:20-05:00 2015-01-29T17:27:20-05:00
<![CDATA[Citizens United will stifle business innovation]]> Five years after the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the United States is still feeling its ill effects.

The 2012 election cycle proved to be the most expensive cycle in history, with an estimated $6 billion in spending on federal races; 2014, meanwhile, was the "What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."

-- Zig Ziglar

Most of the time, I take my eyesight for granted. Over the years I hardly think about what it must be like to be blind. The people and things I see today I expect to see again tomorrow.

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