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 Sun, 29 Mar 2015 11:10:44 -0400 60 <![CDATA[Think About It: Our Love of Animals]]> When you grow up on a farm, you have an inborn love for animals. Whether it was the cows and chickens, hogs and geese, horse and pony, sheep, cat or dog, from the start of the day to the end of the day we were around those animals. To this day I still love the smell of the barn.

But it is one thing to have animals as part of your livelihood and another thing to have them as pets.

Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:59:17 -0400 2015-03-26T16:59:17-04:00 2015-03-26T16:59:17-04:00
<![CDATA[Wolf negotiates billions with unions who gave him millions]]> Gov. Tom Wolf's first executive order banned gifts for executive branch employees in order to eliminate conflicts of interest between those in power and anyone "seeking to obtain business from or has financial relations with the commonwealth.

Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:59:10 -0400 2015-03-26T16:59:10-04:00 2015-03-26T16:59:10-04:00
<![CDATA[Wolf's budget could save Pennsylvania]]> Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal presents a clear vision for the future of our state and dares us to be great in the spirit of President John Kennedy who said that "a rising tide lifts all boats."

There will be some who will try to derail this budget by picking away at the pieces of the plan to protect their own "special interests.

Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:17:37 -0400 2015-03-26T16:17:37-04:00 2015-03-26T16:17:37-04:00
<![CDATA[Pa. should make cyber charter school funding reform a priority]]> Schools that teach. A very basic concept, yet one that has more complicated layers -- with one layer costing about $426 million annually.

Gov. Tom Wolf's budget included a new $1 billion cumulative investment in education as well as a four-year commitment of $2 billion in new money for basic education, special education and Pre-K.

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:44:41 -0400 2015-03-19T14:44:41-04:00 2015-03-19T14:45:55-04:00
<![CDATA[Taxpayers deserve a fair trade with school property tax elimination]]> Many local football fans have watched their favorite NFL team make numerous trades and acquisitions over the past two weeks. Some of those trades leave fans scratching their heads and wondering what the front office is doing to help the team get to the Super Bowl.

Two weeks ago, I heard a similar reaction from local residents to Gov.

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:21:26 -0400 2015-03-19T14:21:26-04:00 2015-03-19T14:21:26-04:00
<![CDATA[Energy efficiency legislation works]]> Last year was the hottest ever recorded globally, and the U.S. remains the world leader in CO2 emissions per capita.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new regulation limiting the single largest cause of global warming: carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants.

Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:39:19 -0400 2015-03-12T09:39:19-04:00 2015-03-12T09:39:19-04:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: Sew Many Quilts; So Little Time]]> Every now and then, I like to stop by the old quilt rack hanging on an upstairs wall in the old farmhouse where we live here on the University of Valley Forge campus. The oldest part of the house was built somewhere around the mid-1800s, so an old quilt hanging on that wall fits perfectly.

Just a glance at that old quilt with its yellow, pink and blue patches transports me back to my childhood when our family would visit the maker of that quilt, Mary Longenecker, my maternal grandmother whom we called Maw Maw.

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:21:56 -0400 2015-03-11T13:21:56-04:00 2015-03-11T13:21:56-04:00
<![CDATA[Why this Catholic physician supports medical aid in dying]]> Inspired by the public advocacy of terminal brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and at least 16 other states -- from California to New York -- have introduced bills that would authorize the medical option of aid in dying.

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:20:02 -0400 2015-03-11T13:20:02-04:00 2015-03-11T13:20:02-04:00
<![CDATA[Trust Pennsylvanians, not government, to lead the way]]> Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a budget with a spending rate clocking in at a blistering $1,000 per second. That means in the time it takes you to read this article, say three minutes, state government would spend a stunning $180,000. And the governor is looking at you to pay for it with a $4.5 billion tax increase -- the largest in state history.

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:07:12 -0400 2015-03-11T13:07:12-04:00 2015-03-11T13:07:12-04:00
<![CDATA[Gov. Tom Wolf inviting conversation: Who's up to task?]]> We've heard a lot of state budget addresses over the years, stretching back to Gov. Dick Thornburgh. They've been fairly predictable, as have been the default responses of the opposite party (one party's "investments" are another's "taxes" or "giveaways").

It's political theater and everyone has his/her role and script, which have grown increasingly rigid.

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:01:16 -0500 2015-03-04T14:01:16-05:00 2015-03-04T14:01:16-05:00
<![CDATA[Think About It: You Know You are Old If...]]> One of hardest things to understand is what it means to be old. I am beginning to realize what Bernard Baruch meant when he said, "To me, old age is always ten years older than I am."

When I attended the one-room Isabella Elementary School outside Lebanon, Pa., anyone who was going to Cornwall High School seemed much older than me.

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:08:56 -0500 2015-03-04T13:08:56-05:00 2015-03-04T13:08:56-05:00
<![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