Browsing Month April, 2018

Pennsylvania school voucher plans likely to face constitutional challenges

By at December 13, 2011 | 8:46 am | 7 Comments

Pennsylvania school voucher plans likely to face constitutional challenges

The proponents of Pennsylvania’s proposed school voucher plan claim the program will benefit kids in bad public school districts. The opponents of the plan say the real benefit will be to kids who already go to private schools and to Catholic schools that are struggling to stay afloat because of diminishing enrollments. I don’t know […]

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Education , Featured , Pennsylvania Issues

Fifteen Highest Unemployment Rates by Country, 2011

By at December 12, 2011 | 8:44 am | 3 Comments

Fifteen Highest Unemployment Rates by Country, 2011

The unemployment rate is defined as the level of unemployment divided by the labor force. The labor force is defined as the number of people employed plus the number unemployed but seeking work.* 15) 12.70%: Kenya 14) 13.00%: Tunisia. 13) 13.40%: Slovakia. 12) 14.40%: Latvia. 11) 14.50%: Ireland. 10)14.80%: Lithuania. 9) 17.00%: Mozambique: 8) 17.50%: […]

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Economy , Political

New PA senate districts: Proposed final map

By at December 9, 2011 | 1:31 pm | 3 Comments

New PA senate districts: Proposed final map

Pennsylvania is redistricted every 10 years by a five member commission composed of the leaders from both parties of each chamber. They cobble together an “incumbent protection program” by developing a redistricting scheme that defies laws of common sense. The legislature doesn’t enact the plan, nor does the Governor have the ability to veto it. […]

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Pennsylvania Issues , Political ,

Putting off repairs may be more expensive, and may be ineffective

By at December 9, 2011 | 7:00 am | 7 Comments

Putting off repairs may be more expensive, and may be ineffective

Like most people, I’ve not paid as much attention to the climate change discussion as I probably should have. Past life experiences have given me an understanding of what could happen, and likely will happen, but immediacy somehow escaped me. But I have done some studying, and while it has not made me an expert, […]

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Economy , Energy & Environment , Featured , Marcellus Shale , Pennsylvania Issues ,

The Blue Marble Photo at 39

By at December 8, 2011 | 8:00 am | 1 Comments

The Blue Marble Photo at 39

On Dec. 7, 1972, one of the astronauts on the Apollo 17 spacecraft snapped a photo of the earth out of a window in the cramped cabin. The photo, dubbed “The Blue Marble,” made the world catch its breath. It was really the first time the residents of Earth had ever seen a full-on portrait […]

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Energy & Environment , Featured ,

This Year’s Smarties Awards

By at December 7, 2011 | 11:55 am | 2 Comments

This Year’s Smarties Awards

I admit it – I am a sentimentalist and a sucker for tradition. So, it pains me greatly that budget cuts have forced a hiatus for TV Smart Talk this December which precludes me from hosting the annual Smarties Awards. Given each December, the Smarties recognize the high and low achievements of our elected officials […]

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Featured , Pennsylvania Issues , Political , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Auditor General Jack Wagner Again Urges General Assembly to Fix Flawed Charter School Funding Formula

By at December 7, 2011 | 9:48 am | 0 Comment

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release   Contact: Steve Halvonik 717-787-1381   Auditor General Jack Wagner Again Urges General Assembly to Fix Flawed Charter School Funding Formula   Says fix needed before more money is spent on new education initiatives   HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 6, 2011 – Auditor General Jack Wagner today urged the General Assembly […]

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Education , Pennsylvania Issues , Press Releases ,

THURSDAY: What will you ask Mayor Linda Thompson?

By at December 6, 2011 | 12:47 pm | 1 Comments

HARRISBURG HOPE Community Starts Here THURSDAY: What will you ask Mayor Linda Thompson? Join Mayor Linda Thompson and Harrisburg Hope at 6:00 p.m. this Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, for a community forum on how to get the City out of debt. This is the first open forum with the Mayor where […]

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Uncategorized

Raw is good (or at worst, not necessarily bad)

By at December 6, 2011 | 10:23 am | 4 Comments

Raw is good (or at worst, not necessarily bad)

The first line in a newspaper story reads: “An Amish farm in Pennsylvania has been stopped from selling contraband milk after a year-long federal government sting operation.” “The Rainbow Acres Farm was found to have been smuggling banned unpasteurised (sic) milk to customers in Maryland,” the story went on. Wow. Year-long sting operation? Smuggling … […]

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Featured , Pennsylvania Issues , Political

Fifteen Lowest Unemployment Rates by Country, 2011

By at December 5, 2011 | 11:35 am | 4 Comments

Fifteen Lowest Unemployment Rates by Country, 2011

The unemployment rate is defined as the level of unemployment  divided by the labor force. The labor force is defined as the number of people employed plus the number unemployed but seeking work. 15) 5.20%:            Australia. 14) 5.10%:            Bangladesh. 13) 4.83%:            Mexico. 12) 4.50%:             Japan. 11) […]

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Economy , Pennsylvania Issues , Political