Penn State isn’t the only cover-up
It sickens me to see the hypocrisy around the media’s non-stop assault on Joe Paterno. He is surely one of the most vilified Americans of our time, more so than the actual child abuser, Jerry Sandusky.
One needs to remember that as the Jerry Sandusky abuse story broke, a parallel story also broke. Hall of Fame sportswriter Bill Conlin (sadly, a childhood hero of mine) was also accused of child abuse. He immediately retired, moved to Florida and will not speak. The story was briefly reported, but the media then quietly dropped it.
Readers, use some logic. Bill Conlin worked at the old Inquirer/Daily News building for 40 years. He was known by reporters all over the country. And none of these people (who are trained to dig out stories) knew something was rotten in Philly?
One has to believe, either every reporter was completely fooled by Conlin’s behavior, or that a few of them KNEW something was wrong but refused to investigate or say something. Why? Maybe like “JoePa,” this was out of shame for one of their own.
The media crucify Paterno, but are they likewise running away from another big child-abuse story? They demand the Paterno statue be torn down, that Penn State football be suspended, yet one of their own, Bill Conlin, remains in the Hall of Fame. I have called and written to the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News, asking them about why they attack Paterno but Conlin gets a pass. No one ever responds and my letters go unpublished.
I hope someone has the courage to publish this letter.
Officer Brian Lorenzo, we salute you
Today our city says goodbye to a hero
A life that touched so many is now gone
We are left to move on without your grace
But we’ll never forget the smile on your face
Those who had the chance to walk with you
Knew you as a man with a heart of gold
And a smile that would take your breath away
But today Heaven has taken you from us
We are never given enough time to thank someone
Like you, Brian, for the sacrifices that you’ve made
The lives you’ve changed and the joy that you gave
Each time we were all graced by your smiling face
Today all of our city will shed its tears together
For the loss of someone who made us all better
Heaven opens its gates to allow your soul through
Our Dear Officer Brian Lorenzo, we salute you
John J. Ruppert
The new bridge’s name should speak volumes
On Aug. 1, 2007, the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge (officially Bridge 9340) collapsed, killing 13 and injuring 145 people.
The new bridge, the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, should be dedicated to the people that were killed and injured in the Bridge 9340 collapse.
A plaque should be placed on the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge in clear view of the public stating, “The new I-35W Saint Anthony Falls bridge is dedicated to the people killed and injured on Aug. 1, 2007, when Bridge 9340 collapsed due to government officials’ incompetence.”
Send the water rate hike down the drain
By Al Taubenberger
Philadelphia City Council has approved a ballot issue for November to create an independent body to review water and sewer rates.
Council President Darrell L. Clarke introduced legislation in March after the Philadelphia Water Department announced plans to seek a nearly 30 percent rate hike.
The water department’s request comes on the heels of a 27 percent rate hike over the last three years. The new proposal would increase rates an average of 6.5 percent a year for the next four years. Translation to the typical homeowner: About a $200 increase over today’s rates.
The rate hike proposal is currently undergoing public hearings, one of which took place July 12 at Holy Family University in the Far Northeast. The way it works now is, a hearing examiner will make a recommendation to the city water commissioner, who makes the final decision.
I testified at Holy Family against the rate hike. I support Council President Clarke’s call for an independent water and sewer commission, and if elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in November, I will craft legislation that will stop the city water department from setting its own rates.
First, why does the water department need another rate hike? They say it is necessary to cover a projected $316 million budget shortfall over the next four years. They say most of the shortfall was created by federal and state environmental regulations, including its controversial storm water management system.
No one would argue against an effective utility that delivers clean, fresh water to customers. Their three modern water treatment plants — Baxter, Belmont and Queen Lane — have a combined capacity to treat 540 million gallons of water per day.
But, as Council President Clarke has pointed out, Philadelphia may be the only large city that does not give elected officials or boards appointed by them the authority to approve water and sewer rates.
Simply allowing the city water commissioner to ultimately set the rate runs contrary to the notion of “independence.” A truly independent body would render a much more objective assessment of any rate hike proposal.
For instance, say an independent commission rejects or reduces the amount of a water rate hike request. Might this force the utility to look for savings, tighten their belt, and reduce costs for greater efficiency without sacrificing the high quality of our drinking water?
Requesting a 28.5 percent rate hike on top of a 27 percent rate hike only three years ago is irresponsible. There has to be a better way than piling on the backs of the people who live here. City Council has started the process by letting the voters have their say.
In Harrisburg, I will work to ensure that those asking for higher rates will not have the authority to grant them.
Mr. Taubenberger is president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Republican candidate for the 172nd Legislative District seat.
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