Friday, July 29, 2011

Time running out in debt debate

Although the U.S. House passed a bill tonight that would put a halt to the debt limit crisis, the Senate has indicated its disapproval of the plan.

Time is running out.

U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, voted in favor of the legislation.
“The clock is ticking and the American people are watching," he said. "I again urge the partisans on all sides to put aside petty politics and instead listen to the American people who sent us here to make the tough choices and get our fiscal house in order. Americans’ jobs, savings and credit hang in the balance.”

But Senate Dems are not settling on the House's bill.

"Unfortunately, tonight’s partisan vote in the House is not compromise," said U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. ...“Too much time has been wasted on political theater. Time is running out to reach bipartisan compromise that credit rating agencies, economists and Pennsylvanians have called for.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said he was disappointed that Senate Dems are refusing to consider the House's plan,known as the Budget Control Act.

“While the Budget Control Act has shortcomings, it certainly warrants debate," he said. "I therefore am extremely disappointed that the other side of the aisle refused to even consider the measure and have an open debate, and instead, killed the bill immediately upon its reaching the Senate.

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Looks like the pols can all agree on one thing: Time is running out. Aug. 2 is just around the corner.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Debt limit debate continues

The House and Senate are expected to vote on debt limit proposals tonight.

Local experts, including Brendan Magee, president and founder of Inevitable Wealth Coaching in Drexel Hill, said local businesses and residents could be affected by a default on the nation’s debt.

“The target will be the taxpayers,” Magee said. “Taxes for businesses could go up because (the government) has to get the money somewhere.”

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As a resident of Delco, are you worried about a debt default?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sturla talks liquor, natural gas drilling

State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, discussed his thoughts on privatization of liquor and Marcellus Shale drilling during a meeting with the Daily Times editorial board on Tuesday afternoon.

Sturla doesn't believe there will be changes to the liquor business any time soon.

“School vouchers have a better chance (of passing) than the privatization of liquor,” said Sturla, D-Lancaster.

He also said the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling debate is far from over. Even though Gov. Tom Corbett's advisory commission issued a report, lawmakers are continuing their talks on this issue.

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Do you think it's time for the state to get out of the liquor business?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Brady to present check to youth team

Following up on a pledge to provide assistance, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-1, of Philadelphia, has plans to present a check tonight to the Overbrook Monarchs, a youth football team that lost its equipment after its trailer was broken into last month.

In a release, Brady acknowledged Lincoln Financial Group for its assistance with the $25,800 donation check.

“I could not stand by and let the hopes and dreams of the team and their parents be knocked down,” Brady said in a release. “I want these kids to know that there are more people in their community that will help rather than hurt them.”

The check presentation will take place at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Granahan Playground in Philadelphia.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hearing addresses inner suburbs

State Sen. Ted Erickson hosted a hearing Thursday regarding the deterioration of older, inner-ring communities.

Erickson credited a coalition, known as the Southeastern Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project, for getting "the ball rolling" on major challenges facing these communities including housing, infrastructure and education finance reform.

Here's a snippet from the testimony of Michael Golden, a member of the coalition and a borough councilman in Jenkintown, Montgomery County:

"Older municipalities are isolated and low income families are concentrated into specific areas. The end result is that a growing number of cities, towns and older suburbs now suffer from structurally diminishing tax bases, skyrocketing property tax rates, stressed schools and municipal services and deteriorating infrastructure."

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If you live in a so-called inner suburb, what are your concerns?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

County awards Boeing with port security contract

County Council awarded Boeing Co. a multi-year contract for the implementation of an integrated surveillance system on the north segment of the Delaware River.

Council unanimously approved the $4.4 million contract during a meeting Tuesday morning. County officials then joined Boeing officials at the company’s Delaware County facility to announce more details about the project on Tuesday afternoon.

County Council Chairman Jack Whelan said the county applied for the grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, about a year ago. Boeing will install security surveillance and monitoring systems near the Commodore Barry Bridge, Hog Island and Marcus Hook.

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As a resident of Delco, do you think this is a good idea? Have you ever worried about port security?

County appoints Animal Protection Board

County Council on Tuesday appointed eight representatives to an Animal Protection Board which will oversee the construction of a new animal control facility in Darby Township.

The board members include Upper Darby Township Chief Administrative Officer Thomas Judge Jr.; Springfield Police Chief Joseph Daly; Ridley Township resident Trisha Hollabaugh; American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) union representative Dennis Pagliotti; Middletown resident Bill Taylor; Emergency Services Training Center Director Walt Omlor; Darby Township Manager Jack Ryan; Glenolden Manager Brian Hoover. County officials said the eight-member board will appoint a ninth member.

Here's a refresher on this issue, in case you are just tuning in. There will also be an article in tomorrow's paper.

Monday, July 18, 2011

County officially unveils plans for vets court

County officials - mainly Republicans - officially unveiled their plans for a veterans treatment court at a news conference on Monday morning.

County officials were joined by U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan who discussed his plans for legislation that would provide funding assistance for the veterans treatment court. In addition, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery discussed his efforts to establish veterans treatment courts across the state.

As part of the county's plans, a 15-member task force will investigate the implementation of the Veterans Justice Initiative. Check out the list of members below.

Delco Vets Court Task Force

Democratic candidates announced their support for a veterans court during a news conference late last week.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Officials want veterans court in Delco

A group of local Democratic candidates in the upcoming election season said Thursday that they believe the county’s veterans would benefit from a diversionary court program for nonviolent offenders.

Three Democratic candidates for County Council – Keith Collins, Jayne Young and Lin Axamethy Floyd – all discussed their support of this program during a news conference Thursday morning. Kendall Brown, Democratic candidate for district attorney, and Lawrence DeMarco, a candidate for county judge, also said they supported the program.

In the meantime, county officials said they already have a plan in the works and have plans to announce details during a Monday morning news conference.

“The county has been working on this for some time,” said Delco GOP chairman Andy Reilly, in response to the Democratic candidates’ news conference. “Welcome aboard.”

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Looks like the local Dems. tried to beat the Republicans to the punch on this one. Regardless, this seems like a good idea for local vets. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Liquor privatization to be revisited

Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County, has plans to unveil details about legislation that would privatize the state’s liquor stores, according to his spokesman.

“All Pennsylvanians should ask themselves: should the Commonwealth be in the business of selling wine and booze?” said Steve Miskin, a spokesman for Turzai. “I think the answer will be overwhelmingly no.”

Turzai is expected to unveil more details about the bill during a news conference in Harrisburg on Wednesday afternoon, Miskin said.

Although Turzai has the support of most House Republicans and GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, Democrats and union officials have criticized the proposal to eliminate the state’s system of 600-plus liquor stores.

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Do you think it's a good idea to privatize the liquor business in Pa.?

County: West Nile Spray to take place Wednesday

County officials announced Tuesday that the first mosquito control spray of 2011 will take place Wednesday night in open space areas of Ridley and Darby townships, Glenolden, Brookhaven, Upland and Folcroft boroughs.

The spraying will begin at 8:30 p.m. and end by 11 p.m. A rain date is set for Thursday evening.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Casey faces possible challenger

A Vietnam War veteran from Bucks County announced Monday that he will explore a run for the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa.

In a news release, David A. Christian announced his launch of an exploratory committee to survey a bid for Casey's seat in the 2012 election. Christian described himself as a veteran's advocate and Philadelphia businessman.

Christian, a Republican, criticized Democrats like President Barack Obama and Sen. Casey for their support of "failed policies," which have contributed to the continued loss of homes and jobs.

Casey joined the Senate in 2007 and is seeking re-election.

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Do you think it's time for another new face to represent Pa. in the U.S. Senate?

U.S. House passes resolution that includes support for V-22

U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, recently applauded his colleagues in the House for their support of a resolution which supports continued funding for the V-22 Osprey Program.

The House passed House Resolution 2219, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2012, on Friday.

Previously, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recommended slashing the Osprey production from 458 to 288. Half of the Osprey — the fuselage, empennage and all subsystems, digital avionics and fly-by-wire control systems — is assembled by a third of Boeing’s 5,900 employees at its Ridley Township facility. The remainder of the tilt-rotor aircraft, including final assembly, is completed at Bell Textron Inc. in Texas.

House Resolution 2219 now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Critics of the aircraft have harped on two fatal crashes that occurred during nighttime training missions in the early 2000s.

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As a resident of Delco, do you think Congress should continue supporting the V-22?

Gov. passes bill to give municipalities share of air pollution fines

GOP Gov. Tom Corbett recently passed a law that would give local municipalities a share of fines levied under Pennsylvania’s Air Pollution Control Act.
Specifically, Senate Bill 151 would direct 25 percent of any air pollution fine above $50,000 to the municipality that the violation occurred. Under previous law, all fines imposed under the Air Pollution Control Act went toward the state.
The municipality could then put the money toward local environmental projects that reduce air pollution, improve parks and trails or create open space. If the municipality chooses not to use the funding, the legislation allows counties to apply for the funding.
In order to maintain the Clean Air Fund, no funds will be released to municipalities if the revenue from fines and penalties is less than $1.85 million. In recent years, the state has brought in about $4.5 million to the Clean Air Fund, according to fiscal notes attached to the legislation.
“This bill represents a significant victory for communities across Pennsylvania,” said state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, the prime sponsor of the bill. “The impact of air pollution is felt locally, and local residents should derive some benefit from the fines that are imposed. Providing funding for local environmental projects is a great way to do that.”