Monday, November 30, 2015


Friday, October 9, 2015

Critical thinking and problem-solving.

Those are two key elements behind Common Core standards … you know, those educational assessment standards and tests despised by most people.

We mention these elements today upon our reporting of the test scores among students in area school districts.

Last spring, Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, tests were given to students in grades three through eight in core content areas of English-language arts, math and science.

Friday, October 9, 2015

“How do you spell your name?” the woman asked. Was she Googling me? I tried not to panic. Playing up the jet lag, I gave her one of my business cards. Then I realized she was typing my name to put on my badge. She handed me my lanyard.

I was in!

Why are reporters barred from attending the Community Financial Services Association of America annual conference? The organization says full disclosure and transparency are best practices — but no media are allowed at its annual shindig.

Friday, October 9, 2015

“I’m fed up with politics and the country is going down the drain.”

“Ah, yes, you speak of a recent Bloomberg Politics poll that found, according to AP, that 75 percent of Americans are fed up with politics and 72 percent think their country isn’t as great as it once was. No wonder more than a third of Americans prefer a presidential candidate without experience in public office.”

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Volkswagen came clean about its dirty tricks and dirty diesel engines, and the reaction was explosive.

After being outed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the German automaker recently revealed that it had essentially rigged its engines to let them run with filthy emissions systems. Volkswagen confessed to fitting some 11 million vehicles worldwide with stealthy software that allows the smog-inducing systems to detect a government pollution test, then immediately self-correct to meet the much-cleaner standard.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

There are some flaws in the Sunshine Law.

For example, the words “council,” “committee” and some other key words are not in the definition section of the act. Because information is dispensed at and deliberation occurs — even though no official action is taken — at committee meetings, they are instrumentalities of municipal boards and agencies, meaning that the public should have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at these meetings.

From the Sunshine Law:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dear Mr. Frassinelli:

I am the Slatington Borough solicitor. I don’t usually respond or comment on newspaper articles, but your recent publication concerning public participation in municipal meetings caught my attention. An implicit assumption made by you and your unidentified experts deserves further focus.

I am hoping you can appreciate some of the back story here and, perhaps, even acknowledge room for reasonable disagreement. Despite the atmosphere portrayed in your editorial, including identifying me specifically, I observe that you never contacted me for any insights.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

State Rep. Martina White, R-Philadelphia, has introduced a bill that would throw a dark blanket over public accountability for police officers.

Her bill would forbid the release to the public of names of police officers involved in shootings or use of force unless criminal charges are filed against the officers.

White referenced recent high-profile cases in which police officers have been targeted by criminals to bolster her argument.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Critics complain that politicians have a bad habit of talking the talk but not walking the walk.

This is certainly true of the budget impasse, which has turned into a battle of wills and a hardening of hearts between Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

Monday, October 5, 2015

When a person considers running for public office, especially at the municipal level, it is rarely with the thought of enriching oneself. In the borough of Slatington, for example, a member of council makes about $1,900 a year; the council president gets an additional $600 for the extra duties and conducting the meeting. Obviously, the motivation must be something else.

Residents hope it is because candidates want to try to help improve their community, and, in a way, give back for the opportunities given to the candidate. I like the phrase “paying one’s community rent.”

Friday, October 2, 2015

The general election is Nov. 3 and the Times News will accept candidate support letters through Oct. 27.

Letters will be published in our daily and Saturday opinion pages by Saturday, Oct. 31.

Letters should focus on the qualifications of the candidate, rather than tear down the opponent. Letters should be no more than 300 words and be signed by the author. The writer’s name, address and phone number should be included for our files.