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Friday, March 15, 2013

Heads Up: Morning headlines for March 15

Posted By on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 8:58 AM

The Tribune-Review's Salena Zito scores a major journalistic coup by being the first reporter to land an interview with mystery mayoral-candidate A.J. Richardson. Story comes complete with photograph of candidate's facial tattoos.

Sen. Pat Toomey goes to CPAC -- a key gathering of right-wingers -- and says right-wing stuff. For example, it's the fault of us lefties that Wall Street had to make billions of dollars scamming the American people with mortgage-backed securities! I hope you're all ashamed of yourselves. Also, something about how we don't want to end up like the Greeks.

Did you know that Pennsylvania's cyber-charter schools -- those gee-whiz online schools that were supposed to help save out kids -- are all failing to meet federal progress standards? That and other concerns may help explain why some legislators expressed misgiving about the programs in a hearing on funding the programs. I confess a fondness for these stories, because they tend to feature "educational reformers" giving the same answers they once refused to accept from traditional public schools. As in the charter backer who, addressing concerns about subpar test scores, said, "The one thing you know about data is data does not give you the story behind the numbers." Try using that on your next algebra test.

Here's your daily round-up of embarrassing police-bureau headlines -- let me know if you guys are getting bored with this. A police commander says she thought using forfeited drug money for stuff other than narcotics investigations was cool. Turns out it's not, but maybe there's no reason a police officer should know the law. Story contains intimations that maybe City Controller/mayoral candidate Michael Lamb could have been a bit more proactive about raising red flags here. Meanwhile, another $8,000 in seized drug money has disappeared entirely! Assuming it was ever there in the first place, which maybe it wasn't! It's hard to keep track of this stuff, you know. And finally -- because I know you've been worried -- former police chief Nate Harper will be getting a $63,000 pension. Money well earned, obviously.

And in other who-watches-the-watchmen news, maybe oversight at the Shuman juvenile detention center isn't everything it could be either.

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