Op/Ed: Good news on standardized testing?

By Jeff Hellrung, Member, Unionville-Chadds Ford Board of Education Gov. Tom Wolf joined Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, advocates, and educators last month to announce a significant reduction in standardized testing for elementary students. One test section will be eliminated in both Math and ELA PSSA tests amounting to a 93 minute total time reduction. Also, approximately 22 minutes will be...

Chris Ross talks Harrisburg and good government

By Nathaniel Smith, Columnist, The Times Former state representative Chris Ross (R-158) recently was so kind as to spend an hour and a half talking with me about his 20 years representing a district that stretches from eastern and southern West Goshen west through the Bradfords and then south as far as London Britain and the Delaware border.   I had interviewed him before back in the fall of 2012....

Abortion ban makes no religious, moral or political sense

Rushing through SB3 is a suicide play for Pa. GOP By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times On a very special Monday edition of “Why Your State Legislature Sucks,” let me chat with you for a moment about state Senate Bill 3. With the myriad of problems facing our commonwealth, it is this bill, which addresses exactly none of them, that will likely dominate headlines this week and beyond in Pennsylvania. With...

Op/Ed: Know your voting rights

By Pedro A. Cortés, Secretary of State, Pennsylvania Pedro A. Cortés It is hard to escape the fact that the November 8 general election is quickly approaching. At the Pennsylvania Department of State, we have a deep commitment to ensuring a fair, secure and smooth electoral process. Voting is one of our most fundamental rights as citizens. As Pennsylvania’s Chief Election Officer, it is my...

State launches cheesemakers guild

A group of cheesemakers, retailers, scientists and supporters of Pennsylvania-made cheese have joined together to create a guild in support of the growing artisan industry in the state. The proposed mission of the guild is to “promote the highest standards of cheesemaking and celebrate the diversity of the cheese community in Pennsylvania through partnerships, outreach and education,” according...

Chester Co. fares well at Pa. Farm Show

Chester County farmers and producers received high marks from Pennsylvania Farm Show judges this week, resulting in an impressive array of ribbons in a wide variety of agricultural disciplines in the show’s landmark 100th year of operation. Chester County Commissioners Terence Farrell and Michelle Kichline attended the Show and sought out Chester County representation in numerous categories....

Despite Chesco Reps revolt, budget talks stall

GOP House members leave for holiday, no clear path ahead By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times T’was the day before the day before Christmas, When all through the (State) House, Various angry politicians were heard to espouse: “Ghost voting,” “vote to reconsider” “insurgent” and “Twitter fight” As legislators sought to finally get a state budget right… Local State Reps (clockwise...

Merry Election Season? Not so far

State House GOP budget play doesn’t seem to make political sense By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times It’s that time of year — you can see the indications of it everywhere. It’s election season. What, you thought I was talking about Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza? After just a few weeks off from the local 2015 elections, politics has moved back front and center, even if the events of 2015...

Op/Ed: Fighting for veterans and first responders

State Rep. argues for support of education needs for both groups By Rep. Steve Barrar, State Representative (R-160) State Rep. Steve Barrar (R-160) I spend a lot of my time learning about the needs of the Commonwealth’s emergency responders, veterans and their families. By always remaining informed, I can best represent these groups as the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee...

Don’t expect much political change in 2015

Although new approaches seem badly needed, expect the ‘same old, same old’ this year By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times New year, same old politics. As 2015 dawns, even with new majorities in state and federal legislatures, as well as a brand new governor and a new county commissioner, things are arguably more the same than different. In terms of the federal government, it’s not just...