Darts and Laurels: Priest Abuse Case Leaves No Winners, Just Sadness

Daily Times
June 23, 2012

A look at the week that was, the issues and people who made headlines, and a few darts and laurels for those who deserve them.

LAUREL: To the jury that took on the grueling Philly priest sex-abuse case. They heard 10 weeks of testimony, then deliberated 13 days before delivering a split verdict. It was a thankless task, but they performed their civic duty.

DART: To the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Monsignor William Lynn now becomes the first high-ranking church official to be convicted in connection with priest sexual abuse. He was convicted of one count of child endangerment, but was acquitted on another endangerment count as well as conspiracy. The jury was deadlocked on both charges against the Rev. James Brennan and a mistrial was declared. There are no winners in this case, only a terrible sadness.

LAUREL: To the arrival of the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Exhibit. It will be in Marcus Hook through the weekend. Take the time to pay a visit, and honor those who gave their lives in an unpopular war.

DART: To the plight of so many Nam vets, who did not get the welcome many veterans of other wars were accorded, and who often still struggle to be accepted. They served their country with honor, and should be accorded similar treatment.

LAUREL: To the deal in Harrisburg on a state budget. Once again the governor and legislators made good on their promise to have the spending plan finished ahead of the July 1 deadline. Good for them.

DART: To the fact that Corbett had to be convinced by those in his own party to restore many of the funding cuts he was seeking. The governor still seems entirely too enthralled with smoothing the way for some of his corporate donors than helping everyday people who are struggling in this state.

LAUREL: To word that more money could be headed to the struggling Upper Darby School District. Whether or not it’s enough to rescind a very unpopular realignment plan that would eliminate special classes in art and music in the elementary schools, and tech and library for middle schoolers, remains to be seen.

DART: Now take a deep breath and then look down the road. That train you see coming right at you is the state’s unfunded public employee pension crisis. It’s a ticking time bomb that is getting ready to explode.

LAUREL: To the Interboro School Board. It made some very hard decisions – including cuts to staff and curriculum – in its budget plan. But it held the line and avoided a tax hike for residents.

DART: To the exit of Superintendent Dr. Nancy Hacker. She will be missed, and is the latest in a “brain drain” at the top levels of the district that is seeing some of the best and brightest walk away. You can’t replace that kind of knowledge.

DART: To the decision to hire Paul Summers as head of the non-profit Center for Resolutions in Media. We’re all for giving people another chance. Summers admitted his role in the petition forgery case that rocked the 7th District Congressional race. He is doing his probation. By all accounts he is doing a good job at the non-profit. But the fact that it gets most of its funding from the county still makes for a troublesome appearance.

LAUREL: To the very good work that the Center for Resolutions, formerly known as the Community Dispute Settlement Program of Delaware County Inc., does every day in the county. We hope that continues.

DART: To the Jerry Sandusky trial. Just one ugly detail after another. And the veil of scandal that was just beginning to lift over a proud Penn State institution is now thicker than ever.

LAUREL: To former Delco prosecutor Joe McGettigan. His no-nonsense approach to putting on this case was a textbook example of getting to the point and letting the evidence speak for itself.

DART: To what is apparently a flourishing prostitution trade at some airport hotels surrounding Philadelphia International Airport. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to up, up, and away. Tinicum doesn’t need this kind of attraction.

LAUREL: To Tinicum police, who led a multi-pronged investigation and crackdown that resulted in six arrests on prostitution charges. Sgt. James Simpkins Jr. is right. Too often it leads to other crimes that erode the quality of the community.

LAUREL: To the organizations in Chester who are coming together to offer much-needed mentoring to city youths. The Church of the Overcomer in Trainer, The Achievement Project and The Chester Mission are joining forces to form a united effort. Well done.

DART: To the huge need for such services in the city. The breakdown of the family is at the root of too many of the city’s problems. Mentoring can be a lifeline for those who don’t have an adult figure in their lives.

LAUREL: To the Rev. Joe Corley. The Darby priest spearheads the “Boys To Men” program offering counseling and advice to young men in the borough. He’s truly a “father” figure.

DART: To the shadow that continues to hang over the archdiocese and so many good priests stemming from the trial that appears headed for a hung jury in Philadelphia. The church has some serious fences to mend. Priests like the Rev. Corley are needed now more than ever.

DART: To sticking a cork in the push for privatization of alcohol sales in Pa. The latest effort in Harrisburg again got put on the back burner, at least until fall. Enough to drive you to drink.

LAUREL: Hey, we’re making progress. This time the bill was actually debated for a couple of hours in the House. Sip, sip, hooray!

DART: To cocaine distribution charges filed against legendary Wing Bowl champ Bill “El Wingador” Simmons. Looks like this time he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

LAUREL: To the smiling face of Upper Darby firefighter J.R. Shultz. He’s alive today after being pulled from under a ton of plaster when a ceiling collapsed on him while fighting a blaze. Good for him and his firefighting brethren who came to his rescue.

LAUREL: To Rosa Amsel. This spry 94-year-old proves the adage that it’s never too late as she scored a medal in the bowling competition in the Delco Senior Games.

DART: To Mother Nature. Temperatures in the high 90s for the first day of summer? That’s hard on everyone, but especially difficult for senior citizens.

DART: To those responsible for the horrific conditions where rescuers found a starving pit bull in the basement of a home in Chester. “Precious” is slowly but surely on the road to recovery.

LAUREL: To those at the Delco SPCA who take the time and effort to care over these abused animals. It is not easy work, and their dedication to the animals is second to none.

LAUREL: To another season of All-Delco athletes. We salute those lauded this week as the best from the spring sports season. They are our best and brightest.

DART: To the MLB athletes who tabbed Philly as the “most obnoxious” fans in the majors. They obviously never played here. Or had the opportunity to play in front of 255 consecutive sellouts.

DART: To Shane Victorino. He sounded upset after Thursday night’s loss that the media was always looking for the negative.








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