Pennsylvania Terminates $170 Million Project With IBM Over Failure To Deliver Computer System It Promised

After seeing a technology project fall $60 million over budget and 42 months behind, state Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway has decided it’s time to pull the plug on a contract to modernize the state’s unemployment compensation computer system.

This decision announced at a news conference on Wednesday followed a $800,000 study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute that found the problems with the IBM Corp.-developed system to be unsolvable.

Spending any more money on trying to make the system, originally slated to cost $106.9 million, would have been a waste, Hearthway said.

The state now estimates the cost of the project has grown to $170 million but some payments have been withheld, a department official said.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/07/pa_terminates_contract_with_ib.html#incart_m-rpt-2

State Auditor General Rips Reading School District

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They very well may be the worst accounting practices in the state.

That was Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale‘s assessment of the financial situation in the Reading School District, which he shared during a press conference Friday in Reading.

“To be direct,” he said, “the Reading School District has failed its students, failed the children of Reading.  It has failed the taxpayers.”

DePasquale was in the city to release the findings of a major audit his department did on the school district.  The audit was the result of requests by local legislators to investigate the district following the discovery of a more than $15 million accounting error in December.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=474980

Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl Won’t Seek Re-Election

English: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) meets with P...

English: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) meets with Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, whose chance political ascendancy made him one of the youngest heads of a major American city, announced this morning in a news conference that he would not seek reelection, just 11 days after formally announcing his run.

The mayor opened the press conference saying he was proud of what he and his staff have accomplished during his tenure.

He said that all had come at a cost.  “Those who have paid the greatest cost are those who are closest to me.

He said he’d decided the pressure of the job was too much and had made the decision not to seek re-election.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/mayor-expected-to-make-announcement-about-his-future-677437/#ixzz2MJBUrE95

Philadelphia Eagles Fire Andy Reid

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles' coach, after t...

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles’ coach, after the Eagles’ training camp in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHILADELPHIA — Andy Reid‘s worst coaching season with the Philadelphia Eagles ended today after 14 years when he was fired by owner Jeffrey Lurie, who said it was time “to move in a new direction.”

The dismissal came one day after Reid and the Eagles were humiliated 42-7 by the New York Giants and ended their season at 4-12.

“Andy leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon.  And we are very excited about the future,” Lurie said in a statement released by the team.

The team pushed back a scheduled noon EST news conference to 1 p.m.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=439812

Jeffrey Lurie Reiterates How Andy Reid Is On Hot Seat

Editor’s note:  Well it’s about freakin’ time!!!  The fans deserve a winning season!!!

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Jeffrey Lurie will have no problem separating the utmost respect he has for Andy Reid as a coach and the sympathy he has for him as a person from the business of football when the time comes.

That subject was one of many covered by the majority owner of the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in a wide-ranging annual press conference that was postponed from its original date of August 5, when Andy Reid’s son Garrett was found dead at training camp.

Reid, whose contract expires at the end of next season, will not get an extension unless Lurie sees a major improvement over last season’s 8-8, non-playoff squad.  The Eagles have not won a playoff game since the 2008 season.

“It goes beyond [a certain level of expected success] but there’s no question what I said was we need substantial improvement,” Lurie said.  “We have a very good team I think on paper, and paper doesn’t get you that far if you don’t maximize it.  I’m so excited about this season.  I think everybody in the organization and the fan base is very excited but it’s a difficult league and I think you have to beat the other teams that are very good.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/sports/football/eagles/mc-eagles-lurie-0830-20120830,0,4304604.story

Don’t Expect Fast Eddie To Fade Away Into The Sunset

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Image via Wikipedia

According to the Philadelphia news media, we should not expect Ed Rendell to quietly retire.  Personally, I think Tionesta, PA would be a great place for Ed to go and watch the grass grow.

Ed’s tenure as govenator is mercifully at a close, however, Rendell is acting like he has four more years:  calling press conferences, pontificating, yelling at Leslie Stahl and throwing money around like the Commonwealth just won Mega Millions.

Eddo has already said he will publically shoot off his pie hole if Tom Corbett so much as changes a jot or tittle of the Rendell legacy.

Old governors don’t fade away, they just find new ways to stay in the spotlight as long as possible.  And of course, Ed is penning a book that will be a “must have” for every coffee table in America.

Don’t despair folks, Ed will still be around.

New Film Chronicles Former Pennsylvania State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer’s Controversial Death

One of the most horrific events to ever befall Pennsylvania politics was the suicide of R. Budd Dwyer at a press conference in Harrisburg.  The embattled PA Treasurer was facing jail time for supposedly taking a bribe in office.  He shot himself and the footage was broadcast live.  The media assumed the press conference was to announce his resignation from office.  Instead, Dwyer pulled a .357 from a manila envelope, placed the barrel in this mouth and pulled the trigger as cameras rolled. 

23 years later, a new film has been made to examine this tragedy.  “Honest Man: The Life Of R. Budd Dwyer” is showing at Harrisburg’s Midtown Cinema today through November 18th.  Shows are at 3:00, 5:00 & 7:00 p.m. daily.  The film is unrated.

Midtown Cinema, 250 Reily St., Harrisburg.

Cost: $6 matinee, $7 evenings.

Voice:  (717) 909-6566 

Internet:  www.midtowncinema.com.