I’m home from Europe, WDSTL

Sean Blanda (right) and I on Oct. 1, leaving from Newark Airport to begin our trip in London.
Sean Blanda (right) and I on Oct. 1, leaving from Newark Airport to begin our trip in London.

I returned this past week from more than a month of backpacking Europe with college buddy Sean Blanda. While there, he and I travel blogged and podcasted at WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

This week I am going to roll out some highlights and lessons learned, though Sean beat me to the latter.

One of those lessons, I’m afraid, will involve being hacked, as we were just that. (Check WDSTL, we may not have corrected by the time you read this).

Continue reading I’m home from Europe, WDSTL

My Temple University commencement speech

Four months ago I graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia.

I was honored enough to be named student commencement speaker. Read text of the speech here.

Only now have I gotten video of my speech online. Have a watch below.

Continue reading My Temple University commencement speech

KYW: My radio report on State Attorney General contender's criticism

In December 2007, Easton police Chief Larry Palmer, left, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, center, and Capt. David Ryan are shown during a late afternoon news conference. (Courtesy PennLive)

KYW News radio Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo kindly agreed to show me the rough ropes of radio reporting and production on Monday. Below hear my report – with his lede – and the script – with much credit to Tony.


The Democratic candidate for Attorney General today challenged the way his incumbent opponent has handled the so-called “Bonusgate” investigation of the Pennsylvania legislature. Christopher Wink reports…

Continue reading KYW: My radio report on State Attorney General contender's criticism

Post-Gazette: Legislators, staffers charged in bonus probe [with my audio]

Details of the long-rumored “Bonusgate” scandal dropped this afternoon. I helped a bit with the reporting for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story written by Dennis Roddy and was charged with cutting some audio for the paper’s Web site.

Hear Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett at his 2 P.M. news conference…

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Tom Corbett today filed charges against a dozen figures in the payroll bonus scandal, including former House Democratic Whip Michael Veon and current state Rep. Sean Ramaley.

Reports by two grand juries — one in Pittsburgh and another sitting here — laid out an array of accusations, including a conspiracy to deliver more than $1 million in state-paid bonuses to House employees who worked on political campaigns. Mr. Ramaley, 33, D-Economy, was accused of working full-time on his 2004 House campaign in Beaver County while drawing a taxpayer salary as a member of Mr. Veon’s staff.

Continue reading on Post-Gazete.com. More audio to follow.

Photo by Dennis Roddy, courtesy of the Post-Gazette.

Post-Gazette: Turnpike lease stuck in committee [with my audio]

HARRISBURG — A deal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike “will not see the light of day,” vowed the chairman of the House Transportation Committee yesterday.

That would effectively kill Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposal to enter into a $12.8 billion, 75-year lease with a consortium comprising the Spanish multinational Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Citi Infrastructure Investors, a subsidiary of Citibank.

“There is no meaningful support among our committee members,” said committee Chairman Joseph F. Markosek, D-Monroeville. He said he has no intention of bringing it to a committee vote.

“I am putting a permanent hold on it. It will not see the light of day for as long as I am chairman.”

Hear some of Markosek’s comments above.

Read the rest on Post-Gazette.com.

Hear Rendell’s response of Markosek’s comments:

Image courtesy of Central Penn Business.

Post-Gazette: State passes budget [with my audio]

I contributed to today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report that a state budget deal was reached and signed last night.

I also cut an audio clip of Gov. Ed Rendell speaking on the budget, which the Post-Gazette put on its Web site: hooray for New Media!

Alongside Rendell is House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, and House Majority Floor Leader Bill Deweese, D-Fayette. Behind him is outgoing Budget Secretary Michael Macsh, who came with Rendell from Philadelphia.

Continue reading Post-Gazette: State passes budget [with my audio]

Last day in 3333 North Park Avenue

Today I turn over my keys to 3333 North Park Avenue in the Lower Tioga neighborhood of North Philadelphia near Temple Hospital to my landlord. I have spent better than 18 months living there. It has become the first place I could ever really call home outside of my parents’ watch. Indulge me in some photos.

I’m moving to Harrisburg, Pa. this weekend for a post-graduate internship.

Home tomorrow: Lakota picture slideshow

I HAVE BEEN IN South Dakota since last Monday, though this blog has been running on forward posts since.

I first met the group I’m visiting now back in 2006. With some other Temple University students, I did some community work in White River – a town of 600, nearly half of whom are American Indian – just north of the Lakota Rosebud reservation. See some photos of that trip below.

What jokes cross the editorial line?


No one needs to remind a self-aware student journalist about the dangers of satire. Every April brings with it new stories of high school and college publications biting it hard after trying their hand at April Fool’s Day issues.

Most usually, the beef comes about with expectations. Young journalists try their best to be as professional as possible and then, infrequently, perhaps even just once a year, they bring out the cutting remarks and find themselves accused of libel or the sort.

So, at The Temple News, we tend to avoid such events. Still, our news blog, Broad & Cecil, remains a forum for plenty of sarcasm and editorializing. It was launched in September, having endured more than half a year without any controversy to note.

So far.

Last week, The Temple News reported on Frank Baldino, a university Board of Trustees member, whose company, Cephalon Inc., of which he is founder and CEO, is being accused of anti-competitive business practices and sued for allegedly making a deal with another pharmaceutical company delaying the production of a generic brand of his firm’s sleep-related drug Provigil.

In today’s print edition, there will be a follow up. While the story was being passed around, some staffers got to embellishing the situation. The result was a brief 20 second clip, lampooning Baldino with a mock cut-out and cartoon voice impersonation.

Continue reading What jokes cross the editorial line?