Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Blog posts July 2007

The Verdict

The big news today - a ruling in the case involving HAZLETON's Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA).  That's the law the city tried to enact last year to crack down on illegal immigrants by punishing businesses who hire them and landlords who rent to them.

In March, the case went to federal court in Scranton.  This afternoon, Judge James Munley handed down his ruling.  You can read all 206 pages of it HERE

The condensed version is that the judge ruled the IIRA unconstitutional because a) it violates the 14TH AMENDMENT and b) it steps on powers held by the federal government.  The ruling prevents Hazleton from ever enforcing the IIRA and has implications for communities around the country that passed similar laws.

Before the ruling came out, a co-worker asked which way I thought it would go.  I said I thought the judge would rule in favor of the plaintiffs and against the city.  My reasoning was that, in my opinion, the IIRA actually punishes legal citizens by subjecting them to fines if they aid illegals by giving them a job or a home.  That didn't seem right to me (and I think that's probably where the 14th Amendment comes in).

After the ruling, I was listening to some of the reaction.  Of couse, Hazleton will appeal and the attorney for the city said he thought there are a lot of grounds because the judge's opinion is so long and covers a lot of territory (apparently, a simple "no" would have been harder to challenge).  I'm wondering if the judge didn't get a little wordy on purpose - intentionally leaving lots of room to appeal this case and this issue all the way to the Supreme Court.

BTW, I wanted to link Munley's name to his biography, but the website for the MIDDLE DISTRICT of Pennsylvania is down for maintenance.  Coincidence?  Or something more??????

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The Least of Four Evils

Listening to ESPN Radio on the way home last night, and the host asked an interesting question:  Which of the four major league commissioners would you least want to be?  In other words, of the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB, which would you NOT want to be the commissioner?

An interesting question, seeing as all four leagues have serious issues right now.  The NFL can't keep its players out of trouble off the field.  Plus, there's the whole issue of how it is (or is not) taking care of retired players.  The NBA also has off-the-court issues with players.  And, it has some on-court isues with hot-tempered players and now a referee who's accused of fixing games.  Dwindling TV audiences are also an issue.  Baseball has steroids and Barry Bonds and a commissioner who's not committing to being in attendance when Bonds "breaks" Hank Aaron's record.   As for the NHL, its biggest problem seems to be finding a way to make more people care about the sport.  Basically, it needs a star.  Sidney Crosby would be the logical choice, but he hasn't broken through in the same way as Gretzky or even Mario Lemieux.

So, if I had to be the commissioner of one of these sports, which one would I not want it to be?  I think I would NOT want to be the commissioner of the NHL because of all the problems in all the sports, apathy is the most difficult to overcome.  Discipline can be handed out, negotiations can be conducted, the legal system can take its course.  But, when you're faced with the prospect of trying to make people care, that is a very difficult task.

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At the video rental store:

"Do you have "The Road to Perdiction?"

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 This is from an actual news release:

Retreat Announced For Catholic Women

The [name of place], [name of town], will be the setting for a day long retreat for area Catholic women.  Msgr. John [last name] will be retreat master for the event which is sponsored by the [diocese name] Council of Catholic Women.  The day’s schedule will be full breakfast, conference, reconciliation, Mass, lunch, the recitation of the rosary, and time for gift shopping.

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It's Only a Number

At least that's what this Phillies phan keeps telling herself.  10,000 losses.  So what.  When you're one of the oldest teams in professional sports, and you have played more games than most teams, you deserve to be first at something.

I will say this:  I'm glad it's over, and I'm glad when they lost game 10,000 they lost it in a big way.  In other words, it's a real loss.  It's not a loss that anyone will look back on and say, "We coulda/shoulda won that one."  Nope.  They lost it, and they lost it good.

I'm so proud. 

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What's On?

What's a girl to watch until season two of "DEXTER" starts on September 30, 10 long weeks from now?  Well, I have managed to find a few interesting things.

I've been watching "TRAVELER" on ABC.  One of the stars, Matthew Bomer, used to be on "Guiding Light," the soap that I used to watch.  On "Traveler," he and another guy play friends on the run from the feds.  A third friend, Will Traveler, seems to be some sort of secret agent or something, and he framed the other two for blowing up a museum in New York.  It's been on for about a month now (4 episodes), and starting August 1, ABC will be showing more episodes of "The Nine."  So, "Traveler" may only have two more weeks to go.  Assuming they wrap up the current storyline in that time, I don't know where the show will go after that, unless the focus changes to Traveler instead of his two friends.

Most of the shows I'm watching this summer are on USA.  The new season of "THE 4400" started last month.  The premise is that, over the years, 4400 people were abducted by humans who live in the far distant future.  The 4400 were given special abilities then returned en masse so they could use those abilities to save mankind.  Of course, not everyone, especially the government, is convinced that the 4400 are benevolent.  Last season, we learned that the 4400 have a chemical called promicin which gives them their abilities.  This season, promicin is more widely available so even people who weren't abducted can take a shot of promicin and possibly develop an ability.

Also on USA, "PSYCH" is back for a second season.  James Roday is Shawn Spencer, a slacker who uses his powers of observation to pass himself off as a psychic, solving cases for the police along the way.  Corbin Bernsen is his ex-cop dad who trained Shawn to pay attention to details.  "Psych" is clever and hilarious, especially the out-takes at the end.

USA has another interesting show, a new one called "BURN NOTICE."  Jeffrey Donovan plays a spy who suddenly finds out that his services are no longer required.  He ends up back home in Miami, working as a PI for rent money or pocket change.  Sharon Gless is his chain-smoking mom, Bruce Campbell and Gabrielle Anwar are his friends, who also have lots of spy tricks up their sleeves.

And, I got sucked in to "MEADOWLANDS" on Showtime.  Meadowlands is a private community somewhere in Britain.  The hook is that everyone who lives there is in witness protection.  Character backgrounds are revealed little by little, often in flashbacks.  I'm not totally sold on "Meadowlands," but I'm not quite ready to give up on it, either.  As far as you know.     

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Quick Hits

My 20 year college reunion is coming up next year.  And, in 2009, it's my 25th high school reunion.  Yikes!

I checked out the new fitness trail around Kirby Park this morning.  Couldn't help but notice the cigarette butts scattered near the sit-up station. 

I'm just saying, is all. 

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Break Time

Here we are at the all-star break and the Phillies are at .500.  Not great, but a marked improvement from the way they started the season and still in the hunt for a playoff spot.  Unfortunately, they still have the same problems they had at the beginning of the season.  Namely, a shaky bullpen.  For the most part, the starting pitchers have at least kept the team in the game.  But, too often, the bullpen either blows the lead or lets the other team extend its lead.  It would be easy to blame Charlie Manuel, but he can only do so much with what he's given.  It's not like he can go out there and pitch.

Let's hope that Brett Myers is ready to come back soon.  I hear that Tom Gordon may also be close to returning.  I'm not sure that's a good thing, but he can't do any worse than he was doing before.

The other thing I hope is that if the Phillies go shopping around for starting pitching, they don't give up too much to get it.  To my mind, the Phillies problems can be traced to 1981 or '82 when the team basically traded its farm system to the Chicago Cubs for Ivan de Jesus.  It's taken years to rebuild and they may finally be making some progress (although some of that talent is being rushed to the top right now).  Don't give it away again.  

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An Oldie but a Goodie

We got to talking in the control room tonight about ring tones for TV production people.  One thing led to another, and it reminded me of a funny video featuring baboons working behind the scenes of a televised sporting event.  The tape has to be about 20 years old (Ralph Sampson is the featured athlete!), and my personal dub got burned up in the Great Moving Van Fire of '03.  But, it lives on YouTube. So, here you go.

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An American Fourth

One thing about working in television, you develop a sense of time.  You learn that you really can write a story in just two minutes.  You also learn that three seconds can seem like a very long time when you're sitting in black.  Even so, until today, I never realized just how long 12 minutes can be.

12 minutes is how long contestants at the annual NATHAN'S FAMOUS HOT DOG EATING CONTEST are given to gorge themselves on hot dogs and buns.  Maybe the time passes quickly if you are the one shoving the food in your mouth.  But, to watch it on television, 12 minutes is a very, very long time.

Over the years, I've seen highlights of competitive eating contests.  But, to sit there and watch one in its entirety - Ugh!  12 solid minutes of people - male and female, younger and older - stuffing as much food into their mouths as they possibly can; people bouncing up and down while they eat so the food will go to the bottom of their stomachs and leave room for yet more food.  It's horrifying yet somehow fascinating at the same time.  I didn't want to watch, but I couldn't turn away.  I heard Bob Valvano describe it as I listened to ESPN RADIO on my way into work.  Bob's word of choice:  "hideous."  Yep.  That pretty much sums it up, especially the part where second-place finisher Kobayashi appeared to suffer what's known in the world of competitive eating as a "reversal of fortune" - which he made every effort to unreverse, if you know what I mean.  HERE is a story which may explain things a little more explicitly.

Admittedly, I tuned in to see the much-hyped showdown between the great Kobayashi and the up-and-coming American Joey Chestnut.  Word on the street had Kobayashi suffering from some sort of problem with his jaw.  Could Joey beat the six-time champ and bring the title back to America on this 4th of July?  I wanted to know.  So, I watched.  Kobayashi managed an astounding 63 hot dogs and buns.  But Joey wolfed down an even more astounding 66 HD&B to earn his first mustard yellow belt.  No one else was even close.

I'm happy for him, I guess.  But, now that I've really seen it, I don't need to see it again.  At least not all 12 minutes of it.  A few highlights are plenty to satisfy my appetite. 

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Community Involvement

Well, after almost three years of living in my house (only 27 more to go until the mortgage is paid off!) and almost four years living in Kingston, I've decided it's time to get involved.  So, I have now volunteered to be part of Kingston's 150th Anniversary Celebration.

The organizing committee sent out fliers last week with a schedule of events and a call for volunteers.  So, I got around to calling the chairperson this afternoon and, before you know it, she said I would be working with her on advertising.  See, this is what having a job at a TV station will get you.

Anyway, the big events seem to be right around Labor Day with the BIG EVENT set for sometime in November at The Woodlands.  Sounds like a good time will be had by all. 

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