Monday, December 27, 2010

Hunting the hunters

The following is an editorial that appeared in The Times Herald. Obviously I sign off on all editorials.
Please take a moment to read the editorial and then leave a comment. Thanks.

No one knows what happened in the woods in Bucks County a few weeks ago except for the people involved.
Tragically, Barry Groh probably didn’t know what happened that fateful day either.
Groh, 52, was dragging a deer he had shot when he was shot and killed by another hunter. David Manilla has been charged with manslaughter in the case.
While we don’t know exactly what happened that day, we do know David Manilla should never have been in the woods with a high-powered rifle in the first place.
Manilla, a convicted felon, is not permitted to own a weapon. Manilla’s felony conviction came after he beat a man with a curl bar outside a gym in Norristown in the mid-’80s.
While again, we don’t know what happened that day, we do know that Manilla’s uncle, former Montgomery County District Attorney and former County Commissioner Mike Marino, should never have been in the woods with Manilla, knowing he was a convicted felon.
Manilla is an attorney with a reputation for handling DUI cases.
Marino is an attorney with a reputation for being a hard-nosed prosecutor and an even more hard-nosed executive as a county commissioner.
Both men absolutely should have known that Manilla should not have been in those woods.
And Manilla also was using a high-powered rifle, which is illegal for hunting in Pennsylvania.
Marino, a self-proclaimed outdoorsman, should have known the high-powered rifle was illegal for hunting.
We’re confident the Bucks County District Attorney will handle this case with expediency and a firm hand.
While we don’t know exactly what happened on that fateful day, we do know that the circumstances surrounding the death of a 52-year-old father of two should be examined from every angle, and every responsible party should be held to the highest letter of the law.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Breakfast Club

While the group of county officials that have been gathering regularly at the Jem restaurant in East Norriton in no way resemble the rag-tag group of misfits from the 1985 John Hughes movie, the moniker is just too good to pass up. If you've been even remotely awake the past few days you've seen our investigative reporting on two of our Montgomery County commissioners, Jim Matthews and Joe Hoeffel, meeting at one of my favorite diners and talking county business. Thankfully, our county district attorney has decided to pick up the gauntlet, but I can't help but wonder what the outcome of all of this hard work by two of my reporters is going to result in. So I'll ask you, what do you think should happen to Matthews and Hoeffel? Matthews has already been censured by the Republican Party. Hoeffel is doing his best to distance himself from the whole thing, but it's just not going to work. There absolutely, positively must be repercussions, but what should they be?