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Preview: Inquirer Columnist - Monica Yant Kinney

Inquirer Columnist - Monica Yant Kinney

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Published: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 11:43:49 GMT


Monica Yant Kinney: Another look at the 'Bear' fireboat, other old topics
Where's the Bear? Will she ever prowl again? When I hear those words, I know readers are curious about the alarmingly absurdist saga I chronicled earlier this year, a tale of volunteer firefighters winning a $1 million, federally funded boat they dubbed "the Bear on the Delaware" and hoped to use to fight nonexistent riverfront fires and troll for IEDs.

Monica Yant Kinney: Another Opinion
Monica Yant Kinney: Blatstein is betting on an anti-casino casino. B1.

Monica Yant Kinney:
Inside Monica Yant Kinney: ID rules keep changing. B1. Church members to spread voter registration message. B3.

Monica Yant Kinney: Identity crisis: A lawyer's own photo-ID struggle
Consider Tia Sutter among the most anxious Pennsylvanians awaiting a verdict on the state's voter-ID law. She's also one of the law's least-likely victims.

Do you have three names? Not in New Jersey
Had Carole Goodman Bouchey not called to remind me that change in New Jersey happens at a glacial pace, I would have forgotten that when I renew my driver’s license next month, I still won’t have an ID that identifies me as me.It’s been nearly 10 years since I last wrote about the plight of drivers with three names, or just long names, folks who for decades were systematically mischaracterized by the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles. Since then, NJDMV rechristened itself NJMVC (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission). But if your parents called you Christopher or Jacqueline, you still can’t be yourself on a license because it won’t recognize first names of more than nine letters. Back then, I lamented the Garden State’s inability (or unwillingness) to follow societal trends. So imagine my surprise to hear that Bouchey, a Mount Laurel retiree, was transformed into an illegal hyphenate by bureaucrats who didn’t know what else to do with her.

Cowed, handicapped gunman's ordeal may end
On a March morning in 2009, Tyree Bush fired a 9mm weapon at a man heading to a corner store in Overbrook to buy Pampers. The timid teenager was a lousy shot, striking the victim in the hand. Bush, a gentle loner with an IQ of 52, had no clue what he was doing except following orders from a menacing neighborhood drug dealer. For the next three years, state and local officials found themselves equally perplexed about how to punish, and release, an unlikely felon at a time of dwindling resources for the intellectually disabled.

Monica Yant Kinney: Catholic families chafe at schools mergers
So many parents and alumni of St. Denis Catholic School in Havertown supported merging with friendly CYO rival Annunciation B.V.M., the marriage should have gone off without a hitch. Instead, parishioners hoping to embrace the past and future in a name were told the regional school would honor the late Cardinal John Foley. The decision was, in their pastor’s words, “nonnegotiable.”

Hotel doorman lends city style a white-gloved hand
The dapper doorman did not set out to class up the city single-handedly with his blinding-white nylon gloves. But since he has, and since I asked, Leroy Mickens II shares that the key to that gleam is a nightly soak in Dawn detergent, a morning scrub (one gloved hand washing the other), and air drying. “I have eight pairs, so I always have a spare with me if they get dirty,” Mickens says between taking requests from guests at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel across from City Hall. Having been voted the “Neatest” and “Best Dressed” member of the Class of 1961 at Norwayne High in Goldsboro, N.C., Mickens adheres to a sartorial philosophy that defines a life spent serving others:

Giving landlords access to tenants’ bank accounts
To dwell in an apartment is to be free of snow shoveling but beholden to a company that raids your savings and invades your privacy.