Inside Story – February 26, 2018 (1 of 2)
Inside Story Pt. 1: COurt-ordered congressional maps
A bi-partisan panel discussess the decision to redraw the voting map in Pa. (WPVI)
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia took a step closer to local control of its public schools on Monday when the Education Nominating Panel made its choices for School Board candidates. Mayor Jim Kenney now will pick nine people from a list of 27 nominees.
The list includes two current School Reform Commission members but few other familiar names.
The panel received 500 nominations and interviewed 80 people to get to the final group. Panel Chair Wendell Pritchett says they used four criteria: organizational skills, educational leadership, civic engagement and ethics, with one overarching consideration.
“Diversity was underlying all of the decisions that we made,” she said. “We were looking for the best candidates, but we were also cognizant that we wanted to represent the diversity of the city.”
The group includes several lawyers, parents, college professors, the manager of the Reading Terminal Market and two current SRC members, Chris McGinley and Joyce Wilkerson.
“We interviewed 80 terrific people and we came up with 27 of the 80 that we thought were the top,” Pritchett said. “It’s a great group.”
But school advocates, such as Diane Payne, were generally unhappy with what they called a lack of transparency in the panel’s process.
“There’s a feeling of back-room deals, power wrangling and one-man control,” Payne said.
And Lisa Haver, who fought for local control, found the panel secretive.
“The nominating panel has violated the law by holding secret meetings,” Haver said. “The PA Sunshine Act states clearly that the people must be able to witness what their government is doing and have a say in it.”
Pritchett defended the process and stood by the list of names.
“We feel really good about all of them,” she said.
The nominees are:
Sarah-Ashley Andrews is a product of Philadelphia public schools. She attended W.B. Saul High School before attending undergraduate classes at Bloomsburg University and eventually earning a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies with a minor in human services from Lancaster Bible College. Since returning to Philadelphia, she has been a staunch advocate for living mentally well, managing anger, and educating youth and adults on suicide through in-school programming and partnerships.
Jenne Ayers currently serves as an Associate at Ballard Spahr LLP. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in government with health policy as a secondary field. She also has a law degree from Yale Law School. She is a board member for the League of Women Voters, Philly Set Go, the Philadelphia Chapter NAACP Youth Council and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Jenne has worked on political campaigns for Joe Khan, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. She was born and raised in North Philadelphia and graduated from Julia R. Masterman in 2006.
Tonya Bah was born in Philadelphia and attended Simon Gratz High School and, later, Temple University. She has worked in the United States Senate, the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Department of Homeland Security, and the Philadelphia hospitality industry. She is also affiliated with several Philadelphia organizations, such as the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, Win the City, and Opt Out Philly (through the Caucus of Working Educators).
Fluent in both English and Spanish, Dario Bellot earned his Bachelor of Arts in international business and his Master in Business Administration in Argentina before also taking business classes at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Dario has served as Finance Director of a multi-billion-dollar company, Senior Vice President of Administration for Congreso de Latinos Unidos, and is currently the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. He has also served various non-profit organizations including several public charter schools, the Mayor’s Commission of People with Disabilities, and the Seybert Foundation for Poor Boys and Girls.
Suzanne Biemiller attended Williams College and later received her Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Since 2012, she has served as a trustee of the Community College of Philadelphia. She has also served as chair of the PICA Board, the fiscal oversight board of the City of Philadelphia. In her professional life, she has worked as a Senior Program Officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, First Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Philadelphia, and Chief of Staff at the American Board of Internal Medicine where she designed conflict of interest policies..
As an alumnus of Teach for America, Laura Boyce has attended Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and the Relay Graduate School of Education. She has taught at West Philadelphia High School, Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School, served as principal of the Cooper B. Hatch Family School and Uncommon Schools Camden Prep in Camden, NJ, and most recently led teacher development in Philadelphia through a William Penn Foundation grant. Laura and her husband look forward to sending their future children to their neighborhood district-run public school.
Julia Danzy has deep knowledge and a strong commitment to the welfare of Philadelphia’s children. Julia has attended Howard University and has received a Master in Social Work from Columbia University and a Master in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare, Philadelphia City Council, and has served as Deputy Commissioner for Children Services in the Philadelphia Health Department.
As a Philadelphia resident since 1974 and a Philadelphia public school parent, Susan DeJarnatt is deeply committed to providing every child with equitable access to a high-quality education. As a law professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, Susan has written extensively on school reform and its impact on Philadelphia. She has also served as a faculty advisor to the Student Discipline Advocacy Service and, formerly, to Temple’s Youth Courts practicum. As a board member of the Education Law Center, Susan has written extensively about the need for integrity, disclosure, and elimination of conflicts of interest within non-profits.
Stacy Dutton came to Philadelphia to pursue and complete a Master in Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania, and has since been deeply rooted in the City. Stacy has served as a peer review panelist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, worked with the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, and more recently served as a board member and current Executive Director of the Lantern Theater Company. She has also served as President and Chief Investment Officer at the Park Agency, Inc. and Managing Partner at the Brandywine Global Investment Management.
As a bilingual speaker of both English and Spanish, Leticia Egea-Hinton has attended Chestnut Hill College, Alvernia University, and received a Master in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. She also currently teaches classes on social welfare at Alvernia. In her career, she has worked in Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services/Adult Services, Office of Emergency Shelter and Services, and most recently served as the Assistant Managing Director for the Office of Supportive Housing. She has served as an advisory board member at PHMC/Care Clinic and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and a board member of Trinity Health/Nazareth Hospital.
Mallory Fix Lopez
Mallory Fix Lopez has lived in Philadelphia for 15 years, having moved here to pursue both a bachelor and master’s degrees in education. During her graduate work, she studied Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and concentrated in Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology in Education. She has both taught and volunteered in Philadelphia public schools in social studies and English-as-a-second-language (ESL). More recently, she has served as the ESL Director and Program Founder at the Garces Foundation and taught at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and currently the Community College of Philadelphia.
As the mother of a preschooler, Susanna attended J.S. Jenks and Central High School. While practicing law in Philadelphia, Susanna joined the Board of Trustees at Independence Charter School and served as Board President for the past two years. She received a Bachelor in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University and later a law degree from New York University. She has taught in public schools both as an all-subjects and English language learner teacher. She has also served on the board of Young Involved Philadelphia and currently lectures at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Anuj Gupta has extensive public, private, and non-profit experience. He attended Carnegie Mellon University, and received both a Master in Government Management and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He served Philadelphia during Mayor Nutter’s administration as the Deputy Director for Performance Management, Deputy Recovery Officer, and Chief of Staff/Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Licenses and Inspections. More recently, he has served as Executive Director of Mt. Airy USA and currently is General Manager of the Reading Terminal Market.
Rotonya is a current parent of a 3- and 7-year-old at Penn Alexander School. She is the Vice-President of the Home and School Association and an ad hoc member of the school advisory council. She is involved with clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania where she cares for patients with complex liver diseases and manages a multi-million-dollar research project which funds her own liver research. She started her studies in the public school system of Charleston, South Carolina and earned degrees at both Harvard and Cornell Universities.
Lee Huang has now lived in Philadelphia for more than 26 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science in economics at the Wharton Business School and a Master in Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government, both at the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked at The Enterprise Center and currently served as the Senior Vice President and Principal at Econsult Solutions. He has served on the board of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia Advisory Board, and the Urban Affairs Coalition Impact Development Roundtable Committee Leadership. He has three children, two of which attend the Penn Alexander School and one which will attend Penn Alexander. Mr. Huang is also a current member of the Philadelphia Water Rate Board.
Renee Hughes attended the University of Virginia and later received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. She served as a Trial Judge in the Court of Common Pleas for 16 years and has recently taught at Villanova, Temple, and Drexel Universities. Most recently, she served as the Chief Executive Officer at the American Red Cross, Eastern Pennsylvania. Additionally, she has served on the boards of the Independence Health Group, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the Public Health Management Corporation.
Loree Jones studied at Spelman College, and Princeton University. She has served as Executive Director of the African Studies Association and the Co-Executive Director for City Year Greater Philadelphia. For the City of Philadelphia, she has served as First Deputy Managing Director and Chief of Staff, and Managing Director. She has also served as the Chief of Staff and Executive Director of the School Reform Commission and Chief of External Affairs for the School District of Philadelphia. She is currently the Chief of Staff at Rutgers University – Camden and has served on the board of AchieveAbility, the Manayunk Development Corporation, Health Partners Plans, Committee of 70, Operation Understanding, and Project H.O.M.E.
Chad Lassiter received a Bachelor in Social Work in Charlotte, North Carolina before receiving his master’s in the same discipline at the University of Pennsylvania. His career began as a school-based therapist at Palumbo Elementary School in Philadelphia. He went on to be a social worker at The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. In the same organization, he served as a behavioral interventionist and researcher. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and West Chester University and currently is the Executive Director of Red Cross House and Recovery for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He has also served on various mayoral committees and has been a member of the board of the Community College of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Prison System, and has served on the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males.
A mother of two children, Maria has taught at three different Philadelphia public schools. She received a Bachelor of Arts and Master in Education as well as a medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine. She has worked at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children while pursuing training in child abuse pediatrics. She has served on the boards of the PA Children’s Trust Fund, Philadelphia Academy Charter School, and Prevent Child Abuse (of which she was the founding chairperson). She currently works in the Pediatrics Department at Cooper University Hospital.
Chris McGinley earned a bachelor’s degree from Temple University in elementary education and a Master in Special Education from Antioch University. He earned his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as coordinator for the Educational Leadership Program at Temple University where he is an associate professor. Formerly, he has been a Philadelphia public school teacher, principal, and district level administrator. He has also served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Lower Merion School District, Executive Director of the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, and Superintendent for the District of Cheltenham Township. He has served on the boards of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, Research for Action, and the National Adoption Center. Mr. McGinley currently serves as a Mayoral appointee to the School Reform Commission
Angela has been a resident of Philadelphia for 25 years and has three children who attend Philadelphia public schools. She holds a history degree from Hampton University, a Master in Education from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served on the board of the University City Arts League and currently serves on the board of the nonprofit How I Decide. She has taught in the Norristown Area School District, directed the Upward Bound Program at both Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania, directed the Mastery Charter Thomas School transition, and founded the Trapezium Math Club. This research-based company focuses on helping children build strong foundational math skills through engaging after-school programming.
Folasade Olanipekun-Lewis earned an economics degree from the City University of New York, a law degree from Temple University, and a Master in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Folasade has called Philadelphia home for more than 25 years and is a current trustee of the Free Library and former member of the Philadelphia Water Rate Board. She has also served on the boards of the Philadelphia Ballet and Urban Affairs Coalition. She was the Chief Financial Officer of both the School District of Philadelphia and the Office of the City Council President. She has also served as the City Treasurer, Deputy Commerce Director, and the Chief Administrative Officer at the Philadelphia International Airport. She currently serves as the Regional Director of Government and Airport Affairs at American Airlines.
Sharon Parker earned a Bachelor in Secondary Education at Temple University, a Master’s Equivalency from Penn State University, and a Doctorate in School Leadership from Widener University. She was a student teacher at Frankford High School in Philadelphia and then taught and was a principal in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District in Pennsylvania. She was then the Superintendent at both that school district and the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District. She has also volunteered as an English-as-a-second-language tutor and as a Home and School Association volunteer at the Masterman School. She has served on the board of the Chester County Art Association, the United Way of Southern Chester County, and the Learning Link of Delaware.
Akil Parker earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Morgan State University, completed graduate coursework at Point Park University, and earned a Master in Educational Leadership from Lincoln University. He has served as a learning coach, academic advisor, and history and math teacher. He also has two children who have attended public and private schools in Philadelphia. He is involved with the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics and the Association for Study of Classical African Civilizations.
Roberta Trombetta received her Bachelor of Science in business administration from Drexel University before earning her law degree from Temple University. In her professional career, she has served as the Managing Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Chief of Operations for the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division. She has also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Carson Valley Children’s Aid and is currently the founder of C.B. Community Schools. Roberta and her three sisters were all educated by the Philadelphia school district and attended the Lamberton School.
Patricia Wellenbach is currently the President and CEO of the Please Touch Museum. She currently serves on the board of Thomas Jefferson University and the Pennsylvania Women’s Forum. Previously she has served on the boards of The Reinvestment Fund, Avenue of the Arts, Inc., Fringe Arts, La Salle University, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Boston College and completed the health care executive certificate program at the UCLA Anderson School of Business.
A Cleveland native, Joyce Wilkerson started off in Philadelphia as an attorney with Community Legal Services. Wilkerson served as Chief of Staff to Mayor Street. She helped to stabilize the Philadelphia Gas Works and chaired the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. She would then go on to be the Executive Director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. She is currently a member of the board at the Merchant Fund, Scribe Video Center, Brandywine Workshop and Committee of Seventy. Wilkerson earned a Bachelor in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Wilkerson currently serves as a Mayoral appointee to the School Reform Commission.
Bill Cosby’s 44-year-old daughter Ensa Cosby died in Massachusetts from kidney disease, a spokesman for the comedian said Monday.
Spokesman Andrew Wyatt did not immediately offer other details about her death on Friday.
“Please keep the Cosby family in your prayers and give them peace at this time,” he said.
Bill Cosby lost another of his five children in 1997 when his 27-year-old son, Ennis, a graduate student at Columbia University, was shot to death while changing a flat tire near a freeway off ramp in Los Angeles. A 22-year-old man was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Bill Cosby, 80, owns a home in the western Massachusetts town of Shelburne Falls.
Ensa Cosby spoke out on her father’s behalf before his trial last year on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bail ahead of his retrial scheduled for April 2. His first trial ended with a hung jury last year.
Ensa Cosby and her sister, Erinn, recorded statements that aired on New York hip hop radio station Power 105. Ensa Cosby said she strongly believed in her father’s innocence and believed that racism played a big role in aspects of the scandal.
“How my father is being punished by a society that still believes black men rape white women but passes off ‘boys will be boys’ when white men are accused, and how the politics of our country prove my disgust. My father has been publicly lynched in the media,” she said.
“Boys will be boys” was an apparent reference to Donald Trump excusing his lewd remarks as “locker room talk.”
A defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct is also pending in Massachusetts.
Ensa Cosby appeared on one episode of the sitcom “The Cosby Show,’ which ran from 1984-1992.
(Copyright ©2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Only about 50 percent of adolescents with depression get diagnosed before reaching adulthood and experts say as many as 2 in 3 depressed teens don’t get the care that could help them.
25-year-old Stephanie Cardamone knows how crippling anxiety and depression can be.
“Looking back on my entire life, it’s just like situations that I’m thinking of where I’m like that wasn’t normal,” she said.
Cardamone was diagnosed with depression in her early 20’s but she recalls symptoms much earlier.
“It was there, in my teenage years, I just didn’t know what it was; I didn’t know how to deal with it,” she said.
Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing updated guidelines on adolescent depression.
Research shows by age 20, about 20 percent of teens says they’ve experienced some depression, which can affect them long term.
“It can lead to social problems, family problems, school problems, substance abuse,” Dr. Rachel Zuckerbrot, an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center.
The goal is to help pediatricians identify depression early.
The new guidelines recommend doctors talk about mental health with adolescents and their parents and implement universal depression screening for children 12 and older.
Doctors also say it’s important to also keep a close eye on at-risk children.
“Those include children who have a family history of depression and other mental health issues…children who have already had an episode of depression,” Dr. Zuckerbrot explained.
Cardamone who works with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to Raise Awareness says sharing her story is therapeutic.
“I just think it’s really important, no matter what someone’s going through, to make sure they don’t feel isolated,” she said.
The new recommendations also call for families with a depressed teen to develop a safety plan to restrict access to lethal weapons.
Suicide is a leading cause of death for teens. Experts say adolescent suicide risk is strongly associated with firearm availability.
CBS Local — Biologists say a woman in Alabama has a “one in a million” house guest as an extremely rare yellow cardinal has been filmed snacking at the homeowner’s bird feeder repeatedly.
“I thought ‘well there’s a bird I’ve never seen before’,” Charlie Stephenson said, via AL.com. “Then I realized it was a cardinal, and it was a yellow cardinal.”
Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill says the rare find is definitely a genetic mutation of the common red cardinal.
“I’ve been birdwatching in the range of cardinals for 40 years and I’ve never seen a yellow bird in the wild,” Hill said.
Hill added that there were likely only two or three yellow cardinals flying to outdoor bird feeders in the U.S. and Canada each year.
“Yellow cardinals are a one in a million mutation,” he said.
The rare songbird has reportedly made regular trips to Stephenson’s Alabaster home, giving her the chance to dazzle social media fans and birdwatchers with videos and pictures posted to Facebook.
“As soon as I saw it on her social media, I was kind of curious and I wanted to go explore and see if I could find it,” professional photographer and Stephenson’s friend Jeremy Black said. “I finally saw it after about five hours.”
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New policy on body and dash camera video in deadly police incidents has been proposed by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
The new policy was created with help from the community, and stresses transparency. Elie Honig is the director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, which is part of the AG’s office.
“Today’s policy sort of answers a question that has been out there for a long time,” Honig said, “which is at what point in a police use of force, use of lethal force case, will body cam/dash cam video be available to the public.”
The new policy says that video will be available typically within 20 days, unless the prosecutor releases it sooner, or needs more time to complete the investigation.
Honig says the policy will not go into effect until it is reviewed and gets approval from the Advisory Committee on Ethics.
WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) —New Castle County police have charged a 43-year-old man in connection with multiple incidents of indecent exposure.
Delancy Smallwood was arrested without incident after police say he allegedly called a young girl, who was getting of the bus, over to his vehicle and exposed himself around 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, on the unit block of Harwyn Road.
Smallwood was charged with one count of first-degree indecent exposure, two counts of second-degree indecent exposure and three counts of lewdness.
He is currently being held at Howard Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $4,200 cash bail.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 302-573-2800.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A female Philadelphia police officer was found dead along with another man in a home in the Port Richmond section of the city on Monday.
Police say the female officer and the man were found dead inside the home on the 2900 block of Mercer Street around noon.
There is no word on the circumstances surrounding their deaths
There’s no word right now on the identities of the female officer or the man.
Police are investigating their deaths.
COATESVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — The Brandywine Valley SPCA says several dogs were seized from a Chester County home following a dog fighting investigation.
Pennsylvania State Police took six dogs and four rabbits from a Coatesville home on Feb. 21.
The SPCA says the dogs were taken as evidence in a case against a man who has been charged with cruelty to animals and possession of dog fighting paraphernalia. The suspect allegedly had treadmills and medical supplies that were used for dog fighting.
“It is beyond comprehension that animals could be forced to suffer like this for entertainment,” said Adam Lamb. “We’re grateful for the diligence of the State Police in pursuing this case, and we’ll support them in every way possible to find justice for these animals and prevent future suffering.”
The animals were taken to the Brandywine Valley SPCA West Chester campus. The dogs are in fair condition while the rabbits are struggling due to inadequate housing and lack of food and water.
The dog fighting case began following a traffic stop by Pennsylvania State Police in November. Police say they noticed a dog with severe wounds in the car during the stop.
The driver, who is now the suspect in the case, allegedly told police the dog was a stray.
Veterinarians say the dog, now named Nibbles, had “extensive and recent wounds on her face, legs and chest.” Nibbles required reconstructive surgeries for her jaw and other surgeries to treat her wounds.
She is now available for adoption into a forever family.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New camera features and new case colors highlight Samsung’s forthcoming flagship smartphones due out on March 16.
“From front to back and outside in, this device is designed for the visual and social generation,” said Samsung’s Justin Denison.
Denison says the Galaxy S9 and larger-screen S9 Plus use our eye for inspiration to make a camera that happens to have a phone built around it.
“So you can take bright, clear shots day and night.”
The mechanical aperture reacts to available light. Jon Wong thinks its 960fps slow-motion video is a jaw dropper.
“You can stretch 0.2 seconds of time — about the length of a blink — into a 6-second masterpiece.”
The S9 turns its focus on you to create augmented reality emoji that (try to) look like you and mimic your facial expressions for sharing.
“It’s a bit generous with the hair. But no worries, we can personalize that.”
The unveiling event, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, breezed over Bixby. Samsung’s personal assistant now can translate foreign language text in photos and count calories with a picture of what’s on your plate. Through a partnership with beauty companies, Bixby can display what you’d look like with different makeup.
Samsung reps launched unsubtle digs at Apple for killing the fingerprint reader (from its iPhone X) and headphone jack.
The Galaxy S9 comes in black, gray, coral blue, and lilac purple. It starts around $720.
Since I’m from New York City, I’m supposed to see the endless wisdom of Kirk Cousins playing for the New York Jets.
As if the Jets don’t already have a haunted history, still looking for their first great quarterback since Joe Namath, we’re now supposed to rubber-stamp Cousins swathed in Gang Green. It begs a couple questions.
Why is Cousins, in his absolute prime at 29, a free agent to begin with? And why, if he’s so great and so coveted, did his home franchise, let him walk? The moment Washington had the reasonable chance to replace Cousins, they did, trading for Alex Smith. You could argue Smith isn’t much better than Cousins, and is three years older, yet the Redskins jumped on the chance to get him.
What does that say about Cousins that the one club that has all the film, all the friendships, and all the experience with Cousins couldn’t wait to part ways with him? Sure, they handcuffed him with the franchise tag the last two years, but only because they hadn’t found his replacement. His own boss, team president Bruce Allen, called him Kurt Cousins.
By the way, you’re not hearing much outrage from the media or the masses — or Redskins fans — aghast at the idea of losing Cousins. Most pundits like Cousins, but feel he’s largely a system quarterback, about as good as the parts around him. Cousins is not Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady, or any transcendent QB who literally lifts and transforms his team into a Super Bowl contender.
Cousins was good enough to be franchise tagged. He’s certainly among the top-20 quarterbacks in the NFL. But the Jets will be asked to break the bank for his services, and make Kirk Cousins the highest-paid QB in the world. Why? The Jets are more than one season from becoming a playoff club. And yes, they have the cash, about $80 million in cap space as of this month. But just because you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it, and spend it poorly.
We can agree, however, that Cousins would be perfect for a club that’s loaded everywhere but under center. He could parachute into Minnesota, Jacksonville, Arizona, or Denver and hit the ground throwing. Since the Jags just signed Blake Bortles to an extension, that leaves the Vikings and Broncos. If Minnesota is sold on Case Keenum, and franchise tag him, then we are left with Arizona and Denver. (Forget the Dallas rumors. Not even the Cowboys are flamboyant enough to pair Cousins with Dak Prescott, his sophomore slump be damned.)
The Cardinals have a solid roster. Ageless marvel Larry Fitzgerald is returning in 2018. David Johnson, the best all-around back not named Le’Veon Bell, should return from the knee injury that sidelined him in 2017. Their defense is still stout, despite losing Calais Campbell to the Jaguars a year ago. There’s a little uncertainty on the sideline, however, with Bruce Arians retiring, and his replacement, Steve Wilks, about to coach his first NFL game.
So how about Denver? Von Miller — who leads a robust Broncos defense — has openly courted Cousins. No NFL executive understands the rigors of playing QB than team czar John Elway, one of the five best ever to take a snap. Denver has recent history with making things work with gifted, discarded quarterbacks. Not that Cousins is Peyton Manning, but with Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on the outside, Cousins could make serious hay with that offense.
Renowned NFL personnel man and former Cowboys VP Gil Brandt thinks the Vikings are the spot for Cousins. But they just came within four quarters of the Super Bowl with Keenum. Plus, the AFC, where the Broncos call plays, presents a far less perilous path to the Super Bowl than he NFC, home of the Super Bowl champion Eagles. In the NFC, Cousins would also have to worry about the ever-dangerous Seahawks, Panthers, Packers, and Saints — all of whom could contend for a ring in 2018. In the AFC, it’s New England, Pittsburgh, and, that’s about it. (That is, unless Bortles has a stunning makeover in Jacksonville.)
For all the talk of the Patriots, Steelers, and other AFC blue bloods, the Broncos have a remarkable history of success. Indeed, in the 35 years since Elway was drafted (1983), the Broncos have had just six losing seasons. It helps to have Elway and Manning over many of those years, but they’ve also won with Jay Cutler and Jake Plummer, neither of whom are better than Cousins.
Kirk Cousins would do well in Denver, one of the most stable teams and systems for the ultimate system quarterback.
Jason writes a weekly column for CBS Local Sports. He is a native New Yorker, sans the elitist sensibilities, and believes there’s a world west of the Hudson River. A Yankees devotee and Steelers groupie, he has been scouring the forest of fertile NYC sports sections since the 1970s. He has written over 500 columns for WFAN/CBS NY, and also worked as a freelance writer for Sports Illustrated and Newsday subsidiary amNew York. He made his bones as a boxing writer, occasionally covering fights in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, but mostly inside Madison Square Garden. Follow him on Twitter @JasonKeidel.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New Jersey lawmakers introduced a bill Monday that would open the polls to nearly 100,000 individuals who have been barred from the ballot box. Lawmakers are using community support to push politicians to take action.
If passed, New Jersey would follow Maine and Vermont in restoring the right to vote to individuals on probation and parole and in prison.
“No one should lose that fundamental right. That right that is sacred,” said Ryan Hagood, who runs the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, one of more than 80 community groups supporting lawmakers introducing the bill. “There is no relationship between voting and committing crimes.”
Senator Ron Rice is co-sponsor and says disparities in the criminal justice system in New Jersey are some of the worst in the country. Black adults are 12 times and black youth are 30 times more likely to be arrested than whites, even though data shows they commit crimes at the same rate. As a result, blacks make up nearly half of those barred from the ballot box because of a criminal past, because of a ban that became law in 1844.
“Give the rights back to people that was taken away from them,” Hagood said.
Daniel Bryan, spokesman for the New Jersey Governor’s Office, wrote in an email, “Governor Murphy believes that we are a better, stronger, and more representative democracy when more New Jerseyans participate. He looks forward to working with the Legislature to pass legislation that expands access to the ballot.”