July 2, 2016 |
TRENTON - New Jersey's gas tax isn't going up - at least for the holiday weekend. The Senate did not hold a vote Thursday on legislation to raise the tax to replenish the state's fund for roads and bridges, spurning a call by Gov. Christie to resolve the crisis before the fiscal year ended Thursday. Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said he didn't believe there was enough support in his chamber to advance legislation, backed by Christie, that the Assembly passed this week.
July 1, 2016
At some point during the early-morning hours Tuesday, Gov. Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto walked into a Statehouse hallway for a public hug on a $34.8 billion budget deal that wasn't really a deal, because the hug was missing Senate President Steve Sweeney - as well as a requisite dose of fiscal sense. Christie and Prieto (D., Hudson) agreed to raise New Jersey's gas tax from the nation's second-lowest, 14.5 cents a gallon, to its seventh-highest, 37.5 cents. That would raise $16 billion over the next eight years to support badly needed road, bridge, and mass transit repairs.
May 4, 2016
ISSUE | TRAFFIC COURT Credit to Castille It was wonderful to see the Inquirer recognize voters for their sensible decision to remove Philadelphia Traffic Court from the Pennsylvania Constitution last week, ending years of corrupt practices ("For Traffic Court, voters decide the fix is out," Friday). The article did a good job of recounting the court's history, but people should know that the charge for change was led by then-state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille.
January 23, 2016 |
SEPTA and two energy services firms announced Thursday they had teamed up to expand the first-of-its-kind battery storage system that captures power from braking trains on the city's two subway systems. Constellation Energy Resources, a Baltimore subsidiary of Exelon Corp., will pay for and install battery systems at seven SEPTA electrical substations on the transit system, which will capture and store power produced from the subway's regenerative brakes. Viridity Energy, a Philadelphia firm, will bid the stored power into the regional energy grid, which pays a fee to suppliers that can instantly match generation with demand to maintain the desired electrical frequency on the network.
November 13, 2015 |
SAYING THEY DON'T want money or limousine rides to watch a developer's dog-and-pony shows, a coalition of African-American civic and religious leaders yesterday urged City Council not to approve zoning legislation for a South Philadelphia casino and hotel project until it investigates racial discrimination allegations against the project's Baltimore developer. The coalition members also asked Council to schedule a special hearing to address the discrimination claims separate from Monday's Rules Committee hearing during which the zoning legislation will be addressed.
May 26, 2015 |
Over the past 200 years, the country has lost half of its wetlands. Even in this era of environmental awareness, the rate has accelerated from 60,000 acres a year in 1998 to 80,000 a year in 2009. This matters because wetlands filter water for plants and animals that are integral parts of the food chain and provide rest stops for migratory birds. They also serve as a sponge in storms, protecting people and property. Some of New Jersey's wetlands have the misfortune of being near its popular beach towns.
May 18, 2015 |
The Federal Railroad Administration ordered Amtrak on Saturday to immediately install an electronic braking system at the Frankford curve that - if it had been in place last week - likely would have prevented the train derailment that killed eight people and injured more than 200. Amtrak officials said the system would be in place by the time the damaged line is reopened, perhaps as early as Tuesday, and "most certainly will be safer. " Service between Philadelphia and New York remains suspended through Monday, affecting thousands of commuters.
May 16, 2015 |
On Valentine's Day 2014, Adrien Reju played a set of what she called "unconventional love songs" at the Fire. The singer-songwriter covered songs by Sonny Bono, Lou Reed, Skeeter Davis, and others, and the show sent her down the path that led to her second full-length album, Strange Love and the Secret Language . "My choices for that show were a little more wacky or quirky," says Reju, who will perform a solo show Friday night at Burlap &...
May 16, 2015 |
If Amtrak Train 188 had been heading to Philadelphia from New York City, it would not have derailed at the sharp Frankford Junction curve, because an automatic braking mechanism has been in place for years on the southbound side of the tracks to stop a speeding train. But Amtrak never installed the same electronics on the northbound side, so Train 188 was able to enter the curve where the speed limit is 50 m.p.h. at more than 100 m.p.h. Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman said in an interview that the lack of the automatic-braking control on one side of the curve was "a loophole" that he was unaware of until Train 188 derailed Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring about 200. The death toll rose by one Thursday, when the eighth victim was found in the wreckage of the mangled first passenger car. Mayor Nutter said officials now believe all 243 people who were on the train have been accounted for. The eight victims have been identified through various sources as Jim Gaines, 48, an Associated Press employee, of Plainsboro, N.J.; Abid Gilani, 55, a bank executive, of Rockville, Md.; Bob Gildersleeve, 45, an Ecolab executive, of Elkridge, Md.; Giuseppe Piras, 41, an olive-oil and wine merchant, of Italy; Justin Zemser, 20, a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman; and three passengers from New York City - Laura Finamore, 47, a corporate real estate officer; Derrick Griffith, 42, a dean at Medgar Evers College; and Rachel Jacobs, 39, an online start-up executive.