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Challenges

NEWS
June 19, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Schuylkill County Register of Wills Theresa Santai-Gaffney is trying to pick up where Gov. Corbett left off and defend Pennsylvania's previous same-sex marriage ban. In May, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III declared the ban unconstitutional, and gay and lesbian couples across the state began tying the knot. Santai-Gaffney has asked Jones to put his ruling on hold and allow her to intervene in the case. If Jones - or a higher court - grants her request, it could halt to same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, and increase pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a disjointed patchwork of laws nationwide.
NEWS
June 14, 2014 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
A statewide effort to get more students to eat breakfast is yielding surprisingly positive results. In a recent contest, Philadelphia's Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, a middle school, beat out 900 other Pennsylvania schools in the so-called School Breakfast Challenge. The school on East Courtland Street in North Philadelphia achieved the largest increase in breakfast participation in the state, improving from 29 percent of students in October 2013 to an average of 77 percent during January through March of this year.
BUSINESS
June 12, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
An array of critics has challenged Sunoco Pipeline L.P.'s attempt to win crucial public utility status for its embattled Mariner East pipeline by recasting the local benefits of the project. Several advocacy groups filed objections with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission before Monday's deadline, calling on the PUC to reject Sunoco's application to declare its cross-state pipeline a public utility, which would allow it to bypass local zoning controls. Sunoco is repurposing an 83-year-old refined-products pipeline to transport Marcellus Shale natural-gas liquids to Marcus Hook, where most of the material - ethane and propane - would be exported.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
On Nov. 19, 1969, more than 600,000 people converged on Washington to protest the Vietnam War. One of them was Mark Silow, then 16, now 60, and the managing partner at Fox Rothschild L.L.P., a Philadelphia law firm. "I went to all the big anti-war protests," he said, "and all the more local anti-war gatherings. " That's when he began to consider a law career. "Growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was a very politically intense time and lawyers seemed to be in the forefront of a lot of things that were going on. " Question: Did you imagine that you'd be bailing out protesters?
NEWS
June 2, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
MACAU - Music amid the ruins. The idea is so picturesque that the Philadelphia Orchestra, now in its third visit here, has had a standing date with what's left of St. Paul's Cathedral. Built by Portuguese Jesuits starting in 1582, the cathedral suffered a fire in 1835 that rendered it only a poetic husk of itself - and made it one of Macau's central attractions. On Saturday morning, a quartet of the orchestra's French hornists played a pop-up concert as part of the 2014 China Residency and Tour of Asia.
NEWS
June 2, 2014 | By Art Carey, For The Inquirer
Karen Glanz is a behavioral epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Much of her work focuses on applying the social sciences to encourage healthy behavior in individuals and communities. She studies the effects of the environment, nutrition, and exercise on obesity and the prevention of such ailments as cancer and heart disease. Her work presents constant challenges, which Glanz relishes. It is also largely sedentary. As she puts it, "I spend a lot of time on my behind in front of a computer.
BUSINESS
June 1, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Parking Authority can proceed with the new operator of its red-light camera program, according to a Commonwealth Court decision announced Friday. A three-judge panel denied a request by American Traffic Solutions Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., to void PPA's contract with Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc., a unit of Xerox Corp., of Norwalk, Conn. PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said in a statement that the aim of the camera program "had always been to reduce red-light running and save lives," and that the ruling would allow the transition to Xerox to continue.
NEWS
May 25, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna and Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
The rocky start to Gov. Christie's second term took a turn for the worse last week, as he reversed course on a signature first-term accomplishment and risked his political reputation as a fiscal steward. Christie announced that he planned to slash state payments into the public employee pension system to fill a gaping revenue shortfall, despite a 2011 deal that required the state to ramp up its payments in exchange for increased worker contributions. Two of the state's largest public-sector unions threatened to sue, and Democrats blamed Christie for mismanaging the budget.
NEWS
May 22, 2014
Once a cradle of democracy, Pennsylvania now seems more likely to be its retirement home. The commonwealth has consistently resisted trends toward greater participation while maintaining and perfecting obstacles to government by the people. Nevertheless, many of those who could take part in Tuesday's election enjoyed a meaningful choice. That's a testament to the democratic spirit of the candidates and, let's hope, the voters. Pennsylvania's legislators have been loath to encourage participation with such increasingly common conveniences as early voting - whether by mail or extended polling hours - or progressive reforms such as open primary elections.
NEWS
May 22, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
State Rep. Margo Davidson survived challenges Tuesday from primary opponents who cast her as too conservative for her strongly Democratic 164th District in Delaware County. Davidson won a close race over Billy Smith, a defense lawyer from Lansdowne. A third candidate, Dafan Zhang, finished in a distant third place. Davidson, a two-term incumbent from Upper Darby, made history when she was elected in 2010 as the first Democrat, first woman, and first African American to represent the 164th District.
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