January 6, 2015
POPE FRANCIS is due in Philly in September. I wish he were due in Harrisburg tomorrow. That's when the Legislature comes to the Capitol to be sworn in for a new two-year term. And you remember how His Papalness last month peppered the Curia, those running the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church? Well, I wish he'd bestow the same sort of "blessing" on those who run our state government. Somebody should. And he or she can use the pope's outline. If you missed it, Francis lambasted church leaders for, among other things, vanity, selfishness and the "pathology of power.
August 23, 2014 |
The lawyer who peddled fine wines from his Main Line home made out with probation and community service. His wine might not fare as well. Police want to destroy the 2,426 bottles they seized in January from Arthur Goldman's Malvern home, the typical fate for bootleg booze. But this collection is not a typical bounty. It's far more valuable. Goldman is fighting to keep it, and wine enthusiasts say the thought of its being dumped is hard to swallow, an example of how Pennsylvania's antiquated liquor laws frustrate connoisseurs and seed a black market for alcohol unavailable in state stores.
May 2, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Liquor privatization is bad. That seemed to be the sum total of testimony Tuesday at the first of three hearings in the state Senate on Gov. Corbett's push to get Pennsylvania out of the liquor business. The hearing in the Law and Justice Committee focused on the impact privatization would have on public health and law enforcement. Witnesses from the union for state troopers, who enforce liquor laws, and from drug and alcohol prevention and treatment groups said privatizing would lead to more liquor outlets, more drinking, and more alcohol-related crime and violence.
March 19, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - A legislative panel on Monday endorsed a revamped version of Gov. Corbett's liquor-privatization bill that would give existing beer distributors first crack at liquor and wine licenses and expand beer and wine sales to grocery stores. In a 14-10 party-line vote, the House Liquor Committee backed a bill that would potentially phase out the existing state-controlled stores as the number of private operators grows. Both the GOP governor and Rep. John Taylor, the Philadelphia Republican who chairs the committee, called the amendment a "first step" that would lead to scrutiny of the complicated legislation not only on the House floor but in the Senate.
July 24, 2012 |
The calls for overhauling Pennsylvania's byzantine liquor laws have grown ever louder. But Philadelphia tavern owner Earl Martin fears what he is hearing is a last call for a big swig of his business. Like tavern owners across the state, Martin counts on take-out beer sales for a significant share of his revenue at Fibber McGee's Pub in Bridesburg. The booze business in Pennsylvania is peculiar. Beer isn't available at state liquor stores. Under current law, distributors can sell only by the case or keg; other take-out outlets are restricted to 192 ounces.
May 16, 2012
Friday's "Home Economics" column incorrectly described content in AgentMatch's entry on real estate agent Christopher J. Artur. The website says Artur has listed 33 condos. A story in Tuesday's Inquirer about plans for a Labor Day weekend music festival made an unclear reference to the agents who enforce the state's liquor laws. They are known as liquor code enforcement agents and they are a unit of the State Police, not the Liquor Control Board. The Inquirer wants its news report to be fair and correct in every respect, and regrets when it is not. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, contact assistant managing editor David Sullivan (215-854-2357)
April 13, 2012 |
AFTER SCREENWRITER Joe Eszterhas ("Showgirls") sent a letter to the Los Angeles Times claiming that Mel Gibson was still an angry anti-Semite ("You hate Jews" sort of summed it up) and that Mel's proposed feature on Judah Maccabee (for which Joe was writing the script and which was recently dropped by Warner Bros.) was just a charade to improve his reputation, Mel responded with his own letter to the L.A. Times. Short version: Your screenplay sucked. Longer, excerpted version: "Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation, I have been working on this project for over 10 years and it was publicly announced 8 years ago. I absolutely want to make this movie; it's just that neither Warner Brothers nor I want to make this movie based on your script.
March 28, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Another year, another bill proposing to let Pennsylvania residents have wine shipped directly to their homes from out-of-state wineries. This time around, though, wine lovers and legislators supporting the cause are cautiously optimistic that 2012 could finally be the year the measure becomes law. The state Senate is poised to vote Wednesday on legislation that would allow direct shipments from out-of-state wineries to a Pennsylvanian's doorstep. By all accounts, the bill is expected to pass, though its fate is murkier in the House, as it is with Gov. Corbett.
January 10, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - That Skinnygirl Margarita may soon cost you more. Same goes for your favorite Malbec and Chardonnay, not to mention your choice of vodka, scotch and liqueur. The state Liquor Control Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to approve an increase in prices on more than 450 wines and hard liquor brands. The increases, requested by the vendors of the alcoholic beverages, are usually proposed for either $1 and $2, but go as low as 50 cents and as high as $5. If the board votes in favor of the increase, it would mark the first time in a year and a half that wine and liquor prices have gone up. In that time, the board has rejected requests for hikes, given the bad economy.
December 8, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - Score one for beer lovers. The Pennsylvania legislature on Wednesday voted to extend the hours beer distributors can stay open on Sundays. Until now, consumers have had to make Sunday beer runs between noon and 5 p.m. The measure passed by both the House and Senate - with little debate - would extend the hours on both ends, allowing distributors to stay open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The bill now goes to Gov. Corbett, and a spokesman said last night the governor was expected to sign it. This loosening of Pennsylvania's stringent liquor laws comes as some top Republicans are pushing to privatize almost all of the state Liquor Control Board's operations.