July 17, 2016 |
One sits in the high desert surrounded by mountains and the other is a sprawling blue-collar city, but the Rev. Canon Daniel Gutierrez says the similarities between his native Albuquerque, N.M., and Philadelphia are greater than the differences. Gutierrez, 51, said the problems his parishioners faced in the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, based in Albuquerque, are universal - problems he will also face as bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. In a service rich with Episcopal tradition, Gutierrez was ordained Saturday at New Covenant Church in Germantown before hundreds of parishioners and clerics.
July 15, 2016
THE AGREEMENT on the $31.5 billion state budget nearly met the July 1 deadline, nine months earlier than last year. That must come as a tremendous relief to school districts and local governments across the state that had to go through 2015 without regular payments of state aid. Now, they know what they are getting from the state and can plan accordingly. The Philadelphia School District, for instance, will get about $50 million in new money, which it had already penciled in to its budget for the 2016-17 school year.
July 11, 2016
With the national conventions right around the corner, Currents commentators T.J. Rooney and Alan Novak catch up on what's going on in the presidential race - both nationally and in Pennsylvania. T.J. Rooney is a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Alan Novak is a former chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania R ooney: For Democrats, the excitement is building, especially in Pennsylvania as Philadelphia prepares to welcome and nominate the first woman in the history of our nation to be president of the United States.
July 8, 2016 |
In 2008, news of a global hops shortage sent brewers into a cold panic. But for a few would-be farmers, it planted the seed - or, more precisely, the rhizome - of an idea. Though it had been nearly a century since this region's hops industry was decimated by a disease called downy mildew, then eradicated by Prohibition, perhaps, they thought, it was time for a comeback. Today, that resurgence is taking root in places like Oast House Hop Farm in Wrightstown, N.J., where about an acre of a former horse farm has been impaled with 20-foot poles, suspending vines bearing the flowers that give beer its bitter, floral, herbal, or fruity notes.
July 8, 2016 |
When you're a chef and you're trying to go beyond the same-old, same-old, often the answer is in the tiniest specks of flavor. Chefs around town continue to introduce new and interesting spices. Lately it's sumac, Urfa pepper seeds, and swarnadwipa, as the concept of "American" cooking increasingly broadens to include ingredients from around the world. Used judiciously, spice can be a signature touch, making the cooking feel more personal and innovative. It's also, potentially, a cheap way to do so. "If you want to keep food at a lower price point, adding spices is a great way to be creative and introduce new elements," says Brian Ricci, chef of Brick & Mortar.
July 4, 2016 |
Shunpiking is "use of a side road to avoid the toll on (or the speed and traffic of) a superhighway," according to Merriam-Webster. To fans of road trips, shunpiking is a celebration of the joy of driving - and of cars themselves, getting out into the countryside to explore interesting sights often missed while whizzing along the interstate. For car enthusiasts, Pennsylvania offers an opportunity to shunpike around the state while visiting some of the finest automobile museums in America.
July 3, 2016 |
Gov. Christie is considering withdrawing from an agreement that exempts residents who live in Pennsylvania but work in New Jersey from paying income taxes on their salaries and wages to the Garden State, and vice versa. This would effectively amount to a tax hike for many of those who commute across the Delaware River for work - and would be highly unpopular in South Jersey, where tens of thousands of people could be affected. The proposal was included in an executive order that Christie signed Thursday night, placing millions of dollars in reserve in what he said was a response to a reckless spending proposal submitted by the Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats.
July 2, 2016 |
Donald Trump plans to name two respected Republican operatives to run his effort in Pennsylvania amid criticism that the real estate developer has lagged in building the organization required of a presidential campaign. David Urban will be senior adviser and Ted Christian will be the state director, according to sources close to the Trump campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to announce the move. Both men are lobbyists. The development comes as many local Republican leaders in the state, a crucial target for the presumptive nominee, are complaining about a lack of troops and contact from the campaign.
June 24, 2016
"BREAKING: SIX-PACKS APPROVED FOR SALE AT PENNSYLVANIA GAS STATIONS!" - Headline on Gov. Wolf's blog WITH THAT, Pennsylvania, your beer laws have finally entered the 20th century. And, yes, I do mean last century, for despite the screaming caps, last month's approval is both meaningless and illustrative of the small thinking that accompanies liquor regulation in this state. For starters, the approval applies only to nine gas stations statewide, and most are in the boondocks, so . . . next time you are in Mahanoy City, fill 'er up!
June 22, 2016 |
How do we explain the meteoric rise of Donald Trump on the political stage? The GOP political hopeful has been able to translate his remarkable pop-culture appeal into electoral power. Forget the polls and the pundits. Perhaps the best way to understand is to watch Shakespeare's tale of another man who entered politics after first becoming an immensely popular cult figure: Julius Caesar. It just so happens that one of the best Shakespeare companies in the country, will premiere a new production of Julius Caesar on Wednesday on the campus of DeSales University in Lehigh County.