May 14, 2014 |
PENNSYLVANIA'S Democrats will select their nominee for governor one week from today. But front-runner Tom Wolf is already being targeted by Gov. Corbett and his Republican allies as the likely general-election challenger. Corbett is running TV ads critical of Wolf's 18 months as state revenue secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell. The state Republican Party sent campaign mailers to Democrats, accusing Wolf - without providing proof - of dodging taxes with his family's business. Pollster G. Terry Madonna of Franklin & Marshall College says the singular Republican focus on a Democrat - before primary election ballots are even cast - is a first for a statewide race here.
May 13, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's ambitious alternative to expanding Medicaid - a private-market initiative that Gov. Corbett says is designed to save money - would require 723 new state workers, about one percent of the current workforce. The projected number of hires, detailed by state officials, is far higher than most states have needed and surprised some public-policy experts. Many states are adding employees to review applications and confirm eligibility, and to implement all the changes required by federal law. Those new hires typically are in the dozens.
May 7, 2014 |
THE PENNSYLVANIA Innocence Project, which works to free people who have been wrongfully convicted, will celebrate its fifth anniversary tonight at the Kimmel Center with cocktails, dessert and actor Tony Goldwyn of TV's "Scandal" fame. The event will honor those who have doggedly pursued justice for people wrongfully behind bars and also will recognize those wrongfully convicted. Eugene Gilyard, 35, who spent 15 years in state prison before a judge tossed out his and co-defendant Lance Felder's convictions in a 1995 slaying, will speak.
May 5, 2014
Rob McCord's great verbal volleys can be so relentless that he once joked to a Daily News reporter that he gets worn out listening to himself. But unlike politicians who prattle on at length without ever getting around to the question, the state treasurer and would-be governor tends to answer the question at hand along with half a dozen others. McCord's volubility may have its pitfalls, but it comes from an obviously rich reservoir of intelligence, knowledge, and energy. Along with his substantial experience in politics, government, business, and finance, those qualities make ROB McCORD the best of a strong group of Democrats vying to challenge Gov. Corbett in the fall.
May 2, 2014
OUT IN western Pennsylvania, just up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh, brewer Matt Gouwens has a green thumb and a dream: One of these days, he'll be brewing fresh beer with Pennsylvania-grown hops. He's so certain of that dream, he's planted almost an acre of hops on his own property and boldly named his company Hop Farm Brewing Co. "Local hops, local beer," Gouwens vowed. For now, it's just a dream. His acreage is nowhere near enough to provide enough hop for his small-batch brewery.
May 1, 2014 |
Roy Kaiser, Pennsylvania Ballet's artistic director for two decades, is stepping down. The former dancer, who started his career with the company 35 years ago, will stay on until a successor is found. A search committee will be assisted by outgoing Kennedy Center president Michael M. Kaiser (not related), who is also the author of a plan designed to raise the ballet's artistic and institutional ambitions. Roy Kaiser, 56, joined the company in 1979, and danced his last role - Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet - before becoming full-time ballet master in 1992.
April 16, 2014 |
JAMES RAGO wore what any respectable strip-club owner would to his court hearing on charges of promoting prostitution - a black leather jacket and neck tattoos. He took the witness stand in a Plymouth Meeting courtroom, near a painting of cave drawings featuring a bipedal man-bear-alligator holding a sickle. Rago, 71, told Judge Tania Wright that he was the owner of Scruples at the Oakford, a "gentlemen's club since 1990," in Trevose. What did he mean by "gentlemen's club?"
April 7, 2014 |
Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared war on "the man in Pennsylvania. " This bizarre battle pits Erdogan against an elderly Turkish scholar of Islam named Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, on a 26-acre compound called the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center. The distance between Istanbul and the Poconos makes it hard to conceptualize this battle. Yet it will affect the future of democracy in a country viewed as a model of moderate political Islam.
March 15, 2014 |
Coppelia is a thoroughly enjoyable family-friendly ballet, the silly story of a love triangle among a girl, a boy, and a doll. Pennsylvania Ballet made it as fresh and funny as it deserves to be when it began a two-performance run at the Academy of Music on Saturday. The evening cast featured Lauren Fadeley as Swanilda, and her acting was spot-on - charming, naive, playful, a little naughty. Her real-life husband, Francis Veyette, played her boyfriend, Franz, who would flirt with anything on two feet - even if that anything turned out to be Coppelia, a doll sitting in the window of Dr. Coppelius, the toymaker.
March 9, 2014 |
Pennsylvania Ballet gave an encore of a signature work and added another Balanchine ballet to its repertoire for its opening Thursday night at the Academy of Music. Both were part of the company's yearlong 50th anniversary celebration. Carmina Burana has been in the troupe's repertoire since 1966, when John Butler staged his 1959 work on Pennsylvania Ballet to Carl Orff's secular cantata. In 2007, choreographer-in-residence Matthew Neenan reinterpreted the ballet with new choreography, costumes, and sets.