January 21, 2014 |
In the six months since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on same-sex marriage, a flood of lawsuits and legislation has pushed the United States to a tipping point - and Pennsylvania this year could be the state that shifts the balance. In 2013, the number of states (along with the District of Columbia) allowing same-sex marriage doubled, to 18. In the last month, judges struck down same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma. If those two rulings are upheld, nearly 46 percent of the U.S. population would live in places that allow same-sex marriage or civil unions.
January 17, 2014 |
MAJOR LEAGUE Soccer will hold its SuperDraft at noon today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The first two rounds of the draft of college players will be today. Rounds 3 and 4 will be on Tuesday. The Union has eight picks in the draft, including the second overall. Other Union picks are: 6, 25, 27, 44, 46, 52, 63. A live stream of the draft will be on WatchESPN. The Union's supporters group, Sons of Ben, is holding a predraft event at Field House Sports & Beer Hall at the Convention Center from 8 to 11 a.m. On Tuesday, the Union traded Jeff Parke to D.C. United for Ethan White.
January 13, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - James Franklin sat at the podium Saturday in the Beaver Stadium interview room splitting his attention between his two daughters - Ava and Addison, one on either side of him - and talked about family, including the "95 sons" he just adopted as the new head football coach at Penn State. Calling himself "a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart," Franklin, a native of Langhorne in Bucks County, officially was introduced as the successor to Bill O'Brien as the 16th head coach in the history of Nittany Lions football.
December 16, 2013 |
NEW YORK The annual migration of the commonwealth's wealthiest and most powerful - otherwise known as the Pennsylvania Society gathering - roared into Manhattan this weekend. This year's event was supposed to be about the governor's race - and the question of whether Gov. Corbett will be able to overcome sagging public approval ratings to earn another term in office. Most of the Democratic candidates vying for his job made the trek to hold fund-raisers and rub elbows with potential supporters and influential advocacy groups.
December 11, 2013 |
In some circles it is fashionable to pooh-pooh The Nutcracker as an insubstantial holiday treat, suitable only for stage-struck little girls and their doting mothers. But (a) what's wrong with escapism, especially at this time of the year? And (b) Pennsylvania Ballet's annual production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker - at the Academy of Music through Dec. 29 - offers two hours' worth of sheer theatrical magic, something no one should ever feel too old, or too serious, to enjoy.
December 3, 2013 |
Among the needy diners at the CityTeam Ministries in the city of Chester, it has become a menu favorite. "Some classify it as the best burger they've ever had," said James Kuhn, executive chef at the Delaware County soup kitchen and shelter, "and it's a lot healthier and leaner than beef. " The burger is the product of donated deer meat, most of it from Lower Merion, Montgomery County, which has undertaken annual culls to prune the herd. Annually in Pennsylvania, as many as 5,000 deer - each providing enough ground meat for about 200 meals - are donated by governments and hunters, according to Hunters for the Harvest, or HSH, the statewide group that coordinates the donations.
November 28, 2013 |
Subscribers to low-income Special Care health insurance plans issued by Pennsylvania's Blue Cross companies will be able to continue coverage into next year, state Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine said Tuesday in the first of what is likely to be several announcements in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to avoid a wave of policy cancellations. "We are trying to at least give [current subscribers] some certainty," he said in an interview, so that by the end of the year nobody in the individual market is left without coverage.
November 7, 2013
PENNSYLVANIA the Merciless. That's how one juvenile-justice advocate describes the state's criminal-justice system. The label seemed well earned last week when Pennsylvania's Supreme Court issued a ruling denying review to juvenile offenders whose mandatory life sentences have been ruled unconstitutional. There are nearly 500 prisoners in Pennsylvania serving mandatory life sentences for murders and other crimes committed when they were teenagers - the country's highest number.
October 29, 2013 |
A reader at a New York firm where they study bond documents for a living - hey, it's easier than breaking rocks - called a couple of weeks ago to ask about a boldface warning tucked amid the hundreds of pages supporting Pennsylvania's current attempt to borrow $750 million to keep the government going. The language concerned the Convention Center, whose debt the state took over from the city in 2010 so its taxpayers could pay for its expansion over the next 30 years. To pay this, the bond prospectus noted, the state depends on "the City to make an annual payment of $15 million plus a percentage of its Hotel Room Rental Tax and Hospitality Promotion Tax revenues to support operations" of the Convention Center, and for the state to cover the center's operating deficits and capital reserves.
October 24, 2013 |
Another day, another map in which Pennsylvania sits within the Northeast as an emphatic rectangle of red surrounded by a sea of regional blue. The issue is same-sex marriage, but it hardly matters, nor does the hue, olive, brown, whatever. In the Northeast, Pennsylvania is the state of a different color, consistently and almost exclusively apart on vital issues: gay rights, access to reproductive health, Medicaid expansion, voter ID. The message tends to be anywhere but here. Looking at those maps, I am reminded of that great Sesame Street ditty: "One of these things is not like the others.