November 20, 2015 |
Thanksgiving can be predictable when it comes to the drinks. Pinot noir. Zinfandel. All-American choices. But as a nod to this year's Italian American-theme menu from chef Joe Cicala, we've decided to suggest a splash of Italian flavors, too. For example, why not loosen up the aunts and uncles with a cocktail made to echo some of the same amaro flavors they'll be tasting in that bird (due to the herbal liqueur used in the brine)? For this two-drink recipe for a "Manhattan all'Ascolana," blend six ounces of good old American Bulleit rye with two ounces of Meletti amaro and two dashes of bitters; shake well with ice, strain, and serve in two chilled martini glasses with Amarena cherries for your favorite relatives.
October 26, 2015
Charlie Mooney had his white notebook binder with him, complete with a revenue analysis chart. Mooney is not a high-flying CEO, or a bean counter from Wall Street. He is director of retail operations at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which runs the 604 Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores in the state. State stores have long been despised for limited selection, high prices, and poor service. But Mooney uses such terms as "rebranding" and "consumer-friendly" in describing the state's effort since 2010 to revamp the stores to boost sales and fend off privatization, which continues to be a goal of the GOP-run legislature.
September 28, 2015 |
A 1999 white from Domaine Weinbach, a winery in France's Alsace region. A Kosta Browne pinot noir. A Syrah from the Ojai Vineyard. All nectar for wine connoisseurs. All unavailable for purchase in Pennsylvania. And all, along with 2,444 other high-end bottles, found in the wine cellar of Arthur Goldman, the Main Line lawyer who was accused last year of running a black-market wine-selling operation. (His lawyer contends Goldman was simply sharing wine among friends. The case was settled last year, and Goldman was admitted into an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program.)
June 30, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Republican-controlled legislature on Sunday began fast-tracking yet another budget proposal that Gov. Wolf has said he will not support: privatizing the state-run liquor stores. The measure, introduced Sunday evening by GOP senators, would allow beer distributors, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and others to sell for takeout wine and hard liquor, which now can be purchased only at one of the state's wine and spirits stores. The proposal, which passed a key Senate committee, also calls for leasing the wholesale operations of the state Liquor Control Board.
June 21, 2015 |
Cleanup trucks and pumps lined the muddy parking lot at the Bakers Centre shopping complex in Philadelphia's Nicetown section on Friday, as businesses mopped their floors and assessed damage from the second major water-main break there in less than two years. Officials estimate that seven million gallons of water gushed out Thursday when a 48-inch transmission main broke, flooding several stores and the parking lot at the shopping center. Water Department spokesman John DiGiulio said officials have not yet determined the cause of the break or how much the main will cost to repair.
March 16, 2015 |
Stop panicking about Pennsylvania pensions, says Randy Albright, Gov. Wolf's budget secretary. Yes, the state's history of overpromising and underfunding, so veteran public workers (and elected officials) can collect nearly their old take-home pay as retirees, has dug taxpayers into a hole. Sure, the state workers' (SERS) and school (PSERS) pensions have scraped together just around $75 billion of the $130 billion- plus they would need to invest to pay pensions for today's public employees and retirees until they're all dead.
March 8, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf's budget proposal Tuesday called for a modernization of State Stores to generate $185 million in additional annual profit by fiscal 2018. The dramatically increased profits would be used to make payments on a $3 billion bond issue designed to help close the $30 billion gap in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, according to Wolf's plan. Under it, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, endangered by Republican talk of privatizing the system, instead would have a monumental task - assuming it gains General Assembly approval.
February 28, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Republican-controlled House, for the second time in as many years, passed a bill Thursday that would privatize the often-maligned state wine and liquor stores. The vote, 114-87, came after five hours of debate and was largely along partisan lines. Republicans who championed the measure said they were carrying out the public's will, as opinion polls consistently show overwhelming support for dismantling the state's monopoly over liquor sales. They also argued that a wholesale and retail sell-off would reap the state $1 billion, with some of that landing in the forthcoming fiscal year, when the state faces a budget deficit of more than $2 billion.
February 27, 2015
REPUBLICANS in Harrisburg are up to their tried-and-true strategy of using denial and delusion and calling it responsible government. Why should we increase taxes, they say, when we can just sell the state's liquor store system and make a billion dollars? Gov. Wolf has a plan more anchored in reality. When he presents his state budget next week, he is expected to recommend a series of tax increases (and some reductions) to dig the state out of its estimated $2.3 billion deficit.
October 17, 2014
ISSUE | CAMDEN Keeping the vision As a longtime friend of Msgr. Robert McDermott, I was deeply touched by Kevin Riordan's column (" 'Father Bob' retiring," Oct. 9). Describing Father Bob as a visionary hits the spot. I recall so well his going back to his home parish of St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral, and the excitement and commitment with which he approached an almost-desperate situation in Camden. His legacy of numerous ministries to the poor will outlive him and bring hope in the midst of what might appear to be despair.