My byline in today’s Patriot-News:
Five years ago, Jeane Decker made a call that she says every woman in Pennsylvania should be able to make.
Unemployed and in danger of losing her home, the mother of two had recently left an abusive marriage. She called the Women’s Resource Center in Scranton for help. She received comfort, advice and transitional housing for her and her children.
“That is where life as I now know it began,” Decker said.
Such programs, though, are scrambling for money, Decker and advocates for domestic violence services told the House Judiciary Committee in the Capitol on Tuesday.
Group representatives extolled legislation that would increase their funding by raising the state’s marriage license fee and creating a similar charge for filing divorce or annulment paperwork.
The bill won’t pass this legislative session, which ends on Nov. 30, said committee Chairman Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, but he said he would reintroduce it next year… More.
Posted on B1 of the Patriot-News today.
Photo courtesy of the University of Westminster.
Number of Views:378
Brief for the Patriot-News:
A bill that would increase marriage licensing and divorce filing fees to raise money to aid victims of domestic violence is drawing support from advocacy groups, but it’s unlikely to see passage this legislative session, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said today.
“But if we are still in power and I can shepherd this bill out (and voted on) in January, I will,” said state Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks. There are only nine days remaining in this legislative session, he said, and more pressing legislation will get more attention. More.
Read the rest on PennLive.com. A full-length story tomorrow.
Number of Views:572
Republicans are criticizing Mayor Stephen Reed’s proclamation calling last Thursday “Campaign for Change Day,” in Harrisburg, a theme tied to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
“The people of Harrisburg who were counting on their elected officials to work on their behalf are unfortunately in for a rude awakening,” Blair Latoff, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said Monday.
Number of Views:454
From left: Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina; Representative John Lewis of Georgia; and Representative Artur Davis of Alabama. (Nigel Parry for The New York Times)
Interesting, if already well-circled, story in the recent-most New York Times Magazine, entitled “Is Obama the End of Black Politics?”. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter got some face time in its main graphic, as seen above, and in a large portion of the story, briefly excerpted below. A beginning excerpt that stuck with me:
Obama was barely 2 years old when King gave his famous speech, 3 when Lewis was beaten about the head in Selma. He didn’t grow up in the segregated South as Bill Clinton had. Sharing those experiences wasn’t a prerequisite for gaining the acceptance of black leaders, necessarily, but that didn’t mean Obama, with his nice talk of transcending race and baby-boomer partisanship, could fully appreciate the sacrifices they made, either. “Every kid is always talking about what his parents have been through,” Rangel says, “and no kid has any clue what he’s talking about.”
Number of Views:498
THOSE READING A FEED MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED I added a page on this site that features my blogging experience.
Like my journalism page, it lists some featured posts from the blogs for which I have worked, including posts on the popular state government blog Capitol Ideas, my work for Y-Decide, a blog by Philadelphia’s WHYY, and the blogging I did to cover my senior thesis, mentioned on my academic page.
In today’s age, my experience and interest in blogging may be one of my best assets.
You gotta flaunt whatcha got.
Cartoon courtesy of Gaping Void.
Number of Views:1899
I believe there is some line of thought that only those who like you enough will take the time to prank you. If this is true, it is entirely possible that the Harrisburg bureau of the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the largest and oldest metro dailies in the country, loves me.
Late last month, I was working on a large story for the Inquirer when influential Harrisburg correspondent and noted… prankster (the kindest way to put this, I think) Mario Cattabiani told me to drop everything and get on an assignment. He and his fellow Inqy Harrisburg staffers were launching a state government blog at the behest of their editors – which I already knew – and it was going live that day – news to me.
The editors didn’t want to seem to be biting off on the series of already established Harrisburg government blogs so they wanted to profile one of the more respected bloggers and suggested John L. Micek of the Allentown Morning Call, who hosted the popular Capitol Ideas.
Number of Views:582
There are bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau that age better than this.
State lawmakers might close the books on yet another legislative session before they come to grips with a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized the direct shipment of wine to consumers.
”There’s a lot of things going on” during the upcoming brief legislative session this fall, said Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, who’s been leading the charge to make it easier for oenophiles to get their hands on their favorite vino.
”This is America,” said Gregg Amore, owner of Amore Vineyards and Winery in East Allen Township. ”You should be free to ship regardless of where you live.”
Read the rest on TheMorningCall.com.
Photo courtesy of PhilaFoodie.
Number of Views:429
I stumbled upon a fine journalism poem, celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Number of Views:496
HARRISBURG _ State Sen. Robert C. Wonderling was among the first lawmakers to use a handheld wireless device as a legislative tool, in 2002.
“Modern public service is to be as accessible as possible,” said the Montgomery County Republican. “I do that with my BlackBerry.”
In between appointments, Wonderling scrolls through articles from state, national and regional newspapers, answers constituent e-mails, and reviews his upcoming schedule. This modern legislator – with BlackBerry on his hip – is distinct from the Mr. Smiths who came to Harrisburg in decades past. While considered a leading advocate for technology use in the General Assembly, Wonderling isn’t alone.
Read the rest on Capitol Ideas.
Number of Views:495
BY John L. Micek and Christopher Wink | A1 story, below the fold
HARRISBURG – Carbon and Monroe counties would each be in line for one of the nine cashless toll sites on Interstate 80 under a plan announced Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
The sites proposed for Monroe would sit somewhere between Exit 293 for Scranton and Exit 298 for Scotrun and between Delaware Water Gap Exit 310 and the New Jersey state line, according to a map the commission released.
In Carbon County, the Turnpike Commission is mulling a site between Hickory Run State Park Exit 274 and Exit 277 for the Northeast Extension. There’s an alternate site between Mountaintop Exit 262 and White Haven/Freeland Exit 273.
Turnpike Commission officials said they’re gathering public comment and will decide by this fall the locations of all nine of the proposed toll gantries they want to build along the 311-mile highway.
Read the rest on MCall.com.
This ran today for the Allentown Morning Call. The coverage is part of a post-graduate internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association (PLCA).
Number of Views:558