We Want Answers: Vatican Whisperer Rocco Palmo on Pope Francis

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Your blog, Whispers in the Loggia, is one of the best sources of news and insight on the Vatican. How is it possible to do that job from Philadelphia? Well, the Church is more than Rome. It’s a lot of what I call “jet lag without the travel.” You know, making morning calls at 2:30 our time. Every event, every text, is available online. Especially with the logistics of papal visits and whatever, even a lot of the folks who cover the Vatican from Rome end up not going to the events but watching them on the Vatican feed. So I’m basically doing the same thing, just 3,000 miles away. The people I need to talk to over there, I’ve got their numbers. Read more »

Report: Tom Wolf Is Nation’s Most Liberal Governor


Tom Wolf has been ranked as the nation’s most liberal governor by InsideGov, a website that tracks and analyzes government data.

Wolf, Pennsylvania’s governor, achieved the ranking after being compared to peers based on “public statements, press releases, campaign platforms and voting records to score each governor’s view on important issues.” Butch Otter of Idaho was ranked most conservative.

With Wolf, though, it seems, the ranking is a bit premature. Yes, he’s been through a campaign — and barely tested, either in the primary or general elections. But halfway through his first year in office, at least, he doesn’t have much in the way of accomplishments, liberal or conservative, to factor in. Read more »

Mother Killed in Port Richmond With 2-Year-Old Daughter in the House

Stephanie Dzikowski | Facebook

Stephanie Dzikowski | Facebook

22-year-old mother Stephanie Dzikowski was killed overnight in Port Richmond, police say. Her 2-year-old daughter was home but uninjured.

“Neighbors here in the 3000 block of Aramingo Avenue say they heard a single shot around 11 p.m., and found 22-year-old Stephanie Dzikowski shot dead in her upstairs bedroom,” KYW reports. “Her 2 year-old daughter was in the house but uninjured.” Read more »

Airport Braces for Pope’s Visit



Some good news in all those panic-inducing stories about preparations for the pope’s visit: USA Today reports the Philadelphia International Airport seems to be on pace in its readiness for the influx of travelers it expects that weekend.

“We are talking with airlines that service PHL about their anticipated passenger loads. As of now we expect an estimated 20 percent to 25 percent more passengers than usual,” said airport spokeswoman Mary Flannery. “This would be comparable to a very busy Thanksgiving.” Read more »

Newspaper Guild Accuses Lenfest of Stirring Trouble With Bonus Announcement


Gerry Lenfest was trying to stir trouble when he announced Wednesday that some — but not all — employees of Philadelphia Media Network will get a $1,000 bonus, the Newspaper Guild said in an angry memo to members Thursday.

“It was the equivalent of your boss coming to you and telling you that your colleague was getting something and you weren’t,” Guild leaders wrote. “In a workplace seeking harmony and cooperation, that values trust, respect and honest communication, who does that? What purpose does it serve?”

A spokeswoman for Philadelphia Media Network said the company would have no comment. Read more »

Toomey, Casey on Opposite Sides of Planned Parenthood Debate

Pat Toomey, left; Bob Casey Jr., right.

Pat Toomey, left; Bob Casey Jr., right.

In recent weeks, a pro-life group has released several videotapes purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price their organization will be paid for fetal tissue, from abortions, that it provides to researchers. The tapes have sparked a new battle over federal support for the organization, and Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr. find themselves on opposite sides. Read more »

Gerry Lenfest Awards $1,000 Bonuses to Philly Newspaper Workers*

Philanthropist H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest speak at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | AP, Matt Rourke

Philanthropist H.G. “Gerry” Lenfest speaks at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | Matt Rourke/AP

Here’s the good news: If you work for the Inquirer, Daily News, or Philly.com, Gerry Lenfest is going to give you $1,000.

The not-so-thrilling news? If you’re a member of the Newspaper Guild, you won’t see any of that money in cash. Instead, it’ll go to help pay for your health insurance costs.

“As negotiated by their leadership, in lieu of the $1,000 bonus being paid to the Guild’s individual members, a payment of $1,000 for each Guild member is being made to that union’s (health and welfare) plan,” Lenfest said in a Wednesday afternoon email announcing the bonus. Read more »

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