PA House Passes Liquor Privatization, 114-87

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The Pennsylvania House passed a bill Thursday to privatize the state-run liquor system by a vote of 114-87. Here’s how the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board would be deconstructed, according to a statement from House Republicans:

The bill allows beer distributers to expand their businesses to sell liquor and wine, as well as beer. The bill also allows private wine wholesalers to sell products to Commonwealth customers. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) would still operate state stores until retail outlets are double the numbers of current state-operated outlets.

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Jannie Blackwell Wants To Roll Back Rules for Tax-Exempt Groups

City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell | Photo Credit: City Counicil's Flickr

City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell | Photo Credit: City Counicil’s Flickr

Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell introduced a bill Thursday that would overturn a new rule requiring local nonprofits to verify annually that they are legitimate charitable organizations in order to receive a break on their property taxes.

Under the law passed in 2013, tax-exempt nonprofits must certify by March 31st of each year that they are “purely public charities” and that they use their properties for charitable purposes. Blackwell’s legislation would erase those annual reporting requirements. Read more »

Readers Respond: Here Are 12 More Funny Philadelphia Street Names:

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You can’t write a list without someone commenting that you missed something — and that’s exactly what happened with our Big List of Funny Philadelphia Street Names in this week’s Philadelphia Sunday. But that’s good! Because our readers came up with a bunch more funny Philadelphia street names that I neglected to include in my first edition.

I compiled some of your suggestions from comments and tweets, and now we have an appendix to the original article. Enjoy! Read more »

WATCH: Anti-Comcast Activists Disrupt Penn Trustees Meeting

Protest at Penn Board of Trustees

[Updated with David Cohen comment on FCC vote.]

Anti-Comcast student activists disrupted a meeting of the Penn Board of Trustees this morning, protesting the company’s stance on net neutrality and its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

They took video of the event, in which they unfurled a banner emblazoned with the hashtag #Don’tBlockMyInternet:

“Students demanded that Comcast stop its advocacy and lobbying against Title II net neutrality at both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in Congress,” the activists, who are working with Philadelphia’s Media Mobilizing Project, said in a press release. “They also spoke out against Comcast’s push to merge with its biggest competitor, Time Warner Cable.” About a dozen students participated.

One problem: David Cohen — Comcast’s executive vice president and chairman of Penn’s board — wasn’t there to see the protest directed at him. According to the video, however, the meeting was adjourned rather than have trustees persist in the face of the disruption.
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Casey Pushes for Tougher Oil Train Regulations

Sen. Bob Casey is pushing to expedite a new federal regulation intended to increase the safety of oil-carrying trains that roll through Philadelphia on their way to the city’s refineries.

Pittsburgh Business Times reports:

Add Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) to the list of senators who are pushing for an expedited review of a draft rule that would require older railroad tanker cars be phased out or retrofitted.

Casey’s office said he’ll be sending a letter asking that the Office of Management and Budget move quickly in finalizing the rule and publishing it. The rule comes in the wake of tanker car explosions hauling shale oil. The proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Transportation aims to improve railroad safety by getting rid of requiring improvements to the older DOT-111 railroad tankers.

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Keith Olbermann: Worst Person in the World?

In the context of not wishing to see human beings waste away because we are mostly good and decent souls, I think we all need to pray for Keith Olbermann, because I think the man has gone a bit goofy.

I guess that’s the kind of thing that can happen to someone who was once, but no longer is, on the top of the media world. Olbermann’s quick wit and intellect made him stand out from your basic sports anchor/teleprompter reader. And he parlayed that into a gig as a big liberal pundit. But this is a man with a self-destructive streak. He soon messed that up, wound up on the scrap heap, and was rescued by ESPN, the network where his star originally rose, which gave him his own show on a channel (ESPN2) and time slot (5 p.m.) with which few are familiar. Nobody cares much about what he has to say these days. And the lack of attention has shriveled him like salt does a slug.

How else can you explain a middle-aged man getting into Twitter beefs with students of Penn State University and their mothers, of all people, over a worthwhile cause named THON?

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Live Wires Fall on SEPTA Train, Halt Traffic

[UPDATE] SEPTA reports that shuttle buses are currently operating between Glenside and Warminster in both directions until further notice.

[UPDATE] It appears the passengers, at least, have continued their travels:

[ORIGINAL]

Service on SEPTA’s Warminster Regional Rail line has been suspended in both directions, from Warminster to Glenside Station, after live electrical wires fell on a train, trapping 500 passengers.
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Wolf Proposes Cutting Corporate Tax in Half

Gov. Wolf. | Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Gov. Wolf. | Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Take that, Gov. Rick Scott.

The same week the Florida governor came to Philadelphia to poach businesses — saying his state’s tax structure is less burdensome than the Keystone’s state — Gov. Tom Wolf proposed cutting Pennsylvania’s main corporate tax rate in half.

TribLive reports:

Wolf, a Democrat, said during a visit to Bethlehem that his first budget proposal next week would seek to reduce the tax from 9.99 percent to 5.99 percent in 2016, 5.49 percent in 2017 and 4.99 percent in 2018.

“The commonwealth can help set the table for robust private-sector growth to create and retain good jobs while strengthening the middle class,” said Wolf, a York County businessman. “In order to create jobs that pay and an economy that grows, we must acknowledge that success will require investment in our companies and our people, and a new business climate that is welcoming and fair.”

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Here’s Eric Lindros’ $250K Libel Suit Against Ex-Ref

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Philadelphia Flyers Eric Lindros advances the puck toward the Boston Bruins net during the first period of NHL play in Boston Tuesday, November 26, 1996.

In a column in the Huffington Post last July, former NHL referee Paul Stewart wrote of his run-ins with Eric Lindros. Now, Lindros is suing him for $250,000 — Canadian.

The defamation suit, filed in an Ontario court, alleges several stories in Stewart’s column about Lindros are false. The statement of claim says the stories, which did not paint Lindros in a positive light, would cause “reasonable and ordinary readers of the article [to] regard Lindros with contempt or ridicule.”

“He gives a lot of time to charity,” said Geoff Shaw, one of Lindros’ lawyers in the suit. “He donated $5 million to a hospital in Ontario, He raises money for Easter Seals. I know he does events in your neck of the woods as well. He says, ‘My reputation is important to me when I’m giving this time.'” Read more »

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