Pennsylvania Selling 11 Bridges for as Little as $1

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Okay, not me. But the state of Pennsylvania has 11 bridges for sale, ranging from $1 to $500. And the Federal Highway Administration will likely foot the transportation cost! Imagine: A bridge in your backyard, in your condo, in your bathroom!

There’s a catch. Read more »

Interview: Adam Solow on the Immigration Crisis

Adam Solow, by Dan Doran Photgraphy.

Adam Solow, by Dan Doran Photgraphy.

The debate over illegal immigration has taken a new turn in recent months, as thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America have appeared at the U.S. border — presenting officials here with challenges on how and whether to deport them, and how to humanely hold and track them while awaiting processing.

The crisis has reached into Pennsylvania. Some children have family in the state and are sent here while waiting process. And the federal government, after all, operates only one immigrant family detention center, in Berks County — but it can only house 96 people at most, and only for weeks or months at a time. There’s also been talk of opening a new center in Hazelton, Pa. The whole situation is increasingly becoming a political hot potato in Washington D.C.

Adam Solow is a Philadelphia immigration attorney who has seen the crisis begin to manifest itself in his practice. He spoke to Philly Mag recently about the situation. Some excerpts:

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House Votes to Name Official Pennsylvania ‘State Firearm’

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to name the long rifle the state firearm of Pennsylvania on Monday. That’s right: Soon you’ll be able to take a state gun (the long rifle) and shoot the state bird (the ruffed grouse) before celebrating with the state drink (milk).

The vote prompted an impassioned response from a State Rep. Mark B. Cohen, one of many Philadelphia-area representatives to vote against the bill.

“Having a state gun is deeply offensive to many people in Pennsylvania,” Cohen said on the floor. “We ought not to pass this amendment. We ought to show some sensitivity to the loss of human life.”

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Ruling Expected Today in Challenge to Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban

[UPDATE: 2: 41 p.m.] The ban has been overturned. 

[Original]

Plugged-in local lawyer Adam Bonin — who has worked this election season for Daylin Leach and helped Brian Sims kick Babette Josephs off the ballot — tweeted last night that a ruling is expected today on a challenge in federal courts to Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban.

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Nate Silver Thinks Pennsylvania Is in the Midwest

Political and baseball data journalist Nate Silver recently left the New York Times to launch his FiveThirtyEight brand as a standalone site owned by ESPN. Here’s the site’s latest:

Bah. This is the kind of nonsense I’d expect from Grantland, not FiveThirtyEight!

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Ruling Axing Voter ID in Pennsylvania Reaffirmed by Judge

Pennsylvania Judge Bernard McGinley reaffirmed his own ruling on the state’s voter ID law. He ruled in January that the central portion of the voter ID law — showing photo ID to vote — was unconstitutional in Pennsylvania. The state had asked McGinley, a Democrat, to reconsider his ruling later that month.

McGinley’s affirmed ruling now means the state has 30 days to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Governor Tom Corbett is expected to file an appeal. The ACLU’s Vic Walczak likes his chances with an appeal: “All I say is I’d rather be defending this opinion on appeal than going after it,” he told the Patriot-News. After the original ruling, lawmakers who sponsored the bill were similarly optimistic. “We’ll win this,” Rep. Stan Saylor said.

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Pennsylvania Senate to Discuss Liquor Law Reform This Week

KYW 1060′s Tony Romeo reports Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Senate will attempt again to pass an overhaul of the state’s liquor laws. As every Pennsylvanian over the age of 21 knows, wine and liquor can only be purchased from state-owned stores here. One of 18 “control states” in the country, Pennsylvania has some of the strictest rules for purchasing wine and liquor.

Senate majority leader Dominic Pileggi, a Republican who represents parts of Chester and Delaware counties, had a spokesperson tell KYW 1060 the plan this week is to not attempt a complete state store system overhaul:

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Chester, Montgomery Counties Are Hotbeds for Texting and Driving

texting2

The above chart comes from The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a “legislative agency” of the Pennsylvania General Assembly that produces publications and reports for lawmakers. It recently published this map of texting-while-driving citations in 2013, showing that the 8th and 10th counties with the most texting-while-driving citations in Pennsylvania are Chester and Montgomery, respectively.

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