Soak in these remaining rays, but start thinking about dusting off and climbing back on that horse! We need you...
The founder of PA Cyber Charter Schools is indicted for $1 million worth of fraud, which should spark renewed reflection on whether those foundational arrangements made with PA taxpayers were ever designed to be an efficient use of resources.
Pennsylvania Turnpike rates are going up again, but political pay-to-play indictments of Turnpike Commissioners are causing some to wonder whether reform isn't a better idea.
New weight restrictions are being applied to PA's bridges due to their disrepair. Senate Republicans and Democrats continue to advocate for passage of that body's comprehensive transportation funding bill, but the Metcalfe Caucus among House Republicans remains unmoved.
Allegheny County continues to debate natural gas fracking beneath its parks. A drilling company reached a three quarter-million settlement with a Washington County couple who accused it of having harmed them, but only after they agreed to a gag order. Another company's president admits candidly that "everybody knows that some wells go bad"; a recent documentary puts that figure at 5% within the first year of operation.
(One of these days, all people who think fracking is every bit as disruptive and hazardous as vital resource extraction has always been, but want it done anyway, will just have to go ahead and put their hands up. We know you're out there.)
Mayor Ravenstahl made a public appearance at a Downtown groundbreaking to defend both his economic development strategies and his continued presence on the city's payroll. Andy Sheehan of KDKA reports that "Even those in his administration privately grouse that he comes to his office downtown infrequently these days." It is suggested that a new restaurant in the works provides fresh evidence of local government transforming and thriving right alongside its City.
CMU is awarding money to start-ups (I had no idea the guy who brought us FlipCams got his start here!); "Mixed-Use Education" is a new approach for adapting to squeezed budgets and multiplying community needs; many states and cities are working on ways to put unused, tax-delinquent property to use; and the potentials and challenges of using data to solve social problems are being examined.
In September, next year's annual budget will be on the agenda, along with Lower Hill redevelopment and any other "last-minute business". Expect there to be some. Winter is coming.