Eastern Sports & Outdoors Show. In the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, organizers of the annual event misfired bigtime. They announced a ban on so-called assault weapons like the AR-15, outraging gun rights enthusiasts and scattering their sponsors. A boycott grew, and now the event been effectively cancelled – a $44M hit to the regional economy.
Vegetables. A lot of people, us included, had a chuckle at the news that imprisoned ex-Senator Vince Fumo’s fiancée had begun a campaign in favor of fresh fruit and veggies for prisoners. But that amusement turned to guilt last night when news broke that Fumo has been diagnosed with life-threatening artery blockages. He’ll be having surgery soon.
Pennsylvania. For the second time in four months, the unemployment rate in the Commonwealth (7.9 percent) is higher than the national average (7.8 percent). Both are under 8 percent, but that’s the silver lining. Pa. spent all of the recession better than the country as a whole; it had been 6 years since the last time Pa. fell below the national average
Joe Biden. Literally. In a recent speech about gun violence to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the VP said he heard the gunshots at the 2006 Nickel Mines shooting. He said he was golfing near the Lancaster County school. Just one problem: there’s no indication that that’s true. The nearest golf course is 6 miles away, and employees there say they didn’t see the then-Senator that day.
Dept of Corrections. Local lawmakers will always oppose closings of government facilities in or near their districts, including the two prisons now set to be shut down in western Pa. But a bobbled rollout (read: leak) added confusion and more anger than usual to the mix. Announcing bad news is like removing a band-aid. It has to happen definitively and all at once.
Tweet of the week: Citizens Alliance of Pa. If you’re watching the GOP side of the 2014 Guv race, this is an issue you should follow.
— EmpowerPA (@EmpowerPA) January 25, 2013