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August 23rd Playbook

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman issued a statement on Friday slamming state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s recent actions for a forensic investigation, while calling on state Sen. Cris Dush to lead a “thorough review of the election.” Here is the Playbook. 

 

Corman Slams Mastriano, Taps Dush to Lead Election Review: Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman penned a letter on Friday tearing into state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s recent actions for a forensic investigation, while calling on state Sen. Cris Dush to lead a “thorough review of the election.”

August 20th Ups and Downs: The top Republican in the state Senate pens a letter blasting a fellow Republican, a former Democratic candidate for Auditor General is appointed to serve in the office, plus the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review names a new managing editor. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

‘Pennsylvania county sues over decertified voting system’: The Associated Press reports that Fulton County “is suing over last month’s decertification of its voting machines, and asking a statewide court to reverse the order by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s top elections official.”

‘Pennsylvania will welcome Afghanistan refugees, Gov. Tom Wolf says’: PennLive reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf said Pennsylvania will do its part to welcome refugees from Afghanistan.”

‘Regardless of vaccination status, Wolf orders state employees to wear masks’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered Pennsylvania state employees to once again wear masks at work starting Monday.”

‘Pennsylvania jobless rate down, payrolls up 29K in July’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to a new post-pandemic low and the labor force shrank in July as payrolls jumped by nearly 29,000, according to state figures released Friday.”

‘New report urges changes to Pennsylvania’s 1990s-era TANF benefit’: WHYY reports that “a quarter-century after President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, recipients and advocates say Pennsylvania’s interpretation of the law traps families in deep poverty.”

‘Montgomery County lawmaker who flew helicopters in Afghanistan says Biden ‘failed Americans’’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “State Rep. Tracy Pennycuick of Montgomery County, whose 26 years in the Army included flying helicopters in Afghanistan, on Friday said the Biden administration “failed Americans” by allowing the country to be overrun by a hostile force without evacuating U.S. citizens.”

‘Broadband expansion bill seeks $500M from the American Rescue Plan’: City & State PA reports that “as a new infrastructure bill is debated in Washington, members of the General Assembly are working to develop a state plan as well. State Rep. Pam Snyder, a Democrat from Greene County, introduced House Bill 1742 last month, which would allocate $500 million American Rescue Plan dollars for the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program (UHSB).”

‘New census numbers herald potential political power for Philadelphia’s growing Latino, Asian populations’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia is reversing its decades-long trend of population loss, new U.S. Census numbers confirmed this month, showing the change is almost entirely due to huge growth among Latino and Asian communities.”

‘Activists call for Rep. Conor Lamb to reestablish $10 billion cut from public transit’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “activists and supporters gathered outside Rep. Conor Lamb’s (D-Mt. Lebanon) Penn Hills office on Thu., Aug. 19 to express the need for improvements in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

‘Gainey’s not mayor yet, but he’s out there listening’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “though he was careful to say he must win an election in November to become Pittsburgh’s mayor, Democratic nominee Ed Gainey held a listening session with Beltzhoover residents Saturday to discuss the future of the city and south Pittsburgh’s role in it.”

‘Smucker joins calls to investigate Biden administration’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) “joined calls Friday for an investigation into the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

‘Rep. Wild speaks out as Biden addresses evacuations of Americans, Afghan allies from Afghanistan’: WFMZ reports that Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) “spoke with other members of Congress after Biden’s remarks. The latest developments give her a newfound confidence.”

‘Amtrak study finds Scranton-NYC route would generate $87M’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “a proposed railroad passenger route between Scranton and New York would generate $87 million in annual economic activity, plus $2.9 billion from one-time investments, a new economic impact analysis by Amtrak has found.”

‘NAACP to hold Freedom Fund Banquet on Oct. 15’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “after a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAACP Wilkes-Barre Branch 2306 will hold the annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Oct. 15. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will start at 6 p.m. at Best Western Plus Genetti Hotel & Conference Center, 77 E. Market St., Wilkes-Barre.”

‘Gov. Tom Wolf Announces McKees Rocks To Receive $2.3 Million To Fix Blight Issues’: KDKA reports that “on Friday, Governor Tom Wolf and several government officials announced that $2.3 million would be going towards McKees Rocks to help fix blight in the area.”

‘Why a big coal producer has its sights set on Forward Township’: The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that “a $251 million planned coal mine in Allegheny County south of Pittsburgh may be facing intense opposition locally, but Coronado Coal’s plans ticks all the right boxes on the business side of the big multinational coal producer and the industry at large.”

‘The Lehigh Valley is becoming more diverse, census shows. See how your community compares.’: Lehigh Valley Live reports that “the Lehigh Valley is becoming more diverse as it grows. The results of the 2020 Census show that Hispanic and non-white people represent a greater share of the population in every Lehigh and Northampton county municipality than in 2010.”

‘Officials won’t budge on demolition of Philly’s only rec center for people with disabilities, but promise all programs will return to original site’: Billy Penn reports that “the Carousel House will be demolished. City officials confirmed on Thursday afternoon that despite months of advocacy and a public protest, Philadelphia’s only recreation center designed for people with disabilities will be torn down.”

‘A new tool from the controller’s office lets you break down Philly’s anti-violence spending for yourself’: Billy Penn reports that “a new tool out of City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart’s office makes it easy for anyone to sort through the bureaucracy and get a clear look at specifics.”

‘Penn researchers report disappointing results for Philly’s vaccine lottery’: KYW Newsradio reports that “after three drawings over six weeks for Philadelphia’s vaccine lottery sweepstakes, Penn researchers released their findings on its success: It didn’t work.”

‘The Four Seasons Total Landscaping concert was a big hit! Huge! Probably the best concert ever!’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “nine months after Rudy Giuliani yelled “Don’t be ridiculous!” during a now-infamous news conference at the Northeast Philly landscaping business, ridiculous is just what Philly got on Saturday, when a life-size cardboard cutout of Giuliani crowd-surfed over punk-rock fans during a performance by musician Laura Jane Grace at the same unlikely venue.”

‘Here are the western Pennsylvania cities with the most 2021 PPP recipients’: The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that “while just one city topped four figures, another 50 were home to at least 100 recipients. Here’s how they break out by 2021 PPP loan count:”

‘Amtrak reveals ‘vision’ for service between Reading, NYC’: WFMZ reports that “Amtrak has dedicated a special webpage to the proposed line, which shows that its trains from Berks County would continue past 30th Street Station in Philadelphia to Penn Station in New York City.”

‘In Lehigh Valley first, Bethlehem backs linking tax incentive to affordable housing help’: Lehigh Valley Live reports that “Bethlehem City Council has advanced a proposal to require developers to contribute toward affordable housing in exchange for a new tax incentive.”

‘Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone dies after battling cancer’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pennsylvania officials are mourning Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone, who died Saturday after a battle with lung cancer. The 61-year-old Bentleyville resident had been the DA for nine years.”

‘Letters help Scranton residents, businesses with Biden Street name changes’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Scranton officials recently sent residents, businesses and property owners affected by the renaming of Spruce Street after President Joe Biden letters with information on how to change their addresses.”

 

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Trump-fueled election ‘audit’ sparks Senate GOP turmoil
AP: Pennsylvania county sues over decertified voting system
AP: Pennsylvania jobless rate down, payrolls up 29K in July 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: GOP Feud: Corman changes forensic investigation, reassigns Mastriano’s staff in squabble over probe
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Regardless of vaccination status, Wolf orders state employees to wear masks
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s unemployment rate dropped in July, still above national rate
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Public health officials call for blood donations | Five for the Weekend
Patriot News: Pa. senator blasts GOP leadership for ‘stonewalling’ his pursuit of an election audit 
Patriot News: Pennsylvania will welcome Afghanistan refugees, Gov. Tom Wolf says 
Patriot News: Do face masks harm children? Penn State Children’s Hospital doctor says no 
Patriot News: Gov. Tom Wolf reinstates mask mandate for Pa. state employees, contracted staff 
WITF: F&M poll shows a majority of conservative Pennsylvanians view 1/6 attack negatively
City & State PA: Broadband expansion bill seeks $500M from the American Rescue Plan
Inquirer: Top Pa. Senate Republican Jake Corman bashed Doug Mastriano and committed to a new election probe
Inquirer: Vaccinated vs. unvaccinated roommates: As college students move in, some parents and students have concerns
Morning Call: Montgomery County lawmaker who flew helicopters in Afghanistan says Biden ‘failed Americans’
WESA: Overtime Pay For Up To 190K Salary Earners Died In Harrisburg This Summer. Why Aren’t More Workers Upset?
WESA: State Employees Must Mask At Work, Regardless of Vaccination Status
WESA: AFL-CIO Elects First Woman, African American Man To Top Leadership Positions
Post-Gazette: Medical marijuana sales sizzle in Pennsylvania, and the M&A market has been busy
Washington Examiner: Pennsylvania state senator gets replaced as leader of 2020 election investigation
Philadelphia Magazine: The Pandemic Exposed Our Broken Higher-Education System. It’s Also Given Us a Chance to Make Things Better
WHYY Newsworks: New report urges changes to Pennsylvania’s 1990s-era TANF benefit
Delaware Valley Journal: PA GOP Pledges Transparency on Redistricting
The Times Leader: New state law designed to make Pa. dairy industry more competitive
York Daily Record: Speed cameras in work zones: Drivers have racked up millions more in fines than last year
KDKA: Wolf Administration Says $20 Million In Pandemic Relief Allocated For Salon Industry

 

Philadelphia 
WHYY Newsworks: New census numbers herald potential political power for Philadelphia’s growing Latino, Asian populations
Billy Penn: Officials won’t budge on demolition of Philly’s only rec center for people with disabilities, but promise all programs will return to original site
Billy Penn: A new tool from the controller’s office lets you break down Philly’s anti-violence spending for yourself
Billy Penn: The sold-out concert at Four Seasons Total Landscaping almost didn’t happen because of Philly zoning laws
KYW Newsradio: Penn researchers report disappointing results for Philly’s vaccine lottery
KYW Newsradio: ‘It’s an all-of-us issue’: Philly School District ‘Safe Corridors’ aims to help keep students safe
Inquirer: In Philly and its suburbs, health leaders plan for a booster shot rollout: ‘The situation will be better this time around’
Inquirer: The Four Seasons Total Landscaping concert was a big hit! Huge! Probably the best concert ever!
Philly Voice: Philadelphia’s $155M investment in gun violence prevention mostly funds long-term solutions, report says

 

SEPA
Delaware Valley Journal: With an Eye to 2022, DelVal Dems Shy From Criticizing Biden
Philly Voice: Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky helicopter plant in Coatesville to shut down next March
Bucks County Courier Times: Brighton Township receives $250,000 DCNR grant
Bucks County Courier Times: Beaver County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 42% of people fully vaccinated

 

Pittsburgh 
Post-Gazette: Gainey’s not mayor yet, but he’s out there listening
Post-Gazette: Chris Deluzio, Pitt Cyber’s policy director, announces run for Congress 
Post-Gazette: PG SPECIAL REPORT: Pittsburgh confronts rising wave of gun violence 
Post-Gazette: United Steelworkers bolsters Biden’s promises to create jobs and tackle climate 
Post-Gazette: North Allegheny parents, students file restraining order against school district to reinstate mask mandate
Post-Gazette: How an MLK meme split the Thomas Merton Center and co-founder Molly Rush 
WESA: After Sighting Black Smoke And Flames, Environmental Groups Ask Authorities To Address Air Pollution In Braddock 
WESA: There Were Big Plans For Former SCI Pittsburgh: What Happened? 
KDKA: Gov. Tom Wolf Announces McKees Rocks To Receive $2.3 Million To Fix Blight Issues
KDKA: ‘We Believe The Same Thing The CDC Believes:’ PSEA Asking Parents To Have Children Wear Masks In The Classroom
KDKA: North Allegheny Parents File For Temporary Restraining Order Against School Board Over Overturned Masking Policy
Pittsburgh Business Times: Why a big coal producer has its sights set on Forward Township 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Here are the western Pennsylvania cities with the most 2021 PPP recipients 
City Paper: Activists call for Rep. Conor Lamb to reestablish $10 billion cut from public transit
City Paper: Pittsburgh Public School students, guardians given free Port Authority passes after bus driver shortage
Tribune Review: North Allegheny faces lawsuit over optional mask policy as students return to in-person classes from summer break

 

SWPA 
WTAE: Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone dies
Observer-Reporter: County purchases more than $1.5M case management system for courthouse files
Post-Gazette: Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone dies after battling cancer
KDKA: Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone Dies After Battling Lung Cancer
Tribune Review: Washington County DA Gene Vittone remembered as devoted father who always had a kind word
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Masks required when Greater Johnstown schools open, COVID-19 continues to surge
Altoona Mirror: Blair remains in ‘substantial’

 

NEPA
The Times Leader: Amtrak study finds Scranton-NYC route would generate $87M
The Times Leader: Luzerne County retains election consultant The Elections Group
The Times Leader: Luzerne County manager search committee members welcomed
The Times Leader: Drug overdose deaths rising in Luzerne County
The Times Leader: Duryea levee plan now before Luzerne County Council
The Times Leader: Marion Munley again recognized by Best Lawyers
The Times Leader: 58 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Sunday; 2,169 statewide
The Times Leader: Kingston ZIP code has highest increase in COVID-19 cases this week
Citizens Voice: Amtrak says Scranton-NYC train will boost economy
Citizens Voice: County hires election consultant; two council members object to process
Citizens Voice: NAACP to hold Freedom Fund Banquet on Oct. 15
Citizens Voice: Manager search committee prepares for months of work
Citizens Voice: Passport applications will be accepted at Luzerne County Courthouse
Citizens Voice: 58 more cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
Times-Tribune: Amtrak says Scranton-NYC train will boost economy
Times-Tribune: Letters help Scranton residents, businesses with Biden Street name changes 
Times-Tribune: NAACP to hold Freedom Fund Banquet on Oct. 15 
Times-Tribune: Mask requirements vary across Lackawanna County schools 
Times-Tribune: Dickson City revitalization efforts progressing
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County awards contract for website redesign   
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 cases remain elevated in region, state

 

South Central 
Patriot News: Pa. senator blasts GOP leadership for ‘stonewalling’ his pursuit of an election audit  
LNP | LancasterOnline: Smucker joins calls to investigate Biden administration’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal  
LNP | LancasterOnline: McAlanis put on leave, sends East Cocalico supervisors apology for distractions caused by his actions Jan. 6 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Amid debate of masks in schools, some Lancaster County parents ponder sending students for in-person instruction 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Here’s which Lancaster County schools will require face masks this fall [updates]
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 98 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Cumberland County over weekend

 

Lehigh Valley      
WFMZ: Rep. Wild speaks out as Biden addresses evacuations of Americans, Afghan allies from Afghanistan
WFMZ: Northampton Co. executive: New nursing home rules proposed by state not possible for Gracedale 
WFMZ: Lehigh County woman faces charges in Jan. 6 Capitol riot
WFMZ: Northampton County OKs $624K in relief grants to small businesses
WFMZ: Amtrak reveals ‘vision’ for service between Reading, NYC
Morning Call: Small businesses in Allentown struggle to find employees and look forward to end of federal unemployment benefits
Morning Call: Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley deaths from imported fentanyl soar: ‘Infinitely more deadly than we have ever seen’
Morning Call: Child care staffing shortage could make it harder for people to go back to work
Express Times: In Lehigh Valley first, Bethlehem backs linking tax incentive to affordable housing help 
Express Times: The Lehigh Valley is becoming more diverse, census shows. See how your community compares.
Express Times: Wilson Area schools will keep the Native American logo after all
Express Times: Pa. weekly COVID update: Thousands of new cases daily, a rate not seen in months; schools plan to mask up
Reading Eagle: About 50 people protest Boyertown schools mask mandates
Reading Eagle: Berks County passes 50,000 mark in COVID cases for the pandemic

 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Erie officials, with a $76M allocation, still working on a plan to spend COVID relief funds
Erie Times-News: COVID-19 cases spike by 43% this week in Erie County, hospitalizations more than double

 

Opinion  
Devlin Robinson: Abandonment of Afghanistan shameful
Dan Meuser: Democratic spending bills are a ‘monstrosity’
Charlie Dent: An Afghan refugee lived with my family. Biden has let her and her country down
Mark Singel: Like President Kennedy in the Bay of Pigs, Biden is owning up to his mistakes in Afghanistan 
Isaiah Thomas: Engaging our youth can put them on path to success
Larry Platt: The Myth of Progressivism 
Paul Muschick: Vaccinated students should not have to wear masks in school
Paul Muschick: Four ways to pressure the unvaccinated into getting their COVID-19 shots
Terrie Griffin: Prison gerrymandering in Pennsylvania must be addressed
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Pa. reps must push hard on infrastructure 
PennLive Editorial Board: President Biden is right to make vaccinations mandatory for nursing home workers, and schools should be next 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Postal Service struggles emblematic of overall problem with government 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: It’s disgraceful that not all Lancaster County schools are mandating masks to protect children
Inquirer Editorial Board: School vaccine mandates are key as Philly families prepare for in-person classes  
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Employers and unions should discuss vaccine mandates 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A site dedicated to recreation information 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Appreciate those who have served 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Masks in school and the greater good 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Foreign travelers to the U.S. should be vaccinated 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Not enough done to keep Viatris plant in operation
Will Gonzalez: Don’t let Philly’s growing Latino communities be splintered by redistricting 
Leona R. Brown: I’m forced to live off $205 a month under Pa.’s outdated welfare system 
Jim Friedlich: A federal lifeline for local news 
Christopher Brooks: Historically Speaking: Critical race theory and Karl Marx’s racism
Chris Kelly: A cabbie, a contractor and chaos in Afghanistan
Keith C. Burris: Complexity is not easy
Jeremy Jones: Parents would do anything for their kids. A Philly pediatrician has one more suggestion. | Expert Opinion
Richard Marianos: Proposed increases is tobacco taxes will hurt PA communities
Christine M Adams: Greedy politicians are trying to take away our right to vote and our democracy
Judith Higgins: Stop flying obscene language in York County
Ruth Ann Dailey: Holding on to glimmers of hope in Afghanistan
Dr. Mary Ganguli: A rush to judgment on Alzheimer’s drug?
Tony Norman: How an MLK meme split the Thomas Merton Center and co-founder Molly Rush
Rachel Vance: There are valuable lessons in the Afghanistan withdrawal 
George Magakis, Jr.: The American government has always struggled at foreign policy 
Sherry Youtz: Close the gap in coverage for lymphedema treatment!
Alicia Liu: How I forgave my homophobic evangelical community for hating who I am 
Thomas F. Hoffman: Fossil fuels
Michael Brevda: Reforming nursing home laws will ensure better care for the elderly 
John Cole: The (cowardly) Nittany Lion | Editorial Cartoon
George Magakis, Jr.: Anti-mask and vaccine-refusers do not care about other people’s liberty

August 23rd, 2021 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | 2 Comments

2 thoughts on “August 23rd Playbook”

  1. Same Old Same Old says:

    Sen Corman wants a “thorough review of the election” but not one done by Sen Mastriano. A rose is a rose by any other name. What the Pa State Senate Republicans are saying is that, “if we win and no matter by how much the election was a thing to behold. If we lose, clearly Lucifer was afoot and wickedness prevail so let’s review this election asap!” Some lesson we are telling our future generations. Be a sore loser. It’s the democratic way.

    1. gulag Pittsburgh says:

      No, it’s not the democratic way. It is the Republican Party way.

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