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February 15: Is Change A-Comin?

Philadelphia's Female Mayoral Candidates

It’s Hump Day.

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Uniontown | Mostly Sunny, Windy, 73
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What We’re Hearing
“We’re a small town. This isn’t happening in a larger city. I think we’re afraid we’ll be forgotten.”

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Top Story

1. Shapiro Outlines Concerns Over Norfolk Southern Handling of Train Derailment

Norfolk Southern train

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro sent a letter to Alan Shaw, head of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, this afternoon, outlining his concerns regarding the company’s management of the February 3 train derailment near the Commonwealth’s border with Ohio.

Shapiro met with local elected leaders and emergency management officials in Beaver County who echoed the governor’s apprehension over Norfolk Southern’s poor handling of the incident. The leaders, including State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, State Reps. Josh Kail, Jim Marshall and Robert Matzie, are frustrated and concerned by Norfolk Southern’s disregard for crisis management best practices and agree Norfolk Southern could have put Pennsylvanians’ health and well-being at risk. (PoliticsPA)


Ohio Derailment Aftermath. How Worried Should People Be? “Plumes of smoke, questions about dead animals, worries about the drinking water. A train derailment in Ohio and subsequent burning of some of the hazardous chemicals has people asking: How worried should they be?” (AP)

Lawsuit: Thousands of Western PA Residents at Risk After Ohio Train Derailment. “A class-action lawsuit alleges the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment and subsequent controlled burn of hazardous chemicals could have an adverse effect on the health of thousands of Western Pennsylvanians.” (Tribune-Review)

“We’re Afraid We’ll Be Forgotten:’ East Palestine Residents Want Answers After Derailment. “Tim Cumberlidge woke up on Feb. 4, stretched his legs and went through his morning routine for what was seemingly a normal Saturday morning. When he stepped outside, he realized it was anything but. Smoke was billowing over his house like a black cloud. The wind kept carrying the smoke down Chain School Road, where he lives. And a foul “ammonia-like” stench met him outside his door.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)



2. Analysts: Switch PA’s Budgeting Format, Speed Up Corporate Tax Cut

Pennsylvania GOP hopes to keep legislative control despite new districts

“Pennsylvania’s labor pool is shrinking while its population ages, a problematic combination for the commonwealth’s economy when combined with “uncompetitive” tax policies, analysts told House Republicans at a caucus policy meeting Tuesday.” (New Castle News)


A Q and A With State Senator Sharif Street. “It’s a busy time for state Sen. Sharif Street. Not only is the Democratic state senator active in Harrisburg, but he is leading the Pennsylvania Democratic Party at a time when it is already preparing for next year’s presidential election and key congressional races.” (City & State)

PennDOT To Unveil I-81 Widening at Dunmore. “For state transportation planners, the journey to a wider Interstate 81 between the airport and Scranton will take 10 years.” (Standard-Speaker)

PA Senate GOP Committee Head Is Non-Committal About Continuing a 2020 Election Probe. “Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-Lehigh), who has led the chamber’s Intergovernmental Operations committee since January, said he’s still deciding what to do now that Sen. Cris Dush (R-Cameron) is no longer in charge.” (WITF)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Philadelphia Has Had 99 Mayors. Could First Woman Be Elected This Year?

City Hall — Visit Philadelphia

“Philadelphia has long been a city of historical firsts, but when it comes to electing a woman to run the place, it could be one of the last.

Of its 99 mayors dating back to 1691, Philadelphia has never elected a woman. It’s joined only by New York on the list of big U.S. cities never to have a female executive.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Mayoral Candidates Seeking Ways to Circumvent DA Larry Krasner. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Philly’s Mayoral Candidates Are Tip-Toeing Onto Tik-Tok. (Billy Penn)



Sen. Casey Undergoes Prostate Cancer Surgery. “Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania underwent surgery for prostate cancer on Tuesday; it was successful and he expects to return to a “normal schedule” after recovery, his office said.” (AP)

‘Ashamed’: Montco Dems Are Facing Backlash On Handling Over Their County Commissioner Succession Plan. “Montgomery County Democrats just sent one of their own, Josh Shapiro, to the governor’s office. But there are signs of discontent inside the local party organization ahead of its convention Thursday.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Rep. Deluzio Urges DOJ to Take a Closer Look at Post-Gazette Purchase of Pittsburgh City Paper. “U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-17th District, is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to more closely scrutinize the acquisition of Pittsburgh’s alt-weekly by the same company that owns the city’s largest newspaper. ” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

PA Township Straightens Out Finances After Embezzlement Scandal. “A failure to follow proper policies and rules led to a Chester County township getting extra money for its pension plan and falling short of making required payments into its pension fund.” (The Center Square)

More Than Half of Republicans Support Christian Nationalism, According to Survey. “Researchers found that more than half of Republicans believe the country should be a strictly Christian nation, either adhering to the ideals of Christian nationalism (21%) or sympathizing with those views (33%).” (WHYY)

Chester Valley Trail to Overlap With Future King of Prussia Rail Project. “As work on the Chester Valley Trail nears completion, Montgomery County officials authorized an agreement for design and construction related to the future King of Prussia Rail project.” (Norristown Times-Herald)

Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. to Seek Reelection to 7th Term. “Panto, a 71-year-old Democrat, served two terms as mayor starting in 1984, then went into the private sector. He was reelected mayor in 2007 and has since served four consecutive terms.” (

New Berks County Commissioner Chosen. “A leadership change is coming to Berks County, as former Reading City Councilwoman Lucine E. Sihelnik has been appointed to serve as the county’s newest commissioner, Berks officials announced Tuesday.” (Reading Eagle)



4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.


1 Thing

5. Bird Watching

Tips for Seeing PA's Middle Creek Snow Geese Migration - Uncovering PA

It’s that time of year: tens of thousands of snow geese migrating north for the warm months are once again stopping over at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in southeast Lebanon County.

The annual migration of the greater snow geese subspecies, which spend their summers at their breeding grounds in the Arctic, passes along the Atlantic coast and through the eastern United States. The 6,254-acre Pennsylvania Game Commission property, which also spreads into Lancaster County, makes for a convenient resting point along the way.

For the last several years, the peak numbers of snow geese on the lake have been estimated at higher than 100,000. (LebTown)


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2 Responses

  1. It would be interesting if the states and feds had any idea of the regularity of transporting toxic waste or chemicals by rail or even truck? Is a report generated to the states and feds every time this occurs? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. As the Philly folks chatter, they’re saying, and apparently louder after this article….if the city had to pick from the folks just in this piece, arguably the best qualified person to run the City is Maria Quinones-Sanchez.

    But they really could care less about gender. They simply don’t care.

    So beyond whether its a woman who leads the city…the conversation continually comes down to who’s seriously ready to lead and govern today. Like now.

    No on the job training, no paying past Mayors to coach candidates. No posing, no pretenders being propped up by wealthy puppet masters…or wealthy folks buying the job, just because they can…

    Folks are demanding leadership. They want someone who’s done the work, the nitty gritty, the day to day, year over year and came out the other side ready to lead the City.

    Business and investors will not invest in the Region if they sense that the next Mayor is guessing on crime, population growth, education or is anti-business.

    No one wants an anti-business, high tax Mayor who’s unprepared to govern.

    At the same time…No one wants a pro-business, low tax Mayor who’s unprepared to govern either.

    They want businesses that are ready to come in, grow and hire and a Mayor who’ll ensure they’re welcome.

    They are demanding a leader who will drive an environment where people have a shot at a real education, great jobs, better living standards.

    The city is in a crisis of high poverty. No city in America comes close.

    So, people could care less about gender. If a woman in the bunch can do the above, she’s hired.

    They just want to know if the next Mayor can get the job done for the next 4-8 years starting Day One.


  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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