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March 27: A Better Way

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

🌦️ Monday, Monday. Starting the last week of the month.

PA Weather
Pittsburgh | Rain likely, 55
Harrisburg | Rain likely, 53
Philadelphia | Rain likely, 61

PA Sports
76ers (49-25) | MON vs. Denver
Flyers (28-32-12) | Detroit 3-0 | TUE vs. Montreal
Penguins (36-27-10) | Washington 4-3 | TUE vs. Detroit

What We’re Hearing
“Six weeks is a grain of sand in [the] six-year term” to which Fetterman was elected, the aide said. “He’s doing what he needs to do.”

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Top Story

1. Ideas We Should Steal: A Better Way To Select Judges

PA Judicial Center

“Thirty-nine judges are running in the primary on May 16. Most Philadelphians don’t know who they are. Come Election Day, most people still won’t know who they are.

I suspect that’s, in part, because their campaigns all preach some variant of “I’m for justice and fairness.” OK, duh. Who’s going to grab a microphone and say, “I’m for injustice and unfairness?”

Unlike other political candidates, judicial candidates are bound by a different set of ethics, preventing them from making campaign promises. The rules that govern their campaigns do allow them to state their personal views, but warn that if they do so, they risk having to disqualify themselves from presiding over a related case. That means the more voters know about a judicial candidate’s personal opinions about an issue important to them, the less likely those candidates are to be able to actually rule on the issue.” (Philadelphia Citizen)


Female Judges Discuss Challenges, Successes. “Lackawanna County’s female judges each worked as attorneys for several decades before being elected. Along with their legal knowledge and qualifications, they bring diversity to the court, which only benefits constituents, they said.” (Times-Tribune)



2. McClinton Promises Change For The Better In Harrisburg

February 22 Playbook: Good To Be In The Majority

“State Rep. Joanna McClinton, the first woman to serve as speaker of the state House of Representatives, vowed things will change for the better during a Women’s History Month event at King’s College on Sunday.

McClinton, D-191, Philadelphia, said she is “very excited about the women’s history to come.”

She said she is determined to “make sure the next generation has more opportunities” than did their parents and grandparents.” (Times-Tribune)


How Election Deniers Are Making Voting Fraud Easier. “A cloud of misinformation has led a half-dozen states to abandon the most powerful tool available to combat voter fraud across state lines.” (Governing)

PA Colleges Still Unaffordable Despite Tuition Freeze. “The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education said this week its tuition freeze has done little to stave off enrollment declines, even as the costs at other institutions around them all climb.” (The Center Square)

Mortgage Aid Manager At Fault As Homeowners Left In Lurch. “The state agency overseeing Pennsylvania’s troubled mortgage relief program has leveled a slew of new accusations against the private contractor originally hired to run the program as thousands of homeowners remain stuck in limbo and at risk of further financial harm.” (Spotlight PA)

Government Is A Common Endeavor In Which All Can Benefit. “Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf PhD ’81 made a forthright call for integrity and the expression of a common purpose in politics, while accepting the Institute’s 2023 Robert A. Muh Alumni Award from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) on March 21.” (MIT News)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Ethics Debate Becomes Top Issue In Allegheny County Executive Race

Ethics or Compliance in a Crisis?

“Allegheny County’s next chief executive will be responsible for delivering services to some 1.2 million people. But for most of last week, the race for that job has focused almost exclusively on just one of those residents — County Treasurer John Weinstein — and on ethics in government.” (WESA)


Bethany Hallam Faces Call For Ethics Probe Over Secret Deal To Get John Weinstein Back On Alcosan Board. “An Allegheny County councilman wants the local ethics committee to investigate one of his colleagues over her reported role in a secret effort to return County Treasurer John Weinstein to the sewer board last year.” (Post-Gazette)

Weinstein Fires Back At Lamb, Alleging Violations In City Controller’s Office. “Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein, a Democratic candidate for county executive, fired back at one of his opponents after a week of his campaign taking criticism over alleged ethics violations.” (Tribune-Review)

John Weinstein Is Winning The Airwaves In the Race For Allegheny County Executive. “If the race for Allegheny County executive were playing out only on TV, John Weinstein would be winning easily — at least for now.” (Post-Gazette)

DA Threatens To Take Iconic PA Amusement Park To Court: ‘I Don’t Think It’s Safe’ “Kennywood’s website features a clock ticking down to the West Mifflin park’s April 22nd opening day, and a special offer — $30 off — a season pass. But Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said Friday he does not believe the park is safe, and that he is ready to go to court to get Kennywood to comply with safety measures that it was given following a shooting last year in which three people were injured.” (PennLive)

Duerr Seeks To Flip State Senate Seat On Ballot Next Year. “Tom Duerr, a 27-year-old county councilor, will seek to flip a competitive state Senate seat on the ballot next year in the Pittsburgh suburbs.” (Union Progress)

Gym Wants To Finish The Fight She Started 30 Years Ago. “Philadelphia mayoral candidate Helen Gym has become a polarizing political figure. Her supporters see a champion. Her critics see a “character.”” (Inquirer)

It Will Be Mike Stender vs. Trevor Finn in HD-108 Special Election. “The matchup is set for the 108th House District special election to replace Lynda Schlegel Culver who has moved onto the state Senate.” (PoliticsPA)

Delco GOP Picks Ford As Candidate For HD-163. “Kathleen ‘Katie’ Ford, an Army veteran and special education therapist, has been nominated by the Delaware County Republican Party as its candidate in the upcoming special election in the 163rd House District.” (PoliticsPA)

Clerk At Erie County Courthouse Lost To Her Boss In 2021 Election, Now She Is Suing Her. “Karla Jeffery lost to supervisor and fellow Democrat, Aubrea Hagerty-Haynes, in election for county clerk of records. Jeffery claims she’s been subjected to a hostile work environment since the race.” (Times-News)



4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.


1 Thing

5. How Water Became Wooder

Gritty wins Webby Awards for best sports-related social media | PhillyVoice

Sue Crane knows what people are getting at when they ask her to pronounce certain words, such as w-a-t-e-r.

“Wooder bill, wooder ice, wait an hour before you go in the wooder after you eat, it’s always been wooder,” said Crane, 62.

Wooder has become as synonymous to Philadelphia as the city’s dedication to the Iggles or a loved one asking “Jeet?” The word has come to capture the confounding mechanics of the local accent, which is notoriously difficult to imitate, hard as Hollywood producers might try.

While it may be fun to study the Philly accent through the decades, there’s a reason why linguists study dialects and it boils down to what they call linguistic discrimination.



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3 Responses

  1. I love to climb to the tippy top of the grandstands and scream “I can see my house from here”. After a few minutes everybody laughs at me and I go

  2. The State System is not at fault for higher Ed attendance dropping but rather the reality that borrowing for college has become so burdensome that many are rethinking higher Ed needs. Are these degrees producing jobs? Is the student loan debt after four years worth the price? Clearly, tuition less community college for the first 2 years would ease student loan debt and allow students to go into the workforce with no debt or on to other higher ed with no debt.

    1. And yet, European countries have tuition-free universities. How do they do that? Maybe Congress should be investigating that rather than how an orange criminal is being investigated by prosecutors.


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