Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thursday news highlights

  • President Bush was in town to raise money for threatened local legislators, including Mike Fitzpatrick (opposed by Patrick Murphy) and Jim Gerlach (Lois Murphy). Curt Weldon (Joe Sestak) chose to skip the event and win over voters himself. Much discussion in all coverage of the tricky need to keep a safe distance from Bush's approval ratings, even when accepting his aid...

  • Last night was a big community meeting about casino design proposals which drew some 300 people (despite big TV finales). Many attendees criticized the planners for lackluster buildings that ignored neighborhood interests. Albert Yee also offered a thorough participant's take on the event (including specific reactions to each plan). [A YPP reader suggests that the Daily News might learn something by allowing its reporters to flesh out their stories for online versions like this...]

  • Philadelphia's school system and building trades council have finalized an agreement to set up an apprenticeship program (see prev. here) that would help public school graduates find their way into the skilled construction fields. The program could start as early as this fall. [More here.] This seems to be good for the students, the unions, and the city itself; a rare trifecta.

  • Some New Jersey engineers appear close to perfecting a "smart gun" that can be shot only by its legitimate owner. If they succeed, then a law on the state's books would require that all guns sold in NJ use this or some similarly secure technology. Such a gun would certainly excite a lot of interest, allowing for some common ground between legitimate gun users/dealers and those worried about gun violence.

  • The CityPaper looks at one wealthy conservative who bankrolled much of the effort that led to last week's GOP upsets, and at the coalition that is trying to push the Republican party further toward the right.

  • Above Average Jane notes a gaffe by Lynn Swann, who passed up a major keynote and fundraiser at a Manufacturer's Association meeting to attend another flashier event.

  • The Minimum Wage Coalition is planning an event for June 5, to pressure some Harrisburg legislators to bring a bill to the Senate floor for a vote. They're looking for more participants and supporters.


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