In other Monday news
- An Inquirer piece looks at the sort of small neighborhood bars who might apply for an exemption from the new smoking ban, and the decisions that they have to make before doing so (such as keeping food to under 10% of business versus staying open on Sundays). Many will be taking a closer look at how many of their regular patrons actually smoke.
- Columnist John Baer looks back at the tumultuous political year since the state legislative pay-hike was passed, and is happy to see that the outrage actually led to changes:
[J]ust look what has happened since then: The raise is repealed, a property-tax-relief measure is enacted, there's an increase in the minimum wage (the first in nine years), two top state leaders get bounced, the state Senate's scaling back perks and the House is talking about following suit.It's definitely an excellent start, although real lobbyist regulations, more open legislative discussions, and other reforms are still on the far horizon...
I feel I've moved to a different state.
- The race in the 7th Congressional district is getting feisty, with apparent push-polling and automated calls being used to spread negative stories about each of the two candidates. [Also at the above link are two short bits, about Swann's campaign bus and Casey's investment choices. whee.]
- A Daily News opinion column highlights the importance of the Philadelphia suburbs in this fall's election, as people around the country are tracking several hot races there as critical tests of the national mood.
- An Inquirer editorial looks at possibilities for better gun regulation, saying that better enforcement is great but needs to be matched by better designed rules (that eliminate straw buyers).
- Finally, in a late post on Friday, would-be-councilman Vern Anastasio calls for more citizen input into city development, in part by a simplification or consolidation of the bureaucracy that oversees such plans.