There's really less and less news as July progresses. Perhaps all the news (and/or all the journalists) are down the shore...
- Apparently the lack of Serious Bidness over in Harrisburg has caused a warp in perspective, as discussion of a state-wide smoking ban brings some lawmakers nearly to blows. Unclear whether the two houses will manage to get a proposal to Rendell anytime soon.
- Former Philadelphia mayor Wilson Goode is working to help kids with parents in jail through the a new program allied with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, that enlists black men to support and encourage these at-risk youth.
- State Rep. Rosita Youngblood is making a cause out of renaming Negro Mountain, a peak in southwestern PA -- it appears to have been named to honor a regional 18th-century hero, but she thinks his name, not his race, should be used.
- The Daily News asks whether State Sen. Vince Fumo might be vulnerable to a challenger in next spring's primary, noting the likely suspects.
- Speaking of primaries, Marc Stier (who stealthily reopened his blog this week) notes that a proposal to move up Pennsylvania primaries to February could have serious drawbacks, not least making challengers try to raise money and get petitions signed almost immediately after the November general elections, when most people would like a break from politics (not to mention, are overrun with holiday activity). He makes a number of other good points -- I recommend the whole thing.
I should say that I thought they were only going to move up Presidential primaries, which would at least limit the damage to every fourth year's races and few at the local level...
- Another Stier piece looks at the recent deal to provide some transit funding, and talks about what more is needed to ensure the health and fairness of a system that so many depend on (and that helps keep our city from drowning in smog).
- Riders of the Market-Frankford line should be aware that the el will be closed between 40th and 69th for the next 9 days, with shuttle buses filling the gap. Adjust your travel time estimates accordingly.
- Inga Saffron notes that the court case involving the developer theft of South Street sidewalk was settled in the hallway, although the results have not yet been made public...