Bethlehem and Lancaster Win CRIZ Districts

It’s a Crizzmas miracle, y’all! (John Callahan’s joke, not mine.) Bethlehem and Lancaster have been selected to keep more of their own taxes to finance infill development. It’s a big win for Bethlehem in particular because they’re right next to Allentown, and people were worried that the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) would diminish interest in [...]

#SD18: Should John Callahan Primary Lisa Boscola for State Senate?

Primarying conservadem Lisa Boscola or having another go at Charlie Dent in the 15th District in 2014 seem like the 2 best options available to John Callahan after the County Exec loss. And if he is really intent on staying in politics, one of those options has a much lower difficulty setting than the other. On the [...]

Munipocalypse 2013: A Mostly Good Night for Progressives

(Cross-posted from Keystone Politics) Yesterday’s municipal elections were a pretty good night for progressives on the whole, but before we get to the good stuff, let’s rip off the band-aid and get the bad news out of the way first. The Bad In an extremely embarrassing upset, Bangor Mayor John Brown beat Bethlehem Mayor John [...]

If Brian Sims Would Vote for Alcohol Reform, the Gayborhood Could Have Wine Tastings

One of the only things that sucks about living in South Philly coming from Brooklyn is that the wine and spirits stores here don’t have wine tasting events. In NYC, wine stores will bring in small vintners for like 2-3 hours in the evening to offer free samples of their wines. These can be a [...]

Easton Should Take Back Centre Square From the State

As a complement to yesterday’s post on PennDOT’s hostility to local transportation planning priorities, here’s something amazing that might happen. JD Malone says Easton, PA might vote to take a key downtown road back from the state in order to stop the PennDOT madness: Centre Square might be the heart of Easton, but it’s maintained [...]

Interview: How Brad Koplinski Plans to Save Distressed Local Governments as Lieutenant Governor

(I met up with Brad Koplinski, one of the good guys on Harrisburg City Council who’s now running to be the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, to eat bagels and record this interview back in April. I’ve been sitting on it until I got the sense more people were tuning into the 2014 primaries, and [...]

Driving is Massively Subsidized

This fact is always worth repeating: The amount we spend on roads every year far outstrips the money raised by user fees: “Nationwide in 2010, state and local governments raised $37 billion in motor fuel taxes and $12 billion in tolls and non-fuel taxes, but spent $155 billion on highways,” and the federal government spends [...]