In case you missed it: this week’s good reads about Pennsylvania cities

     Wintry weather blankets the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Race Street Pier in Philadelphia, March 5, 2015. Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    Wintry weather blankets the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Race Street Pier in Philadelphia, March 5, 2015. Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    It’s Friday! Here’s a roundup of recommended reading from this week.

    Budget unveiled

    Let’s start off with the governor’s budget address.

    First, an overview. (And, courtesy of The Patriot News, here’s something for visual learners.)

    Here’s what Gov. Wolf’s budget means for municipal recovery and development.

    But how does it affect your household budget? Spoiler: your chocolate bar might cost an extra 9 cents, with tax. (Lancaster Online)

    (More) government matters

    Voters could be asked this fall to give state lawmakers more power. The auditor general is hosting hearings to discuss this with the public.

    Scranton’s city council passed the first of three votes needed to adopt a revised Act 47 recovery plan, which includes raising taxes, refinancing debt, and privatizing the city’s parking and sewer systems. (The Times Tribune)

    Visitors are flocking to Allentown’s new arena (part of the city’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone), and that’s putting a strain on the city’s police department. One suggestion? Asking businesses to chip in for police overtime costs. (The Morning Call and Lehigh Valley Live)

    Snow and more snow

    If you live in Reading, there’s good news and bad news. Bad news is city crews can’t keep up with public sidewalk clearing? Good news? They understand that you probably can’t, either.

    Speaking of which… do you know your municipalities’ snow removal requirements? Here’s a cheatsheet for the Lancaster area from Lancaster Online.  

    And, for kicks, here’s some (safe-for-work!) “snow removal porn” for your viewing pleasure. (Philly Mag via @hollyotterbein)

    Pension problems

    An audit of Pittsburgh’s pensions says only about 58 percent of the city’s current and future pensions are funded. Mayor Bill Peduto says the city can’t fix the problem on its own:

    “Without common sense reform from Harrisburg, the state municipal pension plan is doomed to fail”. (WESA)

    Pa. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says his priority is public pension reform. He says not addressing pensions is like “turning up the heat when you have a hole in your roof.” (WHYY)

    Infrastructure

    Old pipes in Philly means every day, 60 million gallons of river water leaks into the ground.

    Did you catch John Oliver’s segment on infrastructure? Pennsylvania cities (unfortunately) get a shout-out.

    Technology

    We asked innovators why technology in government matters.

    Are you more likely to check Facebook excessively because of where you live? This app looks at how your urban environment affects your addictions. (Next City)

    We asked, you answered

    What do you want your city to do with their waterfront? Our readers weighed in.

    Here’s another question: who is your community’s “superhero?”

    In the latest installment of our 5 Questions series, Micah Gursky says enough with the pessimism!

    Can you tell we appreciate hearing from you? One of the best ways we’ve heard from Pennsylvanians is through our public forums. So far, we’ve had forums in Philly, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Altoona, and Reading. Next stop? Lehigh Valley. We’d love to see you there.

    Have a great weekend! 

     

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