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

     Bikes parked in front of Lambertikirche (St. Lambert's Church)in—  Münster.. (Marielle Segarra/WHYY)

    Bikes parked in front of Lambertikirche (St. Lambert's Church)in— Münster.. (Marielle Segarra/WHYY)

    Happy Birthday, America! After the parades and before the fireworks, take some time to read the latest news on Pennsylvania cities.

    ImmigrationKeystone Crossroads reporter Marielle Segarra has been in Germany as part of a German/American journalist exchange program through the RIAS Berlin Kommission and the Radio Television Digital News Foundation. Her most recent urban revitalization blog post: how Berlin is helping immigrants integrate into the city.

    For more than 22,000 Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, Fort Indian Gap, Pennsylvania served as a resettlement camp during the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they returned for a special reunion. (Pennlive)

    Imagine navigating a new city as a refugee, and you are hearing impaired. Erie has a special classes to help deaf refugees. (GoErie)

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    In the classroom, the U.S. is continuing to fail immigrant children. San Francsico is working on a solution. (CityLab)

    Forget going to the grocery store for produce. One Scranton couple brought their dream of combining their Italian heritage and gardening to fruition. (The Times Tribune)

    During this holiday period, more than 4,000 people will become naturalized citizens in special independence-themed ceremonies, including one to be held on the Battleship New Jersey on the Delaware River. (USCIS)

    HousingBaby boomers make up more than one quarter of the population in Pennsylvania, according to a report from the Penn State Data Center. As they age, the need for affordable housing will increase.

    Following the boomers are the millennials, who make up 22% of the population. For millennials looking to buy their first home, here is a list of affordable cities. Hint: Think Dunder Mifflin. (TheStreet)

    Borrowing from a U.S. model, Chile is urging millennials to move out of their parents’ house and rent their own space. The name of this new rental housing subsidy program? Chao Suegra – “goodbye mother-in-law.” (NextCity)

    Richard Florida found that there’s a new meaning to “location, location, location” that draws buyers to pay larger portions of their income to live in the best neighborhoods. A new study shows comparisons not just across metropolitan areas, but within them. (CityLab)

    The key to fighting gentrification? In MIami, it’s all about building height. (Governing)

    TransportationRemoving all signs, traffic signals, curbs, lane markings and crosswalks from a city block to make it safer and more inviting both to vehicles and foot traffic? Sounds nuts to some, but in Europe, it works.  And Pittsburgh is giving it a try – welcome to shared-space transportation. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

    While sharing space is nice, making sure there is enough space is even better. Introducing a device that stops cars from driving too close to bikes. (CityLab)

    As Marielle Segarra found out, bikes are everywhere in Münster, Germany. Follow her travels and reporting at #kcgermany.

    A recent SpeakEasy essay discussed strategies for creating more pedestrian space, even in the narrowest of streets. (NewsWorks)

    Water and WaterfrontsThe Lehigh Valley Planning Commission has some funding  toward a multi-use transit project along the Lehigh River. The plan is to tear out the rail and put in a two-lane road and a walking/biking trail. (Lehigh Valley Business)

    As these photos show, the 19th annual Lehigh River Sojourn included some rough water. This trek from the Poconos to Northampton was held June 28 – 30, 2015. (The Morning Call)

    Get ready for our upcoming series on waterfronts in cities, where one of our intrepid reporters braved The Schuylkill Sojourn. Stay tuned for  video and photos of the trip. (Schuylkill River)

    Government The budget deadline was June 30, 2015. Explaining that “the math doesn’t work,” Governor Wolf vetoed the Republican crafted budget. (WITF)

     As the impasse continues, we ponder the consequences of education funding for Pennsylvania schools and which districts will benefit from the new funding formula.

    Some districts, including Erie and Reading, predict that they will emerge as big winners from the new funding formula. (GoErie, The Reading Eagle)

    Governor Tom Wolf’s Task Force on Municipal Pensions submitted its recommendations on helping underfunded pension plans recover. The focus was on increasing transparency and accountability

    The city of Pittsburgh now has the option of moving its pension funds from local management to the state-run Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS). 

    For more on Pennsylvania government and the Commonwealth’s financially distressed municipalities watch our latest television program Keystone Crossroads: Municipalities in Distress. You can watch it here, or for our WHYY viewing audience, on PBS on  July 7, 2015.

    As you will see in this program, Harrisburg was the poster child for municipal distress. A grand jury investigating this financial debacle has been extended to January 2016.


    Just for fun It was not foul play, but we sadly report that Mama Duck is dead.  The 61-foot tall, one-ton companion to the Tall Ships Festival Philadelphia Camden was mortally wounded due to high winds, and unable to fully participate. (The Philadelphia Inquirer

    A gash deflated the duck, causing the anticipated sensation to be dead in the water. The artist who felt his work was unauthorized,said this mishap was the result of bad karma. (Billy Penn)

    Why did this Facebook photo land a York fisherman in hot water? It’s all about the bass. (YorkDispatch News)

    For a nontraditional July 4th holiday outing, consider the history museum exhibit at Erie’s airport’s. You are greeted by a waffle iron. Yes, a gleaming waffle iron. (GoErie)

    According to Nerdwallet, Philadelphians trails Pittsburghers in SAT scores and income, but sports team attendance still rules in Philly. (Philadelphia Business Journal)

    Our statewide team at Keystone Crossroads wishes you a Happy July 4th!




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