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Monday, August 20, 2012

Heads Up: Headlines for Aug. 20

Posted By on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM

For Pittsburghers, the big news over the weekend is that the Port Authority's union employees voted in favor of contract concessions that should stave off massive service cuts and layoffs next month. The next step: The Port Authority board will hold a special meeting to vote on the contract, and rescind cuts tomorrow. After that?

"The Governor has to lead the way to passing legislation establishing a dedicated and sustainable funding source for public transit in Pennsylvania or we will find ourselves facing another funding crisis in less than a year." (Union head Steven Palonis)

And hey, Tom Corbett recognizes the need to invest in transit infrastructure, and is bringing his can-do attitude to pull out all the stops so we can ... uh ... wait a minute:

"Everyone around the state who's sitting in traffic can expect to continue sitting in traffic. We can't do anything about it." (State Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch)

Here's an item that got lost in the brouhaha surrounding a Commonwealth Court ruling upholding Voter ID: The state is dropping plans to allow for online voter registration and absentee ballots. According to a state official, "implementing the new online initiatives as well as voter ID requirements was too much to handle less than three months before the election." So an initiative to help people vote is being sacrificed for the sake of a law to address voter fraud ... a crime that doesn't really happen. Add this to voter ID's casualties.

Will race play a role in the November election? More than religion, says Philly's John Baer.

East Enders take note! Tonight city councilor Bill Peduto is holding a community meeting on what they're calling "Bakery Square 2.0" (which, btw, strikes me as a distinctly 1.0 kind of name). The new development pledges to be a mixed-use site where you "can live, work, and play within one tightly knit community" -- which is sort of an oddly hermetic pitch, but whatever. It's slated for the old Reizenstein school site just across Penn Avenue from the existing Bakery Square development. Come to the Ellis School Auditorium (6425 Fifth Ave.) tonight at 6:30 to be dazzled by the future.

And finally ... a local charter school drops its affiliation with a controversial national management company. This should come as little surprise to City Paper readers: We wrote about concerns regarding Imagine Schools more than two years ago.

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