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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Heads Up: Morning headlines for Dec. 5

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Allegheny County Council passes a budget ... with a decrease to the property tax rate and a 7 percent cut to the county controller's office. Guess who isn't happy about that? Follow the link for more Chelsa Wagner/Rich Fitzgerald follies.

On the environmental front, Jan Jarrett flays the Corbett administration for not really understanding how solar power works, or the challenges it faces. Jarrett says Pennsylvania's renewable-energy sector is hurt because other states don't buy power from us ... even though Pennsylvania utilities looking to provide green energy can go across state lines. She faults Corbett for not doing enough about the problem -- which is weird, since usually you expect Republicans to be all about removing barriers to trade. She also notes a pending plan by the American Legislative Exchange Council to roll back renewable energy standards. You've been warned. (On a brighter note for alternative energy, a Pennsylvania manufacturer is gas from a landfill to power its operations. One man's trash is another man's power supply.)

In other Flaying Tom Corbett Alive news, veteran Philly journo John Baer blasts the administration for a lack of transparency, and for using heavy-handed legal tactics to keep government business under wraps.

Because I know you were concerned: Officials at the University of Pittsburgh are getting salary increases, ranging from between 3 and 15 percent. That means an extra portion of Christmas goose for Tiny Tim Nordenberg this year!

WPXI takes a look at tough new "Megan's Law" standards that are about to go into effect. The standards extend the amount of time a child-abuse offender remains on the Megan's law list, even for those who've already been sentenced. Defense attorneys express concern, as you'd expect, arguing that it's unfair to adjust someone's punishment with laws passed after they were sentenced. That does seem a little dubious, but then such considerations often seem to go by the wayside where child abuse is concerned.

And just in case you haven't seen this making the rounds on the Twitter, there's an online petition asking Mayor Ravenstahl to address "the increasing violence, vandalism, and disturbances in the South Side."

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