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Friday, December 14, 2012

Heads Up: Morning headlines for Dec. 14

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Bill Peduto announces his campaign for mayor? Wow, who saw THAT coming? Oh, right: everyone. Later today, I'll have transcriptions of Peduto's speech, as well as some of his give-and-take with reporters. For now, suffice it to say that based on the cross-section of supporters in attendance, this is no longer just the Knowledge Workers' candidate. Also, a notable quirk: Peduto is now the first candidate to have made a formal campaign announcement ... but as of 10 p.m. last night, the only one of three known contenders to not have a campaign manager in place.

Oh, and bonus political scuttlebutt: City councilor Daniel Lavelle is almost certain to face a political challenger in his re-election bid next year. And it'll be someone you've almost certainly heard of. Just remember, you heard it here first. Unless it doesn't happen, in which case you heard it from Early Returns, OK?

Speaking of utterly unsurprising events: Cases of dehydration and breathing problems reported at Wiz Khalifa's recent Pittsburgh concert may -- and I stress the word "may," people -- have been caused by the presence of marijuana smoke.

Meanwhile, the Urban Redevelopment Authority met yesterday, and announced plans to acquire the now-vacant Downtown Saks Fifth Avenue, in hopes of redeveloping it. Meanwhile, the Tribune-Review "raises questions about a proposal to put a grocery store in Sheraden. Call me cynical, but this proposal sounds a bit like a way to create a bit of buzz for City Council Theresa Kail Smith, who is up for re-election next year.

It's not your imagination: A lot of Pennsylvanians are kind of unhealthy. According to a new study, nearly 3 million of us are obese, and more than one-quarter get no exercise except going to and from work. On the bright side, some of us do walk to the corner store to pick up a pack of smokes.

Gary Alexander, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Public Welfare, goes to Washington to complain about Obamacare ... and gets beat up by Democrats in Congress. Still, it might be better than the treatment he'd have gotten in Pennsylvania, in the wake of a report that he frequently commutes to work from Rhode Island, at a cost of hundreds of dollars a month to taxpayers. (Sometimes you wonder: Where does Gov. Corbett find these guys? In Rhode Island, I guess.) In other state-government-outrage news: As the state prepares to address the pensions of rank-and-file workers, some state legislators get pensions in excess of their previous salaries. Story contains the priceless phrase "ruling-class welfare recipients."

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