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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Heads Up: Morning headlines for Feb. 28

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Prelude to a flip-flop? To date, Gov. Tom Corbett has sounded distinctly downbeat about the prospects for the state expanding Medicaid under the provisions of Obamacare. But as fellow Republican wankers have taken that step -- New Jersey's Chris Christie being the latest -- Corbett has now announced plans to meet with Kathleen Sibelius, the cabinet secretary charged with implementing the healthcare reforms. It wouldn't surprise me if -- lo! -- the governor suddenly had all of his misgivings cleared up and decided to proceed after all!

We love Chris Briem over here at City Paper, though he does have a tendency to sometimes "bury the lede" -- put the newsiest stuff down deep in the story. I say that not to criticize -- for I am not worthy to untie his sandals and so on -- but to tell you that you should stick with it on his recent blog post about some potential financial nightmares at the Water and Sewer Authority. When I say I can't vouch for the accuracy of everything he says here, it's probably because my tiny insect brain isn't capable of fully understanding it. But I did get the part about where he said that quite possibly, the financial crisis "dwarfs whatever $$ was actually misused in anything and everything going on down at the police bureau." ... and yet " I bet the ink/$ ratio for the PWSA debt story will never crack a mill of coverage of whatever is going on down at the police bureau's detail office."

... To which the media says, "whatevs." And gives us this story about a special police unit that reported directly to Harper -- and seems to have not been terribly active on the "arresting people" front.

And speaking of stories that never seem to go away ... there's a "Where's Luke?" storyline emerging again -- there's even a Twitter account now. For my own part, I can vouch for the mayor's attendance at a political event last Thursday night, and am reliably informed he was at a ward gathering over the weekend. (Though he missed a Codefest event he was slated to attend that weekend as well.) When he didn't attend a campaign event on Tuesday night, his campaign staff told me that it was due to "his mother not feeling well." (Attendees of the event were told it was either a "scheduling conflict" or "somewhat of a health problem.")

In this week's issue, our own Bill O'Driscoll raised concerns about how much of "our" natural gas may end up being exported to other countries -- allowing drillers to pocket the profit while potentially dumping the environmental headaches on us. And so it's worth keeping an eye on talk about building a natural-gas export facility in Philadelphia.

And after a series of delays and an acrimonious debate, the Pittsburgh school board votes to sell off Schenley High School to a developer with plans to turn it into luxury apartments. There were rival proposals to house new school programs, but at least one board member apparently feared that Pittsburgh families wouldn't be able to send their kids there. Be interesting to see how many Pittsburgh families could afford to live in the new apartments.

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