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Scott Conklin cuts the ribbon at the opening of the gaslight cafe in Philipsburg

Scott Conklin cuts the ribbon at the opening of the gaslight cafe in Philipsburg with owner Catania Jones Groft.Scott Conklin cuts the ribbon at the opening of the gaslight cafe in Philipsburg with owner Catania Jones Groft.
 
 
Raffle table at the Gaslight, where they were giving away prizes.
 
  
 
 

Global warming protest outside of Republican Senator Pat Toomey's Harrisburg office.

Global Warming Protestors outside Pat Toomey's Office
35 enthusiastic protesters held signs and chanted outside Toomey's office in downtown Harrisburg on July 6, from 11:30-1:00pm.  Our activists' age ranged from 2 to 85 years.  Ed brought a van full from State College,  I brought a couple people from Philly, and activists from York and Harrisburg came as well. We had given a heads-up to Senator Casey's regional office manager, Matt Leonard. He stopped by at noon and we all praised Senator Casey for his vote against the CRA.  You can see the signs praising Casey in the attached photos, but there were lots more signs blasting Toomey.  Ed had called Toomey's office to let them know we were protesting outside their office, and why we were protesting, and invited them to come down and explain Toomey's bad votes, but no one came down. So we decided to go up to his office. Unfortunately, the building guard wouldn't let us in, but he did get Toomey's office manager, Bob deSouza, to come down at long last, where he was grilled by the group about Toomey's bad votes. Read more »

Dependence on cheap food proves costly

growing local foodby Lucy Bryan Green

That pound of hamburger you bought for the Fourth of July barbeque cost you about nine percent more than it would have last year. That cereal you ate for breakfast cost you nearly four percent more than its 2011 counterpart. And the milk you poured on it? You paid several dimes more for that gallon than you would have a year ago.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in June that general food prices rose 2.8 percent from May 2011 to May 2012.

The inflated price of food could easily tempt consumers, wearied by more than four years of economic recession, to complain about how hard putting food on the table has become. But in reality, Americans are putting a smaller percentage of the money they make toward food than ever before, and they’re dedicating a smaller portion of their incomes to food than anyone else in the world.

In 1929, the year the stock market crashed, the average American family could put 19.3 percent of its disposable income toward food to be consumed at home. That figure had dropped to 15 percent by 1960 and 10.4 percent in 1979.

In 2009 and 2010, Americans spent an all-time low of 6.4 percent of their incomes at the grocery store. That’s less than half the portion of disposable income Italians, Japanese and French dedicate to food—14.7, 14.6 and 13.5 percent, respectively.

Each American pays an average of $2,056 for food eaten at home every year. However, our neighbors in Canada pay $186 more per capita and spend 9.3 percent of their incomes on food. British and Australians pay $357 and $782 more per capita per year, 9.1 and 11.1 percent of their respective disposable incomes.

According to these USDA statistics, Americans enjoy some of the cheapest food in the developed world. However, many researchers, activists and health experts claim that the way Americans produce and consume food takes a heavy toll on their environment and health, costs that aren’t reflected in grocery store price tags. Read more »

Shell went to Harrisburg and only got a lousy T-shirt - and $1.68 billion in fracking tax breaks

Fracking Tax Breaks political cartoon
Fracking tax breaks political cartoon by Shawn Raymond

Aviation accidents at University Park Airport force waterfowl controls

feeding ducksby Tara Richelo

Due to recent accidents between waterfowl and aircrafts at University Park Airport, measures have been taken to decrease the population of waterfowl in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Wildlife Strike Database dates the first incident at University Park Airport between an “Unknown bird – small” and a SAAB-340 aircraft to 1999. In that incident, no damages were sustained. A few incidents occurred in 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2009.

Recently, there has been an increase: three accidents in 2010, five accidents in 2011 and two in April of 2012. Read more »

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