All 53 of Pennsylvania’s third-class cities share common bonds, and one state senator believes legislators who represent those cities should band together to help address their common challenges.
“Sprawl, changing demographics, public safety concerns and archaic tax structure have drained the vitality of our once-vibrant downtowns,” state Sen. John N. Wozniak, D-Johnstown, wrote in a letter to his colleagues. “Since the causes are not unique, we can’t stand by and ask local government officials to stem a tide that is overwhelming their capacity and authority to innovate.”
Wozniak noted in the letter to colleagues from both parties in the Senate and House that while the state’s historic downtowns are unique, the fiscal problems they face are not. With that in mind, Wozniak is proposing the creation of a bipartisan “Third-Class City Caucus.”
“We can no longer afford to consider the plight of our cities as a concern that is separate from the overall welfare of our Commonwealth,” he said.
Most people probably haven’t paid much attention to the huge corporations waging war in Washington over legislation designed to crack down on online theft of movies, music and other content. But the conflict will hit consumers in the face Wednesday, when Wikipedia and a number of other websites intend to go dark to protest the proposed changes.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced Monday that the hugely popular online encyclopedia would be unavailable for 24 hours to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and related legislation, which opponents say could lead to censorship or the complete shutdown of some websites.
Wikipedia plans to join Reddit, Boing Boing and hundreds of other sites in the so-called SOPA Strike, an attempt to publicize their complaints about proposals supported by the movie and music industries and other media companies.