After the election I was looking around for things to lift my spirits.
And I found things -- twitter accounts for UK government cats. That's right, there are moggies at the keyboard in Downing Street and other government buildings. At least four of them.
Larry the Cat lives with the Prime Minister at #10 Downing Street. Larry is considered a civil servant and not a personal pet, so he's there regardless of who is in office. Follow him at https://twitter.com/@number10cat
Gladstone counts the mice at the Treasury and tweets at: https://twitter.com/HMTreasuryCat
Palmerston patrols the Foreign Office and officially tweets at: https://twitter.com/DiploMog
Evie is the newest mouser on duty, with her son Ossie. She patrols part of Whitehall and tweets at: https://twitter.com/hmcabinetcat
Even Julian Assange has a tweeting cat: https://twitter.com/embassycat?lang=en
What does the US have? Well, John Kerry's dog has a twitter feed: https://twitter.com/diplomutt
A few Bo Obama twitter feeds started but none lasted long.
The UK government cats are working cats -- the British press keeps track of their mousing skills (Larry is rumored to be a slacker in this area, but the people and the press like him, so his job is fairly secure for the moment. Fame is fickle, Larry; step up your game.
Mike Pence has two cats. Maybe they will follow the trend. There are surely a few mice around Observatory Circle.
Monday, January 16, 2017
After the election I was looking around for things to lift my spirits.
The Philadelphia Public Record published a nice article on newly elected State Rep. Jared Solomon. "Change brings Solomon to the lower northeast," by Tony West 1/13/17 provides a political history and some biographical information on Solomon, who is now representing the 202nd state house district, in Northeast Philadelphia.
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
amended press release:
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Montgomery County Treasurer Jason Salus today announced that beginning December 1st, residents are able to purchase their 2017 dog licenses through his office.
According to Salus, Pennsylvania state law requires all dogs three months and older be licensed by January 1st of each year. “If your dog is lost, a license is their ticket home. It helps animal control and shelters identify dogs to return them home safely,” said Salus.
An annual dog license is $8.50, or $6.50 if the animal is spayed or neutered. Lifetime licenses are available for dogs that have permanent identification like a microchip or tattoo. Additionally, older adults and people with disabilities may be eligible for discounts. Owners who do not purchase a license could face state fines and penalties of up to $300 for each unlicensed dog.
“One of the goals of my office is to make getting a dog license fast and easy,” said Salus. “Licenses can be purchased or renewed online, through the mail or at a number of satellite locations across the County. Salus added,
“Licenses make a great stocking stuffer – don’t forget your pets this holiday season!” Licenses may be purchased at the Treasurer’s office which is located on the sixth floor of One Montgomery Plaza in Norristown or online at www.montcopa.org/treasurer.
The White House released a list of nominations that have been sent to the Senate. Among them is Michael P. Leary, of Pennsylvania, to be Inspector General, Social Security Administration, vice Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr., resigned.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Cheryl Ann Wadlington – Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaCheryl Ann Wadlington is the Founder and Executive Director of The Evoluer House in Philadelphia. Under Wadlington’s leadership, The Evoluer House has delivered award-winning empowerment programs over the past 12 years to more than 1,200 teen girls of color experiencing unique social and emotional challenges and barriers to success. The Evoluer House works to equip the most underserved and hard-to-reach girls in Philadelphia with essential tools to become college-bound and career-ready and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. As a testament to its success, 100% of Evoluer House graduates finish high school on time and 90% go on to attend a four-year college. Cheryl is also a fashion and beauty journalist, personal growth consultant, author, and motivational speaker.
Daniel R. Porterfield– Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D. has served as president of Franklin & Marshall College since 2011. Under his leadership, Franklin & Marshall has developed a distinctive student talent strategy built upon a significant increase in their need-based financial aid budget. Through his work, Franklin & Marshall has seen record application numbers and an increase in the academic profile, diversity, and selectivity of incoming classes. In addition, lower-income and first-generation students at F&M consistently achieve the same average GPA as the student body as a whole and maintaining higher retention and graduation rates. Porterfield sits on the boards of the College Board and the Lenfest College Scholarship Foundation. He has received awards for his work from the KIPP and “I Have A Dream” foundations and in 2016 was named one of the “Sixteen Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly. Prior to leading Franklin & Marshall, Porterfield served as a Senior Vice President at his alma mater, Georgetown University. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities and earned his Ph.D. at The City University of New York Graduate Center.
Thursday, September 01, 2016
from the inbox:
On Wednesday, September 14, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Union League of Philadelphia, Lifecycle WomanCare (LWC) will host their second annual health forum on the State of Women’s Health. The forum will feature keynote speaker Pennsylvania State Senator Judy Schwank and two panel sessions with policymakers, leaders, and experts in women’s health issues.
Workshop Panel (10:30 a.m. – noon)
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Making Ideas Matter: My Life as a Policy Entrepreneur by Representative Dwight Evans with William Ecenbarger. Philadelphia: Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, 2013.
State Representative Dwight Evans is currently the Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, defeating incumbent Chaka Fattah in the primary. This book was published before his congressional run, but after previous unsuccessful runs for higher office. It is a slim volume (181 pages with an index) providing a history of State Rep. Evan's political career. The first chapter is biographical, telling the story of his childhood and upbringing. He points out that after getting a part-time job in high school he didn't take money from his mother again, allowing her to focus on his younger siblings.
The rest of the book concerns his work as a state legislator and his personal life is not really mentioned again. Most of the chapters concern a particular subject -- one on education, another on the importance of access to healthy food choices. Others are on aspects of political culture -- there is a chapter on Walking Around Money (WAM) and how it can be used to leverage cooperation from political colleagues.
Evans outlines a number of projects he worked on,priorities he followed, strategies he used to reach out to fellow Democrats as well as Republicans, and how he developed rapport with legislators from other parts of the state to overcome overall hostility towards the Philadelphia area.
There is a focus on his work as chair of the Appropriations Committee, and his disappointment when he lost that position. He writes about his own personal values and how they informed his behavior, expectations of staff, and political behavior, and what happens to politicians who lose their moral compass.
He writes a lot about developing and maintaining relationships, not only with political allies but as ways of reaching across the aisle or to the far corners of the state. He writes about empowering staff (including giving staff the ability to tell him no), and holding them accountable for their work and ethics as well.
Evans only seems to write about one fault and that is the inability to tell his story effectively when running for mayor or governor. He wishes he could have continued as chair of Appropriations and that he could have helped a non-profit he had worked with maintain control of his district's main high school.
This book does explain how State Rep. Evans created some of the coalitions that passed legislation he wanted. It is a first person account and therefore does not include some of the context or reflection that a third person account might have. The writing is fast paced and easily read. The book could easily have gotten bogged down in self-congratulation or unnecessary details. As you might expect from a policy wonk, there are a lot of acronyms, but otherwise it avoids many of the pitfalls that other books of this kind fall into. Co-author William Ecenbarger is a former reporter and I credit his influence with a great deal of the book's readability.
Baring some sort of disaster Mr. Evans will be elected to Congress in November and his tenure in the state legislature will end. I hope that at some point a scholar writes a definitive history of his time there. I'm sure there are a lot more stories to be told. The book left me wanting more, which is surely the sign of a well-written book.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
from the inbox:
New schedules for SEPTA’s City, Suburban and Victory Transit divisions go into effect beginning Sunday, September 4 and Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Most timetable adjustments are minor and are designed to account for seasonal changes in ridership and to improve customer service. However, SEPTA would like to alert passengers to the following service changes:
• Route 15: Trolleys return to service between 63rd Street and Girard Avenue and Frankford and Delaware Avenues following summer bus substitution due to a track renewal project. Buses will continue to operate on the portion of the route between Frankford and Girard Avenues and Richmond and Westmoreland Streets.
• Route 40: Added morning and afternoon weekday service. • Route 56: Added morning and afternoon weekday service.
• Routes 201, 204, 205 and 206: These routes will continue to operate on their current schedules as published online at www.septa.org. Schedules are subject to change with Regional Rail interim schedule changes and will be updated online.
• Norristown High Speed Line: Trains will operate on the current summer schedule until the end of the service day on Sunday, September 18, when the Radnor Station improvement project will be completed. A new schedule will go into effect beginning at the start of the service day Monday, September 19. Service information will be published on the System Status section of SEPTA’s website (http://www.septa.org/realtime/status/system-status.shtml) prior to September 19.
New transit schedules are available at SEPTA customer locations and online at www.septa.org. Riders can also access real-time service information by using the official SEPTA App available as a free download for both Apple and Android devices, and by following the @SEPTA Twitter feed. #