Monday, June 26, 2006

Random Pennyslvania Factoid

Per capita personal income in Pennsylvania reached $33,257 in 2004 and ranked 18th nationally, according to the "Survey of Business", recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis ("BEA"). Per capita personal income in the Commonwealth increased $1,527 between 2003 and 2004 and has increased by more than $5,000 since 1999. Personal income in Pennsylvania totaled $435.4 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2005, 1.0 percent higher than the previous quarter ($431.2 billion) and 5.2 percent higher than the 3rd quarter of 2004 ($414 billion).

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Agriculture Factoid

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, sweet cherries are in peak season. Our state produces nearly 350 tons and ranks in the top 10 nationally in utilized production.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Rendell is Still Killing Swann

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Republican sacrificial lamb Lynn Swann has made no gains against incumbent Governor Ed Rendell in their race for Governor; Rendell now leads 55 – 31 percent.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Councilman Nutter Gets it Done: Smoking Ban Passes!

Philadelphia City Council has passed a bill to ban smoking in most restaurants and other businesses and public spaces in Philadelphia. The final vote was 9-6. The legislation includes exemptions for certain neighborhood taverns and outdoor caf├ęs. No word yet as to whether the Mayor will sign it. Thanks to Councilman DiCicco for casting the deciding vote.

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Philadelphia Business

Philadelphia Distilling - the state's first distillery since Prohibition - just began bottling "Bluecoat Gin" in a plant off Roosevelt Boulevard in the far Northeast.

Alternative Fuel Industry Update

According to PennFuture, Gamesa this week announced a $300 million agreement to construct 132 wind turbines for Shell WindEnergy Inc. at Gamesa's new Pennsylvania manufacturing facilities. The turbines will be fabricated at the company's locations in Ebensburg, Cambria County and in Fairless Hills, Bucks County. Gamesa's - a Spanish company - North American headquarters is in Philadelphia.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Friday Agricultural Factoid: One Day Late

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in 2005, 1,300 acres of strawberries were planted and harvested in the Commonwealth. Production was 5,400 pounds per acre, totaling 7 million pounds overall. The average price paid was $1.83 per pound, making it a $13 million industry in Pennsylvania.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Eddie Loves Farms

According to the Governor's office, Ed Rendell committed a record-setting $150 million investment for farmland preservation this year. Pennsylvania took another step in its commitment to agriculture by investing $18 million to preserve an additional 49 farms and 4,989 acres at its State Farmland Preservation Board meeting this week. Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of farms and acres preserved with 2,883 farms and 328,355 acres since the program began in 1988. The Governor committed $150 million for farmland preservation this year.

Historic SDP & Building-Trades Partnership to Benefit Philadelphia Public School Students

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, an historic agreement was signed this week that will provide building-trade apprenticeships for public school graduates in Philadelphia. "We are about to create a new middle class," said Philadelphia School Reform Commission chairman James Nevels. The agreement stipulates that the building-trades unions will accept at least 250 and up to 425 apprentices over the next four years. These apprenticeships offer the opportunity for public-school students who don't plan to go to college to eventually get union work as bricklayers, electricians, carpenters, plumbers and painters, positions that can pay between $20 and $40 per hour.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Councilman Michael Nutter

Councilman Nutter has a new website up; check it out and find out more about the man who could (and should, in my humble opinion) be our next Mayor.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Philadelphia High School Takes Top Honors

A few weeks back, 20 students from Father Judge – a Catholic boys' school in Northeast Philadelphia – beat out approximately 2,500 high school students from across the country and 190 other countries to win top honors at a competition at the United Nations in New York. Father Judge won the coveted “Secretary-General's Award” for amassing more points than any other school.

Monday, June 05, 2006

CHOP's to Build $400 Million Facility

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ("CHOP") plans to build a $400 million, eight-story facility on some of the former Civic Center site in University City. CHOP's 558,000-square-foot building will be dedicated to "translational research", encompassing "turning basic science research into real-life treatments and cures for a variety of diseases and disorders." CHOP's long-term plans call for building out the research facility to as many as 22 stories depending upon future need.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Wawa Lands at Northeast Philadelphia Airport

A new Wawa store opening on grounds of Northeast Philadelphia Airport, the first Wawa located on airport grounds. The store is new design prototype encompassing 5,700 sq-ft, approximately double the size of most stores. This Wawa will have a deli, bakery and gas, and will feature technology for “contactless” credit-card transactions. The store will employ around sixty. It will be Wawa's 41st store in Philadelphia. Wawa is a privately held company based in Wawa, Delaware County that has more than 500 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Agricultural Factoid

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, our state's dairy industry represents 42 percent of PA agriculture and has 8,900 dairy farm families who care for 561,000 cows that produce 10.5 billion pounds of moo juice. Nationally, Pennsylvania ranks 4th in milk production, 3rd in butter production, 6th in cheese production and 8th in low-fat ice cream production.

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