Radio PA Roundtable – September 6, 2013

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, we hear from PA’s two U.S. Senators  on the Syria question; NOAA researchers have a new global warming warning; and prosecutors in central PA are looking into a shared database of information that would, among other things, keep records taken off criminals’ cell phones.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting, commentary and analysis on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:

Pennsylvania PUC to Discuss Utility Response to Superstorm Sandy

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will hold a special electric reliability forum to hear from utilities that were affected by Superstorm Sandy.  It’s similar to the process that took place after Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and the October snowstorm of 2011.

In addition to reviewing how the utilities handled damage from Sandy, it will also give the PUC a chance to see how changes made since the storms of 2011 worked during last year’s hurricane turned superstorm.

PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says the forum will also bring all affected utilities together, so they can   hear from each other and share information about their successes.

The forum will be held at 1:30 pm, on January 10th in hearing room 1 at the Commonwealth Keystone Building on North Street in Harrisburg.

Kocher says Sandy caused double the damage to infrastructure such as poles, cross arms and wires compared to Irene. It was either the top or one of the top storms faced by the utilities. The storm caused 1.8 million Pennsylvanians to lose power. The storm hit the state on October 29th.  90% of those who lost service had their power back on by November 3rd.

Kocher says details from the forum will be made available on line at the PUC web site after the session.

Radio PA’s Top 10 Pennsylvania Stories of 2012 – Part 2

As 2012 draws to a close, Radio PA is looking back at the top 10 Pennsylvania stories of the year as voted on by the news staff and other members of the statewide media. In this installment, we reveal stories 7 through 5, beginning with a groundbreaking election victory.

Click the audio players to hear Radio PA’s recap of each story.

#7 – Kathleen Kane & the Democrats   2012Top10-7FINAL
Pennsylvania had never elected a woman as state Attorney General. Pennsylvania had never elected a Democrat as state Attorney General. In one night, Kathleen Kane shattered both of those barriers. Kane’s victory on November 6th was part of a Democrat Party sweep of Pennsylvania’s row offices, as Treasurer Rob McCord won re-election and State Representative Eugene DePasquale was selected the next Pennsylvania Auditor General. Political analyst Terry Madonna of F&M College in Lancaster says the victories have provided the Democrats with a “deep bench” for future statewide elections. Kane says she hopes her victory can show young women throughout the Keystone State that anything is possible. During her campaign, Kane repeatedly said she plans to investigate Governor Tom Corbett’s role in the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky (Corbett was the Attorney General who launched the Sandusky case and opponents of the governor have been critical about the timing and handling of the probe). The stage is now set for a contentious relationship between Tom Corbett and his former office in 2013 and beyond, and Kathleen Kane’s groundbreaking election win is Radio PA’s #7 Pennsylvania story of 2012.

#6 – “Superstorm” Sandy   2012Top10-6FINAL
The convergence of multiple weather systems in late October brought back memories of 1991’s “Perfect Storm,” but forecasters went with a different term to describe this one as the term “Superstorm” entered the media lexicon. The main component of this dangerous mix was Hurricane Sandy. As it approached the Mid-Atlantic region, emergency declarations were declared and states braced for the worst. In Pennsylvania, there were more than a dozen deaths associated with the storm, but the Commonwealth avoided widespread flooding and other major damage as Superstorm Sandy weakened immediately after coming ashore. New Jersey and New York were not so fortunate, as the storm surge wiped out entire communities. Power was out in parts of Pennsylvania for more than a week, with over 1.2 million customers out at the height of the storm. Parts of New York and New Jersey were out even longer as utilities tried to rebuild the damaged power grid. “Superstorm” Sandy blows in as Radio PA’s # 6 Pennsylvania story of 2012.

#5 – The Death of Arlen Specter   2012Top10-5FINAL
The Warren Commission’s “Single Bullet Theory,” the Clarence Thomas & Robert Bork SCOTUS confirmation hearings, the impeachment of President Bill Clinton…name a major story of the past 50 years and odds are you’ll find Arlen Specter’s name associated with it. The longtime Pennsylvania U.S. Senator died on October 14th of this year after a third round with cancer. Specter was PA’s longest-serving Senator, having served from 1981-2010. His defeat in the 2010 primary election came about one year after his controversial switch to the Democrat party, but the Kansas native was always a political lightning rod, sometimes voting counter to his own Republican party’s interests during his 30-year career in Washington. The moderate used his farewell speech in 2010 to chastise his former GOP brethren, who he claimed were engaging in “sophisticated cannibalism” by targeting fellow Republicans who don’t vote with the party 100% of the time. Specter was 82 years old when he passed away, but he leaves a fiercely independent legacy in a time when political parties are drafting further away from the political center. The death of Arlen Specter checks in as Radio PA’s #5 Pennsylvania story of 2012.


Check back soon for stories #4, #3 and #2…


National Guard Troops Almost Ready to Return to PA

The National Guard’s in-state response to Superstorm Sandy wrapped up several days ago, but some 450-Pennsylvania troops remain deployed in New York and New Jersey.  “The guys in New York are doing security work… they’re delivering supplies and delivering fuel all throughout New York City,” says Pennsylvania Adjutant General Wesley Craig.  “The troops in New Jersey are primarily re-fuelers and they’re supporting the New Jersey Guard because they have so many troops on active duty they need help re-fueling their own assets.”

Craig estimates the cost of these troops is in the $2.8-million dollar range, but says Pennsylvania will be reimbursed by New York and New Jersey. 

At the peak of the storm response, Major General Craig says 1,600 Pennsylvania National Guard troops were providing security & delivering supplies in the hardest-hit areas of eastern Pennsylvania. 

Craig expects all of the deployed troops to return to the Keystone State by the end of the week.

RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 11.02.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul sum up the impact of “Superstorm” Sandy and bring you details on the indictment of former Penn State University President Graham Spanier. Matt will also bring you an interview with incumbent state Treasurer Rob McCord after last week profiling his Republican challenger.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast: