The big bang theory? PA senators want to legalize fireworks for state residents

By   /  July 3, 2015  /  Government Regulation, Legislature, Media, News, Ohio, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Regulations, Video, West Virginia  /  No Comments

Photo by Rachel Martin

Three Pennsylvania senators say they will introduce new legislation ironing out the lack of logic in current fireworks law.

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Pennsylvania family forced to pay $500 for a chance to keep girl’s tree house

By   /  June 12, 2015  /  community, Government Regulation, Issues, Local Government, Local News, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Power Abuse, Regulations, Video  /  No Comments

Photo by Rachel Martin

Elise Truchan has learned some lessons in her first run-in with bureaucracy.

“I’ve learned that people lie,” is unfortunately one of them, her father recounted to Watchdog.org.

Elise built an elaborate tree house for a eighth-grade school project — complete with sliding plexiglass windows and a rope ladder for entrants more coordinated and less wimpy than this reporter. But her family is now fighting to not have to immediately tear it town.

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Contest for controller’s office ugly but important for taxpayers

By   /  June 3, 2015  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, Local Government, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Politics, Politics & Elections, Taxes, Transparency, Video, Wasteful spending  /  1 Comment

best from annual report presser - photo by Rachel Martin - cropped further

On primary election day, voters in Allegheny County decided they were concerned with how their tax dollars are spent. They re-elected a controller who’s insisted on not just checking the numbers, but also looking at efficiency.

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Erie eatery an example of innovative business launch campaign – without government

By   /  May 25, 2015  /  community, Economy, Jobs + Growth, Local News, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Technology, Video  /  No Comments

Screenshot from Kickstarter video

Downtown Erie now hosts a restaurant with an innovative birth. Like My Thai began as a pop-up restaurant, but thanks to local professor’s ingenious program, the husband-wife team now has a restaurant of their own that has done so well that, one weekend, they had to turn some folks away.

Quickstarter is an innovative program for new-business development in the Erie region that assists “pre-entrepreneurs” design tailored fundraising projects, giving them a fuller toolkit to launch themselves into the fundraising arena – and into the marketplace at large.

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Could minimum wage increase save taxpayers billions on welfare?

By   /  April 21, 2015  /  General, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Video  /  No Comments

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org
PITTSBURGH — Taxpayers are on the hook for billions each year in welfare to working families. That’s one message organizers of the “Fight for 15” campaign are trying to drive home.
“I shouldn’t have to be on welfare, when I work my ass off,” Ashona Osborne, participant at a rally in […]

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Could minimum wage increase save taxpayers billions on welfare?

By   /  April 21, 2015  /  Jobs + Growth, Labor, News, Pennsylvania, Video  /  No Comments

Photo by Rachel Martin

It’s an idea that gets at something not often discussed in the national debate over hiking the minimum wage: Maybe it’s not just companies versus workers, or government versus companies. Maybe taxpayers are a vital part of the equation, paying to support both halves of an unhealthy relationship that has exploded onto the streets in the past year.

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