The road trip may not rival Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but Joe Scarnati, president of the state Senate, says he'll consider joining environmentalists for a tour of gas land - Marcellus Shale country, that is.
Scarnati's chief of staff, Drew Crompton, said via e-mail that his boss would consider joining PennEnvironment on an RV trip to see the effects of gas drilling - providing the event is "not a publicity stunt."
PennEnvironment director David Masur says his group's offer is serious and is by no means a stunt.
"We want to give him the story he's not going to hear on a plane trip to the Super Bowl," said Masur. "We'd like to be able to show the senator that every day, hardworking Pennsylvanians are negatively affected by drilling - either their health or pocketbooks."
Masur said he had been inspired by a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blog suggesting the tour - a suggestion prompted, in turn, by The Inquirer's report that Scarnati had taken an expenses-paid trip to the Super Bowl courtesy of Consol Energy, a major gas and coal concern. Scarnati has said he is paying back the cost of that trip.
Crompton said Scarnati, a Republican, wanted to limit the drilling tour to his north-central Pennsylvania district. - Amy Worden
Long marriages abound in cabinet
They say bald eagles mate for life. So, too, it seems, do Gov. Corbett's nominees for top administrative posts.
Of 21 cabinet or cabinet-level positions named by the new governor so far, virtually all are married, and - in a statistic-defying feat - most are celebrating anniversaries well into the double digits.
As news releases began to roll out after Corbett took office Jan. 18, evident at the bottom of each was a line of data about length of marriage and number of children.
For instance: Agriculture secretary nominee George Greig, a Crawford County farmer, and his wife, Christine, have been married for 15 years and have six children.
In one case - perhaps a Harrisburg first - Corbett nominated a husband and a wife for top positions: Carol Aichele as secretary of state and Stephen Aichele as general counsel. The Chester County power couple have been together a whopping 39 years.
Only two agency chiefs named thus far are not hitched (though one is engaged). Corbett has yet to announce his picks for secretary of labor and industry and secretary of conservation and natural resources.
So we had to ask: Is the mentioning of each appointee's years of wedlock and number of offspring a conscious, Corbett-directed promotion of family and marriage?
No, said the governor's chief spokesman, Kevin Harley. He said the decision had been entirely his own. Harley said he had added those facts because he'd wearied of having to track down piecemeal answers to reporters' questions about nominees' marriage status.
As for the boss: Corbett and his wife, Susan, were college sweethearts who tied the knot 38 years ago.
So while he may have built his reputation as a crime-fighter, some could argue that Corbett might better be dubbed "the love guv." - Amy Worden