Por favor, den la bienvenida a Estrella-Capital | Thursday Morning Coffee

Hola a Todos!

When they gathered in the Capitol rotunda last month to kick off Pennsylvania’s observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, Latinx leaders from across the Commonwealth made one thing very clear: At nearly 1 million strong, Pennsylvania’s Latinx population is the fastest growing — and the youngest — demographic in the state. And they have political clout.

So, it is to this very dynamic and varied group that we say this:

Amigos, hoy estamos orgullosos anunciar el lanzamiento de nuestra edición en español, Estrella-Capital. Busque los artículos más importantes de la semana del gobierno estatal, en español, cada jueves y domingo. Solamente en Pennsylvania Capital -Star.

For the rest of you:

Friends, today we’re proud to announce the launch of our Spanish-language edition, Estrella-Capital. Look for the week’s most important state government stories, in Spanish, every Thursday and Sunday. Only on the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. 

The launch of this new effort reflects something that’s core to our values as a news organization: Making sure, as much as we can, that the diverse myriad of voices that make up the public life of the Commonwealth finds a place, and are elevated, in our pages.

You can read the first stories published under the Estrella-Capital banner, displayed prominently in the middle of our home page, this morning. First up, it’s Stephen Caruso’s consumer’s guide to making sure you’re registered to vote in time for next month’s general election. And you can read Elizabeth Hardison’s explanation of how state lawmakers managed to accidentally strip school police officers of their arrest powers.

More stories, ably translated by Harrisburg-area resident and educator, Bella Altman, will be added later in the week. Our goal is to have at least four stories a week, in Spanish, for our Latinx readership.

We’re also pleased to announce this morning that we’ve entered into a content-sharing relationship with The Central Voice, the newspaper of central Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ inviduals in Pennsylvania and nationwide scored a big win with the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015. But as we’re so often reminded, it’s still entirely legal in Pennsylvania for someone to lose their job, or to be denied housing or accommodation because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

And next week, on Oct. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on a trio of cases that go to that very issue.

So we’re pleased to bring you an analysis of what’s at stake in those pivotal cases by Lancaster attorney Sharon Lopez, as well as information on how you can sign up for a free bus ride from Harrisburg to Washington D.C. to attend a protest outside the Supreme Court that day.

A historical marker is unveiled outside Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Tribune photo)

These new initiatives to reflect the voices of all Pennsylvanians comes on top of our ongoing collaboration with The Philadelphia Tribune, the Black newspaper of record for the state’s largest city, as well as columns by Harrisburg resident Anwar Curtis, who, every other week, tells the stories of the people of Pennsylvania’s capital city.

All of these efforts, along with our ongoing #PAForward project, which aims to provide evidence-based responses to Pennsylvania’s biggest public policy challenges, exist for one reason, and one reason only: To make sure that, no matter where you live in Pennsylvania, you’re armed with the information and data you need to make decisions on the issues that affect your everyday life.

All of us here at The Capital-Star are either from Pennsylvania, or we’ve made it our home for a number of years. We care about the public life of this state, the welfare of its citizens, and the future of its children. And we’re working hard every day to give you as full a picture of the business of state government as we possibly can.

We want you to see yourselves in our stories, columns and videos. If you have questions or story ideas, we want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].

WikiMedia Commons

Our Stuff.
State lawmakers are once again debating how to help the victims of predator priests. Elizabeth Hardison runs down the results of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the matter — and what we know about the issue as a result. 

Tanqueray and chronic? The very busy Stephen Caruso has what you need to know about one Democratic lawmaker’s push to not only legalize recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and older, but to have it sold in Pennsylvania’s more than 600 state-owned liquor stores.

Elizabeth Hardison gets you smart fast on a new report that finds the state isn’t keeping up with the funding needed for increasingly costly special education programs.

The state is going to start to expedite the pardons process for people with minor cannabis convictionsSarah Anne Hughes reports.

On our Commentary Page, Marc Stier of the Pennsylvania Budget & Policy Center would like to debunk five myths about raising the minimum wage.

(Patrick Feller/Flickr)

Elsewhere.
Philadelphia’s proposed safe-injection site does not violate federal law, a judge has ruled. The Inquirer has the story.
Pittsburgh’s sports journalists are breaking the mold and ‘not just sticking to sports,’ Pittsburgh City Paper reports.
Gov. Tom Wolf wants Pennsylvania to join a multi-state carbon tax programPennLive reports.
At a town hall meeting in the Lehigh Valley, U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th Districtdefended the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump, but insisted she’s not taking her eye off the ball on other issues, the Morning Call reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

Residents of Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood weren’t thrilled about the judge’s ruling in that safe-injection site case, WHYY-FM reports.
The state Health Department has concluded that ‘serious lung injuries’ can be tied to vaping. Which seems reasonable if you’re inhaling chemical-laced steam. The PA Post has the story.
President Donald Trump is trailing the Democratic front-runners in Erie County, according to a new Mercyhurst University poll. PoliticsPA has the details.

What Goes On.
The House Democratic Policy Committee once again takes it show on the road, this time to scenic Delaware County, for a 10 a.m. on ‘jobs and the labor market.’ This exercise in creative per diem spending will take place at IAM Local Lodge 1776 in Essington, Pa.

WolfWatch.
Gov. Tom Wolf
 holds a 9 a.m. newser in the Reception Room to make ‘a major environmental policy announcement.’ (Spoiler: It’s the carbon tax thing we mentioned up above)

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
11 a.m.: 
Golf outing for Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre.
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon.
Hit both events, and give at the max, and you’re out a mere $10,500 today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to Michael Anthony Smith, a DJ for WRVV-FM in Harrisburg, who celebrates today. Congrats, sir. Enjoy your big day.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s a chill song from veteran singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet. It’s ‘Summertime Thing.’

Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
The Toronto Maple Leafs 
started their new season with a win, beating Ottawa 5-3 on Wednesday night.

And now you’re up to date.

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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