What? The 39th most livable state capital? Harrisburg, they don’t know you like we do | Wednesday Morning Coffee

February 19, 2020 7:07 am

Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Take a moment to consider the city that some among us call home — or commute into every day.

Among other amenities, Harrisburg boasts a beautiful riverfront, a vibrant downtown, a diverse restaurant scene, a halfway decent minor league ball club, and quick access to the nation’s three biggest cities.

Yet, sometimes there’s just no pleasing some people.

Despite those amenities — and some towering challenges that still must be overcome — the wonks at the financial literacy site WalletHub have concluded that Harrisburg is among the least livable capital cities in these 50 states.

Harrisburg finished 39th in the nation as the best state capital to live in, according to a new ranking list based “on 49 key indicators of affordability, economic well-being, quality of education and health, and quality of life”, WalletHub concluded, adding that its data set included such factors as the “cost of living and K–12 school-system quality to [the] number of attractions.”

Source: WalletHub

If there is any comfort here at all, it’s that Harrisburg at least finished better than Dover, Del. (41), Charleston, W.Va., (49) and Trenton, N.J. (50). Inexplicably, however, the state finished in back of Albany, N.Y. (27), which no one would call the Athens of the east.

We can almost excuse finishing behind the postcard cute Annapolis, Md. (20). But, c’mon, Columbus, Ohio finished 6th? Seriously? The city that’s home to the most annoying college football fan cult that isn’t Penn State finished ahead of Harrisburg?

As we noted above, Harrisburg does have some challenges to overcome, notably the wide income disparities between a slowly, but steadily gentrifying, downtown and such poorer sections as Allison Hill. The schools are a mismanaged wreck. And there’s entirely too much crime. But even with those profound issues, we’re just gonna go all hometown proud for a minute and say that no one puts Harrisburg in a corner.

In case you were wondering, here are the Top 5 Most Livable Capital Cities: 

1. Austin, Texas
2. Raleigh, N.C.
3. Madison, Wisc.
4. Denver, Colo.
5. Lincoln, Neb.

And the Top 5 Least Livable Capital Cities:
1. Trenton, N.J.
2. Charleston, W.Va.
3. Carson City, Nev.
4. Baton Rouge, La.
5. Hartford, Conn.

Hit us up on Twitter, @PennCapitalStar, and tell us what you like the most about Harrisburg. Because, now, it’s personal.

Our Stuff.
Tuesday was the deadline for aspiring candidates and incumbent lawmakers alike to file their nominating petitions to get onto the spring primary ballot. And the Capital-Star has you covered:

Veteran state Rep. Rosita Younbglood, D-Philadelphiahas announced her retirementStephen Caruso reports. She was the first Black woman to ever hold a leadership position in the General Assembly.

Elizabeth Hardison has what you need to know about a very busy spring primary season for Republicans and Democrats in the state Senate, where half of the 50-member chamber is up for re-election this year.

New Capital-Star contributor Tom Squitieri goes deep on the fight to move up Pennsylvania’s April 28 primary, and why some experts believe it’s just not going to happen.

A top labor leader from western Pennsylvania says he’s ‘appalled’ by a pair of state House endorsements that Allegheny County Democrats made over the weekend. Charlie Deitch, of our partners at the Pittsburgh Current, has the story.

From our partners at the Philadelphia TribunePhiladelphians don’t feel safe in their own city, a new poll has found. But at one city elementary school, students are being equipped with the skills they need to flourish long after they leave the classroom.

On our Commentary Page this morning, opinion regular Mark O’Keefe has the One Big Reason that Gov. Tom Wolf probably isn’t going to get a user fee for the State Police this year. And after the PES fire, state Rep. Mike Zabel, D-Delaware, says Pennsylvania needs to do better for displaced workers.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. (Photo via WikiMedia Commons)

Reminding us that it’s never too early to have your morning ruined, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. … helped a campaign donor snag a Trump pardon, the Inquirer reports.
The major presidential candidates have all filed to run in Pennsylvania’s April 28 primary, the Post-Gazette reports.
The Pennsylvania Lottery says a lack of big jackpots and the rise of skill games ate into its profits, PennLive reports.
Allentown’s fourth school superintendent in 10 years has applied for a job in Nashville, the Morning Call reports.

Here’s your #Philadelphia Instagram of the Day:

Officials in Philadelphia have announced their public safety plan for the city’s supervised injection site, WHYY-FM reports.
The youngest children in the country are falling out of the health insurance system, reports.
Nevada Democrats are pushing to be put ahead of Iowa in 2024, Roll Call reports.

What Goes On.
Budget hearings roll on in the state House and Senate this morning. A reminder, House hearings are in the Majority Caucus Room, 140 Main Capitol, while the Senate meets in Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

House Budget Hearings:
10 a..m.: 
Dept. of State
1 p.m.: Dept. of Military and Veteran Affairs
3 p.m.: Dept. of Labor & Industry 

Senate Budget Hearings:
10 a.m.: Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs
1 p.m.: Dept. of Corrections/Probation & Parole
3 p.m.: Pa. Board of Pardons

Also today:
11 a.m., Main Rotunda: A rally supporting public safety workers
1 p.m., Main Rotunda: The Governor’s Food Safety Partnership, joined by local food banks, calls attention to food insecurity. And, if we had to guess, SNAP reductions in Washington.

Gov. Tom Wolf
 has no public schedule today.

Heavy Rotation.
The legendary English DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall died Monday at age 56. Here then is the track that’s his masterpiece, from his 1991 collaboration with Primal Scream, it’s “Loaded.” Play this one as loud as you possibly can in his honor.

Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Carolina skated past Nashville 4-1 on Tuesday night. The ‘Canes are still on the outside looking in for a wild card berth, but the Eastern Conference wild card race is ridiculously tight right now.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.