WEATHER: Philadelphia, a.m. showers, high of 79; Harrisburg, partly cloudy, high of 81; Pittsburgh, sunny, high of 80.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* The expletive-filled emails that led to former DEP Secretary John Quigley’s resignation went public. Quigley urges activists to attack “gas-shilling” Republicans and compared state environmental hearings to “Russian show trials,” the Harrisburg Patriot News reports.

* About 20 doctors gathered at a South Philadelphia community clinic to promote the health benefits of Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed soda tax, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

* Capping off a day of awkward press events, after inviting reporters along to visit a crumbling city jail, Kenney abruptly ordered the assembled media to leave, Philadelphia Magazine reports.

* “Hulk” actor Mark Ruffalo wrote a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf urging stricter state regulations for fracking operations, the Patriot News writes.

* Meanwhile, state environmental regulators dropped $9 million in fines against driller Range Resources for allegedly contaminating wells with methane, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

* The PA Supreme Court rejected a final attempt by Bill Cosby’s legal counsel to delay his sex assault trial, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

* Allentown’s downtown hockey arena and surrounding parking lots, built with public assistance, have been exempted from taxes after a court ruling, writes the Morning Call.

* A judge sanctioned the Philadelphia DA for not turning over cell phones for examination in a lawsuit related to a deadly 2013 downtown building collapse, reports the Inquirer.

* Results are finally in for the tight primary race between former Democratic state Rep. Jesse White and opponent Joe Szpara – White lost, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

* A whistleblower, Ralph Bailets, who helped trigger a far-reaching investigation into the PA Turnpike commission, is suing for back pay, writes the Patriot News.

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

* Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump would “bankrupt America like he’s bankrupted his companies,” ABC News reports.

* States like California have seen a huge surge in Democratic voter registration since Trump effectively clinched the Republican nomination, writes Politico.

* Clinton declined to debate Bernie Sanders in California. The Vermont senator had previously agreed to participate in another debate, according to CNN.

 

************

Be among the first to explore the all-new cityandstatepa.com, which now features First Read and the latest issue of City & State PA magazine!

************

 

EDITORIAL PAGES:

* A Daily News editorial applauds the School District of Philadelphia’s charter school office for doing its job and refusing to approve renewal of some operators.

* Daily News columnist Solomon Jones needs someone to be found culpable for the murder of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

* The Inquirer has a point/counterpoint on replacing fossil fuels.

* An Inquirer editorial wonders why the PA Department of Transportation has been selling driver’s license information to a company that hasn’t ensured safeguards against identity theft.

* Dick Polman uses his Newsworks blog to make short work of specious Republican claims that Hillary Clinton gets preferential treatment from the media.

* The Intelligencer editorial board wholeheartedly endorses the current effort to strengthen the state’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.

* Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen writes, in an op-ed appearing in the Intelligencer, that those who try to limit the rights of transgender people are on the wrong side of history.

* The PennLive editorial board calls on Gov. Wolf to give non-union state employees, whose salaries have been frozen for years, a raise at least equivalent to the one unions just got.

* The Post-Gazette editorial board sends out a strong call to action to fix the locks on the Upper Ohio River.

* A Tribune-Review editorial asserts that there was no choice but for Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley to resign from his post.

* An op-ed by National Review online editor at-large Jonah Goldberg in the Tribune-Review asks a simple question: Why do liberals hate science?


 

************

Want to subscribe to City & State PA’s monthly magazine? Just send an email to David Alpher atpublisher@cityandstatepa.com and get the details!

************

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To US Rep. Charlie Dent, PA Rep. Karen Boback … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at editor@cityandstatepa.com

 

TODAY’S SKED:

10 a.m. – Philadelphia City Council Committee of the Whole will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. – The PA House Children and Youth Committee will meet. Room B31, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

11 a.m. – The PA Senate Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Courtroom 253, City Hall, Philadelphia.

11 a.m. – The PA Senate will reconvene.

1 p.m. - Philadelphia City Council Committee on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

4:35 p.m. – Gov. Wolf will be interviewed on KDKA with Robert Mangino and Shelley Duffy. To listen online, clickhere.

6:15 p.m. – Mayor Kenney will give remarks about the important health services, advocacy and education Planned Parenthood provides for the City of Philadelphia at the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA Spring Gathering. The Westin Philadelphia, 99 S. 17th Street., Philadelphia.

7:30 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will congratulate honorees and share his support for the creative economy in Philadelphia at the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia Awards Celebration. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.

 

***********

Want to advertise in First Read?

Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at dalpher@cityandstatepa.com for details.

***********

 

KICKER: "It’s hard to blame the mayor if he felt uncomfortable with photographers snapping his picture while he toured an outdated city jail...But then why did his staff invite the press in the first place?” Reporter Jared Brey asks the obvious after Mayor Kenney ejected the media from a prison visit his office had organized. From Philly Mag.