Endangered-threatened species bills

Written by John Hayes on .

Learn more about bills in the state House and Senate that would change the way Pennsylvania protects endangered and threatened species.

Senate Bill 1047.
House Bill 1576.

Read Post-Gazette coverage here, here and here.

Supporting the bill:
Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Camp Lessee’s Association, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association.
Link to the position statement of Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State Camp Lessee's Association.

Opposing the bill:
Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Pennsylvania Trapper’s Association, Pennsylvania Chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, Izaak Walton League of America, Pheasants Forever, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Read the Trout Unlimited position statement below:

Today (Jan. 9), Pennsylvania’s largest sportsmen’s groups joined forces to send a strong message to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly:  Hunters and anglers throughout the Commonwealth oppose House Bill 1576 and Senate Bill 1047.

The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania Trapper’s Association, and the Pennsylvania Chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, the Izaak Walton League of America and Pheasants Forever, sent a letter to Pennsylvania legislators today urging them to put science before politics, when it comes to fish and wildlife conservation.  Collectively, these groups represent more than 100,000 sportsmen and women in Pennsylvania—a constituency that generates nearly $1.5 billion annually for the state’s economy.

At issue are House Bill 1576 and Senate Bill 1047—two bills that would fundamentally change how the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission operate, when it comes to establishing protections for sensitive fish and wildlife in the commonwealth. 

“Both the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission currently have a transparent, rigorous process for listing species and wild trout streams that is based on science, while at the same time limiting bureaucracy, and overregulation,” said Melody Schell of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.  “These bills seek to bury our commissions in regulatory obstacles that will not fix the problems that the proponents of the bill are seeking to address.”

The bills would eliminate the independence of Pennsylvania Fish and Boat and Game Commission by subjecting their decisions to designate wild trout streams, or to list threatened or endangered species, to review by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and legislative committees.

“It is clear that the proposed bills are intended to slow down, or even bring to a halt, the process of listing wild trout streams and as a consequence, streams where wild trout are present are left unprotected, ” said Brian Wagner, president of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.  “As the recent Act 13 Supreme Court ruling pointed out, the Commonwealth has an affirmative duty to protect natural resources—including fish and wildlife—for current and future generations.”

Pennsylvania has a long and proud tradition of allowing independent commissions staffed by nationally-recognized wildlife and aquatic experts to manage the fish and wildlife of the Commonwealth without undue political interference. These bills would end that tradition and undermine the longstanding independence of the Game Commission and the Fish & Boat Commission and severely limit their ability to protect Pennsylvania's threatened and endangered species—opening up the door for increased federal oversight and potential loss of federal funds under the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Funds.


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Empty Netter Assists - 01-26-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. “They outworked us. A lot of times, they were first on the pucks and more physical in the puck battles. When they’re first and physical, it makes it tough to recover pucks.” - Tanner Glass.

-The Dallas Morning News' recap. "We were sharp, quick and crispy, and it worked out for us." - Stars forward Cody Eakin.

-The Asssociated Press' recap. ''That team's really good. We were able to play a lot better than them. We dominated the power play and the penalty kill. Overall, it was a great effort.'' - Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

-Highlights (so to speak):

-Evgeni Malkin had to fend off Stars forward and fellow Russian Valeri Nichuskin:

-Dallas Brenden Dillon tried to split Olli Maatta and Matt Niskanen:

-Sidney Crosby followed through on this one-timer:

-Happy times for the Stars:

-Saluting times for Lehtonen:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Craig Adams speaks:

-"He's a guy who just continues to get better. He's played a lot of power play at different times and really done a good job of that. He's just continued to get better, but probably the biggest thing is when he's been put in different situations, he's just handled it well and has played really consistently for us." - Sidney Crosby on Matt Niskanen.

-"Where he is right now, in terms of his career, he's in a good spot. In terms of the progression he's made and his maturity, on and off the ice, I think that's coming. Even though he's not [in the NHL now], we still believe he's a very good prospect for us and will be an NHL player, for sure." - Ray Shero.

-A shootout goal by Tom Kuhnhackl gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 2-1 win against the Norfolk Admirals. Eric Hartzell made 33 saves for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Zach Sill left last night's game in the third period after taking a skate to the forearm. There was no update on his status.

-Mike Condon made 27 saves for the Wheeling Nailers who lost to the Cincinnati Cyclones, 4-1.

-Today would've been the 64th birthday of former Penguins coach Ivan Hlinka. Hired in the 2000 offseason, Hlinka spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 2000-01, he guided the club to a 42-28-12 record as well as a memorable run to the Eastern Conference final during that seasons' playoffs. After four games and a 0-4-0 record in 2001-02, Hlinka was fired and replaced by Rick Kehoe. The only Czech coach in NHL history, his career regular season record with the Penguins was 42-32-12. Hlinka was killed in a 2004 car accident in the Czech Republic at the age of 54.

-Happy 55th birthday to former Penguins forward Mark Taylor. Acquired early in the 1983-84 offseason along with Ron Flockhart, Andy Brickley and draft picks in a deal which sent Ron Sutter and draft picks to the Flyers, Taylor spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. he finished 1983-84 by appearing in 59 games for the Penguins and scoring 55 points. After 47 games and 17 points in 1984-85, Taylor was traded to the Capitals in exchange for for Jim McGeough. In 106 games with the Penguins, he scored 72 points.

-After the Jump: An outdoor game in Southern California.

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'Ride Along' still in driver's seat of box office, No. 1 again

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube are riding high again, with “Ride Along” the No. 1 movie for the second week in a row. “Lone Survivor” continues to attract patrons with its real-life story of an ill-fated Navy SEAL mission while “I, Frankenstein” could use a jolt of the paddles to bring it to box office life. 
Not registering in the top 10 is “Gimme Shelter,” playing only at AMC-Loews at the Waterfront and Cinemark Tarentum in the Pittsburgh area. It’s on just 385 screens (compared with the 3,472 of “The Nut Job” and 3,387 of the new Jack Ryan movie) and brought in $720,950 in its first weekend. 
Here are the early estimates courtesy of Rentrak: 
1. “Ride Along” — $21,161,530, bringing its North American gross so far to $75,406,840
2. “Lone Survivor” — $12,600,570, for $93,614,531 since release. 
3. “The Nut Job” — $12,316,000, or $40,271,245 in two weeks. 
4. “Frozen” — $9,035,000, for $347,816,000 and that’s before this weekend’s sing-along hits theaters. 
5. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” — $8,800,000, or $30,168,133 so far. 
6. “I, Frankenstein” — $8,275,000. 
7. “American Hustle” — $7,100,000, nudging its running gross to $127,038,753.
8. “August: Osage County” — $5,041,000, for $26,526,501 to date. 
9. “The Wolf of Wall Street” — $5,000,000, edging toward the $100 million mark with $98,030,454.
10. “Devil’s Due” — $2,750,000, or $12,885,963 since last week’s release. 

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Alfonso Cuaron seems Oscar bound with DGA win for "Gravity"

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .


A report from the Associated Press about the DGA Awards which likely will signal an Oscar win for the director of “Gravity.” 
By Jessica Herndon 
AP Film Writer
bullockLOS ANGELES (AP) — Alfonso Cuaron was awarded the top film honor from the Directors Guild of America for “Gravity” on Saturday night. 
In the recent bustle of Hollywood shows, “Gravity,” David O. Russell’s con caper “American Hustle,” and Steve McQueen’s historical epic “12 Years a Slave” were competing in the tightest three-way Oscar race in years. But the win gives Cuaron’s lost-space-saga an edge on the journey to the Academy Awards. 
With 10 Oscar nominations, Cuaron’s film is likely to gain the most Academy Awards this year. “American Hustle” also has 10 nominations, while “12 Years a Slave” has nine. The early momentum of “12 Years a Slave” has begun to deflate following this evening’s upset and the results of the Golden Globes. McQueen’s film was nominated for seven Globes, but only took home one — best motion picture, drama.
However, it is unlikely “12 Years a Slave” will go home empty-handed on Oscar night, as actress Lupita Nyong’o, who is nominated for the best supporting Oscar, is the likely favorite. 
Earning the DGA award makes Cuaron a near shoo-in to win the best director Oscar on March 2. The Directors Guild recipient nearly always goes on to claim the same prize on Hollywood’s biggest night. 
In the 65-year history of the DGA awards, the winner has failed to also take home the best director Oscar just seven times. Ben Affleck, who presented Cuaron with his guild award, won the same accolade last year for “Argo” but was denied a best director nomination at the Oscars. However, like many DGA winners, “Argo” went on to win the best-picture prize at the Oscars. 
While accepting his trophy, Cuaron recalled looking at satellite images of Earth from space. 
“What you cannot see from up there is this bizarre experiment of nature that is the human experience,” said Cuaron, a first-time DGA winner. “That experiment is what directors try to sort out with our films. Thankfully, that experience is as diverse as the films as these filmmakers make.” 
Cuaron also thanked his son and “Gravity” co-writer Jonas Cuaron. 
Sandra Bullock, the star of “Gravity,” was on hand to applaud Cuaron for his honor. While introducing the director for his nomination speech, Bullock joked that she could barely understand her director while shooting “Gravity.” 
“I had no idea whether ice meant ice or ice,” she said, pointing to her eye. Later, Cuaron shot back at the actress, saying that actors feel that the universe revolves around them. When he looked over at Bullock, she pointed to her ear and mouthed, “I can’t understand you.”
Jehane Noujaim won the documentary prize for “The Square,” which was acquired by subscription service Netflix last year and depicts the tumult of the Egyptian Revolution beginning in 2011. 
“I’m very humbled and very grateful,” said Noujaim, whose previous documentaries include “” and “Control Room.” “This film is the most deeply personal film I’ve made, watching my country change before me when I never thought change was possible. It redefined my understanding of what was possible.” 
Receiving the loudest applause of the evening were diversity award recipients Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. 
“We are being given an award for something all of us should be doing anyway,” said Rhimes. “There is such a lack of lack of people hiring women and minorities that when someone does so on a regular basis they are given an award. There shouldn’t need to be an award. The lack of diversity in Hollywood is not because of the lack of talent. It’s because of the lack of access. People hire their friends. If it’s been a white boy’s club for 70 years, that’s a lot of white boys hiring one another. Rock some boats. Something original is what the public is starving for.”
Steven Soderbergh, the “sex, lies, and videotape” and “Ocean’s Twelve” filmmaker, won the TV movie and miniseries prize for HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra,” which recounted the relationship of Liberace and his lover Scott Thorson. 
Soderbergh, who once served as a DGA first vice president, was also honored with the Robert B. Aldrich Award for his service to the guild. 
“Sometimes you feel empty, and you’re just overwhelmed and you look and see how willing your team is to carry you forward, and you get an extra burst of energy, and you keep going,” said Soderbergh while accepting his first-ever DGA award. 
“Breaking Bad” mastermind Vince Gilligan was also honored with his first DGA award for directing the series finale of the AMC drama. 
Other winners included: 
— Comedy series: Beth McCarthy-Miller, “30 Rock.” 
— Reality: Neil P. DeGroot, “72 Hours.” 
— Variety special: Glenn Weiss, 67th annual Tony Awards. 
— Children’s program: Amy Schatz, “An Apology to Elephants.” 
— Variety series: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live.” 
— Commercial: Martin de Thurah, Hennessy VS and Acura MDX 2014. 
Other than the Writer’s Guild Awards on Feb. 1, there are no major awards before the Oscars. Hollywood’s high season goes quiet for a few weeks as several thousand members of the motion picture academy have the last word with their balloting. 
Jane Lynch hosted Saturday night’s untelevised DGA awards with presenters including Bullock, Tom Hanks, Ben Affleck, Don Cheadle, Kerry Washington and Steve Coogan.
AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang contributed to this report.
Photos: Sandra Bullock arrives at the DGA Awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on Saturday, and “Gravity” director and winner Alfonso Cuaron poses with last year’s winner, Ben Affleck, in the press room. Photos by Richard Shotwell Invision/AP.


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Leo and Jonah do Jack and Rose "Titanic" move on "SNL"

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

snl top jonah-leo 01 


Who says Leonardo DiCaprio hates anything related to “Titanic”?

He just reenacted the scene where Jack holds Rose and she throws her arms out and feels like she’s flying – but with Jonah Hill during the comedian’s monologue on “Saturday Night Live.”

Host Jonah confessed he was “acting like a big shot,” after DiCaprio stepped out and said, “I knew this was going to happen if you got nominated. You don’t have to pretend anymore, you’re a real actor now. You should be humble now, you should be gracious. Get it?”

And then Hill asked his “Wolf of Wall Street” co-star if they could repeat their on-set maneuver that calmed him down. That's when they did the signature "Titanic" move. Great way to start the show, immediately followed by a commercial for "Wolf."  

Both men are nominated for Oscars for Martin Scorsese's "Wolf of Wall Street."  Below, an NBC promotional photo for Hill's "SNL" hosting stint. snl top hill 01


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