Archive: February, 2010
Clout wonders: Is a family fued brewing in the race for a state representative seat?
Philly man found guilty in Montgomery County Court of assaulting a police officer.
Get ready for the "cutest casino you've ever seen.
More snow hits city. Is it spring yet?
Here's the press release:
City Deactivates Emergency Operations Center
Plowing Operations Will Continue
Code Blue Remains in Effect
PHILADELPHIA, PA –With the winter storm winding down, Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City of Philadelphia Managing Director Camille Cates Barnett, PhD and Streets Department Commissioner Clarena I. W. Tolson have announced that the Snow Emergency declared for Philadelphia will be officially over at noon today, and the City’s Emergency Operations Center has been deactivated.
Commissioner Tolson asks residents to continue to follow regulations so crews can continue to safely and effectively remove snow from the roadways:
Park vehicles at least 20 feet from the corner, as required by law. Cars parked too close to the corner limit our ability to salt and plow roads.
It is dangerous and illegal to shovel or plow snow into the street. Placing snow in the street after it has been cleared will create dangerous icy patches.
Please place snow in a safe place on your property so that snow mounds do not obstruct the cleared pathway.
Drive with caution as black ice is expected to form on the roadways.
Clear a sidewalk path at least 30” wide within 6 hours of the end of the storm.
Clear snow from neighborhood sewer drains to allow melting snow to drain.
Stay tuned to local media for updates.
If your car has been towed from a Snow Emergency Route, call 215-686-SNOW for its location. Do NOT call 911.
Heck, it's going to be snowing like crazy tonight. So put on your PJs, warm up some nice hot chocolate and tune in to the Pennsylvania Cable Network tonight at 8 pm to watch the Journalists Roundtable show.
Moderator Bill Bova discusses the Tea Party movement, the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll and the races for governor and the U.S. Senate with Dennis Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jim Panyard of the Pennsylvania Independent and PhillyClout's own Chris Brennan of the Philadelphia Daily News.
U.S. Sen. John McCain has a new campaign video up on the web that uses a local attorney to attack J.D. Hayworth, the Congressman turned radio talk show host who is challenging McCain in the Arizona Republican primary election. McCain's ad compares Hayworth to Philip Berg, a Montgomery County attorney who unsuccessfully sued in federal court to challenge President Obama's election, based on the debunked theory that he was not born a United States citizen.
The state of Hawaii's Department of Health has verified Obama's birth certificate and the Republican governor of that state has vouched for its veracity. Check out Factcheck.org's take on the issue here.
McCain's ad uses clips of Hayworth pushing the subject. He also compares Hayworth to Orly Taitz, a dentist and attorney who has gone to court several times to challenge Obama's citizenship. Here's the money shot McCain lays on Hayworth, Berg and Taitz -- "The only difference between these people? Only one is running for the U.S. Senate."
Berg locally has vowed to challenge in court the city's ban on motorists using cell phones while driving. He won a similar case in Bucks County that overturned a similar law there.
Looks like another Boyle is taking a shot at the state House of Represenatives.
Kevin Boyle, younger brother of state Rep. Brendan Boyle, is leaving his job in City Council to make a Democratic run for the 172nd District in Northeast Philadelphia, a seat currently held by Republican John Perzel.
“The people of the northeast deserve a state Representative who’s not on his way to jail,” Boyle said. Today is his last day working in Council and he plans to formally declare his plans to run for the seat over the weekend.
Perzel, who has held the seat since 1979, is charged with using state money for political purposes as part of a state attorney general probe of the General Assembly known as “bonsugate.”
Boyle, 30, has worked as legislative director for Councilman Bill Greenlee for the past two years. A veteran of his brother’s three bids for office, he said he is ready to hit the campaign trail, where he plans to focus on public safety and jobs for the northeast.
“I’ve run three state house campaigns basically against the Perzel machine,” he said. “The party leaders in Harrisburg have certainly encouraged me to run.”
A Lower Merion school official pushes back against accusations of spying on students via webcams.
More gruesome details of a West Philadelphia doctor under investigation for abortions that turned deadly.
Police say the arsonist at Gamble and Huff headquarters was drunk.
Violence plagues city youth.
Councilman Bill Green will tomorrow introduce legislation on the controversial issue of elected officials in the Deferred Retirement Option Program.
But this bill may move a little more smoothly than previous attempts to reform DROP. Green plans to introduce an ordinance that would bar future elected officials from DROP. The legislation would formalize locally what is already in state law.
DROP lets city workers set a retirement date up to four years in advance. At that point, their pension benefit is frozen and they start accruing pension payments in an interest-bearing account. Workers then receive those payments in a lump sum when they retire. Elected officials have also entered the program -- six council members are currently enrolled -- and a loophole allows them to run for re-election and resign for a day to get their payout and then return to office.
Critics say the program is not designed for elected officials. Still, several attempts to block elected officials from DROP -- by both Green and Mayor Nutter -- have failed in City Council. But a piece of state legislation passed in the fall to provide Philadelphia with budget assistance, also dictated that elected officials may not enter deferred retirement programs.
Green says he has Council support for the ordinance, which would not affect those currently in DROP or already in elected office.
“I’d like to think that the debates that happened in City Council on this issue are what inspired state action and that we in City Council deserve credit for raising and debating this issue,” Green said.
A blizzard-weary group of city officials today said they were ready for another storm, expected to blast through Philadelphia tomorrow, leaving up to a foot of snow.
“We want the citizens of Philadelphia to know that the city is prepared to take on the latest challenge,” said Mayor Nutter’s Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister at a news conference this afternoon.
A snow emergency will go into effect at 9 a.m. tomorrow and trash collection will be cancelled today and tomorrow so that streets department workers and equipment can be used for plowing. Residents with Thursday or Friday trash collection will have to wait until their regular day next week.
Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson said 450 pieces of equipment would be deployed, along with 700 personnel. But the city will be open for business tomorrow.
The snow continues to do a number on the city’s budget. After three massive winter storms, Mayor Nutter has said the city’s winter snow costs could be as high as $15 million. Officials today said the total bill could still exceed that number.
Mayor Nutter was not at the news conference because he was in Washington DC for a meeting of the US Conference of Mayors. He is cutting that trip short to return to Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon, Armbrister said.
Mayor Nutter is scheduled to be in Washington DC today and tomorrow for a meeting of the US Conference of Mayors. But with snow predicted tonight and tomorrow, we kind of wonder if he'll be taking Amtrak back early.
Do you think Nutter will miss the opportunity for another snowto-op in front of the news cameras?
UPDATE: We're just back from a briefing about the storm. And yes, the mayor is scheduled to come back tomorrow ahead of schedule.
Is the city considering charging a trash fee to help balance the budget?
A woman was shot by police yesterday after she stabbed an officer.
John Baer writes about state Sen. Tony Williams' "quixotic" bid for governor.
New poll shows that most voters don't know who they'll support in the primary elections for senate and governor.