Archive: May, 2012
Inside the underground dirt bike culture in Philadelphia.
John Baer says the shake up in Gov. Corbett's cabinet is standard operating procedure for a first-term governor.
Planning commission gives partial approval to expansion of Finnegan's Wake in Northern Liberties.
There’s always room for compromise.
City Council’s Committee on Streets and Services approved a bill sponsored by Councilman Bill Greenlee that would require that the city’s bike lanes be approved by Council.
Under the bill, a bike lane that requires the removal of a parking lane, a travel lane or both must be authorized by City Council. At the end of the hearing Greenlee amended the bill again to allow for an 8-month trial period for pilot bike lanes which was a major sticking point for the Nutter Administration.
The New York Times had a great piece yesterday about public pension funds counting on interest rates that many experts think are unrealistic in today's economy.
From the story:
While Americans are typically earning less than 1 percent interest on their savings accounts and watching their 401(k) balances yo-yo along with the stock market, most public pension funds are still betting they will earn annual returns of 7 to 8 percent over the long haul, a practice that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently called “indefensible.”
Check out this release from Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown:
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown holds public hearing to examine the role of women serving on Executive Boards in the Philadelphia
“If You’re Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu.”
Check out this report from Jason Nark about a rise in interest in LSD.
Do Philly cops need to work on their communication skills? A look at some negative encounters police have had with the public.
Soldiers from minority backgrounds were honored on the Parkway yesterday.
It never hurts to have a back-up plan.
Should Mayor Nutter’s proposal to move to a new property-tax system based on market values fail to be implemented or is applied revenue neutral Council president Darrell Clarke introduced four bills today that would provide the School District an additional $85 million either through an increase in the Use and Occupancy tax –which applies only to commercial and industrial property owners or an increase in real estate taxes.
“We may not even use these measures we just want to be in a position as we get closer to a time when we will have to vote we have every potential opportunity,” Clarke said.
A key complaint from critics of Mayor Nutter’s property tax plan is that the public does not understand how they will be impacted by the proposed move to a system based on market values.
But city officials today said they are planning two public information campaigns in the near future – one to explain the plan, known as the Actual Value Initiative, and the other to let people know how to apply for a homestead exemption to lower their assessment.
Of course, AVI – which would change the way property taxes are levied, as well as potentially bring in $94 million in additional revenue for school - remains very much up in the air. City Council hasn’t signed off on the plan and neither has the state, which must approve a shift in millage rates as well as grant permission for the city to offer a homestead exemption. So there are more questions than answers at this point.
City Council gave unanimous approval yesterday to a bill sponsored by Councilman Bill Green that would let people contest tickets issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority via the Web, email, mail or fax. Currently, those who want to challenge a ticket must show up for a hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication.
“We wanted to create an option for people to appeal their parking tickets online or via email, really any electronic means so that they didn’t have to take a day off of work and lose $100 pay in order to save $24 on a ticket,” Green said.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said the Mayor will sign the bill into law. BAA director Jerry Connors said portions of the proposal will be phased in starting in the fall. Connors said the BAA will also need to beef-up on staffing.