Archive: February, 2012
We expect Former Governor Ed Rendell, who again violated his own vow of silence Monday by speaking about his plans for an investor group to buy the Daily News, Inquirer and Philly.com, will today declare that he is speaking no more on the matter. We also expect to hear from him again later this week, since this pattern is well established.
New City Council President Darrell Clarke is interested in cutting down on the number of weeks when council doesn't meet. We learn this during a week when council won't meet on Thursday because Monday was Presidents Day.
A mother waits for justice for a son slain by an off-duty cop in a dispute over a slice of pizza.
And Valerie Russ takes a look at a visit to Philadelphia by Malcolm X just before he was assassinated.
Today, on President’s Day all city offices are closed and City Council will not meet this Thursday.
That’s right. Council’s next session will be March 1. It is a part of a long time tradition in which during weeks of a federal holiday Council does not meet.
“It’s always been odd that Council didn’t meet in a week in which there is a holiday,” said Zack Stalberg, president of political watchdog group Committee of Seventy.
City Council president Darrell Clarke had hoped to change the age-old tradition, but there was a miscommunication between offices.
"The absence of a Council session on the calendar [this] week because of a federal holiday is the result of an oversight in our office,” Clarke said. “We are reviewing Council's meeting schedule and will make adjustments so it better enables us to conduct the business of the City."
Although there is no public meeting there is still a lot of work that gets done, Stalberg said, but he hopes Clarke looks into the matter.
Former governor Ed Rendell said he’s giving the media the silent treatment after a week of news articles, columns and blog posts that criticized his efforts to lead a group of investors interested in buying Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of the Daily News, Inquirer, Philly.com and SportsWeek.
President Rick Santorum? Huh?
Who needs college anyway?
A Chester takeout restaurant is again the scene of violence.
A group of 11 voters from six state House Districts -- including three in Philadelphia -- asked the state Supreme Court today to force state House Speaker Sam Smith to order special elections to fill those vacant seats. As we noted in the Clout column [third item] today, the election calendar is in flux because the Supreme Court last month tossed aside the reapportionment plan approved in December to redraw the lines of state House and Senate districts.
Today's legal action, filed by Philadelphia attorney Kevin Greenberg, asks the Supreme Court to compel Smith to set the special elections for the six vacant house seats by next Friday. The petition calls that "the last day on which the Speaker can issue the writs of election for the special elections under the Election code in time for the next ensuing primary." The filing notes that 350,000 people live in the six House districts, saying "emergency relief" is needed to make sure they are represented in the House.
It had been widely expected that Smith would schedule the special elections for April 24, the same day as the primary election. Winners in the special election would serve out the year but still need to win the November general election to claim a full two-year term starting next January. Smith has not acted on the matter.
* Through a spokesman, Smith said he must wait until the new reapportionment plan is created and approved by the Supreme Court before moving on the vacant House seats.
"Speaker Smith is mindful of the impact this situation has on citizens who live in these vacant districts and the potential financial impact it has on the counties who clearly would prefer to hold the specials on the same date as the primary"," his spokesman, Steve Miskin said. "These concerns are clear and valid, but the law is equally clear in that he does not have authority to issue a writ until a final plan has the force of law."
Three of the House seats representing Philadelphia are vacant because of resignations. Jewell Williams [197th District in North Philly] became Philadelphia's sheriff. Kenyatta Johnson [186th District in South Philly] and Denny O'Brien [169th District in Northeast Philly] resigned to take seats on City Council.
The original reapportionment plan moved the 169th seat to York County but it came back to the city when the Supreme Court's action effectively reset the district lines to where they were drawn in 2001. The state redraws those lines every 10 years, based on the latest U.S. Census information.
* This post was amended Saturday morning with these comments.
The Quarterly City Manager’s Report, released Wednesday shows the city may wind up spending more for unemployment compensation and in overtime costs for crime-fighting projects like Operation Pressure Point.
According to the report, the city projects it will spend $22 million more than the Target Budget and $4 million more than the budget adopted by City Council.
The Police Department projects it will spend $2.5 million more in overtime due to Occupy Philly ($1.5 million), the movement against corporate greed and Operation Pressure Point ($1 million), a citywide program launched in 2008 to focus on crime hot spots.
Occupy Philly protesters were evicted from City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza on Nov. 30. Construction of Dilworth Plaza began recently for the project which includes an ice-skating rink and a café.
Meanwhile, the Fire Department projects it will spend $4 million more than expected due to higher overtime costs due in part to no new firefighter class and an increase in the number of fire fighters injured on duty.
Landlords are fuming over PGW lien policy.
And in this week’s Clout, the Streets are at odds and we bid farewell to Council’s longtime spokesman Tony Radwanski: a class act.
Prayers are answered for 10 Catholic Schools.
A South Philly mom was shot dead in her home.
This morning City Council honored Philly’s first African-American mayor, a medical practitioner, a high school basketball coach, an educator, a state representative, an ordained minister, president of the Philadelphia Tribune, a former talk show host, a community leader and Philly’s first Poet Laureate for Black History Month.
“In Philadelphia we have so many people who add to the quality of life of Philadelphians,” said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. who sponsored the resolution to honor those he described as “living legends.”
The honorees included Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. Walter P. Lomax, Bill Ellerbee, Dr. Walter Palmer, state Rep. Louise Williams, Dr. Audrey Bronson, Robert Bogle, Sonia Sanchez, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah, Mary Mason, Sonny Hill, and Gamble & Huff.
The resolution was sponsored by all 17 members of City Council.
Hello, 21st Century: Two city councilmen plan to introduce bills that would make it much easier for folks to contest parking tickets and code violations including those from the Streets Department.
Chris Brennan says there's some tension in the new-look City Commissioners Office.
Neighbors say an accused murderer has always been a threat to his Tacony neighbors.
Cops have an attempted murder warrant for the woman who abandoned her newborn in a cardboard box in December.
Ronnie Polaneczky weighs in on the effort to make taxi cabs wheelchair-accessible.
At the annual Christopher J. Perry/ Carter G. Woodson Black History Awards Luncheon today three distinguished leaders were honored at the Union League of Philadelphia in Center City.
Catherine Hughes, Founder of Radio One; Rev. Dr. Thomas W.S. Logan Jr., a revered canon and civil rights activist and Acel Moore, a Pulitzer Prize Winning retired Newspaper Columnist received the History Makers Awards for their outstanding achievements.
“Each one is a trailblazer. Each has played a key role in the history of our city,” said Mayor Nutter, who spoke at the event before throngs of community leaders, activists and city officials.
“I am profoundly honored to receive this and to be in the presence of others that have achieved,” said Moore, describing it as “one of the most significant” awards he has received. “It makes me more humble about what I have done.”
The event was hosted by the Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest African-American newspaper in the country.
Poll shows Mayor Nutter is doing pretty well, but residents have concerns about crime, education and the economy.
Union yesterday protested against the meddling owners of the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer.
So, there’s a House Resolution that declares 2012 “The Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania.