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Archive: October, 2009

POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2009, 7:41 AM

We go behind the scenes of the final state budget negotiations, with this story on Gov. Rendell's policy advisor Donna Cooper.

John Baer reviews the aftermath of the state budget battle.

Councilman Bill Green's profile is increasing on City Council.

POSTED: Friday, October 9, 2009, 6:26 PM

Top mayoral aide Pauline Abernathy, who took a leave of absence from the administration over four months ago, has decided not to return to the mayor's office.

Abernathy told PhillyClout she will remain instead with the Institute for College Access and Success, a non-profit she helped launch.

"It was a really hard decision," Abernathy said. "The mayor could not have been more gracious and supportive."

POSTED: Friday, October 9, 2009, 4:16 PM

Someone crept onto the 22-acre SugarHouse casino construction site in Fishtown last night or this morning and slashed the hydraulics lines on heavy equipment -- a bulldozer, crane, back hoe and dump truck -- after the project's investors held their ground-breaking ceremony yesterday.  Workers discovered the damage when they reported at 6:30 a.m. for work and spent a couple of hours making repairs.

"Construction didn't stop," said SugarHouse spokeswoman Leigh Whitaker, who put the tab for repairs at under $5,000. "We were back in business in a couple of hours."

Casino-Free Philadelphia held a loud rally with about 50 protesters during yesterday's event, using bull horns to try to drown out remarks by the investors and guests like Mayor Nutter and Councilman Frank DiCicco.  The group today said it had no role in the vandalism.  Here's the group's statement:

POSTED: Friday, October 9, 2009, 1:13 PM

Is today the day that the long budget battle will finally end in Harrisburg?

Our buddy John Micek, at the Allentown Morning Call, is reporting that the state Senate is on track to send the budget to Gov. Rendell. Today marks 101 days that the state has been without a budget.

POSTED: Friday, October 9, 2009, 8:27 AM

After months of talk, City Council moves on the issue of reforming the Board of Revision of Taxes.  Here's some of the things legislation introduced by Councilman Bill Green yesterday would do.

PhillyClout's Friday column introduces you to Gerard Shotzbarger, the city's new jury commissioner, who is still disputing a contempt of court fine from last November.

SugarHouse breaks ground for its Fishtown casino with Mayor Nutter and Councilman Frank DiCicco on board and 50 angry protesters just outside a gate under the watchful eye of police.

POSTED: Thursday, October 8, 2009, 3:40 PM

Chris Brennan is out at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Sugarhouse casino, at Delaware Avenue at Shackamaxon Street in Fishtown.  And he reports that the anti-casino movement is out in force. The groundbreaking is a private event, but the protesters are about 30 yards away, causing a ruckus with bullhorns.

A banner plane is circling overhead with a message that says "Crime, poverty, addiction...jackpot" About 50 protesters are waving signs and chanting: "Our city our say, no casino no way."

Casino investor Dick Sprague waved to the protesters as he was driven onto the sight. "They put up a good fight," Sprague said later of the activists.

POSTED: Thursday, October 8, 2009, 1:49 PM

We just got this from the White House press office:

Obama Administration Delivers More than $14 Million for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Projects in Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, DC– Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will receive $14,108,700 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and conservation activities. Under the Department of Energy’s Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, Philadelphia will implement programs that lower energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and create green jobs locally.

POSTED: Thursday, October 8, 2009, 1:45 PM

Mayor Nutter says he is supportive of the legislation to reform the Board of Revision of Taxes introduced today by City Council.

“The legislation today that was introduced clearly addresses the principles I laid out on Tuesday,” Nutter said, adding that he hoped for swift passage of the bill.

Nutter said he supports the broad strokes of the bill, which would eliminate the BRT by 2011 and splits their  responsibilities between a new Office of Property Assessment and a Board of Property Assessment Appeals. But he said he remains concerned about the BRT employees who are on the School District payroll.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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