Friday, February 27, 2015

Nutter Puts "Christmas" Back In Village After Controversy

Breaking News from City Hall:

Nutter Puts "Christmas" Back In Village After Controversy

Crews had removed the word "Christmas" from the sign at Dilworth Plaza. (Vance Lehmkuhl / Staff)
Crews had removed the word "Christmas" from the sign at Dilworth Plaza. (Vance Lehmkuhl / Staff)

Breaking News from City Hall: 

Christmas is back.

Mayor Nutter, after sustaining two days of controversy, wants "Christmas" back up on the signs at the entrance to the German Christmas Village at City Hall.  Nutter told PhillyClout he spoke with the village organizer and the sign should be back up by tomorrow. 

Nutter said the decision came after "personal reflection" on the matter.

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"We are an international, multi-ethnic, multi-faith city," Nutter said. "I took some time to step back from all of this to think about it in a larger context."

Nutter, who said he had nothing to do with the orignal conversations with the organizer that lead to the letters being removed, downplayed how much impact the national news coverage had on the decision. Nutter said that he felt the village was not necessarily a religious site.

"The Christmas Village is not a religious service. It's an outdoor fair. It's a very commercial enterprise," Nutter said.

The tempest in a holiday teapot kicked off Monday when workers were spotted taking the word Christmas off the archways into the traditional German Christmas Village outside City Hall in Dilworth Plaza. The organizer took down the word after Managing Director Richard Negrin told him the city had received complaints.

In a statement yesterday, Thomas Bauer of the German American Marketing, Inc., said the move was in "response to what the Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia asked for."

Negrin said that he never specifically asked for the word to be removed, but talked with Bauer about the complaints.

"He's a great guy who saw a problem, who was trying to help me," Negrin said.



About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to
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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
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to
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