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Archive: December, 2011

POSTED: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 2:08 PM

Incoming Council president Darrell Clarke is hosting a meet-and-greet luncheon with returning and incoming members at the Capital Grille in Center City this afternoon –raising questions as to whether it will constitute a violation of the Sunshine Act.

The meeting was held in a private room at the back of the restaurant at 1 p.m.  Members had to walk through the kitchen to get to the dining area to reach Clarke and members Bill Greenlee, Bill Green, Wilson Goode Jr., Marian Tasco, Jim Kenney, Curtis Jones Jr., Brian O’Neill and Blondell Reynolds Brown. Incoming members Cindy Bass, David Oh and Bobby Henon also showed-up.

According to the Sunshine Act at least nine current members would need to be present to constitute a quorum of the body. Clarke insisted that no public business would be conducted during the lunch. Yet, at least three members said there would be some discussion about official business.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 12:22 PM

Criminal-defense lawyer Jimmy Binns gets heated over neighbor’s loud air-conditioner.

Sandusky circus begins, but he waives preliminary hearing. Check out columns about the case by John Baer and Rich Hofmann.

Opponents of a Neighborhood Improvement District for the Callowhill area claim to have enough property owners to kill it.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 5:14 PM

The investors behind the Foxwoods casino project in South Philly say they have filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court of a Nov. 10 Commonwealth Court ruling, which rejected their request to order the state Gaming Control Board to hold a hearing to reconsider the revocation of their casino license.  PhillyClout earlier this afternoon, based on available court records, reported that the investors had missed a 30-day deadline to file the appeal.

Manny Stamatakis, one of the investors, said a petition for the Supreme Court to review the Commonwealth Court ruling was filed before 5 p.m. Monday.  The 30-day deadline fell on Saturday, giving the investors until the first business day of this week to file, he explained.  The filing, made in the Supreme Court's offices in Philadelphia, has not appeared on the official docket as of this afternoon.

The Gaming Control Board, thinking no appeal had been filed, said earlier today that it expected to begin accepting applications "relatively soon" for the Philadelphia-based casino license.  The 2004 state law that legalized casino gambling in Pennsylvania set aside two casino licenses for Philadelphia. The other license went to SugarHouse, which opened on the Delaware riverfront in September 2010.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 9:07 AM

Mayor Nutter will veto a controversial wall-wrap bill that City Council passed Dec. 1 despite a letter from the state saying that it violates federal law and jeopardizes federal highway funding for the city.

Occupy Philly may be over at City Hall's Dilworth Plaza but the homeless people who were once part of the protest continue to look for a place of their own.

A cop fired after visiting a bar in his patrol car is found not guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol because the breathalyzer machine used in his arrest was faulty.

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011, 7:38 PM

Updated:

A bill passed by City Council last week that would give a $200 annual tax credit to condo and co-op owners who do not receive regular trash pick-up will not become law.

Mayor Nutter described the measure today, sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney, as “inappropriate.”

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011, 2:58 PM

The Philadelphia Board of Ethics just announced that it has fined Michael Quintero Moore, communications director for Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, $3,800 for using office equipment and staff for political purposes.  The board also fined Kacy Nickens, another Miller staffer, $300. Both staffers must resign their jobs and are prohibited from working for the city for one year.

The board's staff in October accused Moore of 16 ethics violations, including producing on City Hall stationery an endorsement letter from Miller in the Democratic primary election for Verna Tyner and a news release about that endorsement.  He also produced fliers for the 59th Ward, in support of Tyner

Moore printed thousands of political fliers in Miller's office and told Nickens to prepare them for distribution. Moore was also accused of deleting computer files to hide his actions and of refusing to cooperate with the board's staff, as required by the city charter.

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011, 10:40 AM

It’s City Council 101 for the soon-to-be freshman.

The six incoming members will get a crash-course today on the legislative ins and outs of Council during a freshman orientation in City Hall at 11 a.m. in the Caucus Room.

The orientation led by Charles McPherson, Council’s chief financial officer; Herb Wetzel, executive director of Council’s housing and community development committee; Michael Decker, Council’s chief clerk and Hal Fichandler, special assistant to City Council. It will focus on the rules and procedures of Council. Some members of City Council’s new leadership team will also be present.

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011, 10:35 AM

Here’s how the defense should handle Penn State’s circus.

Little news at the Pennsylvania Society’s annual weekend retreat in New York City.

Philly’s favorite –Cardinal John Patrick Foley, 76, died yesterday.

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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