Archive: March, 2010
Will Bunch travels to Florida to check out right-wing media lord Glenn Beck in action.
John Baer questions state Attorney General Tom Corbett's plans to sue over the new federal health care law.
How did the late City Councilman George X Schwartz get that middle initial?
We caught up with Managing Director Camille Barnett this morning to ask whether she plans to buy in to the city pension program.
Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky today took a whack at the program, which will allow Barnett -- who plans to leave the government in June after a little over two years in service -- to pay $120,451 into the fund in order to get a $49,880 annual pension. (The Inquirer first reported those terms last week.) Barnett isn't vested in the pension, but can credit previous years of public service to legally get the perk.
But will Barnett buy in? She declined to take our questions. "I don't have any comment about that," Barnett said.
According to the Clout column, 36 police officers guarded a press conference about flash mobs.
Mayor Nutter and state Rep. Dwight Evans endorse state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams for governor.
The fight between local and state Republican leadership continues with a battle over committeeman jobs.
Here's the press release:
EX-TECHNOLOGY CLERK PLEADS GUILTY TO CITY CELL-PHONE THEFT
Philadelphia, March 25, 2010- City of Philadelphia Inspector General Amy L. Kurland, District Attorney R. Seth Williams and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced today that Mona Lamberson, a former Division of Technology employee who stole 28 City cell phones and rented them out for cash, pleaded guilty in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court today.
Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel launched a preemptive political attack this morning on Mayor Nutter's endorsement of state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams for governor and then was subjected to an old-fashioned West Philly smack-down. Hoeffel's campaign issued a statement 24 minutes before Nutter was due to speak with Williams and state Rep. Dwight Evans, saying the endorsement was ironic because the mayor wants to improve public schools and Williams supports using tax money for school "vouchers" to pay for private tuition.
Williams, who likes to talk about "thinking outside the box," is a Southeastern Pennsylvania threat to Hoeffel since the other two Democrats in the race, Dan Onorato and Jack Wagner, are from Allegheny County. "Here we go with the box," Williams sighed when asked about Hoeffel's claim. "I guess Mr. Hoeffel and others will make their attempts to box me in on where I stand." Williams added that Hoeffel's "scare tactics" were motivated by concerns that kids from one school district might migrate to different districts if given the option.
Nutter, who does not support vouchers, said he could disagree with Williams on one issue and still support him. "That has nothing to do with my support for Sen. Williams and his strong support, which is documented, about the issue of education," Nutter said. "I'm not going to allow that to be some sort of wedge between us."
As expected, Councilman Frank DiCicco today introduced legislation that would increase the city property tax rate to raise revenues -- a move many council members seem to prefer over Mayor Nutter's proposed flat-rate trash collection fee.
Nutter has proposed a $300 per household trash fee and a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to plug a projected $150 million hold in the budget. Council has raised concerns about both measures, questioning the impact the taxes would have on the city's poorest residents. Nutter has said he is prepared to listen to alternate ideas.
Under DiCicco's proposal, the property tax rate would increase by 12 percent, with all the additional proceeds coming to the city. DiCicco said the hike would raise $107 million, the same amount Nutter's trash fee would collect. DiCicco said the bill is written to last only five years, and could be revised if the city needs less revenue than expected.
The New York Times had an A1 story today about the flash mob problem growing in Philadelphia. Check out their report here.
A Census estimate says the city population is growing.
Responding to flash mob violence with tougher enforcement, Mayor Nutter tells parents and kids to "stop the stupidity."
Gov. Rendell says state Attorney General Tom Corbett is favorite to be next guv.