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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: March, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, March 22, 2012, 10:16 AM

Natalie Pompilio takes a long look at the tension between longtime Point Breeze residents and a young developer who has built 150 homes in the neighborhood -- and also had his windows shot out.

Polina Kadiyska, the Bulgarian ballerina who was killed earlier this week by a hit-and-run driver, had just finished a performance before she was fatally injured.

Councilman Bill Green is backing a bill that would exempt hedge funds from paying business taxes.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 2:10 PM

Note: This post has been updated to include comments from the Mayor and the Boy Scouts' attorney.

A federal judge ruled today that the city must pay the Boy Scouts $877,122.07 in legal fees and denied the city's request for a new trial in the ongoing saga over the city's efforts to evict the Scouts from their headquarters due to anti-gay policies.

The city now must pay up because Judge Ronald Buckwalter denied their request for a new trial. Mayor Nutter yesterday said the city was reviewing the opinion, calling the legal bill a "significant expense."

POSTED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 1:08 PM

We just got this release from Mayor Nutter, hailing a new arbitration award for the city's 2,000 correctional officers. The Inquirer wrote about this today, but one thing we think is interesting is that in addition to putting new hires on a hybrid 401K-Pension plan, current workers will have to start paying in more towards the traditional pension fund.

This is the direction the city would like to go with the city's municipal workers, who have been working without contracts . Wonder if this will put any more pressure on them?

Here's the release:

POSTED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 9:05 AM

Well this divorce just got weird: Allen Iverson's soon to be ex-wife wants him to name the women he slept with during the marriage.

Julie Shaw looks at the struggles of LGBT refugees in the United States.

A dancer from Bulgaria has died from injuries sustained after she was the victim of a hit-and-run in South Philadelphia.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 2:32 PM

City Budget Director Rebecca Rhynhart today told the city's financial oversight board that the Nutter administration plans to hire a financial advisor to guide them through the potential sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works.

A Request for Proposals for the job will go out in the next few weeks, Rhynhart told the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, though she stressed that the city was still early in this process. A consultant hired by the city estimated that the sale of the 175-year-old utility could net the city as much as $496 million in profit.

Mayor Nutter has said the city would only consider a deal if certain conditions were met, like the buyer honoring programs for low-income residents and current labor contracts. He held a press conference last month to announce that the city would start exploring the sale of PGW. (Here's a link to a Bloomberg story on that announcement.)

POSTED: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 2:10 PM

So there's a good chance city property assessors have already given your home a once-over as part of the massive reassessment effort underway.

Chief Property Assessor Richie McKeithen today told the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority that the city is about 70 percent through the daunting job of re-evaluating the city's 450,000 residential properties. The reassessment process is part of moving to a system that uses market values as the basis for property tax bills, rather than the current system, which is based on "fractional" assessments.

McKeithen said his team has noticed a lot of new construction that may not have been on the books before, but he said he couldn't yet tally the new construction, tear-downs or renovations. He said they expect to complete field work within the next two months and are on track to send out new assessment notices by October.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 8:44 AM

Women Against Abuse tells City Council's Committee on Public Safety that it served 615 victims last year but had to turn away another 7,705 requests at the city's only emergency shelter for abused women and their children.

While the city struggles with a fiscal crisis many big-name non-profits -- such as the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital -- operate on large swaths of land in Philadelphia without paying any property taxes.

Want to vote in the April 24 primary election?  Monday is the deadline to register.

POSTED: Monday, March 19, 2012, 6:16 PM

John Featherman, a perennial candidate for public office, revels in the attention from odd web-only ads. He's at it again, this time getting local radio veteran Ruth Weisberg to strip down to her birthday suit to take pot-shots at U.S. Rep. Bob Brady. 

In the ad, titled "The naked truth about the congressman," a naked Weisberg says "Bob Brady represents one of the poorest congressional districts in our country.  And more of us are poor now. Crime and taxes are rising.  failing schools are wracked by violence. Jobs are vanishing daily. And after 14 years in Congress, Bob Brady really wants to make things better...eventually."

The fact that Weisberg's breasts are barely concealed by a framed photo of Brady and a desk lamp doesn't exactly bolster Featherman's argument but will probably satisfy his need for attention. 


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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