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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2009

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 3:19 PM

We just got this press release from the Managing Director's office:

Update on Philadelphia's Preparedness Regarding Swine Flu

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health continues to monitor the condition of the international traveler arriving at the Philadelphia International Airport from Mexico on Monday, April 27. The traveler, who was experiencing flu-like symptoms, was transported to Methodist hospital upon her arrival at the airport.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 12:45 PM

Mayor Nutter today said Sen. Arlen Specter's plans to switch to the Democratic party shows that the Republican party is "out of touch with mainstream America."

"Sen Specter has been a great American, great public servant, he’s served the interests of Philaedelphia and Pennsylvania, but also the nation very well," Nutter said. "Certainly, that’s a personal decision he’s making. But I think it demonstrates that the Republican party is so out of touch that there’s no room for great moderate like Sen. Specter."

UPDATE: Nutter added that he was very excited to hear the news. "Welcome home, Sen. Specter," he said.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 11:36 AM

Organizers of Philadelphia's annual professional bicycle race met with Mayor Nutter this morning to disucss the fate of cash-strapped race. But they left City Hall with the decision still up in the air.

The folks behind the TD Bank Philadelphia Cycling Championship announced last week that they had only raised $1.2 million of the $1.7 million needed to put on the event, due to less sponsorship interest and a new city rule that requires they pay for services like police and street cleaning. They set a deadline of April 27 to decide if the June 7 race would go on. But yesterday, they stalled for an extra day.

Organizer Dave Chauner said he expects to put out a statement by 5 p.m. today on the plans for the race. He said the funding gap is now around $400,000, due to contributions made over the past week.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 11:00 AM

Mayor Nutter just wrapped up his weekly visit to City Council President Anna Verna's office on City Hall's fourth floor, fresh from a trip to Harrisburg yesterday to push his plan to close a $1.4 billion gap in the city's five-year financial plan.  Nutter is in a bit of a bind -- he needs the state General Assembly to approve his plans to boost the local sales tax by one cent and to push the city's pension fund payment obligations down the road.  Meanwhile, City Council is flirting with the notion of raising the city's wage tax, which has drawn a negative reaction from Gov. Rendell and the same state legislators Nutter needs on his side.

Nutter said said he heard concerns about the wage tax while meeting with legislative leaders yesterday.  He passed them along to Verna today but described that as only a small part of their discussion. "I did share briefly the comments that we heard in Harrisburg about any effort to raise the wage tax," Nutter said. "But that was not a large part of our conversation today."

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 10:42 AM

As you probably know, tomorrow marks President Barack Obama's 100th day in office. Check out this Associated Press story which details how Obama is doing on his campaign promises.

An excerpt:

He's broken some promises:

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 8:04 AM

Former state Sen. Vince Fumo, convicted in March on 137 federal counts of conspiracy and obstruction of justice, is fighting with the feds about forfeiting $4 million.

Posts on YouTube and Twitter lead to complaints about police brutality after a South Street concert Sunday.

A pair of aspiring police officers are laid to rest after being murdered in Grays Ferry last week.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 7:00 AM

Mayor Nutter is set to make a business announcement today. Check out the release:

MAYOR NUTTER, DEPUTY MAYOR ANDY ALTMAN TO ANNOUNCE $3.4 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESSES AND LAUNCH OF BUSINESS LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM

Philadelphia, April 27 – Tomorrow Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Deputy Mayor Andrew Altman will announce $3.4 million in awards to small businesses throughout the city. The funding programs represent the latest roll-outs in the Commerce Department’s ongoing neighborhood-based economic development strategy, and are expected to create hundreds of new jobs beginning within the next three months. Additionally, a third initiative, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation’s (PIDC) Business Loan Guarantee Program, will be launched.

POSTED: Monday, April 27, 2009, 2:22 PM

Democratic Controller Candidate Brett Mandel today said he would do everything in his power to get back the $8 million the city has sought from the Philadelphia Eagles for years. Mandel held a press conference outside Lincoln Financial Field and promised to withhold required operation and maintenance payments to the team until the issue is resolved.

This dispute started when the city sought $8 million from the Eagles in promised skybox revenue at Veterans Stadium for the 2000 and 2001 season. The Eagles didn't pay up and then blamed the city for turf problems at the stadium that caused a 2001 pre-season game to be canceled. The Eagles said that that cost them $8 million.

UPDATE: Here's a response from current City Controller Alan Butkovitz, courtesy of Daily News reporter Dave Davies:

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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