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Archive: April, 2010

POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 5:27 PM

Here's the press release:

Thursday, April 22, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 2:10 PM

Check out this month's cover story in The Atlantic about the nation's obesity problem. The story sites soda taxes -- an idea currently under consideration in Philadelphia -- as one possible tool to combat obesity.

An excerpt:

And where are the ideas of the CDC’s Thomas Frieden, arguably the administration’s most outspoken anti-obesity advocate? In an article that appeared in Health Affairs shortly after the unveiling of the first lady’s strategy, he advocated, among other measures: instituting “a tax of a penny an ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages”; increasing subsidies for fruits and vegetables; using zoning restrictions to keep fast-food restaurants away from schools; “removing unhealthy foods from all schools, child-care and health-care facilities, and government institutions”; and “completely eliminating” children’s exposure to food advertising on television (which he says could reduce childhood obesity by 15 percent). In February, I asked Frieden about the discrepancy between his approach and the White House’s, particularly on the soda tax. He responded quickly: “Price, if we learned from tobacco, is the single most effective way of reducing consumption, and I think there’s strong evidence that a soda tax would be very effective. But a soda tax is also very controversial and very challenging, and, as with tobacco, a lot of the innovation happens at the state and local level. And I would anticipate that some state or other will likely go before any national level in terms of taxing soda.”

POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 11:19 AM

City Council today gave final passage to a bill that cuts salaries for the Board of Revision of Taxes board members.

The legislation is not as drastic as Mayor Nutter's original proposal, which sought to slash BRT members' salaries from $70,000 to $18,700. Instead, Council approved legislation that would provide BRT members $150 for each day worked, not to exceed $40,000 a year. The chairman of the BRT would receive an annual salary of $50,000, down from $75,000.

Council approved the plan 16-1, with just Councilwoman Janie Blackwell voting against the measure.

POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 10:54 AM

For the third week in a row, a South Philly ward fight has moved into City Council chambers.

Supporters of Ed Nesmith – who took over as leader of the city's 2nd ward in October – again today showed up wearing t-shirts bashing Councilman Frank DiCicco. DiCicco is backing his aide Nick Schmanek for the gig. An election will be held in June.

The roughly 20 Nesmith backers today wore bright orange shirts that read “Recall DiCicco.” They also carried signs saying “DROP DiCicco,” a reference to the councilman’s participation in the controversial retirement program.

POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 9:34 AM

The District Attorney and police clash over whether former NFL star Marvin Harrison is a "person of interest" in a murder investigation.

Police officer charged with exposing himself during an investigation.

School District releases $3.2 billion spending plan.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 2:01 PM

Here's the release:


PHILADELPHIA, PA -City Council is announcing the addition of a public hearing away from City Hall and in neighborhoods where citizens are encouraged to provide testimony to Council members on their views and suggestions regarding the City's fiscal year 2011 budget. These hearings will encompass the City's Five Year Plan so that citizens may testify concerning any aspect of concern to them.
Details on the scheduled hearing are:
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m..
Mt. Airy Church of God
6401 Ogontz Avenue
Requested by Councilmembers Marian Tasco (9th District) and Donna Reed Miller (8th District)

POSTED: Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 10:59 AM

We've got a good story today on the debate over whether murder charges should be filed in cases where a crime victim dies many years after sustaining injuries.

John Baer says it's time to think about ending the state liquor stores.

State Sen. Anthony Williams, who is running for governor, has drawn criticism for a campaign ad in which he throws a cardboard box in a trash can.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 12:26 PM

PhillyClout dropped in on another gubernatorial forum last night -- this time on job training and the state's workforce -- where the four Democrats and two Republicans rarely found areas of disagreement.  The one exception was the controversial topic of school vouchers, the redirection of public money for private tuition. 

State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, a Democrat, is funding his run largely through big donations from people interested in vouchers and other school reform topics.  The Republicans, state Attorney General Tom Corbett and state Rep. Sam Rohrer, also favor vouchers.  Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, a Democrat pitching himself as the most progressive candidate in the race, said he opposes vouchers.

Hoeffel serves on the development committee of the Community Partnership School in Philadelphia, which serves pre-kindergarten to fourth-grade students and takes no public funding.  The school participates in the state's Education Improvement Tax Credit program, started in 2001 to give corporations state tax credits in return for donations to schools.

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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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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