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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 12:13 PM

A Frankford woman was charged with setting 10 fires in the area in recent weeks.

Rick Hellberg was picked by a group of local GOP activists to be the new party chairman.

Good news for parents: city has a wide range of activities for kids this summer.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 2:24 PM

Could Harrisburg lawmakers derail Mayor Nutter’s property tax plans?

That was the question raised in a City Council budget hearing today as members debated Nutter’s proposal to shift to a property-tax system that uses market values and collect an additional $94 million for the school district along the way.

The city needs state enabling legislation to make the proposal a reality ­– both to adjust the millage rate down and to provide a “homestead exemption” that would lower homeowner’s assessed values to provide relief. But so far, Philadelphia’s state lawmakers have not all signed on to the plan.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 1:51 PM

Mayor Nutter today said he fully supported Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, after the fire union called for his resignation in the wake of a Kensington warehouse inferno that killed two firefighters.

The union Tuesday said that department leadership made tactical errors that led to the death of Lt. Robert Neary, 59, and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, 25 in the blaze on April 9. Among their criticisms was that fire commanders failed to set up a “collapse zone” — an area around the vacant, burning Thomas W. Buck Hosiery building — that should have prevented firefighters from getting too close to the blazing warehouse.

Nutter today called the criticisms "baseless" and accused the union of making personal attacks.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 9:19 AM

Check out the harrowing tale of a 2007 factory fire in Kensington.

Fire union wants Commissioner ousted over recent blaze that killed two firefighters.

Insurgent GOP faction makes a bid to take over party.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 1:03 AM

Neighbors on H Street in Kensington have been forced to deal with the remnants of a city-owned factory destroyed by arson fire in June 2007. Barbara Laker and David Gambacorta write in Wednesday’s Daily News about the problem with the hundreds of vacant factories and lots where factories once stood owned by the city.


POSTED: Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 9:17 AM

Council members reflect on their school days during budget hearings.

Councilman Green predicts AVI outcomes with a new calculator.

Buying vacant or abandoned land will get easier with a new city website.

POSTED: Monday, May 21, 2012, 2:58 PM

Councilman Bill Green today tried to shed more light on what will happen to city property tax bills under the mayor’s proposal to shift to a property tax system that relies on market values.

Green for weeks has been predicting that the move could prove to be a windfall for commercial property owners, because their properties are currently more accurately assessed than residential properties, which are collectively assessed well below their market values. As a result, he predicts that a shift to a tax system where a straight rate is placed on a market value could mean that business property owners in the aggregate could see their bills drop while residential property owners could see an aggregate increase.

Nutter’s plan to move to the new system, known as the Actual Value Initiative, sets a revenue goal that would memorialize two tax hikes billed as temporary and also bring in an extra $94 million for the cash-strapped school district.

POSTED: Monday, May 21, 2012, 9:07 AM

Former top cop John Timoney has been hired by the monarchy in Bahrain to clean up security forces accused of torture and brutality.

A 12-year-old jailed for ten days over a plastic toy gun is finally home with his family.

The union that represents blue collar schools workers will rally against cuts Wednesday.

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
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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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