Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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POSTED: Friday, July 25, 2014, 4:13 PM
Mayor Nutter posted this photo on Twitter. "Great conversation with Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo, discussing climate change, bike share, student exchanges and jobs," he wrote.

The news that the Republicans have chosen Cleveland for their 2016 national convention has buoyed hopes of Philadelphia’s tourism infrastructure that the Democrats will select Philadelphia for their convention.

“We think New York is our number one competitor,” Julie Coker Graham, vice president of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Pennsylvania Convention Center Board at its monthly meeting Friday. She said that because the Republicans chose Cleveland, it is unlikely that the Democrats will choose Columbus, Ohio. That leaves Philadelphia, Birmingham, Phoenix and Brooklyn in the running.

The Democratic National Committee’s site selection team, she said, will travel by bus from Brooklyn to visit Philadelphia on Aug. 13 and 14, staying at the Radisson Blu Warwick. If the Democrats do pick Philadelphia for the 2016 event, she said, most of the convention action would take place at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, but the Convention Center would host many caucus meetings.

POSTED: Thursday, July 24, 2014, 11:15 AM
Mayor Nutter posted this photo on Twitter. "Great conversation with Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo, discussing climate change, bike share, student exchanges and jobs," he wrote.

Mayor Nutter and a delegation of Philadelphia business leaders arrived in Paris early Thursday morning for a six-day visit the administration is billing as a “business development trip … focused on promoting cycling, commerce and investment in the city.”

The administration said the mayor will be meeting with his Paris counterpart, Mayor Anne Hildago; professional cycling executives; and chief executives of “a range of French businesses,” including Saint-Gobain, which has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge.

Nutter has taken previous, official trips to London, Tel Aviv and Tianjin, China, and his staff said the Paris voyage “builds on the goals and successes” of those sojourns, which promoted the city as “a world-class destination for tourism and an excellent location for businesses to consider.”

POSTED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 10:40 PM
File photo: The large vacant lot at 1801 West Courtland St. is shown in the foreground with the homes on Gratz Street in the background on April 25, 2014. An audit raises the question of whether the city overcharged property owners for clearing vacant lots. (CHARLES FOX/Staff Photographer)

If you were one of hundreds of bad neighbors who let your vacant Philadelphia property get so run-down a few years ago that the Department of Licenses and Inspections cleaned it, sealed it and sent you the bill, here’s a question:

Were you overcharged?

An audit by the City Controller’s Office for fiscal year 2012 found that L & I overcharged at least four property owners by 34 percent for cleaning and sealing their properties. Controller Alan Butkovitz said Wednesday that his office sampled four bills sent to owners -- and found all four were overcharged. Butkovitz said the billings totaled $1,176 when they should have been $878.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 6:32 PM

Just in time for the 2015 election cycle, the city Board of Ethics is looking to close some potential loopholes in Philadelphia’s campaign finance regulations.

Given the “high rise,” in independent campaign contributions and coordinated expenditures nationwide, the ethics board’s director of enforcement Michael Cooke said the board should add specific language to the existing regulations to make clear what counts as a contribution and for what purposes.

Some of the changes suggested at Wednesday’s meeting include:

POSTED: Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 12:49 PM

Hundreds of young poets from all of the country are descending upon Philadelphia this week for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival.

The festival, in its 17th year and a first for Philadelphia to host, kicks off Wednesday evening at the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Center for Performing Arts Zellerbach Theatre.

Mayor Nutter and event organizers are hoping that much of the city’s youth come out to watch or participate.

POSTED: Thursday, July 10, 2014, 11:44 AM

City officials and developers broke ground today on a vacant lot in North Philadelphia that will be transformed to 10 affordable single family homes and a new city park.

Ingersoll Commons, located at 16th and Master streets, is part of the City's Green 2015 initiative that aims to create new public green space in underserved city neighborhoods.

The 10 homes are being developed by Community Ventures, a nonprofit development group. The energy efficient design includes tankless water heaters and gas-fired furnaces.  Each home will be equipped with 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms and a basement.   

POSTED: Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 7:07 PM
The dancers at South Philadelphia’s Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club could soon go from scantily clad to scantily bare. (File photo)

The dancers at South Philadelphia’s Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club could soon go from scantily clad to scantily bare.

Cheerleaders will join a handful of other clubs in the city designated as adult cabarets and that allow topless dancing. The city Zoning Board of Adjustments unanimously approved Wednesday that the nipple pasties currently used by the female dancers may come off.

G-strings will still be required.

POSTED: Thursday, June 19, 2014, 2:00 PM

Philadelphia City Council passed the city’s operating budget Thursday, at the final meeting before the 12-week summer recess, and also approved a separate bill to immediately borrow the $27 million the School District of Philadelphia needs to finish out the fiscal year.

The $4.5 billion budget includes proceeds from the sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works, but that deal remains in doubt. Council has refused to publicly consider the proposed sale since Mayor Nutter announced earlier this year that UIL Holdings, of Connecticut, had offered $1.86 billion for the city-owned utility.

The gas workers union staged a rally Thursday morning at City Hall, where Former Mayor John F. Street spoke to a crowd of about 100, leading chants of “just say no,” to the sale of PGW. The utility, after years of mismanagement, has turned into a profitable operation in recent years.

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