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Archive: August, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 4:04 PM

Four years without a raise, and Mayor Nutter keeps appealing arbitration orders to bump their salaries, you’d have to forgive a Philadelphia firefighter for wandering into a bar now and then.

But not the firefighters’ own bar, at Local 22’s headquarters on N. 5th St.

The union’s bar and kitchen have been closed since August 8, when a city health inspector cited the place for several health code violations, including a roach infestation.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 7:10 PM

Congressman Bob Brady, the chairman of Philadelphia’s Democratic Party, has called the city’s 69 Democratic ward leaders to a meeting next Monday to address the new state law requiring voters to provide photo ID when they show up at the polls in November.

“We want to make sure that anybody who wants to vote gets the opportunity to vote in November,” Brady said Wednesday.  In a letter sent to ward leaders this week, he called the meeting “extremely important” and said he’d be inviting many of the other organizations mobilized this year to help would-be voters obtain the necessary credentials.

The meeting is set for noon at Finnigan’s Wake, the bar and restaurant at 3rd and Spring Garden streets, just next door to the new headquarters that the Democrats expect to open next month.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 11:06 AM

Mayor Nutter's office announced this morning that leading venture capital firm First Round Capital will move its headquarters from West Conshohocken, opening a 10,000-square-foot office in the West Philadelphia building that once housed the first Urban Outfitters location.

Although the company will employ just 10 people, Nutter called the move "a game changer."

"When one of America's leading entrepreneurs and investors see Philly as place of ideas and innovation ... and feels the need to be part of it, he sends and incredibly strong message about what is going on in the city," Nutter said in a statement.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 11:23 AM

City Controller Alan Butkovitz today added his voice to calls for the city's financial overseer, the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), to reject the Nutter administration's five-year financial plan.

Butkovitz objected to the plan's assumption of millions in labor cost savings, despite a recent costly arbitration award for firefighters.

The city has appealed the arbitration award, which the administration says would cost more than $200 million over the next five years and push the city's budget into the red. The five-year plan calls for $50 million in overall workforce savings, even though the city's blue and white collar unions, District Council 33 and 47, also have been due for new contracts since their old ones expired in 2009.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 3:42 PM

Philadelphia ticket writers will soon be armed with a new scofflaw-tracking device: a camera.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority says its ticket writers will begin photographing the license plates of parking violators in an effort to address complaints from residents – and out-of-towners - who get notices of violations and say they were never in Philadelphia on the day the tickets was issued.

The news came out during questioning by lawmakers at a joint House/Senate transportation committee hearing Tuesday in Harrisburg. Several suburban Philadelphia lawmakers - and one from as far away as Pittsburgh - said their constituents have complained about getting tickets and threats of enforcement even though they were many miles away at the time.

POSTED: Thursday, August 2, 2012, 5:13 PM

An analysis of state data related to Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law suggests that minority voters in Philadelphia will have a tougher time than white voters getting the credentials to vote in the November general election.

The study was done by Tamara Manik-Perlman, a project manager and spatial data analyst at Azavea, the Philadelphia-based data and software firm that distinguished itself last summer by providing population data and computerized mapping tools to let ordinary citizens draw redistricting proposals for City Council. (Council essentially ignored their suggestions.)

Using data provided by Pennsylvania election officials, originally designed to show which voters do not have valid ID from PennDot, the state Transportation Department, Manik-Perlman mapped their voting addresses and correlated the information with race and ethnicity data from the 2010 U. S. Census.

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