Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 7:15 PM

Mayor Nutter will be sworn in Thursday as the next president of the Pennsylvania Municipal League.

Nutter, who currently serves as the vice president of the league, will bid adieu to the league’s president Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski at a luncheon during the league’s 115th annual conference business meeting Thursday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The four-day conference, which started Tuesday, focuses on “best practices and strategies for creating thriving, sustainable communities,” in the state, according to the league’s news release. The league is a nonprofit and nonpartisan group established more than a century ago to strengthen municipalities across the state.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 5:10 PM

State Rep. John Taylor (R., Phila) introduced a bill that would eliminate the city’s ability to appeal costly arbitration award by simply saying it can’t afford it.

The bill, introduced Friday and co-sponsored by Philadelphia Democratic state Representatives Ed Neilson and William Keller, proposes to repeal a lengthy provision of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Act for Cities of the First Class that addresses arbitration awards for policemen and firefighters.

The section that Taylor is proposing be deleted states that arbitrators must consider the city’s approved financial plan and the city’s ability to pay wage increases or fringe benefits “without adversely affecting levels of service.”

POSTED: Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 1:48 PM

Despite pressure from the Nutter administration, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said Tuesday that “we don’t anticipate” introducing legislation this week to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works to a private buyer.

The proposed buyer, UIL Holdings Corp. of Connecticut, can opt out of an agreement to purchase the municipally-owned gas company by July 15.

But Clarke called that deadline “artificial.”

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Troy Graham and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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