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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: August, 2011

POSTED: Friday, August 12, 2011, 4:09 PM

Three people trying to run for City Council as independent candidates were ruled ineligible today by a Common Pleas Court judge.

Judge Allan R. Tereshko ruled that two candidates for the 9th Council district, Rhaim A. Dawkins and Bobbie Currie, could not run as independents because they had tried to get onto the ballot as Democrats last spring.

James Foster, a Germantown newspaper publisher trying to run for the 8th District Council seat, had an insufficient number of valid signatures on his nominating petitions, Tereshko ruled.

POSTED: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 12:26 PM

The city pension board voted today to sell $40 million in domestic stocks and use the money for “strategic” and “tactical” investments, designed to protect the $3.8 billion fund from sudden downturns like the one that’s currently roiling world markets.

Over the last 30 years, the city fund has relied on selected money managers to handle different pieces of its portfolio.  But this new $40 million fund will be managed by the board’s recently-hired chief investment officer, Sumit Handa, with close supervision from four pension board members, including city finance director Rob Dubow and city controller Alan Butkovitz, who proposed the new arrangements.

Earlier this week, Dubow estimated the pension fund’s recent market losses at $120 million, but that was three volatile days ago. He said he did not have updated figures.

POSTED: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 5:21 PM

City election officials are getting tougher with candidates about reporting last-minute donations to their political campaigns.

In the last two weeks of campaigns for any state or local office, any contributions of $500 or more are supposed to be reported within 24 hours to county election officials – in Philadelphia’s case, the city commissioners’ office at Delaware Ave. and Spring Garden St.  The contribution reports are considered public records, immediately open to inspection by reporters, other candidates and the general public.

Over the years, some candidates have followed the 24-hour rule, and others have not, failing to identify last-minute donors until more complete reports are due, 30 days after the election.  

POSTED: Monday, August 8, 2011, 11:59 AM

After underwhelming civic groups with last week's announcement that it would hold a single public hearing on redistricting, City Council announced today it will hold two additional hearings -- time and place still to be determined.

Council is now just a month away from the City Charter's deadline for drawing new Council districts, based on 2010 Census results.

Here's the news release from City Council:

POSTED: Monday, August 8, 2011, 6:32 PM

Along with Mayor Nutter's expanded curfew, which cuts off the heart of the city for anyone under the age of 18, the city plans to keep 20 of the largest recreation centers open until 10 p.m. on the weekends.

In case we're unable to publish the entire list of rec centers in our space-deficient print product, here's where teens can go on Saturday night instead of tearing up South Street or the Gallery.

Northern Liberties Recreation Center: 321 Fairmount Avenue

POSTED: Friday, August 5, 2011, 2:15 PM

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority reported today that the city's general fund tax collections were down 5.9 percent last month, as compared to July 2010. Except for the parking tax, collections from all the significant taxes -- wage and earnings, sales and real estate transfer -- were down.

PICA noted that "collections for a single month can be a misleading indicator due to monthly variabilities," but said the numbers "suggest the possibility of a general slowing in the rate of growth for the wage and sales tax bases."

The real estate transfer tax took the largest fall, dropping by nearly half. PICA attributed this to the flurry of real estate activity in the summer of 2010, as first-time homebuyers scrambled to take advantage of an expiring federal tax credit.

POSTED: Friday, August 5, 2011, 3:07 PM

Mayor Nutter said Friday that he would put more police on street patrol and make sure they enforce curfews for young people in an effort to prevent crimes caused by children and teens randomly attacking people in the city.

"To the few who think they can get away with acting violently and disrespecting our city, you will be caught, and there are serious consequences," Nutter said in a news release.

The city's current curfew law says children under the age of 13 must be home by 10 p.m., and young people between the ages of 13 and 18 must be home by midnight.

POSTED: Monday, August 1, 2011, 2:17 PM

Mayor Nutter said today that the police and a variety of city agencies would partner with businesses and community groups to "create an integrated, coordinated response" to the so-called "flash mob" incidents in Center City.

On Friday, a pack of youths attacked two people randomly in Center City -- the most recent in a string of troubling and seemingly pointless youth attacks going back more than 18 months. Four young men, ranging in age from 19 to 11, were charged in the incident.

Nutter said the response plan would be unveiled the week of Aug. 8, after his scheduled return from vacation. He said the plan would "consider enforcement options, prosecution, social response, counseling and neighborhood outreach."

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