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Archive: September, 2011

POSTED: Friday, September 16, 2011, 2:25 PM

Rina Cutler, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for transportation and public utilities, has been named 2011 public works leader of the year by American City and County Magazine.

The magazine cited Cutler’s leadership in reconstruction of the South Street Bridge, addition of bike lanes to many Philadelphia streets, renovations of airport terminals, creation of an airport cellphone parking lot, and improved recycling rates.

The magazine said “Cutler guided the city through an extraordinary year that ranged from the monumental, like the South Street Bridge project, to the exotic, like the installation of solar-powered compacting litter baskets from Newton, Mass.-based BigBelly Solar. But through it all ran a consistent theme of change and improvement.”

POSTED: Friday, September 16, 2011, 5:36 PM

Responding to a rash of violence directed at transit workers, Philadelphia police will increase checks on buses and trains, officials said Friday.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said every patrol officer will make the checks, talk to the drivers, and "maybe ride a block or two."

The increased vigilance follows recent incidents in which bus drivers were injured during shooting. One was shot in the arm and the other was wounded by glass from a windshield struck by a bullet.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 12:14 PM

FEMA will declare residents of 11 Pennsylvania counties, including Philadelphia and its suburbs, eligible for individual assistance as a result in connection with damage from Hurricane Irene.

Congressman Bob Brady's office made the announcement today. Here's the release:

Philadelphia --- Congressman Robert A. Brady (D., PA) today announced that FEMA will declare residents of 11 Pennsylvania counties, including Philadelphia and its suburbs, eligible for individual assistance as a result of the major disaster declaration Congressman Brady helped secure in the aftermath of Irene. This assistance will provide residents with the maximum amount of federal aid to Pennsylvania's hardest hit areas.

POSTED: Friday, September 9, 2011, 12:01 PM

The 9 p.m. weekend curfew for minors that Mayor Nutter slapped on Center City and University City this summer will remain in effect. The mayor lowered the curfew after a series of random attacks in Center City in July that were blamed on "flash mob" violence.

In early August, the mayor said he would revisist the curfew in the fall once school started (students returned this week). His office said today the curfew would remain in effect, in part because there have been no more flash mob attacks.

In conjunction with the earlier curfew, Nutter also ordered 20 of the city's largest recreation centers to remain open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Today he said that, based on usage in August, eight of those recreation centers would maintain those later hours.

POSTED: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 1:49 PM

Redistricting update:

 Two different bills to redraw City Council districts were introduced at today’s session – one from the Council leadership and the other from Councilmen Frank DiCicco and Jim Kenney.  Both have been scheduled for a public hearing next Thursday at 11 AM – in the middle of next week’s Council session.

The main difference between the leadership bill and the DiCicco-Kenney proposal is the handling of the 56th ward, the Rhawnhurst section of Northeast Philadelphia.

POSTED: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 12:28 PM

City Council leaders say they’ve reached a tentative agreement on new boundaries for Council's 10 districts,  to be made public later today.

The proposal is intended to reshape Council districts to provide each with roughly one-tenth of the city’s population, about 152,600 people.  

POSTED: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 3:24 PM

Here are the two redistricting maps introducted in Council today. One was devised by an ad hoc committee of five Council members, including the leadership of both parties, and one was draw up by Councilmen Frank DiCicco and Jim Kenney, with four others signing on.

Ad Hoc map is here. The DiCicco/Kenney map is here.

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 5:56 PM

Is Irene the political match-maker, the balm to partisan bickering? 

It was shocking enough today to wake up to Republican Gov. Chris Christie praising President Obama for his administration's hurricane response in New Jersey.

"I think the performance was really outstanding," Christie said at a news conference Tuesday, as reported by The Inquirer's Matt Katz.

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

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