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Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 11:08 PM

Like his father before him, former City Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr. is taking to the airwaves in his political retirement, as a radio talk show host.  Rizzo says he’ll be doing occasional gigs on WPHT, radio 1210, beginning Thursday night, from 10 p.m. to midnight.  He promises he’ll be “less politically correct” than when he took calls WWDB in the 1990s, when Rizzo was a Councilman.

“My slogan will be ‘Rizzo Unleashed,’” Rizzo told us Wednesday.  “I’ll always be polite, but I’ll tell it like it is, and I have the ability to do that.  I’m going to tell people possibly about some of the work ethic in City Council, in some of the people who represent them in the suburbs, and not in a watered-down way.”

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 7:02 PM
Donald Lyons, Maven Latty and David Howard. (Miriam Hill / Staff)

City Hall can be a stressful place, so it was relaxing to walk under the arches adjoining the building’s courtyard recently to the sounds of three men singing. It was almost like stepping back to a time when you might wander past a group of guys doo wopping under a bridge or in a subway tunnel.

Maven Latty, Donald "Leo" Lyons and David Howard, friends who attend Community College of Philadelphia, were bouncing Boyz II men's "End of the Road" off the granite and marble Tuesday. They say the spot in the arch just north of the courtyard, is the perfect place for their a capella vocal workout.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 3:14 PM

Advocates for Philadelphia parks told City Council Tuesday that they are tired of waiting for an additional $8 million a year they say Mayor Nutter promised when he first took office.

Chanting "Restore $8 million," about 200 of them sat in Council chambers as Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis testified about his department's budget.

In an interview after the Council hearing, Lauren Bornfriend, executive director of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, said that in 2008, parks advocates had supported a parking tax backed by Nutter that was supposed to be dedicated to funding parks and recreation centers.

POSTED: Thursday, April 5, 2012, 5:19 PM

With Mitt Romney traveling around Pennsylvania ahead of this month's primary, state voters are not only getting their first up-close inpsection of the somewhat presumed GOP nominee. They're also getting a preview of the attack lines the Democrats are likely to use against him.

There was little subtlety to the Democratic message today, when DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stood beneath the Love statue in Love Park and asked Romney where was the love for women in his agenda.

Behind her, 13 supporters stood with signs reading, "Keep Your Mitts(s) Off Birth Control."

POSTED: Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 6:33 PM

City finance director Rob Dubow has spent a lot of time in City Council chambers over the last five years, patiently handling thousands of questions from the city’s lawmakers, while trying to steer the city’s budget through a national recession and a dismal recovery.   Nobody has asked more pointed questions than Councilman Bill Green, an open critic of the Nutter administration’s performance and an all-but-declared candidate to run for mayor himself in 2015.

So picture the following exchange Wednesday in City Council, where the city’s chief assessment officer, Richie McKeithen, was sitting at the witness table, describing the city’s efforts to assess all city real estate at its full market value.  Dubow had testified earlier but was sitting in the audience in case Council needed more from his office, and Green was trying to figure out exactly how much information McKeithen’s assessors have already collected on the city’s 579,383 real-estate parcels.

Green to McKeithen:   “I want you to do something which I think it would be very hard for someone from the administration to do.  Imagine I know nothing….”

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