Archive: October, 2010
Just a bit over the top? Oh, yeah. It's a great way to attract attention, however.
At least, there's no faulting Freind's assessment of the high hopes for Mayor Nutter:
Anyone who walks or travels around Philadelphia on two wheels should be encouraged by the recently unveiled “Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan,” Mayor Nutter’s emerging blueprint to upgrade make the city sidewalks and bike lanes a kinder and gentler places.
First things first: In what is its most important goal, the plan sets out to achieve a 50 percent reduction in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities over the next decade.
That can’t happen soon enough for pedestrians, given the near-misses at any busy street corner on any given day. The dangers of riding in the street also prompt too many bicyclists to ride illegally on sidewalks, further risking pedestrians’ safety. If there were more bike lanes – and greater consideration from motorists – the safety of bicyclists, as well as their ranks, would grow.
Prejudice isn’t a word to be tossed out lightly. But no better term seems to apply to the Evesham School District’s decision to close its doors to a small group of low-income students seeking a better education.
Bowing to public pressure, rather than providing a teachable moment, the Evesham school board voted 7-2 Monday against participating in the state’s interdistrict-choice program by enrolling up to 63 students from other districts.
And why are these kids being told they’re unwanted? Residents of the Burlington County town said they were worried that their property values would go down if a group of mostly minority, poor kids suddenly started matriculating in Evesham’s schools.
What’s another $1.1 million — especially when it is only taxpayers’ money?
That’s how much more the state is expected to pay to make a developer go away and clear the way for construction of the now-stalled $200 million Family Court project planned for Center City.
The $1.1 million payment to developer Donald W. Pulver is over and above the $12 million in taxpayers’ money that has already been spent in fees to Pulver, his sidekick, lawyers, and to pay for architectural drawings.
In little more than two years, the exciting plan for a make-over of Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall has gone from concept to nearing the construction phase.
That’s a speed-of-light pace for any major project in Philadelphia, so the folks behind the Dilworth renovation deserve kudos – not just for vision, but also execution.
The recent announcement of a $15 million federal grant toward the $50 million effort paves the way to get going with the actual work.
The plaza’s multilevel labyrinth of granite benches and staircases – the daily haunt of many vagrants - will be transformed with a village green setting with a fountain at street level, an inviting glass-enclosed entrance to SEPTA’s train, trolley and subway lines, and a café.
A Japanese diplomat visiting Philadelphia today said Americans probably won’t face the dire economic problems in the next decade that beset Japan coming out of that nation’s infamous “lost decade” of economic troubles in the 1990s.
Chalk it up to love – the nation’s still-healthy birth rate, that is – and a relatively open immigration policy.
Japan’s deputy consul general, Yasuhisa Kawamura, said in a meeting with the Inquirer editorial board that population growth and the influx of newcomers pursuing opportunity here will enable the U.S. to avoid the deflation and staggering national debt that hit Japan.