- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Gaetano P.'s blog
The City Controller's race is perhaps the least discussed on this board. But, considering the fiscal straits we find ourselves in, it could be the most important.
This morning, the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed candidate Brett Mandel for City Controller.
If you want a City Controller who is tenacious about auditing city agengies and reviewing budget projections, which are a required functions under the City Charter and State Law, respectively, then you too should support Brett Mandel.
These are dire times for Philadelphians who face either tax increases or service cuts. The current City Controller has not performed a single departmental audit for the 2008 fiscal year. He also neglected reviewing and opining on the City's budget and projections--the same projections that have turned out to be faulty. His reasoning is "he wanted to give the mayor a break."
My most elementary thoughts are the ending was very good and worthy of the show.
It may take me some time to decompress the series finale. A few things are coming to mind--first, the fate of Michael Lee is not surprising. I suppose it is better than what I had expected, but if he is following in Omar's footsteps, at least he has a code. I have to admit, after the death of Bodie, Michael became my favorite character.
It turns out that Cedric Daniels, someone who's character has been ambiguous for 5 seasons, has the most honor and character of anyone in the Hall or the police station. It was nice to see him promote Lt. Carver, who now has the rank Daniels had at the beginning of Season 1. It has taken Carver a long time to develop into a good cop. Would he have gotten there without Daniels or Colvin. I doubt it.
Barring massive tradgey or something out of the Wire Season 4, Philadelphia will have less murders in 2007 than it did in 2006. If you recall, 2006 was noted for having 406 murders - the highest number since 1998. And, earlier this year, it seemed we were on pace to surpass the 2006 mark. Somehow, some way, the murders slowed at the end of the Summer. Otherwise, we would have certainly surpassed 406.
Despite the issues pointed to by some, I am eager to see how the Nutter Adminsitration and Comm'n Ramsey respond to these numbers and gun violence in the City. After reading Dave Davies article in the Daily News today, it does seem that, a shift in policing strategy can lower the rate of gun violence and murder in Philadelphia. Check this out:
A few weeks ago, the City's Commerce Department, with the assent of the Street Administration, including City "Solicitor" Diaz, over-stepped its bounds in awarding a submerged lands license to HSP Gaming, the entity responsible for the Sugarhouse casino. At the "hearing", both State Senator Fumo and State Representative O'Brien testified that, granting a submerged lands license would violate the sovereignty of the state legislature and would not hold up in court. It is time to find out.
Today, State Legislators representing the entire length of the Delaware River through Philadelphia filed a statutory appeal in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The appeal seems to take the position that the license issued by the Commerce Department is revocable as it is not based on legal authority. Only the state legislature can convey riparian land--not the City of Philadelphia.
Presently, Sugarhouse does not own the land it wants to build on. Sugarhouse has an option for 47-48% of the land. The remaining 52-53% is riparian land and owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and held, in public trust, by the legislature for the benefit of each of us. If the City's action is allowed to stand, it would set a precedent that local governments can buck the sovereignty of the Commonwealth and can deprive it of revenue.
As many of you are aware, I’ve spent the greater part of 2 years working to protect Philadelphia’s communities from the alleged negative affects of slot parlors. First, as a lawyer working with Casino Free Philadelphia. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled against our plaintiffs, but I am happy to say I got to, briefly, work with Irv and John Grogan. It has also allowed me to work with Jethro and others who I credit with making this the issue that it is.
Second, as a Bella Vista Delegate to the group known as the Philadelphia Neighborhood Alliance. Recently, my term ended due to my moving from the Bella Vista Community, among other reasons. But, having spent over a year in that group, I’ve met a number of individuals deeply committed their the cause. I’ve also met a number of individuals deeply committed to themselves.
The differences between CFP and PNA are stark. My impression is that CFP is a group committed to action—removing slot parlors from Philadelphia County. While I disagree with that goal logistically and fundamentally, CFP, Jethro and Dan Hunter have earned significant merit in my opinion for advancing this issue and mobilizing the citizenry.
PNA on the other hand is a group that purports to represent 26 civics in Philadelphia. Each civic has 2 delegates and an alternate or two. The founding purpose was that the civics along the river would voluntarily agree to a moratorium on negotiating with casinos until certain concerns were met or the casinos were re-sited. PNA is a coalition. And, as such there were certain problems with its governance.
For some reason or another, that purpose changed to re-siting alone leaving community benefit behind. That is something I have always disagreed with. I’ve always been a proponent of a plan “B”. There is no plan “B”. Thus, now, the express purpose of PNA is to re-site casinos from the present locations somewhere else.
There are proposals to make a 20 year mandatory for shooting at a police officer. I don't think you have to hit or injure the officer. Just shooting.
I think it's a great idea. Our police shouldn't be targets when they are simply doing their very difficult job.
Not since the 1970s have there been as many police shootings in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, this is a nationwide trend.
The message has to be sent, shoot at police, go away for a very long time.
Did anyone happen to catch the news last night to watch Officer Cassidy's funeral procession?
It was very moving. The streets were packed, particularly in the 35th District.
I guess this speaks volumes for the life that Officer Cassidy lived and his years of exceptional service.
Philly.com has done a great job of covering this story. And, I wanted to post the homily
and Cardinal Rigali's message
from the funeral mass for us all to read and reflect. Also, attached is a video of his funeral.
Clearly, many of us have our strong differences of opinion. But, I think we should all be in concert, just about every legal measure needs to be taken to ensure the safety of our police officers.
I usually do not post press releases, but us at the PNA have issued this release related to Senator Fumo's friend of the court brief in the most recent Sugarhouse lawsuit. It kind of shows you where we are in the movement to resite the casinos presently slated for our riverfront. Here it goes:
The Philadelphia Neighborhood Alliance (PNA) supports Senator Fumo's legal filing in the most recent SugarHouse lawsuit filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The PNA agrees with the Senator’s assessment that SugarHouse's suit is a “bold and aggressive attempt to circumvent the local zoning process that would be at the expense of the public interest.”
I haven't blogged in a while mostly because life at the firm has been a bit hectic, plus I recently moved.
But, I was trolling through the Daily News this morning and came across one of the most horrific stories I have read in a few weeks. One that tells of a social worker simply trying to do her job, protect children, and being savagly beaten by an intoxicated parent. One that tells how she was trapped in a house and when she escaped, being chased by her assailant, no one intervened despite many witnesses. Only another city empolyee gave this woman refuge.
To realize that we are still fortunate.
I know we try and stay outside of world affairs here at YPP. But, I wanted to share with you the news from Burma where the Military Junta has decided to crack down on the peaceful protests by Buddisht Monks.
Check it out here.
In another post, we've moved onto the topic of Intellectual Heritage and its place at Temple University.
Personally speaking, I loved IH. Prior to college, I was just a smart ass from South Philly. Heck, I didn't even want to go to college. Temple, in many ways, changed my life and opened up an entirely different world for me.
One of the classes I took (actually 2) was IH. I did very well in the class and Jennifer was never my tutor (poor girl). I had a number of friends from the neighborhood who simply couldn't grasp the concepts. One fellow took the class 5 times before passing!
Fortunately, I didn't have that problem. But, it was still a challenge. Before Temple, I was never exposed to these notions of "Western Thought." And, in conjunction for my love of the colonial era (not colonialism) and the revolutionary period, it was extremely relevant. Also, for the purposes of my later career, the political/governmental materials retain relevance.
This is, generally, an open question. But, I want to put it in a framework.
Today, when reading about a murder committed in a Chinese Restaurant in South West Philly, a qoute from a business proprieter across the way from the restaurant struck me--it was:
"When I moved here a couple years ago, I didn't know" about the violence, said Kone Mori, 45, owner of the Elmwood African Market.
"If I knew that, maybe I wouldn't have opened my store here," he said.
One does not have to be new to Philadelphia to learn that we have a problem with people killing people in this town. 198 murders is a lot and the summer has not even started.
The sheer number aside, a few months ago I wrote that a high crime rate is also bad for business--city wide. Meaning, people would want to leave, not move here, and due to perceptions, businesses would not thrive. I still think that is the case.
As you may be aware, Lame Duck SOB Ramos introduced CED legislation to enable the Sugarhouse casino to be built. In addition, Councilman DiCicco introduced legislation to prohibit casinos from being built within 1,500 ft of a home, school or residence. These bills are being heard today in the Rules Committee.
This morning was quite contentious, the Building Trades were there being rowdy, but the residents, community activists and, essentially those who do not want their neighborhoods destroyed by irresponsible development were louder. There were more of us--many more.
When Councilman DiCicco walked into the room, the community people cheered and chanted his name. Frank got a standing ovation. We may not have always agreed with him, but he has been very good on this issue since the sighting decisions have been made. We appreciate his hard work.
Local residents and supporters of community activist and 2006 Democratic candidate for the 182nd District, Larry Farnese will be attending Babette Josephs’ noon rally to demand answers from their state representative. This Friday, almost three years after casting her midnight vote in favor of slot parlors on our riverfront, and after months of community outrage and concern, Josephs plans to unveil a bill that would create a buffer zone between casinos and neighborhoods.
Residents, however, question her motives in light of the fact that Larry Farnese received 48% of the vote in their 2006 contest. This was the closest race Josephs ever ran.
BABETTE JOSEPHS FOLLOWS LARRY FARNESE ON PROTECTING COMMUNITIES—BUT STILL FAILING TO PROTECT OUR HOMES!Submitted by Gaetano P. on Tue, 05/29/2007 - 2:24pm.
Three years after casting her midnight vote in favor of slot parlors on our riverfront, and after months of community outrage and concern, State Representative Babette Josephs is playing catch-up yet again. This time, however, only after 2006 challenger Larry Farnese expressed the concerns of Philadelphians related to their homes, children and quality of life directly to voters and after Philadelphians were disenfranchised from the political process.
Josephs will introduce a bill limiting the sighting of slot parlors from within 1,500 feet of a school, place of worship or recreation center. Unfortunately, the bill does not protect many of our most valuable assets, our homes. In fact, homes are specifically excluded from the Joseph’s bill.