Breaking Casino Action Alert: SugarHouse gets CED from Supreme Court, Foxwoods strikes deal with the Street Admin

TONIGHT | Converge at Foxwoods

Those of us who have long fought to keep casinos out of Philadelphia neighborhoods are still trying to digest the events of today, but here it is . . .

The Street Administration has signed a development agreement with Foxwoods Casinos which tears down one of the last remaining obstacles to starting construction at the site on Columbus and Reed Street, and undermines neighborhood efforts to move the two casinos.

Secondly, the Supreme Court has handed down a decision that forced the city to issue SugarHouse their CED and zoning permits -- a decision that seems to fly in the face of their previous ruling against Foxwoods.

Here is what we are going to do:

Now is the time to move
Columbus and Reed Streets
9:30 PM TONIGHT!!!!
There will be cameras. Bring your crowd.

Bring your friends and family, and let them know that we are not going to be pushed around.

City Hall Response

Someone down there should say:

"The Supreme Court made its decision, now let's see them enforce it."

You thought you knew. Now you do.
Tip of the Spear

What no one really understands about the state and the city

We often talk about how the state is taking away the city's powers as if folks in Centre and Greene and Warren counties have nothing better to do than tell us Philadlephians what to do.

With the partial exception of gun control, this is totally wrong.

When the state government tells the city government what to do, it is almost always at the behest of politicians from the city.

The Parking Authority takeover

The schools takeover

The Casinos

Predatory lending

Act 193

In all these cases, and more, it is politicians from Philadelphia using the power of the state government to fight with other politicians from Philadelphia. Losers in fights in the city go to Harrisburg to try to win there.

We could stop them. But more often than not, we don't.

And the reason is that our politicians have found lots of ways to make themselves independent of us, from their control over money to the machine to hiding behind the complexities of public policy to taking advantage of the indifference of most people to politics.

Ultimately, however, we are responsible. We let the broken politics of this city continue.

Mark is right . . .

The Solicitor's office sided with the casino developer in this one--asking for the CED to be issued and for it to be done without hearings. There is no actual record to this proceeding, no hearing regarding local conerns re traffic, crime and zoning, except statements made in the briefs and citations to Councilman DiCicco's meetings with constituents. I was at many of these meetings through the PNA.

The Street Administration is trying its hardest to ram these casinos down our throats.

We should note that Councilman DiCicco's leadership has been incredibile on this issue.

I am working to elect Larry Farnese to the General Assembly. Unless otherwise expressly stated, this and every comment or blog I post on YPP and any action I take hereon is solely attributable to me and not Farnese or Friends of Farnese


That night, I approached the Cyclops with a huge jug of wine which I offered the giant. The Cyclops, being somewhat intelligent could sense a trick an asked me my name and for me to take the first sip.

I replied, My name is No Man." and with that, I took a huge gulp of wine.

Polyphemus believed me and proceeded to drink up the entire jug. Soon after, the giant now very drunk, fell fast asleep.

Working diligently, the crew and I heated a huge log that we had sharpened at one end. With one, big push we shoved the point into the Cyclops's single eye. Polyphemus awoke instantly in a shriek of pain. He thrust the huge log out of his eye and cried out to his brothers.

His brothers came rushing over and asked, "Has any man hurt you?"

Polyphemus replied in pain, "No Man has hurt me, No Man!"

His brothers believed it was the gods that were putting their brother in pain so they ran away quickly.

I guess I don't count, but:

And, frankly, a lot of people besides me talked about it on here in terms of Dwight during the Mayor's race, Fumo with guns and casinos, etc.

OK, I am only half trying to be a jerk (though my half attempt may be fully successful). I agree that preemption of the City laws needs to become a litmus test for our Reps, and that there needs to be a much deeper explanation of why it is so ridiculous.

Glad your hyperbole detector is still working

but you really didn't have to waste time finding those links to make your point.

I would have happily acknowledged that my first draft of the title read "what no one really understand, except Dan U-A and a few other bright folks at YPP." However, it just didn't have the same ring with the qualification.

The background to my post, and the frustration that lead to my hyperbole is that I had a long conversation with a well known reporter a month or so ago about the issue. The reporter kept saying to me, "what can we do about all those folks outside of the city who want to use the power of the state to make decisions for Philadlephia." I kept saying that, gun control aside, that wasn't the issue. And the reporter kept framing it in the usual way, state vs city.

Lots of people do that, but not so often here at YPP

Anyway, to paraphrase something our Governor said today, life is too short to waste time quantifying jerkiness in others. I have enough trouble keeping up with myself.

This is GREAT!

The Supreme(-ly suspicious) Court has reaffirmed it's SUPREME ability to wear blinders and arrive at a desired conclusion for people with enough money to afford legal gymnasts. When needed, they seem to intentially arrive at verdicts without taking into account all the facts (as Saylor indicated in this ruling)... or they divide up a case into individual pieces that can be ruled a certain way while ignoring that fact that when you put those pieces together, you get something that is obviously a blight on democracy.

I think my head is going to implode soon... :)

75+ people showed up last night with almost no notice

In the cold.
In the darkness.
To voice their opposition.

A little over a year ago, in the wake of the terrible decision to place two casinos on the Delaware, we were there.
In the cold.
In the darkness.
Voicing our opposition.

Is that Sam holding a giant

Is that Sam holding a giant flag?

Yep, I do think so...

Sam, Hannah, Marc, Jethro, Karim, Stan...YPP was well represented.

couldn't make it, BUT

hey Anne,

I wasn't able to make it down to the delaware (long story, best summed up as "ah the joys of homeownership" followed by a stream of curse words).

that said, I dedicated the DL bulletin to the casino issue.

This whole situation is DISGRACEFUL.

Sugar House before the New Year

Yeah thats right, they plan to break ground before the new year. Bastards.

And Rendell comes up with the kind of statement that makes Bush sound smart. In response to discussion of possible civil disobediance against the trampling of any local say on where the casinos should go:

"The citizens who are talking like that should think about what that does to the overall image of Philadelphia."

Um Ed the image they are trying to send is that the process you have pursued with this is a travesty to democracy and they want the whole world to know that they are very, very mad at their state government right now. A little like the image the Bostonians were trying to send to King George at the famous Boston Tea Party, one might say.

Yeah, but compare that to an image of a city

where there's gambling and the accompanying mob activiity, prostitution, and drug dealing.

Trying to use our (corrupt)

Trying to use our (corrupt) political system to stop a corrupt and undemocratic process from happening is certainly proving difficult. The supreme court rules without morals and in the face of public opinion. City and State leaders consistently ignore legitimate pleas for public input. What good is "free speech" when public officials ignore, contort or intentionally misinterpret the message? It's good because I can write this and not go to prison for it.

Accountability. Accountability would help deter corruption. Unfortunately, all I've seen (and been told) is:

1. The Vote
2. Direct Action

I was thinking a good addition to this would be a publicly accessible website (YPP maybe) to organize, store and update politician "report cards". If done well, I think this would provide a clear and consolidated picture of politicians and their performance. This type of tool would inform a even a casually interested voter of the past performance and accomplishments of a politician. It would also, I think, create some accountability.

What do you think? Do you have any other ideas for accountability?

Record of Council votes?

Speaking of which: Does anyone know of a site with records on how City Council members vote on particular issues? Or is Philly still in the dark ages there too?

Weeds in the Sidewalk

There is one!

There is one!

it could be indexed for particular issues... YPP (or The Next Mayor!) side project anyone?

--Tim (aka Short Schrift)

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