Friday, June 03, 2005

Word on various fronts

Short updates on a number of stories we're watching:
  • The smoking ban appears to be back to wobbly condition, with the vote delayed and recent supporters now questioning the bill as written (and amendments they worked on). It appears that 9 votes weren't there, with DiCicco backing out over the categories of bars that can qualify for the delay. Also, this mayoral hissy fit:
    And even if he had [gotten the votes], he still would have to get a blessing from Mayor Street, who yesterday said in no uncertain terms that Nutter's personality might ultimately be the biggest stumbling block to getting the legislation approved.
    Further discussion is underway, but there are only a couple more sessions before Council breaks for the summer...

  • State Sen. Vince Fumo lost his appeal concerning the right of the FBI to search the computers that they seized from his office (see previous note here). We're not allowed to know much about the investigation, since a grand jury is involved, but I'm rather with columnist John Grogan, who argued a month ago that since Fumo is a public employee, his office computers are citizen property, and there's no reason their contents should be hidden from view. Transparency tends to lead to better government...

  • The Inquirer notes tomorrow's Neighborhood Networks conference (third of the short pieces on the linked page) with the phrase "a revolution may be brewing"...
    Many of the founders were inspired by the neighbor-to-neighbor activism of, which mobilized anti-Bush voters in last year's presidential election. They say they want to push for ethics reform in Philadelphia politics, and also to help nominate candidates in Democratic primaries who will support "social equality" and "economic justice" in office.

    But the details are to be left up to the members, and that's where the conference comes in. Those who show up will break into smaller geographic groups to discuss principles and draft the blueprint for the new organization.
    Hope to meet a bunch of you there, and find out what you want to see happen in our city over the coming years.
That's it for this round-up!


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