Thursday, December 08, 2005

And still there's more!

I wish I had time to highlight more stories, with pullquotes and mullings and all the rest, but life just doesn't allow for full-time unpaid blogging. So there you are. Hopefully you find something of value in the quick takes as well... [head-pats from commenters welcome!]
  • Two bits on schools: attempts to hire bilingual teachers coming up short (to the frustration of parents), and a budget shortfall has resulted in a freeze on hiring of office and professional help (i.e., not teachers) in the school system.

  • Two bits on local regions assessing various voting systems: Chester County can't decide whether to go electronic or wait a bit longer (and let others work out the kinks), and Bucks County is testing out several different models of voting machines. Both groups express frustration with confusing federal requirements.

  • The state Senate has passed a measure to limit governmental rights of eminent domain, despite worries from many cities that their ability to direct development and renovation could suffer. The House has already passed a similar bill, so chances are good that some version is headed toward the governor's desk. For his part, Rendell expresses some reservations about specifics of the two bills.

    Update: this development apparently pleases the activists in Ardmore . . .

  • Apparently having noticed the increased public scrutiny of governmental ethics, Street tells city workers that all holiday gifts are off-limits from people that the city does business with.

  • Three bits from the new CityPaper:

    1. The first takes a look at the first week of the city's zero-tolerance police push in South Philly (see prev. here). Mixed anecdotal reviews, with low expectations for after the 30-day program expires...

    2. The second gripes about the aesthetics of transit in the Philadelphia area, from boxy buses to antiquated stations.

    3. And finally, they offer a holiday dining and entertainment guide for those wondering what to do with themselves for the next few weeks.

    Update: I forgot to link to this fourth story, at least as interesting as those others, about what factors influence how people feel about their city and where they choose to live. I think I'll do a separate [Friday] post on this one too.

  • Above Average Jane catches a new bill introduced in Harrisburg that would enforce the filling of prescriptions, protecting consumers from the vagaries of pharmacist philosophy.

  • And last, continuing this week's theme of Issues You Thought Were Dead, a federal appeals court has agreed to hear an appeal of Mumia Abu-Jamal's conviction. What's 24 years between friends? Expect a circus.


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