Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Misc. Tuesday news

  • Apparently the Delaware River Port Authority is in the midst of some tussle over its budget -- if Rendell doesn't approve some refinancing desired by the New Jersey contingent, they are threatening to raise tolls on all the bridges! At issue in part are plans to deepen the river at several places, on an uncertain timeframe.

  • Norristown is apparently wrestling over the desirability of a downtown "business improvement district" to make it cleaner and more attractive to shoppers and businesses. Some property taxes would be raised to fund the effort; votes should be in by this weekend...

  • Daily News columnist Sandra Shay attempts to make sense of the debate over the future of the parks commission. She summarizes the motivations for the push to fold Fairmont Park into the Recreation Department, as well as the fears of those who think the move would spell the end of a city gem. She thinks that the latter are overblown.

  • Today should mark the City Council hearing about rail company CSX (see prev. here), that is, if the company's representatives show up this time. DN columnist Ronnie Polaneczky gives a run-down of the conflict and highlights CSX's generally bad corporate citizenship. The company may not have spoken yet, but hoardes of outraged citizens have put in their cents' worth...

  • The Philadelphia Parking Authority is keeping hush about its investigations into allegations that its officials pressured employees to donate to the Republican party. The chief squeezer is the man about to be elevated to executive director of the organization...
    He said that Fenerty had personally driven his authority car to Vecchione's work site, at Delaware and Allegheny avenues, after Vecchione had told his direct supervisor that he wasn't buying a $100 ticket to a GOP fund-raiser.

    "Fenerty motioned me to come over to the [car] window and he said, 'I heard you haven't paid for the ticket... . You know you need to pay for these. This was part of the deal when we gave you the job.' "
    Pretty stuff, but apparently nobody at the PPA is bothered in the least.

  • Finally, Dan at Young Philly Politics offers an interview with Tom Knox, a candidate for Philadelphia mayor in 2007.


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