Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thursday news by theme

  • Smoking ban:

    1. Apparently Tasco doesn't have the votes to pass the current bill before City Council, and activists are blaming Mayor Street for turning his back on an effort he once championed.

    2. For his part, Street predicts that a smoking ban will pass by the end of his term in 2007. Of course, he said a similar thing in 2005 . . .

    3. Columnist Sty Bykofsky remains pessimistic that the bill will ever even come to a vote. Of course, he doesn't much like the restriction, anyway, so he's not mourning that outcome. He also cites a poll indicating that most Philadelphians prefer to let individual bars and restaurants set their own policies. Where's my fantasy smoke-free dance club?!

  • Budgets woes:

    1. Mayor Street and City Council continue at a standoff over whether to issue bonds to support upkeep and improvements to the city's buildings and infrastructure. If they can't agree in time to get something on the May ballot (deadline today!), then there could be a crunch by summer.

    2. Meanwhile the mayor criticizes the state House's cuts to school funding for the district, claiming that really we need more funding, not less.

  • Governors (and wannabees):

    1. Be still my beating heart: Rendell and Corzine are actually having a sit-down about the Delaware River dredging dispute. A compromise may be on the way.

    2. A Quinnipiac poll shows Rendell with a substantial lead over his challenger Lynn Swann, including overwhelming support among black voters.

  • Other politicians:

    1. Kurt Weldon has really stepped in it this time. In the process of slamming his opponent, Joe Sestak, for his parapatetic military lifestyle (that means he hasn't been rooted in his current district as a civilian might be), he brought Sestak's ill child into it, by claiming that there were local hospitals where she could have been treated (also similar story here). This low tactic has elicited howls of outrage from many varied quarters, doing little for Weldon's image...

    2. Turns out that Rick Mariano's wife would like a shot at his seat, perhaps inspired by Florence Cohen's campaign. I suspect that at this point not even an earthquake would get Anna Verna to call a special election -- too much baggage on all sides. Also noted in this piece is the demise of the Police Department's Integrity and Accountability Office, once headed by Ellen Green-Ceisler -- so much for oversight!

  • Other recurring stories:

    1. The plumbers' union has officially signed off on the Comcast building's waterless urinal plan. (I can't believe we're still talking about this.) This piece claims that the extra (not connected) pipes were not part of the union demands, as previously reported, but standard Liberty practice. oops!

    2. A community meeting to discuss the Trump casino proposal last night broke down into a shouting match.

    3. A poster at YPP thinks that the Democrats want young people to get involved only if they won't rock the boat, but that maybe some boat-rocking is just what is needed.


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