Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wednesday news deluge

  • The Olympics are getting a lot of discussion. I can barely stomache it, but here are three fresh installments of speculation for today, a mix of news and opinion. Decision on 2016 expected at the end of the year.

  • The Daily News points out that the period for public comment on casino plans is almost up, and invites readers to a public forum on the proposed designs, to be held in two weeks. Developers will show their plans, and design experts will give some critique as well. Sounds like a great opportunity -- see the article for details (free advance registration required).

  • Smattering of updates on ongoing stories:

    1. An advisory committee convened by the Fairmont Parks Commission recommends against a merger with the Recreation Department because it's likely to lead to reduced overall funding. Hard to say how independent this advice is.

    2. Philadelphia's city budget continues to be part of a turf battle between City Council and Mayor (with even the state poised to weigh in).

  • Politicians and primaries:

    1. Hillary Clinton is helping Senate hopeful Bob Casey with a fundraiser this weekend.

    2. NOW endorses Andrew Warren over Patrick Murphy in the 8th US House district, due to some differences in their stated positions, of the sort that made them choose Sandals over Pennacchio in the Senate race. Murphy's views are pretty mainstream, if not as progressive as I myself would prefer.

    3. The Inquirer looks more generally at the 8th district race, comparing how Murphy and Warren stack up against incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, running his first reelection race.

    4. The Inquirer offers an endorsement in the 12th State Senate primary, suggesting Stewart Greenleaf over his inexperienced challenger.

    5. The Philadelphia Weekly offers a profile of Tony Payton, a newcomer running for the 179th State House district in North Philly/Frankford. He's running against a write-in candidate (favored by the Dem. establishment but bumped from the ballot), and has a lot of ideas for helping his district.

    6. A PW cover story looks at Anne Dicker's prospects in the heated 175th race for the Democratic nomination. Given the changing demographics of the riverfront neighborhoods, this race is a real pulse-taker for the power of the party machine versus motivated activists. The best description of the candidates and dynamics so far, as usual from Shaffer, despite two mischaracterizations of NN's position in this race.

    7. AAJane offers a few recent links about Curt Weldon, Republican incumbent in the 7th US House district.

    8. And finally, Albert showcases a video ad for Chuck Pennacchio's US Senate campaign. He speaks for himself on what he is and what he isn't.

  • The Inquirer speaks its piece on the "other" measure on next Tuesday's ballot, which concerns surveillance cameras. They make a tentative recommendation in favor of the bill as written. It does call for careful insurance that civil rights are protected, but it's unclear whether there's actually any evidence that such cameras make a real difference to crime rates (rather than just moving crime around).
    The ballot question should be the beginning of a public conversation about the idea of surveillance cameras, not the end of it.
    With that much, at least, I agree.

  • The Daily News wonders why Philadelphia doesn't care about its avaricious legislators, at least if running primary challengers against them is any measure. I think a spate of ethics reforms indicates otherwise, and at least some of the embarrassments cited here came out long after primary filings were past... Anyway, they're encouraging a letter-storm, so have your say.

  • A federal lawsuit against the Philadelphia prison system alleges some pretty appalling mistreatment of the inmate in question. If the charges hold, I hope that wider reforms can be enacted.


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