Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday news -- Other bits

  • There were two dangerous (and regionally embarrassing) river contaminations incidents this past week, one involving cyanide in the Wissahickon, which poisoned fish and made rowers in the Schulylkill nervous, the other involving a raw sewage overflow. The former incident is leading to inquiries by state and federal officials into oversight at Merck pharmaceuticals, especially since they delayed reporting the release of toxic chemicals (until the widespread fishkill caught regulators' attention).

  • The Daily News has a spread on Philadelphia's hopes for hosting an Olympics, including what the impact on the city might be, from new facilities to a higher profile; whether other cities found the benefits they'd hoped, looking back over several years; a look at the local leaders trying to make things happen; and the thoughts of one cranky columnist who thinks the city's energies could be better spent improving our infrastructure for its own sake, without risking the all-or-nothing gamble of a huge international event.

  • SEPTA's board has approved a new budget without threats, hoping that the included deficit will be filled by Rendell's finding a dedicated source of funding for transit. More here.

  • City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski urges the state to join Philadelphia in its new smoking ban, to level the playing field for the area's businesses.

  • For those interested in educating voters and talking to neighbors about pressing current issues, America Votes is having a day of action this Saturday. If you've been looking for a way to get involved, this could be your entry point to making a difference.

  • Been thinking about getting a cat? This weekend would be the time, as Philadelphia's animal control services attempt to deal with summer overcrowding by offering cats and kittens for $1. You can save a life and add a friend to your household at the same time! (I'd grab one myself, but my house is a bit full at the moment...)


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