Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday downpour

Sometimes a slow news day, but not today...
  • Politicians

    • Two Fumo computer guys, charged with deleting emails to block an FBI investigation, pleaded not guilty. Hard to imagine they have much defense, given the documentation of their plans... The trial won't start for six months.

    • Rendell staffers are making hay out of some paid Swann speeches, claiming that they reveal an insensitivity to conflict of interest issues. -- Yawn --

    • Rick Santorum is railing against "Islamic fascism" and calling for "regime change in Iran." He also complained about press coverage of defense issues. Looks like administration hawks have one guaranteed backer for taking the oh-so-successful Iraq war to a second front.

    • Wilson Goode, Jr., has made no secret of his interest in Michael Nutter's seat on Philadelphia's City Council -- a district seat offers many benefits over an at-large seat. However, would he have to quit before running? Apparently, not if he were running in a primary next May. This ruling is semi-helpful: (1) what if Verna calls a special election this fall instead, given the three empty seats? (rumors have it that she will) (2) can he run both his current and the new seat in a primary, or must he decide? (a tough choice in two crowded fields)

  • Other news

    • The new Constitution School is letting its students have a say in its design and character, from paint color to motto. A range of new theme schools will be opening this fall.

    • Not pretty: among the firms approved to sell gaming supplies for new PA casinos is at least one with lobbyist connections. Because his small children make their own investment choices. Right.

    • The Barnes has hired an architectural firm to help them plan their downtown digs. Answering some questions for me, at least, was the note that they would "replicate the Merion gallery" while adding more space for classes and other operations.

    • City Hall was the site yesterday of a rally to mourn violence victims and find a way forward.

    • I read this story about conflict over a West Philly homeless shelter three times, and am not sufficiently certain of what it was describing to want to summarize it. I guess that the shelter was defeated by neighborhood opposition, but is something else going in there? Involving the homeless? Color me perplexed. Perhaps it's too late in the day.

    • A chunk of state change is coming in the direction of the Philadelphia police department, which will probably use it for more officers and more overtime.

      Update: PhillyWillDo notices a conundrum in Street's promises with regard to police staffing...

    • Marc Stier is up in arms over a court ruling that takes away the right of community groups to protest Zoning Board decisions in their regions (it's billboards this time; might it be a monster building next?). Various civic organizations are strategizing to get back their voices.

    • The Daily News is getting a new editorial page editor, and the old one says his farewells here.


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