Thursday, November 09, 2006

In other Thursday news

  • The Inquirer is getting as its new editor a onetime reporter who won two Pulitzers at the paper. Much talk here about ongoing contract negotiations too. More here, including the detail that the editorial transition will happen at the end of the year.

  • On to the next election: 5 of the 7 current mayoral suspects appeared yesterday at a forum hosted by the African-American Chamber of Commerce. Lots of agreement, not much detail here. More coverage, with highlights from some of the candidates, here.

  • Speaking of mayoral wannabees, state Rep. Dwight Evans suggests a merger for PGW, which would make it part of PECO. Not only is this unprecedented, but it's something of a logstical tangle, as PGW is a public utility (with tax exemption, among other things) and PECO is a private company. hmm.

  • The Daily News reports on a School District hearing on their budget deficit problem, which featured some skepticism from Mayor Street about how one just "happens upon" a $70 million deficit in the midst of a budget year. They also follow with an opinion piece on the event/issue, in which they picked up on other Street criticisms of the review process, especially the inpenetrability of the reports and the scheduling of the meeting at an hour when most parents (or other working members of the public) would be unable to attend.

  • Finally, three interesting pieces from Inga Saffron about city development issues: one looks at nice new developments that opt for parking over retail on their ground floors, and the impact that may have on the neighborhoods; a second looking at the first meeting of the riverfront development planning group, which involved brainstorming a desirable waterfront; and the third (from last week) looks at one ad hoc proposal for a riverfront condo tower that may now have to wait for the larger plan to be worked out, rather than applying for its own zoning variances, and how the players in the Old System resist such a notion. I gotta quote this:
    But the issue isn't whether this one particular tower is well designed or not, or whether it's good or bad for Philadelphia. The issue is whether Philadelphia should continue its self-destructive habit of looking at each development proposal in isolation - or whether it should start to see all of these development proposals in the context of a larger, neighborhood-creation exercise. It's not an either/or situation. Good planning will be beneficial for both business and city residents.
    Amen. This is tricky business, and I sympathize with the developers who are having the rules changed in the middle of their undertaking, but the city needs time to do this well. (All of these pieces have attracted lively, if not always civil, debates in the comments too...)


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