Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday bits (in random order)

  • Why do we need this story? Donald Trump is a household name. Oh, and he'd like to build a casino here. Dan at YPP derides this seeming cult of personality.

  • SEPTA says no fare-hikes threatened (see also here). However, as Philadelphia Will Do spells out, they're just putting off capital investments and equipment upkeep, and next year will only be worse as a result. The litany of cancelled improvements is hard to read.

  • NJ passes civil union bill. Nobody happy with the result.

  • John Grogan tells the sad tale of Joe Conti and his cushy landing after thumbing his nose at voters (achieved via Rendell's thumbing his nose at voters). John Baer is also unimpressed by these shenanigans. The blantancy of the whole thing just makes AAJane tired and discouraged. Hard to disagree.

  • Big mess on the horizon: judge throws out Philadelphia's campaign contribution rules, saying such regulation must occur at the state level. The DN version of this story notes that this ruling conflicts with another one from September, which may mean that appeals will be required before anything's final... Meanwhile, Evans backs a bill in Harrisburg to specifically grant Philadelphia such regulatory rights (but won't bend over backwards to conform to the guidelines meantime). The Inquirer reacts to all this in an editorial. Dan at YPP also has some good rant (and gets some Council candidates to chip in their thoughts too).

  • Gar Josephs offers some mayoral speculations, including who's pushing Brady to join the race, who's courting Nutter, and other tidbits.

  • A round-up of City Council's final burst of business: Inky here, DN here. Quick summary: smoking ban pushed back a few weeks, bill introduced to ban trans fats from all Philadelphia eateries (!), zoning limit passed for NW CC area (read: Logan Square neighborhood, where River City project proposed) to keep buildings under 125 feet (part of planning? no -- designed to make developers navigate the painful ad hoc exceptions process. sigh), diversion of city surplus to fire and police (see prev. here), and curfew and gun control extensions. You gotta read both stories to get even half the details sorted out...

  • The Daily News has two pieces on the Kimmel's fifth birthday -- a general story and a critic's view.

  • The DN opinion page disagrees with the suggestion that casino licensing should be delayed by six months, mainly because they don't think that the Board intends to take public opinion much into consideration anyway. They say pick the winners, but then delay granting licenses, so that the developers can be made to jump through city hoops. I fear this is splitting fine hairs over something that will never happen. But it never hurts to clap louder!

  • Ray Murphy challenges city officials to implement new ideas on curbing violence, before the year is out!


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