Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday pre-holiday wrap-up

  • As noted in the update below, the Chester County recounts are over, with Democrat Barbara McIlvaine Smith the agreed winner. As the Inquirer notes, that still leaves unanswered the question of who will be Speaker next year, although I'm not sure this will be an easy year for Perzel to find himself a turncoat... [Some chat here about who new Dem. committee chairs are likely to be.]

  • In other big news, Eakins masterpiece The Gross Clinic will be staying in Philadelphia after all: the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts will co-own the work after a successful 6-week scramble to match the exorbinant bid of a Walmart heiress. Noteworthy are multimillion-dollar gifts from the Annenberg Foundation, PEW Charitable Trusts, and several generous individuals. [Also noteworthy was the absence of Jefferson University officials, who should be ashamed at having held an entire city (and its own alums) hostage in this way.]

  • People:

    1. The Inquirer provides a closer look at the investors behind the two new casinos that appear to be headed for Philadelphia.

    2. The DN points out it's hard being police commissioner right now, between violence woes and the upcoming mayoral election that could make him a pawn in a larger game.

    3. The DN also looks at the recent Brady fundraiser and what it might indicate about Bob's mayoral thoughts.

    4. AAJane offers us some notes from a Sestak appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, in which he assessed the prospects of the President's intended increase in troop levels in Iraq.

    5. Finally, a YPP poster comments on the absence of female candidates and powerbrokers in Philadelphia.

  • PGW is looking for another rate hike of a hefty 8% or so. Critics say the utility needs to find ways to fix its internal problems.

  • The US Army wants to dump nerve gas byproducts into the Delaware River -- it's billed as a NJ story, but um, don't we share the same river? An added concern is the long way that the material would be trucked cross-country (say, cross-PA) before getting dumped. Altogether unpleasant sounding, although the CDC and EPA have signed off on the project.

  • The Zoning Board has approved a 23-story tower for Old City, pretty much adjacent to historic (and diminutive) Betsy Ross House, among other sites. I suspect we haven't heard the last of this.

  • The governor's signature made civil unions official in New Jersey yesterday, with ceremonies to become possible starting in late February. Still no joint tax returns though...

  • Inga Saffron pipes up on the River City proposal (see previous here), and she thinks it's too ambitious, too densely designed, and too destructive of the city's pedestrian culture. Dan UA agrees, and compares today's busy building environment with the enthusiasm-starved situation 5-10 years ago when "any development is good" might have been ok.
This is the last bit before I hit the road for the holidays -- see you in the new year. Safe and happy holidays to all!

Pasha as elf


Anonymous phillydem said...

ACM - Dennis O'Brien new Speaker of the House.

1:53 PM  

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