Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bloggered Tuesday

It's not just been unstable, it's been GONE. Attempts to create a post have led me to Google notices my about blocked virus-like activity, etc. Anyway, "scheduled maintenance" allowing, perhaps these news bits from the day will arrive eventually...
  • Liquor Control Board recriminations
    As a reminder, in mid-December Governor Rendell undertook a bit of bipartisan patronage, finding outgoing State Senator Joe Conti a cushy landing pad as CEO of the Liquor Control Board, a newly minted post; see announcment here and outraged responses here.

    • After first complaining about the move to the Governor, LCB chief Newman resigned in protest effective Friday. [This link is to a public online Q&A, with lots of pithy discussion of what the LCB does and how politics intersects with that. Also, lots of praise for the reforms that Newman instituted at the Board.]

    • John Grogan had a column yesterday saying that he initially was suspicious of Newman's appointment, but came around to being impressed by his dedication and reforms. A review of how much can be done by one person with vision. "Senator water-heater" will have some big shoes to fill.

    • The Daily News adds its editorial disapproval to the dismay greeting this act of patronage. Cartoonist Signe adds another layer of grump.

    • AAJane just finds the whole thing fueling her frustration with Rendell. She notes that he's doing a call-in show next week; get your questions and criticisms ready for some airing!

    • In marginally related news, outgoing State House Speaker Perzel's attempt at finding another colleage a soft landing (at the Gaming Board) is now in question because he was still in office when appointed. I'm sure the extra two weeks made Conti's appointment *much* cleaner... More on the story here, including the note that this could result in the first test of new Speaker O'Brien's loyalty, with different names proffered by majority and minority leaders.

  • Reactions to Fattah's gun plan

    • The Inquirer remarks the breadth and ambition of Fattah's proposals, while noting that how he'd fund this deluge is unclear (but supposedly to be spelled out later). My favorite line noted here was a bit off the main theme: "It is not illegal guns, it is the absence of opportunity which is at the heart of" Philadelphia's crime problems. Much truth to that.

    • The DN coverage notes some holes in the proposed approaches, including improving relations between the community and police, as well as suggestions here that have had little results elsewhere.

    • From the Department of Eesh: both Fattah and Evans claim first-hand experience with shootings from their youths.

  • In other news...

    • Philadelphia's smoking ban goes into effect for real starting today. Some 20 health inspectors are set to make the rounds, with $300 fines threatened to violators, and instructions on compliance have now been mailed to thousands of bars et al. (More here.) I expect the papers will be doing some re-sampling of places where they found prior disregard of the new rules.

    • Police Chief Johnson wants additional cops to oversee the Delaware Ave. "entertainment districts" that currently include many nightclubs and will eventually encompass the two new casinos.

    • Former US Sen. Rick Santorum has found a new home at a DC think tank with religious roots, where he will play out his alarmist fantasies through a project with the poetic name of "America's Enemies."

    • Dan U-A at YPP frets about Lynn Abraham's plans and what they might mean for the city.

    • Finally, Inga Saffron rounds up some city planning developments and meetings on the horizon or just past, from official Riverfront Planning to the South Street bridge and other projects.


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