Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday downpour -- semithematic edition

  • Streets and roads

  • Schools and kids

    • Dwight Evans, State Rep. and mayoral candidate, put forth his education proposals yesterday, including laptops in every classroom, shrinking class size, etc., but continued his support for state control of Philadelphia schools. More details here, including the argument that better education would help fight the causes of violence.

      Question for readers: how does Bret Mandel get to have a quote on every story in the local universe?! It boggles the mind...

    • The Philadelphia Compact is a new coalition that has arisen in response to a study commissioned by Mayor Street on helping the city's youth. Its recommendations span after-school programs to increased teacher training. More here on its goals and strategies, including helping coordinate various service agencies. (Also, Evans appears to get credit here for propelling this effort.)

  • Violence and crime

    • A new study reveals that Pennsylvania has the nation's highest rate of black homicide deaths. Various folks point to guns and/or poverty in response. The DN opinion page calls for an honest evaluation of how it came to be "open season on young black men," and especially for a fresh look at gun laws.

    • A Daily News piece points out that many of the Philadelphia mayoral candidates want to hire more police, but all are vague on how funding for such an increase would be found. A second piece notes that addition of officers takes time as well as money, for both recruitment and training.

  • People

    • Brady thinks he can run for mayor while remaining head of the city Democratic Party. Not clear that's a juggling act that's manageable, even if it's legal. In fact, his first fundraising letter went out under the City Committee auspices, rather than from his own campaign committee... Expect more such nonsense; whether pressure builds for him to pick one or the other could say a lot about whether The Machine is ready to hold Brady to a different standard from the rest of the field.

    • Perzel is bearing the brunt of cabbies' anger against the PPA, which derives from the arbitrary way that fees and procedures are being changed around almost all the time. BradyDale (the YPP poster here) notes that sometimes riders get caught in the middle.

    • Perhaps in response to Ray Murphy's announcement yesterday, another YPP poster makes the case for Michael Nutter for mayor.

    • AA Jane gives us the heads-up that newly minted State Rep. Rick Taylor is having an open house for his constituents next week.

    • PA State House Republicans have picked an academic for the Gaming Control Board, in an effort to duck the kind of controversy that greeted their last nominee, outgoing legislator Mark McNaughton. Sheep tell no tales...

    • Harrisburg gadfly Gene Stilp is filing suit to find out about some stealth bonuses quietly given to Democratic staffers recently.

  • Other bits

    • The Daily News opinion page applauds plans for a new city sewage treatment project to help with odor complaints from the current "biosolids recycling center."

    • The PA State House has adopted temporary rules against ghost voting, meaning legislators must actually be in chambers to cast votes now. Imagine!

    • Marc Stier notes the quiet closing of banks in poor neighborhoods (of course replaced by usurious check-cashing joints), part of a trend that adds to the difficulty in breaking the cycle of poverty. He notes some recent proposals by Wilson Goode, Jr., that could help and are being considered by Council tomorrow.


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