Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday round-up (slimline edition)

  • Weather report

  • Mayoral mutterings

    • Outgoing mayor John Street presented a conservative budget with no new programs or solutions for the shrinking surplus.
      Defending his plan to reporters, Street said his proposal struck "a pretty fair balance" between spending money to upkeep city facilities and aiding arts and cultural groups, while still lowering taxes which, he stressed, have shrunk $1.2 billion under his watch.
      More on the budget address here.

    • The Republican candidate for mayor, Al Taubenberger, is being asked about the propriety of retaining his seat on the Parking Authority board during his campaign. Seems a bit of a stretch.

    • ACORN calls on the mayoral candidates to back affordable housing measures, among other suggestions.

    • Apparently there was a mayoral forum on violence last night at St. Joe's.
      One would declare an emergency. One promises job training. One wants to reverse the mind-set of violence. One said education, not crime, is the issue. And one didn't show up.
      Probably the right answer includes a bit of all of those (well, except that last one, of which we've had plenty).

    • The Daily News asks what's happened to the money that Milton Street allegedly made by trading on his name. Yawn.

    • Dan at YPP wants Nutter supporters to clarify some tax issues for him.

    • AAJane points us to some mayoral videos available online.

  • Other news

    • Councilman DiCicco is making up for the tardiness of his casino opposition with fervency, calling on citizens to keep up the pressure. (Notes here on the variety of current strategies, as well as the discomfort among City Councilfolk at the political pressure on them to do something about a decision they didn't make.)

    • Apparently Philadelphia voters will get a chance to vote on one hopeless cause, at least: City Council approved a ballot measure to make a nonbinding statement in favor of withdrawel of troops from Iraq. (Also mentioned here are two new Kenney proposals, one to set up a committee to deal with environmental issues, and the other to encourage local TV networks to offer free or discounted ad time to all mayoral candidates.)

    • Apparently Pennsylvania's goal of insuring the health of all children can move ahead thanks to federal approval that just came through yesterday.

    • Speaker's Panel: Open legislators' spending data, among other reforms.

    • State panel hears call for revising constitution by 2008

    • Philadelphia one of top two large cities in terms of local tax burden. yay.

    • Inga Saffron gives a review of the Springarden development (formerly known as the Barnes Tower), opining that it's better now not just for its shorter tower but for its better integration with the city's layout and needs.

    • The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is 100 years old. Goofiness abounds.

    • Opinion pages: an Inquirer comentary argues that Philadelphia schools are doing far better than the impression you'd get from a recent report, with our example being discussed around the nation with much admiration; the Daily News opinion page argues that we need state help with our handgun problems and gives some suggestions of what they could do.


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