Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday round-up

  • Casino news

    • In a move that will surprise nobody, the casino firms are challenging the signatures collected by the anti-casino folks to put their measure on the May ballot. Expect fine-toothed comb action. I doubt that there's much outright fraud here, but also wouldn't be surprised if a large swath were disqualified on the usual technicalities (like leaving out their middle initial, making their address unreadable, or not being registered voters).

  • Politicians and their games

    • Stu Bykofsky has a piece on the 1st District Council race, which pits longtime incumbent Frank DiCicco against Bella Vista activist Vern Anastasio. Stu sounds unimpressed by both candidates, although I think it's a very interesting race between one of the more responsive district City Council members and a self-avowed reformer beloved by many progressives. The looming threat of the double-casino development only adds fuel to the fire in this competition.

    • Today's the day Milton Street said he'd put up or shut up, expecting a heap of supporters to turn out for him at noon. Did it happen? Oops, nope, but he's undeterred...

    • The mayoral candidates are trying to agree on dates/conditions for some broadcast debates.

    • The DN notes that Brady is advertising his peacemaking skills, and suggests that the arguments over debate times could use his input. heh.

    • Tom Fitzgerald looks at Brady's recent double law-and-order endorsements and ask how much do endorsements matter these days? A news bounce is guaranteed, but from there it's harder to say unless field teams are included.

    • Bob Brady answers a question on keeping college grads in PHiladelphia, with lots of chat about tax-cutting.

    • An Inquirer piece looks at the ongoing partisan battles in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where Dems would like to follow up on recent gains and Republicans would like to keep their historic edge. Comparisons are made with the 1970s, registration is charted, speculations are speculated.

    • The CityPaper's polnote looks at Philadelphia Republicans and their campaigns and plans. [Also some mention of other big fundraisers.]

    • A new YPP poster looks at press treatment of Obama's national campaign and then ruminates on nativism in Philadelphia politics.
      Native Philadelphians -- generally regardless of their politics -- see themselves as tough, hard-working, either poor/working-class or in solidarity with the poor/working-class, authentic, realist, well-informed, and bound together by a common place and time and certain common experiences.
      It's true that sometimes this Local Kid bond seems to transcend not only party but even ideology, which may be part of why the workings of the government (and even the emphasis of campaigns) here can perplex so many newer transplants.

  • Other bits

    • A CityPaper piece looks at possible effects of a Community College teacher strike and other recent changes on students there.

    • Meanwhile the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is surveying its members on how secure they feel at work, prodded by the recent attack of a Germantown highschool teacher.

    • This weekend marks the 100th year of the Market Street line, and free rides will be the reward on Sunday. Imagine 1907! wow.

    • The Transit Coalition is having an Action Day today, trying to enlist suburban commuters in getting help for SEPTA funding. [Also thoughts here from Marc Stier about what we can hope for in terms of state assistance.]

    • City Council approves another increment of plans for the South Street bridge overhaul. There's still community concern about the new design's friendliness to pedestrians, which appear unlikely to be addressed. Nothing like having your walk to class involve jumping a couple of highway entrances! yeesh.

    • The DN opinion page offers five ideas for reducing homicides right now, that range from police hierarchy to neighborhood cooperation.

    • 7th District Councilman Savage puts in his two cents on violence, especially applauding calls for more probation and parole officers.

    • A CP opinion piece notes environmentally innovative building going on in the U.K. and wishes we could get a little of the same (esp. for our casinos).

    • Inga Saffron gives an update on the rulings concerning the historic Old City properties mentioned here previously, and also gives news for buildings planned on or near Independence Mall. (We're getting a National Jewish Museum??)


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