Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday round-up

Readership seems to have taken a plunge this week -- I hope that means that you guys are all out pounding the street for your favorite primary candidates! Every bit helps...
  • Politicians

    • A union of city white-collar employees has endorsed Chaka Fattah; AFSCME is a big one because its members often turn out to work on election day. More here.

    • Former US Rep. Curt Weldon is using his residual campaign funds to defend himself from the ongoing federal investigation.

    • The DN's blog suggest that the only way to stop the Knox campaign is via negative ads -- they may be right on that (and that 3rd parties are the ones to do it), but surely they aren't really advocating "Swiftboat-style" attacks based on fabrications??
      [Among other tidbits noted here is a possible US House committee chairmanship on the horizon for Bob Brady.]

    • The Metro talks with John Longacre, running for the 5th District Council seat against Darrell Clarke (and fellow challenger Haile Johnston). Mostly fluffy.

    • Mayor Street goes green in his personal life in honor of Earth Day -- more efficient cars and use of wind energy among the changes.

    • A leader of the Philadelphia Bar Association lays out the recipe for a good judge. Not always easy to figure out how the flotilla of candidates measure up, however.

    • This cracked me up: Tom Ferrick summarizes the performance/message of each mayoral candidate in last weekend's first TV debate. One sentence each. heh heh.

  • Casino bits

    • Philadelphia City Council has struck another blow at the casino developers, this time changing the zoning of the Foxwoods site from commercial to residential. (!) The goal is to make the developers appeal all of their decisions through the Zoning Board, giving the city some input into how the site is shaped. (SugarHouse already must go through such a variance process.) More here, including the possibility that this approach could also face court challenge.

    • The Daily News also offers a look at how the mayoral candidates would use casino revenues, if and when they start flowing in.

  • Other news

    • In a bizarre development, Drexel may face a lawsuit over funds that it received as part of its handling of college loans; the suit would be part of a nationwide investigation of the student loan industry and the deals it cuts with individual schools. Some students will receive a reimbursement as part of various settlements.

    • No news is apparently still news: no progress on transportation funding in the state legislature, where Rendell and other advocates have little to offer the rural representatives...

    • The DN reports community commitment to improve conditions around 52nd and Market.

    • John Baer looks at the cozy state grant process, which appears to involve an eyebrow-raising number of folks getting grants for organizations run by their spouses.

    • More on the efforts of the pro-bono design firm mentioned here yesterday: they're involved with efforts to recharge far-West Philly, starting with a historic theater and some nearby buildings. They also have projects in other areas.


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