Thursday, May 24, 2007

Quick Thursday round-up

  • More on the latest political scandal, the downfall of Ward Leader and North Philly kingmaker Carlos Matos: he admits to bribing Atlantic City officials to help get his restaurant fantasies et al. off the ground (good for a 3-year jail term). This is what you like to see about your local leaders:
    He was released on a $100,000 bond backed up by properties he and his wife own in Ventnor and Philadelphia. He was returned to a Philadelphia jail to finish his 60-day driving-violation sentence.
    Eesh. An FBI probe of the A.C. City Council is bringing them all down, but apparently it helped that Matos liked to brag about his schemes...

  • The Daily News offers more about its new publisher, Mark Frisby, announced yesterday. Apparently owner Tierney will continue as Publisher of the Inquirer, while setting up this new separate leadership to help focus on growing the DN as an independent entity. I hope they succeed -- surely this city is vital enough to support two daily papers!

  • City Council is working on increasing funding for the city's schools by shifting tax revenues from the general pool. The bill was sponsored by Wilson Goode, Jr., and received widespread support, including Nutter and Verna, who hope this "good-faith" effort will elicit more state monies as well. However, the Street administration opposes the plan, arguing that new funds are needed for the schools (say, by raising taxes), rather than squeezing other city programs -- they're worried about the impact of this shift on the city's five-year plan. But Street is unlikely to veto the measure if it passes, so it may be close to a done deal.

  • Rendell plans to meet with the SEPTA board, an unusual move -- does he have some more emergency monies up his sleeve, or is he just hoping to plead with the agency not to shortchange Philadelphians who use public transit every day?

  • The DN notes that the GOP is already taking aim at Joe Sestak's suburban House seat, planning a spate of negative ads and other moves, even though the election is 18 months away.

  • The CityPaper looks at Bill Green's Council win, and especially at the (sad) effect of name recognition on these important races.

  • Finally, a DN opinion piece applauds efforts to put more young people to work, noting that lack of job prospects is one of the things that leads to hopelessness and violence among city youth.


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