Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday stories

  • Ongoing kerfluffle over relocation of the Youth Study Center:

    1. East Falls to get youth-detention center

    2. 'Respect' demanded in youth-center flap

    Feels like the mayor and governor hoped that a last-minute announcement would get the job done, with the result that community groups and local officials feel steamrolled and left out of the process. Nutter put it well:
    "This is the kind of process that citizens of the city hate," Nutter said. "No transparency, no real engagement, lack of information, which results in communities getting jammed with projects at the last minute."
    Indeed. Not clear whether there's any route of appeal, since the 3-year lease is signed (as is the lease for the Barnes Foundation at the current YSC site). Too bad that the only way to clear one idiotic logjam (thank you, Ms. Blackwell) was to roll it over another neighborhood. (Also see related story here about where Family Court should end up.)

  • Apparently there was a mayoral forum yesterday:

    1. Mayoral forum is a friendly affair

    2. The Al and Mike Show: You call this a debate?

    The headlines about cover it.

  • Philadelphia taxi strike:

    1. Phila. taxi strike ends after one day

    2. 1-day taxi strike is over

    New York cabbies intended to continue the strike today; they're not interested in becoming the next set of victims of the buggy GPS system that is driving Philly's cabbies nuts. Not clear what either strike will accomplish.

  • Phila. recycling chief steps down. The descriptions of the logistical and cultural obstacles that met this latest official are quite grim, drawing a picture of talented folks getting their hopes and confidence crushed. Not surprising that such an undervalued and powerless position has become a revolving door. (Maurice Sampson summarizes snarkily:
    "I was dismissed. Al Dezzi was ignored. Joan Batory was invisible. David Robinson was indicted," he said, ticking them off chronologically. "Are we going to shoot the next one? What is the sequence of events here?"
    heh.) More to the point, will Philly ever get a respectable recycling program underway citywide?? (More here at YPP, including an interesting discussion of various related matters.)

  • Clinton rallies backers in area -- a women's forum event of some sort.

  • Inquirer names editorial editor. Harold Jackson was the deputy editor before this promotion, and has a Pulitzer Prize for his own writing, as well as other impressive credentials. Welcome to the pond!

  • Pa. awards last racing license -- near Ohio border. Considered a favorite for future slots...

  • A CityPaper story describes a neat green-building project proposal that would include a green roof, solar panels, wind turbines, an underground geothermal system for energy storage, and a "living machine" to covert sewage and other wastes into clean water. It appears that the building would be occupied by some labs working on these and related technologies -- I'm a bit fuzzy from this article. Anyway, this nifty concept development would like to land at the NE corner of Broad and South, and even claims to be able to protect/preserve some of the space currently occupied by the community garden there. (This taxes my geometrical memory of the site.) Still seeking funding for now...

  • A second CP article looks at the SEPTA reconstruction project that has eaten up time, money, and the patience of its neighbors. Problems with contractors account for some of the woes, but not all, and there are mutterings here about undermotivated inclusion of minorities et al.

  • Ben Waxman has an opinion piece in the Daily News applauding citizen efforts at conservation but despairing over Philadelphia's meager attempts in the same direction.

  • Finally, the CP Political Notebook reads the tea-leaves at last week's Nutter fundraiser, passing along some gossip and speculation.


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