October 5, 2013 |
For many law firms, living through the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse and the ensuing turmoil among corporate clients has been like the grieving process. First came denial, the refusal to accept that a once-booming legal market, which had fueled plans for international expansions and dazzling salaries, was imploding as corporate clients slashed legal budgets. For a while, firms carried partners and practice groups, and followed through on hiring promises. But then came the layoffs, the cancellation of incoming classes of first-year lawyers, and the frantic paring of lease costs and other expenses.
October 5, 2013 |
Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and what better way to celebrate than a meal with 900 friends? That will happen Saturday afternoon across from City Hall, when ticket holders selected by lottery gather on the Municipal Services Building plaza to enjoy a communal multicourse feast featuring heirloom fruits and vegetables. (Tuesday's federal shutdown forced a hasty relocation from Independence Mall, which means the planned 1,640-foot-long table will have to be segmented; otherwise things will go on as planned, with City Hall rather than Independence Hall as a backdrop.)
October 4, 2013 |
City Controller Alan Butkovitz and the Department of Licenses and Inspections have apparently resolved their dispute over demolition records by L&I's giving the controller's auditors access to the department's computer system. "We just have to make sure we can run it and do our own queries," said Deputy Controller Harvey Rice, signaling an end to two weeks of rhetorical volleys between Butkovitz and the Nutter administration. "We think this will give us the information we need to do our audit.
October 3, 2013 |
In a major leadership change, Center City's Morgan Lewis & Bockius L.L.P., one of the nation's largest law firms, named its first woman chair on Tuesday, Jami Wintz McKeon, who will succeed long time chair Francis Milone. McKeon, a top courtroom advocate who defended corporate clients against class action lawsuits and in various regulatory proceedings, headed Morgan Lewis's 400 lawyer litigation department, and has been instrumental in the firm's overseas growth, particularly in London and Moscow.
September 28, 2013 |
Declaring that safety has to be the top priority, a City Council committee on Thursday urged dozens of changes in the way the city oversees demolition projects. "The committee believes these reforms are both workable and essential if the city is to avoid future catastrophes," the Council panel said in a 69-page report spurred by the Center City building collapse that killed six people in June. Its 71 recommendations - all but a handful unanimous - include site-safety plans for every demolition project, safety training requirements for every worker on every demolition site, an independent site-safety manager monitoring the demolition of any building more than three stories high, an expanded inspection force at the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, and a more prominent role for the city Fire Department, with expanded authority to enforce building and health codes.
September 28, 2013 |
Pearl Street is more alley than street, four blocks long with a school on either end. And despite its name, it's anything but luminous. It's strewed with rotting wooden boards, plastic wrappers, and broken glass, marked by trash Dumpsters and steel loading doors. In places, homeless people have set up temporary shelters. Now, the Asian Arts Initiative is leading a project to transform Pearl Street, to install art, color, light, and spirit, to turn dilapidation into destination.
September 27, 2013 |
CITY CONTROLLER Alan Butkovitz issued a subpoena yesterday to a top Nutter administration official demanding that he release documents related to the Center City building collapse that killed six people in June and testify in the Controller's Office in two weeks. Mayor Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald, said the city solicitor is reviewing the subpoena of Licenses & Inspections Commissioner Carlton Williams. McDonald added that the administration has been complying with requests in Butkovitz's ongoing audit of demolition permitting and called the subpoena "political showboating.
September 26, 2013 |
MAYOR NUTTER'S staff told the state Gaming Control Board yesterday that it will not take a position on who should win the city's second casino license. But Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger made it clear that the city prefers two bidders who want to locate in Center City rather than three bidders near the sports stadiums in South Philly. The sixth bidder, casino developer Steve Wynn's project in Fishtown, prompted concerns that the city has about the potential impact on the nearby SugarHouse casino.
September 25, 2013
COUNCILMAN Wilson Goode Jr. has found a popular horse to ride in the current debate over how to help the city's schools. He wants to curtail the real-estate tax break that the city gives to owners of newly constructed or renovated buildings. Goode's latest idea is to end the abatement on the portion of the real-estate tax that goes to the schools, which is about 55 percent of the total collected. In other words, instead of getting a 10-year tax abatement, the owner would get a 45 percent tax break for 10 years.