July 7, 2014 |
After 10 years of paying five employees, plus additional "associates," to staff his Old City business, James R. Domenick is looking for space in the suburbs, and thinking about moving out. It's about taxes, and the pressure the city has felt compelled to exert on small businesses such as Domenick's insurance office to raise money for its cash-strapped public schools. "I am not an antitax person," Domenick told me. "I believe people need to pay for the infrastructure and the services they receive.
July 20, 2013 |
Philadelphia City Council's special committee on demolition practices tried to focus Thursday on cooperation among city agencies, but its chairman expressed "frustration" with what he called limited cooperation from the Nutter administration. Among 10 departments the committee wanted to hear from, only four were permitted to appear. One of the no-shows was the Department of Licenses and Inspections, the lead agency granting permits to take down buildings in the city. "This is a point of frustration but not a point that will deter us from accomplishing the best possible safety methods" for demolitions, said the chairman, Curtis Jones Jr. Privately, Jones said, the administration attributed its reticence to a grand jury investigation into the June 5 building collapse at 22d and Market Streets that killed six people and wounded 13 more.
June 26, 2013 |
Throughout his 2007 campaign and five-plus years as mayor, Michael Nutter has promoted the virtues of government transparency and open records. At a U.S. Conference of Mayors event in Philadelphia last month, described as an "innovation summit," Nutter patted himself on the back for releasing 47 data sets covering everything from crime to property values. But in the last year, the administration has created new procedural and legal hurdles, with attendant delays, for people seeking access to city records.
June 24, 2013
WHAT FURTHER proof do we need that the inmates are running the asylum? Mayor Nutter's people tell us that the city isn't responsible for the work done by contractors on private property. Well then, exactly who is responsible? You? Me? It's my impression that L&I exists to do exactly that, oversee construction and/or demolition. If that's not true, then what exactly do they do? Deny, deny, deny. The Sergeant Schultz ("Hogan's Heroes") defense: I see nothing, I know nothing. I might be crazy, but I think the city leaders are ultimately responsible for everything that happens inside the city limits, just as a ship's captain or an airplane pilot is responsible for everything that's happening aboard.
August 30, 2012 |
The Good Hands People say Philly has lots of Bad Steering People. Again. In the annual All-State Insurance study of accident claims filed in 195 American cities, the City of Bumperly Shove had the highest crash rate among cities with 1 million residents. Yo, no surprise! After all, Roosevelt Boulevard alone has two of the nation's five most crash-prone intersections, at Red Lion Road (No. 2) and Grant Avenue (No. 5), a State Farm study once revealed. Besides, Philly was bottom among big cities in all seven previous examinations - and some of the others hardly ever see ice and snow.
February 26, 2012 |
NEW YORK - New York's mayor served notice Friday that his police department would do everything in its power to root out terrorists in the United States, even if that means sending officers outside the city limits or placing law-abiding Muslims under scrutiny. "We just cannot let our guard down again," Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned. He laid out his doctrine for keeping the city safe during his weekly radio show after a week of criticism of a secret New York Police Department effort to monitor mosques in several cities and keep files on Muslim student groups at colleges in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Upstate New York.
December 19, 2010 |
Days later, some people are still trying to make sense of it. Cliff Lee is back in Philly. It wasn't some form of cruel, Bud Selig- imposed punishment. Lee chose this course and seemed happy to do so. That remains a tough thing for out-of-towners and the national media to accept. To hear outsiders tell it, this isn't a place anyone should choose over New York (or any other place, for that matter), and certainly not for less money. It's a city you're supposed to run away from, not toward.
December 15, 2010 |
Philly is just fine for a day trip, but not necessarily as a place to live, according to a new poll of area suburbanites. The survey of 801 residents from the seven counties surrounding the city limits was conducted by the Pew Charitable Trust's Philadelphia Research Initiative. According to the poll, 81 percent said that the city was a great place to visit for a variety of cultural or sporting events. "People love it as a place to visit, there's no question about that," said Larry Eichel, project director of the Philadelphia Research Initiative.
May 24, 2010
MAYOR Nutter's recent op-ed piece, "Philly's Science Boost," rightfully takes great pride in the achievements of Philadelphia's research community. But it also inadvertently reveals a missing element in the city's economic-development strategy. The fact is, research activity is responsible for hiring relatively few people, and most of those are at the highest level of academic accomplishment. It matters little to most Philadelphians whether a product is discovered here or not, eventually they will have the benefits of it, whatever it is. On the other hand, if a product discovered here is also manufactured here, that could matter a great deal to Philadelphians.