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NEWS
February 11, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Christie made an obscure service famous when he urged people in need of social services to call the 211 hotline. In Philadelphia, that gubernatorial endorsement only drove home the absence of a similar service across the river from New Jersey. But on Monday, officials with the United Way here announced the launch of a 211 hotline for the five-county Philadelphia area. Jill Michael, president and chief executive of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, said the current economic climate and recent nearby crises such as Sandy prompted the Pennsylvania United Way to finally fund the service.
NEWS
February 8, 2013 | BY JAD SLEIMAN, Daily News Staff Writer sleimaj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
PARX CASINO and New Penn Financial have signed on as the two major sponsors for Philadelphia's new professional-cycling race, together pledging $700,000 for this year's race and the next. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady announced Thursday that the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic had secured enough funds to fill the gap left after the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship was canceled due to financial troubles. Parx has promised $500,000, he said, while Penn, a national mortgage-lending firm, signed on for an additional $200,000.
NEWS
January 25, 2013
Just as dozens of nearly winded cyclists make one last push up Manayunk's steep hill nicknamed The Wall during the annual Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, city leaders must try harder to revive professional bike racing in the city by next year. There's no doubt that cycling enthusiasts, merchants along the racers' route, and officials in the city's visitor industry will miss the June 2 race, now cancelled by event organizers after the loss of the title sponsor that had provided the lion's share of funding.
NEWS
January 24, 2013 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
MANAGERS of the famous Philadelphia International Cycling Championship owe the city big bucks from last year's race, including costs for cops and cleanup, according to the event's founder and city officials. Pro Cycling Tour announced Monday that it was canceling the annual race in Manayunk - initially scheduled for June 2 - due to rising costs and a loss in sponsorship. The group still owes $321,000 for the 2012 race, for traffic control, sanitation, police and emergency management, Fairmount Park event support and food-service inspection, said mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald.
NEWS
January 23, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
After organizers announced that they were canceling the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship until 2014, politicians and boosters began scrambling Monday to salvage this year's edition of the famed bike race. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D., Pa.), who often acts as the city's mediator-in-chief, said he had set a meeting for Friday involving city and race officials and representatives from Manayunk, the quirky, hilly corner of Philadelphia that has come to be partly defined by the event.
NEWS
January 21, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Happy Craven Fernandez, 74, former Philadelphia city councilwoman, community activist, and college president, died Saturday, Jan. 19, of complications from a stroke at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. Dr. Fernandez underwent successful lung surgery Jan. 10, but suffered the stroke moments before being released from a hospital last Sunday. Her family reported Saturday that she died peacefully. "We are all so sad, but can smile when we think of the great days together and the great contributions she made over the years," her family wrote in an e-mail to friends.
NEWS
January 16, 2013 | By Jim Kenney
By Jim Kenney City Council will soon begin discussing one of the most important questions it's dealt with in a generation: how to create a more equitable property tax system. But as part of this debate about how we are levying taxes and collecting revenue, we should address an equally important issue: what we're spending taxpayer money on and whether we're getting what we're paying for. The city's Actual Value Initiative has initiated a reassessment of the nearly 600,000 commercial and residential properties in Philadelphia, some of which have not been assessed since the 1980s.
NEWS
December 13, 2012 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer 215-854-4172, walshse@phillynews.com
JOSEPH SIGISMONDI has been in the city's crosshairs for years. A contractor and owner of properties across the city, he's been cited numerous times for licensing and tax violations. On Monday, a building he owns on 2nd Street went up in flames, causing an elderly woman to be hospitalized and almost destroying the Fralinger String Band's props and floats just weeks before the Mummers Parade. In the four-alarm blaze's wake, neighbors and local representatives are asking: Did the city do its job in the months leading up to the fire?
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