June 5, 2015 |
With a budget deadline looming, Philadelphia City Council is close to crafting its alternative to Mayor Nutter's proposed property-tax hike to fund the city's public schools. In closed-door meetings this week, Council considered four potential revenue streams - building blocks that would fall at least $20 million short of the $103 million the School District has asked for, according to sources familiar with the discussions. On the table are a sale of city tax liens; an increase in the city's use-and-occupancy tax on businesses; a hike to the parking tax; and a real estate tax increase far more modest than the 9.34 percent proposed by Nutter.
May 28, 2015 |
After emptying the salt and pepper shakers, Anna Diamantis walked to each plum-colored booth in the main room of the Freeway Diner in Deptford on Tuesday and unloaded the sugar jars. A son-in-law had claimed the custom silver wall clock, whose numbers are replaced with the eatery's name. Other area restaurants had agreed to buy the surplus food on hand. Longtime customer Lily Corbett, a retired bank manager, stopped in to see the restaurant owners and left with crab cakes for her husband, Charlie.
May 22, 2015 |
Il Cantuccio , which has held the corner of Third Street and Fairmount Avenue in Northern Liberties since 1999, is out of business. The BYOB was the second restaurant owned by the cantankerous but lovable chef Giuseppe Rosselli of La Locanda del Ghiottone. Rosselli died suddenly in 2000 of a heart attack, and his widow ran it until February 2014, when she sold it. Yet another White Dog University City-bred White Dog Cafe , which branched out to Wayne in 2010, now has a third location, in Haverford Square (379 Lancaster Ave., 610-896-4556)
May 17, 2015 |
The troubled Truebright Science Academy Charter School in Olney will close at the end of the academic year next month - unless it obtains a stay from the court to remain open. A Commonwealth Court three-judge panel on Friday affirmed a state Charter Appeals Board decision that said the School Reform Commission had ample grounds to close Truebright for poor academic performance. The judges said that Truebright had promised that its students would "realize high academic rank" and would score proficient or higher on the state's standardized math and reading tests.
May 16, 2015 |
Not long ago, a father could not cry. He had been diagnosed with cancer in his jaw in 2013, and it had returned last year, and the chemotherapy and radiation treatments had cost him his tear ducts. The fluid backed up, infecting his eyes. So in the middle of April, he underwent surgery. The doctors inserted a temporary tube that ran from his eyeballs to his palate and drained the tears away. "It's always something," Jim Kelly said recently. "But you know what? Oh, well. " He was talking on the phone about the sequence of events, some of them serendipitous, some of them tragic, that would bring him to Philadelphia this weekend, to celebrate good news and a righteous cause.
May 16, 2015 |
Over the seven months since New Jersey political insider John Sheridan and his wife, Joyce, were found mortally wounded amid a deliberately set fire in their central New Jersey home, the official opacity surrounding their deaths has been steadily stripped of every defensible rationale. Now that the conclusion of the criminal investigation is more than a month old, it's clear that the persistent secrecy serves only to cover up incompetence or worse. According to law and logic, continuing investigations are among the most compelling justifications for government discretion.
May 13, 2015 |
During a special meeting devoted to charter schools, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Monday to begin the process of closing two for academic and management shortcomings. One of the schools - Universal-Bluford, an elementary with nearly 600 students - is run by Universal Cos., the nonprofit founded by music mogul Kenny Gamble. In a 4-1 vote, the SRC voted not to renew Bluford's charter for five years. It was the first time a school run by Universal has been targeted for closure.
May 10, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Behind closed doors in the mayor's office, parties interested in the fate of the former Showboat casino hotel met Friday to try to resolve a tangled legal impasse. But when the meeting at City Hall was over, no one - including Mayor Don Guardian and Florida developer Glenn Straub - would say what had transpired, citing confidentiality. Also in attendance were representatives of Stockton University, which bought the shuttered Boardwalk casino with a plan to turn it into a campus, and of Trump Entertainment Resorts.
May 8, 2015 |
DEFENSE ATTORNEYS yesterday lauded the six former narcotics cops on trial, appealed to jurors' emotions, derided the government's witnesses and blamed the feds for their investigation. Jimmy Binns, attorney for defendant Michael Spicer, called his client and the other five former cops "innocent heroes," "the best of the best" in the police department, men "who stand up and carry the flag and uphold the oath that they took," and said in his closing argument that "they will be children of God. " Binns told jurors that when Spicer took the witness stand in the trial, he misspoke when he said he lived for his police job. "He lives for her," Binns said, pointing to Spicer's wife, Donna, who was sitting in the back row of the courtroom.
May 7, 2015 |
SIX FORMER narcotics officers on trial "believed that because they wore a badge, their crimes would never see the light of day," a prosecutor told a jury in her closing argument yesterday. "Quite frankly, sadly, if it were only one accuser, their crimes probably would not be exposed," Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney said. "But over the course of this trial, you have heard from 19 different people. And they're essentially saying the same things. " Eighteen of the 19 suspected or admitted drug dealers contended that the cops robbed them of cash, drugs or personal items, and in some cases roughed them up. The 19th alleged victim, Dontay Murphy, alleged that Officer Thomas Liciardello hit him in the head with the back of a gun, bloodying Murphy's head, after Liciardello chased him on foot.