September 3, 2016 |
Sentenced in December to three years' probation for conflict of interest, former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. told the judge: "I'm just anxious to get this behind me. " Eight months later, the matter is very much in front of him. Berry, 74, is continuing to fight on two fronts: overturning his conviction and regaining the $6,010-a-month state pension he forfeited last Dec. 30 for using his judicial office and staff to...
August 27, 2016 |
Mayor Kenney's appointee to lead the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment this week became the latest ally of labor leader John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty to fall under federal scrutiny as part of the expanding investigation into the powerful Electricians union. FBI agents served search warrants Tuesday on the Pennsport home and chiropractic office of James Moylan, who has worked as a political consultant for Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in the past, according to sources close to the investigation.
August 12, 2016
HOW DOES a city like Philadelphia grow and become successful for all of its citizens? That complex question has no single answer. For one thing, "growth and success" is often in the eye of the beholder; if you're a low- or middle-income resident living in a booming neighborhood, growth can mean getting priced out of the housing market . . . or losing valuable community gardens or other such space to high-priced developments. With tens of thousands of vacant properties and decades of declining population and growth, Philadelphia has rarely had to confront the often tough balances that neighborhood growth demands.
July 29, 2016 |
You can't make this stuff up. No, you wouldn't want to make this stuff up about a presidential candidate who could wind up running this country. Donald Trump actually said yesterday that he hoped Russia had hacked into Hillary Clinton's email server and would now release 30,000 emails. In other words, the GOP candidate sanctioned cyber-spying by a foreign nation in order to influence an election in his favor. This just as U.S. intelligence agencies say they are highly confident - as are well-known cybersecurity firms - that it was Russian government spy agencies that hacked into the Democratic National Committee's emails, 20,000 of which were released the day before the convention with the clear intent of undercutting Clinton.
July 19, 2016 |
We investors are suffering a bizarre new phenomenon - where banks and governments are "paying" negative interest rates. Negative rates imply that customers actually pay for keeping money in the bank or in sovereign bonds, rather than receiving interest. Negative interest rates in countries such as Germany and Japan are an experiment to stimulate consumer spending. Just last week, Germany sold 10-year bonds yielding negative rates - investors pay the sovereign to hold these fixed-income securities!
July 13, 2016
By Rebecca Burgess Writing democracy's obituary has a history about as long as democracy's own life span. The 2016 diagnosis includes some now-familiar maladies: legislative gridlock or stagnation, hyperpartisan divides, and the capture of the halls of government by privileged special interests, whose fistfuls of dollars effectively mute the political voice of the average American. Under such circumstances, the report goes, democracy flatlines. But democracy isn't dead - it's quite alive, and its reactionary kicking against aspects of our modern administrative state explains a great deal about current levels of gridlock and partisanship.
June 10, 2016 |
A Philadelphia woman's desire to have a dog in the fight against crime has inspired her to donate $22,000 to outfit the Philadelphia Police Department's K-9 dogs with bulletproof vests. The donation, made to the Philadelphia Police Foundation by Joanne Berwind, was announced Wednesday at a news conference outside Police Headquarters. Commissioner Richard Ross thanked Berwind for recognizing that canine cops have it ruff too. "They would give their lives for their partners," Ross said of the K-9 dogs.
June 8, 2016 |
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen still wants to raise interest rates, but won't boost the price of money just yet. "I continue to think that the federal funds rate will probably need to rise gradually over time to ensure price stability and maximum sustainable employment in the longer run," which is the Fed's job, Yellen said in remarks Monday to the World Affairs Council in Philadelphia. She and her Federal Open Market Committee colleagues don't think weak hiring reports for May and April mean the economy is slowing.
June 3, 2016 |
The Pennsylvania Department of Health said Wednesday that it had received 123 applications from individuals who want to be the state's first director of the new Medical Marijuana Program. The department said it hopes to have the position filled by mid-July. The director will play a key role in the implementation of the state's medical marijuana program. That is expected to take between 18 months and two years. Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy also announced that by the end of this year she expects to have temporary regulations in place, so that growers/processors can start producing medical marijuana products.
May 29, 2016 |
If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates later this year as expected, Philadelphia says its finances are braced for the fiscal fallout. The city owes $3.3 billion on its general-obligation and service-agreement debt, says Rasheia Johnson , the former Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. investment banker appointed city treasurer this year under Mayor Kenney . Of that total, just $219 million, or less than 7 percent, is floating-rate debt...