March 4, 2013 |
First in an occasional series. Mayor Nutter's property tax reform has been packaged as the fix for a badly broken and unfair system of assessments, but a powerful undercurrent has also driven the long and difficult effort. Its most ardent advocates believe the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) will allow the city to finally right its notoriously business-hostile tax landscape, often blamed for Philadelphia's lagging behind other big cities in important economic categories. Advocates for a modern property tax system have been arguing for years that the city taxes the wrong things - businesses and wages.
February 18, 2013 |
The politicians and analysts have been talking for more than a year about the potential winners and losers from Mayor Nutter's property tax reform, and now the lines have been drawn. The results of a citywide reassessment key to Nutter's Actual Value Initiative (AVI) were released Friday, and the data confirm some long-held expectations - wealthier, fast-changing neighborhoods are facing stiff increases, and many large commercial properties will see big drops in their bills. Some hikes are jaw-dropping.
January 23, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged weakened and facing a redrawn political map Tuesday after Israeli television projections showed a surge for a new centrist party, Yesh Atid, in Israel's elections, making it a key element of a future coalition. Netanyahu's ticket combining his rightist Likud party with the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu faction won 31 parliamentary seats, according to the projections, a sharp decline from the combined 42 seats held by the two parties in the outgoing 120-member legislature.
January 15, 2013 |
Approaching the Walt Whitman Bridge on the way to South Jersey, there's an ad for a website that seems so Philly. Next to a giant unhappy face, these words: NastyClient.com. Leave it to an incensed landscaper to create a digital place for contractors to dish about the customers who chiseled them. One morning before sunrise in March, Matt Stachel of Feasterville strapped his cloth sign to an empty spot on a fence that faced outbound traffic, and since then, his website has become a gathering place for the aggrieved.
December 14, 2012
THE SEVEN Big East schools that don't play Division I football are planning to leave the conference. If this news takes anyone by surprise then you just haven't been monitoring all this realignment business very stringently. More than a few folks saw this move as being pretty much inevitable, once the Big East started coming apart last year because of mass money-based football defections. The tipping point apparently was the recent addition of Tulane (Tulane?) as a replacement for Louisville.
October 21, 2012 |
William Trost Richards, a Philadelphia landscape painter of some renown during the late 19th century, enjoyed a working situation that few artists today are lucky enough to fall into. A wealthy patron, Philadelphia industrialist and art collector George Whitney, not only subsidized Richards and bought dozens of his oils and watercolors, but he also promoted the work among other collectors. The two were friends who corresponded regularly for about 10 years when Richards was out of the city.
September 25, 2012 |
Since the last time Barack Obama had to face a Republican opponent in Pennsylvania, the political battleground of the nation's sixth-largest state has changed a bit. Unemployment is up; jobs are down. The voting-age population may be slightly older, with more baby boomers in or near retirement. And Republicans have slightly narrowed the Democrats' voter-registration advantage. Some of the changes are subtle, and they don't all favor one party or the other. Analysts said it was hard to predict how they could affect the Nov. 6 election.
September 11, 2012
A report on private-sector jobs in the region finds that Philadelphians are fleeing the city at an alarming rate. Fortunately, they come back every night - for now. The daily out-migration of nearly 191,000 people to jobs in the suburbs and New Jersey outlined in the new Center City District (CCD) review is a stark reminder that there simply aren't nearly enough jobs in the city. Indeed, the decades-long downward trend in the private-sector workforce that provides 84 percent of city jobs shows no sign of leveling off. Another double-digit decline is possible by 2020, the business-funded group notes in its report released Thursday.
July 4, 2012 |
Journalists are supposed to be the ultimate Zeligs: We pop up at the right places with faces hidden by the shoulders and hairdos of the famous and powerful. We observe and report, always in the thick of things but never part of them. Journalists aren't usually role models or public figures, aren't elected officials, and don't receive taxpayer money. Who cares which ones are gay? But Anderson Cooper, 45, the CNN star journalist who yesterday came out as a gay man (to nobody's surprise)