May 16, 2013 |
AFTER FOUR months of uncertainty, the state board that oversees Philly's finances has been made whole. State Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa quietly appointed lawyer Rhonda Hill Wilson to the fifth and final spot on the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority board April 30, the same day a Daily News story detailed political maneuvering around the vacancy. The appointment was due in January. Each year, the board must approve the mayor's five-year financial plan with at least four of five votes.
May 15, 2013 |
IF THE LATE Harry Kalas was still around, he might've said: "That bat is outta here. " That's right: Bat! Mickey Mantle's family succeeded in stopping an auction house from trying to sell a corked bat allegedly used by the Mick. The Mantle family went ballistic when Grey Flannel Auctions claimed the doctored bat was used by Mantle. The family even brought in a heavy-hitter to represent them - the law firm of Bracewell and Giuliani. That's Giuliani as in Rudy, the former mayor of New York, who is a huge Yankees fan. Yesterday, Jonathan Halpern, a partner in the law firm issued a statement: "The online marketer informed us that it had withdrawn the bat from sale and also had removed the bat [and related photos and statements from its website]
May 9, 2013
GOV. CORBETT, beset by poll numbers that show voters don't want him to win another term, finally got some good news yesterday. Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor has decided against challenging Corbett in a 2014 Republican primary. Castor, via Facebook and Twitter, thanked his supporters but said such a "massive undertaking" would be impossible given his responsibilities to Montgomery County, to the law firm where he works and to his family. Castor had been mulling a run since December, saying he would make a decision by the spring.
April 23, 2013 |
This story has been updated. AS A CHILD, VIVIAN Ortiz spent many a Sunday with her parents at a small chapel on Spring Garden Street, a place where Ortiz learned about faith and community. Now, decades later, that same chapel - and plans to close it - are challenging her faith and that of hundreds in the city's Latino community. On Sunday morning, Ortiz joined more than 100 protestors outside Capilla Católica Hispana de la Medalla Milagrosa, or La Milagrosa, on Spring Garden near 19th, for a vigil to protest the looming closing of the historic church.
April 19, 2013 |
The Nutter administration filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against former city Sheriff John D. Green, eight other people, and five companies, alleging that they improperly diverted millions of dollars from city sheriff sales, violating the city's contracting procedures and state ethics laws. "Tens of millions of dollars remain unaccounted for," the lawsuit alleges, while companies owned by defendant James R. Davis Jr., one of Green's friends, "improperly pocketed millions of dollars on account of no-bid contracts and relationships that were unauthorized and unlawful.
April 10, 2013 |
Fred Blume, 72, chairman emeritus of the prestigious Blank Rome law firm in Philadelphia, died Monday, April 8, at his Penn Valley home after a long illness. For several decades, Mr. Blume battled a rare pancreatic tumor, said his wife, Sylvia "Sivy" Blume. Despite his illness, he served as Blank Rome's managing partner and chief executive officer from 2003 to 2006. "He was totally and completely dedicated to Blank Rome," his wife said. Morey Rosenbloom, a longtime friend and partner at the firm, said: "He was a lawyer's lawyer.
April 10, 2013 |
AUSTIN L. HOGAN liked to kick back on the rooftop deck of his Society Hill condominium overlooking the Delaware River and burn through books at a scary pace. "He would devour a book in an hour and a half," said his wife, Margaret Leyden. "It was frightening. " Not only books but newspapers, local, national and even international, would fall into the maw of his insatiable greed for information and amusement. And he often would turn from the printed page to his Kindle. "He read everything," his wife said.
March 27, 2013
In the Region Leaner Supervalu to shed workers Supervalu Inc. , which last week sold Acme Markets and four other national supermarket chains to a Cerberus Capital Management-led investor group, said Tuesday that it plans to eliminate 1,100 jobs as it trims costs amid falling sales. The company still operates about two dozen Save-a-Lot stores in the Philadelphia region and at the Jersey Shore. The cuts, which will come from its corporate and store-support offices, include current positions and open jobs that won't be filled, Minnesota-based Supervalu said, and represent about 3.1 percent of its 35,000-employee workforce.
March 18, 2013 |
Instead of pay-to-play, it was pay-to-pave. To land Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission business, contractors bidding for work made hefty campaign donations to mostly Democratic political potentates while wooing turnpike executives with meals, baseball tickets, and trips. Yes, you're probably as shocked as I am. The grand jury report released last week by Attorney General Kathleen Kane is a sad, sordid reminder that the more things appear to change . . . the more they really don't.
March 15, 2013
". . .[T]hese individuals, employed by or associated with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, used the turnpike as an enterprise through which they engaged in commerce and, in the conduct of the turnpike's affairs, a pattern of racketeering activity. These individuals wielded extraordinary power which they wrongfully used for self-enrichment and for their own political purposes, rather than for the good of the commonwealth and its citizens. " "...As explained to the grand jury, 'Money is the mother's milk of politics, and these are prime opportunities to raise funds.