November 10, 2009
FOR THOSE disgusted with events like the recent transit strike - in which deals are done in closed rooms with citizens having little say in things that directly affect their lives - here's an antidote: Tonight, citizens get a chance to interview five finalists contending to create a master plan for the central Delaware waterfront. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is hosting the meeting, at which citizens can hear how firms would approach the process that will literally lay the groundwork for streets, land use, public access and more for the central Delaware.
August 19, 2009
JUST TWO YEARS ago, the city's Central Delaware waterfront was known for big-box stores, the potential home of two controversial casinos, and a long history of squandered opportunity to create a vital asset for the city. But in the past 18 months, that reality was transformed by a big, new vision, created with the input of experts and citizens. The foundation of that vision rests on balancing public access and amenities with thoughtful development. The lastest step in reaching that goal was the hiring of a new president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corp.
July 3, 2009 |
A special judicial panel in Philadelphia has admonished a prominent federal judge in San Francisco for storing pornographic images that were accessible to the public on a personal Web site. The panel said yesterday that Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, was imprudent for storing the sexually explicit material on a home computer server that could be viewed by the public. However, it did not criticize Kozinski for having the material, nor did it impose any penalties.
June 16, 2009 |
The Associated Press and other Florida news organizations sued the NCAA and Florida State University yesterday, charging they schemed to violate open government laws by not making correspondence public about an academic cheating scandal at the school. "This action concerns a scheme created to avoid public access," the 21-page lawsuit said. "The scheme developed by the NCAA and aided by FSU and its counsel is particularly insidious to Florida's constitutional and statuory guarantee of access to public records.
May 25, 2009 |
Chester Community Charter School, the state's largest nonprofit charter, must make public a wide range of information about pay and profits going to its for-profit management company, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records has ruled. The decision by the new state agency created to hear Right-to-Know Law cases came this month in response to an appeal The Inquirer filed after the Delaware County school with 2,150 students denied a request for the information. Randi J. Vladimer, Chester Community Charter's attorney, wrote Friday in an e-mail that the school "is still exploring its options with respect to this matter," which could include an appeal to Delaware County Court.
May 22, 2009 |
From Sea Bright to Cape May, landlords and business owners have spent weeks readying the Jersey Shore for Memorial Day weekend, the summer season's dress rehearsal. Public works crews have dragged lifeguard stands and trash receptacles onto the beaches almost around the clock. Long Beach Island has put its traffic lights into full operation for the first time since fall. And bright spring blooms bob in freshly painted flower boxes everywhere. In Surf City, on Long Beach Island, officials just this week completed a cleanup of unexploded military munitions that began to show up on the beach after a sand-replenishment project two years ago. Nearly 2,000 munitions later, the Army Corps of Engineers swears it has carted off the last of them.
April 19, 2009
In the grand vision for the seven-mile central Delaware River waterfront that Mayor Nutter has endorsed, a generous ribbon of green and hiking trails along the water will showcase urban-scale neighborhoods where people live, work, and shop - all of it pedestrian-friendly and transit-accessible. That's the dream, anyway. Whether it becomes a reality or turns into a pipe dream remains to be seen. In just 10 years, San Francisco managed to transform 300 acres of former brownfields along its waterfront into the vibrant Mission Bay neighborhood of condos, cafes, and biotech labs, as detailed Friday by Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron.
April 18, 2009
Pennsylvania's new open-records law has been anything but open since it took effect in January. And the blame starts at the top. The situation has become so bad that Terry Mutchler, executive director of the state Office of Public Records, shared her concerns with Gov. Rendell in a very telling letter last month. It seems that the biggest scofflaws have been top state officials who have refused to comply with the new mandate. Mutchler told the governor that lawyers in Rendell's office had advised every state agency to ignore her calls and insist that all requests be put in writing.
February 3, 2009
As the new kid on the block in the cable-TV business in Philadelphia, Verizon Communications Inc. should match the support given by Comcast Corp. to the city's citizen-run television broadcasts. City Council members shouldn't sign off on a 15-year franchise deal that lets Verizon delay and, thus, heavily discount, its contribution toward public-access television. A vote on the cable franchise could come Thursday. Council has a chance to improve the terms of a proposed agreement with Verizon so that the civic interests of the city's residents are better served.
January 21, 2009 |
Members of Public Access Corp., the new Philadelphia entity tasked with creating and running a fledging community television network, say the city's proposed 15-year agreement with Verizon left them out of the loop and hinders their efforts to provide a full menu of programing. Louis Massiah, chairman of the Public Access board of directors, questioned why the board was left out of summer and fall negotiations between the city and Verizon, which is poised to break Comcast's monopoly on the local cable market with a $1 billion, seven-year build-out of its fiber-optic network, called FiOS.