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NEWS
June 24, 1995
The shortcomings of Philadelphia Gas Works are well-known to anyone who has ever dealt with the pitifully inefficient city-owned utility. Just about everyone - even the latest consultants and Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation Board members - admits PGW is a mess. It just can't do anything right. Except, perhaps, one thing. In 1988, PGW appointed Community Legal Services as the public advocate for its residential customers. The decision has paid off. Ratepayers have been spared more than $95 million in rate increases, for a cumulative savings of more than a half-billion dollars.
BUSINESS
June 27, 1995 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The city's Public Advocate, the leading critic of the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works, has itself come under scrutiny as the troubled utility undergoes its wrenching restructuring. City officials today will consider a proposal to reduce funding for the Public Advocate and to rein in its independence, a move that the advocate's supporters interpret as an attempt to muzzle one of PGW's most forceful critics. "Things are so bad at PGW that the scope of work of the Public Advocate should be as broad as possible," several lawyers, lawmakers and community organizations wrote last week to the Philadelphia Gas Commission, the regulatory body that is reviewing the advocate's contract.
NEWS
February 15, 2005 | By Mitch Lipka INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
The Office of the Child Advocate would remain independent if New Jersey reinstated the post of public advocate, lawmakers said yesterday. State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D., Middlesex) and Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo (D., Essex), who have been leading the legislative effort to bring back the watchdog post of public advocate, testified that they would work out a way to keep the child advocate free of interference. Details remain to be worked out, Caraballo said later. Child Advocate Kevin Ryan, who has a five-year contract that can be terminated only for wrongdoing, has expressed concern that the Assembly's version of the bill would make him a subordinate to the public advocate and cost him the freedom to investigate and comment that has given his office credibility.
NEWS
November 5, 2003 | By L. Stuart Ditzen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia voters yesterday approved seven amendments to the city's Home Rule Charter. Voters decided to create a public advocate to represent the interests of the city's insurance consumers. The goal is to secure lower auto-insurance rates in the city. Voters favored adding a nonvoting member to the city's nine-member Board of Pensions and Retirement. The person, to be named by City Council, will have the right to attend board meetings and assist in decision-making and have timely access to reports on the pension fund's fiscal health.
NEWS
February 12, 2005
Don't forget which state government unit is so badly, sadly broken in New Jersey. That would be the Division of Youth and Family Services, not the Office of the Child Advocate. Creating the advocate's office two years ago has been crucial to improving the care of children under the state's charge. That's why it is important to keep the child advocate independent, at least until the Division of Youth and Family Services has emerged from an ongoing effort to improve its operation.
NEWS
July 13, 2005 | By Kaitlin Gurney INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey signed into law yesterday a bill reinstating the Office of the Public Advocate, a cabinet-level agency designed to investigate ordinary citizens' complaints about state government. The independent watchdog was a fixture in state government for 20 years until the agency was eliminated in 1994 amid state budget cuts. The new public advocate, who will have a budget of about $2 million, will be appointed by the incoming governor in January. The state's last public advocate, Zulima Farber, said yesterday that scandals such as the state's mismanagement of the Division of Youth and Family Services might have been discovered earlier if the office's "wings weren't clipped.
NEWS
December 14, 2012 | By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press
A gay couple from Montclair, N.J., whose engagement photo was used in Colorado political attack mailers are "innocent bystanders" whose image was stolen, and their lawsuit against the group who used it should proceed, attorneys said in a court filing. "They are not celebrities or public figures or emblems of the gay-rights movement. They did not insert themselves into Colorado politics," attorneys with the southern Poverty Law Center said in a filing in Denver federal court Monday on behalf of Brian Edwards, 32, and Tom Privitere, 37. The filing was in response to arguments by a group named Public Advocate of the United States, which said last month that the suit should be dismissed.
NEWS
September 27, 2012 | By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press
A gay couple from Essex County, N.J., is suing a group that used their engagement photo in an attack mailer against a Republican Colorado state lawmaker who supported civil unions. The Southern Poverty Law Center said Tuesday that it would file a federal lawsuit against the Virginia-based Public Advocate of the United States this week on behalf of the couple. In the photo, Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere of Montclair hold hands and kiss with the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan as a backdrop.
NEWS
January 14, 2002 | By Kaitlin Gurney INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Gov.-elect James E. McGreevey yesterday announced his selection to be the state's public advocate and lead a governmental watchdog office that then-Gov. Christie Whitman abolished in 1994. Seema M. Singh, 40, a Princeton lawyer who specializes in mediation and conflict resolution, "will protect the interests of the citizens of New Jersey," McGreevey said. Singh's nomination requires more than a state Senate confirmation: Both houses of the legislature must vote to re-create the office, which had a budget of $1 million in 1994.
BUSINESS
May 13, 2014
Steven R. Houser has been named senior associate dean for research at Temple University School of Medicine . Houser has served in the position on an acting basis since Joseph Cheung was named chair of medicine in the fall. Houser will remain professor and chair of physiology, as well as director of Temple's Cardiovascular Research Center. Campbell Soup Co. , Camden, has hired Umang Shah as director, global social media and digital marketing. He had been director, social media strategy, for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Please Touch Museum , the Children's Museum of Philadelphia, has hired Kelly Anne Clarke as executive vice president.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 22, 2015 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
Camden Catholic vs. St. Augustine Prep in the South A championship game in football at Rowan University? St. Joseph vs. Holy Cross in the South B title game at the same site, on the same night? Several coaches of South Jersey non-public football teams believe those games could be a reality under their proposal to change the current playoff system. With so much uncertainty about the future for non-public schools in the sport, the coaches are advocating a return to South Jersey championships, with a focus on strengthening rivalries, limiting travel and building fan interest.
NEWS
May 4, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
LAYTON, Utah - There are days when Aaron Fisher believes he has finally put the past behind him. Days when his chief concerns are the new friends he met at a party or a truck axle he snapped during an off-roading trip in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Days when he hardly gives a thought to the aging man he helped put in a prison cell hundreds of miles away. But those days tend to be fleeting. Even now, Fisher is still growing up in Jerry Sandusky's shadow. Seven years ago, Fisher, then a scared 15-year-old, publicly accused the former Pennsylvania State University assistant coach of sexual abuse, launching an investigation that would shake the state and its flagship college to its core.
BUSINESS
May 13, 2014
Steven R. Houser has been named senior associate dean for research at Temple University School of Medicine . Houser has served in the position on an acting basis since Joseph Cheung was named chair of medicine in the fall. Houser will remain professor and chair of physiology, as well as director of Temple's Cardiovascular Research Center. Campbell Soup Co. , Camden, has hired Umang Shah as director, global social media and digital marketing. He had been director, social media strategy, for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Please Touch Museum , the Children's Museum of Philadelphia, has hired Kelly Anne Clarke as executive vice president.
NEWS
December 9, 2013 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Its sponsors say it is an urgently needed and long-overdue package of reforms for a burgeoning system, but critics contend that Pennsylvania's hotly debated charter-school bill would speed the decline of some conventional public schools. The legislature is expected to act soon - perhaps in the next few weeks - on Senate Bill 1085, which would embody the first major changes since the once-experimental schools began expanding rapidly across Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. This year, the Philadelphia School District alone will pay $708 million to charter schools.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Gas Commission is heading to a showdown Wednesday over Mayor Nutter's desire to pay $2.7 million to advisers on a possible sale of Philadelphia Gas Works. The gas commission's professional staff recommended last month that most of the city's request for fees for lawyers and financial advisers was reasonable. But the staff - Janet Parrish, the executive director, and Tarleton D. Williams, a hearing examiner - recommended that the gas commission reject Nutter's request to spend $201,000 for media-relations advisers and $200,000 for lobbyists to sell the privatization to the public and City Council.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Philadelphia Gas Commission is heading to a showdown Wednesday over Mayor Nutter's desire to pay $2.7 million to advisers on a possible sale of Philadelphia Gas Works. The gas commission's professional staff recommended last month that most of the city's request for fees for lawyers and financial advisers was reasonable. But the staff - Janet Parrish, the executive director, and Tarleton D. Williams, a hearing examiner - recommended that the gas commission reject Nutter's request to spend $201,000 for media-relations advisers and $200,000 for lobbyists to sell the privatization to the public and City Council.
NEWS
December 14, 2012 | By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press
A gay couple from Montclair, N.J., whose engagement photo was used in Colorado political attack mailers are "innocent bystanders" whose image was stolen, and their lawsuit against the group who used it should proceed, attorneys said in a court filing. "They are not celebrities or public figures or emblems of the gay-rights movement. They did not insert themselves into Colorado politics," attorneys with the southern Poverty Law Center said in a filing in Denver federal court Monday on behalf of Brian Edwards, 32, and Tom Privitere, 37. The filing was in response to arguments by a group named Public Advocate of the United States, which said last month that the suit should be dismissed.
NEWS
December 13, 2012 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
THE PHILADELPHIA GAS Commission is considering who should foot the bill for the legal, financial and communications consultants that Mayor Nutter hired to aid the sale of Philadelphia Gas Works. Until that decision is made, the Philadelphia Gas Commission - the body responsible for overseeing management and operations of PGW - has held off approving $2.7 million to the consultants. City Councilwoman Marian Tasco, commission chair, said that there has been no delay but that the commission wanted to review the process thoroughly.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter's venture to privatize the Philadelphia Gas Works, the nation's largest municipal gas utility, is encountering stiff resistance. The Philadelphia Gas Commission, the regulatory body that reviews PGW's budget, has delayed approving $2.7 million in expenses to pay the team of financial, legal, and communications consultants Nutter hired to guide the city through the sales process. Without a budget authorizing the expenses, the city can't sign contracts with the consultants and move forward with soliciting bids for the utility, which is expected to fetch more than $1 billion.
NEWS
November 29, 2012
OK, BIRTHERS, listen up: You now have a Democrat seeking high office who admits to being born in Kenya. As far as we know he's not Muslim or a socialist, but he is, as of Wednesday, running to unseat Republican Gov. Corbett in 2014. He is John Hanger, the first Democrat to jump into the race. Others will follow. Hanger was the state public utility commissioner for five years and a former secretary of environmental protection for two-plus years under Gov. Ed Rendell. The 55-year-old Hershey resident was expected to formally announce Wednesday morning at 10 at Reading Terminal Market, Wednesday afternoon at the state Capitol and Thursday at the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
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