Philadelphia Metropolis

June 2010 Archives

Public Is the New Private

By Phylliss Mass Remember Steve Martin's line when people asked if he would mind them smoking? He smiled politely and replied: "Mind if I fart?" Today, though smoking is banned in most public places, no one would bother to ask... (Comments)

This Is Going to Hurt

The state budget deal announced Tuesday (June 29) calls for an overall increase in government spending of just one percent, but it is going to cause a lot of pain. The $28.05 billion package includes no new taxes.  It does... (Comments)

Talking About Schools

By Tom Ferrick Jr. We need a new vocabulary for discussing basic education in Philadelphia because there is a huge gap between how educators and parents talk and think about schools. That gap is made clear in a report... (Comments)

A Budget on Time?

It looks like Pennsylvania -- for once -- will pass a state budget by the June 30 deadline. The Inquirer reports that the various sides reached agreement on a new budget shortly after 2 a.m. today (June 29th).  Basically, it... (Comments)

The Hipster Commandments

By Desiree Raucci As South Philadelphia native, I am annoyed at how my neighbors have handled the influx of hipsters moving into our neighborhood. I wouldn't use the word "hate" or even "dislike." Overwhelmed is more accurate, so great has... (Comments)

City Blocks: How East Passyunk Ave. Got Hot

By Tom Ferrick Jr. The revival of East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia has come at warp speed, as measured in standard urban time.  In just five years, the five-block stretch of shops has gone from being a charming... (Comments)

City Blocks: Making It Happen on Passyunk

What happened on East Passyunk Avenue is important not only because it revived the neighborhood. It also could become the model to save other commercial strips in the city and the state from deterioration and decay. (Comments)

A Hardy Perennial

Rumors of affairs involving Ed Rendell are hardy perennials.  They seem to pop up with some regularity.  The latest, whcih is about to be published by Philadelphia Magazine have him involved with a state employee, Kirsten Snow, who works as... (Comments)

Fools & Their Money

It turns out there were at least three people in the Commonwealth who believed that state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams had a chance to be governor.  As the Inquirer reported today (June 23) three executive with a Bala Cynwyd financial firm... (Comments)

Finding Work

By Shannon Fandler For the classes of 2009 and 2010, having a job has become not the logical next step in a graduate's life plan, but something akin to a miracle credited to God, the alignment of the stars, lucky... (Comments)

A Hollywood Moment

By G. Terry Madonna & Michael L. Young If the Pat Toomey-Joe Sestak Pennsylvania Senate race was a movie, it would be a cinch for an Academy Award nomination. It's an electoral show that has everything: two controversial, compelling opponents;... (Comments)

Sinking Under Debt

The Washington Post offers up a profile of Harrisburg, Pa. a city with a debt that exceeds its annual budget. The city owes $68 million -- and soon -- to make payments on bonds floated to refurbish a trash-to-power incinerator, but... (Comments)

Veon Sentence: 6 to 14

A Harrisburg judge sentenced former Democratic leader Mike Veon to 6 to 14 years in prison on Friday (June 18) for his role in the Bonusgate scandal.  Veon, 53, the former House majority leader, was led away in handcuffs to... (Comments)

Money Talks

And in this case, it is saying: "Tom Corbett."  The Republican candidate for governor emerged from the primary election with $3.3 million in his campaign fund.  That gives him a distinct edge over his Democratic rival, Dan Onorato, who had... (Comments)

Phila. Test Scores Rise Again

Student performance as measured by the state's PSSA test rose again this year in the Philadelphia School District. The Notebook reports that for the first time even more than half the students performed above basic in math and reading. To... (Comments)

A Bad Hair Day

By Robert Felsted Jr. Can a new look really change your life? I really hadn't considered it before, but trying to make a name and a defining your own image is not an easy thing to do. I had lived... (Comments)

An Outbreak of Candor

 By Tom Ferrick Jr. There was a sudden and unexpected outbreak of candor in the gubernatorial race the other day. Attorney General Tom Corbett, the Republican candidate for governor, ambled down to Lebanon last Friday (June 11) to talk to... (Comments)

More Pa. Budget Troubles

Gov. Rendell and the legislature could have to wrestle with more than the looming $1.2 billion budget deficit the state faces this year.  It may have to add on another $850 million to the pile unless the feds come through... (Comments)

Fade to Gray

By Beverly A. Black Should I dye my hair? Before you jump to conclusions and decide I am a petty, superficial woman, you must understand that this is apparently no small question in my new hometown. I now live in... (Comments)

City Blocks: South Street Blues

Where do all the hippies meet? Not on South Street. Not anymore. The famous commercial strip is going through tough times, suffering from the bad mojo associated with the term "flash mobs" and an economic downturn that has left the street dotted with empty storefronts. (Comments)

City Blocks: South Street Survivor

Julia Zagar is a South Street survivor. She opened her gallery on 402 South Street in 1968, when the street had reached bottom. She has lived through all the changes that have happened on the street since. (Comments)

GOP Donnybrook

Philadelphia's Republican Party organization re-elected its leaders last night (Wednesday) in a raucous meeting in Kensington, where 14 dissident ward leaders were banned -- either from voting or the room. They were not amused. The remaining ward leaders picked (no... (Comments)

Kindergarteners Attacked

The Daily News offers a package of stories today (June 8) about children assaulted by staff or other students at Philadelphia public schools and the district's muddled response to the incidents. In one case, a kindergarnter was sexually assaulted in... (Comments)

A Council "Oinkfest"

Charles McPhearson, City Council's go-to guy on the city budget, may be returning to the chamber as a $150,000-a-year consultant.  McPhearson, 60, retired from the job a year ago when it was a salaried position.  Council converted the post into... (Comments)

No More Managing Director

Mayor Nutter has abolished the position of Managing Director.  On Thursday (June 3), he named Richard Negrin to replace Camille Barnett in the job, but dropped the old title. Instead, Negrin will become deputy mayor for administration and coordination. He... (Comments)

Kill the Kitty

By Tom Ferrick Jr. When I covered government on a regular basis, I loved to write about the process of passing a budget. That sounds sick, I know. In the news business, budget stories are known as MEGO's, as in... (Comments)

A Biker's Plea

By Greg Karpinski  I used to hate SEPTA, and still kind of do, but it was the mess that resulted during last year's strike that gave me second thoughts about the full scope of utility mass transit provides. Being a... (Comments)

Rick Mariano Speaks

Catherine Lucey of the Daily News has bagged a sit-down interview with former Councilman Rick Mariano, sent to federal prison for soliciting $30,000 in bribes from businessmen in his district.  In the interview, Mariano strikes all the right notes: contrite... (Comments)

City Blocks: Frankford Avenue Revival

By Nick Gilewicz When the idea of turning Frankford Avenue into an arts corridor first started making the rounds in 2005, a common joke was that avenue had everything but the art. Today, no one is laughing.  Frankford Avenue, the... (Comments)

Is It Soup Yet?

Gov. Rendell and the state legislature have 30 days to come up with a new and approved version of the state budget for fiscal 2010-2011, but there is little progress reported on resolving the major differences over taxes and spending.... (Comments)

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