Vol. I No. 110
Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia
December 2, 2010
TAKING LEAVE of University of Pennsylvania VP Glenn Bryant’s W. Phila. First Thursday community meeting early this morning, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell left for her first Council meeting under new rules set by Penna. Supreme Court that require time for public comments. Councilwoman was stoic about new regs, which many fear will clog debates and drag out decision-making. “We’ll just have to see how it goes,” she shrugged. “Until we see, I’m going to have to not schedule anything else on Thursdays.”
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House R’s Urge Gaming Control Board To Hold Off Slot Licenses
HIV reporting systems in 2007, the percentage of persons diagnosed late ranged from 25.0% to 47.2%.
“Some members don’t think the current board should award this Category 3 license,” House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin said, though he declined to name them. “They don’t want to see it rushed.… That’s how problems happened before.”
AIDS diagnosis rates were highest in the South and Northeast census regions and in the most populated states.
In 2008, most HIV diagnoses, by race/ethnicity, were among blacks House Republicans want the State or African Americans (51.2%) and, Gaming Control Board to hold off by transmission category, were on awarding its last slots licenses among non-drug-injecting men reuntil incoming leaders in Harrisburg porting male-to-male sexual contact (55.0%). appoint new Board members.
Five of the seven board members’ terms expire later in January, including one of outgoing Gov. Ed Rendell’s three appointees. Legislative leaders appoint the other four.
AIDS Infection Climbing Again Approximately 40% of the American population between the ages of 18 to 64 has been tested for HIV until a census was taken in 2009 which showed that figure climbed to 45%. The percentage of persons with late diagnoses of HIV infection was stable at approximately 37% from 2001 to 2004, decreasing to 32.3% by 2007 (most recent data available). In the 37 states with mature THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
Bridges To Clamp Down On Holiday Drinkers Police Officers from the Delaware River Port Authority will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the annual holiday season “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” 2010 Statewide Crackdown. Beginning last week and running through Jan. 2, 2011, local and State police will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, looking for drivers who may be driving while intoxicated. A concentrated national effort, the campaign helps to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high visibility enforcement and public education tools, including posters, banners and mobile video display signs. Special variable message signs will 2 DECEMBER, 2010
be located at all four DRPA bridges. Launched nationally in 1999, the program works to combat drunk driving during some of the busiest travel times of the year. DRPA CEO John J. Matheussen says, “We are pleased to participate in this ongoing critical law enforcement effort that is designed to save lives and keep our bridges safe for our customers.” DRPA Police Chief, David McClintock, says “This initiative brings attention to not only the serious fines and penalties drunk drivers can face, but also the grave danger those drivers pose to everyone else on the road.”
McGeehan Wants Probe Of Philly Schools Contract Flip State Rep. Mike McGeehan (DNortheast), has asked the State Education Dept. to look into charges of disregard for State and Federal procurement rules in its sudden switch of recipients of a multi-million-dollar contract for video monitoring systems in a number of City schools. According to published reports, in September, after awarding $7.5 million to Security and Data Technologies, Inc. through the standard 2 DECEMBER, 2010
contracting process, top Philadelphia schools officials, including Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, suddenly voided the contract and gave the work to IBS Communications, Inc. The funds were for installing security cameras in 19 Philadelphia schools deemed “persistently dangerous” by the Dept. of Education. In a letter to Acting Secretary of Education Thomas Gluck, McGeehan questioned why the contract was revoked from SDT, which he said has a long history of performing satisfactory work for the District. “High-ranking School District officials arbitrarily abrogated this legally awarded contract and directed staff to disregard required competitive-bidding procedures,” McGeehan said. “Citing ‘emergency’ work as a pretext to this highly questionable practice, the Ackerman Administration further flouted State rules by awarding the project to IBS Communications, an entity not authorized by State rules to perform the work required.” McGeehan further asserted Ackerman and her top administrators have “provided very little comment on this questionable use of substantial taxpayer dollars. Their written responses, to date, have only deepened the public’s suspicions.”
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According to reports, a spokeswoman for the District has disputed Ackerman played a role in voiding the contract with SDT and giving the work to IBS. McGeehan specified three questions he believes Acting Secretary Gluck should pursue on behalf of taxpayers. “What violations were incurred by awarding this contract to IBS Communications which is neither under State contract nor on a pre-qualified list of contractors to perform emergency work? “What Federal violations of Build America Bonds regulations, procedures and practices were potentially violated under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act? “What Pennsylvania Public School Code procurement rules and regulations were violated?” “The Commonwealth and the City of Philadelphia are confronted with dire financial choices in the coming weeks,” McGeehan added. “The School District of Philadelphia has an obligation to be judicious with what will likely be significantly fewer dollars. The public deserves straight answers from Superintendent Ackerman.” Outside of the letter, McGeehan noted the shift in power in the legislature from the November elec|
tions has given added influence to some Republicans who repeatedly dispute allocations to Philadelphia as examples of favoritism and waste and the reason for the Commonwealth’s financial ills. “The arbitrary and questionable action in the City schools’ securitycamera contract gives them ammunition to use against future allocations for Philadelphia,” McGeehan charged. “That hurts our city and our people and could further burden Philadelphia taxpayers.”
Zogby Poll: Obama Approval Back Up to 42%
Mayor’s Schedule Sparkles Today Mayor Michael Nutter begins the holiday season this afternoon like many another busy official. He does, however, get a chance to shed a little more light on the situation than usual. At 2:30 p.m., in his Reception Room) City Hall 202), he will kick off a new City economic initiative, “Top 100 Nonprofits—Building a Supplier Diversity Program That Works”. This program will be
launched by the Office of Economic Development as an initiative to help nonprofit organizations build supplier diversity programs that provide business opportunities for minority, women and disabledowned businesses. By 5:00 p.m., he is due to go downstairs and into the cold to inaugurate the City Holiday Tree Lighting at the West Portal. But he won’t stop there. The Mayor’s next act of enlightenment will be in Rittenhouse Square, where he will hail the occasion of the Menorah Lighting.
Republicans Ponder Their Divided Sides LOYAL OPPOSITION leader Kevin Kelly introduces breakfast panel at Union League this morning as urban GOP activists discussed split between his group, allied with Republican State Committee, and City Committee stalwarts.
President Barack Obama’s job-approval rating has climbed back up to 42% after recording his low of 39% in our previous Zogby Interactive poll, and the percentage who say the nation is on the wrong track dropped from what had also been a high for Obama’s term, 69% previously, to 63% currently. Obama’s approval among Democrats rebounded from 72% on Nov. 22 to 82% in this most recent Nov. 29-Dec. 1 survey. His approval among independents fell slightly from 39% to 35%, and remained steady coming in at 7% among Republicans.
EARLY BIRDS at this affair were several Ward Leaders, among them, from left, Mike Cibik, Pete Wirs and David Oh. 4|
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
2 DECEMBER, 2010
Dec. 3Phila. FIGHT marks 20th anniversary gala at Ritz Carlton. For ticket and other info (215) 525-8628. WHILE HARD-CORE City Committee backers were sparse at Union League at discussion, many middle-of-the-roaders showed up, among them, from left, Ward Leader Jerry Brown and politicalscience columnist Nathan Shrader.
Deck The Alley This Saturday Deck the Alley, the Elfreth’s Alley
handmade by local cabinetmaker
Association’s winter fundraiser, is
this Saturday, Dec. 4 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Deck the Alley is
Tickets can be bought on line at
one of only two occasions each
www.elfrethsalley.org, at the El-
year when visitors can tour some
freth’s Alley Association’s Mu-
of the private homes on Elfreth’s
seum Shop at 124 Elfreth’s Alley,
Alley. Deck the Alley raises funds
or over the phone by calling (215)
for the Elfreth’s Alley Associa-
tion’s preservation and education programs. This year, along with refreshments and the open houses, Deck the
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book signing by Ed Mauger, author
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of Philadelphia Then and Now, and
a raffle for a child’s Windsor chair
Alley will feature caroling by the Colonial Revelers, the jolly old man himself Benjamin Franklin, a
2 DECEMBER, 2010
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
Dec. 573rd Annual Rev. George Feider Memorial Communication Breakfast hosted by Millay Club alumni of Gorretti-Neumann HS, at Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, 201 S,. Columbus Blvd., 9 a.m. Honored will be Penna. State Secretary Basil Merenda and others. Tickets $30. For info (215) 389-0925. Dec. 8Fire Fighters Local 22 and Police FOP Lodge 5 host plaque dedication honoring 100th anniversary of largest loss of life which killed 13 firefighters, one police officer and two fire horses at Plaza Complex on 2nd St. south of Girard Ave., 11 a.m. For info Jerry Kots (267) 5496326. Dec. 14Portrait presentation of Hon. Sheldon C. Jelin at 4 p.m. in Room 653. Reception following in Conversation Hall.