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Vol. I No. 149

Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

January 27, 2011


Daily Record

Can They Save Us From Marcellus

CITY COUNCIL may pass bold legislation introduced by Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. aimed at staving off a potential threat to its water supply from gas drilling in Delaware River’s upstate watershed. To have any effect, though, City will need support in Harrisburg. Who will go after it? See Page 2.


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City Council Passes Bold Resolution On Gas Drilling Philadelphia’s City Council looks set to pass a bold set of recommendations designed to prevent shalegas drilling in the Delaware River watershed at a full City Council session today. The bill, introduced by Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., would make Philadelphia the first city in the United States to go on record as determined not to buy gas extracted by unconventional gas drilling, commonly called “fracking.” Advocacy groups agreed the bill’s other recommendations pressing for a continued moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed, and for expanded public participation in the Delaware River Basin Commission comment period, are even more important and urgent. The citizens group Protecting Our Waters, backed by advocacy groups including Clean Water Action and Delaware Riverkeeper Network, stated, “While the City of Philadelphia’s avoiding Marcellus Shale gas purchases is exciting and precedent setting, the bill’s recommendations directed towards the DRBC are more time-urgent and extremely important for our watershed.” POW’s City Hall campaign organizer Ann Dixon added, “What’s fracked cannot be un-

fracked.” The resolution directs significant new pressure towards the Delaware River Basin Commission, the fourstate entity mandated to protect water quality in the Delaware River watershed, to hold a hearing in the Philadelphia area and extend its Mar. 16 deadline on public comment for gas drilling regulations for this watershed. The Commission has signaled that it will not perform any cumulative impact study nor wait for the EPA study of hydrofracturing’s risks to drinking water and air, before moving forward with fracking in the important Delaware River Basin, which provides Philadelphia with its drinking water. The environmental community has been “disturbed by the lack of any cumulative impacts study,” according to Gerald Kaufman of POW. Family physician Poune Saberi said, “Evidence is mounting that gas drilling can sometimes severely impact human health.” Asthma, reduced pulmonary function, severe nosebleeds, severe headaches, dizziness, blackouts, and pre-cancerous lung lesions are among the health impacts from shale-gas drilling cited by Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project. In addition to public health impacts from the chemicals, what City

For more information, call William Hanna

267-808-0287 2|


1 JANUARY, 2011

Council is concerned about, and what scientists in the US and globally are increasingly focused on, is not just the dangerous “fracking” stage of extraction but rather “the whole fracking enchilada,” a term author and filmmaker Sandra Steingraber coined to describe the cradle-to-grave impacts of the entire process of extraction, from deforestation at stage one to toxic-waste troubles at the end. If the public comment period is not extended past Mar. 16, gas-drilling operations will begin upstream from Philadelphia later this year. DRBC just announced this week there will be no public hearings anywhere in the Philadelphia area. Advocacy groups see DRBC’s failure to schedule a hearing near any of the population centers which depend on the Delaware for drinking water as undemocratic. “It’s a remarkable show of bad faith,” said POW’s Jerry Silberman. “We need City Council, Mayor Michael Nutter, and the entire Philadelphia legislative delegation, as well as our federal Representatives and Senators, to fight for the Delaware River watershed right now,” said Dixon. City Hall observers speculate that, if given a measure passed by Council, Nutter may make a formal request to DRBC for a hearing in his city – a request it would be hard for DRBC to avoid, coming from the leader of the Delaware River 26 JANUARY, 2011

Basin’s most-populous city.

Casey Intros Legislation to Use Unspent Highway Funds U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) has introduced two bills aimed at utilizing federal money allocated to highway projects that remains unspent. Recent reports indicate that almost one in three dollars earmarked for highway projects since 1991 remain unspent, totaling $13 billion nationwide and $392 million in Pennsylvania. “This legislation will ensure that funding already directed toward highway projects is put to good use, improving our roads and bridges and creating more construction jobs,” said the Senator. “This legislation will help Pennsylvania move forward on critical highway projects and relieve the financial burden these unspent funds are causing the State.” The Redistribution of Unspent Earmarks Act will require any earmarks that are over three years old and not obligated to a specific project to be returned to the state transportation department with jurisdiction over the project, allowing the money to be spent on other federally approved projects. The Use It or Lose It Act will require congressionally directed funding from the Highway Trust THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

Fund to be obligated for a project no later than three years after the funds were first made available. If funds are not obligated in that time frame, they will be released to the State Transportation Dept., which will then be able to direct it toward other federally approved transportation projects in that state.

Goode Wants Council To Check City’s WorkforceDevelopment At City Council’s first meeting in 2011, Councilman W. Wilson Goode, Jr. introduced a resolution to authorize the Committee on Commerce & Economic Development to hold hearings to strategically assess the City’s workforce development system. On Nov. 22, 2010, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the appointment of Mark Edwards as President and CEO of the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp. PWDC, which has an annual budget in excess of $100 million, is the largest single entity in the City’s workforce development system. Founded in 1999, the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, Inc. is also a nonprofit organization that serves as the staff to a volunteer Board appointed by the Mayor under the federal Workforce In|


vestment Act. The Councilman said, “The Nutter Administration has begun a formal review of these workforce agencies in order to align the city’s workforce-development system to benefit employers and job seekers alike. With new leadership being put in place, it is time for City Council to review how these funds will be allocated to responsible employers and certified providers to train and place both unemployed and underemployed Philadelphians into living wage jobs.”

Nancy Wasch Appointed Co-Chair Of Bar’s Employee Benefits Committee Attorney Nancy L. Wasch of Archer & Greiner, PC, has been appointed to serve as co-Chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. The Committee fosters excellence in the profession through monthly roundtable discussions on developments in Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and by coordinating continuing legal education in the field. Wasch practices exclusively in employee benefits, compensation, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act matters. She advises clients, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, multi-national 4|

companies and hospitals and other nonprofit organizations with respect to employee benefits design, administration, compliance and audits. She represents clients with respect to benefits issues in mergers and acquisitions, multi-employer plan issues, qualified and non-qualified plan design and compliance, executive compensation, fiduciary issues, health and welfare benefit plans, and handling audits, as well as COBRA and HIPAA compliance for employers.

Former City Records Clerk Sentenced in Bribery Scheme Philadelphia Inspector General Amy L. Kurland, US Attorney Zane David Memeger and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge George Venizelos said a former Philadelphia Records Dept. clerk was sentenced in US District Court yesterday to 24 months in federal prison and 36 months of supervised release after pleading guilty to defrauding the City of more than $600,000. Kelly Kaufmann Layre, a Clerk Typist II in the Police Reports Unit, admitted she engaged in a corrupt scheme to sell police-incident, traffic-accident and emergency medical-services reports that defrauded the City. The investigation into Layre was initiated by the Philadelphia Inspector General. “When I became Mayor, I promTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

Jan. 27State Sen. Anthony Williams introduces documentary The Cartel at German Society of Pa., 611 Spring Garden St., 7-9 a.m. Jan. 27Edward J. Lowry, founder of Phila. Veterans MultiService & Education Ctr., has retirement party at Waterfall Rm. in Plumbers Local 690 Union Hall, 2791 Southampton Rd., cocktails 6-8 p.m., followed by Tribute Program. Tickets $65. Order by phone (215) 238-8050. Event Chair Ed Keenan, Board Chair Jim McNesby and Exec. Dir. Marsha Four. Jan. 27State Rep. Cherelle L Parker, together with 9th Ward Leaders John O’Connell and Frank Hendrie, hosts 9th Ward Town Hall meeting at United Cerebral Palsy, 102 E. Mermaid La. 7-9 p.m. Jan. 28Swearing-in Fundraiser for State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson at Union League, 140 S. Broad St., 6-9 p.m. RSVP (215) 820-7308. Jan. 29Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell hosts prayer breakfast for ministers in 3rd Councilmanic Dist. at Sharon Baptist Ch., 3955 Conshohocken Ave., 8 a.m. For info (215) 6863418. Jan. 29Campaign Kickoff for Damon K. Roberts, 2nd Council Dist. Democrat candidate, Ch. of the Redeemer, 1440 S. 24th St., 2 p.m. For info (267) 334-0244. 26 JANUARY, 2011

ised Philadelphians that our administration would root out corruption wherever it might be. And that’s why we invested in the most professional and competent Inspector General’s Office in the City’s history,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Taxpayers can be assured that we will protect their interests, while those engaged in wrongdoing can be assured that we will uncover

26 JANUARY, 2011

your schemes in partnership with local and federal law enforcement and prosecutors.”

pocketing nearly $186,000 during the four-year scheme. All four individuals pleaded guilty to the charges.

Layre provided thousands of incident, accident and EMS reports to co-conspirators Tina Meyrick, Paul Kling and Brian Daly at a significantly reduced rate, in exchange for cash payments. Layre abused her position as a public employee,




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